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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now i have a panasonic 7.1 surround sound, its been decent but i wanna piece together my own system that sounds the way i want. My problem now is that i dont have enough bass and i would like for teh sound to be cleaner through out the speakers. My problem is i dont know what brands are good and decent or just plain bad. And i also dont know what to buy first such as the receiver, sub, speakers, etc.

For the sub i was looking at Fi audio's q series sub, its a sound quality sub rated for 1000 watt rms. so i figured by building a nice ported box i could make that sound good. Any other reccomendations for a nice loud sub you can feel when played. Also is it better to get a larger sub such as a 15 or 18?

For the receiver ive been searching around reading reviews but havent really found anything, i want something capable of either 5.1, 7.1 or maybe even 7.2, and something taht can play the music off my iphone wheter it is through an aux port or whatever.

For the speakers i have no idea on those ive never shopped for surround sound speakers so i have no idea what to look for so any suggestions on speakers please.

As for budget i dont really have one, ill be piecing it together so im not gonna break my bank all at once ill save up for the nicer stuff if i need to. Im a college student so i cant spend 10,000 liek some of the systems around here i envy i just want a nice system that makes me happy. I mainly either play ps3 on it, listen to music or watch tv/movies so any help would be appreciated.
 

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Hello and welcome to the Shack
Have a look at this post here for some good system ideas and pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, would it be better to get my receiver first? i read over the list and will probably go with one that is listed on there.

Also is it better to buy a sub that is already in a box and powered or better to buy a sub and build a box and buy a plate amp or is it just personal preferance?
 

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Thanks for the reply, would it be better to get my receiver first? i read over the list and will probably go with one that is listed on there.
If you have speakers already I would sugest getting a good receiver as many times I have heard many people coment that a new receiver made there old speakers sound really good due to the advanced auto room correction built in to most that are sold today.

Also is it better to buy a sub that is already in a box and powered or better to buy a sub and build a box and buy a plate amp or is it just personal preferance?
DIY can yeild great results for less money however if you have never built one and do not have the time or the money a pre built one may be a much better choice. SVS makes some of the best subs for the money and if your on a budjet my personal choice is the PB12NSD. The also make some very good quality speakers as well.
 

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It would help if we had a general idea of a budget $500? $2500?, $7000?. Also, how much room do you have? Sharing a dorm room? Have a nice sized apartment? What is more important to you, listening to music, playing games, watching movies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It would help if we had a general idea of a budget $500? $2500?, $7000?. Also, how much room do you have? Sharing a dorm room? Have a nice sized apartment? What is more important to you, listening to music, playing games, watching movies?
Budget is as follows

Receiver: 500-700

Sub:500-600 depending on if i buy a prebuilt or build my own

speakers: anywhre from 500 upwards to 1000

Its a 3 bedroom house about 1300 sq feet with the living room being probably about 16x16 with a door that goes into the kitchen and the hallway is connected to it also.
Its pretty much a perfect square which i know is not good since standing waves and all that but its what i have to work with
 

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Ok,... what I would do with that budget and that you plan on piecing it together.

Start off with a receiver: Onkyo TX-NR807
Sub: SVSound PB12-NSD
Speakers: RBH Sound SE-61 then add the rest later.

Course, that's just what I would do. Have you had a chance to audition any speakers yet? IMO that is what will take the most time to shop for. Receivers, you can pretty well shop features and price from the likes of Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, HK, Pioneer or Marantz. Subs, hard to go wrong with any sub from SVS or HSU. Speakers,... well that's the hard part. Everyone likes something different and auditioning to find the right speakers for you may take some time.

In addition to RBH Sound SE-61 I suggest trying to audition:
Monitor Audio Gold GS10
PSB Image B6
Ascend Sierra-1
Aperion Audio Intimus B6
RBH Sound MC-616C LCR
Usher S-520
Dynaudio Audience 52-SE
and don't leave out budget speakers like;
Yamaha NS-333
Behringer Truth B2030
Infinity P162

Those are just a few I'd suggest you check out, there are many, many more options out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright ill try to audition some but thanks for the help at least that gives me a start.

we really dont have any places to auditon home theatre stuff we have best buy but thats about it and i doubt they carry any brands like that so ill read reviews and do my best to find the right speakers.

For the sub thats what im worried about i keep reading the svs subs are good but as far as home theatre whats a good wattage to go with for the sub such as 300 watts 500 watts etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was looking at receivers and ran across the Denon AVR-2311CI, its 7 channel and says 105 watts per channel but the thing i like about it, is that its hdmi 1.4a which means at some point i could upgrade to a 3d tv correct?

Does anyone have any opinions on this receiver or this brand, i found it brand new for 699 which i thought was a good deal.
 

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Don't know much about that particular receiver. I do like the Denon brand. OTOH, it would appear that Denon is cutting corners now-a-days. One of the reasons Onkyo has been recommended so often over the last couple of years - value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't know much about that particular receiver. I do like the Denon brand. OTOH, it would appear that Denon is cutting corners now-a-days. One of the reasons Onkyo has been recommended so often over the last couple of years - value.

So would you recommend going with onkyo as a receiver over Denon, i trust yall alot more then myself i just found something with specs i liked but if Denon is cutting corners then ill def listen to yall and go the better quality route
 

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Right now, yes I'd recommend Onkyo over Denon. I say it "appears" Denon is cutting corners based on what I've seen and read. Also look at weights. For example my Denon 3805 weighed in at 37.5 lbs. The new Denon 3310CI weighs in at 28.6 lbs. Realizing that weight does not necessarily correlate to quality, it is indicative of the size of the power transformer, heat sinks, and storage capacitors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay thanks for the heads up ill definately check out the onkyo, for speakers i was checking out the klipsch tower speakers and center channel. Ive heard mixed reviews and i know the only way to see if i like them is audition them but i dont have anywhere atound here where i can do that so is there any information on those speakers?
 

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I think you've already gotten some good advice, but I've got a few things I'd like to throw out:

Don't get too caught up in "watts". The sound level difference between 75 watts/ch and 150/watts channel is only 3dB's.. which really isn't all that much. To get to a perceived doubling of sound, you would have to go from 75watts to 750watts.

It hasn't been brought up, but do NOT buy overpriced cables/wires. For Example, Monster products are all WAY overpriced. Instead, buy from someplace like monoprice.com.

I went to the online yellow pages and did a search for audio stores in midland, tx. There are a lot more than you think. It looked like there was at least half a dozen stores in Midland itself. And in case you haven't read it, this was something I wrote that I think might help.

I'm not sure I completely agree with Nova's assessment between Onkyo and Denon. I think either would be a fine receiver. It used to be that Denon's were built like a tank, Onkyo was the feature leader and Yamaha was somewhere in between the two. As for which one I'd buy, I'd buy from any of the three I just mentioned that had the feature set you're looking for. I don't think you'll notice any difference in the sonics of any similarly priced unit. I generally steer people away from the other brands simply because of my experiences or the perception I've developed with them -- for example, I've personally had issues with three separate HK units.

By far, the biggest upgrade in sound is going to be from the choice in speakers. I'd argue the difference in sound quality between a $200 receiver and a $1000 receiver is FAR less than the sound quality difference between a $200/pr of speakers and a $1000/pr of speakers. As a result, I'd recommend re-allocating some of the money you've got going towards your receiver and moving some of it to the speakers.

You can't go wrong with SVS or Hsu subs. Anything else you might get from a brick and mortar store is going to fall far short for the same amount of $$. The only way you can do better, imo, is to build your own -- however, you'd need to have the time, tools and willingness to build it yourself.

One final parting issue to throw into the mix is to address the acoustics of your room. After the speakers, and WAY before the electronics, acoustics make the biggest impact on the overall sound quality of your system. The cheaper "fixes" are speaker placement and using our REW program to even out the room response. After that, you may want to look into absorption and diffusion products (we have a subforum dedicated to room acoustics). I don't know why audio stores don't stock more of these products (other than space maybe), but the difference I heard between an untreated room and a properly treated room was simply amazing.

Good luck and enjoy the process!
 

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I agree with you Jacen, I own a Denon myself and believe either would do the job. However, I think that with the current receivers on the market, the Onkyo provides a better value. I used the word "appears" because I have no hard evidence that Denon is cutting corners, only the weight difference. I am just not as confident in recommending them today as I was 5 years ago. Again, just an opinion, no facts to back it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the advice guys this site is helping out so much.

As far as my plans here where they stand for mw. Im probably gonna order the infinity p362 tower speakers. Yes they are alot cheaper then what i was mentioing but my reasoning for buying these is that first off i have never owned a quality set of speakers so i do not know what type of sound i prefer best. So by going with these i save money and ill be able to audition and figure out what parts of these speakers i like and when i graduate ill probably upgrade and then ill know better what my personal preference in a set of speakers is. I also hear you cant really go wrong with these speakers for the price.

With the money im saving i have decided a new tv is in order, you may have seen my other thread about 3d tvs and i think im leaning towards that way. It may not be for everyone but i loved it when i auditioned tvs at best buy. Im gonna go with at least a 55 inch i just havent decided on plasma or lcd yet which i need to look into more. When i watched 3d for the first time i was blown away it was amazing. I know its still early on in production for these tvs but itll probably be a few months before i buy the tv itself so ill see how things pan out with them.

For the receiver i still havent decided i looked at best buy once again and i saw they carry denon and pioneer. I cant decide on what brand i know that i want 7.1 capability, preouts for amps, and obviously 3d capable. I guess now its just a matter of searching. I also have a ps3 which like everyone knows is supposed to be able to play 3d so thats one less thing to buy but ill probably end up buying a new blu ray player anyways.

But thats an overview of what im thinking for now obviously i would get a center channel and surrounds later on but for now thats my plan. Any opinons on if this is a good idea or not?
 

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For the most part, I would agree with your plan, and I also strongly agree with everything JCD recommended. I'll add two things. Multiple subwoofers really sound a lot better than one, like Earl Geddes discovered and explained in his book. With about 3 subwoofers placed around the room, you get loud bass across the range rather than overwhelming bass at one frequency. They don't all have to be great subwoofers - only one needs to be very good.

Secondly, looks to me like your final receiver choice might better wait for the HDMI 1.4 (3D) spec to get implemented in several makes. Meanwhile, any good 5.1 receiver should meet your needs just fine. That would leave you more for subwoofers now, and that 7.1 3D capable receiver will be cheaper later.

Generally, I sure agree with the priorities of main (stereo speakers), center channel and subwoofer first, then one or two more subwoofers, surround speakers, and far far last, those two back speakers for 7.1, which don't actually do much of anything with current DVD, TV, or BluRay disks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think i may go with the tv first, that will be the most expensive piece of the home theater. And by that time i think a few more receivers will have HDMI 1.4. I noticed tonight how unimportant 7.1 really is, i was watching a blu ray and no matter what i did i couldnt get my 7.1 surround sound to play out of all speakers. i could make it play out of 6 but when i did that the center channel wouldnt work and i think the problem was the blu ray was not produced in 7.1, so when i do buy my home theater ill probably go with the fronts and receiver around the same time follwed by a sub and then later on multiple subs and if i feel the need for 7.1 the last 2 speakers.
 

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I like this site and keep coming back. I just wrote a reply here then found I'd already said about the same thing, so now edited my post to this. Moderator is welcome to just delete this post.
 
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