Student on tiny budget

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Kevin Cole, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Kevin Cole

    Kevin Cole Auditioning

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    I would love advice on what I need and what I should get...

    I'm a college student in a small dorm room, so I don't need an excessively huge/loud system.

    My budget is $200 maximum - I know, some of you are laughing but that's seriously all I have.

    What would you guys recommend - a shelf/compact stereo system or a home theater in a box? I know ready-made home theaters are laughable for most of you but again I'm in a small space with a small budge and currently using a 30-watt compact system, i.e. most anything is going to be a huge step-up for me.

    I was looking at bookshelf systems for which $200 will get me a mid-range one when I realized I could spend that same chunk of money and get a low-end home theater system. What draws me there is surround sound obviously. Plus the ones I've been looking at online have significantly more watts than I have now.

    Just let me know what you guys would recommend. Correct me if I'm wrong, but assembling my own is pretty much out of the picture for $200, right? Also, I primarily want a system for listening to music and occasional computer gaming. I already have a dvd player in my computer so since I'm going to connect computer to stereo no matter what I get a super dvd player is not necessary. I'm not buying a TV in other words.

    Sorry for rambling, but any help would be so appreciated. There are so many terms and choices it's intimidating for a newbie like me, even after reading FAQ after FAQ. [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance,
    - kevin
     
  2. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    For $200, I'm not sure how many brand new HTIB setups you can find. I do know Sharp, Panasonic, and JVC (to name a few) offer low-end packages for about $299. You might be able to find open-box or B-stock units at Circuit City, Goodguys, or other electronic stores in your area.

    I think for that amount of money, and since you want surround sound, HTIB is really your only option. Unless you scour forums and classifieds and find tremendous deals on used seperates.

    Another option could be spending most of the budget on a nice open-box receiver (maybe costing you $150, but retailing for $350), and some DIY speakers.
     
  3. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    I would have to say look for a refurbished HTIB or something on Ebay... I don't know how good you could do with $200. I've seen some old Yamaha models from last year running about $200 at Bestbuy so I might start there. In reality though at that price point I don't think you will get too much better than what you have now except a subwoofer and 3 extra speakers.
     
  4. Jake K

    Jake K Stunt Coordinator

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    You could get a nice computer speaker system, like the Megaworks package from Cambridge Soundworks. It will be far better than any $200 HTIB.
     
  5. Tab Nichols

    Tab Nichols Stunt Coordinator

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    For $200, go for the bookshelf stereo system.

    The reasons I say that are:

    1. A good bookshelf system at that price will have an Aux input where you can plug your TV/DVD/VCR or whatever into. This way, you can have good stereo sound for your veiwing time. You will also have a much better sounding stereo setup than whatever HT equipment you could scrounge up for that price.

    2. In the future, if you decide to go with a HT setup, you can always buy it peice by piece, and get a MUCH etter setup than what you will have now. This is much better because its not such a big hit to your wallet at one time.


    The only other option I can think of, is to skip the stereo altogether, and start by just buying a decent reciever. With $200 you have a few good options for recievers, and you can start to slowly build a very nice stereo this way.

    Then, when you have another chunk of money, go out and buy yourself some good mains (front speakers). You can go from there. This would be the most cost effective approach, as it will save you money in the long run.

    I would personally do the latter option, but I know most people have far less patience than I do, and want sound RIGHT NOW, so thats why I put the other option up there.

    Either way, good luck with your project. [​IMG]
     
  6. Kevin Cole

    Kevin Cole Auditioning

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    I have seen HTIB online for under $200 and tried linking to them but apparently I'm not allowed yet (?!!). The ones I found were online at Circuit City, Best Buy and Etronics. How many posts do I have to make before I can link because that would certainly help you guys know exactly what I was looking at...

    Thanks for the help so far though.
     
  7. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    5.1 surround speakers and a soundcard, use you computer.

    Brent
     

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