Home Theater for about $200

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by StephenBrandon, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. StephenBrandon

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    Ok, so my friend out in California was talking to me last night and mentioned he wanted to get some new speakers and such. He certainly isn't an audiophile at all, and so will probably be perfectly happy with a HTiB solution, which I think is probably going to be his best option given his needs.
    Ok so here's the deal. He wants surround sound for movies and games, and something he can also listen to a bit of music on. He said he's willing to drop about $200 on this and needs both speakers and a receiver. He doesn't care all that much about sound, (ie he probably can't be convinced to go much above his $200 limit) and he's in a house with a fair number of other people so he won't often be pumping up the volume too terribly high either. The room he's in he estimates to be somewhat large, maybe.. 12x13 or so? He didn't really know exactly. Anyway despite is not being all that into speakers and such (which is funny because it was living with him that got me into such things. His dad got him as a HS graduation present a pair of Boston towers and a Marantz stereo receiver and CD player. Sadly he doesn't have those out with him in California, which is probably good considering they'd have probably been in his car when it got stolen after he first arrived out there.. Anyway!) Despite not being that into speakers and such he does want to get the best that he can for the money, and I'm happy to help him out if I can, if nothing else so he doens't waste his money on a Sony system of some sort.
    So what would you guys suggest for him for about $200 (remember this is for speakers and the receiver)?
     
  2. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    $200 clams eh? That's tough.

    I won't reccommend total junk, so would he go for a strictly stereo-only system? Like this:

    Bookshelfs with 8" woofers from Pioneer or Sony. I own the Pioneers and have heard the Sonys--both have quite punchy bass and clean highs. But since "large" speakers like these aren't sexy anymore, they are priced pretty cheaply.

    Sherwood 2.0 receiver

    If he HAS to have surround, it will have to cost more. My Extreme Bare-Bones System will have no center channel & no subwoofer since these are not essential for the surround sound aspect.

    Sherwood 5.1 receiver for $170 (my Circuit is running a sale on this right now).

    For front mains: same speakers as above or these 6.5" Pioneers.

    For surrounds: I'm taking the word of several forum members regarding the sound quality of these little 5.25" Duals (I've never heard them--personally I wouldn't buy anything electronic/mechanical from Dual but speakers from such companies are usually a pretty safe bet).

    There are lots of $200 and below(!) HTiBs out there but after sampling quite a few for sh*ts and giggles, to me 95% of them sound little better than a good CD boombox and usually worse. And their build quality can be horrendous.
     
  3. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    My advice would be to wait and do nothing at this point until he saves some money or wants to charge it.

    Sorry but even for the lowest and worst things your going to be hard pressed to do anything for $200 that you will like.

    Also don't get caught up in the like Best Buy or other chain stores who claim to have a home theater in a box for that kind of money.

    Lance has some good ideas above but I think even doing it his way will be over your budget... sorry
     
  4. billybob_jcv

    billybob_jcv Stunt Coordinator

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    I am as cheap as they come - but even buying all closeouts and used I ended up spending $1000 to get my very modest setup. Even if he goes for htib, the lowest cost Onkyo receiver & 5.1 speakers is $270 at Circuit City. Below that it gets pretty bad, pretty fast.

    Tell him to sit close to his TV and buy a good set of headphones...
     
  5. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I am not so sure you could get a decent pair of headphones for $200,,,, sorry.
     
  6. Will-Layfield

    Will-Layfield Stunt Coordinator

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    Sherwood reciever from Fry's is like $79 for 6105! Just a thought. Then you can buy used speakers off ebay?
     
  7. StephenBrandon

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    Well, to those of you who actually made some suggestions and such, I appreciate it. Those of you who didn't... well that's not very helpful, telling me to save up more money first confuses me with my friend, and ignores all of my qualifiers about how he doesn't care nearly as much about sound quality as any of us do, and how he'd be pretty unlikely to be convinced to go much above $200 (it's not that he can't afford to go above that it's that he doesn't have enough interest in this stuff to spend more than that).
    Anyway!
    Here is what I've had suggested to me over at another forum I frequent, and what I've sent to him as a suggestion.
    http://www.shoponkyo.com/detail.cfm?...il=1&ext_war=1
    I think for the price that's a pretty amazing deal, and I'm almost tempted to get one for myself for a bedroom setup of some kind! (Though honestly after my recent purchases, even with as much money as I saved getting the closeout open box Athena's using the 30% off coupon at BB, I really shouldn't just be throwing money away on things I dont' really need. Especially if I'm going to save up for a new computer I only sort of need! (Can you tell I operate my life on a very small budget?))
     
  8. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Actuall for that price that little Onkyo system would be a great choice for your friend. That would be perfect for a small bedroom system for games and the occasional DVD. Don't expect it to knock your socks off but in a small room it would do just find for his needs.
     
  9. billybob_jcv

    billybob_jcv Stunt Coordinator

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    I think what I was trying to say is that you asked for something better than "a Sony system" for less than $200 - and I don't think it exists. I suspect your friend will find that the Onkyo system & anything else in this price range (including a Sony) are all about the same.

    FYI: They have the same refurb Onkyo system at J&R for the same price:
    http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4026410

    And also on ubid right now (but hurry!):
    http://www.ubid.com/actn/opn/getpage...ionId=10419240

    Here's a similar Sony system for a bit more that's new (not refurb):
    http://ww3.onecall.com/PID_26989.htm
     
  10. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Sorry.. I had no idea they had things with a receiver for so low.. my bad. I have no idea what something like that would sound like but for a small room maybe ok. I would definantly go with the sony though... Onecall is a great company. http://ww3.onecall.com/PID_26989.htm

    Good find billybob...
     
  11. StephenBrandon

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    Sorry I got a little agressive with my responce, there, I was in the middle of a 13.5 hour work day, and I guess was just a little annoyed with the number of responces that were basically just "don't bother spend more." Which really isn't very helpful.
    MikeLi why would make you go with the Sony system over the Onkyo one? They seem about equivilent in most ways, and I generally would trust Onkyo as a brand over Sony (just from what I've heard from others and my experience listening to their differents systems and such) and the Onkyo price is cheaper. What do you like about the Sony stystem that makes you lean toward that over the Onkyo?
     
  12. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    I looked on audiogon. Found a couple things.

    Heres a marantz 2 channel receiver.
    Here

    With some mirage omni speakers.
    Here

    That right there is $200.

    Also some athena speakers Here

    Heres a nice pioneer elite 2 channel.
    Here

    Or you could do this setup... Here


    Just kidding. Thats the way I would do it. Buying used can be a good deal.
     
  13. EvanW

    EvanW Stunt Coordinator

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    right,hard to find something for 200$, stereo would probably be best with one of the sherwood 2 ch's or a onkyo TX-8011 if u can get one on a sale and a pair of pioneer H-253B's or if those are to much H-153B's both have quite a punch but just watch out of life on them if u pump them the 153's wont last but a year or two but at there price id just by some new ones.
     
  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    All those Onkyo systems are good. That Ubid deal is a steal...
     
  15. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Stephan.. No problem.. Obviously like I said I had no idea there were things out there for that amount of money. Typically the reason I said sony is I have had many of their products, like minidisc players, portable CD players and also a portable DVD player and have had the oposite results you have had in Onkyo. My daughter got an onkyo CD/MP3 player from BB about a year ago and it quit working about the time the warranty ran out. When it comes down to it they are both probably made in the same place. Both are probably just as good its just you had better luck with Okkyo and I with Sony. If I had the choice and all being equal I would pick the Sony but that's me. Can you find a place to where you could go listen to both, that would make your mind up for you. Sorry about the smart A$$ reply above.. I was having a bad day as well. I really didn't know other than a boombox they had receivers with speakers for $200... ... thanks
    Mike
     

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