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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Educate me.


I belong to the school of practicality. (spelling???)


I will pay for anything that I can appreciate.


OHMz. AMPz. Wattz. Inchz. I don't freakin care. Sit in my living room. I want you to say wow!! It shouldn't cost 20,000 bucks.


I build PC's. I'm one of the best. Practicality (spelling?) is sooo important.

I know my stuff w/ PC's. Someone out there is cut out of the same cloth as me.


Help me out.


I appreciate the .MP3 format.


I appreciate artists that don't rely on a bass line.


I appreciate George Lucas.


I don't appreciate Geoge Lucas's kids' negative impact on his films.


I want a flat tax.


I am a liberal Republican


I am a conservative Liberal.


Artists should say f-you to the record lables. Artists should post their new releases on the Net, increase the charges to the radio stations, and perform for the rest of the $$.


Jimmi Hendrix is still the best guitarist there ever was.


Eddie Van Halen is #2.


Drugs = great music

Great music does not = drugs

I don't get it either.


I want the best practical system that one can buy.

I want your input.


Cables?

Receiver?

Speakers?


Speak.

Live.

This is the USA.

Be proud.


Be excited.


Be an American.


I drive a Jeep


Thanks
 

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jeepfreak,


You gave us a lot of info there, but some further details would be of help. What kind of sources will you be needing/using? Are you looking for 2 chn or surround? How much music listening, how much HT/movies? What kind of music? Any size or setup constraints to be aware of?


And $$$-wise, is $19,999 OK? Or do you have a specific region in which you'd like suggestions to be capped?


Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
K,


Sorry, I'll get off of my soap box.


No, $19,999 would not suffice.


I have a small game room and want 5.1 or 6.1 surround.


This should not cost a mint.


I want a Yamaha receiver. Any recommendations?

"HTR-xxxx" "VX-Rxxx" What do I get?


B&W speakers were recommended to me by a HT dealer. Are they worth it?


If I only want to drop 2-3 grand, what should I get?


Jeepfreak
 

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Hrrrm, 2-3 bones for what exactly? The full system? The speakers? Just certain components?


Since you mention MP3 playback as a wonderful desire I assume you'd build yourself an HTPC to handle MP3 duties? If so check out the AudioTron and use a cheap CPU system to serve files to it. That'll set ya back about $250, but from what everyone says, for MP3 playback its sweet.


Personally I'm doing the above myself, since I tire of having countless stacks of CD's cluttering up my small space for stuff (room about 13 X 16 complete with couch and recliner, 40" TV. No much space to walk in my living room. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.


For components, how much you want to spend obviously factors into things. I have a Denon 1601 receiver (60w/channel in 5.1, adequate for my needs believe me, I like it to where I can hear it, I can't stand to crank it anymore). That set me back about 220 bucks I believe.


For speakers, I had to bite the bullet and go with something small, that my wife approved of, and my only option was Klipsch Quintets for the front and rear. They sound find to me, mind you I'm no audiophile. Are they crap on the larger scale of things? Yeah I know this, but I was stuck between a rock and a hard place at the time, and had to give in to pressures :)


I have a Klipsch center that sits on my Toshiba 40H80. For bass pleasures I opted for an infinity sub, says its rated @ 400W RMS, I personally don't see it outputting near that, but once again, for my uses, it works.


I think for all that stuff listed above I spent less than $600 total.


Kinda silly to say, but I snapped up a Toshiba SD-9200 on the cheap from ubid.com (some hate em, I personally love em, bought all kinds of stuff there, never once have I had a problem with em). Got it for roughly $500, and it'll last me for probably the rest of my DVD playing life, or till someone gives me that winning lottery ticket.


If I were you, and I had to put together a complete system for 2-3000 I'd probably setup this.


First, for speakers, a lot of people are using the Diva 2.1's for mains. @ 399/pr they are probably real hard to knock. So, 400 bucks ya got your L/R.


Center: I own the Klipsch, and I've owned Infinity in the past (some would say it was a step down, but I don't believe so). Take your pick here honestly, there's too many that I'd consider fine for average guy uses. I'd top this off @ 150-200 for the center, which rules out the Diva C3 unit.


So, we got $600 for Front L/C/R. For rears. The Diva R3's @ 400 might again seem attractive, but we're trying to work on a budget here, and getting it all in under your window is the goal right? Again take your pick, I can't recommend a certain brand over the next. I just haven't been listening to all this stuff long enough to know.


Possibly the guys @ AV123 would work a package deal on some 2.1's and R3's for you to make this viable, I hear they can work some serious magic for you in the right combination.


So far we can figure we got roughly 800-900 wrapped up in speakers. Moving on to receivers and CD equipment.


I love my Denon unit, and I'm probably going to be keeping it for secondary uses, but I so desire the 5800/5803 from them. I owned Pioneer in the past and their Elite products are quality from top to bottom no question in my mind.


Since I imagine you would like 5.1 surround from your system. Lets go with a moderate power unit from Pioneer, with the gaps to fill your needs.

The Pioneer D811-S seems to fill the gaps. 100w/channel in 5.1 mode, roughly 300-400 or so dollars.


We're up to lets say 1300 now. Move on to CD players. If it was me, unless you listen to a god awful amount of CD stuff and would want a changer or 5 disc unit, I'd just go with a good quality single disc unit. Take your pick here jeep. I haven't bought an actual CD player in about 8 years. I own a 5 disc Sony that only has RCA outs, as frankly music is not high on my list of things. I listen to it, but very rarely. I prefer the warmth of a good movie and some DD movie tracks.


Figure you'll spend $200 or so on a decent unit, Sony, Pioneer, Denon, you name it, unless you're looking for ultra high quality from a CD Player I believe any of the above brands would suffice.


That brings us up to lets say 1500, I always figure 10% of that for shipping/tax. So we got 1650 dollars or so roughly. If you wanted to, you could opt for a full Diva system all the way around, with 2.1 fronts, C3 center and R3 rears and probablyy still come well well within your price bracket.


Pushing them with the Pioneer receiver might seem weak to some and probably a joke to others, but I think you'd be more than happy with that. Now if you wanted to throw in a DVD player, if quality is not your highest concern on its playback abilities. The Apex units are super cheap in price, play all types of material, from DVD to VCD and SVCD to MP3 cd's, you name it. They can be had for about 100 bucks or less if not mistaken and are hacked till the cows come home by all the techno electronic geeks to do things like region free viewing of DVD's and other things.


I'll just tell you what I would like to own personally if I had the option, and all the money necessary.


A Denon AVR5800/5803 throwing sound through some Diva 4.1 or 6.1 fronts with their associated package of center and rears. Maybe throw in a decent optical out CD player to keep from using my Toshiba as such ( I don't now, and probably won't unless its for the HQ DVD-A stuff). I'd have a dedicated 40/80G machine running a lowly P3 Celeron in another room serving MP3 files to an Audiotron unit.


I'm a lot like you in the sense that I'm coming from the PC world to the audio one, not the other way around. I can build em with my eyes closed, but I couldn't voice much opinion on the high end stuff that so many drool over and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on. Cables that cost a few hundred bucks? Forget about it.


Oh yeah forgot cables :) Toss in roughly 300-400 for cables. A lot of guys suggest bettercables.com for the interconnects and many have said that Rat Shack 16 gauge speaker wire is sufficient for their needs, some have opted for 12 gauge on high power applications or long speaker wire runs. Look around for the speaker wire, I have yet to hear anyone say that one is truly that much better than another in regards to them, and I highly doubt I will, and actually have that person lead me to believe it.


Enjoy building it. Get yourself a nice open air rack to hold all your newly purchased gear, sit back and enjoy it.
 

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 http://**********/specials.shtml


Diva 4.1 ($600, reg $700),

C3 ($500), and

2.1 (Free)


Total $1100. That's one of the packages.


This is a weird one, but if you want to save up for "real" purchases, get the Apex (~$120) as suggested or a PS2. Then you can play games, dvds and music. :D (Confirm the PS2 can play music first, I personally haven't done it so can't comment).


Then get a receiver, can't comment on the Yamaha's, but I have a Denon 3802 (~$750).


So figure,

$1100 Speakers

$120 Apex

$750 Receiver

=====

$1970


That leaves you plenty for the shipping and wires.


As far as other speaker brands, I suggest trying:

PSB, NHT, JMLabs, Paradigm, Klipsch, B&W.


I can't emphasis how important it is to listen to each speaker you are considering. I focus on 2 channel.


Here's a link to a short synopsis of my recent listen experience: http://avsforum.com/avs-vb/printpost.php?postid=1053022 If you want more details you can PM me or just post questions.


Good luck.


BTW: I also can build computers blindfolded. And appreciate the MP3 format (great for sampling before you buy). But I think I'll be buying more CDs once I get a "real" system (Diva 6.1 package) that will show off the music more. Some people in the Unofficial Diva thread have commented about how their musical range has expanded since getting the diva's. You can consider CD's the "software tax"/"maintenance cost" on your system. :p
 

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I will give you only one recomendation. Every single person in here will start telling you to get this, and get that. These are great, and these are not good. My advice is to go to a couple of different stores. (not circuit city or best buy)!!!! Listen to as many speakers as you can. Then just pick the ones you like. The golden rule is that you MUST listen to the speakers and like them. Do NOT let someone talk you into a speaker set without listening to them first.
 

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but when it's all done and over, you'll find that the swans speakers are the best value per-dollar-per-sound around.


i blindly bought my swans diva's 6.1's without an audition first. note, i did hear them before i bought them, but i made up my mind before i heard them, and am very happy.


my advice is do a *ton* or research online with as many speaker companys you can handle. shop, shop, shop..... going to an audio dealer is fun, but for value shopping each dealer has their own bias to what they sell.


read a lot of reviews, and speaker web sites, then try to find your favorite one locally.

i'm so glad i got into the speaker game now that there is this incredible online resource, before i would have had the local buffoon at the mall tying to sell me some bose, or other *main 4* brands out there.


esspecially if you live in the mid-west, you are particularily screwed in the "walk-in" type stores that offer up decent audio. ---(to a degree).


what you put behind the speaker is important too.


rule of thumb #2:


get enough watts for your speakers. i thought my reciever had enough watts to run my speakers, and they did........-(175 wpc), but after getting an inexpensive adcom gfa555 amp, my speakers sounded way different.

at that point, i disabled my e.q. ---didn't need it anymore.


just speaker hunting alone can be a huge tast!!!! but have fun at it, and don't be too quick to make judgement. exhaust your resources, and have fun!

--b
 

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waaayyyyy offf topic.


hey jeep freak,

i used to have a '48 willy's jeep mutt, that came back from japan!

it had a solid rear gate. ---no flip down gate. and a huge ford stamp in the back!

super cool.


the best thing was it had a *rolled* vette 350 in it. and with the gearing, it would only go about 50 mph max! --- but 0 to 50 would break your spine!!


---you brought back memories!

-b
 

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Jbabbit has given you good advice. You must hang out at forums to gain a variety of suggestions, but ultimately, you must go listen to the speakers for yourself. Always bring your own music to listen, try to listen on the same or similar gear, and don't let the salesman crank it and then blather on about this and that.


Also, someone mentioned mixing and matching your center channel and L/R. Do not. It is very important (if you are, at all interested in 5.1) that your center be timbre matched to your L/R. Your system will never sound quite right if you skimp a little here.


Brands of speakers in your pice category are:


Paradigm, PSB, NHT, Def Tech, Klipsch, B&W and a whole host of others.


For low end receivers, look at:


Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, and Marantz (Again, ideally you should listen to speakers with the receiver you will buy-or is it vice versa?).


In your budget, I would highly recommend a sub. IMO, its the single biggest dollar for dollar component which garners a WOW-factor. For about $500, there are only a few contenders - the HSU VTF-2, the SVS (if you have a spare amp, or a receiver you can use), and the adire. You can find lots of posts on these.


good luck
 

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Being a lover of Adcom equipment, I fully agree that an amp is a big part of the system. Many times, when speakers don't sound all that great, it is the amplifier and not the speaker that is the culprit.


I used to own a 245 watt carver stereo amp and switched to adcom 300 watt monoblocks. Man, the difference was astronomical. (I had low ohm speakers)


One point not to overlook is that you might be able to buy used speakers for a much better deal than new. And as for center channels, I don't even have one. I don't have a sub, either, but if your mains are nice enough, you won't need a sub. Unfortunately, in your price range, you won't find mains that won't need a sub for support unless you buy used equipment. Still, a stand alone SVS sub or HSU sub will be a major impact and covers the biggest drawback of lower cost speakers - the lack of bass extension.


As for components, I can really recommend the Definitive speaker line, as my best friend has them and they are awesome for theater applications. Denon's AVR line of receivers are pretty nice, too.


I have not seen one person touch on video. Do you already have your TV? Possibly you could look at the AE-100 projector, which you could drive with your PC, negating the need for a DVD player. This unit might put you over budget, but a projector is sweet. Lots of people have nice sound systems, but not many have a 100" or larger screen.
 
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