Build a budget Home Theater

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Hunt, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    My in-laws have moved into a new house, and the basement has a great room for setting up a home theater. They were already starting down this path when they purchased a Sony 65" XBR HDTV last year. Now it's time to really get this rolling, we're looking at doing this at the end of September with a budget of $1500 for everything, including wall-mounts/speaker stands, speaker wire, etc.
    Obviously the big items they need are speakers, subwoofer, receiver, and DVD player (they have one right now, but it's really crappy).
    They really like Onkyo, so I was looking there for the receiver, but I don't want to limit the choices.
    I'm pretty much set on getting the Panasonic RP82 for the DVD player, unless I can save money by getting the RP62 with little sacrifice.
    Speakers and Subwoofer I don't have a good starting point for. Obviously they'll need to be on the cheaper side, I am looking to get a decent 5.1 setup with the possibility of adding the rear center channel later on.
    Here's a rough picture of the room, let me know what you think, go crazy.
    [​IMG]
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    Jeff Hunt
    http://www.jeffhunt.org
    I need a job! Anybody hiring? Anyone need web design?
     
  2. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    One big question before I give you a response (I love these hypothetical setup type threads, btw [​IMG] ) Are you willing to purchase from online wholesalers or on eBay or would you MUCH rather shop at a local retailer?
    Don't feel bad either way, because I can understand both sides here... it just really effects what you can get for what price.
     
  3. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Well, Onkyo makes some nice stuff, but I'm not really familiar with their stuff. However, the Denon 2802 is a pretty nice unit too for the price.

    As for speakers, check out the HTD 5.1 speaker systems, they're supposed to be pretty decent for their price, and they're cheap too. If you're willing to go the DIY way, there are some really nice kits within your budget that will rival speakers in the few thousand dollar range.
     
  4. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm willing to go online, but I would want to get full warranties. I don't know about eBay, but I would probably buy stuff off of the Hardware for Sale forum.
    I have checked out Home Theater Direct, and it looks pretty interesting, can anyone vouch for their sound?
    I'm a big fan of Denon, I've got a 3801 myself, so that's definitely something I'll be looking at. I'm not sure I want to go DIY for my in-laws right now. I might do that for myself someday, but not right now...
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    Jeff Hunt
    http://www.jeffhunt.org
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  5. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, looks like since they offer return freight for a 30-day trial, you could try out the Level THREE combo "x" and see how you like it... You'd have enough left in the budget for a Denon AVR-2802 as well. Yum.
     
  6. Albert M

    Albert M Stunt Coordinator

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    www.jandr.com has the jbl nsp1 speaker set for $250 with free shipping. You may want to check out the jbl pb-12 sub or the hsu vtf-2.
     
  7. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Here's a review of the HTD Level 3Y 5.1 system. Les than US$1000 for the whole set, which leaves you $500 for everything else.
     
  8. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Jeff,

    this is my suggestion,

    Buy four S26 $160 (pair) = $320 (J&R)
    S center = $160 (J&R)
    SVS 25-31 PCi = $500 (SVS direct)
    Denon 1803 = $400 - $500 (not available yet)

    Hope this help,
    Pablo Abularach
     
  9. Boka

    Boka Stunt Coordinator

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    I may be a bit prejudice but here's a decent $1500 setup that closely mirrors my own.
    Denon AVR 1802 Receiver - $350
    2 x JBL S-310 II floorstanding - $400
    2 x JBL S-36 II bookshelf surrounds - $250
    1 x JBL S-Center II center channel - $170
    Panasonic RP-82 progressive scan DVD player - $220
    Some good 12 gauge speaker can be had from partsexpress.com at $40 (or something like that) for 100'
    I'd figure another $100 on shipping for everything. B&H Photo Video does free shipping on all JBL consumer products.
    You'll also notice there's no sub in this package. Sorry, I already spent all your $1500. However, if you can push some more I'd go with a JBL PB-12 ($250) or HSU VTF-2 ($450)
    Because I am U.S. military stationed overseas I've had to get everything through mail order. I've had good experiences with the following sites, all of them do have a real physical store as well.
    www.bhphotovideo.com (outstanding service and knowledge. If the price is right I'll buy from them every time)
    www.bestpriceaudiovideo.com (a mixup delayed the order a bit but they compensated on the shipping costs, good prices)
    www.reliableaudiovideo.com (seemed shady on the phone but the price was right and they've had good reviews online. everything came as ordered)
    For music and movies I really do prefer having the tower speakers as opposed to just bookshelfs with a sub. They also look quite nice.
    As stated earlier, this setup is very close to my own and I am definately happy with it.
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you don't mind buying refurbished speakers, i'd look at www.harmanaudio.com
    It's the outlet for Harmon Kardon, JBL, and Infinity. All of their refurbished products have a Z after the model number. From there, i would go with the following:
    JBL N38Z Mains ($200)
    JBL NSP1 Package for center and 4 surrounds ($267)
    Infinity BU150Z 15" 200Watt Sub ($350)
    Now, i'd look for a receiver on yahoo shopping. You would probably like any of these:
    Pioneer VSX-D811S ($300 shipped)
    Denon 2802 ($500 shipped)
    HK AV-320 Z ($470 shipped)
    For purely HT, i would reccomend the 811S. It's a great feature based middle/low receiver w/ DPLII, DTSES, DDEX, NEO6, and 7.1 speaker support. It is what i use. The denon and the hk would be more musical, if that is a concern. Also, the HK only supports 6.1/7.1 with an external amp for those channels. It also lacks DPLII, but has logic 7, which is supposedly much better.
    From here, you choose a DVD Player based on the budget you have left, but i'm pretty sure the panny 82, 62, or even 56 would fit in your budget and be very satisfactory. I have the panny 56 w/ a hitachi 43" hdtv and am extremely happy with it, and saw no noticable picture improvement compared to the 62... i wasn't able to compare it to the 82 however.
    The above speakers/sub, 811S, and panny 82 would come it at under $1500 shipping included.
     
  11. Albert_L

    Albert_L Agent

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    Where can you get the 2802 for $500 shipped.
     
  12. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    The lowest I have seen the 2802 with shipping included is around $520 in beachcamara and in buydig.com
     
  13. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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  14. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out Axioms Epic Micro $869 or Epic Mini $922.
     
  15. Kevin*R

    Kevin*R Agent

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    Over the weekend 6ave.com had the 2802 on sale for $488.95. If you check Denon's authorized etailer list you'll see 6ave.com is listed. So your Denon factory warranty won't be in question.
     

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