Contest! Design HT Dream System - Prizes Available

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricHaas, Mar 17, 2002.

  1. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

    Dec 25, 2001
    Likes Received:
    [note: this was pre-cleared with the Forum owner]

    OK, I have some duplicate DVD's in my collection that people gave me as gifts. I was going to give them to someone I know, but instead, I decided I would give them to someone online as part of a contest. The prize will be 2 new DVD movies, a choice from 4 which I will list at the end of the post. But the prize is a token. The contest is for fun and to be informative.

    First of all, any member here can participate. I only ask that if you participate you also cast a vote.

    The concept is to take a limited budget and design the audio portion of an HT system. The budget will be $7,500. The budget is for loudspeakers, subwoofer(s), electronics, cables and interrconnects. Electronics includes receivers, amps, and prepros. Let's not make it any more complicated than that. Nothing else such as parametic EQ's or ancillary equipment like surge protecters or line conditioners should be included. Except speaker stands *should* be included where you feel it necessary. The budget is purposefully chosen because it presents interesting tradeoffs. For example, at $10,000 I would foresee most people going with some form of separates. At $7,500, some might choose a receiver. I want to see the relative values that people place on each component.

    Further rules:

    1. All prices for equipment are to be recognized MSRP. No discount or sale prices will be considered. Unless there is a glaring inconsistency, people will be taken on their honor about pricing.

    2. You do not have to "pay" for sales tax or shipping.

    3. No DIY components will be considered. All components must be known commercial brands.

    4. There is no limit to the number of amps, subwoofers or speakers you buy as long as you stay within the budget.

    5. Your chosen system can be either 5.1 or 6.1. It's up to you. If a voter prefers one over the other, that voter can downgrade or upgrade accordingly.

    6. The system is assumed to be for 60/40 HT/music.

    7. The system will occupy an imaginery space that is a dedicated HT room and is 22' x 15' x 9' in dimension, with no openings except a single door.

    8. You can estimate reasonably the lengths of cable and interconnects you will need, given the dimensions of the room and number of speakers you have.

    9. You cannot exceed the budget by even $1. However, the extent to which you go under budget can be considered by voters.

    10. When sufficient entries are in, I will ask for a vote. Do not vote until I say the entries are closed. Everyone will get 2 votes. One is automatically for themselves, and the other *must* be for someone else. Also, people who have not entered can vote as well, and will have 1 vote. The one with the most votes is the winner.

    11. Edit: One further rule to avoid confusion. All prices are US prices. So no quoting Canadian prices for Paradigm, for example. This is for consistency. Also, all prices should be stated in US dollars. For those outside the US, convert at a current exchange rate.

    I will seek about 50 entries. Depending on the popularity of this and the rate of entries, it could be more or less.

    The DVD's I have available are:


    The Mummy

    The Matrix

    Titan A.E.

    Winner picks 2 and will receive them by Priority Mail.
  2. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

    Dec 14, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Ok here's mine. You didnt mention anything about source devices though, was that supposed to be included? I left that out.
    (1) Paradigm Studio 40 (main speakers) $900
    (1) Paradigm Studio CC (center) $500
    (1) Paradigm Studio ADP (side surrounds) $900
    (1) Paradigm Studio 20 (rear surrounds) $650
    (2) Part Express High-Mass Stands (for Studio 40/20) $ 200
    (1) SVS Dual 20-39 CS+ w/sampson S1000 $1500
    (1) Outlaw 950 w/ Outlaw 770 combo $ 2500
    (2) Outlaw .5m interconnects (3 pair) $ 160
    (1) Outlaw .5m interconnect (single) $ 30
    (7 interconnects total for pre/pro to amp, Better Cables interconnect for sub included with package)
    (2) 100' spools Sound King 12GA wire $60
    (16) Dayton Compression-stlyle gold banana plugs (pair) $52
    (32 plugs total, for 7 speakers + the amp side for both subs..bare wire on the sub end since bananas wont fit)
    Total Cost - $7452
  3. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

    Mar 12, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1) Outlawaudio 1050/Outlaw 770/ICBM combo $2348
    2) Toshiba 4700 DVD/DVD audio player $229 BestBuy
    3) Interconnects RG-59U from McMelectronics $.69 each (need 8/2/3 for DVD player to AVR/macro defeator/TV, 6 from AVR to ICBM, 7 ICBM to Amp {5 availible channel, 2 subs}, 6 for VCR1 to/back AVR, 4 for cable box (has digital coax), 3 for spares, and total 40) $27.60
    4) digital optical (DVD player to AVR) $10 MCM
    5) 3 pairs (LCR fronts and rears) of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 $988
    6) 4 SVS 16-46CS (package with Sampson amp and 2 driven from Outlaw 770) $2337
    7) Boltz Black Components Stand CS5-C $729
    8) 200 ft of 12g speaker cable Home Depo ($0.34/ft) $68.00
    9) 3 pairs (waste of 1) of 24" medium mass stands $ 175.50 at
    10) Boltz TV stand (black closeout) $299
    Grand Total $7087.60
    Of course retail literally kills almost any mainstream brands and maybe the contest should include name the price and location of source that anyone (not just dealer, employee, etc) on this site can go to buy at the price.
  4. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

    Feb 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1)$149 - D-link mp3 player DMP-120
    2)$7,351 - Ing-direct mutual funds.
  5. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

    Aug 22, 2000
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    Ohhh, bench racing...errr bench buying. I like it.

    Anyways, I want to clear up a couple of quesitons.

    What kind of TV system will we be using (Direct view, RPTV, front projection, what size)? This can have a real effect on how the speaker setup will be done.

  6. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

    Dec 25, 2001
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    Any TV system. Just imagine your dream TV system. You can specify which TV you want to use, but it doesn't factor into price or voting.

    Come on guys. I want at least 25 participants or I guess I'll let it die.
  7. Nathan A

    Nathan A Second Unit

    Mar 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Guess I'll just put down what I've purchased (and plan on purchasing) over the past couple months-
    mains- Klipsch RP3 pair- $1500
    center- Klipsch RC3- $350
    surrounds- Klipsch RS3 pair- $550
    center surrounds- Klipsch RB3 pair- $650
    SVS dual 16-46CS+ w samson amp package- $1600
    Onkyo 898- $1500
    wall mounting brackets/shelves- $150
    misc cables/wire (can't decide what kind)- $350
    only $6650!
    the leftover $850 can be spent buying new DVDs to showoff your new audio system [​IMG]
  8. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

    Aug 22, 2000
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    Oh this is going to be fun.
    First a little outline of my goals here. I’m more interested in sound quality over SPL, I want quality over quantity in this type of setup. This setup probably won’t reach true reference levels (maybe with some room-gain help, but that’s a maybe), but I know in my case I don’t think I’ve ever once listened to a whole movie at reference level, I don’t even show-off/demo my system at reference (most of the time [​IMG]).
    I’ve also tried to leave some upgrade paths in here for when more finances become available and I will point those out at the end of this post.
    I’m assuming that some type of FPTV setup is being used, this is important to my front soundstage when it comes to sound reproduction, with the prices of projectors coming down quite a bit, I don’t think it’s out of line considering the audio budget. A Sony 10HT can be had for $3500 from one of the forum sponsors to give you an example. This whole setup will of course work with a RPTV or direct view setup as well, but you will take a hit on the audio reproduction by having something sitting between your speakers.
    I’ve also decided on a 5.1 setup right, as I feel that a well setup 5.1 system will sound better than a compromised 7.1 setup. The upgrade to going to 7.1 sound is fairly minor and pointed out below.
    This one I had a little trouble with this one, first they are a very personal decision, second it’s hard to get around some pre-conceived notions about what is really needed for good HT reproduction.
    I went with JM Labs Chorus LCR 700’s at $400 each (
    And I’m using the exact same speakers all the way around. So I need 5 of them.
    Upgrade time – None, you’d have to replace them all to get any kind of upgrade.
    Total: $2000
    SVS is hard to beat when it comes to value, so I picked up the 20-39Pci model. And add a Behringer Feedback Destroyer with it.
    Upgrade time – Pick up another model and gain a little more output.
    Total: $649 + $129 = $778
    Anthem MCA5 amp. It has great power, good sounds. It’s been a top rated “value” amp for quite some time. It will also be fairly future proof for a number of years (it will last through many upgrades).
    Upgrade time – When moving to 7.1, pick up an MCA 2 channel amp for the front speakers (2-channel music).
    Total: $1300
    I’ve picked up the world famous Outlaw vaporware 950. From the beta reports it has excellent sound quality and will do us well for a non-complicated setup (multiple zones, tons of inputs, etc).
    Upgrade time – None, unless you pick up something else.
    Total: $900
    CD/DVD player:
    I’m going with the new Pioneer Elite 47A model. It does both DVD-Audio and SACD, it’s progressive scan. And from early reports it does everything well, but nothing spectacular. The big things though is the ability to play the two new high-resolution formats in one box.
    Upgrade time – Pick up a dedicated SACD player, a better DVD player, etc.
    Total: $1200 (list price, but street price is more like $800 from an authorized dealer)
    I’m going to leave a budget of $400 open for this one. This will get you some quality interconnects, but you won’t be able to go crazy either.
    So I’m sitting at $6500 (roughly) with another $1000 to spend. And here’s where I’m going to go a little off the beaten track. I could spend it on better speakers, or another sub or fancy wires, etc. But I don’t think that will reap me the biggest benefits.
    Room Treatments:
    Since this is a theoretical room we don’t know where the trouble spots are and aren’t it’s hard to say what we really need. But some examples at Will give some good examples.
    For instance you can pick up 4ft tall Bass Busters for $429 a pair (may not even need a pair with the BFD).
    Corner busters for $110 for a pack of 4.
    Absorption/diffraction panels for $145ea 5ft x 1ft panel.
    So I’ve used up all the money, but with the equipment and the room treatments I think you’re going to have some magical sounds coming through the room. 5 identical speakers I think is important for having a really good sound field, every time I’ve heard a system with 5 identical speakers around it’s a very noticeable improvement. You'll also notice a lack of speaker stands, I ran out of money [​IMG], actually the money you save by getting a real price instead of MSRP on some of the above components will easily pick up some good stands.
  9. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 2, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Logic 7 --- 7.1 set-up
    Mains: ACI Sapphire III Le's
    Cherry, shielded @ 1350.00
    Center: ACI Emerald LE (single)
    Cherry, shielded @ 375.00
    R. Surr: ACI Emerald LE (pair)
    Cherry, shielded @ 749.00
    S. Surr: ACI Emerald LE (pair)
    Cherry shielded @ 749.00
    Sub: SVS 20-39Pci + BFD @ 778.00
    HK AVR 8000 w/ LOGIC 7 @ 1801.00 (?)
    Rotel RMB 1080 (2) channel amp @ 1000.00
    Parts Express 24" stands @ 98.00
    TOTAL: $ 6900.00
    Did I mention the Logic 7 ? [​IMG]
  10. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

    Jun 17, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Note: see edits below for fixed entry.
    OK well.. here goes (some prices have been removed from website so are from memory).
    Assuming the room has 4 good corners.
    4 x Klipsch K-Horns. 2200 pr = $4400?
    1 x Klipsch LaScala $1000?
    Outlaw 950 $900
    Parasound HCA-855A
    (if i knew anything about tubes i'd have suggested them for amps): $700
    Cables ??? $500 budgeted
    Sh*t forgot to leave money for the sources, an ICBM if using DVD-A or SACD, switchers if using both, and a pair of SVS CS-Ultras and the Samson. Oh well, (for the sake of this contest and me having no idea where I could skimp and still have it be a dream system) I'd do what everyone else does. Save some more and spend again [​IMG]
    Also one probably would want a front projection screen with this system that would be in front of an alcove for the LaScala so that the center would be lined up with the mains.
    Edit: I changed my mind. I want this alcove to be K-Horn shaped, with another right angle in there facing straight above, with one of those Stewart (i think) MicroPerf acoustically invisible screens in front of it.
    So that makes it as follows.
    5 x Klipsch K-Horns. 2200 pr = $5500?
    Outlaw 950 $900
    Parasound HCA-855A $700
    Cables ??? $400 budgeted
  11. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Jan 6, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Chuckster's Conceived $7,500 5.1 Home Theater Audio System
    Processor: Sherbourn P7/1000 $1500.00*
    Amplifier: Sherbourn 5/1500A $1999.95
    Main & Surround Speakers: RBH MC-6C Loudspeakers/ Cherry Finish $799 x2 pairs
    Center Speaker: RBH MC-414C Center Channel Speaker/ Cherry Finish $419
    Subwoofers w/ Amp: Twin 20-39CS subs with Samson S700 Amplifier $1,199
    Audio Interconnects: CatCables Silvercats Audio Connects (0.5m) $79.99 x3 pair
    Speaker Cable (Mains): CatCables Cattails Speaker Cable (3m)/ Banana Terminations $129.98
    Speaker Cable (Center): CatCables Cattails Speaker Cable (3m)/ Banana Terminations $64.98
    Speaker Cable (Rears): CatCables Cattails Speaker Cable (5m)/ Banana Terminations $174.98
    Speaker Cable (Subwoofers): BetterCables 12 awg Speaker Cable Designed for SVS (3m x2) $109.90
    Amps/Preamps: $3499.95
    Speakers: $3216.00
    Cables: $719.81
    $ 7435.76
    When Eric has another contest where he gives away DVD Players, then I'll add the last pair of RBH bookshelf speakers for $799 and a Sherbourn 2 channel amp to make it 7.1, and while I'm at it, I'll add speaker stands and a PS Audio Powerplant [​IMG]
    *latest estimate
  12. Michael Yung

    Michael Yung Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 15, 2001
    Likes Received:
    To me, it's all about the speakers.
    Main - B&W CDM-9NT $2600
    Center - B&W CDM-CNT $600
    Surround - B&W CDM-1NT $1200 + Atacama Nexus Speaker Stands 24" $125
    Sub - SVS CS-Ultra with Samson 1000 amp $1399
    Speaker Total: $5924
    Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR 520 $999
    Main - Monster Z2 Biwire (pair) 15ft. $274.95
    Center - Monster Z2 Biwire Center 15ft. $159.95
    Surround - Radio Shack 16 gauge speaker cable 50ft. $8.99
    Sub - BetterCables 12M $124.95
    Grand Total: $7491.84 This leaves an extra of $8.16 to buy sand and/or lead shoot to fill the speaker stands. [​IMG]
    The B&W CDM speakers have a very sweet mid-range and also very accurate. I chose to go with a 5.1 setup because of the budget constraint. But it would be easy to upgrade to a 7.1 configuration. And why I chose the SVS CS-Ultra with the Samson 1000 amp should be self-explanatory.
    I would like to go with separates but unable to get what I really want within the budget. Thus I chose the H/K AVR 520 because I think the B&Ws would pair well with the H/K. IMHO AVR 520 is a better receiver then comparably priced Denon and Onkyo because the AVR 520 has a better amp section. If I had an extra $2500, I would substitute the AVR 520 with an Outlaw 950 pre/pro and add Odyssey Stratos and Stratos HT3 for a total of $3420. The extra $80 will be used for Radio Shack audio interconnects. (Upgrade the interconnects next)
    Speaker cables are important to the system as well. I like the Monster Z2s biwire because IMO they are very neutral sounding and actually priced reasonably for audiophile quality stuff. And biwire is a must. I went cheap for the surround speaker cables once again because of the budget but the Radio Shack speaker cables are not too bad. BetterCable sub cable is very good. Compare to the Monsters sub cable, BetterCable make the bass tighter and faster. I went with a 12M sub cable becuase I would want the sub to be behind the listening position.
    Wish I had this type of money to spend on my own system...
  13. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

    Dec 25, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Keep 'em coming guys!

    OK, here's mine:

    1 pr. Paradigm Studio 100 mains ($2000)

    I prefer music in straight 2-channel without a subwoofer. These are going to deliver in that capacity as well as any pair south of $5K.

    1 Paradigm Studio CC Center ($500)

    1 pr. Paradigm Studio ADP dipole surrounds ($900)

    Dipoles work great for surrounds, and these are some of the best dipoles around.

    1 pr. Pardigm Studio 20's rear surrounds ($650)

    Two (2) Adire Audio Dharman subwoofers ($600x2=$1200)

    For subwoofer, I will be the first to buck the SVS trend. I prefer lower profile subs that also deliver great bang for the buck. This may not quite make reference bass, but will be close.

    1 Denon 3802 Receiver ($1000)

    This receiver has the best feature to price ratio of all mid priced receivers, and has a nice warm sound to complement slightly forward highs of the Paradigms.

    1 Parasound HCA-1500A 2 channel amp, 205wx2 ($1000)

    Although I am comfortable with the Denon for the center and surround channels, I must have more power to compensate for the ineffeciency of the 100's. This will be especially true for my music listening. Also, Parasound mates well with Paradigm.

    Budget for cables and interconnects: $130.

    This represents a Monster subwoofer audio cable ($50), 100' of Home Depot 12 Gauge wire ($30), and Radio Shak Gold Series spades/plus to terminate ($50).

    Total: $7,380
  14. Roger Kint

    Roger Kint Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 2, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Roger Kint's Proposed $7,500 Home Theater Audio System
    Processor: Denon 2802 $799.00
    Amplifier: Parasound HCA-855A $699
    Mains: M&K S-125TV $1,250/pr
    Center Speaker: M&K S-125C $625
    Surround Speakers: M&K SS-150THX Tripole $1,299/pr
    Rear Speaker: M&K SS-150THX Tripole $650
    Subwoofer: Velodyne SPL-1200 $1,399
    Audio Interconnects: misc MonsterCable @10% of total cost= $750
    I made the following assumptions:
    -Allotted funds for wiring is the standard '10% of total cost'.
    -Not everyone can get an SVS (WAF or size constraints)
    -At least 6.1 sound to keep up with current trends
    -Hi amperage really not necessary since we will be using a separate quality amp, and doubling loudness = 10x power needed anyway.
    -Mostly used for HT, so picked a reputable HT speaker brand
    -S-150 Mains takes getting used to because of the crystal clarity - great for HT but since %40 will be used for music, decided on the warmer S-125s to get a well balanced 60/40 HT/music system.
  15. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 21, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Here is my $5,500 5.1 solution:
    1200 -- Studio 60's
    1100 -- Studio 40's w/ matching J stands
    500 -- Studio CC
    1200 -- Parasound 1205A
    900 -- Outlaw 950 pre/pro
    550 -- SVS 25-31 PCi tuned to 22Hz
    250 -- Interconnects and speaker cable
    5,500 -- Total
    For the budget minded audiophile that can only fit 5 speakers in his living room, like myself [​IMG]
    To round it off, I would go with a Sony 40XBR700 and a denon 3800 DVD player...
  16. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

    Mar 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    How about:
    Outlaw 950/770 - $2500
    Diva C3/5.1/2.1/2.1 - $2200 (could probably package deal it for $2000 even)
    Dual SVS 20-39CS+/S1000 - $1500
    Behringer Feedback Destroyer Pro - $130
    That leaves $1170 for whatever CD/DVD player, stands and cabling you want.
    I could of had so much more fun rigging out a DIY setup :p)
  17. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

    Feb 1, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Instead of speakers or processor, I'm gonna go BASS!


    Center - JBL S-Centerii = $249 (Bestbuy)

    Front - JBL S312ii = $499 MSRP

    Surround - JBL S38ii = $278.99 (

    Subwoofer - SVS SS = $1895 MSRP BOOM BABY!


    Outlaw 950 - $899 MSRP


    Subwoofer - Crown K1 Amp = $1099 MSRP

    Speakers - Parasound HCA-2205AT = $1999 MSRP


    Main, center, surround - 10 Gauge Sound King Speaker Cable roll $32.62 (parts express)

    Sub - BetterCables $89.95

    Audio interconnects - Silver Serpent $79.95 x 2


    Radio Shack SPL analog meter - $29.99

    Avia DVD Guide to Home theater - $34.99

    Extra Strength Tylenol Pain reliever Capsules - $10.99
  18. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 21, 2002
    Likes Received:
  19. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Jul 30, 2000
    Likes Received:
    0 many people putting more money into the subwoofers than into the main channel loudspeakers!?! 40% music!!!
    Ok here we go:
    (2) Definitive Technology bp2000TL: $2500
    (1) Definitive Technology clr2000: $600
    (2) Definitive Technology bpvx: $1000
    (1) Yamaha RX-V1: $1500
    (2) Mirage BPS-400: $1600
    Cables, etc: $300
    Total: $7500
  20. Dave Herkert

    Dave Herkert Agent

    Mar 4, 2002
    Likes Received:
    OK - I'll play! My very first post to the forum (regular on the Klipsch Board).
    Timbre Matched 5.1 System.....
    Outlaw 950/755 Combo ................$2098
    All Klipsch Speakers in Oak Oil
    Klipsch Cornwall IIs (Mains) ........$1758
    Klipsch Heresy (rears)...............$1098
    Klipsch Academy (center) ............$ 400
    SVS CS+ 20-39/Samson 1000Amp Kit.....$1599
    125 Ft. bulk spool Monster cable
    @ 1.59/ft.......................$ 199
    7 - 4pk Monster Cable Banana Plugs
    @$15.99/pkg.....................$ 112
    7 pairs Outlaw PCA analog cables.....$ 190
    12 hooks and 2 20 ft chain sections
    (for mounting Heresys in upper
    corners of rear ceilings)......$ 45
    Total system price...................$7499
    Having a system capable of 120db CLEAN SPL
    (and criminal charges).........$Priceless
    Add desired DVD and other video sources to taste[​IMG]

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