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Rezarf
03-28-2007, 11:47 PM
Howdy-

Stacy has agreed to allow some of the wedding gift money to go towards a home theater set up,what a :Princess: as someone gave us a LCD TV!:eek: :thumb: and I just picked up a used Bose Acoustimass 10 system off craigslist cheap! :p: :D

I used to be WAY into car audio but I am outta my league in home theater stuff. My question really revolves around a good receiver. We are wanting to be able to:

Have the Surround Sound capability at least 5.1 (what should we be looking at)
Plug in an Ipod.
Have component video in/out (HDMI would be cool too since it is all heading that direction in 2009).
Good consistent RMS power.
No sub channel necessary, our sub is powered.
That is about it.

We are the "12 dollar" basic cable people, but we love to watch movies at home.

I am not into the bazillion whizzbang features some of these things have, but what should I look for? Simple is better for our use and any that include a DVD is a plus. I would love to not break the bank on this and I have been looking into used Denon models.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!

Drew

Uncle Ben
03-29-2007, 01:00 AM
Mid grade Denon, hands down! Like maybe a 2807. :thumb: Neighbors are gonna love you! :eek:

RockRunner
03-29-2007, 01:00 AM
I have always liked the Yamaha home theater receivers. They have them from simple 5.1 to the sky is the limit. Without a budget it is hard to give you true advice, separate amplifiers for the different channels is one of the better ways to go but more $$$. If you are looking for a one piece does all my vote would go to either Yamaha or pioneer. You can pick up a very nice unit anywhere from $500 and up.

Or spend $3000.00 on individual pieces.

treerootCO
03-29-2007, 04:32 AM
I run a Denon receiver with separate Carver amps for the sub and the other rooms in the house. Denon offers multi room source and I use it a lot. With that feature you can play different tunes in the garage and still have the TV on in the main room. Dolby 8.1 and DTS are the same basic theory and most receivers have both these days. Invest a good portion in the center channel because most, if not all the dialog comes from the center. A good system doesn't have to be loud. The clarity is what allows you to enjoy a movie without blasting out the neighbors. (but you still can if you wanted to;) ) If you can balance the center, left, right, mids, rears, and center rear you will be much happier with the sound. I run Mordaunt-Short bookshelf speakers for all 8 channels. The exception is that I wanted a little more to fill in the midbass so the front left and right have an additional 12" below the mains. I built my sub because the powered subs on the market were just noise to me. Listen to the speakers before you buy. Make sure to take your wife with you because what sounds good to you could sound horrible to her. Women in general can hear higher tones than men. Don't skip on the wiring but don't go crazy either. There is stuff out there for hundreds of dollars a foot. My secret source for patch cables is partsexpress.com. Their in house brand is a good enough quality to pass the signal without distortion and it is at least half the price of monster cable. Just to warn you, the patch cables will end up costing you hundreds by themselves.

FJBen
03-29-2007, 09:53 AM
I got an Onkyo setup, definitley not high end, but sounds much nicer than the BOSE (:rolleyes: don't get me started) systems. It was affordable and sounds really nice. I have a Sound Dynamics sub that puts some serious thump into it...and sounds much nicer than the onkyo one, but of course it's the same price as the whole setup :)

http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?class=Systems&m=HT-S790&p=i



Denon makes killer stuff as well.

Rezarf
03-29-2007, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the advice fellas. Denon is out to an early lead and I have been looking over some of the Yamaha receivers. I am hoping to pick up a second hand unit as audiophiles are always upgrading their junk.

No too worried about disturbing the neighbors, I live in a townhouse so that pretty much happens just by walking around. :D

Mike, I hear you on the cables... ouch! and I will check out partsexpress' stuff. Thanks for the tip.

Rezarf
03-29-2007, 11:22 AM
Mid grade Denon, hands down! Like maybe a 2807. :thumb: Neighbors are gonna love you! :eek:

UB, do you know anything about the 1804, there seem to be quite a few on Ebay and other places. They have eveything I need and they seem to be well reviewed.

Drew

Uncle Ben
03-29-2007, 11:27 AM
UB, do you know anything about the 1804, there seem to be quite a few on Ebay and other places. They have eveything I need and they seem to be well reviewed.

Drew
I don't know that model but there are dozens of review sites on the web do a search.
For example....
Cnet (http://reviews.cnet.com/Denon_AVR_1804/4505-6466_7-30573842.html)

Uncle Ben
03-29-2007, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the advice fellas. Denon is out to an early lead and I have been looking over some of the Yamaha receivers. I am hoping to pick up a second hand unit as audiophiles are always upgrading their junk.

No too worried about disturbing the neighbors, I live in a townhouse so that pretty much happens just by walking around. :D

Mike, I hear you on the cables... ouch! and I will check out partsexpress' stuff. Thanks for the tip.


I have the 3806 and I love it! It drives my Def Techs with power to spare and the room tuning works very well. I like Yamaha too but thier customer service.....(in Iges terms) "sucks big wads!" ;) Denon customer service is well know as top notch! That is important on your higher end stuff as there is so much adjusting and configuring possibilities that it can get overwhelming.

Rezarf
03-29-2007, 11:37 AM
Good tips, thanks fellas.

Drew

Hulk
03-29-2007, 11:51 AM
I have the 3806 and I love it! It drives my Def Techs with power to spare and the room tuning works very well.

I had Definitive Technology towers for years until kids. Now I have in-wall Klipsch, which sound surprisingly good. Not as good as the Def Techs, but they do keep the kids from running into the towers.

A friend of mine who is close to the industry says that hardly anyone is buying speakers bigger than bookshelf size anymore. In-wall speakers have become good enough that that's what most people buy.

I still have my Def. Tech. center channel speaker. :)

I've been pretty happy with my Harmon Kardon receiver. It's about 12 years old. I think it's the AV30. It's pre-5.1 -- Dolby Surround? Can't remember. It's more like 4.1 -- three distinct channels up front, one for the sub, and one channel shared by both back surround speakers.

My sub is shot. When I get some more coin, I will be buying a Sunfire (http://www.sunfire.com/subwoofers.htm). They are absolutely amazing, and smallish too.

Maddmatt
03-29-2007, 12:22 PM
I don't have any technical expertise, but I'll give you some practical advice: Make sure Stacey is involved in the speaker selection. All guys know that big speakers are cool, and the bigger they are the cooler they, and therefore you, are. The coolness scale for speakers works just like tires.

Women have some silly issues about being able to see out the windows, or not wanting to trip over 1" thick speaker cables run across the floor, etc...

Case in point, I'm running a set of Infinity bookshelves and a 150watt powered sub for both music and movies (yes, 3 channels of my 5.1 channel receiver are completely wasted). It's fine. just fine. Really, its fine. Although I think my sub may need replacment, ever since we moved this summer its started taking "rest breaks". It's fine in the same way that Ipods have good sound. We got our first Ipod this year, and I can't believe what passes for good sound these days.

Anyway, back on topic: Sitting in the basement, in their original boxes, are my Polk S10's. My first purchase out of college. They sound much better with the covers off, so you can see those big drivers. They only stand about 30" tall, and sound better on a couple bricks, bringing them up to maybe 3' tall, but no apparently we don't live in a house that needs 30" tall speakers on bricks in the living room. I thought we did, but I've learned many things in 10 years of marriage.

So keep Stacey involved in the process, getting a high SAF from the beginning always helps in a process like this.

Red_Chili
03-29-2007, 01:12 PM
:lmao:

Hulk
03-29-2007, 01:30 PM
Yes, I retired my Definitive Tech speakers for a similar reason. I kept them downstairs in the basement for a couple of years, then finally sold them on eBay. Cool thing was that I got 50% of the original purchase price, which was a pretty good deal.

Shark Bait
03-29-2007, 01:33 PM
My Klipsch Forte IIs have been boxed up in the basement since we moved to Parker. I've considered selling them since I haven't used them in over 5 years. :)

Maddmatt
03-29-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm not ready to part with mine yet, still holding on to the dream. When I was working from home I had them set up in my basement office, just my old Sony receiver (second purchase out of college, those speakers sat silent for 6 months while I paid them off on the Soundtrack same as cash deal), a Denon single CD player ($10 at a thrift store, just because I always wanted a Denon) and the Polks. That was a lot of sound in a 10X10 basement room. That receiver now sits in the basement in a box as well. Way before 5.1, it is Pro-Logic and you can program the display to say anything you want. I had it say "Watch - Obey" whenever it was switched to TV, in honor of the best movie Rowdy Roddy Piper ever starred in. Or was that the only one? Gotta love John Carpenter.

Back on topic, Drew there used to be a company out of Canada called Energy that specialized in quality sound in small packages (remembering of course that low notes require big waves require big speakers, you'll always need a sub). Anybody know anything about Energy? I tried to order some over the internet many years ago, but the "retailer" guy was fly by night and I barely got my money back. Might be worth looking for, but I never actually heard them so I don't know if they were good or bad. The Big Picture on Broadway was listed as the local retailer for Energy back in the day. I actually drove all the way down there, but they only had one scuffed up set in the store, and since I wasn't going to drop a few grand on a TV nobody had time to talk to me about them.
-Matt

Uncle Ben
03-29-2007, 03:04 PM
Drew,
Subs are key to devloping your sound field! I have two 12" long throws in the front Definitive Tech's (each with built in 250 watt amps) and I have a small 8" (100 watt) behind the couch for fill. I have been trying to upgrade my 2002 CLR Def Tec Center channel to a 2500 clr (built in 10" sub) but haven't scored a deal yet. Even at low volume levels you will duck when the French ship attacks the Duantless on "Master and Commander" and the whole house will shake when the brontosaurs are chasing the rescue crew on King Kong. My surrounds are all in-ceiling Speakercraft AIM8 3's (8"woofers). It's all good! ;) Nice thing about the Denon is you can manually control any output easily from the remote which means you can tune down all your low output to the subs quickly before code enforcement comes a knocking! Actually all higher end recievers can be quickly and easily adjusted on the fly with the remote. :thumb: :cool: :headbang: Feel free to come over and experiment! BTW. I would make you a smoking deal on a old Pioneer "system in a box" setup we had upstairs. It is 5.1 100 watt with 5 bookshelf speakers and a powered sub. It is not HD and it doesn't have an Ipod interface but you still could still run it through AUX. It is component output so it will still support 1080i.

bustanutley
03-29-2007, 05:56 PM
Denon's are the shiz

I wired my pops house up with one, somthing like 16 different channels 2 zones...

Great piece of electronics

Rezarf
03-29-2007, 11:27 PM
Wow, thanks! Who knew there would be this much collective knowlege here on RS with systems!

After a little research today, I am down to looking at Denons 1707 and others, as well as a few Onkyo and Yamaha receivers.

I am not looking for HUGE sound just good sound.

As far as speakers are concerned I already bought a Bose Acoustimass 10 setup which is the 5 double cubes, and a subwoofer. Matt, Stacy agree's with you and she didn't want huge speakers anywhere in sight... we just don't have the room in our little place for it either. We were looking at Polk, Klipsh and Bose.. and a few old Boston Acoustics too.

The Bose are proven sound, and Stacy thinks they look "really cute." ;)

We can deal with it for the price we got it all for, I am starting to punch holes in the wall tomorrow to start wiring 2.73 miles of wires and cables.

Kevin, I will give you a call soon, you busy tomorrow (fri)... I mean, more busy than usual?

Thanks, keep it coming I am learning a lot.

Drew

74fj40
03-30-2007, 06:53 PM
We looked at the Denon's first, but decided we couldn't afford 'em.
So we finally settled on the JVC RX-D702 - Review here - http://reviews.cnet.com/JVC_RX_D702/4505-6466_7-31473551.html?tag=pdtl-list
Good power, HDMI and USB wireless connection to your PC - I was skeptical about the range of the wireless, but am amazed how strong it is now that's it's hooked up.
Great for music, great for home theater
Just about to buy a pair of Infinity Beta 50 front speakers - also a great CNET rating - http://reviews.cnet.com/Infinity_Beta_50_cherry/4505-7869_7-31296960.html?tag=pdtl-list
I know that the search for the perfect system in the right price range can be frustrating - after a while everything starts to sound the same and the salespeople are relentless - hang in there....

Wow, thanks! Who knew there would be this much collective knowlege here on RS with systems!

After a little research today, I am down to looking at Denons 1707 and others, as well as a few Onkyo and Yamaha receivers.

I am not looking for HUGE sound just good sound.

As far as speakers are concerned I already bought a Bose Acoustimass 10 setup which is the 5 double cubes, and a subwoofer. Matt, Stacy agree's with you and she didn't want huge speakers anywhere in sight... we just don't have the room in our little place for it either. We were looking at Polk, Klipsh and Bose.. and a few old Boston Acoustics too.

The Bose are proven sound, and Stacy thinks they look "really cute." ;)

We can deal with it for the price we got it all for, I am starting to punch holes in the wall tomorrow to start wiring 2.73 miles of wires and cables.

Kevin, I will give you a call soon, you busy tomorrow (fri)... I mean, more busy than usual?

Thanks, keep it coming I am learning a lot.

Drew

IanB
03-31-2007, 06:36 PM
x2 on what everyone has mentioned on Yamaha receivers, love mine.

x6.022x10^22 on Definitive speakers. You have heard my sound system haven't you? And they were chosen to be discreet, you don't need big speakers anymore (I do miss my Cerwiin Vegas w/ 18" woofers though).

The real thing I have to add to this is don't be afraid to take stuff back. Don't buy stuff you can't return, you need to hook the different components up and try them. If something doesn't work, take it back and try another.

I designed mine for movies, so I set up each system and played the same movie and checked it out. I think I went through 5 sets of speakers and 3 amps before I found something I loved.

RockRunner
03-31-2007, 10:47 PM
IanB makes a great point, buy stuff you can take back. I used to buy my stuff at Sound Hounds or one of the other "used" places, the high end ones. Also the place on Pearl st. ( can't remember the name of hand) They would let you take home stuff, try it out and then buy it or return it. You could also upgrade within a year and get all your money you spend back to use on a better piece of equipment.

It really comes down to your budget, without a number it is very hard to say what to get. Under a $1000 get Yamaha, under $2000 get Denon seperates or Yamaha hig end. After that choices are numerous, it all depends on the budget!!!!!

Good luck and let us know what you get!!!!!!

Rezarf
04-02-2007, 01:11 AM
Well, I landed a Denon 1507 today on Ebay. It does everything I wanted it to do and is only around a year old.

It is a 7.1 surround sound thingy. The receiver's onboard surround processing includes Dolby Digital Surround EX, DTS 6.1, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx (for cinema, music, and games).

Specs:
75 watts x 7 channels
Analog Devices Melody 100 32 bit floating point DSP processing
7.1 channel analog EXT input for HD audio sources
3 Component video inputs
24bit/192kHz A/D
Dedicated iPod port for use with optional ASD-1R Denon D-dock
Variable low/high-pass crossover
Dual Zone Listening.

All for the grand Ebay total price of $87.12, man you gotta love Ebay.:D

Thanks for the tips, after reading the posts here, it is fun to see some experts come to the surface. I am a beginer, thanks for the help!

Now to run wires...

Drew