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Home Theater help!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My home theater system is pretty embarassing. It has a JVC 888 reciever. For the front, 2 omniaudio speakers. If I'm not mistaken, these are the infamous "white van" speakers. For the center, I have a pioneer center. I have pioneer satellites.

So, I need upgrade help. The system will be used for music and home theater. I was thinking Paradigm Monitor 3s for a start. Any help? The room is pretty big. Lets say around 20 feet long. But were remodeling the room(its currently a garage), so I'm VERY open to suggestions.
post #2 of 17
I think the first step would be to give us your budget. There's plenty of good equipment at almost every price point so it's hard to give suggestions on what to get. Also, you haven't explicitly stated what you are looking for. Are you looking to upgrade the receiver or just the main speakers or perhaps all 5 speakers? Let us know...
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, budget. Well, keep it under $500 for the main speakers. . . hmm.

We'd probably end up getting a big tv as well. Possibly an HDTV monitor. . .

I'm really not sure. Lets try to keep this best bang for buck.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by andrzejpw
Hmmm, budget. Well, keep it under $500 for the main speakers. . . hmm.

We'd probably end up getting a big tv as well. Possibly an HDTV monitor. . .

I'm really not sure. Lets try to keep this best bang for buck.
For starters, you audition as many main speakers as you can and pick the ones that you like best for MUSIC. As long as they sound good to you for music they will be fine for home theather, but not the other way around.

Nick
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I will be auditioning. But I don't know where to start!
post #6 of 17

HOME THEATER

Try to find a speaker that matches up good with cheaper electronics like: http://phasetech.com/main_menu/index.html
Do not be scared to spend a large percentage of your money on the center channel speaker, and subwoofer. Talk to someone that is knowledgeable about your rear speakers. Placement is key. You may need Bi-Polar, Di-Polar, or direct radiating depending upon what is important to you. Good luck!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by andrzejpw
Hmmm, budget. Well, keep it under $500 for the main speakers. . . hmm.

We'd probably end up getting a big tv as well. Possibly an HDTV monitor. . .

I'm really not sure. Lets try to keep this best bang for buck.
You'll want to timbre match your speakers across the front, so plan to inlcude a decent center channel if you plan to use this for movies/DVD viewing for any significant percentage of the time. Especially with movies, a good center channel is an absolute must. So when you pick your main front speakers, make sure there is a timbre matched center channel available. Paradigms should not be any problem here but there are plenty of options from other manufacturers.

Personnaly, I'm running Jamo satellite surrounds all around with a Jamo center channel and a Sony subwoofer. This is a terrific set up for home theater, but for music listening, this set up is ok, but not the best. For two channel or DPL II listening, a larger set of main speakers would be preferable ad the subwoofer tends to get a bit boomy, depending on your position in the room.

Also, if you are looking for a decent bargain, I think both Best Buy and Circuit City sell JBL and Polk Audio products respectively. If you watch the sales, you can get a good deal on either of these brands.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by andrzejpw
I will be auditioning. But I don't know where to start!
Another good source of info,

www.hometheaterforum.com

as is

www.cheaphometheater.com
post #9 of 17
Check out the cinema package at www.romanaudio.com . I bought my wife this package for christmas and she LOVES it. It is all priced out to where you can buy the entire package or just a center channel, front mains, sub, whatever. And if you're not careful, that sub can run you out of the house!!!
post #10 of 17
Any of the paradigm or PSB bookshelf speakers x 5 with one of their (larger) subs (because you have a big room) and you should be all set for timbre-matched speakers that sound great with music, for not a lot of money. Just about any 5.1 receiver with modest power (70+ REAL watts per channel) should do the trick to drive them. As for TV's, I'd stay away from HDTV anything until someone sorts out the standards. Good, large standard-def TV's are so cheap these days it hurts... but, hey, that's just my opinion. If you wanna spend the money, pour it into the audio and not the HDTV.


Good luck, and have fun!

Schiss
post #11 of 17
I agree: NHT, Paradigm, or PSBs. All small speakers that are inexpensive but provide great sound quality. All have matched systems for 5.1 sound. All *much* better than the stuff you get a Circuit City or Best Buy (Klipsch, Polk, Infinity, JBL, etc.).
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
which psb/nht models?

I'd probably be using my jvc 888vbk reciever for now.

I'd also probably only switch out the front 2 speakers for now. . .
post #13 of 17
Just buy the Sony Home Theater in a Box Dream System or whatever they call it and get it over with.

Seriously for the best bang for the buck maybe you should take a look at the Cambridge Soundworks Newton line of speakers. I havent heard them, but they seem to be getting good reviews.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by HD-5000
Just buy the Sony Home Theater in a Box Dream System or whatever they call it and get it over with.
gah!

Crawls back to the paradigms.
post #15 of 17
I don't agree that all good music speakers make good HT speakers. Some speakers are awesome for music but come from having precise imaging that make for a sensation sweet spot and crap everywhere else. For HT, on the other hand, imaging is less important and in fact you sometimes want an almost diffuse sound coming from all five channels.

I agree with Mac's recommendation to look into NHT and PSB. These companies are both excellent performers for their price ranges. Unless their models have changed recently, the PSBs tend toward a little bright while NHTs tend toward dark (with the exception of a couple models). NHTs seem to have better, tighter bass, almost across the board which of course makes me a fan of them. I also think "dark" is not so bad for HT application because of aforementioned imaging being less important to me.

A more important aspect of shopping for HT speakers to me is to get five of the exact same drivers. Many "HT systems" make compromises in the rear and center channel while delivering two good drivers for the fronts. In home theater application, up to 90% of the information passed through the center channel--it is by far the most important aspect of HT speakers. Some people have the misconception that center channel is "only for words" but in addition to being responsible for nearly all of the dialog, the center channel also has music, special effects and nearly anything else in the other channels--especially in a good surround mix. Matching the front and center drivers will give you an even pan across the front field and make the film seem mroe realistic. Matching the rear drivers as well will special effects to sound "correct" as things move overhead or behind you.

While I personally am a big fan of tower speakers, I'd remind you that HT soundtracks are designed with a low frequency effects channel in mind and because of this a subwoofer or "bass module" is not so bad as it is in music application. Since your budget is limited, you may try to find five identical speakers that you like now used and then add a subwoofer a little bit later. Super Ones and PSB Alphas tend to go for a good price online and both mate well with subwoofers.

Just my two cents.
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