Need Help For buying WHole Home Theatre Setup


Hello everyone I am planning to buy Home theatre speakers and TV,DVD Player,AMP ,Pre AMP or reciever,I am Doctor By profession and want to gift the whole system to my Wife,I am geting married next week,So i want to gift her a dream system on her birthday which is on 9th of Oct,I have a seperate room for movie viewing,Its a very large room,So ideally i would like a Digi tal Projector or if a big enough TV is available,I am neuro surgeon by Profession and i Live in Canada.
Money is No problem as my budget can go upto 100 Grands(100000 $) but it should be uniquie and better then most of movie theatres,This site was highly recommended by someone especially they said HAWK, GMAN, MAX are very helpful guys and they will give good advice,I was buying bose before but i read on net they are not good.SO please help.

Super Sleuth
George, i think your post is a bunch of BS...Any moron who in the 1st sentence must impress us with his profession "I am Doctor By profession"is either really insecure or just a bullsh$t artist....and for 100 Grands, go find an audio shop to design your "dream system" A$$hole

You don't Know me sir,I AM a neuro surgeon.and a very competent one.To most people 100 Grands seem like alot of Money, but to me, it is not.I Was hoping for free Advice, as then my 100 Grands will buy more hifi equipment.
If You choose not to help me , i am certain Some other will.HAWK,GMAN can you please Help me?

John Allen

I don't quite see why your post produced venom from someone calling himself Super Sleuth. Jealousy? As a regular, I regret reading that here.

A guy called Alex got some really good advice here on what most people would think was a dream system, and he seems thrilled:-

His budget was 10 -15 k if I remember. If you have even more money you do not need to compromise on anything. Get top quality full-range speakers all round, and separates for the electronics e.g. Outlaw. There is some really good stuff in that thread on TVs, too. You should try to get some advice from G-man, who also seems to be enviably rich...

Get a good dealer. You will pay for the service but it will be worth it. If you are in Canada I cannot advise on a dealer, but others can. It might be worth your while getting him to install on Oct 8th (while your wife is out...). Go to the shop but do NOT tell him first off how much your can spend. Just ask about quality and see what he says. He will be trying to gauge your upper limit. If you don't have one, pretend you do. At that end, it is like cosmetics: how much your spent is part of the perceived value for some folk. But if you want superb sound, insist you still want value for money.

I am miles below your price level, but off the top of my head, and from reading here and elsewhere, as somewhere to start.

Speakers. Top-models from B&W or KEF. But there are really great Canadian makes, and perhaps you owe Canada something... (teasing). Subwoofer. Same makes, but there are also top sub specialist brands like REL. Electronics. Outlaw or NAD separates (i.e. separate surround pre-amp, power-amp, radio tuner) - not a "reciever" unless it is something very special. 200W per channel recommended. TV. No idea, sorry.

Please let us know what advice you get, and what you choose.

Hope this encourages more posts.


I cannot for the life of me understand where these low-lifes ("Super Sleuth") come from. Your questions are very legitimate and if you can't get help here, then this BBS is of no value.

If I were to put together an "no holds barred" incredible home theater system, here is what I would get:

Speakers: Magnepan Home Theater consisting of the MG 3.6 fronts, CC3 Center speaker and the MGMC1 surrounds. See a product review here:

I would add a Velodyne sub, probably the SPL1000 or the SPL1200, depending upon the size of the room. I also like Hsu Research (the VTF-3 for $899) and SVS subs a lot, but you have a quick time frame and they are mail-order only, so you may wish to get the Velodyne when you get the Magnepans.

Price is a very reasonable $6115US for the Maggie system.

Amplification: Krell or Bryston would be my top choices here. The Bryston SP1 pre/pro and the 9B ST five channel amp are simply incredible and come with a 20 year warranty, I think. Likewise the Krell Home Theater pre/pro and amp are reference quality systems. Can't go wrong with either one--you'll have to find a local dealer, but I'm sure you can find a high end dealer who has one of these brands. Other great names here include Anthem, Parasound and Aragon.

Source: Right now, there is only one DVD/CD/SACD/DVD-Audio player that I really like and that is the new Denon DVD-2900. This plays anything and everything that is encoded on a CD sized disc and does it very well. MSRP is $999US, but sometimes can be had a bit less.

Projector: Go with any good brand name DLP and it will be fine. Do not get a CRT or LCD projector as they are not as good and can cost more, but the technology is not nearly as good. All of the DLPs are all based upon the Texas Instruments chipset, so there is very little difference between them. I have seen the Marantz and the picture is really stunning. Capable of prjecting a HD image as large as 180" diagonal. There are a number of other DLP projectors, but I haven't seen them. However, I suspect Samsung has a great one as their DLP rear projection sets are selling faster than they can make them because the picture is so good (better than plasma at half the cost).

George, this is a pace to start. I have suggested products that are just above what Alex wanted (his budget was $15K). You don't need to spend $100K as you will find that my systems would run about $20-25K, and I would challenge anyone to show me a better system. You will need to find a Canadian dealer for the Magnepans which shouldn't be too hard. Find one and he will likely have the rest of what you need.

Best wishes and congratulations on your impending wedding!

The biggest expense may well be the viewing part of the system. If you have a big enough room you would want a quality front projection system with a electronically activated screen. This is ideal for movie watching and anytime you want theatre-type viewing experience in a fairly dark room. For regular news and tv watching, which can be done in a dark or bright room, you can automatically roll up the screen revealing a 60" or more LCoS, DLP, or Plasma tv.

LCoS tv's can cost up to $12K, DLP up to $6K, and great HDTV plasma's from $7k to $20K.

If price is truly no object you would be better off having a custom system installed by a professional, unless you are a do it yourself type. A quality accredited professional that has ISF and CEDIA credentials would know how to successfully integrate all the components and how to perfectly balance the audio and video and how to teach you the programmed macros for operating the system to perfection.

John Alan
You guys are being mislead by a fraudulent poster...He is pulling your leg, and you are falling for it...suckers...


Congratulations on your wedding and on looking at to build your home theater system. For the most part, I think that the advise that you're getting here is pretty good. Everyone has different preferences, so advice will vary from person to person. The magazine, The Perfect Vision just did an article that included eight recommended complete home theater systems with the lowest price system at $4,000 and the highest price system at $150,000 to $300,000. Virtually all of their recommendations are solid at the various price points. You may find that article very helpful. Remember that there's no such thing as the "best" speakers, or preamps, etc. At the price levels you're talking about all of the equipment will be good, they'll just have slightly different sonic characteristics. Listen a little bit to get an opinion on what you like, and then buy that. You are the one that will listen to your system every day, so others opinions don't matter in the end as long as you're happy with it. With that said, I think that you're wise to get some opinions from others before you buy. So here are my opinions.
(By the way, I think Hawk gave you good recommendations. However, I think that you can spend a few thousand more (but not nearly $100K) and improve your system notably.)

Speakers - There are many very good brands out there. Personally, I don't like electrostatic speakers (such as the Magnepan's Hawk recommended, or Martin Logans). Many people REALLY like them, I'm just not one of them. From my perspective, I like a more full ranged speaker. Electrostatics generally have more difficulty with lower frequencies (however, you can mitigate this somewhat with a good subwoofer). If you're not familiar with electrostatic speakers, listen to them and get some opinions before you buy. My personal favorites for speaker brands are B&W (802's are $8,000) and Proac. However, there are many good brands out there.

Amps and Preamps - Bryston makes very good equipment, especially their amps. I'm not as big a fan of their preamps. Krell has been a fine manufacturer for quite some time, but some are starting to think that their products are "slipping" a little. I have no doubt that you would be happy with either of their products. My favorite high end brand would probably be Theta. For preamp go with the CasaBlanca (around $8,000, depends upon options), and for amp go with the Dreadnaught II (around $6,500). Both of these components have been extensively reviewed and are very well regarded. They were also given the highest ratings by Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. (see their recommended products list which can be purchased on their website for around $10 - another helpful article). Audio Research also makes a very good amp (the 150M for $7,000)

Subwoofer - My favorite brand is REL, and all of their products in the ST series are good. I would probably go with the Stadium III or the Stentor III. Velodyne would probably be my second choice.

Display - I would probably go with a DLP front projector as well. However, its worth noting that CRT is widely accepted to give the best picture - they're just much more expensive and heavier, and harder to set up and adjust. My favorite brand is Runco.

DVD / CD player - The Denon 2900 is a solid choice - very good quality and very versatile. Although it's very good, it's probably slightly below the standards of the other recommendations that I've given you. Consider upgrading here as well.

Installation - If you're listening to advise from Hawk and me, then you're going to need someone to hook all of this up for you. Find an installer that you trust and someone that seems to really care about the quality of his work. Generally, I find two types of people involved in hi-fi theater and sound - (i) those who are trying to maximize profit and sell as much high dollar equipment as quickly as they can and (ii) those who love this stuff and take pride in setting up a great system even if its not theirs. It's obvious who to look for.

Best of luck.

Personally, if someone was giving me an expensive gift of an amp and A/V pre-amp I would love a 5 or 7 channel Bryston 200 watt (into 8 ohms) amp hooked up to a top of the line Lexicon A/V preamp. Lexicon has pretty much written the book on high end A/V pre-amps and has a zillion adjustment capability--and they always come out with both modular and software upgrades.

Your tv and your speakers will be the most difficult to decide upon. Speakers, BY FAR, have the most difference of any component in the audio realm. Visually you can get excellent performance from a variety of HDTV formats. Front projection with a quality screen is generally the best for movies and large screen viewing. Downside is they perform best in a dimly lit room. This is why many wealthy people buy a front projection set up with an electronically operated screen along with a high quality HDTV Plasma, LCoS, DLP, or other type of rear projection set.

John A.
Happy Birthday to you new wife, George!

What did you decide?
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