Well not knowing anything about your room size, this is what I'd go with many if this price can be gotten right off Audiogon or a deal on close out. This is just my opinion what do other people think. I didn't put any speakers down I think it's an item you need to here in your room with the equipment that you decide to go with. But Company's like Mirage, Definitive, Martin Logan , Polk all have good speakers reasonable priced that work well with both Home Theater and Audio. B&K Ref 20/30has a tuner and also 2 channels so audio will sound better. , but I think the Lexicon is a better Video sytem if a tuner is not important. Cables I don't think are as big of a deal if your not doing true audiophile listening. To recreate an explosion is much easier then a tuned instrument. Just don't go out and buy rat shack cable. Just get good cables(although your componient cables, S-Video, Digital Coaxial should get the most attention) This is my opinion what do others think? TV Mits 45-50 big screen(not HDTV ready) $1500-2000 Pre-amp Processor DD, DTS(upgradeable) B&K REF20/Lexicon DC-1 $1200-1800 AMP 5 or 6 channel (100watts) B&K AV5000/ATI1505 (5 channel) $ 700-1200 DVD HDCD Toshiba 3109/Sony DVD/SACD $ 300-1000 Speakers Fronts $1500 Center $300 Backs $300 Sub $500-700 Cables: Audioquest, Tara, XLO $400
You may get some interesting responses to your question, with some widely varying opinions. I have been an audiophile for a long time, and a HT fan for about 5 years. After a lot of trial and error, I'm very pleased with my current system, which may be a starting point for you (and work within your $10K goal). TV monitor: 36" Sony WEGA TV, or a HDTV-ready rear-projection system in the same price range (such as Toshiba 43"). Front and speakers: Vandersteen 3A's (or used 3A Signatures). Center channel: Vandersteen VCC-1. Rear surrounds: I don't particularly like the Vandersteen rear speakers (too big), so this choice is open. I am currently using a pair of Coincident Triumph Signatures (acquired for $650 used). Surround pre/pro: several choices here, such as Adcom GTP-760 (available for about $1300), or similar units by Rotel, B&K, Anthem, etc. The Bryston SP-1 is a fine unit, but somewhat expensive at $3800 list (can be bought for about $2800). Amplifiers: Bryston 9B-ST 5-channel amp, or Bryston 4B-ST and 5B-ST combination (which is what I am using), or good 5-channel amp from Rotel, B&K, Anthem, Parasound, Acurus, etc. DVD player: lots of choices here, and the final decision rests on how elaborate you want to get. The Pioneer DV-37 is a very good, medium-priced unit (can be gotten for about $650). You should also consider the Sony and Toshiba units with MSRP's in the $1200 range. If you have extra cash that you want to spend on the DVD player, check out the new Pioneer DV-38A (MSRP $1800). With some serious shopping, you can buy the system I have outlined for under $10K (maybe as little as $8K, depending on your choices.)
In the post I just made, I forgot to mention that Vandersteen sells a home theater package, which consists of the Vandersteen 1C main speakers, the VCC-1 center channel, a pair of VSM-1 side/rear speakers, and their 2W subwoofer. I've heard this package, and it's pretty good, but would be much better with the 2Ce front speakers. One of the reasons I suggest looking at the Vandersteen is the emphasis on value (performance vs. appearance), and the fact that the system gives you good full-range performance. There are certainly a number of other good full-range systems, but most cost considerably more than the Vandy system.
1.5k for a tv.
tag av32r-ex (around 2.5k)
b&w n804 main (2.7k)
b&w nhtm2 center (0.7k)
b&w n805 srround (1.5k)
bryston 9bst (2k?)
Martinparel -- If I had only $10K (which is NOT chunk change by the way) to spend on an entire Home Theater system, here's the way I would go about it.
Speaker System -- Vandersteen (Get the 2Ce's (not the Signatures, but the standard 2Ce's) for around $1,300.00, the VCC-1 for about $850.00, and the VSM-1's for about $700.00 for the entire pair. I am also going to include the Vandersteen 2WQ Powered Subwoofer here, but only as an option. The reason I say this is because the Vandersteen 2Ce's seem to go down pretty low all by themselves (to about the mid-to-upper 20's in terms of Hz.), and depending on the size of your room, that may negate the need for a subwoofer. Try this combination without the subwoofer first and see what you think. Get the 2WQ only if you must need it. The Vandersteen 2QW lists for $1,250.00). The reason I went with Vandersteen in this system just like Sdcampbell did was while you can get other HT Speaker Systems out there that does the same thing that this Vandersteen setup does, they're also going to cost you more money. A lot more money as a matter of fact. The Vandersteen system offers a lot of great sound and performance for the money. Otherwise, I would ask that you would look into a setup that I have picked out in lieu of putting together a [hypothetical] $20K Home Theater system in "Yahoo's" High-End Home Theater Club (PSB Stratus Mini's -- $1,150.00/Pr (x2). + PSB C6L -- $900.00 + Velodyne HGS-18 Powered Subwoofers -- $3,000.00 each...... $6000.00 for the pair). But that setup is too expensive for this system, and that's why I elected to go with Vandersteen instead.
Power Amplifier -- Rotel RMB-1075 (120 Watts Per Channel X 5) -- $1,200.00 to $1,300.00.
Surround Sound Processor -- Rotel RSP-985 (Dolby Pro-Logic, Dolby Digital, DTS and THX) -- $1,000.00 to $1,200.00.
DVD Player -- Pioneer Elite DV-37 (again, until I have talked with "Sdcampbell", I would not have even looked at this player. After talking with him and then actually auditioning this player at a local high-end A/V dealer, I have come to love this player and now, it is at the top of my shortlist. Was going to consider either a Pioneer Elite DV-09 or a Sony DVP-S7700 at a closeout sale before checking out the Pioneer DV-37. I am a month away from getting mine) -- $1,000.00 (MSRP), but you can get it from about $650.00 to about $800.00. If you have some extra loot burning a hole in your pocket or some extra room on your Visa or Mastercard, check out the Pioneer Elite DV-38A (about $1,800.00) as well. If I am spending more than $15K on a home theater system, this would be the player I would go for. It is included on my hypothetical $20K system on "Yahoo". In my (MUCH) more modest system, the Pioneer Elite DV-37 is a better match. And have I mentioned that the DV-37 has progressive scan capability??
TV -- Sony KV-36XBR400 Direct-View TV -- $2,700.00. For a $10K home theater system, I think think that a high quality direct-view TV is the way to go in my opinion. This TV gives you the best of both worlds. It gives you the best that analog TV has to offer to you right now, and when you are ready for HDTV, just go out and buy an external HDTV decoder, and you are set. HDTV or HDTV-ready RPTV's start at $3,500.00 and go up from there. Anything below $3,500.00, and you might as well consider a "Direct-View" set.
That would be the way I would go right now. What do any of you think??
A good challenge, indeed. The hardest part, cost-wise is the video. Some ideas:
Mitsubishi Diamond 55" HDTV ready for around $ 4,500 new.
Yamaha DSP-A1 integrated amp used for $ 1300. (110x5, 35 x2)DD,DTS,etc.
Adcom GFA-6000 5 channel amp. (100x3, 60 x2) used for $ 450.
Toshiba SD5109 new on the web for $ 699. Progressive scan.
Phase Tech PC-500 towers w/12" powered subs. $ 1,000 used.
Phase Tech Center Channel. $ 300 used.
Phase Tech Power 10 powered subs(2). $ 500 used.
Phase Tech Power 15 powered sub.(1). $ 400 used.
Phase PC Surrounds for rears. $ 200 used.
Phase Tech DTS for front effects. $ 125 used.
Tributary cables and connects. $ 500 new.
This comes to around $ 10K w/tax. The Adcom's solid performance augments the Yamaha's power amp section, not horrible, but certainly not it's forte. This over-engineering allows you to keep from running out of power or overheating the amps.
Alternatively, I would look at a B&K AVR307 to replace the
Adcom and Yamaha for the same $, used of course. But I like the idea of combining the preamp/signal processing section of an HT integrated or receiver with a power amp. Counterintuitively, you actually get more bang for the buck. Go figure. That is because you can get excellent power amps for not much. (B&K,Outlaw,Adcom, etc.)
The system is able to create great spatial effects on good
DTS or Dolby Digital DVD's. The picture is razor sharp on
film. The ability to reproduce low bass in my less-than- ideal space(26x11x8) is as good as anything I have heard. And on music(remember that other stuff we enjoy?), just the using the main towers in Effects Off mode produces very listenable sound with good recordings. And the Jazz hall DSP effects with the Jazz Masters Series CD's actually sounds warm and magical without much veiling that DSP tends to overlay on most music. Not the most forgiving system, like, say, my Vandy's, but can sound warm and real with good discs. I use the Toshiba for CD's as well as DVD's. If you put on BoyZIIMen's DTS recording of Yesterday, you and anyone else hearing it will have a religious experience.
I have actually heard this system extensively BTW.
As far as deals I have seen recently on Audiogon, someone was selling a JMLAbs HT speaker setup for $ 3100. No one
will imagine you got out for only ten with these in the audio chain.
As a Vandersteen owner for many years, you could not go wrong there either, although I would probably look at some other subs. Lots to pick from out there for under $ 1,000 used, and even new or demo.
My strongest recommendation is to have several powered subs in the system if you are to do justice to good HT soundtracks. You haven't lived until Nicolas Cage turns over the engine on a Cobra and it feels as if the car, not
the image is ten feet away. Or you hear a helicopter in the Bone Collector go OVER your head, and you know there are no speakers on the ceiling. Or your house is depth charged in U-571. Or... you get the idea. Bass isn't all important - unless it's missing. On music some of us don't care as much. On film, you really need it. Good luck!
If this is to be your only music system, you may want to
lean towards refinement over brute strength. In that case,
you may want to suck some $ out of the video and buy a better front end. I probably would rather see you split the front end into at least an amp and processor than just a receiver(B&K suggestion notwithstanding) so that you can affordably upgrade or simply try other gear. As formats are still changing, try to keep an open topology. I think B & K let's you retrofit new formats easily. And faster subs like the Sunfire or Velodyne will blend more seamlessly on music.
Prs123, my my, you are up to the challenge. When we got our TV, we got a theatre wide format, because it drove us nuts trying to read the fine print on the DVD's and we don't like the black bars. Any suggestions for theatre wide in your suggested list? Angela
Angela, if you mean a 16x9 format, that is the exact Mitsubishi I spec'd(and own). Only the Pioneer Elite, and
some real highe-end Loew's etc. are better, for a lot more $. Just for kicks, I actually put together a system, audio and video, out of current listing s last week for $ 2829!
As with a dancing elephant, the amazing thing is not how well it dances, but that it dances at all.
Wharfedale Diamond 7.2(5 speakers) $ 600
Denon VR3300 105/ch DD DTS 7.1 ch, SHARC processor $ 679
Toshiba SD 5109 DVD HDCD DTS 5.1 progr. scan $ 400
Sony KP-41T25 41" Rear Proj. TV $ 800
Cables and connects(tributary/Kimber) $ 350
No, this is not what I would own, but if I had less than 3K
to spend, it would be hard to do better.
I'd go for something like the following:
Mitsubishi or Pioneer Elite HDTV-ready, 16x9 55" screen for around $3800 (new, discounted).
Denon AVR-4800, $1200 (on ebay or Audiogon, maybe B-stock)
A progressive scan DVD player ($600ish) probably Toshiba.
A combo DirecTV / Tivo unit with dish ($400 new)
Leave about $350 for cables - 12ga wire from Home Depot for speaker wire, decent Tara Labs or Monster cables for interconnects.
That leaves a little over $3500 for speakers. I'd look for used, and I'd choose speakers that could be driven effectively by a receiver. Since so much of that is dependent on personal taste, I won't pretend to tell you which one to buy, plus listening and deciding is 1/2 the fun. Some brands that would work well and you could buy a nice version of include: Paradigm, NHT, PSB, Definitive Tech.
In my opinion, putting together something like that would seriously WOW almost anyone who experienced it, including you and your family members.
That said, there are a few considerations that would quite possibly cause me to alter my recommendations, including:
How much time listening to music vs. watching movies (those are nice TV sets I'm spec'ing)
Is $10K your lifetime limit, or would you likely be willing to spend some more to improve it in a year?
If you were going to improve it, would you want to only add to it, or would you want to upgrade pieces?
Best of luck in your choice.
Prs123, 16:9 was exactly what I meant. Thanks. You do have the knack for this. I wonder if there's a consulting market out there?
Thanks. It seems there are a lot of good ideas on the Audiogon threads. No one can hear everything, not even the reviewers/retailers. That's why it is so much fun to get clued into something you might overlook. BTW, I heard some
NEO speakers, very new, very thin very good clarity and balance for HT. Not too reasonable, but not outrageous. Hard to find(only heard them in one A/V boutique.) Anyone else hear these?
Angela, there is a consulting market out there. I been doing this for around two years and I am going to get certified by ISF in the next year. Go get it and you can do what you want.
Tke0810, any info re ISF certification would be appreciated.
Angela, you can visit their website and get all the info you have ever wanted. Training sites, dates, basic seminar agenda etc. Just type in key word ISF and it should take you right there. I have had my Sony KV32xbr96 calibrated by an authorized buisness. My pix was outstanding prior to the calibration, now it's breathtaking with DVD. I wish the unit had the Y, PR,Pb inputs like the current XBR series, but I'm not willing to trade to the flat screen Vegas. It's worth the effort to get calibrated, and the expense. You'll pay anywhere from $150.00 up to have it done. Let me know if you do get yours done, I'm interested.
whoops! directed my comments to the wrong person, sorry prs123, no offense.