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Limited Budget. Current and Future advice needed.(Long) (1 Viewer)


May 18, 2001
As a preface, I am a newbie. You have been warned. :)
I am looking to upgrade to a system this summer, where I would be pleased with the preformance for years to come. I am sure everybody in here strives for that but the upgrade bug seems to hit every 6 - 12 months or even less for some.
I intend to be contempt with a set-up where I wouldn't have to upgrade in the future.
The only way I can achieve this is by your guy's advice.
This post will be long, because I want to be as detailed as I can be. If I leave something out, please respond with questions and I will have the follow-up within a short period of time.
Here is my current home theater set-up,
TV - RCA F38310 * Bought last month *
DVD - Sony D530 * Around 2 years old *
Kenwood HTB 503 * Bought last December *
Sony SAWM 40 Subwoofer * Bought this January *
The reciever with the HTB 503 is Kenwood's VR407.
I am running AR component video from DVD to T.V, and RCA Standard Optical from DVD to Reciever.
All monster cable speaker wire (no spades or banna connectors) from speakers to reciever.
Monster Cable HT 700 Surge Protector
I plan to upgrade the speakers.
After posting a previous topic about which speakers to get, I came up with,
4 Paradigm Atoms V.2
1 Paradigm CC - 170
The total from my local dealer would be $460.00 plus tax.
This was a set_in_stone deal until today, where I really liked the Mini Monitor and Monitor 3 line. But for the price I'm getting, I think I will settle for the Atoms and CC. Any comments?
My main viewing is 10% music CD, 50% DVD, 40 % Basic Cable (Until I get the DirectTV installed, which I am waiting to see what happens with their current situation to subscribe)
I rarely listen to music cds, so I believe a small bookshelf speaker suits me most.
My viewing area is rather large, but will change as I will be moving alot (Currently enrolled in college and in early 20's)
Now onto the reciever, this is where I have most of my questions. I posted this question before and recieved numerous suggestions. Most said to keep the Kenwood Reciever as its pretty decent, and with budget speakers, the reciever would have no trouble in powering them.
I like the reciever but would also like to get a budget reciever that has more features as this reciever is rather bland.
A prior suggestion was to get a 2- channel amp, and the Outlaw 950 to have a 7.1 set-up. I would love to have it, but my current budget cannot allow it. Maybe though, explained later.
Upgrading my speakers is my priority right now, the next will be the reciever (IF it is needed for a change)
With DPLII out, and with models coming out last this year, would it be wise to hold off until say around December to buy a new reciever.
If that was the case, I could make a budget of about $500-$1000.00 by December to upgrade the reciever.
Or would be adding the Outlaw 950 which comes out later this year, be a wise choice while keeping the Kenwood.
I have no to little knowledge about pre/pro and intregated amplifiers.
Okay, now to the title header , Current and *future* advice needed.
If I am willing to spend about $1000.00 on a reciever in the future and about $500.00 on speakers in the current, are my priorites out of whack?
I really want to upgrade my speakers *now* as once I really started to listening to "real" home theater set-ups earily this year, my current speakers are just plain terrible.
I am looking to keep this "new" set-up for at least 2-3 years.
Any suggestions or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Norm Strong

Stunt Coordinator
May 7, 1999
"In intend to be contempt with a set-up where I wouldn't have to upgrade in the future."
That's a Freudian slip if I ever saw one. :)
Norm Strong ([email protected])

Ryan Schnacke

Supporting Actor
Feb 5, 2001
If I am willing to spend about $1000.00 on a reciever in the future and about $500.00 on speakers in the current, are my priorites out of whack?
Maybe. It sounds like you really enjoy having the latest bells and whistles (or maybe I'm just misinterpreting). Is there a particular feature you're after or is it just the joy of playing with a new toy? If you spend $1000 on a great receiver then what will happen a year later, once the new models are out? Will you feel the urge to replace that receiver with a newer one, at a significant monetary loss? And will the cycle repeat itself again with the next model year? If that's the case, you'd be better off saving up that money and spending it on some really nice speakers.
Because speakers models don't get a new processor or DSP mode or surround format every year, you could be happy with a nice set for a decade or two. Same goes for separate amps. So money is well spent in these areas.

Chad Isaacs

Supporting Actor
Feb 20, 2000
You said you would settle for the atom package because of the deal.Never settle,you will just want to upgrade.Even if it means saving a bit longer.
You might as well save even longer and get the ref. series,then you should never feel the need to upgrade.
As far as recievers,check out Onkyo.I currently have the 575 and will certainly stay in the family in the future.
Take your time,listen to as many speakers as you possibly can.If you want to be happy with them for years to come,you need to pick the pair that is best for you.


Dec 18, 2000
Not neccessarily. The total budget you have to work with is basically $1,500, for all intents and purposes.
For speakers, I like the nOrh 4.0 package for $850. Yes, that is almost $400 more than you want to spend now. However, they will stay in your system much longer too. IMO, the vast majority of your initial budget should go towards speakers as they will stay in your system the longest. Another option would be to get the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 package w/HSU VTF-2 sub. However, that goes for $1,100. At the same time, you have upgraded your speakers and sub.
Take your time and decide what is most important for you to upgrade right now. If you only have the $500 to work with and want something right off the bat, spend that on your front speakers. Build up slowly. Until them, something that will help you right off and you can get right away are a sound meter and calibration cd or dvd.


Stunt Coordinator
Jul 30, 2000
I think the best long term plan is to spend the most on speakers, as they do not become "obsolete" like receivers or DVD players or TV's will. Speakers also tend to have the most variation in quality. Why spend all that $$ on a receiver or processor when it will be obsolete in a couple of years. Get the good speakers and only "upgrade" the receeiver/electronics when you have to. And believe me, eventually you WILL have to. Planned obscelesence is the only way that Sony, Denon, Marantz, etc. . . make any money. Going for a seperatate processor and amps is a good idea, because the processor may become obsolete and need to be replaced, but the amps will not, they will be around as long as your speakers (a long time).
BTW, I second Bryan's rec of the nOrh 4.0 speakers. I think they are great.
"Remember Sammy Jenkins"

Norm Strong

Stunt Coordinator
May 7, 1999
"I intend to be contempt with a set-up where I wouldn't have to upgrade in the future."
I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel the same way.
I expect you will have contempt every 6 months or so, no matter how you feel about it now. I'm the only person to my knowledge that's been entirely happy with his system for 5 years.
Norm Strong ([email protected])

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