Questions on HT Equipment - First post!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tom Mescher, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Tom Mescher

    Tom Mescher Auditioning

    Dec 10, 2003
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    Hi everyone,

    I just moved into a new home and am looking to put in a *real* home theater system. I had a very pieced together set at my old house and it will be obvious in a second how clueless I was...

    Here's what I have now...

    Sony 5 Disc DVD changer with Dolby Digital and DTS outputs (coaxial and optical)
    Sony Receiver - Dolby Pro-Logic - no coaxial and optical inputs... only the 6 separate inputs for an already decoded signal (oops)
    Two floor speakers of an unknown brand I got at a garage sale for $25 (hey... the price was right)
    Two bookshelf speakers (Cerwin Vega) for rears but they obviously were just reproducing the front sound.

    I wanted to just replace the speakers, but from what I've read, I understand I can't possibly connect the DVD player to the receiver and get Dolby 5.1 since I would need a decoder inbetween (ie. the decoder isn't built into the receiver). Is this accurate? If so, I'll need a new receiver.

    That's not all bad news of course, because I can put the old receiver and two floor speakers in the basement for music purposes. I'll probably sell the Cerwin Vega speakers as I have no need for them.

    So... I'm basically down to a DVD player and need a new receiver, 5 speakers and a subwoofer.

    Here's the constraints I'm working under:

    The room I have is fairly small - living room/dining room combo measuring around 13x22 - which has no real corners (one corner opens to kitchen, one to front door, one to staircase, one to hallway). Because the room is small, I'd prefer smallish speakers that can be wall mounted. I don't want floor speakers as they take up too much space in the room. I do have good spot for a sub though, so that's no problem.

    I don't have a huge budget (prefer $750-$1000) but I also want a system I'll be happy with in the long term and can fudge the budget if it means not needing to upgrade later. Couple other points - I don't need the system to be super loud - just good clean solid sound that timbre matches and gives me good surround.

    One other mildly bizarre point - I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and some subs have an open hole in front so I'm a little concerned about the kids stuffing things in the sub... anything I can do to prevent that?

    What are my best options / your recommendations given the above?

    I still need to go and listen for myself but I'd like to have a short list to work from as I can't go shopping forever.

    Here are my initial thoughts...

    Receiver - either Sony 500W for $200ish - or Harmon Kardon AVR 255 for $375ish

    Center and Surround Speakers - leaning towards Klipsch Quintets for $350ish but need to hear them to seal the deal. Any others comparable here?

    Sub - Can't go wrong with the Dayton 10 inch from partsexpress for $125, right? Any other recommended subs for a small space?

    I'd appreciate any opinions on the above - if I'm on the right track or if I'm overlooking something. Also, will a Sony/Klipsch/Dayton combo sound ok together? HK/Klipsch/Dayton?

    Thanks for all the input everyone - you guys are awesome! (and if this thread needs to go elsewhere, I understand!)
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Hi there, Tom, and welcome aboard.

    I've moved your post here because you're asking for specific model recommendations and not about home theater in general, which is what the Basics area is all about.

    Good luck.
  3. John S

    John S Producer

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Does you DVD player also have 5 to 6 analog outs???

    If so, you may actually be bale to use the reciever you have.

    But with that said. high quality 6.1 recievers with compnent video switching can be had for less than $200 these days.

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