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Help with first HT

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tommy Levario, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. Tommy Levario

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    I need some help building our first HT. My wife bought me a Hitachi DVD player for my birthday last year. Soon after, we purchased the 36” Toshiba Cinema Series TV (CN36Z71). Now, I need to purchase a A/V reciever (or separates, if recommended) and speakers. I have about $4,000 to spend. I’ve read a lot the post in this forum and I’ve learned that I need to get the best system I can afford and not necessarily the best system ever. Given my limitations, I'm not sure whether I should I spend more on getting better quality speakers or on a reciever and amplifier. Any advice and/or suggestions will be deeply appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Put your money in speakers.

    In a stereo setup, 1/2 or better of the cash usually goes for speakers. For HT, it's about 2/3 for speakers.

    That's a really rough way of putting it, but I'm sure that's how it will go.

    I have $1400 in speakers, including the sub.

    4 NHT's, 1 Yamaha, 1 SV.

    Electronics, not including the TV = $700.

    HK/Sony

    Have fun shopping!

    - CM
     
  3. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    I think you will want to spend a bit more on the speaker package than the receiver. As for recommendations...take a look at Definitive Technology (at www.definitivetech.com ) and Yamaha...a wonderful match IMHO! Good luck!
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    Thomas
    since receivers and pre/pros generally have to be replaced every 2-3 years due to technology, it only makes sense to allocate more $$ elsewhere. speakers and amps can last quite awhile, so invest wisely!

    stuff to look at: (speakers) nOrh, Paradigm, B&W, Def Tech. (subs) SVS...look no further! (receivers) Denon 2802, Onkyo 696, Rotel, Yamaha. (amps) Rotel, Marantz, Outlaw.

    good luck!
     
  5. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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  6. Tommy Levario

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    Thanks for the great advice! Sounds like I should invest more on the speakers and an amplifier. It's great to see that there are people with a wealth of knowledge willing to share their advice. This may be a loaded question since opinions and experiences are so varied, but here goes anyway. If you had the $4,000, which speakers, sub, amp, and receiver would you buy?
    Stefan brings up a good point. What I need and what I can afford may be completely different. In that regard here's more of my situation: My living room is about 19'X19' with 15' vaulted ceilings and we'll be using the HT mainly for watching movies (DVD's).
    Thanks again for the help! [​IMG]
     
  7. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    With a $4k budget for the speakers and receiver, he should be getting an SVS-caliber sub no doubt.

    I would get something like a Denon 2802/3802 and look into the following brands for speakers:

    M&K

    B&W

    Paradigm

    nOrh (if you like the looks)

    For subs:

    SVS (a CS-Plus will floor you)

    Hsu (a pair of VTF-2's will rock you and look more conventional)

    Adire Dharman looks great for $600

    In general, subs from Paradigm, M&K, etc. are great as well, but not quite as much bang for your buck as SVS et al.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Go to your local stores to check out what they have. Whatever sounds best to you is your best bet. Probably the only brand that will not get a recommendation around hear is Bose.

    If it were me I would go and get a pair of Polk speakers to match my awesome CS400i center channel. Then I would get some Polk rears to finish my system off. If you have some local stores that sell high end stuff check it out, but if not good guys and circuit city also sell good equipment.
     
  9. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    Also try out Energy Take Systems...Nice punch for the money!
     
  10. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    $4K for the receiver, speakers and sub? No problem. [​IMG]
    nOrh marble 4.0 package - $1,600
    SVS Dual 16-46CS+ w/amp - $1,750
    Denon AVR-2802 - $600
    Leaving you with $50 or so remaining. But the main priority is you get speakers and subs that will last a very, very long time.
     
  11. Tommy Levario

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    Great responses! I've done some more researching and I'm checking out your suggestions/recommendations. However, the more I get into it the more overwhelming it gets and the more questions I have. There are a lot of options to choose from and sometimes it's frustrating for I'm learning as I go. For this reason I need to set some requirements for what I research. I will only compare recievers with preouts, floor standing speakers w/o subs because I've decided to go with a one SVS sub(although, I haven't decided which model). As for an amplifier, I'm still not clear whether I need one or not.

    After reading some literature on recievers, I got the impression that a reciever was a combination of preamp, amplifier, and tuner, and that it would power all the speakers including the sub. According to the SVS website, the "CS line requires an “off-board” amplifier. . . receiver almost certainly does NOT have an amp for your sub". Is this true of the Dennon 2802, Onkyo 696, Yamaha or similiarly priced recievers? If I need an external amplifier, does that mean I should spend less cash for a reciever like the Dennon 2802, rated at 90watts, instead of the 3802 which rated at 110watts?

    I checked out the nOrh's but I wasn't attracted to thier design. I also checked out Def Tech, M&K, Paradigm, and B&W. They're all great but they all also have a variety of models and configurations. I figure that after the reciever, sub, and amp, I may have about $2,300 to $2,500 for the fronts, center, and surrounds. Which models from each maker should I investigate in more detail for comparison with the others for this price range?
     
  12. Dan_Jones

    Dan_Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you considered Axiom Audio? You could get quite a few combinations with the money you are willing to spend...
    Go to www.AxiomAudio.com for more info on them. I have an all Axiom system (besides the sub) and love it to death.
     
  13. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Hi Tommy,

    Greetings from an Austinite. Well, I'm at school right now in FL, but I grew up in Austin. Just a stone's throw from your neck of the woods!

    Anyway, the answer is yes, you'll need an amp for that passive SVS. The common (99% of the time) way is for the receiver to power the speakers and there to be a powered sub. The sub can either have the amplifier built-in like most subs do, or you can get a passive sub and an outboard amp.

    If you like simple, look at getting a 20-39PC. Everything in one package, nice and neat. If you get a passive SVS, like the CS+, you'll have the benefit of higher output, but you need to get an outboard amp and turn that thing on when you fire up the rest of your system. You may be able to find an amp with a 12v trigger to solve that problem however. Otherwise, it's an extra switch to throw when firing up the system....
     
  14. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Tommy,
    Several people in Dallas/Ft. Worth have the nOrhs along with some in San Antonio and Houston. May want to check and see if you can see them in person as that will give you a better idea as to how they look and sound. However, not liking the design is very understandable. You either love it or hate it.
    You may want to look at some Swan Divas as those should be much more to your liking. Beautiful roswood finish on them.
     
  15. Tommy Levario

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    Well, I took your advice and visited the local stores. At one dealer, I listened to the Def Tech BP2002TL, c/l/r2000, BPX system. They sounded great. Then I was shown a Sonus Faber system which consisted of 2-Concerto front mains, Solo Home CC, wall speakers, and a REL sub. I was completely blown away. Of course, the Sonus Faber system was about $800 more than the Def Tech which put it slightly beyond my budget. What are your thoughts on Sonus Faber?

    I went to another dealer and listened Paradigm Studio 60 with the CC, ADP, and PW-2200 Sub. Once again, I was blown away. I almost bought it on the spot but decided to post my experience and get some advice. After discussing my room dimensions, he suggested that I get the Studio 20 for the rear surrounds instead of the ADP’s because I would be mounting them along the back wall behind the viewing area and I needed direct fireing speakers. Is this true? He offered the 2-60’s, CC, 2-20’s for rears, and the 2200 sub for $3,195. Good deal or not? The Paradigm web site lists this system for $3,399 but it’s with the ADP’s as rears. Is the offer still too much even if it’s about 6% off the list price? Should I be trying to negotiate down to a least 10% or 15%?

    I successfully calmed down the buying bug and visited another dealer who carries the B&W speakers. They too, sounded fantastic but after listening to the Sonus Faber’s and the Paradigms, they didn’t seem to measure up.

    Onward to more stores and more researching but at some point it’s got to stop, right. One item of interest is that each of the dealers I have visited so far, say they have never heard of SVS subs. As much as they are recommended in this forum by numerous readers, I was very suprised. Could this be a salesman tactic to mislead you to think that they’re not well know so, therefore they must not be that good?
     

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