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DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

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Old 05-01-12, 05:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 85
Been out of the loop on home theater gear for a while, looking for suggestions

The last set up I "had" (when living with parents lol) was an upper-level, early 2000s Denon 7.1 receiver and a Definitive Technology 5.1 setup that I forget the model #/series of, but I remember it was a $2,400 package from Magnolia at the time, if that helps. I don't have the budget to recreate something that good, but I'm hoping to get something at least almost as good.

The majority of what this will be used for is just plain stereo music listening. I will definitely be doing a fair share of movie watching, though, so stuff like DTS-HD/Dolby processing and HDMI switching is still a must, but don't care about 3D capability (if it's unavoidable then whatever). I'm just a single guy living in a 1-bedroom apartment, so I don't need the most powerful gear and stuff like multi-room control obviously becomes superlative at that point. Also, since I'm on a budget but like high quality when I can do it, I actually only want to get stereo speakers and the receiver first, and then add the center and surrounds (and maybe a sub) later. Though of course I'd want the fronts I buy first to be something easily voice-matched when I do decide to complete the whole surround package later down the line. Oh, and I prefer towers/floorstanding speakers for the mains; mostly for sound/personal aesthetic reasoning, but I also just don't want to hassle with or spend the money on speaker stands in the front.

So, my budget for just the receiver and two fronts I'd like to keep at about $800. If I can get some smoking deal on something actually much better, I'd maybe be willing to break the $1,000 mark, but I'd just as soon go lower as well if like $650 gets me something almost as good as what $800 would get me. But remember, that's just to start, and I'll have to save again to finish the rest of the whole surround sound package later.

Any help you can provide is much appreciated. If you want to help me but need more info, definitely ask away. Thanks.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Been out of the loop on home theater gear for a while, looking for suggestions


As a "rule' to me I tend to always think & plan ahead when doing it build a deck in the back, change something in the landscape or build a rec room. In your case you say you'll listen to stereo mostly, watch a fair share of movies, don't care for the 3D thing, like the floor speakers, may add surrounds later, on a budget of $1000 and live in a one-bedroom apt.

For the AVR, good can easily get a good one under $400 and still give you plenty of options, power and good sound to boot. For would be a Denon or Yamaha which I know own. Last years models are still available so you can save some $$$$ right there.

Right now at Crutchfield they have a Denon AVR-1912 $150.00 off at $400.00...

...that's an outstanding deal and one that'll last for a long time. I had a old Denon 1801 model that's still kicking.

I really like the Yamaha models and last year we got the RX-V671 due to a few features that stood out like having a CAT5 jack in the back for network play but more importantly firmware upgrades. The RX-V571 is about the same thing but without the jack input and offers really good sound, options and power at a cheaper price....

Personally I think if you look hard enough you can find a good deal on the RX-V671 but that current Denon deal at Crutchfield is hard to pass.

Speakers...though you like 'Floor" models they don't come cheap. You can grab "entry" model for around $200-250 "each". the Polks are you're best choice in that price range. For better performance and sound you're looking closer to $350-450 each. The other problem is gettting a center channel speaker later on to match the fronts though not totally necessay. Still a Center speaker will run you a good $170.00 and above later on.

Being in a one bedroom apt. you should be limited to space and sound to a degree. Though you might not care for them a 5.1 Surrond ystem will give you the best-bang-for-buck and fit nicely in your surrounding, budget while producing a good overall sound.

One of all-time favorites that's been around for awhile and really surprises everyone is the Energy Take 5 Classic. Good for small to small-medium spaces, it won't shake the house during those high explosive scenes on Blu-ray but it will do the job and a unbeliveable price. Looks small but can pack a good sound.

Mirage systems are unique in sound. They tend to develope a panorama 360 sound. Once fince tuned they can sound amazing. Crutchfield again has one system on sale....Mirage Nanosat 5.1...$180.00 off at $400.00. Good for a small to medium small room.

Now another choice in a speaker setup with "centers & surrounds" coming later is go after a nice 2.1 setup using two small fronts and a powered sub. May costs a bit more but I've heard some "stereo" thru a 2.1 on several systems and frankly it's really good. You get a good non-directional low end while the fronts can handle the mids and highs.

If I were building a 2.1 system from the start based on your situation this would be a number one choice....NHT Super Zero 2.0 and NHT Super 8 Sub

Personally I'd take the NHT over the Energy, Mirage, Polk system anyday. You can come back and add the NHT Super Zeros anytime. Five of those "Zeros and Super 8 sub" is a killer package. I put NHT in line with Definitive Technolgy & PSB

If you're set on the floor models then the polks will be the way to go. Kilpsch offers a entry model but the power handlings and specs are far less than the Polks in the same price range. The Polk TSi300 would be the first choice. Good power handling and pretty good respons range (47-24K). comes in black or cherry at around $210.00 each....

The Polk TSi400 is a step above with three woofers, more power handling and lower response of 40Hz. normal price is close to $300.00 though Crutchfield has them "scratch & dent" at $264.00...not bad.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: Been out of the loop on home theater gear for a while, looking for suggestions

The Denon is a good deal. Then I'd recommend these:

You know, I just realized that you didn't want bookshelves. Nevermind that. SVS dropped the tower version in this price range.
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Last edited by Spiky; 05-01-12 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:50 PM   #4
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Re: Been out of the loop on home theater gear for a while, looking for suggestions

What happened to the last setup you had? Why cant it be used now? If you must rebuild I always suggest Pioneer receivers as thats what I have always used. Their mid level (non Elite) models are great.I own Def Tech speakers and they are also excellent.
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