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I am interested in buying the best 6.1 home theater speakers/receiver combination I can get for less than $2000. Can anyone help me?

I figure about $800 for the receiver and $1200 for 6 speakers and subwoffer.
 

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Everyone seems to be too jazzed about the new flagship receivers and other goodies coming out to have noticed your question. So this is my humble attempt to give you some information. Or, at least you get my opinion.


My first bit of advice is to look at Audiogon . com once you have a firm idea of what you want. Upgraditis is highly contagious and has no known cure. Folks are always trying to sell really nice stuff so that they can buy something slightly nicer. I know because I am one of them.


As for the receiver/speaker budget split, I like your thinking. You might even want to slide a bit further in favor of the speakers. Remember, processing technology is constantly evolving and you will upgrade at some point. Speakers, OTOH, are relatively stable. If you get a set that you like, they will serve you for a very long time.


You haven't said how large your room is so I am going to make the assumption that it is about 15x15.


So now some recommendations: for speakers I would look immediately at an internet company called HomeTheaterDirect. I have a set of their Level II's in my travel system and they really sound good. The Level III's are probably worth the upgrade. If you go this route, just get identical speakers all around - don't bother with the special 'center' speaker. (Obviously, if you go for tower models, that last bit is impractical.) You may also want to ask this question in the 'Speakers' forum over at HTF.


For the receiver, I have been very happy with a 3-yr old Onkyo 494. I paid all of $299 for it and it sounds great matched with the HTD speakers. Unfortunately that model is discontinued. At the time, Onkyo was making some nice budget receivers that really sounded quite nice. You'd have to do a bit of research here to see what the current opinon is.


And now I get to contradict myself. If you picked up a set of Level 2 or 3's, you'd still have a chunk of change left over. At that point, I'd seriously look at the Rotel 1055 receiver either new or used. The pre-pro section is nearly the same as the Rotel 1066 Pre/Pro separate. Otherwise, take a walk through the Audiogon receiver section to see what else is available.


Happy hunting!


David
 

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I read a basic thumb rule here once about how the budget can be easily split for your HT gear:

30% for reciever

70% for speakers

10% for cables and connectors

I would also suggest a budget reciever that I liked was MarantzSR5300. It has 192khz/24bit DAC's and 6.1 channels. I used SR4300 before I bought Elite and I really liked it.

Good luck with your search.
 

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can you throw another $500-1000 at the system within a year or so?


if so, consider this budget:

$200 - cheap 5.1 receiver

$800 - sub

$1000 - left, right, center, and 2 surrounds


then drop the extra money on a better reciever and maybe a 6th channel down the road.


you'll get more bang for your buck dropping most of your money on speakers, and upgrading the receiver later. a good sub makes a huge difference.
 

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I did it for even less.

Kenwood VR 7070 for #$350 (6.1 THX and DTS EX). I have a set of older JBL P-series speakers, but today would look at:


S-Center

Pair of S 310 Towers

4 S26s for surrounds/rears

PB10 sub for a room less than about 12x18, the S-series sub for larger.


That should be about $1000-1200 for speakers.


Hey, that is just what I would consider.


Along with others, I'm guessing the next several sound formats will be out in the next couple of years and the receiver will be upgraded then to 14.6 or whatever configuration sound is in then.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Mass
I am interested in buying the best 6.1 home theater speakers/receiver combination I can get for less than $2000. Can anyone help me?

I figure about $800 for the receiver and $1200 for 6 speakers and subwoffer.
Totally agree, at least get a solid AVR and $800 gets U a great AVR value from all of the major quality audio brands. My suggestions would be Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Denon or HK. Someone suggested a $200 AVR, forget $200 will only get you a cheap HTIB type AVR with fibbing/lieing, power specs,NO component video switching, few digital inputs and minmum DSP modes.


For speakers, check out the quality subwoofer and satellite systems brands, keeping in mind the center channel is very important for the vocal/dialog localization. For $2000 you can get an excellant, sounding home theater system for speakers, sub and AVR.
 

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Since you said "best" for your money you should get the Ascend Acoustics package Series 23-1001 for under $1,300 and it includes the highly lauded Hsu VTF-2 subwoofer. For a receiver, lots to choose from - I recommend a refurbished H/K AVR520 from the Harman Kardon store at Ebay for around $400 and it has a two year warranty. I currently use this as a HT pre in my system. The AVR525 has lesser amps and a few problems from what I have heard. Don't waste money on fancy connectors and wires, just get stuff that looks to be well made. I do recommend at least 14 gauge speaker wire for longer runs.


Dsmith
 

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I wouldn't bother with 6.1 to start.


A GOOD 5.1 system will be MUCH better on music and just as good if not better on movies than a mediocre 6.1 system. The extra 200+ it is gonna cost you for an extra rear (or 2) and a 6.1 AVR you could soend on better fronts, sub or a more powerful receiver.


Personally I think a NAD T752 I think is the best sound quality and power at around the $800 range. But its only 5.1 you would need to add an amp for 6 or 7.1 But I'd rather have that than a lower quality 6.1 amp


A better sub will add much more than an extra speaker in the rear.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by M Code
Someone suggested a $200 AVR, forget $200 will only get you a cheap HTIB type AVR with fibbing/lieing, power specs,NO component video switching, few digital inputs and minmum DSP modes.
at $200 who cares what the specs are and how many DSP modes it has and you _can_ get component video switching. the idea is to sacrifice on the receiver now so you can get better speakers, and do the easy receiver upgrade down the road.


in a year you'd probably be able to get today's $1k receiver for $400-500. that would make for a much better system long term.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 9volt
at $200 who cares what the specs are and how many DSP modes it has and you _can_ get component video switching. the idea is to sacrifice on the receiver now so you can get better speakers, and do the easy receiver upgrade down the road.
Could you please clarify which brand and model of AVR you can buy @ $200 that has a REAL power output specification of at least 50W/ch w/ALL channels driven. And has at least 4 digital inputs and component video bandwidth of at least 50MHZ for HD tv.


If you think some of the Sony AVR models quoting power of 100W per channel but only put 30W when ALL channels are driven. And quote a video bandwidth of 80MHZ and measure 30MHz, forget it. All of their specifications are false and outright fibs. :cool:
 

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at this budget, if i had to go new, i would get the $200 sony regardless of how inaccurate the specs might be. i wouldn't be expecting real power output or high quality anything, and would just save up for something nicer.


to me, at $1200 i'd be itching to upgrade speakers. at $1800, i think i could find something i'd be very happy with for a long time.


the receiver is the easier upgrade, and having the nicer speakers right away will give better performance for the short term.
 

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one more thing. i recently helped a guy upgrade a system where he had a pro-logic receiver, 5 ok speakers, and $800.


i got him into the sony we are talking about, and a decent sub, and his jaw hit the floor when it was setup. this guy doesn't know jack about good sound, but a decent sub made a huge impact on the movie experience, and the sony does it's job - decodes DD, and provides (some) power to the speakers.


put another way, let's say you had the Rocket system #8 (the smallest one) and i offered you either a pw-2200 and this sony receiver, or $800 worth of HK receiver and your choice of any sony subwoofer at Best Buy. which option would you take?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 9volt


put another way, let's say you had the Rocket system #8 (the smallest one) and i offered you either a pw-2200 and this sony receiver, or $800 worth of HK receiver and your choice of any sony subwoofer at Best Buy. which option would you take?


Bachelorette #1? Although the features on bachelorette #2 are pretty hard to pass on :p
 
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