Got $2500 for Home Theater, does this sound good?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Beason, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Beason

    Beason They call me "The Stig"

    Aug 11, 2003
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    The Reciever - Sony STR-DE895 - $378.99
    Built-in Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, DTS ES and DTS:Neo6 surround sound decoders
    100W x 6 @ 8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.7% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)
    32-bit DSP with 13 acoustic environments ¿ 3 movie modes, 3 music modes, 6 AFD (Auto Format Decoding) modes, 2-channel mode
    Inputs: 2 sets component video, 3 S-video (1 front, 2 rear), 5 composite A/V (1 front, 4 rear), 5 digital audio (4 optical, 1 coaxial), assignable digital, 5.1- and 6.1-channel analog, 3 analog audio, speaker terminals, phono and line-level inputs
    Outputs: component video, 1 S-video, 2 sets composite A/V, 1 optical digital audio, 1 analog audio, subwoofer pre-out, 2 switched AC outlets and headphone jack

    DVD Changer - Sony DVP-NC665P 5-Disc Progressive-Scan - $179.99

    Floor Speakers - JBL Northridge E90 Dual 8" - $757
    3-way magnetically shielded speaker with dual 8" PolyPlas woofers
    3/4 titanium-laminate dome tweeter
    225-watt power maximum handling
    Sensitivity: 91dB
    Impedance: 8 ohms
    Frequency response: 36Hz - 20kHz

    Rear Speakers - JBL Northridge 2 way 6" - $245
    Pair of 2-way magnetically shielded speakers with 6" PolyPlas woofers
    3/4" titanium-laminate-dome tweeter
    Amplifier power: 125 watts
    FreeFlow flared port
    Gold-plated 5-way binding posts
    Black finish with charcoal grille
    Frequency response: 50Hz - 20kHz
    Sensitivity: 88dB
    Impedance: 8 ohms

    Center-Channel Speaker - JBL Dual 5" $189
    Magnetically shielded to prevent picture distortion when placed atop a TV or monitor
    Power-handling capacity: 300 watts peak, 75 watts RMS (continuous) @ 8 ohms
    Frequency response: 80Hz - 20kHz
    Sensitivity: 90dB

    Subwoofer - JBL Northridge E Series 10" Powered Subwoofer $350
    10" 150-watt front-firing subwoofer
    Inputs are line-level (switchable to LFE) and speaker-level with 5-way binding posts
    Outputs are speaker-level, high-pass with 5-way binding posts

    When you do the math it comes to be just over $2000 and the other $400 is for misc. cables, connectors amd floor stands.

    How does this sound? I dont need a top of the line reciever that is over $500 just want something that can give me surround sound and hook up multiple inputs too. I have owned a pair of JBL speakers were before and they sounded great and had good durability. So if any has any comments, suggestions, warnings please feel free.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2004
  2. Specialist23

    Specialist23 Active Member OT Supporter

    Aug 8, 2003
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    Stay Away From Sony. End Of Thread...
  3. 04

    04 Guest

    Looks good to me :cool:

    What speaker brands have you looked at though? You may want to sample a few others to see what you like best.

    Also, if you are going to have a subwoofer, you might want to just buy 4 of those smaller bookshelf speakers and use them all around, since they wont need to play below ~80hz or so, because the subwoofer will be covering that range.
  4. Letifo

    Letifo Moderator Moderator

    Jun 27, 2002
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    i agree, compared to other speakers in the same price range i was personally disappointed in how the JBLs sounded.
  5. psychonate

    psychonate I make baby jesus cry

    Sep 1, 2003
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    Richmond VA
    good god man it looks like you spend to much time at bestbuy.... eh sounds like me :)

    I would look at the Athena speakers @ bestbuy much better sounding then the JBLs in my opinion.
  6. Jazz

    Jazz Powerhouse of the Scrum

    Mar 14, 2000
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    Vancouver, BC
    If I was going to spend that much on a home theater setup I'd go with:

    Harman Kardon AVR525: $574 + ~$30 shipping

    Great reciever for the price and lets you go with a 7.1 setup in the future if you wish. You could also use the 2 extra channels to power two speakers in a seperate room as the receiver is capable of doing a second zone setup (I think it even comes with a second zone remote). This lets you to send one input to 5 channels in your main room and a seperate input to 2 channels in another room. It is rated at 70W per channel, but HK is one of the few manufacturers completely honest with their power ratings. This receiver will give you a minimum of 70W per channel across the entire frequency range (20Hz-20KHz) while driving all channels at 8 ohms. Other manufacturers rate a power rating with maybe only one channel being driven or at one certain frequncy (or both!). For comparison the Harman Kardon AVR510 was rated at 70W per channel and was tested by sound and vision magazine at 74W per channel @ clipping while the Sony STR-DB1070 was rated at 100W per channel but put out 31W per channel @ clipping. I know these aren't the two receivers talked about in this thread, but it gives you a rough idea of how honest the manufacturer claims are. The 525 suggested retail price is actually $999, but is last years model so it can be had for a steal right now comlete with the 2 year factory warranty. As a result it's no longer on the Harman Kardon website, but it falls in between the current AVR430 and AVR630 in terms of power and features (but doesn't come in the pretty silver).

    DVD player:
    Pioneer DV-563A: ~200 shipped from many places

    Not a changer, but allows you do read DVD-Audio and SACD discs and still gives great picture performance.,,2076_15020669_2046370,00.html

    Front speakers:
    Axiom M22ti: $360 shipped from the factory outlet plus matching stands for $79.

    Compared to speakers costing 3 times as much in reviews and comes out very respectably. The main downfall is the bass response, but this is not an issue for a system with a sub. These speakers are so well respected that if you call Axiom, they will actually try to convince you to downgrade in price to these from the M40ti and M50ti towers. The M22ti uses the same drivers as the M60ti. One of many equally complimental reviews:

    Center channel:
    Axiom VP150: $315 shipped from the factory outlet.

    Don't go with a budget center. IMHO it is a much more important speaker in home theater setups than the surrounds. The VP150 is nicely timbre matched to the M22 mains which is an important consideration. You may never notice unmatched surrounds, but an unmatched center will make itself apparent in almost all recordings.

    Axiom QS4: $279 shipped from the factory outlet.

    A quadrapole surround that will create a nice diffuse sound when setup properly.

    Manufaturer M22ti site:
    Manufaturer VP150 site:
    Manufaturer QS4 site:
    Link to Axiom factory outlet:
    The speakers can't be auditioned anywhere, but Axiom offers a 30 day trial can try them at home for 30 days and if you don't like them you can return them for a full refund (minus return shipping).

    HSU STF-2: $399 + $25 shipping

    I've never heard it myself, but it seems to be an almost unanimous decision among many home theater forums along with Adire Rava in this price range.

    The total for the above setup comes to ~$2250 shipped to your door. If you don't want such a high end receiver you could go with the HK AVR325 from OneCall for $441, saving you $'s essentially the same receiver, but rated at 50W per channel as opposed to 70 and is comparable to the current AVR330. As for possible upgrades, you could go with M60ti towers in place of the M22's for an extra $280 when you consider the fact that you don't need stands, but I'd personally stick with the M22's

    For speaker cable I'd look at:
    It's $98 for a 500 foot spool of 12 guage wire CL3R rated for inwall use if you so desire. I'd also check into your local Home Depot. Don't buy into the expensive cable hype. IMHO you won't be able to tell the difference between good 12 guage wire and the more exotic stuff...I'd rather spend that money on better components.
  7. MagiusX

    MagiusX Don't let the man keep you down

    Jan 30, 2003
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    Brew City, USA
    Stay away from Sony, you will be disappointed in the long run. I was. I am in the process of upgrading as well.

    The JBLs are nice speakers and also what I was looking at getting. I ended up going with Athena. To me they just sounded better. Sound is a very subjective thing though so just get whatever sounds best to you.

    The Pioneer DV-563A that was recommend is the best sub-$200 player you are going to find. Best Buy has it for $179.99

    I would look into a receiver from Harman Kardon, Denon or Onkyo they will all blow away that Sony.

    As far as the sub goes order one from the internet. You will get a MUCH better sub for the same price.

    Don't make the Sony mistake. EVERYTHING in my current system is Sony (except for my 2 week old Athena speakers) and now that I have heard/seen what else is out there my Sony stuff just seems like crap.

    Head on over to and do a little research for yourself. The guys there are very friendly and willing to offer their help.

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