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Advice on Home Sound System?

Old 09-30-02, 05:16 AM
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Advice on Home Sound System?


Complete Newbie on DVD Hardware so forgive me if my questions sound simple.

At the moment i have an LG DVD Player and Widescreen TV.
But i am dissapointed with the sound i am getting from the TV'no matter what settings i use/change.

So i am looking to maybe buy an external speaker system.
This is what i am asking advice on.

I am a little confused as to what i need or whats best.
Just speakers or some sort of decoder device and speakers??
Also wether i fit the external equipment to the box or tv?

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Old 09-30-02, 07:29 AM
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Good info in the FAQ up at the top!

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Old 09-30-02, 07:59 AM
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I thats the part about how to setup the Speakers and Sub?

If so i don't even know what a Sub is and don't have any speakers yet.
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Old 09-30-02, 08:22 AM
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Here are some PDF setup guides
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Old 09-30-02, 10:19 AM
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Old 09-30-02, 12:40 PM
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If and when you decide to start building your HT (and there is a VAST improvement with a HT over just the TV speakers), the next step is to set a realistic budget. IMO, about the minimum you can do is $1200 for the receiver and speakers. There are home theater in a box systems that can be had for less, but (again, IMO) you're better off saving for awhile longer to expand the budget. You'll be happier with the purchase down the road. From there, costs can escalate quickly into tens of thousands, if you have the means. They don't have to, and, unless you're a die-hard audiophile, there may not be much point in spending such a large amount on your system. Besides, there's nothing that says you can't upgrade again later.

Once you've decided that you'd like to go the HT route, figure out a budget that you can afford. At that point, people here will be more than happy to help you put together the best system for your money.

One thing: ultimately, the most important test in picking any audio equipment is how it sounds to you. All of us have our own opinions on what we like, but yours is the most important for your purchase. I cannot stress enough the importance of auditioning equipment yourself.

Last edited by edclem; 09-30-02 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 09-30-02, 05:15 PM
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I agree with edclem, but I think the mininum is in the $800 range for a receiver and a 5.1 speaker setup.

I generally recommend spending a 2 to 1 ratio for speakers / receiver in the sub $2000 price range. The great thing about speakers is that excellent speakers today will be excellent speakers in 10 years, which isn't true for almost any other electronics components.
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Old 09-30-02, 06:10 PM
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Actually, I just got the Onkyo HTS650 HTIB for around $500ish, and I couldn't be happier with the system. I guess it's possible in the future I might want to upgrade, but I honestly can't think anything lacking in the system.
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Old 10-22-02, 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by waskydiver
Actually, I just got the Onkyo HTS650 HTIB for around $500ish, and I couldn't be happier with the system. I guess it's possible in the future I might want to upgrade, but I honestly can't think anything lacking in the system.

hey i was just looking at that system too..., the home theatre in a box without the dvd player. i have asked around about this system and i have gotten pretty good reviews on it. at about $500 and i can't find any other lower priced anywhere without thinking it's from a shady source. the only draw back that people have said about this is that there aren't any component connection for dvd player to go to tv. i'm not much of a home theatre enthusiast, if at all, just a beginner...

how does anyone else think about this system? recommendations? how about brands like Infinity, Yamaha, Polk, Denon? in comparison with that setup Onkyo HTS650, for that price, is it good / worth it?

any feedback is appreciated..., thanks in advance...
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Old 10-23-02, 02:54 PM
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many, many people on these forums have low opinions of most (if not all) HTIBs.
i have always felt and still do, that my Kenwood HTIB was as good an upgrade from the tv speakers as i was going to find for under $500.
and thats the way i looked at it. i had just bought a sony digital RP and i decided to kick in an extra $500 for a surround sound upgrade.
i wasn't very familiar with the audio end of this stuff at the time, and the simplicity and streamlined process of a HTIB was much appreciated.
as was the compact size of the speakers and sub.
the Onkyo should be an equally fine sounding product for what it is.

that said, my new reciever came today, and finally got my new speakers set up and yes there is a major improvement in the sound quality over the Kenwood.
there should be though, since i spent four times as much for this new upgrade (new reciever, new sub, and full set of speakers) as i did for the Kenwood system.
For the money, that HTIB served me quite well for over a year. hopefully i can even recoup a bit of the cost when i go to sell it.

i'd say go for the HTIB if your new to this.
you'll get your feet wet with the audio side of things, hear a big difference over tv sound, and when it comes time to get more serious gear, you'll have a better understanding of what to look for.
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Old 11-30-02, 02:55 PM
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I just set up the Onkyo today for my father.. It is wonderful. For the price it cannot be beat.

The speakers are larger than most HTiB speakers but they are well made.

I have an energy Take 5 system at home with an Onkyo TXDS-575 and I thought this setup sounded comparable...
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Old 12-01-02, 02:34 AM
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I gotta say I agree with ckolchak. HTiB is good in some situations, bad in others. I mean, if you were setting up a dedicated system with a decent amount for a budget, your money would be better spent elsewhere. I had about $500 to blow when I was in college in 1999 on a setup, because I was tired of just the TV speakers, and I looked at every possible setup I could for that amount. I ended up with an Aiwa system that had DD inputs for decoded analog, and a player that had a DD decoder. I didn't care. It had 5 channels and a powered sub, all for just about $200 at Sam's Club. I jumped on it, because the other systems I was scoping out were closer to $600.

This system served me until earlier this month, when after a year of listening, learning, researching, reading and playing around, not to mention saving $$$, I went and got a Paradigm 5.1 setup and a Denon receiver.

I was glad that I had spent a small amount first and enjoyed it while not going broke and learning and thinking about what the next step was. I'm now confident in my system and happy with what it gives me, where if I'd have got the more expensive setup from square one, I might still be resting with that.

The Onkyo that everyone raves about does indeed sound good and is great for the price. Can it touch my Paradigms? Not in the least - the clarity and range just isn't there. But, are you willing to spend 6 times as much to get there? chances are you just want to watch a movie, and this will sound amazing for $500 when compared with the TV in-set speakers.

So what I'm saying here is go for it. Get it, don't second guess it, enjoy it, tweak it, max it out, all while learning and saving for the next setup, and take your step from there.
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Old 12-01-02, 07:02 AM
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The Onkyo system is supposed to be great. The speakers are very well-built and produce great sound - however, I paired them with a Panasonic SAHE100 reciever, instead (was interested in 6.1 capability). The speaker set (the SKSHT-500) is available separately if there's another reciever that interests you more.
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Old 12-07-02, 10:45 PM
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I haven't seen/heard the Onkyo HTIB, but I've been considering getting this new Pioneer setup for my bedroom. Its 6.1, 100w per channel, progressive scan dvd, and DTS-ES.

Retails for 1000, I've seen it on a lot of websites for 550ish.

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Old 12-08-02, 12:41 AM
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i was in CC the other day and they had this really compact Onkyo HTIB set up, i don't think its the one people here are discussing, but it was around $900 complete and sounded very nice.
although for $900, there are a lot of choices in compiling seperate equipment(if you go 50/50 reciever/speakers)

i recently sold my old kenwood HTB for a little more than 1/2 what i paid for it. was very happy with that.

again i'd urge anyone thinking about getting into 5 channel audio to just get their feet wet w/ an inexpensive HTIB first.
shopping for serious gear can be daunting even when you know what you're doing.
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Old 12-08-02, 04:10 AM
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I agree with the others. I can't imagine beating the combination of quality/value I got with my Onkyo. I grabbed the SKSHT-500 for $200 and then the TX SR-600 misprice at $300. I could get something better, but at a significantly higher price, and right now, I just don't need that much.

wakanaiyo, if you can get in on the Circuit City misprice, the TX SR-600 has the component video (two, actually), and the misprice has it at the same cost as the SR-500 (which is the receiver packaged in the HTS-650). The speakers will be $60 - $70 more separately than in that HTIB deal, but I think it's worth it to upgrade to the 6.1 receiver if you can get the misprice.

Personally, I don't need the component video on my receiver. My WS RPTV takes 4 different component videos and allows me to splitscreen. If I switch that through my receiver, I lose that ability. You may find you don't need it either.

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Old 12-09-02, 12:32 PM
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just wanted to let you know my oppinion on the Onkyo HTIB system. I recently recomended it to a friend based on all the good reviews i saw.
He purchased the system and i helped him set it up. To tell you the truth i was very dissapointed. To start, the system sound was very low. i believe it ranged from 0-90 and 75 was the acceptable volume for movies. I dont have a lot of experience with Onkyo receivers, but i believe the sound is set that way not to blow these specific speakers. But this means that if you want o upgrade your speakers later, you might not get good results.
Also the Sub base was very low... even when i crancked it all the way up. i also tried all the settings on the receiver.
It does not even come close to the Energy take5 system.

So unelss, this system was deffective which i doubt. I would try to piece together a similar system for a little more. I know you can get a JBL package for about $220 + sub $150 + reciever $300 = you/ll be much happier in the long run.

Overall, i would recommend you listen to the system at the store and make sure its somethign you can be happy with before you buy it.
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