Recommendations for $2000 complete system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neil Weinstock, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm helping my cousin put together a small home theater setup for her NYC apartment, with the following specs:

    1) budget: around $2K

    2) 32" TV

    3) DVD player (changer highly desirable)

    4) 5.1 speaker setup, small and unobtrusive if possible

    I've got the budget roughly allocated as follows:

    TV: $600 (good non-flat screen direct view; haven't picked a model yet)

    DVD: $250 (Panasonic CV51 or similar)

    Receiver: $400 (I'm liking the Denon 1802)

    Speakers: $750 (Energy Take5.2 leads the way right now)

    I feel as if the components are reasonable matched quality-wise (though I did ponder exactly how much to allocate for the receiver), and would make a nice little starter system.

    I'd appreciate any comments and/or suggestions, particularly on the speakers.

    Thanks!
     
  2. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,523
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i managed with my first ht with around 1600 bucks.
    change your pc resolution if you want to visit my page to 1024*768
    http://www.vhylynx.net/vhylynx_pages...r_hardware.htm
    i saw that you are interested with avr1802 and take5.2. i was considering the same setup!
    if you plan to buy avr1802 from etronics.com, looks like they realized that they are not an authorized dealer. my avr1802 went down after only 3 months of use, and they let me return it to them. in fact i am going to return it to them tomorrow. i hope everything goes well for me.
    i heard take5.2, take5, and paradigm cinemas, and went with the cinemas. simply because i can chose 10 inch sub ( pdr10 ) while take5.2 is bundled with 8 inch sub ( maybe only in the local store near where i live ).
    i havent really paid attention to the take5.2, it sounded good, but i read in this forum that they may not be suitable for music.
     
  3. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Toshiba 32A41 is a great 32" TV. I have it and it's pefect for my beginner's setup. Picture is very nice and you should be able to get it well under $600 at some places. Best Buy carries it if you don't want it shipped. Everything else sounds good.
     
  4. parin_patel

    parin_patel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I second the recommendation for the Toshiba 32A41. I've had it (32A40 - 2000 model) for the last year, and been very happy with it. Its pretty basic, but you do get the component and s-video inputs, and as Allen said, for less than 600 bucks, its a great buy.
     
  5. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  6. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2000
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If watching DVDs is a priority, I would put more into the TV to get vertical squeeze (widescreen mode):

    Sony WEGA 36” KV-36FS13 -- $1150

    Kenwood HTB-504 -- $450

    Samsung DVD-M101 -- $130

    That totals only $1730, leaving extra money for cabling or maybe an upgraded HTB.
     
  7. Scott Yuri

    Scott Yuri Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd go with the JVC 32D302 (I've got this model and it is very nice). The 502 isn't much more tube for the $$.

    The rest:

    Receiver - Yamaha RX-V620 approx $400 or Integra 5.2 ($500)

    DVD - Toshiba 4700 or 5700 approx $250

    Speakers - JBL NSP-1's approx $300

    Sub - Sony SA-WM40 approx $150

    With the TV that would put you at about $1600
     
  8. parin_patel

    parin_patel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  9. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Lots of good suggestions.
    You can put together a nice little apartment speaker system made up from Axiom Audio's factory outlet. For $428, you can get M1's for mains, a VP50 center channel and Mzero's for surrounds. You can spend a little more or less there and do just as well with different combinations. (If you choose the dedicated QS2/4/8 surrounds, understand that they have to be wall-mounted or stand mounted because they have top and bottom mounted drivers.) www.axiomaudio.com
    Add a properly calibrated 12" sony sub for around $150 or so, and you've got yourself a very nice system.
    Another way to go might be HomeTheaterDirect.com's Level 3 mains and Level 3 center channel combined with Level 2 mains for the surrounds. Also add the Sony 12" sub to this system. If you have the space for these bookshelf speakers, they have bigger drivers than other speakers in this class and are very highly rated for the money. The $139 center channel is supposed to be incredible for the price.
    Another receiver to look at might be the Onkyo TS-DX595, reportedly available for around $359 if you call and haggle with JandR.com
    Out of all this stuff I mentioned, I currently have the Sony 12" Sub and the Onkyo receiver, both in my bedroom system. I have a set of 5 factory outlet Axiom speakers on order, also for the bedroom system.
     
  10. MarkMaestas

    MarkMaestas Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I might go with other speakers that some feel are comprable or even better than the Energy 5.2. The Energy 5.2 are well liked, but you may want to consider the JBL-NSP1 system(about $300 dlvd) and the Sony SAWM40 sub (about $150 dlvd). These will more than rock a small theater, especially with the Denon receiver that you are buying, but they are about $300 less than the $750 you are planning on spending on the Energy 5.2 system. I would take the extra $300 and spend it on upgrading the TV. This also leaves you some cash for cables, etc. I recommend this especially because of the apartment environment. The JBL/Sony setup will sound great and will be more than your neighbors can handle...so why spend more on speakers when you can have a better TV?

    Good Luck

    Mark
     
  11. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    $250 for an interlaced dvd player? That seems like a lot to me... drop that dvd player budget down to $150~$200 and put the extra into the speakers. You can never spend too much on speakers.... IMHO. The difference in video quality of a $150 interlaced player versus a $250 interlaced player, is most likely almost nil. What you pay for in that range is extra bells and whistles. If that's what you want, fine. But IMO, speakers are more important.

    I would recommend the Panasonic DVD-RV31K. One Call has it for $161, which means you should be able to find it for a bit more and a bit less depending on where you shop. (One Call rarely has the BEST prices, but they rarely have the highest prices, either... they're a good barometer for "street price.") Panasonic uses their own Matsushita MPEG2 decoder, which lacks any croma decoding errors... unlike almost every other budget player on the market.

    The JBL NSP-1 system is nice, for the money. But, the 5.2's are also nice for the money. And IMO, the 5.2 system is price-proportionately nicer than the JBL's. IOW, the extra cost of the 5.2's is not wasted. However, I don't think that the new 8" sub that Energy is pairing with the 5.2's is any better than the old 8" sub they had paired with the take5's. In fact, I feel that the old 8" sub (the ex:L-S8 I think is the model number) is slightly better than the new 8" model, and it can be had for less (while supplies last, etc.)

    I also approve of the recommendation for a Toshiba direct-view NTSC TV. IMO, Toshibas are the best bang-for-the-buck in the budget direct-view market. Sony's built in anamorphic squeeze tool is nice, but the overall picture quality, is not nearly as nice, IMO... flat screen or not, AND the Sony Wegas are WAY overpriced for what you get. I've installed, set up, and calibrated (VE/AVIA level) a few WEGAs and a few Toshibas (all 36") and it is near impossible to get rid of edge ringing on the WEGA sets. For example, while watching a golf game, no matter how low I turn the settings, there was always a black edge around the ball and club shafts, etc. It was much easier to obtain a smooth, detailed image with the Toshiba sets.

    My $.02...
     
  12. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for all the input.

    DVD player:

    $250 is indeed a little conservative for the DVD, but does need to be a 5-disk changer. The Panny CV51 is basically the 5 disk version of the RV31, so I think we're on the same wavelength. Realistically it's probably closer to $200.

    Speakers:

    The JBLs are a consideration, but I do also think the Take5.2's are nicer, and certainly not overpriced for what you get. For myself, I *think* I'd rather put the extra money into the speakers, rather than throw another $400 at the TV to get a flat screen (given that the latest non-flat screens are still very good overall.) The HTD level 3's are *way* too big for what's needed here. I'm unfamiliar with the Axiom Audio stuff; will look into it.

    Sub:

    I'll check into the older Energy sub. There are really a lot of 8" subs that would do the trick; I figured that if the Energy sub were decent, I'd just go matched to keep things simple.

    TV:

    I don't think I can go far wrong between the Tosh 32A61 and JVC 32D302. The trade-off is the volume control vs. an extra RF input. The JVC might also have a slightly more convenient form factor for the unit it'll be going into.

    Receiver:

    The Onkyo 595 was my other choice, and a very close call against the 1802. I have Denon myself, so I tend to lean that way. I was actually considering dropping down a class to the 1602 and/or 494, but can't convince myself that it's worth saving $100 that way.
     
  13. Mike___Walker

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's my recommendation:
    I just bought the same receiver & DVD from JandR.com last week, so I know the prices are right. The plus side to J&R is they are authorized dealers for most every product they sell, so there's no warranty problems. Plus, they're right next door to you in NY (No taxes, shipping only). Here's goes...
    TOSHIBA 32A61 32" Color TV with FST SuperTube $560 (I'm sure you could probably talk them down to about $520)
    ONKYO TX-DS696 A/V Receiver $600 (My price last week)
    PANASONIC DVD-RV31K DVD Player $161 (My price last week)
    Speakers- ??? I bought the Energy Encore package for $980 total, so I'm sure you could find a good deal on the Take5 series.
    This system will probably be over the $2,000 barely, but after adding for the cables & wire, you'd be over anyway. Besides, who ever heard of someone spending exactly what they planned? [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike___Walker

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "DVD player:

    $250 is indeed a little conservative for the DVD, but does need to be a 4-disk changer. The Panny CV51 is basically the 5 disk version of the RV31, so I think we're on the same wavelength. Realistically it's probably closer to $200."

    You could always buy the cheaper one disk DVD, then add a 50-disk CD changer to the system later on? That's my plan. I'm using a 1995 Teac 5-disk CD changer for now, but I'm going to upgrade it soon. Since I listen to music more than I'll be watching DVDs, I don't want to overuse the DVD player. I'm usually lucky enough to have my electronics last for years...
     
  15. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,213
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Full system for $2K. Tough but lets see what we can do.
    Panasonic RV-51 - $230
    Panasonic CT-32D11 32" - $500
    Onkyo TX-DS595 - $360
    nOrh wood 4.0 (LCR) - $475
    HTD Level One (surrounds) - $40
    Adire Audio Rava - $400
    That total puts you just over $2K but you may want to see if JandR will toss in the shipping.
    You could also go with the HTD Level Three Combo X and be under budget.
     
  16. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I like Marc Rochkind's theory....You'd find it best to look at a nice TV with some sort of 16:9 enhanced mode like the Wegas.
    I'd recommend:
    TV: Sony KV-32FS13, $800 price matched at Sears
    Audio: One of My $850 Home Theater Solutions ONE TWO
    DVD-P: You'd still have plenty for that $250 Panny disc changer
    Total < $2,000
     
  17. Norm Strong

    Norm Strong Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 7, 1999
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It isn't necessary to spend it all, is it?

    $600 for a 32" TV set, as you indicated

    $400 for a Kenwood HTB-504

    $200 or less for a Panasonic RV-31 DVD player

    $100 for a Sony N71 VCR
     
  18. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Neil, my recommendation is not to skimp on the speakers given the budget. Out of everything you're buying the speakers probably will be the one thing that won't be required to be upgraded unless you don't like them. What I mean by this is that the tv, receiver and dvd player will probably all be replaced/augmented due to technology changes that will "force" an upgrade (HDTV, new digital decoding alogorithms for movies, etc.). With that said, I put together a system for < $2K with the following
    27 inch Toshiba tv - $350
    CSW Newton speaker set + Paradigm PDR-8 sub - $850
    Toshiba DVD player - $200
    Pioneer receiver - $200
    If you thrown in another $300 for a good 32 inch tv, then the total comes to $1900. The extra $100 could go anywhere but perhaps you want a better receiver so it could go toward that.
    As everyone has shown, there are a lot of possibilities [​IMG]
    good luck,
    --tom
     
  19. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    On the scale of skimping on one piece...the subwoofer is at the bottom....If you think you'll get real HT enjoyment out of an 8" or even most 10" subs, fuhgedaboudit...up your budget if you have to. If you're in an apartment, hospital zone, or the bottom of a snow covered mountain, then you don't have to consider what I just said.
     
  20. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It is indeed for an apartment, which is why I'm focusing on the baby subs. I've got an SVS at home, myself. [​IMG]
    Looks like the real decision is how to divide about $1400 between TV and speakers....
     

Share This Page