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Speakers or Receiver: which do I buy 1st?

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Speakers or Receiver: which do I buy 1st?

Old 05-11-00, 11:17 AM
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I'm slowly building a budget minded (see cheap) Home Theater setup & would like to get some opinions on what to buy next. I just brought my 1st DVD player and am now looking at other equipment. I want to get the receiver but with DVD Audio coming soon the price for current DD/DTS receivers may drop (I hope). When you started out which did you get first & why? I'm just looking for some opinions as I have no idea which to buy first. Just for ref. I have a 27" stereo TV, a Tosh 1200 DVD player & a hifi VCR. I do know my last peice will be a new large screen TV. So any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Old 05-11-00, 01:41 PM
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Unfortunately, one is no good without the other. A receiver is nearly useless without speakers, but it can affect the sound coming through your TV speakers. However, speakers without a receiver are completely useless.

With that said, you need to decide just how important individual pieces are to you. I would suggest possibly saving up and getting something like the Kenwood HTB-502 or 503. This is a package deal with 5 speakers and a small subwoofer. The receiver with these is a good one, not great, that can do Dolby Digital and DTS decoding. It can even do s-video switiching.

A quick search on mysimon.com showed that Vanns.com (a reputable company) can get you the 503 for ~$550 delivered. Not shabby for the speakers and a receiver.

If this isn't what you're looking for you should post a possible budget and people will be better able to help you.

Edit: I just saw your post over at HTF. With your $1200 budget in mind, I have another suggestion for you. The Kenwood VR-309 won high praises as a stand alone receiver by HomeTheater Magazine (see the review at www.hometheatermag.com - I believe March of this year). It goes for ~$350-400. Add to that the Klipsch Quintet with the 10" KSW10 sub for ~$650 from JandR and you'll be set.
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[This message has been edited by MikeS (edited May 11, 2000).]
Old 05-11-00, 02:28 PM
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When I started out I used speakers off old disused hifi systems to start with. It may not be perfect, but it gets you up and running. Then I replaced the centre and surrounds and finally the mains when I could afford it.
Old 05-11-00, 10:45 PM
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Actually, the vr-309 can be found $250 or less. It's last year's model. I think the replacement model vr-407 runs $265 RETAIL.

For $350 -$ 400 you can get MUCH better receivers: Onkyo 575, Denon 1800, Yamaha 595a (5150), Sony DE835 . For $400-500, the Yamaha 795A and SonyDB 930 come to mind. You can do a search for the various posts listing these receivers and where to get them.

Old 05-12-00, 12:57 AM
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Since the sub is very key for HT, I recommend you get the KSW-12 if you go the Klipsch route. Find a way to get the bigger sub to fit in the budget. You should be able to get it for about $100 more total at JandR, especially if you do some pricematching on the quintets..It's a much better quality sub which can make a huge difference and you may find it cheaper elsewhere. The quints should be about 350 with the center channel included (vanns member price but JandR usually won't match club prices) and you may be able to get the sub for 350-400 somewhere (jandr is at the 399 price last I checked) and That would leave you about 400 for the amp and the 50 or so balance for the sub/digital cables.
Old 05-12-00, 05:49 AM
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Defintely get the speakers first! Speakers pretty much are the same as they were 20 years ago with a few minor tweaks. Receivers on the other hand are constantly changing and getting cheaper with more features. If you buy the speakers first you know they are pretty much what you will find at a later date at around the same price, and if you buy the receiver after the speakers you will defintely get a receiver for less money and with more features.

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Old 05-13-00, 03:17 AM
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Go with speakers from these companies:
Some great ones are less than $350 pair.
Old 05-15-00, 03:29 PM
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chicken or the egg?
i would go with the egg.

speaker technology won't change very much, however reciever technology will keep evolving every spring. so that basically means that if you buy a reciever and it was the top of the line, then in a matter of months it will become "outdated".

p.s. spend the cash on good speakers it will make or break a system. also you may want to check out some b&m stores with floor samples and discontinued speakers.

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