Need some kind of music player thing

kashka_katSeptember 25, 2007

WELL my circa 1980 stereo receiver recently bit the dust so I thought it was time to shop for a new music player thingie so I went down to Best Buy. Yikes! Everythings changed technologically.

I kind of liked the small miniature systems but am interested in good sound quality too --I want to be able to hear all the detail and nuances in the music. May or may not want something that connects to the DVD player.

At this point Im interested in what the range of possibilities are ... what's good that can be purchased for under $500? Do you buy components like back in the old days or is it possible to get one thing that will have excellent sound quality?

I did try to listen to different things but I didnt find that very helpful - with all the other noise going on around there. I'd rather get peoples recommendations first and then go find them and listen and see if I like it.

t. i. a.

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Check out their Yamaha home theater systems. You may be able to get something acceptable for around $500.

Of course if you want real good quality the receiver alone will cost about a grand. Speakers can make or break a system as well and you can spend a ton of money on a good set.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:22PM
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$500 or under please...................... what's GOOD for that price, that is the question...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 1:49PM
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It seems that you need a new receiver, although you may also need a new set of speakers for the new receiver. This in turn will blow the top of your $500.00 and bring you closer to $1,000.

You can buy a decent receiver from $200.00 as high as you want to go (the sky is the limit). Some receivers under $500.00 I can think of:

1. Onkyo TX-SR505. This receiver costs under $300.00. It's a 75-Watt x 7 channel receiver that has a 1080p HDMI switching circuit. This feature allows you to connect two high definition DVD players, and switch between the two, sending the best digital signal (1080p) to your HD TV.

2. Onkyo TX-SR605 (the one I plan to buy in the near future) costs under $500.00. This one can switch an analog video signal and convert it before sending it out the HDMI cable. It can also switch between two high definition videos (like the first one), and it can provide two different sounds (music) to two locations in you home (example: someone can listen to Elvis in the basement, while you can listen to Pink Floyd in the living room). This is a 90-Watt x 7 channels receiver, comes XM and SIRIUS ready.

There are several receivers that are similar to these two, some made by Sony, Yamaha, Denon, etc., but for any of these you will need a new set of speakers to take advantage of the sound features.

A set of Mirage NANOSAT speakers (subwoofer plus 5 miniature speakers) will set you back at least $790.00. The mini speakers can handle up to 100 watts each, and the sub can handle 75 watts.

If you can't afford any of these receivers/speakers, then you may have to settle down for a small theatre system. These come with the speakers, a dvd player, etc., but some do not come with a receiver. Sony, and Panasonic offer great little packages that put out around 60 watts to the 2 front speakers, around 100 watts to the center speaker, around 33 watts to the 2 surround speakers (back speakers), and over 100 watts to the included subwoofer.

Don't expect the best quality music and video out of these units, but they do a fine job if you are not too picky.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:13PM
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As I read the OP's question, she is looking for two channel stereo, not home theater. I think she meant to refer to a CD player, not a DVD. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) In that case, I agree that a decent two channel receiver can be purchased for around $200. I have an Onkyo that I'm pleased with. I don't know about the speaker market in the $300 range, so perhaps others can suggest some. I also don't know if it's feasible to consider a subwoofer, within this budget. I'd go with the best bookshelf speakers I could find for the money. There are, of course systems in that price range, and I think the OP was also asking about those vs. separate components. With so much home theater stuff on the market, it may be a bit harder to focus on the two-channel systems. Steve

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:35AM
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I was looking for a decent 2.1 channel home stereo/home theatre system and came across this at $250. I bought it and installed it in the kid's playroom and it rocks for the money. You can play CD's, DVD's, has an MP3 jack, has an HDMI output to be able to upscale DVD's to a relatively hi def, virtual surround sound, etc. A lot of bang for the buck.

I also recently bought a factory refurbished Harmon Kardon HK3480 receiver off of eBay for less than $150 to serve as my main music listening receiver (I've seen them brand new for less than $250). I believe it has 120 watts per channel, also has a virtual surround processor in case you do ever need to hook it up to a TV/DVD setup. I run a CD, DVD and iPod through it. You could get yourself a decent pair of bookshelf speakers for less than $300 and a $50 DVD/CD player and you'd have a nice little system that could be upgraded with a better set of speakers and DVD/CD player at a later date if necessary.

Here is a link that might be useful: Phillips HTS6500

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 1:27PM
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There are many excellent speakers out there for under $300 a pair. They tend to be the products of smaller manufacturers, though, so it will be easiest to find them in metropolitan areas with a few high-end stereo shops. You'll find darn few of them at the big-box stores. Brands I'd consider here are (alphabetical): Axiom Audio, Monitor Audio, NHT, Paradigm, Polk, PSB.

As for a receiver, iinsic's suggestion of eBay for Harman/Kardon's refurbished models is good; sells factory-refurbished Onkyo receivers which also sound very good and (for stereo) don't cost very much, either.

A good two-channel receiver and a pair of these smaller high-fidelity speakers will give you much better sound than anything that comes in one package and also will let you connect a CD/DVD player and some other inputs as well.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Would agree that you can squeeze into some decent sound with mentioned receivers in the three hundred range (Onkyo or Yamaha) and some bookshelf Polk speakers. BTW, until recently Polk concentrated on stereo speakers and did not bother with home theater, thus, the reason for a good sound for the price...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:44AM
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