Upgrading HT system, what do you think of my choices?

jdpatt

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Dec 13, 2006
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3
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David
I recently purchased my first HDTV, an Olevia 32" LCD that's a tremendous improvement over my 10 year old 27" Sony model (can't go bigger than 32", since I'm clinging to my wall unit that cost me a fortune...don't want to rethink my living room decor just yet). When I was hooking it up, I found that my old HTIB system (maybe 5 or 6 years old) had absolutely no Component input/outputs, so I'm forced to physically disconnect when I switch from HD Cable to DVD to XBox 360. Obviously, this won't do, haha, so I'm planning on upgrading my HT receiver and maybe my speakers as well. I'm also on a bit of a budget, I don't want to spend too much more than $500-$750 on receiver/speakers...the cheaper the better, within reason.

My previous HTIB system was a Best Buy Sony 5.1 model that I've been happy with, once I got it set up. I think it cost maybe $400 total, way back when. The speakers/wires are mounted very cleanly, if I do say so myself (after great pains, haha...NEVER doing that again!)

So here's where I'm at. I originally considered an Onkyo SR504, then talked myself into a SR574, then a SR674, considered going with a higher end older model on Ebay (like a 702 or such), I'm not really sure WHAT to do. I've also recently beome interested in the Pioneer VSX1016, which also seems to be very highly rated and quite a value. They all seem to be great receivers. What I'm looking for is easy (user friendly for a novice) setup, 100ish watts per channel, at least 3 component inputs, and preferably HDMI, although I'm not really sure it's cost effective at the moment. A second zone would be a huge bonus, since I've been planning on running outdoor speakers to my patio outside. I have a 5.1 system at the moment, although it seems like most everything is 7.1 now.

Also, I'm looking at upgrading my speakers, since I'm sure the HTIB speakers aren't the best in the world. I've heard great things about Infinity systems, and have been looking at the TSS 450, 750, and 1100 systems which seem to be reasonably priced online. One concern I have is where to get the additional speaker(s) that a 6.1 or 7.1 system require (I'd prefer to have the speakers all match, it just looks cleaner in my opinion).

So to sum up:

Receivers:
Onkyo 504, 574, 604, or 674 (or an older, discontinued model online) or Pioneer VSX1016? Is HDMI that much of an improvement over Component? I'd love to spend less than $500 on the receiver.

Speakers:
Infinity TSS 450, 750, or 1100? Are the higher models worth the extra money? Any other models/brands I should be looking at? I really do prefer the subwoofer/satellite look, especially after a long, grueling day running wire through my walls, haha. I'd prefer to spend no more than $300ish on the speakers.

I really appreciate any and all input. I used to be quite an audiophile, back in college (when the Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck was my dream component, haha), but so much has changed in the last 15 years, the learning curve is a bit too steep for me anymore. Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays.

Dave
 

Alon Goldberg

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Jul 10, 2006
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Alon Goldberg
On your budget here is what I would recommend:

Speakers: HSU Ventriloquist VT-12, $200
Subwoofer: HSU STF-1, $300
Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1016TX, $400 (Amazon)

The HSU speakers and subwoofer are absolutely the best value available for a small satellite package under $500. Enjoy!
 

jdpatt

Auditioning
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Dec 13, 2006
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David
Okay, after a ton of online research, I pretty much went with my first impression and the recommendation of Alon. I hate...HATE...buying speakers I can't hear in person, but the glowing reviews and the fact that HSU's running a great deal right now convinced me.

The Pioneer 1016 and the HSU speakers are on the way to my house...so much for my budget, haha, but I'm really looking forward to hearing the combo. HSU is running a deal, for anyone interested, on the upgraded subwoofer; the STF-2 is only $20 more, so I went with that...can't have too much bass, I guess.

I'll let you all know how it sounds when it arrives, sometime next week.

Thanks again,

Dave
 

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