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Where to start on a home surround system?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan_SD, May 23, 2002.

  1. Ryan_SD

    Ryan_SD Auditioning

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    I basically only own 2 speakers worth anything. Two 12" Cerwin Vega Floor speakers. They were given to me when a friend upgraded to a new set of CV, they both have recently replaced subs.

    I have done much reading and some chain store shopping without much to show for it. Basically, sales people want to push you into crappy surround sets with 4 satellite speakers and a crappy little sub to match, not for me.

    What I would like is suggestions on what to purchase on a moderate budget.

    Also, are my 12" floor CV's worth anything in the sound of my surround system? I have been to the Nohr, Paradigm, and Axiom web sites. They all have speakers which seem to be reasonably priced, but how to choose? Sorry, I am definitely a novice, however, I would like to make an educated purchase. Thanks in advance for any advice given.

    Going to buy:
    **Receiver
    **Any speakers necessary for an all around good sound, book shelve, surrounds, center, sub?
     
  2. Shaun

    Shaun Second Unit

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    Do you own a dvd player? Do you plan to use the home surround system primarily for music or movies?
     
  3. Ryan_SD

    Ryan_SD Auditioning

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    I own a Samsung DVD player, for now. Had a big fight with them when my old one wouldn't play dual layer DVD's. They sent me a replacment DVD player, model DVD-M201, I think. That will also be replaced in this process I'm sure. I would be using the system for music as well as a surround system.

    All music from Class Rock to hip hop
     
  4. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

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    "Moderate" budget can mean anything. If you can give us specific dollar ranges of what you want to spend then it will help people make suggestions that are appropriate for your budget.

    In my opinion I would dump the Cerwin Vegas for better mains. And forget the chain stores. Go to an audio store. The only chain store exceptions are:

    1. Best Buy carries JBL's which are decent budget speakers.

    2. Circuit City carries Polk which I am not a fan of (although the new LSi line is getting good press). Many people are happy with their Polks.

    And for G-d sakes, stay away from Bose.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Cerwin Vega is not known for HT, period. I'd have to agree, sell them and use the money towards something better.

    As mentioned, "budget" needs to be defined.
     
  6. Ryan_SD

    Ryan_SD Auditioning

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    Budget: $1500
    I'm not an audiophile, but I can appreciate good sound. I have been pushed towards spending about $699 on a combo satellite speaker set at retail stores, ie Bose. I would never do it from comments on this forum and from just going in and listening to the type of sound these speakers deliver. If I could get a receiver and some speakers and maybe have room left over for a descent DVD player for 1500, I would be a happy man. This is my wedding present from my wife, so any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I just set this up for a friend/client:
    JBL NSP-1 - $250 at J&R
    Marantz SR5200 - $450 (I got him a deal, currently $549) at Cambridge Soundworks Excellent receiver in this price range.
    Sony SA-WM40 - Yahoo shopping - $150 (I saw it listed for $139)
    That leaves quite a bit for a DVD player, any cables, stands, etc.. and some DVDs/music even if you pay $549 for the 5200.
    Obviously, areas of improvement would be on the speakers, but for the price they are not bad. Better for movies than music, but still good. What I have seen many people do is upgrade the front speakers to N26s or N38s for better mains.
    Other receivers you might look at are the Onkyo TX-SR600, Denon 1802, Harmon Kardon AVR225.
     
  8. Ryan_SD

    Ryan_SD Auditioning

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    Surprising to hear that the JBL NSP-1 have a good sound to them. It just seems that most of the systems I have listened too that are an all in one type deal didn't produce the best sound. I will definitely keep them in mind. Any other suggestions out there?
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The NSP-1 is speakers only, no sub. It is basically 4 N24s and an N-center. Do a quick search for reviews of this setup, they are not that bad. You can listen to them at Best Buy, though that is not really the best place to audition.
    Another thought, would be 4 S-26s ($159/pr at J&R), an S-center ($170), with a decent sub.
    I am not a huge fan of JBL, but these speakers are all quite a good bang for the buck. The S series is much better for music at that price.
    I would also highly recommend: Axiom Audio. The M3Ti is a great speaker for the price, but might take up a lot of your budget for four and a center, though maybe you could hang on to the DVD you have now and upgrade it later.
     
  10. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Axiom audio may be your best bet with that budget. Their b-stock prices on certain speakers are exceptional, maybe the best values anywhere.

    On that budget, I would get the following:

    1 pr b-stock M22ti bookshelf speakers (mains) $320
    1 VP150 (center) $220
    1 pr b-stock QS4 quadpole surrounds $250
    1 receiver for about $325, probably Denon 1802, Onkyo 500, or something in the Yamaha line.
    1 subwoofer for about $400, either the Adire Rava or Hsu VTF-2.

    You have to call around to get the Hsu for $400. Also, the M22ti's are not listed in b-stock at the Axiom website, but I think they are available if you call. That may bust your budget by $50 or so, plus shipping, but you will be in sonic awe.

    You can play around with the specific models. For instance, you could get the Sony SA-WM subwoofer in the alternative for about $135 to save money and be well within budget. But that is roughly how I would allocate funds as among the different parts.

    Keep your Samsung DVD for now. Trying to fit a new player into that budget will compromise the rest of it too much.
     
  11. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    I second the Sony sub suggestion. Great value for home theater. You could also look at speakers such as Norh 4.0 package and a 300-500 dollar receiver and have enough left over for a dvd. Another brand of speakers that may fit your budget are the diva's .
    StevenK was nice enough to do this shootout of budget receivers today. It may be of some use to you.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=72006
     
  12. Ryan_SD

    Ryan_SD Auditioning

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    I wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied to my first post. I was finally able to line up some new gear this weekend so I thought I would share. Keep in mind that I had an in at a local MI chain store, so I made the most out of my choices.

    Fronts: Polk RT800i
    Center: Polk CSi30
    Rears: Polk Atrium
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR600
    Sub: SA-WM40, going to order online

    I had a budget of $1000 for the time being and it came out to exactly that without tax and cables. Polk has a deal running right now that if you spend $500, you get the Atruim speakers for free, just an FYI. I hooked it all up and it sounds great, no deep lows yet without the sub, but hope to cure that soon.
     
  13. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like you have a great first system. Enjoy it. [​IMG]
     
  14. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Ignore.......Nice setup.
     
  15. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Personally I would of recommended buying a set of 5 SuperOnes (www.onecall.com) and a sub from either Adire, SVS, HSU, VMPS, or Acoustic Visions. The AVR (audio/video receiver) I would suggest is the Outlaw 1050 as this is one great product with excellent build quality and a very decent sound.
     
  16. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Ryan,
    Congrats! Another week or so and you'll be upgrading just like the rest of us addicts[​IMG]
    How do you like the Atriums, I've been considering them for my patio.
     
  17. Ryan_SD

    Ryan_SD Auditioning

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    The Polk Atrium Speakers sound great. In fact, they gave me the chance to get $200 in credit for them and purchase other bookshelves, but I opted to keep the atrium speakers because they sounded so good. I will probably upgrade to actual bookshelves one day and put the atrium's outside, I think they would make great backyard speakers!
     

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