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How much have you spent total on your Home Theater setup?

  • Under $1,000

    Votes: 2 4.0%
  • Between $1,000 and $2,000

    Votes: 4 8.0%
  • Between $2,000 and $5,000

    Votes: 21 42.0%
  • Over $5,000

    Votes: 9 18.0%
  • Over $10,000

    Votes: 13 26.0%
  • Don't ask, even I can't count that high!

    Votes: 1 2.0%

  • Total voters
    50
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Discussion Starter #1
Granted most of us in here and on forums tend to be slightly more savvy on the whole HT thing than the general public, but do the Home Theater mags really have their finger on the pulse of reality?

I saw an article for a budget Home Theater that was DIY and the budget- a mere $50,000. Then I saw another article about a $10K DVD player, not a High Def player (well it upconverts) or a dual format player, but just an upconverting DVD player. And yes... they say it was incredible and a bargain.

Some people think I am nuts for having both a Bluray player and and HD DVD player as well as a 55" SXRD and a 106" projector setup, but I assure everyone I put my system together over a period of time and did not spend anywhere near $50K on it.

Some, even a few on here may scoff at my system, but all together I think I have less than $5K in everything. Some of the components may have some age on them like the Bose 501's I got for $45 back in '85, but they still perform exceptionally well and in my opinion better than a lot of the tiny bass challenged slim line speakers out now- including Bose' own Acoustimass system.

I don't feel that I am a novice or have something on par with HTIB, but sometimes these magazines make me feel like I have a slum system since I don't have $200/foot speaker wire or a $20K DVD player. I sit back and look at my system and think, 'Man it looks great, could $45,000 really make it that much better?'

Personally, I think not. Yes I could have the newest of everything available, but sometimes new brings lots of bugs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I am just wondering if I am that much out of the loop on things and the average person or even the average person on here has systems like they showcase in the magazines.

I thought it would be an interesting thread if nothing else. ;)
 

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It's probably more like a $30,000 system to us, since a professional installer installed it and made $20,000 profit. :sarcastic: Actually I in no way know that to be true and it's a mile long exaggeration, but I suggest many homeowners do exaggerate the value of their home theaters. You and I are the diy'er and we shop for bargains, best bang for the buck. If I were wealthy and had the extra money and spending it didn't concern me all that much, I'd hire it out and buy nothing but the high dollar stuff. Would that $50,000 system sound $45,000 better than the $5,000 system, probably not ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I spent plenty of time over seas when I was in the military and one thing that time provides is plenty of boredom! Boredom turns to fantasy thinking (no not that kind!) and then self reflection.

I know I will never have the money that Bill Gates has, but I have daydreamed about winning the lottery and I have realized that I love to research things and look for the best value. So for me personally, I'd still be a bargain/value/performance hound, but just one that had money!

Sonnie I agree that even in the mags for the 'DIY' features they always have contractors and that's big bucks right there, but the $20K DVD player blew my mind. (Okay okay, it was two units, a DVD transport and then the output, still a lot of money to me) I'll have to find the magazine and article on that one.

I've seen some pretty amazing home systems that people put together for pennies on the dollar of what I see in the mags. Granted I know they are also trying to sell advertiser space and with that pitch some outrageous systems, but my point and question is all that extra money really an improvement? I'm sure it would improve my current setup some, but I am realistic and know I can't afford the things they call 'bargains'. I somehow doubt that many can.

My system... when my son was up he had a friend over an they were getting ready to go out running around. I forget what I had on but it started raining in the movie and there was a thunder clap. His friend looked across to the window in the adjacent living room to see if it had started raining and ruined their plans. I was pleased!

So I guess I am saying if things like that, or my wife getting up to answer the phone because it really sounded like it was our phone ringing and not the one on the movie... how much better and realistic can it get? When does the placebo effect come in and at what dollar amount?

Again, I thought this was an interesting topic, but then again, my wife also says I'm strange!
 

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Well I'm well over $10k since I started with an unfinished basement. So when adding up all the materials... :spend:. There were only two things I didn't do myself and that was the rough-in plumbing (hate doing waste lines - vents) and the sheetrocking. So adding it all up... :spend:

mech
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah that can add up.

We're deciding if we are going to stay in NY or move back to PA. If we stay here I will be adding a room onto the house for a dedicated entertainment room and that will dramatically raise the price of things, but still I feel my actual components will be well under anything I have seen as 'budget' systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mech, check this out, I have been playing around with it and it's pretty cool...Sketchup.

I'm sure you've seen this but it's a very slick program for doing design layout for exactly what you are doing right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wayne I'm digging up some of the more outragious articles now! Some of these are mind benders of what they say is a bargin system, and... made me feel oh so poor! ;)
 

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I'm about $12,000 just in equipment, one 50" RP LCD monitor, One AV receiver, one DVD player, one center, two mains, two surrounds, and one sub. For the most part, yes... I think many of the mags are out of touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mark does that count a room addition, acoustic treatments... or just components?

I think this thread might start to be of interest to members joining to get a feel for what us 'common' people do and how we set things up.

Once I move or build an addition on, my budget will be through the roof and some will say it's unrealistic, but the bulk of it will be construction costs which to me does make sense as the total cost of things.
 

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$10k for components, speakers, TV, etc., isn't all that hard to do.

$20k for a DVD player is crazy.

Guess it just depends on what you want, how much of a budget you're on, and so on.

I've been reading Stereophile lately. I've found they run the gamut. I've seen nice reviews for $300/pr speakers, $1,500/pr speakers and others. But their "Product of the Year" for 2006 was a $100K (yes, that's $100,000) turntable. Now that's super-crazy!

I read "Home Theater" from around Thanksgiving last year. They did a review of the Anthem Statement D2, which is about $5k. They were talking about "normal" TVs, and stuff. They reviewed the Outlaw RR2150 receiver and Totem speakers. All pretty much normal stuff.

So I guess it just depends.
 
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Well my girl thought I was crazy when I bought a krell 3250 which I ended up selling about 4 months later lol. Currently I got about 10 grand into my setup but I know it would be over 20 grand if best buy/magnolia was to build a similar system..
 

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Mech, check this out, I have been playing around with it and it's pretty cool...Sketckup.

I'm sure you've seen this but it's a very slick program for doing design layout for exactly what you are doing right now.
I have it installed on my laptop but I haven't had much time to play with it. It seems like a pretty good program for free! :bigsmile:

mech
 

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I'd guess component wise I'm under $5k easily. My goal was to build the theater first with a good projector and then come back later and spruce things up a bit audio-wise. I think I found the right forum for that! :bigsmile: But my money tree didn't produce enough this year so.... :rolleyesno:

mech
 

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Mark does that count a room addition, acoustic treatments... or just components?
Nope,.. no nuthin' :bigsmile: Just a TV, receiver, DVD, and Speakers. And nothing top o the line,... just pretty decent equipment.

FWIW:

Mains ~$3000 Pictured to the left :cunning:
Center ~$900
Surrounds ~$1500
Sub ~$2300
TV ~$3200
Receiver ~$1200
DVD ~$129
 

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@ Value for the $$, I"ll put my system up against anyone.

$1200 51" Tosh RPCRT
$175 JBL S38ii (L&R)
$100 JBL S Center (C)
$100 JBL N24ii (LS&RS)
$250 Pioneer vsx-d850s
$115 Athena AS-P300 (Sub)
$150 BFD, Soundlevel Meter, misc
$220 Oppo 981
$300 12 OC703 Panels, DIY
$75 Tripp Lite HT Powerbar 10 Surge Protector
$100 Monoprice Cables
$20 Cinderblock Speaker Stands w/ fabric
$20 Staples cabinet on wheels for components
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$2825 Total

My HTPC that I just completed will add about $600.
 

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I think the law of diminishing returns kicks in somewhere well before $tens of thousands (in any countries currency). There will always be a difference in quality, but as the price goes higher that difference becomes much less observable. E.G a $20K dvd player may be better than a $400 dvd player, but you'd probably need specialist equipment to measure that difference.

I personally don't read magazines concerning HT or home entertainment simply becasue all I need to know can be found using the universal technology report index.
 

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The gear featured in all of those HT mags are so far out of reach for the average Joe. They aren't realistic at all on what the ordianry working stiff can afford and taking into account the WAF (wife aprroval factor for purchases). There needs to be a publication like Maxium PC for HT buffs. Anyway, I started out last September putting together a HT system. I didn't know what I was doing until I started reading all the forums that I could find on the internet. The only new componet that I have is my HDDVD AX2 player and HSU 3.3 Turbo sub. All the reast of my gear is used (7.2 system with JBL & Infinity speakers and Pioneer 74TXVi reciever), from craigslist and ebay. I have around 2300 into it so far.

Bill
 

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Slightly off topic I suppose as I only listen to stereo, but I think the same principles definitely apply, and YES I do think it;s an interesting topic, one of my major bugbears in fact!

Re the $20 000 player, I had a similar thing with cdp's years ago. Long story, but I auditioned side by side my el-cheapo Marantz cdp/minidisc against the (back then) $12000 MF tri-vist, ie $600 vs $12 000.

After an hour of comparing I finally started to hear the differences which whilst desirable were very subtle. Worth 20 times the price? Not on your nelly.

Added to that the DIY nature of a lot of people here as mentioned by Sonnie, I built my own speakers with quality drivers and have tri-amped them with the deqx. I use bog standard amps that I happened to have laying around (which the deqx corrects for as they form an integral part of the chain anyway) and not only do i have a system that holds it's own for a fraction of the price of some that are bandied around in the hi-fi press, it kills them.

Sure, I could be 'bigging me up', but I heard the Wilson Grand Slams ( I think they were) of course with dual Halcro amps and speaker cable as thick as your thigh and I was stunned. Rubbish. Maybe that is a tad melodramatic, but I suppose I formed that opinion precisely because I expected the system to sound like something worth (I dunno) $100 000.

If I'd heard it blind I might not have been so dismissive, but would not have come away impressed in any case.

I've often reflected on the minor sonic differences and price ratio of the cdps' I mentioned, and compared that with the HUGE differences back in my youth between a top of the line Marantz direct drive turntable compared with say the Rega 3, and then the HUGE differences again between that and the LP 12.

Seems today that with electronics the differences are not vast, and has been mentioned the diminishing returns very quickly sets in. Of course with turntables the differences become apparent because of mechanical engineering, not electrical engineering.

I mean, isn't it true that there are only a few different transports around? (feel I've heard that somewhere) In other words, more likely as not the transport that might be in the top of the line Meridian is the same one as in a very much cheaper player from somewhere else.

As I say, not HT but very much similar.
 
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