Newbie Looking for Ideas for Starting point for MAX $10,000 setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric Haraga, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Eric Haraga

    Eric Haraga Auditioning

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    I know this is the forum for receivers and amps, so I will post a similar post in regards to the speakers in the speakers forum...Please no talk of speakers in this post.. Thank you all very much in advance for helping a newbie out

    Now, I have read through various posts over the past two nights, and have learned a great deal just by reading all these other posts. But I thought I would ask you all a more personalized question.

    My theater room is 26' long 13' wide and 8' high...Floors are carpeted, the walls currently are not....The room is enclosed with french doors as the entry. I am looking for a full set up that will cost me NO MORE than $10,000. With this I am looking for the receiver (amp if the receiver is not preamped), 5.1 speaker system (I can always move upward to a 7.1 down the road correct? And all the wiring for those speakers...I will worry about the TV later, as I most likely will get a plasma (as this room is lighted most of the time with sunlight)....

    I will be doing a little bit of everything with this system...Both movies and music...I have heard that a system can be good at movies but bad at music, but most good music setups are also good for movies....This system will be used about 65% movies and 35% music.

    First, one thing I learned from reading posts on this board, and then checked it out today at a few HT shops locally, is that Separates are the way to go....To me the sound was much crisper and was pretty much constant at all levels, whereas the Denon receiver seemed like it had its good points and bad points throughout the volume range....After doing a search on Separates, (I think there was one post were it basically was that, people preference between the two types), and separates were chosen over a do all receiver by almost a 9-1 margin (with over 100 people replying)....So I think the Denon 5803 B&K 507 are out...Id rather spend a little bit more and get the separates...and I will always have that amp down the road.....That being said I listen to the B&K REF 50 and the B&K ampREF 200.7 today for the first time, and it sounded very good.....I know I have to start looking into this more, so Ill start reading into this entirely new category for me...GREAT

    Any thoughts on any other separate combinations? As I said the B&K combo is the only one I have listened to thus far....Is it preferable to stay B&K receiver and B&K amp, or is it just as good to choose a different mfg for the amp?

    Now I am not looking for people to say this is what you should get...Because I know I will have to listen to them first...But I would like a short list so I can start researching in person..Right now there are WAY too many manufacturer for me to narrow down...If I can narrow my search down to 5 or so speakers and 5 or so receivers and 5 or so subs, then I think that is a great starting point for me....

    Thanks again in advance,

    Eric
     
  2. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    $10,000 TO BEGIN WITH Sheesh, you certainly picked the right forum for answers. Okay guys, let the spending begin[​IMG]
     
  3. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I would go into your nearest high end dealer, tell them you have $12500 for a complete setup, and watch them give you the demo of your life. Then, see if you can make some sort of deal that could give you the same setup for $10000. JMHO.
     
  4. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    When you are spending 10g's all at once you will be able to "get there" so to speak. Most of us will usually upgrade to that amount over time.
    My piont? You should be able to do it right the first time. You have the funds IMHO.
    Seperates? Yes!
    Which? Only you should decide at this price point.
    Don't tell any sales person how much you are spending (they usually have a bias and will steer you). Just listen to everything you can regardless of price. If you hear "nirvana" then get it. If you can't afford it, you know what it sounds like and get as close to it as your budget allows. Figure out what YOU like then research it (reviews, places like this, etc...) then decide.

    Just my humble $.01 worth.
     
  5. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Do a little pre-planning... consider setting aside about 10% of your budget for new cables... after that, consider a rough spending ratio of 2:1 for speakers ($5-6k) vs electronics ($3-4k).

    At this price point:
    --- go with separates (tho there are substantial receivers out there).
    --- get a 200w power amp... makes speaker choices easier.

    You didn't mention DVD, so I've not included it in this discussion... for electronics (separates) look at:
    --- Rotel, B&K, Anthem

    Receivers by these manufacturers are worth a look, especially if you encounter great speakers that go beyond your stated budget... note that some of these receivers can be used as pre-pro's and mate with outboard amps in various configurations that can result in money savings:
    --- Rotel, B&K, Sunfire (200Wx7), Marantz, Denon

    Speakers... too many variables (not the least of which is your personal listening preference) to make recommendations... there are recurring 'favorites' mentioned on the forums: Paradigm, M&K, nht, B&W (retail) and Axiom, Rocket, SVS (online), among many others... if you're just starting out, pick a couple makes of electronics and see what kinds of speakers local retailers mate with them.

    Within reason, try to negotiate returnable at-home auditioning... you're spending enough to justify the request.

    Finally, for $10k... please... have fun!
     
  6. jason willder

    jason willder Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got an AVM20,MCA50,a Yamaha 2300, and a full array of Paradigm speakers for 11,500.
     
  7. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    I dont think his $10 includes his budjet for speakers or his plasma....lucky #@#?!
    Well yeah, seperates on that budget are the only way to go. Are you gonna nead to pass the WAF? looking for something stylish or just want whats best for the $?


    just in 5 minutes I spent that money on some nice stuff online [theoretically [​IMG]]

    check this out

    NADS200 $1,650.00
    its a 2 channel with 225 wats per channel
    get three of those

    NAD S170 $2,950.00
    preamp processor comes with 7.1 so when you can afford it, you just need another amp and mor speakers


    so thats $7900 before taxes
    so maybe $1500 going to cables and wiring???
     
  8. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Whatever happened to "Newbies" on a shoestring budget? [​IMG]
     
  9. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know how inclined you are to woodworking or how into this you want to get, but you could always consider do-it-yourself for speakers and subwoofer and get something truly world class. Whether or not you have that much time or interest is of course the catch.
     
  10. doug holly

    doug holly Auditioning

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    10g's for a starter setup, eh? Man what fun!
    Since that's outta my league, my only suggestion...if you're spending your tax refund, adjust your withholding immediately! [​IMG]
     
  11. James Dailey

    James Dailey Auditioning

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    Okay, here's what you do. Go out buy a CD player at WalMart, take the remaining $9900 and mail to me. [​IMG]

    Seriously. You can accomplish a HELL of a lot with $10,000 for just Audio equipment. Are you retro fiting, or is this a new room, allowing you to do some pre-wiring. I'd probably go with seperate pre-amp and amp (I wouldn't bother with 7.1), a progressive scan DVD changer with a good on screen menu system, 2 subs, some bass kickers in my seats, etc.

    Can't imagine your budget for a display.
     
  12. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    how about the B&K Ref50 (pre/pro, ~$2700), Outlaw Model 755 (200x5 amp, $1299), and a Pioneer 47ai DVD player (~$1250)? spend the remaining ~$5k on some speakers that you audition in person. look at JMlabs, Magnepan, B&W, Vandersteen, Paradigm Reference, and even Martin Logan in this price range.

    but yeah, go to your dealer and tell him you need some help spending your money, then talk him down a little :b
     
  13. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    if it was my 10k, i would purchase the following

    rotel rsp1066 & rmb1095 = $3100
    yamaha 2300 dvd player = $800
    total, $3.9k

    rest for speakers and cables...

    if you are a minimalist, i would look at the sunfire ultimate receiver

    i would also recommend looking at the new 860 & 880 by adcom and their amps, the outlaw 950 and their amps, and look to see what ATI, parasound, and sherbourn amps you could get...you could try out the sherbourn and the atlantic tech pre/pros but they are basically rebadged outlaw 95-'s that cost more (but have a dealer network)...

    if you want a receiver, i would look at the sunfire (as mentioned) and one of the B&K, or if you want to go cheaper, the rotel 1055, and then think about getting a nice 2 channel amp (maybe the $1k list price rotel), this would save you about $1000 over the rotel separates.

    if you want to save on the dvd player, get the denon 1600.

    i would not recommend spending more than a couple of $100 on cables...

    V
     
  14. Michael Ipp

    Michael Ipp Stunt Coordinator

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    By used and buy smart. That way you will have equipment worth $20k that you paid $10k for rather then have paid $10k for equipment worth $5k
     
  15. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    By used and buy smart. That way you will have equipment worth $20k that you paid $10k for rather then have paid $10k for equipment worth $5k

    That's a stretch.

    However, that's not bad advice for power amps, which arguably are the components least likely to influence the overall sound.

    Unless you are prone to regular upgrading, your pre-pro should be one that has the latest in processing technology. Anymore, pre-pro's are just as much computers as they are audio equipment; each year's new models usually feature more processing power, greater resolution. If any one piece of your system should be bought new, this is it, regardless of make.
     
  16. Eric Haraga

    Eric Haraga Auditioning

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    Thanks all for all your advise....That will help me make a good starting point on where to begin...

    As one of you mentioned buying used, and another mentioned it might be ok to buy used amps....Is that accurate? I mean I have no problem buying a used component if its life is still dependable.....If Im going 5.1 right now, with the possibility to upgrade to 7.1 down the road, should I just get a 5 channel amp right now?
     
  17. Daniel Alan

    Daniel Alan Agent

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    yes, I think that used is OK.

    Check out www.audiogon.com

    there are a lot of high end pieces there, and most of the guys that are selling are very good to their stuff. But only buy it if you know you like it, not just because its a good deal.
     
  18. Michael Ipp

    Michael Ipp Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg, I don't know why you would consider that a stretch.

    Some used equipment sells below 50% if you buy smart.

    Last time I totaled what I spent on my equipment compared to what the retail price was, I was below 50%.

     
  19. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Michael

    There is certainly a case to be made for buying used, but you really have to do your homework. Yes, a 50% money savings can be realized, but 50% doesn't happen all that often. That requires a large effort and base of knowledge, and the original poster Eric did identify himself as a 'newbie'. Add the risk of no warranties and trustworthiness of strangers (esp if buying online; bad transactions have been known to happen), and there is potential for a very unpleasant experience for a first-time buyer on this scale. There is no disputing the quality of the Lexicon MC-1, but would Eric immediately know that this older model might lack connectivity he needs? What would the workaround be? And the cost? And how about the wear and tear on a model some years old? At least with a new Anthem, you can run right back to the retailer and demand action if something's wrong. For that matter, you could certainly investigate what the retailers might have in the used bin, albeit at less savings. Peace of mind is worth something, too.

    I'm all for saving money, but there is more to value than just the price tag. By the way, i've bought used myself, once, and it worked out fine. If you're a seasoned hobbyist who upgrades regularly (I don't), buying used is almost a necessity, unless you're loaded. But a first-timer might be well-advised to pay a little extra for an educational intro to this fun AV hobby. It's an old debate, but one worth revisiting once in a while.

    Meanwhile, I did oversimplify in my comment about amps; didn't mean to imply any ol' amp would do. There are certainly discernible audible differences, and PAs should be auditioned as carefully as any other component. But I would still stick with the opinion (and it's been argued elsewhere), that the speakers and pre-pro will make a greater difference in the sound. Unless you're prone to upgrading, the PA can arguably be the one-time purchase that outlasts all others in the system.
     
  20. Michael Ipp

    Michael Ipp Stunt Coordinator

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    Good points Greg.

    There is a good argument for both sides. Just comes down to whatever your are more comfortable with.

    I guess I am one of those upgraders. I am able to change my system with very little out of pocket at will. And I enjoy that. I have yet to run into any problems with used equipment, and if I did, I would just accept it as a risk that I assumed.

    But you are right, if you are a newbie you might need some hand-holding.

    Your points on amps vs. pre's are good as well, just in your first post it did not come out the way you just explained. Thank you for clarifying.
     

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