Super Newbie Here, help with 1.2k budget [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-15-2006, 05:58 PM
hello guys, im really new to the game. i really really love music and sounds and i just want to be able to make the best setup i can with around 1.2k budget preferably less if same performance as 1.2k range. i'm looking at what the best a/v receiver, sub and speakers system i can setup and maybe a cd player and amp if i can fit in that budget. i don't think i need help with gettin a dvd player. also i have no idea what amps do, and would it really help to get one. basically right now im just goin thru the highest ratings thru audioreview. but theres so many things not on sale anymore or too expensive. also im in a 2 bedroom apartment would it be overkill to spend that much and when i do spend which one should i use the most money on. sorry i know theres a lot of questions, thx guys.

04-15-2006, 07:16 PM
Roughly, you can get a decent receiver (read Yamaha) for around $400 and then you can spend the remainder of the budget on a 5-speaker surround sound set up and I'd forgo the sub until you can save a separate budget for them, as quality subs begin at around $500 or so. So you should audition what you can afford for the speakers such as Polk, Energy, Infinity, Paradigm, etc and see which speakers sound best for you.

04-15-2006, 08:54 PM
thx a lot for the reply.

04-16-2006, 12:03 AM
Here is perhaps a suggestion...

Pioneer 5.1/61 receiver with 110W/Channel ($250-300)
PSB Image T45's ($499/pair)
Athena Technologies Center Channel ($100)
Polk Bookshelf Surrounds (150/pair)
Yamaha or Athena Sub ($150-200)

Obviously you will need cabling and I was assuming you have DVD/CD player etc already. Down the line when you want to invest more money you can add an Amp and use it from your receiver, which has pre-outs so you can boost more power into whichever speakers you want to drive more.

Fluance makes inexpensive speakers as well, which I've heard great things about so maybe check them out...i've not listened to them personally so I can't give you my opinion on them.

04-16-2006, 10:37 AM
if you dont mind doing things a piece at a time,i would spend your budget on a set of main speakers and a good reciever.Then later add the matching center,surrounds and sub when you have the money.When i started redoing my system a couple of years ago i started with a set of jm labs 706 standmounts,later added the matching center,then bought floorstanders when i could pay for them and moved the standmounts to the rear.Along the way i added a reciever,dvd,and cd player and i was done.Well not done,new speakers are on the way,you are never really done upgrading.


04-16-2006, 12:54 PM
I agree on building slowly. It will pay off in the long run. You will also be suprised at how good 2 quality speakers can sound, even when playing back DVD's. No matter how you decide to do this, I suggest you spend some time auditioning speakers. Try some local shops in your area that specialize in home audio. If your local BB has a Magnolia ministore, you can start there. CC carries Polk and Infinity and BB carries Klipsch and Athena. By doing this, you will get a good idea in which direction you want to go(5 cheap bookshelves vs. 2 higher priced).

I would also suggest that you stay within the same speaker line.

04-16-2006, 05:21 PM
thx guys, im gonna take that route now, to first buy a receiver and main speakers.

04-17-2006, 06:24 PM
You also might wish to consider used equipment if its in very good or better condition to stretch your dollar. You can probably get about $3600-$5,000 worth of retail equipment from dependable sellers on Ebay if you wish to go that route. Myself, I've done a combination of both. Also you can find considerable savings online for new stuff too. IE, Harmony Universal remotes were selling for around $220 at the biggest electronics discount place in LA but were selling new for around $125 or so online.

04-18-2006, 02:28 PM
You're on the right track by exercising a more patient approach to building up your system. Starting with a receiver and your main speakers and plugging in your current DVD player, you've already got the backbone for your home theater done. Receivers have virtual surround functions that work very well if you have two, three, or four speakers. I took two years to piece together my system, and in the end I got a much better performer than if I had taken my entire initial budget and bought an entire system at the same time. By spacing things out, I had a much larger range of components that I could audition, because I could dedicate my entire initial budget to getting higher quality speakers than I would have if I had needed to also budget for the center, surrounds, and subwoofer.

In considering which main speakers to go with, you should also listen to the center speaker and surrounds to see how well they all match with one another. In my experience, some manufacturers match the ancillary speakers better than others. But, the key consideration is how well the tonal properties for the speakers match. In general, a mix-and-match approach on the speaker is less than optimal.

In breaking down your budget, you should carve out about $400-$500 for the receiver, and devote the rest to the main speakers. Since you're looking to get a subwoofer, you should primarily look at bookshelf speakers. Floorstanding tower speakers will give you better bass response, but the ones in your price range also generally have less balanced tonal characteristics, are subject to cabinet resonances, and don't image quite as well. With a subwoofer, the extra bass on those tower speaker might go to waste, depending on how you want to setup your system.

With bookshelf speakers, you can also potentially go with five IDENTICAL speakers all the way around. If you plan to wall-mount a flat-panel TV or a front projector, there's no reason not to use three identical speaker up front. The horizontal center speaker exists only because they are designed to sit on top of a TV. If the TV is mounted on the wall or if you have space available, you don't need to use the horizontal center speaker.

With the subwoofer, you have great options around the $400-$500 price point. With a medium sized room, you could go with a good ported sub like the mail order Hsu VTF-2 or the SVS PB10-ISB, and retail options from Velodyne and Paradigm. If you have a small room, then you might be better off with a sealed sub like the Acoustic Visions MRS-10, Martin Logan Dynamo, Rocket ULW-10, or B&W ASW600. The Rocket sub is especially tempting because it comes with a parametric equalizer built in, and once you get to know the effects of room acoustics, this feature can do wonders for integrating the subwoofer into your room.

04-18-2006, 06:15 PM
thx, a lot for the help. my budget changed and im gonna get the denon 3805 or yammy 2500 for 400 and spend around 1.5k for 2 speakers and a sub. wooch that was really great info, thx for it