New HT Equipment

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by WillyK, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    I am new to home theater and am trying to make some reasonable decisions with my soon to be equipment purchases.

    Currently looking at the

    Pioneer Elite pro-720

    Mitsubishi ws65909 (have only seen ws65908)

    Sony kdp65xbr2

    really like the pioneer and mits, was not to impressed with the Sony but that could be setup. Saw them side by side. The major disadvantage with the Pioneer of course is the price and the fact that I would have to purchase an OTA and digital tuner. Most of my initial viewing will be OTA (portland is a test market) or DVD, until there becomes available hdtv for satelite (cable is not available in my area).

    My wife will let me go with the Pioneer but I haven't been able to justify it to myself.

    The two recievers that I am looking at are the

    Sherwood Newcastle r863

    Denon avr3802

    Would like 7.1 but THX certification is not that important as long as it will separate a full 7 channels, 8 with sub.

    Have yet to decide on spkrs but would like to hear the paradigms.(surround spkrs will have to go in cielin because of lack of wall space and low ceiling height 7"3".

    Also need some advice on DVD players.

    Room is approx. 23' by 24' with a kithchen in one corner and

    a pool table in the other corner with the actual theater area measuring about 14' 24'.

    Thks for your input.

    Willy
     
  2. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    Don't base your TV purchase decision on the showroom comparison. Generally, those TV's are not properly calibrated (even the user level controlls). I would go by recomendations from forums and the specs that you want. I have the Toshiba 50h81 and am very happy.
     
  3. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    Like Stefan said, it is really hard to purchase a TV based on how they are setup in showrooms. Generally, one would never watch their TV using the factory settings. So how do you tell which is best? Well, doing a search here is a good start to see what others are saying about that particualr model. You can check out some magazine articles on them as well. In the long run, I don't think you can go too wrong these days when buying a TV from a reliable manufacturer. Each model/manufacturer may do some things a little better, but overall you should be pretty darn happy with your purchase. Just make sure it has the features you really want and that you are getting a good deal.
    As for the receiver, much of the above also applies. My personal preference is for the Denon 3802, but you would also be happy with the Sherwood. I own a Denon 3801 and think it was one of the best purchases I have made in my system. Again, it depends upon what features are important to you and what you are willing to spend.
    Keep us informed on how your shopping and setup of you new theater goes!
    And good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    While some dealers may throw a TV on the floor and turn it on, there are others that do calibrate their floor models. I know the good local dealers where I live do calibrate all of their floor models.

    That said, I too had narrowed my decision down to Pioneer Elite and Mitsubishi Diamond models (620 vs 55908). While I though that the Pioneer had a better picture, I don't believe it was $2000 better. I went with the Mits and have been very happy with it.

    I can't say anything about the Sherwood receiver, never seen one and no one in Alaska sells them. The Denon 3802 is an excellent choice. It will give you 7.1 capability and while it doesn't have the THX stamp on it, it will give you the performance.

    Paradigm is an excellent speaker choice. You might also want to look into B&W 600 S2 speakers. Since B&W is introducing a new 600 line you may be able to get a good deal on last years model.
     
  5. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    Thks to those who have replied already,

    What you are saying has pretty much confirmed what I have found out throughout my research. Which although has only been going on for about 3 weeks has been quite extensive. I am glad that you are happy with the Mits,that is probably the one I will purchase. I will continue to look forward to any advice and continue my research. The time is growing near for the purchase. As the remodel is getting closer to being done.

    Willy
     
  6. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    I think you will like the Mits, I have the 46807 model and absolutly love it. Easily tweakable also.
    As far as receivers go you may want to look at the Marantz line. Excellent sound and features for the price.
    Paradigm makes fantastic speakers, but I was unclear are you getting in the wall units or bookshelf speakers. I am not a big fan of in the wall speakers. I just dont think they sound as good. Thats only my opinion I have no way to back that up other than that I have heard quite a few and have never heard any I liked. Polk Audio is another brand I would suggest excelent speakers at a good price. They just came out with a new line that is very highly regarded they are called the LSi series. There was a thread over in the speaker section about them.
    Anyway good luck and be sure to let us know how everything goes.[​IMG]
     
  7. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    Well I am getting closer to having the HT purchases done.

    I did get the

    Denon AVR3802 Receiver

    Sony DVP-NS700P DVD

    Paradigm Mini Monitors for front l/r

    Paradigm PDR12 for Sub

    Paradigm cc370 for center

    Paradigm cs160, 4 of these (had to go with something like this because of no wall space and low ceilings)

    Paradigm did say that to get the best results with the cs160 that I needed to box them with 2436 cubic inches of space each.

    Now the big questin is again what TV, I was originally looking at the

    Pioneer 720HD

    Mitsubishi 65909 (Still haven't seen a price or the TV)Sony KDP65XBR2 (The one my wife likes 2nd best with the Pioneer being first, but said the price difference was to much to justify the pioneer).

    Now after doing a lot of looking I am more confused then ever. I want the best set I can get for the least money.

    I also need to figure in the price of an HDTV tuner if it doesn't have one, because this will be used for OTA viewing and DVD.

    I am also starting to look at the Toshiba just because of the price and everyone that I talk to locally keeps recommending them. So the question about them is, is the 65hx81 their best model. And does it have an ieee1394 input? i have seen some information both ways.

    Any help or advice to clear up the confusion would very helpful.

    I need to decide in the next week or so because this equipment is going to reside in a cabinet spanning 14' and the dimensions are all different, and I am to the point where it is time to build it.

    Thks

    Willy
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, Willy, you may be new to home theater, but your proposed first system is pretty ambitious. You've obviously been doing your homework.

    As for your display, I might recommend that you also consider Toshiba's 57HX81. And based on what you are attempting to achieve, factor an HD tuner into your budget.
     
  9. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    Thks Jack for the input on the Toshiba 57" I am definently going to take another look at them but it will probably be the 65"

    And yes I have been doing a lot of web surfing and visiting the local stores as much as time will allow with a remodel project going.
     
  10. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Willy,

    I haven't seen any of the Toshiba big screens but I heartily recommend the Mits. I recently got a 55908 and absolutely love it, although I do wish I'd gone with the 65". I paid $4300 for mine and the I believe the 65" (65908) is going for $5000. The 65909 has a built in HD tuner and therefore will run a bit more. Since Mitsubishi is guaranteeing forward HD format compatibility I recommend getting the 908 over the 909 as I think it will be easier to upgrade on outboard tuner over an inboard. Plus, if your market doesn't have HDTV yet, you can save the money now as I'm sure the HD tuners will continue to drop in price, especially when more markets broadcast in HDTV.

    Alex
     
  11. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    Alex,

    I have considered the Mitsubishi, but with Portland being a test market for HD I think that a HDTV tuner is a important feature. Athough I think that there is probably some validity to what you say about upgrading the tuner later. But the Mitsubishi ranked third out of the original three, by my wife. And believe it or not the HT was her idea not mine. I had some other areas that I probably would have spent the $ in. But now that I am into it I am just trying to make the best decisions I can without breaking the budget. That is one of the reasons I have now included the Toshiba. By going that route I can save about $1000-1500 even after an external tuner over the Mits or Sony.

    Willy
     
  12. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Willy,

    I doubt you'd notice any difference in the picture of the 908 vs the 909, providing they're set up equally. The WAF (wife approval factor) is just as important as the system itself. If she likes the Toshiba, you better go with it. Saving a grand or two is always a good thing too. You can use it to start your DVD collection. =)

    Good luck,

    Alex
     
  13. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Willy, congratulations on making decisive, and good, purchases.

    Altho I do not have this gear, two STBs are getting a lot of buzz for OTA (no satellite) tuning. (First, it's better NOT to get an HDTV with built-in tuner except perhaps for Mitsubishi's guaranteed upgrade, because of industry standard shaking out.)

    That said, research Samsung SIR-T150. Website is samsungusa.com The other I hear about is Zenith DTV-1080.

    I'll stick my nose in this one: You mention a custom cabinetry. Certainly fine for the tv monitor and meets the WAF (wife acceptance factor). BUT, if you had considered neatly parking the Mini-Monitors inside a cabinet shelf, I would urge you to think about this.

    One achieves a better soundstage (left-right realism) using the Dolby Labs schematic with mains about 7 to 10ft apart ONE FOOT in front of the tv screen; i.e. maybe 12-18inches from the rear wall. You wud need stands too. We wont address center spkr placement.

    The other is Mini-Monitors are not bookshelf spkrs; you see the rear port. Enclosing them in a cabinet results in boomy sound, instead of "breathing" and "singing" into the room.

    hope I am not out of line here...

    bill
     
  14. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    Bill,

    Thks for the info on the tuners, I will keep that in mind.

    As for the Mini Monitors I will also take that into consideration. As for the not purchasing a set with a built in tuner, I guess that will always be a point of contention. By that I mean that the electronics industry has been in a constant state of flux for the as long as I have been in the electronics field. And I think with technology constantly changing and improving you will never be able to have the most state of art system. Because it is outdated before you get it.

    I think that one of the important factors is that the TV have an ieee1394 port, which both the Mits and Sony have. And over lunch I went and looked at a Toshiba, Sony, and Mits, and I think that right now unless things change a lot I will probably go with the Sony.
     
  15. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    willy,
    I just came across a $100 HDTV tuner rebate coupon by Samsung; and you dont have to buy from them at $599. Look for promotions if you need one; the Sony has a built-in tuner, I know.
     
  16. WillyK

    WillyK Auditioning

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    Bill,

    Thks again for all of the good info. I remember now why they say I can put the mini monitors in a cabinet. It was because the back port is used mostly for bass, and with a decent sub you don't need it. Have consulted with several places in the Portland area (The Room Store) Home Theatre design, and (Fred's Sound of Music) Audio specialists. Niether seem to think that this will be a problem with sound. I actually heard a some spkrs set up like this in The Room Store and they sounded very warm. They leave some room around the sides and pad that with a soft foam and leave the back open, take off the grill and use a cover/grill on the cabinet. If that doesn't work I can always take them out of the cabinet and put them on stands.
     
  17. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    The MiniMonitors at 15lbs each are a remarkably full-sounding speaker, even when set to Small, and can stand up to front main useage with your Denon 3802. I cant really naysay putting them in cabinets since it's your room size and orientation -- as you say, you'll have to hear them in place.

    Mine are used as rear surrounds -- and since I have them in cherrywood veneer, I don't want to hid them!

    This is an upgraditis-laden obsession, and who knows, you might get much more into music and start looking at those Paradigm Reference Studio 40 speakers out in the room with the Minis migrating to the rear. (But probably not likely if you're going to install in-wall rears.)
     

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