HT Beginner needs HELP...

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JohnnyIN, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. JohnnyIN

    JohnnyIN Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am researching what's needed for a HT and need some help. I have decided on a 42" ED Plasma (not sure there is much dif. w. the HD except the cost). I am truly lost on the surround sound system. I've looked at Bose lifestyle 48 which my wife really likes because it's one piece for everything (including music storage) but I've read a lot of complaints about Bose from audiophiles and now I am not so sure. I've also visited some local vendors and heard a nice sounding system (5 sib wall mounted speakers and the icub subwoofer, an amp and cd) from Cambridge for about 3k. I also looked at some of the HTIB but I am not convinced about the sound quality or spending a thousand bucks to run wires for a $700 system. Any info will be helpful. My ?s are:
    -for someone who's not an audiophile but enjoy music that sounds good. Should i stick w. an HTIB or go with Bose or build it w. components?
    I also would like to spend 3k (not including wiring and TV)

    Sorry for the long note but I hope this gives you an idea of what I know.

    Thank YOU!
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Johnny. Welcome to HTF.

    Wires: dont go crazy.

    Budget 10% of the electronics for wires. This gives you $300 to spend. Big hint: www.partsexpress.com for a spool of 12 ga Sound King speaker wires. Buy enough to put 3 speakers to the back. Should run you under $100 for a large spool.

    Video/Audio: For your standard-video devices (CATV, VCR), the AR Pro2 from Sears/Best Buy makes good component/SVideo cables for under $40 each.

    For your HD source, go to www.bluejeanscables.com for component cables. Starting at about $50 these things will rival the $200 retail cables. (It's what the production studios use).


    Wrong concept. Run the wires no matter how much you spend on the electronics. There will be upgrades later.

    Music vs HT: Here is a dirty-little secret: You can get a great movie experience with inexpensive, but tone-matched speakers. But these inexpensive speakers show their flaws with music.

    If you want a music system, make sure to take some favorite CD's with you for auditions. Speakers have "flavor" and you need to decide what makes your music sound good. People often ask "..is speaker A better than speaker B?" and this is an impossible question. Is Coke better than Pepsi?

    HTIB vs Components: It all depends on how much of a hobby you want to make this. Part of the fun (for some of us) is to study/audition/anticipate the next component. Others dont want the hassle.

    Many HTIB's do a great job for movies. But you should look for some things:

    - Make sure you get a HTIB with separate receiver, DVD player, speakers, self-powered subwoofer. This way you can upgrade pieces later without investing in everything. The all-in-one systems are a "all the eggs in one basket" approach - bad for the future.

    - Bose: they spend more money on marketing than technology. They also target elderly people with bad hearing, hide expensive electronics for their demos and generally are over-priced for what you get. While I dont think they sound as bad as some people - I feel they are way over-priced and over-hyped as 'premium' speakers.

    Brands: I have heard good reports about HTIB's from Onkyo and Kenwood. People have even put together systems from Best Buy with JBL Northridge speakers, lower-end Yamaha receivers and the Sony SW-40 subwoofer.

    While not giving you a "..go buy this.." answer, I hope I helped.

    Note: once you buy, check out our FAQ about all tips to help setup and calibrate the sound. You can spend $5,000 on speakers and electronics and not get good sound if you just throw the speakers around the room. We can help you "rough-in" the placement and adjustment.
     
  3. Chris_CAS

    Chris_CAS Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    For $3000 you can make those Bose or HTIB's sound like piles of junk (literally...I'm not kidding). In any case I would never recommend the Bose. For what little and insufficient you get, you pay outrageous markups for marketing programs and scams.

    But in the meantime, I would recommend you go to your nearest electronic boutique (not best buy or circuit city types). There are so many different brands that come to mind it's hard to know where to start. Two brands I would audition are Onix rockets and Klipsch. They are two different sounds, but are some of the best quality speakers for the price.

    You can have the whole top of the line rocket package (2 mains, center, and surrounds) for $2100 and add an SVS subwoofer (the best for the money on the planet imo) like, perhaps, a PB12isd for $600. Or the PB12isd2 for $900. (I'm making myself drool!)

    Or....the Klipsch reference series is another great option. The RF-7 flagship mains can be had for around $600 a piece I believe. The matching reference 7 center channel and surrounds will come to another $1400 for a total of about $2600. Add an SVS pb10isd sub for $400 and you've got yourself another "to die for" audio system.

    Now, there are many other permutations below both of these brands' "top of the line" mix seen above so you can tailor your taste to your budget.

    Another note: these are not your little Bose and HTIB weenie cubes. They put out huge amounts of unbelievably accurate sound. True, accurate and powerful sound can only come from larger speakers. They take up some space (but really, they aren't any bigger than other speakers in their class. Just bigger than the pathetic cubes some people are used to).

    My suggestion? I would go with the rockets. Maybe not the top of the line 750's as noted above, but the 550's for a little less. I would then spend a little more on the subwoofer as it's usually the one speaker that has to cost the most since it's self-powered. I would invest under $2000 in the rockets and $900 in an SVS pb12isd2 sub.

    If you're used to hearing any HTIB's or Bose systems...you are going to be completely blown away by any of the above. Audiophile or not. I guarantee it! You'll think to yourself, "Man...I can't believe I almost bought those little cubes!"

    I don't remember if you already have a processor/receiver, but if not then manipulate the above to accomodate some of that budget for a Yamaha, Onkyo or similar.

    Happy listening! [​IMG]

    Oh, and I almost forgot the links.

    Rockets
    onixaudio.com

    Klipsch
    klipsch.com

    SVS
    svsubwoofers.com
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0

    I do have to say that for HT - you can get away with 5 small (even inexpensive) speakers, but go for a better-recommend subwoofer. Nothing gives you the HT experience like a good subwoofer.

    Example: I just went to a Best Buy with a Magnolia audio & video store inside. Here is what I found:

    Miller and Kressle K5 speakers: 5 x 150 ea = $750
    Dennon or Yamaha reciever: $500-$1000
    SVS subwoofer (highly recommended): $400-$800

    All this for $1600-$2600 (less if you get a package deal from the dealer).
     
  5. JohnnyIN

    JohnnyIN Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    First, Merry Xmas to you all and thanks for the great tips. One last ?, has anyone heard the sib speakers from a co. called Focal-JMLab. I can't post link yet but you can view them at focal-fr + dot com

    Be Merry...
     
  6. Chris_CAS

    Chris_CAS Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0


    Bob,

    As I would agree in the last paragraph detailing what my personal choice would be. My Klipsch setup is not the very top of the line, but I spent a good deal on my PB12+2. I personally don't like the surrounds crowding my theater so I went for the architectural in-ceiling Klipsch reference speakers.

    I would definitely not go "inexpensive" if you have $3000 to play with. Well...let me put it this way. If you have a very small room, like a sealed bedroom, and like to watch movies at low to moderate levels, and don't listen to music, then you could go "inexpensive." But if music is at all in your taste (which the poster did mention it was) and you listen to moderate or higher levels, then you shouldn't go small or "inexpensive." Subjectively speaking, of course. In any case, with $3000 I'd spend $400 on a receiver (Yamahas are great at nearly any price), around $1000 on a sub and the rest on your mains and satellites.
     
  7. shaneOneill

    shaneOneill Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob

    Most of this has been said but a HD designer recently told me, "If it has no highs, and it has no lows, its Bose."

    It is about your preference though--listen to the speakers and make the decision yourself. Bose's biggest setback is it is not competitively priced.

    You can never overwire a room.

    If your budget becomes a factor, it may be helpful to buy your components in pieces, as you can afford them. It can be functional before its complete.
     

Share This Page