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Advise for Receiver + Speakers (1 Viewer)

T-Show

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Tihomir
Guys, I need an advice. I updated to 50” plasma Panasonic and HD Dish and now I am considering to buy a home theater receiver + speakers. I want a quality sound, especially for playing music and from what I’ve read so far, I think the speakers have to be at least 100W each. So, the receiver has to support that. Can you suggest a decent equipment for a budget of $500-$600? Here is what I am thinking about:
Receiver:
- high current 5.1 or 6.1
- video upconversion
- THD – 0.5 or less
- Dolby-TrueHD
- min 100W per channel
PC connection won’t be needed, because the PS3 would do it.

Speakers
- Tower type has to be in the set of speakers. I’d like to have a good quality sound, so I guess 3 speakers per tower is the preferable choice. But would that fit in my budget?

Please give me some recommendations about brands and models and feel free to question my above choices. I’d welcome any advises. Thanks!
 

David Willow

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Hi,

Don't fall for the marketing gimmicks. Watts and number of speakers in a cabinet are not all that important. Even the size of the speakers is not super important.

Are you looking for just 2 speakers?
 

Jeff Gatie

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With that budget, it would be impossible to get all the features you want along with good tower speakers. Good towers cost more than your budget for speakers and receiver together. Your budget is more in the neighborhood of Home Theater in a Box.

Take a look at the Onkyo systems, especially the 6100 setup, and don't be so hung up on towers. Unless you are talking megabucks, they are often out performed by bookshelf/sub combos costing much less. Just because big looks better, doesn't mean it actually is.
 

T-Show

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Tihomir
Thanks both of you for the replies.

David, to answer your question, I am not sure if I need a whole set of speakers (5 or 6 or 7) or just 2 real good ones (+subwoofer, I guess). To be honest, I am more interested in a good sound for listening to music. For now, it looks like I don't have the time (and the equipment...) to enjoy the full capability of the PS3 for movies. But I'd like to have a good sound for music. Please give me some advise if 2 speaker towers can do that, and if I'll need a woofer for them.
Jeff, by Home Theater in a Box, do you mean those sets of DVD player + small speakers and woofer? If so, then I do have one (Zenith), but I am not satisfied with the sound. The bass is not clear, the trebles are not good. It has those pre-set sound modes (jazz, rock, movies, etc.) which I don't like at all. I want to be able to manually set my sound. That is what I'll be looking for by adding a Receiver. And yes, I was afraid my budget is too tight, but I thought to give it a shot and ask for different advices. I'll definitely check out that Onkyo model.
 

Jeff Gatie

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The Onkyo HTiB are not anything like the "DVD included" types. They have real receivers that are quite comparable to the individual receivers sold by Onkyo. They are easiest to upgrade because they do not include all components in one box, they are really just separate speakers, sub and receiver packaged in the same box.
 

T-Show

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Tihomir
Thanks Jeff. HT-SP908 seems to have pretty decent specs. It's just the DVD player will be an extra one for me, but I might check it out. Thanks a lot!
 

gene c

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The only halfway decent towers that might fit your budget are the Polk R50's that Frys has on their website for $59 apiece. Not the best out there but not bad for that price. Shipping might be a killer. Those and an Onkyo 606 would be around your budget.

The Athena LS500's are a bit better but quite a bit more expensive (though still a good value).
 

T-Show

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Tihomir
Gene, thanks for the advise. Wasn't able to check Polk R50's, though. Frys' website is not working and they are not listed on PolkAudio website. Do you know if that is a discontinued model? I'm sure I'll be able to find them somewhere. Athena LS500's looks great to me (specs, appearance).
Speaking of receivers I have 2 questions:
1. Please don't "boo" me for asking ), but what do you think about the Best Buy's Insignia NS-R5101 500W? Is it worth dealing with?
2. Pioneer VSX-518-K 600W. It is $200 at Best Buy. Is it an old model with no HSMI capability? It has no HDMI output, so I guess it won't serve me to hook up all the electronics to it and shoot a single cable (25ft) to the plasma TV.
 

T-Show

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Tihomir
Gene, thanks for the advise.
Wasn't able to look at R50's, because Frys' website was down. Couldn't find them on PolkAudio website either. Do you know if it is discontinued model? I'll search around to see them.
Athena LS500's looks great (specs, appearance, ect.). Will check them out.
What do you think about these 2 receivers:
1. Please don't "boo" me for asking ) - Insignia NS-R5105 500W at Best Buy. Is it worth dealing with it?
2. Pioneer VSX-518-K 600W - only $200 at Best Buy. Is it an old model? Has no HDMI inputs/outputs, so I guess cannot serve me to hook up all the electronics to it and run a single cable (25ft) to the plasma TV. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
 

T-Show

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Tihomir
Thanks, Gene. I appreciate the advises. BTW, I checked those R50's. You were right, the price is good, but the specs aren't. They don't even list the specs. Thanks again.
 

gene c

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I'm not pushing the R50's on you, I just don't want to leave you un-fulfilled
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
. Polk R50
 

T-Show

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Tihomir
Just a quick question. Looking at the specs of a receiver, THD of 1% is not a good thing, right? SONY has a cheap model showing THD 1%.
 

gene c

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I like to see .1% or lower, but they're just numbers. If a receiver is rated 1% thd or higher it just means the power @ .1% will be quite a bit lower. Most of the entry level receivers, and many htib systems, use a higher thd number to inflate the power ratings. But we know better.
 

MattSeven

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My suggestion would be to buy a slightly older receiver on ebay or something for ~$200. Then you'd have some money to buy reasonable speakers. I think speakers are a personal thing, and you should find out what you like, so I won't recommend any. But I caught a Yamaha RX-V659 on ebay for $150 *new*, and it was a great deal. There are plenty of decent amps there for low prices.
 

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