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Discussion Starter #1
Calling all Techies,

We have a house that is pre-wired for sound and I am looking for recommendations for an integrated HT system--here's the parameters:

1. Need speakers to mount on the walls not more than 5" wide (4 of them, plus a center under the TV and a sub-woofer)(5.1?) in the main living area--great previous owner took those with him--(and left holes in the wall w/ wires hanging out I will need to cover)
2. Need outdoor speakers in the patio area (2, wires hanging out of the wall there too--this is the easy part)
3. Two other rooms (master and guest) have pre-wired speakers in the ceiling. (need to make sure those are still up there and not just the covers) :-\
4. We would like to be able to support Air Play and Blu-ray video
5. Will link to a Samsung 1080P flat-ish screen.
6. Direct TV.
7. Aaaaand. . . . we would like to do the best we can for under $800 if possible. (please, no snorting laughter):rofl:

Other questions:

1. Can I get away w/ a 7.1 and put the master and guest room on one channel?
2. Are there standard mounts that will cover the holes in the main room/fit to the screw holes? They are vertical 4.5" apart in the front and 2.75" apart in the rear of the room--holes w/ wires in between.
3. My precious bride would like the speakers to be white. I think that would severely limit our options, but. . .

Thanks in advance, ladies and gentlemen. I am a true rookie and appreciate your help.:help:

Semper Fi, DKaz
 

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No laughter from me, but no real suggestions either I'm afraid. If I read this correctly you're looking for 5 indoor speakers and a subwoofer, along with 2 outdoor speakers and a receiver? On top of that they need to be in white, a certain size and all fit within a budget of $800? I just don't see that happening.

Obviously upping the budget is the way to go here, but if that's not possibly you should list what you want in order of significance. Maybe we can help piece together a few suggestions that will allow you to at least satisfy some of it now, and then when finances permit you can readdress the other items.

Also, room sizes. We'll need to know the dimensions of the entire area (HWD) these systems will be in. That's key when choosing speakers and subwoofers.
 

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What Jim said ^^ or start with buying the receiver and two indoor speakers to start with and add as you can afford it.

Accessories4less.com is an ideal place to start looking.
 

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A cheap 2zone AVR and speaker selector will run about 6-800$ without any speakers.

Would advise you up the budget and do things in phases.

~$1500-$5000 for living room now.

Later:
~$2000+ for the other rooms.

----audio distribution----
Sonos/Heos amps ~$500 per room
Or
Distribution power amp ~$700-$3000+ depending on type and number of channels.

You'll want to think about what sources you want to play in the other zones and how you'll want to control them. Do you use volume dials in each room and go back to the living to select what's playing? Do you want to have a keypad on your wall to select source and volume? Do you want to control the rooms from your phone/tablet? Do the other zones need to play different thins from each other?
 

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I suggest you start looking for used equipment, and closeouts to get your speakers,and AVR as that is the only way I can see you getting close to your budget, and sounding decent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all--It's becoming clear that I'm likely not going to make the $800 goal. However, I found this 5.1 speaker system for the living room for $315--not sure of the width of the satellite speaks, (can't find the specs on this) but it may work. Reviews look good. Keep seeing coupons I missed last year that took the set down to $199. . . Grrrr

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HKTS-Surround-Speakers/dp/B0052S7Z8K

Great room is about 25X18 w/ 10-12 foot ceilings.

Maybe paired w/ a mid-range Denon 7.1-ish AVR and I'm just a few hundred out of the X-ring. ???

There are volume controls on the walls of the 3 rooms (total six speakers--two in each room ceiling) and I'm happy to select from the main living area. Can I put them all on the other zones of the 7.1 and use some sort of selector?

Thanks, guys.
 

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The problem with those speakers is simply size, you would have trouble filling a small room with sound using them. Using those in your living room would be futile as you would soon find yourself over driving them and distortion makes for awful sound.
At minimum these Pioneer speakers would be the lowest I would go.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJC1BDW?psc=1
And then this subwoofer here by HSU
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html
 

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Thanks to all--It's becoming clear that I'm likely not going to make the $800 goal. However, I found this 5.1 speaker system for the living room for $315--not sure of the width of the satellite speaks, (can't find the specs on this) but it may work. Reviews look good. Keep seeing coupons I missed last year that took the set down to $199. . . Grrrr

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HKTS-Surround-Speakers/dp/B0052S7Z8K
Don't bother. I bought these, along with their matching receiver/player, for about $200 and returned all. Poor sound and unreliable electronics.
 

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Great room is about 25X18 w/ 10-12 foot ceilings.
Houston, we have (an even bigger) problem. Calculated using an average of 11' for the ceilings, you're looking at a hair below 5000 ft^3. That's a pretty big space, and as the others have mentioned that HK system will simply be overwhelmed trying to keep up. I can't see you being the least bit happy with it.

Those Pioneers tonvdb sent you a link for are very solid speakers for the price. The center is probably a bit too small, but the rest of the system should be good for you. The HSU subwoofer is a nice unit for sure, but with a room that size it will more than likely be overmatched. Given your situation something like the PE SUB-1500 may be a better alternative. Not the greatest from a sound quality standpoint, but should at least have a fighting chance of making its presence known in a room that large.
 

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The HK speakers might be nice for a bedroom, but no way they will be good for as big of a room as you have. I would look for speakers that have at least 90db with 1 watt @ 1 meter...preferably closer to 100db if you plan on watching movies.

Something like these... http://www.ebay.com/itm/KLIPSCH-RB-5-Speakers-PAIR-/351507187510?hash=item51d7760736

Or even a pair of these to start with and then buy more when you can afford it. I know these are not wall mountable, but they would really cover the area you have to fill.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Awesome-KLIPSCH-RP-5-Reference-3-Way-Speakers-w-Integrated-Amps-2-000-MSRP-/141757722672?hash=item21016b3030
 

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I was in the same situation 4 years ago... the guys are right about small speakers not being capable to fill a room with distorting. Nevertheless, not being capable to withstand the sound from the TV, I went with paradigm MilleniaOne (about 500$). Its cast enclosure saves roughly 1in in width and the engineer/marketing were wise enough to limit its extension to roughly 100Hz to sell a matching expensive compact sub. This is key as it allows to keep decent efficiency and limit cone excursion (distortion). It sounds better than most speaker of its size and can play the vocal range relatively clean. Apart from the 1st set of speakers I ever purchased, it is the only non-DIY speaker that entered our house as I simply couldn't compete with those at this size (at least I thought at this time). To me it is still a nonsense to try to make such speakers of this quality but I'm happy it existed. I'm powering them with old Onkyo 605 which I got used for 100$. And, yes, the speakers are white :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow. You guys are true audiophiles and I appreciate your perspective--but I really wasn't kidding about the dimensions of the speakers. The woofers alone on most of the suggestions wouldn't fit in the spot where the wiring is. If I had more time, I'd send a picture, but I have 5.5" in a corner next to a plantation shutter on both sides of the room for the rear speaks (which means they cannot be more than 5" across because the shutters have to open). This is a real physical limitation. And while I have a slightly larger spot in the front of the room for the satellites, it's not much larger. As I looked at it last night, it occurred to me that the space where we would watch movies, etc., is actually much smaller than the entire great room/kitchen described earlier, and the speakers are focused on that area, really an 18X14 area which seems smaller because the furniture is clustered in that area for TV/movies, Steeler championship games, etc. :bigsmile:

I may have done a disservice with my description. The space is a large rectangle, but the sitting area really takes up an irregular 12x12-ish corner of it dominated by a large armoire sitting between the back speakers. The speaker mounts--front and back about 7 ft up--and the spot for the sub are all within this area. The rest of the rectangle is the kitchen/dining area of the great room off to one side. So, it's a "nook" in one end of the great room where the music/movies are focused.

I think that makes this application more feasible, unless the HK's are complete garbage, but I'm still open to thoughts--need to look up the dimensions of the white speaks mentioned above--also still in the market for suggestions for a mid-range AVR with passable sound optimization that will run two zones and a method for splitting the patio/front room/master into a different zone/zones. (if I'm saying this right):rolleyesno:

Thanks again, all--I appreciate your wisdom and patience.:eek:lddude:

Semper Fi, DK
 

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Wow. You guys are true audiophiles and I appreciate your perspective--but I really wasn't kidding about the dimensions of the speakers. The woofers alone on most of the suggestions wouldn't fit in the spot where the wiring is. If I had more time, I'd send a picture, but I have 5.5" in a corner next to a plantation shutter on both sides of the room for the rear speaks (which means they cannot be more than 5" across because the shutters have to open). This is a real physical limitation. And while I have a slightly larger spot in the front of the room for the satellites, it's not much larger. As I looked at it last night, it occurred to me that the space where we would watch movies, etc., is actually much smaller than the entire great room/kitchen described earlier, and the speakers are focused on that area, really an 18X14 area which seems smaller because the furniture is clustered in that area for TV/movies, Steeler championship games, etc. :bigsmile:

I may have done a disservice with my description. The space is a large rectangle, but the sitting area really takes up an irregular 12x12-ish corner of it dominated by a large armoire sitting between the back speakers. The speaker mounts--front and back about 7 ft up--and the spot for the sub are all within this area. The rest of the rectangle is the kitchen/dining area of the great room off to one side. So, it's a "nook" in one end of the great room where the music/movies are focused.

I think that makes this application more feasible, unless the HK's are complete garbage, but I'm still open to thoughts--need to look up the dimensions of the white speaks mentioned above--also still in the market for suggestions for a mid-range AVR with passable sound optimization that will run two zones and a method for splitting the patio/front room/master into a different zone/zones. (if I'm saying this right):rolleyesno:

Thanks again, all--I appreciate your wisdom and patience.:eek:lddude:

Semper Fi, DK
You can always cut a hole lower on the wall, and put a wall plate in for speaker jacks, and then fish the wires on the wall to the new jack (you might even find that the person who wired the speaker ran them close to the floor and then up the wall). You could then plug the hole, and paint. In walls are not going to do what you need for anywhere near what your budget is. I highly suggest you go with Towers for the front channels or at least some good bookshelf speakers, and a sub. The HKs might be ok for a small bedroom, but that is as far as I would go.
 
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