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HTIB Advice for a new home owner

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am a frequent Blu-ray watcher, as well as a huge fan of the PS3 console. I have a decent 55" Sony LCD and a PS3. I have an older HTIB by Onkyo that is fairly decent. The problem is, I have moved many times and the speaker wire I purchased for it is getting to be frustrating with the length and connection points. So I am considering to upgrade, now that I have bought my first home.

I am looking for advice on some HTIB options, since I have not done research in years and do not even know where to look. I would like a 7.1, but would consider a 5.1 if the functions were outstanding. I want the speaker wire to use normal jacks, instead of the typical crimping and screwing in the wire. I know some of the newer ones have the jack and outlets for the speakers, and I am a huge fan of that. I would like the rear speakers to be completely wireless, but if that is not a good idea (not really sure if that is good or not), then I would consider running the speaker wire through my attic and installing the speakers on the wall. I am looking for something with truly high quality, but I don't want to spend 20k on a system. Something reasonable under 1000 bucks would be great. I could be convinced to go higher if it was a truly great buy. Just looking for some advice...

Style is also important. Something that is aesthetically pleasing would be nice as well, but I can work with it if it isn't. Thanks ahead of time.
post #2 of 5
I would recommend searching here for HTIB under 1000. Top choices seem to be an Onkyo system that is THX certified... or a build your own system would really be best. But that requires even more research. It is easier for us to answer if you give us options and say which is best.
post #3 of 5
You can buy 5.1 speaker sets - this removes a lot of confusion about buying speakers that blend well together, and buying a subwoofer that is similarly well blending. After that, just buy a 5.1 receiver and you're good to go.

Although, if you want to make it even more simple, I know you can buy HTIB that use an Onkyo or Denon receiver, paired with a 5.1 speaker system by a different manufacturer.

For example, this Denon with Boston Acoustic speakers: http://www.frys.com/product/7349194?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

If you aren't getting something like that, or an Onkyo, the odds are good you'll be getting something with proprietary connections (and even if it didn't, it'll probably be an under powered amp), and it'll have a blu-ray player integrated into the amp.

My personal recommendation (and I am biased) would be a Klipsch 5.1 speaker set - http://www.klipsch.com/high-definition-theater-500-home-theater-system - with a HK receiver - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Harman+Kardon+-+AVR+700+375W+5.1-Ch.+A/V+Home+Theater+Receiver/6087379.p?id=1218716258541&skuId=6087379 .

How married to 5.1 are you? My favorite audio set up I ever had was a pair of Klipsch F-30s (two 8" woofers, bass baffle, 1" tweeter, the Klipsch horn), they were gorgeous, sounded magnificent! I had 5.1 satellite systems with tiny speakers, and the surround effect did not make up for the inferior audio quality (much like with cars, there is no replacement for displacement). I only say this to suggest you think about quality over quantity - maybe you'd be better off spending your money on 2 really good speakers?

I have a sound bar these days, which is arguably worse than either, but with toddlers toddling and being in a condo at the moment...
post #4 of 5
If the speaker connections are that critical, then look for a receiver that has 5-way binding posts because those can take any type of connection, bare wire, banana plugs, etc. Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo are the most popular brands and come in various configurations and can be paired with almost any bookshelf or floor standing speaker system. I'm partial to Yamaha but the other two make very nice receivers. Sounds like you don't need a blu-ray player so you can steer clear of an integrated system (built-in blu-ray player) which I wouldn't recommend. Wireless is nice but it can have it's issues. Wired is always best.
post #5 of 5
I agree with nr's last point about using bigger/better speakers for the fronts to get the best sound. I have full range towers with 8"woofers that produce pretty good bass and sound better than a tiny sats.

I know Jamo has a set with floor standers, or you could look at the Pioneer BS line, but the best value will come from the used market, craigslist or eBay. What I do is look on those until i find a speaker that looks like it could be a contender and then google it, you can usually find a review and if you can't there is probably good reason.
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