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post #1 of 35 Old 12-30-2013, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm new here and looking to get my first home audio system.. I've been looking at places like brandsmart and best buy but I have no idea What to look for. My budget would be preferably under 200 or 250. I'm into car audio also and I love bass, so I'd like the home audio to be decently loud. I'm looking at a home theater in a box but if there are other deals I'd be interested in that too. any help is appreciated! Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-31-2013, 10:10 AM
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Welcome to avs...... I will try to point you in the right direction, my intent is to inform you not to bash you or crush your dreams so keep that in mind when reading the following:

If you like car audio most likely you like loud bass with lots of distortion and not very good accuracy. When I was a teen I was into that as well so i understand... Another thing for HT even a decent powered subwoofer you are looking at $200 to $300 for anything that can play anykind of loud or semi deep. So any HTIB in the $200 to $250 price range will probably have only about a 100watt 8" sub that will probably only play down to the upper 30s hz wise..... If you want an HTIB and you want to be happy and not want to upgrade right away I would look at the Onkyo HT-S9400THX 7.1 system, it is the best HTIB on the market. If you don't mind buying refurbished which I have bought several refurb items with no issues. You can get the 9400THX at accessories4less.com for $600. I have personally heard that system and set a few of them up for ppl and I can tell you that for $600 for a complete 7.1 system you can't do better.
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post #3 of 35 Old 12-31-2013, 02:05 PM
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^^^^ that is good advice so I'd seriously consider it. $250 is going to be unreasonably tight for what you want so you might want to consider expanding your budget a bit. The Onkyo mentioned would be a good place to start because the receiver is nice and can certainly accommodate better speakers down the road should you choose to upgrade them. A good receiver is essential, but speakers are what makes a decent system sound great.
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-31-2013, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm here to learn a little so bash away if necessary. I believe my car sounds great. Not looking for it to sound near as good as my car or invest as much money on the home theater. $600 is a little steep . I just really want nice sound and good bass. I'm coming from straight tv sound so basically anything would be a great upgrade. I just don't wanna spend the money then it ends up sounding about the same as a regular radio hooked up to the tv. Seeing as though I'd never purchase any of my car audio from retail stores, does the same apply with HT? Should I stay away from everything in stores like best bestbuy and brandsmart? I saw a few for under 250 but as you said it'll be something minimal. And last question. if 200-300 was all you had to spend is there anything in that range that you would purchase?
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-31-2013, 08:38 PM
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No bashing is necessary. We're here to help and have all been there "at the beginning". All we can do is offer advice based on experience. For $300, Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon offer entry level HTib's that will work for you, for now. The nice thing is that while they sound nice for what they are, the receivers can be used with better speakers down the road. Forget car stereo sound in home for now. It's not in your budget. FWIW, I'd look at a system that does not have a built-in blu-ray player. The sub is usually passive which means it derives it's power from the blu-ray player. I'd look for a system with an active sub, meaning that it has it's own power supply/amp. The bass response will be much better.
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-01-2014, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah took me a while to finally put money into my car system. Maybe I'll end up the same way here but I gotta start somewhere. Onkyo has been mentioned to me quite a few times. And Yamaha also. I'll definitely be looking to get a sysyem with an active sub. Running it off blu ray Id kinda like running my car speakers off the head unit I'm assuming. it'll turn them on but won't sound great. sorry for all the car audio references lol it's how I learn. I can Y'all are much more helpful than most car audio guys. Been nothing but helpful. I appreciate all advice that's been given and all advice not yet given.
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post #7 of 35 Old 01-01-2014, 09:39 AM
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FWIW, I started off with a Yamaha system and it has served us perfectly. The receiver is rock solid and doesn't overheat and the sound fills our family room quite nicely. I don't listen at window-shaking volumes so it's just fine for us wink.gif
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-01-2014, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xce1encE View Post

I'm new here and looking to get my first home audio system.. I've been looking at places like brandsmart and best buy but I have no idea What to look for. My budget would be preferably under 200 or 250. I'm into car audio also and I love bass, so I'd like the home audio to be decently loud. I'm looking at a home theater in a box but if there are other deals I'd be interested in that too. any help is appreciated! Thanks in advance

What to look for? Umm, more money! Seriously.

There are some tricks.

(1) Only try to build a 2.0 system at first.

(2) Get a low end quality brand receiver refurbed from places like Accessories4less.com

(3) Pick out a pair of speakers from Pioneer's "Famous Designer" line.

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS41-LR-Watt-2-Way-Speakers/dp/B0045US6DE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
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post #9 of 35 Old 01-02-2014, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Well if it makes any difference the room isn't huge 15x16. So I'd think something in that price range would suffice?
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post #10 of 35 Old 01-02-2014, 05:19 PM
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^^^^ our room is about 13x16, with a 12' cathedral ceiling. Hardwood floor. The speakers are bookshelf-sized and on stands. The sound fills the room very nicely ( -25dB is our normal, comfortable listening level) and is very clear and clean, with good fidelity. It all depends on what your expectations are, loudness, listening environment (furnishings, flooring, wall coverings, etc) and how you setup your speakers.
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post #11 of 35 Old 01-03-2014, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xce1encE View Post

Well if it makes any difference the room isn't huge 15x16. So I'd think something in that price range would suffice?

Trust me I understand we all have budgets to go buy. But one thing I will tell you is the better you can buy now the more money you will save down the road. If you buy something now that is a decent solid system you won't want to upgrade right away but if you buy something that as soon as you crank the volume everything starts distorting you will be looking to upgrade sooner than later.

So I would advise at least listen to a cheaper system in store so you can have an idea how it will sound even tho it will sound totally different in your room.

A system with a lil 8" sub will not provide you with the bass you want or like. It may rumble but won't be accurate at all and will be quite boomy. I know I had 2 HTIB systems before I got into my current system. And I wish I would have bought the Onkyo 9100THX (the older version of the 9400THX) and it would have saved me alot of money.
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post #12 of 35 Old 01-03-2014, 08:26 AM
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^^^^^ definite food for thought.
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post #13 of 35 Old 01-03-2014, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I suppose it's time to save then. I'm in my car now and I need the bass. it's like a drug.. so 600 is a start. You're right about that though. I've upgraded my car system multiple times.. usually buying new them having to sell for way less. So you're all right. Thanks!
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post #14 of 35 Old 01-03-2014, 09:34 AM
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^^^ You did the right thing tho. Ask first then buy. So many times ppl buy stuff then ask why it doesn't do this or that or why it sounds bad and they had no idea all that goes into choosing a surround system. So you are definitely on the right track. Once you make a purchase make sure to report back and let us know what you got and how you like it... BUT don't search this forum too much because this forum will burn a hole thru your wallet. You have to accept that someone will always have better than you. And sometimes you just have to say no, this is my absolute max budget I can't go any higher, because if you don't there will always be that "Well if you could just spend $200 more you could have so much better" and so on. So good luck and hope you can save so you can have your HT system sometime in the near future and I hope you end up with something that your happy with.

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post #15 of 35 Old 01-03-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh no definitely not going any higher than 600 lol. Well I'm glad it's people who actually want to help and point me in the right direction. I do plan to go to stores and see What I can hear before I purchase something. Someone was telling me about ordering something off Parts express and I'd just have to put it together myself. It was called tri trix. 2 towers and a sub with a Harmon kardon 3490 i believe I. Then someone else also suggested a klipsch hd3000.
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post #16 of 35 Old 01-03-2014, 01:44 PM
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For $600 you can get into a nice, entry level HTiB. The speakers will be ok but the receiver should be robust enough to easily get you thru a speaker upgrade when the time, and money, comes.
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post #17 of 35 Old 01-05-2014, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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How about the onkyo Hts 5600?
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post #18 of 35 Old 01-05-2014, 11:16 AM
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I am also looking to buy my first system. I just got a new panasonic zt 65 inch tv and would like to add some nice sound to it. I dont really need or want a lot of base. Wife is asleep while I watch a lot of tv. Just looking for something solid and improve my movie and tv watching experience. Open to sound bars or whatever. I sit 9 ft away from the TV and the room is a rowhouse city living rom. Not that big. THe other issue I have is am running everything through my xbox one so I dont know what will work with it. Here is the set up and how they say it works with the xbox one. Honestly I dont know what beta is or what this means. If any can explain or help it would be much appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

Support for digital surround sound from your cable or satellite box is currently available as a beta. By default, only stereo sound will be received.

Follow these steps to enable digital surround sound:

  1. From Home, say “Xbox, go to Settings” or select the Settings tile from My games & apps.
  2. Select TV & OneGuide.
  3. Select Troubleshooting.
  4. Select the Surround Sound (BETA) option.

Note Your Xbox One can produce digital surround sound for games and Blu-ray or DVD movies. Only the digital audio pass-through from your cable or satellite box is in beta.

 

 

 
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post #19 of 35 Old 01-08-2014, 10:14 AM
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I was going to start a new thread but it looks like this may be a better place to post.

I'm also looking for a basic starter system. I have a Toshiba Integrated DVD Receiver SD6109C which has worked well for many years but appears to be conking out. It cuts out and goes into standby during movie playback or streaming - once or twice for some content and every 30 seconds for other content. Rather than trying to track down what may be going wrong and seeing if there is a way to fix is, I'm thinking an upgrade makes more sense.

So I have all of the speakers for 5.1 including a 10" powered Infiniti base and would appreciate recommendations on an entry-level 7.1 sound system to replace my SD6109C. Never use the Radio on the SD6109C so don't care about that either way, and while I have not used the DVD since Blue Ray came out, the PS3 is loud so I would not mind a unit that includes a Blue Ray player if the additional cost is nominal (since I assume the player will be much quieter).

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post #20 of 35 Old 01-08-2014, 12:37 PM
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Keep in mind that integrated HTiB's (built-in blu-ray player) sometimes have proprietary speaker connections so it can be difficult (without wire cutting/modifying) to connect existing speakers depending on what you have. They also use the blu-ray player to power the sub that comes with them (passive) and that may lead to a less than desireable sound with your existing sub. I would not recommend getting a system with a built-in blu-ray player. Either use your PS3 or get a separate player. You can get really good ones for around $150 or less.
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post #21 of 35 Old 01-08-2014, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Keep in mind that integrated HTiB's (built-in blu-ray player) sometimes have proprietary speaker connections so it can be difficult (without wire cutting/modifying) to connect existing speakers depending on what you have. They also use the blu-ray player to power the sub that comes with them (passive) and that may lead to a less than desireable sound with your existing sub. I would not recommend getting a system with a built-in blu-ray player. Either use your PS3 or get a separate player. You can get really good ones for around $150 or less.

That's a bummer. My existing Toshiba has raw-wire clamps and a specific jack out to the woofer which has its own power supply. So it sounds like you are telling me those days are gone and there are no AV receivers that integrate Blueray players with clamps for raw-wire output (which I have on both the Toshiba as well as the speakers)?

I was hoping to get away with a single box rather than two, but if that will not be possible (or leverage the loud PS3), I guess I need to look into a basic 5.1 or 7.1 AV Receiver - any recommendations?

-fafrd
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post #22 of 35 Old 01-08-2014, 02:23 PM
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Bare wire for the speakers shouldn't be a problem because a lot of receivers, even the entry level ones, have binding post connectors on them so that most any type of connection (bare wire, banana plug, etc) will work for the speakers. The reason being is that you are basically buying a separate, standalone receiver and connecting other speaker types and devices (blu-ray player, etc) to it. The integrated HTiBs that I've seen usually have their own speaker connections (and sub connections) but you can modify existing speakers (and subs) to work with them, but I think you'd be disappointed with the performance.

Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon all make very nice entry level receivers that can accommodate just about any kind of 5.1 combination that would probably work with your existing speakers (I think you said your sub was an active one). You can always upgrade your speakers down the road.
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post #23 of 35 Old 01-08-2014, 02:44 PM
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Thanks. Any specific model numbers to recommend or just the lowest cost receiver from each of those manufacturers?

-fafrd
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-08-2014, 06:39 PM
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That's difficult. It depends on what you want to do now and possibly in the future. Any of those three have very nice entry level receivers but you need to decide what you need now and possibly want in the future. It's a difficult decision but most people keep their receivers and upgrade the speakers down the road because speakers are what's make the system.
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post #25 of 35 Old 01-13-2014, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fafrd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Keep in mind that integrated HTiB's (built-in blu-ray player) sometimes have proprietary speaker connections so it can be difficult (without wire cutting/modifying) to connect existing speakers depending on what you have. They also use the blu-ray player to power the sub that comes with them (passive) and that may lead to a less than desireable sound with your existing sub. I would not recommend getting a system with a built-in blu-ray player. Either use your PS3 or get a separate player. You can get really good ones for around $150 or less.

That's a bummer. My existing Toshiba has raw-wire clamps and a specific jack out to the woofer which has its own power supply. So it sounds like you are telling me those days are gone and there are no AV receivers that integrate Blueray players with clamps for raw-wire output (which I have on both the Toshiba as well as the speakers)?

I was hoping to get away with a single box rather than two, but if that will not be possible (or leverage the loud PS3), I guess I need to look into a basic 5.1 or 7.1 AV Receiver - any recommendations?

Putting a BD player inside the AVR box gives me a headache because the BD player is mechanical and therefore more prone to failure than the all-electronic AVR.

IME HTIBs are a pig in a poke.The speakers are usually the most questionable part.

A low initial cost makes no sense if you are looking for good speakers a few months later.
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post #26 of 35 Old 01-13-2014, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks. Any specific model numbers to recommend or just the lowest cost receiver from each of those manufacturers?

-fafrd

Go to acessories4less.com

Restrict brand to Denon and sort by price

Pick the cheapest thing that you can stand the feature set of.. Figure 1/3 for speakers, 1/3 for the sub, 1/3 for the AVR.

Recalculate these fractions if you use speakers or a sub that you already have. IOW if you carry forward the sub, split your budget between the AVR and the sub.

As you increase your total budget plan on spending more on the sub and speakers and cut the AVR share accordingly. By the time you get to $2k total system price, the AVR can only be $3-500 which is now topping out at 1/4 of the total budget.
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post #27 of 35 Old 01-13-2014, 01:51 PM
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IME HTIBs are a pig in a poke.The speakers are usually the most questionable part.

A low initial cost makes no sense if you are looking for good speakers a few months later.

Agree about the speakers but not the utility of a HTiB in general. If money is tight, one can get a very nice receiver in a HTiB configuration and still enjoy the immersive experience that true surround sound offers for as long as is necessary. Then, as the budget allows, upgrade the speakers for much better audio fidelity. I think the market for <$1000 HTS's is huge and HTiB's (if one researches and buys carefully) fills the void quite nicely.
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post #28 of 35 Old 01-13-2014, 05:17 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

I have a Toshiba SD-6109C 5.1 receiver that has served me very well, but for whatever reason it has started going into standby in the middle of playback (every 30 minutes with some material, every minute with other material) and I feel like it's not going to be worth the trouble to try to track down and possibly fix the problem (even if that would be possible with such an outdated unit).

I also use the PS3 for BlueRay which is very loud.

And it is pretty clear that with the emergence of 4K and UHD streaming, standards are likely to be evolving over the next couple of years.

All of this to explain why I have decided not to spend a great deal now and just tide myself over with a basic HTB solution until 2015/16.

I can get a used Samsung HT-F4500 3D Blu-Ray Home Theater System for $100 and when I decide to upgrade a year from now, I can get a real A/V receiver and continue to use the Samsung as a BlueRay player.

If anyone sees major downside to this plan, I'd appreciate a heads-up before I've pulled the trigger. There is a fellow in town selling his used HT-F4500 and I plan to buy it on Wednesday...

thanks again, all,

-fafrd
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post #29 of 35 Old 01-13-2014, 05:36 PM
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I don't know if you can just use the blu-ray player of an integrated HTiB with another receiver. I wouldn't. If the Samsung plays to your satisfaction (and i would set it up and run it thru the paces before you lay out any cash), then just use it for as long as you can and save up your money to buy a separate blu-ray player, 5.1 speakers, and a receiver.
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post #30 of 35 Old 01-13-2014, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
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I don't know if you can just use the blu-ray player of an integrated HTiB with another receiver. I wouldn't. If the Samsung plays to your satisfaction (and i would set it up and run it thru the paces before you lay out any cash), then just use it for as long as you can and save up your money to buy a separate blu-ray player, 5.1 speakers, and a receiver.

OK - thanks for the heads-up.

-fafrd
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