Help Needed: purchasing system for particular room size

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by DonRo, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. DonRo

    DonRo Extra

    Dec 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Greetings and salutations home theater enthusiasts and gurus. I have been busy the past few weeks reading a multitude of articles, forum entries, and product tests and reviews... only to come to the conclusion that I am lost in the veritable wilderness of home entertainment possibilities ...and now turn to your compassion and willingness to assist me with my decision at hand.

    I would like to invest in a home theater set-up to watch both DVD-based films, as well as take advantage of the digital/Dolby TV programs I receive via the ASTRA satellite. Additionally, I listen to more music (digital radio via ASTRA, vinyl records, and CD’s) than I watch TV and/or films on DVD. So the ability to listen to quality audio is as important (probably more so) to me, as the image and surround-sound quality of "home theater" films and TV are.

    I currently have the following equipment:
    Sony KV-29FX66 TV (FD Trinitron WEGA Line 4:3, 100mHz with Virtual Dolby Surround) *note this may be an European model only? It has 3 SCART inputs (back) and one S-video input front.
    Approx. 15 year old Technics stereo system composed of:
    multi-CD player (MASH) SL-PC14
    integrated amplifier SU-G50
    2-channel 7-band graphic equalizer SH-8017
    turntable SL-BD27
    double cassette recorder/player RS-TR167
    tuner ST-K50
    speakers: Kilpsch "Heresy" (vintage 3-way floor speakers which I still love!)
    Panasonic VCR
    Digital SAT Receiver

    Regardless of the final solution... I will want to keep my turntable (possibly upgrade it in the future) and of course the Kilpsch’s ...but the rest can go or stay as needed. I realize this system is getting old and I have no feeling for, or idea what improvements made have been made (sound-wise) since this equipment has been manufactured, as well as the expected lifetime remaining (note everything still works well, with the exception that the CD changer infrequently hangs or skips.)

    So, I am basically happy and satisfied with the sound of my audio-stereo system when playing my old Frank Zappa, Genesis, Led Zepplin, Yes, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Caravan, Doors, Traffic, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan *albums* ...although I feel the sound of CD’s played on this system is somewhat "shallow" or thin for my taste and a lack of better terminology... when compared to the sound when playing an album. Perhaps I am simply showing my age and preference for vinyl? I also enjoy classical and jazz music, in addition to the "classical" rock.

    The room I will be using is relatively small, approximately 130 sq. feet (10 x 13) with seating and TV facing across the short side (a single door and window are at opposing ends on the longer axis.) The room has an 8 foot ceiling and a hardwood floor (but with a thick wool 5x9 area-rug) and the walls (poured concrete block) are insulated with 1/2 inch Styrofoam sheets which are wall-papered and painted (makes it look like stucco.) I have an entire wall for components, so space is not a problem. Note: my seating is practically against the wall with a distance of approximately 7 feet to TV (or the occasional portable screen and Sony projector for special events.)

    Question, do these physical size/placement restrictions entirely negate the effect of the surround-sound if I can not get the same distance between my ear and front speaker as to the rears? (I could also mount them higher to get more distance if this helped?) my main dilemma is as follows. I have about $1500 – 2000 to spend right now and I am at a total lost on the best way to proceed. Naturally if I can spend less, the better. I have been thinking about the following two basic (and very divergent) possibilities:

    1. Buy a "lower-cost" (also lower-end) HTiB solution in the $500-700 price range... like the Onkyo HT-S767C (or similar Sony, Yamaha, Panasonic, Denon, or JVC system) and keep my stereo set up as is and hope that perhaps the new system does a better job sound-wise with specific audio CD’s ...and spend the rest of the money on beer and pizza, while watching movies. ;-)

    2. Buy separate components... a speaker system like the Teufel "Theater 2" Cinema Set 6.1 (or similar from Canton, Quadral, or Magnet note: I would prefer to buy Kilpsch, but they are way too expensive here, opposed to the German-made brands) and a separate AV receiver with Dolby & surround-sound (which also supports a phono connection and a second set of speakers (like the Harmon-Kardon AVR 325, Onkyo TX-SR701, Denon AVR-2803, Yamaha RX-V740) and basically trash my old Technics audio system (*except for the turntable and perhaps the cassette deck) ...and buy a separate DVD/CD player (such as the Sony DVP-NC685V, JVC XV-FA900, Panasonic DVD-CP 72, no idea here really?) Also thinking maybe a player that does SACD (just to listen to the digitally remastered version of "The Dark Side Of The Moon" [a hybrid SADC]) ...and do all this using some cost algorithm mix like 50% speakers, 30% receiver, 20% DVD/CD player. Does this make sense?

    Well I realize this post as turned into a long short-story and I apologize for that, if I am asking for too much here. I also realize I am comparing apples and oranges with my two "routes to take" above... but as you can see, I need help! I have read most of the FAQ’s here in advance, but I guess I am looking for someone to finally provide me with an argument which pushes me in one direction or another. If you respond, please feel free to include specific system or component recommendations you would like to make ...and a huge *THANKS!* in advance from the land of sauerkraut and beer.

    best wishes...
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Welcome to HTF, Don.

    I think you will receive more responses here in A/V Sources, which is why I moved it. The Basics area is for asking general questions about home theater-related matters rather than for seeking advice on specific equipment.

    Best of luck!
  3. DonRo

    DonRo Extra

    Dec 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Hi Jack...

    Thanks for your assistance! I thought perhaps, I had inadvertently, out of ignorance, with my first post committed some sort etiquette faux pas.

    Actually I could reduce all my verbiage to the following two basic questions:

    1. Has audio technology in the last 14-15 years so improved that my current stereo system (specifically CD-changer, integrated amp, and equalizer) is seriously out of date ...and that I will in all probability be much happier with the sound of newer components (specifically AV receiver and multi-format DVD player?)

    2. If the answer to the above question is basically “highly likely” ...are the physical and to a degree acoustical limitations of my TV room such that it isn’t worth to spend more money on components and I should keep the stereo as is and go with a cheaper HTIB solution for my DVD and digital TV requirements?

    Meanwhile based upon information here on the boards and in tests I have read here in the German press... I have moved a step closer in making a selection. If I do go the separate component route I have decide to get the Denon AVR 1804 receiver and their DVD-1400.

    I had an opportunity to look at them (and listen) yesterday and they seem to fulfill just about any requirement I might have (including continued use of my turntable and cassette deck, and using the Kilspch speakers in another room.) I still don't know which speakers either.

    I still would greatly appreciate to hear anyone’s thoughts on my “dilemma” and appreciate and welcome all comments and recommendations.

    Thanks again...

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