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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

These forums have been incredibly helpful - many thanks for the reviews and feedback from all. I've been doing a ton of research and am I finally now starting to sense the home theatre/sound system light at the end of the tunnel. :)

I wanted to lay out the specifics of what I am leaning towards and get feedback on it. Also, I still have a couple of holes that I need some help with.

First the space: relatively small living room, 15’ wide by 12’ deep. 1960s construction San Francisco apartment building. I’m in a top floor, heavily carpeted unit. Tenants are on the younger side and no complaints so far from playing my Yamaha RX-V2300 and Energy Connoisseur speakers late at night at decent volumes.

Music and Movies are equally important to me. Value priorities are: solid performance, aesthetic appeal, and superior value.

Here is what I have in mind so far:

TV: Panasonic 50†plasma, model 7UY. Seems to offer the best picture/price ratio on the market. I've read great things about Visual Apex for purchasing over the phone/internet.

Receiver: May initially give my Yami a whirl but leaning towards upgrading to the Marantz 8500 when it comes out since (unless I 2-zone it, is that advisable with my Yami model?) I’ll still need another receive to power my Connoisseurs in the bedroom. I like the reputation of Marantz on build quality, musical sound quality, and the DVI switching is appealing (if I correctly understand how that technology works, see Cables below). It also seems possible to get great deals on Marantz over the internet unlike some of the other premium brands I'm considering. Other receivers I've looked at are the Denon AVR-3805 and 4802R (although this one seems a bit dated). On the higher end also considering the Rotel RSX-1067 and Arcam AVR300, but these may be more receiver than my speakers, space, overall system and budget warrant.

Speakers: 5 channel surround sound

Fronts & Center: I would like to wall mount my front and center speakers. I’m space constrained as my wall has slightly less than 8 feet across in usable space of which the Panny is going to eat up roughly 48 inches. The Martin Logan Frescos at 8.25 inches across and with their low profile seem like a nice option. Concerned about sound quality tradeoff with wall mounted speakers, but I’m basically committed to wall mounting. Whatever I can do to minimize the sound quality tradoff that comes with wall mounts is my goal. The Magnepan wall mounts also looks interesting. They take up more space but cost considerably less. Does anyone know if both these planars require a power source?

Rear Surroud Speakers: It would seem wasteful to spend the nearly $1k/per Fresco for the rears. Any good suggestions here?

Subwoofer: Looking to stay in whatever front/center speaker family I end up with. If Martin Logan then probably either the Depth or Grotto.

DVD Player: Currently own the Sony DVP-NS755V. I would like to wait awhile with HD DVD/Blue Ray on the horizon so I may try to get away with this unit for the time being. Does this sound like the right call?

HD Input: Comcast HD Cable. I’ve heard the new Comcast box has DVI, can anyone confirm this? Looking forward to Comcast HD DVR, does anyone have any news about that and whether that box will also include HD or will you still need to two boxes from Comcast if you want digital cable, DVR, and HD?

Connector cables: ??? no clue for speakers. The thinner the cables I can use connecting my rears to the receiver and the higher the price/quality/length ratio, the better. I would like to minimize the number of cables going to and from the plasma so I’m wondering if the right setup is to run DVI cables from both my DVD player and my Cable STB to my Marantz, and then run the single DVI to the Panasonic? Since the Panny doesn’t even have speakers DVI should work for me and there is no advantage to HDMI, right? If anything, HDMI is a fatter, more expensive cable.

I think that about covers it. Again, any feedback and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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