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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So i have just made the shift (from dissatisfaction) from Walmart RCA $150 system to something hopefully more enjoyable.

We have a worship room in my dorm and I am simply looking for a nice system that will "fill" the room with music. Our Dorm rooms are maybe 15x20 feet and I have a comfortable $350-500 to spend. I will only be plugging up an Ipod to the AVR and playing music through it. However, I really want it loud enough so people can sing as loud as they want w/o being heard :p...

So far I've been interested in:

Speakers: Fluance AVHTB+ Surround Sound Home Theater 5 Speaker System

AVR: Yamaha RX-V363

No particular reason except price and relatively good reviews. I'm completely open to something else.

Does this look good?

How much will I have to spend on wiring? Is it pretty tough?

Do i need a subwoofer?

Thanks
- Kyle
 

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Hi Kyle, welcome to the Shack :T

From what you have specified the Yamaha amp and speakers look to be a good deal and good VFM coming in at under $500, I'm sure it will do for a dorm room but there will always be better it just depends on your budget, for home cinema I would always recommend a subwoofer but seeing as the mains are floor standers you might get a reasonable bass response :huh:

budget for wiring say 10% value of the system, sounds reasonable...
 

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Hello,
Kyle, you seem to be on the right track. Yamaha makes quality receivers and will provide much better sound than a 150 Dollar Wal Mart system.

With your budget, I would start with the receiver and then purchase the best pair of speakers you can afford and go from there. There are some nice sounding speakers that can be found for 2-300 Dollars.
Wiring can be found cheaply from monoprice or bluejeanscable. You can find quality made cables there for little outlay.

I would advocate getting the best pair of speakers you can afford for now and upgrade as funds increase.
You never know, after the dorm, you might live in a house where you can setup a real home theater and by purchasing quality as you go, you will be set. As opposed to starting over again in a few years.

In my first semester of college I spent 650 Dollars on a pair of Paradigm Speakers and a couple hundred on a receiver. In the ten years since, I have just kept on upgrading. That first system, with just 2 floorstanding speakers, provided much higher quality sound than 99% of my friends.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey guys
I've done a little more searching and found this:

Sony STR-DH500 - AV receiver - 5.1 channel STRDH500

Would it be any better or do the start running together.

Also is there a good guide on wiring/banana plugs/ect. for what I will need to buy to make my system run? Im pretty new but also pretty good with technology.

Last question. Is it wrong to want a surround sound? I see many suggestions for just getting two speakers, but I really want the room filled with music not just coming from one area. So is a 5 piece smart to get?

Thanks guys
 

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Also is there a good guide on wiring/banana plugs/ect. for what I will need to buy to make my system run?

...I really want the room filled with music not just coming from one area. So is a 5 piece smart to get?
I don't know if there's such a guide, bananas help you to make the connection easy, but you can also use bare wire ....I second the suggesion to buy from monoprice, wire is really cheap. You can also go to HD or Lowes and get a roll 14ga 100' for around $20.

Have you seen the Onkyo ystems???? .... they come with 5/7 speakers and a receiver, I suggest you to ask if the AVR can play "all stereo channels", is a DSP mode that I like on my Yamaha to play music.... you can also use other modes like Neo6 Music, Prologic, etc. but I like the "all channel stereo" better :bigsmile:

Here is a link to Onkyo HT-S6200

EDIT: I read the manual for the S6200 and it has the audio mode "all channel stereo", this means that all speakers will play the music and will fill the room, when you have a chance compare this mode to othes.
 

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Hello,
I am a huge advocate of surround sound. However, with a limited budget, it is better to purchase 2 quality speakers than 6 mediocre ones. And in all honesty, mediocre is putting it kindly with most budget speaker packages. And the "subwoofers" in many Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) are not remotely capable of actually producing bass in the lowest octave as a real subwoofer should. They usually just make a mess of sound around 70-80 Hz that booms.

In all truth, a subwoofer that produces proper SPL's at 20 Hz would require your entire budget and probably have your RA knocking on your door within seconds.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well perhaps I need to scratch my budget...

It is very important to me that this system sounds good and can go fairly loud.
The room is on the bottom floor so sound isn't too much of an issue (no body lives down there).
I figured floor speakers would be the best because room isn't an issue and it seems they give better sound.
So perhaps the Fluance SXHTB instead its $100 more but if it will give me a better quality its worth it.
If i need to put more than $500 dollars thats okay. I just want this to last me a, very satisfied, 4 years+.

Thanks a lot guys and I apologize for knowing so little about the subject.
-Kyle
 

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I figured floor speakers would be the best because room isn't an issue and it seems they give better sound....
Not neccesarely...there's some bookshelf that will sound the same or better than floorstanders.

If i need to put more than $500 dollars thats okay. I just want this to last me a, very satisfied, 4 years+.
Have you considered buying used???

Do you plan to use the spakers and AVR for movies too???? .... or just music (per your statement)

I will only be plugging up an Ipod to the AVR and playing music through it. However, I really want it loud enough so people can sing as loud as they want w/o being heard :p...

Thanks a lot guys and I apologize for knowing so little about the subject.
-Kyle
You don't need to apologize, I'm sure that everybody was once in your shoes :T
 

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Well perhaps I need to scratch my budget...

It is very important to me that this system sounds good and can go fairly loud.
The room is on the bottom floor so sound isn't too much of an issue (no body lives down there).
I figured floor speakers would be the best because room isn't an issue and it seems they give better sound.
So perhaps the Fluance SXHTB instead its $100 more but if it will give me a better quality its worth it.
If i need to put more than $500 dollars thats okay. I just want this to last me a, very satisfied, 4 years+.

Thanks a lot guys and I apologize for knowing so little about the subject.
-Kyle
Kyle,
I would go with a refurbished Onkyo TX-SR706 or 707. Here is a 706 for 449 Dollars shipped: http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-7ch-Theater-Receiver-Black-Free-Ship-/1.html
It would give you THX Certification, preamp outputs which allow adding a more powerful amplifier, Audyssey Room Correction, and much more.

Far more capable than the Yamaha you were considering. I would check out Audiogon.com and do a search for speakers in your area. On the main page, click on the search page and enter your zip code.
And also check out Craigslist. If you would provide your location, I could help provide you with some ideas of quality speakers in your area.

If you want a system that will provide years of use, this truly is the way to go. The Onkyo is a stunning value at 449 shipped. And will give you room to grow by offering preamp outputs.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys,

Just bought 100 ft. of 14 gauge wire from Lowes for $30 and I'm getting excited :)

JJ would a cheeper Onkyo be okay? maybe a 606 or even 507. I don't know much about how greatly the receiver affects the sound but wouldn't those be everything i would need?

Those Yambeka speakers look great. Would you guys suggest those over the Flaunce? The specs seemed better on the Yambeka so i guess those would be better.

Yes the only purpose of these speakers, at least in the next four years, will be music. I wouldn't mind having movie capability though, i figured it always came with it.

Thanks
-Kyle
 

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Kyle,
The problem with the other models mentioned is a lack of preamp outputs. Adding an outboard amplifier can really add much needed muscle to your speakers. Models without these outputs make it impossible to add an amplifier. Also, the 706 has a more powerful amplifier section to begin with and offers THX Certification which adds some very useful sound modes.

The advantage to purchasing the 706 now is that while your system grows, this AVR can keep up. If you purchase an entry level AVR, you have no room to upgrade your amplification. All the same, the other models listed will crush the Wal Mart HTIB you are working with now and are quality products.

It really just depends on what your goals are. If you want to constantly evolve and upgrade as funds permit, having a receiver which offers preamp outputs really provides an avenue to do so.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I think we are loosing focus here and getting a bit carried away. I work on a University campus and understand the limitations in a students budget. Although pre outs is a big plus getting a decent receiver and speakers for under $500 is a stretch. Sometimes going used can be a great option and you get more for your money.
The Onkyo HTIB systems offer allot of bang for buck and you get a real receiver with proper connections including HDMI and normal speaker binding posts. The speakers and sub that come with the higher end Onkyo HTIB systems are actually very good and for a room your size will be far more than you can even use without bothering your neighbors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, sorry for being difficult i guess I am confused about the way an amp works.

There is only so much power you can put out of your speakers correct? What exactly does an amp or pre amp do.

I guess my question is getting the 706 entirely for future upgrades? or would it add a decent boost to my system. Keep in mind I'm planning on getting 300 5.0 speakers(Yambeka or Flaunce ect). I understand that upgrades are always a possibility but i figured if i really wanted to upgrade i could get a sub.

Thanks for keeping my wallet in mind Tony. It isn't a huge deal but of course the cheaper with out seriously sacrificing quality the better. Also the room is on the bottom floor so no neighbors or RA's :devil: to deal with.

-Kyle
 

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Well the 706 is a great receiver and offers the ability to add external amps if needed. I personally would stay way from Flaunce and get the Yambekas instead but you will still then require a sub and a decent one will run you at least $300 unless your into building one yourself.
 

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There is only so much power you can put out of your speakers correct? What exactly does an amp or pre amp do.
The amps in the receiver (one for each channel) require power to run them, that comes from the receivers power supply (transformer) in most receivers the power supply is too small to drive all the speakers without distortion particularly if you run them a bit loud. generally when looking at receivers and the power ratings, that will drop to about half the watts if you run them hard.
Speakers should be rated to handle more then what the output is of the receiver particularly with lower end stuff because even receivers with a rating of say 75watts per ch they can output more in quick peaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alright, well How many watts do i need then? 80, 90, 100?

I will be playing the music very loud and the distortion and rattling killed me from the wal-mart trash.
I'm not too worried about upgrading and a sub may happen so i guess i need the power to run that also. So i figure most of the $250+ Onkyo's that sport 80 watts+ would be great. However i could be very wrong.

thanks
-Kyle
 

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You say the room your using it in is 15x20 feet?
Loud to some may not be loud enough for others so its better to reference to db's generally 75 db is plenty but to fill a room that size your going to need more than a budget receiver can offer. Your expectations may be a bit high given your price range. The Yambekas may be able to handle it but not without a good subwoofer as that's where your really going to notice a difference. Subs usually come with a built in amp so no need to worry about the power issue from the receiver.
 

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Kyle,
While it is true you can overpower speakers, the vast majority are actually damaged when speakers are driven to distortion from when amplifiers clip. That is, you crank a system and really want to wow the friends and play at a high volume. Amplifiers that are lacking power supply and capacitance can and will produce a distorted signal to your speakers. This distorted signal sends information (sound) that is ruinous to speakers. That is not to say that a high powered amplifier when driven to high levels could not and will not provide such a high signal that the speakers cannot be damaged. However, quite often, it is distortion that damages speakers and not high power output from an amplifier.

This is certainly the case when high quality speakers are being used. With cheap speakers, they can be damaged both ways. Owing to cheap overall construction, they cannot handle distortion and when played at high volume from a quality amplifier they will be damaged.

It is hard to believe how many speakers you can get for 300 Dollars. With floorstanders no less. Given your initial investment with these, moving on will not entail losing thousand of Dollars. I do believe they will sound the best when given the best amplification possible. Just a quick catchup with the Company, the reviews say they sound their best with quality amplification. I still cannot get over than you can get 5 rather large speakers for 300 Dollars.

The other Onkyo's will be fine as will the Yamaha. Depending on how loud you want to listed, adding a subwoofer could not hurt and will increase overall loudness with your other speakers not having to handle trying to reproduce bass. The TX-SR707 does have more power than the other described, but it is by no means mandatory.
Cheers,
JJ
 
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