entry level suggestions please - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-05-2012, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm building my first HT system and would greatly appreciate any input you might have. The main factors influencing my purchase are two fold: 1) We are definitely on a budget 2) as such I'll be purchasing components in several stages. The initial purchase I'm considering is a budget entry level receiver and a "great value" pair of bookshelf speakers which I'm hoping to purchase for around $500 total. I will probably make the sub and center my next purchase and eventually upgrade to larger fronts and move the bookshelf pair to the rear. Does this seem like a good plan for someone on a minimal budget?

Our space is about 12'x 15 but with fairly tall ceiling with large windows on 2 sides. This system will be about 50% movies and 50% music for the room. I've looked into several receivers and I'm pretty well sold on the Denon 1612 since its now available for $229, however I'm still open to suggestions if someone wants to convince me otherwise.

As for speakers I've gone and listend to these in the same room:

1) Bowers and Wilkins 686B's - I really like these but they are outside my price range
2) Definitive Technology ProMonitor series - I liked the 800's and they seem to have pretty good reviews from a lot of sources
3) Energy CB-10's - I didn't like these as much as the ProMonitor 800's. They didn't have as good a soundstage and the highs were a bit sharp in my opinion.

I've read a lot about and am considering the following in the similar price range:

4) PSB Alpha B1's - seem to have a ton of good reviews as an excellent value in the lower price range. I tried to go listen to these today but the only dealer in the area was closed
5) Paradigm Atom Monitor - The v.6 is not the most recent version but is within my price range and reviews have placed it alongside the Alpha b1's
6) Pioneer SP-BS41-LR - read several good reviews and is well within budget
7) Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's

I know a lot of it boils down to personal preference but I can't find anywhere nearby to compare the Paradigms and the Wharfedales and the ones I have heard have been in different rooms and powered by different equipment. I would appreciate any suggestions or tell me your personal preference and why. - Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-05-2012, 09:50 PM
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These are on a great sale:

I have owned these speakers and they really do compare to speakers that cost three times the price.

These are also on a great sale:


I also like these for the money:

They have them B stock for $123 each

But the Deftech's are nice if you can get them on a good sale.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-05-2012, 10:02 PM
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I love my Def Tech 800's
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-06-2012, 11:19 AM
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I will give a nod to the Paradigm Atoms as they were my first self built system. For that $500 budget I believe you can get the front channels (check Audiogon). They are great for movies, tho there are better, but for your price point you cannot go wrong. If I personally have any "gripe" with them, is that you will need to make some adjustments to get the listening levels to where you will want them and they simply just do not "blow your mind" out of the box. That doesn't mean they are not quality or to be overlooked. The L/R are really good in a 2.0 config. Music is very acceptable and can fill your room without much difficulty.

If you do purchase all 3, I would suggest trying to find a CC-390 center channel. The 190 can be a little underwhelming for movies and you can find yourself having to rewind to hear dialogue.

Your plan of slowing piecing the system together is very common and very reasonable.

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