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looking for some advice on a reciever/speakers

Old 01-05-02, 11:21 PM
  #1  
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looking for some advice on a reciever/speakers

I am really new to surround sound, but I am considering buying a receiver and speakers for my HT. I've read a bunch of posts here, and have some general ideas, but I want to get some advice from you guys. In my case, cost is very important (so I'm looking for something fairly low end). I'm considering the following:

Speakers:
JBL SCS135

These look pretty decent, and come in at about $270. If anyone has any other reccomendations, I'd be glad to hear them.

Receiver:
I'm really torn here, but here is what I'm looking at:

H/K AVR5
comes in at about $140 at HarmonAudio, but doesn't do DTS or pro logic (I think) . . . how important is that, also, don't know if it has S-Video inputs.

Aiwa AV-D58
Costs about $160 at local best buy, does Pro Logic and DTS don't know if it has S-Video inputs

Onkyo 494
Kind of pushing the limits of my budget, but does Pro Logic II, DTS, and you guys really praise it I know I need to put the most of my budget into speakers, so would it be a waste to get this receiver with the JBL speakers?

Just in case it matters, I have a pioneer DV343 DVD player, and my TV is a Hitachi 50", and a generic VCR (not used very often).

Anyway, what do you think? I'm not an audiophile, but I hate to get junk. Any comments on the above, or reccommendations otherwise are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

-Naeb
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Old 01-06-02, 12:26 AM
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How much is "pushing the budget" for your receiver? For $290 you can pick up last years Marantz SR5000 .

Have you taken a gander at the Hometheaterdirect Level one speakers? Might be another brand to consider.

HTD Level1 5.1 set for $149

Last edited by Jin E; 01-06-02 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 01-06-02, 01:35 AM
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Re: harman/kardon receiver doing dts or Pro Logic - any receiver that does Dolby Digital 5.1 decodes Pro Logic also. It's a rule by Dolby Labs that they be backwards-compatible, and you'll see a few DVDs here and there that are Dolby Digital 2.0 sound and need Pro Logic to do surround sound.

As for dts, that's a big selling point lately and it will be advertised if the receiver supports it. If you miss out on dts no big deal, but it's nice to have. If you have a high-end system you may be able to discern the difference, but that's a hot debate these days. DD 5.1 will really be all you need.
 
Old 01-06-02, 02:12 AM
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wiz
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Unless you just don't want to, get an Onkyo 494 from ubid, normally get them for around $150 (half price).

As for speakers, I think the PSB's are kicka$$ and would recommend them to anybody who likes good sound for their music and movies.
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Old 01-06-02, 03:10 AM
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The speakers you picked out are really good, but the next JBL model up is sooo much better, but does not include a subwoofer. I would go w/ the NSP 1 system

(http://www.bestbuy.com/detail.asp?e=...cat=15&scat=23)

and pick up a good/cheap sub like the sony 8"
(http://www.bestbuy.com/detail.asp?e=...cat=15&scat=18)

and make sure you don't go into a retail store to get these go to a place like pricewatch or ubid and get them for around 50% off.
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Old 01-06-02, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for the input guys! Couple more questions . . .

How often does the Onkyo 494 come up at ubid (there are none there right now)? If I could get it for ~$150 there, that would be great. If I were to purchase it there, it would be a refurb right? Would I receive any type of warranty?

If not the Onkyo 494, what receiver should I look at in that price ranger (~$150)? Is the Aiwa I mentioned any good, or is the H/K AVR5 going to be my best bet?

Do the JBL NSP1 speakers sound that much better? Do they sound decent without the sub? I can get the NSP1s for about the same price as the SCS135s (~$270). If they are alot better, do you think it would be a good idea to get the NSP1s now, and add a sub later on?

I don't know anything about the PSB speakers. They would be in a higher price range wouldn't they?

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-02, 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by Naeb
Thanks for the input guys! Couple more questions . . .

How often does the Onkyo 494 come up at ubid (there are none there right now)? If I could get it for ~$150 there, that would be great. If I were to purchase it there, it would be a refurb right? Would I receive any type of warranty?

If not the Onkyo 494, what receiver should I look at in that price ranger (~$150)? Is the Aiwa I mentioned any good, or is the H/K AVR5 going to be my best bet?

Do the JBL NSP1 speakers sound that much better? Do they sound decent without the sub? I can get the NSP1s for about the same price as the SCS135s (~$270). If they are alot better, do you think it would be a good idea to get the NSP1s now, and add a sub later on?

I don't know anything about the PSB speakers. They would be in a higher price range wouldn't they?

Thanks!
Yes, you would get a 90 day / 1 year warranty. I would avoid an Aiwa receiver. Try to find a good deal on H/K, Onkyo, or Denon.
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Old 01-07-02, 03:42 AM
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wiz
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Originally posted by Naeb
Thanks for the input guys! Couple more questions . . .

How often does the Onkyo 494 come up at ubid (there are none there right now)? If I could get it for ~$150 there, that would be great. If I were to purchase it there, it would be a refurb right? Would I receive any type of warranty?
It comes up every now and then. I'm still waiting on the 494 I won a bid on 12/20 to arrive. Fedex is taking their sweet time delivering it to me. Normally when they come up you'll see them pop up around the beginning of the work week (Monday, Tuesday) and the auction will end on either Friday or Saturday. This is how most of their auctions work, just keep an eye on their site.
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Old 01-07-02, 05:25 AM
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Originally posted by wiz

It comes up every now and then. I'm still waiting on the 494 I won a bid on 12/20 to arrive. Fedex is taking their sweet time delivering it to me. Normally when they come up you'll see them pop up around the beginning of the work week (Monday, Tuesday) and the auction will end on either Friday or Saturday. This is how most of their auctions work, just keep an eye on their site.
You bought a 494?
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Old 01-08-02, 02:50 PM
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Do the JBL NSP1 speakers sound that much better?
Yes! You can compare the NSP1 Sound and Vision Magazine frequency response with simularly priced & more expensive speakers @ my website Are Bose Speakers Over Priced vs. Performance?? All frequency charts obtained by Tom Nouisane via his speaker testing standards.

If they are alot better, do you think it would be a good idea to get the NSP1s now, and add a sub later on?
Yes!

Do they sound decent without the sub?
They do, . . . but note what Brent Butterworth wrote about the NSP1sfor the now defunct eTown
Performance: I've already made detailed performance comments in my reviews of the N24 and N-Center. All I'll say here is that these speakers work together perfectly as an ensemble. The timbre matching is as good as any I've heard; that is, outside of systems that consist of five identical speakers.

The combined bass output of all five speakers might be enough for a small apartment with finicky neighbors, but almost everyone will want to add a subwoofer.
For more JBL NSP1 INFO & Reviews w/links, see my website Why you should add JBL N & S Series to your audition list!

NOTE: Because my website is 'free', hosted by GeoCities, if too many HT enthusiasts visit, GeoCities will shut it down for an hour or so because it exceeded the specified 'freebie' Data Transfer Rate. Sorry about that, just bookmark it and visit my site an hour later or when everyone has gone to bed!

Phil

Last edited by Phil I; 01-08-02 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 01-08-02, 06:37 PM
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I'll toss in another recommendation for the Onkyo 494 refurb from uBid. I paid around 170 shipped, it arrived within about 10 days, and it doesn't have a scratch on it.

I spent more on the speakers, going with a nice Paradigm setup, but the JBL NSP1 are supposed to be fantastic speakers for the price.

If you want to save up a little, definately go for the Sony SA-WM 40 subwoofer, it can be had for around 150-170ish shipped.

Aldieb
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