Decent budget stereo system?


Unregistered guest
Just wondering what everyone things of this budget stereo system im thinking of putting together. It will include:

Harman/Kardon hk-3480 120w per channel reciever ($269 at bhphotovideo)
Ascend Acoustics CMB-170 bookshelf speakers ($328 for a pair)
JVC xv-412s dvd player ($80 at bhphotovideo)
cables from bluejeanscable (about $100)

so total cost will be a little over $800 after shipping

Unregistered guest
Don't know much about the JVC DVD player, but I like your choice of receiver and speakers.

You should aware that is not an authorized dealer for Harman Kardon audio products and the unit you purchase from them will not be warranted by Harman Kardon. For $30 more, you could order the same receiver from or, both of whom are authorized HK dealers and be assured of getting a brand new unit with a factory warranty.

Unregistered guest
Very wise choice of receiver and speakers!

Yeah, I agree with Jim I'd get the HK receiver from where instead of the JVC dvd player you can get a Toshiba 3960 dvd for $50 shipped that makes up for the $30 jump on the HK. Go to for why I recommend the Toshiba.

I would seriously rethink the $100 on cables, I doubt it'll make anywhere near $100 difference in actual sound quality. Any garden variety 12-16 gauge speaker cable will do, also go generic for all other cables ( has the best deals) and put that $100 either into some speaker stands or a cheap $100 Dayton sub---far better use of $100.

Unregistered guest
Thanks for the input. I think you're both right about getting the receiver from jandr, I see that they have free shipping right now for it too, so the price would be about equal. As far as cables go, I was looking for something cheaper, do you have any opinion on using the gold cables from radioshack?

Bronze Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 50
Registered: Feb-05
Toshiba makes an excellent inexpensive DVD player. For interconnects I would call around and see if you can find NXG. They are the best super budget interconnect (usually around 6.00 per 1 meter pair) They are the preferred cable by many custom installers. Also for inexpensive speaker cable Liberty cable makes great speaker cable for very little money. I use their Ultracap THX for 2.oo per ft. I have used the NXG's and they are very good for the money. I currently use custom cables from my favorite local shop (45.00 per 1 meter pair). I would fully expect tyhe NXG's to outperform the Radio Shack cables for less money.

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 342
Registered: Jan-05
I totally agree with edsters speakerwire comments. You can buy 12AWG wire at Lowes(if you're in the US) for 38cents/foot. If you dont have long runs, 16AWG wire is plenty thick to do it's job well.
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