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Newbie needs help choosing a home theater system (1 Viewer)

May 24, 2002
I'm just out of college with not that big of a budget (roughly in the range of $500-800 if possible). I've got a 27 inch Sony Wega already (27FV16) w/ Component Inputs and dual S-Video inputs. I'll be using either my PS2 or Xbox as my DVD player. I mainly play Video games 60%, Movies 20%, & TV 20% of the time. Just looking for an inexpensive starter system to possible build on in the future once more money comes in. Thanks for any advice.


Stunt Coordinator
Jan 29, 2002
You might want to add the Onkyo HTS-650 to that list as well. I am building a component system. Right now I have a Yamaha RXV-530 and Definitive SM350's for the mains. I am running a phantom center, and HTD Level III's as surrounds with a cheap Aiwa 60W, 8" sub. I have $950 in the receiver, mains and surrounds. Still need a good sub, center and will eventually upgrade my surrounds.

After hearing the Onkyo last week I wish I had went that route. I am sure I will end up with a better system in the long run, but I don't know if it will be worth 3-4 times the cost. I am sure either the Kenwood or Onkyo would be fine.
May 24, 2002
Well, not too sure. I didn't know how well you could tweak the overall sound with the receiver, so I thought it might be something that I would need.

BTW, thanks for the replies guys. Keep them coming. I've been hearing good things about both of those set-ups. If you have any suggestions that have a component input, let me know. I'm gonna try and do some more research on these system, and see what I can find out before I make my decision.


Supporting Actor
Mar 13, 2001
Chris, I assume you're talking about $800 for receiver and 5.1 speaker setup? I think for that price you could do the following:

Pioneer VSX-D811S - ~$350 or less on-line I believe. ~$400 at Best Buy. It has two component inputs and one output and is a decent budget receiver.

JBL NSP1 package. - In the Speakers forum, people have mentioned getting these for around $250 on-line. They also seem to be well liked. I believe you get 2 pairs of N24s and the NCenter speaker in the package.

Sony sub - Sony has a 12 inch sub that is in the $200 range that many people seem to like.

That comes in around $800.

good luck,



Apr 8, 2002
I didn't know how well you could tweak the overall sound with the receiver, so I thought it might be something that I would need.
the idea is that the sound shouldn't need to be tweaked. the goal of a good audio system should be accurate sound reproduction, hence eq settings should remain flat.

i'd recommend you visit a decent stereo shop where you can hear one amp driving multiple sets of speakers, and vice versa. avoid places like best buy, or any store that doesn't have a soundproofed listening room where you can audition equipment that's properly set up.

as far as equipment goes, the suggestions so far are pretty good. onkyo makes great entry-level amps, and jbl speakers are definately decent.

you can use your xbox as a dvd player, but you will probably not be satisfied with its lack of progressive-scan capability. maybe that could be a later upgrade.

but most of all, when it comes to bose, just say no

May 24, 2002
Tom, I looked at the set up that you suggested, and it seems to be pretty decent. Could someone tell me how much of a difference it would be if I were to get that set up and add the Sony SA-WM20 (over the SA-WM40)? I know there is a size difference between the 2, but just wondered how much it would alter the sound from the system.

Gary, I definitely agree with your thought on going to a decent stereo shop locally, unfortunately the best places to o around here would be CC or Best Buy (which isn't that great of a place to audition systems at). As far as the EQ is concerned, I didn't think it would be necessary, but wasn't sure. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

These are all great thoughts. I really appreciate them.

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