Starting my Home Theater

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_Medenwaldt, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking to beginning the creation of my Home theater system.

    I don't have the bucks to spend on thousands of dollars of equipment, but I'm not taking the cheap way out.

    First I would like to ask you about the Home audio systems, especially Home Audio System in a box that Best Buy and Circuit City sell. I'm open to any brand.

    Are any of these decent starter systems, say for around $500 to $750 and which would you recommend?

    Also I've been thinking of piecing the system together, instead of purchasing everything in a box.

    I've been looking at the Kenwood VR-6070 receiver and its little brother the VR-6060.

    Is it worth the extra money for the 6070 and where would you recommend purchasing this type of receiver. Best Buy and Circuit City both have these for $599, but have found a couple e-tailer's have had it for $430 to $500.

    As for speakers, i have not researched them yet. But I am open to suggestions.

    Thanks

    Paul
     
  2. Aristides

    Aristides Agent

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello and welcome to a very addictive "hobby".

    I'm sure that you will receive plenty of advice, and a wide range of suggestions. (Including spending big bucks on equipment).

    My opinion is that whatever makes you happy is the right decision. I also don't like the "all in one" systems that big block stores carry, I also don't go to those stores without plenty of research already at hand. Which is what you are doing now, so kudos for asking before buying.

    I lucked out and got a starter system from a friend for $400.00 which included a Sony Receiver, Yamaha CD player, and 4 bookshelf speakers. Great start-up.

    The all-in-one box systems might be the way to go IF you don't plan on upgrading in the future. Reason being is that you would basically have to start from scratch if you went with one of those. I went the cheap route but had the option to piece out a component here or there, which I have started to do.

    For the money you want to spend there are some options that may get you on your way.

    Check out some of the links on this site for deals on "discontinued items" or "Store demo". Maybe also pick up the new Home Theater Buyers Guide to begin narrowing your search down based on criteria you have in mind.

    In reading your post again, I have a question...Are you looking for an ENTIRE system within that price range or just a receiver? You also mention that you have yet to look into speakers, when it comes to this opinions really begin to be personal. Get a few suggestions but then go out and "audition" them with music or movies that you are familiar with and decide for yourself whether you like the way they perform.

    I hope I haven't confused your thoughts yet and good luck finding your start-up system.

    Peace,
    Aristides
     
  3. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1999
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would suggest you seriously consider getting used equipment. Like with cars, you can get a lot more "bang for your buck" if you go used rather than new. Take a look in the "Hardware For Sale/Trade" forum here at HTF for starters, and don't be afraid of eBay. In the forum here, you don't have to wait for someone to offer something; you can also post that you want to buy something, and see if someone has it available. I've only bought a few things from the people here but have had absolutely positive experiences so far. While I can't deny that nothing beats the "new" experience, it's a different kind of great feeling knowing that you got something a lot better than what you could otherwise afford. You really feel like you've gotten away with something, like you've pulled one over on the world for once rather than getting screwed by it. [​IMG]
     
  4. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those HT In A Box packages may be fine if your room size is small (12 X 12 or smaller) or you don't plan on listening to movies at anywhere near Reference Levels.

    A bigger room would need more power so you would need a dedicated A/V Reciever plus 5 decent bookshelf speakers and at least one good subwoofer. You could do all this for under $1K. Get a $300 receiver (Sony/Pioneer/Technics), 4-5 bookshelf speakers from a brand like JBL may run around $400 and then a good used sub (I got a used Velodyne CT-120 for $250 from Circuit City) would complete a very decent HT.
     
  5. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well here is what i purchased for my first official home theater system. Its more then I wanted to spend, and everything I purchases was used or open box.

    Denon AVR3300

    Floorstanding
    Polk Audio RTi70

    Subwoofer
    Velodyne 375 Watt 10'' Subwoofer

    Center
    Polk Audio CS400i

    Surround
    Polk Audio FXi30

    It all came to about $1800, but there were a few hundred dollars in there for service plans, so components were around $1500.

    Now i'm just looking for a A/V stand for my receiver/dvd/dish network and some cables and i should be good to go.

    I love bargain shopping. I purchased all the speakers at Circuit City and for the Surround sound speakers, the manager gave me a 2 for 1 offer on those.

    I'll let you guys know how it sounds. Thanks for all your input on everything.

    Paul
     
  8. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks like you did very well for yourself. You are going to love those Polks! Don't forget to pick up an SPL meter and calibrate your system.
     
  9. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    I always seem to learn something new everyday when I read posts here!!

    Frank, whats an SPL meter?

    Paul
     
  10. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    At that price ceiling ($750 for a receiver AND five speakers) you can probably get a better system than an HTB, if you shop wisely. There are some exceptional price/performance leaders out there.

    On the receiver side, the Marantz SR4200 has gotten good reviews, and does not have the harshness of the low-end Yamaha's like the RX-V420.

    For speakers, check out the Paradigm Titan. You could get four to take care of the mains and surrounds, and get a Paradigm centre (I forget the model name).

    Adding a subwoofer will probably put you over budget, but you can always delay that purchase.
     
  11. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,036
    Likes Received:
    694
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman
    What do people think about spending hundreds on service plans? (I assume those are the "extended warranties" that stores offer.)

    I tend to avoid them. . .The only time one ever came in handy was for a PS2 controller that went bad, which would have been about $20 to replace anyway. What are the chances of having to spend more than a few hundred dollars in repairs on that equipment in the next few years?
     
  13. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great question,
    When i first began buying tv's, vcr's I never purchased any service, just because I always had good luck with the equipment I purchased.
    Then I purchased my first dvd player, a Toshiba. I didn't get a service plan. About 2 years later it failed.(something to do with the optical eye) It would of cost me $350 to have it replaced. If i would of purchased the service plan 2 years ago at $50 it would of been fixed or if they couldn't fix it, the total of my purchase would of gone towards a new DVD player. I opted to go to open box isle and picked up a very nice 5 disc Zenith for $130 with a service plan.
    I would rather pay the money now for the service plan, then to have to shell out hundreds of dollars later if one of my speakers fails. And with purchasing open box components like I did, I would want that extra safeguard just in case they do fail.
    And heck its even covered if i throw the speakers out the windows. [​IMG]
    Paul
     
  14. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Frank!!

    Paul
     
  15. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,080
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    Michigan
    Personally, I rarely spend money on extended warranties. In Paul's example of a $350 cost to repair a two-year old DVD player, chances are you may want to upgrade by that time anyway, and a new player may be less expensive than repairing the old one (I'm on my 4th player in four years, and none of them have been replaced due to a hardware failure). It is quite rare for a component to fail before I am ready to replace it. For the few times this has happened, I have saved enough money from not paying for extended warranties on all my components to cover the purchase of a replacement for those few failed devices.
    That being said, the one exception I made was for our 16x9 HDTV. The cost of repairing/replacing such an expensive item was such that I decided not to "self insure" myself on this component. Failure rates for RPTV's are much higher than for speakers, receivers, etc.
    I still have 15 year old audio components that have either been demoted to other rooms in our home or given away to family/friends, where they are still being enjoyed.
     

Share This Page