Help ! Buying First Real HT Sound system. Need help.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Silver, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    Alright I've had a DVD player for 3 years, using a AIWA pro-logic all in one stereo. I decided it is time upgrade my soundsystem (I defnitely need DTS and Real DD).

    Anyway, I needed to know if I should go with Home Theater in A Box or component setup.

    I have between $600-$700 to spend. I do not really

    need another DVD player, but won't mind having one either.

    I was wondering if people had any suggestions as to which manufacturer made the best HT in a box. Also am I making a big mistake buying this way vs. individual components.

    If individual components, what do you recommend ?

    Any help will be appreciated.
     
  2. Gary Thomas

    Gary Thomas Second Unit

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    Hi Mark:
    You'll see some good reviews of the Kenwood HTB. I helped a friend install a 503 in his basement. You do get a lot for your money: 5 speakers, subwoofer & receiver.
    I guess it depends on your future plans...if you want to buy a system for casual listening & forget about it, then you'd be ok with a HTB. If you plan to steadily upgrade your system, piece by piece, I'd go another route.
    Some stores allow you to purchase speakers then upgrade with full buy back value within a year. (I did this one time)
    You can get an entry level receiver, like a Sony for $200.00 that will give you DD & DTS. I'd go up a step to an entry level Onkyo or Denon for $300 or so.
    What are you using for a tv? You can get a great 32" to 36" tv for $500-$800 these days.
    There are a lot of "same as cash" deals at places like Best Buy and Circuit City. While you may pay a bit more in brick & morter stores, you will also be able to quickly return items, receive warranty service easily and test various components. So, if you can spend $200 per month for 12 months you can afford a much better entry level system.
    Here's a suggestion from www.onecall.com (I've purchased a few items from them over the past few years)
    Toshiba 32A41 TV $550 (Not in your $700 budget!)
    Onkyo TXDS575X Receiver $275
    Velodyne CHTSBV 5 Speakers $249
    Velodyne CT80 Subwoofer: $199
    Then, you can upgrade your sub, then center / main speakers, then your receiver, etc.
    Last suggestion...keep an eye on the Hardware sales in this forum. You can get some great deals on used equipment from members here. I'd be careful buying from ebay, unless the seller has excellent feedback.
    Good Luck!
     
  3. Trey Jones

    Trey Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, to stay in your price range, most of my choices for individual components would be out of budget, but depending on your conviction toward hometheater, buying components might be the way to go.
    Since you are going from an aiwa system (which is what I had in college before I be came a home theater junkie) you will notice a large difference with some good speaker choices over a HTIB. Here are a couple of sets to look at.
    Denon 1802 with the
    JBL NSP1 package $609 + sub
    or
    Denon AVR1601 with the
    Hometheater Direct Level II's all the way around $721
    or keeping it simpler how about a
    Kenwood HTB-504 $385
    here you would not need another dvd to connect to your system. It does sound rather nice also and you can upgrade the speakers down the road.
     
  4. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for your replys. I appreciate it. Began doing some research, and I never realized how many choices I had.

    THis buy is strictly for a sound system. I have a nice 36' TV and next year I will be upgrading to a 64' widescreen HDTV. (But first I need to have a room to put it in.

    Any other comments are welcomed.
     
  5. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    I'd go for the Kenwood HTB-504. Save up another $100 and then upgrade the sub to an Adire Audio Rava or see if you can get a used one. Perhaps go with a SVS CS model and use your old Awia to power it.
     
  6. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Hi Mark. I am happy to recommend to you the Fluance AV-HTB system. I have ordered 3 systems from them for various friends and they are extremely happy with the performance and build quality of these speakers. The best thing is that the total cost for 5 speakers is $200.00 not including shipping. A lot of folks were and still are skeptical about these speakers including myself but after a friend decided at the cost it was worth the risk he has been pleasantly surprised with his purchase. The feel of these boxes are quite hefty and are made of quality medium density fiber board. The sound thin at first but from my last visit at 2 of the three people inwhich I ordered these speakers for the sound has changed lots and for the better.

    I highly recommend these speakers for your price range.
     
  7. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    I was looking at the Kenwood HTB-504DV, which is basically the soundsound system and the 5-disc DVD player packaged together.

    Does anyone know the Pros/Cons of the Kenwood 505-DV ?
     
  8. prashanth_sharma

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    u could also buy a kick-ass pair of Diva 4.1 towers for $700 and get a pair of sorrounds free. and later when u can spare a couple of nuhdred bucks u can buy a center channel. that would be WAY better than any HTB u can buy.
    try http://www.av123.com/ they have a special offer now
    happy listening
    prashant
     
  9. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Mark this is by no means a swipe at your choices but(I) think that you might want to get out of that McDonald's value meal mentality. It rarely works best in this arena we call home audio and video. All in one usually means that you get a lot BUT with a lot of compromises in things that usually harm the most important aspect of a system and that's the sound. Take a look around this forum. Do some searches and you'll find a lot of alternatives that offer superior offerings and some of the times for a lot less than

    you think. I like the Divas as was recommended earlier. If you have to wait a few months to get a center channel it'll be worth it when you take into consideration that you'll be happier longer with those speakers or MAYBE even the Fluance setup.

    Make TIME your friend and don't rush to buy like you're running out of TIME because in sooner TIME than you think you'll be one of the many posters saying it's TIME to upgrade.

    Just my opinion.
     
  10. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    Location:
    Dallas
    Real Name:
    Thomas
    here's your best bet IMO:
    Onkyo 494 receiver (~$250)
    JBL NSP1 speaker package ($299 shipped from www.jandr.com)
    Sony SA-WM40 subwoofer (~$150 from Best Buy)
    = $699
    thats a killer $700 system! if this is too much $$ for you, cut out the speakers and sub and goto www.hometheaterdirect.com and get their Level I package. that's a great package for the money.
    if you do want another DVD player, go with the Panasonic RP56. it has progressive scan for when you upgrade to HDTV and is one of the best players for the $$ IMO. Best Buy lists it for ~$225.
    good luck and stay away from HTB if at all possible!!!
     
  11. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    You have definitely convinced me. From what I can tell the Onkyo receiver is definitely the consensus. I spent all day doing the research on that.

    Now for speakers, I have received a bunch of different opinions, my head is spinning. I definitely want to get a center channel and a subwoofer. I've increased my budget a little bit. Assuming I now have $500-600 to play with let's start over with what my speaker options are.
     
  12. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    If you must have hometheater now. Then I would recommend the Fluance AV-5's full range speakers, the AV-4's for the rears which are floor standers like the AV-5's but with 6.5 inch woofers instead of the 8" woofers on the AV-5's. I would go with the Fluance center channel as well. Cost without shipping so far is $400.00!! You can go to partsexpress.com and get a nice 10" sub for $100.00 and that my friend brings your total to $500.00 without shipping.
    Here are some links to what I recommended
    Fluance Line up
    Parts Express Sub
    Good Luck and I've heard there bottom of the Fluance line and I still think that they are a steal for the price but since you can get more performance and still be under your budget, I say push the envelope and go fo it. Not too many people have floor standers all around in their first HT system.
    Good Luck
     

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