Budget Split: Speakers & Receiver

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by HarpSingh, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    I'm getting ready to build a 5.1 HT system for the family room. I need HDMI switching in the receiver for my 50" Panasonic plasma (which has only one HDMI input). Since this is a family room, I want a satellite/bookshelf size and sub-woofer system. My budget is about US$ 2000, maybe a couple hundred more.

    I was thinking of splitting the budget at 1000 for receiver and 1000-1200 for the 5 satellite & subwoofer speakers.

    What do you think about this split? Is this balanced to get the best bang for the buck, or am I going to end up with speakers not good enough for the receiver, or vice-verse?
     
  2. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    The speakers will make the most difference over any other component in your system so most of your money should be spent there...IMO. 75-25??

    Mort
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    60/40 or so in favor of the speakers at your price point. I'd say about 750 to 800-ish on the receiver and the rest on speakers should net you a respectable system. Too much on the receiver and you will end up with a receiver that can handle something nicer than you are getting in speakers with what's left, but if you go too cheap on the receiver, you'll end up with a receiver that may not be able to make the speakers shine. As Mort said, speakers make the biggest difference though, so I'd really consider them first priority at this stage in the process, then find a receiver to suit them.
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I agree with Mort but closer to 60-40 [​IMG] . Darn you John! Beat me by one minute!!
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    I think you guys are right on, but just wondering how many receivers in the $800 price range do HDMI switching? I haven't looked as I didn't need it myself. Just wanted to keep you on your toes that you weren't recommending something next to impossible to do!
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If HDMI switching is the deciding factor, then your choices are fairly limited and probably most of those are going to be at or above the $1K price point right now, AFAIK.
     
  7. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    So I guess I'll have to "up" my budget. I have some flexibility, especially since my wife will not be handling the accounting/billing related to this.

    What is the minimum that I'd need to spend to get at least a decent HDMI switching receiver?

    Thanks.
     
  8. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    Denon 3806 retails for $1,299. Possibly can be had for less on-line.
     
  9. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    JVC is supposed to release the D702 receiver that does HDMI switching and trans~conversion (other inputs -> HDMI output) for $799

    I'd probably spend less (like $360 for the D402 model, which also does HDMI switching) and more on the speakers
     
  10. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Harp,

    Here's how I would spend $2000:

    4 CBM-170s
    CMT-340c center
    Hsu VTF-3 sub
    $1646 shipped from ascendacoustics.com

    and

    digital switching Panasonic sa-xr70 with HDMI, $300 shipped from amazon.com

    The Panny can be finicky when it comes to matching speakers, but goes very well with Ascends and you can put the savings into a great sub like the top of the line VTF-3.

    Do a Google search on the Ascend speakers, Hsu subs, and the Panasonic sa-xr70, all 3 offer amazing bang for the buck, especially the Panny.

    A couple of threads about its sister xr55 receiver (no HDMI) on different forums:

    http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/160136.html

    http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...=1251&page=1&p p=10

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=530504

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=417894

    Just as some folks still prefer LPs to CDs and tubes to solid state, you might decide to stick with an analog receiver, I'll make no guarantees. But it's definitely worth hearing it to make up your own mind, in any case...$15 return shipping to Amazon is peanuts.
     
  11. Yong Chan

    Yong Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Look at
    Onix

    They are having a lot of specials, including Bstock. With your budget, you can get a lot of good speakers.....

    YC
     
  12. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    OK, I'm officially infected by the HTForum bug. I've decided to up my budget to US$ 3,000.

    I'm also trying to decide if I really need HDMI switching. I would like to have a clean digital connection from maximum available sources to the Panny plasma 50PX500. Currently I have a DVD player and my cable box which have hdmi. Only the DVD is connected using HDMI, and cable (with HD) uses component. Most of the cable channels that we watch are SD, so HDMI is not necessarily going to help much. My satellite box doesn't even have component - I'm using s-video.

    Would the receiver scaler be better than the Plasma's internal scalar? With a 720/1080 hdmi signal, I would lose the "Just" mode that is available with SD signals, allowing removal of side/top/bottom bars. Not that I like stretching the picture, but if the source is not clean, or with kids cartoon etc., I'd rather use the whole screen - reduces burn-in chances too.

    So, do I really need hdmi switching? What would be the advantages of hdmi switching?

    So now with $3000 in the pocket, I could go ~1000 for the receiver.
     
  13. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I have working with a friend on this and told him to buy the speakers 1st and what you have left buy the electronics.

    If HDMI switching is expensive; wait 10 minutes and it'll be discounted and obsolete.
    Not eenough power; wait and buy a huge outboard amp when you have more $

    Bad speakers? Nothing to do but buy new different ones and use the crappy ones for the basement
     
  14. Steve_Corrick

    Steve_Corrick Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Yong Chan

    Yong Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    $3000
    That's a good budget. Let me tell you what I did with my three grand. Bought myself a nice moderate receiver Pioneer VSX72 for about $1000. I was debating between that and the new Denon 3806. Both have HDMI switching. It is nice to have one cable from the receiver to the TV, esp if you are using a mounted plasma. That part was easy. The speakers were harder to decide upon. I finally decided to get speakers from an internet direct company-more bang for your buck. Post a msg on the Onix forum to see if anyone will let you listen to theirs in your local area. You'll find very friendly responses to that. I actually spent around $1500 there on speakers. I then bought a HSU VTF-3 on sale. $3000 allows a lot of possibilities. You can go in so many ways...

    Good luck and have fun

    YC
     
  16. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm almost in the same boat. I am contemplating on building a system around my 50" Sony XBR plasma. My budget for HT is 1/2 of yours though. [​IMG]

    Regarding HDMI switching, I would compare both component and HDMI connection from your DVD player and see how much difference you can tell. Then you can try to justify getting HDMI switching receiver at the extra cost.

    I went through three different upconverting DVD players, using both DVI and component, with at least two different versions of cables, and decided to stick to component connection for now. The justification is mainly from the cost. The cheapest HDMI switching receiver I can find is Pioneer Elite 72TX at ~$800, where there are a dozen component switching receivers at below $500. With your budget you can afford 72TX, so it's a different story for you.

    As for speakers, I'm thinking of getting an all-in-one speaker. They are just coming out of the market this year, such as M&K MP4512 and Mirage UNI-theater. You are basically trading off complexity of setting up rear speakers in favor of the simplicity and cleaner look.

    The split of the budget is really considered case by case basis. In general, what's been said is correct, you want to invest more on the source component and the speaker for better return on the investment. On the other hand, you don't want to "settle with" something you don't really want because of the budget split. If there is something you want to get, such as HDMI switching, you should get it now. You might end up with inferior set of speakers for now, but you can plan on upgrading later on.
     
  17. Yong Chan

    Yong Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    I would get real speakers. No offense.

    yc
     
  18. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    > As for speakers, I'm thinking of getting an all-in-one speaker. They are just coming out of the market this year, such as M&K MP4512 and Mirage UNI-theater. You are basically trading off complexity of setting up rear speakers in favor of the simplicity and cleaner look.

    I agree with Yong, get some real speakers.

    All-in-one speakers are marketing gimmicks directed at neat-freak housewives and/or optimistic gadget geeks. There is no way you can match the separation and sound quality of having real speakers, even if it's just a pair of bookshelves with a decent sub, no matter how fancy-schmancy of a DSP it claims to have.
     
  19. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    No offense, but I used to have a "real" system with Denon 5700 receiver, 5 tower speakers and a subwoofer. In fact I went through two different sets of speakers, one from Infinity and another from BG. Long story short, I sold them all, and this time around I'm building aesthetically more sensible system, without intimidating tower speakers or having to run wires back and forth. This is more of personal taste thing.
     
  20. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    > No offense, but I used to have a "real" system with Denon 5700 receiver, 5 tower speakers and a subwoofer. In fact I went through two different sets of speakers, one from Infinity and another from BG. Long story short, I sold them all, and this time around I'm building aesthetically more sensible system, without intimidating tower speakers or having to run wires back and forth. This is more of personal taste thing.

    FIVE tower speakers, let alone five towers WITH a subwoofer, seems like overkill in the extreme. I can't blame you for selling them. However, IMHO there's no need to swing into the opposite and equally problematic extreme of an alleged "all-in-one" speaker. You'd be much better off with bookshelves plus a subwoofer, and if you are totally averse to running wires for the surrounds then just do a 3.1 (L/C/R + sub) or even a 2.1 (L/R + sub) setup.

    I understand that personal taste is the only "right" or "wrong"---but I honestly cannot imagine you being very satisfied with an "all in one" speaker for long...unless the only thing you plan on doing with it is watching TV shows.

    In any case I'd make sure that whatever place you buy your "all in one" speaker from, has a very forgiving return policy.
     

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