Home Theater Neophyte-Speaker Recommendations?

Well...after years of steadfastedly resisting the multi-channel anathema, I am ready to dip my toe in the waters. The primary end user of the system will be my wife, as I rarely watch television save the occassional movie. I want to end up with a "reasonable" system, w/o necessarily going to the lengths (or expense) of my 2 channel system. After doing a bit of research, lead contenders are the 40" Sony Wega direct view TV, the Pioneer Elite DV 37, and either one of the Pioneer Elite VSX series receivers (probably the VSX 36), a Denon or an Onkyo Integra receiver. I woulde certainly welcome suggestions for receivers under $ 1000 (used or eBay prices, not list). I would welcome even more any suggestions for HT speaker systems costing less than $ 1500 total (again, used or eBay pricing). Looking for a basic 5.1 set up right now. Many thanks in advance for youe suggestions.
Ebay is overpriced on most Consumer Electronics.
Dont overlook Marantz and Nakamichi on a Reciever.
A PAradigm or PSB combo will be very nice and you should do well with 1500.00 Start with PSB Golds USed in front and build from there.
Build 2 systems
I would go with a B&K 202 or 101 depends on if you want DTS or not. you should be able to get one for about a grand.
Just hooked up an HT system in the bedroom with a Denon 3802
(read reviews on audioreview.com)new for $740 on EBAY and
M&K 750THX left and right, S-150AC THX center and V-1250THX
subwoofer, all used on Audiogon for $1450 with incredible
Hello Alexc:

How are you doing?? I am going to wish you luck in your quest to put together a quality home theater system that is not going to cost you as much as your home audio setup. But by the type of equipment that you have listed, I don't see how that is going to be possible, unless you have an audio rig costing in excess of $10,000.00 or so. But anyway, I am going to try and show you what I came up with.

Okay......... here it goes:

(01). For the speaker system, I would go with either a very nice PSB or Paradigm package for starters. If you get a speaker system from either of these manufacturers, then you should be able to get the whole setup for about $1,500.00 or so. And that should include the two main front channels, a center channel, a pair of surrounds, and a subwoofer. If you go with either of these two manufacturers, then in my humble opinion, there is no way you could/should go wrong here.

(02). Then after you have gotten the speaker issue settled, then I would go and look at a Denon AVR-3802 Audio/Video Receiver. This is a VERY nice receiver, and it should have more than enough power to power the speaker systems I have mentioned to you above. It is also well built and reasonably priced. This receiver retails for about $1,200.00 when it is brand new. But I have seen a few of them on "E-Bay" for around $700.00 to $800.00 or so. But I would be careful about bidding for electronics on "E-Bay". Because if you are not careful, and you don't know the true cost of what the merchandise should cost when it is new, then you are going to end up overpaying for an item that you should not be overpaying for if you are not careful. I think that the Denon AVR-3802 retails for around $1,200.00. $650.00 sounds like a fantastic deal for this receiver, and $700.00 to $800.00 seems more fair and more realistic to me. If I were bidding on this receiver, then my top dollar would be around $800.00 to about $850.00. If the bid amount tops $850.00??? Then I would forget about it at that point. Anything above $850.00, then you might as well get it locally and pay retail for it.

(03). And for the DVD Player?? Unless you are in a rush to get it at this moment, then I would probably wait about a month or so before I would get it. As Pioneer is getting ready to come out with the new Elite DV-47A, I would be on the lookout for a DV-37 at a closeout price pretty soon. Because if the DV-47A becomes available for retail at any time in the "not-to-distant" future, then they are going to cut the price of the DV-37 just to get it out the door. So then, you may be able to get a DV-37 at a great price and save some money in the bargain.

Also lastly, unless you are stuck on getting a Denon or an Onkyo Integra receiver, then I don't think you should overlook the other great receivers that are also out there. Harman/Kardon, Marantz, NAD, and Yamaha also make very good receivers, and maybe you should give them a look as well.

Good Luck.........


Many thanks for the excellent suggestions. My two channel audio system has grown to be a monster with a retail price somewhere north of $ 50 000 (although other than the analog front end and subwoofer, I've baought all of it from my generous, restless friends in Audiogon :0)).

I purchase a PSB speaker system from Upscale Audio last night which I think will do the trick very nicely (4T towers, 8C center, 1B surrounds, SubSonic 6 sub). Kevin has gotten a few "factory blemished" speakers and his prices are VERY decent, considering the speakers are new and under full warranty.

So...the first step is taken!. I will look into the receviers you suggest. I have no particular bias towards any given brand. The ones I mentioned are ones I was vaguely aware of given my pretty much complete ignorance of Home Theater.

As for DVD players, the new Elite models are out, so the DVD 37 is going for abround $ 500 new on eBAy. Is this a reasonable price?

Just an observation here. I'd be really cautious about buying new equipment from ebay. My impression is that the prices are no better than you can find from a quality dealer and with ebay there is no after-purchase support at all.

Used equipment is a somewhat different story but I urge all to buy new gear from dealers when possible. It keeps them in business, doncha know. And that's important if we're all gonna keep having fun.

In reference to your dealer charging around $500.00 for a new Pioneer Elite DV-37, then yes, I would have to say that that's a fantastic deal. If you have any funds left over right now, then I would run (and not walk) back to your dealer and snag one from them before they are all gone. Just for the record, my dealer carries Pioneer Elite also, and just last week, they had the DV-37 priced at $580.00 (and I paid about $700.00 (they were pricing them at $800.00) for mine almost a year ago, and thought that that was a fantastic deal then).

But now, if your dealer is pricing them at $500.00, then I would get one immediately.


I'm sorry.......... I meant "E-Bay". At this point, I wouldn't go over $550.00 for it.

Be careful..........