First Time HT Help

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by TimothyMidd, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. TimothyMidd

    TimothyMidd Auditioning

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    Hey, this is my first post on the boards so before I ask my question I'd like to thank you all in advance for your knowledgability and helpgfulness. I'm loooking to purchase a home theater system for my college dorm room, and I've been doing a lot of research, i'm looking for a receiver with component video switching and sufficient amplifier power, and hopefully 6.1. Somewhere in the range of the Onkyo txsr600, Denon 1803, H/K avr325 etc. However in my search for speakers, i'm not sure what the best match is, and while looking i found this system in the Onkyo shop http://www.shoponkyo.com/catalog_det...PKG&type=3&p=i it's the TXSR600 receiver with the onkyo matched speakeres. I'm wondering how expandable this option will be, ie if I want to buy a different sub, or different surround speakers, and also how good are these onkyo speakers that come with the system? Is it worth it, or should I just buy a receiver and mix and match speakers, the only problem is that that option seems to be more expensive, and i'm not sure if it's the best one. My budget is anywhere from the cheapest possible :-p, up to around $700-$800 for the whole system. (I figure between $200-$300, for the three component parts [1-receiver 2-sub 3-surrounds]). But this Onkyo seems to meet those requirements for cheaper. Please let me know what you think, and if you have any other pieces of advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. Again, thanks in advance for your help
     
  2. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Timothy,

    It is difficult to answer your question without knowing your situation. If you are looking to get by with the most economical route to a serviceable system, I think it would be very hard to beat the system that Onkyo has going for $499. The receiver is a good piece for the price and the speakers, while not great, are no worse nor better than most home-theater-in-a-box speakers that you will find.

    If its a system you think you might keep a while, I would opt for something like what I can assemble from Accessories 4 Less:

    Acoustic Research HC6 5.1 speaker system ($450):
    http://accessories4less.com/aless4/C...2DHC6&cc=&tpc=

    A very well regarded speaker set at its original $800 retail and a steal at a little more than half its original price. Not going to be the best thing you will ever hear (let's be realistic now...), but looks and sounds far better than it has a right to at the price and, when I heard it, remarkably good at both music and HT reproduction, particularly in small to medium sized spaces.

    Marantz 4300 receiver ($300):
    http://accessories4less.com/aless4/C...R4300&cc=&tpc=

    A very good receiver which should be more than sufficient to power most of the speakers that you can obtain in this price range. Sure, at the price it is a refurbished unit, but I have heard nothing but good things about Accessories 4 Less and the Marantz is better than anything else you can get at
     
  3. TimothyMidd

    TimothyMidd Auditioning

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    Victor,

    I appreciate the response, I just took a look at the links you posted. The Marantz receiver looks to have almost the same features as the Onkyo I was looking at which is a plus, but I noticed there were no component video input's or outputs. Now even though I realize component video as far as i understand only works with HD televisions, for some reason I want to get it, because when i buy this receiver, I'm hoping to keep it for 10 years or so, at least enough to get me through undergrad and grad school, and seeing as in 2 year's I'll most likely have an apartment, I'm figuring it's best to buy a receiver with component video now to save the hassle later. The acoustic research speakers look good, but to be frank i'm not totally sure what to look for in these home theater speakers. I realize power ratings and ohmage should be matched with your receiver, and most of these speakers all have equivalent frequency response. I've looked at klipsch synergy speakers, infinity entra's, and i've heard my dad's pioneers, and i don't know what makes one speaker here better than the next, they all same equivalent. *phew*

    But with my original thought of buying the onkyo, how good is that receiver, say if i upgraded the speakers and subwoofer in say 2 years, will the receiver still suit my home theater and music needs?



    Thanks again


    ~TIM
     
  4. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry about that. Did not notice that component video was one of your prerequisites. The Onkyo SR600 is a very good receiver in its price range and at the package price, you are basically getting the speakers thrown in for less than $100 (the SR600 alone on the Onkyo site is $429). I don't know how you can really do better than that, especially if having a good receiver is key.

    I think it is overly ambitious for you to expect to keep a receiver for 10 years. Almost like PCs, I think A) the introduction of new processing modes and features and B) the urge to obtain better performance from your system will push you to upgrade your receiver. But if your primary concern is a receiver that can last through 1 or 2 speaker upgrades, I think the SR600 will meet that criterion, as very few speakers beyond the more expensive ones have nominal impedance below 6 ohms, making it unlikely that you will encounter speakers that the receiver cannot successfully drive.

    As for speakers, all you can really do is take a couple of CDs and DVDs that you are really familiar with and then just play them on a number of different speaker systems independent of price. Subtle though they may be, listen long enough and you will begin to hear differences between systems and you can begin to form an opinion as to what sound or "voicing" you seek from a speaker set. At that point, its a matter of finding one that produces that sound within your price range.
     
  6. TimothyMidd

    TimothyMidd Auditioning

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    Thanks again for your help, and if anyone else would like to help me out here i'll listen to all opinions. I think i'm going to go to the local soundcity by me and try to listen to these Onkyo speakers and see if this is a good choice or not. Thanks.




    ~TIM
     
  7. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Agreed -- VERY agreed... after 5 years, there will be many other affordable options too attractive to resist.

    Always tough to stick to a strict budget... at that 800 price point, forget component connections if it will yield a better bargain elsewhere... you'd need a better-than-average tv to get a discernible improvement with component... for now, go modest on the receiver.

    The only other general advice I might offer is to resist an all-in-one HT box, as the speakers made by mass market electronics companies can't be expected to compete quality-wise with those of dedicated speaker manufacturers... the above-mentioned AR's are coincidentally a good bargain at this time... here is a review of several 'budget' speaker systems; while each exceeds your budget, they're worth auditioning to just get a taste... you might even find a discount while shopping:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...in-9-2002.html

    In any event, make an effort to audition sat/sub systems at local retailers... take a favorite cd... have fun.
     
  8. TimothyMidd

    TimothyMidd Auditioning

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    Greg,

    In referring to your statement about "mass market electronics companies" do you mean that buying the Onkyo package i was looking at will yield low quality speakers for the price? Or are the speakers that come in this equivalent to some of the systems that you recommended. Thanks for the clarification, and i'm going to go check out that link you sent right now. (Just got in from school :-p)
     
  9. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    I can't speak directly to the Onkyo package, haven't heard it... Onkyo, Sony, Pioneer and others make reputable electonic components, but are not known for their loudspeakers (basing that on numerous in-store auditions of such gear)... my point was that, as a general rule, you should expect better quality and sound from a manufacturer that specializes in loudspeakers.

    That doesn't mean the Onkyo speakers are bad... it's entirely possible you might prefer their sound to that of another mfr (tho I'd bet against it), as speakers vary greatly, and are subject to personal preferences... however, you usually have to pay at least a little extra for the specialty product.

    Don't go by anyone's specific brand recommendation without some kind of audition if at all possible... you'll be amazed at the variety of sounds from one make to the next.
     
  10. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Timothy,

    The Onkyo speakers are very good value considering what you are paying for them in that Home Theater In a Box over the price of that receiver alone--about $100 for the set. Considering the abuse they may take in a dormroom setting, you might be wise to not buy anything much more expensive as a speaker set until sometime in the future anyway.

    If you look at Etronics website you should be able to find that speaker set alone--check out the price and you're practically stealing them in the HTB.

    That Onkyo HTB is in my opinion an excellent startup system--very respectable standalone reciever with serviceable if not truly outstanding speakers almost thrown in for nothing.
    You can always upgrade the speakers later if you're truly dissatisfied with the Onkyos, and probably sell the Onkyo set for more than what they actually cost you as part of the HTB system. In the meantime you've stayed within your budget and will have money leftover to start a respectable dvd collection.
     
  11. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Timothy, you may want to check these speakers out. I have heard good things about them, do a search and find out. I would almost guarantee they could hang with and probably exceed the Onkyo speakers, and they look pretty killer for the price.
    http://www.fluance.com/fluan5speaks.html
    For 50 bucks less you can get the lesser set up if that is too much for you.

    The Onkyo sounds like a good choice but I have never heard it. I used to have an old school stereo Onkyo that I loved but that was awhile back.
     
  12. TimothyMidd

    TimothyMidd Auditioning

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    Yeah the Onkyo package looks like the best deal for my money right now, thanks again for all of your help. If anyone else has any suggestions or comments on this sytem please feel free to tell me.



    ~Tim
     
  13. jimmy~e

    jimmy~e Agent

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    I purchased the Onkyo HT-755dvc Home Theater in A Box system after reading the reviews on CNET. I love it. It comes with the Tx-SR600 6.1 receiver, the CP500 5 dvd-cd changer and six speakers plus subwoofer. On another forum the word is that Onkyo's speakers are made by Polk. I don't know if that is true or not, all I know is that they sound wonderful and I love the system. I paired it with the NEC HT1000 DLP front projector and wow!
     

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