Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 08-11-10, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 2
Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room

Hello Everyone

I would like some recommendations for a HT setup (receiver + speakers) for the family room in our new home. IIRC, the room is 17x16. It has been pre-wired. The room layout: center fireplace with bookshelf niches flanking each side. So we will be putting the TV above the fireplace mantle. The speaker setup is: R & L front speakers will be on the R & L bookshelf. Center will need to be in the ceiling and has been pre-wired about a foot or so out from the fireplace. The rear surrounds are pre-wired for the ceiling as well. The room is actually wired for 7.1 but I plan on doing the side surrounds later.

Would like the bookshelf speakers to be no taller than 12 inches. Was thinking of 6.5 ceiling mount speakers w/aimable tweeters for the center & rear surrounds. I will be using my existing sub for now. I currently have a Yamaha RXV630 receiver that has served me well for about 8 years but I want to upgrade to 7.1 with HDMI. I will consider any brand of receiver or speakers.

Ive listened to a number of bookshelf speakers recently - KEF, Polk, Monitor Audio, PSB, Definitive Technology. The PSB Alpha B1 & Definitive 1000s are probably my favorite so far. I have no idea yet about the in-the-ceiling speakers. For the receiver I was thinking about Pioneer VSX920K or 1020K. Cnet seems to give good reviews for the newer Pioneers. But again, Im open to any brand.

Also, our usage for the setup will probably be about 70% tv/movies and 30% music.

My budget is $1200 max for the 5 speakers & receiver.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!
nlm2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 08-11-10, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,807
Re: Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room

If there's anyway to avoid putting the TV above the fireplace, I'd do it. Most placements are way to high which screws up your sound and give you a sore neck. A center in the ceiling is also not very ideal because you characters are going to look like their talking on the screen, but sound like they are talking from your ceiling. I'd consider just using a phantom center (no speaker, but sending the center channel information to the Left/Right speakers instead).

Surrounds aren't as critical, and should be fine in the ceiling.

For an AVR, Onkyo gives you good bang for the buck and Audyssey EQ for smoothing out acoustic problems. $500 for a midrange AVR (look for the 700 series or better) give you $700 left for the speakers. I'd going with some fairly inexpensive in-ceiling speakers. You don't necessary have to go monoprice, but your surrounds really won't be the most critical part of this setup. I'd try to get in-ceilings for $100 each leaving you $500 for a pair of bookshelves.

DefTech will be a bad idea in a cutout since they are bipolar speakers; you want front firing monopoles. PSB is a good choice, and I'd also check out Paradigm and Aperion as well. They both have great options in your price range.
eugovector is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 08-11-10, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 2
Re: Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room

I hear what you're saying about the TV placement - unfortunately the room layout is such that it's the only location to place it (the other 'walls' are windows, open kitchen, and hallway. I'm just prayin' that a sore neck doesn't happen! Else I'll end up watching TV in the bedroom.

I've not heard about a 'phantom center' before. I assume that's something set up via the receiver? Sounds like an intriging option.

You mention about the Def Teks being a bad idea in a 'cutout'. Are you referring to in-ceiling speakers or bookshelf? I will look into the others you mention.

I appreciate the feedback!
nlm2 is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 08-12-10, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,807
Re: Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room

Most Def-Tech free-standing speakers are Bi-polar, they shoot sound forward and backward. In a standard room, some people like this effect, and some don't. However, in a cutout, I think they are going to sound very boxy as the sound shooting backwards will be shooting into a hole in the wall, you'll get certain frequencies heavily accentuated, and there will be a lot of filtering from the interference of the sound waves bouncing around in that little opening.

Phantom center is setup in the AVR by simply selecting "no" center channel speaker.
eugovector is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 08-12-10, 11:54 AM
Elite Shackster
jackfish's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 1,060
Re: Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room

The principles of stereophonic sound are employed to mimic the center channel through the left and right main channels.

13.3" MacBook Air, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, iTunes/BitPerfect
MacBook Air SuperDrive
Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB USB HD
Schiit Bifrost USB DAC
Emotiva ERC-1, USP-1 and 2 x UPA-1
Pro-Ject Xpression III and AT440MLa
Grado SR80i
Magnepan MMG Magnestand
Rythmik Audio F12
jackfish is offline  


receiver , speakers

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