I have put together a pretty decent home theater system over the years. Like so many other enthusiasts, I started out with a stereo system and systematically transitioned it into a full-blown home theater with surround sound. Along the way, I have dabbled, tweaked, laughed, cried and learned a few things. I have owned and sampled components with legitimate high-end aspirations as well as components that were decidedly mid-fi. It has been an exciting adventure and the results are very rewarding.
This brings me to the point of my blog: I now believe that there is a fairly pronounced point of diminishing returns when considering the purchase of any piece of home theater or hi fi equipment. I would surely have a super expensive system if I could reasonably afford the cash out lay, but I am an entrenched middle-classer. And now with all the economic problems in the world, the time has never been better to help people get the most bang for their buck.
I have especially enjoyed helping my friends make equipment upgrades or when they want to build whole new systems from scratch. Sometimes I can tell that my friends are afraid to ask for my help because they think I might recommend something that’s really expensive. If this is the case, then I ask them to tell me what their budget is and then I can move forward with some recommendations.
The pictures accompanying this Blog are of one such system. My friend had a decent monitor and he wanted to upgrade his DVD player and build a sound system. He lives in a condominium and the room is not very big. He budgeted $1,000 for this upgrade. I recommended an Oppo DVD player, an Onkyo stereo receiver, a pair of Hsu Research HB1 bookshelf speakers and a Hsu Research STF-1 subwoofer. By the time we got the speaker stands and some cabling, we had exceeded his budget by about $30. The really great part is that my friend has been tickled to death over the quality of this set-up and I am so happy that I was able to help him.
There are some products out there that are such a great value that they are almost iconic to me. Which budget products would you recommend? What products do you feel provide the best balance of performance and value? Would you be interested if Secrets made system recommendations for different budget levels like $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 and so forth?
Let us know….
Jim “Maverick” Clements