View Full Version : OT: Surround sound system opinions



firefighterjake
12-27-2005, 02:40 PM
It's that time of year again . . . the days after Christmas when you go out and get what you really wanted for Christmas.

Currently I've got a HDTV and it's hooked into a stereo system. However, what I really would like is a decent surround sound system so I can also hook up my DVD player to it as well . . . currently I cannot do this as the stereo system was originally designed primarily as a stereo system and not as a home theatre system.

I don't need the biggest or the best. I was thinking about spending around $500 (or less) for a decent-sounding system. Anyone out there have any suggestions on what has been a good (or a bad) system . . . at this point I'm thinking primarily about going with one of those home theatres in a box.

d76
12-27-2005, 03:17 PM
Hey Jake, Last summer I went and upgraded to a surround system and I'm very glad I did. The people that I spoke with said that the 1 box systems that you can buy are ok but the way to go is to buy seperate componts. The reason being is that way if one component breaks than you dont have to buy a whole new system. I went with a Yamaha Natural sound reciever and a JBL subwoofer and JBL Speakers. As with anything the products is only as good as the product getting the sound to the speakers so I went with Monster wire (abit pricey but well worth it) The guy that I bought my system through had a good point that you can have the best speakers in the world but if the wire is junk then the speakers are junk.

I love my system. We use it all the time. It kinda sucks though because VHS tapes don't have surround sound. All those movies I am slowly replacing with DVD.

This is the system that I have:
http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/HTIB/HTR5740.htm

http://www.jbl.com/home/products/product_detail.aspx?prod=SCS160SI&cat=SCS&ser=SCS

And dont forget the wire.

http://www.monstercable.com/custom_install/productPageCI.asp?pin=1334&LastPage=Speaker%20Cables

It's a bit more than 5oo bucks but it you have an awesome tv, which it sounds like you do than the little difference shouldnt matter much

Good luck:)

Slate
12-27-2005, 05:38 PM
I would stay away from the packaged systems. You have a lot more options if you build your own system. Defiantly invest the money in good speakers. We have a set of Bose speakers which are awesome and worth every penny. A high quality center speaker and a powered subwoofer will vastly improve your viewing experience. You can probably re-use the speakers you already have for front speakers, or upgrade later. Rear speakers are less important, so you can save some money there. I think you choice in a receiver is a lot less important. I would get one that is easy to use. We have a high-end Denon receiver which I hate because it is so confusing to use. There is nothing worse than accidentally hitting the wrong button on the remote and then spending 5 minutes trying how to get the sound back again. I wish I still had my Sony receiver, great easy to use receiver.

mainemuel
12-27-2005, 06:26 PM
Buy the best receiver you can afford and a powered subwofer, use your stereo speakers for the front for now and buy a decent rear and center set. that will make it very enjoyable. upgrade the speakers as you can.
I like my Onkyo reciever, it has a seperate amp for each channel and will rock the house.

Smitty & Co.
12-27-2005, 06:57 PM
Livin a more simple life and destroy all your electronics except a good Garmin GPS. :eek:

p.s. This is MY New Year's resolution. :D

d76
12-27-2005, 06:59 PM
Livin a more simple life and destroy all your electronics except a good Garmin GPS. :eek:

p.s. This is MY New Year's resolution. :D

what I would give for the simple life but where would we be with out technology??? I dont think we would be able to cache with out it.:rolleyes:

Hiram357
12-27-2005, 07:02 PM
Livin a more simple life and destroy all your electronics except a good Garmin GPS. :eek:

p.s. This is MY New Year's resolution. :D

I've only got one TV that gets used maybe once a month to watch a few movies, other than that it's a useless piece of junk. I read the other day that the congress is going to pass a bill to make all broadcasts HDTV. I for one refuse to ever buy another TV, if this one dies, i'll be selling a DVD player and VCR reallllly cheap. :D

Smitty & Co.
12-27-2005, 07:02 PM
what I would give for the simple life but where would we be with out technology??? I dont think we would be able to cache with out it.:rolleyes:

Ya, I suppose I ought to keep the computer :rolleyes:

WhereRWe?
12-27-2005, 07:20 PM
I've only got one TV that gets used maybe once a month to watch a few movies, other than that it's a useless piece of junk. I read the other day that the congress is going to pass a bill to make all broadcasts HDTV. I for one refuse to ever buy another TV, if this one dies, i'll be selling a DVD player and VCR reallllly cheap. :D

HDTV has been mandated for YEARS. The only sticking points have been WHEN, and how much Congress will give to the "poor" so that they can have state-of-the-art like the rest of us. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Hiram357
12-27-2005, 07:39 PM
HDTV has been mandated for YEARS. The only sticking points have been WHEN, and how much Congress will give to the "poor" so that they can have state-of-the-art like the rest of us. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

well the report i heard the other day said that "everything would be HDTV" by the year 2009, no ifs ands or BUTTS about it.... :eek:

Beach Comber
12-28-2005, 08:02 AM
And I remember learning in grade school about the impending conversion of our measuring system to metrics. Seems the timeline is a bit different than we anticipated when we were sitting in our 4th grade classroom studying hard to be prepared - lol

Don't hold your breath :p

WhereRWe?
12-28-2005, 10:00 AM
well the report i heard the other day said that "everything would be HDTV" by the year 2009, no ifs ands or BUTTS about it.... :eek:

Yup. But it's a LONG way to 2009! LOL!:p :p

Hiram357
12-28-2005, 05:57 PM
Yup. But it's a LONG way to 2009! LOL!:p :p

yeah well, when i was little i thought my uncle (who was 23 at the time) was really reallly old....and i used to think my dad was even older when he was only thirty... now i tell my boss (who is about 60) he's pretty fit for a young guy.... time just goes by so fast when your not expecting it..

robt
12-30-2005, 10:32 PM
My thought is that HD will become more avalibe but they will have alot of issues with making it manditory. If they make it manditory many smaller stations and some public stations may find themselves either going off the air or end up being bought up by larger corporate networks. Also I doubt that they will hold to any date on the change, look what they have done with the cell phone 911.

firefighterjake
01-02-2006, 03:22 PM
RE: HDTV broadcasts . . . since we've seem to gone off-topic here.

I've found a pretty significant difference in digital over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts versus analog OTA broadcasts . . . and a small improvement with HDTV OTA broadcasts versus digital OTA broadcasts for most TV shows . . . although there is an incredible difference with HDTV OTA broadcasts for sporting events such as NFL games. I sincerely believe that if more folks could see the startling difference between what they're seeing now and what they could be watching they would realize the future truly is in HDTV.

That said . . . I don't believe the government should have to dictate what should be. Any change-over should be "dictated" by consumer demand as switching to HDTV broadcasting is not a public safety issue. I think a major driving force right now is (to be frank) many people are confused about terms like "HDTV ready" and "HDTV capable" and . . . and this is probably the most signficant issue . . . the costs for TVs and receivers is still too high for many people. The costs need to come down before people are ready to say to themselves, "Well the old Sony/Panasonic/Samsung/etc. still works, but for just a few dollars more I can buy a new TV and get HDTV so I guess I'll spring for the extra dough." I feel at this time the difference is still too high for most people to justify the extra expense.

It should also be noted that TV stations also face a large expense in upgrading and (as we are seeing currently here in central Maine) running dual analog and digital broadcasts. What's truly too bad is that these same TV stations for some reason can't comprehend that they may be part of the problem . . . since some stations are only running at partial power with their HDTV systems (to save money) they're not reaching out to their whole audience (for example, WVII has digital but when I last checked into this issue several months ago they were covering Bangor and that was about the extent of their HDTV range.) When this is the case, it's harder for a consumer to justify the expense of buying a HDTV TV or receiver if they find out that they won't be able to watch their favorite show in HD anyways.

I think HDTV will eventually be as popular as analog TV . . . but it will come in time. To be quite honest I'm surprised some TV stations haven't figured out that HDTV could be a potential money-maker since many will have the ability to broadcast two shows at the same time on separate assigned channels -- something that PBS already does. I'm not an account executive, but it seems to me you could utilize this ability to air re-runs or target specific and different audiences even at the same time with additional advertising.

firefighterjake
01-05-2006, 09:26 AM
Well after extensive research using epinions.com, ecoustics.com and personal feedback from folks here and at some other BBS I took the plunge and bought my first surround sound system.

While I was all set to go with a Home Theatre in a Box -- and I had narrowed it down to a Sony or Denon system with separate DVD players and receivers -- in the end I opted to go with a Yamaha receiver and a home theatre speaker package from JBL (actually pretty similar to what Dave1976 did I believe.)

Here is the receiver:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7046895&type=product&productCategoryId=cat03031&id=1107956964113

And here is the speaker package:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7218986&productCategoryId=cat03049&type=product&cmp=++&id=1114638817446

In the end I figured it out and it seemed as though the Yamaha receiver would give me a lot more inputs and outputs for future upgrades. In addition, the separate amps for each speaker seemed like a good idea.

I'm not totally sold on the speaker package that I listened to in the store, but I had a certain budget and they seemed to offer the best sound for the value without breaking the bank. I would have loved to get a bunch of Bose speakers, but then I would have been approaching a $1,000 system and somehow I don't think my wife would have approved of such an outlay. Maybe in the future I can slowly upgrade the speakers if I really don't get any satisfaction from the JBL speakers.

So I guess I know what I'll be doing in the next few days -- taking down the old system, moving the heavy cabinets, drilling holes in the living room floor and running wires underneath the crawl space . . . sounds like fun, huh?

Thanks for everyone's input.

d76
01-05-2006, 01:02 PM
When you hook up the receiver you will find that the reciever has to be on cd in order for it to work. I tried to use the dvd option on the reciever only to find that it wouldnt work. I thought that since it was a dvd player that I wanted to use that I would need the dvd option(DUH) but thats not the case. Use the cd player mode.:)



Well after extensive research using epinions.com, ecoustics.com and personal feedback from folks here and at some other BBS I took the plunge and bought my first surround sound system.

While I was all set to go with a Home Theatre in a Box -- and I had narrowed it down to a Sony or Denon system with separate DVD players and receivers -- in the end I opted to go with a Yamaha receiver and a home theatre speaker package from JBL (actually pretty similar to what Dave1976 did I believe.)

Here is the receiver:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7046895&type=product&productCategoryId=cat03031&id=1107956964113

And here is the speaker package:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7218986&productCategoryId=cat03049&type=product&cmp=++&id=1114638817446

In the end I figured it out and it seemed as though the Yamaha receiver would give me a lot more inputs and outputs for future upgrades. In addition, the separate amps for each speaker seemed like a good idea.

I'm not totally sold on the speaker package that I listened to in the store, but I had a certain budget and they seemed to offer the best sound for the value without breaking the bank. I would have loved to get a bunch of Bose speakers, but then I would have been approaching a $1,000 system and somehow I don't think my wife would have approved of such an outlay. Maybe in the future I can slowly upgrade the speakers if I really don't get any satisfaction from the JBL speakers.

So I guess I know what I'll be doing in the next few days -- taking down the old system, moving the heavy cabinets, drilling holes in the living room floor and running wires underneath the crawl space . . . sounds like fun, huh?

Thanks for everyone's input.

firefighterjake
01-05-2006, 03:16 PM
When you hook up the receiver you will find that the reciever has to be on cd in order for it to work. I tried to use the dvd option on the reciever only to find that it wouldnt work. I thought that since it was a dvd player that I wanted to use that I would need the dvd option(DUH) but thats not the case. Use the cd player mode.:)

Very odd . . . but thanks for the tip. I assume that tip is only for use with an audio CD and not a video DVD?

d76
01-05-2006, 06:50 PM
Very odd . . . but thanks for the tip. I assume that tip is only for use with an audio CD and not a video DVD?

NO isnt that Bull ****, It has to be that way for a DVD also