"Expert" opinions wanted

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ross E, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Ross E

    Ross E Auditioning

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    I am in the process of finishing my basement, and will then build my first HT. I have been lurking on this forum for a long time, and have absorbed a great deal of information.
    So after doing the research and reading all that I can, I have decided on many of the components going into this setup. Here is what I am going to be buying:
    Panasonic 47" 16:9 HDTV
    DirecTV receiver with 5.1 out (undecided which one, will upgrade to HDTV receiver when more channels become available. I do currently have a basic DirecTV receiver, this will be an additional unit.)
    Decent HiFi VCR, no more than $125 (undecided, does it matter?)
    Progressive-scan DVD, no more than $300 (again undecided at this point)
    Outlaw 1050 receiver
    1 SVS 25-31PCi
    Polk RTi35/38 mains
    Polk CS 245i / CSi30 center
    Polk RTi15 rear
    I do have a budget for this system, and even this is going to push it for me, so I can't go much higher up than this.
    My question to all of you that know far more than I do is this: Will all of this equipment "play well" with each other? i.e. How well will the SVS match the output of the Polks? Is there another brand of LCR and rear that will sound as good for the same price I can get these for? A local store has the Polks for a great price; the RTi35's run about $125 each, the RTi15's about $70 each, and the center about $170. So the 5 speakers are under $600 total. Do I need the center rear speaker? The Polks are only sold as pairs, so I would have a fourth one collecting dust in a closet.
    Please keep in mind that I haven't had the opportunity to demo any of these components, and I really don't value the in-store demos at all. But this will be the first system I have owned that even had respectable sound quality, so my ear isn't as developed as most of your's is. Feel free to offer suggestions at will.
    Also, the TV is going to be recessed into a wall, and the 47" widescreen is the biggest that will fit into the area. The seating will be about 8 to 10 feet from the screen, so this should be plenty large enough, right?
    Thanks ahead of time for all of your input. This is going to be fun. [​IMG]
     
  2. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Welcome!

    Sounds like your off to a good start - Planning!

    On your video end, check out the TV first. Does it have more than one broadband (HDTV) input? The prog. scan DVD will take up one, and your future Sat. reciever will take up another. Even though it has more than one set of component inputs, only certain ones will handle HD. Do you watch a lot of tapes? If so you may want to consider a SVHS player instead. They start around 250 and go up from there.

    I dont have experience with your speaker selection so I cant help you there but I'm sure someone else here can.

    Good luck

    Bill
     
  3. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I sit about 10 feet from my 65". So plenty of "room" for your TV.
    JVC makes very good and highly recommended mid priced pro-scan DVD players. Also look at Panasonic, Pioneer, & Sony.
    For budget price of $600 on speakers, I'd look at the Energy Take 5 and the Acoustic Research HC-? line (can't remember the model on the AR speakers). Both are very highly recommended as the best of the budget speakers.
    I haven't heard anything about the Polk's.
    The Outlaw is a good choice (but just too ugly for me) [​IMG].
    Good Luck.
     
  4. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Ross,

    Seeing you're from Madison check out American TV for the Polks. A friend of mine scored a great deal (unadvertised) on some Polks at their store in Waukesha, though not the ones you are looking at. I have two Polk systems. In the family room I'm running some 4year old RT7's as fronts, CS400i center, and RT25i's for rears with a PSW350 sub.

    Down in the recroom the kids have RT35i's for fronts, a 245i center and R10's for rears, no sub yet. Personally I think Polk makes one hell of a speaker for the price. I think you'd be very happy with them. Good luck!!

    Tyler
     
  5. Ross E

    Ross E Auditioning

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    Thanks for the responces guys.
    Bill,
    Good point on the component inputs, I hadn't thought of that. Is the SVHS that much better? We don't use the VCR very much anymore, basically my wife records her soaps, so I wouldn't want to spend too much more on that, but I'll think about it. Crutchfield lists the JVC HR-S3900 for $169. Does anybody know anything about this one?
    Scott,
    I've heard of the Energy Take 5s, and read a couple of reviews, but they don't have a dealer listed that's within an hour's drive of me. I'll check out the ARs though. thanks.
    Tyler,
    American is where I first heard the Polk's and was very impressed. I didn't realize $150 speakers could sound so pure. I have a pair of Sony towers now that cost about the same, and they don't sound anything like the Polks. But that was in the store. Do they sound as good once you get them home?
     
  6. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

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    Make sure you invite all us Madison guys over when it's finished :)
     
  7. Ross E

    Ross E Auditioning

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  8. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Ross,

    Do the Polks sound as good once you get them home you asked.

    No, not right away, you have to break them in for awhile. The speakers in the stores have been used quite a few hours, they have 'loosened up', but right out of the box they are 'tight'. After you play them at lower volumes for about 20 hours they will 'loosen up' and sound great. You will notice a difference. As for the VCR, the JVC 3900 is fine for taping soaps or watching movies and other tapes you've recorded. Actually if all you use if for is the wifes' soaps save some money. You don't need SVHS for that. You can buy a decent VCR for less than $100 just about anywhere. As for the invite to Madison goes, will we be able to hear your system in Jefferson county too?

    Tyler
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    If you must get a VCR, go with a cheap name brand. If all you use it for is daily TV programs, I'd strongly recommend a TIVO or similar unit. I went with a DirectTIVO package (cheaper that cable & unit was $99). If you want HD DSS you'll need to get a more expensive unit...
     
  10. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Ross,
    Don't know if the Polks you mentioned are still 'in stock' at the store you are considering buying them from, some places are running low on certain models. The prices you mentioned ARE a good deal, I would jump on them before they are gone. Just in case, I checked on www.crutchfield.com this morning and they have the following still in stock:
    RT35i - $300/pr, RT25i - $200/pr, RT15i - $180/pr, CS245i - $150. The only reason I mentioned the RT25i is that for the extra $20 over the 15's you can't go wrong. Shipping is $14 for any order over $400 and usually takes 2-3 days to the Badger state. If you mention my Customer ID number of 20394405 you can save an extra $25 on any order over $250 if you never ordered from them before. Crutchfield IS an authorized on-line dealer for Polk, other places on line are not. Something to consider if you think about purchasing them on-line. They have a great reputation too. They also have that JVC VCR that Bill mentioned. I know that these prices are a little more than what you saw at yout local store, except for the CS245i, but just wanted you to know in case you couldn't find what you're looking for locally. Good luck and let us know how things work out for you. Crutchfield price/availability number is 1-800-555-9361
    Tyler
     
  11. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I'll second TylerZ's recommendation of Polk Audio speakers. Get the RT35i/RT25i/CS245i if you can and save some money over the newer versions. I seriously doubt there're much differences between the two versions.

    Regarding VCRs, you can pick up a good one nowadays for around $100.00. Go with Panasonic; they're good performers and very reliable.
     

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