10-28-2009 09:50 AM
I have a home theater system that needs to be replaced. I would also like a good system for listening to music with AM/FM, and CD listening and recording capability.
What are the recommendations? Do I need a seperate audio and home theater system or are there home theater sytems that can do both with good quality speakers? I have XM thru Direct TV.
11-05-2009 09:39 PM
I've been down this road many times. Unfortunately, this is a very general, vague question and only you can answer it for yourself, but here are some questions to help you decide on what you're looking for.
1.) How serious are you about audio quality?
-Are you an audiophile that enjoys paying to hear every minute detail in music?
2.) Do you primarily listen to 2 channel stereo, 7 channel stereo, multi-room music, or movie theatre application?
3.) What is your budget?
I began my audio journey buying a nice pair of floor standing Yammies for about $500, and a 2 channel Sony receiver for $200. Later realizing that the application is limited to 2 channel stereo (and a lot of buyers remorse), I went with a home-theatre-in-a-box Bose Accoustimass 6 Series 3 and a Denon receiver; about $800 more. A year later, my audio taste wanted more, but having been content with the Bose, I went with the Bose Accoustimass 10 Series 3; an extra $700.
After 2 years of enjoying my Bose, I realized that Bose is pretty bland. The audio quality was par level at best, and really the only thing you're paying for with bose is the brand name, marketing, and recognition when others see the speaker. For years, when people came over they would comment on how great my speakers sounded. Well it wasn't the speakers that made it sound great, it was my Denon reciever and quality audio source. Wanting more, I went to a retailer that no longer exists ($0und Advice) and sampled the MartinLogan Fresco i as a center channel and a Focal SW800v sub. The audio quality was amazing so I bought the center channel and sub for $1200 to beef up my bose. After $0und Advice closed, I bought (2) MartinLogan Fresco i ($500 each) and last week added (2) MartinLogan Vantage ($2500 each). I think I've finally found the system that's perfect for me.
Long story short, answer the above questions and you'll go straight to what you like. Honestly, spending $7200 for MartinLogans and a Focal sub is better than wasting $2200 and experiencing the buyers remorse.
11-06-2009 10:04 AM
There really isn't too much difference between the 1610 and 1910. 15watts per channel and 5.1vs7.1 wouldn't justify a $200 price difference. The both have integrated boards, so the audio quality wouldn't be significant.
If you decide to get the 1910, I would recommend looking at Denon's parent company Marantz. Check out the Marantz SR5003. It would only be about $150 more, but you get a lot more functionality and between audio quality. The audio quality difference b/t Denon and Marantz is contributed to the way the main board is designed and components are integrated.
Many of the other mainstream receivers like Yamaha, Sony, Onkyo, etc. all have integrated cards on their main boards similar to Denon. You'll compare Marantz with brands like higher end Yamaha, entry level Krell, entry level Niles Audio, and entry level B&K.
Before you buy the receiver, consider what kind of audio you want to target. If you're an audiophile, you won't be happy with anything below a Marantz. If you're looking for decent speakers for audio, but on a budget, maybe you should focus on the Denon 1610.
Phase technology speakers are good, but I would be cautious of the retailer selling you what they have in stock and not what is ideal for you. If you're considering Phase Technology, consider Paradigm speakers. They are a Canadian based speaker company and have won best speaker awards for the past 17 years. Paradigm speakers rival speakers that are 3 or 4 times their cost. I'm a huge fan of the Paradigm Millenia 200, and have 2 of them in my bedroom. Amazing speakers at a fraction of the cost. I think I picked up my pair of Millenia 200 for $900.
One last thing, read up on the concept of timbre. Audiophiles (like myself) are driven by the constant search of timbre reproduction.