Take the $250 challenge -- can you suggest a system?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam Nixon, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    My mother is shopping for an HTIB for my younger brother as a Christmas gift. This will be his first exposure to ANY home theater system, so he'll be absolutely thrilled with anything. My question is this -- is there SOMETHING in the $250 range, including speakers and processing (gulp!) that isn't absolutely abysmal? I'll be happy with just "doesn't suck" -- that's a step up from "craptastic."
     
  2. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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    Gosh, that's tough...

    I've heard relatively good things about HBIT's from Onkyo, Kenwood, Yamaha. All these involve tradeoffs to hit such a low price point. Basically, if I were shopping for an HTIB I would look for one from one of the better Receiver manufacturers, but frankly you're going to find it tough to come in under $250 for any of these.

    Bill
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Well, to be honest, NO, there is nothing in that price range that is really any good.
    HOWEVER, I have a friend who is a student who has this setup from Cambridge Soundworks, and I was actually pretty surprised at how decent it sounded in a small room. Definitely not high quality, but really it was not garbage for the price either. It does not include any sources however (CD, DVD, VHS, etc...)
    I would probably recommend just an inexpensive receiver and one pair of decent bookshelf speakers for starters.
     
  4. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    i would go to walmart and see what you could find there. i think they have a philips setup for about $300 that sounds good for the money. 5 speakers, a sub and a receiver.
    for $400 you can get the panasonic one and it has a built in dvd player if i remember correctly.
     
  5. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    Thanks for responding! The good news is that we don't need a DVD player if it will cut costs, he's already got one. I'm looking into some of the Creative speaker options as well. After speaking with my momther, she'll go as high as $299. All we need is a speaker array and processing. As I've said, he's so desperate for ANY setup that he'll welcome anything. Has anyone heard the Home Theater Direct Level One? They list for $149, and if I could find an ultra-cheap receiver that might be the way to go.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Consider looking around for used, open box, and demo units at local stores. I picked up TWO demo unit Marantz SR4000s with 1yr warranty for $350. I gave one as a gift, and kept the other for the bedroom, and both are doing just fine.
     
  7. Jonathan K

    Jonathan K Stunt Coordinator

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    How about the upcoming Logitech Z-680? That, plus a DVD player, would work nice... DPLII, DTS, DD5.1, 5.1 analog inputs...
     
  8. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    i second the z-680s
     
  9. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    That's a terrific idea -- does anyone have a preliminary price or ship date? I was under the impression that they hadn't been released yet.
     
  10. DanielN

    DanielN Stunt Coordinator

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  11. DanielN

    DanielN Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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    Oh..I thought you were giving $250 for suggesting a system LOL [​IMG]
     
  13. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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    I would second the JVC 6020 Cambridge Soundworks combo that John Garcia put in a link above. I used to own a JVC 6020 and it sounds surprisingly good for the money, plus it has Pro Logic II and DTS. Also, IMHO, Cambridge Soundworks makes a better speaker than the Level One Home Theatre Direct.

    Bill S.
     
  14. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    If I had $250 to give for recommendations, this thread would easily top the 100 page mark.[​IMG]
    Does anyone have experience with the Cambridge Ensemble IV? It's extremely cheap at the moment ($129).
     

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