Originally Posted by howudoinn7
I am brand new to this forum and really just wanted to share some of my own experiences and thoughts I went through. Feel free to comment or PM me with feedback.
So about 2months ago, I got a new place and decided it was time to upgrade some components. The components at the time were:
1) 32" Sony Trinitron Flat Screen (heavy tube) TV
2) Sony audio/video 5.1 receiver model # STR-DE575
3) Sony Floor standing 4-way tower speakers model # SS-MF500H
4) Some random Cinema Surround Speakers
While the system was cool at the time, this was purchased back in 2001-2002 back in my military days! With technology always evolving, this system now sounds like it belongs in the 80's! LOL (no offense to the 80's, great years!!!)
Not till about 4years ago did I start getting into reading forums, I guess well, I was uneducated about them. Now I'm a subscriber too IS300.net forum, xda-developers, pcgeeks, Android forums, Audio Karma and now AVS forum! Before purchasing any audio components, I researched forums, asked questions and read some reviews.
The key factors for the sounds system I was looking to purchase were, Quality made components, Good reviews by previous owners and most important had to be in my budget (Only had $600 for audio)! Tho many audio enthusiasts go out and buy the competition, top of the line components, I simply wanted something nice I could find locally for a good price. No disrespect towards anyone, I do not consider myself a hardcore audiophile. I am just a dude that could be satisfied with good (not great) sound.
Like many dummies do (or at least me) when walking into a store that sells electronics you seem to always first look at the overpriced, most expensive items, because as humans our minds tell us "If its expensive then it must be EXCELLEnT!" Well, there was my biggest mistake, (before the yelling and bashing and or flaming begins) YES, I was looking into buying a Bose system. [Deep breath] Ok, so confuse with buying new components I was unsure if I was gonna purchase a new receiver, what kind of TV, if I should just buy an all-in-one Theater System...I mean it was a struggle!!!! Back to the Bose stuff, there were so many questions, a Lifestyle system with the Receiver, an Accostimass package and have to keep my old receiver, a 3-2-1 system, I mean it was worse than my wife shopping! On top of all this, I am always looking into getting a good deal, so I turned to Craigslist. Even there, Bose is sold at outrageous prices. For the record, I dont mind buying stuff of Craigslist, I've had nothing but good experiences there. Not until I started doing my research on other audio forums including this one, did I discover true cons of Bose, Speakers made of paper and plastic, Overpriced becaused of their Marketing campaigns and last was most bose equipment are propietary (a total let down when it comes to a simple speaker wire!) No offense to anyone that owns Bose, just figured it was not for me! So after reading forums, having discussions with some experts I decided Bose was not for me and also I couldnt afford it.
So, right after I decided to give up on Bose, I was browsing through Craigslist and saw a deal I couldnt give up on. A young proffesional in the Los Angeles Area was getting rid of a complete sound system, due to his wife expecting a new born and not wanting any loud sounds for when the baby was born. I decided to take a chance and took a trip to go look at the system. The system consisted of:
1) Harman Kardon AVR 247 7.1 audio/video receiver
2) Harman Kardon DVD 38
3) Infinity Total Solutions Home Theater speakers TSS-1200
4 satelite, 1 center and 1 Subwoofer
Everything was cosmetically 10/10, everything 100% functioning, got all manuals, original remotes and all cables. I was also told that the Infinity subwoofer was upgraded from the TSS-1200 model to a bigger one when the system was purchased. Eveything just mentioned above for the price of $500!!! When I did my research, the AVR 247 goes for about $200-250 on amazon, DVD 38 for about $150-200 and the TSS-1200 cheapest I found was $1,000-1,300. At the highest prices the total for these 3 items would have been $1750, with California state tax it would have been $1903! I felt like I had robbed this guy! I couldnt believe his asking price was only $500. That left me with $100 to spare! I was happy with my purchase and when it was all tested I couldnt believe how great it sounded. I kept in mind I had 2 extra/spare speaker outputs hence its a 7.1 system. With my luck still on streak I was able to find a guy about 25min from me, selling 4 infinity Speakers from model # TSS-800 model on Craigslist. Also brand new in box! While I was only looking for 2, the guy sold me both for $40 ($20 each), It sure felt great to be able to match the system I had already purchased! For my new TV I went with 46" Sony LED plasma brand new from Best Buy, cost about 1,300!
The one and only problem I encountered was when I started reading about upgrading the firmware for the AVR 247. I didnt have the cable required, and saw many people had some issues with the update. I was able to borrow the cable from my work, the IT guy had a radioshack Serial to USB cable, he gave me the disc with the drivers to install and I downloaded the firmware from the official site and went to work. I was able to Port it correctly, followed each step, succesfully did the audio upgrade, and like I thought I would, had major issues with the Video upgrade. I want to say like 8 different times I got "AVR didn't respond properly. Video subsystem upgrade failed." I was trying the upgrade with my HP Laptop running Vista SP2, 64-bit Operating system. I then tried with my cousins HP Laptop runing Windows 7, also 64-bit Operating system. Just before giving up on this issue I went ahead and tried with my uncles HP Netbook running Windows Xp SP2 and my first try around the upgrade went through smoothly! Sometimes I feel its my will not to give up what make sh*t work!!!! (excuse the language) But yeah, this is my story, I hope people reading this could take something useful from it! Peace!