Entry-lvl system for my father-in-law - recommendations?

Cliff L

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Help me get into my FIL's good graces - or at least help keep me there as a dutiful SIL. Heh. My FIL is basically starting from scratch and set a limit of $600 right now. He currently has an aging Pioneer stereo receiver & a set of mains (possibly from an old rack system, so not great).

He's not a huge techno guy or audiophile although he really does love his movies.

Strategy 1: Get the best HTiB his money can buy - I saw the recommendations on another thread.

Strategy 2: Buy a decent receiver & new fronts, use an adequate Technics center that I'll give him for free, and use the aging Pioneers as rears, with the intention of upgrading the center to match the fronts in the future.

Variant: Buy a decent receiver and some budget 5-set speakers (Fluance, Onkyo, JBL NSPs, etc).

If we go with Strategy 2, I'm thinking around $300 or less for a receiver (Denon, H/K or Onkyo), $300 or less for fronts (Ascends, Axioms, Athenas, Polks, Paradigm Atoms?), and then maybe the 10" Dayton sub from Parts Express. Are the refurb'ed Denons from JandR worth getting or would he be better off getting something brand new? Or any other receiver recommendations would be appreciated.

What do y'all think? Which option would you choose? Thanks for whatever feedback you can give me.
 

kevin tate

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Find a decent used 5.1 receiver like the Sherwood RD7106 for around $130 and the the Fluance $199 system. There are some HTF members who really like the Fluance speakers system, and spent the rest of the $ on a Hsu sub, Atlantic Technology T70pbm or the Dayton sub. I believe that your father-in-law would enjoy this system more that HTIB.
 

PaulDA

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I would normally agree with Kevin, but if your father-in-law is not technically minded, a good HTIB might be simpler to operate (you don't want him to resent you for having foisted a cumbersome, complex system that demands constant tweaking, creating an addiction to home theatre forums in the search for the next best thing, leading to late nights on the internet and spousal cries of "Why can't I just turn on the damn TV to watch ER!!!!", ...oh wait, that's me
)
 

Cliff L

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PaulDA - yeah, I've actually thought of the possibility that a non-HTiB system could cause problems, but I think if I helped him hook it up, then he could learn to operate it.

A brief update - I picked up an open-box Yamaha HTR5650 (6.1, DTS-ES, PLII) from Sears (paid $160) tonight which I think will do him just fine. That saves him $140 on a receiver which he can apply towards speakers/sub. So looks like the speaker budget just went up to $440 for speakers/sub.

Still looking for opinions/recommendations. Thanks.
 

PaulDA

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At that price, you might consider the Harman Kardon HKTS6, if you can find it, or the 7. I have the 6s (399$US retail) and, if I had only played movies on my system, I wouldn't have made a major upgrade (might have eventually replaced the sub) for quite some time. For music, however, I found them adequate for background listening or for parties, but unacceptable for critical listening (hence my major upgrade). There are probably a number of other packages available at this price point which would be as nice or even better, but I've not auditioned any recently, so I can't point you in any other direction.
 

Ken.L

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Cliff,
Congrats on scoring the Yammie, deal of the year, didn't think Sears would have any left by now, you must be really lucky!
Get the Dayton sub for $109 plus shipping which should total about $140...best bang for your subwoofer buck. For the rears get the Wharfedale WH-2 in white from buy.com for $58.30 free shipping...rears don't really need to match fronts. Got to eBay and pick up a new pair of BIC DV62si mains and a matching BIC DV62clr center with your remaining $241.
I've got almost the same exactly setup. The only thing different is my mains are the older BIC V62 and my center is a BIC DV52si.
If you're not familiar with the BIC's, do a search on this board and see how much their owners like them.
If anyone else can put together a better sounding 5.1 setup for your budget of $440, I like to see it.
 

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