WANTED: Audio maniacs to help me spend some money!



I've been reading this forum diligently for a few
hours now, and and I'm just gobsmacked by the
amount of great info here. Thank you for that.

But, naturally, I'm a little overwhelmed.

Here's the thing:

I'm basically building an entire home theater on
a decent budget of roughly $3,500 USD. This will
include the TV (which I've decided on), a good HT
receiver, and some HT speakers. I'm looking for
the absolute BEST receiver and HT speakers for
the dollar ($1,100 for these).

The system is mostly for movies (75%) as I'm a
movie NUT. ;-)

Please help me spend this money!

The living/HT room is roughly 12 feet wide, by 19
feet long, with 8 foot ceilings. It also has
hardwood floors and 2 walls are solid concrete.
As this is an apartment, we sit width-wise and
use some of the other space for "living".

NOTE: I can play as loud as I want with the
concrete walls, floor and ceiling! :)

Of the following speakers and receivers, which
would YOU recommend and PAIR together:

(Your help is extremely appreciated!)


Dahlquist Orbit 5.1 System

Energy Take 5+1 System

OneCall Package NHT SuperZeros and a Power 8 Sub
(Not sure if they'll deliver this one to me in
Canada yet.)


Harman/Kardon AVR 325

Onkyo TX-SR701

Kenwoord VR-7080

I would really appreciate any help you can give
me with this, as well as any tips and
suggestions to help me pair these up.

...But please note that I'm definitely going
with one of the above 3 receivers, so please
help me choose the BEST for my HT set-up.

Thanks a watt! (bad, I know ;-)


My vote goes to the H/K and Energy's.

Anyone else?

Your help is appreciated! :)


Of the three receivers, I think the H/K is clearly the best. For speakers, I would suggest the One Call package if you can get it as better than the other two. You might also price a Paradigm Cinema package there in Canada.

I agree with Hawk. I have the HK525 with NHT all around and I'm very satisfied.

I would also like the H/K and NHT system. I don't know why I did not say that to begin with. Wasn't paying close enough attention I guess. Sorry.

NHT no longer makes the wonderful sounding Super Zero. Too bad, 'cause I always wanted to setup my HT around this speaker. Anyway I don't think you'll be able to get them from Onecall, the link you gave shows them as out of stock, so you better call to confirm.
If you do go this route it would be better suited for music (SACD/DVD-A) as opposed to movies. The dispersion pattern of a Super Zero is not appropriate as a center channel for movies (to narrow) and to direct for surrounds. Some would argue with this, but what it comes down to is a matter of personal taste. Try before you buy!


I just checked both the Stereo Speaker page and the Home Theater Speaker Package page at the One Call site and both are showing "In Stock", so I don't know what you were looking at. They even had some "Open Box" SuperZeros for less than $62.00!

I would also disagree with your statements about the SuperZeros for either a center channel or surrounds. Not everyone wants a dipole or bipole speaker for their surrounds. I would much prefer having an accurate speaker rathter than one that "blares" because "that is what makes a good HT speaker." I have been down that road and I found it to be a dead end.

Given the size of the room noted in the original post, I think the dispersion pattern is almost ideal for this application.

I've followed this site for a few weeks prior to posting due to my growing need for a new receiver. In that time I've come to respect you posts, and I was a little surprised at your reply. Let me clarify:

NHT has discontinued the Super Zero, it was replaced by the SB1, however the plastic housed Super Zero Zu is still produced. When I first checked the link, it did come up as out-of-stock. You are quite correct, it now shows as "in stock". One call must still have them in the warehouse.

Tycoon's post states "The system is mostly for movies (75%) as I'm a
movie NUT. ;-)"

My comments in my previous post were based on this statement. 75% movies. It's been my observation that the recording engineers for movies use surround to create an acoustic environment to support what is happening on screen. The sounds that are to be reproduced are for the most part created by or enhanced by Foley artists. Directionality, pinpoint localization, accuracy and realism are not usually the main goal of movie sound. Ever watch a movie where a cars tires squeal on a dirt road? How about the sound of the seismic charges in the asteroid field in Star Wars episode II? I'm not old enough to know what a real T-Rex sounds like when it's angry, so I couldn't tell you which speakers do a better job recreating the sound. What I feel is important in a MOVIE HT speaker system is a large sweet spot, an accurate center and diffuse surrounds. All speakers should have large enough drivers (low enough frequency response) to avoid crossing over to the sub at a frequency that allows the sub to become localized. Of the systems listed by Tycoon, I've heard the Energy and the NHT's. Despite the high ratings, I found the Energy lacked mid-bass and suffered from the effects I described above. The NHT's sound fantastic, but do have a small sweet spot. Not a problem if only one or two people are watching a movie, but could be difficult to pick out vocals on certain movies if you are sitting on the side of the room.

Music, on the other hand, is a very different story. A first violinist soloing in the orchestra should be in the correct location in the sound stage. We know how it should sound, and if you're like me you're pretty picky about it. Like Tycoon I wanted a system primarily for movies. In my case I never intended to have my HT set-up replace my separates for critical music listening. It hasn't, (yet) but now that I have a SACD player and some great concert DVD's I use my HT more and more for music. I find the qualities that made the movie more enjoyable (diffuse sound, ect.) detract from the music. Now I'm rethinking the type of surrounds, and as far as the center goes, the recordings that sound the best to me hardly use the center. So of the two systems listed above that I've heard, NHT wins hands down for music.

I personally don't feel HT systems used for movies benefit as much from excellent speakers as a system used for music. When was the last time you closed your eyes and listened to a movie?
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