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Old 02-22-2010, 11:33 AM   #1
Harvitz81
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Default Buying a home theater/Speaker System

So I just purchased a 52" LCD Samsung TV and am now looking to upgrade my speaker system. I'm looking to spend around $800 and have been contemplating the Onkyo HT-7200 HTIB system.

I'm asking the experts on the mane for their opinion. I really like that the Onkyo system gives me a good mid-range receiver with 5 HDMI ports, 2 towers, 4 speakers, a center speaker and a sub. I am a little worried about the quality though, as that seems like getting a lot for not a huge price tag. My living room is only around 16' x 18', but I don't think there would be too much clutter with that system.

The other thing that I'm contemplating over is to purchase a really good mid-range receiver, say the Onkyo Ht-rc180, Onkyo TX-sr706 or TX-sr806, marantz sr5004 or sr6003 receiver. To begin with I would just use it with my current speaker setup, but then can eventually add in what I want, which is new towers, front, rear, and center speakers and a sub. I am a little anal about having all my speakers match, so that would be essential. I have seen that Fluance has a 5 speaker setup (SX-HTB+) that has gotten pretty good reviews and is cheap, but then I would need to add a sub to it and they don't really have any matching ones. The other ones I've come across are the avs123 x-series, however the ones I would look to build a system with (x-ls, x-sls, x-cs, and x-sub) are discontinued and the new series is a bit out of my price range.

Essentially I am looking to buy either a HTIB for under $800 with the mindset that in 4-5 years I would have to replace it with much better stuff. The other option is to buy a really good receiver and slowly buy really good speakers with the mindset that it will last me quite awhile (>5 years). What are the maners opinions on this.

Also, what is the best speaker wire and banana plugs to buy?
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1132432

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1045041
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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If you like the 7200 and have the room for it (16x18 room is fine provided the furniture isn't taking up too much of that), then you will LOVE the 9100. It will blow the 7200 out of the water and has all the specs you could ever want for full THX and TrueHD sound.

Just read some of the reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S9100...6867644&sr=8-5

If you can wait a little while, it will no doubt go down to $899 in the next few weeks. $100 more than you wanted to spend, but you won't have to upgrade ANYTHING for a few extra years.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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If you like the 7200 and have the room for it (16x18 room is fine provided the furniture isn't taking up too much of that), then you will LOVE the 9100. It will blow the 7200 out of the water and has all the specs you could ever want for full THX and TrueHD sound.

Just read some of the reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S9100...6867644&sr=8-5

If you can wait a little while, it will no doubt go down to $899 in the next few weeks. $100 more than you wanted to spend, but you won't have to upgrade ANYTHING for a few extra years.
The only thing I don't like about the 9100 is that it doesn't come with tower speakers, meaning I would also have to purchase some speaker stands. I was actually thinking of buying the receiver that comes with the 9100 and the speaker package that comes with the 7200.

Also, I know the 9100 says as a selling point that it is full THX and TrueHD sound, but do you think I would really notice the difference by going with the 7200 that isn't full THX?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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The only thing I don't like about the 9100 is that it doesn't come with tower speakers, meaning I would also have to purchase some speaker stands. I was actually thinking of buying the receiver that comes with the 9100 and the speaker package that comes with the 7200.
Yup, or you could build some shelves or wall mounts for cheap. In reality, you're not gonna go wrong with either setup. You do get a lot of bang for your buck with these onkyo sets and they always seem to get very high ratings from both the professional and average joe reviewers.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #6
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Yup, or you could build some shelves or wall mounts for cheap. In reality, you're not gonna go wrong with either setup. You do get a lot of bang for your buck with these onkyo sets and they always seem to get very high ratings from both the professional and average joe reviewers.
All the reviews I've read on the Onkyo HTIB systems have very good ratings, so this is what I was thinking as well. I think I'm probably going to go with the 7200 as I found a place that with shipping it is $640. The cheapest I've found the 9100 is $900, so I really don't think it is worth spending $200+ more on. Plus, in 4-5 years when I am more settled (I'm only 28 and am still doing a post-doc....), I'm planning on really shelling out for a high range receiver and speakers. The 7200 looks like it could abide me for that long.

Besides, what is more important right now is to get something with HDMI input and output as my current receiver doesn't have this. Kind of defeats the purpose of having such a nice TV if I can't enjoy blue-ray, PS3, sweet sound to its fullest.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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Any thoughts on speaker wire and banana plugs or should I just opt for some 16 gauge wire and whatever banana plugs on amazon that are the cheapest and have the highest ratings?

Also, since it will have all those HDMI ports, do I need a digital optical cable, or will an HDMI cable take care of that.

Thanks to those who answered.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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www.audiogon.com

Buy used.

Buy a pre-pro and build it up over time. Thats what I did. I'm very happy with my system.

The hdmi cable ought to do the trick.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Harvitz81 View Post
Any thoughts on speaker wire and banana plugs or should I just opt for some 16 gauge wire and whatever banana plugs on amazon that are the cheapest and have the highest ratings?

Also, since it will have all those HDMI ports, do I need a digital optical cable, or will an HDMI cable take care of that.

Thanks to those who answered.
Buy all your cables and wire from monoprice.com and save a bundle. To tell you the truth and I can't see a difference between component and HDMI but less wires is nice.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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www.audiogon.com

Buy used.

Buy a pre-pro and build it up over time. Thats what I did. I'm very happy with my system.

The hdmi cable ought to do the trick.
Any suggestions on a good receiver and speakers? I really don't know much about this, hence the reason I was leaning towards a HTIB option.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:39 AM   #11
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buy all your cables and wire from monoprice.com and save a bundle.
qft!
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:19 AM   #12
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www.audiogon.com

Buy used.

Buy a pre-pro and build it up over time. Thats what I did. I'm very happy with my system.

The hdmi cable ought to do the trick.
Thanks for the site. I'm now looking at the Marantz SR7002 receiver, but if I'm going to go that high on a receiver what kind of speakers would you recommend?

Initially I would probably just purchase some tower speakers and use the rest of what I have right now. Later I could replace the Front, rear and center speakers and sub.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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Thanks for the site. I'm now looking at the Marantz SR7002 receiver, but if I'm going to go that high on a receiver what kind of speakers would you recommend?

Initially I would probably just purchase some tower speakers and use the rest of what I have right now. Later I could replace the Front, rear and center speakers and sub.
For me to recommend speakers would be like me recommending what kind of woman you prefer. Everyone is different.

However, if it were me and I had a limited budget, I would take it a piece at a time. If you are going with quality then you arent going to be able to buy it all at once if you're a poor boy like me. So Get your fronts. Ore better yet, since you're going HT, you should get your center channel figured out. In HT, 80% of your sound will come from this speaker. It should be a substantial speaker. In HT it's more important than your fronts. With that in mind, there is a thing called timber match. If you have mix and match speakers, they will have different sound. Timber is when they all have the same sound characteristic.

The sub is next in importance. It gives your system the backbone. The thump. You dont have to go super expensive here. Especially if you will be going with a tower front in the future. You also dont want to go too big. Some think bigger is better here and its not. If you have a room about 20 by 20 go 12". Biggter than that you might start thinking about 15". Personally I wouldnt go bigger than 12 unless my room was over 600 square feet.

I am liking the Paradigm speakers these days. The reference studio series. I currently have Klipsch R3 fronts and center. They are pretty awesome for movies. In fact most movie theaters use Klipsch speakers. So it would be difficult to do better in recreating the movie theater sound than with these speakers. I might be selling these and going with the Paradigms in the near future.

You will probably really like your Marantz. I have a couple Marantz pieces. I have a BD7004 Blu-ray player and I have 3 Marantz MA700 mono block amps for my front side.

Last edited by crazyhorse; 02-23-2010 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:11 AM   #14
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For me to recommend speakers would be like me recommending what kind of woman you prefer. Everyone is different.

However, if it were me and I had a limited budget, I would take it a piece at a time. If you are going with quality then you arent going to be able to buy it all at once if you're a poor boy like me. So Get your fronts. Ore better yet, since you're going HT, you should get your center channel figured out. In HT, 80% of your sound will come from this speaker. It should be a substantial speaker. In HT it's more important than your fronts. With that in mind, there is a thing called timber match. If you have mix and match speakers, they will have different sound. Timber is when they all have the same sound characteristic.

The sub is next in importance. It gives your system the backbone. The thump. You dont have to go super expensive here. Especially if you will be going with a tower front in the future. You also dont want to go too big. Some think bigger is better here and its not. If you have a room about 20 by 20 go 12". Biggter than that you might start thinking about 15". Personally I wouldnt go bigger than 12 unless my room was over 600 square feet.

I am liking the Paradigm speakers these days. The reference studio series. I currently have Klipsch R3 fronts and center. They are pretty awesome for movies. In fact most movie theaters use Klipsch speakers. So it would be difficult to do better in recreating the movie theater sound than with these speakers. I might be selling these and going with the Paradigms in the near future.

You will probably really like your Marantz. I have a couple Marantz pieces. I have a BD7004 Blu-ray player and I have 3 Marantz MA700 mono block amps for my front side.
I spent the morning at work researching speakers and I think that for the price I really like the av123 ELT525 set. You can get a 5.1 set plus sub for $1200 shipped.

I'm now looking at receivers and I like the marantz 7002, but it looks like it only upconverts with HDMI to 480i/p. I also like the Denon 3808 and Onkyo TX-SR707, HT-RC180, and TX-SR876 all of which upconverts HDMI to 1080i/p. I know that Marantz is probably better quality and not sure if I should let the HDMI thing affect my decision, as I have a ps3 and that upconverts to 1080.

Right now I need to get a new receiver first and then later I will add the speakers.

Anyone own these receivers or have any opinion on them?
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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I spent the morning at work researching speakers and I think that for the price I really like the av123 ELT525 set. You can get a 5.1 set plus sub for $1200 shipped.

I'm now looking at receivers and I like the marantz 7002, but it looks like it only upconverts with HDMI to 480i/p. I also like the Denon 3808 and Onkyo TX-SR707, HT-RC180, and TX-SR876 all of which upconverts HDMI to 1080i/p. I know that Marantz is probably better quality and not sure if I should let the HDMI thing affect my decision, as I have a ps3 and that upconverts to 1080.

Right now I need to get a new receiver first and then later I will add the speakers.

Anyone own these receivers or have any opinion on them?

Leave the upconversion to your DVD player.

How much do you have to spend on a pre pro?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:04 PM   #16
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Leave the upconversion to your DVD player.

How much do you have to spend on a pre pro?
I'm actually way over budget on what I want now, so a pre pro will have to wait at least a half year.

What about a directTV HD receiver. I'll have to plug that into the receiver and then receiver to TV. Will I lose the 1080p if I went with the Marantz receiver? I know it sounds like a stupid question, but again I am pretty new to this. I would think that would not be an issue
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:19 PM   #17
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I'm actually way over budget on what I want now, so a pre pro will have to wait at least a half year.

What about a directTV HD receiver. I'll have to plug that into the receiver and then receiver to TV. Will I lose the 1080p if I went with the Marantz receiver? I know it sounds like a stupid question, but again I am pretty new to this. I would think that would not be an issue

1st I have to say that 480i is the lowest. So nothing would have to be converted to that. It would have to be down converted. Iff your DTV is 1080 then it will run through the reciever at 1080. It may or may not be converted from 1080i to 1080p. I dont know if its a misprint or perhaps there is something I dont understand. But you dont have all those hdmi imputs for the purpose of degrading the picture. Upconversion is taking a lesser signal and converting it to a cleaner signal. if you feed 1080 in you should get 1080 out.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:38 PM   #18
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1st I have to say that 480i is the lowest. So nothing would have to be converted to that. It would have to be down converted. Iff your DTV is 1080 then it will run through the reciever at 1080. It may or may not be converted from 1080i to 1080p. I dont know if its a misprint or perhaps there is something I dont understand. But you dont have all those hdmi imputs for the purpose of degrading the picture. Upconversion is taking a lesser signal and converting it to a cleaner signal. if you feed 1080 in you should get 1080 out.
I think the 480i was mentioned on the marantz 7002 as in it doesn't upconvert anything. However, I really shouldn't have to worry about that as my DTV is 1080 and ps3 upconverts already.

Basically I have narrowed down the receiver to either the marantz 7002, denon 3808ci, or Onkyo TX-SR876. Based on the reviews it seems that I can't really go wrong with any of these. The marantz seems like it has better sound quality and would be better for music. The denon seems like a jack of all trades and might be better for me if I'm leaning more towards a HT setup. The Onkyo seems to compare well to the denon, but from what I've read it seems like it is much easier to setup and use.

Price wise I actually found the marantz selling for $650 used, while the denon will probably run me near $1000 and the Onkyo $900. This is why I'm leaning towards the marantz right now, but I'm still undecided and will probably over think this anyway.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:25 PM   #19
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I used to have a very high end system, Denon AVR 2500, KEF speakers, Klipsch subwoofer, etc ...

But now I have this simple Sony: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-BRAVIA-Th...981845&sr=1-10

All-in-one, tuner, 5 CD/DVD, HDMI's, subwoofer, etc... maybe I'm just getting older, but I prefer this one to my old "high end" system. Sounds great.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:05 AM   #20
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I used to have a very high end system, Denon AVR 2500, KEF speakers, Klipsch subwoofer, etc ...

But now I have this simple Sony: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-BRAVIA-Th...981845&sr=1-10

All-in-one, tuner, 5 CD/DVD, HDMI's, subwoofer, etc... maybe I'm just getting older, but I prefer this one to my old "high end" system. Sounds great.

Old? Perhaps.

Deaf? Indisputable.

Seriously though, you get little return on your money once you achieve class A/B.

My stuff-

Lexicon MV5 pre pro.
Marantz MA700 mono block amps for 5.1
Marantz BD 7004 DVD player
Rotel 1070 CD player
Klipsch R3 fronts
Klipsch rs3 surrounds
Klipsch rc3 center
B&W ASW 700 sub
MIT Terminator 2 bi-wire speaker cables
Sraightwire Encore 2 interconnects
Mitsubishi 65 inch DLP
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:16 AM   #21
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I think the 480i was mentioned on the marantz 7002 as in it doesn't upconvert anything. However, I really shouldn't have to worry about that as my DTV is 1080 and ps3 upconverts already.

Basically I have narrowed down the receiver to either the marantz 7002, denon 3808ci, or Onkyo TX-SR876. Based on the reviews it seems that I can't really go wrong with any of these. The marantz seems like it has better sound quality and would be better for music. The denon seems like a jack of all trades and might be better for me if I'm leaning more towards a HT setup. The Onkyo seems to compare well to the denon, but from what I've read it seems like it is much easier to setup and use.

Price wise I actually found the marantz selling for $650 used, while the denon will probably run me near $1000 and the Onkyo $900. This is why I'm leaning towards the marantz right now, but I'm still undecided and will probably over think this anyway.
Denon and Marantz are very similar. Not as familiar with Onkyo. I would decide between the Marantz and Denon based on features because they will have a similar sound.

I strongly recommend going and listening to these brands. Each has its own sound. What rates high with one person you may not like at all. You can go listen without being pressured to buy. Like test driving a car. Just tell them you have a list of brands you want to listen to before you make a decision and they will do everything you want. They will set up any combo for you to listen to.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:44 PM   #22
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http://cgi.ebay.com/B-K-AVR-202-Surr...item2c5342f2e7


http://cgi.ebay.com/Rocketfish-4-Way...item3caa5fc08e


http://cgi.ebay.com/Home-Theater-A-V...item4cedcb58a5

This combo smokes anything you've listed.

When I say smoke I mean smokes.

The 505 is the better of the two I think.

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Old 02-25-2010, 08:23 PM   #23
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http://cgi.ebay.com/B-K-AVR-202-Surr...item2c5342f2e7


http://cgi.ebay.com/Rocketfish-4-Way...item3caa5fc08e


http://cgi.ebay.com/Home-Theater-A-V...item4cedcb58a5

This combo smokes anything you've listed.

When I say smoke I mean smokes.

The 505 is the better of the two I think.

Those are good receivers, but I honestly want something with HDMI input/output. I know I can get an HDMI switcher, but neither of these receivers have an HDMI i/o. After spending the last couple days reading reviews and not really working, I think I am set on getting a marantz 8002/7002.


I'm going to go into town this weekend and see if I can find a store to demo these, the Denon, and Onkyo. In addition I've read good things about the new Yamaha's and some good stuff about Rotel and NAD.

I've decided that video upconversion from my AVR is not at all important as I'm planning on upgrading all my equipment to the point that it should do this. This is why I'm leaning towards the Marantz's because everything I've read about them indicate superior sound quality over all the other receivers I've listed. Again, I'm going to go and try to test my own ears on it this weekend.

Still going back and forth on speakers. I like the aperions, axioms, av123's just based on reviews. Hopefully this weekend I can test out some Klipsch, Polk, Kef's, B&W's etc.

Ultimately I think my setup in a couple months will be:

Samsung 52lnb750 LCD TV
Marantz 8002 receiver (from what I've read unless you spend a fortune on an amp, the amp in this does really well)
Oppo 983 DVD player/upconverter
Ps3
Speakers from the list above

I think this will be a good start towards my HT...
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #24
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Those are good receivers, but I honestly want something with HDMI input/output. I know I can get an HDMI switcher, but neither of these receivers have an HDMI i/o. After spending the last couple days reading reviews and not really working, I think I am set on getting a marantz 8002/7002.


I'm going to go into town this weekend and see if I can find a store to demo these, the Denon, and Onkyo. In addition I've read good things about the new Yamaha's and some good stuff about Rotel and NAD.

I've decided that video upconversion from my AVR is not at all important as I'm planning on upgrading all my equipment to the point that it should do this. This is why I'm leaning towards the Marantz's because everything I've read about them indicate superior sound quality over all the other receivers I've listed. Again, I'm going to go and try to test my own ears on it this weekend.

Still going back and forth on speakers. I like the aperions, axioms, av123's just based on reviews. Hopefully this weekend I can test out some Klipsch, Polk, Kef's, B&W's etc.

Ultimately I think my setup in a couple months will be:

Samsung 52lnb750 LCD TV
Marantz 8002 receiver (from what I've read unless you spend a fortune on an amp, the amp in this does really well)
Oppo 983 DVD player/upconverter
Ps3
Speakers from the list above

I think this will be a good start towards my HT...
The reason I put the hdmi switch on there was due to the fact those units dont have thier own switch. That would solve that issue but would signifigantly upgrade your system over what you are considering.

On a scale of 1-10 the systems you are considering are a 5/6 compared to a 9 that I linked. The difference is where you plug in your hdmi cable.

I would say that Yamaha is well below what you are considering as well.

B&W is way better than most of the speakers you have outlined. KEF makes a good speaker.

I like the Oppo. But I like the new one. However, your ps3 is probably as good as the Oppo. Believe it or not, for bluray ps3 is one of the top players on the market. Not sure where its rated for music. You might consider a CD player or perhaps save that money towards your speakers or whatever.

Now, please dont take this the wrong way, because Im telling you to help you. Some of those speakers are junk you have listed. Im not going to tell you which ones because I want you to listen for yourself. You're going to be investing a pretty good chunk on this stuff.. You better get what you like the 1st time. The way to do that is to listen.

I once had a complete Rotel system. that is some good stuff. A little better than the other stuff you're looking at. But not near as good as the B&K I found for you.

You are exactly right. You will have a pretty nice setup with most of that stuff. But again, watch out on some of those speakers.

Good luck.

p.s.You might find a good deal on a Rotel on that audiogon site I posted.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
Old? Perhaps.

Deaf? Indisputable.
Two CD players, really? I thought I was the one who was old :

Last edited by BroncoBuff; 02-27-2010 at 02:53 AM..
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