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Old 08-08-2005, 11:54 AM   #1  
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Default Need System...Need Help!

Well, I finally got my tv dilemma worked out and now I start the process of trying to figure out the audio system to go with it.

I'm still a newbie in this area, so I thought I'd check and see what any of your thoughts were regarding my requirements.

- I'm looking to spend about $750 (leftover budget allotted by wife for entire home theater set-up!).

- My room size is about 12' x 12'.

- The primary purpose is for use with DVDs (playing movies). Therefore, if it's good but not great for CDs - music - I'm OK with that.

I'm up for either buying individual components or even a HTiB.
I've seen a lot of good comments about the Onkyo HTiBs (i.e. HT-S780 system) and the costs are low.

Also, I think the Yamaha and Onkyo receivers are a good place to start as well. I haven't been out and listened to a lot of the speaker systems out there yet (heard the Klipsch system at Best Buy...thought it sounded pretty good).

So, for around $750, if anyone suggest a system for those requirements, I'd really appreciate it. If I'm asking the wrong questions too, please let me know. Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:25 PM   #2  
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Default Yamaha receiver fan

I think you get a lot of "bang for your buck" with Yamaha receivers. Even the lower priced ones have extra features.

Speakers are a different matter. I bought a nice set of Sony speakers for around $300 that did a decent job for a larger room (18' x 24'). Have since replaced them with Paradigm speakers (still have the Sony subwoofer).

$400 for a decent Yamaha receiver at Best Buy and $350 for the 5.1 Sony speakers and you are in business at the $750 level you have to spend.

You may be able to buy a package deal (receiver + speakers) for less.
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:29 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke
Well, I finally got my tv dilemma worked out and now I start the process of trying to figure out the audio system to go with it.

I'm still a newbie in this area, so I thought I'd check and see what any of your thoughts were regarding my requirements.

- I'm looking to spend about $750 (leftover budget allotted by wife for entire home theater set-up!).

- My room size is about 12' x 12'.

- The primary purpose is for use with DVDs (playing movies). Therefore, if it's good but not great for CDs - music - I'm OK with that.

I'm up for either buying individual components or even a HTiB.
I've seen a lot of good comments about the Onkyo HTiBs (i.e. HT-S780 system) and the costs are low.

Also, I think the Yamaha and Onkyo receivers are a good place to start as well. I haven't been out and listened to a lot of the speaker systems out there yet (heard the Klipsch system at Best Buy...thought it sounded pretty good).

So, for around $750, if anyone suggest a system for those requirements, I'd really appreciate it. If I'm asking the wrong questions too, please let me know. Thanks!
With the new audio movie formats coming out I would spend more of your money on the speakers and less on the receiver. IMO

It is much easier to find a use for the receiver (in a bedroom/den, etc) for a cheaper receiver bought now than a 5.1 speaker system since it is more likely that the old receiver will be used for just music. Generally they say to spend more of your budget on the speakers than you spend on the receiver/amp.

If you liked the sound of Klipsch at Best Buy, I would think of buying the Klipsch speakers from www.vanns.com for about 10-20% less than BB. They are an authorized dealer so the mfg warranty will be valid. I have bought from them before as well as a friend did too! Call them and ask for a Klipsch speaker bundle and you can probably talk them down to a lower price than they have on the website too!

Good Luck & Happy Hunting!
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:13 PM   #4  
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Gotta agree with PFC5,,go with the Klipsch. They are in your budget, you already liked the sound, and they get smoother with age. Please stay away from the HTIB. They are designed for a dorm room, crappy sound, not flexible,,,,and mostly plastic (beer retardant). If you still need cables,,the sales-people will push "Monster Cables" on you just because they "say" they are the best. Don't fall for that scam. Save your money and get generic,,,,you won't notice a difference.

Last edited by oblioman; 08-08-2005 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:26 AM   #5  
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Well, I come from NZ, so can't comment regards your budget 'cause of the exchange rate which varies quite a bit.

I have an $NZ40,000 system which I am very pleased with. Part of this system is the Onkyo 701 AV receiver and Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) speaker system, for which I will vouch for here.

I have nothing against Yamaha. The system is very very good, very powerful, very clear, crisp and user friendly, however I did find the system sounds 'very different' according to what speakers you attached to it. And that is not a good sign for a quality amp (it shows signs of output-load colouration?)

In the end I chose the Onkyo. It has similar attrbutes but was much more forgiving with the attached speakers. They sounded different, but not radically so. I have had stereo systems since the days of glass tube valves. My preference (not from performance but from sound quality) has always been and still is with 'English design' speakers systems.

In years gone by, (in the entire world) Nakamachi produced the very best cassette based recorders, Maxell (UDHII) produced the best cassettes (or magnetic based material), Linn produced the best turntables, AME produced the best vinyl record arms, Sure produced the best cartrige pickups and microphones, B&W produced the best speakers.

These are huge companies, and things havent changed much even though technogy has. Maxell, Linn, Sure, B&W are still top of the range even today - ask any cinema or AV technician what brands they trust/use (Nakamachi have diversed a little too much).

I am wrapped in my system. I have a friend who lives 20km away from me who has a system that is worth a further $NZ30,000 than mine, and the sound difference is insignificant. You can go tooooo far - of that I am sure (and for what end). When does a good system stop sounding like a good system? When the "jones's" system cost more? - if you get my drift.

For some strange reason, and there are others on this forum that might back me up here, the Onkyo and B&W speaker combinations just sound so sweet together it is almost like they were made for each other. The sound is sooooooo powerful, so sweet, so clear, so crisp, so encompassing that it will bring tears to your eyes. It is a sound that you can play soooo loud it will make your head spin, but not hurt. I am really pleased with my system.

Don't get caught up in the 'expensive inter-connect' cowcrap. With good speakers, any good cable will do. If you want to spend money in that area, spend it on the low signal level connects (audio, component etc).

... but these are just my thoughts...
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:48 AM   #6  
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Thanks for all your comments SLedford, PFC5, Oblioman, and advantex. They certainly give me a good starting point.

I've been bouncing between the Yamaha and Onkyo receivers as both CC and Best Buy have good deals on them. I agree about spending more $$ on the speakers than the receiver. I just haven't had a good opportunity to go out and listen to a wide array of speaker packages. That's my homework for now!

If anyone else had any good receiver/speaker packages with the $750 dollar budget, I'd be happy to hear about your experiences. Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:55 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advantex
Well, I come from NZ, so can't comment regards your budget 'cause of the exchange rate which varies quite a bit.

I have an $NZ40,000 system which I am very pleased with. Part of this system is the Onkyo 701 AV receiver and Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) speaker system, for which I will vouch for here.

I have nothing against Yamaha. The system is very very good, very powerful, very clear, crisp and user friendly, however I did find the system sounds 'very different' according to what speakers you attached to it. And that is not a good sign for a quality amp (it shows signs of output-load colouration?)

In the end I chose the Onkyo. It has similar attrbutes but was much more forgiving with the attached speakers. They sounded different, but not radically so. I have had stereo systems since the days of glass tube valves. My preference (not from performance but from sound quality) has always been and still is with 'English design' speakers systems.

For some strange reason, and there are others on this forum that might back me up here, the Onkyo and B&W speaker combinations just sound so sweet together it is almost like they were made for each other. The sound is sooooooo powerful, so sweet, so clear, so crisp, so encompassing that it will bring tears to your eyes. It is a sound that you can play soooo loud it will make your head spin, but not hurt. I am really pleased with my system.

... but these are just my thoughts...
I do agree with the pairing of Onkyo receivers with B&W speakers. That is what i have in my game room. However, I disagree with your statement about Yamaha receivers. Yes, they do sound different when you connect different speakers to it, but so do any other receiver/amp out there. That is why speaker choice is more important than the receiver/amp choice. Of course you need enough power to easily drive any speaker you own, so just "any" receiver won't do.

Different receivers DO sound different too! They shouldn't, but that is reality. Yamaha receivers tend to be neutral sounding, but the Onkyo receivers tend toward the bright side, so they are not a good matchup with Klipsch speakers. IMO Just like Onkyo is a good match with B&W speakers, Yamaha is a good match with Klipsch speakers. This is what I have in my HT system, and they compliment each other well.

B&W speakers cost more than the posters budget allows so they are pretty much out of his list of choices. Another thing about the B&Ws are that they are no where near efficient as Klipsch speakers, so he would need to spend more on his receiver too if he went with the B&Ws. B&Ws are rated around 88db efficiency while the Klipsch run around 94db efficiency. And remember, every 3 db increase in speaker efficiency means you can cut you power requirements in half.

It all comes down to what sounds good with your own ears, since no one hears exactly the same.

Last edited by PFC5; 08-09-2005 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:55 AM   #8  
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I stand corrected. My comment was a bit coloured. I have never heard Klipsch speaker systems therefore I am out of my league here and when I think about it, the various speakers I tried with the Onkyo were not the exact same I tried with the Yamaha - point taken. I do have a high respect for Yamaha.

Your comment was good regarding the budget aspect, I was not aware of the price differences. I agree also about the efficiency, that is an important point when considering dollars/watt.
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:24 AM   #9  
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Default Pushing the budget

I think that this might be pushing your budget but I must recommend Aperion Speakers. There was just a thread on them a couple days ago and their quality is truly impressive. Their compact 5.1 system runs around $700-800 (including shipping and taxes) but they sound like a system costing way more.

I realize that this would eat up all of your budget before even considering a receiver but I think that they are worth checking out. Depending on your existing setup, you could choose to upgrade in pieces and maybe just purchase the speakers (no sub) for $500 and get a new reciever for $250 and upgrade your sub at a later date.

Good luck with your new purchases!!
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