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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
:help:
I am building a theater system from scratch and intend to spend around $3500 for the audio. I would like quality items that I can improve later. For example a 5.1 system I can upgrade later to 9.1, relying on the receiver's amps until I add dedicated amps later, etc. I was thinking of building around an Onkyo Tx-NR3009 receiver and an Epson Powerlight 5010 Projector (neither purchased yet). Speakers will be hardwired and likely recessed in the wall and equipment will be in a seperate cabinet. $3500 would be for the audio only not the projector/screen/etc which leave around $2k for the receiver and $1500 for the speakers.

Thanks!
 

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A little more info about your room size and seating plan would help with specific suggestions. Also, is the display in the same budget or 3500 just for audio? A generalization for a system that you are willing to upgrade later is an inexpensive receiver with 7.1 preouts, such as the Onkyo 709 (or comparable units from Marantz, Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha). I would recommend saving on the rears and going with something that you could move to a desktop/garage system when you do a future upgrade. One of many options could be
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-652
Or
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=250-707
Another big question is what your intentions are for "upgrade later". Do you mean spend 800 in 6 months, or more like another 3500 in a year or 2? Your next decisions are around mains, center, and sub. The possibilities are endless.
1. You could start with a very capable long-term set of towers, run full-range, phantom center. Add the center and sub as your next upgrade.
2. Identify the rears that you want in your ultimate system, and use them as fronts for now. Get a reasonably good sub. Add 2nd matching sub as a later upgrade.
3. Get your ideal left/right/center, with an inexpensive sub such as
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-635
Has you can see the possibilities are endless. Let us know a little more about your immediate needs and ultimate goals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The room is rather large and additionally part of a fairly open floor plan. Primary seat is about 14 feet from the screen. Room is about 30' wide. There is a rear wall about 6 ft behind the seating that is 10' wide and then open on left and right to a kitchen and dining room. Because of the open plan, ambient light will be difficult to control.

I currently have a 46" Sony NSX 46 GT1. I'll be replacing that with something larger... at least 80". That kind of size seems better suited with a projection system.

I was thinking a thousand or two for preamps later and additional speakers.

I like your idea of quality rears that could be used as fronts for now. That idea sounds better than the speaker package I was looking at: KEF T305.
 

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If you are in America you have access to great deals on refurbished Onkyo. This 809 at $650 is a great deal
http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...NR809-7.2-Channel-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html
And you can add a 2 or 3 channel amp later (or you may decide that the 809 is powerful enough on its own). I can't conceive of needing separate amps for rears.
Since you are setting up in a very large room, you will be wanting a very capable sub (or 2). Do some reading on the subwoofer forums here for reviews/suggestions on Internet direct models (they seem to have the best bang for the buck), or if you are into a little woodworking project spend some time on the Shack DIY sub forum.
A room your size would also benefit from quality towers with a matching center. My personal bias leans towards Paradigm, but do yourself a favor and cruise around your local specialty audio stores and listen to as many brands/models as you have available. PSB, Monitor Audio, Boston Acoustics, KEF, Focal, ..... the list goes on.
This can all seem like a great deal of work, but well worth it. Welcome to the Shack, and have fun.
 

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Its a lucky (and RARE) fellow who has the luxury of a complex coupled space which hasn't any acoustical issues to address, seeing as how the speaker room interaction and the speaker selection are the largest contributors to the sound quality.

And its doubly lucky, seeing as no effort nor resources are allocated with regard to the acoustic analysis and treatment of the space. And no, none of the magical mystical 'averaged EQ' anything but room-correction packages' do anything more than moderately EQ only the modal Peaks below 80Hz...

Considering the literally profound effect a priority on acoustics has on the ultimate quality of the total system performance, one might suggest that the lack of a fundamental concern over the acoustical environment is deafening in its silence...

:bigsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its a lucky (and RARE) fellow who has the luxury of a complex coupled space which hasn't any acoustical issues to address, seeing as how the speaker room interaction and the speaker selection are the largest contributors to the sound quality.

And its doubly lucky, seeing as no effort nor resources are allocated with regard to the acoustic analysis and treatment of the space. And no, none of the magical mystical 'averaged EQ' anything but room-correction packages' do anything more than moderately EQ only the modal Peaks below 80Hz...

Considering the literally profound effect a priority on acoustics has on the ultimate quality of the total system performance, one might suggest that the lack of a fundamental concern over the acoustical environment is deafening in its silence...

:bigsmile:
I believe that was a lot of words for: let the space be analyzed and/or dictate the equipment?
 

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MikeBiker said:
I would switch the AVR and speaker amounts. Speakers are the final sound source and will provide the sound.
Hi Mike, if you are referring to my suggestion of 650 for AVR with $40 speakers, then we are on the same wavelength. This leaves 2800 in the budget for 3 fronts and sub. Next year upgrade 2 speakers and add 2nd sub. Speakers are the priority in all my audio budgeting.

SAC, is it practical to perform acoustical analysis prior to having speakers available in the room? I am very new to REW and have a lot to learn in this area. I appreciate the knowledge you provide.
 

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jwheelerjr said:
Perhaps I should ask for recommendations in a slightly different way. If one were to spend $4500 on audio for a home theater system. What would you build?
There are countless ways to go about doing this. Asking that question will elicit different answers from every member of this forum. A good start would be the Onkyo tx-nr809 as it is a great value among AVR's. When you get into the speakers that is where opinions really can vary depending on personal preference. I'm personally a big fan of the Klipsch Reference line as I think they excel in the home theater environment. Picking a sub is much like the speakers as they also vary depending on who you ask. I would find one from one of the Internet direct companies such as SVS.
 

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If it were my $4500, I would probably do something like:

Onkyo 809 for the AVR - $700 (very pleased with mine)
SVS PB-12 Plus - $1400 (I would also keep my eyes open on used - I got 2 PB-13 Ultras and paid less than a new PB-12 Plus for each)
Use the remaining balance for speakers

Now, as far as the speakers went, I would not lock myself into making sure I got all 7 speakers. I would audition quite a few different speakers focusing on the L / R mains. If the mains I liked the most ate up my remaining budget, I would do it and plan to add as funds became available. IMO, and I may be wrong (and if I am someone will definitely correct me :bigsmile:), but your L / R mains are the most important speakers in your set-up. Plus, if you really like the mains, you will probably find that you will enjoy having good 2.1 sound while you wait for the rest rather than marginal 7.1.

Once I completed my speaker package, I would have enough time with the current space / equipment to know whether I would get more benefit from external amplification or a 2nd sub and prioritize those.

One thing to note - I have seen it said many times - listening to speakers is all well and good in the audition process. But, realize that YOUR space will have it's own acoustical variations that can affect your speaker performance so it is a good idea to try to listen to potential speakers in your space as well. Hopefully, that is one thing I have learned from reading SAC's informative posts concerning REW. :bigsmile:

Lastly, this is my own personal opinion - YRMV. :T Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like the 809... I suppose the 1009 or 3009 would be overkill? I may go with Klipsch Speakers RF-82II Home Theater System 5.1 with a PA150 Sub. I can upgrade components of that later and send the replacements to the bedroom setup. It's on Amazon for 2.6k.
 

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The 1009 would be IMO - the biggest caveat you would get with the 3009 is Audessey XT-32 which the other two models do not have. I have not used it personally but have seen a few posters who have suggested that XT-32 is quite a bit better than the standard version and required little to no tweaking via REW.
 

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JBrax said:
There are countless ways to go about doing this. Asking that question will elicit different answers from every member of this forum.
And that is what makes this hobby most interesting. As for the question of 809 vs 1009 vs 3009 and what could be considered overkill, there is still no right answer that everyone would agree on. Which receiver has the minimum features you need? Which has the minimum power you need? If the lowest on your list (809) meets these criteria, the next question is how much more do I want to spend on bells and whistles that I may want but not need. Here is where the balancing act comes in. Every dollar extra that you spend on "that's cool but I don't really need it" takes a dollar out of your speaker budget. And many people here think speakers are most important. I have a 3008 with good L/C/R, good subs, and 4 rears/surrounds that I bought used for $80 total. My next upgrade, when I have cash to inject, will make SAC smile. He would probably say something like "finally, it's about time you got around to fixing your room" (sorry for putting words in your mouth SAC, hope I haven't mis-typed). Right now if I had to take value out o my room and downgrade something, it would be either the 2ch amp going, or replace the 3008 with 709-809. Hope it never comes to that. My rears are here to stay. For a while.
 

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And that is what makes this hobby most interesting. As for the question of 809 vs 1009 vs 3009 and what could be considered overkill, there is still no right answer that everyone would agree on. Which receiver has the minimum features you need? Which has the minimum power you need? If the lowest on your list (809) meets these criteria, the next question is how much more do I want to spend on bells and whistles that I may want but not need. Here is where the balancing act comes in. Every dollar extra that you spend on "that's cool but I don't really need it" takes a dollar out of your speaker budget. And many people here think speakers are most important. I have a 3008 with good L/C/R, good subs, and 4 rears/surrounds that I bought used for $80 total. My next upgrade, when I have cash to inject, will make SAC smile. He would probably say something like "finally, it's about time you got around to fixing your room" (sorry for putting words in your mouth SAC, hope I haven't mis-typed). Right now if I had to take value out o my room and downgrade something, it would be either the 2ch amp going, or replace the 3008 with 709-809. Hope it never comes to that. My rears are here to stay. For a while.
Phreak makes an excellent point here - my suggestions are just my own personal opinion and are mostly based on my own situation / preferences.

I think the biggest lesson I have learned in the 4 months I have been on this site is that it is best used to provide me with direction - and then it is up to me to research and make choices based on my individual needs.
 

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Here's my $0.02 worth for a $4500 Budget. Personal preferences and bias fully acknowledged.

Receiver. Onkyo 809. $650

Sub http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html. $880 (get 2)

Mains. http://www.gibbyselectronicsupermar....html?osCsid=766f0f0d91f2b4e56eb2596b337b3141. $1000. Sale ends today, only if in stock at local dealer.

Surround. http://www.gibbyselectronicsupermar...kshelf-speakers-mini-monitor-pair-p-2088.html $370

Total $2880. Run 4.2, phantom center. Search high and low for a Paradigm CC-390, old model clear out sale or used. You have $1620 left in your budget. Someone will part with their CC-390 for that price. Not me. But somebody.
 

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:help:I am building a theater system from scratch and intend to spend around $3500 for the audio. I would like quality items that I can improve later. For example a 5.1 system I can upgrade later to 9.1, relying on the receiver's amps until I add dedicated amps later, etc. I was thinking of building around an Onkyo Tx-NR3009 receiver and an Epson Powerlight 5010 Projector (neither purchased yet). Speakers will be hardwired and likely recessed in the wall and equipment will be in a seperate cabinet. $3500 would be for the audio only not the projector/screen/etc which leave around $2k for the receiver and $1500 for the speakers.
That's a LOT of money towards a receiver... I don't really like that budget balancing. It's almost akin to spending more on a remote than on a TV...

With $3500 I would spend about $600 on a receiver, $2000 on speakers, and another $1000 on a sub or two.

Your mention of recessing the speakers in a cabinet is a HUGE issue and one I suggest reconsidering. Not many speakers are designed for this kind of application, so you start by limiting your options.

off the top of my headI probably recommend something like

Marantz SR5006 ($536)
+ 2X Philharmonic 1 ($1600)
+ 4X EMP E-41B ($600)
+ Rythmik FV15HP ($1274)

The above comes in at about 4K which is higher than your budget by a few hundred, but I honestly expect it to perform phenominally. I would probably throw in a Crown XLS1500 :D
 

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I have Onkyo, and hasn't failed me yet. Very pleased. I support the 809 suggestion. For the rest of your budget, I would look into tower fronts and a matching centre, then the most bad- sub that the remaining funds will allow. Surrounds to be added at a later date. Or, if you audition and find something that gives you a remainder in your wallet, save it. Why buy something when you know you are going to be upgrading soon?
 

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GranteedEV said:
That's a LOT of money towards a receiver... I don't really like that budget balancing. It's almost akin to spending more on a remote than on a TV...

With $3500 I would spend about $600 on a receiver, $2000 on speakers, and another $1000 on a sub or two.

Your mention of recessing the speakers in a cabinet is a HUGE issue and one I suggest reconsidering. Not many speakers are designed for this kind of application, so you start by limiting your options.
It was mentioned earlier in this thread that many topics (especially speaker brands) generate more personal opinion than consensus. But here GranteedEV has given a rough budget direction that most would agree on.

Another area of general consensus is that putting speakers in the wall is reserved as a last resort, as towers/bookshelf speakers provide much better sound quality per dollar spent.

You will also find much debate/opinion on which Brand of receiver to buy. My personal order of preference would be 1 Onkyo, 2 Marantz, 3 Denon, 4 Integra, 5 Anthem, 6 Pioneer, 7 Yamaha. Pretty much the only consensus you will find is that most of these 7 brands are in the top ten. Everyone will shuffle the order somewhat, some will pick a few not on my list.

With all the bias out there, it is good to get a range of opinion from a group of people, weigh it all out and consider your own personal bias as well. That is where I find the value of HTS. When you do make your decisions, hook it all up, and report back that you are enjoying your new system, we will all applaud you. Because you will have have made an informed choice.
 
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