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post #1 of 6 Old 05-23-2016, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Help me choose a home theater!

Hi everyone,
I'm looking for a 5.1 home theater system for around $500 for watching movies. The problem I have is I don't have a lot of options in my country. I wanted to get Energy Take Classic but we don't have that here. What are some other good systems to get? Are samsung, sony or other popular brands any good? We seem to have a lot of those.
Thanks,
Alex
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-23-2016, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by alex001 View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm looking for a 5.1 home theater system for around $500 for watching movies. The problem I have is I don't have a lot of options in my country. I wanted to get Energy Take Classic but we don't have that here. What are some other good systems to get? Are samsung, sony or other popular brands any good? We seem to have a lot of those.
Thanks,
Alex
I would recommend avoiding those home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) options, they aren't good value and don't sound great.

Instead, with your budget, I would just get a receiver and the two best speakers you can. Later on, add in a subwoofer and a center speaker, and then your surrounds. It takes a little longer this way, but you will have a superior system.

Look for an entry level receiver from Denon or Yamaha, and pair that with some bookshelves. Do you have any audio stores near you, or perhaps any AV websites? Once we know what is available, we can recommend some speakers to listen to so you can decide what works best with your ears.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-23-2016, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I would recommend avoiding those home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) options, they aren't good value and don't sound great.

Instead, with your budget, I would just get a receiver and the two best speakers you can. Later on, add in a subwoofer and a center speaker, and then your surrounds. It takes a little longer this way, but you will have a superior system.

Look for an entry level receiver from Denon or Yamaha, and pair that with some bookshelves. Do you have any audio stores near you, or perhaps any AV websites? Once we know what is available, we can recommend some speakers to listen to so you can decide what works best with your ears.
We do have quite a lot of options. market.yandex .ru/vendors.xml?CAT_ID=135048&hid=90548&track=fr_cm_ve ndor (I can't post links because I have less than 5 posts, so just remove the space) This is basically like russian Amazon, you can see what brands we have and if you click, what models they have.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-23-2016, 09:52 AM
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Trans is right, stay away from HTIB (all-in-one units). The Energy is as good as any at that price range, but are very small speakers and can only do so much (might be good in a small bedroom). And their subwoofer is lacking.

Go out and audition as many speakers as you can, then get a pair that suits your sonic preferences. I'll just repeat what Trans said: Once you've found a pair you really like, build from that pair a step at a time when funds are available. While you'll be spending more (over time), in the end, you’ll be way ahead of those all-in-one’s and might have a system you'd love to keep.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 amp & C48 preamp, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95, dbx 3BX, and assorted equipment.
Movie area: EMP Tek E5Bi (were rebadged to R5Bi), RBH/EMP Tek R55Ti, PSA S3000i, Denon X2000, Oppo BDP 83.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-23-2016, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
Trans is right, stay away from HTIB (all-in-one units). The Energy is as good as any at that price range, but are very small speakers and can only do so much (might be good in a small bedroom). And their subwoofer is lacking.

Go out and audition as many speakers as you can, then get a pair that suits your sonic preferences. I'll just repeat what Trans said: Once you've found a pair you really like, build from that pair a step at a time when funds are available. While you'll be spending more (over time), in the end, you’ll be way ahead of those all-in-one’s and might have a system you'd love to keep.
Thanks for suggestions. I read this in several articles on choosing a home theater that you should listen to it in a store but I don't see many stores gladly hooking up all of their systems and spending all that time to have everybody listen to each of them. Is there a general speaker brand/model that most people have for movies in the range of around $500 or less? At least so I can narrow down to 3 or 2 models and listen to them in store?
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-23-2016, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by alex001 View Post
Thanks for suggestions. I read this in several articles on choosing a home theater that you should listen to it in a store but I don't see many stores gladly hooking up all of their systems and spending all that time to have everybody listen to each of them. Is there a general speaker brand/model that most people have for movies in the range of around $500 or less? At least so I can narrow down to 3 or 2 models and listen to them in store?
Store auditions are good in order to give you a general idea of the sound characteristics different speakers bring to the table. It took me three separate auditions at two different stores to narrow my choices down to two speakers (I already pretty much knew the sound signature I was after). These were pretty long auditions (around 2 hours). Home auditions are much, much better, because one doesn’t only listen to the speakers, one also listens to the room. Room dynamics play a very important role in sound. What sounds great in one room, may not sound as good in another. Plus, one is using their own electronics (this may play a minor role).

The sound of any speaker is personal and subjective. A speaker I may fall in love with, another person may not like … and vice-versa. That’s why it’s important to audition. Not knowing what’s available in your country, makes it difficult to make recommendations. In the meantime, research as many professional reviews as you can on the speakers available to you. Call different audio stores to see what they have setup in and around your price range (some stores will have only a few setup, while others may have many). Make an appointment, bring your favorite music, and have fun!

Oh, one more thing. Once you have settled upon the right speakers for you, your work has just begun. Take your time setting up your speakers in your home, otherwise you won’t take full advantage of their capabilities.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 amp & C48 preamp, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95, dbx 3BX, and assorted equipment.
Movie area: EMP Tek E5Bi (were rebadged to R5Bi), RBH/EMP Tek R55Ti, PSA S3000i, Denon X2000, Oppo BDP 83.
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