Critique my setup.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LloydM, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. LloydM

    LloydM Agent

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    Hi guys. Im new to the forum. I was directed here by a buddy who joined recently.
    Here is what my current setup consists of:
    TV: Sony KV-27S26
    Reciever: Sony STR-DE725
    DVD Player: Sony DVP-S530D
    CD Player: Sony CDP-CE315
    Center: Sony SS-CN15
    Fronts: Sony SS-MB215
    Rears: Sony SS-SR15
    Sub: Sony SA-W305
    Gamesystems: Sony PS2, Dreamcast
    All of this is crammed into my bedroom as of now. Overall I am pleased with what I have, but after hearing/seeing my buddies setup my interest has been caught.
    After doing some research about what I currently have I have found out that my system is very basic! I was really caught up in the Sony name when I was growing up and it shows in what I have. What can I say im young (21), live and learn, right? [​IMG]
    I found this link which shows a method to help improve the sound of my mains. What do you guys think? Should I even bother?
    I plan on moving out of the bedroom and putting things into a livingroom by April this year. I plan on replacing the components that i currently have one at a time. I do not plan on going for a high dollar top end system, but I would like to have something that will please me (shouldnt be too hard). I would say that I should be able to spend around $2k (about $200 per month) over the next year and a half. What should I replace first?
    Based on what I have read it would be the reciever as this is the foundation of the system. Then the fronts, center, rears, and sub? When would I want to upgrade my dvd player and tv? I personally have heard that HDDVD is coming in the next couple of years and I would like to replace my dvd player when that is available so im not stuck purchasing a dvd player now and then again when HDDVD comes out.
    Sorry for putting so many questions at once. Im going to go use that search button now and I should be reading for the next couple days. [​IMG]
    Lloyd
     
  2. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    Too much Sony LOL. C'mon add some diversity a Gamecube an XBOX or even better some Paradigm speakers....hahaha
     
  3. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    You definitely live and learn.
    If you're comfortable making the mod, it couldn't hurt, but if you haven't played around with electronic elements, then be warned-- this could be a good way to get yourself some new speakers. [​IMG]
    You're definitely approaching things in the right manner.
    I'd actually recommend replacing the speakers first-- replace the fronts, (and move your fronts to surrounds), the the sub, center, and then rears. I think they're the weakest link in your current system.
    Upgrade the DVD player after the TV, so you can see how much cooler a good prog scan DVD player is [​IMG]
    HD-DVD is still a few years off for people on budgets-- remember, just 3 years ago, a halfway decent DVD player was like $400.
    All just my $.02,
    Me
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    My focus would be on a display that at least has a 16:9 mode. Preferably it should be an ATSC-based set. Then I'd worry about all the rest, with an emphasis on upgrading the speakers.

    You don't need to purchase components all made by the same manufacturer.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd start with the speakers, but that receiver could really use an upgrade also.
    Upgrading the x-over in an average speaker is not going to make a night and day difference.
     
  6. Bill.P

    Bill.P Extra

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    My general rule of thumb when deciding what to spend your HT budget on goes like this:
    33% Display
    33% Electronics
    33% Speakers
    This ends up with a well rounded and well matched equipment. It works fairly well until the total budget gets over $30K. Over that much I would start spending alot more on the display.
    Lloyd's system seems a little weak in the display right now. I think you would be happier with a bigger picture. Speakers should be next on your list. I've read the Sony speakers you have are decent, but there are alot of options for the money. Don't be afraid to stray from Sony [​IMG]
    -Bill
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    It depends on your tastes where you want to start. I think that 27 in TV will do more than fine, but if you are big into big movies and nice picture/video, you could start there. I personally am a bigger critique of the audio portions of any system, and I demand very nice music performance. (btw i'm younger than you too [​IMG]) ANyway, I would upgrade the L/R/C and sub first, then see where you stand. And while sony ES can be ok for electronics, I've never, i mean NEVER heard any good sony speakers, in my life. So, you're gonna be breaking that brand loyalty [​IMG]. I'd start with listening to some paradigm titans at $220 a pair. Don't be fooled by their low price either, they are amazing little speakers. I'd stay away from the "big-name" brands that you might be familiar with e.g. Boston, Klipsch, infinity, bose etc. They really dont have any good offerings at low prices that are worth listening too. And take some serious listens, and as always, use music and close your eyes. For a few hundred dollars you could have a very nice system indeed built around something like titans, or you could step up to something like mini-monitors for 350, and REALLY have a superior system, but that would warrant an electronics upgrade, which very quickly eats through your budget. I suggest Paradigm always for above-entry systems because they are very nice, and very affordable, and they are relatively easily found. There are some other brands, like axiom, that have similar values, but they are few, and usually harder to find. Oh, and one last thing, don't go by the notion that bigger is better. Rarely true IMHO.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have heard some very decent Sony Towers. When I went to my friend's place and saw them, I though "Ugh", because I had never heard any Sony speakers that were any good at that point either. When we listened extensively to music, and movies I found that they were much better than I expected. I don't know the model, but they are well constructed, use quality drivers, and I wouldn't complain if they were in my system.

    Paradigm is always a good recommendation, but I feel Axiom is a better value, and I am a Paradigm owner. They have different design styles, and soemwhat different sounds, but both are very good for their respective prices.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes, I've had my eye on axiom as well, but I really like Paradigm's sound, and you can't go listen to axioms in the States, you have to order them, so at some point ill find someone who has a pair and take a listen. I expect them to be similar in sound style to Paradigm, at an even cheaper price. Of course, my expectations in the past have been notoriously wrong, so I don't recommend brands that i've not heard and verified first. So my knee-jerk recommendation is always Paradigm, you can't go wrong, you are almost always dealing with a good dealer, which will carry other nice brands, and they are great for someone totally new to real hifi. You can always work to develop your own personal taste in sound as you progress. Paradigm's one weakness is a sometimes harsh tweeter, which is aggravated in bare rooms like my temporary setup, but I personally like a high end that comes off with just enough zing to give it life.
     
  10. LloydM

    LloydM Agent

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    Thanks a bunch for all of the info so far. Im going to start searching for speakers next, but first I would like some more info on TVs. Im looking for a 27-36" TV that will have the ability to play DVD's in 480p. As of right now I dont plan on having HDTV, so im not to worried about getting a big screen TV with all of the features right away. Besides that gives me more reason to upgrade later. Have to take baby steps when explaining to the other half on why I need these things. [​IMG] And I would like to have a decent TV in my bedroom in the future. [​IMG]
    So what TV would you guys recomend for around $1k or less that would fit my needs for now.
    My next reciever
    Dvd player 1 or dvd player 2?
     
  11. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    I along with soon to be many below me will say DVD player 1.[​IMG]
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  13. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes, I agree that's more what I meant. I like tweeters that aren't afraid to bring out that high and and really articulate. I think "harsh" was a little harsh on my part. [​IMG] Just saying that if you put these in an echo-filled room, they can become irritating at loud volumes. I think this may be a by-product of their being designed in anechoic chamber, but if the room is done properly, they are wonderful.
    Another reason I recommend Paradigms locally, is the store that carries them carries really quality and high-end stuff, and doesn't have a bad item in the whole store, even from brands like sony, they only pick out a couple models from their ES line for instance. I feel more comfortable, thatn recommending a budget JBL system at another store that sells Bose.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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