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***Official HTIB Alternatives Thread*** - Page 13

post #361 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by usp1 View Post

Thanks Ron. I wasnt very impressed with the Monitor 50s either...sounded too nasally. I guess it is between the
1. AV123 x-series 5.1 package; and
2. SVS SBS-01 with either the PB10 ( on sale for silver or white - 799).

I had hoped that I would be able to go listen to the speakers before buying but living in a small town there are very limited opportunites other than big box stores. And after my CC experience I am not sure there is much to be gained by auditioning speakers in a poorly set-up room.


Which of the two sets is the more musical?( I know you said before that the x-series are very refined)

( I guess my question got answered in the time that it took me to type it...thanks Ron)


I would say skip the X-Sub unless you need a small sub. A PB10 with the X-LS would be a good choice as well as the HSU VTF2-3 or better. Not that the X-Sub is not a good sub, just will not dig as deep as the SVS or HSU offerings. Though AV123 has the MFW15 coming out soon, which would be a good choice as well.
post #362 of 3363
Awesome thread going here, thanks for all of the input, it's helping to make my decision for me on my first HT system. I'm a long time lurker, and don't post much here, but this is my fav site to visit for all things AV, gives me enough knowledge to keep me dangerous I suppose

So, the wife has given me the go ahead to spend around $1,000 on a system. I already have a display and DVD player that I won't be replacing atm. I live in a duplex, and my living room is about 12' x 24' or so, but that's w/ the "attached" dining area in the back. I actually sit about 10' feet from the screen, so my listening area is more like 10' by 12' or so. Since I have a shared wall, I can't really have too much bass, or crank up this system too often, but I want something that will be fully capable when I purchase a house later this year. I can't get away from all of the amazing things I've been reading about the X-Series from AV123, so here's what I'm currently thinking. Any input is greatly appreciated!

Fronts: x-sls x 2
Center: x-cs
Rears: x-ls x 2
Sub: x-sub? or wait? (not overly concerned about a sub to start the system w/)
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR504

This puts me at just under $900 w/o a sub, and a bit over $1100 w/ one. I was going to go with x-ls bookshelves as my fronts, but I realized it would cost more to do that and get stands for them, compared to just getting the x-sls floorstanding speakers. Also, I wouldn't mind the extra fullness for 2ch music listening. I'm planning on wall-mounting my rears, already have the mounts. What do you fine people think? Thanks!
post #363 of 3363
Awesome awesome thread! This is exactly what I've been looking for and it took a while to find, lemme tell ya. I read about the first 5 pages and the last 2 so please excuse me if this has been answered already.

From all the recommendations I've been reading and considering my budget I'm looking at getting either the $200 Velodyne set or the Polk set from Frys (2x pair of R150s for $100 and the CSi25 center for $60). I have not heard any real comparison of these two however. I will be listening to music on them more often than watching movies/playing video games so I'd want to lean more towards the one with less treble and more balance.

Also can the R150s be wall-mounted easily? I saw someone ask that but don't think I saw an answer. They seem kinda big for that.

The Polk PSW303 sub is going for $150 at Frys now also. How does this fella stack up against the infamous Bic sub? Is the Bic $100 better?

Lastly, I'm still not set on the receiver I'll use. I really want one that has the built-in setup routine. I'm pretty sure there's a few in the $300 price range...

Thx,
D
post #364 of 3363
Hi there,
Was wondering does any B&M shop has Velodyne CHT's on display? I was hoping to listen to them once before buying. Their site shows Circuitcity as a dealer, but I dont think they have CHTs.
Cheers
post #365 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrowdy View Post

The Polk PSW303 sub is going for $150 at Frys now also. How does this fella stack up against the infamous Bic sub? Is the Bic $100 better?

I've only read one review of the PSW303, and it was not favorable, but that is an excellent price:
http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/1136.html

The 3 faves in the budget subwoofer set at present are:

The HSU STF-1 at $249 +20:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-1.html

and

The X-sub at $199 + 40:
http://www.**********/products_categ...oofers&brand=57

and

BIC H-100 at $240-260 on Fleabay

All good choices I think!
post #366 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by valuebuyer View Post

Hi there,
Was wondering does any B&M shop has Velodyne CHT's on display? I was hoping to listen to them once before buying. Their site shows Circuitcity as a dealer, but I dont think they have CHTs.
Cheers

AFIK, the CHTs are only available on closeout from the Velo site. The only place you're going to get current reviews are from the adoptees on the CHT thread in Speakers.
post #367 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruhnie View Post

Awesome thread going here, thanks for all of the input, it's helping to make my decision for me on my first HT system. I'm a long time lurker, and don't post much here, but this is my fav site to visit for all things AV, gives me enough knowledge to keep me dangerous I suppose

So, the wife has given me the go ahead to spend around $1,000 on a system. I already have a display and DVD player that I won't be replacing atm. I live in a duplex, and my living room is about 12' x 24' or so, but that's w/ the "attached" dining area in the back. I actually sit about 10' feet from the screen, so my listening area is more like 10' by 12' or so. Since I have a shared wall, I can't really have too much bass, or crank up this system too often, but I want something that will be fully capable when I purchase a house later this year. I can't get away from all of the amazing things I've been reading about the X-Series from AV123, so here's what I'm currently thinking. Any input is greatly appreciated!

Fronts: x-sls x 2
Center: x-cs
Rears: x-ls x 2
Sub: x-sub? or wait? (not overly concerned about a sub to start the system w/)
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR504

This puts me at just under $900 w/o a sub, and a bit over $1100 w/ one. I was going to go with x-ls bookshelves as my fronts, but I realized it would cost more to do that and get stands for them, compared to just getting the x-sls floorstanding speakers. Also, I wouldn't mind the extra fullness for 2ch music listening. I'm planning on wall-mounting my rears, already have the mounts. What do you fine people think? Thanks!

Great system...get the sub anyway...just take it easy on your neighbors. The 504 will work fine, but your speakers will benefit from a more powerful receiver and really benefit from separate amplification. What I'm saying is that you can stay with these speakers for quite awhile and be rewarded by feeding them more power down the road. If you start feeling the itch to upgrade in a year or so, you might try that upgrade first and find you don't want new speakers. If you want to avoid a step in this process, get an AVR with pre-outs now. You can then hook an outboard amp into the chain whenever. You might consider an HK235, 240, 335 or 340 from HK Direct on ebay. For less than $300 (sometimes far less) you can score a refurb on one of their 24hr auctions posted daily, with 2 year warranty. It's HKs factory store and totally reputable. Just be patient and don't overspend.

Anyway, it's a great system...
post #368 of 3363
Well, I've made one purchase and am on my way to a couple more.

The Onkyo 504 receiver is in the mail, and should be arriving shortly.

I am pretty set on the Velodyne CHT FR speakers, since they seem like a great value for my price range. The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is the size/weight of these speakers. I know they are good, solidly built, etc., but I am going to need some hefty speaker stands to hold them up (unfortunately, I can't wall mount in my rented apartment). So, it looks like I'll be spending around $100 on the four stands I'll need. Are there any suggestions for a cheap, but quality stands? Alternatively, does anyone know of similar speakers that are smaller/lighter but in the same price range? The Velos are 7 lbs each.

Finally, I think I decided on going for the Dayton 10" for a sub. Unfortunately, I can't justify spending much more than that on a sub, and Parts Express has free shipping for the next month. I had a thought today that the 10" may even be too much for my apt and my neighbors. Will the 8" just be too weak? I have about 1400 cubic feet in my living room (which directly adjoins the kitchen, but I don't care about sound there). Keeping the price and output of the sub down is important to me now, since I know I will be able to upgrade at some point (to the Bic, perhaps) and don't want to waste too much cash on it at this point.

I know I'm a newbie here (and probably have shown it in some of these questions), but any and all help is appreciated.

P.S. Do people actually buy banana plugs to hook all their speaker wire up? I was planning to, but then realized how expensive they are!
post #369 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Echomalinois View Post

I would say skip the X-Sub unless you need a small sub. A PB10 with the X-LS would be a good choice as well as the HSU VTF2-3 or better. Not that the X-Sub is not a good sub, just will not dig as deep as the SVS or HSU offerings. Though AV123 has the MFW15 coming out soon, which would be a good choice as well.

Thanks for the advice. I am indeed leaning towards the PB10...will check out the Hsu as well.
post #370 of 3363
I placed an order for the Polk R150's. Per Fry's customer service it will be 2 weeks before they get any.

On a side note I believe someone mentioned that American had the Polk R150's for $49.99. They do, but they sell them individually rather than in pairs so the deal at Fry's is way better.

Later on I'll order another pair of R150's and a center. I have a Sony receiver which I'm sure if crap, but it will do until the new Onkyo 605 receiver comes out.
post #371 of 3363
Any thoughts on a refurb Denon AVR686S? It has Auto EQ with included mic. Also has video upconversion. Basicly same price as Onkyo 504.
Brian
post #372 of 3363
Thanks for excellent thread, almost bought onkyo 790 htib. Instead after reading some posts I got onkyo 504, athena c1.2, two b1.2 and velodyne vx 10. So far I'm very happy with sound quality for the money (around 550$ for everything including cables). Used to have sony htib (around 3 year old now). Thanks again, great improvement.
post #373 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pagash View Post

I've only read one review of the PSW303, and it was not favorable, but that is an excellent price:
http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/1136.html
snip

Yikes, that doesn't sound very good at all. I guess a little extra goes a long way sometimes.

Okay on the receiver front, I am intrigued by the idea of using an HK since it has preamp outs and allows for easy upgradability later. I did some research and found the HK 335 and 240 to be close to what I want and at the top of my price range. Any thoughts on these units? They're kind of expensive (~$350-400 refurbished) and I'm not sure if I'd recognize the difference over a $160 Onkyo (I hope I would tho!)

Also, any noticeable difference between these two models? One is a year newer but a model-line lower than the other however they seem to have very similar bells/whistles.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

D
post #374 of 3363
Quote:
P.S. Do people actually buy banana plugs to hook all their speaker wire up? I was planning to, but then realized how expensive they are!

Parts express has some inexpensive banana plugs if you look around. I've used plenty of them. They're very convenient especially on the receiver end.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=090-460
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=090-465
post #375 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrowdy View Post

Yikes, that doesn't sound very good at all. I guess a little extra goes a long way sometimes.

Okay on the receiver front, I am intrigued by the idea of using an HK since it has preamp outs and allows for easy upgradability later. I did some research and found the HK 335 and 240 to be close to what I want and at the top of my price range. Any thoughts on these units? They're kind of expensive (~$350-400 refurbished) and I'm not sure if I'd recognize the difference over a $160 Onkyo (I hope I would tho!)

Also, any noticeable difference between these two models? One is a year newer but a model-line lower than the other however they seem to have very similar bells/whistles.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

D

http://cgi.*********/HK-AVR-340-7-1-...QQcmdZViewItem

They usually have around 6-8 receivers per day up for auction...if you don't need HDMI switching they are a real bargain.

Oops...won't let me link...ebay...search...hk receivers...click on the first HK Direct auction...scroll down to receivers again...look at all the current auctions...check back daily...snag one cheap.
post #376 of 3363
Just a curious thought. There was some action on the SLS Q line Gold HTIB few weeks back when it was on sale at BestBuy. Some fellow forum members were claiming that SLS Q line gold was comparable to other higher end systems in the 1000 dollar range. (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=SLS+q+line)
How would SLS Q line Gold HTIB compare to some of the 500-600 dollar setups being discussed here (4 Polk R150s with a matching center, Onkyo 504 and a subwoofer in 150-200 dollar range)?
post #377 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Parts express has some inexpensive banana plugs if you look around. I've used plenty of them. They're very convenient especially on the receiver end.

Do I need enough plugs to hook up the wires to the receiver as well as the speakers (assume Velodyne CHT FR)? In other words, how many plugs do I need per speaker wire? Only 2, or 4?

Really showing my lack of knowledge here...
post #378 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Parts express has some inexpensive banana plugs if you look around. I've used plenty of them. They're very convenient especially on the receiver end.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=090-460
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=090-465

But the only reason to use them is convenience (frequent plugging/unplugging, or hard to reach spots behind receiver or speakers), or because you think they look cool. There's no performance reason to get them, and if you don't do it right they can degrade performance with a loose connection - so if people don't mind hooking up bare wires, no need.
post #379 of 3363
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrowdy View Post

Okay on the receiver front, I am intrigued by the idea of using an HK since it has preamp outs and allows for easy upgradability later. I did some research and found the HK 335 and 240 to be close to what I want and at the top of my price range. Any thoughts on these units? They're kind of expensive (~$350-400 refurbished) and I'm not sure if I'd recognize the difference over a $160 Onkyo (I hope I would tho!)

try searching for the HK 235...i scored one from Harman direct for $260 in December 2005, so you should be able to do at least that well now.

going from the onkyo to HK, i noticed more power, a fuller, warmer sound, and enjoy a better feature set including independent bass management, on-screen display, pre-outs for separate amplification, etc. the HK weighs about 12lbs more than the onkyo and is built like a tank. great receiver, especially for < $300.
post #380 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by valuebuyer View Post

Just a curious thought. There was some action on the SLS Q line Gold HTIB few weeks back when it was on sale at BestBuy. Some fellow forum members were claiming that SLS Q line gold was comparable to other higher end systems in the 1000 dollar range. (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=SLS+q+line)
How would SLS Q line Gold HTIB compare to some of the 500-600 dollar setups being discussed here (4 Polk R150s with a matching center, Onkyo 504 and a subwoofer in 150-200 dollar range)?

The strength of this system lay in the speakers which received high praise. The sub was poor. The receiver was a rebadges entry level Sherwood with limited features, and the DVD had reliability issues. I don't recall the DVD rebadge. I was tempted to get one for a bedroom setup, but the weaknesses outweighed the positives for me. Still, there were lots of happy owners. It'll be interesting to see how the components stood up in a year or two!
post #381 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-star View Post

the velo's seem to be a popular option around here, there's a long thread on them in the speaker forum. they seem to be a tough deal to beat.

the best sub to pair with them would depend on your budget. again the Bic H-100 seems to be a popular choice for about $230, but there are several options. internet-direct brands usually offer the most bang for the buck.

HDMI switching is a luxury on receivers right now, and you'll pay a premium for it. IMO, its better to buy a less expensive receiver and run your HDMI cables from the source directly to the display. use digital audio cables from your sources to the receiver for all the surround processing.

If you run HDMI from the source to the display, but toslink audio from source to the receiver, how does the source know which "output" to use for audio? Example: I am about to buy a receiver to use with a Sony XBR HDTV LCD and a PS3 and bluray player. How do you choose outs? Is it easier to plunk down the $$ for an HDMI switching receiver?
post #382 of 3363
Not sure how you can say the SLS receiver has limited features, OSD, auto calibration, and component upconversion, none of which the similar Onkyo has if I'm not mistaken. This was my first experience with a Sherwood receiver and I'd buy another in a heartbeat. I have an Onkyo in my upstairs setup and though the sound quality is similar the Sherwood offers more bang for the buck. The sub was definitely the weak point but it's not bad, I thought it outperformed the one the 790 comes with that I installed in a buddies place a couple months back. I will upgrade that when the money is available. I haven't heard of any issues with the dvd player. It's just a cheapy so I put it in my 2 year olds room. It has run all day more than a few times in the last 6 months with no issues.

When I was shopping around for a htib I listened to about all of them and the SLS was up there with even the most expensive htib's. When Best Buy put them on sale back in Oct./Nov. it was a no-brainer. I've heard the entry level Polks and to my ears that's no comparison. Haven't heard the Velodynes yet to make a judgement. With one of the entry level component systems you would have a better sub but that's about it. But for the $300 Best Buy was selling these for you could buy a Bic and still only be at $550, which is tough to do with components. I guess it really doesn't matter now since they are gone and SLS wants $1100 for them.
post #383 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by jizaref1 View Post

If you run HDMI from the source to the display, but toslink audio from source to the receiver, how does the source know which "output" to use for audio? Example: I am about to buy a receiver to use with a Sony XBR HDTV LCD and a PS3 and bluray player. How do you choose outs? Is it easier to plunk down the $$ for an HDMI switching receiver?

You will have switch inputs on the TV and the receiver. I and many others use a programmable remote to do this.

Your getting a nice TV. Its a good guess that this TV memorizes pic quality settings by input, my Mitsubishi does. If you use switching HDMI, 2 in 1 out (pass through or even active) the TV will not know which component is on the HDMI port so you cannot calibrate the best picture quality for each component and have it retained in TV memory. You will have to compromise on one source. Pic quality is too important to me to lose it for the sake of HDMI switching.
post #384 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

http://cgi.*********/HK-AVR-340-7-1-...QQcmdZViewItem

They usually have around 6-8 receivers per day up for auction...if you don't need HDMI switching they are a real bargain.

Oops...won't let me link...ebay...search...hk receivers...click on the first HK Direct auction...scroll down to receivers again...look at all the current auctions...check back daily...snag one cheap.

Yep, I found these late last night! Great bargains, in theory. I've got a bunch on my watch list and I'm gonna see how much they go for.

I have heard too many mixed reviews about HDMI switching to be excited about it anymore, especially after what mrgribbles just said about the TV video settings. My brother advises me to spend the extra few hundred dollars on a better TV with more inputs and a good universal remote so I won't have to worry about it. I was cautious of this advice at first, but I've read a lot of horror stories about HDMI switching and it seems like it's best just to avoid it altogether.

Back to the HK, I am really interested in the 340 since the EZset/EQ seems to be a big step up from the EZset/+. I don't know if this is really true tho, and that's the ONLY extra feature that the 340 has that I'm interested in over something cheaper like the 240 or 335. Anyone have any experience with the HK EZset/+ vs EQ thing?

(Man what an awesome thread this has turned out to be. There seriously needs to be a whole noobie section so we don't have to plow through 13 pages of stuff but still, I'm not complaining!)

Thx,
D
post #385 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

Great system...get the sub anyway...just take it easy on your neighbors. The 504 will work fine, but your speakers will benefit from a more powerful receiver and really benefit from separate amplification. What I'm saying is that you can stay with these speakers for quite awhile and be rewarded by feeding them more power down the road. If you start feeling the itch to upgrade in a year or so, you might try that upgrade first and find you don't want new speakers. If you want to avoid a step in this process, get an AVR with pre-outs now. You can then hook an outboard amp into the chain whenever. You might consider an HK235, 240, 335 or 340 from HK Direct on ebay. For less than $300 (sometimes far less) you can score a refurb on one of their 24hr auctions posted daily, with 2 year warranty. It's HKs factory store and totally reputable. Just be patient and don't overspend.

Anyway, it's a great system...

Ron, thanks for the feedback, it is much appreciated. I didn't realize that the 504 wouldn't necessarily be enough power for these speakers, I guess that means they really are good! I've had an HK before and liked it, so I will definitely take a look at that HK factory store and see what I can find. What's the warranty like on refurbs? Thanks!
post #386 of 3363
Full normal warranty, which is a huge plus for me!

Warranty

BTW, I had trouble finding this seller. The name is "harmonaudio" even though all their sales say Harmon Direct on them. Now just be sure not to bid-war with me. :-D
post #387 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerkin View Post

Not sure how you can say the SLS receiver has limited features, OSD, auto calibration, and component upconversion, none of which the similar Onkyo has if I'm not mistaken. This was my first experience with a Sherwood receiver and I'd buy another in a heartbeat. I have an Onkyo in my upstairs setup and though the sound quality is similar the Sherwood offers more bang for the buck. The sub was definitely the weak point but it's not bad, I thought it outperformed the one the 790 comes with that I installed in a buddies place a couple months back. I will upgrade that when the money is available. I haven't heard of any issues with the dvd player. It's just a cheapy so I put it in my 2 year olds room. It has run all day more than a few times in the last 6 months with no issues.

When I was shopping around for a htib I listened to about all of them and the SLS was up there with even the most expensive htib's. When Best Buy put them on sale back in Oct./Nov. it was a no-brainer. I've heard the entry level Polks and to my ears that's no comparison. Haven't heard the Velodynes yet to make a judgement. With one of the entry level component systems you would have a better sub but that's about it. But for the $300 Best Buy was selling these for you could buy a Bic and still only be at $550, which is tough to do with components. I guess it really doesn't matter now since they are gone and SLS wants $1100 for them.

I'm glad you're happy with your purchase, just stating from my perspective why I didn't purchase one, as the PP asked for opinions.

Also, this is a moot point for now, as these are no longer available at BB, and are pretty pricey from SLS.
post #388 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrowdy View Post

Full normal warranty, which is a huge plus for me!

Warranty

BTW, I had trouble finding this seller. The name is "harmonaudio" even though all their sales say Harmon Direct on them. Now just be sure not to bid-war with me. :-D

Heh I'm keeping an eye on those auctions today to see what they go for. I'm going to go for a 240/340 I think. I'm an ebay noob, are these auctions reserve, or do they go to the highest bidder regardless? Seems like some really sweet deals can be had here for HK stuff.

Oh and what exactly does the EZset/EQ do?
post #389 of 3363
Hey guys I want to get a nice home theater system. I'm going to brandsmart today to listen to the HTS790 by onkyo, but apparently HTIBs are not great sound quality and I should be making my own from different brand names for different parts such as receivers, speakers,center channels,and subwoofers.

I don't want to spend over 400.

I have never had a Surround sound or Home theater system in my life.

I like Bass for my music, but sound quality is also important.

Can you guys help me out here?
post #390 of 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruhnie View Post

Heh I'm keeping an eye on those auctions today to see what they go for. I'm going to go for a 240/340 I think. I'm an ebay noob, are these auctions reserve, or do they go to the highest bidder regardless? Seems like some really sweet deals can be had here for HK stuff.

Oh and what exactly does the EZset/EQ do?

They seem to be NR auctions so they go to the highest bidder regardless of price. I am also going for the 240/340, leaning towards the 340 if I can get a deal.

So I'm not the person to really be asking about the EZset/EQ, but there's a good HK247 thread over in the receivers forum where someone detailed the differences between all the auto-setups. It seems the EZset/EQ (not the EZset/+) does an extra level of equalization and jibberjabber and floppityfloop that none of the others but the Denon do and it supposedly makes the bass much tighter and more responsive. Supposedly it's also much easier to use than the Denon version and works better. If it's not in that thread, poke around in there until you find it. Twas very informative.

D
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