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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2002

    Need Help on a Mini System vs. HTIB

    My receptionist is looking at getting some type of system for her upstairs, and was thinking originally of getting a mini system from JVC, Panasonic, or Sony. The salesguy at Future Shop instead steered her over to the HTIB section which he claimed would give her "much better sound." I looked and listened and they're basically all crappy, but I wonder if there's anything that is at least half decent sounding.

    She wants a small system, but also wants it to sound good. I was thinking that it would be nice to be able to upgrade the speakers at a later date, but from the looks it seems that the HTIB solutions do not allow that. From the 2 or 3 that I saw they have to either go through the subwoofer (a la Bose archetype) or else have some type of proprietary speaker wire attachment system.

    My question is is there a good Mini System or HTIB that would work for her? She's looking for good sound, but wants to keep the system as small and innocuous looking as possible.

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?

    Are you talking two channel stereo or multi-channel HT?

    ...could have a significant effect on the answers you get. Likewise a price range.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    The line between HTIBs and minisystems has blurred in a lot of ways, but to a large degree mini systems are most two-channel systems while HTIBs by definition are almost all multichannel. In a way, the mini systems are more like a nonportable version of a boom box, while HTIBs started as prepackaged component combos, but are now moving more towards integrated designs. The weak link with the vast majority of minisystems and HTIBs remains the speakers, and with an increasing number of HTIBs, that's the exact component that you cannot upgrade. By putting the amp inside the bass module and connecting it to the control unit with a proprietary cable, the designers can miniaturize the main component and make it look sleeker. But, this type of nonstandard design also takes away the upgrade options.

    The advantage to mini systems is that they have not gone to this kind of proprietary arrangement, and there are still HTIBs out there that use standard connectors and allow for the buyer to upgrade the speakers. Among the mini systems out there, Denon used to pair their mini system with Mission speakers and the resulting sound was surprisingly good. Denon still makes decent mini systems, but they're now packaged with their own speakers. Another alternative would be to get an integrated receiver/CD/DVD player and add your own speakers.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I believe that it is mostly for ambient 2 ch. music. She wants a 5 disc changer as well. Cost can be up to $500 CAD, but since I'm paying for it, I'm thinking a bit less is also good. The other girls got gifts in the range of $300-350 so I'd like to keep that as a ceiling, but if it goes over, it goes over.

    Wooch, I agree with your points about the speakers which is why I was questioning the HTIB solution. The ones that I saw didn't allow for future upgrades. I guess now what I'm interested in finding out whether there're any good mini/micro systems out there or whether I should look into the integrated dvd/cd/amp + speakers. I listened to the JVC FS-S57 micro system at Future Shop and it didn't sound too bad. It was selling for $250. Any other suggestions?

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