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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My apologies if this has been asked before, but I did search around and could only find a couple of things that touched on the subject. (links are appreciated, too)


For the last five years or so, I have purchased the Home Theaters in a Box type of systems. I just bought my first house, and am getting the A/V itch! I currently have a Panasonic home theater in a box setup in my apartment, but am thinking it might not suffice for a true, quality (to some degree) audio environment.


I am also buying a 50" LCD TV to start things off, so I must do the audio portion right.


Are these home theater systems for $299/$399/$499/$599 sufficient for quality audio that I am striving for? If so, great! I know nothing else so I come to you all for assistance. Or, are these speakers truly junk, the receiver/dvd combo things crap, and I should spring for separates (individual DVD player, receiver, and speakers)??


I am all ears, and appreciate any guidance you can provide!


Budget would be right around the price of a nice HTIB setup. Maybe max at $600-ish?? Is that possible??



Thank you,


Andrew
 

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I can't help you, but your question is good and valid, so I'm bumping it to the top...


You folks who know the entry level component market...help this person get the most for his money, okay? Can he get a decent $250 receiver (I like the Panasonic) and a 5.1 speaker system for $350-$500??
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew4392 /forum/post/16922907


Are these home theater systems for $299/$399/$499/$599 sufficient for quality audio that I am striving for?

Probably not if you really want something good, however, they do serve a purpose.


The most interesting part of your post is that you imply that you've bought more than one HTiB in the last 5 years. I don't know if that's what you meant but I can see how it's possible. What I'm getting at is most HTiBs are disposable - they're not upgradable and you essentially throw it away and replace it with another. It's not the way to go about things if you want something good that will last a while.


I would really suggest gathering things little by little. You can start out with a receiver and a pair of good speakers for $600 and, honestly, 2.0 or 2.1 ain't that bad with decent speakers. A few hundred each time over the next several months for a center, subwoofer, surrounds isn't going to seem like a big hit. You don't need to spend a ton, and you can probably get away with something good for around $1000, but $600 in one shot is going to really limit your choices.


It's just a suggestion but I don't know if you're up for something like that. Most people just want to get everything at the same time and be done...is that you?
 

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Drew,


My .02 cents. I'm no expert and not a critical listener. With that said, I can definately distinguished the difference between a computer speaker to a HTiB to entry lvl speakers such as Polk or Infinity. The higher the price goes, the less I am able to distinguish the differences and after awhile, the prices no longer justify the cost of those speakers.


With 600ish, it would be very hard to pull off especially if you are looking for a receiver, 5 speakers, and a subwoofer. That is not counting Blu-Ray/DVD player. Being an average listener myself, I am not a fan of HTiB. I can definately tell the difference in quality between seperates and HTiB. I have listen to a few of my friends' and families' HTiB and I am just not impressed. I believe it is more do-able if your budget is around $1,000. In the long run, I feel you are better off going off budget than continously upgrading.


Harman Audio at Ebay has been getting rid of their refurbished HK 254 around $250. There are a few refurbished receivers at accessories4less as well. That leaves you around $300 left for 5 speaker and a subwoofer. The lowest decent subwoofer I can find is the 12 inch Dayton Subwoofer for $150+50 s/h. The Dayton is decent for HT use especially for the price one paid for. That leaves you with almost nothing for speaker. Even if you skip on the subwoofer, it still leaves you with $300 for 5 speakers.


thespeakercompany, entry level Polk and Infinity, are some of the lowest budget speakers you can look into but they will still put you over your budget. My 2nd system was built with Infinty Primus, Dayton subwoofer, and Marantz receiver for right around $1200 and that was through some very well timing on my part.


In the end, you might be better off just going HTiB. Best thing is for you to listen to some speakers to see if you can tell difference between seperates and HTiB. If you can't, just go with HTiB. If you can, you might have to increase your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First and foremost, thank you for the input and suggestion. I was looking for correction on my budget and expectations, and that is what I got.


What I sense is that there is a distinct difference between HTIB quality and seperates. If I am going to do it, I might as well do it right. With that said, I need to distinguish what the bottom tier of 'right' is.... I'd like to spend enough to get me something significantly better than HTIB, and if that is $1000, then its $1000.


You mentioned some names that I have heard of as being good, starter systems. These are two setups that have been tossed around as being good entry-level groups that would yield better sound than your above-avg HTIB:


Infinity Beta setup


5 Infinity beta 20's = $250-$300

Dayton Sub 100 = $100 ish

Yamaha HTR 6140 recv'r = $200 ish


Behringer setup


(Don't know the specifics. But, this name seems to be mentioned here and there)



Does this seem feasible??




Another quick point... yea, I've been through some of these HTIB before.... bought some reallllly cheap ones and they sucked. So, they have been disposable. If I were to buy another one, it would be a nicer one with the hopes that it would be good and last.



Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just looked into The Speaker Company. I forgot you folks had mentioned this brand. Seems to have some nice reviews!


Their Home Theater systems include their seperates.... they just bundle it and call it a "HTIB".... it seems.


I wonder if I would be better off going with one of their systems, or do the seperates package mentioned before (the infinity betas/primus, etc)
 

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The Infinity beta would be a great starter. Thespeakercompany have some speakers reviewed well at audioholics. Thespeakercompany also carries some subwoofer as well. If I had to chose a set up between those options....Infinity Beta gets my vote. Infinity is a well known brand. Definately will hold its value.


As stated the Dayton subwoofer is very affordable and it would be the lowest subwoofer I would go with. They aren't the world's greatest subwoofer but you can get by for now if budget is a concern. BIC America sub had decent reviews as well. If somehow you have more budget, definately look into HSU, SVS, eD subs.
 
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