HTIB - Budget= $400 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-12-2011, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently in the market for a HTIB or a receiver/speaker combo for a multi-input setup. My Logitech X-540's just aren't cutting it, because frankly, i can only hook it up to one pc at a time, and i've switched between the two so many times that i wore out the jacks on the onboard sound cards. I did, however, end up on top, because this forced me to purchase 2 Xonard DS cards, and i found out just how good discrete audio is (or how bad onboard is). I also have a Uverse HD box that needs to be hooked up via HDMI.

So here are my needs:

5.1 system is preferrable. 7 speakers and a sub is a lot for my 15x12 room. I have no idea how many watts i need to fill a room of this size, but i would like to be able to move the system to the living room once i have the cash to switch to a system that isn't entry level.

Right now, it looks like the HTPC and Gaming PC are going to be hooked up via Optical out. So it needs to have 2 optical inputs, and one HDMI input for audio and video.

I have no idea what the difference between a repeater and receiver is.

My budget is was $300 but, in american fashion, i've decided to spend a bit more than i have, and after seeing a Onkyo set up i've bumped it up to $400. This is the absolute max i can spend. $300 would be better, but if i can get a system that has a bit more upgradeability or is a world away in terms of build/audio quality, the extra $100 bucks is there to be reallocated in my budget.

I've transforming an HTPC into an HTPC/Media Server, so the total purchases of the new Lascala 20-b Computer Case, a CPU Cooler, 3x2TB WDEAR20 , and the HTIB is going to be around 800...I just wanted to stress this, because i don't really need any Netcast (or w/e you call it) online streaming or downloading features in the HTIB, but if it comes along for no additional cost, i wouldn't mind giving my HTPC a rest every once in a while.

Blu-Ray playback isn't important, (my htpc can do that in a spectacular fashion), but is a plus (something i won't pay extra for, although it looks like virtually all HTIB come with BD players now).



To summarize:
  • $400 budget.
  • 5.1 Preferred.
  • Need 2 optical, and 2 hdmi in as a minimum.
  • Need to know the do's and dont's in buying a HTIB (i've always just bought the cheapest receiver on the block, but buying the Asus Xonar DS has opened my eyes to the values of audio processing/decoding ( or w/e the terms are ).
    Suggested systems are a plus.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-12-2011, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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So far i've found a couple systems to my liking.\\


This onkyo looks like a nice entry level dedicated AV receiver, but i'd need to buy a speaker set with it...and finding a $200 speaker set might be tricky:

Onkyo TX-SR508 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Black)http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER



AIO system....looks nice to me, has the all of the inputs i need. :

LG LHB535 1100-Watt Network Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System, Blackhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A17MC6HOH9AVE6



AIO System : Has all the inputs i need...but no room for upgradeability. GREAT PRICE. Is there a huge difference between the 535 and 335?

LG LHB335 1100-Watt Network Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System, Blackhttp://www.amazon.com/LG-LHB335-1100...4830377&sr=1-1



Has Optical and Optical Coaxial: I don't know the difference between the two, and the speakers look rather large...if it means superior audio quality, thats fine. Wattage is significantly lower than the other systems.

Denon DHT-391XP 5.1 Channel Home Theater System with HDMI 1.4a connectivity and 650-Watt Total System Power (Black)http://www.amazon.com/Denon-DHT-391X...4830743&sr=1-5



All the inputs of the more expensive LG535 but a $329 price tage and compact speakers make this appealing, but the wattage is pretty low. If i want to move this system out into the living room with my 65 inch tv, i'll probably looking for something stronger until i buy a new, better system.

Yamaha YHT-393BL 5.1 Channel 500 Watt HTiB System (Each, Black)http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-393...4830717&sr=1-1



$331.66!!!!! 3 optical inputs...i've seen this system at a friends house. Looks nice. This system is EXTREMELY intriguing to me. I'm leaning towards this one. Acceptable price, loads of inputs. No online or network streaming, no disc playback, but those rank pretty low on my list of needs....the important things are meeting my input needs (since this is the main reason i'm buying a htib (i'd preferr to have a bit of upgradeability)), then quality, then bluray playback, then streaming playback.

Samsung HW-C560S Home Theater Systemhttp://www.amazon.com/Samsung-HW-C56.../ref=de_a_smtd
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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The Denon set is interesting, and i've heard quite a bit about their audio equipment. I've heard the 391/591 recommended for good budget receivers. I suppose the only question is...how good are the speakers? Which is more important for audio quality? Speakers or receiver? I'm aware if one is extremely bad that it doesn't matter, the whole system will sound terrible, but which side is it easier to sound bad on?
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 09:39 PM
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Onkyo HT-S5300
---OR---
Onkyo TX-SR508 with Polk RM6750 5.1 speaker set ($180 shipped)

I currently have the Polk RM6750 in my apartment and I love that setup for $200 that I paid for that speaker set it meets my needs
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 09:46 PM
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I had an Onkyo s5100 htib that was a 7.1 system. It was decent and the sub sounded decent in my smallish living room at the time. (8x12x8 ) Got it for cheap when CC went out of buisness. Well the onkyo receiver ran hot. I heard they are notorious for this. It always smelled like cooking electronics. It died a month ago @ 2-3 years old. Now i have a pioneer receiver but i still use the onkyo speakers. I hope this helps. Btw u should look for some thing that hass hdmi passthrough. That is a nice feature to keep down on hdmi/optical cable clutter. Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Is asking what HDMI Passthrough and what an HDMI Repeater are beyond this thread?

Thank you for the information. Heat is critical in the amount of space i have. I have a dual monitor setup with a custom stand that allows only room for my HTPC, my gaming rig, my dual-monitor setup, and my keyboard. Plus...that burnt electronic smell....i'm familiar with it, and it's the last thing i want! LOL!
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleach1 View Post

Is asking what HDMI Passthrough and what an HDMI Repeater are beyond this thread?

Thank you for the information. Heat is critical in the amount of space i have. I have a dual monitor setup with a custom stand that allows only room for my HTPC, my gaming rig, my dual-monitor setup, and my keyboard. Plus...that burnt electronic smell....i'm familiar with it, and it's the last thing i want! LOL!

Honestly the Onkyo receiver 508 receiver with a Polk RM6750 5.1 set-up is a great place to start

It is a a pretty much future proof(Has all the current technology) receiver and a decent sounding speaker system

Whats the size of your current viewing room?
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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15'x12'
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately that wayyy over my budget. =(

Another thing to add...sorry i didn't just edit the last message.

LG LHB535 - This HTIB has DTS-HD and True HD. Are these valuable features to have in a HTIB? Or are they gimmicky. Source: BD HTPC.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleach1 View Post

Unfortunately that wayyy over my budget. =(

Another thing to add...sorry i didn't just edit the last message.

LG LHB535 - This HTIB has DTS-HD and True HD. Are these valuable features to have in a HTIB? Or are they gimmicky. Source: BD HTPC.

I strong suggest against systems like the LG or systems like it. They are what we refer to as disposable. There is no room for upgrade with them and when one part breaks you might as well throw the whole thing in the trash

I would be more comfortable with you getting a cheaper receiver like the Sony str-dh710 or pioneer vsx-820

$50 dollars more is very worth it considering you are willing to spend $300 on system you will just throw away in the future
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleach1 View Post

Is asking what HDMI Passthrough and what an HDMI Repeater are beyond this thread?

Thank you for the information. Heat is critical in the amount of space i have. I have a dual monitor setup with a custom stand that allows only room for my HTPC, my gaming rig, my dual-monitor setup, and my keyboard. Plus...that burnt electronic smell....i'm familiar with it, and it's the last thing i want! LOL!

Im not sure what an HDMI repeater is nor have i heard of it. One of the major issues with S5100 is the fact that it doesn't process audio signals carried by hdmi. In fact it only sees the video carried by hdmi so you must use optical/digital coax in conjunction with hdmi for the best picture and sound. It also doesnt support Dolby TrueHD and all those new fangled codecs from bluray.

I believe passthrough is where you can set up the receiver to pass through the audio to the tv instead of having receiver always on and listening on home theater mode. To me this is a great feature as my Samsung LCD has a fairly decent speaker package built in and I dont really like surround sound on when my girl is watching HGTV
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 08:19 PM
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I have a thought:

The Insignia receiver at Best Buy that is on sale for $180 and something like the Polk speaker set.

That would be under $400.
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-20-2011, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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WOW!!! I saw that and almost crapped myself!!!

I have a couple quick questions, as i'm seriously about to pull the trigger on this one in.....well...60 seconds.

Sense it's a 7.1 system, if i have a 5.1 source, will 2 of the speakers just be dead? Or will it be able to **upconvert** (i have no idea what it's called) the audio stream to 7.1 from 5.1, and my second question is, i went to a best buy and one of their sales reps showed me a yamaha,

this:
Yamaha YHT-493BL 5.1 Channel 500 Watt HTiB System (Each, Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-493...5584941&sr=1-1

But because it didn't support TrueHD or DTS HD, i was going to get the
Yamaha YHT-593BL 5.1 Channel 525 Watt HTiB System (Each, Black)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A1M0GZGHL8F7T8

It's safe to say that i bumped my budget up to 450 after hearing the superior audio quality of the Yamaha system of the Samsung i was looking at. I obviously wouldn't buy from a best buy...i can't get myself to pay the brick & mortar premium.

So:
Does a 5.1 source on a 7.1 system with 7.1 speakers = 2 dummy speakers?
Will this system sound better than the Yamaha?

Onkyo HT-S5300 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver and Speaker Package with iPod Dock (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S5300.../ref=de_a_smtd

And now that i've bumped up the budget to 450, is the Onkyo set the best choice for this price?

Or at $450 should i buy individual components?


Update


So, at the moment it's between the Onkyo HT-S5300, the Yamaha YHT-593BL ( the advantages here are that it supports DTS-HD and TrueHD (I've never heard either so i have no idea if these are just gimmicky)), or the Onkyo TX-SR508, and a $220-250 or under speaker set like Polk Audio RM6750.

What would you guys choose?
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post #14 of 24 Old 01-20-2011, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like the Polk Audio RM75 are on sale as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290146
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-20-2011, 09:55 PM
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Onkyo 508 and Polk rm6750 should get the job done
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post #16 of 24 Old 01-20-2011, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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After reading reviews about the Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver I'm a tad worried. Approximately 1 in 5 user reviews state HDMI hand-shaking problems, overheating, picture flickering, and worst of all, over heating.

The best sound quality option by far would be to get the Polk speakers and the onkyo receiver.

The most reliable, predictable solution would be the yamaha set with far inferior speakers but a more reliable but less endowed receiver.

So: final options before I buy:

Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver for $233 + Polk rm6750

Or Yamaha YHT-593bl for 440 which is 5.1 bur otherwise similarly featured to the onkyo and is rock-solid in terms of reliability.

I need a couple tiny bits of information to finally pull the trigger:

Do onkyo TX-SR508 receivers run hot and are they unreliable? There has to be some reason that they can sell these receivers so cheap!!! And how much room for ventilation would a receiver need to be healthy?

Thank you all very very much for your input on the matter, I greatly appreciate the help. Special props go out to crazy rob. You showed me two options I some how missed after my collective hundred hours of research into audio solutions in my price range.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-21-2011, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleach1 View Post

After reading reviews about the Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver I'm a tad worried. Approximately 1 in 5 user reviews state HDMI hand-shaking problems, overheating, picture flickering, and worst of all, over heating.

The best sound quality option by far would be to get the Polk speakers and the onkyo receiver.

The most reliable, predictable solution would be the yamaha set with far inferior speakers but a more reliable but less endowed receiver.

So: final options before I buy:

Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver for $233 + Polk rm6750

Or Yamaha YHT-593bl for 440 which is 5.1 bur otherwise similarly featured to the onkyo and is rock-solid in terms of reliability.

I need a couple tiny bits of information to finally pull the trigger:

Do onkyo TX-SR508 receivers run hot and are they unreliable? There has to be some reason that they can sell these receivers so cheap!!! And how much room for ventilation would a receiver need to be healthy?

Thank you all very very much for your input on the matter, I greatly appreciate the help. Special props go out to crazy rob. You showed me two options I some how missed after my collective hundred hours of research into audio solutions in my price range.

I don't know if I would say the Yamaha has "rock solid reliability" and that the Onkyo is that bad.

Onkyo is a name brand of note for receivers and they have a two year warranty. Buy it with an Amex and you have a three year warranty.

I think that should give you some pretty good confidence.
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post #18 of 24 Old 01-21-2011, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Amex = American Express?
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleach1 View Post

Amex = American Express?

Yes.
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 10:56 AM
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I am in much the same boat as you. If you look at value the best value is the onkyo S5300 until you look futher into it. I ordered this system and it was a mistake. The sound was decent and the reciever seemed great. But I soon found out it has an HDMI flicker problem which I can find no solution for. It also does not upscale you cannot take a composit signal from a cable or other source and output through HDMI. So the reciever still needs 2 outputs to the TV.

The real big problem is the HDMI flicker though. It seems to happen whenever the display changes I had an HTPC hooked up and it would happen at random ruining the image. It was not worth it, after countless hours and money spent on cables of every type I realized it could not be solved. Newegg sent me another system after both of them I am returning it. Everyone lost alot of time and money with that system. Unless you plan to bypass the reciever for video signal I do no suggest you touch that system. Other people have mentioned a problem with rear speakers switching left with right as well.

I have seen similar complaints with the 508 reciever. I have a friend with the S3300 system and he has no problem. So if I were you I would actually drop down to $300 and get that rather than the S5300. Or I would just look elsewhere onkyo has put a really bad taste in my mouth after that mess.
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post #21 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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So, i settled on a Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver, and am in the process of looking for the speakers. I was going to buy a set of Polk Audio RM6750, but my father handed his 2 yr. old pair of JBL J520M Bookshelf Speakers down to me. I also have a 8" Sony SA-WM20 Subwoofer, which is more than adequate for my 12'x15' room.

Here is a pic of the manual. I don't understand the technical specifications. Speaker tech could very well have outdated these speakers by now.



So:


I can buy a set of the polk rm6750 and use these JBL in supplement to make a 7.1 system, choosing between the polk subwoofer and my own sony 8" SA-WM20 sub.

Or i can buy a pair of speakers, and a center channel (for a total of $200 spent), utilizing the JBL's for Front or Rear Surround speakers. I have a feeling that i'll get better audio quality out of this option, but for all i know, the Polk RM6750 set's speakers could outdo a seperately purchased center channel speaker and a set of bookshelf speakers.

You guys have been an immense help. I appreciate all of your input.

If i end choosing to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers and a center channel speakers, i'll probably get some combination of the following:

Polk Audio CS10 Black Center Speaker Each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290105

Polk Audio - 5-1/4" Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Black
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Polk+Aud...&skuId=8828012

Pioneer - 4" 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+...&skuId=1148218

Pioneer - 5-1/4" 2-Way Center-Channel Speaker
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+...&skuId=1147943

Bose® VCS-10® Center Channel Speaker
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...582&CatId=4600

Sony SS-CN5000 Center Channel Speaker - Dual 5.25" Drivers, 1" Tweeter, 150 Watt Max
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...217&CatId=4600

Boston Acoustics CS26B Classic Bookshelf Speaker
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...101&CatId=4598


So: will 4 bookshelf speakers + a center channel + 8 inch sub sound better than if i were to buy the rm6750 set?

And if i were to go the separate component route, i'd need a pair of speakers + a center channel for $200 together. Center speakers this cheap don't exactly inspire confidence in me.


Anyone hear anything about those pioneers?
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post #22 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Again, i appreciate all of your time, i'm just now beginning to scratch the surface on audio quality. If i went with the Polk, there's not much thinking to do, but i'm done buying audio products because they're easy. I'm gearing for quality now.

5.1 Polk rm6750, vs. 5.1 separate component system with 4 bookshelf, 1 center, and 1 sub? Who shall win?....we shall find out after this nap.
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post #23 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleach1 View Post

So, i settled on a Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver, and am in the process of looking for the speakers. I was going to buy a set of Polk Audio RM6750, but my father handed his 2 yr. old pair of JBL J520M Bookshelf Speakers down to me. I also have a 8" Sony SA-WM20 Subwoofer, which is more than adequate for my 12'x15' room.

Here is a pic of the manual. I don't understand the technical specifications. Speaker tech could very well have outdated these speakers by now.



So:


I can buy a set of the polk rm6750 and use these JBL in supplement to make a 7.1 system, choosing between the polk subwoofer and my own sony 8" SA-WM20 sub.

Or i can buy a pair of speakers, and a center channel (for a total of $200 spent), utilizing the JBL's for Front or Rear Surround speakers. I have a feeling that i'll get better audio quality out of this option, but for all i know, the Polk RM6750 set's speakers could outdo a seperately purchased center channel speaker and a set of bookshelf speakers.

You guys have been an immense help. I appreciate all of your input.

If i end choosing to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers and a center channel speakers, i'll probably get some combination of the following:

Polk Audio CS10 Black Center Speaker Each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290105

Polk Audio - 5-1/4" Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Black
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Polk+Aud...&skuId=8828012

Pioneer - 4" 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+...&skuId=1148218

Pioneer - 5-1/4" 2-Way Center-Channel Speaker
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+...&skuId=1147943

Bose® VCS-10® Center Channel Speaker
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...582&CatId=4600

Sony SS-CN5000 Center Channel Speaker - Dual 5.25" Drivers, 1" Tweeter, 150 Watt Max
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...217&CatId=4600

Boston Acoustics CS26B Classic Bookshelf Speaker
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...101&CatId=4598


So: will 4 bookshelf speakers + a center channel + 8 inch sub sound better than if i were to buy the rm6750 set?

And if i were to go the separate component route, i'd need a pair of speakers + a center channel for $200 together. Center speakers this cheap don't exactly inspire confidence in me.


Anyone hear anything about those pioneers?

I can't make any comments about the sound quality on any of these but I did notice the Polk bookshelf speakers had front ports, which make them easy to place in the room than the rear ported Boston Acoustics.

The center channel from Polk is rear ported, so keep that in mind.
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post #24 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't even think about that.

I decided to order the Polk rm6750 set, and use the jbl speakers I have in supplemental for a 7.1 system. Realizing that I would have speakers from 4 different companies, and a receiver for another, I opted for the Polk for acoustic consistency. I frequently read horror stories from people who owned Frankenstein sets like the one I was looking to build. They often talked about how voices and sounds changed pitch and tone as they switched speakers.

Does anyone have any resources that are good for a beginner home theater enthusiast?
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