New theater help: Receiver, Sub and Center or HTB?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matthew Blacher, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Matthew Blacher

    Matthew Blacher Auditioning

    Dec 31, 2001
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    I'm looking to upgrade/build my home audio/theater set-up. I already have some built-ins for my front and rear speakers (brand: Jama) left to me by the previous owner of my home. I'd like to stay around $700--while keeping the built-in speakers (since I will likely only be in the home a few years)--but I could creep up a bit if I am duly advised and convinced. I'm thinking of the following:

    Denon AVR 1802 - Approx. $360 online

    Sony Sub (SAWM40) Approx $150 online

    Center Channel - Thinking of going with JBL S-Series. But most of posts on forum suggest to keep same brand as front and rear. I can't tell quality of built ins just yet--I'm presuming their average at best. And I pretty much can't get the brand easily.

    These seem to be pretty well liked on the forum. How would they all go together??

    Are these suitable purchases? Or should I just go with a solid Home Theatre in a Box (e.g Kenwood HTB 504--which has gotten some good reviews for box sets) and upgrade components later.

    Thanks for all your help. Happy new year to all!
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
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    First, welcome to the Forum!

    It’s really hard for anyone to tell how the JBL will work with the Jama speakers. While it’s true that matching speakers all the way around is the ideal set-up, that doesn’t mean you can’t get acceptable results with mis-matched speakers. People do it all the time. All that matters is achieving results you can live with.

    That said, you might remove one of the in-wall speakers and see if there is a company address mentioned somewhere on the back ( you can usually find mounting screws behind the grill, once you pry it off). Maybe you could get a line on a center speaker the company offers.

    If not, you might try bringing home several center speakers for testing purposes (make sure you have return privileges). Try a scene like from The Fugitive where the guard on the bus is being interviewed after the train crash. His voice slowly pans from the left to center channel. The idea is to find a center speaker that best blends with the in-walls – that is, minimal change in timbre of the voice as it pans from left to center.

    I realize given your situation you’re trying to do this “on the cheap,” but you might want to re-think your choice of sub. Remember, you can take it with you when you move, so it makes better sense to buy something you can be happy with long-term rather than get a throw-away sub.

    Likewise, you can use your receiver at your next location, too, so you might want to make sure you get something you can live with for several years rather than the cheapest thing you can find for now.

    That said, even the gear you’re contemplating would be better than a home theater in a box.

    Happy Holidays,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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