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Surround Sound Talk about everything from 5.1 to 7.1 to Dolby True HD and beyond.

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Old 04-20-2008   #1
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Default New System Advice

I have a very badly aging Sony 5.1 component surround sound system with Bose AM-7 speakers and a 27" RCA TV that I bought in the early to mid 1990's. We are empty nesters now and I am ready to ditch it for a new A/V system. We need a HDTV home theater system that doubles as our primary music system with room for growth. Our original budget was in the $5,000 to $6,000 range, but I want to get the best value, so we might go higher. It will be in a room that is about 12' x 18' x 8' celing with the unit offset on the long wall due to a door opening. The two short walls have a brick fireplace at one end and a large wall unit w/bar at the other end, so placement there is not really an option. This is what I have in mind at the moment:

HDTV: Sony KDXL 46XBR Bravia LCD - pretty well sold on reviews and store visits
TV Source: Charter Cable - for the moment anyway
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR805 - pretty well sold on reviews and store visits
iPod Dock: Onkyo DS-A2X iPod Dock
Cables: HDMI wherever possible
DVR: Undecided - may be future option
BluRay: Undecided - Looking at a Panasonic unit
Speakers: Undecided 5.1 for now , 7.1 in future - probably not Bose this time
Open to suggestions, but small size and great sound required

Optional relic components I might or might not reuse:

VCR: Sony relic reused - used rarely
DVD/CD: Sony relic reused - used often
Turntable: Pioneer relic reused - never used since CD/DVD took over

Any comments or suggestions on this configuration?
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Old 04-20-2008   #2
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Default Re: New System Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by amhorne View Post
HDTV: Sony KDXL 46XBR Bravia LCD - pretty well sold on reviews and store visits
TV Source: Charter Cable - for the moment anyway
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR805 - pretty well sold on reviews and store visits
iPod Dock: Onkyo DS-A2X iPod Dock
Cables: HDMI wherever possible
DVR: Undecided - may be future option
BluRay: Undecided - Looking at a Panasonic unit
Speakers: Undecided 5.1 for now , 7.1 in future - probably not Bose this time
Open to suggestions, but small size and great sound required

Optional relic components I might or might not reuse:

VCR: Sony relic reused - used rarely
DVD/CD: Sony relic reused - used often
Turntable: Pioneer relic reused - never used since CD/DVD took over

Any comments or suggestions on this configuration?
The TV is a bit small for the likely 10+' viewing distance, go with the 52", it is closer to the size you want. I can't pick on the Onkyo receiver, great choice for the money.

As I guess it, you'll have ~$2-3K in the TV, a bit less than $1K in receiver, so you'll have between $2-3K for speakers.

I am not sure what your definition of 'small' is for speakers, I still love my Kef 5005.2 system, that can be had for less than $2K and surprisingly will fill a large room with sound, but if you can go bigger, and can push the budget, look into the new Def Tech Mythos STS towers for the fronts, add a matching center and surrounds, you could bypass a separate sub for the mean time as each tower has a sub in it.

Some other speakers I like in that price point are Paradigm, which make many lines you can easily get a 5.1 system for that price, and I would also add DCM, they sell entire systems for <$2K and they sound very good for the price as well.
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Old 04-20-2008   #3
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Default Re: New System Advice

Thanls for the response.

I looked at the Sony 52, but I think it would really overpower the room. My existing entertainment center is 57" wide and is sandwiched betwwen the back door swing and a cased opening into the kitchen with just enough room for a subwoofer on the floor. That is why we need smaller speakers. There is just not enough room on each side for floorstanding or large units. The Sony 46 at 50" wide fits better than the Sony 52 at 56" wide on this furniture. Also, the entertainment unit is 47" high and we plan to put the TV on top on the pedestal mount for now. It may be wall mounted later. The Sony 52 is just too large and we are used to watching a 27, so I think it will be fine. The thing I hate is that it goes on sale somewhere every day at one of the local stores, so the price keeps changing hundreds of dollaars and they will not honor it the next day. CC knocked off some, but then they required a protection paln to do so. I really hate salesmen that will not give the best price fisrst shot.

Here is the pricing we have so far. The list is lacking a few cables & accessories, but has the big ticket items to compare relative cost.

Component Local best price (CC) B&H Photo (Internet)

Sony XBR 46 2,800 2,550
Onkyo TX-SR805 830 740
Onkyo iPd Dock 110 80
HDMI Cable 6' x 2 230 200
Panasonic BluRay DMP-BD30K 500 495
Protection Plan 368 0
Shipping & Tax 290 167

Total Delivered Price 5,128 4,232

I am wondering if the bump in cost for local store is worth it. Protection packages are generally a bad deal for the consumer and a hassle when anything breaks.

We planned about 1,000 to 1,500 for new speakers. Thee is not a clear leader at this point and everyone's opinion is different. There does not seem to be clear winner in the reviews I have read unlike the HDTV and receiver. I do not have a local store that can have everything I want to audition together set up. The days of the enclosed multi-component sound room seem to be gone in favor of the big box store. Everyone just has them on the shelf with just one full setup that does not have the components I want to see together. I am not an audioplile, but I do want want quality midrange equipment that can handle both home theater use and music. These are some of the speakers we have under considertion:

Kef KHT3005 5.1 system
Klipsch Sub 12 & Quintet SL 5.1 system
JBL Various 5.1 systems from B&H
Polk Various systems
Infinity Various systems

Any other speaker options in this price range would be useful. I would like to hear the good and the bad so I can make an informed decision.
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Old 04-20-2008   #4
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Default Re: New System Advice

You can easily get the Kef 5005.2 system, and I love mine! It is still what I use in my bedroom system, and a steal at that price.

Do a googe search for it and you'll find it for ~$1,399 or better...
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Old 04-20-2008   #5
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Default Re: New System Advice

Circuit City has the Kef 5.1 speakers for 1,199. I will go try to make a deal tomorrow since they are the one place in town that has eveything I am looking for. Thanks for the help.
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