Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Doug Schneider,

I am about to invest in a new, moderate home-theater system and would like to ask your opinion on the quality and value of this purchase.

  • Yamaha BD-A1010 Blu-ray player
  • Yamaha RX-A810 receiver
  • Paradigm SE 1 left/right front speakers and SE Center speaker

Approximately $2400 for all. Is there any other recommendation you might have for similar components in a similar price range?

Thank you for any advice/opinion you may offer.

Patrick J. Diskin

I think you could be happy with that system, but I did notice that it’s missing surround speakers and I don’t know if that is deliberate or not. If you are planning to get surrounds, I would suggest SE speakers for the rears so you have a timbre-matched system, something that’s important for the highest-quality sound. If the reason you left out the surrounds was due to cost, I suggest looking at Paradigm’s new Monitor v.7 series that were just released. You won’t get the real-wood veneer cabinets of the SE models, but you will get Paradigm's latest technology that results in spectacular sound at a lower price.

One other thing I would suggest is to look at other receivers. Yamaha has a strong reputation for producing feature-rich receivers for reasonable prices, but they don’t have a good reputation for high sound quality. On the other hand, Anthem, which is a sister company of Paradigm, has gained a reputation for including a modest number of features but providing excellent sound. Of the features they do include, one stands tall: Anthem Room Correction (ARC). You can read a review of the Anthem MRX 500 receiver here. . . . Doug Schneider