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  1. #1
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    The $500 HT challenge!

    I have a coworker who wants to buy an HT system. His budget is $500 (+/- $50) Smallish room of about 12' x 13'. Mostly for playing games and a little TV. He doesn't want to buy used and wants a warranty. That leaves out EBay etc.
    I know, I know. It's not enough for a very good system. He's 21 and logically challenged. He's already shot down the whole idea of just getting a good pair of speakers and then building from there. He wants it all and doesn't want to pay for it. But don't worry, he did tell me that he knows that he can't get anything good "like a Bose system" for that kind of money. I'm thinking that even for just $500 we can do better than a Bose system. He already has a 360 Xbox and a PS3 so we don't need to worry about a source. He's also not interested in HDMI or upgradeability (even though I've told him that he will want more)
    Here is what I put together. Does anyone have anymore ideas that I can give this guy?

    $150.00 for the sub http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=300-635
    $110.00 for 5 speakers http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=300-680
    $205.00 for this receiver http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-HTR-604...2711274&sr=1-1
    $465 total (leaving him room for cables & wires from Monoprice.com

    I'm thinking that this will be a decent system that has the funds fairly balanced. Went with Yamaha and Dayton Audio because I know that these are decent. He is open to other brands but values longevity over small improvements in audio.

    Who's got ideas (other than telling him to get a HTIB)?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  2. #2
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    some thoughts

    good recommendations based on the tight budget. I went through this a few years ago with my neighbor.

    He already had a 1998 Sony receiver with ONE coaxial digital input...so we used his $500 gift card from best buy and bought the Klispsh Quientent (spelling is wrong) speakers...he used his small BOSE sub and i sold him my DVD player cheap and we can in at $500 plus tax.

    I'd suggest he go with the Klipsh Q system...and find a demo/floor model cheap receiver from BB, CC or the like and save money for a decent sub.


    When I did his HT in the basement..huge room, like 30 x 20 or more...we bought 5 Infinity Primus 150 bookshelf speakers from electronicsepxo.com (authorized and great site) and the partsexpress 15" (DIY) sub for not much more that $500 (memory may be off). You can check my postings for details.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Heres a few other options

    Onkyo TX SR 305 or 304 for $149 at J&R music
    Sony STR-DG510 for $109 at accessories 4 less
    Sony DG520 at $149 at Crutchfield
    Sony 2500 Sub woofer at Vanns for $89
    Velodyne VX 10 sub at Vanns for $169
    Pioneer VSX518 receiver for $169

    With that small of a room I would also consider going 3.1 with Infinity Primus speakers.

    Infinity Primus 152 speaks for $158pr at B&H photo. They were given a good review by stereophile.

    Infinity PC 250 center channel for $99 at Amazon

    Add it all up with a -$100-$150 receiver and a $100-150 sub and you have a decent budget system. He can always add the Primus 142's for rear channels at a later date.


    Here's another option
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make...FQcCswod3iHQFA
    Last edited by blackraven; 10-06-2008 at 11:11 AM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  4. #4
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    Athena WS-15 satellites, 2 pair, $155 plus 1 pair, $80. This will make a 6.1 system if he wants with this identcal speaker all around including center channel, much better sound than any Bose speakers.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ATWS15

    Energy sub, ESW-8, $100. This is a great price on a great little sub.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ENESW8

    Onkyo TX-SR506, $196, great entry level receiver. (or the TX-SR575 for $26 dollars less)

    http://www.6ave.com/shop/product.asp...berONKTXSR506B

    http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/produ...&om_keycode=67

    Toatal price with the Onkyo 506, and a 6.1 Athena/Energy speaker system

    $531

    RR6

  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Thats a great deal on the Energy sub and probably much better than anything in that price range. I'd grab it ASAP.

    I would also consider the PSB Alpha B-1's I've seen them at www.saturdayaudio.com for $179 a pair. They were a stereophile budget speaker of the year

    Pair them with the PSB Alpha CLR1 center and do a 3.1 system with that energy sub. It would be much better than any cheap 5.1 system.

    Or do the infinity system with that energy sub. The infinity primus's freq is 58-20k. The Athena's are 100-20K.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  6. #6
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    Yeah, but you're way over his budget Blackraven with the PSB's or Infinity's. I always take the guy at his word on the budget and not try to get him to piece a system together which GMichael already said he didn't want to do. We obviously agree that the Energy sub is a big no brainer. I picked the 6 little Athena's which are sold by the pair only because it keeps the price within the $550 max. Don't underestimate these speakers. They have the same exact tweeter as the top of the line Athena's. With the Energy sub they should be near the same performance level as the Energy Take Five systems.

    That Energy sub at the front of the soundstage and crossed over properly by the Onkyo receiver at probably 100-130Hz should give a very nice blend (I haven't looked it up yet but I presume that Onkyo includes croosover points at 100 and 120 or 125. Whether he goes 5.1 or 6.1 having all the same exact speakers all around is an added plus especially for the smoothest blend across the front.

    With $100 for the sub and $150 for the receiver (this is absolute minimum), that only leaves $300 for 5 speakers. That was my logic for going with the small Athena's. Properly set up these small satellite/sub systems can sound great (I owned two sets of the original Take Five's).

    RR6

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    RR, I was suggesting going 3.1 instead of 5.1. I think he would be much happier with better speakers in a 3.1 set up over lesser quality sound in a 5.1 set up. I agree, for 5.1 the set up you mentioned is the way to go for the price.

    His room is small and he could get by with a 3.1 system and buy the rear speakers at a later date. If he goes with the infinity Primus 152's in a 3.1 system , he could buy the infinity Primus 142's at a later date since they are fairly cheap.

    Although, I would much rather have the PSB's.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  8. #8
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    Yeah Blackraven, but do you think the PSB's or Infinity Primus systems would be any where near as good as a Bose system? ... (did you notice the triple wink?)

    I agree 100 percent with you but it seems from GMichael's comments that he had a pretty firm budget. But I guess we could always try the old bait and switch strategy on him.

    RR6

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Great ideas. I'll put all the info on the table for him and let him make up his own mind. The one good thing is that he seems willing to wait. He doesn't want to rush into it and end up regretting his choice. Got to give him credit for that much.
    Keep the ideas coming.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    However, with that small budget he is going to have to move quickly on the speakers and subs (such as that Energy sub) when great deals become available.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Of course he could buy a complete Fluvance system for $299.

    I'm with RR, buy that sub ASAP because its the best deal around for $99 and he won't find anything close to it for $250. Then he can worry about the rest of the system. That subs going to be doing alot of work with the small speakers.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Here's a great deal and it should give him pretty good sound.

    Amazon has the Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 speaks for $145pr with the 9.0 center for $141. Pair this with the Energy sub and the Sony 510 reciever and you've got a winner.

    http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keyw...s&link_code=qs

    You can probably get free shipping from amazon and I think that sub had free shipping. Also, pick up some radio shack 16g speaker wire and IC,s. The Diamonds are a great budget speaker.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  13. #13
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    I'm sorry to barge in on this thread.
    sounds like it's been killed.

    This thread had the most relevance to my case.
    I have roughly $600 to spend on HT speakers only.

    What setup would you recommend?
    kicker is. I'm in canada and it has to ship here.

    too bad
    I can't get this mordaunt short system. wildwest won't ship to canada

    http://www.wildwestelectronics.net/moshmospsy30.html

    Any suggestions would be very appreciated.

  14. #14
    JT jaytrezza's Avatar
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    you live in canada,man! HOME of the budget speaker. mirage,energy,klipsch,fluance, freakin Axiom! you can't swing a dead cat and not hit great value and great performance! look at the links these guys gave you and run, don't walk to your nearest retailer and buy! buy! buy!

    jayt(unmedicated,but probably should be)
    LG 42PG-20 Plasma
    Pioneer VSX-818v Receiver
    Klipsch Icon V Series VF-35 Towers
    Klipsch SC.5 Center
    Klipsch SS.5 Surrounds
    Energy ESW-8 Sub

  15. #15
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Stay away from 5.1 in this price range.
    GET A HARMON receiver (stereo).
    They have an exelent reverb circuit.
    That and an exelent pair of speakers and a cheapjack DVD and you're all set.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

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