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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I've attached an image of my living room. I would like a stereo to give me the very best sound for both music (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden etc...) and movies.
I'm open to seperates or a HTIB. Budgets around $500 - $700. I'm borrowing a BOSE lifestyles and I own and old Sony D865 Receiver and 25 year old BOSE 501 floor speakers(sounds great), but I'm looking to upgrade. Open to all options, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 5.1 etc.. Just want to the best sound.
Thanks!

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs132.snc1/5654_565112238739_35800283_33366853_1855663_n.jpg
 

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Hello,
If it was me, I would start with a high quality AV Receiver. HTIB's simply do not offer sound quality comparable to separates. And since you are happy with your current speakers, you should be even happier adding a powerful receiver.

Which brings me to the Onkyo TX-SR805:http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXSR805S/Onkyo/TX-SR805-THX-Ultra2-130w-x-7ch-HDMI-805-Receiver-SILVER/1.html
This specific model is amazing. Tons of power, features comparable to 2-3 thousand Dollar receivers and all of the modern surround modes.

If you notice on the page on the link, the model that replaces it, TX-SR806, is being sold for less. There is a reason why. The amp section on the 806 has been neutered. The 806 weighs around 15 pounds less than the 805 and is not worthy of the THX Ultra2 rating that is engendered. In fact, the next model, TX-SR807 was downgraded to THX Select2 and has the same amp section as the 806.

Also with the 805, you have better DAC's, and a more advanced version of Audyssey Room EQ (MultEQ XT vs MultEQ). It truly is a better AVR and an excellent cornerstone to a killer system.

Cheers,
JJ
 

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I am a fan of the quality of speakers from AV123. The price point you give is a bit hard to work with, but it's doable. If you are concerned about listening to music, I would focus on a good 2 channel system for now and worry about upgrading later when you can muster up a bit more money.

AV123 ELT525 Mini Monitors

or

AV123 X-SLS Encores

With a

Hsu Research STF-2

will sound better than any HTiB I can imagine.

But that doesn't leave much for a stereo receiver, though. But, if you looked for a used stereo or multichannel receiver, then you ought to be in good shape.
 

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Even though I am not a fan of Bose going with the Onkyo 805 that JJ mentioned above (I own one) will bring them alive and you could always upgrade them down the road. A sub from SVS the NSD series would be a great start.
 

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I also agree with Tony. The Bose aren't great speakers, but a good receiver like the 805 will make them sound a lot better. Also focusing on the subwoofer will also help in improving the overall sound IMMENSELY.
 

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I'm going to throw in a suggestion for JBL speakers. I think they have one of the greatest sounds for rock music, clear highs and can be cranked without loosing definition. I'd keep an eye on Harmam Kardon's ebay reseller for good prices.

The suggestion to start with a receiver is a good one. It's likely the weak point in your system right now. Shoponkyo.com will, every other month or so, offer 10% off refurbs plus free shipping. They likely won't have the 805, but the 706/707 and 806/807 will likely pop up at such a great price that, given your budget, it will be hard to justify to price difference to purchase an 805. Plus, those models all come with pre-outs so if down the line you aren't satisfied with the power section, you can easily add outboard amplification.

After the AVR, look for a sub (SVS, Elemental designs, HSU...others will through in Axiom and Epik). And then, when money permits, speakers (at that time, it's likely some JBL ES-series will be popping up refurbed).

Now, the room that you're working with is another matter. Lots of hard/flat surfaces which are going to create reflections and lots of irregular angles/openings respective to your seating position which are going to cause problems for imaging. Anything you can do to introduce softer surfaces (floor rug, heavier drapes, absorption panels) will help, but to be realistic, your best bet is to keep your eye open for a more dedicated listening room down the line.
 

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The Bose 501s are definitely worth saving to save you some money and could be incorporated into your system as your main speakers. I'd look into their need for a refoam of the woofer surrounds. Just pinch the surround and if it crumbles you need to refoam. You can get refoam kits for the Bose 501 on eBay. A new AV receiver like those already recommended would be the next step. Also consider an upconverting universal DVD player like the OPPO DV-980H for $170, unless you want to go Blu-ray (more $). I'd give the Bose Lifestyles back and get a center, surrounds and subwoofer that complements the 501s. The Athena LS-50 bookshelves ($60/pair) and LS-C50 center ($60) are outstanding speakers for the money. To stay within your budget you will also need a cheap but well performing subwoofer. The Dayton SUB-120 HT Series 12" 150 watt subwoofer comes in at $156 and is well regarded for its class.

Now all that said, if you want the best sound for the money, and primarily listen to music, then a stereo built from budget audiophile equipment is in order. You will still get an enjoyable movie watching experience, just not a theater experience. I'd keep, and refoam if needed, the Bose 501s to get you by until you can afford better loudspeakers. The OPPO DV-980H would still be in order as a CD, SACD, DVD-A source for music and a great upconverting 1080i/p DVD player. Next would be a good integrated amplifier. The NAD C315BEE and Cambridge Audio 340A (both $350) are good choices. Save up another $240 (taking your total budget to $940) to get PSB Image B25 loudspeakers ($340/pair) and Plateau F 30" steel speaker stands ($80).

http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/1204psb/
http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/108mitr/index1.html Scroll half way down the page to see the discussion of the OPPO.
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/nad_c315bee.htm
http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/product_reviews.php?PID=11&Title=Azur+340A+amplifier
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok... I'm leaning toward the Onkyo 600 line.. My main concern is the old 501's sound good but they probably would not work given the space I have to work with. Using the 501's would basically place the two speakers just 4 feet apart. To me not enough room to create quality sound. This leads me to believe I would need to mount something on the back wall to create some space. Am I looking at my room correctly? Should I even consider a 5.1 surround with the room set up?
 

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The 60x line may be sufficient enough for your needs. As far as 5.1 set up goes, I would start off with a good 2 (2.1) channel system and then build out from there. You can always add speakers later. Starting off with a solid 2 (2.1) channel system will give you a good foothold and idea as to where you might want to go with the next upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok... now the question that is puzzling me.. looking at the picture of the room and the placement of the TV where should I place or mount the speakers for the best sound?

I heard some Klipse today in the Best Buy Magnolia studio. Where online can I get audio equipment cheaper than the typical retail store?

Thanks!
 

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That is a tough spot because wherever you sit you're going to be off center. I'm curious, is that layout finalized or can it be shifted around? Also, what is on the side you took the picture from? Ideally, if it is a full wall, then you would want to put the TV there with the rest of the set up and then you could mount the surround speakers more properly.

If you get floorstanding front left and right, then putting them right next to the cabinet that the TV sits on would probably work without being a big obstruction of any particular pathway. A proper subwoofer location would greatly depend on the room acoustics and you would likely have to try different locations in order to find the best frequency response from it.

As far as online goes, if you're not dead set on Klipsch, online direct speaker companies are the way to go. Axiom is the most similar to the Klipsch sound of the ones that I've heard. Otherwise, SVSound, Aperion Audio, AV123, and Hsu Research are among the top regarded ID companies. You'll get more speaker for your money.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Unfortunately, the room is finalized. There is two doors and a fire place behind the camera shot.
How much will I be limiting my sound quality placing these speakers a mere 5 feet apart?

What web site would you suggest buying from online?
 

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Each of those companies that I mentioned for speakers have their own website, av123.com, axiomaudio.com, hsu.com, svsound.com, aperionaudio.com. Check them out and see if something fits your needs and budget.
 

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I may catch a little flak for this but,... if your budget is $500 - $700 for a receiver, speakers and sub, well I don't see an "upgrade" in sight. I'd suggest you keep the 501's, especially if they are a Series II, III or IV (yanno the short square box and not the newer Series V tower) because realistically you will not get, IMHO, better speakers with whats left of your budget after purchasing a new receiver and/or sub. If you think they still "sound great" and they fit your room and decor, I say stick with 'em. and get a new receiver with the latest bells and whistles.
 

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Nah, nova, I think you're right. Getting even one, a sub or a receiver, maybe the best bet for him right now, to make the most drastic improvement for his system.
 

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You did, didn't you? lol, sorry Eugo! It was still a good idea and bore repeating, I suppose.
 

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:heehee: And I said it in a not so direct way in post #4 :)
 

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Okay, so it bore repeating a couple times! :)
 

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LOL, well you know we have to get the point across somehow.
 
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