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this is low tech compared to everything i've seen while scanning this thread.. i have to admit i have a old cheapy surround sound that i purchased from walmart about 8 years ago or so. it's got everything in the sub aside to the speakers. it as not only served me well but for what it cost me i can't believe it. i used it to this day and it's working great. i know there are 100x better setups out there for this but it does "good enough" for my taste. then with that toshiba 50" rear projection and netflix on the wii. it's hard to beat if you don't mind a lower resolution. the most impressed i have been however is with the "htpc" i recently upgraded my tower from scratch and retired my older tower to use as a "htpc" via s-video, rca-3.5mm cable and a wireless mouse. granted it's yesterday's hardware but it plays flash great. i don't even have cable or dish because of it. i just hit up the free sites like hulu, xfinity, crackle and the stations that do offer shows on the web. you'd be surprised at what you can find if you look. i know i was. anyway it's a "mutt" with a pentium d 945 (dual core 3.4ghz 800mhz bus) 2gb of ddr400, and an ati 2600pro hd (256mb 8xagp). it's no powerhouse but it does great for the intended purpose. it even plays games! i was surprised to see it but skyrim ran on it with settings but it was actually smooth enough to play. anyway that peice of hardware i am thoroughly impressed with considering the hardware it's packing..
 

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I was blown away by the Audyssey SEQ pro EQ.
Also the second update of the Integra Research RDC7 processor ...
I cannot make a decision on which amazed me more ...

Little things came along since, but those two bring me my best memories of HT fun.
 

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It's low tech, but the new projection screen I built over the past year has thrilled me. I went from a DIY BOC screen to a white melamine board from Menards, that I painted. The only reason I built the new screen, was that the BOC screen I built was too big for the size of the projected image I was able to display based on my projector (Mitsubishi HC1500) and throw distance. Now, not only does the image fit perfectly, my wife and kids commented on the improvement in the image. They both commented the image looks more 3D. Sports also look awesome.
 

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In terms of pure bang for the buck - I'd have to say the Lepai TA2020 T-amp I purchased several months ago. Picked it up when it was on sale for $20 at parts express. Obviously for $20, you don't really expect a lot, but it does exactly what I needed it to do, clean power, no frills (just volume, bass and treble controls). I got a kick out of the fact that the power adapter is a Vonage too. :clap: (surplus I suppose - if it works, and keeps the price down, fine by me)
 

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I would have to say my Denon AVR-A100 (gussied up version of the 4311). It replaced an 8 year old Denon 5805 - no slouch in itself. In the upgrade I got the latest HD audio decoding, 1080P HDMI switching, Audyssey XT32 and a path to Audyssey Pro - which I purchased 5 months ago. It also added Audyssey DSX, so I added height and width speakers to my system. The result was a transformation in sound, when I only expected minor improvements. Well pleased.
 

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Such great responses! I would say adding a subwoofer to low-priced speakers makes an incredible difference in the sound. If you dont have a lot of cashish, add a subwoofer for under a $150 and you will be pretty amazed. Also, I agree the ipod touch is sweet for a hundred different reasons. And of course if you like music it's always nice to put on some Allman Brothers.
 

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You are all feeding the upgrade fire that burns within!!!

Low cost I'm hoping to address some acoustic issues soon, but I'm married and in a one bedroom so WAF is a major issue (she wants hung artwork not treatments).

As for equipment... Going tubes has always been a dream but budget is a huge hurdle to overcome.

I think a cmoy DIY amp will be my next add on for the new grado 80i I just got (listening but not bothering the reading wife). Always wanted to get into DIY and this project has a low cost of entry.
 

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I have owned alot of different audio equipment in my 55 years on the planet but I have to say that for the money the new CHT speakers I just purchased are really making a big impression on me. I don't think I can say they are the one best thing that I have ever owned but for the money they have definitley exceeded my expectations.:bigsmile:
 

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I really like my new DLNA enabled Blu-ray players both are relatively low end 2012 models with the Panasonic BD77 being the least fancy spec wise but very good at streaming video and the LG right in the middle of the pack and it shines streaming music in the cave.
 

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Been exposed to audio for decades from my Dad, who had some really good setups (that I can't even recall the components of, including a stereo setup that imaged so amazingly in 3D, with my eyes closed, I felt I could take a bag of golf balls and lobbing them one at a time, hit each band member square on the forehead).

The biggest WOW factor for me though, was adding the Seaton Submersive HP's to my setup. First time I'd ever heard single digit capable sound with prodigious output.

It was annoying having my previous subs clip on scenes like Tron:Legacy, WOTW and HTTYD, but now the alien tripod emerging scene from WOTW is one of my all time favorite demo scenes. Had some folks saying that they didn't feel that scene was that impressive, citing what they thought were better scenes, like the train crash from Super 8, that is, until they realized that their setups fell off a cliff below 20Hz, and were never capable of reproducing the ULF content in WOTW.

The first time they hear it in my HT, the reaction is usually along the lines of, "HOLY S##T!!! I never even knew THAT was there in the soundtrack! Always wondered why people rave about that scene... NOW I get it!"

There's something incredibly amusing about taking interactive theater to a whole new level. When the Kremlin explodes in MI:4 and the ground onscreen heaved up, the suspended flooring in my HT did so too, hard enough to knock stuff over!


Max
 
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