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Hello,
Well if you do not have a 3D Blu-Ray Player, that would be a good thing to add. For $500, you could get an OPPO BDP-93 which is a truly fantastic BDP. That being said, you can spend around $100 and get the job done quite well. If wanting to spend less than the price of the OPPO, I would check out a Panasonic BDP. You can get a very good one for around $150.
Cheers,
J
 

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I'll trust your judgment haha - height speakers will definitely be much easier in terms of speaker placement for me.

So based on all your wonderful suggestions, here's my list:

Display: Mitsubishi WD-92840 92" 3d projection tv (~$2,700)

Audio:
Fronts/Rears/Heights: SVS SBS-02 x 3 pairs (~$450)
Center: SVS SCS-02 (~$100)
Subwoofer: HSU VTF-2 MK4 (~$585 w/ shipping)
Receiver: temporarily Marantz SR6006 (~$870)

Amazingly, this comes out to around $4705 (even with some small rounding up), which is still around $300 less than my $5000 budget! And this is not accounting for whatever cash I'll be able get for selling my old Denon AVR-789, Polk CS2, and Polk PSW10 - I was thinking hopefully around $200 for all 3 things, which would give me around $500 extra. Obviously, I could just count all of this as "savings," but I was wondering if anyone had some more ideas about small upgrades that would be good (if there's anything that would help make a difference with spending a little more). Thanks everyone!!!!
I would take that $500 and invest it in a Oppo 93 - it truly is worth the price. I cannot even begin to say enough wonderful things about mine.....
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Hello,
Well if you do not have a 3D Blu-Ray Player, that would be a good thing to add. For $500, you could get an OPPO BDP-93 which is a truly fantastic BDP. That being said, you can spend around $100 and get the job done quite well. If wanting to spend less than the price of the OPPO, I would check out a Panasonic BDP. You can get a very good one for around $150.
Cheers,
J
I would take that $500 and invest it in a Oppo 93 - it truly is worth the price. I cannot even begin to say enough wonderful things about mine.....
Hmm I actually already have a Panasonic blu-ray player, and I watch more from my htpc, so I can't exactly justify spending $500 on the oppo - maybe later when I accumulate more blu-rays. I'm definitely happy with just saving that money as well haha. As soon as I get the final "ok" I'm going to buy those svs speakers soon!

Thanks JJ + ALMFamily for all your help!!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I was doing some more research today, and I was wondering if it'd be worth it to get SCS-02 Mains for the two fronts as opposed to SBS-02s? (Still SBS-02s for the heights and rears.)
 

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I was doing some more research today, and I was wondering if it'd be worth it to get SCS-02 Mains for the two fronts as opposed to SBS-02s? (Still SBS-02s for the heights and rears.)
That is an excellent idea. Ideally, I would use the SCS-02's for Mains and Surrounds and the SBS's for Height Channels. Or if you are getting to close to going over your budget, upgrading to SCS's for Mains and Surrounds and not doing the Height Channel.

Personally, I have stuck with 5.1/5.2 for almost the entire time. Granted using 5 foot tall Electrostatic Speakers for Mains and Surrounds makes it pretty difficult to setup more than a 5.2 HT. However, prior to my current HT Speakers, I was using Paradigm Studio 100 V2's for Mains and Surrounds. Much of this is due to the importance of SACD (DSD) to me.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #26
That is an excellent idea. Ideally, I would use the SCS-02's for Mains and Surrounds and the SBS's for Height Channels. Or if you are getting to close to going over your budget, upgrading to SCS's for Mains and Surrounds and not doing the Height Channel.

Personally, I have stuck with 5.1/5.2 for almost the entire time. Granted using 5 foot tall Electrostatic Speakers for Mains and Surrounds makes it pretty difficult to setup more than a 5.2 HT. However, prior to my current HT Speakers, I was using Paradigm Studio 100 V2's for Mains and Surrounds. Much of this is due to the importance of SACD (DSD) to me.
Cheers,
JJ
Great! I think I'll get the 2 pairs of SCS-02's then - with those on sale as well, this still puts me at around $4900, so $100 below my budget of $5000, even without considering selling my old components.

Another thing - the height channels obviously will have to be wall mounted, but for the mains and surrounds, do people generally prefer speaker stands or wall mounting? Just from some quick googling, there doesn't seem to be a strong consensus.

Thanks so much!
 

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Speaker Stands without question or doubt. I am not sure where you looked, but In Walls represent a pretty big compromise in respect to Acoustics. It is often done to assuage ones Wife and for folks where the Interior Decorator reigns over all decisions. Moreover, the SVS's are not even In Wall Speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Speaker Stands without question or doubt. I am not sure where you looked, but In Walls represent a pretty big compromise in respect to Acoustics. It is often done to assuage ones Wife and for folks where the Interior Decorator reigns over all decisions. Moreover, the SVS's are not even In Wall Speakers.
Oh no I think you misunderstood me - I meant just wall-mounted - so getting a wall bracket to hang the speakers. I would definitely not put these speaker in wall. If wall-mounting them would also severely compromise the acoustics, I'll go with the stands.
 

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Sorry. Indeed I did. I was talking to Comcast while answering that post. Sorry for the mistake. Many Stand Mounted Speakers do sound better when placed close to the Back Wall to provide more Bass. It is one of those things where you should try multiple placements until you decide what sounds best to you.
 

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How about another HSU sub? Can never have to many.
Great call. At least the remaining budget is being put towards upgrading the Loudspeakers which is the 1a or 1b to adding a 2nd VTF-2.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Great call. At least the remaining budget is being put towards upgrading the Loudspeakers which is the 1a or 1b to adding a 2nd VTF-2.
Ah I actually just placed the order from svs (started getting a little afraid that somehow the sale would end) for 2 pairs of scs-02 mains, scs-02 center, and a pair of sbs-02 for heights. Upgrading to the scs-02s for fronts and heights was only $200 more (when I had $300 left), but adding a second VTF-2 would put me over... I guess that could be the next thing I work towards (also depending on how much I sell my old stuff).

Thanks guys! I'm so excited for the speakers; don't know what I'm going to do having to just see them sitting in their boxes in my apt for 4 months..... I'll have to hide them away haha
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thinking about the speakers, I have another question about placement for the surrounds. Where I'll be sitting, there is no right wall. The separation is kind of like an "archway," where there is a little bit of overhang. This means I could (1) either get brackets to mount the two surrounds up high (around 8 ft) and angle them towards the sofa, (2) put them on speaker stands/mount in the rear corners of the room (which would seem to result in a larger angle than prescribed for surrounds), or (3) mount them on the rear wall.

Which is preferable acoustically? (mainly high up just a little behind the seating area, or at ear level, but at a sharper angle)
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Hello,
Congratulations on the Condo. For $5000, we can help you put together a stellar HT. While I do think Polk makes a quality Speaker, I would personally sell them and put the proceeds towards the project.

As hjones pointed out, Ambient Light must be hugely attenuated for a Projector to operate properly. Otherwise, the Picture will be completely washed out during any Daytime Viewing such as watching NCAA/NFL Games on the Weekend.

If you have a space that can be made completely dark, Projectors are just an amazing experience and after watching a 100" Screen at home, it is next to impossible to be happy with anything else.

That being said, a Projector and Retractable Screen is going to represent a very large amount of your budget.

If Ambient Light is an issue, Mitsubishi's DLP Microdisplays are quite cost effective and work great in Rooms where light is an issue. For instance, for $1899 you can get a 3D 73 inch Mitsubishi Diamond from Best Buy that is actually sold at their upscale Magnolia Home Theater Area:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Mitsubishi+-+Diamond+840+-+73"+Class+-+DLP+Projection+-+1080p+-+60Hz+-+Smart+-+3D+-+HDTV/3754769.p?id=1218663290907&skuId=3754769&st=mitsubishi&cp=2&lp=1

Truth be told, if purchased Online you could get that TV for even less. Also, Mitsubishi makes a 92 Inch Microdisplay as well, but it would eat up too much of your budget. However, it might be possible for find a 2011 92 Inch Mitsubishi heavily discounted Online. Another great thing about Mitsubishi is they only charge $99 for a Replacement Lamp whereas many Projector Lamps cost close to $300.

Regardless of which direction you decide to go, we will do everything possible to help you.
Cheers,
JJ
I actually have a new question - previously, I was pretty set on the mitsubishi, but today, I went to look at a friend's setup with an Epson Powerlite 8350 projector, and even with ambient light (as well as almost direct light) + just being projected on a white wall, I actually found it to be reasonable (especially when we put it on a higher setting). Since I will watch primarily at night + I'll get room darkening honeycomb shades, I was just wondering how much a nice projector + screen combination would actually cost, or alternatively, how nice a projector + screen could I get for around $2600 (i.e. the price of the tv). Note that I would need to get a retractable screen, which JJ mentioned could be kind of pricey. I just wanted to get some more information + do some more research before finalizing my decisions.

Any help on this would be amazing! Thanks everyone!
 

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Hello,
While it will slightly take you over budget, the Sony VPL-30HWES SXRD Projector is available currently for $2649 at Amazon. It has won countless awards and is honestly quite impressive as I have recommended it to several friends.

As for a Screen, you have many choices ranging from DIY to come closer to reaching your budget or Da-Lite, Stewart and many others make excellent Projector Screens.
Cheers,
J
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Hello,
While it will slightly take you over budget, the Sony VPL-30HWES SXRD Projector is available currently for $2649 at Amazon. It has won countless awards and is honestly quite impressive as I have recommended it to several friends.

As for a Screen, you have many choices ranging from DIY to come closer to reaching your budget or Da-Lite, Stewart and many others make excellent Projector Screens.
Cheers,
J
Ah I see - so the tv would be quite a bit more cost effective as well - I think I'll stick with that then. Thanks JJ!
 

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Hello,
Well there certainly are cheaper Projectors. I just think if you are going to do it, get the best you can possibly afford. The Sony is really special and some Projection Screens are fairly inexpensive and would not take you too far off your budget. And of course you could get a less expensive DLP or LCD Projector and easily meet your stated budget. It is just after seeing the HW30ES many times, the Black Levels are so good that it is hard for me to recommend anything else near its price.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks JJ! The projector would definitely be nice, but since I would also have to get a motorized screen (that would be reasonable even in ambient light), the cost would be quite a bit higher. If I ended up getting a less expensive projector with lower quality, I might as well stick with the Mitsubishi TV (which seems to have quite good picture quality as well?). I just wanted to better understand my options - if I'm ever able to get a dedicated room + save up more, of course I would choose the best I could afford. I was only wondering if there would be an option that would be priced around the tv, but offered better picture quality. The Sony may very well be, but together with the screen, would also cost much more.

Going back to speaker placement though (just in case someone has some insight) - in a dsx (heights 7.1) setup, if it is difficult for me to put the surrounds on speaker stands, would it be better if I ceiling mounted at the right angle, or put them in the back corners?
 

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Thanks JJ! The projector would definitely be nice, but since I would also have to get a motorized screen (that would be reasonable even in ambient light), the cost would be quite a bit higher. If I ended up getting a less expensive projector with lower quality, I might as well stick with the Mitsubishi TV (which seems to have quite good picture quality as well?). I just wanted to better understand my options - if I'm ever able to get a dedicated room + save up more, of course I would choose the best I could afford. I was only wondering if there would be an option that would be priced around the tv, but offered better picture quality. The Sony may very well be, but together with the screen, would also cost much more.

Going back to speaker placement though (just in case someone has some insight) - in a dsx (heights 7.1) setup, if it is difficult for me to put the surrounds on speaker stands, would it be better if I ceiling mounted at the right angle, or put them in the back corners?
Hello,
I would at least try the back corner before going In Wall. I am honestly impressed with the Mitsubishi DLP's for their value and for being the only company to stick with Microdisplays. In addition, I love that Mitsubishi only charges $99 for a Replacement Lamp whereas Front Projector Lamps can cost a small fortune.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Hello,
I would at least try the back corner before going In Wall. I am honestly impressed with the Mitsubishi DLP's for their value and for being the only company to stick with Microdisplays. In addition, I love that Mitsubishi only charges $99 for a Replacement Lamp whereas Front Projector Lamps can cost a small fortune.
Cheers,
JJ
Yeah I think I'll stick with the tv for now + try out different locations for the speakers once I move in.

Earlier, someone did recommend adding an extra subwoofer. Do you think it would make a big difference in my room? I'm planning on getting the HSU VTF-2 MK4 you recommended, but 2 of them would get pretty expensive - would it be more preferable to just stick with the MK4 or get two smaller, cheaper subwoofers?
 
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