Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

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Mrxyz
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Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Mrxyz » Sun May 12, 2013 5:55 am

Hi

I am looking at projection TV with audio equipment for my basement - 15 x 18 sq feet. I have (rich or richer)friends who have great audio systems worth 15-20 G with projection TV. Yes, I have searched this site and looked at other recommendations including AVS forum and consumer reports.

Questions;
1. Projection TV versus plasma TV? - It seems for the same price of a (say) 65" TV, one can get a (bigger screen- I am looking at 100") projection TV with same resolution.
2. How much to spend on a good audio system to 'match' the projection TV? -- I have estimates for a reasonable B & W system with 5:1 sound, with RF remote and salamander cabinet for around 10G (includes the projection TV - Epsom 6010 - 1080p with Da-Lite screen).

Suggestion, comments, recommendations please? Am I spending too much?

The other (less expensive) audio equipment just does not sound as good! The projection TV costs are the same as a large TV size and thus the only difference is the cost/ type of audio equipment.

Thanks!

sogm
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by sogm » Sun May 12, 2013 6:22 am

Ah, you can never spend too much on audio. All of your answers are on the forum you mentioned. I would suggest you look at the Marantz AV8801 for a sound processor. Remarkable value. The Audyssey XT32 (included in the Marantz and worth $1500 to me) calibration changed our home theater listening experience dramatically. Dramatically changed our entire experience. Read the reviews on Amazon for the processor. Look at Kef speakers, series R. Lastly, the larger screen means you have to sit back further and there may be fan noise issues with the projector? LCD televisions are quite remarkable and a Samsung 60" would be fine for your room. Once set up, you will find yourself re-watching movies just for the new sound experience. Have fun.

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Frugal Al
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Frugal Al » Sun May 12, 2013 7:13 am

For a dedicated theater room, which I take is what you want, do some investigation to determine the power you need to achieve THX reference sound levels for your cubic space with adequate headroom/low distortion. Also, maybe a false floor as basements tend to dampen subwoofer sound effects, and other acoustic work. Stick with the 100" screen so you can achieve THX viewing angles--bigger IS better.

Having said that, dedicated home theaters don't always get used as much as people think. Still $15k to $20k isn't too much at all if you can afford it and enjoy movies.

snowx800
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by snowx800 » Sun May 12, 2013 7:55 am

The big question is how much you will use your system. I would look at A top of the line receiver ( marantz sr 7005) comes with everything. Speakers - kef R series B&W cm series subwoofer look at SVS. go listen and see what you like. The next place to look at is the acoustic of the room including walls.

Calm Man
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Calm Man » Sun May 12, 2013 8:21 am

I ask you whether it really is worth it. A nice HDTV plus sound bar can be had for 1/15th of the cost your friends have taken on. Does it really matter having perfect audio? How many movies are you going to watch? For sports, I usually turn the sound off as I can't deal with the low to no value commentary. For hockey, which I watched last night, I had to turn it off because the announcers get excited at each shot and scream, which made me nervous.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun May 12, 2013 8:44 am

This seems more videophile than audiophile. When I was heavily into testing and auditioning I finally settled a Boglehead approach and bought used Thiel's 3.5
They were somewhat outdated but only cost about $1,000.00

When I went to surround sound, I thought of making those the rear speakers and buying used Thiel speakers
as my front, sub, center channel. Used, it will would have costs about $9,500 for the setup. And that is without
a comparable hi end receiver.

Instead, I sold my Thiels and then bought on NewEgg: Klipsh sub woofer, and two Klipsch front/center
speakers. I have not yet bought rear speakers. I went with Onkyo for a receiver.

For critical listening for music, nothing will touch high end gear such as Thiel, Audio Research, Mark Levinson.

However, for electronics primarily for movie viewing, I found much less costly gear quite satisfying. I spent less than
1/6 new, for what I would have paid used on high end gear.

Granted it doesn't have anywhere near the same tight imaging. Still, for movies, I don't miss it.
As for music listening, 90% is on my computer / Droid with higher end headphones.

The video part: prices are coming down dramatically. I would not spend big money for a LED currently
with the new 4k standard coming out within the next year or two. You would then be able to have a 100"
(or larger) screen with resolution as tight as a 40" is today.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by YttriumNitrate » Sun May 12, 2013 8:56 am

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Last edited by YttriumNitrate on Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Blues » Sun May 12, 2013 9:06 am

Calm Man wrote:I ask you whether it really is worth it. A nice HDTV plus sound bar can be had for 1/15th of the cost your friends have taken on. Does it really matter having perfect audio? How many movies are you going to watch? For sports, I usually turn the sound off as I can't deal with the low to no value commentary. For hockey, which I watched last night, I had to turn it off because the announcers get excited at each shot and scream, which made me nervous.
The problem with many systems is that unless you audition the particular speakers in your dedicated room you just don't know which system would be optimal.
(I also believe that after a short period of listening a lot of the "difference" gets lost in the ether, so to speak.)

The funny thing about some sports broadcasts...(as transplanted NY'ers we are watching our Rangers and Knicks flounder their way through the playoffs. (Kudos to the Islanders for a great effort and a good season)... I find that if I use the audio on my Sony HDTV (Dolby D), the announcers voices occasionally get lost in the background noise of the stadium or arena. But, if I turn on my system and turn off the tv speakers, the broadcast is much more pleasing and real.

That said, there is a huge difference in the audio quality from one broadcast (and venue) to another.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Blues » Sun May 12, 2013 9:08 am

Calm Man wrote:I ask you whether it really is worth it. A nice HDTV plus sound bar can be had for 1/15th of the cost your friends have taken on. Does it really matter having perfect audio? How many movies are you going to watch? For sports, I usually turn the sound off as I can't deal with the low to no value commentary. For hockey, which I watched last night, I had to turn it off because the announcers get excited at each shot and scream, which made me nervous.
The problem with many systems is that unless you audition the particular speakers in your dedicated room you just don't know which system would be optimal. (I also believe that after a short period of listening a lot of the "difference" gets lost in the ether, so to speak.)

The funny thing about some sports broadcasts...(as transplanted NY'ers we are watching our Rangers and Knicks flounder their way through the playoffs. (Kudos to the Islanders for a great effort and a good season)... I find that if I use the audio on my Sony HDTV (Dolby D), the announcers voices occasionally get lost in the background noise of the stadium or arena. But, if I turn on my system and turn off the tv speakers, the broadcast is much more pleasing and real. Sometimes it's just the opposite.

That said, there is a huge difference in the audio quality from one broadcast (and venue) to another.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 12, 2013 9:19 am

Mrxyz wrote:Questions;
1. Projection TV versus plasma TV? - It seems for the same price of a (say) 65" TV, one can get a (bigger screen- I am looking at 100") projection TV with same resolution.
2. How much to spend on a good audio system to 'match' the projection TV? -- I have estimates for a reasonable B & W system with 5:1 sound, with RF remote and salamander cabinet for around 10G (includes the projection TV - Epsom 6010 - 1080p with Da-Lite screen).
Just like you should have a financial plan before you invest, you should layout your home theater environment before you look at the equipment.

Proper placement makes this work. See: HDTV Set Up and Surround Sound Speaker Set Up from THX. You don't dump $10k on equipment to sit in the corner.

What most people pick up first is the size of the display. Yes, you should buy the biggest display you can afford, even if it sacrifices a bit on quality. The size of the display is not important, but the viewing angle. Look at the THX HDTV setup more closely. That 40 degree Field of View is a minimum, not a maximum, IMHO. The closer (and larger the display) the better.

In addition to sound-proofing, consider the lighting environment. A projection TV requires a dark room. Do you want to turn off the lights whenever the projector is on? It would be highly inconvenient having casual conversations with your friends while watching (pick a sport) the game.

Perhaps you decide that a 100" screen is what you want. Consider some way to dim the lighting so that it won't wash out the projector, but still lets friends see where they put their drinks. It will avoid a lot of awkward cleanup.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun May 12, 2013 3:24 pm

I waited to my video friend responded. Several thoughts:
Plasma is best if you view from an angle.
If you go with a large projector, review the different types and see which is best for your
viewing. Also, he agrees with me on the 4k. It is quickly coming down in price and he
feels in 2-3 years it will be the norm in very large screens. I found a site which tells
you the best resolution requirement at each distance.

http://referencehometheater.com/2013/co ... alculator/

As I posted earlier, If I were going to spend a fairly large sum of money, I would rather spend
less now, with the intent of upgrading as the 4k technology became cheaper. The new source
for 4k will be a 4K media player that was released by Sony. It is coming more quickly because 1080
has long been a commodity and 3D is pretty much a non-event.

50" inch 4k are now priced 1 few hundred more than higher end LED.
http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/12/seik ... h-4k-1300/

Added: an HDGuru on cables:
http://hdguru.com/all-hdmi-cables-are-t ... test/4373/

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 12, 2013 4:09 pm

Don't be the Guinea pig for the "must have latest and greatest" technology, especially if this is intended as a one time (within a few years...) purchase. Until 4k DVDs are as available as Blu-ray is today, stick with proven technology. Consider that there's absolutely no track record for long-term reliability (warranty service). I see a few posts on AVS forum thinking that 2015 would be a better time to buy.

I've got a 63" Samsung plasma, which is nearly 4 years old. You can't beat it for picture quality, but the glass does reflect ambient light. It also dumps a lot of heat. Would I replace it with another plasma? I'm thinking not, but I don't have to make that decision any time soon (fingers crossed).

For cables, buy them here: Video Cables - HDMI - Monoprice.com

Update: Clarified that I own a Samsung plasma.
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by otbricki » Sun May 12, 2013 4:26 pm

For audio equipment it is important to listen to many systems before you buy. It is only by getting this experience that you can understand what you are likely to get.

A key (unfortunate) aspect of the audio world is that there are lot of snake oil salesmen out there. Since the human mind is very subject to influence by power of suggestion they can often talk you into hearing differences that don't exist. The true situation is that a lot of things such as the differences between amplifiers and connection cables are small to non-existent, yet the audio salesman will work hard to try to sell you on these differences. And unfortunately the Placebo effect makes it likely that you will think you hear these differences.

Another large factor is the acoustics of the room your equipment is going into. Once you spend say $5000 on a pair of speakers it's pretty likely that your system's performance will be determined by the quality of your room.

Oh, and please don't buy Bose equipment. It's a very poor value for the money.

The AVSForum is a good place to read. It's more objective than a lot of places on the internet. I also think HydrogenAudio is a good forum.

As far as video equipment, that really depends on your room. There are recommended screen sizes for particular viewing distances, and the type of gear will also depend on how much control you have over ambient light levels. It's a pretty cut and dry thing.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Spades » Sun May 12, 2013 5:18 pm

I don't exactly what would be best for your audio situation, but if you're looking at a new tv. I'd recommend what this guys says is good: http://homecinemaguru.com/?p=3548.

Warning, I'm biased and he calibrated my home theater.
:sharebeer

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by tfb » Sun May 12, 2013 5:32 pm

YttriumNitrate wrote:good for them, but I'm not as picky about sound as some people are.
Amen to that. You save a ton of money if you are not as picky. Chances are you can get 95% of what you want with 1/10 the cost. This goes beyond audio equipment to many other things.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by midareff » Sun May 12, 2013 5:49 pm

Ditto on the Samsung 60" in a 7500 or 8000 series these 3D LED units are truly amazing. If I was building another home theatre today I would use NHT speakers ... California company which has been around many years and builds exceptional value. I might even pickup another Yahama RX 1070 5.1 receiver from eBay for a couple of hundred if I could find a minty one. You will need a sound pressure meter (Radio Shack) to calibrate the rears and center and making sure any receiver you get has a volume check speaker by speaker is important. Use good speaker wire all around.. all copper. Monster has some all copper by the foot which is reasonable and will deliver all you need. Good interconnects are important as well... don't skimp here. Good subwoofer is super important..... in a room that size I would use 2 12 inch units with at least 300 watts self powered each. Again, NHT (short for Now Hear This) makes a line of subs that match up to their speaker systems. Try their web site. I would think you can put a VERY good system together under $8K including TV.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun May 12, 2013 6:11 pm

One caveat on cables. Out of wall and less than 50 feet - Monoprice is usually the best way to go.
Over 15-20 feet I recommend you go with Redmere Technology (especially with thinner cables).
The only time I would recommend the higher priced cables is if you threading them through
the wall. The installation is typically a lot more than the cable cost. Under those circumstances
I would go with one of the thicker, higher priced cables, otherwise Monoprice is great.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 12, 2013 6:52 pm

midareff wrote:You will need a sound pressure meter (Radio Shack) to calibrate the rears and center and making sure any receiver you get has a volume check speaker by speaker is important.
Consider that some A/V receivers, especially the "prosumer" grade, have built-in room calibration software. Just put the supplied mic at the listener's position and it's taken care of.

I do a manual calibration as you state (Radio Shack sound pressure meter) for my Yamaha RX-V2400 A/V receiver, which is Dolby 5.1. Do you really need 7.1 audio?

BTW, I highly recommend OPPO Digital for a DVD / media player. I first found them on AVS forum. The built-in audio DACs and video processors are excellent. I feed the processed 5.1 analog outputs (6 cables) to my Yamaha receiver and let it act as a pure amp, which is what it's supposed to do. My Samsung plasma gets the HDMI video. Very nice.
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Jim127 » Sun May 12, 2013 8:42 pm

Based on the projector you listed, it appears you were going the route of buying from an installer. You will get more/better for your money if you put in some time to research your selections.

As others have said, spend some time on the AVSforum and you will be able to learn a lot. I have designed and installed a couple dozen theaters over the last 10 years (for myself and friends) and here are some comments based on my experience:

Projector - Epson makes great projectors and there are others with similar features for a similar price. You will see comparisons on the AVSforum and determine if you want to spend more or less.

Screen - Dalite makes a good screen, but you might want to look at the Carada screens. I like the larger frame of the Criterion line and the bright white screen (an option), which will give the picture a good pop. It is hard to tell the difference between the Carada and a Stewart screen (which is more expensive and considered one of the best).

Cables - As previously recommended, you can get good cable for a very good price from monoprice.

Receivers - Stick with the major brands. You will see good comparisons on the AVSforum boards. My favorite is the Anthem receivers. I prefer the ARC system for room correction versus audyssey. If you find you need more power, you can add on an external amp later on. I have added a Parasound Halo amp.

Speakers - B&W makes good speakers, but you can get much better for the money. The sound of speakers are based on personal tastes. You will find that you will get much more for your money from some of the internet based companies. Go on AVSforum to see some of the speaker shootouts to check on brands that compare to B&W. You can then go to some of the companies and see if they can recommend people in your area that have the speakers and will let you audition them. You will find most owners are proud of their selections and will be happy to have you come over. I went to several and ended up with Salk Sound (Song Towers). Since you like B&Ws, try KEF, Salk Sound and Ascend Audio (Sierra's).

Subwoofer- B&W subs are really not that great for the money. Someone has previously recommended SVS. I have owned subs from SVS, HSU and Rythmik. Read the subwoofer section on AVS and you will soon learn what you can get for the money. Jim Salk (Salk Sound) made me a sub to match the speakers (based on the Rythmik sub.

Racks/Stands - There is a website called Racks and Stands. You will find many options and will save money over the brand recommended by your installer.

Blu-Ray - As the previous poster said, Oppo is the way to go. You will see it is by far the choice of many on the AVS boards. Read up and you will see why.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Jack » Sun May 12, 2013 9:46 pm

midareff wrote:Use good speaker wire all around.. all copper. Monster has some all copper by the foot which is reasonable and will deliver all you need.
Make sure it is uni-directional oxygen-free copper or why even bother!

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Random Musings » Sun May 12, 2013 9:47 pm

With respect to the audio experience, I can say that I have been satisfied with KEF speakers, I have the modest Q300 5.1 system, but it takes up some space.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by otbricki » Sun May 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Jim127 wrote:Oppo is the way to go. You will see it is by far the choice of many on the AVS boards. Read up and you will see why.
Another Oppo fan here. You might be able to find another player that works for you, but their after sale support is perhaps unique in their market segment.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by ossipago » Sun May 12, 2013 10:06 pm

Rob5TCP wrote:One caveat on cables. Out of wall and less than 50 feet - Monoprice is usually the best way to go.
Over 15-20 feet I recommend you go with Redmere Technology (especially with thinner cables).
The only time I would recommend the higher priced cables is if you threading them through
the wall. The installation is typically a lot more than the cable cost. Under those circumstances
I would go with one of the thicker, higher priced cables, otherwise Monoprice is great.
Wut? Runs >50 ft do demand different cable due to resistance effects, BUT all this means is to use thicker (i.e. lower-gauge) wire. For example, 12-AWG wire instead of 16-AWG. Monoprice sells speaker wire in all these gauges - as well as in-wall wiring (which has specific standards and slightly higher prices for fire safety reasons, NOT audio quality).

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 12, 2013 10:13 pm

Jack wrote:
midareff wrote:Use good speaker wire all around.. all copper. Monster has some all copper by the foot which is reasonable and will deliver all you need.
Make sure it is uni-directional oxygen-free copper or why even bother!
I think you mean Oxygen Free High Conductivity copper, which is not all that important: Speaker wire ?...Does "oxygen free matter"? Make sure you use the right gauge to handle the current (12 or larger). You also want to make sure the cable is wound in a non-inductive wiring pattern.

If you are going to this level of effort on the cable, don't skimp on the connectors. And then there's bi-wiring and bi-amping, which is another level detail.

See my post here: Component Video Cable

(This discussion is for high-end audiophiles who care about this stuff. For those who don't care, just get a decent speaker cable (Monster is OK) and follow ossipago's advice in the previous post.)
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by atwood » Sun May 12, 2013 11:50 pm

Oppo is a great recommendation.

Don't buy Monster just because they love to sue any, especially smaller, company using Monster as part of their name.

For another view from that on AVS, try Kalman Rubinson's column, Music in the Round, on Stereophile.com. On the same site, Robert J. Reina's reviews of budget speakers might be helpful.

Speakers are the most important component of any system. What sounds good at first may make your ears bleed over time so be patient. Listening at the same sound level is very important; the louder speaker will pretty much always sound better.

If you're not adverse to buying used, audio asylum traders and audiogon.com are good places to look.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Rob5TCP » Mon May 13, 2013 6:23 am

ossipago wrote:
Rob5TCP wrote:One caveat on cables. Out of wall and less than 50 feet - Monoprice is usually the best way to go.
Over 15-20 feet I recommend you go with Redmere Technology (especially with thinner cables).
The only time I would recommend the higher priced cables is if you threading them through
the wall. The installation is typically a lot more than the cable cost. Under those circumstances
I would go with one of the thicker, higher priced cables, otherwise Monoprice is great.
Wut? Runs >50 ft do demand different cable due to resistance effects, BUT all this means is to use thicker (i.e. lower-gauge) wire. For example, 12-AWG wire instead of 16-AWG. Monoprice sells speaker wire in all these gauges - as well as in-wall wiring (which has specific standards and slightly higher prices for fire safety reasons, NOT audio quality).
From HDGuru - on short distances almost any cable with suffice. With longer distances and especially though the wall, you have to be more selective.


http://hdguru.com/all-hdmi-cables-are-t ... full-test/

"The most important thing to remember is if you’re running HDMI through your wall, test it first!!! Also make sure it’s rated to match your local building codes."

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by midareff » Mon May 13, 2013 6:53 am

LadyGeek wrote:
midareff wrote:You will need a sound pressure meter (Radio Shack) to calibrate the rears and center and making sure any receiver you get has a volume check speaker by speaker is important.
Consider that some A/V receivers, especially the "prosumer" grade, have built-in room calibration software. Just put the supplied mic at the listener's position and it's taken care of.

I do a manual calibration as you state (Radio Shack sound pressure meter) for my Yamaha RX-V2400 A/V receiver, which is Dolby 5.1. Do you really need 7.1 audio?

I suppose if you had a really large room with seating significantly away from the rear wall it might be (7.1) beneficial to the experience. At that point the processor becomes hi-end type important, costs go way up and the experience may or may not improve.

BTW, I highly recommend OPPO Digital for a DVD / media player. I first found them on AVS forum. The built-in audio DACs and video processors are excellent. I feed the processed 5.1 analog outputs (6 cables) to my Yamaha receiver and let it act as a pure amp, which is what it's supposed to do. My Samsung plasma gets the HDMI video. Very nice.
I've read that the OPPO it is quite good. I'm using a Sony Wi-Fi Blu-Ray 3D DVD for that type of play back but rarely use it. Going to the OPPO for decoding vs. the Sony receiver/Bose speakers w NHT and Infinity subs (hidden) in my all too reflective living room would not be a productive use of dollars IMHO. BR is an all NHT system w/ a VG Yamaha receiver and is not exactly a critical listening environment. We have a large rotating collection of movies from the 4 major cable movie providers and Wi-Fi direct on the Samsungs from Netflix so the Sony's don't seem to need upgrading. If I ever get around to building another system I would consider the Oppo, or whatever is the in vogue decoder at the time.

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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by 4stripes » Tue May 14, 2013 2:04 pm

I see we are talking about speaker wire, which is a good indication this thread has derailed! 8-)

Below is my recommendation from a similar thread. To have a banging audio system, you need to spend at least $2000. To have a system you'll never need to upgrade, $4,000 to $9,000. A large part of the how well a system sounds has to do with calibration, which is why I recommend the Genelec 81 and 82 series digital loudspeakers, they are self-calibrating:

Certainly people can spend beyond $80,000 for a complete system... or even just one speaker.

Regarding audiophile-itis, this thinking lets me sleep at night: There's a lot of fluff and here-today-gone tomorrow brands in the audiophile community. Are these one man bands putting in real R&D--I'd guess much of your dollars go to small batch milling of slick faceplates and staining exotic wood grains... To truly put an audio device to the test one must invest $20,000 in an Audio Precision test instrument--how many cable manufacturers have one of those lying around? My guess is not many. Read a bit of John Watkinson for some entertainment as well.

That's why I lean on the pro side of things. The stuff is built to work, and the R&D that a company like Genelec or Benchmark is putting into their product is certainly high.

If you get into the whole component thing (passive speakers, amps, etc) yes the temptation will be to constantly replace everything.

So why not just get what's needed. With a great DAC (like the DAC1 and DAC2 series), AirPort router for AirTunes wireless S/PDIF digital to the DAC from any device, and a nice set of powered monitors (at least 6.5" drivers for legit bass production), you could have as they say a 'bangin' stereo system with self calibration for under $9,000, and not eat your whole living room. A powered monitor like that is going to be exactly matched for the amplifier inside it--no upgrade-itis because you can't!

Mrxyz
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Mrxyz » Tue May 14, 2013 3:55 pm

Thanks for all your responses. I appreciate it.

Okay, my problem seems to be lack of knowledge and lack to time/effort to read up all the material to select a system!! It does seem to be easier on selecting a TV (projection or plasma). But audio systems are pretty confusing.

To put it another way, what would be some recommendations (detailed please) on an audio system for less than $5000? I would love to buy something with great recommendations instead of trying to figure something out myself - who I cannot trust as there is too much (good) information out there!

I did go to Best buy and a smaller local audio shop and their recommendations were around $8000 and $11,000 respectively for both audio and video. I am definitely having seconds thoughts on how much to spend and think less than $5000 would make me happier!!

Thanks
Jim127 wrote:Based on the projector you listed, it appears you were going the route of buying from an installer. You will get more/better for your money if you put in some time to research your selections.

As others have said, spend some time on the AVSforum and you will be able to learn a lot. I have designed and installed a couple dozen theaters over the last 10 years (for myself and friends) and here are some comments based on my experience:

Projector - Epson makes great projectors and there are others with similar features for a similar price. You will see comparisons on the AVSforum and determine if you want to spend more or less.

Screen - Dalite makes a good screen, but you might want to look at the Carada screens. I like the larger frame of the Criterion line and the bright white screen (an option), which will give the picture a good pop. It is hard to tell the difference between the Carada and a Stewart screen (which is more expensive and considered one of the best).

Cables - As previously recommended, you can get good cable for a very good price from monoprice.

Receivers - Stick with the major brands. You will see good comparisons on the AVSforum boards. My favorite is the Anthem receivers. I prefer the ARC system for room correction versus audyssey. If you find you need more power, you can add on an external amp later on. I have added a Parasound Halo amp.

Speakers - B&W makes good speakers, but you can get much better for the money. The sound of speakers are based on personal tastes. You will find that you will get much more for your money from some of the internet based companies. Go on AVSforum to see some of the speaker shootouts to check on brands that compare to B&W. You can then go to some of the companies and see if they can recommend people in your area that have the speakers and will let you audition them. You will find most owners are proud of their selections and will be happy to have you come over. I went to several and ended up with Salk Sound (Song Towers). Since you like B&Ws, try KEF, Salk Sound and Ascend Audio (Sierra's).

Subwoofer- B&W subs are really not that great for the money. Someone has previously recommended SVS. I have owned subs from SVS, HSU and Rythmik. Read the subwoofer section on AVS and you will soon learn what you can get for the money. Jim Salk (Salk Sound) made me a sub to match the speakers (based on the Rythmik sub.

Racks/Stands - There is a website called Racks and Stands. You will find many options and will save money over the brand recommended by your installer.

Blu-Ray - As the previous poster said, Oppo is the way to go. You will see it is by far the choice of many on the AVS boards. Read up and you will see why.
These are all great recommendations! But still I wonder if you can suggest an AV system itself - Total cost of $8000.
I know, I should be reading but honestly, I just do not have that much time. I need the system set up and am willing to pay to get it installed and working right. I care enough to get the 'correct' system but do not want to spend 'too much' time or money! Hope you can understand!

Thanks

khollister
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by khollister » Tue May 14, 2013 7:02 pm

For a dedicated home theater where the owner is not an experienced audiophile, my personal opinion is that you could do much worse than a Hsu Research 7.1 Hybrid 15 speaker package (http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html) and a Denon X4000 AVR (7.1 with Audyssey XT32 room correction). The total would be about $3000 plus speaker cables. While I personally own some rather old B&W speakers (and am a great fan of the B&W sound), I do use a Hsu VTF-15 sub in a much larger room than yours and it is absolutely fabulous for movies. You can certainly buy better sound, but the uniformly great reviews of the latest Hsu satellites and the proven value of their subs would be, IMHO, a safe "budget" system that could obtain THX reference levels with the Denon AVR.

I have little personal experience with projectors lately.

Sam I Am
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by Sam I Am » Wed May 15, 2013 8:28 am

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

rixer
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Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Post by rixer » Wed May 15, 2013 10:48 am

Most of the components in your home theater system will be replaced as technology progresses except for your speaker system if you buy quality speakers. So I wouldn't invest more than what 5-6 years of use is worth to you for a tv, av and Blu-Ray. B & W speakers are an excellent choice, I have them as well and they'll likely last a lifetime. I did get a Polk Audio sub woofer though as I thought the B & W sub was over priced what it is.
As far as tv's go, I didn't like the glare I got from glass screen Plasma's and they also throw off a lot of heat. I'd get a decent 65 LED 1080P or larger and keep the price under $1,500. A good Blu-Ray with network capabilities, a decent AV like an Onkyo with wi-fi and you'll be doing fine for under $8K.

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