Helping a friend

Posted by: SirQuack

Helping a friend - 03/08/15 09:45 AM

Hey everyone, hope you are all doing well...

I have a buddy that does not have a lot to spend, probably max $1500 give or take a little for a home theater setup. Below is the link for the product he is considering. Looking at the receiver it is not ALL Channels driven which we often discuss here.

I don't think it would be a terrible system for him, but wondered if there is some other options as I have not been up to date on what is out there.

So I guess I'm looking for other options he could consider. The room he is using is plenty big to accomodate a 7.1 setup. He also has it in his head he need Atmos option which this system has...

Thanks in advance...Randy
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Helping a friend - 03/08/15 10:13 AM

I'd have a look at accessories 4 less.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Helping a friend - 03/08/15 10:20 AM

I don't have specific recommendations, but would say that within that budget, he should start with 5.1 only at this time...maybe skipping at center as well. Better to get some quality that he can grow "with" instead of "out of" and he can always add more later.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Helping a friend - 03/08/15 11:07 AM

For the main floor family room TV, I bought a Pioneer Elite receiver that was getting cleared from BestBuy for $400 (regularly $1300) as the new models were coming in.

For the speakers, my wife wanted something that was small and can't be seen. So i compromised and bought some Energy Take5.1 bookshelf speakers for $350 on sale.

Is it emersive? No. Is it enjoyable to watch? Sure. No it's not the top notch movie theatre experience, but better than just a TV speakers.

From what your friend is looking for, you can do much better than that offered (link) for less. But if he is wanting much better, then he might be better off buying it in stages.

The speakers are where you want to spend the most money up front. Get a good set of front speakers and a sub. The receiver will be efffectively obsolete in 2-3 years no matter how much you spend on it if you are looking to keep up with tech and where HT is going.

If however your friend is happy to stick with watching DVD's then you can save a bundle buying from the used market and pick up a killer pre-amp that does DTS/Dolby Digital but non of the newer DTS-MA or DD-TrueHD. A but of fun cabling and you can get a system that sounds far better than a cheap receiver for the same coin.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Helping a friend - 03/08/15 12:49 PM

For a starter system, I'd just go 5.1. I also don't think Atmos is mainstream technology, yet. And I'm pretty skeptical that receiver could implement it well. If he is stuck on Atmos, he should rethink his budget.

I'm hearing good things about the $1,000 SVS package

I like Matt's suggestion about the Energy package and also Ken's advice about A4L.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Helping a friend - 03/08/15 04:21 PM

Don't rule out the used market either. I believe in general people treat their electronics with a respect . I personally have upgraded and now have a nice Yamaha receiver just sitting in the corner, it was 1100 new and not worth maybe 300 now. Forget about atmos, wait for it catch on and maybe listen to a demo first I think you can live without it. I watched 3 movies the other night and not one of them even had any surround info worth mentioning let alone atmos. Front 3 are the most important, even a cheapo speaker will suffice for surround and the subs are where you don't want to cheap out. Start small and shop craigs list or kijiji.
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: Helping a friend - 03/08/15 05:10 PM

I would suggest starting with a 5.1 (as others have), and build.
Main pieces would be mains, centre and sub, with surrounds the next.

Have you reviewed and assembled pricing form the Axiom B Stock or Refurb Store for the speakers?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Helping a friend - 03/09/15 12:42 AM

Randy, I think that your friend should start out with the basic speakers needed for HT(mains, surrounds and sub), initially use a "phantom" center and leave any Atmos thoughts for much later, if ever. Suggest 4 x M2s for $736 from the Outlet. Still an excellent sub at a moderate price is the Hsu STF-2 for $405 with shipping.

The best buy at this time in a receiver which fits that budget is the Denon E400 factory refurb from A4L for $250.

He'll presumably need a disc player for music and movies and several are available from A4L and others in the $100-$200 range which don't differ greatly.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Helping a friend - 03/11/15 09:15 PM

Thanks guys, well I found out tonight that he was to impatient for me to do a little research and already pulled the trigger. Oh well, some people just won't listen to reason and fact. Will it work, yeah, but could he have approached it differently, for sure. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Helping a friend - 03/11/15 10:00 PM

what did he end up with ????
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Helping a friend - 03/12/15 02:36 AM

It's always some 6,000 watt** 9 speaker HTIB

** if all matter in the box could be converted to energy over a period of 1 minute
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Helping a friend - 06/12/15 11:12 AM

he was impatient and bought the one mentioned above before I got back to him, figures. wink
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Helping a friend - 06/13/15 01:57 PM

Randy, tell him to take it all back and buy this. If he wants to upgrade the sub some time down the road, he can use the Pioneer sub with the AxiomAir..right, Andrew ;-)?