Where to spend money?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JoshDH, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. JoshDH

    JoshDH Auditioning

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    I'm just getting started with Home Theatre and I thought I'd pose a question for the gurus here.

    Is it more important to spend a lot of money on a good receiver, or good speakers? Basically, I'm on a limited budget, and in the interests of keeping costs down, I'd like to know if I can get away with a cheaper receiver if I buy better speakers.

    My thoughts are that as long as I stick to a respected brand (Harmon Kardon, Denon, maybe Sony?) that I could buy one of their lower-end receivers (that maybe don't have all the bells and whistles) and still get respectable sound out of higher-end speakers. Does anybody disagree with that? Would I get better sound if I blew my money on a top-end receiver and got mediocre speakers?
     
  2. Craig Woodhall

    Craig Woodhall Supporting Actor

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    I think others will agree, that speakers are one of the most important parts of your system, if not THE most important.. Also, speakers last a long time and the technology doesn't change as fast.. it isn't uncommon to have speakers for 10+ years.. Receivers on the other hand, change almost monthly.. I would spend as much on your speakers as you can, just leaving enough left over for a receiver.. Then one day, you could sell the receiver, put in some extra cash and either get a better receiver or seperate amp/preamp to use with your speakers..

    Craig
     
  3. Michael WB

    Michael WB Auditioning

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    I agree with Craig

    Buy good speakers now and get a decent budget reciever or you might consider buying a second hand reciever to save some money. If you're just starting out all the bells and whistless are not that import so you can get better perfomance for your money from a used reciever.

    Michael
     
  4. peter a

    peter a Stunt Coordinator

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    i agree-
    good quality speakers can last you a decade... top notch receiver today will be outdated in a few months... that's just technology. speaker design hasn't changed too much over the past few years- on the other hand, compare differend on-board amplifiers and sound processors between receivers, and you'll find that its night and day just over the course of a few years. good luck-
    peter
     
  5. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    I agree with Craig and Mike. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Speakers are the way to go. The key is to take into consideration your room size and being realistic about what type of music and movies you like and what level you think you like to play it. This basic information will go along way in determining what type of speakers you need as opposed to some everyone says that they have.
    If you like dynamic movie playback and loud music, you might want to purchase floorstanding speakers. However, if you like movies and music at moderate levels and appreciate the finer details in music and movies then shop for speakers that are excellent for music and good for movies and you should be set. You'll get a ton of recommendations from my fellow HTF'ers but the key is to try to hear your speakers in your home on a trial basis or if not, listen to them with your familiar CD's and movies at the store.
    Good Luck with your search for speakers and welcome to the forum.
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    the only thing that affects the sound as much as the speakers is the room so I agree spend more on the speakers you'll have them a lot longer then any receiver you buy.
     
  7. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    Speakers all the way. I had a cheap receiver and speakers and when I started to upgrade I started with the speakers. The difference it made was night and day with the new speakers.
     
  8. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I think you have to find a balance, Speakers are not good if you dont have a good reciever, and a good reciever wont do a good job if you dont have a good set of speakers. But I do agree in with all, in the matter that speakers are the most important part in a HT.

    Something that help me a lot in the begining is something writen in HTF, I dont remeber how to enter there because I read it at the begining of the year.

    But it said something like this, define how much are you willing to spend in Home theater, the distribute you money like this,

    60% speakers
    30% reciever
    10% accesories

    Now this will give you a startup, also let you assign money to different categories, and then start searching for speakers and reciever that can match your budget.

    There are a lot of great people here that can and will help you if you can tell the what are you looking for. Try to specify stuff like

    1) How much are you willing to spend
    2) What use are you going to give your HT (music or movies)
    3) Dimensions of the room that you are going to place your HT.

    The more specific you are, the better anwers you will get.

    Hope this helps,
    Pablo Abularach
     
  9. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I would agree that great speakers last longer and make a more lasting impact on your system.

    One word of warning though....If you get great speakers and make do with a makeshift receiver until funds permit an upgrade, make sure you do not drive the underpowered receiver to the point of clipping. For then your money invested on the great speakers will be wasted as you will damage them if you push the receiver too hard.
     
  10. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    Ummm there is another method too... as it is rare that ANYONE here has all the funds in place to purchase the perfectly balanced system (if that even exists).

    Some will start with a GREAT pair of bookshelfs. Compliment this with last year's model of receiver from what you are looking at now (i.e. demo, used, discontinued)

    See if you like the sound... consider the road to the separates path, and ensure you have a game plan.

    Use Ebay for the flipping of items along the way.

    Get a Great Sub.

    Move the Books to the rear, invest in a premium front end (L/R and Center).

    You probably want to consider some form of an interim center channel that you will flip when you're ready to upgrade the front soundstage.

    Above all, don't underestimate the value of good speakers, and never underpower them.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Speakers, speakers, speakers...take some time auditioning them and keep in mind the differences between your room and where you heard them. Buy the best you can afford and if you have to skew things, I'd opt for maxing out the fronts. There are many good choices in receivers, even used (HTF has an active forum for people selling their equipment) that should provide the features you need with sufficient power. Even a used sub is not a bad idea and you'll find as places such as SVS release new models, suddenly there's plenty to choose from from people who are getting rid of what they have.
    While this is an exteme example, I've a friend who owns a pair of Avantegarde Duo's...Really quite spectacular both audibly and visually. I brought my son's sub 300 receiver and we listened...Still pretty damned spectacular. Of course people who opt for expensive speakers typically match them with components that are also prices 'accordingly'. Myself, if the money available was enough to just buy those Duo's, with 300 left over, that's what I'd do.
     
  12. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  13. JoshDH

    JoshDH Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the replies! I'm really excited to start building my first home theatre. I've wanted to build one for years, and now that I'm finally ready to do it, I'm glad this forum exists! It's unbelievable how much I've learned just in the few days I've been a member.
     
  14. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Any ideas on how much you're looking at spending and the type (bedroom, living room or dedicated basement) size of your room? The fun part is getting all of the recommendations from your fellow members on this forum who may have similar room conditions, listening preferences and budgets as you may have. Hearing their strategies on purchasing and setup is worth it's weight in gold.
     
  15. JoshDH

    JoshDH Auditioning

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    Well I'm doing this one peice at a time, so I really don't know how much I will spend when it's all said and done.

    To start my system right now, I am looking to get a receiver, two nice tower speakers (for the front mains), and possibly a subwoofer for around $700.

    My room is just your basic apartment living room, I'm not sure what the exact dimensions are but if I had to guess I'd say 15x25 feet. I want the system to be optimized for movies, but I also need music to sound good and I don't want two sets of speakers (for movies and music).
     
  16. peter a

    peter a Stunt Coordinator

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    josh-
    funny...
    you're in san dimas- i went to the claremont colleges and i work in the pasadena area- so, i'm right by where you are. i've been in san dimas many times.. they have a great TARGET there. anyway, back to the matter at hand. i've just recently begun to put together a home theater system. i didn't do much auditioning (its hard when they don't sell axioms in california). but, i did read a lot about the subs... i purchased the denon 3802, and the SVS 20-39pci (an UNREAL sub...) - i play video games once in a while... but, i can definitely say that there is nothing more amazing than the last scene of fight club ... watching the buildings fall while the pixies 'where is my mind?' song comes in... i think in the past week i've seen that scene nearly 30 times.. no joke. if you need any help/advice/want to check out my system- let me know. good luck-
    peter
     

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