home theater for 3000

new speakers, amp/pre/pro(rec), and dvd player for under $3000 any help???????
this is for a friend who listens to rock and techno.
You are pretty much stuck with using a receiver ( albeit a decent one ), a "speaker package" from one manufacturer and what should be a pretty solid DVD player with a few bucks left over for "reasonable" cables, a rack and some accessories IF buying new. Buying used opens up all kinds of doors. You might want to discuss this option with your buddy and see what he thinks. While there are TONS of good deals available "on line", one consideration would be warranty. Given your friends willingness to trust you and help him get set up, don't forget to mention this relatively important aspect to a "newcomer".

Given his taste in music and that it will be used for HT use also, you might want to look at what Klipsch has to offer. I know that they make a surround set-up ( center channel, 4 speakers for mains and surrounds and a small sub ) that you can easily pick up for under $1000 brand new. These are pretty efficient, have a lot of "punch" for their cost and size and should give him what he's looking for.

This would leave you with about $1000 for an RX ( Yamaha, Denon or NAD ), $350 for a DVD player ( Pioneer or Sony ), $100 for speaker stands ( Sanus, etc... ), $225 for interconnects and speaker cable with $175 for a "rack" that could support his TV, audio gear, VCR, etc... ( Sanus, Salamander, etc... ). With all of the money invested in this system, you can't overlook "protecting it" ala a decent power line filter for $100 ( Monster HTS-1000 ).

Given the horn loading on the Klipsch and the "solid state" sound of the RX and DVD, i would opt for cables that are smooth to relatively neutral. Since we have to keep the total price down and we have SIX speakers to hook up, the first thing that comes to mind is Axon speaker cable. You could use Axon 8 for the center and mains with Axon 4 for the surrounds. You can "snag" this stuff at good prices from Elliot at Zalytron ( www.zalytron.com ). Another suggestion might be checking with the Cable Company to see what they have ( www.usedcables.com ) or look here on Audiogon to see what is available from fellow members. Something along the lines or Tara or Audioquest might also be complimentary product lines since they too are not bright or piercing.

I suggested the NAD, Yamaha and Denon RX's because these lines typically sound a little smoother and less forward / glaring than your typical Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, Crackerjack, etc... RX's. Combined with the "smoother" cables, they should help to balance out some of the forwardness and glare of the digital recordings and horns.

As to the "audio furniture" ( speaker stands and A/V rack ), Audio Advisor ( www. audioadvisor.com ) has several pieces in their "clearance" or "hot buys" section. The Monster PLC can be had at Global Mart ( http://www1.globe-mart.com/computer/surge/monstercable/index.htm ). Just make sure that you click on their "best price" section.

Going at face value of my suggestions, this puts you at $2950 ( plus shipping, etc... ). You may be able to "haggle" that down a bit or just find better prices by shopping around. This was by NO means a definitive answer to your question, it simply shows a way to attack a "balanced system approach" that will look good, sound good and be well balanced. Don't forget that if you are going to consider buying mail order, take a look at the Audio / Video Survey website to verify whether a dealer / reseller is reputable or not worth getting involved with ( http://www.audiosurvey.com/index.html ). Hope this helps and gives you some ideas to play around with. Sean
You may want to visit the Virtual Systems page under LEARN on the main menu to give you some ideas.
I would also suggest scanning previous posts under HT. You may find your answers already there for you!

If not, then you may need to post a little more information on needs/current setup before anyone will be able to respond with much detail. For example,
1.what is more important - 2 channel (since you listed their musical tastes) or multi channel (since your heading lists HT).
2.What kind of TV do they have (or do they need a TV, too)?
3.Do they need progressive scan on the DVD player?
4.Will they want the flexibility to upgrade or is this a one shot deal? (Receiver vs amp-preamp question)
5.Is there any WAF (wife acceptance factor) to consider?
6.The size of room could be a factor.
7.Will they need a rack as well?
8.How about cabling?

Yeah, it gets crazy soon enough. If you know and could provide a little more detail, you'll have a better chance of getting some recommendations that you could pass along right away.
Best of luck,
Sean was posting at same time. He made all the assumptions that I asked about GMTA ;~) and gave you some good advice. I'd take Sean shopping with me ANYTIME.
Start with the Outlaw receiver, which now costs just $499 direct. It performs better than many $1000 Japanese A/V recievers, and will allow you to spend the rest of your budget on better speakers, sub, etc...
Wow. That's good to know "E". I have not been in the receiver market, let alone HT receiver, for a LONG, LONG time. Out of curiousity, how much power per channel is that "baby" rated at and how many channels ??? Sean
65 w/pc with all channels driven -- pretty low for most receivers today (though Outlaw rates the power pretty conservatively). I'd be sure and get some pretty efficient speakers if you get your heart set on the Outlaw.

B&K AVP1030 Dolby Digital Tuner/Preamp Item: 1003079453

B&K AV2500 Multi channel Amp Item: 1003450313
Then I would go with Sean's suggestion on the speakers. That sounds like a great deal, and in case it wasn't already mentioned, you want at least the Left/Center/Right speakers to have the same drivers.
Now, for what I feel may end up being the most critical component, the source! In his case, it sounds as though the DVD player will be doubling as his CD player. I will assume for a minute that your friend's television is not Progressive-Scan capable - go get a Sony DVP-S7700, they can be found new on the internet for around $500.00. If he has a Progressive-Scan TV get the Sony DVP-9000ES, new on the net at $1000.00. Either way you're under $3000.00. Sure there is tax, shipping, etc. And believe it or not, cables ( speaker-wire, interconnects, power cords ) can make a significant difference, but start with the cheap stuff and upgrade as your finances permit.
The used amp and pre/pro may or may not still be available, but I was just using them as examples of what can be found, if you look. Heck, if your friend does a little searching he will learn very fast about the HT/HiFi world and maybe be able to make some of these decisions on his own. Either way he'll have some fun. Good Luck!
Hello Glenn1000:

I see you are direct and straight to the point when it comes to decribing what your friend wants or needs in an "audio/video" system. And designing one for about $3K is going to be challenging. I should know. I have designed a system myself that falls right into that price range (although, it's not finished yet. All I need right now is a speaker system.... but so far, my system costs about $3,500.00 (but adding a $1,000.00 speaker system, a power conditioner and a cabinet that will be strong enough to support a 100 pound TV and maybe, 200 pounds worth of components will push the price tag of my system to WELL over $5K)) (go to "Virtual Systems" and see my home theater system called "A Home Theater System Slowly Coming Together" to get some sort of idea of what I am talking about). But in designing your friend's audio/video system, I am going to assume that your friend already has a TV, right?? Because if not, then I am going to include one in my recommendations anyway.

Now that the formalities are over and done with, let's get down to designing an audio/video system that you or your friend isn't going to sneeze at. Okay?? Okay..

First, I am going to start out with the TV just in case your friend doesn't have one yet. With the prices of HDTV going down (while the picture quality of these sets either stay the same, or improve over their predecessors thanks to improving technology. I am going to find out things for myself this coming weekend. A television station in my hometown is going to be hosting something that is called a "Digital Expo". And there, there going to have EVERYTHING there that pretains to the "digital age". And that will include computers, PDA's, anything that pretains to the internet, and of course they will have some things that pretain to digital audio, DVD and yes, HDTV. So you'll have some idea as to where I'll be spending my time this weekend), now maybe a great time to think about investing in a HDTV. And as far as HDTV sets are concerned, now I believe you can get one for about $1,000.00 or so. The set I am talking about is made by a manufacturer named "Samsung" The model number of this is "TSL2795HF". And as you can imagine, this is a 27-Inch set (just like my Panasonic CT-27SF37, only my Panasonic is an "analog/interlaced" set) that happens to be a HDTV. This set has all of the goodies including two tuner PIP, Zoom Capability, rear and side mounted A/V jacks with one S-Video Jack on the rear and another one still concealed on the left side of the set (my Panasonic doesn't EVEN have any front jacks AT ALL), component video input jacks, a 3D Y/C digital comb filter and here's the good part: it has a "progressive scan decoder BUILT-IN (!!!!!!). Taken altogether, this set produces one of the sharpest, truest, and most beautiful and intense pictures I have ever seen. I believe the picture from this set is a LOT BETTER than the picture MY set produces. And to believe that this set is ONLY $1,000.00!!!! Too bad I am not in the market for a television right now. Because if I was, and if I would've waited a little while longer, then this would be the set I'll be getting. If you're not put off by the "Samsung" (and they make some decent products now. They don't make any cheap and inferior products. Nope, not anymore) name, this is one set that is worth checking out right now.

Next up, DVD Players. Due to the fact that the Samsung set that I have just mentioned has a "progressive scan" decoder built in, I'll would save some money in this area and get me a DVD Player that DOESN'T have "progressive scan" capability (just use the component video outputs of the DVD Player and connect them to the component video inputs of the Samsung HDTV, and the Samsung will upconvert the otherwise interlaced signal coming from the DVD Player's component video outputs and turn it into a "progressive scan" signal). And the DVD Player I would look at would be the Sony DVP-S7700. I know that this player is discontinued now, and Sony NO LONGER manufactures this player. But this is still one of the best DVD machines available today (if you have an interlaced TV that is). It is built like a tank. And best of all, it has an excellent transport with very good DACs. So, it can function as a CD Player too. And best of all, you should be able to get one for a fantastic deal. Being that this player is now discontinued, you should be able to land one for about $500.00 brand new if you surf the "net" a little bit, and maybe, about $350.00 to $450.00 for a used one. This is one player that is STILL worth checking out, and it would be a wonderful mate for the Samsung TV I just talked about earlier.

Next up, the audio electronics. I see in your heading that you have mentioned the possibility of getting a separate surround sound processor and an multi-channel amp. Now, if you were spending about $15K and up, then I would see that as a possibility. But now, for just about $3K for a whole system, I think it looks like a receiver is going to be your one and only option here. And for the price range of about $500.00 to about $1,000.00 (depending on features, connectivity, surround capabilities, and yes....... power), you should be able to land a decent receiver (it may not be a "top-of-the-line" model, but it won't be an "entry-level" model either). Others here have mentioned receivers from the likes of Denon, NAD, Outlaw, and Yamaha. How about if I could throw Harman/Kardon into the mix. And the reason I say Harman/Kardon is because with the speakers I am going to mention in a minute, I believe you are going to find the warmer and smoother sound of the Harman/Kardon a little easier for your ears to take. And don't let the lower power ratings of their receivers mislead you either. Although Harman/Kardons tend to be rated rather low in the power department, they have been known to be high current/wideband designs, so Harman/Kardons tend to sound a lot more powerful than they appear to be. I have the AVR-210 right now. And although, it is rated at 40 W/P/C x 5, it's more than strong enough for my 12 x 10 x 16 bedroom. Most of the time, when I am listening to movie soundtracks through my Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones, I cannot turn the volume up no more than two thirds of the way on the left side of the volume control. I cannot even imagine thinking how loud this thing will go once I finally hook some speakers up to it. So, that's just one more brand for you to consider.

Next up, speakers. Since your friend is into "rock and techno" music, I will have to concur with what the others have said beforehand and advise you to take a hard look at the Klipsch speaker system. The one I have in mind includes two pairs of satellites, a center channel and a subwoofer. The setup I have in mind also retails for $1,000.00. They provide a pretty hard punch that belies speakers of their size. They are also small, so they won't take up much space, and they are pretty efficient too. And since they won't need a boat load of power, they'll be a perfect fit for the H/K receiver I have just mentioned earlier.

And finally, accessories. I would say this. Get all the necessities in hand first. Don't skimp on your components. If that means if your friend has to take some shortcuts in the "accessories" right now, then so be it. At least, he/she won't be sorry if they don't end up selecting components that they'll be trading up later on just because they want to save money right now. I would rather spend the money of the components right now, and then get the accessories later on when your budget recovers and your financial situation become feasible for doing so.

Let us know what you and your friend decides on later on.

Good Luck

thanks keep it coming guys
My friend does not want to go used. i have no problem with as almost everthing I have is.
He has a tv in a wall unit there is some waf involved as speaker can be 18-24 inchs from wall. sub in corner is ok surround call be ear lvl on stands or wall but can't be up high cause of "waf"

I'll though one other thing he wants to do speakers out side so two zone is needed....we can find a cheap used amp for that i hope but need control on main system or a really cheap rec/int amp w remote
also this is for a living room. the crap he has now is a stereo sony rec (no remote) and no name speakers
Sean is right. What you describe is a receiver-based system.

I'll try to help, but it'll be a real challenge to work with a $3,000 budget. I'll do my best.

There are a few other close choices in the receiver and DVD player category and I wouldn't projectile vomit if someone had other suggestions. I really don't think such other alternatives exist in the speaker category for the price, but I'm open to hearing about (and hearing) other candidates.

FYI, I own a $25,000 system and spent a lot of listening time (and working at a job) putting it together. When it comes to audio snobbery, I'll match upturned noses with the best of them. We audiophiles wear our pretensions like a badge of honor.

So don't be shocked at what I'm about to recommend. And remember that everything I suggest is my opinion. It's the only one I'm qualified to give.

Here goes (costs are street prices):

Speakers: Two Ascend CBM 170s in front, one Ascend HTM-200 in the center (it'll match, but if you are concerned, for a few bucks more you can make the center a 170) and two HTM-200s for surrounds. $750.00. (www.ascendacoustics.com)

Stands for the above mains: $90.00

Receiver: Onkyo TX-DS595 $380.00

DVD Player: Pioneer Elite DV-37 $560.00

Total $1780.00

OK, let's add a powered subwoofer. Sony SA-WM40 $199.00 (if you laugh you haven't heard it).

Total $1,979.00, less tax and/or shipping.

I told you this would be difficult.

You could always spend the extra grand on cables and a power cord (just kidding -- see my post in Audiogon Forum Cables under "John Dunlavy On Cable Nonsense.")
Plasma, thanks for the laughs. While the first one was your reference to "projectile vomit" ( oh, if you could only see the pictures ), the second one is hilarious because it is "universal" and OH SO TRUE : )

(When it comes to audio snobbery, I'll match upturned noses with the best of them. We audiophiles wear our pretensions like a badge of honor.)

As much as we try, we STILL get "snobby" when surrounded by "low fi" infidels, don't we : ) Keep up the good work and i'll have to remember to check into the Ascend Acoustics. Best wishes... Sean

Here is the breakup....and it doesn't get better

Cables Space them out keep buying good ones
Speakers Build your own (e-speakers.com..they'll sound as good as JM LABS grande-utopia ) if you buy high end stuff from Andre
your're set under 3000 with probably the world's best HT with 7.1; DTS ES and THX - EX
doesn't get any better