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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, Ive followed this site for quite some time as I do research into things like recievers and speakers. Ive gotten to the point where its time to get a better set coming from one of those HTIB setups. Ive tried to narrow my choices down, but it gets tough as you get closer to pulling the trigger so I was hoping for some insight from people here.


The room this will be setup in isnt exactly ideal for a home theater since its open to other rooms (kitchen and dining area), but it will have to do at least for the short term until I move it all to a dedicated room. The living room area is about 16x18 in size.

Now my budget is a bit tight right now, trying to stay around $1200 for the speakers and receiver in a 5.1 setup.

For the receiver, after ALOT of reading back and forth with various reviews and forums, Ive narrowed it to these two:

Pioneer VSX-1120-K
Onkyo TX-NR708

Im leaning towards the Pioneer based on the price i can find them for (~$530) and some reported issues with Onkyo unit along with its continued trend of putting out alot of heat compared to the Pioneer.



Now, going beyond receivers, the speakers have given me trouble. What Im noticing is that there is a fair gap between say 'entry' level speakers and mid range quality. With my budget sitting at around 700 for the speakers after getting the reciever, ive gone back and forth about getting a whole 5.1 set now and just upgrade after i move to a dedicated room, or just get a higher end say 2.1 set for now.

So if i was to go for 5.1 now, Id looked at brands like BIC America and Polk, and after looking at them, considered this set:


For the center
-BIC America FH6-LCR Dual 6.5-Inch 175-Watt ~$115

For the fronts and rears
-BIC America DV62si Bookshelf type x4 ~$110 per pair

For the Sub
-BIC Acoustech Platinum Series PL-200 Sub ~$330


Ive read good and bad about BIC, but mostly good, so they seemed to be a great buy considering the pricing versus say Polk entry level speakers. I did have a question about tweeters. considering my room size does that affect whether a horn type tweeter is better/worse than a standard dome type tweeter? The center I listed there is a horn type, and Im wondering if thats a waste or a benefit for my space. If its a benefit, than maybe i should also look at horn type bookshelf speakers instead of the dome type i have listed.

So what do you guys think? Im open to any other suggestions, there is alot of specifics im still learning about all of this stuff, so any tips would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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Hello,
Especially with the Front Stage, (Front Left, Center Channel, Front Right Speakers) having the same High Frequency Transducer really is important. Horns really sound quite different than Dome Tweeters and if the Center Channel uses a Horn and the FL/FR uses a Dome Tweeter, the results will be less than ideal.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ah ok, thanks for the info, thats what I was worried about, certainly dont want an unbalanced system.

ive heard that horn type tweeters are better suited to 'large' rooms, is that correct or is it simply a subjective preference for the sound vs dome tweeters?
 

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Hello,
I do not subscribe to the theory that Horns are best suited for large Rooms. Rather, a matter of preference and the amount of power driving the Speakers. Horns are much more efficient than most other Speakers so they will play loudly when using a budget AVR.

So if you do have a large Room and are using a low powered AVR, a Horn Loaded Speaker would definitely be a good choice. How large is your Room
where the HT is going to be?
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ah i see, thanks for clearing that up.

The area im working with is irregular since it opens up to the kitchen and dining area. The living room is about 16x18 in size.

As for the AVR, ill probably be going with the Pioneer VSX-1120-K

Now if the horn variety is better suited for my area, and you say its best that the speakers all match, do i only need to match the fronts and center or should my rear left and right also be of the horn type?
 

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Pioneer is king in the mid-fi range. The offerings from Denon and Onkyo in the same price range are not quite as good. Good choice going with the VSX-1120-K.

As for horns, I'm a big Klipsch fan and swear by them. The higher efficiency of horn loaded speakers lends to better clarity since you don't have to push your AVR as much. With a mid priced AVR that is a big bonus.

Peicing together a system can be a lot of fun rather than settling for a lesser 5.1 system out of the blocks. It's like getting that euphoric rush every couple of months when you've saved up enough cash to get the next piece.

You will want to match the Left/Right/Center as close as possible to give smoother pans. With that center you might want to consider the FH-65B bookshelves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yeah, i was just looking at the FH-65B speakers. so its ok if i were to get two of those for fronts along with that center and then use say the DV62si pair for surrounds?

if so, thats certainly in the budget range and that seems like a good set unless someone has other suggestions. ive tried to read every impression of the BIC speakers that I can, and most turn out to be very positive considering the price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmm to further complicate things, i found a great price on the BIC VK-6LCR putting it only ~$90 more than the FH6-LCR.

If the VK is a better all around center, than I would need to change my fronts since the VK is using a dome tweeter. I guess I would just go back to the DV62si for the fronts too?
 
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I agree that the three front should match. For dedicated HT, I would personally want that horn loaded sound.

Here is a place that might be cheaper. http://www.provantage.com/bic-america-fh6-lcr~7BICA00R.htm

You could get away with miss matching the rears, but the fronts should really match. In this case, not just for timbre matching, but the BIC horn loaded designs (klicpsch knock off clones) and dome designs (polk clones?) are about 5db apart in sensitivity, so even a good AVR might have problems matching them up with the setup mic.

If you can afford it, I'd try and get the horn loaded speakers all around, but if not, the front three should match for sure. Your AVR will be happy. Also, the horn loaded tweeter design seems to overly pronounce the dialog (in a good way) and in my personal experience, a dome tweeter just doesn't have the overall sparkle. I guess it just comes down to personal desires. I like horns for movies and domes for music. A horn design is usually more fatiguing for music and I haven't heard one yet that I would want to listen too for hours, but that forward sound just helps bring out dialog and background sound effects in movies. Some people describe them as a honking or squawking sound. Whatever they are, they just work really well for movies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
i looked at provantage before, but the shipping cost with them makes their lower initial price no better then say Amazon.

This system is probably going to be 50/50 music and movies. I have a htpc that will be serving all of my music along with movies and dvd/bluray music performances. It sounds like to me im not going to get a set that is 'ideal' for both purposes, so which type do you think is the better to lean towards? Im thinking horn would be the safer bet, but im not sure.

Basically which is worse: Horn type for music or dome type for movies? If its subjectively equal issue, then should i just go with the higher speced models that happen to be horn type?

Ill certainly try to squeeze in 4 of the horn type BICs to cover it all around, but if i cant, at least i can do those for the fronts.
 
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The answer isn't really black and white. You could try and email bic america and see if they have a dealer close to you so you could demo them. It's not that a dome tweeter can't work well for HT, its just in general, they aren't as efficient, and middle of the road AVRs can't drive 90db and less speakers as well as more efficient horn loaded speakers. That is most of the time, but not always. I used to have Infinity SM series HT speakers that were really efficient and the dome tweeter in those were loud and very forward. I don't currently know of any speakers even close to those on the market today. Monkey coffins are not in. My current speaker kit has Seas dome tweeters and they are good for movies, but they are not cheap and require some power to drive them. So again, it isn't always. In general, I don't think the polk audio and other big box store dome tweeters are very good at HT, but that is just my opinion.

If you can't demo the bic america speakers, you might want to demo Klipsch and Polk and see what you like best to get an ideal of how different they are. Also many folks love Klipsch sound for music, so a lot of people like that kind of sound all around. I just personally find them a little fatiguing for extended music play back. Not everyone feels that way.
 

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So if i was to go for 5.1 now, Id looked at brands like BIC America and Polk, and after looking at them, considered this set:

I'm sure the guys here will have a lot of good input on speaker choices and strengths and benefits etc. I might suggest holding off on getting exactly what you want right now and get better quality speakers. Better to have a good 2.1 the a so-so 5.1. Get a good (read- modestly priced) pair of speaker for R/L - don't skimp. Forget about the amp and so forth for now, use one that's good enough. The best amp in the world will send a great signal to lousy speakers = lousy sound.

Just one guys input...good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for the input.

its pretty clear that the whole horn vs dome issue is highly dependent on the listener. ill certainly try to get an in person listen to the BIC offerings if possible, or at least compare the relative sound from dome and horn types.

as to getting the whole set now, its a tough call for me. ive been waiting quite a while without any surround sound at all, but at the same time, i like the idea of getting higher end fronts now and the rears/sub later. So yeah, not sure about that yet, but for now, ill continuing researching these speakers as if im going for the 5.1 set.
 

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whole horn vs dome issue is highly dependent on the listener
Horns are more effective at transfering the mechanical energy to the air. There are benefits to horns, no question, that said, a badly designed horn is honky and terrible. Horn technology is THE most expensive technology in the audio industry (compression horns) and the most difficult to do correctly. You need deep pockets for the R&D it takes to develop a proper horn.

I'll let you be the judge on what you like and don't like but klipsch does make a good horn speaker for a modest price. Is that the sound for you? You'll have to judge yourself.

You may check out some of the Klipsch line and cruise Craigs List for a receiver - these are tough times and people are ready to make deals....
 
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No matter what you decide to go with, I think it is very important to try and get the most efficient speakers you can. I really wanted to try those horn loaded BICs, but I'm sinking so much into higher end 2.1, I might just never see 5.1 again. A lot of the reviewers seem to like BICs horn loaded speakers better then Klipsch. At least the F series. I'm sure their higher end, and much more expensive stuff would be better, but they still seem like a lot of speaker for the money.

Also, depending on your room size and how loud you want to listen to your movies and music, good speakers that aren't efficient enough are going to cause a AVR to run too hard and you would loose sound quality that way. That is why I think its so important to match up a good efficient speaker to a integrated AVR. At least middle of the road ones that don't have gobs of power to spare.

Another option that is a little more, but not a lot more would be a HSU HB-1. They start at $149 each and are not supper efficient, but better then average.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some other info that might be helpful: My listening distance will be about 6ft. Is that too close for horn type speakers in general? If so, then that may make my decision for me.
 
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6 feet away shouldn't matter at all. Your AVR will just be that must less driven, run cooler. The horn loaded tweeter should always have a wider dispersion, so the tweeter anyway, should have better off axis performance and sound less directional.

In the end, your going to have to demo different style speakers, make sure you like the sound of horns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was looking at the Behringer speakers and noticed that the pricing is in the range of the BIC offerings so I was wondering if anyone had opinions on those vs BIC and others?

I was looking at these three speakers:

Behringer TRUTH B2030P
Behringer TRUTH B2031P

Would either of these be better than the DV62si speakers? Since they are dome type, i would then change my center to one with a matching dome type. The specs on paper seem close, but I was hoping someone could give some hands on comparisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
6 feet away shouldn't matter at all. Your AVR will just be that must less driven, run cooler. The horn loaded tweeter should always have a wider dispersion, so the tweeter anyway, should have better off axis performance and sound less directional.

In the end, your going to have to demo different style speakers, make sure you like the sound of horns.
ah ok, cool. so basically, if i like the sound that horn type speakers make, then i shouldnt need to worry about sitting too close to them.
 
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I was looking at the Behringer speakers and noticed that the pricing is in the range of the BIC offerings so I was wondering if anyone had opinions on those vs BIC and others?

I was looking at these three speakers:

Behringer TRUTH B2030P
Behringer TRUTH B2031P

Would either of these be better than the DV62si speakers? Since they are dome type, i would then change my center to one with a matching dome type. The specs on paper seem close, but I was hoping someone could give some hands on comparisions.
The Behringer studio monitors should be better then the DV62si speakers, but if I remember right, the B2031 is a 4 ohm speaker, and you shouldn't need anything more then the B2030 for HT with a 80hz crossover. The B2031 would be a better stand alone speaker if you had a 4 ohm stable amp. If you can deal with not having a speaker cover, those studio monitors seem to be at the top of a very short list for being some of the best budget speakers money can buy.

The only downside is, they are rated at 89 dB (1 W/1 m). This shouldn't be a problem for 6' away. Still, as good as those are, I think I would personally chose the horn loaded BICs or another brand for movies. For budget music speakers and flat matching speakers, the studio monitors said to be a great deal.

You're looking at speakers that are pretty different from each other. The studio monitors should be flatter and have less distortion and the BIC horn loaded speakers are going to be way easier to drive and sound more in your face and forward (like a theater should). You just gotta choose what you want and like.
 
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