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I've been perusing these forums for a couple of weeks now and while I've learned a lot, but I'm still lost when it comes to receivers and speakers. I really haven't a clue as to what is good and what isn't for my current and future needs.


Here's what I have/will have:


Purchasing a Panasonic TH-42PX50u 42" Plasma HDTV


I *had* a Gateway KAS-303 6.1 surround sound system, but the receiver fried on me. So the speakers I have are from that system. I found a similar (looks different, but same innards) on cnet. HSU research VT-12's, but I've got a 150-watt 10-inch subwoofer that came with the set.


I don't know how good they really are compared to anything else, it's the only set I've ever owned and I got them for cheap ($200 with the receiver, display model + employee discount when stores closed) and all I have to go on for quality is the reviews on cnet, and those are promising. Are the speakers worth keeping? Or should I plan on upgrading them in the future.


For the DVD player I'm going to be using my xbox with an HD pack (good enough?) until the HD-DVD players hit the ground running..


The one I was considering is the new JVC RX-D702 all-digital receiver because of it's HDMI in's and out for future use as well as it's ability to up-convert signals to 720p. The Panasonic has HDMI input, so the 1 cable is appealing. I know it's not out yet, but will be soon. The lack of reviews kind of puts me off on the purchase, but it's really just my ignorance that makes me uneasy.


I have about $600 to spend on a receiver. I don't know if I should just wait to spend more or not. I'm definitely not an audiophile, but I want a decent home theater setup to go with the panasonic.


I appreciate all the help and advice I can get since I really don't know anything about receivers and speakers. Also, does speaker wire really make that big of a difference in audio quality? I was planning on purchasing it from home depot, if that makes a difference.


Thanks a lot for the help, not that I haven't received a lot of help from these forums already!
 

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If your speakers truly are the Hsu VT-12, they get pretty decent reviews in AVS. Have never heard them myself though. A 'search' should find plenty of info.


As for speaker wire, people will debate forever whether or not it makes a difference. I use the Home Depot in-wall wire and Lowes (made by Phillips) non-in-wall wire, and seems to sound fine to me. You'd need some good ears to notice a difference IMO. Just don't go too cheap on the stuff. You don't want the insulation to start breaking down on you. Just make sure you use the correct gauge as recommended by the speaker manufacturer (can depend on length of run also).


As for receivers, affordable (
 

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Right. Forget HDMI. There are at least three versions out now, and at least two more versions due "soon". It may be convenient with your TV, but it will NOT "future-proof" your purchase. Nor do I think that it's worth the $$ premium to get it.


You should be able to do very well with a $400 receiver. Pay more attention to your speakers. They will make much more difference to the sound than the receiver. Some "integrated" systems come with speakers that suck, and depend on equalization provided by the receiver to sound half-decent (e.g. Bose). Without the receiver, the speakers will sound terrible.


IMO, save $$ on the receiver because you may need to turn around and buy new speakers. For that, start listening to the various models at decent A/V ships (not Best Buy). A little experience with what's possible, and how few speakers actually sound like you like, will go a lot further toward getting you a good system than anything we could type here.
 
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