Purchased House with Theater, Need Equipment Help Please :-) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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First off, thank you for any assistance provided.

I just purchased a house with a home theater, electing not to buy the equipment (seller wanted $6,000) and now I need to purchase new. As you can see in the photo they had it professionally set up with 2 theater sofas, 2nd one is on a platform. I believe it is wired for surround on the wall above the first sofa. I don't want to spend a lot of money as I am not an audiophile. I have the Onkyo 7200 system in my condo and it works fine, actually it's too loud so I don't use all the speakers. It's located in a different state or I would just use this system. I'm guessing the room is about 10x22 but I'm not sure. I could just purchase the latest Onkyo HTiB but all the threads I've read here say not to do that.

So far, from my research it looks like the verities v6.2 are a good price right now, $299 each and beautiful! I also looked at the Pioneer SP-F551 $164, Energy RCs $479, and Axiom QS4/8 $500.

I'll need to purchase a projector, leaning toward the Optima HD20/33 right now. Maybe I'll get a PS3 for the BluRay player, not sure. We have a Wii and I have xbox kinect at my condo.

I think I need the following:
1. Receiver/AMP
2. Front Speakers
3. Center Speaker
4. Surround Speakers (2 to 4?)
5. Subwoofer
5. Projector
6. Screen
7.Blu ray player

I also have the list of equipment the seller had in the room but it's not been easy to find specs as the gear is a few years old. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 02:02 PM
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Wow, you are going with some real low end stuff for such a nice room. What a shame...
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, that was helpful...

If you have better suggestions feel free to post them. That's why I started the thread, clearly I'm completely ignorant in this arena. I'm only going by what I've read up on in the last 3 hours of surfing.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Also they had Mirage OM-10-1 front, OM-R2HGB rear, and OMC2 center speakers which I thought were comparable with the Veritas but again I didn't find a lot of info on them so I could be wrong there too.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Wow, you are going with some real low end stuff for such a nice room. What a shame...

I agree. If you don't have the funds to buy eveything in one shot, take your time and buy better equipment for a room like that...a piece at a time.

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post #6 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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0 for 2... I guess I'm not communicating clearly? I DO have the funds to purchase gear. I don't know WHAT to purchase. Again, I'm asking for specific equipment suggestions. What is "better equipment"? The Veritas got great reviews on-line.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 02:39 PM
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well... what's your budget? I'm assuming less than 6k?

you have to realize you're asking A/V junkies/pros what to get without giving more details on what you're willing to pay.

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post #8 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 03:19 PM
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I followed the theory of buying pieces a little at a time but in the end I had a budget that some might consider small given the price of my home and how nice my theater was setup.

I was lucky enough to have some older equipment for a receiver and speakers and only had to buy a new projector and screen to get started a few years ago after we built the home.

My speakers and receiver did suck especially compared to how nice my theater looked and the quality of my projector. I was using an old 5.1 in a box setup with an old Yamaha receiver.

About 2 years ago I purchased a new receiver and used my old speakers.

A few months ago I finally decided to spend some money and purchase speakers. I still had a small budget relative to most people on these forums but I was trying to get new fronts, a center, and rear speakers for 2K. I looked at many different speakers and I just wasn't to impressed with what 2K was buying me although it was still much better than what I had.

I ended up going with the Veritas v6.2, v5.2 Center, and VS surrounds from Vanns. I couldnt be happier with the sound and look of the speakers. I know retail has to be taken with a grain of salt but that whole setup was $5K retail and shipped to my door at $1500.

Will they compete with the B&W of the world costing 5K plus, no, but they are really nice speakers.
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 05:25 PM
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Here are some suggestions I gave to a guy a few days ago for setups costing roughly $2.5k. Any one of those setups will be a lot better than the speakers you are contemplating.

As far as a AVR goes, I would get whatever Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz, or Harman/Kardon you can comfortably afford. They will all have ample power for your speakers unless you go with the entry level models. Onkyo is harder for me to recommend because of how hot they get and their reputation for sub-par customer service, but if you don't have any problems with your unit they are a hell of a bang-for-the-buck.

It's hard for me to recommend Optoma, my own HD20 has had to go to their tech support about once a year since I have had it, and last time it cost me over $400 to get it fixed. Next thing that goes wrong on it, I am going to just get a new projector. Like Onkyo, Optoma is great bang-for-the-buck when it actually works. although I wish my HD20 had better black levels. If I were you I would try to get a projector that has better black levels than the HD20/33.

For the screens, if you are willing to DIY, you can save a hell of a lot of money. Check this message board out. It is very easy to make a great screen inexpensively. However if you are willing to spend a bit more for convenience, a lot of people hold Carada screens in high regard for their value.

For blu-ray players, don't spend a lot on one, get a newer Panasonic or Sony or brand like that, but its probably best to avoid the cheapest models.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 05:26 PM
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Many seem to like the klipsch thx ultra2 speakers. I would check those out. I would get speakers from the same line and brand if possible. For the subwoofer, not important for the brand to match.

I agree with the others that this is a very nice room to waste on budget speakers.
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 06:23 PM
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I have to admit, its depresssing to see the energy veritas called very low end considering i thought i was making a great purchase a few weeks ago. frown.gif I purchased the same setup as t3 did. I got it for 1150 shipped. I have a hard time keeping my eyes off of the rosewood finish, and they sound worlds apart from my old setup.

That being said, the EMP set up is damn sexy.
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post #12 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan Uranus View Post

I have to admit, its depresssing to see the energy veritas called very low end considering i thought i was making a great purchase a few weeks ago. frown.gif I purchased the same setup as t3 did. I got it for 1150 shipped. I have a hard time keeping my eyes off of the rosewood finish, and they sound worlds apart from my old setup.
That being said, the EMP set up is damn sexy.

Well, the energy veritas series isn't that cheap. More expensive than the pioneer and some other speakers. If you like the sound of the veritas, that's all that matters.
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-03-2012, 10:38 PM
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Yeah, folks are being a little harsh. Please post your budget and I think you will get some recommendations.
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-04-2012, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I probably wouldn't spend more than $5,000 max for everything in the room.

Yesterday I read so many positive reviews here about Veritas v6.2 and Axiom QS4/8. What gives? I thought I would scoop up a pair of each even if I end up just using them in the living room instead. It's already wired for rear surround satellites and I have nothing for that room.

@shadyj, very helpful post! I am researching the sets of recommendations you listed. One hesitation I have is the thought of having a huge bookshelf speaker mounted and sticking out of the wall. That's why I thought the Axioms would be a good option. I did plan to make the screen myself but may have to back off that due to geography and time constraints. I know what you mean on the Onkyo, so many people have had quality issues. Mine has worked well for years. Bummer on the Optoma projector, I thought I had one decision out of the way frown.gif

@UGA (grrrrr, I'm a rambling wreck smile.gif, not purchasing the seller's equipment at $6,000 had nothing to do with budget. The sale actually came with the sofas, pool table, fat TV, etc. I didn't buy because it would have been 8-10 year old equipment with no warranty.

Thanks for all the input thus far. I'm curious if anyone knows the markup with just having my local A/V store come in and installing and setting up everything vs. doing it myself?
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-04-2012, 08:20 AM
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If you have a 5K budget you could go with

1. Panasonic AE7000U - $2350 special at Projector People
2. Veritas v6.2, v5.2, VS Surrounds - ~$1200
3. Denon AVR-2312CI - ~$600 special at Crutchfield
4. Bluray - ~$100
5. Screen - $750 left for a screen
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post #16 of 18 Old 10-04-2012, 08:46 AM
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Greeny, brother, I also put my Dedicated Home Theater together on the cheap.

The Optoma HD20 ($500 refurb) I own is the only projector I've ever had, so I have no mental catalog of comparisons to a $4K JVCs. And I love it. I believe the folks that say a $4K projector is better, but I can't imagine how the picture can be improved. It does the trick and it still gets the "Wows" from visitors.

I bought my Center Channel and my Tower Speakers off Craigslist. I had some time to shop for them as the construction of my theater dragged on. I found a great Polk Center Channel for $50 and a rich kid unloading a sweet pair of Technics towers for $100 to make room for the new towers his dad bought him.

I found my Yamaha RX-V371 A/V Receiver on the Open Box rack at Best Buy for $106.

This is going to make the rest of the guys in this thread bleed from their eyes. but as a temporary holdover I bought a cheap ass Rocketboost downfiring Subwoofer off Best Buy Deal-of-the-Day for $25. And you know what? It won't give you sub-cranial contusions like the badass subwoofers coveted by the AVS guys, but it does a darn good job for my 12 x 21 ft theater. I have no burning need to replace my sub for awhile.

Looking at your photo, you can certainly get some mileage out of a bigger screen. It looks like you could add as much as two diagonal feet without swallowing the wall. I'm a Stingy Scotsman, so I bought a 110 inch Jamestown screen for $240.

So, to recap

Speakers $150
Sub $25
Projector $500
Screen $240
AV receiver $106
Surrounds (already had)
Sony Blu-Ray BDP-S590 3D $120 (TigerDirect.com closeout)
Harmony 1100 Remote (refurb) $160
RF Repeater $80 (technically a construction component more than electronics)
Hi-cap HDMI Cables from Monoprice $50

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Total: $1431

I spent twice as much for two rows of theater seating than I did for all the electronic components of my theater. You don't need to worry about that.

And I'm 3D ready, if I ever want to pop for a better projector. All I need to do is unbolt the old one and install the 3D projector and I'm golden.

Again, there will be a fecal storm from the hardcore AVS crowd at my nickel and dime suggestions, but I've yet to have a visitor to my theater say, "Hey, Shawn, your black tones aren't as rich and deep as they can be." Or, "Hey, Shawn, you know that thumping sub of yours doesn't vibrate the fillings in my teeth as painfully as maybe it could."

You know what they say?

They say "Wow."

Just keep talkin'. I'll let you know when you're right.
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-04-2012, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenys View Post

I probably wouldn't spend more than $5,000 max for everything in the room.
Yesterday I read so many positive reviews here about Veritas v6.2 and Axiom QS4/8. What gives? I thought I would scoop up a pair of each even if I end up just using them in the living room instead. It's already wired for rear surround satellites and I have nothing for that room.
@shadyj, very helpful post! I am researching the sets of recommendations you listed. One hesitation I have is the thought of having a huge bookshelf speaker mounted and sticking out of the wall. That's why I thought the Axioms would be a good option. I did plan to make the screen myself but may have to back off that due to geography and time constraints. I know what you mean on the Onkyo, so many people have had quality issues. Mine has worked well for years. Bummer on the Optoma projector, I thought I had one decision out of the way frown.gif
@UGA (grrrrr, I'm a rambling wreck smile.gif, not purchasing the seller's equipment at $6,000 had nothing to do with budget. The sale actually came with the sofas, pool table, fat TV, etc. I didn't buy because it would have been 8-10 year old equipment with no warranty.
Thanks for all the input thus far. I'm curious if anyone knows the markup with just having my local A/V store come in and installing and setting up everything vs. doing it myself?
k

Big markup. Most likely 1/3rd to half your budget. Just take a deep breath. You have a good budget, you can easily put this together. One thing to consider. Optoma makes an HD3300. Essentially a 33 with slightly more lumens, and a very good warranty. So if you liked the Optoma you could still go with the HD3300 and get the peace of mind with the warranty for sliightly more money. AVS actually has a store and sells the projector at a competitive price. I recommend calling and talking to Mike Garrett.

I personally own an Acer HD9500 and am really happy with the picture quality. No issues so far, and I had an Epson 3010 for about 4 weeks before returning it for the Acer. The Ben QW7000 is about $2K and is another solid projector. Don't overspend on a screen. I would look into Jamestown:
http://www.jamestownhometheaterscreen.com/

Visual Apex has a package deal on their projectors. You get a projector, screen, mount, cables, etc for a great deal:
Example:
http://www.visualapex.com/projector-package-deals/BenQ-projector-packages.asp?for-the=W7000

A trusted review site has reviewed the Vapex screens and found them to be of a good value for the money:
http://www.projectorreviews.com/

I recommend reading his reviews of the latest projectors too.

I am going to say that people are being a little harsh on your speaker selection. From what you are coming from they will be a big upgrade, and I would recommend getting a good subwoofer to compliment them and see if you like them. Did you already order them? If not, then maybe do some more research, but it is not like you bought bottom of the barrel here.

For receivers, I would consider something like this:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR2112CI/DENON-AVR-2112CI-7.1-Integrated-Network-A/V-Surround-Receiver/1.html
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post #18 of 18 Old 10-04-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenys View Post

I probably wouldn't spend more than $5,000 max for everything in the room.
Yesterday I read so many positive reviews here about Veritas v6.2 and Axiom QS4/8. What gives? I thought I would scoop up a pair of each even if I end up just using them in the living room instead. It's already wired for rear surround satellites and I have nothing for that room.
@shadyj, very helpful post! I am researching the sets of recommendations you listed. One hesitation I have is the thought of having a huge bookshelf speaker mounted and sticking out of the wall. That's why I thought the Axioms would be a good option. I did plan to make the screen myself but may have to back off that due to geography and time constraints. I know what you mean on the Onkyo, so many people have had quality issues. Mine has worked well for years. Bummer on the Optoma projector, I thought I had one decision out of the way frown.gif

I haven't heard the Veritas but they have a good reputation, I think they would be good for $300 each, the only problem with that set I would have is the matching center speaker for that set doesn't look nearly as capable as the mains. It will still probably work fine, but that center in particular isn't going to be great for reference level listening. But if you don't ever really crank the volume, I think it will work fine. As for the Axioms, personally I prefer mono-directional speakers for surrounds, which is essentially the opposite kind of design as those Axioms, because A) they sound better and can present a coherent sound stage, and B) they are less expensive. Mount them higher than standing height, they should be out of the way. I think a good speaker for the surrounds is the Hsu HB-1 mk2, they will be less affected by nearby surface reflection due to the horn-loaded tweeter, and they are easy to drive from any receiver, even to loud levels.

As for the Optoma, if you do go for the hd20/33/3300 lines, I recommend getting a screen made for getting deeper black levels, which would probably be one of the greyer screen rather than the bright white ones.
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