Newbie Questions for Home Theater System with $500-600 Budget - Page 3 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

Thread Tools
post #21 of 23 Old 12-18-09, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7
Re: Newbie Questions for Home Theater System with $500-600 Budget


Is there a significant difference in performance/durability/longevity between the Onkyo TX-SR607 and the Onkyo TX-SR507? (besides the obvious 7.2 vs. 5.1 channel)
HelenK is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #22 of 23 Old 12-18-09, 11:45 AM
Elite Shackster
Jungle Jack's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Siesta Key, Florida
Posts: 8,111
Re: Newbie Questions for Home Theater System with $500-600 Budget

The TX-SR607 also offers video upscaling/transcoding. That is you can connect non HDMI sources to the 607 and have them output from a single HDMI cable. This really is a useful feature. Coupled with the more powerful amplifier section, which the SVS's will really benefit from, I think the 607 is the way to go.

Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
Electronics: OPPO BDP-93
Gaming Consoles: Sony PS4, Xbox 360 S (250 gb)
Display: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Sony KDL-55EX500, Sony KD-34XBR910
Jungle Jack is offline  
post #23 of 23 Old 12-18-09, 08:10 PM
Senior Shackster
JerryLove's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 267
Re: Newbie Questions for Home Theater System with $500-600 Budget

My recommendation, at length. This can be done until the budget ends and gives a good path for continued growth. I think this is the best sound that can be done <$2000

My recommendations for an inexpensive home system

Particularly during the lead-up to Christmas, there are a lot of requests for moderate ($700-$1500) stereo and home theater systems. Because I've answered this question so many times recently: I've decided to create this "stock answer" complete with my rational on why.

For this recommendation, I've borrowed heavily from objective tests and modification experience of Chris (WmAx), and so certainly choose to credit him in much of this. Some is also from my own observations and discussions.

Finally: I don't want to be perceived as saying "this is the only option". This is my suggestion, and why. I have reasons for this choice over other choices, but it is far from the only good option.

Assumptions / Opinions
How many speakers do you actually need?

Let me start with the simpler, though perhaps more contentious assumption: From my personal experience thus-far, you may not need a center channel (indeed, may have a loss of sound quality) if your front speakers are close together (less than about 10’ seems to be the rule-of-thumb).

The reasons for this are likely related to destructive interference of signals coming from speakers placed within wavelength of each other. When this happens, they act much like a single speaker… a single speaker with too large an emitter putting out sounds that might have been the same before your processor added a slight delay. Now you have comb filtering. I actually wrote and deleted another paragraph on this, but don’t want to debate it in this post: so suffice to say “if your L/R are close together try stereo fronts and see if that works well for you”. Just remember to tell your AVR/Processor that you aren’t using a center to it will phantom.

That said: what about the surrounds? Whether you are running 5-channel or 7-channel (4 or 6 without center) will also likely depend on room size. Though 7-channel and 9-channel are interesting technologies: and something definitely worth playing with in dedicated home theater rooms: at this budget, a good 5-channel is likely going to sound better than a 7 because 1) the room is likely not the size of an in-home theater and 2) there’s less to mess up in positioning.

The bigger point is: I’d always rather a good 5 than a bad 7. See more in the “affording less” section below.

How many subs?
Another major assumption / position relates to the use of subwoofers. I have taken the position that 2 subwoofers is superior two 1 subwoofer worth the cost of the two, and that this is doubly true when the 2 subwoofers are running in stereo.

There’s honest debate on whether $150x2 subs > $300x1 sub. I’ll not rehash that debate here, but my opinion is that this is usually the case.

Stereo subs I’ll address below in the “what about towers” section.

What about towers?
Two basic truths (or assumptions if you prefer):
1) a given tower has more problems with cabinet resonance than an otherwise similar bookshelf (this is because the smaller dimensions of the bookshelf mean greater rigidity at the same building standard).
2) The active crossover in your AVR, with HF going to a 2-way crossover in a bookshelf is superior to a 3-way crossover in a tower.

Both of these truths are based on the price range being discussed. There are some very non-resonant cabinets with very good passive crossovers. They are out of our price range.

There’s a third truth: A dedicated subwoofer has superior LF response to a tower in a similar price range.

Therefore a bookshelf-sub-combination, when viewed as a single speaker will have a better dynamic range, less resonance, and demand less power from the amp, than a bookshelf and sub of otherwise similar quality.

There’s a down side… and that is bass integration. See “why stereo subs” below.

Why stereo subs?
The first problem with using a subwoofer instead of a full range tower is that, particularly when listening to 2-channel music, the LF signals of L and R get combined. Because these signals may be out of phase, cancellation can occur (see the excellent article by Roger Russell). It is therefore desirable to make sure that even the low frequencies are being produced in stereo.

Further: if you place the subwoofer within the wavelength of the crossover point (generally “a couple of feet”) of the matched L or R speaker: the two act as a point source. Essentially, they become a single full-range speaker: only with an active rather than passive crossover, less resonance, and a better dynamic range than this price-point would otherwise afford.

Why these speakers were chosen
Behringer 2030p
The 2030 was chosen for its very flat response graph both on axis and very far off axis. It is the flattest speaker near its price range, has good quality components, and can be improved further with minor modifications. There are some other equally promising speakers out there that I’m sure others will mention.

The Dayton 10” or 12”.
These subs were chosen because they are inexpensive, of good quality, and with the simplest of modifications can be made quite precise. If you’ve got more money, this would be one place to put it.

The order of buying
It’s possible that you won’t have enough money to build this all at once. Rather than a less expensive system, I’d recommend building this in pieces. If you need surround: literally the “cheapest thing that works” would be a good temporary choice for the rears while building out the rest of the system.

You will need an AVR with a pre-out. If you don’t have a pre-in as well, you are going to have to find an external (2 channel) amp as well. The used market is good for the latter as the power requirements of the 2030p are not excessive. Beyond this paragraph: I won’t be discussing what receiver to get, or accounting for the costs. At least not in this post.

Your minimum system is a pair of 2030’s ($130). This gives you stereo. As soon as possible, add at least a single sub ($150). At this point you have decent 2.1 sound. If you need surround ASAP, this is where I would add the “whatever I can get cheap” mentioned above.

If you are having problems with center sound: I would next get a second pair of 2030’s and use one as the center. If you were interested in 7-channel (the rear 2 channels are not stereo), then this can later be used as a rear surround.

Next get a second subwoofer. If your AVR has only 1 sub-out, you can use a cheap y-cable. You now have 2.2 /3.2 (or 4.2/5.2 if you used cheap surrounds)

Next you need to track down an external crossover. They are something like $130 new, and can be found on the used market for about half of that. If you don’t have pre-in on your AVR, you will also need to find an amp now. Plug the L/R pre-out on the AVR into the crossover. Split the L/R signal at around 90Hz. Unplug the subwoofers from the AVR and plug them into the LF L/R out on the crossover. Plug the HF on the crossover into either the pre-in on the AVR, or the inputs on your amp, and plug the L/R 2030’s into the amp.

Place the L/R speakers within a couple feet of their respective SW counter-parts (on top of, perhaps with a short but steady stand works). Tell your AVR that you don’t have a sub and that your L/R speakers are full-range.

You now have 2-channel full-range. You also have surround with stereo subs.
Next buy two more 2030’s and replace your surrounds. Use the extra from your center, or your old cheap surrounds as rears (if you are running 7 channel).
JerryLove is offline  


$500-600 , budget , home , newbie , questions , system , theater

Quick Reply

Register Now



Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address



Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.


See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome