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Okay guys, I have recently purchased a Bose 5.1 system with a Sony 7.1 receiver. It's not too bad for just starting out, but I've decided to save my money the rest of this year and at the end of this year, I want to put together the ULTIMATE surround sound system. I want to start researching now, and I need you guys' help!

I am basically looking to build a 7.2 system. I remember how back in the day (and it still may be true today), the THX systems used to have two subwoofers. I'm trying to imitate that sort of set-up, but only better.

Here is the new set-up I want to design. I would like two subwoofers up front, each powered by their own amplifiers, in addition to a center speaker, front left and front right speakers, right and left speakers, and back left and back right speakers.

The last detail is my living room is square. It's 24 x 24.

Now, let's forget all about costs, and let's just focus on the best quality.

First, if you could buy any surround sound receiver, which one would you buy? It must be 7.1, and it has to decode TrueHD, DTS-Master Audio, Dolby Digital, etc.

Second, I want to keep all the surround sound speakers the same brand; however, I understand that sometimes companies that make great surround speakers don't make great subwoofers, so different brand subwoofers is okay. Therefore, if you could buy any brand surround sound speakers, which would you buy?

Third, I need some incredibly awesome subwoofers. I'm not really sure where to start on this. When I watch a movie such as Transformers, I want my bones to fracture. I remember back in the day, there used to be different size subwoofers, such as 16 inch versus 18 inch. I don't know if that's still true today. At any rate, what size subwoofers should I get with respect to a perfect balance between response and frequencies it's able to handle? Who makes the best subwoofers? Additionally, what amplifier should I buy to power them?

I want to have fun with this, and with you guys' help here, I don't think this will be such an impossible task!
 

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Ok,... since we're spending your money, here is what "I" would do. It is by no means an "ultimate" set-up but it would do nicely.
7 RBH Sound T-30LSE Limited Edition Signature towers with Rosewood finish.
2 SVS PB13-Ultra's with Rosenut finish.
B&K Reference 200.7 amplifier or better yet 7 Boulder 2050 monoblocks
and B&K Reference 70 Preamp.
This would be somewhere in the area of $100,000 to about $360,000 depending on which amps, then throw in some room treatments and various odds and ends and you could easily be looking at 1/2 million and still nowhere near the "Ultimate" system.

What kind of budget are you going to be working with? I think what you really need to ask is "What is the ultimate system I can put together for xxx dollars".
 

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I have to agree with Mark ...What's your budget???, it doesn't have to be exact but at least close to what you want to spend.:yes:

I am basically looking to build a 7.2 system.
What about a 7.4 ...one sub on each wall (according to a test done by JBL that's the best setup).

The last detail is my living room is square. It's 24 x 24.
A square room is the worse to treat, but with good planning you'll make it work.

First, if you could buy any surround sound receiver, which one would you buy? It must be 7.1, and it has to decode TrueHD, DTS-Master Audio, Dolby Digital, etc.
What's the model of the Sony you got??? ...right now the best bang for the buck are the Onkyo's, 876 is around 1K, but you can also look at Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz, Denon, HK ....

I want to keep all the surround sound speakers the same brand; however, I understand that sometimes companies that make great surround speakers don't make great subwoofers, so different brand subwoofers is okay. Therefore, if you could buy any brand surround sound speakers, which would you buy?
SVS has a good reputation with the subs, they also have speakers that according to some reviews are excellent, they start around 1K for a 5.1 system ...I also read a lot of good reviews on JBL L series (around 2K for a 5.0)

Third, I need some incredibly awesome subwoofers. I'm not really sure where to start on this. When I watch a movie such as Transformers, I want my bones to fracture. I remember back in the day, there used to be different size subwoofers, such as 16 inch versus 18 inch. I don't know if that's still true today. At any rate, what size subwoofers should I get with respect to a perfect balance between response and frequencies it's able to handle? Who makes the best subwoofers? Additionally, what amplifier should I buy to power them?
SVS, HSU, Velodyne, Ed,etc. are good companies ...but, you can also go the DIY route :whistling:

You have another option to complement the sub feeling, get a buttkicker for your seats and you'll be :yay: watching movies.

Subs comes in a lot of sizes and shapes ...you can even get 21" subwoofers.

To get the perfect balance between speakers and subwoofer you just need to calibrate your system properly, just look for a subwoofer that can go down to at least 20Hz.

I think that to setup a moderate system you'll need around 10K :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, this is all really great information. I'm sort of new getting into this, so you guys are amazing!

I will tell you that $500,000 is out of my price range, but it would be great to dream! Realistically, my budget is $10,000 to a maximum of $12,000.

4 subs on each wall?! I can't even imagine! You're making me salivate. I think I've just upgraded my plans, if I can make fit within my budget.

I didn't realize square rooms were the worst to treat, but that's what I'm stuck with. I'm sure I'll be to find something that sounds good in it, though!

Please, please, please keep going with the suggestions and information. I'm fervently taking notes. As I get my list together, I'll post it and let everyone critique for possible substitutions/upgrades/suggestions.

As soon as I get the system, I'll take pictures and post them for everyone.

I'm working out a budget right now to see how long I have to eat beans out of a can for in order to save as much money as possible as fast as I can!!!
 

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Also, allow me to clarify.

When I say the ultimate system, I mean it in more realistic terms. What I really mean to say is the ultimate system for between $10,000 to $12,000.

Anything over that is at this point just a sweet dream to me. I guess I can dream!
 

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Can I put my .2c worth in here?

You said you bought the Bose 5.1 speaker system recently, can you still return it? The reason I say this is because Bose is terribly overpriced for what you get and I can say for sure that you can get a much better speaker setup that would sound far better.:hide:
I am not bashing Bose but would really like you to have the best for your money and Bose is not it.
 

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Realistically, my budget is $10,000 to a maximum of $12,000.
That's better ...be prepared to take a lot of notes and start audition speakers, subs, etc. :bigsmile:

4 subs on each wall?! I can't even imagine! You're making me salivate. I think I've just upgraded my plans, if I can make fit within my budget.
Is one sub on each wall (take a look at this JBL study ...I'm sure you'll make it work :innocent:

As soon as I get the system, I'll take pictures and post them for everyone.
You better ...or be prepared for some :paddle: . :bigsmile:

Here's a couple of links to get you going ...

http://www.svsound.com/products-sys.cfm

http://www.hsuresearch.com/packages.html

http://www.jbl.com/home/products/series.aspx?SerId=SLS&Language=ENG&Country=US&Region=USA

http://www.rbhsound.com/
 

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You said you bought the Bose 5.1 speaker system recently, can you still return it? The reason I say this is because Bose is terribly overpriced for what you get and I can say for sure that you can get a much better speaker setup that would sound far better.:hide:
I am not bashing Bose but would really like you to have the best for your money and Bose is not it.
That will be a good idea ...read this Bose Review
 

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Ok,... this budget would be for 7 speakers, 2-4 subs, amps/receiver? Would room treatments, cables, monitors, DVD/Bluray etc. be included?


Also, allow me to clarify.
When I say the ultimate system, I mean it in more realistic terms. What I really mean to say is the ultimate system for between $10,000 to $12,000.
Anything over that is at this point just a sweet dream to me. I guess I can dream!
 

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I'd say you can buy pre-made speakers but I'd definitely go the DIY route for your subwoofers. The "ultimate" IMO would be 4 LMS 5400 18" subwoofers in 4 separate LLT sonosub enclosures. Realistically, though, a single LMS 5400 in an LLT enclosure would probably suffice. ;)
 

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... I'd definitely go the DIY route for your subwoofers. The "ultimate" IMO would be 4 LMS 5400 18" subwoofers in 4 separate LLT sonosub enclosures.
:highfive: . :drool:

I finished my SonoSub for around $350 (I already have the amp, that's another $300), I used Mach5 IXL 15.2.2 ...it was my first build, that's why I decided to use sonotube because is easy to build :bigsmile:

I wish that I had the space to build a couple and use 24" instead of 18" tube, and yes 18" sub drivers :sad:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, that doesn't include room treatments. That'll have to come later, unfortunately, as all I have enough for right now is the system.

Now, the Bose is less than 10 days old. The only problem is my fiance threw out the boxes to it already! Best Buy said they would take it back, but I'm wondering what I'll lose on the deal.

Anyway, let me run this by you guys...

A friend of mine told me to start out listening to JBL surround speakers and SVS subwoofers. He said Pioneer would be a great place to start looking at receivers, also. Would this be a good place to start?

I will probably steer away from DIY, just because I'd prefer to save myself the labor building it.
 

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Now, the Bose is less than 10 days old. The only problem is my fiance threw out the boxes to it already! Best Buy said they would take it back, but I'm wondering what I'll lose on the deal.
I would at least find out if they will give you a full refund, Just tell them that you dont like the sound of the system.

A friend of mine told me to start out listening to JBL surround speakers and SVS subwoofers. He said Pioneer would be a great place to start looking at receivers, also. Would this be a good place to start?
Yes that would be fine For receivers any of these (Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, HK, Marantz or Pioneer) will have what you are looking for just remember that the receiver is the heart of the system and you dont want to go too cheap. SVS also makes some great speakers not just subs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
BIG UPDATE: I was able to return the Bose system and the Sony receiver! That adds about $2,000 back to my account. I'm really excited! After reading those articles on it, i'm really glad you guys pointed all of that out to me. I really had no idea.

So now, I may actually be able to get room treatments with everything.

I'm going to start listening to speakers tonight. There are just so many options, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it all!

So let me ask you guys this, because I still don't understand how it works. Are there receivers that will allow for more than 1 subwoofer connection? If not, then how do I connect 2,3,4 etc. subwoofers to a single receiver?
 

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Some of the high end receivers have multiple sub outs, such as Yamaha RX-Z9, RX-Z11, Denon AVR-5805, AVR-5308CI etc. and I'm sure there are others. "MY" opinion though,... if you are going to spend that kind of money ($5,000 ish) for a receiver,... get separates.

Good deal that they took back the Bose and Sony,... now the question is,... Are you ready to spend $12,000 - $14,000 now, or are you still looking at an interim solution (such as the Bose and Sony)?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I'm saving right now, so I'll be acquiring stuff as the year goes on. However, I am NOT looking for an interim system. I'll put the money that I'd spend on an interim system towards the final system.

Now, I listened to my first few set-ups tonight.

I checked out the high-end JBL system, and I didn't like it. It sounded sort of "tin-canny".

I heard an Klipsch system. It sounded better than the JBL, for sure, and I liked it. However, it was still lacking a little. Maybe I wasn't listening to the high-end components? I forgot to right down the model numbers of the speakers I was listening to.

I heard a Polk Audio system, and it really sounded good. It was a 7.4 system run through a Pioneer Elite SC-07 receiver. The center channel had a Polk LSIC and a Velodyne DLS-4000R subwoofer running through it. The front left and right channels had Polk LSI9's with 2 (one for each channel) Velodyne DLS-5000R subwoofers running through them. The left and right surround channels had Polk LSIFX's. The rear channels had LSI9's running through them. The main subwoofer running through the LFE channel was a Velodyne DD-18 subwoofer.

The system just boomed. I really enjoyed the sound of it. I'm going tomorrow to a real high-end home theater store to listen to some more stuff, but starting out with an initial set-up, what is everyone's critique of the above Polk Audio/Velodyne set-up?
 

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For the money getting speakers and a sub from a brick and morter store is going to short change you. I highly recommend going with an on line option instead as you will get alot more for your money.
There are lots of members here at the Shack who have speakers and subs from SVS, who make some of the best available for the money.
For a receiver I recommend the Onkyo TX SR706
For speakers the SVS MTS-01 Full size 5.1 channel system with a PB13Ultra subwoofer for a total of $4099 you simply cant go wrong for that price.
 
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