First Post and newbie needs advice.......oh no, here we go again....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Halm, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Gary Halm

    Gary Halm Auditioning

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    ok, yes, i know, it’s probably been beaten to death by now but i’m a newbie looking for my first true ht system and i would appreciate some helpful advice from people who really know about this topic--you guys & gals.
    i found this site about 6 days ago and this has suddenly become a compulsion for me. i find myself logging onto this site every chance i get and reading as much as i can. only a week ago i was ready to plop down $500 for the onkyo htib but after reading some of the advice on this site i have decided to up the amount i am willing to spend to $1,000 for speakers and a receiver. i realize that this is not a great deal of money but i would like to spend it wisely.
    the dilemma is making a choice from a seemingly endless array of products-many of them i have read about on this forum but not actually heard. with that comes my first problem, i’m starting to get to the point where i have too much information and i haven’t even been to a store to listen since i changed my mind about the onkyo system.
    i was hoping that i could narrow the list down to 3 speaker systems(including sub) and 3 receivers so that i could then explore them in some detail before making my decision.
    here is where i am at on speakers right now:
    i have read some good things on the JBL NS24 ‘s, as well as the Fluance AV-HTB(i don’t like their non-return policy) and the HTD Level TWO 5.1.
    i wonder about whether the front speakers should be larger than the rears or should they be the same size? i haven’t seen a discussion on this topic as of yet.
    on receivers i am really open at this point. i am just now beginning to understand that 100 watts here doesn’t equal 45 watts there, that it’s about quality and other issues.
    i read somewhere on here that a good measure would be spending 60% of your money on speakers, 30% on a receiver and 10% on extras like cable etc., is this a good breakdown? btw, i plan on buying a dvd also but am not considering that as part of this discussion.
    i would like as much bang for the buck as i can get(don’t we all?). i have so many questions and this is just a start for me. your input is greatly appreciated and i apologize if i am once again treading over a too often discussed topic—i am just at the information overload point right now and need your help.
    thanks,
    gary
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    Gary, have you done any shopping around Austin just to see what is out there to listen to? You could get a decent entry level receiver from Best Buy (yamaha 5540, 5550, pioneer 811s), Circuit City (Onkyo), or you could find a Denon 1602 at an independent audio shop (or do you have a Home Theater Store in Austin?...that's a franchise)
    The Fluance and Home Theater Direct have lots of good comments from people on the forum, but you wouldn't be able to audition them. They have good prices. Actually, Home Theater Direct has it's operation up here in Allen (Dallas) and they said you can listen to speakers there if you call first.
    Most of the audio shops that have more expensive lines also have entry level models, like the Paradigm Atom, or PSB alpha for example. Lot's of people are happy with Polk or Infinity from Circuit City.
    Since you are a newbie and haven't "spoiled" your ears yet, anything above a HTIB will probably sound pretty good to you. You can start out with a Nissan Sentra or Toyota Corolla and then when you need more thrills, you can move up to an Infinity G35! [​IMG]
     
  3. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    For speakers, the JBL NSP-1 set probably has the best price/performance ratio out there today. You get proven performance for only $200 at www.jandr.com. However, the set doesn't include a subwoofer.
    If you go with an entry-level receiver for $200 though, you'll have a good $500 to spend on the baseline SVS subwoofer. And then, $100 left for miscellaneous items.
     
  4. Gary Halm

    Gary Halm Auditioning

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    Brian,

    thanks for the comments. to answer your questions, yes i have been out but i found myself feeling like a 14 year old on my first date, ie sort of clumsey.

    we do have a home theater store along with a few other higher end places and i have planned on visiting them soon. but i think there is much good info to be found from members here like yourself who can help me zero in on a few components, then i'd like to spend my time looking at them.

    i do realize the tradeoff of not being able to listen the fluance and others like them but there are those places like home theater direct that have a full money back guarantee including the shipping.

    would you recommend deciding on a speaker package first and then looking at receivers?

    thanks for the info.....

    gary
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  6. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    [​IMG] Good link John. I remember that one. I was just wondering what he could get a Denon 1602 for. Most Denon dealers don't give much of a discount, but I have heard that Home Theater Stores give 10%. Or he could go online at 6th Ave for a denon. Yes, up to $400 could get a nice entry level receiver: yamaha, denon, pioneer, onkyo, harmon kardon.
    Gary, I know what you mean about a 14 year old on a date. That analogy just made my stomach knot up![​IMG] Just remember that you are the customer. You don't have to tell them you only want to spend X-amount, just look around, listen to a few things, and let them give their sales pitch. At least look in the yellow pages and call and see what is available. Then we can give you ideas of what to listen to.
    The JBL nsp1 is a good package. Or you could look at the JBL s26 and s-center for the fronts. That would be a nice step up. J&R and ebay have some pretty good prices. You could buy your speakers in steps to spread out the spending a little. Buy the fronts and center now, add a sub next month, then the rears.
    As far as subs, consider the commonly refered to starter subs from JBL and Sony. I am considering a 8" Energy S.8 for my daughter in a starter system. I have seen them for around $260 if you look carefully. They are quite flexible: phase control, adjustabel crossover, and the controls are in front to make it easy to fiddle with.
    The Home Theater Direct level 2 looks good for $500, and includes a sub, although most people say the sub is mediocre.
    Call around and let us know what is out there...
     
  7. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Look at Harmanaudio.com for the "specials"...

    350w 15" JBL sub for $177, etc.

    If not now, maybe for the future.

    My starter sys = (All prices final incl. shipping)

    HK AVR110 $318 from Vanns.com
    BIC 62CLR center from Ubid, $84
    NHT SuperOnes L/R $224, Ebay
    NHT SuperZeros, traded software for them a long time ago

    I now have an SVS, but before had a sub comparable to the DLS 10" from PartsExpress.com, $99

    Order of importance - (IMO)

    Rec.
    L/R
    Sub
    Surrounds
    Ctr


    Good Luck!!
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  9. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Diff'rent folks...
    I wanted silk domes and a sealed cab at the time...
    PS - $50 more...[​IMG]
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Outlet price - $248 [​IMG] (but it looks like they don't have any in the outlet right now)
    I like the NHTs also, but they need/want more power than the Axioms to shine thanks to sealed cabinets. I love silks (some of my favorite speakers use silk domes), but I was also impressed with the titanium tweeters of the M3Ti. The M3Ti has some of the smoothest midrange I've heard from a vented speaker in this price range, and has about the same low extension of the Super One, which is not extremely low. I think I prefer the tight midrange of the NHTs though.
    I'm surprised NHT went to aluminum tweeters even on the bookshelf speakers for the new series, but I feel they actually sound a bit better than the Super series overall.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    just some random thoughts:
    i think a good chunk of the budget should go towards speakers. while electronic components change all the time, speakers designs have pretty much stayed the same. many people (including myself) are still using the same speakers they've had forever. mine are going on five years or so.
    also, the "build my system slowly" theory is solid. if you're on a budget, there's no reason to sacrifice just to have it all now. as suggested, get the receiver and mains, then add a center, then a rear, then a sub.
    i've never heard the fluance speakers, but anyone who has a no-return policy is a no-go in my book. especially with speakers, where sound is so subjective, you must have the option of returning them if you're not happy.
    if you take my advice and go with a higher budget for speakers, check out the Energy Take 5.2 system - very highly regarded for the price. paradigm also makes some really nice speakers for the price.
    [edit] oh yeah...don't forget to check out the FAQ at the top of this forum. [​IMG]
     
  12. Gary Halm

    Gary Halm Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies guys, i am swamped today and have not had a chance to look at your responses in detail but i will asap.

    This looks to be the type of info i have been looking for and i appreciate everything offered up...so far, please keep them coming.

    i plan on visiting audio by design and talking with jack...

    later...
     
  13. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    If you haven't done so already, read the beginner's primer/FAQ here.
    Spend the majority of your budget on the speakers. Do NOT skimp on the subwoofer or center channel. The center reproduces the majority of sound during a movie and a good subwoofer will give you that "wow" factor. If I was forced to break down your budget, I'd suggest:
    $700 - speakers
    $250 - receiver
    $50 - cable & interconnects
    This is assuming that the DVD player / TV are not included...
     
  14. Gary Halm

    Gary Halm Auditioning

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    once again, thanks for the info....
    i found this off a link at cnet, i would be interested in what you think of this setup, it's a little over what i intended to spend(bet that doesn't happen often...) but seems to be a pretty good deal.
    http://ww2.onecall.com/SPL_534.htm
    Atlantic Technology System T70 with a Harman Kardon AVR320
    here's the review at cnet for the speakers...
    http://electronics.cnet.com/electron...ml?tag=topfive
    also, i am no longer giving consideration to the fluance speakers-no return policy bothers me.
    giving some consideration to the level one speakers from home theater direct
    and yes, i have read most of the faq on this site, excellent source of info...
    what do you guys think of the above package?
    gary
     
  15. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I haven't heard the system, but it looks great! Looks to be a good value. The speakers are only 85db efficient, but should still yield very good sound levels. I have NHT's which are 86db run off of an AVR110, no problems.

    Good Luck!
     
  16. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    That looks good! Sure gets good reviews from owners on www.audioreview.com
    Silk dome tweeters are nice too. Good package from Onecall. Go for it and then tell us what you think.
     
  17. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    can you return it if you're unhappy?
    you should have no problems with the hk receiver.
    you should definitely make sure you like the way the speakers sound. i would go to several stores and try to audition whatever speakers you can. that way, once you get the atlantic's, you'll have some sort of gauge to compare against.
    but it does look like a pretty sweet system though. [​IMG]
     
  18. Gary Halm

    Gary Halm Auditioning

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    thanks guys, the receiver alone at circuitcity's web page is $699 so that would be $475 for the speakers not including the shipping.

    i have to find a few more reviews of the speakers but i would feel good about having a hk receiver.

    i'm ready to pull the trigger but i'm a patient man and i can wait.....

    gary
     
  19. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    pull...
     
  20. Gary Halm

    Gary Halm Auditioning

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    lol Brian....

    i'll think about it...

    i went and talked to jack yesterday, really a nice guy with tons of knowledge, i would recommend anyone in austin looking for ht ideas to go see this guy.

    he carries Energy speakers, sounds like a good quality line of products, anyone here have any experience with them?

    work still is keeping me so busy i haven't had time to do much more research.

    jack did emphasize the importance of the center and subs and the fronts for music. it was a good learning experience.

    anybody have an input on these subjects?

    thanks again, i appreciate the feedback...
     

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