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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am currently remodeling my "Gameroom". I want to go into a little detail so that everyone gets the whole picture of what I am doing. This room is on the main floor of my house and is off to the side as you walk into my front door. So it is not a basement. What I want in this room is:

  • Flat Screen LCD TV on one wall
  • A small bar with the audio equipment behind it in some type of cabinetry
  • In-Ceiling and In-wall speakers (If in-wall speakers are necessary)
  • Pool Table
  • New Receiver

Now, I do not want to spend 10,000 on this. Crutchfield would be fine with me. I am just asking your thoughts on brands, setup, etc. This is NOT a home theater room. This will be for playing pool and darts and watching the Steeler game with the sound coming through all the speakers. Oh, I forgot, I want a sub-woofer too! Gotta have bass!!! Your thoughts are appreciated!!!

226 Posts
I took the liberty of borrowing this from AH. This is a very capable set of components that will not break the bank yet perform very nicely. You can substitute the traditional speakers for some PSB inwalls and you should be good to go. Good luck with your project!

If you're someone who's looking for the absolute best Bang-For-Your-Buck complete home theater system that you can buy right now (July 2012), you've come to the right place!

I pieced together this system for a new forum member in another thread. I went through a bunch of recommendations. And, to be sure, there are obviously still a TON of options out there to be considered.

But once I saw this list of components with the current Summer Sale pricing on some of them, I recognized that it hits a very attractive total price, it's extremely versatile and will work really well for a lot of people in a lot of different room types and setup situations, and it's honestly just a GREAT entry level system that I'd be proud to own myself!

Here it is...


Panasonic TC-P50ST50 - 50" 3D 1080p Plasma TV with "louvre" screen filter

$1100 + 67.50 shipping from Abt Electronics

The Panasonic ST50 series is almost certainly the best value in televisions right now. The picture quality is excellent, with accurate colors, high contrast, and black levels that are even deeper than last year's flagship VT30 models! The new "louvre" screen filter is actually quite effective at shedding ambient light (particularly overhead light sources) and helps this plasma retain its inky black levels under lit conditions much better than models from years past. 3D glasses are NOT included

Colors and uniformity stay perfect no matter the angle at which you're viewing this TV. It really is the best, most versatile all around choice at a very affordable price. The 50" size is good for most "typical" rooms. SMPTE would recommend sitting 6.8 feet away, but you'll still gain all the benefits from the 1080p resolution at a very reasonable 8.5' viewing distance. If you sit farther away than that, you'll want a bigger screen size

Abt.com is a fully authorized Panasonic dealer. I felt it was important to only recommend fully authorized dealers so that you will have a full manufacturer's warranty. Abt does not list the final price on their website because it is below Panasonic's MAP (Minimum Advertised Price). But once you enter your shipping address, you will see the price that I've detailed above.


Denon AVR-1712 - 7.1; 90 Watts/channel; 6 in/1 out HDMI 1.4; Audyssey MultEQ XT

$240 + $20 (shipping varies) from accessories4less

The AVR-1712 might be a year old, but it's an absolute steal at this price. You won't find a network connection for internet radio/streaming audio, but you can easily add your choice of set-top-box, especially with this price point. Only the lack of Apple AirPlay might make you want to drop $90 extra for the AVR-1912 instead. But that price difference can pretty much buy you an Apple TV

The AVR-1712 actually steps UP from the 1912's Audyssey MultEQ auto-setup/room EQ to Audyssey MultEQ XT (Audyssey's 2nd from the top level, only MultEQ XT32 is higher). It's a bit weird that the "lower" model gets the higher level of Audyssey, but that's the way it is! The 1712 should cover just about any person's needs very nicely. And no worries if you want to use your Panasonic ST50's 3D capabilities. The 1712 is fully packed with HDMI 1.4a.

accessories4less.com is the official online retailer for refurbished Denon products. You should not let that "refurbished" title dissuade you at all though. You still get a full 1 year warranty from Denon. This is a fully authorized dealer. I couldn't get an exact price on shipping, but it tends to be around $15-$20 on receivers.


HSU Research STF-2 - 200 Watt 10" down firing

$319 (on sale) + $43 shipping from HSU Research

The STF-2 is easily my favorite subwoofer for under $550. While it doesn't quite troll the deepest 20Hz bass notes or deliver enough output to crush your lungs just from the pressure, that super deep extension and massive output is about all it gives up to its much more expensive subwoofer brethren. This is an accurate, potent, well-controlled sub that's just as much at home playing music as it is movies. Its 17" high x 14" wide x 17" deep size is manageable in almost any room. More than any other component, the subwoofer is what makes it FEEL like you're "at the movies". The STF-2 is a monumental improvement over any HTiB "subwoofer", or any subs costing less.

Front Left/Right & Center Speakers:

Ascend Acoustics HTM-200 SE Mains & HTM-200 SE Center - compact, sealed, dual 4" drivers and superb 1" SEAS tweeter

$428 + $36 shipping (package discount) from Ascend Acoustics

There are probably more options in the speaker category than any other part of a home theater system. So why these particular Ascend Acoustics speakers? They have a unique blend of quality components, excellent sound quality and a shape and design that will work well in almost any setup.

There are a lot of different ways that folks might setup and position their speakers: on stands, sitting directly on a TV stand or shelf, pushed back against the wall behind the speakers, pulled forward into the room, stuffed into a bookshelf or entertainment unit, mounted on a wall. Obviously, not all of those positions are ideal, but the HTM-200 SE is better prepared to handle ANY placement situation well and still deliver excellent sound.

Being sealed, they can be placed close to a wall without much detriment. Being only slightly over 6" thick from front to back, they're thin enough to be wall mounted or put in a bookshelf. Having the tweeter offset from the dual 4" midrange drivers, the dispersion of the tweeter is controlled so that being close to a side wall or inside an entertainment unit isn't quite as detrimental to the sound. And speaking of the tweeter, the SEAS tweeter in these speakers is truly something special and a real cut above in terms of detail, transient response and resolution vs. anything around this price point.

Put it all together and the HTM-200 SE are just a great, versatile choice for just about anyone!

Surround Speakers:

Emotiva XRS-4.1 - Bi-pole X-Ref Series Surround Speakers

$224.10 (on sale) + free shipping from Emotiva

I prefer to follow the Dolby and THX guidelines for speaker placement and setup. These call for diffuse surround speakers placed directly to the sides of (or just slightly behind) the seats, and 2 or more feet above the heads of the listeners (when they're sitting down).

The Emotiva bi-pole surround speakers fit the bill and are a nice, fairly close sonic match for the Ascend HTM-200 SE Front speakers. With proper placement, these will envelop the listeners with ambient sound and directional sound effects, just like you'd hear in a full-sized movie theater.

Total System Price: $2477.60 (shipping included!)

Just enough left to head on over to monoprice.com and get a subwoofer cable , speaker wire , and an HDMI cable or two

Truly, this is a phenominal system for an honest $2500. If I were a newbie all over again, THIS is the system I would buy. It's not the cheapest, but every single product is a benchmark of quality and performance for the most amazing price. This system will save you money in the long run. Anything that could genuinely be called an "upgrade" will cost many multiples of these prices. I'm excited by this system. Which is really saying something given how long I've been into this home theater hobby and how many products I've gone through. I've wasted thousands and thousands of dollars over the years to learn by trial and error. Buying this system would have made me a rich man

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