starting over [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-09-2006, 07:59 AM
Hi guys. For various reasons I am pretty much starting over with a home theater system. This will be an apt. My TV is outdated so I know I will be getting a hi def set probably 42" LCD. One question I have is do I need a receiver with HDMI capability? I will be using a High Def Sat. receiver and probably a DVD player with HDMI. If I get a TV with 2 HDMI inputs does the receiver still need to have this? Also, what are suggestions for receiver and speakers? I listen mostly to music so that aspect is paramount. Also, should I invest in seperate DVD and cd players? I have hundreds of cd's so a changer may be ideal but it seems that general consensus is that single disc units sound better. But will it be a loss in sound from using a dvd player instead of a dedicated cd player? I'm considering the HK DVD 47. As far as the speakers, I am looking for a compact set up but large enough drivers for good music reproduction. Apperance is also important. What I am considering right now is the HK AVR 435(on clearance at onecall), 2 pairs of NHT Classic Two Bookshelf speakers(good deal on ebay), and NHT Classic Two Center speaker(Also good deal on ebay). My budget is approx. $1700 for speakers and receiver and this system is about that price. I know I still need a sub and will probably go SVS. Please any insight as to how this system will perform with music would be appreciated. And also other speaker suggestions that meet the small size factor and nice appearance and performance.

08-09-2006, 03:36 PM
Right now there is no reason to get a receiver with hdmi inputs (it would screw up your budget anyway), but every reason in the world to get a tv with 2 hdmi inputs. Thus, go with a receiver for about $4-500, thinking Yamaha, Denon just announced some entry level, friendly priced models, there's others as well. Then dedicate the rest of your budget to speakers such as polk, paradigm, infinity, energy, or whatever else fits the budget. Hope this helps a little.

08-09-2006, 03:45 PM
Thanks Paul. What's your take on the cd player vs. dvd player issue? Since I listen to music mostly will there be a loss of sound quality if I go with a dvd player to do double duty? If sq is the same then is there a dvd changer that is decent for say around the $300? It just seems that using a single disc player would be a pain to constantly get up and change the discs since most discs I just listen to a few songs and like to go to the next. But if sq is better on single disc units I may have to make that sacrifice. Any suggestions for models?

08-09-2006, 04:23 PM
I'd say, if you were worried about finding the best compromise between versatility and sq, then stick with the single disc universal player. See what Denon, Yamaha, Integra, have to offer around that price point and maybe others will chime in with other brands to consider. But I think unless you are a highly critical listener you should be fine with a universal player, especially on a limited budget.

08-09-2006, 04:45 PM
Okay. What do you think about receiver and speaker selection? I've owned Denon before and loved it for movies but was not my favorite sound for music listening. I've also had Marantz and liked the sound for music but had quality issues with the SR5300(two of them as a matter of fact) so I've been skeptical about going back. I said earlier I'm considering the HK AVR 435. I've not heard it in my home but have in the store and I love the look and sound of it. And the DV47 seems to be the perfect match as a dvd player. If I can recall it is a universal. On the speakers, I really need something compact and I love the look and size of the NHT Classic 2 and matching center. However, there's not a dealer. I would have to order online without hearing first. I'm willing to take the chance. I would like to know if there are other suggestions for speakers that might be better. But keep in mind size factor is important because it is an apt. Aesthetics are key as well.

08-10-2006, 05:37 AM
The receiver sounds fine but better DVD players can be had for less. I suggest the Panasonic 97 or 77 if you are on a budget. Great video for the price. Music will be an easy solution if you send it digitally to your receiver so I would focus on good DVD playback, the music will not be an issue unless you are a die hard analog fan.

Good Luck and congratulations.

P.S. Do not forget to protect your investment with a quality Isobar (put one on the sub and the receivers). I use 4 Tripp Lites HT10DBS. You will need quality RF cables, telephone line, and maybe even ethernet cable to isolate these cables from lightning, as well.

08-10-2006, 07:50 AM
What about the speakers? Are the NHT's a good choice? I love the look of them. I notice that the sensitivity is 86db due to the acoustic suspension design. So, they are not very efficient. But HK is known for high current amps in their receivers. Would the HK have a problem driving the NHT's? If so, what other suggestions do you have for speakers that have a small footprint but still have good sound for stereo reproduction and are pretty efficient?

08-10-2006, 10:35 AM
I wish I could comment on NHT but I have never heard their speakers. They are a fairly new speaker company, relatively speaking, out of California.

I am a proponent of speakers that are efficient and sensitive, as you can probably tell from my setup. A handful of RB 75's and a good sub should be easily driven to reference levels with the HK cleanly. JBL also has some efficient and sensitive speaker designs. If you prefer direct radiating designs, there are a whole slew of possibilities. I prefer the coincident designs like KEF but there are others like B&W, Martin Logan, Revel, PSB, APC, and others that I consider very good sounding designs.

I would listen to as many as you can possibly audition and take notes. Especially of the audition room dimensions, acoustic treatments, speaker placement, and equipement used. Even the best speakers can not overcome poor execution on the dealers part. If any of them sound really bad, find another dealer with a better setup.

Good Luck. You will do just fine with a little research, patience, and some effort.

Keep us posted on your progress!

08-10-2006, 11:37 AM
What are some good bookshelf speakers or small towers that perform well in 2 channel stereo without a sub and also look nice? I listen to a lot of r&b so decent bass is important. Don't know if I want a sub in an apt.

08-10-2006, 04:08 PM
Almost all the mfgs mentioned above have quiet an extensive product line. Establish a budget and start making apointments to hear the ones that fall into your budget.

Everybodys expectations are different but bookshelf speaker and good base are usually not used in the same sentence. It is usually an either/or proposition. Good base requires large cabinets.

But, all is not lost. I understand your plight and would still suggest your budget include a sub. It is better to have the bass when you want it than to not have it all. You can always turn the volume down on the sub if need be.

Even well endowed tower speakers can take advantage of a dedicated sub, and bookshelf speakers can be a cost effective way to get good sound. I suggest budgeting for speaker stands, as well. Placing speakers on shelves, inside entertainment centers is a step backwards and is not recommended for your speakers to reach their full potential.

Here is a link to proper speaker placement and other useful information.
This should keep you busy for a while. There is a lot to learn and it never ends.

08-11-2006, 08:36 PM
What are some good bookshelf speakers or small towers that perform well in 2 channel stereo without a sub and also look nice? I listen to a lot of r&b so decent bass is important. Don't know if I want a sub in an apt.

I too for the moment find myself in apartment (one of the few times in my life). I have towers that have more than enough oomph. I have a sub yet when the situation changes there's a chance that I still won't use it. Point being some very nice speakers, bookshelf or floorstanders are more than good enough for the apt and beyond. As a Phase Technology user have to give them a nod, also the Velocity series looks good, PSB gee the list could get long. If you're not familiar with what's out there to give you some ideas one place you could check out is (saw a buy on Boston CR95 towers)

08-11-2006, 08:39 PM
2chAlex, what model of Phase Technology speakers do you have?

08-11-2006, 08:47 PM
Teatro 7.5 Newer version would be V-10. On the subject of DVD and Panasonic they had 5 disc model that had a strong review and they always seem to get high marks for video performance combined with audio give me a sec and I''ll remember the model

08-12-2006, 05:47 PM
2chAlex, Did you find the model of the Panasonic player you referred to?

08-13-2006, 12:37 AM
5 of these X-LS speakers ($550 all in) will get the job done nicely for music and HT when paired with a capable sub. The X-LS speakers can be found here:

A good sub from the same company that will mesh well with them especially for music, while staying in your range and allowing enough for a good receiver is the UFW-10 ($599). The UFW-10 will not get as low as the also excellent SVS brand you are already looking at (also recommended), but it is more geared for music performance and is more apartment friendly (size-wise and looks). The UFW-10 is found here:

Receivers are an easier buy, IMO. There are several good ones in the $500-600 range. The Denons and Yamahas, along with your HK idea make a lot of sense. I would add Marantz also to your list, as I have found their remotes a bit more user friendly than the others. That said, I don't think any of the above would be a bad choice.


08-13-2006, 04:11 PM
Yeah it's DVDF87, kinda low on the food chain abit over a $100 dollars lots of features though. I know you are look'n for abit more. Seems a short time ago on the forum I've heard mention of by several of a Sony ES five disc maybe someone can come up with the number I'm thinking maybe 2200? I'm kinda where you're at more tunes than video so my thought is, decent single dvd for the occasional movie/concert video and a 5 disc cd from the likes of Adcom, Harman Kardon... etc. (suggestions?)

08-13-2006, 07:46 PM
That's my thinking as well Alex. The only problem is it seems that a lot of the better manufacturers don't make 5 disc cd changers anymore. They're all single discs. Call me lazy but I hate to keep getting up changing discs. I'm kind of on the fence about Sony. I've had an HK changer, the FL 8380 and quite frankly it sucked. Don't know if they've improved the newest model they have but I'm skeptical. I do see that Denon has a new model out. Wonder if it's worth a shot? Looks like it's the DCM-390.

08-13-2006, 08:24 PM
Know anything about the Onkyo 6 dvd/cd changers? Another member recently bought a Marantz 5disc cd and is quite pleased with it. Denon also has a 5 disc dvd/cd along with Yamaha both about $250

08-13-2006, 08:41 PM
No, I don't have any experience or know much about the Onkyo players although I admit I'm not an Onkyo fan. The Marantz may be worth looking into. Thanks.

08-13-2006, 08:51 PM
The Marantz is the 4300. I'm sure someone will point out that Marantz and Denon are under one, but it's just a holding company. It appears that they operate seperate but don't quote me on that.

08-13-2006, 09:05 PM
I don't feel it's about being lazy. How many disc get played completely through. I know for myself that's true therefore the reason behind reel to reel, casette decks, mini-disc, cd recorders.