need help deciding on components

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lou Loomis, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Lou Loomis

    Lou Loomis Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I've been reading through the posts here for several weeks now, and been spending the last couple of months trying to decide on what to purchase.

    My current Kenwood receiver does not have Pro Logic, so that's the first thing I need. I don't want to spend boat loads on a system. I live in an apartment where I can't have the thing cranked, but want solid sound, and would prefer it not be 'outgrown' should I ever move to more theater friendly residence. I've been considering the Sony 675, largely because it has S-Video ins and outs, and my TV and DVD player are Sony (though I know that doesn't make too big a difference).

    I currently have Bose 201's. I know Bose don't enjoy a great reputation in the forum. However, despite not being a huge fan of their design having the high's "bounce" off the wall, I've always thought the sound on them to be quite good. I'd love to keep them in the system, but am getting the impression that with timbre matching (I'm not sure I understand how to find a "match") this might not be advisable/practical. Any thoughts?

    I also contemplated getting a theater-in-a-box setup for price and convenience. Unfortunately, few have any s-video ins and outs, many come with DVD players which I already have, etc. I underestand from the forums the Kenwood setup to be quite good, and I think I recall it having s-video ins and outs. I'm not crazy about the 'design' of the speakers, as they could stand to be a bit more "svelt" vs. other speaker options, but will keep it as an option.

    A friend has the Polk RM5400, which I thought sounded great. However, I don't know if that same quality sound applies to their RM6000's which are more in my budget at $430 total. Does anyone have an opinion on these? Alternatively, I listened to the JBL NSP1's at Best Buy, and they definately sounded better then the Yamaha and Sony setups they had there. I've seen these recomended here. What
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the forum. [​IMG]
    The one thing I dislike about most of the HTiBs (HT in a Box) is they tend not to be upgrade friendly, particularly the ones with the DVD and amplifier integrated into one unit. But for starters, they are a good compromise.
    The NSP-1 package is going to be hard to beat at that price, and will be better than most or all of the HTiB's ystems. However, your speakers should do fine for the time being.
    Sub - The Sony SA-WM40 is still one of the best deals going for a starter sub, even at $199. I have a problem recommending the JBL subs because a friend of mine had one smoke on him, but they seem to get good reviews for the price. The Yamaha subs do their job well also.
    The only place I would feel your money would be better spent is on the receiver. I would recommend something from Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha and Marantz in that price range before the Sony, without question. The lower end Sony amps are just not up to the task, IMO. The money will be well spent for a slightly better receiver as well, as in the $400 range, there are some very good ones from these other manufacturers. Most notably, right off the top of my head, would be the new Onkyo TX-SR600, Marantz SR-4200 or 5200, and the Denon 1602 or 1802.
    Just my opinion(s). Good luck.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Lou. Welcome! [​IMG]
    The Kenwood HTB-504 has a great reputation. Tone matched speakers, receiver that I think has SVideo switching, etc. Sears is clearancing them out for something like $450. Receiver, 5 speakers and a sub.
    Take that leftover money and start/build your DVD collection.
    Good Luck.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi lou! welcome to htf!

    just some of my random thoughts here:

    1. bose 201's. your 201's aren't bad. i've had them and the 301's. if you like them, keep them.

    2. timbre matching. you're right in stating that this could be a problem. if i had to push it one way or the other, i'd say the front three speakers are the most important when it comes to matching. how about buying 3 new front speakers and using the 201's for the rear?

    3. htb-504. it's a good setup, especially for the money. i've auditioned it myself and was pretty impressed

    4. sony receivers. personal opinion here, but i'm not a big fan of them. i'd definitely follow john's recommendations.

    5. building your system. with budget constraints, you can always build your system slowly. here's a possible scenario. pick up a receiver, use the 201's as mains. get a center, then finally get the mains and move the 201's to the back. it may take a little more time, but will definitely be worth it in the long run. plus it gives you something to do/think about.

    anyway, hope that helps some...let us know if you have any other questions!
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Hey, Ted you following me around? [​IMG] LOL
    I agree with Ted on the upgrade path. Do it a piece or a couple of pieces at a time and end up with better stuff in the long run. That's what I did too, and it works. Upgrading tends to be a relatively continuous process anyway, so...
    I like the idea of getting new mains, and using the 201s as surrounds.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    tag...you're it! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Ronnie Schildha

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    You cannot go wrong with the NSP1 system. They can be purchased at www.etronics.com with a JBL 10" powered sub for less than 500 bucks. I have been using them for about a year with an Onkyo 575x and for the price I don't think they can be beat. As far as the Bose speakers go, you could always hook the up to your speaker "B" terminals and use the strictly for music or in another listening area.
     
  8. Lou Loomis

    Lou Loomis Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for the very helpful replies.

    I'm still "processing" all the insight, but I like the ideas.

    My only allegiance to Sony was that it can power up/off the Sony TV and DVD and the remotes have some overlap. But if I can do better with the other suggestions, I will look at that route. A friend went through 3 Sony Receivers within a few days (all defective) before switching to a Yamaha, so it probably doesn't make much sense for me to gravitate to Sony anyway.

    perhaps the piece by piece approach would be a good idea to get this project under way. I'll look into the Marantz, Denon, Onkyo and Yamaha receivers. using the 201's as rear's would be great. the space on either side of the couch is a bit limited, though, so I'll have to measure how well they'd fit. if I used them up front and got a center speaker, what would I look for to 'tibre match' them? Can the NSB's be purchased piece by piece (i.e. buy the center first)? or are you giving up any package savings by that route, whereby it would be smarter to just use the 201's on the B switch?

    sorry for all the questions. I'm going to start looking at some of the suggested options.

    Regards.
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    lou -
    regarding the remotes: many receivers these days come with remotes that can be programmed to operate other devices. also, you can consider a universal remote - lots of options there.
    when you get your center channel, just remember to keep in mind what you'll (eventually) be using for your mains. that way, when you're all done...everything in front will be matched.
    not sure what you mean by the b-switch. the b-switch on most receivers is designed to route a stereo-signal to another set of speakers...usually located in another room.
    oh yeah...another good receiver to consider is the Outlaw Audio 1050
    [​IMG]
     
  10. John_E

    John_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Lou--
    Great name...I had to help a fellow Caddyshack nut. I wonder how many people know who Lou is???
    Back to your issue...I have a Kenwood VR-509 receiver mated with 4 Paradigm Atoms, a CC 170 center, and a PDR-10 sub. I spent a total of $900 for this setup. I purchased my Paradigms in Canada for about $610US. I have a Sony TV and 5 disc DVD, and I use the remote that comes with the 509 with no problems. In fact, I haven't even put batteries in the TV remote. Some people love the VR-509 remote, and some people find it difficult to operate and hate it. I think that if you spend a bit of time reading the manual, you won't have any problems with the remote. When purchasing speakers, it really comes down to what sounds good to you. I will recommend that you take a look at the VR-509 or whatever model is coming out to replace it. If you can buy it for around $300, it is a great value. (Check out www.mjshow.com) If you are spending more than that, there may be better options out there (Onkyo/Denon).
    Good Luck!!
    John
     
  11. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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    in defense of Sony Receivers, i bought mine a little over a year ago and I am more than pleased with it. My only complaint is that I didnt buy the higher model with more Optical inputs etc. Im already comprimising my connections (like sharing TV/PS2 with 1 connection (digital audio) etc.)

    Also, 2 of my friends have them on my recommendation and they are thrilled as well.

    although, Id most likely buy a different brand in the future only because ill probably be looking for a higher end model that Im not sure if Sony makes/fits the bill in.

    Good luck with your theater setup!!
     
  12. Lou Loomis

    Lou Loomis Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm starting to think these JBL's might be a good call. once a sub was added, the price is the same as the Polk 6000's I was considering, but they seem to have a bigger endorsement. I did listen to them at Best Buy on Sunday, and they sounded good. Much better than the small satellite Sony and Yamahas they had there.

    Still looking at some of these receiver recommendations. I've really just been looking at the number of S-video ins and outs. any other features amongst this group that differentiates one from the next?

    John - tough not to like Brian Doyle Murray's understated performance. hard to believe he co-wrote it too.
     

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