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I'm just now getting into HI-Definition. Last week I purchased a Vizio M550NV, and Direct TV will hook me up to HD tomorrow.
I probably will get a PS3 slim or wait on the new OPPO. I have budget of 1500.00 for Receiver and 5.1 speakers. The room
this equipment is going into is 16' X 19' with carpeting and windows on 2 sides, sliding glass on one of the two window walls,
if that makes a difference? I would appreciate any recommendations for a mid-level system in this space. My equipment profile
gives my preferences for 2 channel audio system in another room. I might consider going up a little more in price if worth while.

Thanks,
John D.
 

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800 for this
plus 800 for this

And don't waste money on exotic cables and interconnects!
 

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Such a low budget will only allow a low-level system. There are many options in equipment at that level that will perform adequately on such a budget. Good luck!
 

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What do you consider an adequate budget for this size room?
While I don't think the system i posted earlier is "low level" (it's just on clearance), i will say that around 1000 budget for a sub or two, around 1000 for a receiver, and around 2000 for 5.0 speakers is more likely to get you an excellent HT.

I still don't think the system I listed will dissapoint you though.
 

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There are too many complex unknown variables for each person for someone else to say definitively without an extensive interview and site inspection. It's naive to think there are pat answers without these preliminary requirements. Buyer's remorse is frequently the result of hasty recommendations. The more you spend, the better the performance and features will be. I encourage my clients to decide how much of their financial resources they consider worthwhile to dedicate to their home entertainment life style. Zero in on that first, then go shopping or seek further advice from professional system designers experienced in tailoring equipment to the user's unique set of requirements. Keep in mind that the audio portion of motion pictures comprises 50% or more of the emotional experience.
 

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$1500 is an excellent pricepoint for an entry level system. Of course, if you can spend a little more, you can get more bang for more bucks. However, the following:

The more you spend, the better the performance and features will be.
...is not universally true; you still have to buy value. $1500 in emp/marantz will trump $3000 in Bose.
 

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There are always exceptions to general rules of thumb. Cinema sound has very dynamic requirements to reproduce correctly. Most consumers don't take into account those requirements. As those dynamics are compressed and/or distorted, so will be the emotional impact of the motion picture experience.
 

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There are always exceptions to general rules of thumb. Cinema sound has very dynamic requirements to reproduce correctly. Most consumers don't take into account those requirements. As those dynamics are compressed and/or distorted, so will be the emotional impact of the motion picture experience.
The F300 tower I posted is virtually identical to the RBH TK-5CT with only ever-so-subtle sonic differences resulting from different driver material (but still optimized for performance). Those things retailed for 950 a pair in brick and mortar establishments, and even the internet direct version still retails for 800 dollars. The only reason that you can get the whole 5.1 set is because they've been clearing out the line (hence why they only have the rosewood veneer)

Maybe they won't do a full reference level with perfect dynamics, I won't make the assumption they will. But they won't sound poor at all or take away from the cinematic experience. I mean i'd love to have some truly amazing dynamic speakers, like JTR Triple 8s (3000 a pair, never mind ), Seaton Catalysts (7000 a pair IIRC), RBH T-30LSE (15000 a pair), etc powered by some XPA-1s or ATI or denon separates amps but realistically speaking, speakers are a law of diminishing returns and 1500 for a set if you shop properly / settle for aesthetic mediocrities (IE rosewood veneer on the EMPs, cosmetic scratches on the refurb marantz), while still a bit low, is still a lot better than what the average person will end up with as they go into best buy with more money than that. Speaking of those JTRs, they basically prove that you can't make a raw correlation between dynamics and price - the threads over on avs basically show them being far more dynamic than some absolutely high end Revel Ultima Studio speakers - speakers that cost 5 digits! I don't know if I would personally drop 9000 dollars on a 5.0 set of speakers just so the blasts in open range sound amazing. I do know that i wouldn't switch from my ~2000 dollar 7.0 set of speakers (not including a sub or receiver mind you) to anything less expesive than saidg JTRs for HT (Although for music listening, a pair of salk songtowers might be nice)... as the difference isn't that big. Then again, my personal towers handle dynamics better than more expensive speakers.

Reference level ain't everything either - most of us listen at quiet levels and "turn it up" to around 6 db below reference level anyways which can open up dynamics/headroom. Some people on this board with impressive systems have said they'd still be happy with some behringer 2030ps and a dayton 120 - which I don't think is as good as the system I listed - and is still a very good system.

But yes, if the OP wants to multiply his budget two- or five-or- ten-fold, I can definitely help him choose a much more incredible setup. And if he wants to multiply it 50-fold, we can even throw in some Thigpen rotaries crossed with quad tapped horn subs, 40000 speakers, professional acoustic treatments, acoustically transparent screens, etc. And after that, all of us with "mere" 5000 dollar speaker systems would be left jealous at our lack of dynamics, lack of precision, less enveloping soundstages, less precise imaging, imperfect signal to noise ratios, etc.

There's different tiers, and there's great and awful choices in each and every one of them. I agree his budget is a bit on the low side, but that doesn't mean he'd be getting into something unimpressive. It's still a bigger budget than the average person who thinks 450 dollar HTIBs are too expensive for "some cheap sound effects". It's a nice enough budget to get started into true home theater before dreams about aformentioned thigpens become a reality.
 

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I'm just now getting into HI-Definition. Last week I purchased a Vizio M550NV, and Direct TV will hook me up to HD tomorrow.
I probably will get a PS3 slim or wait on the new OPPO. I have budget of 1500.00 for Receiver and 5.1 speakers. The room
this equipment is going into is 16' X 19' with carpeting and windows on 2 sides, sliding glass on one of the two window walls,
if that makes a difference? I would appreciate any recommendations for a mid-level system in this space. My equipment profile
gives my preferences for 2 channel audio system in another room. I might consider going up a little more in price if worth while.

Thanks,
John D.
Id sell you my Energy speakers, 5.0 for $500, then you could swing into Hsu Research in Anaheim and get a VTF-2 MKIII sub for $550, for a receiver I would suggest you look at www.accessories4less.com and get yourself either a Marantz 6003 or an Onkyo 707/708. That would be a killer way to get into HT and be well inside your budget. I would be willing to let you come buy and audition also.
 

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Then again, my personal towers handle dynamics better than more expensive speakers.

There's different tiers, and there's great and awful choices in each and every one of them.
Your personal towers handling dynamics better then more expensive speakers would be your opinion not fact and yes there are several different tiers of brands, price, quality, etc but it is also a matter of personal taste:T
What sounds good to one person may sound aweful to another.
 

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If I understand you correctly, you are looking for a system that includes speakers and receiver for $1500 that will work in a 16X19 room. I would suggest going with a more expensive receiver and get a set of speakers that can be replaced as you start to figure out what you want your system to do. The reason I say this is because the learning curve on a managing a receiver takes more time than it does on learning how to plug in speakers. In one 18 month period I went through 4 receivers and 3 sets of speakers because I started on the low end of everything, and I didn’t know about Home Theater Shack yet. Once I finally got a receiver that could produce the sounds I liked at the volume I like, I could focus on speakers and subs. Since I was still green at the HD stuff I went through a Sony, a Yamaha, a Denon and finally my Pioneer SC-05, but that meant I had to learn how to operate all four receivers and each one had its own interface, and issues.

If I absolutely only had $1500 to spend, I would go with this:
Onkyo TX-SR707 for a receiver paired with an SVS 5.0 SBS-02 surround system and an Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Compact. However, if you can find an extra $250 in your budget, I highly recommend stepping up to the Onkyo TX-NR-808.

I hope this helps.
 

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Hello John,

Your in a higher population area, have you looked at private sale used equipment? Everyone is different you could be sat down in front of a set of the JTRs above and find you hate them and prefer the sound of 20 year old KLH's you never know.

Spend some time and go out and listen to different brands even the very expensive ones so that you have a wide base. Bring your own movie/music that you have listen too a few times and listen to the same chapter/song for each system. Yes, the room the speakers are displayed in will make a difference take that into consideration when your taking your notes.

Its all part of the hobby. Once you have done your auditioning here is a great place to get opinions on items you may be on the fence about. i.e. you could have fell in love with the Revels but can't afford them, knowing what came in 2nd, 3rd as your favorites would alow the fine people here at the shack some ammo to ponder what could possibly satisfy you within your budget. Could be a DIY build would be recommended which you may or may not have thought of.
 

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What sounds good to one person may sound aweful to another.
Well that part is more or less a matter of speaker philosophy. I'm of the opinion that if a speaker is good at its function, it's a good speaker. I think there's a lot of good speakers out there - and neutrality is a common trait among them, even if they all have their subtle differences. Neutrality may not impress some people, but in my opinion, a speaker shouldn't do the impressing, the source material should, and the speaker's function is to present that source material as it was intended. There's MOST certainly a search for the "speaker that accentuates the best parts of a song" but this shouldn't be confused with a search for a "good" speaker.

The best example of this is John Salk's own "propaganda" for the flagship $13,000 tower:

Salk Sound said:
When we set out to design the SoundScapes, our goal was to produce an extremely neutral speaker that imparts no sonic signature of its own. It simply passes on the signal it is fed - nothing more, nothing less. In that regard, it has no particular sound of its own. All you hear is the music.

In short, the SoundScapes do nothing special...and that is the most special performance attribute of all
Whether or not that's the "best speaker" someone will ever hear, you can just look at measurements and design goals and know that's a good speaker. On the other hand, there's also speakers out there in every price range that can "sound good" to one and poor to another because they don't strive for neutrality. This is where subjectivity is more significant. I do enjoy some speakers in this respect mind you. It can get fun to "listen to the speaker". Those aren't what I would ever recommend though... i would always recommend speakers that are neutral as possible in their price range because that is the primary function of a speaker. An accurate speaker is always a good speaker. An inaccurate speaker can be an enjoyable speaker too, but it's inaccurate speakers that become "love it or hate it". An accurate speaker should be a second thought after the source material. It's certainly possible for a speaker to be more accurate than another but you can go as cheap as a Behringer 2030p for "accurate enough to do most source material justice". The issue is that the majority of sub 1000 dollar towers, and sub 600 dollar bookshelves don't strive for accuracy at all... that is why one person's "great sounding speaker (ie a satellite with am 10db a lower treble bump, and 7 db upper midbass bump, generally missing anything above 10khz) can be another person's "no highs no lows just bose"... simply because accentuating certain frequencies impess some people.

In my opinion if any neutral speaker is too "boring"... it's because someone is listening to boring source material, plain and simple, as dissapointing as that may sound.

Now re: dynamics. This is pretty cut and dry; it's essentially a function of low volume detail and power compression (which my speakers do very well, never mind price range). I'm sure there are measurements that can show a speaker having superior dynamics to another... how can you say that's just an opinion? Compression most certainly is a measureable artifact, and rolled off treble is easy enough to measure as well.
 

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GEV, I have had people tell me my Dynaudio Excites are "boring". I think some people like warm or bright sounds, because that is what they expect a certian song or speaker to sound like. Or what catches their attention. The Excites are extremely neutral. I had someone say, you don't even hear them... and he didn't like that, I love that, they get out of their way and just let the music or movie play. I have heard them on T+A and Ocatve gear, I have heard them on Integra, Denon, Marantz, they always sound dynamic, but they don't add to the sound the way a B&W or Paradigm speaker does. Some people want to hear the speakers impression.

Like most Dynaudios, they are just there, they offer what is given to them, like Salk said,... however not everyone will like that.
 

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One mans bliss is anothers blight, go further and listen to the sound of one hand claping on paper, plastic and metal. Once you recite the words of power (such as dark, boomy, neutral, bright, smooth, bloated, rich, full, round, linear, boxy and nasal to name a few) and aligned them to the what you hear you can acheive understanding, or total confusion if your like me. I like the cave man approach.

Grog listen, to bunch of rocks, grog finds one like best, Grog take that rock.
 

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Like most Dynaudios, they are just there, they offer what is given to them, like Salk said,... however not everyone will like that.
I think what people are refering to as ``boring`` isn`t the speaker - it`s the reality of the music being presented through it. Imagine if you walked into someone's house and turned their TV on and everyone's skin had a green tint to you. your first reaction would be to point out that fundamental flaw... not to say "i wish everyone's face were green in real life... that would be cool!" OTOH you change the channel and the skin tones remain the same, and the person next to you tells you "this really makes things look better, doesn't it"... wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the TV. You don't walk around with green tined shades on... do you? So why tint our music and movies? The only difference is, we're less familiar with the sound of instruments and specific voices than we are with things like the color of grass or the tone of skin. Do you want your TV to "pop" or do you want it to give you the picture close to what the director envisioned? So why wouldn't you do the same with your speakers? Just because people aren't truly familiar with the music they love?

Now if people don't like the idea of hearing the music instead of the speaker, you will continue to get boom-and-sizzle type speakers in the under-1000 price range, which will continue to fuel the love-hate opinion of speaker brands, and continue to push the perception that you can't have a quality speaker under a certain price range, and continue the lazy sound engineering work done by "professionals" who feel a disconnect from the end user.

As a home theater forum, most of the people i'd assume care about accuracy. Accuracy ain't always pleasing, but it's always accurate, which means if something is designed to be pleasing, it will be nature be pleasing.

One mans bliss is anothers blight, go further and listen to the sound of one hand claping on paper, plastic and metal. Once you recite the words of power (such as dark, boomy, neutral, bright, smooth, bloated, rich, full, round, linear, boxy and nasal to name a few) and aligned them to the what you hear you can acheive understanding, or total confusion if your like me. I like the cave man approach.
I hate to reiterate the same thing, as I`m not trying to argue with anyone, but another way to describe most of those descriptives is `distortion` of some sort. There`s plenty of speakers in every price range which have relatively little enough distortion that they present the original material.

Grog listen, to bunch of rocks, grog finds one like best, Grog take that rock.
You're free to feel that way... Personally, I feel that a speaker at its most basic is a tool... like a mirror. Circus mirrors with all their bends and twists have their novelty and can be fun, but i'm not going to use them to do my hair. And if i wasn't so familiar with what a regular mirror was doing, i can imagine myself looking at my reflection in a circus mirror and assuming that's myself. Our lack of familiarity with the sounds we hear through a speaker (and I won't claim to truly even know what true neutrality sounds like either...) leads us to think "wrongly" about the very material we hear through it.
 

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I added "neutal" in with the rest for a reason. Who is to say what neutal is? Well the speaker adds nothing to the source. Well what if the source added something, or its a bad recording. Wait how do we know it was a bad recording? How do we know it was a good recording? Did it sound better in the studio or live? The CD is dirty, you forgot to use your green highlighter....etc How do you know if you have acheived the sound the director envisioned? Did he envision the sound in the studio? In a screening room? Then you would have to duplicate that environment, oh and his ears. Or he can come to your house with a rack of EQs and adjust it. Oh wait that is just one director, then next movie might need more tweeking.

You purchase for your enjoyment (and perhaps your immediate family). Listen find what you like and be happy.

Did you parents go out and audition many different speaker manufactures of comparible size cabinets? Or, did they like my first system (I won't say my parents as we wold be going back before stereo) buy the same speakers as the rest of the equipment.

I also happen to remember some Sony speakers with square drivers from the early 80s late 70s that for the time sounded fantastic and were stupid expensive.
 

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Well the speaker adds nothing to the source. Well what if the source added something, or its a bad recording. Wait how do we know it was a bad recording? How do we know it was a good recording? Did it sound better in the studio or live?
-It's a good recording or a bad recording? At least you're hearing it the way they thought was appropriate. If they're going to sell you garbage, you shouldn't need a pair of speakers to dress it up in chocolate and whipped cream. Should you really be paying for a song that in reality wasn't ever all that good, just because it sounded pretty fun on some bad speakers?

How do you know if you have acheived the sound the director envisioned? Did he envision the sound in the studio? In a screening room?
S/he envisioned it as he must have heard it, through the types of +/- 0.5db reference monitors used in studios. Or how S/he heard it as it was performed live, which in turn is recorded by very expensive microphones and mixed extensively. If it sounds good through those types of monitors, then that means the performance was good enough to be reproduced on our humble systems.

Then you would have to duplicate that environment, oh and his ears.
Funny, this is a home theater forum that has a lot of people who have done room treatments well enough to make the interaction of a system not cascade with its environment. We're not talking about 100% reproduction or anechoic chambers. We're just talking about dead enough rooms that high frequencies don't bounce all over the place and low frequencies likewise. You know.. flat frequency response? To take that further - why do you think modern receivers have auto-EQ? As a novelty feature?

Or he can come to your house with a rack of EQs and adjust it.

Oh wait that is just one director, then next movie might need more tweeking.
Um, that's not true at all. Conformity standards do exist for a reason, and they are exactly why it's possible for us to heard it without strong coloration. Small differences do exist between all speakers that still lead to all those adjectives you were throwing around. With measurements plenty of people are able to get their systems to +/- 3 db type response curves... where colorations are minor enough that they don't perceivably affect alter the original intension.

You purchase for your enjoyment (and perhaps your immediate family). Listen find what you like and be happy.
Until you find what you enjoy is preventing you from enjoying something else because it's not designed with a different type of music or movie in mind?

Did you parents go out and audition many different speaker manufactures of comparible size cabinets? Or, did they like my first system (I won't say my parents as we wold be going back before stereo) buy the same speakers as the rest of the equipment.
Actually, they bought based on what a 7 year old version of myself and an 11 year old version of my sister thought "sounded best" and probably begged for. They did end up buying the "matching" electronics set because sony had/has a rep for electronics, but it wasn't the equivalent of a modern "HTIB" type of deal. That was back in the day of stereo! Where having a CD player meant you were HI FI compared to a tape deck! (ironically enough... it probably means that today with the Mp3s...)
 
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