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Total Noobie, Where to begin?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Howard Cantor, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. Howard Cantor

    Howard Cantor Auditioning

    Nov 19, 2005
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    Hi, I am a total noobie in the H/T world and refered to this site as I just bought my first home. I am looking for some advice/guidance as to where I should begin my first h/t setup and what to purchase. I have a budget of about $1200 for the receiver and speakers. I currently have a JVC 36" flat screen TV and a JVC progressive scan DVD player. The living room in the house is 14x20 with 15" ceilings. What should I look for power wise in a reciever and should I go with a HTiB setup or should I look for towers for the fronts and satelites for the rear speakers. This is all very confusing. Also do I need a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 set up? I have seen a bunch of people mention Paradigm and Monitor speakers but they seem to be pretty high end unless I go to eBay and find one B stock or used. I found a bunch of good deals on Harmon Kardon receivers which seem to be a favorite on this site. Any help would be greatly appreciated since I don't trust the sales people at the big chains. Thanks in advance.
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Cees Alons
    Welcome to the forum, Howard.

    As someone who's not living in the US, I'm not going to give you specific advice on brands and retailers. Other people will advise you about that, I trust.
    But here's some general advice.

    First of all, if I were you, I would start buying the parts you don't own yet, so no need to upgrade your TV set or DVD player. They are excellent to start with anyway.

    For around $1200 you can buy a splendid set of HT equipment, don't aim for the extravagant. Given your room size (I assume the 15" should be 15 feet actually [​IMG] ), anything from 70W - 120W per channel will do. If you buy a subwoofer right away, your mains and surrounds can be smaller, towers ar not really needed then.

    For a start 5.1 would be fine. DVD's don't really have 7 separate channels and you could add an extra surround (center back) only if your budget can afford it. It adds less to your 5.1 experience than switching from stereo to 5.1 does in the first place.

    Also, you may want some time to "play around" with the setup of your new HT. E.g. find out about the best placement of your speakers, your and your family's (?) viewing habits, allowable loudness (neighbours?), etc.

    I think you can do a little bit better, for $1200, than a HTiB. Whatever you do, make sure that at least the fronts (L, R and C) are from the same brand for a start. The soundstage will blend in much better that way.

    As I said, I trust other people will fill you in about some brands and models for the price you mentioned.
    Hope this helped a bit already.

    Good luck with your new HT!


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