Budget Home Theater semi-n00b... questions

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by BlazinBlazer Guy, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    OK I've done as much searching as I could, its getting me nowhere.

    I have been in the process of upgrading my mom's HT setup for her, and she's on a really small budget. I'm not used to working with this stuff too much, as I only really listen to 2-ch music on my own setup (rotel separates /w cerwin vega bookshelf speakers)

    ok, here's the deal. She just got (within the last 3 or so months) a Mitsubishi 42" RPTV HDTV (model A-42 if it makes a difference). Right now she's just using the built in speakers on the TV, which makes for suck-ass sound. She has an existing DVD/VCR (combo deck but has progressive scan and is hooked to the TV through component outs for DVD) and digital cable (external decoder box /w SPDIF audio out, currently un-utilized).

    For her current audio setup, she has an old (like 1980 vintage) Pioneer SX-680 reciever, on which the tuner section just busted (knob is jammed and I can't find a way to fix it), but the rest still sounds great, an old Pioneer CT-500 tape deck (single tape), a newer AIWA turntable, and a Pioneer 25-disc CD-changer (only a couple years old). These run through a set of "KDC" speakers of the same age (don't even ask, I'd never heard of them before)

    ok so now for what I'm looking for:

    I need to find a 5.1 setup with dolby digital and DTS surround, including speakers and a sub, with inputs for all the existing AV equipment, for $400 or (preferably) less. This has to be something that won't wear out within a couple years, once she's set with it she probably won't be upgrading again for quite some time (my guess is 10 to 15 years, about the lifecycle of the TV.)

    sorry for the long post, but hopefully I gave enough info to get some sound advice (pun intended) from you all. Thanks a bunch in advance!
     
  2. 04

    04 Guest

    Well for 400 dollars, I wouldnt expect much better than the TV speakers unfortunatly. How important is surround sound? I would just say to spend 150 dollars on a stereo or surround receiver and then the remaining 250 dollars on a decent pair of stereo speakers. If you ask me, 2 channels of good quality is a lot better than 5.1 channels of crap...

    However, I do understand that many people simply want 5 channels of audio, and therefore, if thats what she wants, I am sure we can help you find a HTIB that would work.
     
  3. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I agree with the "2 good channels are better than 5.1 bad ones" theory- which is why my personal setup is what it is. What I don't know about these HTIB setups is just how "bad" they really are (haven't had much listening time, especially in a good listening environment.)

    I guess what I want to know is what I'd be better off doing, getting a mid-range AV surround reciever for $200, buying a center channel and sub for another $200, and waiting on the front and rear sattelites, or just go for an HTIB now?

    (reason I say I could wait on the sattelites is she has 2 sets of these KDC's that sound "good-enough" to get by on considering its not that big of a room and the volume rarely gets turned up more than half-way.)
     
  4. ap

    ap New Member

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    Just get her a home theater in a box. While I respect all of the audio-philes, there really is no better option for those whom simply want decent sound on a budget. There are plenty of home theaters in a box out there for $400, with sound quality and performance that will blow your mom's current set-up away. She will be pleased with this setup, and it makes a lot more sense than getting your mom half a system. I doubt she will crank the system high enough to escape clarity more than a few times in the next 15 years.... AND most of your moms music/movies won't take advantage of the resources within audiophile systems.

    Make sure you examin this from your moms needs/wants, and not what you would need/want in a system.

    BTW: All of the women I know whom have elaborate home theater systems (bought by their husbands) don't even bother using it/turning it on, because its not worth it, or they don't really care, or they don't want to take the time to learn it, or they become overwhelmed with the process necessary to work it.

    Ask any woman. She would rather have something simply work from the get-go instead of having to mess around with complication only to gain a slight increase in quality which she has no concern or use for. jm2c
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2003
  5. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    hmm..... good point. Next question is, who makes the best system for that price range? I keep seeing Kenwood advertised locally :dunno:
     
  6. Specialist23

    Specialist23 OT Supporter

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    that's gotta be one of the weirdest setups ever...
     
  7. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    hey, whatever sounds good, weird or not.

    besides, who are you to judge and then not offer advice on the issue at hand here? :rolleyes:
     
  8. 04

    04 Guest

    Specialist23, who are you talking about with the Rotel setup? Is that what you have? You quoted yourself and then said it is wierd? :confused:
     
  9. BlackHBDX

    BlackHBDX The grey fixer

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    Well, for $400, you aren't going to be able to do very much other than a "home theater in a box" setup (which would be easier for her to use but they usually don't sound very good for music, just movies). But for say $600, you could get a $200 reciever, a $200 pair of floorstanding speakers (or keep the existing speakers if they still put out good sound), and use the other $200 for the center channel, surrounds, and sub. Just some ideas.
     
  10. Specialist23

    Specialist23 OT Supporter

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    sorry, here's what i meant. with rotel setup, honestly probably being one of the best setups one could get without spending thousands upon thousands, and then to get cerwin's, well to me it just doesn't seem right. but what do i know, i only sell the stuff.........
     
  11. Specialist23

    Specialist23 OT Supporter

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    btw, if you mom got the a-42 model, then she either purchased it at best buy or an equivilent. reason being, you could've went to a "better" store and purchased a better version of that tv @ the same price. once again, what do i know, i only sell these things everyday...

    for advice, there's a great yamaha piece that's going for about $500 right now. original price being $1000. it sounds amazing, but that's what we're selling it for @ ultimate electronics. just thought i would let you know...
     

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