***Official HTIB Alternatives Thread*** - Page 106 - AVS Forum
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post #3151 of 3363 Old 04-04-2009, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jk04523 View Post

I don't think I can use the sub by itself because like many surround PC setups it's got a bunch of electronics integrated into the sub and no discrete sub input.

I'm sure you can, because I'm using my Z-5500 base as a sub right now with my receiver. It just takes a Radioshack '1/8" to Dual RCA Y-Adapter' part 274-883, which you plug into the center/sub socket of the Z-5500 control module, plug a sub 75ohm cable from the receiver into the white RCA socket of the adapter, put the Z-5500 switch in direct mode, and it works fine.

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post #3152 of 3363 Old 04-04-2009, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

I'm sure you can, because I'm using my Z-5500 base as a sub right now with my receiver. It just takes a Radioshack '1/8" to Dual RCA Y-Adapter' part 274-883, which you plug into the center/sub socket of the Z-5500 control module, plug a sub 75ohm cable from the receiver into the white RCA socket of the adapter, put the Z-5500 switch in direct mode, and it works fine.

Oh yeah, I forgot about direct mode. I've been running the thing as 3 pairs of stereo for so long that I forgot it had 6-channel discrete analog inputs. That's looking like a good way to go and would definitely hold me over until I can buy a decent sub without freaking out about price. I've already got plenty of RCA to mini-jack adapters around so no new equipment required.

I guess I'll have to wait until I actually get a receiver and go from there. Thanks for the help.

As related question, do you mind if I ask what receiver are you using right now? I'm thinking I could go with the Onkyo 606 or 607 (not sure if the 607 is worth the extra cash but I know at some point I'll be annoyed at not having front panel HDMI access). I wouldn't mind spending a bit more on a receiver now though to get something that'll last me awhile. The thing is I don't really do anything besides watch movies and play video games on this thing so I don't need buckets of connectors. Ideally I'm just looking for something that handles the audio over HDMI well and can send my video signal along unmolested and most $400+ receivers seem to do that.
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post #3153 of 3363 Old 04-04-2009, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jk04523 View Post

As related question, do you mind if I ask what receiver are you using right now? I'm thinking I could go with the Onkyo 606 or 607 ...

Pioneer VSX-1700TXV-K. Those Onkyo models sound good to me, though I have no personal experience with them. I imagine you know there is a long discussion thread for the 606 in the AMPS, ... forum. The next receiver I buy will have to have 9.1 sound, with height channels.

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post #3154 of 3363 Old 04-04-2009, 09:55 PM
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Yeah, I'm waiting on some Amazon gift certificates from my next credit card bill (putting grad school tuition on credit card at least has some benefits) so I imagine I'll be abusing Google search with site:avsforum.com.

Really my only fear is that I'll end up spending more on the receiver than I wanted to and then end up not being happy with the sound but it being out of my budget to buy the components I'd need for a better sounding setup. Ah well, the researching sometimes seems to be more fun than actually having anyway so at least I've got something to do.
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post #3155 of 3363 Old 04-04-2009, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jk04523 View Post

Really my only fear is that I'll end up spending more on the receiver than I wanted to and then end up not being happy with the sound but it being out of my budget to buy the components I'd need for a better sounding setup.

I often hear on these forums the advice that speakers will make the most contribution to sound quality, therefore one should budget around the best affordable speakers. That is not my advice, but I thought you should know ...

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post #3156 of 3363 Old 04-04-2009, 10:35 PM
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Well, at the end of the day there are probably trade-offs for everything. I can see the logic in getting a receiver first and see what happens. I was thinking I'd have to buy a new sub no matter what so now that I can try it out without having to do that, I've really got some flexibility. And since I don't mind buying in pieces there's no harm in going this way.

I should probably go with the lowest end receiver that meets my needs now anyway since that'll probably be the thing that would benefit most from technical improvements in the coming years. It just seems that mixing and matching but not doing it all at once just makes it a bit harder to factor out all the variables and makes me paranoid I'll never finish. I can see a point where it's always 'just one component away.' That's what makes the HTIBs so tempting, save up your money and give it a go, what you get is what you get.

Speaking of mixing and matching, since you had the z-5500, did you reuse any components besides the subwoofer? And were you using it in a home theater setup before and if so, how did you feel about the improvement in overall quality since the upgrade?

The height stuff definitely sounds interesting, and it does push me a bit more towards the 607. If there were definite plans to incorporate it into games or video game consoles I'd definitely consider it a lot more. Surround sound is a life saver in FPS games so having another dimension could be even better.
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post #3157 of 3363 Old 04-05-2009, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk04523 View Post

Speaking of mixing and matching, since you had the z-5500, did you reuse any components besides the subwoofer? And were you using it in a home theater setup before and if so, how did you feel about the improvement in overall quality since the upgrade?

All parts of my dismembered Z-5500 are in use except the little center channel satellite. I bought it for a second HT in a bedroom, but just didn't like it. I replaced it with an old RCA receiver and Salvation Army speakers that I had lying around unused -- it's much better than the Z-5500 was.

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post #3158 of 3363 Old 04-05-2009, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

All parts of my dismembered Z-5500 are in use except the little center channel satellite. I bought it for a second HT in a bedroom, but just didn't like it. I replaced it with an old RCA receiver and Salvation Army speakers that I had lying around unused -- it's much better than the Z-5500 was.

Wow, that's a strong statement! I've used the Z-5500 for the last 3-4 years (originally for its intended use as PC speakers, then migrated it to the bedroom) and have generally been very pleased with them. Now I'm setting up a home theater for the first time and going with "real" components. I bought Polk M's (M20 mains, M10 surrounds and CSM center) and am wondering how much better they will sound as I haven't yet purchased an AVR (planning on an H/K 254). That statement gives me hope, lol.

It's not a true home theater unless you have a projector. Oh, and popcorn.
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post #3159 of 3363 Old 04-05-2009, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SpartacusMagnus View Post

I've used the Z-5500 for the last 3-4 years (originally for its intended use as PC speakers, then migrated it to the bedroom) and have generally been very pleased with them.

I didn't mean to disparage the Z-5500 speakers when I compared them unfavorably to my Salvation Army speakers, because the latter have some quality (though very cheap) and are much larger. Those little 3" speakers on the Z-5500 satellites just can't compete with the Kenwood LSK-2000 (2-way, 8" woofer) I'm now using as center, or the JBL 4310 studio monitors (3-way, 12" long-excursion woofers) I'm using as fronts.

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post #3160 of 3363 Old 04-12-2009, 09:54 AM
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In buying separates, of course a problem is keeping costs down, and that's especially a problem for me here in Hawaii, since shipping costs are so high. I know you all know about shopping around the Web, so I'm probably not telling you anything new, but I've happened across a couple of good deals from Amazon, with free shipping (even to Hawaii), which I thought I'd mention.

One is a Sony SA-W3800 15" subwoofer for $183, and the other is a Pioneer VSX-817-S 7.1 receiver for $146. I've had the sub for several weeks now, and I just ordered the receiver, which appears to be very similar to the Pioneer 1017, except missing the special THX processing modes. I've had a 1017 for over a year now (it cost me $425) and rarely use THX. (Neither the 817 nor the 1017 process sound over HDMI and neither decodes the new HD Dolby and DTS codecs.)

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post #3161 of 3363 Old 04-24-2009, 11:48 AM
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Ok, after trying to use the z-5500 sub with the receiver I picked up, I think I'm just going to break down and try to pick up a cheap sub from a local shop around here. I want the speakers in the office and I'm just not that happy with how it sounds hooked up to my receiver.

The other 4 speakers are sounding quite good. Definitely better than the little z-5500 speakers. And those speakers actually sound pretty good in my office.

I'm going to look around this weekend for a nice center channel (with matching LR so that I can pick them up in a year or so) and the subwoofer.

Thanks for the help Greg.
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post #3162 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 01:34 AM
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I have an Onkyo 606 currently hooked up to bookshelf speakers and sub of an old Kenwood HTIB. I have to admit that the system sounds a lot better after after I replaced the receiver (VR-407) and ran Audyssey. I would like to replace the speakers w/ a sat system and my options have narrowed down to the Energy Take Classic 5.1 or the Mirage Nanosat 5.1. Both of these are currently on sale at KenCrane's. I have a small to medium area with one side opening up to the dining room. The system is being used 50-50 on movies and moderate music. I'd like to hear some views to help me in choosing w/ one would be a better match? Thanks - this is an awesome thread.
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post #3163 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by zurc View Post

I have an Onkyo 606 currently hooked up to bookshelf speakers and sub of an old Kenwood HTIB. I have to admit that the system sounds a lot better after after I replaced the receiver (VR-407) and ran Audyssey. I would like to replace the speakers w/ a sat system and my options have narrowed down to the Energy Take Classic 5.1 or the Mirage Nanosat 5.1. Both of these are currently on sale at KenCrane's. I have a small to medium area with one side opening up to the dining room. The system is being used 50-50 on movies and moderate music. I'd like to hear some views to help me in choosing w/ one would be a better match? Thanks - this is an awesome thread.

They're very different and it'd be difficult to compare. You really need to make a choice based on what you hear in person as the Nanosats are kind of unique to other speakers. I personally like the Nanosats for music but they're not for everyone.

Having said that; why are you considering such tiny speakers? If you really want to enjoy music 50% like you said I'm afraid you might be disappointed in the end with these small systems. The Nanosats and the Energy Take Classics are very small and, while I think they're probably the better small speakers around, they might sound thin listening to music.

If this is a matter of needing small speakers due to WAF or you just want something unobtrusive, there are some good options. The Mirage Omnisats are a bit bigger but will give a bit more depth to the sound in music. Energy also has some good speakers with 4.5 drivers that might sound good (I've never heard them) and yet be small enough to not look too obtrusive in your room. If size isn't a concern look at the Energy C-100 if you want a good budget set. If you can spend more there are, of course, better speakers out there. In any case, Vanns.com carries both Mirage and Energy at a good price.
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post #3164 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ickysmits View Post

They're very different and it'd be difficult to compare. You really need to make a choice based on what you hear in person as the Nanosats are kind of unique to other speakers. I personally like the Nanosats for music but they're not for everyone.

Having said that; why are you considering such tiny speakers? If you really want to enjoy music 50% like you said I'm afraid you might be disappointed in the end with these small systems. The Nanosats and the Energy Take Classics are very small and, while I think they're probably the better small speakers around, they might sound thin listening to music.

If this is a matter of needing small speakers due to WAF or you just want something unobtrusive, there are some good options. The Mirage Omnisats are a bit bigger but will give a bit more depth to the sound in music. Energy also has some good speakers with 4.5 drivers that might sound good (I've never heard them) and yet be small enough to not look too obtrusive in your room. If size isn't a concern look at the Energy C-100 if you want a good budget set. If you can spend more there are, of course, better speakers out there. In any case, Vanns.com carries both Mirage and Energy at a good price.

Thank you for the quick response. Main issue is space (and WAF of course). The 3 fronts are now lined up horizontally in the shelves of the TV stand which is just 5ft wide. I have barely space on the sides for speaker stands. I was thinking sats would give me better definition plus the option of wall mounting in the future. I could be wrong. The nanosat is currently at $400 while the Take Classic is at $300. I could go for the C-100's, C-C100, C-50's combo but I would have to put them in the same place and horizontal configuration my speakers are at right now. With that in mind, do you think this is still the better option?
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post #3165 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 11:43 AM
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It has been a while since I had the Nanosats, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to put them inside anything. If I'm reading your post correctly it sounds like they'll go inside a shelving unit? The Nanosats need to be in the open to do their omni thing.

Anyway, I was concerned about music with small speakers - it's just something to think about. I don't think it's a good idea to place the C-100s horizontally - how would these fit your space and budget:
http://www.wwstereo.com/#/ecommerce/..._84__0_0_0_-1/
http://www.wwstereo.com/#/ecommerce/..._84__0_0_0_-1/
There are, of course, other mini monitors at higher price points. Or the Nanosats and Energy Take Classics are good too. Just consider that smaller speakers have an inherent limitation due to their size.
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post #3166 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 02:18 PM
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Even the c-50's would have to go in horizontal. The nanosats and Takes are short enough to be placed on the top of the TV stand right in front of the TV for now. I might look into wall mounting them in the future.
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post #3167 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 02:40 PM
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Ah, well then either the Nanosat or Take is the ticket (provided the Nanosats are out in the open). I like the Nanosats but I realize they're not for everyone. If you have a Best Buy they might still have them so you can listen. There are tons of reviews online for the Nanosats and the Takes have a fair amount as well. They're both good choices, sorry I can't be more help.
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post #3168 of 3363 Old 04-27-2009, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for your insights. I probably will be going with the nanosats.
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post #3169 of 3363 Old 04-29-2009, 02:19 PM
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Ok, I need help getting a receiver.

I am buying 4 Energy C-100s, a Energy C-C100, and a Energy ESW-8.

Total is going to come to $426.

I have no idea what a good reciever would be for this. Input devices are going to be x264/DTS 1080p video files and some FLAC audio files from my HTPC and a Nintendo Wii.

Suggestions?


Also, I wouldn't mind upgrading to 2 C-300s, but I can't find the Black ones for the $125 price anywhere. Is that gone now?
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post #3170 of 3363 Old 04-29-2009, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TheMetetron View Post

Ok, I need help getting a receiver.

I am buying 4 Energy C-100s, a Energy C-C100, and a Energy ESW-8.

Total is going to come to $426.
....
Suggestions?
....

What's your receiver budget? Do you need the new HD audio processing or multichannel analog input (for something like DVD-Audio or SACD)?
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post #3171 of 3363 Old 05-04-2009, 01:06 PM
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Here's my budget 7.1 system for a second room, with money saved by buying a previous generation receiver and used speakers:
Code:
$146 Pioneer VSX-817-S, 90W X 7 channels
$ 39 sub, used, JBL PSW-1200, 12" 120 Watts
$ 25 center, used, JBL EC25, 5" woofers X 2 + 0.25" tweeter
$ 39 fronts, used, DCM KX-12 X 2, 12" woofer + 6" mid + 0.75" tweeter
$ 25 side surrounds, used, JBL E10 X 2, 4" woofer + 0.75" tweeter
$ 10 back surrounds, used, Sony SS-L80 X 2, 15cm woofer + 5cm tweeter + 2cm supertweeter
---
$284 total

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post #3172 of 3363 Old 05-05-2009, 05:51 AM
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Page one needs some major updates. Clocking in at 106 pages, maybe we should start a new HTiB alternative thread?
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post #3173 of 3363 Old 05-07-2009, 02:40 PM
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Haven't read anything recently on wireless rear speakers. Is there anything good out there yet..hell I would be happy with decent.

Just about have the boss (wife) convinced to let me get home theatre 5.1 is my goal but will pbly get a 7.1 receiver. I really want HDMI pass thru audio. What is recommended here? Still the 606?
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post #3174 of 3363 Old 05-08-2009, 07:53 PM
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Veeper. I agree. I just found this site. Read this thread and saw 106 and nearly died. With my dial-up connection, it would take me two days to read the thread! Having 106 pages is basically being an FAQ masquerading as a thread. Still, I guess you can always just hit last if you want and skip all the stuff. Not a big deal either way, just saying...
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post #3175 of 3363 Old 05-08-2009, 08:22 PM
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HELP!

If y'all read my profile, you'll see I am extragalactically out of my element on this site. Anyway, my DVD player just broke so now I'm down to a separate "A/V system" and "audio system". My "A/V" is a 22"-or-so flat-screen TV with several different input types and an old, breaking-down VHS. When my (former) DVD broke tonight, that was the last straw. I knew I needed something more. I felt like Beavis when his television was stolen. (Am I dating myself?) Well, actually no I didn't feel that bad. I usually web surf and sometimes read.

Still, my wife and I don't have cable or high-speed internet and broadcast television doesn't penetrate our apartment walls apparently. My separate stereo system is a 1982 Yorx with barely 1/2 a speaker left. Listening to one bad speaker of AC/DC can be pretty sad when all you've pretty much got is a bass guitar thrumming and the other channel is silent, so I am finally ready to "move up" in the world. It seems spending all your money on skiing and other fun things can leave your music gear pretty worn out and ancient.

I'm thinking of a budget of max $700 to patch together the TV and VCR with new stuff I need to buy. I need a video disc of some type (Blu-Ray?), 2.0 sound system, AM/FM reciever, and phonograph (yes, I said that), along with potential to upgrade or add surround sound and add'l components. (I don't know if that means I also need some kind of A/V receiver, especially if I want to add digital personal (iPod-style) players some day?). One more thing - I want at least two more auxiliary (wireless) speakers in the bedroom and an option for two in the basement. I want to do chores in multiple rooms when I listen to a ballgame or music and I don't want to have the audio cranked so high it is bothering my neighbors, let alone my wife. So, at least two remote auxiliary wireless speakers (not surround sound) with option to expand.

Is this possible for <$700, especially if I get used stuff? What about the option of connecting a PC if I get high-speed internet and want to connect a quality music stream? Can leave in that option?

Again, I am obviously way out of touch on this stuff, but I would like to start living like a normal human with decent toys in his living room.

Thanks.

p.s. - The guy who started this thread (was that Greg?) had a good idea. I don't know if my post fits in, but I hope so.
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post #3176 of 3363 Old 05-09-2009, 12:40 PM
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@bf1 - I saw this the other day and it looks like it was made specifically for you: http://www.accessories4less.com/make...hnology/1.html

You're going to have a heck of a time getting wireless speakers into the bedroom and another set in the basement. It would add quite a bit to the cost and might not work very well. This thing is set up with all the speakers you'd need for extra rooms, allbeit, clock radio quality speakers. But it comes with 5 clients so you could add them to extra rooms, scatter them around the house, and/or put a few in the same room for some kind of effect without running any extra wires except a power cord. For less than $500 you're set - the receiver looks sturdy and has some good heft at 30lbs and you'd be capitalizing on an idea that doesn't seem like it ever took-off for the price they originally wanted ($1300 MSRP with only 1 client).

I have no idea how well audio over power lines would sound or how well this works, it seems unconventional but it's probably a better solution than wireless. It works by sending the audio signal through the power lines and decoding it at the other end with the client. I'm sure there are some limitations but check it out and see if they'd be significant to you. It seems like the main limitation is that it only sends analog signals to the clients - if you connect a DVD player with the digital out for example, you'd also need to connect the analog out if you wanted to hear it in another room with a client. The receiver has 4 digital inputs, pre-outs for an external amp if you ever needed more power, and analog inputs you could use if you got a blu-ray player (make sure you get a player with analog outs). The only thing it doesn't have is HDMI but who cares, it looks like it solves your other requirements so well. It looks pretty good for a receiver but a generation behind in functionality; it lacks HDMI and new audio codecs but I don't think that's too big of a deal as a lot of that is unnecessary hype anyway.

The only other thing you'd need is a pair of speakers for the main room but shouldn't be a problem with $200. It's more difficult because there's a lot of individual taste and you should really hear before you buy. Check out some of the KEF IQ speakers at accessories4less, those are on clearance and are good value. I recently heard some Wharfedale speakers and they sounded nice, are designed well, and the price is excellent from Sound and Vision for the Diamond 9.1 and Diamond 9.2. If you're not crazy about the Marantz idea, accessories4less is at least a good resource for refurbished as they're authorized and products will come with some sort of warranty.

Product page: http://us.marantz.com/Products/1545.asp#
Reviews:
http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...-31933397.html
http://us.marantz.com/DAvEDSoundVisionMay06.pdf
http://us.marantz.com/MarantDAvEDNYT2-9-06.pdf
http://www.audioholics.com/news/trad...plc-technology

If you're just going to hook up a 22" TV why bother with Blu-ray? A regular DVD player woul do fine. Maybe consider a BD player if you get a bigger LCD or plasma and then you can sometimes find a special deal that includes a BD player along with the TV. My suggestion would be to get a matching Marantz DVD player from the same dealer to save on shipping, it looks good with the receiver, and may be better integrated with the client units (you may be better able to control it as a CD player from the client in another room - but I don't know): http://www.accessories4less.com/make...n-Sale-/1.html

If you can do without support for the exta rooms you can get a cheaper receiver and spend more on some quality speakers. Keep in mind that I've never heard this Marantz thing or played with the audio over power lines and I'm just recomending based on something I saw online, but it just looks like a cool gadget for the right person. Another plus I forgot to mention is that it comes with a learning remote. Here are some pictures of the Marantz and the client in the wild:





...and, since I've already gotten carried away, some pix using it in different ways:



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post #3177 of 3363 Old 05-09-2009, 08:21 PM
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Icky, The Marantz seems worth checking out. I've got other things to attend to right now, unfortunately, so I'll have to get back to the issue later. Thanks for the idea. Not sure how many hours I would spend churning through miscellaneous websites before I found that.

One curious thing - what is with the "stereo" speakers 1 foot apart. I see that a lot on portable sound systems. Is that worthwhile? Do people notice the "stereo" when they are not right next to it, or is that marketing, and is it worth the cost of an extra speaker instead of a better speaker (or 1 mid plus 1 tweet?). Ah, that's probably in another thread or forum somewhere.

Thanks again.
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post #3178 of 3363 Old 05-10-2009, 12:19 PM
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I've been thinking about buying an Onkyo HT-S5200 7.1 HTIB for a while now, and since it's only about $500, I figured I'd just live with the 'low quality' speakers, since I didn't want to spend much more than that.

However, after reading this thread a little, I realized that I could just get a good quality receiver and stereo speakers right now, and just build up my system bit by bit in the future. I may or may not save money by doing stereo only right now, but I would probably get better sound quality.

So my question is: Can anyone recommend a very solid 7.1 receiver (or 5.1, I guess) and a pair of very solid stereo speakers (would I need a subwoofer, too?) for someone who doesn't want to spend a lot? Maybe $500 max? I have to save up for this, so the more expensive it is, the longer I have to wait.

I know this is subjective, but hopefully there's some consensus on what's 'best' ('most accurate') in this price range.
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post #3179 of 3363 Old 05-11-2009, 09:48 AM
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I saw them a while back at monoprice while shopping for something else. These are in-wall speakers
Code:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10837
If anyone of you had pulled the trigger on these, can you share your thoughts. They have some great reviews on monoprice.

Thanks
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post #3180 of 3363 Old 05-11-2009, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMetetron View Post

Ok, I need help getting a receiver.

I am buying 4 Energy C-100s, a Energy C-C100, and a Energy ESW-8.

Total is going to come to $426.

I have no idea what a good reciever would be for this. Input devices are going to be x264/DTS 1080p video files and some FLAC audio files from my HTPC and a Nintendo Wii.

Suggestions?


Also, I wouldn't mind upgrading to 2 C-300s, but I can't find the Black ones for the $125 price anywhere. Is that gone now?

$129
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ENC300

Afro GT
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