Recommend $4k HT: TV, Spkrs, Rcvr, DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Iain, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. Iain

    Iain Agent

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    I'm looking to buy my first HT in the next few months and was hoping for some specific manufacturer / model recommendations. My budget is $4,000, which I was thinking to split as follows (with desired features):
    TV: $1,900 (rear-projection, HDTV-ready, 16:9, 40-45")
    Speakers: $1,400 (bookshelf mains and surrounds, center, powered subwoofer) (I already have stands for the mains, but I could be persuaded to upgrade to tower mains and dipole/bipole surrounds if within budget)
    Receiver: $400 (Dolby Digital, DTS, Pro Logic II, component video in)
    DVD player: $300 (progressive scan, DVD-Audio, no chroma bug, component video out)
    The room for all this is about 21' by 13', but the TV has to go on one of the shorter walls, with the seating area maybe 8-9' back. My priority is for watching movies, with listening to music also quite important, and TV of lesser importance.
    Thanks folks!
    Cheers, Iain
     
  2. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Looking at your budget I think you're going to be hard pressed to get what you are wanting with quality components however I'll try to help with a few suggestions:
    1. TV. Panasonic 47wx42 $1,599 or Hitachi 43UWX10 $1899, or Mitsubishi 46809 $1899. All of these are 16x9 and HD ready. The Panny seems good but there has been some issues with them. Check out the TV forum. I would lean towards the Mitsubishi based on my experience with them and their positive reviews.
    2. Speakers: Check out this thread http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=94322
    My personal favorite of the bunch is the PSB suggestion along with a HSU VTF-2 subwoofer. I doubt you'll find much better than that for the $$.
    3. Reciever: For $400 bucks you are relegated to low power receivers such as Pioneer and the low end Yamaha's. I personally would spend more $$ on this but you don't have to get elaborate. Try $650 for a Sony 4es. For 1 it will meet its specs unlike alot of other recievers and 2 it has a 5 year warranty which is unheard of for this kind of $$. $300 bucks isn't all that much.
    4. DVD player. The Panasonic RP82 seems decent at $229 but I'm not a big fan of their reliability. JVC's SA600 seems ok as well.
     
  3. Iain

    Iain Agent

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    Thanks Shane. I thought I was being a little optimistic, but maybe if I can get some good deals! After reading around some more (particularly at HTF), I've come up with the following. If anyone has any thoughts before I seek views on specific models in the individual component forums I'd be grateful.
    TV: Mitsubishi and Hitachi appeal, as does Toshiba perhaps?
    Speakers: I checked out the thread you suggested and got some good ideas. My short(!) list is Aperion, Axiom, B&W, Infinity, JBL, Klipsch, Paradigm, Pinnacle, PSB (with SVS or HSU for the sub). Not too sure how to narrow this down - any ideas?
    Receiver: I like the sound of Pioneer or Yamaha too, or maybe Denon, Harmon Kardon or Onkyo. I don't really want to go much higher than $400 as I'm content with (relatively) lower power - I'm not going to be playing anything super loud (or am I missing something here?).
    DVD: You've raised a question mark for me now on the Panasonic, but I also have Denon, Kenwood and Toshiba on my list.
    Cheers, Iain
     
  4. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Here's my setup recomendation for a great setup that leans a little towards better audio, but with VERY solid video. It is well within your $400 range, but shifts money from different sub-ranges (if that makes sense).
    TV: Hitachi 43FDX15B - $1500 (Circuit City)
    It's not 16:9. I think 16:9 is a waste until atleast 5 or so years from now when all signals will be HD and most will be widescreen. Until then, you waste alot of screen real-estate when watching standard definition TV. It is HD ready. I have the 43FDX10B, which has since been replaced by the 43FDX15B. The 43FDX15B is essentialy the same, but has "MagicFocus" which is automatic convergance. I wish mine had that.
    Receiver: Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX - $1000 (Hi Fi Buys, or most any other higher end store)
    This receiver has everything you could want and more. 100 watts x 7 channels (true raiting too, possibly a conservative estimate, like that of the 47TX and 49TX). It has every sound format other than HK/Lexicon's proprietary Logic 7 (DTS-ES, DD-EX, DPLII, NEO:6, THX Select). It has full bandwidth component video switching, dual motorola dsp's, discrete amps, mcacc, and about any other feature you would want. This receiver will easily keep up and or outpace any other receiver in the $1000 range (including the Denon 3802, the Sony 4ES, 5ES, and possibly even the Denon 4802 and Sony 7ES). It has the 3 year elite waranty, and is built like a tank. This is the cornerstone of your system, and you shouldn't skimp here.
    Speakers: Mains: JBL S-36 - $300 (www.harmanaudio.com)
    Center: JBL S-Center - $250 (www.jandr.com)
    Surrounds: JBL S-26 - $160 (www.jandr.com)
    Back Surrounds: JBL S-26 - $160 (www.jandr.com)
    Subwoofer: SVS 25-31PCi - $499 (www.svsubwoofers.com)
    The JBL Studio series is one of the best affordable lines of speakers on the market. JBL has alwasy been a large suplier and distributor of movie theater equipment, and their experience carries over to the home market. This speaker setup will offer amazing HT performance, and very solid 2-CH music performance.
    The SVS subs are some of the best on the market. Anyone in this forum will tell you that. You really get what you pay for when you go w/ an SVS.
    DVD Player: Panasonic RP56 or above - $150 and above (anywhere online or retail)
    In my opinion, you'll see the least performance jump from one Prgo Scan DVD player to another than any of these categories. This means get a good solid player, and as far up you go from there is your choice. I have the RP56 and love it. If you want to go up the panasonic ladder, go for it. I hear great things about the RP82 on here. You may also want to look into a Prog Scan 5 disc changer, so you can use it double duty as a CD changer.
    TOTAL: around $4200
    This total is using all of the above prices, except i added around $180 for cables. A calibration disc and SPL meter would be advisable too, but i didn't factor those into the price. Most of the prices i quoted are pretty close to what you'll find retail, other than the prices i quoted for the JBL S26s and S36s. Those are some pretty good deals that are going on at www.harmanaudio.com and www.jandr.com. jandr is also offering free shipping on most everything right now.
    If i had $4000 to spend on HT all at once, this is the route i would go. Maybe the next system i build will be all in one lump, which would help in matching everything up and getting what compliments other stuff, instead of trying to plan for the future as you slowly upgrade. Regardless, i beleive anyone in your shoes would be very happy with the quality of this system. Even though all components are not of the highest price, no component was comprimised in terms of quality . I beleive the only constraint of yours that i failed to meet was the 16:9 on the tv, and you could even probably get that 16:9 panasonic and still fall close to your price range ($100 more than the hitachi at circuit city).
    Hope this helps and good luck!
     
  6. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I was lucky to find a Toshiba 50HDX82 for $1999 this past weekend at American TV here in Wisconsin. I would think you would be able to find a pretty solid TV at your price range... shop around.
     
  7. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    IAin,
    I've sent you a PM.
     
  8. Iain

    Iain Agent

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    Thank you all for your much appreciated advice. If anyone is interested in following how this saga plays out, I've started the threads listed below in the harware component forums to try to shorten my short-lists before I start testing things out for myself.
    TV link
    Speaker link
    Receiver link
    DVD link
    Cheers, Iain
     

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