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High-quality complete DD/DTS 5.1 setup for around $200-$250 - Impossible?

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High-quality complete DD/DTS 5.1 setup for around $200-$250 - Impossible?

Old 07-24-01, 07:08 PM
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High-quality complete DD/DTS 5.1 setup for around $200-$250 - Impossible?

Well I see that I'm in the 5% of DVD Talk that watches their DVDs with the sound simply that comes out of the TV. I REALLY need a 5.1 DD/DTS setup. Got some Flooz today that can go towards the purchase of a nice setup, perhaps. Is it impossible to get a good quality product for $200-$250, 6-speaker set, with receiver?

I really don't want to settle for crap with my first 5.1 setup, so if you guys think that there is really nothing worthwhile at this price, please let me know. How about $300....could I get a nice setup for that much?
Old 07-24-01, 08:00 PM
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not for the speakers and receiver, no.
i guess it depends on your idea of good quality.

for what I'd consider a good starter system, figure ~450 for speakers and 300-400 for a receiver.

IMHO, you'd be better off saving for awhile and getting better quality stuff right off the bat that you're going to be more happy with in the long run.
Old 07-24-01, 09:40 PM
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Actually I HAVE seen a $250 RCA DD complete 5.1 system at Best Buy. However, I urge you to be EXTREMELY cautious if you're thinking about purchasing it. I haven't really tested them myself, though they seem too cheap to put out decent sound. However, it is definitely an option if you're desperate.

-Smartguy01
Old 07-24-01, 09:46 PM
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i've heard the RCA system, and IMHO it sounds awful. There is no low frequency definition whatsoever, and has poor high frequency response.

You're really better off saving for a nicer system.
Old 07-25-01, 08:59 AM
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IMO, anything below $800 makes some serious compromises.
Old 07-25-01, 09:03 AM
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Just like a great many other thngs in life, you get what you pay for.
Old 07-25-01, 10:11 AM
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A good starter set is the Kenwood HTB. I think someone on this forum recently purchased one for $375. Try a search, it was about a week or two ago.

Of course, you do get what you pay for, but at least it's better than nothing. Once your hooked on HT, then you can begin the everlasting upgrade.
Old 07-25-01, 05:21 PM
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I have an Aiwa DD5.1 setup that came together in a box for about $450. It's a decent set, but then again it's only in my bedroom. If you're looking for something to fill up a larger family room, then you're going to have to put a little extra out.

Old 07-27-01, 01:08 AM
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Well, having given up on buying a legitimate home theater system, I'm thinking of spending some potential flooz on a 5.1 setup for the DVD-ROM drive on the new computer.

Found this at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005A3UH/

Yamaha TSS-1 Complete 5.1 DD/DTS System
Currently only $174 at Amazon. (Although can't spend Flooz there.)

However, I don't want to buy such an expensive product going on just three brief customer reviews although the Amazon review sounds promising. Can somebody point me in the direction to consistently good home audio review sites or can anyone speaking from experience with this set comment on it? Thanks.
Old 07-27-01, 01:01 PM
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LBPound now that I think about it, you may have another option. Cambridge Soundworks makes DD packages for things like computers and ps2's. They offer two systems you might be interested in; the DTT 2500 and the DTT 3500. My past experiences with cambridge have been excellent. I purchased set of PCworks speakers and I must say they have absolute stellar sound for such a small package. I currently have them hooked up to my tv and they produce loud, boomy sound even though my basement is relatively large (25x15 or so). Both systems mentioned have gotten excellent reviews on the sites that I have checked. While not a true HT setup, (it comes with a set top box thats more of an amp than a receiver) if you're on a budget they are a definite option. Also, dont be discouraged by the power ratings, because even though you might not think it, these speakers produce big sound.If ya want a deal on the 2500 system goto http://order.soundblaster.com/escrip...ction=Continue there is a special deal where you can get the 2500 for only $150. The whole setup includes 5 speakers, a sub, a set top box, stands, and generous amounts of cabling all for a relatively cheap price. Hope this info helps.

-Smartguy01
Old 07-27-01, 01:42 PM
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Honestly, you're best bet would be the Kenwood HTBs for a budget... anything less than that is asking for trouble soundwise
Old 07-27-01, 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by LBPound23
Can somebody point me in the direction to consistently good home audio review sites...

www.audioreview.com

check out www.hometheaterforum.com too


I would say save your money unless you're going to get a system at least as good as the Kenwood.

Or an alternative way would be to buy a mini stero system that has the two mains and a center channel. You may not have 5.1 sound, but you will have 3 channels, which is better than TV speakers, and it should fit nicely within your budget. They have these systems at Best Buy, Circuit City, ect... then you can find them online.
Old 07-27-01, 02:01 PM
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If you have listened to DVD via TV for this long, why not bank the money, save some more, then buy a decent set-up. The RCA's I have heard were good for a garage application for while you are waxing the SUV in the winter.

Have patience, use discretion and, with some informed buying, you can get some decent equipment for a little more. What will suffer the most on the cheaper (as opposed to inexpensive )systems is the bottom end. Heck, that's where so much of the "wow" factor comes in.
Old 07-27-01, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by Smartguy01
LBPound now that I think about it, you may have another option. Cambridge Soundworks makes DD packages for things like computers and ps2's. They offer two systems you might be interested in; the DTT 2500 and the DTT 3500. My past experiences with cambridge have been excellent. I purchased set of PCworks speakers and I must say they have absolute stellar sound for such a small package. I currently have them hooked up to my tv and they produce loud, boomy sound even though my basement is relatively large (25x15 or so). Both systems mentioned have gotten excellent reviews on the sites that I have checked. While not a true HT setup, (it comes with a set top box thats more of an amp than a receiver) if you're on a budget they are a definite option. Also, dont be discouraged by the power ratings, because even though you might not think it, these speakers produce big sound.If ya want a deal on the 2500 system goto http://order.soundblaster.com/escrip...ction=Continue there is a special deal where you can get the 2500 for only $150. The whole setup includes 5 speakers, a sub, a set top box, stands, and generous amounts of cabling all for a relatively cheap price. Hope this info helps.

-Smartguy01

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. My current plan is to get an inexpensive 5.1 set for the computer (the Yamaha one is looking good) and save up for a really nice one for the TV (maybe a new TV too ).

Smartguy,
The link you gave me didn't work. Nevertheless, I am also considering those SoundWorks speakers, although the reviews don't seem as positive as for the Yamaha, and the 2500 and 3000 don't support DTS. They are around the same price as Yamaha too. My experience with SoundWorks has not been too great: my $30 (I know the adage, I don't need to hear it again ) speakers from Cambridge deliver decent sound but give off way too much outside noise when the volume goes up at all.

As for a 3-speaker setup, I really want to either just stay with the TV or go out for the 5.1. Although financially it'd be easier, then I'd have to unload the speakers when I upgrade or mix-and-match sets (which I don't want to do).

But thanks everyone for the suggestions and the review links (besides HTF) I will check them out.

I'd love to purchase this Yamaha 5.1 DD/DTS setup sometime in August if I continue to read/hear positive things about it.

Keep the suggestions coming.
Old 07-27-01, 07:09 PM
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Cambridge Soundworks DTT3500:

I've owned the CS (sometimes referred to as Creative) DTT3500 set since December. I currently have it hooked up to both my computer (Soundblaster 5.1) and my PS2 which acts as my DVD Player for the time being. I'm super pleased with it seeing how I bought it for a mere $300. As mentioned in an above post, the system can produce very "boomy" sound for a lower end system. The satelite speakers are small but pack a punch and the subwoofer is better than I expected for the price I paid.

I'll be using the system as my DVD sound source for the next year as I save up for something better. It's definitely a great "quick fix" if you're itching to get on the 5.1 bandwagon. It does not offer the DTS support like you are looking for, but that compromise should hardly defer you from picking the system up.

The DTT3500 has probably gone down in price since December. Check around online. You may be able to find it for as low as $250 now.
Old 07-27-01, 09:38 PM
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Ok I did it. I just blew (correction: made a good investment ) $174 on the 5.1 DD/DTS Yamaha system. I was trying to decide between the SoundWorks DTT3500 or its lesser versions and the Yamaha. Read a few reviews and Yamaha sounded good, plus that price is pretty nice. Used the $15 Amazon coupon which with some left over promotional credit pretty much negated shipping & handling (except for 3 cents). I'll let you know how I like it and even though now it doesn't look like I'll be paying for any DVDs for a while....blasted college tuition costs , i hope that this is a good introduction to 5.1 audio. I'll certainly be saving up for a nice real system for the TV player. Goal: $800 system or so by the end of 2002. So that puts it off some, but at least i'll be able to experience some 5.1 sound which like 90% of my DVDs have the capability to do and I just haven't utilized...til now.

Thanks for all your help guys. I guess I pretty much came to my own conclusion, but your advice about not settling for a crappy setup for my TV was good and will save me money needed to upgrade down the line. I think my current computer setup is good for a few years at least, so that's good news.

Thanks again.
Old 08-03-01, 11:59 AM
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Just to update you all on this: got my speaker system yesterday and it will be returned shortly. Of course the surrounds don't work with my brand new computer and I don't have the patience to figure out what I need. Gues I don't need surround sound now.
Old 08-05-01, 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by JTH182
I have an Aiwa DD5.1 setup that came together in a box for about $450. It's a decent set, but then again it's only in my bedroom. If you're looking for something to fill up a larger family room, then you're going to have to put a little extra out.

I'm not so sure you should sell your Aiwa short. I have an Aiwa mini-home theater that I got for about $500 in 1999, with 5.1 inputs but no Dolby decoder. Last year I hooked a Sony DVP-S560D with an internal decoder to the Aiwa and had a little HT system. Can it compare with thousands of dollars of separate custom HT equipment? I guess not, but I'm very happy with it, and I got a player and sound system for less than $800.

Food for thought for the DVD freaks on a budget like me.
Old 08-07-01, 06:58 AM
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The answer to the thread title is simply no.
Old 08-07-01, 07:07 AM
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Originally posted by exm
The answer to the thread title is simply no.
you mean yes it is impossible?
Old 08-10-01, 12:58 PM
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How about a moderate quality DD5.1 setup (no DTS required) for under $200? Or let's put it this way: What's the best you can do for $200? The DTT3500 is too expensive for me (although on eBay they're very close to $200; this might be good enough if you guys don't have better ideas). I know, that's pathetic, but if I'm not going to go all out for a system, I'm only willing to pay $200. This is only for my dorm this year anyway. Once I've started my career, I'll get a real system.

So you've got $200. What magic can you guys work?
Old 08-10-01, 02:21 PM
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the DTT2500
Old 08-13-01, 11:35 AM
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Well I would recommend the Yamaha TSS-1. I hooked them up to my TV and they were pretty cool. Nevertheless, they were sent back since they were no good for my computer. But for less money than the DTT2500, they sounded quite good and support DD/DTS. Getting them for $173 shipped is a good deal, I'd say.
Old 08-13-01, 12:21 PM
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Re: High-quality complete DD/DTS 5.1 setup for around $200-$250 - Impossible?

Originally posted by LBPound23
High-quality complete DD/DTS 5.1 setup for around $200-$250 - Impossible?
Yes.

$700 is the practical current barrier for new gear - a receiver and five speakers w/no sub. $850 with a wonderful but inexpensive sub. Plus cabling.

It can be done for cheaper, but not 'high quality'. High quality being interpreted as remarkable performance for the dollar spent, producing sound comparable to systems costing much more.
Old 08-13-01, 12:27 PM
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I'm with reverb.

Maybe mid-quality, probably low-quality.

Figure $250 for a receiver.
$150 a pair for fronts and rears.
$100 for a center channel.
$150 for a sub.

$800 total

Below, that you can't get anything of quality. If you have to start cheap, buy a receiver and fronts for $400 and upgrade later. In the long run, it will be a much better use of your money.

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