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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Need help piecing together new HT!

    I'm a novice piecing together my first HT and am in desperate need of guidance!

    Pieces have so far:

    1. TV (Sony KDL-52XBR4)
    2. Speakers (5 Mirage NANOSATs)

    I'm in the market for a receiver and subwoofer and have a remaining budget of about $1000 remaining. I've looked at a few receivers - Harman Kardon, Onkyo and Yamaha but am having a difficult time differentiating. I'm even more clueless on subwoofers.

    All help, advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Hi RB. You have a pretty good start already. I have the Sony 52XBR5, which has a lot of similarities in form and function to your XBR4. The Nanostats aren't bad, but for HT I don't really like an omnidirectional design.

    I feel surround formats are designed around direct-radiating speakers and provide specific diectional queues where the nanos are more difuse. If you've ever seen the diagrams Bose has in their ads for their "direct-refecting" speakers you'd see where sound bouncing off surrounding surfaces can confuse imaging.

    With the Nanos you'll definitely want a subwoofer to fill in the lower end and provide umfph for movies. As far as a receiver is concerned, the brands you mentioned are good. You should also include Denon. My ranking for the brands would be Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, then Harmon Kardon. Look for a receiver with HDMI 1.3 inputs/outputs to take advantage of the higher-end video and audio provided. It's also a one cable solution so doesn't require separate cables for audio and video. Go with a receiver which provides at least 100W/ch. The Yamahas and Denons also provide good low impedance drive capability, so later down the road you won't need to be as choosy when it comes to upgrading your speakers.

    For a source, if you're a gamer go with the PS3. It's still the best Blu-ray player around. It loads faster, provide more utility with it internet access, it's upconversion looks very good on the XBR and because it's a gaming system as well will have more frequent updates keeping your souce current with gaming and audio technology. I work for Sony and our Media Test Center has every Blu-ray player available. I'm told over and over the PS3 is the best for an HD source. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Troy, New York


    A grand left for Sub AND receiver is gonna be tight. I suggest looking for a used sub on the Bay. HSU, Velodyne etc... and a mid level Onkyo 5 series. You'll see the newer 6 series for sale but unless you need the added HDMI inputs the money you save on last years model might just get you a better subwoofer.

    Da Worfster

  4. #4
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I think you'll do just fine with $1000. In fact, there will might be some money left over for a good Blu Ray player.

    The Nanosats have been reviewed with very good performance in a 5.1 system. I recommend a sub from Outlaw Audio, a direct to buyer company with an excellent reputation for great subs for the money. Their LFM-1 Compact ($399) is a gorgeous looking sub with fine performance. I personally own their LFM-1 Plus. Read the reviews linked on their subs. See photo of my LFM sub in my profile photo gallery.

    The Onkyo TX-SR606 ($350 online price) is a nice receiver with a great review and plenty of power for your speakers. The only thing it doesn't have that the more expensive models offers is a more sophisicasted video section which you can get by without.

    Here is a great Blu Ray player for the price, the Sony BDP-S350 ($254 online price).

    Total price = $1003. There is no tax and some shipping charges for the sub only.

    If you already have a Blu Ray player and didn't mention it them I would go with the Onkyo TX-SR805 ($624)(not the model 806), total price = $1023.

    Or go with even lower bass extension in the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus ($549) and stay with the Onkyo 606 for $899.

    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-27-2008 at 04:26 PM.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Great options posted by RR. I can vouch for the Outlaw subs as he recommended them to me and I bought the LFM-1 Compact. For a medium sized room it can pack plenty of punch for HT use and also sounds great in a 2.1 setup for music. My room is about 18x23x8 and it does the job nicely when properly positioned, and I only have the gain turned up halfway.

    For the money, the Outlaws are hard to beat. I also have a Velodyne CHT-10 sub that cost about the same amount of money. The Outlaw is the better sounding sub (although it is fairly close) and the Outlaw is MUCH nicer looking.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Here's a great buy on the Onkyo TX SR706 from Amazon for $517

    I would then look for a used sub on Audiogon.
    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

  7. #7
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Blackraven and all: not to jump in on your post but I discovered some interesting info on some of the newest Onkyo receivers. Looks like they have cheapened their amps. I noticed in a recent review on the new 706 that it did not have good power results at 4 ohms (edit - see below...I'll check out that review again). Then I read a review last night on the 806 with similar results. Apparently the 606 is OK and still has a good amp. I'll start a thread on this as I get time and research more.

    Here are some quick facts:

    805 50.9 lbs
    806 37.3 lbs

    705 37.3 lbs (edit - sorry this is actually 28.4 lbs)
    706 27.0 lbs

    605 25.1 lbs
    606 24.9 lbs.

    Secrets of Home Theater tested the 806 as:

    >6 ohm setting (default) >4 ohm setting
    8 ohm load 173 Watts ------- 36 Watts
    4 ohm load 270 Watts* ------- 56 Watts

    tested the 805 as:

    >6 ohm setting (default) >4 ohm setting
    8 ohm load 173 Watts ------- 87 Watts
    4 ohm load 270 Watts* ------- 151 Watts

    Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Onkyo is making some big cost cuts on these two models. Too bad!!! That is why I listed only the 805 above. I know this might not even be audible on many speakers but it bothers me just the same. I presume when they go from the 805 to the 806 it is the same basic model with some improvements.


    EDIT: Sorry it looks like I got some bad info on the 705/706 weights. I'll check this out again before I start a thread. Below I put a link for the tests on the 805 and 806.
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-28-2008 at 04:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanks for all your advice. Unfortunately, I had to put this off for a couple months but now I'm ready to pull the trigger. The problem is I'm still a little overwhelmed by all the choices and trying to figure out what the best options are. Based on all the feedback, here is what I've narrowed it down to...

    Onkyo 806 ......$549
    Onkyo 606 ......$364
    Onkyo 706 ......$549
    Denon 1909.....$599
    Denon 1709.....$399

    Elemental designs (A2-300)
    Chrysalis Starfire-10
    Outlaw LFM-1 Compact

    Any final suggestions/advice (including options that I may not have considered) would be much appreciated.


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