What The Fidelity??

OK. So here is what I currently have, followed with what I was thinking of doing and ending with what a "pro installer" is recommending. Who can give me some opinions and insight?
Three years ago we moved into a new place and I called an installer to get things going. I only had Klipsch ref-62's for fronts and a 150.00 Samsung Blue-ray while watching a 46" panasonic plasma from COSTCO. That's it. He set up a Denon avr1910, Apple TV and a Belkin surge protector. Wireless control with a "genious 900 remote.
Time for an upgrade. I have ordered the Tekton Pendragons. Eric Alexander paired the M-lore center channel and sides for a 5.0 system. (I'll wait for now on the sub). I'm thinking either a 55" or 60" Panasonic VT50 or GT50. Room treatments from GIK (Brian has been quite helpful).
So, a new "pro installer " came over and right away said I have to forget about everything I have been thinking. He said the Pens would be too bright (Really!). The Denon is also too bright and harsh. The Blue-ray is crap. And finally, the TV's we buy at retail stores are also crap. They are tier 3 models. He can get the top tier models (better glass, better construction) and calibrate it before the install.
His line up is....
NAD T 757 receiver
NAD T 767 Blueray
Paridigm Studio 20 fronts
Paridigm Studio 10 rears
Paridigm Studio CC 490 center
J-29 speaker stands
Paridigm dual 12" ultra cube subs
HDMI Cable
He also suggests a processor (a 5,000.00 demo for 2,800.00) This total comes to around $14,000.00 not including the demo but it does include install, programming and calibration). So the question is......My price point with the Tekton speakers, GIK and HDTV would be around 7,500.00. Should I follow the expert advice or will my present components do the job?? By the way, the Samsung UN55ES8000ss is 4,000.00!
8a186008 318b 49c7 847d ad799951e262brianpack
1. keep in mind that most pro installers get a piece of whatever gear they sell you, so their advise is undoubtedly colored
2. you don't give specifics about your room, use (movies, music), etc., but i'll assume you're shopping for a mainly HT system. accordingly, i'd opine that the tektons are very well-regarded speakers which should serve you well and save you some $$$; i believe they also have a no-hassle return policy if you don't like 'em. the paradigms are also well-regarded but not necessarily better.
3. i've been taught that the low-priced tvs you get at costco or walmart really are prone to failure and that the $1500 and-up major brand models are significantly better made and a better investment. that said, esp. given the rapidly evolving technology i wouldn't drop 4 grand on a 55" tv--the panasonics you mention should be fine if you really feel compelled to upgrade.
4. not being a big movie guy, i don't see a ton of difference in picture quality between most name brand bluray players (consumer reports seems to rate all of 'em "excellent"); upgrading your samsung wouldn't be a top priority unless you're also listening to a lot of music.
5. your denon avr seems to be a midrange 2009 model and probably worth upgrading. separates will typically sound better than avrs--anthem, integra, arcam etc. get recommended alot. note that processors, in particular, depreciate extremely quickly and you might want to look at good used gear to avail yourself.
just my opinion. keep us posted.
Whatever you do make only one change at a time and give yourself and teh gear some time together before changing something else. BE sure to apply free easy tweaks like adjusting speaker placement, changing ICs to others you might own, etc. along the way as needed before taking the next big step.

I would not trust any sales/service person telling you to change everything at once for any reason. Probably just trying to ride any upgrade fever you might have.
"pro pitcher"
Hi Brian,

Wow. Lots of changes are certainly happening or possibly happening in your house! Can I offer two initial thoughts:

1) Each custom installer or dealer sells particular brands. If one dealer openly bashes another dealer or product be careful. In high end audio and video there are lots of great products. There are differences but they are nuanced and often personal preference. Make sure that when it is your system, it is YOUR preference. Listen to advice but you should make the final decision.

2) VIDEO PRODUCTS: TV sets depreciate at an astonishing rate. I personally recommend that you look at hometheater.com for good reviews on TV sets and technologies. In fact, drop the editor Scott Wilkinson an email with your video questions. The top TV brands for plasma tend to be Panasonic and Samsung. They are both excellent. LG is fine too. Generally you don't need the top model but can get away with the second or third in line saving you thousands. A 55" at a 4k price point is too much $$. You can get. 65" of comparable quality from Panasonic or Samsung at that price. Unless it is the Sharp Elite, it isn't worth it in my opinion.

3) AUDIO: audio is a totally different beast. Speaker tech doesn't change as radically as TVs so out your $$in the best speakers you can. Do not. I repeat, do not buy speakers blindly! Visit and listen to the models. There are differences and you may like one over another. Paradigm is a great brand; however there are other great speakers out there too.

4) Bluray: Oppo Digital is hands down the best player out there and it's $499 with a new model coming. Oppo is the standard that all other Bluray players are measured against. Stick with Oppo. NAD is a GREAT brand but I feel very strongly about the Oppo and the new model has 4k up scaling and that helps future proof things a bit. Most dealers cannot carry Oppo units so they are not an option for them to sell.

5) HDMI Don't pay $100 for an HDMI cable. Monoprice redmere cables are fantastic as are Bluejeanscable cables or Tributaries. A dealer has 50%-$100% markup on those accessories. I have all three of those brand cables myself in a very high end system. Don't be fooled there. Read blue jeans cable web site for great info.

'm confused about the processor. Is he giving you an NAD demo or something else???? NAD makes great products. I've owned NAD myself and been very happy. Also all demo units should be sold at $50% off list at that price point.

FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, what is it that you don't like about your current setup? If you can't identify that, then you won't necessarily be solving your problem and simply buying upgrades and spending $$ all the time. I've been an audio and video guy for years and years and I've meticulously built a system that I have fallen in love with. It's not about the equipment but the music and the movies--the experience. So just be careful and listen and try before you buy and shop around at other audio stores in your area. YOU are the client and you shouldn't feel pressured. If you do that's a warning sign.

I re-read your post and also read a bit on the Pendragons. Please allow me to be blunt:

There is no way on earth your dealer has heard the Tektons; and there's no way he can make any comment on their sound. I'd like to know where he auditioned factory-direct speakers.

He's also substituting Paradigm bookshelf speakers and pitting them against full-range speakers. Apples and oranges setup.

Going by your description and your words, I wouldn't jump into anything blindly with this dealer. Instead, I'd wait for the Tektons to arrive, be fickle with your setup of the speakers (remember, positioning in the room is 50% of the sound) for the next 30 days and then make a decision. Ask Eric Alexander what he things mate well with the speakers for electronics.
I think your pro installer dealer is a bit heavy handed with his advice, however, I do find the Tekton an odd choice for home theater. It's a high effeciecy cross overless design. I would think Tekton buyers would typically be 2 channel tube amp guys. For home theater, paradigm actually is a pretty good choice.
Thanks you guys for the responses and the advice. Internetmin....the recommendations are much appreciated. I will check out oppo? and read some reviews. To clarify, after I mentioned keeping the Denon, he said " OK keep the Denon but there's no use getting the Paridigm......it won't be any good. Hmmmm. But then he said to get a processor. Which leads to a very interesting commentary. Have you ( or anyone ) ever heard of HDTV models available in "tiers" or "grades". He suggested that any TV bought at Best Buy or COSTCO or wherever is low end. The glass is cheap and the build is crap. ( these are his words ). He, though, can get high end with real high quality glass and construction. He's not comparing Runco to Samsung......he's comparing Samsung to Samsung, the same ES8000 model, only with an upgrade!! Personally I don't believe it.
And Jaxwired.......I'm a sound guy as opposed to a music or movie guy. I love smooth, warm music.....even if it's jamm'in and loud. The SOUND has to feel good. Even in movies, clarity and precision are more enjoyable than crash and bang. So maybe I am a tube amp guy after all .
Thanks again
"he's comparing Samsung to Samsung, the same ES8000 model, only with an upgrade"

I call B.S. on that one.

There are different models of TVs within a line. Some are going to be "dealer only" or specialty products. An example is the Sharp Elite or the now discontinued Pioneer Kuro that are sold through specific channels (BTW, BestBuy Magnolia sections sell the premium TVs so that shoots the installer's theory out the window). Personally speaking, unless it's either of those two models, the markup isn't worth it.

Panasonic makes some gorgeous dealer-oriented displays but again they are really expensive compared to the other models. I've been an audiophile and home theater enthusiast for years. I try and keep up on the industry and read up on the technology. One of the reviewers I respect most is Tom Norton from Home Theater. I find his reviews and insights to be consistently high caliber. In some instances, he's pointed out that from a picture quality difference there is sometimes no difference between models; rather, features like 3D, additional ports, then Internet apps are the features in the more expensive models. Many of the entry level and mid-tier are even able to be ISF calibrated. As a general rule of thumb, the middle-tier TVs are better values than the very top of the line.

That being said, if the model numbers are the same, the dealer isn't somehow adding magic dust that only he has to make the TV perform better. I suggest you go through the reviews here at hometheater.com or soundandvision.com as your starting point:

If you are looking for a 55" TV, then consider this one from Panasonic and save yourself a few thousand dollars.

If you end up saving yourself thousands, you can buy my kids a $100 savings bond for college and pocket the rest! LOL ;-)

Don't forget to have fun with this process.