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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    New Front Speakers for HTIB?

    I have a Panasonic SCH9000 HTIB (and to those who are cringing, please forgive me for having a HTIB, but the wife loves the simplicity it offers and its low price -- My good stuff is now in the garage with my 400 or so lp's). Below is a link to a description of the system.

    I've had it for about a week now and like it pretty well for its purposes (multiformat dvd/cd changer with 5.1 surround). However, we are looking to upgrade the a/v furniture and it looks like we will have tall book shelves on either side of our tv stand.

    The Panasonic has "tall boy" speakers that, even without the additional stand extensioner are 21", or about 7" too tall for the book shelves we will likely buy. Given that I am trying to keep the room looking nice and keeping the a/v system as low key as possible, I am considering either (1) buying new front bookshelf speakers, (2) returning the HTIB to get one similarly priced with bookshelf speakers for around $100 from Best Buy or (3) using some old heavy-duty, but pretty small (approx. 3.5x6 inch cabinet) speakers "Realistic" brand speakers from Radio Shack circa 1988 that actually sound pretty.

    Keep in mind this is a real budget oriented issue. The Panasonic ran $450 minus a $100 gift card from Best Buy.

    Here are my questions:

    1. What bookshelf speakers can I replace the front speakers with? The Panasonic manual says don't use other speakers with the system, as the sound quality could deterioriate and it could damage the system. I suppose this is true if you hook up some monster speakers, but obviously some type of bookshelfspeaker should work fine. The "tallboys" are rated at 6 ohms and have 90Hz-22kHz range at -10db. They have a tiny 2.5" woofer and a piezo tweeter. Obviously the system relies heavily on the subwoofer and, although to be fair, it is not broken in, it lacks the warmth and midrange I am used to with my old Luxman amp and Boston Acoustics speakers that now are now in the garage).

    Most speakers are rated at 8 ohms, whereas the current ones are 6 ohms. Will this change cause a problem, or horribly mismatch the front and surround speakers? The system does allow a power adjustment for each individual speaker.

    2. If I do return this system is there anything close to this quality with these features for $350? Please don't tell me to spend more money. I can't, period. What about the Pioneer 530dv?

    Sorry for the long post, but I figure the more info folks have the better chance I might have of getting some real help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    All kinds of warning flags that I see all over this scenario. If Panasonic doesn't recommend that you use other speakers with your main unit, it means that 1) the connections are incompatible (which is similar to how Bose does things); 2) the subwoofer is where the amp is actually located; 3) the system is not designed to handle anything but relatively light loads. I took a look at the model, and it appears that indeed the subwoofer contains the amp. This creates all kinds of problems because it means that the signal is probably crossed over at a very high frequency and whatever speakers you buy will reproduce only a limited range.

    From what I see, that Panasonic unit was designed more as a closed loop, i.e. it's not meant for expansion or upgrading. Because it uses a proprietary audio connector from the receiver to the subwoofer, you cannot use that unit as a standalone DVD player if you ever decide to upgrade the system. The integral role of the subwoofer that comes with the Panny also means that you cannot ever trade up the subwoofer to a different model with deeper extension. And in general, the "subwoofers" that come with HTIB systems do nothing more than cover up the midbass deficiencies in the main speakers, and will not give you good accuracy or extension into the true low frequency range.

    The system is fine if decor compatibility trumps all other considerations, but if you want any kind of flexibility to add on or upgrade individual components, you should return the Panny.

    If you're locked into a $350 price range, you should at least look into a HTIB where the power comes from the receiver itself and does not rely on the subwoofer to provide the amplification for all speakers. That way, you have flexibility with the types of speakers you use. Generally, that price range is what less than what you'd expect to pay for a good set of 5.1 speakers ALONE (in general, my minimum for a 5.1 speaker system is the $500 Energy Take 5 system). Personally, I'd just get a simple 5.1 receiver and a set of two decent bookshelf speakers, and worry about adding on later.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2002


    JVC makes a HTIB that uses the same reciever that the sell seperatly. I'm guessing they are not altered, but if you checked it out, maybe you could get a system like that use other speakers and also adjust the controls for each speaker. But then you'd have small speakers and this whole issue would clear up anyway It does not include a DVD player, but I believe it sells around 399 C.

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