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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My BF is moving into a new apt and I wanted to get him a home theater system for Christmas. But, after reading some of the other threads I came to the realization that my budget of $500-600 would not be enough for a system that would be both great in quality and that would actually last few years. I WAS going to buy a HTiB, but thanks to this site I have been saved from the doom and gloom of purchasing a substandard system as a starter.

I don't know the square footage or the actual size of the room. But, I do know he is moving into a 1 bedroom apt and the system will be used in the living room. He is a gamer and we are both really into movies so would like to definitely enhance our movie watchign experience at home.

I REALLY want to get him a nice theater system, but my budget is pretty tight. So, I believe I only have a few options:

1. Buy him a nice receiver for christmas and then we can add the speakers later? (I was looking at the Onkyo ones, but I don't really know the difference amongst all the models)
2. Buy him the speakers and then the receiver?
3. Buy him an average receiver and maybe 2 speakers and he can add on later?

I don't really want to just get him a receiver or just speakers because it feels so incomplete... However, if that is the only way to work within my budget for what I want then I am all for it. I just want to get him a nice theater system or basically start him off with something really nice that he can add on to.

If anyone can give me ANY advice on how to tackle this problem, that would be great!

FYI - He already has a Samsung LCD hdtv and PS3.

Question: I heard that for Samsung TVs it is easier to just get the Samsung theater systems so they integrate better... how true is this??
Question: Are wireless rear speakers generally more expensive than the "regular" ones and do they generally cause more problems?


Thank you for taking time to read this! I feel like I'm all over the place, but I really have absolutely no idea on this subject, let alone anything about electronics... haha


All the Best,


Helen
 

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Helen, first off, welcome to the Shack!

As far as getting Samsung to match the Samsung LCD, that's not really true. Sure they will work together, but mixing and matching components can provide greater results.

While HTiB set ups are not the most idea, one company that I can recommend for HTiB set ups is Onkyo. Other than that, most of them are still only subpar.

I also would not really recommend getting wireless speakers because they just aren't that great, especially for home theater application (at least yet).

I think your idea of buying a receiver for Christmas is a good plan and then upgrading slowly as you go. The nice thing is if you buy one component at a time, you know how it affects the system, whereas if you buy everything all together then you have little to no clue what you would need to upgrade next. Plus, this way you give yourself a lot more flexibility since most Home Theater in a Box set ups are made to only really work with their own components, so switching things out becomes a lot more difficult.

I would suggest the receiver first because without the receiver, the speakers won't be able to be used. Also, get him a good receiver first, then as money allows buy the speakers. Even just buying two speakers (good quality) speakers later and slowly building upon that would be good, too.

If I were to prioritize things this is how I would do it:

1. Receiver
2. Front 2 Speakers
3. Subwoofer
4. Center Channel
5. Surround speakers
6. Possibly additional surround speakers for 7.1 (or higher) setup.

Hope this helps!
 

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Hello,
Helen, welcome to HomeTheaterShack. Your BF is a lucky man indeed.
I am so glad to see that you want to approach this as a quality over quantity proposition.

With 600 Dollars, I would start off with a receiver and a pair of quality speakers and Center Channel.
For speakers:http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sbs01.cfm
So that would be 149 for a pair of SBS-01 Speakers and 119 for the SCS-01 Center Channel.

For the receiver:http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...r607-7.2-channel-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
This Onkyo retails for 600 Dollars costs 339 and is fully up to date and will utterly trounce a HTIB.

So for 607 Dollars without shipping, you would have a quality receiver and 3 excellent speakers.
When your budget allows, simply add the surrounds and subwoofer and you will have a complete HT.

I know a subwoofer is of high importance to you, but a quality one will take up far too much of your budget. The Center Channel is positively huge in the items of importance in a HT.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you!! That helped a lot!

Do you have any recommendations on receivers for around $500?

I assume it would be Onkyo, but I could be wrong. I would want to choose the best receiver within my budget.
 

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Hello,
Helen, glad to be of help. If there are any other questions you have, please do not hesitate to ask.
The products recommended are truly of very high quality and tremendous value. If you wish to peruse reviews, there are links for Professional Reviews of the SVS Speakers on their website. For the Onkyo's, check out Ecoustics.com.
Ecoustics offers links for Professional Reviews of all manner of electronics. You can simply enter in the model name in the search box and it will provide links for
reviews.

I will finally point out that SVS is offering a package deal with a truly awesome subwoofer for 799:http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm
I realize this coupled with a receiver would be way out of your initial budget, but the package saves you almost 100 Dollars. All you would need are Speaker Stands, HDMI cables, one RCA Cable for the subwoofer and Speaker Cable and you would have a complete system. A truly excellent one that would outperform systems costing multiples of this systems asking price.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again! The links are great resources!

I do have a somewhat "technical" question and please forgive me if it's a stupid question - haha.

While reading the review on the Onky TX-SR806, I came across this: "The 806 is NOT capable of unaltered HDMI repeating!" In the comment section of that review, the author simplifies what that meant ("It means that even when set to “pass through”, the 806 does not give you a bit-for-bit copy OUT of whatever you put IN."), but I wanted some more detailed explanation.

I was curious to know if this affects the quality when watching blu-ray via PS3. Is this a general setback for blu-ray players? or does this have to do with the receivers....?

Am I even asking the right question? lol
 

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Welcome to the forum :T

I know is not a great idea (specially to give as a present) but you can also look at used speakers :innocent:

Buy him the AVR, then look for great deals on speakers ( I bought some myself) ... you can also take a look for open box deals at BB or any other electronic store :bigsmile:
 

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Thanks again! The links are great resources!

I do have a somewhat "technical" question and please forgive me if it's a stupid question - haha.

While reading the review on the Onky TX-SR806, I came across this: "The 806 is NOT capable of unaltered HDMI repeating!" In the comment section of that review, the author simplifies what that meant ("It means that even when set to “pass through”, the 806 does not give you a bit-for-bit copy OUT of whatever you put IN."), but I wanted some more detailed explanation.

I was curious to know if this affects the quality when watching blu-ray via PS3. Is this a general setback for blu-ray players? or does this have to do with the receivers....?

Am I even asking the right question? lol
Hello,
I believe this is in reference to the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity test of the TX-SR806.
And according to the review, it does alter the signal. However, from everything I have read it is not to a point where it really negatively affects your picture.
Here is another review of the 806:http://www.hometheatermag.com/receivers/onkyo_tx-sr806_av_receiver/ There is no mention of the passthrough being an issue in this test, but again Secrets really caters to the videophile crowd who strive for perfection.

Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity provide very detailed reviews. Especially in respect to video quality. For years they offered the "DVD Benchmark" which was an extensive battery of video tests encompassing about every known parameter. There are 3,000 Dollar DVD Players which scored 30 points!

Considering the 806 is available for over 50% off the original retail, the fact that the video processing is not perfect would not stop me from buying it. In truth, 99% of people will not notice the variation.
Also, passthrough is when you bypass the receivers video processing. Most people use the processing.
Especially to upsample non HD TV and DVD's to 1080p. However, if you go for passthrough, it appears it does alter the signal.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Hi Helen,

I just went through this process myself and thanks to the people here, I now have an awesome system. I fully agree with everyone's recommendation on Onkyo receivers.

One thing I wanted to add about the Onkyo's is that they can run warm/hot. If you keep it in a well ventilated area (not in a hutch without airflow) you should be fine. Similarly, don't put it on top of another machine that produces heat or have anything blocking the vents on top of it (e.g. a unit on top of the Onkyo).

Best wishes,
H
 

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I'll go a similar route: but to get closer to your stated budget, you can initially get away without the center channel temporarily... less than ideal? Sure. But to get there a little at a time it's fine. thanks to room layout, I spent more than 4 yrs in bliss without a center speaker, until I moved and needed it for the new room.
Personally, if I was him, I'd rather get at least 2 speakers with the AVR than have the AVR just collecting dust until my next birthday...
 

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Hello,
The initial system I recommended did not incorporate the TX-SR806. Rather, it included the TX-SR607 and 3 SVS Speakers for 607 Dollars.

I was actually surprised Helen was interested in going in the direction of spending the entire stated budget on the 806. I only supplied the 806 as the answer to what AVR would I get for around 500 Dollars.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I suggest a stereo setup on this budget.

Get a pair of Behringer 2030p or Ascend Acoustics. It will give you a chance to get him more gifts down the road. Like the subwoofer, surrounds, etc...

Stereo sound is way better than HTIB sound in my experience. Plus it give you the chance to buy him surrounds or a nice sub next Christmas. Another option is the Ascend Acoustics. I prefer the Behringers myself.

Though I will say buying a man electronics can be dangerous. Taking him to his favorite sporting event might be another option if you get scared of the electronics.
 

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Hello,
Thankfully, Helen apparently, according to her initial post, is not even thinking about going the HTIB route thanks to our Forum.
The Behringer would be another excellent choice.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Though I will say buying a man electronics can be dangerous. Taking him to his favorite sporting event might be another option if you get scared of the electronics.
Hi,

I would have to disagree with the last statement. While electronics can be a challenge when it comes to buying something for someone else (or yourself), I think that's why these types of forums exist.:T It lets someone (e.g. myself) who may not be as familiar with a genre of product (e.g. home audio), ask questions from people who are more familiar (e.g. HTS users). Those friendly people can then assist in giving suggestions on what to buy.

To suggest that one take an alternative route like "sporting event" due to being "scared of electronics", in my opinion, taking the easy way out. I dunno:dontknow:, he may not even like sports. However, a good sound system can be enjoyed by both her and her bf because they like watching movies together.

Personally, I support her decision to go out on a limb, ask about something new, and hopefully surprise her bf with some great building blocks of an audio system they can both enjoy for years to come.:clap:

H

PS - Re-reading this message, I hope I do not come off as snarky or preachy. :D
 

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Hi,

I would have to disagree with the last statement. While electronics can be a challenge when it comes to buying something for someone else (or yourself), I think that's why these types of forums exist.:T It lets someone (e.g. myself) who may not be as familiar with a genre of product (e.g. home audio), ask questions from people who are more familiar (e.g. HTS users). Those friendly people can then assist in giving suggestions on what to buy.

To suggest that one take an alternative route like "sporting event" due to being "scared of electronics", in my opinion, taking the easy way out. I dunno:dontknow:, he may not even like sports. However, a good sound system can be enjoyed by both her and her bf because they like watching movies together.

Personally, I support her decision to go out on a limb, ask about something new, and hopefully surprise her bf with some great building blocks of an audio system they can both enjoy for years to come.:clap:

H

PS - Re-reading this message, I hope I do not come off as snarky or preachy. :D
:yeahthat: Excellent input. :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the additional input!

After some thinking... I decided to get a receiver and 2 speakers... because you guys are right, I don't want his receiver to sit there and collect dust. When the BF moves, he is going to first spend all his $$ on new furniture for the living room and bedroom. So, I don't think he'll start buidling his system till much later.

Thanks again for alll your help...

So, I believe I'm going to go with Jungle Jack's suggestion and purchase the "TX-SR607 and 3 SVS Speakers for 607 Dollars."


And to the comment about getting my man electronics would be dangerous... well, i've already crossed that line a ways back when I got him the ps3 and games to match.. LOL! I just wanna get him something that he loves.. and he loves 2 things: electronics and basketball (he already gets Laker tickets for cheap through work... so electronics it is!!) :R
 

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Hello,
Helen, you made an excellent choice. And I will state again that your BF is a very lucky Man indeed.
You might want to look into picking up some Speaker Stands. SVS offers them, but you can easily find them locally. If your Best Buy also has a Pro Audio/Musical Instrument store (Cannot remember the name of the Stores), they sell Speaker Stands fairly cheaply.
Cheers,
JJ
 
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