Receiver vs Speakers in HT Budget

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brendan K, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. Brendan K

    Brendan K Auditioning

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    I am interested in upgrading my home theater system. Right now I am looking at spending no more than $1200, although I could probably convince myself to spend up to $1500 if it was REALLY worth it. This would include new speakers (I would not use any of my current speakers) and a new receiver.

    My question is approximately what percentage of this should be spent on the speakers and what percentage should be spent on the receiver?

    It would seem to me that the follow receivers:
    Pioneer 811S
    Denon 1803
    H/K 325
    Marantz SR4200
    Onkyo TXSR600

    would all do basically what I want.

    However, they range in price from just over $300 to $500.

    Based on what I have read here on the forum, the H/K and Denon are (significantly?) better sounding than the others. So... Given that my total budget is constant, would I be better suited to spend more on the receiver (i.e. get the more expensive H/K or Denon) and less on the speakers?

    For reference, I am looking at the following brands of speakers:
    Axiom
    Dahlquist
    Paradigm
    (any other brand the forum can recommend me)

    One thing I have noticed is that the Dahlquist speakers are 6 ohm or 4 ohm. If I were to go with Dahlquist (which seems likely based on reviews I have read), would this affect my receiver choice?

    My primary use for this system will be music. I would like it to still be usable for movies, though.

    Thank you for any ideas you can give me.

    Brendan
     
  2. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're primary use is music i would reccomend either the HK or the Marantz. But, I would get something with a little more juice than the 4200, go with either the5200 or the 6200 both of which would be less expensive than the HK. Check out Totem if you love music, I believe its one of the best speakers out there...and for the most part resonably priced.
     
  3. mike_doyle

    mike_doyle Agent

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    I have the H/K 320 matched up with all paradigm's. It sounds fantastic for music and movies. But I agree if your primary purpose is music go marantz or H/K. I found the Marantz a little too warm for my liking... The Denon seemed to have the edge in HT but I listen to music 70% so I went with the H/K. Go out and listen to all 3 and see what sounds best to you.

    The 320 can be had for about 350 at most places now since the 325 is out. If you are only interested in 5 channel for now with the ability to upgrade later I would go this route and pump more into speakers.

    Just my opinion....

    For your question about the 4 - 6 ohm Dalquists... You will need a reciever that can handle a 4 ohm load.. the H/K can but I am not sure about the others... You will have to check.
     
  4. RobertSchaez

    RobertSchaez Stunt Coordinator

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    What is your current setup and why don't you like it?
     
  5. Brendan K

    Brendan K Auditioning

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    In response to RobertSchaez's question:

    Currently I have a Sony STR-DE915 and just three low-end Boston Acoustics speakers (I don't have access to the model number right now). I don't have a subwoofer or rear channel speakers at all.

    The reason that I am planning to replace everything is this:

    1. I would like to get full 5.1 or even 6.1 channel sound. I would think it would be better to get all new matched speakers than try to find speakers to match my current three.

    2. The receiver's amplifier seems to be dying. It has been repaired once already, and I don't think it is the same as it was before. It sounds to me that the "strength" of the music is not balanced between the left and right front channels. It is almost like one channel is muffled.

    Would it perhaps be better for me to just get new speakers and keep my old receiver for now? In other words, would just a new set of speakers greatly improve my sound quality? Now that I think about it, it definitely seems like it would.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  6. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M Second Unit

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    Hi Brendan,

    IMO you are heading the right way - pump more money into the speakers than anything else - they are what effects the sound the most (This, and the effect of the room).

    As for a receiver, I'd certainly head for something with well regarded amp stages - especially if you are considering 4 or 6 ohm speakers. The H/K would certainly handle it - I've heard reports that some of the others (Pioneer) have trouble with low impedance speakers. The H/K 320 would be a good buy at this point if 6.1 is not a high priority - It'll be just as good as the newer 325, just doesn't have the extra rear channel. This will also mean that you won't need to buy an extra speaker!

    As for what to buy, try and listen to as many speaker systems as you can to see what you like. If you can listen in your own home (Through loaners etc.) would be ideal, as ALL speakers sound different in different environments.

    Don't forget the sub too - at your price range, I'd allocate $300, so if you are prepared to go DIY you'll definitely get far more for your money. The sub does not have to be the same brand as the other speakers.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    FYI, the marantz is now at the 4300 level, new model fully featured 6.1 etc etc. You should be able to find some good deals on left-over x200 models though.
     
  8. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Leonard B

    Leonard B Stunt Coordinator

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    You could also try the Athena Technologies Audition Series of speakers. Go to http://www.athenaspeakers.com/ and check out the press review section. It has a review of the F1 tower speakers, AS-C1 center and surround speakers, AS-B1 surround speakers. I believe that this package retailed for $760 US. Add to that the new subwoofer, ($400)which is on a separate review, and you have an awesome system. I suspect that this system can be had for even less. Combine this with a $400 receiver and you will have an great setup.
    Hope this helps.
     

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