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Newbie want's some "HT" upgrade advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Braddock, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    First off, I am a newbie, so please don't thrash me too much.[​IMG] Anyhow, this is the deal, I and my wife are college students and we live in an apartment. I want to upgrade our current setup to a little higher end, but she thinks it is "silly" to do away with our perfectly fine setup. What we have is:
    TV-27" Sanyo (sorry, can't find the model #)
    VCR-LXI 4 Head
    DVD-Apex AD-500B
    Reciever-Technics SA-EX110 (A/V)
    Tape Deck-Sony TC-WE305
    CD Changer-Phillips Magnavox CDC 735
    Speakers-(2)Cerwin Vega E 310 towers
    (1)Sony SA-WM40
    I know this is a modest setup, but it sounds good I think. I would like to upgrade, even if it is one piece at a time, so I would like some suggestions on what should be first. We don't have very much money as she is unable to work because of student teaching and I can only work p/t, so please keep the price range down. Personally, I was thinking maybe the DVD player be the first to be changed, but please tell me what you think. Thanks in advancd for your help.
     
  2. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is a suggestion and ideas.

    1. Don't upgrade the VCR

    2. Don't upgrade the CD changer - when you buy a better DVD player it will play CD's

    Personally - I'd go with the TV as it is used the most. I don't know HOW much you can spend but there are some REALLY nice models out there. If you are on a budget don't worry about HD but you might want something bigger so you can watch DVD's widescreen easier (how big is your viewing room).

    You can have Surround sound with out a digital reciever and that will cost you $400 min.

    If the (1)Sony SA-WM40 is a subwoofer nevermind - if not get a subwoofer (unless you live in an apartment and want to get evicted :)

    Tape deck - Why do you have one? I'd store with next to your type writer LOL

    SO - in a nutshell - I'd go with a bigger/better and build around that!
     
  3. ArmenK

    ArmenK Stunt Coordinator

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    how about a center channel and some surround speakers? You would have to match your main speakers with the center, but I dont know much about cerwin vegas so maybe someone else can suggest something?
     
  4. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Thanks guys.

    Rod,

    The tv will have to do for a while as we just got it not long ago and it is about as big as our entertainment center can hold. The viewing area is around 12.5'x 13'. I had thought about a new reciever, but I didn't really think it would be the wisest choice to shell out all that money when I don't have all the speakers to hook up yet. As far as the tape deck goes....well, that is mainly for my wife. She was a hardcore tape person and it took me a LONG time go get her to convert to CD, and yes even DVD (which wasn't quite as hard given the beautiful picture,sound, etc.) The Sony is a sub.

    ArmenK,

    The main reason I don't buy surrounds is my reciever has only stereo speaker connections. I do get somewhat surround because my speakers are placed at each end of the couch so when I watch a movie, I just balance them out with the tv which acts as a psuedo-center channel.

    Thanks for the input guys!
     
  5. Damon M

    Damon M Auditioning

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    Jeff, it sounds like you are in the exact same situation my wife and I are in. We are students at Truman State U. up in Kirksville, MO. She is a student teacher/masters student and I am a full time student with part time job. We live in an apartment with paperthin walls so I can't crank up the volume on my HT as much as I'd like. It stinks to be poor, in college, and addicted to HT. I've sunk a little more $ in than you, so I'm just looking to upgrade the TV and receiver I have. These are the two most important in my opinion and the rest can come later as you get a job and some cash flow. I'm looking at a Samsung 27" flat screen (TXL2791) at best buy for $450 to replace my zenith 25". It does 16X9 anamorphic squeeze and has component inputs, 2 things I think a good TV that has to last you a long time should have. I'm also looking at onkyo receivers and am waiting for the new onkyo 500,600 that come out next month or onkyo integra 5.3 that a dealer said will come out soon. These are supposedly good quality recievers at good prices that will also last me a long time. I would list priorities like this: 1. TV 2. Receiver 3. DVD Player 4. Front speakers 5. Center speaker 6 surround speakers 7. CD player 8. Cables 9. subwoofer. Hope these suggestions help.
     
  6. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Thanks Damon. It does sound like our situation. I'm a studend down here at SBU. Part of the reason the stuff is a little lower end is like the speakers and cd changer, I bought with money I got at highschool graduation. The reciever my wife (fiance then)got me, and the dvd player...well, it was just a cheap one that I got w/ some Christmas money a year or two ago. Thanks for the advice everybody.
     
  7. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Actually I'm torn in between recommending you to buy either an AVR (Outlawaudio 1050, most likely your Technics might have problems at decent volumes with the CVs if the CVs are 4 ohm nominal, this might be mout since you state you live in an apartment) or changing out your mains (I'm not a fan of CV harsh highs/absent mids/boomy bass imho, if you have to use your TV to listen to dialogue, you definitely need better speakers). I wouldn't advise you to buy a new DVD player unless the pic or performance of your current player is horrible. Another option is to buy a better amp (like an AudioSource Amp3 which can be ran without a pre-amp) which might can raise the performance of your mains.

    I don't know what your overall budget is but I would recommend the Outlaw just because I think it's the best bang for the buck in HT currently for most entry level systems but this will most likely cascade into wanting a full speaker array to enjoy it (and you stated you're on a budget). My second choice of an AVR recommendation is the Sherwood 7106 as this goes for about $200+ shipping online, has DD/DTS, plenty of digital inputs, and all channel pre-outs (thus if more power is required...).
     
  8. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

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    ANother thing you might want to think about is buying higher class cables. I don't know what your system can handle but I was amazed at the difference when I went with S-Videw and Component Cables. I was a litle leary but the guys here steared me in the right direction on that one.

    Jeff and Damon - that's the beauty of growing old. Everytime I see those guy on Springbreak and wish I was 20 I then think of all the toys I can buy now. LOL
     
  9. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Rod,
    I am using S-video for the dvd and it looks good, but the tv doesn't have any component connections [​IMG] Getting out and just working, that's what I am looking forward to...oh well, I guess school is worth it. The main dilima that I face is the waf for the whole thing. She thinks I am insane for wanting this stuff. Oh well.... [​IMG]
    Robert,
    The speakers are rated at 8 ohms, not 4, and because of the neighbors I can't crank 'er up to much. I haven't had very much experience w/ Vega's, but the speakers you described are not mine. They may be the exception to the rule, I don't know, but they sound good.
     

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