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  1. #1
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    New to this forum, and have questions.

    Hello. As my user name suggests, I know absolutely nothing about putting together a Home Theater system, or about buying bits and pieces for one. First let me say that money is tight, and I won't be looking at $5000 receivers. Not even $1000 ones. Sure I would love to have a system with these type of components, but it is out of my reach.

    First I want to replace my current DVD player. I really liked the reviews I read on the Denon 1930ci. It would seem from visiting the Denon website that this unit is no longer being produced, but is still available on line at very reasonable prices. Probably will order one tomorrow unless someone here can give me good reasons for not doing so.

    At what point in time should I consider getting a receiver? I was looking at reviews for the Denon AVR-1803 tonight. Appears to be an excellent product for the money. However, I don't see this receiver listed on the Denon website either!

    I will be buying my new system one piece at a time. Hopefully the first piece won't be too outdated by the time I buy my last piece.

    I will be asking questions on speakers and such later. (Hopefully on the right forum. )

  2. #2
    Forum Regular codecougar's Avatar
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    What do you have for a television? Is it HD?

    You certainly don't need to spend thousands on a receiver. Most at the $500 price point will be adequate for most HT and music needs. Onkyo and Yamaha are usually well reviewed. You can even go cheaper depending on what you are looking to accomplish.

    As far as the DVD player goes, I personally would recommend a Blu-ray player if you have a HD television. It will cost a bit more, but not that much more, and will also upconvert your standard DVD's to HD.

  3. #3
    Village Idiot johnny p's Avatar
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    what is the current "Budget" as far as what price you'd like to stay under for the Receiver, DVD, etc.... and yeah, if you have an HD tv, get a blu-ray they can be had for under $300 now (JUUUUUST under) I don't have one, but I'm certainly planning on it! What are you hoping to get out of the system? mostly movies, music, etc? how much are the units you're looking at now? What equipment do you currently use?

  4. #4
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    Right now my television is a 36 inch Sony WEGA I purchased a few years ago. Also bought the Sony DVD player, and Sony VCR player at the same time from Circuit City. The TV will be replaced, but I was thinking of replacing it last because it will be the most expensive item. Also hoping prices will continue to come down on them a little more. Naturally I want to go HD. Not sure yet whether to go LCD or Plasma. So far I am thinking plasma. Around the 42-46 inch size in order to avoid robbing a bank.

    I have a set of old Dahlquist speakers, Model DQN-9 Compacts that haven't been hooked up in years. Would like to keep them as they always sounded good to me. Am considering sending them back to the factory to have them gone over. No sense in using them if they aren't up to snuff.

    I was able to hook everything up okay when I first bought them about 21-22 years ago. Seemed like every time we moved I had a harder time remembering where all the wires went. A few years ago I got rid of the Kyocera equipment that I had purchased at the same time, the receiver, CD player, tape player as my wife wanted new. They would be too outdated for use in todays systems anyway. My entertainment system was $6000 back then. Can't afford that today.

    The wife watches a lot of TV nights when we are home. She likes to play music during the day on days that she doesn't work. We have 2 grandsons and watch a lot of kids movies when they are here. I watch movies, but use to lay down in front of the speakers and listen to music for a few hours before going to bed. Everyone else would be in bed so I had total peace and quiet to enjoy the music. The Dahlquists sounded great to me, but I am not an audiophile. These were the best I had ever listened to. No one I know is into high end stereo equipment nor would they consider putting out the kind of money I spent years ago on one. A TV, yes. Stereo equipment, no.

    I don't really have a budget. Like I said, I will be buying one piece at a time as funds allow. I probably wouldn't consider spending $750 for a DVD player (although I would like one of those running in the $1200-$1500 bracket), but might go as high as $500 for one. The more I spend on each individual piece, the longer it is going to take me to put a complete system together.

    Also I am going to have to fight the wife all the way. She wants to buy everything at once that "goes" together. She doesn't understand the concept of buying separate pieces. She thinks they won't work right.

    So...it seems I should be looking at Blu-Ray DVD players. I thought this equipment wasn't standardized yet which is why I was looking at the 1930ci universal player.

    Now that you know a little more about what use the system will be put to, maybe you can make more specific product suggestions for me to look at. I don't have to buy today, but if I do go with the 1930ci, I don't want to wait too long, or they will be out of stock.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Village Idiot johnny p's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't consider spending $750 for a DVD player (although I would like one of those running in the $1200-$1500 bracket), but might go as high as $500 for one.
    The Sony Blu Ray player, not sure which model, can be purchased from Best Buy, Amazon, etc. for $299 right now, with 7 free movies..... so I'd start there, that'll leave some room for other stuff..... Myself, personally....... I love my surround sound at this time, and it's in the building process, but a Blu-Ray player, and a new LCD (don't get a plasma, LCD is becoming the predominant technology) purchased together would be INSTANTANEOUS GRATIFICATION. Otherwise, no sense purchasing the Blu Ray until about the time you replace the T.V. I'm not too knowledgeable on the audio end, I'd certainly listen to the speakers you have, and if you get enjoyment out of them, why replace them??? More spending room for T.V. and Receiver!

  6. #6
    Village Idiot johnny p's Avatar
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    O.K. did a quick search on your speakers (since I had no knowledge of them) if they warrant fixing.... FIX THEM.... otherwise just use them.... looks like they are still regarded as very fine speakers.

  7. #7
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    Johnny, thanks for the replies. Question: Would the Blu-Ray work with my current TV?

  8. #8
    Village Idiot johnny p's Avatar
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    It would work, and the picture quality would certainly be better, but you're limited by your T.V. I actually had a 36" WEGA, I gave it to a friend in exchange for me not having to move it!!!! That thing was HEAVY, but anyways, As far as picture goes, it was great, I was REALLY happy with it.... I now have a 37" Sharp Aquos LCD, granted it's only 720p, and I don't run Blu-Ray or HD DVD or even HD packages from my satellite provider, but the picture is exponentially better....

    If you aren't planning on getting the new T.V. soon, you should wait.... the Sony Blu Ray player is down to $299, I can only imagine it will drop another $100 within a month or two....

    Television first..... that's what I'd do.... get the biggest piece out of the way, and it will give you the most enjoyment instantly.... I ran cable, without a box when I got the new LCD, that's right.... coax straight from the wall.... but in comparision to my old WEGA, it looked FANTASTIC.

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Hi 1,

    Welcome to AR.
    My first question is, "What are you looking for?"
    Will you be using this for 100% HT or some music and/or gaming as well?
    Do you feel like your system is lacking in any way now? Is there any part of it that you don't like?


    Mike
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
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    Johnny: You are causing me trouble! LOL. New television first, hey? In that case I can't start on my new system for a few more months. Thanks for the advice on getting an LCD instead of a plasma.

    Michael: No gaming. Do want to play music. Put a CD in the DVD player and the sound is AWFUL. Currently have no receiver, nor are my speakers hooked up. Lack of being able to listen to decent sounding music is the biggest drawback.

    My wife says the DVD player is no good. (Because of the music thing.). DVDs play fine. Music on them (DVDs) sounds okay. CDs don't. I assume running the sound from the DVD player through a receiver and into my speakers would solve that problem. Am I right? If so, I've got a headache already.

    Wife also complains of the picture quality, but it doesn't bother me in the least. It's not HD, but looks good enough to me for what it is. The WEGAs are supposed to be tops in their field. At least I thought so when I researched televisions before buying this one.

    Any other information I can supply?

    EDIT: I should mention that the closest I have come to seeing a top end system is at places such as Circuit City or Best Buy. Don't know how close to "real life" these displays are.

  11. #11
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    You can, and should, go from your DVD player to your receiver via a digital connection, your receiver will decode the signal from both DVD and CD. Right now it sounds like you don't have music, my suggestion is get the receiver now, then you at least have music. Your TV may not be HD but it's watchable, but you don't have music. Check around, if you like the Denon, get the matching receiver and DVD, then you can tell your wife, it's a system. Use the Dalquists you have and build from there. But a center next, if they have one that matches your speakers. If not, put those speakers in the rear and buy matching center and mains, matching is a must for optimum HT sound. You could get a Blu-ray player and be ready for the future, it just depends on how long down the road you plan to get the TV.

    Do you have cable or satelite? If you are using a box from either you can get better picture quality from a component video connection. The Sony Wega was one of the best tube TV's around. You may not have HD but if the quality is "bad" then you have a problem some where.

    Your wife is on board, that's half the battle, just go get one of those no interest for X amount of time deals and land the whole ball of wax. My thing is I can enjoy it while I pay for it. But I tend to be impatient and impulsive.

  12. #12
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    Mr. Peabody: Nothing wrong with the WEGA picture. My wife likes to complain.

    I agree that getting a receiver first so that she will have music is probably best. I liked the reviews on the Denon AVR-1803. Checked for pricing, and none are available. What's the story? Seems like products have already been replaced by the time they can get a review on them done. Know of any sites doing reviews on products that are actually still being made?

    I liked what I read about the Denon 1930CI, but apparently that is no longer a current model either. Did the 1940CI replace it? I did email Denon last Sunday, but haven't gotten a response yet. Guess I will try a phone call tomorrow.

    The AVR-2307CI can be gotten for about $515 total for a refurbished one. Reviews read good, but it is a little pricier than I had hoped to be paying. It probably would be worth the stretch to get one like this because of the added quality and features, though I don't know enough now to use any of the features.

    I do want to increase the number of speakers. Did a little research on them about 2 years ago. Very confusing. Seems to be a lot of good ones out there. You said to buy a center speaker next, but to make sure it matches my Dalquists. How do I do that? Are there certain specs I should be looking for?

    Thanks for your help.

    The "buy now with no interest for x years" is an okay idea, but I am trying to avoid payments. Especially since I give my wife grief about all the charging she does. I would prefer to pay cash and buy when I can.

  13. #13
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    Take a look at the Onkyo 605.

    Also, check out www.crutchfield.com You can view current models of receivers there, their price and they will say beside the model if it's a "new" model or not. They carry Denon and Onkyo, and customer reviews as does AR.

    What I mean by matching is getting the manufacturer's specific match. For instance, a brand may have series "X" speakers. You buy series "X" towers for mains, you want to also buy series "X" center channel. This is because the center and mains will have the exact same drivers (woofers/tweeters) and when sound pans from side to side you will not hear any response difference, just a smooth sound effect across the front sound stage. Like a car going from left to right. You want it to sound the same as the sound travels across. I like to compare it to, would you use one brand of left and another for right, then why would you for the center.

  14. #14
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    I had looked at the Onkyo 605, and it seemed like a good candidate. For some reason I am partial to Denon. No experience with the brand. Just like what I've read about their quality. I could say the same thing about Yamaha and Onkyo, tho. I have been doing more research tonight. It just gets more confusing.

    I do have another question or two. Do I need a receiver that uses the HDMI cable?

    My wife has been told about the Blu-Ray DVD players, and thinks these are the way to go. This is only from hearsay from coworkers. Seriously doubt any of them are real knowledgeable. Probably did what I use to do. Rely on the salesman to give you the straight skinny. We know that isn't always the right way to go.

    Are the universal players I have been looking at going to provide the same picture quality as a Blu-Ray player? Or at least close enough that an 'Average Joe' like myself wouldn't notice a difference?

    Thanks. I am sure I will have plenty more questions before I finally make a decision.

  15. #15
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    Either Blu-ray or HD-DVD will provide a noticeable improvement over standard DVD even with the best upconversion. Both technologies include upconversion of SD in their machines.

    HDMI looks like the connection for the future but for BR or HD-DVD the best connection will be using a multichannel analog hook up. Be careful because the usefulness of the HDMI connection will vary from receiver to receiver. Usually if a HDMI connection says 1.3 compliant and carries both audio and video as it was intended you will be fine. Yes, guys, some receivers have HDMI that only carries video, hence the NAD master series processor, and some will only pass an analog signal in it's original resolution. Hpconversion of analog signals is a nice feature if you are running video through your receiver. Plus, some TV's will not accept a 480i signal viz HDMI.

    To get the same features of the Onkyo 605 in Denon you will have to get the 2308 which is more expensive. You'll have to let your ears tell you if it's worth it.

    Merry Christmas

  16. #16
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    Did some more research today on the 605. It does sound like a very good receiver for the money. I can get it for a little more than $200 less than the 2308. That's enough to overcome my preference for Denons. Don't know if I will be able to listen to both (or even one) before buying. That is why I depend so heavily on reviews and the thoughts of others better informed than I. Realize not everyone hears or likes the same thing, but it is all I have to go by. Circuit City, Best Buy, and Tweeter are the only places I know of locally. Should get to hear at least one of them. Only have to be careful and not let them talk me into something else while there.

    Merry Christmas to you and the others. We celebrated ours last night because that is when we could have our grandsons. Plus my wife has to work today. Bummer! You all enjoy the holidays.

  17. #17
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    CC carries Onkyo. One thing that should stand out with the Onkyo is the punch and tightness of the bass over anything else they carry. Keep in mind it is extremely rare any sales person at those types of stores know what they are talking about and I don't think you will find a more fully featured receiver for less money than the 605.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    CC carries Onkyo. One thing that should stand out with the Onkyo is the punch and tightness of the bass over anything else they carry. Keep in mind it is extremely rare any sales person at those types of stores know what they are talking about and I don't think you will find a more fully featured receiver for less money than the 605.
    Mr. P
    I have also been looking for a new receiver and started checking out the 605 because of all the buzz. I can't seem to find out if it has preouts for an external amp. I do see that it does not have a phono stage. That does concern me.

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    Jack I think you hit on something I hadn't noticed. The only pre-out I can find mentioned is a set for another zone or room, and the way Crutchfield talking about the feature it's fixed. It does not have a phono stage which is pretty common for HT receivers. The 705 has 7.1 preamp outs for another room. I'm not sure if Onkyo is not putting the preamp out for the main channels in or maybe they just aren't being mentioned. My guess they just aren't there. Even with the 705, if you did have multiroom use this would prevent upgrading amp path if the main preamp outs weren't there.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Jack I think you hit on something I hadn't noticed. The only pre-out I can find mentioned is a set for another zone or room, and the way Crutchfield talking about the feature it's fixed. It does not have a phono stage which is pretty common for HT receivers. The 705 has 7.1 preamp outs for another room. I'm not sure if Onkyo is not putting the preamp out for the main channels in or maybe they just aren't being mentioned. My guess they just aren't there. Even with the 705, if you did have multiroom use this would prevent upgrading amp path if the main preamp outs weren't there.
    I checked the 705 and it seems to have the preouts and the phono stage. Looks like I'll have to go in that direction. Do you think Denon or Marantz would have something comparable or are we talking more money.

  21. #21
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    Not sure on Marantz but the comparable Denon model is the 2308 and that does run a bit more money. I'm not sure the exact difference because good prices can be found this time of year.

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