Home theater recommendation

B

bigbert

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 14, 2006
9
0
McKinney, TX
I would have posted this in the Home Theater forum but there appears to be zero activity there. I am in the market for a new home audio system (subwoofer, surround speakers, etc) to go with my Sony LCD and new 622. I am looking for something less than $1,000 and am considering something similar to Polk Audio's RM20 or an Infinity product unless anyone has a better idea.

I'd like the sub to be at least 10" and it is my opinion that Bose AM is overpriced and overhyped. I currently use some dinosaur Technics speakers...the kind that came with two 10" woofers per speaker and stand nearly 4 feet tall. They sound fantastic but my wife wants them out of the living room. I'd like to know your thoughts.
 
J

Jhon69

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 19, 2006
3,472
91
Central San Joaquin Valley,CA.
My suggestion,would be to check,with a professional installer,there are so many
ways,to install a home theater,it's mind boggling.Since you have a Sony TV,looking
into a Sony Home Theater setup,may provide added benefits,like a remote,that
works everything.If you don't want to ask a professional,there's always the internet,Best Buy,and Circuit City.But the final decision will be what you ,and your
wife wants,and the space you have to work with,for the right sound.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Yep, the SVS system is very nice.

Also the new AV123 $700 package is likely to be nice, given their success with their Rocket and ELF lines:
http://www.av123.com/products_category_pack.php?section=speakers&brand=55

Aperion Audio also has a nice $800 system:
http://www.aperionaudio.com/products/product-detail.aspx?id=122&catId=5&catName=Aperion+Speakers

Your local audio stores may carry speakers from Paradigm and Energy, which also make nice Sub-$1000 5.1 systems.

In general, Best Buy and Circuit City have not carried high value 5.1 systems. Some people do like the Onkyo Home-Theater-In-A-Box systems. I don't think they are close to those I listed above.

If you can spend a little more than Axiom has a very good system at $1300:
http://www.axiomaudio.com/epicmidi_main.html

And you can build a system around the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE with Hsu subwoofer for $1150. Not a lot to look at, with plain black boxes, but extremely good sound for the dollar.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/

All of these would put a $2000 Bose system to shame on audio quality.
 
R

rickaren

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 7, 2004
421
3
IN
It would depend on what size room you have as to what equipment I would buy. I did a lot of research in other "On-Line Discussion Groups" as to what to use. When you find a A/V receiver or speaker system you like and can afford, check and see what others who have purchased it like, or dislike. It may not answer all your questions but better than reading ads, only. If you have not viewed my set up, please do .

http://community.webshots.com/user/rickaren103

I'm very pleased with my set-up, but sure there may be a better one by now. Sites like http://www.hometheaterspot.com/
really helped me decide. Good Luck, and enjoy!
 
B

bigbert

Thread Starter
Member
Apr 14, 2006
9
0
McKinney, TX
Thanks for the great recommendations! I would have never thought to have considered some of these manufacturers since they are not as mainstream as others you often hear about. I am seriously considering placing my name on the backorder list for the SVS system. Thanks again!
 
Mark_AR

Mark_AR

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Nov 17, 2003
1,448
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North Arkansas
Another suggestion might be like Harmon Kardon Direct.

http://www.channeladvisor.com/Merchants/HarmanAudio/buildsystem.htm

There is nothing like factory renewed to get the quality of new at the price of used. :up

I got a factory refurb AVR700(MSRP$1999.00) for 1/3 the price of new with 100% warranty from HK on ebay. ($731.55)

It's worth mentioning... I'm very pleased with the HK line and it looked brand new when it arrived. The plastic was still on the remote and front bezel.

Then I purchased PSB Image series speakers all the way around with a Klipsch KSW15 800 watt Subwoofer. (All from ebay)

Klipsch sells directly on ebay too...

http://stores.ebay.com/Klipsch-Audio-Technologies

It might be a roundabout way to do things, but you end up with a HT system that you will never get tired of and the neighbors will envy.(or hate) :p

It may take a bit more time to get what you want by having to wait through the auction process, but if you are serious, then you should be spending time researching and reviewing equipment anyway.

Like rickaren posted, I used hometheaterspot to do a lot of my research and the people there are helpful and friendly.
 
griz_fan

griz_fan

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Jun 13, 2004
265
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Meridian, Idaho
What's your "threshold of pain" as far as speaker size is concerned? From my experience, and from what I've read during my own research, you really can't go too small without sacrificing sound quality. That's one reason why the Bose cubes are bashed so often. Its my understanding that speakers with a main driver less than 4.5 to 5" aren't able to reproduce the "low-mid" frequencies. If you set the cross-over for your sub too high, its sound becomes too localized.
Luckily, there are lots of great options available. There are a lot of lesser-known brands of speakers that sound great, look great, and won't break your budget. As MARK_AR mentioned, hometheaterspot is a great site to start your research. I've been very happy with my Athena speakers. Their new Audition series looks pretty sweet, and they put out great sound without overwhelming a room's decor or costing an arm+leg.
If your budget must also account for a receiver, here's a couple of recomendations. I'm a big fan of Pioneer and Onkyo receivers. It looks like Pioneer has released this year's model, the VSXx16 models. the VSX816 is a really nice receiver that should complement your budget nicely. And, if you shop around, you might be able to find last year's stuff on clearance (the VSXx15 line up). If you can find a VSX-1015TX that fits your budget, that is a GREAT receiver at any price. Also, check out the Onkyo website. They have an online store that sells new, factory refurb and clearance stuff at great prices, with free shipping, too! The TXSR504 (or last year's model, the TXSR503) are an amazing value.
Also, SVS makes amazing subs, but if you need a receiver, they may stretch your budget. Hsu makes some incredible subs, too. Their STF-2 could fit nicely in your budget. I'll also thrown in a vote for my sub, a Velodyne DSP10, if you can find a good price on it. For a sub on a tight budget, it is hard to beat the Dayton Audio subs from partsexpress.com

So... find out how big a speaker you wife will sign off on, firm up your budget, make sure you account for all the equipement, then go shopping. I think with your budget and a little research online, you can put together an very sweet sound system that will really enhance the HD experience from your 622 (and will sound worlds better than a Bose system at 2 or 3 times the price).

good luck!
 
shodobe

shodobe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
606
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NorCal
No mention of wireless speakers. Any thought on them? I would like to put in a system that won't have wires going down the wall behind the monitor.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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May 5, 2005
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
I've yet to hear a wireless speaker that wasn't very mediocre. Perhaps there are new products that have improved in quality.
 
shodobe

shodobe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
606
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NorCal
gdarwin said:
My audio store does not recommend wireless speakers.

Good enough for me. I don't plan anything for probably a year so maybe technology will improve by then. Thanks
 
griz_fan

griz_fan

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Jun 13, 2004
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Meridian, Idaho
shodobe said:
No mention of wireless speakers. Any thought on them? I would like to put in a system that won't have wires going down the wall behind the monitor.

As others have stated, wireless leaves a lot to be desired. Not only are they poor sounding speakers, but unless you like changing batteries, you'll still need to run electricity to them, so you still have wires to contend with (just power wires instead of speaker wires).

If snaking speaker wire through the wall isn't an option (and I'd guess most people would love to avoid that), take a trip to Home Depot. In their electrical wiring section, they sell these thin, plastic conduits that have a self-adhesive backing and are paintable. These are marketed as ways to hide phone wires in an office, but work quite well for speakers, too. Not quite as good as no visible wires, but a huge step in the right direction with out having to make major compromises on sound quality.
 

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