Need advice on a home stereo

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Wineles, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Wineles

    Wineles Auditioning

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    So begins my first post:

    Im a newbie to home audio but have been in the car audio scene for awhile and know a lot about audio in general as well. Im looking to piece together a home system that will primarily be used for music but will be used for some movie watching as well. Im not that interested in surround sound right now. I just need a good receiever, a pair of speakers and a good sub, in that order. Im on a tight budget but I want to purchase decent equipment. I have been doing my research on here and right now Im looking into a Harman Kardon receiever, a pair of AV123 x-ls bookshelf speakers, and (if i can afford it) an SVS cylinder sub. I like the HK 3380 stereo receiver because it has composite video inputs, unlike the stereo receivers offered by Onkyo, which could be useful for a DVD player, cable box, game console and DLO Home Deluxe ipod dock I would like to use in my system. However, I have also looked into the the AV 140 as well for the option to have surround sound down the road. But I am open to suggestions. Should I just start with the 2-channel for now? My budget for the receiever is low, maybe $200 used/refurbished if its a good one. As for the speakers the x-ls seem to get good reviews but again Im open to suggestions. Im looking for some nice bookshelf speakers. $300 is my budget for the speakers. As for the sub I know everyone loves the SVS subs and I'd like to get one but is there anything else cheaper than $400 that comes close to the performance of SVS subs? Thanks for any help
     
  2. Wineles

    Wineles Auditioning

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    Anyone?
     
  3. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Can you tell us about your room and your listening habits? Like....do you crank your volume until concert level is reached? Will you be interested in multi-channel music (i.e. SACD, DVD-A/V, or DualDisc)?

    If you are only interested in 2 channel stereo and you don't need a tuner, consider an integrated amp. Functionally, it's basically a stereo receiver without the tuner. However, they are generally build with better parts and aimed more at someone who's concerned with sound quality. For $200.00, you should consider the Pioneer Elite A-35R integrated amp. If you can stretch a little bit, saturdayaudio.com has the NAD BEE302 integrated amp for $300.00. Botht are in the neighborhood of 40-50 watts per channel and will sound much better in stereo than the typical home theater receiver in that price range.

    If you want a HT receiver, and can tolerate a silver-color piece of equipment, go to accessories4less.com and check out the Marantz SR6400 for $270.00. The main attraction about this piece, being the sound quality, is the pre-out jacks on this receiver. They will allow you to expand your system at a later time with external amplification. Three year factory warranty as well.

    Do you need to have video switching as well?

    For speakers, you can go to your local Circuit City and check out the Infinity Primus 150 bookshelf speakers. They are being cleared out for less than $100.00/pair after rebate. I think these will be competitive with the AV123.com's x-ls bookshelf speakers. Also check out Athena Technologies' offering if you have a nearby dealer.

    Can't help you on sub. Sorry.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    If you need video switching, you might as well go ahead and get a home theater receiver. You can get them as cheap as a HT receiver. The one Danny recommend is a nice option. You can always run in it two-channel mode. All you’d need to do later for surround sound is add three more speakers.

    You can stretch your dollars farther by finding a nice used receiver – your $200 should get you a 2-year-old receiver that listed in the $5-600 range. Since composite video is your only requirement, you could look for older gear for even less.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Wineles

    Wineles Auditioning

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    Thanks alot for the help guys. After reviewing your recomendations this is what i think. I dont want to spend a lot of money on an older home theater receiver just so years down the road i can add a couple more speakers. i would rather start small now and buy a more up to date technology when i really want that type of receiver. So im looking for a good up to date stereo receiver for now. After thinking about it, Im not totally against getting an integrated amp. I dont need a tuner so an amp should work, because i am really picky when it comes to my music and i want it to sound as good as possible. However, having the ability to add a sub to my amp/receiver is very important. On the Nad model (which i assume you meant the C320BEE model) there is no sub output. Only a +/- terminal for each side. Same goes for the Marantz (which again, I guess you meant the SR4600). No sub ouput, at least i couldnt see one in the pic. Pioneer has a horrible website and zero pictures of the back of the unit so Im unsure of what to expect there. The infinity speakers look good and I hope to check them out soon, thanks for the info. So to answer your question, I dont neccessarily NEED video switching, but it would be nice. I mainly just want to hear amazing music. Im just not sure which direction to go. Thanks for any help!
     
  6. Wineles

    Wineles Auditioning

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    So I went to circuit city to buy the Infinity Primus 150. I listen to them and agree that they are good sounding speakers, especially compared to the Bose, Pioneer, etc. they had. However, the sales guy fired up the Polk Audio Monitor 30 bookshelf speakers and they were hands down the best. Granted they were almost double the price of the Infinity's but I couldnt bring myself to buy them after I heard the Polk's. So out the door I go with a pair of Polk speakers. Now I just need a receiver/amp to power them. Does anyone else have anymore advice on which amp or receiver to go with. Video switching is a bonus if it is a receiver but I dont need surround sound. If it is an amp I must have a subwoofer output because my system will definitely have a sub. I dont want to put too much money in the receiver so Im open to older/used/refurbished models. Im gonna stay with my $200 budget on that. Thanks for any help.
     

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