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post #1 of 6 Old 06-26-2014, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thoughts on this system?

Hey Everyone,

I have been shopping around for about a month now for an okay entry level system for my new home theater. The room is fairly small (10 x 15) and I have a 100 inch fixed frame screen and a BenQ W1070. What do you guys think of this setup?

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...0fce194037en02

Should also mention that I would like to stay around the $300 range and under $500. If I can get a very big upgrade, I am willing to push the budget a bit.

If you know of any good deals or have any suggestions (I am a complete audio noob), they would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Jay

Last edited by JayRich1; 06-26-2014 at 06:31 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-30-2014, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on this or any other system? Thanks.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-01-2014, 10:08 AM
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Buy your 5.1 receiver (Yamaha, etc) for about $200 on sale, and then get/catch good bookshelf speakers on sale for the 5.0 speakers. You can always add a sub-woofer if you need/want one on down the road for about (Polk/Amazon) $89.

For example, Amazon has the Infinity P153 speaker on sale for $45 (back ordered under more buying choices) so 5 would run you $225 and then you have good speakers (check out the good reviews...which can be misleading) for a little money. (Pioneer has good speakers for about the same price during a sale.)

I went cheap in March of this year and I have already replaced my 5.1 Energy speakers ($299 to $385) just because they sound cheap/plain/weak. I made a $300 mistake right off the bat with going "cheap" and taking good reviews (Amazon/on-line...first time good reviews have ever let me down) seriously. A two inch driver/speaker (Energy) will never sound like a 5 plus inch driver/speaker (Infinity/Pioneer).

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-01-2014, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay so much better to just buy everything separate? As in keep an eye out for a good 5.1 Yamaha receiver (any other recommendations on what brand names are good and bad?). Then for bookshelf speakers, don't these typically come in pairs? Assuming I would have to buy 5 of these unless the center speaker is different and requires something else? Anything I should be looking for in regards to book shelf speakers (watts, name brand, ohms, channels, etc [please forgive the noobiness]).

So all in all, I am looking for around $200 for receiver, $50 per speaker ($250 total) then a subwoofer for around $100. Bringing the whole setup to around $500. Does that all seem right?
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-01-2014, 03:46 PM
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steve1106 is correct in that it is always better to buy separates if your budget allows it. Generally speaking, when you buy an HTiB the majority of the cost is the receiver first and speakers second. Of course there are exceptions but at your price point, that's usually the case. I have a Yamaha receiver that works very well for what we need. The speakers are ok but I will be upgrading them. A minimum of 3"-5" drivers and a 1" tweeter would be good for bookshelf speakers and a 10" sub-woofer. Your front sound stage (R/L/C) should be the same mfr to maintain timbre (the same acoustical response because they are made out of the same materials and design). The sub can be by a different mfr and the sides (5.1) or rears (7.1) are mostly for atmosphere so they can be different as well. You can get decent sound out of the speakers that come with HTiB's if you know how to calibrate them and understand x-over settings, ohm ratings, small vs large, etc. It might just get you by until you can afford better speakers.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-02-2014, 08:03 AM
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Not all bookshelf speakers come in pairs. You have to be careful when ordering on-line to make sure you are in fact getting a pair verses a single speaker.

As far as brands, everyone has an opinion on that, but in your (and mine) price point probably the Infinity and Pioneer speakers are your safest bets....but, do a search on Amazon for bookshelf speakers, find the price that works for you and look at the reviews. Try bing or google and see if anyone has a video review on the speakers.

Another good place to start is Bestbuy (BB). Go and look at the speakers. Try them out. Pick up the speakers and feel the difference in weight/quality between a real speaker and the speaker that comes with a HTiB or receiver/speaker combo.

For some people the combos/HTiB work fine. I put in one (combo) for a co-worker (Denon with BA speakers - one day sale at BB from $599 to $299) and he is completely happy...but his small children (5 from 12yrs to 3yrs in age) use it, so a weaker system saves their hearing and lets the grown ups relax upstairs.

Speaker prices vary from day to day and sales are common. For example, I bought my Infinity P163s for $85 each and several days later Amazon dropped the price to $49 each, so I called Amazon and got them to refund $70 on my speakers. The moral is to catch the speakers on sale.

As I stated in my first post, I went with Infinities (fronts, center, rears $300). $300 - I bought a dedicated center channel for $110 (Infinity PC251) and all it is is the P153 with one extra woofer (5 1/4 inch driver), so if I was doing it over, I would save the $60 and just use a P153. Nothing wrong with using a bookshelf speaker for the center channel, but most (not all) will probably disagree with me.

I setup and tried out my new Infinity P153s (rears) last night with Armageddon (1998 movie) and Under the Dome (show). The speakers are worth $45 each and would make a great starter system by getting five of them. They are large and heavy, so that might be an issue for you.

I have the Yamaha 375 which I have seen from $169 to $249. I paid $200 on sale and what I like about it is the "self" setup feature. I plug in a microphone and let the Yamaha setup/balance the system to insure that the main seating area gets the proper amount sound from the fronts/center/rears.

Finally, Pioneer speakers get rave reviews and seem to always be on sale.
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