Achieving the Impossible? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-14-2006, 08:40 AM
I thought a thread about budget home theater might be interesting. As I have surfed through various threads I find it very common to see people looking for 'budget' gear. I find this a contradiction in terms sometimes because what exactly is 'budget'. I typically assume that term to be very loose as it applies differently to everyone. Is there such a thing as quality budget material? Well, yes and probably no. It's always a great feeling when we get a sweet deal on something and come in under our initial budget on something or if we are able to cut some corners somewhere. We all want the best gear for the best price ...right?

So that begs the it possible to achieve a really high-end system for a budget price? Is is possible to make a $1000 system sound like a $5000 system? Yes. If you go out and spend $5000, but don't buy the right stuff you could easily have wasted that money and/or could have acheived the same thing with less money, but a better strategy.

I wonder what method most people use when deciding anyway. I, for one, do not really think ahead in terms of budget, but rather I progress over time making upgrades when financially possible. I don't set aside X amount of money and then figure out how to spend it.

Maybe we could use this thread as a place to design 'starter' systems that would deliver great results for under $2000 for everything. By everything I mean DVD/CD player, Receiver/Amp, cables, speakers etc. This is for home theater we want to keep it to 5.1 channels.

05-14-2006, 09:46 AM
Including the television?You are right budget is a relative term,but so is great.I work with a guy that had bought a $400.00 htib and he told me how great he thought it sounded,and i said congratulations and glad he was happy,and it probably did sound better than his tv speakers.Anybody that new the difference would not agree,but its his money and he is happy.


05-14-2006, 12:01 PM
Is this system brand new or can it consist of used/demo items? You can save a ton of money buying new high grade cables & accessories on a place like Ebay instead of shopping retail. You can also save a ton of money getting used stuff provided its in very good condition from a reputable seller. I wouldn't buy a used DVD player/recorder or a TV though unless it was just purchased by the seller new. In regards to I'm assuming to be an HD TV you can save a ton of money buying a rear projection widescreen HDTV but that might not fit your definition of high end as opposed to plasma or LCD.

05-14-2006, 04:25 PM
if you mean crt rear projection,then that would be considered higher end than lcd or plasma.It still has better overall picture.


05-14-2006, 06:06 PM
Yeah CRT HD Rear Projection. Now I'm confused. I thought these are less expensive then Plasma & LCD's but alot of people don't like them because they take up space & the design. For myself, the 48" large screen rear projection HD Mistsubishi WS-48315 fits in prefectly in my living room and has a great picture & my 34" Panasonic HD TV 34WX-15 is perfect in my bedroom resting on top of my dresser & has an unbelievable picture. The most absurd complaint I ever heard of on the Panasonic was it weighs too much which makes no sense as you basically can get the store to either deliver it & install it for free or for $50 or so, depending on the company, so who cares.

05-14-2006, 06:21 PM
Yes i agree ed,i have a 51 inch Toshiba widescreen crt and while it is big,i do have the room,and i like it very much.It was fully calibrated when it was installed,and has a beautiful picture.These days however many people are buying panels because of their size which does not seem like a good reason to me.


05-15-2006, 10:14 AM
Maybe we could use this thread as a place to design 'starter' systems that would deliver great results for under $2000 for everything. By everything I mean DVD/CD player, Receiver/Amp, cables, speakers etc. This is for home theater we want to keep it to 5.1 channels.

Sounds like a good idea, but "starter" and "great results" rarely go hand in hand. Maybe we should set the bar at something less ambitious, especially since you've only budgeted $2K for everything.

In said system, the following are the basics:

TV/projection unit
non-OEM cables (both speaker and interconnects; and lets not forget terminal connects)

That is a pretty tall order. I'm frugal if nothing else, but it seems extremely difficult to achieve "great results" with a budget of $2K, even if you rely heavily on used and aftermarket stores. I'm not even sure you can get all of the pieces for under $2K, without cutting corners somewhere. And if you have to cut corners, you've already planted the seeds for future dissatisfaction and buyer's remorse -- which ultimately means that you will upgrade and spend more than the initial $2K budget anyway.

Forgive me, but my skepticicm is rooted in my practical approach to such things. Better to build over time.

Of course, I'm anxious to see what everyone comes up with. $2K budget. Great results. Starter System. Let's hear some suggestions!