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newbie seeks advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm planning to make my first 5.1 home theater system. After research, I sketched the following system:

Pioneer 1020-K $400
Infinity P362 $400
PC350 $200
P162 $170
Sub Hsu VTF-2 MK3 $509+59
total $1738

I'd like to seek comments and advices from your experts. My main questions are

1. Do the components of my system match each other?
2. Is there a better system within my budget - $2000 but a little flexible?

The HT is used 70% for movie and 30% for music. My sources are simply TV, DVD, and CD.

Room: 17' x 21' x 9' hardwood floor, open to kitchen.
I want to keep the system for a long time, say, 10 years.

I appreciate very much for your inputs.
post #2 of 11
I've posted this on multiple threads but there are some crazy deals out there for Energy's discontinued RC line. There is an eBay auction for a pair of RC-50's right now that is going for $500, the MSRP for the pair is $1600.

I haven't heard the Infinities so I can't compare, but it is something worth looking into.
post #3 of 11
I would say for that price range you've got some good stuff picked out.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am glad that I did not rush to get the infinity primus system. Now infinity cascade is on sale at vanns, which is big upgrade than primus but with a little more money.

cascade 9 $250 x 2
cascade 3c $200
cascade 5 $170 x 2
cascade 15 $600
total $1640

With the Pioneer 1020-K for $400, the total is $2040. Alternatively, I can use cascade 12 for $300 or Hsu VTF-2 MK3.

Do you think this cascade is even better than the primus deal?

Which sub is better, cascade 15 vs Hsu VTF-2 MK3?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
After reading avs forum in the past a few days, I learned a lot. Now I am more concentrated on a 5.0 HT speaker system, since I can decide a good sub of any brand later. I have narrowed down the following systems. They are of different price levels; it surprised me that it turned out to be about $700 apart. I may just list the front speakers for abbreviation, the rest should be the usual matching ones.

$700 Infinity P362, Energy RC-10 (hard to find now)
$1400 NHT 3, Sierra-1, Energy RC-50, Svs STS
$2100 NHT 4, Svs MTS, Paradigm studio 20

Those are the speakers in my budget. I'm pretty sure that any one of above would deliver a good performance at its price level. This is my first system; if I want to upgrade later, I can move it to the bedroom. I'd like to hear your voices: if you were a newbie, knowing ahead the experiences that you have now, which one would be the wisest choice?

By the way, I am not only a newbie in HT system setup, but also a newbie in music and movies, in the sense that I haven't listened a lot of music and I pretty much don't watch movies at all. But I do enjoy some pop and classic music. This system is intended to build for my little kids, too. I don't want them miss the opportunity to get in touch of good music and movies like I did at my childhood.

Thanks.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwguo View Post

I'd like to hear your voices: if you were a newbie, knowing ahead the experiences that you have now, which one would be the wisest choice?

Take some music that you like out with you and go listen to speakers to get an idea of what you like. If you go into high end shops (I would) let them know that at this time you are only interested in speakers (don't let them talk you into fancy cables or electronics (amps, receivers, etc)).

You have listed some very good speakers but they are all over the place in terms of price & design. For instance, both NHT and Paradigm make excellent speakers but I guarantee you won't like them equally - they are different and only you will know what you prefer.

Ron
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwguo View Post

I'm planning to make my first 5.1 home theater system. After research, I sketched the following system:

Pioneer 1020-K $400
Infinity P362 $400
PC350 $200
P162 $170
Sub Hsu VTF-2 MK3 $509+59
total $1738

I prefer much Onkyo over Pioneer (been there done that - have the ugly t-shirt) but that's personal taste. The speakers are good choices but the P362s are discontinued and getting hard to find. You may find the P162s a bit large for surrounds and can save $20/pr with the smaller P152s. Finally the VTF-2 should do fine but I'd be tempted to go with an SVS PB12-NSD instead since you have enough in your budget.

BTW you may want to add EMP Tek's Impression line to your list. You can get a lot of speaker bang for your buck going internet direct. I'm not saying buy them just add them to your research list. The only EMPs I have are their high end bookshelves and can't speak for their Impressions.

Edit: Just an FYI Amazon has Infinity's Classia C336BK for $300ea. I have no idea how good they are but since you're shopping Infinity I though I'd put them out there.
post #8 of 11
I would go to www.ac4l.com and look at the Onkyo or Marantz refurbish
receivers. NHT strikes a gtood balance with music and home theater. Just
to mix it up some more - go to onecall.com and look at the Boston VR3
speakers and VRC center. This is very good pricing. If you are flexable
with the budget, then at musicdirect.com - take a look at the Focal Chorus
speakers and center channel. These also strike a good balance with music
and home theater. Based on budget, you can cheat on the surrounds for
now and upgrade them later.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your inputs. I still haven't made my decision. I have another question.

Though my room is 20'x17', the wall is only 10' wide on the 17 side (the rest 7' is hall way), where I put a big entertainment center of 8'8" wide. Furthermore, the bridge that I want to put the center speaker in is about 6" high. This makes me wonder where I can put the front three. I thought the following options.

1. For the center speaker, either put a not-small one on top of the bridge or find a mini center speaker, such as energy MINI center or NHT absolute zero, and put it inside the bridge.

2. For L/R speakers, buy bookshelves and put on top the bridge. I wonder if this is too high. Alternatively, put floor standers or bookshelves with stands in front of the entertainment center a couple of feet away, since the room is 20' long, I have enough space, though my wife might not like it.

Thank you again for your inputs.
LL
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Please note that the picture in my last post is not MY own entertainment center, I took the picture from macy's website. My TV is a 58" panasonic plasma, which fills all the console spaces.
post #11 of 11
I am not a fan of putting a speaker inside a cabinet - you can put
a center speaker underneath the TV in the cabinet. It needs to be
voiced matched to your front speakers. Get permission from your
wife and get some tower speakers where the color is compatable
with the color of the cabinet.
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