Advice in buying a 5.1 Home Theater System. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 01-14-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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All,

I intend to buy a 5.1 Home Theater system. I have narrowed down to Energy Take Classis 5.1 and Paradigm 70CT for the speakers to be paired with a Pioneer Elite VSX 52. Could you please advise me on how the speaker systems fare when pitted against each other? I have only ben able to audition the Paradigms, but only read rave reviews about the Energy Classic.

I would also like to know what wires to be used for these speakers? The dealer said that paradigms don't come with the wires. I am not too sure about the Energy Classics.

Any suggestions other than these are welcome too. This being my first Home Theater purchase, I would appreciate inputs from knowledgeable people.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 49 Old 01-14-2012, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post

All,

I intend to buy a 5.1 Home Theater system. I have narrowed down to Energy Take Classis 5.1 and Paradigm 70CT for the speakers to be paired with a Pioneer Elite VSX 52. Could you please advise me on how the speaker systems fare when pitted against each other? I have only ben able to audition the Paradigms, but only read rave reviews about the Energy Classic.

I would also like to know what wires to be used for these speakers? The dealer said that paradigms don't come with the wires. I am not too sure about the Energy Classics.

Any suggestions other than these are welcome too. This being my first Home Theater purchase, I would appreciate inputs from knowledgeable people.

Thanks.

How big is your room? What do you listen to?

What is your total budget for everything?

Thanks.
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post #3 of 49 Old 01-14-2012, 06:11 PM
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Neither system comes with speaker wire. You need to decide where your speakers will be placed and then buy enough wire to run to each speaker from the receiver.

Generally 14ga wire should be good enough unless you have real long distances from speaker to receiver.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I also think banana plugs are beneficial for plugging in the wires to the back of the receiver.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Afro GT
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post #4 of 49 Old 01-14-2012, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post

How big is your room? What do you listen to? What is your total budget for everything?

And I am confused, by using a higher class receiver - for entry
level sub/sat speaker systems. Did the Paradigm dealer sell
you the receiver?

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post #5 of 49 Old 01-14-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

And I am confused, by using a higher class receiver - for entry
level sub/sat speaker systems. Did the Paradigm dealer sell
you the receiver?

No doubt. Spend half as much on the receiver and get better, full range speakers.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #6 of 49 Old 01-15-2012, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
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All,

Thanks for your responses/ questions. To begin with, I intend to use this in my living room which is 12 ft x 18 ft and opens into the kitchen and a formal dining room which extend roughly 12 ft further (partitioned by a 2 ft wall). I would like to use this system for movies an music. The music is really varied (from Rock- Dream Theater, Pink Floyd to Santana to Indian music).
I intend to gradually set up a good Home Theater in the basement in 2-3 yrs, hence was looking for a good receiver to begin with (The basement is L- shaped 12ft x 10 ft and 10ft x 8ft). So,the Paradigm salesman did not sell me the Pioneer vsx 52, but neither have I done too much research on the other receivers.
To begin with, my budget was $1000- $1500. I wanted a quality budget HT system to begin with and Energy Take Classic 5.1 caught my attention solely on the reviews on Amazon till I auditioned the Paradigms today for about an hour with various kinds of music and a movie (The Paradigm Cinema CT70 + Pioneer VSX 52 is being offered at $1330) and I liked them to be honest. If I pair the Energy with Pioneer vsx 1221 (which many say is almost the same as VSX 52), I get it for under $1000. So, if any of you have had a chance to hear both these, which one sounds better?
On the other hand as some people here have suggested, I am open to building a good system over time by starting with a decent/ good receiver with two towers (budget $1500- $1700). I guess, I will have to forgo the sub-woofer at the beginning.
I have tried to give you as much information as possible. I would appreciate any advice that would help me in the long run.
Please let me know if you have any questions that can help you to suggest me alternatives.

Thanks.
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post #7 of 49 Old 01-15-2012, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post

All,

Thanks for your responses/ questions. To begin with, I intend to use this in my living room which is 12 ft x 18 ft and opens into the kitchen and a formal dining room which extend roughly 12 ft further (partitioned by a 2 ft wall). I would like to use this system for movies an music. The music is really varied (from Rock- Dream Theater, Pink Floyd to Santana to Indian music).
I intend to gradually set up a good Home Theater in the basement in 2-3 yrs, hence was looking for a good receiver to begin with (The basement is L- shaped 12ft x 10 ft and 10ft x 8ft). So,the Paradigm salesman did not sell me the Pioneer vsx 52, but neither have I done too much research on the other receivers.
To begin with, my budget was $1000- $1500. I wanted a quality budget HT system to begin with and Energy Take Classic 5.1 caught my attention solely on the reviews on Amazon till I auditioned the Paradigms today for about an hour with various kinds of music and a movie (The Paradigm Cinema CT70 + Pioneer VSX 52 is being offered at $1330) and I liked them to be honest. If I pair the Energy with Pioneer vsx 1221 (which many say is almost the same as VSX 52), I get it for under $1000. So, if any of you have had a chance to hear both these, which one sounds better?
On the other hand as some people here have suggested, I am open to building a good system over time by starting with a decent/ good receiver with two towers (budget $1500- $1700). I guess, I will have to forgo the sub-woofer at the beginning.
I have tried to give you as much information as possible. I would appreciate any advice that would help me in the long run.
Please let me know if you have any questions that can help you to suggest me alternatives.

Thanks.

If you are willing to spend $1330 on the Paradigm and Pioneer system and you say you are willing to spend 1000-1500, then I consider something like this:

A Pair of P252s for the front, a PC350 center and P152's for the surrounds.

http://www.crutchfield.com/shopsearch/primus.html

Get a new customer code from someone on here plus use a couple of other codes and the main speakers will set you back about $600.(Just split it into three orders)

The Pioneer 1021 goes on sale at Newegg for $300 fairly frequently or you could buy a number of other receivers on sale and/or open boxed.

Then a HSU sub:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2-mk4.html

This is just a tinch over $1500, but would be a better system for a space like yours.

This is just one suggestion.

If you wanted to save some money, you could go with a BIC F-12 sub.

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F1...6623677&sr=8-1

This just one set of suggestions, and others will probably chime in with other ideas.

But if you were looking at spending $1000-1500 I think you need to spend more on the speakers and less on the receiver than you originally conceived.

AS I said, this is just my opinion.
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post #8 of 49 Old 01-15-2012, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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BladeRunner,

Thanks for your response. Being a novice, I was a little keen on getting a system at the earliest and was tilting towards the out of the box 5.1 systems. However, it appears that it would be worthwhile to spend some time researching on building the system as mentioned here. Incidentally, the Paradigm salesman too had a similar suggestion. I would love to hear responses from others too and may be coming back with questions regarding some speaker/ system configurations that I may come across in the near future. Thanks again
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post #9 of 49 Old 01-15-2012, 03:11 PM
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I think you have a good plan. If you go for fronts first, I would probably do the sub next. A very good sub can add a lot to the HT experience, even if you buy towers. Given the size of your living room an other open areas, look at 12" subs from Epik, HSU, Outlaw Audio, and Rythmik, particularly ported subs like the HSU that bladerunner6 mentioned (the exception being the Epik Legend, a dual sealed sub). You can learn a lot about them on the AVS subwoofer forum.

For receivers, look at the Denon 1712 or 1912 (learn about the models). The Onkyo TX-NR609 and Yamaha RX-V667 are other popular choices here on AVS.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #10 of 49 Old 01-15-2012, 03:12 PM
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The receiver/electronics is now mostly a computer with an amp section that will go obsolete relatively quickly. Speakers can last a lot longer without going obsolete. I would find the minimum receiver that meets your needs right now and shop carefully for the L,R, C, speakers and subwoofer. IMO, the center and sub is the most important for movies, and the L,R is the most important for music.

I like Denon products (but truthfully in the sub $1000 range most of the brands consist mostly of the same parts) but here is a link to the Denon thread that explains the differences in the XX12 models as far as receivers go.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1334369

Edit: CEL beat me to the link.
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post #11 of 49 Old 01-18-2012, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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jjackkrash and cel4145,

Thanks for your inputs. Denon and Yamaha were the brands for the receiver I started with. Based on certain reviews on amazon and some other sites, it appears that Denons are better for music when compared to Yamaha's for movies. Apparently, Pioneers seem to provide a proper balance for both. I think I will ultimately choose from among these 3 brands for the receiver.

Bladerunner, I would like to thank you in particular for the suggestion about subwoofers from HSU and others. I have never considered this possibility and it does sound promising.

As far as the Infinities go, how do you rate P152s vs P153s? P153s are currently on sale at my local Fry's Electronics? Any thoughts?
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post #12 of 49 Old 01-18-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post


Thanks for your inputs. Denon and Yamaha were the brands for the receiver I started with. Based on certain reviews on amazon and some other sites, it appears that Denons are better for music when compared to Yamaha's for movies. Apparently, Pioneers seem to provide a proper balance for both. I think I will ultimately choose from among these 3 brands for the receiver.

I now own Denon, Pioneer Elite and Yamaha receivers - Denon to
me, does a better job of power handling all around - it is solid for
both, music and movies. I only hear a minor difference in the sound
processing - it is the power handling and video up conversion, that
makes it a winner for me.

Infinity 152 and 153, are the same - the difference is in the cosmetics.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #13 of 49 Old 01-18-2012, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post

As far as the Infinities go, how do you rate P152s vs P153s? P153s are currently on sale at my local Fry's Electronics? Any thoughts?

From what others have said, I understand they are supposed to be the same components, slightly different cosmetics. Identical sound between the old and new series.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #14 of 49 Old 01-19-2012, 05:53 AM
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heres another suggestion have a look at the hsu enthusiast 2 package $1250 and maybe refub pioneer vsx-820 reciever $225 hsu has 30 day satisfaction guarantee

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #15 of 49 Old 01-20-2012, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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zeiglj01, smasher,

Thanks for your inputs. Based on some research and reads on various fora, I am currently inclined towards the Enthusiast 2 package from HSU to be paired with theYamaha RX571 receiver. Although my initial choice was from among the Yamaha RX671, Denon 1921 or Pioneer VSX 1121, Frys is currently offering the 571 for $250. I am still looking to find deals on a receiver.

I have checked the HSU website. Are there any other websites that sell HSUs? Is there a way I can get some discount/ coupons on the HSU?
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post #16 of 49 Old 01-20-2012, 05:20 PM
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HSU is an Internet Direct retailer; you can't buy their products elsewhere.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #17 of 49 Old 01-20-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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So my guess would be the price listed is the final price. Any thoughts on the Enthusiast 2 with Yamaha 571?
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post #18 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 07:21 AM
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if you where going with hsu i would first contact them first. as looking on their web site noticed they where out of stock in black finish.had same system in my living room( they also sounded great with rock and other music and they can play loud ) until ex wife inherited them. as for the yamaha reciever looks great on paper . i've only had denon and harman kardon av recievers so "i" can't judge.if your budget where a bit larger this would be another option you can research and scratch your head before you buy.ascend acoustics has the cmt 340se for fronts and center and apair of cbm 170se for rear for $1052 delivered. add a hsu or any other "good" sub and i'm assured you would be pleased. i"ve personally never heard these but they have great reviews on other threads

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post #19 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 08:58 AM
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I'm not personally impressed with the lower model Yamaha receivers. The RX-V371's power output has been shown in tests to be very underwhelming. I know at some point, the RX-V series moves from some kind of chip amp to the discrete amps that the better Yamaha Aventage series uses, but I'm pretty sure the V571 is using the similar chip amp as the V371 (someone might know different).

For that reason, I recommend the Denon 1612 if you can find it for $300 or less. Better output (see its tested output--read the rest of the review, it was selected as one of hometheater.com's picks for receivers), and it has Audyssey MultiEQ room correction software, which is generally considered better than YPAO that Yamaha has. However, this is just an audio comparison, and (a) there may be other features on one that you like better than the other and (b) the power output difference is not as significant as people would first think. A receiver has to have 10 times the wattage output to produce a 10db increase, which would be double the perceived volume increase. The difference here is likely only a few db.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #20 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post

So my guess would be the price listed is the final price. Any thoughts on the Enthusiast 2 with Yamaha 571?

With the Yamaha, you should go from the 6XX series on up.

__________________________________________
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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #21 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

With the Yamaha, you should go from the 6XX series on up.

Is that where Yamaha moves in the series to the better amp section, Jim? I thought it might be, but wasn't sure.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #22 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Is that where Yamaha moves in the series to the better amp section, Jim? I thought it might be, but wasn't sure.

In general, yes

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post #23 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

In general, yes

Thanks! Good to know

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #24 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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All,

Thanks for your inputs. After considering the option of building a Home Theter package rather than going for a pre packaged one, I have become a bit more flexible with my budget from $1500 to $1800 (max $2000 would really like to keep it to $1800 though). Based on the research done over the last week or so, it's a close call between the following configs:

a. Infinity: PC 350 (Center) - $200
Infinity: P362 (Fronts) - $200 x 2 = $400
Infinity P162 (Book Shelfs)- $85 x 2 = 170
HSU VTF2-MK4 (Sub)- $612
Total: $1382

b. HSU Enthusiast 2 ($1432). I would pay an extra $150 for the Rosewood Veneer finish (Is the extra dollar worth??).

As per the receivers, I will probably look for good deal on one of my original shortlisted choices:

- Denon 1912.
- Pioneer VSX 1121.
- Yamaha RX 671.

I haven't read about the Ascends, but do plan to read about them. Though, I am inclined towards the HSU's, the only factor that raises a question tho me is the absence of towers.
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post #25 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 07:20 PM
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Don't get the HSU VTF-2 MK3 with the Infinitys. The Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX went on sale for $549 shipped until 1/30. It's in the same class as the HSU VTF-3 MK4, and in fact, Dr. HSU was involved in its design. I have the EX. This is the best deal you will get on a 12" ported sub: http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...fm-1-ex-review

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post #26 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 07:59 PM
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If your spending that much for 5.1 you need to get a receiver with 7.1. This way you wont have to upgrade for the new format. If these are receiver and speakers you need to reconsider. You can get a good receiver, yamaha , pioneer, onkyo , Denon, for good prices.
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post #27 of 49 Old 01-21-2012, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post

All,

Thanks for your inputs. After considering the option of building a Home Theter package rather than going for a pre packaged one, I have become a bit more flexible with my budget from $1500 to $1800 (max $2000 would really like to keep it to $1800 though). Based on the research done over the last week or so, it's a close call between the following configs:

a. Infinity: PC 350 (Center) - $200
Infinity: P362 (Fronts) - $200 x 2 = $400
Infinity P162 (Book Shelfs)- $85 x 2 = 170
HSU VTF2-MK4 (Sub)- $612
Total: $1382

b. HSU Enthusiast 2 ($1432). I would pay an extra $150 for the Rosewood Veneer finish (Is the extra dollar worth??).

As per the receivers, I will probably look for good deal on one of my original shortlisted choices:

- Denon 1912.
- Pioneer VSX 1121.
- Yamaha RX 671.

I haven't read about the Ascends, but do plan to read about them. Though, I am inclined towards the HSU's, the only factor that raises a question tho me is the absence of towers.

Call Electronics Expo and see what the Denon's are running. I think the 2112 is like $10 more than that 1912 and, if so, its a no brainer over the 1912.

Edit: I'd give J&R a call as well and see what they can do:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1388096
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post #28 of 49 Old 01-22-2012, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjugsy View Post

All,

Thanks for your inputs. After considering the option of building a Home Theter package rather than going for a pre packaged one, I have become a bit more flexible with my budget from $1500 to $1800 (max $2000 would really like to keep it to $1800 though). Based on the research done over the last week or so, it's a close call between the following configs:

a. Infinity: PC 350 (Center) - $200
Infinity: P362 (Fronts) - $200 x 2 = $400
Infinity P162 (Book Shelfs)- $85 x 2 = 170
HSU VTF2-MK4 (Sub)- $612
Total: $1382

b. HSU Enthusiast 2 ($1432). I would pay an extra $150 for the Rosewood Veneer finish (Is the extra dollar worth??).

As per the receivers, I will probably look for good deal on one of my original shortlisted choices:

- Denon 1912.
- Pioneer VSX 1121.
- Yamaha RX 671.

I haven't read about the Ascends, but do plan to read about them. Though, I am inclined towards the HSU's, the only factor that raises a question tho me is the absence of towers.


I do believe newegg has the 1121 on sale for 450 until 1/25.

Also, if buying a Primus system from Crutchfield, break up the system into multiple orders and then get a new customer referral code, then use the two other codes that are out there. That will save you $60 bucks total.
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post #29 of 49 Old 01-23-2012, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Both the Pioneer 1121 and the Denon 2112CI are available for $450.

It appears that I will eventually choose between the Ascends (CMT340SE- LCR) and the (CBM 170 SE) and the HSU Enthusiast 2.

If I were to choose the Ascend, I believe it would be better to go with the Outlaw LFM-1 EX (given the deal price).
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post #30 of 49 Old 01-23-2012, 06:41 PM
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accesseries4less has factory refurb. denon 2112ci for$400 and you get free denon i-pod dock

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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