captaingomes
Posts: 6251
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 1:33 am

Home Theatre Systems

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:49 am

I have recently purchased a condo which came with a wall-mounted plasma TV. In order to get the full effect, I wanted to purchase some surround sound speakers, but keeping in mind that it's a small area, so I don't require anything substantial.

I have listened to Bose surround sound setups, and frankly they're excellent sounding, but too pricey for my needs at this point. I have gone to Best Buy, but the service there sucks, and everything pretty much sounds crappy. It's impossible to get the full effect in a big open space with lots of other background noise.

I'm wondering what recommendations people here have from the home theatre in a box that you can get from the major electronics suppliers to other setups. Another store showed me a package which included a Yamaha RXV 559 receiver for $599 CAD and Paradign Cinema 70CT speakers for $599 as well. Is it really worth spending that extra money over a theatre in a box setup for half the price?

Thanks in advance for any contructive responses.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Go3Team
Posts: 3156
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:19 am

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:38 am

Some theater in box options won't give you expandability in the future. Check out some of the Polk Audio, or JBL options.
Yay Pudding!
 
IFEMaster
Posts: 4164
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:17 am

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:39 am

I got a cheap RCA 5.1 system from Target for $79.99.

It's not a Bang + Olufson, it's not a Bose, but it sounds pretty decent compared to my father-in-law's $600 Sony job.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
canuckpaxguy
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:31 pm

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:42 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 2):
I got a cheap RCA 5.1 system from Target for $79.99.

Me too! It's an Emerson or something....dirt cheap.

A few of my friends have the higher end systems, and no one can tell them apart.

Save your money Nuno.

G
 
AC773
Posts: 1700
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:03 am

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:54 pm

If you want extremely good sound for a relatively small space, check out the M-Audio Studiophile LX4.

LX4 2.1 System
LX4 5.1 Expander System

The set will run you about $550 USD, but they're worth it. They may be a little bigger, but they sound way better than any Bose system.
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
deltagator
Posts: 6170
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:56 am

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:58 pm

If you are going to spend money then get a good receiver that will last a while. It will give you the ability to expand and add other things. As for speakers, I got a 5.1 JVC set from Best Buy for ~$350 almost 5 years ago and have been quite happy with them. The service there does suck but I've been pleased with them. My family room is 2 stories high so the acoustics are crap and it still sounds good so I can only imagine how they would sound in a good room. I've got Sony across the board other than an RCA Tivo unit and have been pleased with the results.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
Molykote
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:53 pm

Quoting Captaingomes (Thread starter):
I have listened to Bose surround sound setups, and frankly they're excellent sounding, but too pricey for my needs at this point. I have gone to Best Buy, but the service there sucks, and everything pretty much sounds crappy. It's impossible to get the full effect in a big open space with lots of other background noise.

I'm wondering what recommendations people here have from the home theatre in a box that you can get from the major electronics suppliers to other setups. Another store showed me a package which included a Yamaha RXV 559 receiver for $599 CAD and Paradign Cinema 70CT speakers for $599 as well. Is it really worth spending that extra money over a theatre in a box setup for half the price?

Bose isn't a great use of money. On the whole the products are underperforming and overpriced. Paradigm makes nice speakers and the $1200 package you suggest sounds like a reasonable alternative to most home theater in a box solutions. For my $1200 I'd suggest the following.... (based upon your apparent desire for a small inconspicuous setup).

NAD L-53 DVD/Receiver: $599
https://dmc-electronics.com/ (click on NAD Specials and scroll down)
This is a product made as an alternative to those looking at home theater in a box setups - It is a receiver with integrated DVD player. NAD makes very good hi-fi equipment that far exceeds the performance of mass market hardware for a small premium. Typically NAD gear is simple and sacrifices needless features for higher performance.

Speakers: $333
Go to Circuit City and get the Infinity Primus home theater setup.
The all in one small package is $333 currently (search: PRIMUSHCSCH )

This should put you under your anticipated $1200 quite nicely and will blow away any satellite Bose setup. Spending a little more on speakers, CC now has the Primus 150 (next size up bookshelf for only $30 each after rebate).
Primus 150 (x4) = $120 (after rebate)
Primus center (x1) = $100
Leaving plenty of money left for a sub... Infinity makes a Primus sub to match the set but I don't know much about it.

Here is a review of the Primus 150 from Stereophile:
http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeakerreviews/404infinity/index.html
This is a magazine that typically reviews components costing thousands (and often much more). The review is very positive.

This is a variation of my "garden variety" recommendation when someone asks for suggestions on a budget. The Infinity Primus speakers sound fantastic and are very efficient (which places a less taxing load on the amplifier/receiver). The NAD electronics sound a good bit more natural than the brands available at big box stores with a slight warm balance.

I would expect that you'll be very pleased with my recommendations. Let us know what you decide to purchase. At the least you shouldn't pass up this Infinity deal (I actually was going to recommend the Primus before I realized that the 150s were $60 per pair after rebate - in light of the lower price it's not a no brainer).
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
captaingomes
Posts: 6251
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 1:33 am

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:00 am

Thanks for the variety of replies so far, it's really appreciated. This gives me a few different angles to consider, which is exactly what I wanted. Frankly, one of the options I'm considering is to hook up my old Technics receiver I bought 10 years ago with the Infinity bookshelf speakers, and perhaps spoil myself for Christmas  Wink

I will be looking more closely at the above suggestions though.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Molykote
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Home Theatre Systems

Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:25 am

Quoting Captaingomes (Reply 7):
Thanks for the variety of replies so far, it's really appreciated. This gives me a few different angles to consider, which is exactly what I wanted. Frankly, one of the options I'm considering is to hook up my old Technics receiver I bought 10 years ago with the Infinity bookshelf speakers, and perhaps spoil myself for Christmas

I will be looking more closely at the above suggestions though.

I'd like to correct my earlier suggestion. The NAD L-53 receiver is only a 50 watt X 2 receiver - This will not work for surround sound (although it would probably still be better than many cheap HTIB solutions).

As an alternative (assuming you have a DVD player) look for a Denon receiver on ecost.com that meets your budget goals.
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!

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