Like

Beginner with $1500

 

New member
Username: Crl21

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-04
I'm brand new at this stereo thing. I want to start by putting together something nice for around $1500 ($2000 tops). I'm thinking of just starting out with two front speakers, a reciever and a CD player and then adding the rest in 12 -18 months when I have more money. I've looked a JM Labs and Paradigm. Do any of you have some good recommendations for me? I'm reading up on speaker systems, but I have no experience. Also, is it normal to bargain with these stereo shops? If so what percentage of retail should I be paying? Thanks for you help.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 18
Registered: Feb-04
Why would you get a CD-player? For "better" sound quality?
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 173
Registered: Dec-03
Chad,

You can get something REALLY nice for that kind of coin...especially since you just want to start with the basics. However, I think you are going to have to give us a little more information in order for us to make better recommendations.

1. What type of system do you eventually want? (i.e. 5.1, 6.1, 7.1)

2. How much power are you looking for? (i.e. do you want to blow the roof off?)

3. How big is your room? (approximate)

4. What type of space requirements do you have for speakers (i.e. do you need bookshelf speakers or floor speakers)

Also, we can obviously make recommendations of entire systems, but it is sometimes easier if you choose one component (either speakers or receiver) that you like, and then we can help you mate them together. In your price range, there is probably literally hundreds of different receiver/speaker combinations out there. It is hard to recommend a system from scratch without knowing anything about your listening habits or tastes. The best advice I can give is to check in your area and see what brands the dealers carry. At least it will give us a starting point.

I think Paradigm are wonderful speakers by the way. Maybe that is a place to start?
 

New member
Username: Crl21

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-04
Thanks for your help. I don't want to blow the roof off at all. I actually prefer to listen to my music at lower levels; therefore, I'm more interested in high quality sound reproduction not power. My room right now is realitvely small, about 2,000 cubic feet. I do plan on moving into a house eventually (a few years) and I'd like to be able to take my system with me into a larger room when I move. I've got room for floor speakers. I think Paradigm would be a good place to start also. If anyone has any experience with my last two questions, I would appreciate help there too. "Is it normal to bargain with these stereo shops? If so what percentage of retail should I be paying?" Know that I know I can get something nice in that price range. I'd defintely like to stick to about $1,500.
 

New member
Username: Crl21

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-04
Oh also I would like to go to surrond sound. I don't imagine needing anything more than 6.1, 5.1 would probably be fine as well. What do you think? I don't know enough to know how big of a difference it makes.
 

Silver Member
Username: Geekboy

Newport, RI United States

Post Number: 235
Registered: Dec-03
Chad: can you give your dimensional room measurements instead of in feet**3. Thanks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 408
Registered: Dec-03
Chad:

You are attempting to do something that I almost invariably recommend people do to put together their stereo/home theater system. By buying the component parts at intervals after you obtain the funds, you have the opportunity to have a final system that is far better than if you bought everything up front. It also allows you to "fine-tune" the system as you go along. Now, the key to buying in stages is to have a road map of where you want to get to when you are done. There is no sense in buying blind and finding out that your components parts do not sound good together. So, if you select a receiver and main speakers, you want to identify the center speaker, surrounds, and subwoofer that you will get later on (in that order!).

As for your general questions, yes, it is typical to seek a discount from the list price on much of this equipment. There are exceptions, however. Paradigm dealers are rather tightly controlled by the manufacturer, so discounts on Paradigm speakers are hard to come by. Nevertheless, Paradigm speakers are extremely good and their prices are not inflated to begin with to account for any discounting. Still, you should also check out PSB speakers which sound almost identical to Paradigms and their dealers will deal a bit.

As for discounts, you should be looking for anything from 8 to 20% off, depending upon the gear in question and whether you are getting an entire system or not at the time of purchase.

Now, I will suggest a couple of systems around the speaker brands you have identified to get you started. Please note that not all speakers will match well with every receiver. Receivers (amps) have their own unique sound and it is important to match the sound of the receiver with the sound of the speakers. So, for example, a bright sounding speaker like the JMlabs would be a horrible combination with a bright sounding Yamaha receiver. Likewise, a rather laid back sounding Paradigm speaker would sound rather lifeless if matched with a Pioneer Elite or Harman/Kardon receiver.

Suggested system #1:

NAD 743 receiver: (MSRP $699; street price ~$560)
NAD 521i CD player: (MSRP $299; street price ~$220)
Paradigm Monitor 5 speakers: ~$560

Suggested system #2:

Harman/Kardon 430 receiver (MSRP $899, street price is ~$550)
Marantz CD 5000 CD player (MSRP $240, street price ~$215)
JMlabs Chorus 710 speakers (MSRP is $699/pr, street price ~$500/pr.

Either of these systems can easily be fitted out to 5.1 by adding the appropriate center speaker and surrounds from the same speaker manufacturer. The subwoofer can be from almost anyone, but there are a number of very high quality manufacturers who make subs only (Hsu Research, Velodyne, etc.) that will integrate easily with almost any speaker ssytem no matter the speaker manufacturer. My Suggested Systems are designed to stay well within your budget, but will give you excellent sound that is far superior to the usual mass market brands. These systems represent a place to start, so if you can hear Paradigms driven by an NAD receiver, you will know what I mean. If your local JMlabs dealer does not carry H/K, check out the sound from a Pioneer Elite, which will sound similar. PE tends to be much pricier, but if you like the PE sound with the JMlabs speakers, you can feel comfortable putting the JMlabs speakers together with a H/K receiver.

You will note that I have recommended two single disk CD players, not a multidisk changer. That is because the the manufacturers of changers spend the money on the changing mechanism and put in poor quality analog sound stages that are not as good as my daughter's CD Walkman. The end result is somethig that sounds pretty flat and rwo dimensional. Stick with a high quality CD single disk player and you will enjoy the sound much more. Do not be concerned with mixing brands of electronics as most HT receivers come with programmable remotes allowing them to be used with all brands of equipment.

I hope this is of some help to you. Good luck!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 20
Registered: Feb-04
Am I missing something here or what? What's the point in having multichannel sound system without a multichannel sound source like DVD-V/DVD-A/SACD-player?
 

New member
Username: Crl21

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-04
Room dimensions 21' 10" x 13' 10". Thanks for the help Hawk. If you want a floorplan you can look here. The room is funny shaped. It's the downstairs living area http://www.housing.umich.edu/family/nwiv-and-nwv-2bdrm.html
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gtsum

VA

Post Number: 12
Registered: Mar-04
Chad,

I can attest to building it one piece at a time and also about Paradigm speakers. I started out with Monitor 7's and then added the center, sub, and surrounds after that. Like Hawk said, there is a rather large difference in receivers! I had an Onkyo, and just replaced it with a NAD...you would not believe the difference in detail, clarity, and fullness of the sound. One other thing, I would try as many speakers as you can, and once you have it narrowed down between a couple companies make sure you use the same company for all the speakers (timber matching and sound characteristics....Paradigm's are all matched to each other). ASlso, I was actually able to deal with my Paradigm rep as he even took a PDR 10 sub on trade in for the Servo 15 (gave me the entire retail price credit too!) Good luck!
Shaun
 

Bronze Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 14
Registered: Feb-04
Hey Chad,

The best thing to do is to audition some electronics/speaker combos. When I lived in A2, I bought some gear at Overture Audio on Main Street. They carry very good products and are knowledgable. Go there, tell them what you're after, and have them set up different systems in one of their listening rooms. Listen and compare the sound qualities of each system. If you buy an entire system (receiver, cd player and speakers) from them, expect a decent discount.

There is also an interesting shop on State Street downtown (can't remember the store name) that sells used equipment. That's another option to get into hi-fi at a modest cost.

If you're mainly into stereo music, then consider getting an integrated amp instead of a receiver. You'll get much better quality for the buck. If you plan on going to 5+ channels, then you'll need an AV receiver and a player that plays CD/SACD/DVD/DVD-A (pick your format).

Hope this helps.
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Facebook

Shop Related Deals

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us