More HT in boxes

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sarah S, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Sarah S

    Sarah S Second Unit

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    Hello all!
    First off, thanks for creating this area, Parker. I always feel intimidated going into the Hardware section. [​IMG]
    My husband has recently decided to donate an old receiver & a couple of stereo speakers from his old stereo system to the setup in the living room (I don't know the brands or model numbers of everything involved). All that has done however, is to whet my appetite for true home theater. So I recently have been looking over HTiB systems. One thing that I determined is I don't want a HTiB that includes a dvd player; since most of those tend to use the player as the receiver also. Something else I've picked up is that the subwoofer apparently needs to be independantly powered. One that I was looking at for my combined living/dining area (concentrating the sound for those in the living area) had a 100-watt sub and I think maybe a 100 watt receiver. What kind of numbers should I be looking at to be sure the sub has all the power it needs without shorting the receiver/other speakers?
    Also, someone mentioned somewhere that to create a "sweet spot" in the room, the speakers do not have to be directed to that spot. Where should they be directed? I'm kind of confused about that issue.
    Thanks for all help in advance!
     
  2. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Take a look at the Kenwood HTB model HTB-504 it can be had for around $ 450 & comes with a 100 watt 8 inch subwoofer. The receiver in it is the Kenwood model VR-507 witch comes with dolby pro-logic 2, circle surround,a universal remote,

    and s-video jacks & 100 watts a channel. This HTB has been getting great reviews & I think it's the best HTB for the money. For what it's worth Consumer Reports rated it number one in their HTB test report.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A year or so ago, "Stereophile Guide to Home Theater" did a review of the HTB 503 (early version of the 504). It came off very well, even matched against a "budget" system where the speakers alone went for $1100.
    The HTB-504 sell for about $500 at Sears/Radio Shack/Circuit City. I just spend a few hours setting one of these up last weekend for a friend and I was rather impressed. It had lots of nice features.
    (Yes, it has an external, self-powered sub).
    The Power Issue: This could get deep, so I am going to gloss over a lot of details.
    Basically, look for a name-brand receiver (Yamaha, Dennon, Onkyo) that puts out about 80 wpc (watts per channel). Yes, more power is better but unlike a Music system (2 speakers trying to fill a room), a HT system has 5 speakers surrounding you. They are not trying to fill the room with sound, just surround YOU with sound.
    (I mention these brands because they usually have honest power ratings. Some off-the-boat brands will brag about "150 watts of power" and you have to read the fine print that this is in STEREO mode. With 5 speakers working, this is about 30 watts per channel).
    Sweet Spot: You generally have the center speaker pointing right at the primary listening position. The L/R speakers are pointing to one of:
    - one to two feet in front of the primary position
    - exactly at the primary position
    - one to two feet behind the primary position
    Because different brands of speakers have different sound-fields, we cannot tell you exactly what would sound best in your home. You just have to try all 3 and pick one. (and even if you pick wrong, it wont be a major problem [​IMG])
    You can buy a HTB, or get a good receiver & speaker set. I once saw a list of over 20 different HT speaker sets which are great because they take all the guesswork out of matching speakers.
    Let us know what you are considering before you buy and we will tell you about the reputation of the brands.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    based on everyones recommendations, i also went out to look at the kenwood 504. i was about as impressed as i could be in a show-floor atmosphere.

    it sounded really nice. the bass was pretty tight...not very "chuffy". the speakers sounded clean and the receiver was very nicely built. if i was going to get one, i would definitely put it at the top of my list.

    i've also done some brief listening to the yamaha and sony htb's. i don't they sounded as good...especially the sub.
     
  6. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I own a HTiB and I'm quite pleased with it. I own a Sony HT-DDW830. I would recommend that one to you because of the fact that it sounds decent and can output pretty good sound.
     
  7. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Note, this is a repost of my response to Nick_NMK
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=37623
    I started out with the HTB 503, a slightly older model of the 504 (I think the major difference is the 504 has DPLII, but don't quote me on that), and I'll let you know what I thought of it, and then someone else can chime in on the other system.
    The main speakers were pretty decent. In fact, I am still using them, although they are my surrounds (didn't have enough money to upgrade ALL 5 channels). The center channel and the surround channels are pretty bad, though. They are all a single small midrange driver to drive the entire spectrum. The center channel is the same speaker as the surrounds but packaged in a different box to make it look more center channel like.
    The Sub is decent for the size and price. Gets loud, if that is what you are after, but is also a little boomy, but very decent for price.
    The Receiver, at least the one in the 503, was also pretty good. It had a lot of video and audio inputs (6 s-video inputs, which I severly miss). Kenwood is known to "cook" their numbers, so don't take those 100 wpc to heart, which distortion and power loss, it is much less than that. But it sounds pretty good, again, for the price.
    Overall, it depends on your goals. I bought it because I knew I was only going to have it for a year, but I wanted some sort of surround system for my college dorm last year. For the size and price, I couldn't beat it, it fit great. (Got me in trouble a couple of times with the RA too, damn thing did sound pretty good). The receiver and the sub alone pretty much make up the asking price, and they are throwing in 5(?) additional speakers on top of that, so it is a pretty good value.
    Don't get burned by the same thing I did, however. The Kenwood is an 8 ohm receiver and is NOT capable of driving 4 ohm speakers, which limits your upgrade path in the future. When I built my current speakers (Adire Audio KIT281), I HAD To get a new receiver because the kenwood ran WAY to hot to use.
    If you want surround sound that is easy to set up, cheap and you want it RIGHT NOW , the kenwood 504 is a great buy. Many will tell you to save up (most will tell you to save up to twice what the 504 costs, but they usually don't have any sense of budget), and you WILL get better equipment if you go that route. But the 504 is a good value for surround sound right now. Plus, it isn't like 8 ohm speakers don't exist so you could always upgrade the front soundstage in a few months or a year (or whatever your monetary contraints allow you), then the rears, then new receiver, ooops time for a new tv, then I need a new dvd player, oh, wait, talking about myself again
     
  8. PennyB

    PennyB Auditioning

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    Sarah,

     

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