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My first HT system

 

New member
Username: Imu79

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-05
ok..i'm a complete newbie and might sound stupid with some of my questions. but anyway..i'm trying to set up my first ht system. i'm starting with the front speakers and am looking for bookshelf speakers since i have a low..i mean really low budget - around $150-$200 a pair for the speakers. i have looked through some the messages here and have seen recommendations for polk r15 and also jbl e30. i know i should be actually going and listening to these but for various reasons thats not a possibility for me so i'm really counting on recommendations from experts here. any suggestions on which ones are better? or even if some other ones are better?

thanks guys :-)
 

jimvm
Unregistered guest
Paradigm Atoms!
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 393
Registered: Jan-05
If you're on a tight $150-200/pair budget, dont even consider cheapo Paradigm Atoms that can be bought for $49 on ebay.

If you're interesting in getting the most 'bang' for the dollar, you should listen to something like this in person, and see if it fits your personal taste.
http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_techspecs_full.php/masterid=276029#descriptio n

These will make the Paradigm sound like small 'atoms' by comarison. Dont take my word for it though.....

Listen to them both and make your own choice.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
With a $200 maximum you don't have a whole lot of options, but the Paradigms are definitely top of the class, certainly better than the Polk R15 or JBL E30...amazing how much they can deliver for such a small size.

Of course if you're a basshead I'd advise you to save up for a quality subwoofer ($300-400 and up) but for the time being the Atoms will serve you very well.

 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 399
Registered: Jan-05
He'd be better served spending $200 on a boombox for speakers than buying $49 atoms.

Bookshelves are one thing, but molecule sized satellites are quite another.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Have you ever auditioned the Atoms? They are surprisingly good for their tiny size. Better mid and high end than many full-size speakers, just weak bass of course.

Paul you don't seem to understand eBay very well. The STARTING PRICE of the Atomos is $49 on eBay, my guess is they'll actually go for $100-150 which by the time you pay for shipping is not much cheaper than buying from a local dealer for around $170-200. When there's such a negligible difference I would go local gladly.

Now the Polk R15s and JBL e20s can be had for about $100 a pair from jandr.com, these would be OK for the money. Another consideration is the Athena AS-B1s which Best Buy has for $100 a pair this week, these are pretty decent for this class.

Imran, you might also consider getting a cheapo Dayton sub for $100 from partsexpress.com which would improve the cheap bookshelves greatly. Then when you save up enough money for better quality fronts ($300-600 before center channel) you can move the $100 speakers to surround sound duty. The next step after that would be upgrading to a really good subwoofer which would start around $400...but if HT is what you're after then the subwoofer will really give you your money's worth!
 

New member
Username: Imu79

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-05
ok..i may have jumped the guns here but i ended up buying polk r15s :-S. edster922 - i like the idea of going for a cheaper sub now. also, i was thinking the same thing about the fronts - when i do go for better fronts, i can put these cheapos in the back. i really appreciate all the advice you guys give out here. now with the speakers and sub done, i'm looking at a receiver - would it be ok to buy a say 5.1/6.1 receiver now or should i shoot for the 7.1 itself? i have heard good reviews about the pioneer 1014 and the yamaha 5740 in the budget range. any reviews on that or any other suggestions? as always - thank you guys :-)
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
The 1014 offers easily the best bang for your buck but you need to act NOW since it's being discontinued and stock is running low. I think onecall.com has it for $400 shipped, which is an amazing value for what you're getting---this is a receiver that you are unlikely to ever want to upgrade. Yes, it does do 7.1 but what you'll more likely get the most from is its ability to do MACC calibration and independent equalization for each speaker, which really helps with not-so-great speakers.

If you listen to a lot of music and are really picky on musical quality, the Marantz 5500 at $600 shipped (hifi.com) might be worth the extra two hundred---beyond that price range though I don't think you're going to see HUGE increases in sound quality unless you fork out the big bucks and purchase separates.

Don't have any experience with Yamaha receivers other than often hearing people describe them as bright whereas the Pioneer and esp. the Marantz are known to be warm.
 

New member
Username: Imu79

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-05
i've been looking around for a good deal on a receiver. the pioneer 1014 costs between $375-$400. That's a little over my budget. I found a refurbished onkyo TX-SR502 for around $200 on ecost.com. Anyone have any thoughts on this one? would it be ok to but a refurbished one? thanks guys.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 131
Registered: Jan-05
I have an Onkyo TX-SR500 which has served me well for the past few years. Better than the TEAC piece of crap that it replaced by a wide margin. For 200 bucks you cant go too far wrong. Another option to check out for ~250 are those new receivers from Panasonic with digital amplifiers. They are supposed to be excellent soundwise, and are slim/lightweight thanks to the digital amps.

As long as it has a warranty, I wouldnt worry about the refurb thing.
 

New member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-05
If you're going to do only HT, the 502 is okay, actually I think jandr.com has them for $200 NEW not refurb. For music I would not recommend Onkyo.

However in that price category I'd much rather take a chance with one of the all-digital receivers like the Panasonic sa-xr50/70, and the JVC RX-F10 which goes for $230 shipped from Amazon.com

I've heard the JVC and it does have amazing sound in its price range, though many people say the Panasonic is better for HT and the JVC better for music. Go to the avsforum.com and the hometheaterforum.com which both have *huge* and very informative threads on these receivers.
 

New member
Username: Imu79

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-05
so i've got a pair of polk r15s and the dayton sub. i'm waiting on the marantz 8400 thats going real cheap on ubid (http://www.ubid.com/actn/opn/getpage.asp?AuctionId=10344088). i'm now looking for a cheap center speaker. i found the athena as-c1 and the cerwin vega e76c which are both in the $125 range..sort of fitting my real low budget i've read good reviews for both of them. how would either of them go with the r15s? any preference of one over the other? thanks guys.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 61
Registered: Mar-05
I'd eliminate the Athena center, have heard many otherwise happy Athena customers complain about that one.

That Marantz 8400 will be awesome though, esp. once you get really good fronts for it.
 

New member
Username: Imu79

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-05
well..i didn't get the marantz 8400..just went over my budget. anyway..i'm still looking at it on ebay if i can get it for around 425-450 shipped (i know that's a low budget for this receiver but i think i might have a chance :-)) anyway..i bought the polk r50s for my fronts. i know i already asked recommendations for the center. the cv e76c seems to be a good choice. but i was just wondering whether it would match the r50s. i'm really a novice (as you can tell) so i'm not sure what i'd need to look at to make sure the fronts and the center are 'in sync'. would the cerwin vega e76c go well with the polk r50s?
thanks.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jet2001

Post Number: 42
Registered: Mar-05
"i'm not sure what i'd need to look at to make sure the fronts and the center are 'in sync'. would the cerwin vega e76c go well with the polk r50s?"

If you are looking to Timbre match (voice match) your front speakers, which is pretty important for HT, you would want to look for the Polk Audio CSi20. You may be able to find one at CC and I'm sure you can find one online, but that speaker is what Polk Audio recommends.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 712
Registered: Jan-05
I agree with jet. You could always try and see, but the logical choice is to stick with polk since that's what you already have up front.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jet2001

Post Number: 43
Registered: Mar-05
"i'm not sure what i'd need to look at to make sure the fronts and the center are 'in sync'. would the cerwin vega e76c go well with the polk r50s?"

If you are looking to Timbre match (voice match) your front speakers, which is pretty important for HT, you would want to look for the Polk Audio CSi20. You may be able to find one at CC and I'm sure you can find one online, but that speaker is what Polk Audio recommends.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jet2001

Post Number: 44
Registered: Mar-05
how the heck did that happen? sorry about the double post, please delete both of these...
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 714
Registered: Jan-05
Jet, you do that yourself. All you have to do is click on your name, click edit profile. You'll be prompted to re-login.

Then you'll see a list of recent posts, and if it's less than 60minutes old, you can either edit or delete any post.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jet2001

Post Number: 45
Registered: Mar-05
Thanks Paul, it seems that I'm too late to delete though.

Sorry Imran for extending your thread, but you've still got the information you need. Just an extended version ;).
 

New member
Username: Imu79

Post Number: 6
Registered: Mar-05
lol..thanks guys. i understand what both of you are saying. in that case, i'll look into getting a polk center itself. any suggestions for a cheapo polk center :-)? thanks again.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jet2001

Post Number: 49
Registered: Mar-05
Found this on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=14992%26item%3D5773074437 %26
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