First Home Theater System

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by John Brill, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    Greetings everyone,

    I'm making my first foray into the HT arena now that my old receiver has given up.

    My main question is do I really need all the options offered by higher end (read higher priced) models?

    I'm leaning towards the Yamaha RX-V540 HT Receiver. It appears to have most movie formats except THX but I'd need to double my spending and go to the RX-V1400 for that. The next options are RX-V640 (5wpc more, zone 2, 2 extra audio/video inputs, front panel S-Video and Optical inputs, and on-screen display and cost $200 more) or the RX-V740 (which appears to only add and additional 5wpc and phono to the 640 and would be $50 more).

    My inputs/outputs to the receiver will be:
    1) Microsoft X-Box Console
    2) Panasonic 5-Disc Progressive Scan DVD/AUDIO (not yet owned but front runner)
    3) Sony Tape Deck
    4) Sony Hi-Fi VHS Recorder
    5) 32" JVC TV with component video/S-video (everyday cable tv use)
    6) 3M 7750MP multi-media projector with component video/S-video (movie/x-box tournament use).

    My Movie to Music ratio is probably going to be 50/50 but I want my Movie experience to take preference. My room size is 15x18 so large speakers not really necessary and I'm leaning towards a PSB Alpha or Alpha Intro package (I already own 2 PSB Alpha Intro CLR's). However, I'm also thinking about the Yamaha NS-P436 6.1 speaker package... I don't need something capable of making my ears bleed but something simply to enjoy the movie [​IMG] I also have a pair of 1990's Mitsubishi towers with 8" woofers that I may consider using as fronts and use the other speakers as B speakers in another room...

    Does anyone see a problem with my choice of Yamaha RX-V540 as a HT Receiver for my room size and needs? Have I missed something?

    Thanks for any help provided.

    JB
     
  2. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    The RX-V540 should be fine power-wise... just make sure it can handle all video connections to your satisfaction... THX is not a format, but more of a tone control / correction facility, and not a deal-breaker, IMO.

    I would ditch the Mits speakers, and not consider the Yamaha speakers... go for a matched speaker system all around, by a manufacturer dedicated to making speakers... the PSBs should be a good contender... also have a look at sat/sub systems by Paradigm, B&W, Totem... you might also consider systems by online distributors such as Rocket, Axiom, Ascend.

    To get the most out of movies, the one extra-expense recommendation I'd make is to get a top-notch sub... this will not only make the system sound great, but will also lighten the workload on the receiver, so you don't have to spend on a higher-powered one... the most popular subs are online mfr's SVS, Hsu, Adire.
     
  3. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    I would take a look at the Harman/Kardon AVR-230. It is a nice piece and is a little better than the Yamaha in my opinion, and also offers a stronger amplifier than the Yamaha. Unfortunatly Yamaha does not give accurate wattage ratings of there lower-end units such as the 440,540,640,740. Once there units get into 4 digts they are more accurate. Hope this helps you out. Enjoy!
     
  4. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    Chris,

    The H/K AVR-230 is nearly $250 more than the Yamaha RX-V540 and appears to be more closely matched to the Yamaha RX-V740... Even with the "power" controversy and say the Yammy is 50% overstated, 90/2 would = 45 wpc vs 50 wpc for the H/K. 5 wpc just doesn't seem like a deal breaker.

    Also, it appears that the H/K doesn't have A-B speaker options and would be purely a 1 room system (unless you buy a seperate speaker switching box)

    Nah, the H/K just isn't on my radar screen, sorry.

    Greg,

    Thanks for the opinion, I'll make sure to double check number of video connections with potential upgrades in the futur (sat tv/digital cable). Think I'll go with a PSB Alpha package and maybe upgrade the sub one level depending on budget. I won't ditch the Mits but maybe use them as "B" speakers in another room [​IMG] Are the Yamaha NS-P436 really that bad? Too bad considering they are $200 cheaper than the PSB's [​IMG]

    JB
     
  5. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Not having heard them, it would be irresponsible of me to give them a grade one way or the other... but if what I've heard on all-in-one system packages (Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha etc) is any guide, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any speakers made by electronics firms that offer the sound quality of those made by dedicated speaker manufacturers... one exception may be Onkyo, whose HTIBs get good mention on this forum.

    I need to stick to a budget too, but I don't think you need to spend a great deal more to get a sat/sub system that you'd be happy with for a very long time.

    In any event, speakers are the one part of a system that should be auditioned thoroughly... it's entirely possible that the Yamaha's may perform very satisfactorily for you, but give a few others a try, if only to confirm that choice.
     
  6. DannyS

    DannyS Second Unit

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    For christmas, I have just purchased a (UK)

    Yamaha HTR5640RDS and the Yamaha NS P106 6.1 speaker set.

    $586.40 including delivery

    £349 (UK)

    That was over my budget of £300.

    managed to get a QED OT optical cable for £27 too.

    Is everyone saying now, I have gone and made the wrong choice for my money? I know it's a tiny budget.
     
  7. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Sorry I didn't notice you were from Canada and I didn't realize you wanted the A-B speaker option either. If you do then I guess for the price you're looking the Yamaha can't be beaten.

    If you can spend about $470 USD then I would look towards the Harman/Kardon AVR-325. It is basically on clearence since HK just came out with there new x30 line-up.

    http://ww1.onecall.com/PID_17141.htm

    has it for $470 and in-stock. For music I think the HK is also going to sound better. The reasons I picked the HK over the Yamaha when I was buying mine was because of the sound quality and the looks.

    The Yamaha was very bright and just made it sound like someone can whistling straight in my ear, and the HK justhad a warmer sound and a better look... the AVR-325 comes with a multi-zone out which is something like A-B switching except offers alot more. Check it out. [​IMG]
     
  8. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    for my money, i would get a H&K 325, can get one refurbed at onecall under $400....or on ebay from the harman store for under $400...I would also look at some of the infinity il40, il50, il60 speakers...

    Rich
     
  9. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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  10. NicholasTS

    NicholasTS Stunt Coordinator

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    Go to Best Buy! try out the Klipsch Quintet and KSW-10 packaged for $899. That's if you have a Best Buy in Canada... Just see if you can't find it-- I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the cost/performance ratio.

    Nick
     

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