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post #1 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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hi everyone... first off, wanted to say hi and tell you all how wonderful this forum is, since i am a newbie here... so here is what's going on... i am moving into a new house and my parents are getting me a pioneer 5010fd plasma, which i am soooo excited about... now comes the audio... to be honest, i am on a budget of about $600-$800 (more towards the lower end) and wanted to get something nice... i know a decent amount about home theaters as i have designed my fathers $20,000 system... the reason why i state this is that i have realized that quality is MUCH more important than quantity.. for the longest time, i thought that i would get a onkyo htib, which are great little things in this budget, but i have started to think that it may not be the wisest investment... it would be nice to have something to build on to in the future... so here is what i am thinking of, either a 2.1 or 3.1 system for now....

so let it start... what can you guys come up with me for that price range in what i am looking for (just speakers and a/v receiver)... ideally, i would like to have some floorstanding speakers that look nice (of course, b&w is out of my range)... i was thinking of something from kef or klipsch... so please, ALL suggestions are needed...

i have a couple questions keeping the above in mind:

1. will i actually need a 3.1 system for now (vs. just 2 speakers in front)... most of my needs are movies, some video games, and only occasional music.... so for this, how will a 2.1 system do with voices in movies??? i wouldn't mind holding off on the center in order to get nicer fronts for my budget, IF it can do a good job of delivering for movies.... would the a/v receiver just need to be put into a ghost mode or something without a center channel??

2. after haivng spent $600-800 on a 2.1 or 3.1 system, will it sound better than an htib... i know this may sound like a stupid question because the quality of the speakers and receiver will be much better, but i am asking about the overall experience... i.e. will i miss out on the surround from the satellites when watching movies?? will i feel like only 2/3 speakers aren't filling the room and just giving a directional/front sound?? just to give you a general idea, the living room is about 20x20..

3. i hope that the above has given you guys some idea of what i am looking for... conisdering this, is my approach ok to ditch the htib??

thanks to everyone in advance and i look forward to hearing from you....
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 10:08 PM
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Well this is going to be a very tough task to get beyond an htib for this budget. KEF and Klipsch are pretty well out of the question, especially for floorstanding. I tried the "phantom" center for a bit and didn't much care for it.
Starting at the receiver...Pick up the Yamaha RX-V661 from Amazon for $319 shipped if you are planning getting a Blu-ray player in the next few months. If not, a more basic receiver will do the trick like the: Onkyo 505 for $189 shipped @ Amazon.
Lets assume you are going the Onkyo 505 route and are left with $600 max for speakers.
Front L/R: Polk Monitor 50's from Amazon $130 each shipped
Center: Polk CS1 at Amazon $97 shipped===$357
Sub: Bic Acoustech H-100 from Sounddistributors.com via e-Bay...Best offer @ $190+ $49 shipping= $239
Total= $785
If you opted for the Yamaha V661 (recommend for better future proofing)...you could drop the sub down a bit to the Velodyne VX-10 from Amazon for $185 shipped.
Total= $861

As you will see in your searching, $600 will not buy you much and $800 will buy you the bare minimums. You might want to wait for a time when you can get your budget up over the $1000. But these are a few options to look at.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 10:31 PM
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If you foresee having more money to spend down the road, you might want to start off with a decent $400~$500 receiver, plus left/right main speakers. Then you can add a center channel, sub, and surround speakers down the road.

These "mains" could even be moved to surround speaker duty later once you get bigger front speakers.

Here are some good starter "main" speakers:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...00/htm200.html
http://**********/index.php?page=shop...mart&Itemid=37
http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3.html
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ures/544375712
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ENC200

And lots of options here:
http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept=49

You can also find good deals at BB/CC and other stores doing closeouts.



Like Mike said, trying to get a complete setup for $600-800, for speakers and a receiver, basically leaves you with an HTiB-type setup. Who knows, maybe that's all you need or want!

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 10:59 PM
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Bri gave me another idea. Leaving out the sub for now would be a good idea, you can still get good bass from floorstanders and since you like Klipsch....These are almost identical to the Klipsch at half the price:
Yamaha RX-V661 for $319 shipped @ Amazon
Bic Acoustech HT-75 for front L/R from Sounddistributors.com thru e-Bay Best Offer @ $279/pr shipped
Bic Acoustech HT-65 center for $140 shipped same as above
http://sounddistributors.com/buynow....at_name=Search
http://sounddistributors.com/buynow....at_name=Search
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V661...2127138&sr=1-3
That's $738 for a 3.0 with a semi-future proof receiver with HDMI

Then you can save up for the Acoustech HT-63 surrounds and the matching Acoustech H-100 or an even better sub

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all the responses guys... i understand what you are saying... that budget will only give me "entery level" stuff... now what if i bump up the budget to $1000... what can i get, and can i get into kef, nht, or klipsch then??

and what about the answers to a couple of my questions....


1. will i actually need a 3.1 system for now (vs. just 2 speakers in front)... most of my needs are movies, some video games, and only occasional music.... so for this, how will a 2.1 system do with voices in movies??? i wouldn't mind holding off on the center in order to get nicer fronts for my budget, IF it can do a good job of delivering for movies.... would the a/v receiver just need to be put into a ghost mode or something without a center channel??

2. after haivng spent $600-800 on a 2.1 or 3.1 system, will it sound better than an htib... i know this may sound like a stupid question because the quality of the speakers and receiver will be much better, but i am asking about the overall experience... i.e. will i miss out on the surround from the satellites when watching movies?? will i feel like only 2/3 speakers aren't filling the room and just giving a directional/front sound?? just to give you a general idea, the living room is about 20x20..

3. i hope that the above has given you guys some idea of what i am looking for... conisdering this, is my approach ok to ditch the htib??
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 01:25 AM
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Yes, for $1K you could possibly get a nice starter 5.1 and an entry-level receiver.

For example, you can get 5 of these for $375, just need to add a sub.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ATWS15

$300 for these 5 Klipsch satellites, just add a sub:
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ures/548231423




Good subs you might match with those:
x-sub $200 - http://**********/index.php?page=shop...mart&Itemid=37

STF-1 $250 - http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-1.html

Or for a little more oomph, this 10" STF-2 at $350 - http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html


Add a receiver for $400 or so and you have a nice starter set, much better than an HTiB.


This Onkyo 506 has 3 HDMI inputs, for $240:
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ures/538299819
or the 605 with HDMI upconversion for $350 (but only 2 HDMI ins, older model):
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ures/538500476

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 07:21 AM
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You can get a refurbished Onkyo HT-S894 Htib for $529.
It's what I use.
I'm also looking at upgrading the speakers to Infinity Beta's


Check out the Infinity Beta 10s, Beta 20s and Beta 40s
I believe they are at close out prices at www.vanns.com
You could spend around $750 to $1000 on speakers/sub.
Then get an Onkyo receiver.

Yamaha RX-V671 receiver
Infinity Beta 5.1
Samsung UN55FH6200F (Costco) LCD TV
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 07:42 AM
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I would just get started with a decent receiver and 2 channel. Voices will sound fine, if you are concerned. If you do decide to up your budget to $1000, you can get some pretty darn good floorstanders on top of your receiver. You can always upgrade later.

I like Ice Cream!
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 09:02 AM
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I would go with Acculines. I just bought some and you will be hard pressed to find a better tweeter at this price. The bass from the speakers is not fantastic, but you are using a sub anyway.
http://www.theaudioinsider.com/produ...9695eaeb8336e9

They are basically BG zseries with a plainer finish, slightly more directional tweeter and lower price. (check out the cumulative spectral decay plot above 2000Hz for the tweeter)
http://www.stereophile.com/standloud...6bg/index.html

BTW, the May special is about to run out...
http://theaudioinsider.com/forum/vie...e3e32e4a5028d4
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 01:43 PM
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http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...umber=ATKLS500

Check this 5.0 Athena set for under $600.
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 05:32 PM
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You might even keep an eye out for good deals from reputable people on audiogon.com. Some of the posters are dealers with extra stock or "frequent fliers" that have good ratings and offer items at really good prices for "lightly used" equipment when they get the upgrade bug.

You can often pick up some real gems like B&W CDM 1s in pristine condition for $400 a pair.

Read about the Sony Rootkit fiasco.
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