Which to get? Newbie Needs help!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JasonG, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. JasonG

    JasonG Agent

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    Hi all

    I am going to be buying a HTIB set up because from what I have seen thats seems to be what I can afford(700 Canadian). So from what research I have done on the internet I have narrowed it down to these three systems. Which one do you think I should go with? Kenwood Htb-505, sony ht-ddw840, pansonic SC-HT400? Any help would greatly be appreciated and if someone else has a better suggestion that would be great too.

    Thanks

    Jason
     
  2. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    Jason,

    imo, htb's are not good. we had two different types and both were not good for the money. ok, here is what i would do. go to ebay, buy a pioneer vsx-d511s receiver for 139.00 on buy it now, then find the fluance speaker system for 189.00. the fluance speakers ship from canada so the shipping should not be to much. then go around and find a cheaper full featured dvd player then your set. If you need a subwoofer, get the sony sa-wm40 and do the mods to it(do a search for full details) and you will have a system close to that price range, and very good sounding. if you can splurge on something a little more, then upgrade the receiver. but this system would be head and shoulders above ANY htb. those prices are in american dollars but are still cheap once converted....
     
  3. David Dhaus

    David Dhaus Agent

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    Have a listen to the Onkyo HT-S650 - I thought it sounded better than the Kenwood 505, and every Sony and Yamaha HTIB I listened to. I bought it and still love it. There is also a new Pioneer HTIB out, but I am not sure at which price point. I think the receiver ends with "811". I would listen to those two before making a decision. Also, if you think you may be in a position to upgrade in the next year, you really ought to consider starting slowly with a good receiver and pair of mains, then build up. While I love my 650, my next "upgrades" are limited to a new minivan, othodonture for son, college for twins etc., etc. If you are not facing those expenses in the near future, the "build your system over time" plan will get you one that should be superior to an HTIB.
     
  4. Gary Thomas

    Gary Thomas Second Unit

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    I don't believe it's fair to dismiss all HTB's out of hand. There are some that do a fine job in an appropriate setting.

    How big is your tv room? (cubic feet) Is the room open to other rooms, hallways, etc.?

    I recently helped a friend put a Kenwood HTB in a small basement area, which was approx 12 feet wide by 10 feet deep w/ 8 foot ceilings. The HTB sounded suprisingly good. Plus, the Kenwood has the ability to upgrade components one at a time. For example, he could upgrade his center and main speakers, then upgrade his receiver, then upgrade his surrounds. He currently has a Toshiba 40" HDTV & Pioneer Elite DVD player.

    I would not recommend the HTB options that feature an integrated dvd / receiver. I think Sony & others have some of these. The Kenwood & others you mentioned are not a bad choice to get surround sound at an entry level price, IMHO.

    But...if you are "into" home theater, I'd go through the process of researching components and building your system piece by piece, as buying stuff is as fun as watching movies!
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'm not sure about exchange rates, but you can pick up a Pioneer HTP-725DV for around $550 US. This includes a Pioneer VSX-D811S receiver (one of the best receivers on the market for under $500), a Pioneer DV-656A Progressive Scan DVD Video/Audio player, 6 speakers, and a subwoofer. Consumer reports rated this as the best sounding HTIB. I'm sure the speakers are the weak link. With that said, $550 US for the whole package is a steal since the DVD-V/A player and the receiver alone would cost you that. It's almost like they're giving you the speakers and sub for free. They're not the best speakers/sub out there, but evidently they're pretty darn good. The speakers have a separate tweeter and midrange unlike many HTIB speakers that are "full range". The subwoofer included in the Kenwood system is probably a bit better then that of the Pioneer, but everything is a compromise. This HTIB is worth what you pay for just the receiver and DVD-A player, and the speakers are good enough to get you by until (or if) you decide to upgrade them. The receiver and DVD also support every current format including DD-EX, DTS-ES, DPLII, NEO:6, Progressive Scan Video, and DVD-Audio. This is also the only HTIB i've seen that gives you 6 speakers instead of 5, so you have a full 6.1 setup right out of the box.

    If i were buying a system now, this is what i would buy, even if i didn't plan on using the speakers. You could easily get $100 out of the speakers on ebay, which would make the receiver and dvd-a cost only $450 total, which is a steal on these 2 components.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. JasonG

    JasonG Agent

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    Hi all

    Thanks for the reply's and so quickly. I agree with Gary Thomas, the room is not very big, and for my budget a htib is the only solution. I can upgrade the speakers at a later date. Now I was in best buy tonight and I looked at a Yamaha setup the YHT-300. Now its in my price range and sounds pretty good. What do you all think of this one its more expensive than the sony and pansonic, but its supposed to be better. Let me know what you guys think!

    Jason
     
  7. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I think I would go with the Onkyo 650 or the Kenwood 505. The Onkyo has had a few issues lately, so we will have to see if more surface? The Yamaha has a few things going for it but not enough to justify the purchase imo. It would take three of the Yam subs to equal the wait of the Ken sub. The ken or the Onk will sound much fuller and not so bright. You might like the transistor sound though. The Ken 505 has been a proven winner only to be surpassed by the Onk 650 as long as there are no reliability issues? Good luck Jason.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I would still look at the Pioneer, mainly because of the high quality of the receiver and prog scan dvd-a player that's part of the package. Also for the fact that it's 6.1 out of the box w/ all formats. It hasn't come up in discussion alot on these forums because it's not available at most retail outlets (why that is i'm unsure).

    I was able to pick up a Pioneer HTP-600DV on ebay for $270 shipped. It contains a VSX-D711 receiver, DV-353 DVD player, and their 5.1 speaker package. For a bedroom system containing a solid receiver, dvd player, and decent speakers, $270 is a steal! I may replace the speakers w/ the $189 fluance package on down the road a bit. Either way, these pioneer HTIBs look to be value winners to me. They take current receivers from their line, not cheap receivers that are low on features and produced only for HTIBs, match them with solid quality DVD players, and speakers that are about as good as it gets in a HTIB (excluding the onkyo speakers, but the onkyo sub sucks in my opinion). The lack of press and retail availability makes them obscure enough that you can pick them up for insanely low prices for what you get.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    I will be picking up a Kenwood 505 very shortly. It is very impressive for the price. The reason I am not going with the Onkyo is for two reasons. IT is bigger than the Kenwood and that is an issue when I go to college and I have heard the Kenwood has nicer compatibility and no errors. IGN did a review on the system(with the DVD player) and gave it rav e reviews.
     
  10. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Since I started out with the Kenwood 504 on the recommendation of the Forum and auditioning, it has been very hard for me not to have a bias in the direction of the 505. Your reasoning Ryan seems very justified imo. I do not like the new Kenwood 705 though. I think they took a step back on that model?
     
  11. JasonG

    JasonG Agent

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    Ok thanks for all the replys. But does anyone have an experience with the Yamaha yht-300? I would like to know what you think of that. Should I start a new thread about that to get people to answer?

    Jason
     
  12. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    The Kenwood 705 is the 405 with a DVD player. The 805 is the 505 with a DVD player. So technically you can't really compare the 505 to the 705. I think what we are trying to tell you is go for the Kenwood 505. It is the best system for the money.[​IMG]
     
  13. JasonG

    JasonG Agent

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    Ok. So everyone is telling me go with the kenwood? Do retailers have a vendetta against kenwood, I have been in major chain stores to the small electronics stores and everywhere I go they say stay away from the kenwood? Why is this? Also if the kenwood 505 is really good can someone give me some links to some reviews of it!

    Thanks all you have all been a great help!

    Jason
     
  14. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    Keep in mind that most stores don't know crap about anything they are talking about. Anyway if we are talking about the cheapest Kenwood(205) yes stay away. However the 505 is very respected as a great starter system. I have not seen TOO many reviews however IGN has this review of the 505 system bundles with a DVD player. Just ignore the part about the player and it will tell you everything you need
    http://gear.ign.com/articles/374/374016p1.html
     
  15. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    By the way some best buy stores do carry this system.
     
  16. David Dhaus

    David Dhaus Agent

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    The Kenwood certainly has gotten good reviews. If it were not for your size concern, however, I would urge you to get the Onkyo. Yes, the speakers are bigger, but no more so than most of the systems that were being puchased when I was in college - of course, there were only two speakers then, hehehe. I listened to both, and the Onkyo was far superior. Also, don't forget that pioneer system. You really need to listen to the Kenwood, Onkyo and Pioneer for yourself before deciding.
     
  17. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    When I bought the 504 at C-City the sales person did his best to try to steer me to another brand and one in specific. From the reviews on C-Cities sight and Audio Review I could see the 504 was the one to go with and the in-store demo. I left wondering if he might have received a kickback on the other model? They did there best to present the 504 in the worst way possible. I don't know what to chalk it up to? I have Idea's. They had dust on there demo and it was not even hooked up. This was there no. 1 seller at the time.
     
  18. JasonG

    JasonG Agent

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    What does everyone think of the Sony ht-ddw840? I would like some opinions on that since I am getting a sony television.

    Thanks

    Jason
     

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