Junk what I have and start all over, or build from it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Daniell, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. Brian Daniell

    Brian Daniell Auditioning

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    Hi all,
    Great forum. I have really enjoyed reading here the last couple of days.
    I am very much a novice when it comes to home theater and hdtv, but I am needing to make some decisions. I currently have a Sony STR-D460Z receiver and a AudioSource powered subwoofer. Both were given to me and I have never hooked them up. So I have no $$$ invested yet [​IMG]
    I am in the midst of building a house, and I would like to use a 17X20 room (a bonus room over a garage) as my "home theater". I won't need be moving into the house until March or so, so I have time to shop around. I want to watch for the "right" equipment to buy, and wait for good deals. If anyone has time, I would appreciate some input to my questions:
    • [1] Is my receiver adequate?
      [2] Should I keep the subwoofer or replace it? It is a "AudioSource Model SW 4 powered Subwoofer"
      [3] I need to buy speakers. Do I need to match the speakers to the subwoofer (if I keep the one I have)? Any recommendations? Lets assume a budget of $1,000-$1,500 for speakers.
      [4]I am going to watch for sales on tvs. Am I wasting my money if I buy a big screen analog tv, or should I look to buy a hdtv or some other option? If I buy a Hdtv, what all else will I have to buy to make it work? Standing at Best Buy looking at a HDTV compared to a big screen "regular" tv makes me think I would never want to spend $1800 on a regular big tv when I could spend $1000 more for a hdtv, but if I end up spending $1000 more on accessories, it is a different matter.
      [5] Any other thoughts?
    Thanks VERY much, and again, GREAT forum.
    Brian
     
  2. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Hey, I actually have that exact reciever. Well, I gave it to my sister.
    Anyway, based on what you have, I would recommend strating fresh. The Sony receiver is only Dolby-Digital ready, and that means you need to get a DVD player that had built-in decoders. I don't recommend doing that since it will limit your options, and you can now get a truly great DVD player for under $300, even including progressive scan.
    I'm not familiar with the sub, but it sounds like it's a pretty small one. You'll most likely want more impact. Even the $150 Sony Sub will be a considerable improvement. You don't need to match speakers with a sub. The only place where it's really critical to match speakers is across the front. It's nice to match the surrounds, but it's not as necessary. It's certainly not necessary to match the sub's brand with anything else. Just think about SVS. Everyone loves 'em and they only make subs, right? [​IMG]
    If you get an HDTV, it depends on whether or not it has a built-in HDTV tuner. If it doesn't, you'll need a set-top box later on in order to watch HD signals. But, given the changing standards regarding the ways HDTV is going to be delivered, I would recommend getting one without a tuner. That way, you know you'll be able to get a current set-top box in the future. Plus, by the time you get a set-top box, they'll be much cheaper than they are now, since everyone will need to get one.
    $1000-$1500 for speakers will buy you plenty! I just put together a whole room for a friend of mine, and we went with an Ascend Acoustics system consisting of CBM-170's across the front, the smaller HTM-400's for the rears, and a Hsu VTF-2 sub. It came out to around $1100, and it absolutely rocks! Since you can stretch to $1500, you could do CBM=170's all around, and maybe even an SVS sub! You would truly be in HT heaven. Just an example; there are tons of great speaker packages in the budget range you mention.
    But for subs, Hsu and SVS are tops, as most people here will attest.
    Hope that gets you a good start!
     
  3. Jonathan Lofgren

    Jonathan Lofgren Stunt Coordinator

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    If I were in your situation I would start new. I would probably go with the ceramic Norh 4.0 package for $850 www.norh.com and pick the SVS of your choice. www.svsubwoofers.com You could get a CS version and then use your old receiver to power it. This is only what I would do based on my personal(limited)experience. There are plenty of really good speaker packages you can get for $1000-$1500. Also, it's harder to audition with direct sale companies but, if you can, audition before you buy.
     
  4. Brian Daniell

    Brian Daniell Auditioning

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    Thanks a lot for the information guys! I had pretty much resigned myself that I would start with all new equipment, so that is OK [​IMG]
    Time to do some shopping around [​IMG]
    I can't (or don't want to) buy everything at once, so my first decision is whether to buy the TV first, and piece the HT together later, or buy all my HT equipment and then buy a new TV.
    Brian
     
  5. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Brian:

    Here's my 2 cents.

    [1] Is my receiver adequate?

    Get a new one with DD & DTS. So many to choose from. I would say try to aim for $500+ models. Brands to consider: Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon. I like Sony but their less expensive receivers tend to be problematic.

    [2] Should I keep the subwoofer or replace it?

    Get the Sony one that is very popular on this board. Model #40 I think. Someone should clarify the model #.

    [3] I need to buy speakers. Lets assume a budget of $1,000-$1,500 for speakers.

    This choice will affect sound of your system more than any other factor. Audition as many different brands as you can. Here are some popular ones for you to try out: NHT, Paradigm, Acoustic Research (AR), Energy, Atlantic Technology, and Klipsch. AR has a nice entire starter system (sub included) called HC6 that is getting nice reviews and costs under $1K. I want to demo them after what I have read.

    [4] Am I wasting my money if I buy a big screen analog tv, or should I look to buy a hdtv or some other option? Standing at Best Buy looking at a HDTV compared to a big screen "regular" tv makes me think I would never want to spend $1800 on a regular big tv when I could spend $1000 more for a hdtv,

    I just bought a new set and it's analog, and I would consider myself an informed consumer (HT Nut). There's ALOT to say on this particular topic (and there should be as this is your most expensive single item in your HT) but I will give you my short version.

    * Your intended usage habits should drive this decision. Do you watch alot/mostly analog 4:3 material (cable/sat)? If so, analog set is a good recommendation. Or will you mainly watch DVD's on this new system? If so, 16:9 widescreen HD set will make you *very* happy.

    * Your budget. Not only are the HD sets approx $500-1000+ more, but you need to buy the tuner box separately. That's right, the HD tuners are not built into the starter HD sets. The tuner box will run you another $500-750.

    * Premium HD content (like HBO & SHO) will probably be scrambled in near future and current HD sets will not be able to de-scramble.

    * For local, OTA "free" HD reception, you need to be in appropriate geographic location. Old school roof top antenna hooked up to your HD tuner box needed here.

    * Satellite service is an option for HD.

    [5] Other thoughts?

    The HD loop they're running at BestBuy is very pretty. Run an analog signal (like 99% of the rest of population) thru those same HD sets and not all pictures will be as pretty (not all line doublers are created equal).

    Keep the Sony receiver & acoustic sub for your bedroom system.

    Good luck and enjoy the sound.

    Rich B.
     
  6. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i agree with everyone else on starting fresh. but, as Rich said, keep the receiver and sub for your bedroom system.
     
  7. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you shoudl go with Definitive technology's Procinema 100 system. If you wanted more for a sub, you could jsut go with the SVS. I do however think that a receiver would be something you might want to spend the most on(to avoid upgrade after upgrade, eventually costing you a lot, for not a real good sound). Go with Maybe a Denon AVR-2802 or Yamaha RX-V1200, or maybe Onkyo TX-DS696. I don't know much about the TV, but it would be junk if you had a HUGE TV, but a junk surround system, try to get a good balance, to break the bank on the TV.
     
  8. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    What more needs to be said? [​IMG]
    The nOrh/SVS or dual Adire Audio combo is an excellent one. The CS models offer a bit more flexibility as all you need to do is get something to power them with.
    1. Yes, but you will want a new one that has DTS, etc, or you can use it to power a SVS CS model.
    2. Replace. AudioSource subs are boomy. I used to have a SW10. It is no longer in my system. Gave it away to a friend.
    3. No. See above.
    4. I'll let others handle this question.
    5. Yes. Get 12 guage wire all around. Additionally buy a calibration dvd and analog sound meter. Making mattes for the tv is another excellent idea.
    Enjoy!
     
  9. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    Here is what I would do...

    Speakers-Klipsch sf-1(front),Sc-1(center)and a pair of Sb-1(rears)($1000 before any deals)

    Sub-SVs 25-31cs(Unsure of current price,mine was $399)

    Receiver,not sure of model# but look into an onkyo,595?(I have the older 575 with the same speakers mentioned except I have the sf-2 and its a wonderful team)($500 ish)

    Use your current sony reciever to power the SVs

    Tv,look into a used front projector.I am sure you can find somthing decent for that amount of cash.
     

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