Help with 1st Time HT/Music Setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kirk Elliott, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. Kirk Elliott

    Kirk Elliott Extra

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    1) I have earmarked 7K for my 1st HT/Music setup as follows:


    1)Toshiba 65” HDTV…………….$3,000.00
    2)SVS CS 25-31 Sub x 2…………$1,000.00
    3)Receiver………………………...$1,000.00
    4)Main Speakers/Surround…...…...$1,000.00
    5)DVD Player….…………………….$500.00
    6)Cables,SPL meter etc……...………$500.00

    Have I missed anything?

    Quite simply, what I’m after is the best bang for my buck. My living room is 26’ x 16’and my HT/Music usage will be about 40/60 and living in the Caribbean my music will be predominantly calypso and reggae – hey, my wife is Trini and I studied in Jamaica!

    Here’s where I need some help:

    1)Will the 2 SVS’ cover my living area for bass?
    2)A Brandsmart salesperson suggested the Denon 2802 receiver, however I tend to think that the Denon 3802 offers better bang for the buck. What other receivers might I consider & why?
    3)While the sub was easy, I haven’t the faintest idea as to what main speakers/satellites to consider.
    4)Same goes for the DVD player. Also is $500.00 too high, and do I need a separate CD player? If yes, which might I consider?
    5)How much cable and connectors might I require?
    6)What about a “smart” Remote Control to manage the whole system?

    My prices are all ball park and while I’ll be very happy to spend less, I am not averse to spending a little more. I will be shipping all of this gear to the Caribbean and therefore need to get it right the 1st time.

    Miami is my shopping ground. Where can I audition speakers etc in the greater Miami area?

    What internet sites might I consider for purchases? I have a Miami address so shipping within the US is not a problem.

    Many Thanx to all in anticipation of your kind assistance
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    That's a heavy list - All I know for sure is that you should budget $300 - $1000 for an amp for the SVS's, or consider getting one 25-31 PC+ instead.

    Me? I'd get 2 non-powered and a hefty amp...
     
  3. Kirk Elliott

    Kirk Elliott Extra

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    Thanks Colin. SVS is having a summer sale and the $1,000.00 will get me the 2 subs and a 700W amp!
     
  4. Eric Elvira

    Eric Elvira Auditioning

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    Hi Kirk,
    I live in Miami. To compare the TVs you already went to probably the best place to do so, Brandsmart. In the South Miami-Dade store they have tons of TVs. I bought my Sony KP-57HW40 from them.
    For sound equipment you should go to Sound Advice. There are like a dozen around the area. I visited the one in Kendall. They have 9 or 10 rooms setup with systems for all the budgets. Starting with the $200-300 receivers all the way up to the $25,000-$50,000 or more systems. You can test different speakers combinations with different receivers. Also go to Circuit City, I went to the one in Kendall Drive. They have there a complete line of Onkyo and Harman Kardon receivers setup in small rooms where you can check these excellent receivers.
    Go home after-wards (or hotel as you are coming from out of town) and let it all sink in. Take your time to sort it all out in your head. IMPORTANT: take to the stores with you DVDs and CDs that you like and know. Listen to them on these systems to see how you like the sound. I took a Batman DVD to hear all the sounds from the beginning of the DVD and for music I took Jazz, Classical and Salsa. That way you can hear and decide which one sounds best to you.
    I ended up buying a Yamaha receiver the RX-V1200 and Klipsch speakers. I hadn't even heard of this speaker brand until I heard it in Sound Advice. I tested looks of combinations of speakers and receivers and ended up going with this combination. This was what sounded best to my ears and within my budget. You need to listen and see what sounds best to you.
    For DVD I wanted a Multidisc changer so I could use it for both DVDs and CDs. I bought the JVC XV-FA90BK. This is their top of the line player. It accepts 7 DVDs. It's progressive scan, it supports DVD-Audio and supports all formats of CD-R, CD-RW, MP3s, DVD-R, etc. I love it. The only drawback on this one is that for music, in random mode it only does random within a disk. It doesn't do it across all the disks. For me that is fine as I never use random. I got it for around $300 in the web.
    After I finished my setup I had like 7 remotes. I bought the Sony RM-AV3000 remote. This one is a combination of hard buttons and touch screen. It manages now all of my equipment without problems. I even programmed a button for my 8 year old daughter. She presses it and it puts the TV in the correct input, turns on the receiver, changes it to the Cable/Sat input and changes the cable box to Nickelodeon. Very simple to use after you program it. The main drawback is that it is a BIG remote. Most of the time you need both hands to work it. Another option if you prefer hard buttons is the MX-500. They cost roughly the same. But the Sony looks cooler. [​IMG]
    One thing you should get that is not on your list is a calibration dvd. The Avia, Video Essentials and Sound & Vision: Home Theater Tuneup are the most popular. I got the latter for around $15 from amazon.com. This is the simplest for a newbie like me from the recommendations I've read in this and other forums. Easy to follow and allows you to calibrate your video and audio. It does 6.1, has DD and dts to set up your speakers with your SPL.
    Now go and get all the equipment and have fun. [​IMG]
    Happy shopping,
    Eric
     
  5. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Vladimir Derenoncourt
    Kirk,

    I live in Broward county but work and spend a lot of time in Dade. Eric already covered most of what I was going to tell you. But I'll add to it. Brandsmart is an excellent placed to compare TV's. I also bought my TV and receiver (Denon 2802) there. And they're always advertising some sort of sale.

    Sound Advice is also great for speakers, they carry Klipsch, B&W, Boston Acoustics, Martin Logan. If you go south on US-1 past Kendall Drive, Sound Advice has another location that's even bigger than their Kendall one. I don't know if that translates into more selections though. Just a thought.

    Also, there is a place on US-1 across from the University of Miami called Sound Components. They carry Paradigm and a few others that I can't recall.

    As for the DVD player, you can spend anywhere from $200 to $1000 and up if you like. You definitely want one that is progressive scan. I would recommend the Panasonic RP91 or the RP62. I believe Sound Advice carries them both. I bought the RP91 from them for $599; and they advertised the RP62 for $199, but Circuit City has it for $179.

    For cables, I'd wait until you made your choices and purchased all your equipment and then sit down and figure out exactly what you need before you buy. Sometimes salesmen can get carried away and sell you stuff you don't need. Happened to me and I wound up buy extra cables (not speaker wire, extra wire is a good thing).

    Good luck. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions let me know.
     

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