Rule of thumb? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Rule of thumb?

Sorry if this post seems ridiculous but I am new to this dedicated HT thing. Up until now I have just dealt with a 55" LCD TV and soundbar/sub combo. I never really delved much into the world of HT.

So that being said I have been looking into what will go into my new room. The dimensions are roughly 21' deep x 15' wide x 9' high.

I am looking at AVR's in the $1000 range (Denon AVR-x3300, Marantz SR5011)

So is there a rule of thumb for what to spend on speakers? Should you set aside 2 times the cost of the receiver or something like that. I have been looking online at speakers and it makes my head hurt there is so much out there and the costs are all over the board. I know I want a 7.2 system but not sure what I should be looking for. I travel a lot for work so I don't have tons of time to go listen to systems somewhere. So i am defaulting to the community that has put the work into finding things that work.

I don't really want to spend much more than 8k for the AVR, speakers and sub. On that note is it better to go with an AVR or get separate components?

Thanks in advance for the help I will be checking back often as I can while I travel. I am hoping to get this whole thing wrapped up by end of year.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 01:44 PM
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Generally you do want to spend more money on speakers than anything else. Given that's the speakers are ultimately the item that output the sound into your room they need to be decent. That said though if you have other items in the chain that are not up to the task it won't matter how good the speakers are if you have a weak link some where else in the chain will be the deciding factor "garbage in garbage out"
A subwoofer will be something you don't want to skimp on as the bigger the better does apply here. Where soround speakers would be an area that can be cut back on in a pinch.

As far as your going with separates over a receiver that is not really nessisary other than to get an amp for your main left and right channels and let the receiver run the rest. A receiver that comes with pre outs is a must in order to accomplish this and none of the entry or mid level receivers have them. Look for a receiver that has some weight to it as this is usually a good indication it has a beefier amplification section. (If less than 30lbs don't even go there unless it uses a class D amp section)

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #3 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 03:34 PM
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Re: Rule of thumb?

I don't know of any established rules for spec'ing out a system, so I think you can just go with what works for you. In the end that's the only thing that really matters.

An 8K budget will get you a very nice setup. It also gives you a lot of flexibility. Your room is just over 2800 ft^3, so it's about midsize. That means you won't need a lot to get the full HT experience.

More information will help people give you relevant suggestions though. Thing like what are your viewing habits, do you enjoy cranking it up or are you more inclined to leave the volume lower? Do you prefer a sound that's bright and air, or is that shrill for you and you'd rather have something with less presence? Are there size restrictions that would take tower speakers off the table? What about WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor), any restrictions from that angle? What about finish options? Do you tend more toward gloss paint, wood grain veneers, something else perhaps?

-Jim

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post #4 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Thank you for the reply Jim,

I would say I am somewhat of a syfy/comic book moive geek.(Favorite movies are the LOTR trilogy, just about anything Marvel and of course Star Trek, Star Wars (not so much episode 1 and 2) So that is what I will be watching 90% of the time. After years of being around Gas Turbines I would say I listen to things louder than most. (That is also a problem because I am sure I have lost some hearing) I also enjoy spending a some time with my XBOX ONE on first person shooters.

As for the WAF she would prefer in-wall or in-ceiling but she is not objected to towers as long as they don't look "home built". (no offense to the speaker builders out there her words not mine) I would say no gloss as I would think that would reflect light (I may be way off there)

No planning on listening to music much if at all with the system. (That will be the next set up downstairs)
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 05:03 PM
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Re: Rule of thumb?

8k is a great budget! You can get a serious system with that amount. Speakers for HT don't require the level of sophistication that a 2 channel rig requires. Most of us use our system for both, so we bought for that.

You will really need to research your sub. To me, that is the part that really make the movie come to life! You can save a lot if you DIY, but we have some ID companies that frequent our forum that make stellar products + superb customer support! I'm partial to http://www.svsound.com/, but http://www.powersoundaudio.com/ is also an outstanding option. For speakers, it is hard to beat https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/. . He is currenty offering a group buy on his latest model. I have his ARX speakers in my setup. We had a http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...t-results.html & we felt they preformed the best. All the members of that shoot out actually own a set of them! I think that speaks volumes.

You can save some money with http://www.accessories4less.com/. They offer deeply discounted factory refurbs with the option of an additional warranty that lasts longer than a new model comes with. Just remember, this is an addictive hobby. If you plan carefully you can have an exceptional theater that you'll be proud for you all your friends to enjoy!

Welcome to the forum! Feel free to ask us anything at all...and there are no dumb, newbie questions. We were all newbies at one point!
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 05:26 PM
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Syfy flicks tend to have pretty good soundtracks, with a lot of deep bass in parts (I too am a LOTR fan, so I know those very well, but the Star Wars/Trek movies are less to my liking). For speakers check out KEF, Axiom Audio, PSB, Salk Sound and Monitor Audio. They each have a bunch of different series, so they're bound to have something that you and the misses can agree upon. For subwoofers look at Rythmik, HSU Research, Power Sound Audio and Seaton Sound.

If you want to get something customized Salk and Seaton are two of the best for that. They can provide almost any finish your heart desires, and their products are top notch when it comes to sound quality as well.

-Jim

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post #7 of 20 Old 08-17-16, 05:38 PM
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Quote:
schrammhse wrote: View Post
The dimensions are roughly 21' deep x 15' wide x 9' high.
You have a great size room... any pictures.

Quote:
schrammhse wrote: View Post
I am looking at AVR's in the $1000 range (Denon AVR-x3300, Marantz SR5011)
On that note is it better to go with an AVR or get separate components?
AVR is all you will need for now...

Quote:
schrammhse wrote: View Post
So is there a rule of thumb for what to spend on speakers? Should you set aside 2 times the cost of the receiver or something like that. I have been looking online at speakers and it makes my head hurt there is so much out there and the costs are all over the board. I know I want a 7.2 system but not sure what I should be looking for. I travel a lot for work so I don't have tons of time to go listen to systems somewhere. So i am defaulting to the community that has put the work into finding things that work.
I have also heard some rules back in the day but things are different now. With people being more educated (both buyers and makers), sound quality has really gone up in the lower price points. Buyer also know the cost/performance curve can work against you if you are not able to place your speakers correctly (mostly for music). The thing to keep in mind is that the speaker we talk about here and recommend will sound great and most people will be happy with them for years to come weather you spent $1000 or $8000.


Quote:
schrammhse wrote: View Post
I don't really want to spend much more than 8k for the AVR, speakers and sub.
The AVR you have picked are great. For speakers I would look at ELAC (lower budget) or Chane ARX (mid Budget). The Sub is really where you are going to spend your money. Get it right the first time and get two. We do not see people buying an AVR that wish they got a bigger/better model as you can just add an amp to the front sound stage. We do not see people buying speakers that wish they got a bigger/better model as you will love and get use to any quality speaker (as long as it can play to your SPL level in your room). We do see people all the time wishing they got a bigger/better sub or that wish they got two all the time. And this is most people not just bass heads.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-18-16, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Quote:
Blacklightning wrote: View Post
You have a great size room... any pictures.

I don't have any pictures as the house is currently being built. Will be done in about 4 months.


AVR is all you will need for now...


I have also heard some rules back in the day but things are different now. With people being more educated (both buyers and makers), sound quality has really gone up in the lower price points. Buyer also know the cost/performance curve can work against you if you are not able to place your speakers correctly (mostly for music). The thing to keep in mind is that the speaker we talk about here and recommend will sound great and most people will be happy with them for years to come weather you spent $1000 or $8000.




The AVR you have picked are great. For speakers I would look at ELAC (lower budget) or Chane ARX (mid Budget). The Sub is really where you are going to spend your money. Get it right the first time and get two. We do not see people buying an AVR that wish they got a bigger/better model as you can just add an amp to the front sound stage. We do not see people buying speakers that wish they got a bigger/better model as you will love and get use to any quality speaker (as long as it can play to your SPL level in your room). We do see people all the time wishing they got a bigger/better sub or that wish they got two all the time. And this is most people not just bass heads.
Thanks for the advice, it makes sense I will ensure I get a good sub (or two) that will work with the size of my room.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-18-16, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Quote:
theJman wrote: View Post
Syfy flicks tend to have pretty good soundtracks, with a lot of deep bass in parts (I too am a LOTR fan, so I know those very well, but the Star Wars/Trek movies are less to my liking). For speakers check out KEF, Axiom Audio, PSB, Salk Sound and Monitor Audio. They each have a bunch of different series, so they're bound to have something that you and the misses can agree upon. For subwoofers look at Rythmik, HSU Research, Power Sound Audio and Seaton Sound.

If you want to get something customized Salk and Seaton are two of the best for that. They can provide almost any finish your heart desires, and their products are top notch when it comes to sound quality as well.
Thanks for the advice and list of things for me to check out. It appears I have some homework to do. One question though I have a friend of mine that has some Bowers and Wilkins speakers in his house. (Not a dedicated HT but a multi use game room) I was talking to him tonight and he told me to look into them. I don't much mentioned about them on this site. Is that brand good for HT or are they mostly a music speaker?
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-18-16, 07:53 AM
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Re: Rule of thumb?

Quote:
schrammhse wrote: View Post
One question though I have a friend of mine that has some Bowers and Wilkins speakers in his house. (Not a dedicated HT but a multi use game room) I was talking to him tonight and he told me to look into them. I don't much mentioned about them on this site. Is that brand good for HT or are they mostly a music speaker?
Given the quality of most movie soundtracks today I'm not certain there's really a gap between HT and music speakers any longer. If they excel at one they will more than likely excel at the other.

B&W, like Paradigm, make some very fine speakers. They tend to be priced higher than they should though, and most (all?) are only available through dealers. That means obtaining them is not only costly, it's also inconvenient. However, if you like what your friends system sounds like you might want to consider B&W.

-Jim

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