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Complete Beginner needs help

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by alba77, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. alba77

    alba77
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    I'm a complete beginner in the Hi-fi world and am lucky enough to have some cash to spend. I would like to start a system from scratch, and if possible, since I have limited space, I would like as much quality as possible packed into as few boxes as possible. I would like to include in my system a flat screen TV, dvd, and all the usual things.

    My question is, where do I start? With the TV? With the DVD system? Does anyone have any suggestions for the whole lot?
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    Budget?

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  3. alba77

    alba77
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    Budget - good point!

    I have about £8000 to spend, but obviously I won't blow it all if I don't have to!
     
  4. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Dont rush is my advice. Whats more important to you, films or music ?. If the visual side is more important, is this for films or broadcasts, maybe a projector or plasma might be of interest? this would blow a big hole in your budget.

    Are you really into music, or is it just the occasional bit of Kylie, while you do something in another room. How loud do you like to listen, what about neighbours, family, Kids etc.

    Work out whats more important, and what constraints are in place, then you can start deciding how to spend your money.
     
  5. Tejpal

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    you should be able to fit a 42"+ plasma screen, about £3500.
    maybe a servo 15 sub. b&w DM603 front/ LCR600 centre and 3x DM601, about £3000 inc cables
    plus £1k for an amp..

    that should b nice...


    ......i wish i had £8k to spend on toys.....
     
  6. buns

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    I agree with Kark, with £8k to spend you can get a fantastic system, most any system you want! You need to decide if you want an enormous screen in a room where you can control light, or whether you go for plasma which is alot smaller. You need to decide If you good lady will allow big boxes, or if everything needs to be kept discreete.....

    oh boy im jealous! :D

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  7. alba77

    alba77
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    Thanks for all the advice.
    I've been window shopping today and have seen a Phillips plasma screen, 32 inches which looks good and is the right size for the space, plus there's a Linn dvd/amp/everything which is all in one box which fits the bill. Are these good manufacturers for this sort of thing?
    Actually, Buns, I am the good lady of the house but the old man is the one who wants the minimal boxes! I am aiming to please!
     
  8. buns

    buns
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    Give him a kick and tell him he's a jammy sod! :D

    I dont know much about plasmas to be honest, i cant afford them! I didnt realise they were as small as 32 inches though....... thought 42 was the smallest.

    I dont know anything about the little linn machine..... Im sure its a good performer, but im likewise sure that it could be beaten with a separates solution. Linn do tend to be a hifi manufacturer so im sure the stereo performance is superb.

    Spending the amount you are considering, you should be well within you rights to demand a good long demo of whatever you are buying!

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  9. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Get a home demo of the Linn, it does get a good write up (but we all know these are not very trustworthy). Downside of an all in one is when a component needs changing or breaks down you need to change the whole thing. The same thing happens if you suddenly feel the performance of the system is not as good as you thought, there are no easy upgrade paths.

    Separates are a lot better in performance and flexibility.
    Can I ask, 32" plasma, why? bear in mind Plasma has a limited life span and suffers from burn in (the residual image remains on the screen, if you leave a static image on the screen for too long).

    I can understand you wanting everything neat and tidy, but its worth bearing these points in mind before spending a load of cash for an inflexible system.

    If you like films buy a Projector, they are very small, around a foot long, 6" wide and 4" deep. Buns has a nice PJ for sale. Next a screen, which can be hidden behind a curtain pelmet and electrically operated so its invisible when not in use. Buy a small 28" standard TV for normal viewing. If you bought this lot new it would be around 2600.00 which leaves loads for the other bits of the system.
    If you like films, you should really go the PJ route, except you will no longer wish to go to the cinema as your set up will be better and without the usual intrusions.

    Onwards to DVD/CD players, a good starting point for a combined player would be something like the Arcam FMJ DV27, which would give decent audio playback as well as good DVD, but it is pricey at around 1600.00, both Cyrus and Tag and Meridian have competitive products in this market sector.

    I cant help you with a combined cinema / audio amp package as I have no experience in this area, having chosen to go with a completely seperate audio system. Though others on this forum are currently running systems like this.

    Dont let anyone fob you off with, "this is the five star award winning..............etc so buy this" a good dealer should be asking loads of questions before he even starts putting a demo together, if they dont home demos........walk away and find someone who does. Dont be swayed by BADA dealers or any other guarantees, just find someone who is prepared to go that extra mile for you.

    Good hunting.
     
  10. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Personally I don't feel that plasmas give anywhere near as good a bang-for-buck as a used CRT or maybe a new Ellie CRT. Space permitting, I would get the projector.
     
  11. buns

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    Although i havent had a plasma....... id agree with stuart. The size of the image counts for alot if yu want the real cinema deal! And, if it matters, plasmas will depreciate much much more than a good 2nd hand crt

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  12. karkus30

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    You know , I have a strange feeling we are just talking to ourselves now. Its getting like a scene out of last of the summer wine, bet Alba has already bought the new system anyway.
     
  13. buns

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    Funny, that happens quite alot kark! Maybe we'll get an update someday! Its always nice to know how someone is getting on! :D

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  14. SOUNDSTYLE

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    Personally, I would find a 32" plasma much too small and once you get the bug, I think you might find it too small after a few months once you have got used to it.

    I have a Sony 36" CRT tv and I find that is too small now.

    My next tv will be a plasma but I will be going for at least 50"s .
     
  15. buns

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    Id agree soundstyle....... if i wanted 32 inch, id get a top crt and still have alot of change!

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  16. alba77

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    I'm Back! Sorry for not posting for a while, I've been away for new year to the middle of nowhere! Thanks for all the comments. I think that now, although I'm still a bit confused, I'm definitely better informed. I think I'm going to rethink the plasma screen - what about LCD? I think its the depth of the CRT's which is making me want to have a flat screen. They're just so huge and overwhelming in the room - which is the only family/entertaining/living/dossing around/etc.... space we have so every inch counts.
     
  17. buns

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    LCD, do you mean an lcd tv, or an lcd projector? Projector would be my choice, you could get a retractable screen up on the wall (so you electrically control it with remote so it disappears when not in use) and then you could get a smaller digital projector mounted up on the ceiling out of the way.......

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  18. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Alba, try to get a demo of a Projector, preferably with your all time favourite film, if you like films you will love it.:cool:

    Dont think you can buy a 32" LCD screen as yet, 21" was about as big as they go, at least last time I looked.

    This might be a mistake, but , you do realise that a projector hooks up to a DVD player, video player, games machine etc. I was talking to someone the other day and it became clear, that they thought I was talking about reels of film etc.

    These Pj are small compact, multimedia devices with only a slight fan noise to tell you they are working, lamp life is in years.
     
  19. danzig66

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    I'd also recommend a projector too Alba. After problems with my Toshiba 32ZP18P (and various Q replacements!) I got a Panasonic AE100 LCD projector which was around the same price back then (around 1200 bucks - you can pick one of for much less now though). Frankly I have never looked back since.

    In terms of bang for your buck, I don't think an LCD projector can be beaten. I was concerned that I would have to get a proper screen and watch in pure darkness to get the best out of it, but it ain't necessarily so. You get a reasonable quality of image in moderate light, so it's fine for general TV use, although I must admit I prefer watching movies at night when there is total darkness.

    I project straight on to a magnolia wall and the picture quality is still amazing. It won't match a CRT television for brightness capability or definition, but if you go down the home cinema PC or ProV route you won't care - the difference will be minimal and totally offset by having a whacking great 7 ft image to watch.

    I just connected the projector straight to my DVD player (cack old Wharfdale) with a cheapie S-Video lead when I first got it and even then you couldn't get the cheesy grin off my face for weeks. Nothing draws you into a movie like having a huge picture!

    Another bonus is that you don't have a big TV box cluttering up your living room as the other guys have said.

    It's win win dude!
     

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