Originally Posted by mikei
If you are looking for a home theater system, check out www.axiom.com
They are a Canadian company that sells direct to the public.
When I bought my system 2 years ago, I did TONS of research and spent about 2K on speakers from them. I then bought a $300 Pioneer Receiver and never looked back.
An equivilant system bought from Best Buy or any Home Theater specialty store would cost easily 5 to 6 grand.
I love the system, the customer service was great, and 2 years later, I have not had any problems. My CDs friggin crank through this system. My DVD concert videos literally shake the house. When I watch the initial war part in Saving Private Ryan, you can feel the explosions in your gut and hear the bullets wizzing by your head!!!!!
Best investment I have ever made!!!
Mikei - The Axiom's look good. Seems like there's a lot of really good value Canadian speaker companys. I have a pair of Paradigms in my living room and they've always impressed me as exceptional speakers for what I paid for them. Mirage speakers are also really nice from what I've heard. (and www.axiomaudio.com
should be the link, the other one was showing car parts???)
Denon/Pioneer/Sony/Onkyo/NAD/HK/Yamaha all have pretty good reputations for solid state gear like receivers and players. I know that Pioneer (others too) have different lines, some of which are only sold through the specialty retailers. It really is a lot like the drum world where most of the big name companies cover a wide range of price, features and quality with different lines. There's still a select group of purists who won't have anything except tube amps - I haven't ever crossed that line, but I think about it every now and then.
Speakers will be your biggest investment and should be your first priority budget-wise cause they're more difficult to upgrade in a couple years. And I still listen to music more than I watch movies or TV on my system so the main front channel speakers should not be compromised. Another big issue that comes up is the appearance of things (and getting the all important spouse approval in that regard). Some people don't like to look at all the gear or big honking speakers. and while smaller speakers with a good sub can sound remarkably good, a good solid pair of full range speakers up front is hard to beat for the best voicing and soundfield with stereo music sources. My parents had a pair of Magneplanars in their family room for awhile, but they never really liked how they looked. So I gladly took them off their hands recently and put 'em in my main listening/viewing system and they're just really sweet, clean, natural sounding speakers. Of course, having them now makes we want to upgrade the amp and the surround speakers. What can you do???
Aydee is right about EQ, a good system shouldn't need it. And I still have a Dual turntable that I got awhile ago (like maybe 25 years??). Not sure what brands are available now, but I'm sure you can still pick up a decent one in $175 - $500 range or go boutique and spend $1k or more putting together a reference quality platter/tonearm/cartridge combo.