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Please Critique My Purchase and Help...

Old 01-30-05, 11:47 AM
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Please Critique My Purchase and Help...

Greetings Gang,

I am new to this forum but participate in others. After a lot of searching I recently purchased a home theater system and would like some feedback from those in the know. I have a space set aside in my basement which is a walkout, so there is some light coming in but not too bad. I don't need the best equipment but would like a nice system that produces a good picture and is easy to use so my wife doesn't have to hassle with 5 remotes.

Please critique my purchases, let me know if I got ripped off anywhere, and if I should make any exchanges.

Samsung 56" DLP - HLN567W - $2099 - This was a unit that was supposedly returned due to size but who knows. I figured it was hard to go wrong at that price but should I go with a newer chipset or different unit? I was also considering Mitsubishi or the Sony Grand Wega.

Yamaha RXV-550 Receiver - $325

Polk HTIB 7200 speakers - $575

Monster Cable MPHTs-3500 Power Center - $325

RCA Component Video Cables - Will these work or should I get Monster Cables? They were only $17 for a 6 foot run but I don't know about the quality

DVD Player TBD - I have one that is not Progressive Scan and am considering one that writes to a Hard Disk so please make suggestions.

I am open to your feedback. All these items are easy to return to the local Great Indoors. The units will be delivered next Friday so I want to see how the size of the screen works based on our seating area about 8 feet from the screen.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 01-30-05, 01:38 PM
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Skip the recorder at first and get a good quality progressive scan dvd player, perhaps even one of the Samsung upconverting ones.

I would not do anything about cable until you know what dvd player you are going to use. I can't comment on the receiver speaker combo without knowing how large your room is.
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Old 01-30-05, 02:20 PM
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That's a great TV! I've had the smaller 46" version a little over a year now and couldn't be happier.

One issue that you might come into is the one DVI input. I had to get a DVI switch to handle my HD-Tivo and DVD player (Samsung HD-931). Just something to think about.

Unless you really want to spend the $$$ for Monster cables, the other should be fine. Most of my cables are Acoustic Reseach. Affordable and good quality.

I don't know much about the receiver or speakers you're looking at. You might want to search the AVS forums. Lots of information there for everything you're looking at.

Last edited by BigDave; 01-30-05 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 01-30-05, 04:08 PM
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First of all, congrats on the new home theather! My suggestion would be to take back the power center and put the extra $325 towards a better receiver. There are some phenomenal receivers in the $700 range (the Marantz SR5500 can be purchased from an authorized dealer for ~600 http://us.marantz.com/shop/_template...odel=22&cat=15). I had a Monster Power Center in my system (which comes in around $12,000) and it didn't make a discernable difference, in my opinion. TV looks great! I'm not familiar with those particular speakers, but I would take a look at a Paradigm setup for ~ 600. You could get 6 Titans and have an excellent, fully matched, 6 channel setup. Of course, it is your system, and your listening preferences that will be the final judge, but for what it's worth, the Marantz/Paradigm combo is pure magic.

Last edited by BobDole42; 01-30-05 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 01-30-05, 08:42 PM
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Questions and answers based on the above:

Based on the coments above, help me understand the following:

1) Why should I be concerned about the DVI input? Is the DVI better than the component video? It seems the easiest way for my wife to operate this unit is to run component video from the receiver to the TV and run everything from there.

2) Part of the reason for the power center is because here in Denver we have a lot of lightning (2nd in country behind Tampa) so I want to ensure I have good surge protection. Would a stage 1 unit be sufficient?

3) To my ears the receiver sounds very clean (I was able to pick that up so I could get the cables all ready to go). What would I be getting wit a more expensive receiver? I don't need it louder and it seems to have the extras I need including a 2nd channel which I probably won't use.

4) Forgot to mention I also got a harmony remote.

Thanks again
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Old 01-30-05, 10:21 PM
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Just some comments.

Originally Posted by BrianE
Questions and answers based on the above:

Based on the coments above, help me understand the following:

1) Why should I be concerned about the DVI input? Is the DVI better than the component video?
Yes

Originally Posted by BrianE
2) Part of the reason for the power center is because here in Denver we have a lot of lightning (2nd in country behind Tampa) so I want to ensure I have good surge protection. Would a stage 1 unit be sufficient?
IMHO if you get that much lightning there may be no protection that will help you

Originally Posted by BrianE
3) To my ears the receiver sounds very clean (I was able to pick that up so I could get the cables all ready to go). What would I be getting wit a more expensive receiver? I don't need it louder and it seems to have the extras I need including a 2nd channel which I probably won't use.
Higher model receivers in a line usually offer more connections, sound options and better construction.

Originally Posted by BrianE
4) Forgot to mention I also got a harmony remote.
If you are happy with the receiver keep it.

Originally Posted by BrianE
Thanks again
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Old 01-30-05, 11:12 PM
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I totally understand the concern about lightening, but you can get the necessary protection with a decent surge protector for under $50. The Monster units are designed to provide not only surge protection, but also power conditioning, which will be of no use to all but higher end systems. As for receivers, I promise you that you will be shocked to hear the difference between a $350 yammy and a $600 Marantz. You have obviously put a lot of time and money into your system, and I hate to see your amazing tv shortchanged by a less than stellar receiver when you have the funds for a much better unit tied up in a (in my opinion) glorified power strip. As I said before, your ears must be the final judge, but please listen to the Marantz receiver I suggested and let us know what you think.
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Old 01-31-05, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianE
Monster Cable MPHTs-3500 Power Center - $325
I would consider the Belkin PureAV™ Home Theater Power Console PF60 - it can be had for less than the Monster, and the specs are much better - plus I think it looks nicer.
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Old 01-31-05, 09:06 AM
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I also was going to suggest getting rid of the Monster Power Center (you can find something cheaper) and put the extra $$$ towards your receiver and speakers. You can find the Pioneer 1014 for about $100 more than you paid for your Yammy. And w/ your speakers, don't be afraid to piece your 5.1/6.1/7.1 together bit by bit. There is nothing wrong w/ starting off w/ 3.1 (fronts, center, sub) and adding matching surrounds later. It will really help stretch your budget. Speakers can really be a nice long term investment if you spend your money wisely.

If you seriously want surge protection, buy a unit by Brickwall.

And by all means, if you are happy w/ your purchases as they are - enjoy them.
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Old 01-31-05, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cpgator
I would consider the Belkin PureAV™ Home Theater Power Console PF60 - it can be had for less than the Monster, and the specs are much better - plus I think it looks nicer.
True!

Belkin PF60 $274.89 at eCost (authorized seller)

Compare the specs on the PF60 vs. the 3500 and you'll hopefully agree the PF60 is a beautiful beast and much better value.
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Old 01-31-05, 10:03 AM
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Dude what part of Denver do you live? Becuase I live in the Denver area and I cannot remember the last lightning strike. In fact I was just thinking to my self the other day on how we don't get much lightning here, especially compared to my old home town Chicago. But any way, as B.A. said if you are happy with your purchases then enjoy them.
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Old 01-31-05, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by B.A.
I also was going to suggest getting rid of the Monster Power Center (you can find something cheaper) and put the extra $$$ towards your receiver and speakers. You can find the Pioneer 1014 for about $100 more than you paid for your Yammy. And w/ your speakers, don't be afraid to piece your 5.1/6.1/7.1 together bit by bit. There is nothing wrong w/ starting off w/ 3.1 (fronts, center, sub) and adding matching surrounds later. It will really help stretch your budget. Speakers can really be a nice long term investment if you spend your money wisely.

If you seriously want surge protection, buy a unit by Brickwall.

And by all means, if you are happy w/ your purchases as they are - enjoy them.
I agree with this -- the Pioneer 1014 is generating a LOT of buzz in a/v forums (i.e., AVS) and seems to be a fantastic value! I've heard you can get it from Beach Camera (authorized seller [?]) for approx. $385 shipped if you order by phone. J&R is also authorized and has it for approx. $400 shipped (also by phone -- website price is higher). Ditto for Abe's of Maine. OneCall will also match these authorized dealers, and I love their service; so there are several options out there for a great deal on this hot receiver.

Absolutely nothing wrong with building your speaker set a piece or two at a time, good way to end up with great sound that will last many years.

I've heard that Brickwall works, although in a situation such as yours, a whole house unit is probably the best idea. I love that Belkin, though -- Level 4 Power Protection; Level 6 Filtering; high current outlets; 7114 Joules; .... and 369,000 amps. That's right.

Last edited by Dah-Dee; 01-31-05 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 01-31-05, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Dah-Dee
I agree with this -- the Pioneer 1014 is generating a LOT of buzz in a/v forums (i.e., AVS) and seems to be a fantastic value! I've heard you can get it from Beach Camera (authorized seller [?]) for approx. $385 shipped if you order by phone. J&R is also authorized and has it for approx. $400 shipped (also by phone -- website price is higher). Ditto for Abe's of Maine. OneCall will also match these authorized dealers, and I love their service; so there are several options out there for a great deal on this hot receiver.

Absolutely nothing wrong with building your speaker set a piece or two at a time, good way to end up with great sound that will last many years.

I've heard that Brickwall works, although in a situation such as yours, a whole house unit is probably the best idea. I love that Belkin, though -- Level 4 Power Protection; Level 6 Filtering; high current outlets; 7114 Joules; .... and 369,000 amps. That's right.
I just got the 1014 becuase of all the feedback over at AVS. Let me tell you it is easily worth double that price. I paid 399 w/ shipping and it is an awesome receiver!
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Old 01-31-05, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianE
RCA Component Video Cables - Will these work or should I get Monster Cables? They were only $17 for a 6 foot run but I don't know about the quality
I'm not sure those RCA cables are the best value for your nice equipment, although as others may also opine I'm convinced Monster Cables are way, way overpriced. You can get as-good or better-than Monster-quality cables for less than Monster charges. For example, bluejeanscable.com is extremely well-regarded among audiophiles for their high-end-standard cables at very reasonable prices. Among budget buys, Acoustic Research Performance Series cables get a lot of good word-of-mouth and can be found on FleaBay for much less than you would pay at Best Buy, along with good prices on AR Pro and Master Series cables not found at Best Buy.
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Old 01-31-05, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dah-Dee
a whole house unit is probably the best idea.
If you can hook it up yourself, this is definitely the best solution - particularly since they don't cost too much.
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