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Getting a home theater system with a budget, need help (1 Viewer)


Jun 18, 2008
Real Name
Hello, I am a 20 year old college student with a budget of around $500. I already own a LG HDTV 32" LCD and I would like to get a surround system for it. The room I will be putting it in is 12' x 17'.

I would like to know what the best options are in getting a receiver and speakers for this budget, or if I should stick with a HTIB.

I will use it primarily to watch sports and movies. Some music on occasion I guess for parties.

I wasnt sure if i should get a better receiver that I could use when I get my own place in the future and just stick with ok speakers for now since I do not know what will happen in an apartment with 3 other college guys.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


His Own Fool
Senior HTF Member
Aug 18, 2001
The BK
Real Name
I'm not up on what's available in that budget range, but I'd probably go w/ the idea of buying a better receiver first to go w/ so-so speakers that you would upgrade later.

For the receiver, one possibility might be the Yamaha 663, which can be had new on eBay for ~$350 or so shipped -- in fact, I just bought one from someone on there who seems to be an authorized dealer. It only offers 2 HDMI inputs, but that's probably good enough if you're careful w/ your future upgrades me thinks. And if you should decide you need more/cleaner power than it offers in the future, you can always add a separate power amp to be driven by its pre-outs -- in fact, that's what I plan to do w/ mine since I already own an old B&K amp. If you look around, you can easily find good audiophile quality power amps more affordably on the used market for that purpose -- and in fact, my own B&K was bought used at well under 50% the original price nearly 10 years ago. :D

For speakers, if you already have something, maybe try using them for the surround and such and upgrade the 2 front/mains first. The used market can be a good way to go for speakers too though it's a bit more risky than for the power amp.

IF your priority was music before typical HT stuff, then it might've been worthwhile considering jumping to a good pair of speakers (for the front/mains) first. Well, I suppose if your HTiB receiver isn't bad, this might still be the better way to go. In that case, one possibility would be to check out the forsale post for a set of 3rd(?) hand Definitive Tech speakers currently still available over on the hardware forsale section of HTF.

Hope that helps you get started...



Stunt Coordinator
Nov 21, 2006
Real Name
Aaron Smith
Onkyo HT-SR800 is the only thing you need to be looking at, unless you can get a fantastic deal on a better receiver and speakers (I doubt it). Shop Onkyo

$350 refurbed direct from Onkyo with a 1-year warranty, can't do better than that. Sub is the best you'll get from a HTiB unit, and front speakers are great for movies and blaring music. I would recommend getting better speaker cable from HDMI Cable, Home Theater Accessories, HDMI Products, Cables, Adapters, Video/Audio Switch, Networking, USB, Firewire, Printer Toner, and more! but that's up to you. Trust me, you will not find better performance for movies and party music at this price anywhere. With sports it doesn't really matter what you use. I had a friend get this system and he loves it, it really will blow you away what you get for $350 (I think I got his for $270-a steal).

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