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Need a Home Theater, Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Fitzsimmons, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Hi, I have decided to buy a home theater to make my dvd viewing more enjoyable. I don't have a whole bunch of money to spend, I'm willing to spend around $400 for the whole system. I already have a DVD player and TV. I'm looking to buy a surround sound reciever with five speakers and sub.
    I've been looking at some of the "Home Theater in a Box" systems. Is this the way to go? I think that if I tried to piece together a system I'd end up spending too much money. Basicly I'm just looking for something to start me off. I'd like something that could be upgraded in the future.
    Thanks for all of you help.
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  2. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

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    For $400.00 You're not going to get anything worth the trouble.
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    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo An Eternity"
    -Russel Crowe, Gladiator
     
  3. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Maybe not for you guys, but for me it will be worth the trouble. Right now I have been using my bro's system. It's merely a shelf system that has integrated surround sound, it's about as shitty of a system as they come. It was only like $300. Sure beats the speakers built into my tv. Now he is going to college so I am going to be without any audio on for my dvd rig. Just looking for something to replace this, something good for me. Being 16 and working for $5.45 an hour doesn't leave me with the cash on hand to buy something to rival some of the rigs you guys have. So cut me a break and realize that not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on home theater equipment. [​IMG]
    Sorry for the rant, but saying that $400 can't buy you anything worthwhile is just totally false.
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  4. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Mark,
    first, welcome to the Home Theater Forum!
    Now to help answer your question: it depends.
    For sure, $400 will not get you the be-all-end-all of HT nirvana.
    OTOH, some of the Home Theaters in a Box are none too shabby either. And that is about the route you will have to go, if you want it new. They should include a bare-bones receiver.
    If you don't mind used, you can probably pick up a receiver fairly inexpensively. Add to that a speaker package, you might be looking at $500, too.
    You can drop the price if you don't mind only ProLogic (no DD/DTS) for now.
    Or, you can go the alternate route, if you have patience: buy a receiver and two speakers. Ok, so it is a stereo. Still will sound better that way. Then go earn some more towards the system, add a center channel. Keep doing this, adding rears and then a sub.
    It will almost certainly be a much better system than the HTiaB.
    Mike
     
  5. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    $400 can definately do you a lot better than TV speakers that's for sure. I started with a Pioneer HTB100 for $400 CDN at Costco when I was 19. Got a set of Klipsch Promedia speakers for my computer and realized they were better than the Pioneer home theater in a box. So at 22 I splurged and went to an Onkyo 575, four Klipsch KSB1.1 monitors, SC1 center and a Paradigm PDR10. I recently completed an Adire Audio Tempest sonosub ( http://ht.s5.com/Sonosub.html ) to replace the PDR10 which has taken my system to another level. I'm now in the process of saving for a set of Paradigm Reference Active speakers and an Outlaw preamp (which will hopefully be readily available and bug free by the time I have enough to waste) in order to take it to the next and last level, until I can build a dedicated room with an IB sub (although I may build a couple Adire Maelstroms before then).
    Anyways, for now from what I've heard your best bet would be to save another $100 and go buy a Kenwood 504 home theater in a box. Supposed to be excellent for the cost. Then save and save until you can make the spurge into really nice gear. Try not to get anxious and get to the good gear through incremental steps. Will just take you longer to get to what you really want and you'll just end up feeling like upgrading a week later. Especially after you spend some more time reading this forum and all the sites it leads you to.
     
  6. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    I don't really like the idea of starting with a reciever and front speakers and building from there because I don't want to wait to have my full system.
    I like the idea of buying the Kenwood HTIAB and the building on it, like replace what is lacking, I hear the sub should be the first thing to go. I just think that starting with a HTIAB would be a good base to start with. Good idea, no?
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  7. Dwayne

    Dwayne Supporting Actor

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    Mark,
    I just setup the HTB-504 in my apartment this weekend.
    The receiver does DD 5.1, DTS, and Prologic II. It also has a six channel audio input for future formats (DVD Audio, etc....). The only thing it really doesn't do is component switching. It does for S-video, though. After getting a coax cable and some 12 gauge wiring from Home Depot, it really sounds great for my needs. Have I heard better? Most definately. But with a receiver that you can build around (and the sub is not bad either), it truly offers alot bang for the buck.
    Sears carries this model. Look for the lowest price on the net. Make sure you factor in the shipping and print that page. Take it to Sears where they should price match it.
    The system normally retails for $500.00. I got it for around 435.00 + tax. Still under a $500.00 for everything that will get you going. Make sure you factor in some money for the speaker wire. The Home Depot works great and it's better than what comes in the box. I got 100 ft for $30.00.
    All in all, I am happy for now. The difference between prologic and 5.1 is astounding. I would definately like to upgrade the speakers next, but for now, they work fine.
    Good luck.
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    -Dwayne
    "And vidi films I would."
     
  8. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    For the money it's hard to beat the Kenwood HTB's. Compaired to the Sony, Pioneer, JVC, etc. systems I think the Kenwoods get you the most bang for the buck. I'd definitly give them a second look if I was looking for a HTB. Make sure the receiver you get has S-video switching... the lower end kenwood HTB systems don't have Svideo switching... you want at a miniumun the system that offers Svideo switching. (HTB503, HTB504... etc).
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    -Jin
    My Theater
     
  9. Michael Yung

    Michael Yung Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Kid! Save that $400 for college and wait until you have enough money before getting into HT. In the mean time, watch less TV and study more. I know this is not what you want to hear but it is the best advise I can give you with your circumstance. Take care.
     
  10. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    I'm going to college for free. No need for me to save my money.
    What does S video switching do for me?
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  11. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  12. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    I would get the Kenwood HTB, like you said, to get started. The weakest link is gonna be the speakers and sub, so when you decide it is time to upgrade, the sub is gonna have to go. Then the main L/R speakers after that. Then the center and surrounds. The DVD player and receiver are the last things I would upgrade. But for now I think the Kenwood HTB would be perfectly fine in your situation.
     
  13. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    I have a quality DVD player. Its a Panasonic with DD, DTS, and other fun stuff. The Kenwood HTIAB doesn't come with a DVD player like some of the others do.
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  14. Glenn Baumann

    Glenn Baumann Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,
    I know you are on a budget but for $750.00 you can have the REAL DEAL. I happen to have for sale a (5) speaker timbre matched set of Atlantic Technology speakers along with a very nice M&K 12" powered subwoofer. Look here for some info: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/002141.html
    I would be willing to sell you the complete 5.1 speaker system AND a nice Denon AVR-3200 Dolby Digital receiver all for the price of just $750.00! Home theater in a box can be OK but this setup sounds absolutely terrific and for the performance/quality/condition cant be beat IMHO! This stuff has been used little and is like buying new... the equipment is perfect! I dont know where you live but if not too crazy a distance I would be willing to deliver and help you setup and calibrate the setup with my SPL meter and also show you some of the finer points of home theater! Can anyone top that? Ask around. E-mail me if you have questions. I guarantee you would not be disappointed!
    Good Luck and regards,
    Glenn
    [Edited last by Glenn Baumann on August 20, 2001 at 01:18 PM]
    [Edited last by Glenn Baumann on August 20, 2001 at 01:22 PM]
     
  15. JohnRyan

    JohnRyan Stunt Coordinator

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    I purchased the Kenwood HTB-504 for $399 + tax a few months ago. I really enjoy it. It sounds great! I also did some extensive research through HTF and various review sites and found that I could save myself $500 by buying this HTB for now. I also listened to other HTB's and none of them, including Sony, sounded as good as the Kenwood.
    I recommend buying the HTB-504. You can always upgrade the speakers in the future, but the system is still pretty awesome the way it is now.
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    "I've got to get me one of them DVD rewinders!"
     
  16. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Thats ok, I think I can flex up to $450...
    What will s video switching do for me? And does the 504 have it?
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  17. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Mark,
    Let me 10th the recommendation for the HTB from Kenwood.
    That's where I started a couple of years ago. Since then, they've upgraded to a powered (active) sub, S-Vid switching (good explanation above), DTS, and a couple of extra digital inputs.
    The reason I think the Kenwoods are the best of choices is because of the receiver. They are good quality and sound very good when you get the coin for some better speakers. I upgraded to a pair of B&Ws in the front and was blown away at the improvement...almost like an entirely new receiver.
    It's a building process...ask for a new set of mains for Christmas, move the HTB mains to the rear....ask for a new center for your birthday....etc. you get the point. It won't take long to build up a system you are extremely proud of. And the funny thing is; It'll sound good to you with every upgrade [​IMG]
    Good Luck and kick some a#@! in college...you can buy more if you have a decent job [​IMG]
    Jeremy
     
  18. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

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    2 suggestions that are non Kenwood
    1. Cambridge Soundworks FPS 3500
    -Dolby Digital amp with 5 speakers and a sub.
    -wiring included
    -stands for rear speakers included or if you prefer
    stickies to mount them on the rear walls.
    -comes even with a REMOTE
    -costs $299
    2. Yamaha TSS 1 (I think)
    -Dolby Digital/ DTS amp with 5 speakers and a sub
    -wiring included
    -NO REMOTE
    -costs $249
    Depending on your room size, this may be enough to last you for a while. Some comments on the above. If want to get the "little brother" of system 1 above, the FPS2500 costs about $200 nowadays. It's got everything but the remote and also has a smaller center channel.
    The Yamaha does not sound as good but has DTS.
    So you upped your budget to $450? Well this means you still have $150 to play with. You can upgrade the sub if you want. The 10" Sony sub people seem to be talking about that costs about $150 comes to mind.
    Another plus is if you want to use either system for your computer gaming, you can since they both take inputs from your 4 channel soundcard.
    Hope that helps.
     

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