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Advice on All-in-One Packages

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Advice on All-in-One Packages

Old 03-19-00, 03:32 PM
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I need some advice. I'm fairly new to the DVD technology, and I have just purchased a new player. I was wondering about everyone's opinion on the All-in-One packages. Instead of buying a reciever and speakers, I was thinking about buying some mini home theatre system that had a built in DD Decoder, surround sound, and a sub. I am going to college next year, so I won't have room (or money) for all these monstrous speakers and high-end recievers. I know that Sony and Aiwa put out a package for around $400-$500. Would this be a wise investment or just a waste of money?
Old 03-19-00, 04:51 PM
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The sound quality of these systems will be
low, and 2 good quality speakers will
sound better than 5 low quality speakers.

The best way to start, is to get a receiver,
and 2 decent speakers. Then, add the others
later as budget allows.

Since your budget is $500 right now, my
advice would be to look into a dealer
demo of a receiver, and also demo speakers.

I'm sure you could land a demo Yamaha
RX-V795a and a pair of Paradigm Mini-monitors
in your range. If not, check out a demo or
closeout Pro Logic receiver from Yamaha or
Denon. Then upgrade it later to a Dolby
Digital model when budget allows.

The point is to buy wisely, and get the best
quality for your money, while also being
able to re-use the components you buy today
as the system evolves with your budget and
space. The only way to do this on your
budget, is to start with 2 speakers and add
later.



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Old 03-19-00, 05:10 PM
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Thanks a lot M i c h a e l. How can you tell the quality of the speakers without actually listening to them? Can you look at the specs somehow and tell which speakers are going to sound better?

[This message has been edited by Slick44 (edited March 19, 2000).]
Old 03-19-00, 05:37 PM
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Specs alone can't tell you much about "how" a speaker will sound. You really need to audition it to get the full picture. If you have an idea about which reciever you want and you know realistically how much power it can put out you can probably use the speaker specs you have to eliminate some speakers. For example if your reciever puts out 50 watts RMS into 8 ohms I probably wouldn't buy speakers rated to handle 25 watts. They'd probably hang just fine at moderate volume levels but if you cranked on them regularly you'd probably fry a voice coil or something.

I agree with Michael the key to getting a good system on a budget is to purchase stuff that you won't have to replace in six months. So go find a good deal on a quality reciever and then go get some small, quality speakers. If you're smart about it you could possibly get a small set of speakers that could be used as surrounds later when you have money for bigger mains. Demo stuff is usually a good deal, it still has full waranty and has been "broken in" for you. With electronic stuff most problems happen within a few months after purchase, with demo stuff those problem months are long gone and you still have a full waranty to boot. Also check closeout models. Happy shopping
Old 03-19-00, 08:56 PM
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Man, you guys are so helpful. Thank you very much! Only two more questions. Where is a good place to get demo speakers (I live in a fairly small town with no big audio dealers), and what is the average power a reciever needs? I don't care to pay extra money for extra power that would only deafen me. Does anyone else have anything to add to these two fine responses?
Old 03-19-00, 10:46 PM
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Slick44,
michael and dchaug gave excellant advice and
I couldn't agree more. Check www.audiogon.com
and www.audioshopper.com for used and demo
equipment. I have picked up pieces through these sites many times. Most are from dealers. Your money can go farther and get
better equipment. Regarding the all-in one,
when 1 thing fails, they all fail, and you
will have nothing. Boston Acoustics or
Infinity make decent entry level speakers.
Old 03-20-00, 04:04 PM
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By "what is the average power a reciever needs?" I'm going to assume that you mean how much power it needs to put out. For moderate listening levels 30-50 watts RMS is plenty. You only really need more than that if you plan on listening to loud music. The thing to remember is that I said 50 watts RMS (sometimes stated as continuous) If a reciever or amplifier doesn't specifically say RMS then it is a safe assumption that the power they are claiming is peak. If you get a reciever that puts out around 50 watts RMS or somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 watts peak you should be satisfied. But at least in my opinion the vast majority of your sound quality comes from your speakers. If you are looking at entry level recievers the power that the amplifiers in them will provide is going to be fairly consistent. The separating factor should be the features that a specific model has. If you want to make your $400-500 go as far as possible try to get the best stuff you can afford now and then add a piece at a time untill your system is complete.
Old 03-21-00, 04:46 PM
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Thanks again guys!

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