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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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. :thumb: Better than the average or even best HTiB.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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.
 

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Hello,
Here is a link for the TX-SR706:http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-Thx-100w-X-7ch-Theater-Receiver-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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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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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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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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Hello,
Good to hear from a Member that they sounded satisfactory. The prices seem unreal. The package suggested here, the highest crossover is 80Hz which is for the surrounds/center. The Fronts are specced at 49 Hz. This should work well with the SVS Subwoofer being x'overed at 80Hz.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello,

Thanks for all of the suggestions thus far. I've never heard of SVS, Yambeka, or Fluance - so there's quite a bit more reading up to do. Unfortunately, the SVS speakers and Yambeka speakers are a little out of my price range. But thanks for the recommendation. Please keep them coming.:T

On the Fluance speaker set suggested, the center speaker sensitivity is 86dB. From what I understand it takes more power to drive something that's 86dB vs. something that's 91dB. Does is equate to loudness or only how hard the amp/receiver has to work? Since the center is at 86dB and the floor speakers are at 89dB, will the center have trouble with being loud enough to deliver clear dialog in movies? Or do I have it all wrong?:ponder:

Should I be concerned about the heat issue with Onkyo's? What's the difference between the sr706 and sr707 models? I'm looking at the spec sheet side by side and they look identical. If the heat is an issue, does anyone have thoughts on the Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K and Denon AVR1910?

I can't get my brain around spending as much ($500 incl. shipping) for the SVS subwoofer as a receiver:gulp:. Is there a different (less expensive) alternative or is it just worth it to save up and get this?

Again, many thanks.:wave: I'm just trying to take it all in and make an informed decision.
H
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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.
Hi selden,

Thanks for the suggestion. The closest place by me is about 30min away and from their website it doesn't seem as if they carry the Fluance that I'm interested in. That said, it couldn't hurt to check them out, right? Should I bring some DVD's or something if I don't really have that much audio to bring with me? I generally use speakers for 50% gaming, 40% movies/tv shows, 10% music - so I don't have that much music to bring with me to try out.

Thanks again for the suggestion,
H
 

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H,

By all means, listen to your favorite DVD. Hopefully you can avoid getting distracted by the video :) (One of my problems is that I have trouble that way, which makes it hard for me to use one to evaluate speakers.) Music (whether CD or high-bit-rate MP3: many modern receivers include USB/iPod connectivity) is usually a better test, because it's easier to determine if individual instruments sound right. The sound tracks on DVDs usually include lots of processing, since the audio is meant to support the movie, not to stand alone.

You shouldn't hesitate to give them a call ahead of time, and let them know your approximate budget. They might be able to set up a system in advance for you to listen to. Of course, they'll try to persuade you to spend more than you want!

Whatever you decide, though, be sure not to get Bose. Their money is spent on marketing, not on audio design.
 

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H,
The receiver was originally 900 Dollars. The subwoofer is well worth it and will provide you years of room shaking deep bass. The Onkyo is much more powerful than the Pioneer 1019 and should have no problems with a 86db efficient speaker.

In order to sell quality speakers cheaply, many companies have gone ID (Internet Direct). This is a big reason why you might not be familiar with some of these brands.

All the same at 1200 Dollars, the system I proposed would give you years of quality sound. The only part I am not personally familiar with are the Fluance Spekaers. But given the price and reviews, should meet your needs and budget.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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do not concern yourself with the heat issues in the Onkyo receivers, Heat is normal with any receiver that offers as much as they do. Bang for buck Onkyo is the best out there. Its always good practice to place a receiver in a spot where it can breath freely nothing on top of it and nothing producing heat below it like a PVR or sat receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi,

I think I'll save up a little more and keep an eye out for holiday sales so that I can get the Onkyo SR707, Fluance SXHTB+, and possibly the SVS PB10-NSD. Total including shipping and all should come out to $1470, maybe less!

That said, while looking at reviews on the PS10-NSD, it was also compared to the Outlaw LFM-1 and eD A3-300 and even PS12-NSD. Are there any opinions on those?

Thanks again for the advice.
H
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Agh... I just missed out on getting the Onkyo sr707 for $544 shipped. I had it in my cart this morning, had to run out the door. Just got home and saw that the price went back up to $620. Oh well.

Anyways, I'll be sure to have the receiver well ventilated.
 

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Hi,

I think I'll save up a little more and keep an eye out for holiday sales so that I can get the Onkyo SR707, Fluance SXHTB+, and possibly the SVS PB10-NSD. Total including shipping and all should come out to $1470, maybe less!

That said, while looking at reviews on the PS10-NSD, it was also compared to the Outlaw LFM-1 and eD A3-300 and even PS12-NSD. Are there any opinions on those?

Thanks again for the advice.
H
Hello,
Those all are excellent, high value subwoofers. The Outlaw was designed by Hsu research, who also makes great subs. Any of the above will outperform subwoofers sold for the same price at Best Buy by a huge margin. Pick whichever one is on sale and you will be blown away.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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The PS12-NSD is a fairly big step up from the 10NSD if you can swing it you would not be disappointed but I know your budget is tight so the PB10 NSD is also a very capable sub.
 
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