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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been reading stuff on this site all day, but I'm overloaded with information and still at a loss for what would be best for my situation. Here's some background and the basic stuff I'm looking for:

  • The system will be used primarily for music (all types -- from Grateful Dead to Miles Davis to Biggie, but mostly electronic music), TV next (mostly sports, some movies), and Xbox 360 gaming. The room is ~150 sqft.
  • A 2.0 or a 2.1 speaker system, depending on the bass quality in the speakers. If bass is good enough then I'd hold off on buying a sub for some time, but I listen to pretty bass heavy music, so 2.1 is probably the right way to go. I don't have room for a 5.1 system. Bookshelf and floor standing speakers both work in my apartment.
  • A receiver that will last the test of time and be expandable to 5.1 (or even 7.1 -- I'm assuming I'll eventually have a big enough place to fit a larger system). I would need two HDMI inputs for sure (Cable + Xbox). I definitely want the receiver to be as future-proof as my price point will allow.
  • Ability to stream audio from my iPhone would be a plus but it's definitely not a deal breaker (connecting to the front is easy enough, and I could always get an Apple Airport Express).
  • Somewhere around $600-$700, but I'd rather spend a little more now to make sure the system is expandable and will last.
  • I'd prefer to not get a HTiB. It's much more fun setting up your own system and I'll probably be able to get better gear.
Anything is going to be a massive upgrade over my JBL Creatures that must be 10 years old by now and sound awful because they got rained on by accident.

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks a lot! :T
 

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Hello,
I would go with a pair of Klipsch Icon WF-35's while you still can. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780082
Already they have sold out the Cabernet Finish and I am guessing they are almost out of the remaining Espresso ones. According to Klipsch's website, they retail for $3000 a pair. Newegg puts it at $1500 a pair. Either way, the savings are huge and they sound and look great.

Given just how easy the Klipschs are to drive, you can then spend far less on the AVR. While I personally would not go with anything below the Onkyo TX-NR609 which is available here for $269 http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXNR609/Onkyo-TX-NR609-7.2-Channel-3-D-Ready-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html, you actually could get away with it. Klipschs are extraordinarily easy to drive owing to their Horn Loaded Tweeter. That being said, the 609 provides you with plenty of power and THX Post Processing.
Cheers.
J
 

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I fully agree with Jack! Those WF35s are beautiful speakers and are a super deal. If I lived in the US I would have snatched some of them up just because the deal is so good.
 

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If you can deal with white, and a black grill - the Boston A360 towers
are a solid choice for good sound - new in the box.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA360WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A360-3-Way-Dual-6.5in-Tower-Speaker-Each-White/1.html

Denon is also a nice receiver option - 1912
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1912/DENON-AVR-1912-7.1ch-Network-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver-w/Airplay/1.html#!more

If you want to do bookshelves and a sub - look at PSB GB1 speakers
and HSU STF-2 subwoofer
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PBSTGB1

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick replies.

Hello,
I would go with a pair of Klipsch Icon WF-35's while you still can.
Already they have sold out the Cabernet Finish and I am guessing they are almost out of the remaining Espresso ones. According to Klipsch's website, they retail for $3000 a pair. Newegg puts it at $1500 a pair. Either way, the savings are huge and they sound and look great.

Given just how easy the Klipschs are to drive, you can then spend far less on the AVR. While I personally would not go with anything below the Onkyo TX-NR609 which is available here for $269 , you actually could get away with it. Klipschs are extraordinarily easy to drive owing to their Horn Loaded Tweeter. That being said, the 609 provides you with plenty of power and THX Post Processing.
Cheers.
J
Those speakers look amazing. Would I need a separate subwoofer or would the bass be powerful enough? I listen to a lot of electronic music, so after looking around I was leaning towards a separate sub which would put this pretty far out of my price range.

If you can deal with white, and a black grill - the Boston A360 towers
are a solid choice for good sound - new in the box.

Denon is also a nice receiver option - 1912

If you want to do bookshelves and a sub - look at PSB GB1 speakers
and HSU STF-2 subwoofer
Big fan of the Denon receiver because of AirPlay. I found the 1713 earlier would save me ~$50. Is that one significantly worse or is the difference essentially 5.1 vs 7.1? The white is definitely out of the question lol.

If the Klipsch speakers above don't need a separate subwoofer, would they go well with the Denon? I know this is pretty far above my price point, but if it would last a very long time it could be worth the investment.

In addition, I've been researching more and put together a budget-friendly option that people seem happy with:

1) Denon 1713 - $329.99 (A4L)
2) Polk Monitor 30 Series II Bookshelf Speakers - $99.99 (Newegg)
3) Polk PSW 10 Sub - $84.99 (Newegg)
4) Sanus BF-24B Speaker Stands - $46.88 (Amazon)

This system would run me $561.85 + Shipping which would make my pockets happy. How would my ears feel about it? The sub got tons of great reviews on Amazon, and the speakers got great reviews on Newegg. I would have some wiggle room if another option would significantly increase quality.

Thoughts?
 

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Big fan of the Denon receiver because of AirPlay. I found the 1713 earlier would save me ~$50. Is that one significantly worse or is the difference essentially 5.1 vs 7.1? The white is definitely out of the question lol.

If the Klipsch speakers above don't need a separate subwoofer, would they go well with the Denon? I know this is pretty far above my price point, but if it would last a very long time it could be worth the investment.

In addition, I've been researching more and put together a budget-friendly option that people seem happy with:

1) Denon 1713 - $329.99 (A4L)
2) Polk Monitor 30 Series II Bookshelf Speakers - $99.99 (Newegg)
3) Polk PSW 10 Sub - $84.99 (Newegg)
4) Sanus BF-24B Speaker Stands - $46.88 (Amazon)

This system would run me $561.85 + Shipping which would make my pockets happy. How would my ears feel about it? The sub got tons of great reviews on Amazon, and the speakers got great reviews on Newegg. I would have some wiggle room if another option would significantly increase quality.

Thoughts?
Klipsch is a matter of preference/choice and taste - however you may like them and yes,
the Denon can drive them and the Denon is not a wimp.

The 1713 Denon can also work.

I believe you can do better over the Polk Monitor 30 bookshelves with a somewhat tight budget
and also, there are better subwoofer options over the Polk PSW 10 SUB.

I would look at some HTD Level Two bookshelf speakers at HTD.com and the Mordaunt Short
Carnival 9 sub at AC4L.com
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Bookshelf-Speakers

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MORDCARN9CAL/MORDAUNT-SHORT-Carnival-9-10-100-Watt-Powered-Subwoofer-Calvados/1.html

Your option/choice and decision
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Klipsch is a matter of preference/choice and taste - however you may like them and yes,
the Denon can drive them and the Denon is not a wimp.

The 1713 Denon can also work.

I believe you can do better over the Polk Monitor 30 bookshelves with a somewhat tight budget
and also, there are better subwoofer options over the Polk PSW 10 SUB.

I would look at some HTD Level Two bookshelf speakers at HTD and the Mordaunt Short
Carnival 9 sub at

Your option/choice and decision
The HTD speakers have some great reviews across the internet. Any thoughts on a pair of bookshelf speakers for ~$150? If I can wrap this up for $600 I'll be a happy man, but the HTDs are definitely an option.

I think the Polk sub will more than get the job done based on all the reviews on Amazon and the fact that I live in a very small studio apartment. Anything more powerful and my neighbors are probably gonna be knocking on the door (to no avail because I won't be able to hear them).
 

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I think the Polk sub will more than get the job done based on all the reviews on Amazon and the fact that I live in a very small studio apartment. Anything more powerful and my neighbors are probably gonna be knocking on the door (to no avail because I won't be able to hear them).
I do not put a lot of weight in Amazon reviews - however, you will at least
get some mushy boomy sound.

Again, your call
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I do not put a lot of weight in Amazon reviews - however, you will at least
get some mushy boomy sound.

Again, your call
What about a sub in the $150 price area? It seems like there are some solid speaker options are $100, those RBHs look nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK I've put some more thought and research into it and have some more options:

- $199.99 - Denon 1612 5.1 Network AVR
- $99 - Apple TV
- $79.95 - RBH AC-51
- $129 - Dayton Audio SUB-1200

That system is just over $500 (+ shipping).

I like the Denon 1612 + Apple TV instead of the 1613 w/ Airplay because for the extra $30 of Apple TV I can stream video directly from all my devices (not possible through the 1613's Airplay). This is great because I use ESPN3 all the time on my comp and could even stream it from my phone (WatchESPN).

The RBHs look like a great deal and I've read that the Dayton is a great sub in that price range.

What do you guys think?
 

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- $199.99 - Denon 1612 5.1 Network AVR
- $99 - Apple TV
- $79.95 - RBH AC-51
- $129 - Dayton Audio SUB-1200

That system is just over $500 (+ shipping).

The RBHs look like a great deal and I've read that the Dayton is a great sub in that price range.

What do you guys think?
While I would prefer another sub - the Dayton could make you happy and float your boat.
 

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The RBH's are $79 each. Regardless, I still think investing the lions share in speakers is the direction to take. While I do respect that some might find Klipschs too forward, when working with a budget like this, the efficiency cannot be overstated in its importance.

The WF-35's are a blink if you miss them value. To be able to get a $1500+ pair of floorstanding speakers that can be driven by the cheapest of AVR's is a rare thing. They also offer solid bass, a high end African Wood Finish, and honestly sound great.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The RBH's are $79 each. Regardless, I still think investing the lions share in speakers is the direction to take. While I do respect that some might find Klipschs too forward, when working with a budget like this, the efficiency cannot be overstated in its importance.

The WF-35's are a blink if you miss them value. To be able to get a $1500+ pair of floorstanding speakers that can be driven by the cheapest of AVR's is a rare thing. They also offer solid bass, a high end African Wood Finish, and honestly sound great.
While I don't doubt that the Klipsch's would probably sound light-years better than the RBHs (which I think are $79 for a pair on the eBay link posted earlier), those speakers alone would double my budget. I don't think I'm ready to commit to something like that given my current situation (first system, very small apartment, neighbors, etc). I think it would probably border on overkill (my apt is probably the size of your bedroom).

My thinking is when I eventually have a bigger place, I'll be making more money, and higher end speakers would make much more sense (in terms of power and quality) as well as be more affordable. My hopes are that the Denon receiver will last for a long time so when the time comes to upgrade speakers, that's all I have to upgrade. Keep in mind that I'm also upgrading from horrible old computer speakers and don't really know what a "good system" sounds like. While fun, going from driving a Pinto to a Ferrari probably isn't a smart move.

I also think I'm going to ditch cable and get more into streaming to save some cash, so I'll probably go with a network ready Denon (1613 or 1713) instead of the 1612 which would also give me the ability to control everything from my phone.

I appreciate all the responses; you've all been very helpful. I'll try and post here when I get things set up and let you guys know what's what.
 

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That is $79 a pair
That listing somehow changed. I clicked on it prior and it did say single speaker. Matters not. Glad it is for a pair. And OP enjoy the HT and best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Another question --

Let's say I have the following setup:

Apple TV --> Denon 1613/1713 --> Speakers & TV

Would I be able to stream video from Apple TV through the receiver to the TV (NBA League Pass) and audio from my iPhone wirelessly through the Apple TV, the receiver, and to the speakers? Or would I be able to plug in my iPhone and listen to music through the speakers and still stream Apple TV video to the TV?

Basically I'm looking for a way to watch a game and listen to music at the same time with those components with one set of speakers -- sound from the game could either be off, or optimally, coming through the TV itself, and music would go through the speakers.
 

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Another question --

Let's say I have the following setup:

Apple TV --> Denon 1613/1713 --> Speakers & TV

Would I be able to stream video from Apple TV through the receiver to the TV (NBA League Pass) and audio from my iPhone wirelessly through the Apple TV, the receiver, and to the speakers? Or would I be able to plug in my iPhone and listen to music through the speakers and still stream Apple TV video to the TV?

Basically I'm looking for a way to watch a game and listen to music at the same time with those components with one set of speakers -- sound from the game could either be off, or optimally, coming through the TV itself, and music would go through the speakers.
Hello,
I use Apple TV to watch NBA League Pass myself. You should be able to select the Apple TV Input and switch Audio Select to music. I know with the CD Input on my Onkyo that the video remains on whatever video source was last used. I will try to look into how it works with the Denon.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hello,
I use Apple TV to watch NBA League Pass myself. You should be able to select the Apple TV Input and switch Audio Select to music. I know with the CD Input on my Onkyo that the video remains on whatever video source was last used. I will try to look into how it works with the Denon.
Cheers,
JJ
I've been looking through the Denon 1713 manual and found this on page 95:

"Video of another input source is played back combined with the playing audio."

But it also mentions that:

"It is not possible to select HDMI input signals."

Does that mean my Apple TV (which would be connected via HDMI) is not able to be combined with the playing audio?
 
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