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My next door neighbor is converting his upstairs common room to a home theater. 15'x 12' with probably 12' ceiling. Strictly TV and DVD use, no music.
He only wants to spend $1000, but I can probably get him to $1500.
Should he buy a theater in a box? Will this be enough for this sized room?
I've offered to help him look through Audiogon, but will a mix and match system be better at this price limit?
He agreed to push his budget so we went on Audiogon and Amazon.
a new Sony STRND1060 receiver for $400
used Meadowlark Hotrod Shearwater speakers for $750, delivered
Cambridge center and side surrounds, used for $650
Revel subwoofer used for $350.
I'd start with decent entry receiver, I lean toward Marantz, the slimline receivers rated at 50 watts do really perform great. However, on a budget a well featured receiver on sale in a name brand (Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon) would work.
The cheap Sony Blu-ray players ranging $100 give or take are good performers and feature rich.
Then i'd look for speakers.
The Klipsch speaker packages like Quintet aren't bad at all but a decent sub would be needed. If you have a Craigslist you can sometimes find Klipsch bookshelf and others pretty cheap, some of these you might mismatch and get away with due to all using horns, although the sound may not be perfect timbre.
I would not mismatch speakers, I'd be afraid it could turn him off to HT unless he isn't picky on sound. I personally would do a 3.1 if running out of money and expand as money allows.
Elac are good budget, sometimes you can find good online deals for Epos or Wharfedale.
I personally would start with a good building block receiver get what number of speakers you can then build from there. One thing about buying new the model might still be there to match with when more money comes in.
Another way to go may be getting something like the Oppo BDP or some other quality unit with the multichannel outputs and run the outputs into powered speakers like Audio Engine or similar, you can also check music stores for powered speakers. Stay away from those with DAC's, you wouldn't need the DAC, nor the extra expense. This approach may not work if he has a lot of video sources. I believe the Oppo does have some external inputs though. Second thought, unless the BDP had a volume or variable output this set up wouldn't work.
If powered speakers wre of interest, see how much the Emotiva A/V processor is, this would provide volume, source switching and a lot of other handy features.
Hope my random brainstorming helps some, a lot will depend on what you can find and will it meet the budget.
I guess I'd stay away from "TV brand" stuff such as Samsung, LG, etc., and
go with Polk, Klipsch, Infinity, Definitive Technology, etc.. You
might go to the Crutchfield site and look around, read some reviews.
Many more reviews on the Amazon site.
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