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02-04-2007, 09:15 AM

I FINALLY want to put together a home theater system. I purchased a pair of Infinity RS4 floor speakers and a cheap Sony STR-DE445 receiver years ago and then stopped the home theather process. Anyhow, the large 25'x17' audio room has a cathedral ceiling (16') which I would imagine is a factor in piecing the system together. As far as the system usage goes - I enjoy listening to rock/alternative music and also watching action dvds. I have an initial plan and a few questions.

1) RECEIVER - purchase a much better receiver.The Magnolia Home Theater salesman(Best Buy) had me listen to a Yamaha Model, RX-V1700BL. It certainly did rock. It was a bit pricey though ($1000!). Is this a good receiver or would a Marantz be a better bet? I have to start reseaching but some thoughts would be appreciated. I am hoping I can get a kick-A$$ receiver for $750 and everyone raves about Marantz.

2) SPEAKERS - I plan on retaining my 175w RS4 speakers. They seem to produce excellent sound and the forum posts are encouraging. I will need to purchase a sub-woofer and center channel speaker. For rear speakers I will want to purchase the in-wall type. The Magnolia store recommended SpeakerCraft MT-Series 120 watts speakers. I have never heard of this company. Any advice on the SpeakerCraft selection, retaining the RS4 floor set or another opinion on a center/sub-woofer speaker?

3) CD PLAYER - I was planning on retaining my Sony disc player (CD-C315M). I have been told that as long as the receiver is of good quality, that the CD player isn't really an issue as long as I have a particular output connector (?) on my player - is this true?

4) DVD: Retain my DVP-S360 player. I was planning on upgrading in the future but I thought the receiver and TV were the most important componenets.

5) TV - A huge chunk will go towards a new LCD TV. I will be able to research this portion but really need help on the audio end of things!

I was going to have the system professionally installed since it will have in-wall speakers and the complexity of a new receiver.... does this sound like a good decision?

Thanks for any input!


02-04-2007, 09:54 AM
how much do you want to spend on each unit,
what functions do you want in the receiver?
check out some audio stores and audition audition audition...
is the receiver only for audio, or do you need hdmi switching...
depending on what all you want, I would suggest also looking at : NAD, pioneer elite, integra, b&k
speakers, since you want to keep your present speakers, you need to find a center channel, surrounds, & rears of the same series, or which blend nicely...
tv's, don't know if I can be much help there,
but newegg has a 1080p 42" lcd for <$1500... (

02-04-2007, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

I was thinking of spending no more than $1000 on the reciever. $750 would be ideal. I am so out of touch with features. XM radio doesn't seem important to me now. HDMI switching is a foreign term to me, but in general I want the system to integrate easily. Do you have a suggestion for a receiver brand / series?

Are you suggesting that the rears, sub and center speaker be of the same series? I am not an audiophile at this juncture, but do appreciate quality sound... for example, I purchased a pair of Shure IE E4 phones for the ipod and really LOVE the dynamic, natural, full, punchy sound.Anyhow, do you feel that the RS4 floor fronts will suffix in the short term and maybe even the long term for the progressive listener?

Thanks for the TV suggestion - I don't mind spending $2000+ on the LCD TV - 42" or 46". I want good specs - 1080p, good contrast ratio and quick respond.

If I am going to do this, I want to do the system right. However, I do want to retain the pieces of my current system that make sense, which I think are the RS4 speakers, the DVD player and CD player.

02-04-2007, 12:13 PM
~$750, $1k max will get you a good receiver...
my Denon 2805 cost ~$750 a few years back... it did the job I wanted it to since I needed many digital in's at the time...
if I had no need for as many digital in's, I would have gone with either a pioneer elite, or a nad (both have better amp sections imo)
I have no personal experience with yamaha receivers.

if you want 1080p, I believe hdmi is required... if you will be using more than one source for hdmi, then a switching receiver would be nice... if this is not required, component video will go up to 1080i and you could save some money since most all ht receivers do component vid switching...
(others here are better with the video info and will probably chime in on this)

for speakers... the center is the most important, and should blend very well with your fronts... usually having the same series for fronts and center is the simplest way to obtain a good blend, however it is possible to mix and match brands/series. this would involve much auditioning to determine the best way to go...

for surrounds... if you plan on sacd/dvd-a, or any multichannel music, I would highly suggest having the same or similar speakers for fronts and surrounds...
if, however, you do not plan on multichannel audio, and this is only for ht, imo, surrounds do not have to be exact, and although should blend well with the fronts/center, do not have to be perfect... imo, having surround for ht is better than no surround for ht... some dissagree with that opinion, but you decide what you want...

a sub can be pretty much anything...
I prefer to build my own since one can build a good sub for a fraction the price of a good sub.
if you don't mind assembling a simple kit, the titantic series at partsexpress are very good... (basically connect wires, and screw things together...)

Titanic 10 (
Titanic 12 (
Titanic 15 (

your dvd player and cd changer will work fine, just use the digital outs to the new receiver...

02-04-2007, 06:26 PM
Check out the Denon AVR 3806 receiver at This receiver is an audiophile receiver IMO and retails for $1600. They had it for sale for $800 last week. It will kick that Yamaha's ass. If your dead set on Yamaha check out internet prices, they are much cheaper then BB.
As far as CD players go, even if your just using the CD player as a transport (digital connection using your receivers DAC's), a good CD player will make a difference in sound.
For about $300 you can get the Marantz 5001. People on this forum are really high on it.
Check out stereophile review and other reviews on that Denon receiver. I compared it to NAD receivers and its very comparable.

02-04-2007, 08:41 PM
I have a marantz all in one player and it works very well ;o)
if you do want to get a new cd player, you may want to check out sacd's (only a couple hundred more for an sacd or all in one player)

02-11-2007, 06:25 AM
Thanks for the feedback! I will continue to research but will definitely be asking more questions...

02-12-2007, 11:06 AM
Thanks for the feedback! I will continue to research but will definitely be asking more questions...

Well, here's a few tips from the outfield.

1. Best Buy is evil. Avoid them. Lousy prices, and salespeople who will push only what gets them the biggest comission - regardless of whether it's garbage.

2. I recall some decent Yamaha recievers in the $300 range - output power was only about 70 watts per channel, but with the right speakers, who cares? Alternately, get off your arse and buy two LM4780 gainclone kits from - they're $73 each, and even after you throw in a power transformer, case, et cetera, you're still looking at only about $300 - less if you're a cheap-arse like me. (Sound quality should be close to the 47 Labs Gaincard.)

3. Speakers are more important than anything else. The RS4's are a set of traditional 6.5"-woofer 2-ways, and while they're supposed to be good for the money, most people are'nt comparing them to more expensive speakers - and the bass from the larger box is moot when you have a subwoofer.

Nice options include the oft-overlooked Bohlender Graebner Z1's ($400/pair), the ubiquitous Paradigm Atoms, and if you're on a budget, the Radiients ($100/pair.)

However, the absolute best quality for the dollar can be found if you build them yourself - there's no question. Check out the BAMTM design at - while I have not built them, they have recieved a massive number of positive reviews, are none too expensive ($175/pr) to build, and have an option for integrated subwoofers - perfect for HT use.

4. As far as I'm concerned, one should not spend $600 on a DVD player - why bother, when you can get a HTPC for less? DVI to HDMI adapters (or HDMI-capable video cards) are cheap, DVD-ROM drives are cheaper, and both the sound and audio quality are - if done properly - better than all but the best of DVD players. (HINT: Get a good external 5.1 soundcard). Also, you can use them as a TiVo, for video games, et cetera.

5. Syntax-Olevia makes some pretty darn nice screens in a pretty darn nice pricerange. Of course, I have a massive store credit to a place that sells them cheaply (and that I hope someone will take off my hands), so I'm biased, but check 'em out at Circut City or Best Buy if you don't trust my (obviously biased) opinion - they really are, in fact, just as good as LGs at a much lower price.

6. If you want the best in power protection for your systems, go for an APC Uninterruptible Power Supply. These are often more advanced in functionality than anything Monster produces, can be had used or new for low prices, and even come with some massive insurance against damage in case of a lightning strike.

(APC makes power filtering products for $100,000 data centers, so it's likely good enough for your living room.)

7. If you want top-notch sound quality from a PC or CD player, you want an outboard DAC - the thing that turns the digital signal into audio. Using a USB DAC can get rid of a lot of audio "noise" from other PC components causing irregularities in the power supply voltage.