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Looking for Home Theater/Audio Advice

Discussion in 'Gear' started by PickledMidget, Jul 6, 2007.

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  1. PickledMidget

    PickledMidget Camp Fodder


    I'm in the market for a new Home Theater System. I currently have a 6 year old HTIB made by Panasonic. It is complete junk.

    The catch is that I am wanting to get it all for around $500.

    I am looking a couple of things.

    1. Harmon Kardon Reciever: http://www.harmankardon.com/product...=US&Language=ENG&cat=REC&prod=AVR 146&sType=C

    2. Onkyo Home Theater System:

    I am also looking for one with HDMI Inputs that work both Audio and Video. Seems like all Recievers do not do both. Does anyone have any advice for me?

    I would also love some speaker suggestions also.

    Thanks guys!
  2. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    Laserjock gave me a ton of suggestions. I don't know if they do everything you may want but I was on a pretty tight budget.

    For the receiver, I went with a Pioneer:

    One of the features for the Pioneer is that it has a lot of sound mixes built in and you can have them preset to change depending on use (games, TV, DVD, music.)

    And for the speakers, PolkAudio:

    Which I found for about half that for a used set on eBay.

    The total was just over $500. I've been very pleased.
  3. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

    do not buy the Onkyo kit you linked - the speakers are junk

    I just replaced a THX rated 5.1 Onkyo for a 7.1 Harman/Kardon (avr245)

    the Onkyo was nice, but it sounds flat for my taste compared to the HK
    another thing I liked about the HK was the DTS Pro and Neo and the Logic7 - it also has DolbyDigital-EX

    I had given the Pioneer a look simply for the HDMI switching
    but I wouldn't put to much stock in it
    it doesn't support 1080p pass thru
    most videophiles do not advise using an AV receiver to do the HDMI switching for the case of signal loss / manipulation. you are better off purchasing a stand alone HDMI switcher (make sure it's 1.3 compliant)

    on to speakers
    I fell in love with the Boston Acoustic VR-2's @ Circuit City. these are sick speakers, but they may be too big for some tastes - they are currently $250 (a piece) but they were $400 each when I was shopping
    and after a week of diligent research I turned my attention to Kef
    Kef makes absolutely incredible speakers
    and I just got a Kef htib off ebay for $200 (Kef KHT-1005)

    I'm thrilled with my setup
    the HK / Kef connection is awesome for games / movies / TV which is what I use this system for

    other brands of receivers I'll suggest are Denon and NAD
    I have yet to hear a better sounding receiver than NAD, but they're out of your budget. Don't skimp on your system, you'll end up replacing it in a few years if you do
  4. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

  5. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

    again, do not use an AV receiver for HDMI switching
    leave that to the TV
    or buy a separate HDMI switcher

    how many HDMI ports do you need anyway ?
  6. Laserjock

    Laserjock South Endzone Rocks! Staff

    HDMI switching is only reasonable on some current receivers as some now offer true 1080p pass-through, IF your TV can receive native 1080p. Some people do like using the receiver for video switching as well. Personally, I do not use it as I currently don't have the need.
  7. PickledMidget

    PickledMidget Camp Fodder

    You guys are great. Thanks for the tips.

    I am very fuzzy on the whole HDMI issue. I was concerned about getting a reciever with HDMI Inputs to simply think ahead. I can't imagine needing more than 2 inputs. Buying a seperate switcher makes sense.
  8. PickledMidget

    PickledMidget Camp Fodder

  9. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler


    I looked at all the Fluance speakers
    many reviewers have nice things to say, but they could be plants

    BEWARE all the speakers you find on eBay
    claiming to be $1000 speakers for $200
    alot of folks refer to them as "white van" speakers

    speakers ARE NOT something you should buy without hearing them, as all speakers are not created equally

    I can tell you this , the Kef's are some of the best HTIB you can buy
    just call and ask any sales dept. about Kef
  10. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

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