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Old 13th August 2004, 01:03 AM   #11
Mikett is online now Mikett  Canada
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HTIB systems just don't cut it for me. With a cheapie budget of $500. Here's what I'd do for Canada.

Keep an eye out for a sale from Future Shop or Best Buy. Sometimes I see a Sony or Panasonic HT 6.1 receiver for $199. Last week for example a Sony with component switching for $249

If you're on the west coast or where London drugs is, they have some Panasonic XR-15 HT receivers for $179. Good deal too.

For a DVD Player, if you don't have one, I go with the KOSS unit/Ctizen or similar one from Costco, Superstore or Loblaws with the 2 Karaoke inputs for $60-69. Note slim with two karaoke inputs. Progressive scan too with a display.

For a subwoofer, Computer Factory Outlet has some refurbed KLHs 10" units for $88. Can't build one for less, regardless of quality.

So so far we have spent.......200,69,88=$356. Now we need some speakers. Drop by your local Walmart and pick up some shielded bookshelves they have for like $49 a pair or so. so add another $150 for a 6.1 system.

OK we're close to $500 now but you'll have a system that will be much much superior to HTIB. Not the best by any means but you'll be surprised/shocked how much better than boxed stuff.

6.1 system, with 10" powered sub, 600 watt Sony receiver and a DVD player that can play progressive scan, MP3, DVD, SVCD, VCD and Karaoke... oh, the mics for that?...... A buck or Two dollar store for $2 each. Wire, drop by Home Depot and just get lamp cord.

Good luck.
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Old 13th August 2004, 02:42 AM   #12
Berethorn is offline Berethorn  Canada
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Thanks for the great replies!

Quote:
Does your DVD player have a built in decoder? (left,center,right,surround out on the back?) or just stereo?
Alas, no, it doesn't. It's a two year old Electrohome from Costco, and yes Mikett, it does have karaoke inputs, though I haven't used them yet. It's a good DVD player, and was cheap (at the time).

Quote:
another surround sound alternative (if your DVD players doesn't have a 5.1 output) would be the higher end logitech etc .. speaker systems which have built in decoders.
I like the idea of this: it could be used for the TV area, but I could also easily use it for the computer or mp3s. The Logitech Z680 can be got for $380cdn at Tigerdirect (and porbably cheaper on ebay).

Quote:
all said and done, .. the sound from MOST computer systems is real crappy (overblown bass, distorted sound) , .. and not comparable to a real audio setup. there are some good setups out there but most will fail to perform well in a room application, as opposed to the typical nearfield PC application.
I realize the sound quality may not be as good with that set above ^^ (though the reviews are very favorable) but I'll have to weigh sound and money and funtionality.

Quote:
i'm still not clear whether you want to build or buy, .. another option you might consider (if you want to save up for now) is a vintage 2 channel setup (some very credible gear out there selling for peanuts) , . .which you can later sell for little or no loss (if you wish to) when the time comes.
I do want to buy now. Building would be a nice challenge maybe but I think for me it would be best to get all new parts. And I think I am ready to get the full 5.1 set. If I get something good to start with I probably won't need to upgrade anytime soon. I do, or will have the money, so I better buy it while I can. I've actually been looking into this since the FotR came out on DVD. I bought a DVD player and 27" TV for that occasion. I am by no means used to good sound. The best speakers I've ever had (and still have) are the 2.1 Altec Lansings at my computer, and I don't get to use them much. I've never had any external speakers on my TV. So I've not been spoiled, and I probably won't be dissapointed easily.

Mikett, that's a very good idea, and I will certainly consider it, though it is a little more than I would like to spend. Perhaps I will look for that discontinued Panasonic slim receiver which seemed to have good reviews (I don't think it's the one you mentioned). I'll also watch FS, like you said. That might save me a bit. Are those satellite speakers from Walmart really good? Instead of buying the speakers all seperate, what about buying them like this surround system. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to afford those $2 microphones at the end.


I think my options are now thus:

Buy sub, sattelites, and receiver separate. ($450-)

Buy Logitech z680 (or similar system) with built in 5.1 reciever. ($350+)

Go against popular opinion and just get a HTIB for a bit less money. (This option isn't looking as good anymore). ($300)
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Old 13th August 2004, 04:41 AM   #13
thomas997 is offline thomas997  Canada
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Well if your willing to spend more than 300, then no I wouldnt go for the HTIB.


Miketts plan is good, especially if you can find a cheap used receiver.
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Old 13th August 2004, 08:02 AM   #14
purplepeople is offline purplepeople  Canada
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Mikett is right on the money. HTIB looks pretty but won't blow away the visitors. With good stuff you can always make the claim that you chose on the basis of sound.

May I suggest some options for when you are ready to spend the next half G or decide to go over budget.

1) Sony SCD-CE595 5-disc CD/DVD/SACD $269.99 online www.sonystyle.ca maybe less in-store... not for DSD but to get the better analog stages.

2) Tannoy Proto-J passive studio monitors to replace L/R mains
~$200/pair (pro shop ie. Tom Lee)... won't need your sub except for parties and Jurassic Park.

3) Toshiba AF series TVs - price varies by size but at London Drugs the 28" is less than $500.

:)ensen.
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Old 13th August 2004, 02:21 PM   #15
Berethorn is offline Berethorn  Canada
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Quote:
1) Sony SCD-CE595 5-disc CD/DVD/SACD $269.99 online www.sonystyle.ca maybe less in-store... not for DSD but to get the better analog stages.

2) Tannoy Proto-J passive studio monitors to replace L/R mains
~$200/pair (pro shop ie. Tom Lee)... won't need your sub except for parties and Jurassic Park.

3) Toshiba AF series TVs - price varies by size but at London Drugs the 28" is less than $500.
That SACD player looks cool - does it act like a regular DVD player too?

I'm not sure what those studio monitors are - what are they? Do they take the place of a sub?

I take that 28" TV to mean it's widescreen? What I'm also looking into is building a simple LCD projector (I've been to your "Video" section"). This is something more in the future, but it'll cost about the same as the surround setup. If it works, I could have a 50" projected image at the same quality as a rear projection.
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Old 13th August 2004, 06:49 PM   #16
purplepeople is offline purplepeople  Canada
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I have an older DVP-NC650V changer and yes... these play SACD, DVD movies and redbook. On paper they are better for the same money spent elsewhere... how Sony doesn't sell more is beyond me.

Compared to DVD players of similar price from other mfg, these have 5-disc changer, discrete 5.1 outputs, internal downmix capability and analog stages that must be SACD capable (extended FR, better SNR, etc.)

As for sound, I think they compare very well to more expensive CD-only units. Maybe a bit more edge, but not much and the value is hard to beat.

One more thing... changers are great for parties or watching trilogies+. I'm waiting for a 6-disc DVD just so I can have a Star Wars party when all the discs are available.

:)ensen.
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Old 13th August 2004, 09:32 PM   #17
Berethorn is offline Berethorn  Canada
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Wait - that's not a receiver as well, is it?
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Old 13th August 2004, 10:16 PM   #18
imix500 is offline imix500  United States
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The Tannoy monitors purplepeople mentioned are great little "bookshelf" type 2-ways. I use thier predesesors, PBM 6.5 II's, for mains on my DAW and HT. For the money you really can't easily beat them. They have a very natural smooth response for under $200 a pair. They will do down to 60hz no kidding, so a sub may only be needed as stated for low end heavy movies. Near-field monitors aren't usually mentioned for HT and IMHO I think they are underrated in performance among stuff you can get at a chain store. They just make sense cause they're relatives are what the post production sound mixers who created everything in the movie use to mix it all. Just my take on it.
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Old 13th August 2004, 11:08 PM   #19
purplepeople is offline purplepeople  Canada
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No, the Sony is just a player, but it has DD and DTS decoders so it can deliver 5.1 analog. In other words, 6-ch volume and amplification are all that is needed. My player goes into a mixer and then active monitors.

The Proto-Js are what I would call a definitive standard for price/performance. They sound as good as anything in the usual commercial brands up to around $600, including PSB, Paradigm, Mission, etc. - I should know, I bought mine after running all over town listening to everything I could find in the $500 range.

The next level up for monitors would be the Yorkville YSM-1 passives. I've seen these for around $400 pair and they will go down to around 45 Hz flat response. I have the active version as my mains and they are also killer price/performance.

Either of these will make any of your friends envious of your HT set-up.

But for starters, I would also recommend any of the older Creative 4.1/5.1 systems that were designed by Henry Kloss. They are a bit short on power, but they sound pretty good and may even be had second hand for cheap. But, it should be a Kloss version... I wasn't impressed with the price/performance on the newer Creative speaker sets.

:)ensen.
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Old 13th August 2004, 11:27 PM   #20
james_b is offline james_b  United States
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Default Get a Fluance speaker package

Fluance has their AV-HTB surround speaker package on sale for only $199, which includes a center, two tower fronts and two bookshelf rear speakers, but no subwoofer. However you can add one later when you save up, or buy a cheap one online or used. These are very good quality, with good components and materials, bracing etc. They are much better than any teenytiny HTIB satellite speakers. If you don't have a receiver, you can get one used cheap. I have a set of the more expensive ones plus a sub for my home theater and they sound great and are an awesome value for their quality.
http://www.fluance.com/fluanceavhtb.html
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