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Newbie: Setting up first budget home theater, Synergy or Icon XF-48?

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I am setting up my first home theater so I am a complete newbie with no experience at all. I have been researching online for a system that fits my budget (under 2K) since I have to buy everything.

I was planning to buy an Onkyo TX-SR 807 receiver paired with Klipsch Synergy mass market series - F-1 floor standing, C-1 center channel, S-1 Surrounds, SW-350 subwoofer for a total of $1669.00 (Onkyo $820, all Klipsch speakers together $849)

However, I went to my local Best Buy today and they have an open box deal on Klipsch Icon series XF-48 speakers for $900 pair (original $2500) with 3 yr no interest financing. I am very tempted but I am not sure how these higher series active speakers will fit into my basic set up. The price is too good to pass these up. Can anyone give me advice on what else I may need to buy with these speakers? Can I still go with the Onkyo 807 receiver and basic center channel and surrounds?

I also have a Buttkicker BKA300 which was gifted to me and I was thinking of adding to this set up. I will be listening to classical and rock music as well as watching blu-ray movies.

Thanks in advance for your help. I am totally new to the Home Theater world so I appreciate your patience with my beginner's question.

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Welcome to the forums SD. Here are a few of my suggestions...take them for what it's worth.

1. Check out your local Craigslist.com. There are some killer deals out there on used speakers that might allow you to get a higher end (reference or heritage) setup for the same price as a new set of synergy or icon speakers.

2. Be patient. I know this is the hardest part. If you willing to be patient, and look for deals on a daily basis, you will come across some sweet deals.

3. Buy the best center channel you can afford. I say this because 80% of everything that you hear in a movie comes from the center channel speaker. If you have to "settle" on a center channel, you've really hurt your overall HT experience.

4. Slowly piece your system together as you can afford it. Many of us have put our dream system together over time. Mine was a year or two, some have been slowly upgrading for several years.

5. This is a personal conviction of mine so again, take it for what it's worth but here it is. Pay cash, never finance. In my experience, debt never works out for the good. That's why our economy is in the dump right now...because of debt. It robs us of the ability to sit back and enjoy the purchases that we have made on credit for several reasons. Credit Card companies are now socking it to their customers by jacking up their interest rates, cutting their credit lines etc. Credit is designed to benefit the banks, not the customer. My wife and I made a choice 5 years ago to get out of debt and we did (other than our house). It took 5 years but was well worth it. Now if we want something, we save up (and it's a lot faster without having debt) and pay cash for it. If we don't have the money and there is a great deal, we just pass. Another deal will come along. There is no such thing as too good of a deal to pass up.

Ok, hope I didn't sound preachy with that last one. LOL. I just want you to be smart with your decision. It's your money, you can spend it however you want.

Onkyo makes a great HT receiver and you get a lot of bang for your buck. I've owned two of them and they were fantastic. I sold them because they weren't as good for 2ch music listening and I wanted a receiver that was good for both 2ch and for HT. I bought mine used and got a deal on it. I let the guy before me take the depreciation of the unit, not me.

Good luck with your decision. Ask all the questions you want, that's what we are here for.

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Youthman stated it very Well ! Take your time, search, deals will come.

Try to buy from local folks where you can see the pieces, and demo them ! Saves shipping/ damage problems.

As the Rolling Stones said in a song...............

"Time, Time, Time is on your side, yes it is.........."

EDIT: As others have stated. Keep your Money handy, along with your Car Keys.............Gotta Move Quickly !

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I'll second what Youthman said regarding debt, if you have to borrow it will cost you WAY more than paying cash, in more ways than one.

For entry level spending you can't beat buying used as also stated by Youthman, it is a buyers market driven ironically in part by folks needing $$ to pay off their debt.

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I will definitely agree with Youthman.

For example, my family room HT setup msrp was around $11000.00. The price I paid piecing things together over time(new and used), was less than $5000.00.

My family room 2 channel setup was even better. Price retail was around $4000.00. Price paid(all used), $471.00.

Believe me, their are others on this forum who have done better than me. Learn to be like a hawk in a tree. Spot dinner and pounce. Keep a sharp eye on C-list and other used gear websites and have cash in hand.

Bill

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I've picked up 4 Heresy's (used) and an HK-254 AVR (refurb) for <$1000. Granted, I've paired them with KHorns purchased new back when I could afford them but I've gone from 2 ch to a pretty nice HT (audio portion) for not much $$. I'm currently sniffing a pair of La Scalas to upgrade further if I can get a good price, if not I can wait.

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Check vanns.com. You can get the complete synergy f3 series for a couple hundred cheaper. You can always call for a cheaper than posted price too. I received a 7.1 setup for less than the websites posted 5.1 setups bundle price.

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Youthman and others are giving you solid advice. I'll give you some real examples of deals I've taken advantage of.

RF 7's $800.........RC 7 $400...........RS 7's $300.........RSW 15 $600 ............RP 5's $220...........RP 3's $200...............RB 5's $200 Onkyo TX SR 805 $600 (NEW) and that is only a portion of the equipment that I've purchased over the last year.

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Thanks Youthman, and to all others who replied to my post. Very solid advice! I like the example of being a "hawk in a tree" and pouncing when dinner looks good.

OK so I am taking the advice you all gave and abandoning the idea of purchasing the XF-48.I have seen some better ones already.

I just saw another dealer offer on Craigslist, and spoke to the local dealer. He is willing to sell a new factory sealed Klipsch WF-35 Home Theater system

  • (2) WF-35 Floorstanding Speakers

  • (1) WC-24 Center Channel Speaker

  • (2) WS-24 Surround Speakers

  • (1) XW-500d Subwoofer

for $1950 (including tax) shipped to my home (he will bring over in person). I checked on the Klipsch website and he is an authorized dealer. The retail on this system is $3750 on Klipsch website. Is this a good deal to swoop up? Or shall I keep looking?

I also saw another pair of RF-15s used for $200 today. They need to sell today.

I don't have enough experience to tell what is a good deal, so any advice is welcome. Thanks!

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I would personally pass on the RF-15's. They are definitely at the bottom of the reference series. 5.25" drivers don't do much for me personally. I haven't heard the Icon series so I will not comment on them.

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There was a 5.1 setup on craigslist recently for $1150 with klf-20's as mains. I like those, the klf-30s and kg5.5s for LR in the price range you're talking about.

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