Another new person to home theater, advice please. - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 74 Old 11-15-09, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hi All,

I, like many who are here, am new to the home theater realm of sound. Even though I've read through some of the other posts, it seems like everyone's needs are different. I'd like some recommendations on speaker systems.

Background info: I just moved to a basement condo like thing with my fiance to start a new job. There are a row of townhouse like homes with individual lower units. I'm not sure if it's particular to Maryland, but there certainly wasn't anything like this in Michigan. Anyways, it's a 2 bedroom unit. It has a large room (12' x 20') that's divided into a living room (12x10) and a section that's designated a dining room (12x10). Currently I'm using a 7 year old Onkyo GXW-5.1. It was in a small bedroom to begin with and moved to a small living room before (rectangular 12x10) but that place had a wall whereas the new place opens up the sound into the dining room area. I want to replace the Onkyo unit with something more capable. My fiance and I are big gamers. I've a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, etc. I'm looking to buy a flat panel TV as funds become more free. I'd want to route everything through the receiver and have the receiver upconvert the analog (Wii component and Xbox 360 component) to 1080P, while the PS3 can pass through with the HDMI cable.

I'm looking for a receiver and 5.1 set of speakers. I like the notion of having floor (tower?) speakers for the front left/right. I'm looking to keep the system for 10-15 years without upgrading. For now I'm sure any system I get would be an improvement and would work well for the small-ish room and moderate sound levels due to me having neighbors and all. I am hoping the system would be flexible enough to be moved into a large living room (shot in the dark 20x20?) once I move into a house.

Needs - 50% gaming, 40% movies/tv shows, 10% music (the music percentage might be higher with a better sound system, who knows?)

Budget - $1000-$1200 max for the whole thing (receiver, 2 floor speakers, center, 2 satellites, 1 subwoofer, tax, shipping). I'd be very happy if it can be kept closer to $1000.

Room Size - 12x10 (for the seating area), 12x20 for the room - hoping to have the sound system be moved to a larger room without the need for upgrades.

Receiver Research - (so far)
I was going to get the Onkyo HT-S9100 for around $800. But since then, I've read more and have decided to try and piece together a system for $1000. Receiver wise, I'd want something that's 7.1 or 7.2 for speaker additions if I ever wanted it. I was looking at the Onkyo TX-SR607 and TX-SR707 - but have reservations about the heat issue. The Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K and Denon AVR1610 also looks like contenders. The Audyssey MultEQ feature looks nice as well on some of the models. However, at $500-ish for some of the latter ones listed, I'm afraid that if 1/2 of my budget goes towards a receiver, then only 1/2 is left for speakers. Should I settle for a lower price/brand and not get everything I'm thinking of? Multi-room feature isn't important to me.

Speaker research -
This is where I get very confused. I'm trying to match up the impedance of ohms from speakers to receiver. And be on the lookout for sensitivity (87dB or better, right?). It's hard for me to find out RMS wattage because I don't want to underpower or overpower the speakers, right? Some sets that have been bookmarked by me... Jamo E660 5 speaker package + Velodyne Impact 10, EMP Tek HTP-351T, (similarly) Destination Audio F300T 5.1, EMP Impression 5.1 Tower, TheSpeakerCompany TST3-HT. I'm kind of waiting for them to go on holiday sale for ~$700 and then add in a ~$300-400 receiver.


Subwoofer -
Should I keep with what they give with the budget lines? I don't need teeth rattling and right now I can't fully appreciate it in my living situation - but I would like for it to be able to shake walls at some point in the future.


Wires -
I fully plan to get 14-16 gauge wire and banana (plugs? clips?) but that isn't included in this budget. I know some people like 12 gauge, but I think might be too thick to navigate along the carpet.


Whew! I think that's it. I kind of know what I want. Yet, I really don't know what to get or even if it's possible with my budget. Oh, for one last challenge - I'd like to get new equipment instead of used items. I don't mind used other things, but electronics have to be new with me. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If I'm not thinking in the right direction or if you have other ideas/speakers/system combination I might have missed, please feel free to post and let me know!

Many thanks,
-H
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post #2 of 74 Old 11-15-09, 09:31 PM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hello,
I will spend more time on this tomorrow, but for a system you plan to keep 10 years plus, you either need to raise your budget or spend your max budget on the best components you can while only having perhaps a receiver and a pair of floorstanders. And add components as money becomes available. Perhaps used you could come closer, but for a long term system it will be a almost insurmountable task at that budget.

There is a 5 channel package that sells for 300 Dollars which includes everything but the subwoofer. Even includes floorstanders and large center and surrounds. I will try to remember the name of the company.
Cheers,
JJ
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post #3 of 74 Old 11-15-09, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hmm...

I should probably add that I'm not an audiophile. I figured if I lived with a small Onkyo 5.1 system for 7 years, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that I could easily live with something better for 10 years. The most I ever spent for a complete sound system was $200 for my Onkyo and before that $100 on the Logitech 2.1 Z2200 for the PC.

I just want to get the best I can get for around $1000. Better than the average or even best HTiB.
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post #4 of 74 Old 11-15-09, 09:51 PM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hello,
It was just after reading you wanted room shaking bass in the future and wanted a long term system.
Quality subwoofers can be found for around 300 Dollars. And Accessories4less offers awesome deals on Onkyo TX-SR707's that are refurbished. This would be an excellent receiver. Adds THX Certification, Audyssey MultEQ, and much more. The 707 can be found for under 500 Dollars.

Tomorrow, I will try to put something together with your planned budget. I will say that spending just a bit more will really yield you much higher quality components. And with a system you plan to use for 10 years, this extra investment really is prudent.
Cheers,
JJ
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post #5 of 74 Old 11-15-09, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hi JJ,

I appreciate your efforts in planning something around my budget. When you said "spending just a bit more will really yield you much higher quality components", how much more is a bit more?

Well, I look forward to seeing what your ideas are tomorrow.

Thanks again,
H.
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post #6 of 74 Old 11-16-09, 09:26 AM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

For speakers that will stay within your budget look at Yambeka. I would not go with anything less than the Onkyo 707 as it has pre outs and gives you the ability to add an external amplifier down the road to power your speakers so in essence you then use the 707 as a processor only.
SVS makes some of the best subs around and are a real bargain. They also make really good speakers but that may blow your budget.

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 #7 of 74 Old 11-16-09, 11:50 AM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hello,
Here is a link for the TX-SR706:http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r-Black/1.html
The TX-SR707 is available there for 70 Dollars more, but when working on a tight budget, it might be better to put the 70 Dollars towards speakers.

Either the 706 or 707 will be an excellent place to start your system.
Here is a link for the Fluance 5 Speaker system:http://www.fluance.com/fluan5speaks.html
It costs 300 Dollars and includes 5 large speakers. Still cannot believe you can get 5 large speakers for that price. Reviews have been fairly complementary.

And here is a link for an excellent SVS Subwoofer: http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm

Grand total is 1,197 before shipping. You would have an excellent THX Certified Receiver, fantastic subwoofer, and decent speakers. The good thing about the speakers is they are so cheap you can upgrade in the future to better speakers without losing much money. With the subwoofer, the system will rock.
Cheers,
JJ
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post #8 of 74 Old 11-16-09, 01:30 PM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Emuc,

If you can spare the time, you should consider visiting a local AV store to listen to speakers. Take some of your favorite music so you're familiar with what it sounds like. I suspect you'll be surprised at how much better it can sound with quality speakers.

In general, you should probably plan to spend about 2/3 of your budget on speakers and the rest on electronics.
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post #9 of 74 Old 11-16-09, 03:58 PM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Hello,
While I am in complete agreement about the importance of speakers, with the budget at hand, a package system seems the only possible way to go.

Speakers and room interactions are the things which have the biggest impact on the sound of your system. This is why I recommended a excellent SVS Subwoofer to augment the budget Fluance package.

Selden, please if you have any ideas of how to meet his proposal, submit them. With a budget of 1200 Dollars max incorporating speakers, AVR, and subwoofer, it is not easy to find quality components to meet this budget. The more ideas, the better.

I am still in shock over the Fluance package. I cannot believe you can get 5 large speakers for 300 Dollars. Furthermore, every review I have read has been pretty good.
Cheers,
JJ
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post #10 of 74 Old 11-16-09, 06:29 PM
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Re: Another new person to home theater, advice please.

Quote:
Jungle Jack wrote: View Post
I am still in shock over the Fluance package. I cannot believe you can get 5 large speakers for 300 Dollars. Furthermore, every review I have read has been pretty good.
I got a pair of this speakers , they sounded good to me but I replaced them because of their frequency response (130Hz-20KHz), I wanted to crossover all speakers @80Hz....
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