So when I got a new job, I got a generous "miscellaneous moving expenses" bonus, which, combined with the fact that my actual moving expenses were pretty slim, allowed me to buy a relatively nice TV. (A 46" Sharp Aquos, if you're curious.)
And it's been great and all, but the built-in speakers leave something to be desired, especially when playing music. I got a Buckethead album recently (A Real Diamond In The Rough
, if you're curious) and got about three tracks in before I couldn't take the speaker rattle anymore.
So I need some decent speakers. I used to have a relatively nice (for a high school/college budget, anyway) set from Creative, but the controller hardware sort of broke, leading to random volume fluctuations, and in any case were pretty small (they were definitely computer-sized speakers and not HT speakers). So I want to put together a proper HT setup, and I don't want to have to declare personal bankruptcy afterwords.
I figure I'll need a receiver and two side speakers to start out with, and I'll expand to a 5.1 surround set later. Some questions, if anyone here has been there before:
What's a decent budget reciever? I don't need a lot of fancy features or anything, I just need it to take sound from my PC and consoles and move it to some speakers. Right now my PC and 360 are going through HDMI, but I can certainly live without an HDMI-capable reciever, using the other audio outputs on the things. (Indeed, ATI's HDMI audio drivers aren't really all that great in the first place).
Also I'll need a pair of decent speakers. What brand has the best ratio between good and cheap? And should I get a subwoofer, or wait on that? My plan is to get two pretty good front speakers, ones that will last a while, and then get good center and rear speakers and a woofer later, as I have more money, rather than half-assing a full 5.1 set upfront. Is this feasible, or will I be better off with a HT-in-a-box setup?
Also, what do I need to know about compatibility? I'm technically inclined (I hook up my own network, build my own PC, code for the Cell in assembly language, etc.) but this is outside my area of expertise. How do I know that everything will work with everything else?
I'm not a crazy audiophile, I just need something relatively competent. And I need to keep the price down; if I start heading towards $1000 (or at least, a grand all at once
), my fiancee will probably cut off my testicles.
edit: also, where do I buy this stuff? Newegg is good for computer parts, but kinda sucks for TVs. Are they good for speakers? If not, where?