Help with first Home Theatre/media center - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-04-2011, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I just joined today and this is my first post. I am doing a house renovation and before I put up the drywall and ceilings I wanted to wire for speakers and figure out my components. I am not tech savvy at all and want good quality and sound but for 51 years old and listening to alot of rock, I don't hear so well anyways. So this will be placed in a family room the seating area of which is about 12 feet in depth and width and is opened without walls to a kitchen and living room and has a a lot of windows. I was thinking about in ceiling speakers to keep it clean and the room isn't that big. My contractor had his A/V guy come up with a proposal and it was real high!!! I am looking to spend between 2 and 3 K and hope I can put together something nice for that. Even 4 K would be alot below the proposal. The proposal included a Panasonic 50' Plasma TV, Onkyo TXSR 609 Surround Amp, LG Blu-ray, Elan Elios speakers, a Triad Omni Bronze Sub-woofer, and Universal Remotes Remote Control and Receiver, and labor and setup. I'm interested in what you think about these components and if you can recommend of cheaper components without sacrificing too much sound and quality. Thanks much.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-04-2011, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I just walked into a store and in response to asking systems not too expensive they said I should be able to get one for 10-15 K. So I guess I am naive about what to expect and the proposal for 6K is not that bad. That said, any suggestions in the 3-5 k range?
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-04-2011, 01:45 PM
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From what you are saying is that you have nothing at this point? Not even a TV? You can buy a 1080p 50" Plasma TV for under or around $1,000. From my experience, Plasma and light don't work well together, so I watch my Plasma TV, all my curtains are close. My brother have a LCD and seems to work a lot better in brighter situation. Stores such as Frys, Sears often run pretty decent sales on their TV. Go to bargain websites such slickdeals.net or fatwallet and keep an eye on sales.

You can buy an entry level Blu-ray player around $100 at many stores, including online like Amazon, vanns, 6ave.

Receivers go on sale often, again check slickdeals or fatwallet daily. Onkyo, Yamaha, and Denon go on sale often. You can get a good receiver in the $300-500 range from any of these brands I just mentioned.

From my research, most would avoid ceiling speakers for your main fronts. They can get by as surrounds. How many speakers are you planning to buy? Do you want a subwoofer as well? Are you open to others or are you set on just ceiling speakers?

You can buy all your wires, connectors, HDMI cords online from monoprice.com. Affordable, good products, and super fast shipping.

You don't need to overspend if you know where to look and keep an eye on items when it goes on sale.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-07-2011, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much... very helpful.... I do not currently own any components. The reason for the ceiling speakers is because the only wall on the whole floor is a 5 ft wall whihc will hold the TV.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-07-2011, 02:30 PM
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Sometimes I think these salesmen and contractors are living on another planet. You should be able to put yourself a decent little system together with your 3k budget. Get busy researching, trying to audition a few different loudspeakers brands in your price range (and probably a modest but good subwoofer). Eventually speaker choiice will have to depend a bit on your listening tastes and room acoustics and they are probably the most critical component. For your first home theatre, probably any modern receiver will work out fine, but again, do your research if you're particularly interested in some certain feature (I dunno, like satellite radio, or whatever). Oh, get your speaker wires run if you're planning ceiling surrounds (researching again on speaker wire topics, because once again they'll try to soak you for some fancy stuff that you don't need)

Don't let those people talk you into something over your budget. You will almost certainly get the bug and upgrade in the future, but by then you'll be much more knowledgeable.

Try to post a sketch of your room layout. And good luck
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-07-2011, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBR View Post

From what you are saying is that you have nothing at this point? Not even a TV? You can buy a 1080p 50" Plasma TV for under or around $1,000. From my experience, Plasma and light don't work well together, so I watch my Plasma TV, all my curtains are close. My brother have a LCD and seems to work a lot better in brighter situation. Stores such as Frys, Sears often run pretty decent sales on their TV. Go to bargain websites such slickdeals.net or fatwallet and keep an eye on sales.

You can buy an entry level Blu-ray player around $100 at many stores, including online like Amazon, vanns, 6ave.

Receivers go on sale often, again check slickdeals or fatwallet daily. Onkyo, Yamaha, and Denon go on sale often. You can get a good receiver in the $300-500 range from any of these brands I just mentioned.

From my research, most would avoid ceiling speakers for your main fronts. They can get by as surrounds. How many speakers are you planning to buy? Do you want a subwoofer as well? Are you open to others or are you set on just ceiling speakers?

You can buy all your wires, connectors, HDMI cords online from monoprice.com. Affordable, good products, and super fast shipping.

You don't need to overspend if you know where to look and keep an eye on items when it goes on sale.


+1

saved alot by shopping around online. monoprice has excellent prices, good tv mounts also.

find authorized online retailers, they can save you a 1/3 or more from retail brick and mortar stores.

i've seen some 20k plus installs, they were using integra electronics and klipsch inwall/ceiling speakers.

if you are willing to get dirty, and pull wire, patch and paint. you could easily do it for 25-30% of what contractors charge, imo.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-07-2011, 06:01 PM
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Completely agree with everyone here. I built my home theater myself and saved a bundle.

Monoprice is definitely the way to go.

I would also check Newegg.com and look at the Polk Monitor line. Good speakers for a great price in my opinion.

The Austin Home Theater:
A DIY high school project (now complete and being enjoyed everyday)

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post #8 of 8 Old 08-07-2011, 08:55 PM
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If you are under renovation you are in luck, get speaker wire, high speed HDMI cables, and such from monoprice.com

For the TV I would suggest a Panasonic 55" GT or ST series (~ $1500 - 2000) or if you are cool with 50" those same TVs will run ($1100 to 1500) These are plasmas, and they have some glare absorbing properties to the screen. The cheapest plasmas do not.

A very nice receiver (I like the Onkyo) would run you 400 - 600. Check out Harmon Kardon or Yamaha as a suggestion.
Spend the rest on speakers. Speakers are the biggest factor in sound quality. Get some tower speakers for fronts so you can jam out. This gives you about $1500-2000 to spend on speakers/sub.
Subwoofer I would recommend the Internet Direct companies, everyone here seems to love them, however I have not had the pleasure of owning one myself yet....

AVR: Marantz 7008 Phono: Pro-Ject Debut III Speakers: BW CMC2 + 2xCM9 + Energy 2xCB-10 (rear)
TV: Panasonic 65ZT60
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