Newbie here! Need some tips!

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JoshDubz, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. JoshDubz

    JoshDubz Auditioning

    Jan 21, 2006
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    I know what I'm about to say may frustrate many of you more experienced people, and I realize that I'm sure I could read through the forums and get the answers to all the same questions, but I'm new and I'm looking to get some ideas on where to go from here.

    My dad just gave me his hand-me-down receiver (Harmon/Kardon AVR-230) and some pretty decent looking speaker cable and now I'm looking to start piecing together a good home stereo set-up. He said he will be getting me some good Vandersteen speakers for my front two, but I still need a rear set, and a subwoofer. I don't have much to spend (probably less than $300 all together including wires) and I'm unsure where to look.

    Also, I noticed my AVR-230 has video jacks in addition to audio. It even has a coaxial cable end and I'm wondering why someone would want to run their video through a stereo receiver? Maybe I'm just confused but I have never worked with a receiver in the past that had video also. Any tips you guys can give would be great!
  2. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Oct 22, 2005
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    First and best tip is to go read the Primer/FAQ here. It will answer a ton of questions you are going to have.

    Short answer to the second part is that the video jacks are there so you can optionally do video switching. Say for example, you've got 3 video sources with S-video outputs but the TV has only one S-video input. Solution is to run all three to the receiver and a single S-vid connection from AVR to TV.

    More people will see your request for advice about the speakers if you post it in the speakers section of the forum. Lots of options on how to proceed but personally, I'd say you're priority is to get a sub or a center channel. It can be done but I wouldn't try to stretch $300 across that many speakers. Do it gradually and you'll end up with better results in the end.
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Don't buy a sub yet. For $300 you won't get a very sophisticated sub anyway and you may want to start with the 5.1 experience, so buy rears first. That way you can buy some more quality immediately now.

    Having real surround sound is the very first and biggest step forward.

    Later you can add a proper sub and the improvement will blow you away. [​IMG]

    But so-so rears plus a so-so sub is a bad start of your HT experience, IMO.

    Good luck!

  4. John S

    John S Producer

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Not sophisticated, But I'd bank dual 12" Parts Express Subs would have a ton of impact on the performance of his current system. [​IMG]
  5. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

    Oct 24, 2005
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    Vandersteins are a fairly obscure speaker mfg but one that was well regarded.

    Are you looking to set up a home theater or just good music listening?

    To get best sound qaulity for home theater applications, you will want to get the matching speakers for the center and rear surround speakers.

    I doubt they make them. This is a real issue that many of us have had to confront. Other speakers from other mfgs will work but may compromise the sound quality but I understand your financial situation.

    If you do decide to build a home theater, try to find speakers that have the same sensitivity ratings, same speaker count and sizes inside the cabinet, and similar quality.

    I had some nice speakers for audio but ran into the same problem. I just retired the two speakers to the upstairs bedroom and bought all new speakers for the home theater because they do not make a center or rear surrounds that match any more.

    Hope this helps.

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