Audiophile considering HT

Well, I'm thinking of adding HT to my 37" Sony TV, DirectTV Dish, Toshiba HiFi VCR. I've got plenty of audio systems, and good ones at that, but have no interest in including audio and video together, so I'll need to build a HT system from scratch. Since the sound isn't critical (movies, sports), I don't want to spend a bunch on money on it but being a 'phile I don't want junk either. I know very very little about HT other than I'll need a DVD player, fronts, backs, sub, center channel and some sort of amp. The smaller and less obtrusive the stuff is the better. Budget is undetermined but I figure a couple of grand for some reasonably current (but used stuff) should do it. Any suggestions is much appreciated, Jeff
For Speakers the B&W 600 series are excellent for the $$$. For even less the B&W 300 series are also very good. The bookself 302 that retails for around $250 is a stereophile recommended speaker. For a Dolby Digital receiver try an Onkyo. Very reliable and a good value. I am the same as you are. I just want decent movies, my $$$ is spent on audio. I have an the Onkyo 555 and B&W 602 front, 601 rear, and cc6 center.
Jeff- Jeff, you should probably go for a DD (dolby digital or 5.1) set up (DTS optional). You can even get a DD DTV and then move the older one to another room if you have a dual LNB set-up, and then you will have DD from your satellite. Even if you don't get DD, make sure that you can get S-video out from your sat box. DD is a major step up from pro-logic surround, cause there's full range stereo info in the rear channels, and a separate low frequency effects channel (LFE). I have been using 5 NHT superzeros for the L, C, R, and Rear. They don't go low at all, so I have an 8" NHT sub for the L & R, set up in a sub-sat configuration, as well as another for the LFE channel (the .1 in 5.1). Good wires and interconnects really help. I am using a Yamaha 995 DD rcvr with an moderate cost Panasonic DVD. If you can swing the extra $, a good progressive scan DVD would be nice. Biggest factor in cost of all this is probably room size since that will govern your choice of sub and rcvr. If your room is small, you can go with a small sub and relatively low power rcvr. Note that the DSP modes really not important
Oh, my DVD player is an entry level Toshiba. Does what is needed and good quality. Toshiba pioneered the DVD player.
Sugarbrie, I've very familiar with the B&W speakers, I own 302's and 602's. In fact, I thought the 602's for front, 601's for rears, and then perhaps a B&W sub and center channel made sense. The receiver thing remains a bit of a mystery to me; they look a lot like the old Japanese receivers from the 70's lots of lights and gadgets. I suppose that's part of the whole HT gig though, very much consumer market stuff. Swampwalker, when I bought the dish, I got the dual LNB model so I can eventually add another sat box. Haven't added the additional box yet, primarily due to scarce availability of the infamous "Cards" that most people own. I'm not really certain how the various S-Video hook ups will work, since the DVD and dish have S-Video outs, but there's only one S-Video input on the tv. Toldya I was a neophyte *L*. NHT are on my short list, as is Gallo cuz they are so damned small they don't stand out, not sure how good they sound though. The room is reasonable, cathedral ceilings, about 20 by 14 or so. Thanks guys, Jeff
Any A/V receiver that you might consider will probably have s-video switching. PSB has a speaker package in its image line (used to be called century) that isn't too bad and is priced fairly well. I think the hardest thing that you'll have to do, however, is to readjust your paradigm to the 'mid-fi' h/t mentality in which Japanese receivers are a little more respected than in two channel. Good luck.
The 302s would make fine rears also. Some people like to use the same basic model speakers, so they will voice the same. (Same tweeter). For typical Japanese stuff, Onkyo is good build quality for the price. An HT receiver is the best bank for the buck. If you go to separate Dobly Digital DAC, etc, you are getting into Videophile teritory and more $$$$$$. Happy viewing.
If B&W and not high dollar go with ASW 1000 or 2000 subs. (The 2000 better choice of the 2 since it does OK with music too). The ASW 500 is so so in my opinion, but OK if all you want is good explosions.
Hello Jeff--How are you doing?? Sounds like you're in the same exact boat as I am in (for home theater, while I don't want something that is on the same level as my audio system, I'm not just going to settle for just anything either. My home theater consists of: (01). Panasonic CT-27SF37 27-Inch Direct-View TV, (02). Sony SLV-R5UC S-VHS Hi-Fi VCR (gotten used off of "e-bay"..... for $250.00!!!!!.... and all it will be used for is for movies that I decide I don't want to buy in DVD medium and to tape sporting events (football and basketball games)), (03). Yamaha DSP-A780 Dolby Pro-Logic Integrated Amplifier (Dolby Digital isn't for everybody), and (04). Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones. My next projects are a DVD Player (I'm looking at either a Sony DVP-S7700 or a Pioneer Elite DV-09 in the upcoming months) and Speakers (don't know what I am going to be getting at the moment, but I am looking at B&W (300 Series), PSB (Alpha Series), Paradigm (Cinema Series.... I think that's what it is, not sure), Atlantic Technology (System 170) and Boston Acoustics (System 9000))all include subwoofers). For you, I would consider speakers from either B&W (600 Series to start, but consider 300 Series only if you want to save money), PSB and Paradigm. And for Audio/Video Receivers for home theater?? I would look at receivers from NAD, Onkyo, and Yamaha if you are considering a receiver at moderate cost (you should be able to get a Dolby Digital Receiver for around $500.00, and I would spend no more than $700.00, tops). Denon would be a distant fourth to me (only their top three models would be worth considering), but maybe not to anyone else. If you consider one of the pre-packaged Speaker packages specially designed for home theater from one of the manufacturers I have listed above, then you should get a package deal at a decent price. Add $500.00 to $700.00 for a D-D A/V Receiver and you should either be well within budget or maybe just about $200.00 over budget. But remember one thing though, when you are auditioning speakers, take along music CD's instead of movie DVD's with you to your audition. Because my reasoning is this, if the speakers can reproduce music very well, it will also do well with movies. Good luck. I hope I was helpful. --Charles--
Jeff- The Japanese HT lights and gadgets thing is definately happening. My Yamaha has approx. 10x more switches than my entire 2 channel system put together. Manual is virtually incomprehensible and the remote is another story altogether. If I had to do it again I probably would get the NAD, but there are plenty of used or gray market Yamies on ebay. With your room size, the NHT 8" sub probably wouldn't cut. I'm curious about the "cards". I just had a dish installed and there is a card in the back, don't know exactly what it does. Any decent receiver will have s video switching, so you don't have to worry about the inputs on your tv. Put your $ into the center channel speaker and good interconnects/cables.
Hey,I got a nickel's worth to throw into the pot.Don't waste your time with outlaw cards.They all get burned sooner than latter.If you can recieve programming with it/ they can 'burn' it.Just a fact of life./No matter what they try to tell you. Progrssive scan dvd payers are only for HDTV/ready sets,with scan rates of 31/or better.(Reg tvs:15).Almost no 5.1 audio on sat.+you can only use toslink to access it.Dts/aint worth the fuss on dvd.It "was" the better mouse trap on lazer disc. DD is worth/necessary.Don't leave home without it.The sound and music from dvd are something to be reckoned with. Get a stand alone processor/mix and match what you got;be blown away."MOST" folk who are against ht/haven't thrown enough money at it. It IS more than explosions.Sooo many here badmouth HT/those can't be convinced. Jadis/ Aerial make for good ht.Before you get 302's/blend in your best for a decent taste.
Okay, so a NADT770 receiver, B&W DM302's for front and rear, B&W ASW1000 sub, B&W CC6 center ought to do the trick. Throw in a DVD player and several miles of speaker cable and I'm all set. From the sounds of things I'll need a spool of decent wire, I suppose it'll depend on the type of speaker output jacks on the NAD as to what gauge of wire I can use. Couple of questions linger, do you have the speakers set up like in audio so the tweeters are approx ear level, or does it matter? I figure the center channel sits on top of the tv and the rear and fronts pointing in the general direction of your head. Sub doesn't matter where it goes? Finally, any idea what I should expect to pay for the NAD receiver, B&W sub and center? Personally I never watch movies, I'd rather read a book or listen to music but you gotta entertain the family too. Thanks all, you guys are a big help. Jeff
Hi. I had a very expensive ht setup and then I realized (as you did) youdon't really need it for good movie enjoyment. I chose Marantz sr7000 reciever (excellent reviews, good remote, plenty of power), Monitor Audio silver series speakers (reasonable used, MADE for ht), Toshiba dvd. Good luck. I
If used is OK, there are usually B&W ASW subs here and other classified sites, such as Audioshopper and Audioweb. If the seller shows the list price, you can get an idea of new with no discount. A both B&W and NAD dealer I can recommned is Northampton Audio/Spearit Sound.
Jeff- the location of the L&R isn't that important, but I would say ear level is right. Center channel is key, and on top or below TV are both used. Probably don't need great cable for rears. Save $ from the long runs and get good cable for LCR. Rear placement is probably an experiment, but I am told reflected sound may be best (like along side wall at watching position but pointed at rear wall). Thats why lots of dipole/bipole designs for rears. I would think 5-700 used for the NAD. Have fun. It actually makes TV and movies lots more fun.
Jeff--Like I said, an NAD D-D A/V Receiver should be about $700.00 at the max. If you shop around, you might even find one at a closeout sale for less. Also, try "e-bay". There might be some used NAD's at that site you can get at incredible prices. The key then is to make sure you don't bid no more than the market price for this item (and you can check the "Orion Audio Blue Book" in order to determine this). Like I said, I gotten two FM Tuners (a Magnum Dynalab FT-101, and a lower priced NAD 4155 AM/FM Tuner) that exact way. I also got my VCR (a Sony SLV-R5UC S-VHS Hi-Fi VCR........ a $1,300.00 deck a few years ago, but I got it for $250.00....... THANKS "E-BAY"!!!!!!). Maybe you might score an NAD D-D A/V Receiver that exact way. Good luck. --Charles--