New HT - complete comparison - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 9 Old 02-20-08, 09:23 PM
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New HT - complete comparison

Hey, well this will be my first post

I'm looking to set up a home theater and I've been to a couple of places in town that sell higher end systems. I'm looking for something better than a Best Buy option, but not to spend too much (I realize TV + Receiver for me will be about 5k, so 7k including speakers would be a good setup).

I've made 2 trips:

At K&W this is the package that they had me look at when I went over what I wanted:

Sharp Aquos (the 82U one) for 3499 (I'm comparing against Sony XBR4)
Yamaha RXV 1800 1299
Definitive Technologies studio monitor 350's (little over 2k)

At General Audio this is what they suggested:
Denon 3808 (the original receiver I was looking at) 1799 - but said would match 1499 at soundsaround - where I found it cheaper.
TV - no option, only a 7k Planar tv he said was above "consumer grade" and they put in the Abrams tanks. Mine is for a house, not a tank, so I'm not sure why I'd spend twice the money even though he said this one would last 15 years, and not 5.

Speakers - Paradigm DSP series (the small guys).

I want to buy the package all at one store so I can get a discount (going to post a thread with bargaining tactics if there are any secrets!).

Just wondering what people think.

1) General Audio guy said he doesn't like Yamaha Receivers, where the K&W guy said he thinks its superior to Denon (go figure, why would they promote their own brand?!) So I'm looking for unbiased opinions on each of these.

2)TV - Aquos or Sony XBR4 ? I've heard all around the sony is a better TV, but the Aquos is better on paper, isn't it?

3) Speakers - I don't know either brands as I have not been keeping in the loop for several years.. reviews on either would be great.
- note that for the Def Tech speaker setup I would likely do a tower speaker for the front speakers rather than a bookshelf speaker there. Is there a huge difference in sound quality with a tower over a bookshelf? The only reason I'd go bookshelf is so I could wall mount it eventually, unless I'm getting much better value on the tower speaker then I would go that route.

Thats a huge amount of questions, so on this thread I will keep the opinions to the package as a whole, and post a couple other threads for the comparison of speakers and one for the receiver, and one for the TV I'll post those links here so this review can be highly organized.



Click here to see a picture of what the space looks like that I will be installing this into.

Specific Threads:
Speakers: none yet.

Last edited by bswiftly; 02-20-08 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Adding a picture of the home theater setup in google sketchup
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-21-08, 01:56 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

It sounds like K&W has the complete system where General does not, so I am not sure what the comparison would be if you want to purchase everything from one store. The package K&W offers would give you a nice system.

I would suggest you won't notice any sound quality difference between the Denon and Yamaha receivers that you are looking at when setup identically to each other, unless one is coloring the sound. Where you may notice a difference is between the auto-eq of each unit, since they are different. It is hard to say which is better because there are varying results by users, which are probably a result of the numerous room variations between users. It would probably boil down to features.

The difference between the tower and bookshelf speakers are going to mainly be extension in the lower regions. There may be some other subjective differences. If you can listen to them in the store, you should be able to A/B them and tell the differences.

Did you have a sub planned?

You are looking to put together a complete home theater system, therefore I moved this thread to our Home Theater Systems forum.

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post #3 of 9 Old 02-21-08, 06:43 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

Hey thanks.

Well, K&W actually doesn't have the Sony - I thought they did but found out today they don't.

I'm now thinking of going with some Def Tech tower speakers, without a sub (as they produce quite a bit of bass). I'm not sure what the best speaker system would be though.. I listened to the Def Tech towers today hooked up to a yamaha z11 and they sounded good...although very bassy - which is good for movies. They sounded very clear as well.

I guess I'm not sure what to think when someone tells me a tower speaker is better value than a shelf speaker if I packaged it up with a sub...

So its 2 towers for 1500, or the shelf speakers with a sub.

The shelfs will be sitting on a floor mount anyways, so I'm not really sure here. If you look at the setup of my TV in the picture there, you can see my predicament. I can't hang the speakers off to the side of the TV at all, so they'll likely be sitting on the floor under the TV.
post #4 of 9 Old 02-21-08, 06:46 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

The tower speakers are these:

They are "Super Towers" (woooo) BP 7006
post #5 of 9 Old 02-21-08, 08:02 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

With definitive's power towers you are also getting their bipolar design which is awesome IMO. A lot of times dealers will crank up the bass on those towers for a wow effect, but when they are set properly they will blend in as they are supposed to.

As for the Sharp vs Sony and the Denon vs Yamaha - They are all top notch and you really won't notice a day to day difference between the performance of each. If I were you I'd look at the features you will use a lot; input switching, volume control, channel trim controls, surround modes, digital inputs, picture settings and controls and any other tweaks you might find yourself looking for often. In my experience the Sony tv's are hands down the most idiot proof and intuitive where as I personally struggle to even select the right antenna on a sharp lcd. I also find myself always adjusting the subwoofer level on my receiver so I appreciate how easy that is to do. Whatever you chose you are looking at some killer stuff!
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-21-08, 08:28 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

Thanks man, that makes me feel a lot better spending 7k lol

As for features - I'm not well versed on them... I guess without sitting down in a showroom for a couple hours with each receiver to figure that out - I am not sure. I hear the Denon is more of a music speaker (coming from guys who only sell Yamaha) and the Yamaha processing is a little better.

As objective as you can get - what features would I notice in each receiver? I know the Denon has a cat5 input, but I'm not really sure about other features. Any thoughts on features I wouldn't be able to find until I'm sitting on my couch a month down the road?
post #7 of 9 Old 02-22-08, 07:35 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

So the Sharp 82U TV is discontinued, and I am now comparing the 92U.

I read somewhere that the 92U doesn't have "TRUE" 120hz and that it has to convert. I can't seem to find anything on the forums about this..
post #8 of 9 Old 02-27-08, 03:26 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

I am running the Denon 3808 and it is a great receiver, I have even loaded it down with about 1.5 ohms(3 center channels one of which is 6 ohm) and it kept on ticking. I am running it with Axiomaudio M80s and everything sounds amazing.

I was able to get Soundsaround down to almost $1200 so it might be worth while to haggle a bit.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-27-08, 04:43 PM
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Re: New HT - complete comparison

For a receiver there are several that are good. Denon Yamaha and Onkyo are among that list. My personal preference is the Onkyo TX SR875. its a huge step up from the others as far as bang for buck and includes the HQV Reon video processor and has a Toroidal Power Supply. You can find it here in the Shack store for less than $1200

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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