best price range

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Charlie D. M. A, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Charlie D. M. A

    Charlie D. M. A Auditioning

    Sep 15, 2003
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    I'm sure you've noticed that with most categories of buyable items, there is an optimal price range. Below that price range, you can get alot by paying a little more. Above that range, you'll get only a small improvement but have to pay alot for it.

    What price range would you say has the best performance/price for a 5.1 setup?

    The reason I ask is because I'm thinking of getting something setup. I started with a budget of $500 in mind, but from what I'm reading, I should really spend a little more (~$1000).

    You might be thinking, why doesn't the noob just search!? Well, i tried but i just get redirected back to the search page and no results show. So basically, I can't search.
  2. Scott McVicker

    May 10, 2002
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    First, I would go listen to equipment. Speakers for example. There may be a difference of a couple of hundred dollars between the two, but on just sounds better.

    As far as receivers go, get one that bodes well for your room size. If your room is not too big, you won't need a whole lot of power. Make sure it has enough inputs if you plan on upgrading your system. If you are only doing 5.1 then don't pay extra for units that can do more than you need. Once you narrow it down as far as models, then do a search on here to see what people think about particular ones. If you like how it sounds and looks then it doesn't really matter how much it costs.

    That being said depending on what the $1000 was being used for all of these: TV, receiver, speakers, dvdplayer, wires or just a couple, it would be easier to gauge.

    My setup for example consisted of a $3500 panasonic tv, probably a $200 dollar toshiba progressive scan DVDplayer, a six year old sony receiver ( I would be lucky if I could give that away) and a $2200 set of speakers, surrounds and a sub. I would consider it a modest setup, but then I didn't get everything at once.

    Another good rule of thumb that is passed around is to budget about 10% of your budget towards cables.

    Hope this helps, if not let us know
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    May 19, 2002
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    Charlie, everybody has to determine their own point of diminishing returns. For me, I think that there is an entry level of about $300–$400 for a full 5.1 system (no receiver) and then another break at about $800–$1,000. These speakers will not be objectively 2 ½ times better than the lower price range, but enough so that I would recommend that anyone who is interested in quality audio (for their movies) and can spend the money without strain, should do so.

    There is another break (again, my view) at about $2,500. This will put you in the very good category and while not 2 ½ times better than the $1,000 range I would recommend should to those who are interested in very good sound (you will be able to include an impressive subwoofer in this price category). At this point your main speakers should be good enough to double for music, should that be a value (unless you are a serious music listener).

    $5,000 -$6,000or so will get you into the beginnings of a system that will satisfy some audiophiles. I would only recommend systems at this price point for those who demand great sound reproduction for both HT and music.

    I have listened to many systems where just the two main speakers begin at $10,000, but have no interest other than intellectual in this price range, as for me the point of diminishing returns hit at that last category (and this does not mean that I would in fact spend $6,000 at a pop—just that I could understand why one would).

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