What's new

Going To College. What Should I Do? (1 Viewer)

Andrew Hi

May 25, 2002
Well I'm going off to college in the fall. I was curious as to whether you all would recommend me beginning a dorm room setup. I don't know who my roommate is, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep my valuables in tact and pristine. Would you recommend a college student to begin a HT setup?

This indecisiveness came about because I was looking at TV's for my dorm room, and I wasn't sure about the quality I wanted. Any help would be appreciated!

David Ison

Stunt Coordinator
May 23, 2002
personally, not knowing who i'm going to be living with would stop me. by youself a decent used stereo and a 19 inch tv,that way when it get's damaged you won't be out big bucks. Spend your money on women and BEER!

Jeffrey Forner

Jun 19, 1999
I personally think that the size and layout of the room will be a bigger determining factor in your decision than your roommate. I was fortunate to live in a dorm that boasted large rooms with high ceilings, allowing us to loft our beds high above our heads. This opened up a lot of room to store home theater gear. One of my friends managed to fit the follwing gear in his room his senior year:
I suggest you wait until you get settled into your new digs before you make any home theater purchases. Right now you're dealing with a living space you haven't even seen yet. Until you know the living space for the system, you can't make any accurate assumptions as to what the room will allow for a home theater, if any at all.
But as long as you're hear, I will say that the best small speakers you can get right now are the Energy Take 5.2s. Here's a place the complete set for $499.

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
You can get an extra big computer monitor which, together with a VB50 or iScan, makes a super sharp TV monitor, they all have progresive scan, sharper than any 19 or 27 inch TV and their anamorphic squeeze should go most of the way if not all of the way to 16:9. Space will likely be a limiting factor in a dorm room so having just one CRT instead of two (computer monitor and TV) may be a good way to go.
Video hints:

Ted Lee

Senior HTF Member
May 8, 2001
as already mentioned, i'd hold off until you know what your dorm situation is going to be. who knows...maybe your roomie will be a ht nut and you can just use his gear! that's what all my roomates did - dang them! :)
also, space is a serious consideration. my room was pretty small...luckily we built a loft which totally opened up the floor space. if you can, it's definitely the only way to go in the dorms.
also you may find out that your roomie is a total slob and then you'll be in fear everytime he touches your gear....
i'd definitely wait....


Jun 4, 2002
Definitely wait and see what your roomate is like. If the roomate seems trustworthy, then go for it. Nothing beats having a home theater up at school...after all, it is your home during the academic year!

I personally always have my home theater up at school with me. I have managed to cram the following system in:

Receiver: Integra DTR-5.2
DVD/CD changer: Integra DPC-5.2
Mains: Infinity Studio Monitors (SM-225)
Center: Infinity Studio Monitor SM-Center
Surrounds: Infinity Studio Monitors (SM-165)
Sub: Velodyne CT-120
VCR: Sony
Gaming: XBOX
Cable: Digital
TV: Sony 24" Wega

Chris Tsutsui

Feb 1, 2002
I'd get:

$225 JBL NSP1
$150 Sony 12" subwoofer
$200-300 5.1 reciever
$200-300 27-32" color TV
$100 non progressive scan DVD player

It all depends on your budget btw...

Carl Johnson

Senior HTF Member
May 6, 1999
Real Name
Carl III
Back when I stayed in a dorm I had the nicest system on my floor and it consisted of a boom box, a 13" television and a mono vcr. Considering the trustworthiness of my roommate and his associates I wouldn't have put any more expensive gear in there even if I could have afforded it (which i couldn't)
On another note I dropped out after a semester and a half because I spent more time watching movies and playing cards than I did going to class and studying. Unless you wish to suffer the same fate I would recommend putting more thought into your academics than entertainment:)

Ben Radlinski

May 25, 2000
I'd have to agree with the others who recommend waiting to start your setup. Even though my first roommate was a good guy, I still ended up having a lot of stuff stolen out of my room. Dorm rooms stay open 24/7, whether you like it or not, and a nice receiver can disappear very easily. Or get a pounder of Bud spilled on it. Or in my case, have your roomate come back to the room on acid, and put his contacts away in my tape deck.
I had a 13" TV, a Sony radio, and that was it.

Charles M Berry

Stunt Coordinator
May 6, 2002
I bought my first complete HT system right before I went off to my 2nd year at UVM. I was worried about theft, damage, and the massive amount of room a HT takes up. I ended up leaving the Sony Wega behind, and only brought up the DVD player (as a cd player) and paradigm Titans as front speakers.

After getting there, and after being at school for 3 semesters, I realized for the most part my fear of theft and damage were unfounded because I had really cool roommates. I would recommend what others have said about testing out your new roommate to see if he's trustworthy. Also, I also agree that a really nice HT will be a major distraction from your education, but I also know (for a fact), that a good TV and a couple of DVD's will not only pile in all the guys, but also the ladies! Its amazing how much a entertainment system can improve your social life at school.

I think I will bring up everything when I go back in the fall, but the one thing I am worried about is space. Dorms are tiny and between a HT and a computer, there is little room left to sit! Keep that in mind, and maybe bring only a partial system with you. I know this is hard, I have seperation anxiety every time I leave equipment behind, but with concrete walls and pact living arrangements, its not like you are ever going to get high quality sound. Maybe just bring up the front speakers and a sub.

There are some pics of my gear in my dorm room on my site if you want to see.
Jun 3, 2002
I was a freshman at UW-Madison in 1989.

Here's what I had:

1. 13" Sony TV
2. Stereo VCR
3. JVC Receiver
4. Sony CD Player
5. JBL Speakers

That was it, and it was one of the best systems on the floor.

I agree with an earlier post, but spend less on girls and more on beer. Typically girls like will congregate where the beer's at (that's how it is at the UW, at least). Yes, I know that's not very politically correct, and my apologies to those offended.

I should note that my electical engineer friend up there (remember, I was in Madison, home of Madisound) built himself the big subwoofer, which filled up his entire closet. He drove it using a 500WPC amp he got somewhere. The bass was so loud you could see the sound in the air.

So, my advice to you is this: study, go to class, and whenever you have some free time, get out of your room and have some fun!


Supporting Actor
Feb 21, 2002
Another voice here for saving your money. It won't be so much your roommate you have to worry about as it will be the rent-a-cops most college campuses have for security. If your stuff gets stolen, it will most likely stay stolen.


Feb 28, 2001
Real Name
i just finished my first year of college and here's what i had:
19" computer monitor for TV and movies
SVS 16-46CS+ and S1000 amp ;)
Panny RP91
Marantz CC-4000
Onkyo 595
it all depends on the size of your room. i had 10' ceilings and about an 11x18 room for two people, so i lucked out. good luck!

Matt Parnell

Jun 13, 2002
First semester at college I had the dumbass roommate from hell. I hardly trusted him with anything of mine, and as a result I had no home theater.
I'll be going up for my 3rd year in a couple months, and this is what I'll be bringing:
27" Panasonic TV
SD-3108 DVD Player
Harman/Kardon Signature 2.1 Amp
Harman/Kardon Signature 2.0 Preamp
Paradigm Monitor 9's
Paradigm PW-2200 Sub
Paradigm CC-370 Center
Bose 201's (Surround)
Higher-end Monster and Liberty Cable
I now have a single room that's about 14x14', and with no roommate I have little to worry about as long as I keep it locked. I had nearly the same stuff last semester minus a few components (no preamp/amp, sub, center), and I had no problems what-so-ever.
Seriously though, as long as your roommate(s) and to a lesser extent your floormates are cool, you've got nothing to worry about. A huge benefit of the setup IS girls, as people tend to congregate in your room to listen to music and watch movies. Just don't let anybody set their beer on your equipment (I warn people ahead of time that they're risking their lives ;) ). Good luck, you'll love college.

Brian Burgoyne

Second Unit
Jan 9, 2001
Andrew, you had better study a lot and avoid girls, booze, drugs, sports, parties, panty raids, streaking, protests and sit-ins, communists and go to the chapel every day.

Bruce Chang

Second Unit
May 10, 2002
Sony 27inch
Outlaw audio 1050 reciever $350 at audiogon.com
PSB alpha A/Vs and my center channel :)
Sony dvd player
Audiogon has great used stuff.

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Latest member
Matthias Schulte
Recent bookmarks