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Complete novice needing help on what to look for when purchasing a home audio system

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I've browsed a few of the threads regarding home audio systems, and am still at a loss on what to look for when purchasing a quality but cheap system. Right now I'm using the speakers that are built into my TV, but am desiring better sound for a reasonable price.

Things I would plan on using the sound system for:

  • Movie Night with guests
  • Video Games
  • Football and other sporting events on TV with guests

I've debated just buying a 2.1 computer sound system for my TV, but then I thought I might as well learn how to construct a home audio system the right way.

Things I am most looking for in the system:

  • Most bang for the buck possible (Not really sure on a budget yet, but I would prefer to not spend over $500 to start out)
  • Future proof system (although I would like to not spend much, I'd hate for it to be obsolete in a few years)
  • Easy to setup and manage cables/wires
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Above all, quality sound and picture as it relates to my TV being hooked up to the receiver

If anyone can provide a nice starting point on what to look for or even suggestions of your own, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Nightwing
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post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Update:

I've decided to go with the buy a decent receiver and then add speakers later method. Of these four receivers, which one would you buy and why?

YAMAHA RX-V373BL 5.1-Channel AV Receiver

YAMAHA RX-V473BL 5.1-Channel Network AV Receiver

YAMAHA RX-V573BL 7.1-Channel Network AV Receiver

YAMAHA RX-V673BL 7-Channel AV Receiver

Thanks!
Nightwing
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Nightwing
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
BUMP
Nightwing
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Nightwing
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Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Alienware Optx AW2310 Deck Legend - Ice - Linear PS/2 Interface Corsair AX750 Modular Power Supply 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Enthoo Luxe Logitech MX 518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse SteelSeries SX Game Pad Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  
AudioAudioOtherOther
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
BUMP. Some promos are ending today, just trying to get an answer soon enough if I can.
Nightwing
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CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Enthoo Luxe Logitech MX 518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse SteelSeries SX Game Pad Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  
AudioAudioOtherOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Schiit Magni Headphones Amplifier Logitech C905 Webcam Blue Yeti Microphone 
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Bose QC3 Headphones Creative 2.1 Speaker System Xbox 360 Wired Controller 
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Nightwing
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Clickfree External HDD HP BD240I Blu Ray Combo Drive Corsair H70 with GT AP-15's in Push/Pull Intake... Scythe Kama Flex SA1325FDB12H Case Fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Alienware Optx AW2310 Deck Legend - Ice - Linear PS/2 Interface Corsair AX750 Modular Power Supply 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Enthoo Luxe Logitech MX 518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse SteelSeries SX Game Pad Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  
AudioAudioOtherOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Schiit Magni Headphones Amplifier Logitech C905 Webcam Blue Yeti Microphone 
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Bose QC3 Headphones Creative 2.1 Speaker System Xbox 360 Wired Controller 
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post #5 of 13
Hey, I'll be working on your request. No need to bump... I have your solution! Are you looking to have a lot of bass? How loud will you be playing it? What's your goal, is it shaking the neighbors house or your house? What's the idea you got here...
post #6 of 13
Yamaha in my experience have not made a reliable receiver that will last you longer then a year under stress (50+ watts per channel)

Receiver (199.88)

Bookshelf (x2 Right & Left $50.00 Ea.)

Center Front Speaker ($74.99)

Bookshelf (x2 Right & Left BACK $50.00 Ea.)

So far this is what I have. We are roughly at 475 bucks. For the subwoofer we are going to do something different, I'm going to post this for now, but when I write out the subwoofer portion i'll edit it. The subwoofers you can buy are a rip off, you don't get a true wattage subwoofer. It's better to build your own Home theater subwoofer. It's less expensive and it sounds amazing!
post #7 of 13
For the subwoofer we are going to build our own because it doesn't make sense to purchase a 200watt subwoofer that's really only 50 watts and not get subsonic frequencies! Don't worry I'll show you how to do it.

Amplifier: TRUE 250w Amplifier! This will shake your house and probably your neighbors at full volume. (119.99)

Enclosure: I will provide you with one, you just cover shipping and I'll send it to you in the mail, it's a single 12'' enclosure that is sealed for deep and ground shaking bass... (Shouldn't be that expensive at all to ship, I can help cover costs too)

Subwoofer: ($49.95)

The power unit that powers the subwoofer will be covered by me aswell, I have a extra power supply laying around.

169.99 For ground shaking bass that will bring all your movies and songs to life, giving you the experience of a 400 dollar subwoofer.
post #8 of 13
Sorry for having so many posts but the total cost is roughly $645 this setup will be extremely loud to provide accommodations for partys and what not. And it will last you around 10+ years with no issue.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fremish View Post

Hey, I'll be working on your request. No need to bump... I have your solution! Are you looking to have a lot of bass? How loud will you be playing it? What's your goal, is it shaking the neighbors house or your house? What's the idea you got here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fremish View Post

Yamaha in my experience have not made a reliable receiver that will last you longer then a year under stress (50+ watts per channel)
Receiver (199.88)
Bookshelf (x2 Right & Left $50.00 Ea.)
Center Front Speaker ($74.99)
Bookshelf (x2 Right & Left BACK $50.00 Ea.)
So far this is what I have. We are roughly at 475 bucks. For the subwoofer we are going to do something different, I'm going to post this for now, but when I write out the subwoofer portion i'll edit it. The subwoofers you can buy are a rip off, you don't get a true wattage subwoofer. It's better to build your own Home theater subwoofer. It's less expensive and it sounds amazing!

Thanks! So Yamaha isn't all that reliable of a brand when it comes to receivers?

I don't plan on playing it all that loud, still living in an apartment.

I am liking the prices I'm seeing so far with what you have chosen.

What kinds of things should I be looking for when purchasing a receiver? Would it help you if I gave you what kind of TV I own and other things like that?

Thanks! +Rep
Nightwing
(27 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 950 Asus P6X58D-E MSI 390x Gaming 8 GB  XFX Radeon HD 5870 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
MSI 290X Lightning G.SKILL PI Series 6GB WD Caviar Black HDD Crucial C300 SSD 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Clickfree External HDD HP BD240I Blu Ray Combo Drive Corsair H70 with GT AP-15's in Push/Pull Intake... Scythe Kama Flex SA1325FDB12H Case Fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Alienware Optx AW2310 Deck Legend - Ice - Linear PS/2 Interface Corsair AX750 Modular Power Supply 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Enthoo Luxe Logitech MX 518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse SteelSeries SX Game Pad Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  
AudioAudioOtherOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Schiit Magni Headphones Amplifier Logitech C905 Webcam Blue Yeti Microphone 
OtherOtherOther
Bose QC3 Headphones Creative 2.1 Speaker System Xbox 360 Wired Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
Nightwing
(27 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 950 Asus P6X58D-E MSI 390x Gaming 8 GB  XFX Radeon HD 5870 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
MSI 290X Lightning G.SKILL PI Series 6GB WD Caviar Black HDD Crucial C300 SSD 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Clickfree External HDD HP BD240I Blu Ray Combo Drive Corsair H70 with GT AP-15's in Push/Pull Intake... Scythe Kama Flex SA1325FDB12H Case Fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Alienware Optx AW2310 Deck Legend - Ice - Linear PS/2 Interface Corsair AX750 Modular Power Supply 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Enthoo Luxe Logitech MX 518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse SteelSeries SX Game Pad Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  
AudioAudioOtherOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Schiit Magni Headphones Amplifier Logitech C905 Webcam Blue Yeti Microphone 
OtherOtherOther
Bose QC3 Headphones Creative 2.1 Speaker System Xbox 360 Wired Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gohan_Nightwing View Post

Thanks! So Yamaha isn't all that reliable of a brand when it comes to receivers?
I don't plan on playing it all that loud, still living in an apartment.
I am liking the prices I'm seeing so far with what you have chosen.
What kinds of things should I be looking for when purchasing a receiver? Would it help you if I gave you what kind of TV I own and other things like that?
Thanks! +Rep

Yes! Here, i'll make a question list.

1. What's the exact model of your TV?
2. Can you take pictures of your apartment so I can get a general idea of the space you are trying to fill with sound (Optional)
3. What other devices do you have that use HDMI or audio/video inputs (list)
4. Are you willing to do some DIY ideas (You will save a lot of money and it will all sound AMAZING!)
5. Do you like bass?

Having the option of being able to play it loud is always a nice feature. Let's say in 5 years you move into your own house, you will have a system that will have the ability to make the house rock. When buying a receiver you want to look at the wattage per channel if it's under 50w you are going to want to move on, that is not enough for bookshelf speakers. You want to make sure it's true 5.1 - 7.1 surround sound (That can be checked by the inputs in the back).

My experience with Yamaha is burned wires, they don't shield the signal channels to the best standards. Without shields you are running a inferno, luckily I was able to pull it out before damage was done to my subwoofers.
Edited by Fremish - 11/19/12 at 7:58pm
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