• 01-15-2011, 07:43 PM
    Dual-500
    Entry level HT system - Receiver & Speakers
    My boss asked me some time back about what to buy for a starter HT system - Receiver and Speakers - he has TV already.

    He asked when he found out I'm a hobbyist - I asked him price range and he indicated $500-$1000. I explained to him I didn't really know since my gear is custom, and somewhat high end - I haven't been near the comsumer arena for a while..

    So, suggestions are appreciated. I'm thinking 5.1 with some kind of subwoofer would be best.

    He can solve the DVD/Blu-Ray issue later. He may already have a DVD player.

    My plan is to send him a link to this thread.

    Thanks!
  • 01-15-2011, 09:13 PM
    harley .guy07
    There a lot of options out there and with regards to receivers there are plenty of brands out there that offer a lot for a value and while they won't give high end custom gear sound they can sound good if set up right. I would look and Onkyo, Yamaha Aventage line, and Denon and they have units starting for a few hundred dollars and up and it really depends on what kind of options and features you want and that will take some research to see which would work best. About speakers there are several speakers out there at reasonable prices and with a budget like this I would probably look at something in the bookshelf speaker segment like brands like Paradigm, mordaunt short and others that have surprisingly good sound for the money and not cost a lot. Now with a budget like what he has it can be done as far as a receiver and speakers but it will take some research finding good deals while keeping the quality as good as possible within this budget. There are good smaller subwoofers out there that will put out descent bass for a smaller room without breaking the bank and companies like Audio Advisor and Amazon offer specials on equipment that would fill the bill in this budget. Also don't count out used equipment. Audiogon is a web site that is everything used audio and usually a more higher end market but I have seen used value equipment on this site going for way less than retail and he might be able to get more system for the money than buying new at retail. It takes some value shopping when it comes to setting up a system in this limited budget and as long as you stay with quality known components then a system could be had for a budget just make sure to let him know for him not to expect miracles for this budget and if the room size that he is wanting to fill will be a big factor on how much sound value equipment will perform and most value minded equipment that this budget will afford will be better suited to a smaller room since most likely the speakers will be of smaller scale and the sub will be lower powered and smaller as well. Research and shopping around is key when it comes to shopping for audio within a budget that some people will pay for just one component in their systems and look for specials or sales and like I said do not count out used equipment because there are some good deals to be found in the used audio world.
  • 01-16-2011, 04:13 AM
    LeRoy
    Hello, well, here is one possible part of the solution....
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dual-500
    My boss asked me some time back about what to buy for a starter HT system - Receiver and Speakers - he has TV already.

    He asked when he found out I'm a hobbyist - I asked him price range and he indicated $500-$1000. I explained to him I didn't really know since my gear is custom, and somewhat high end - I haven't been near the comsumer arena for a while..

    So, suggestions are appreciated. I'm thinking 5.1 with some kind of subwoofer would be best.

    He can solve the DVD/Blu-Ray issue later. He may already have a DVD player.

    My plan is to send him a link to this thread.

    Thanks!

    http://www.vanns.com/shop

    and also shop here

    http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Produ...fault.aspx?c=4

    Also found this one:
    http://www.wildwestelectronics.net/m...-receiver.html

    Man, I can't stop looking around...
    http://www.onecall.com/product/Klips...stem/_/R-94924

    Certainly the goal had be attained at the price point it's just a matter of selecting what he thinks would be the best fit for him.

    Good luck with the shopping.

    LeRoy
  • 01-16-2011, 05:03 AM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dual-500
    My boss asked me some time back about what to buy for a starter HT system - Receiver and Speakers - he has TV already.

    He asked when he found out I'm a hobbyist - I asked him price range and he indicated $500-$1000. I explained to him I didn't really know since my gear is custom, and somewhat high end - I haven't been near the comsumer arena for a while..

    So, suggestions are appreciated. I'm thinking 5.1 with some kind of subwoofer would be best.

    He can solve the DVD/Blu-Ray issue later. He may already have a DVD player.

    My plan is to send him a link to this thread.

    Thanks!

    As you know, you can't really get a true high fidelity 5.1 system for under a grand, but you will be able to ge a listenable "entry level" system -- and that's as much as many people will ever want.

    The likes of BestBuy feature receiver + speaker combos all the time, and this is a practical place to go for many people. A few words of caution for shoppers at such establishments:
    • Sales people there are rarely experts but are opinionated nevertheless.
    • If checking out receiver+speaker combos, look for a good balance. Sometimes the speakers are under matched because naive shoppers are more impressed by the receiver than the speakers, (which look like "just boxes").
    • Bose-based systems are poor value in the lower, (or any), price range.
    • DO NOT be talked into over-priced cables. Cables are usually excluded from the basic receiver+speaker combination because dealers use cables -- which are high markup -- to inflate their profits. Avoid Monster cables, (Monster is to cables what Bose is to speakers). I suggest Blue Jeans Cable, HERE, for quality, fairly-priced cables.
  • 01-16-2011, 05:42 AM
    Dual-500
    Guys,
    Thanks thus far - this is great information thus far and will be very helpful. Exactly what I was looking for - pretty much covers the full spectrum of advice, and perspective.

    From what I'm seeing so far, it appears that a budget around $1500 would do him a lot better in terms of overall system quality.
  • 01-16-2011, 11:07 AM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dual-500
    Guys,
    Thanks thus far - this is great information thus far and will be very helpful. Exactly what I was looking for - pretty much covers the full spectrum of advice, and perspective.

    From what I'm seeing so far, it appears that a budget around $1500 would do him a lot better in terms of overall system quality.


    Call Crutchfields, they have an Onkyo 508 on sale, I just finished installing it for a friend.
    HAS everything you need, including a real universal remote that will tie a system together.
    Also WALMART had a real deal on some BLU players, 65$ for an LG.:1:
  • 02-05-2011, 10:26 AM
    Nasir
    Experience tells us that whatever you bring into the home will have to meet the critical Spouse Acceptance Factor, otherwise both your boss and the sound system could end up living in the garage!! So, the boss had better involve the spouse in the hunt and purchase of a HT system. Get the spouse involved in the matter and who knows, maybe bigger speakers will be allowed into the house!!
    As there is an huge choice of HTs, in all sizes and shapes, only the customer knows what will fit in and around the TV set. Sometimes wireless satellites will be the way to go, considering the fact that lots of speaker wires all over the place is something not everybody is prepared to put up with.
    A word of advice: choose the biggest speakers the spouse and space will allow, not forgetting the subwoofer.
  • 02-05-2011, 10:44 AM
    Dual-500
    No spouse in this transaction - but, good advice nonetheless! :biggrin5:
  • 02-08-2011, 06:25 PM
    Woochifer
    Since no one else has suggested this, here you go...

    That budget will not get them to the finish line for a decent 5.1 setup. The good news is that they don't have to buy the whole thing at the same time. There a huge difference between pricing out a receiver with a pair of speakers, versus pricing out a receiver with five speakers plus a subwoofer.

    Depending on the budget for the receiver, you're looking at probably at least $300 for a decent entry level receiver, and upwards of $600+ for a midrange model. That leaves less than $700 for the speakers. Generally, you get very noticeable steps up in sound quality as you move from the $200 price point into the $500+ range. Buying everything at the same time limits them to the bottom of that range. Being more flexible and buying just the first two speakers opens up the options big time.

    They can always add the matching surrounds and center speaker later on. The important thing is to find a family of speakers that they like, and gradually add on as budget allows. Receivers all have virtual surround modes specifically for two, three, and four speaker setups. They're paying for the feature when they buy the receiver, why not make use of it?

    The subwoofer is something they don't want to skimp on. The ones that come with most 5.1 packages won't get you into true lower bass ranges, and some of them actually extend into the midbass range to make up for deficiencies in the speaker units (cough cough Bose cough cough).

    When I was shopping for my home theater setup, I found the choices in the lower price ranges way too confining, so chose to build the system gradually. The process took me more than two years, and I don't recommend it for everybody. But, for me the end result was worth the extra time.

    FYI, here's the timeline for my setup ...

    http://forums.audioreview.com/showpo...9&postcount=60
  • 02-08-2011, 08:30 PM
    Dual-500
    ^ Thanks!

    That's outstanding perspective and advice - appreciated.
  • 02-09-2011, 11:31 AM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dual-500
    ^ Thanks!

    That's outstanding perspective and advice - appreciated.

    BTW they make "all in one" speaker systems, complete with a cheap sub, usually for around
    five hundred bucks or so. You can live with this until you can get better. Some are quite decent.
    I find that most "newbies" would rather have a complete but lesser system to start with.
    THEY CAN IMPROVE on it later if they want. Most don't care for "state of the art"
    or even upper end. THEY JUST WANT SOMETHING THAT WORKS.:1:
  • 02-09-2011, 04:57 PM
    Dual-500
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    BTW they make "all in one" speaker systems, complete with a cheap sub, usually for around
    five hundred bucks or so. You can live with this until you can get better. Some are quite decent.
    I find that most "newbies" would rather have a complete but lesser system to start with.
    THEY CAN IMPROVE on it later if they want. Most don't care for "state of the art"
    or even upper end. THEY JUST WANT SOMETHING THAT WORKS.:1:

    You may be right - I'm going to recommend the Building block approach that wooch suggested.

    Treat it as an investment and get some fairly decent gear. Sent the boss this link today so he'll be looking at it soon.

    Thanks a lot guys!
  • 02-10-2011, 01:51 PM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dual-500
    You may be right - I'm going to recommend the Building block approach that wooch suggested.

    Treat it as an investment and get some fairly decent gear. Sent the boss this link today so he'll be looking at it soon.

    Thanks a lot guys!

    Just remember, the "building block" approach (otherwise known as an upgrade path) is
    probably the smart way to go. AND ITS A WAY OF LIFE for most audiophiles/HT types.
    Great or even good gear can be expensive. If this is a way of life it can be expensive, and
    take years. The total price of my speakers alone, although modest, was 2500+, AND
    that is not even including the cables. Took several years to get together, and my fav
    piece (an excellent B&W SUB) was bought instead of a compromise because of a win at
    the casino. I HAD THE COMPROMISE bought when I won the money, took it back.
    Just saying it takes patience and luck, and sales and a line of credit doesn't hurt.
    I watch those house hunter shows, like to look at the gear most people have. AND MOST OF IT IS PRETTY BAD.And most don't care. Their "systems" are not one long upgrade,
    just what they listen to
    Just make sure your "boss" has the dedication for the long haul, is all I am saying.:1:
  • 02-10-2011, 07:38 PM
    Dual-500
    ^^^^^ Yeah I know that. My current system is a 10 year evolution. When I told him I was a HT/Stereo hobbyist he asked for advice. I explained my setup is not a consumer type system and I have ~$20k invested it to date.

    Now I'm looking at a projector and screen for the next upgrade/addition. :wink5:

    The thread really has good advice and suggestions on it and offers a good perspective.

    Thanks again to all you guys.
  • 02-11-2011, 01:14 PM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dual-500
    ^^^^^ Yeah I know that. My current system is a 10 year evolution. When I told him I was a HT/Stereo hobbyist he asked for advice. I explained my setup is not a consumer type system and I have ~$20k invested it to date.

    Now I'm looking at a projector and screen for the next upgrade/addition. :wink5:

    The thread really has good advice and suggestions on it and offers a good perspective.

    Thanks again to all you guys.

    Well, one of the problems in this hobby is getting the word out on how much fun it is.
    That message is quite often lost. Good luck.:1:
  • 02-28-2011, 06:18 PM
    dioze1
    Not that I know anything, but this system is highly rated and one that I have/am considering. NOTE - I am NOT an audiophile. Actually, I am new and know very little. This does, however, seem to be a pretty good solution for the price range. http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic...8945547&sr=8-1
    Reviews very well all around the web. CNET product of the year.

    This was recommended to me http://www.accessories4less.com/make...FYLd4Aod3FaNCw

    Hope this helps!

    Zeb
  • 02-28-2011, 08:08 PM
    Dual-500
    ^^^ Thanks - all advice and comments are welcome. The decision will be his to make and he will read through this in time. We've been pretty busy at work that past several months so he hasn't seen it yet - but, I have sent him the link.