***Official HTIB Alternatives Thread*** - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kysersose View Post

Flags has been given some time off with a warning that the next suspension will be permanent.

Kyser

Thank you...looking forward to getting back on topic.

"That's right Mr. Martini...there is an Easter Bunny".
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post #272 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 12:36 PM
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G-star, this is an excellent thread. Everyone's input has been very helpful and I'm very close to finalizing my sub and receiver purchases. Since this thread illustrates that fine line between money spent and component quality here are my questions for anyone who cares to share their opinion:

1. Should I go ahead and purchase the Onkyo 504 for $169.88 or is the quality/feature set of the Panasonic xr57 (~$300) or Onkyo 605 (new, ~$400 pre-order) really worth the extra money?

2. Should I buy the Velodyne VX-10 subwoofer (~$170) or is the quality/sound of the Bic-100 (~$240) really worth the extra money?

3. Does anyone use a Logitech Harmony remote with their Onkyo? If so have you encountered any problems with setup?

My current system consists of a Panasonic TH-42PX60U plasma tv and a set of Velodyne CHT Front Rows. I primarily watch television and movies but do listen to FM radio on occasion. I don't currently have support for h-def anything except for OTA channels but am considering replacing my dvd player with an Oppo w/hdmi out in the near future (but will not invest in hi-def dvd any time soon). Also, I'm not sure how concerned I need to be with video upconversion through the receiver vs hooking up video directly to my tv. My room is ~16' x `16' with a hallway and kitchen doorway on opposite corners.
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post #273 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 12:43 PM
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Just a quick Q:

I live in a small room and i'm going to be living ( a couple months later) in a small apartment room. I have the HT-S790 right now and I've been in the process of upgrading everything. I've upgraded the fronts, the center channel is on the way, and the rears are still backordered but will be here soon.

Do I need to upgrade the sub? I think I get some really good punch from it right now, and in such a small room it's almost too much sometimes. I'd like to wait maybe, but if you guys think i'd get a lot more out of a new sub for the room i'm in, i'm all down for it.

For reference, I have the R300s, R150s (backordered), and my center channel (CSR).

Thanks,

Sam

PSN: sashaforever
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post #274 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parlin View Post

2. Should I buy the Velodyne VX-10 subwoofer (~$170) or is the quality/sound of the Bic-100 (~$240) really worth the extra money?

Don't forget there are other budget subs worth researching:

The HSU STF-1 at $249 +20:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-1.html

and

The X-sub at $199 + 40:
http://www.**********/products_catego...ofers&brand=57
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post #275 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parlin View Post

1. Should I go ahead and purchase the Onkyo 504 for $169.88 or is the quality/feature set of the Panasonic xr57 (~$300) or Onkyo 605 (new, ~$400 pre-order) really worth the extra money?

Those are all so different that it's hard to know where you're coming from.

But - unless you want the small size and low heat output of the Panasonic, why choose that? The extra $130 over the 504 would likely be better spent elsewhere.

You first have to decide if you want HDMI and upconversion or not.
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post #276 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 02:49 PM
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I was just about to buy a Samsung HT-Q70 HTIB for around $300 when I read this thread. It completely changed my mind and I did some work and got:

$169 - New Onkyo TX-SR504 (Amazon)
$170 - JBL NSP1 5 Piece Speaker System - 4 Northridge N24s and an N-Center (Ebay)
$80 - JBL TLX PS10 Sub- Woofer (Craigslist)

So that is $419 for everything (I am on a very tight budget).

Is this system going to be much better than the Samsung HTIB (already have a dvd player)? I hope so.

Thanks for all the advice.

- Al
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post #277 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alawisious View Post

I was just about to buy a Samsung HT-Q70 HTIB for around $300 when I read this thread. It completely changed my mind and I did some work and got:

$169 - New Onkyo TX-SR504 (Amazon)
$170 - JBL NSP1 5 Piece Speaker System - 4 Northridge N24s and an N-Center (Ebay)
$80 - JBL TLX PS10 Sub- Woofer (Craigslist)

So that is $419 for everything (I am on a very tight budget).

Is this system going to be much better than the Samsung HTIB (already have a dvd player)? I hope so.

Thanks for all the advice.

- Al

I'm not familiar with the JBL speaks and sub, but in all likelihood yes.

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post #278 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 04:45 PM
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So I think I'm pretty close, just have to decide on my speakers. Can someone more experienced tell me what cables I will need to complete my system. I have/will have:

Onkyo 504
Bic 100 Sub
4 Polk speakers, 1 Polk Center Channel
Oppo DVD
DirecTV HDDVR

I'm guessing I need some audio cables from my DVD and HDDVR to my Onkyo. I believe I will be running the video directly to my TV. Do speaker wires come with the speakers? Or do I need to purchase that separately, and if so, what kind should I get (because I would like to have everything ready when the speakers actually come).
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post #279 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:07 PM
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Any wires that come with speakers will likely be thin bargain basement crap. Lowes or Home Depot have good wires in 14 or 16 gauge for about $20 or less for 50 feet.


You'll also need two digital audio cables, one for the DVR, and one for the DVD player, both running to the receiver.

They'll either be digital coaxial (orange RCA port) or fiberoptic/Toslink (little black gate). Either way, they'll be marked and likely both the DVR and DVD player will have both outputs. If they do, it's your choice (although that Onkyo receiver will have only one coax and three optical inputs, so look and be thinking ahead.) Both coax and optical will sound the same, so it's really six of one...

Then you need whatever video cables to hook to the TV if you don't already have them. Component, DVI, HDMI, whatever they use.


Oh, and if the sub doesn't come with a cable, then the same digital coaxial audio cable mentioned above will work for it, too.

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post #280 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:13 PM
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Fry's has the R150 for 59.99 but they are currently on backorder. I ordered me a pair to replace my front onkyo speakers. Can't wait to see how good these sound
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post #281 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Any wires that come with speakers will likely be thin bargain basement crap. Lowes or Home Depot have good wires in 14 or 16 gauge for about $20 or less for 50 feet.


You'll also need two digital audio cables, one for the DVR, and one for the DVD player, both running to the receiver.

They'll either be digital coaxial (orange RCA port) or fiberoptic/Toslink (little black gate). Either way, they'll be marked and likely both the DVR and DVD player will have both outputs. If they do, it's your choice (although that Onkyo receiver will have only one coax and three optical inputs, so look and be thinking ahead.) Both coax and optical will sound the same, so it's really six of one...

Then you need whatever video cables to hook to the TV if you don't already have them. Component, DVI, HDMI, whatever they use.


Oh, and if the sub doesn't come with a cable, then the same digital coaxial audio cable mentioned above will work for it, too.

Awesome - Thanks!

Might as well get a larger pack of the optical digitals then, if coax does not matter.
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post #282 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooskinny View Post

Fry's has the R150 for 59.99 but they are currently on backorder. I ordered me a pair to replace my front onkyo speakers. Can't wait to see how good these sound

That's what I'm planning on doing too. Although given I'd have to get stands for the fronts, I might as well just get the R300s is what I'm thinking. Will end up costing slightly more.
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post #283 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:38 PM
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slubu, you're also going to consider getting analog rca cables from the Oppo to the Onkyo (6) for SACD and DVD A playback. I've also found the Oppo player is a very good analog source...superior to it's digital sound for CDs.

www.bettercables.com

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post #284 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

slubu, you're also going to consider getting analog rca cables from the Oppo to the Onkyo (6) for SACD and DVD A playback. I've also found the Oppo player is a very good analog source...superior to it's digital sound for CDs.

Is that in addition to the digital connection, or in place of? I believe I have the analog connection from my Oppo to the TV currently, which I can move to the Onkyo. So I guess my question is do I use both or just the analog?
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post #285 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slubu View Post

Is that in addition to the digital connection, or in place of? I believe I have the analog connection from my Oppo to the TV currently, which I can move to the Onkyo. So I guess my question is do I use both or just the analog?

There should be a digital outpu as well as the 5.1 analog output on the Oppo player. Connect both to the receiver. In receiver setup configure the DVD player for digital...whatever Onkyo calls 6/8 channel direct you set for analog. When you pop in a SACD or DVD A or even stereo CD you choose 6/8 Direct on the Onkyo. Movies or CDs that you want to use the digital connection, choose DVD on the Onk.

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post #286 of 3363 Old 04-12-2007, 11:43 PM
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I never had a HITB before and this will be my first but even as a entry level consumer. From what i hear making my own is smart consumer move and since I think this is an easier task then say, making your PC. I think i will try it.

heres my first 2 ideas for a set up, im a noob so i need help with this.





My Premium version
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4142961
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4124860


My Medium version
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4125720
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4142959



what do you guys think?


Oh yea and my living room is 11.5' x 13'
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post #287 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi My Name Is View Post

I never had a HITB before and this will be my first but even as a entry level consumer. From what i hear making my own is smart consumer move and since I think this is an easier task then say, making your PC. I think i will try it.

heres my first 2 ideas for a set up, im a noob so i need help with this.

My Premium version
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4142961
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4124860

My Medium version
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4125720
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4142959

what do you guys think?

Oh yea and my living room is 11.5' x 13'

It would be helpful if you said what your budget was, and will it be used mainly for movies, music, and do you want 5.1 or 7.1?

Those are both great receivers, either would be a good choice depending on which features you want. Have you listened to any speakers yet? That would be a good place to start to determine what kind of sound you like. You can do much better than the HK speakers. They make fabulous receivers, but are not known for great speakers. If you read through this thread there are numerous good suggestions for speakers in your price range such as the Velodyne CHT's and a BIC H-100 subwoofer, but there are many more options.

Good luck!
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post #288 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 07:05 AM
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Actually I just realize that the Onkyo S990THX is going for 749.99 at J&R and since i live in NYC they won't charge TAX and the freight shipping is alot! cheaper for NYC rather then NY state.

749.99 is good, I thought it was still 800-900 something, so i said might as well squeeze a $1000 system out of my wallet and make my own HTIB.


Hell i'll just wait for next time to build my own. I don't know why i didn't see this one at that price, maybe because i didn't look at onkyo that hard on the site at first.


I was stretching my wallet real tight for a $1000 system ( I really didn't want to do it). $749.99 with no tax and cheap shipping for NY is a perfect price for me. I just hope the 7.1 won't over kill my 11.5 x 13.5 room. If so i'll just use it as a 5.1 untill I move to a bigger place in a couple of years or maybe next.
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post #289 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 07:45 AM
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As others have said, I just wanted to thank everyone in this thread for providing tons of good suggestions and convincing me to build my own system. One major problem I found with looking at HTIB systems is that I wanted one without a DVD player, but there seem to be few decent options available (besides, possibly the Onkyo systems). I am looking to build a system for around $500, so I think I am going with the following:

Rec - Onkyo 504 ($169 from Amazon, free shipping)
Speakers - Velodyne Front Row CHT ($199 from Velodyne, free shipping)
Sub - Dayton 10' ($124 from Parts Express, plus shipping)

I might consider switching the speakers for some of the Polks that Ron Temple has suggested, but I'm a little worried about cost and size. I live in an apartment and may be moving soon, so I don't want to get anything too powerful or too difficult to transport. I am of course open to upgrading down the line and hope that the receiver will work for larger speakers as well.

A peculiarity of my living room is that it is joined to my kitchen directly. So, the actual living room area is about 12' x 15', but the adjoining kitchen makes the room much bigger (almost twice the size). I'm not sure if this should impact my speaker decision, since I am planning to set up the speakers to provide sound to only the living room portion (hopefully this makes some sense).

Also, I have not thought too much about the subwoofer, picking simply the cheapest one that G-Star suggested at the start of the thread. So, my questions are: can I get this sub for a cheaper price anywhere (perhaps with free shipping)? Are there other subs I should be considering in the $100-$150 range? I would prefer to stay toward the low end of that range, especially since I don't want to bother the neighbors in my building too much.

My final thoughts are about set-up. I believe I know how I'm hooking everything up except for the subwoofer - what kind of wire/cables do I need to hook this up to the receiver? I saw someone mention a digital coax cable, but I'm not sure if the 504 has a digital coax out. I am also trying to figure out how/where to set up all the speakers. It seems that I'll need stands for the L,R, and rear speakers. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good, but cheap set of stands that will hold enough weight? Or simply a place to look for them? I heard someone say Walmart in another thread, but the only ones I found there are for up to 2-lb speakers, and I believe the Velodynes are 7 lbs each. And then the center speaker - should it be at the same height as the L and R speakers? I am trying to buy as little additional furniture as possible and work with what I have by putting the center speaker on my current TV stand.

I know I've asked a lot here, but really, any information would be quite helpful as I'm still new at this game.
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post #290 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicpie9882 View Post

I saw someone mention a digital coax cable, but I'm not sure if the 504 has a digital coax out.

If you're talking about the subwoofer, the digital coax cable will fit the subwoofer out on the 504. They're an RCA plug like everything else.

If you're talking about hooking up a DVD player to the receiver, the 504 has a digital coax IN for that purpose as well, so you're all set. You can use the same type of cable for the sub as for hooking in a DVD player or a cable box or some such.

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post #291 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 08:17 AM
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Magicpie,
if you can, look at the bic h100 for your sub. I have owned this thing for about 2 weeks and it is simply amazing for the price. I have the sub and the velodyne front rows, and my home theatre is so much better. These speakers replaced some JBL flix speakers and an audiosource 10" sub. This was the best bang for the buck that I could find. The total came out to 439.00 for speakers.
-1

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post #292 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 09:13 AM
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THere seem to be some very reasonable prices on Axoustics Research ARPXP62 (ninety nine a pair). I looked through the threads on the speaker forum and people seem to be quite impressed. Does anyone here have any comments abou them.

I am also considering the Mordaunt Short movie director 3001 HT speaker package for about 630.

How would the MS compare with the x-ls package which is about 150 more.
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post #293 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 09:30 AM
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Tulpa - thanks for the clarification there. I didn't realize that the subwoofer out was the same RCA plug. I was planning to hook up my cable box via optical and DVD player via digital coax (the only digital options for each of these). I guess I should consider hooking up the DVD player with analog cables as well as Ron Temple suggests. Sounds like the only other thing I need is speaker wire (16 gauge, I think) and maybe some banana plugs.

onebxr - I'm not sure I can quite afford the bic h100 right now, but everyone seems to be raving about it. Where did you get yours? Thanks for the tip.
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post #294 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 10:04 AM
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Magic,
I got mine on ebay, there are 2 different ebay retailers that sell them. Hit the make an offer button and make an offer. Do not pay the buy it now price. You can usually get it for about 10-15 bucks cheaper than the buy it now price. Acoustech is one of the retailers, I cant remember the name of the other. I am at work and ebay is blocked or I would find that out for you.
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post #295 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicpie9882 View Post

I guess I should consider hooking up the DVD player with analog cables as well as Ron Temple suggests.

If you're using those multi-channel music/audio discs like SACD or DVD-A, yes, use the analogs, too. If you're just viewing movies or regular run of the mill CDs, the digital connection alone will be fine.

Quote:


onebxr - I'm not sure I can quite afford the bic h100 right now, but everyone seems to be raving about it. Where did you get yours? Thanks for the tip.

Go on eBay and search for BIC Acoustech H-100. The seller is something like sound_distributors. They sell for $245, but they have a Make Offer option and some have gotten them for ~$200 before shipping. Shipping is something like $30, so figure about $230-$245 or so to get it to your door.

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post #296 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi My Name Is View Post

Actually I just realize that the Onkyo S990THX is going for 749.99 at J&R and since i live in NYC they won't charge TAX and the freight shipping is alot! cheaper for NYC rather then NY state.

749.99 is good, I thought it was still 800-900 something, so i said might as well squeeze a $1000 system out of my wallet and make my own HTIB.


Hell i'll just wait for next time to build my own. I don't know why i didn't see this one at that price, maybe because i didn't look at onkyo that hard on the site at first.


I was stretching my wallet real tight for a $1000 system ( I really didn't want to do it). $749.99 with no tax and cheap shipping for NY is a perfect price for me. I just hope the 7.1 won't over kill my 11.5 x 13.5 room. If so i'll just use it as a 5.1 untill I move to a bigger place in a couple of years or maybe next.

Part A:
I for one think you made a very good move. I can't speak from ears on experience with this system but I'm one who places a certain amount of respect on THX certification. Some think its merely a marketing scam. Certainly marketing has a role in it but the whole idea behind THX certs is fidelity with respect to source material. If you haven't already done it, do some perusing on the THX site and see whats involved in gaining the cert. I'm impressed. THX was born from George Lucas's frustration with theaters and equipment not reproducing faithfully his artistic endeavors. So you'll have some assurance that at least Star Wars will sound like he intended.

Part B:
Growing your system is one of the joys of AV as hobby/avocation. No matter how good I feel a component is, I'm always looking over the fence at the greener grass. Nothing wrong with that. Except of course, the daily calls from Visa.

Buying pieces is not as easy as it used to be. 2.0 was fairly straightforward. Matched speakers and you're good to go. Adding a sub, made the equation a bit more complex and now we're in to 5.1+. Matching components, selecting speakers with complimentary high and low pass filtering, frequency response, timbre, warmth and especially room acoustics can make this a challenging but rewarding project.

Good luck with your acquistion.

Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the restraints.
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post #297 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 10:38 AM
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I was reviewing my speaker placement options, and given the entertainment center I have (which takes up the entire wall of the TV), I can easily put the fronts where they are supposed to be on shelves. This would be much better given my space constraints. The only problem is the shelves are 6" deep. Thus I'm back to satellite/sub setup again. (Unless some bookshelves will fit without possibly falling off?)

I listened to the Klipsch Quintet last night and didn't like them. I'm going to throw out some other smaller speaker setups to see if anyone has any opinions. I know Ron chimed in earlier on my previous list, but since it has been revised, feel free to chime in again:

- Mission m70s (~ 240)
- Athena Micras (~ ?, also I have no need for the sub...)
- Orb Audio (~ 500)

Any thoughts on either of these? Let's assume I can and will pony up for the Orbs too. I'm going quality here over looks. Mostly clarity as I can't boom music that much since I live with shared walls. Thanks again to everyone, you have made my life much easier.
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post #298 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by magicpie9882 View Post


A peculiarity of my living room is that it is joined to my kitchen directly. So, the actual living room area is about 12' x 15', but the adjoining kitchen makes the room much bigger (almost twice the size). I'm not sure if this should impact my speaker decision, since I am planning to set up the speakers to provide sound to only the living room portion (hopefully this makes some sense).

I have somewhat the same type of layout, but my "theater area" also has a 20' vaulted ceiling and a foyer off to one side. This is a blessing and a curse. What I find is that I have to rely on the directionality of the speakers as there is very little from the room contributing to the acoustic effect. No walls behind the main speakers (except the sub) so the image in the room is very focused. If you are in the sweet spot, its great because there isn't any out of phase cancellation or complimentary addition. The quality of direct sound is the blessing part. If you want to just listen to good music say while in the kitchen, when your speakers are only 10 ft away (facing away), forget it. I can hear it but it sounds like the music is coming from the neighbors house. Eventually I may look at bi-pole or di-pole speaker options to loosen up the sound stage a bit.

In the meantime I may do a speaker switch and utilize the A-B speaker function to put some aft facing speakers to the rest of the area.

Take some pains in your speaker layout and it may well pay off.

Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the restraints.
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post #299 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by usp1 View Post

THere seem to be some very reasonable prices on Axoustics Research ARPXP62 (ninety nine a pair). I looked through the threads on the speaker forum and people seem to be quite impressed. Does anyone here have any comments abou them.

I am also considering the Mordaunt Short movie director 3001 HT speaker package for about 630.

How would the MS compare with the x-ls package which is about 150 more.

link me to the MSs and I'll take a look...I'm using M-S 902s for surrounds which I recently compared to the x-LSs. They are close to the same price from accessories4less @ $200 a pair. I forget to mention them since they don't get much playing time in my room...just movies and MCH. The 902s are excellent bookshelf speakers, brighter than the x-LS speakers, but not fatigueing, in fact, I prefer the liveler tweeter. Midrange is smooth with a surprising amount of bass. They image extremely well and the soundstage is very deep and goes slightly outside of placement. The x-LS speakers throw a huge soundstage, wonderful midrange, great for female vocals, good detail, but are a tad soft on the highs. A wine analogy would be a fruity Merlot vs a very tasty and mellow Chardonnay.

To shorten this...if the MS package includes the 902s then you might subjectively prefer them to the x series. If it includes lessor speakers the x series will probably be much better.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #300 of 3363 Old 04-13-2007, 04:11 PM
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Tulpa - thanks for the clarification there. I didn't realize that the subwoofer out was the same RCA plug. I was planning to hook up my cable box via optical and DVD player via digital coax (the only digital options for each of these). I guess I should consider hooking up the DVD player with analog cables as well as Ron Temple suggests. Sounds like the only other thing I need is speaker wire (16 gauge, I think) and maybe some banana plugs.

onebxr - I'm not sure I can quite afford the bic h100 right now, but everyone seems to be raving about it. Where did you get yours? Thanks for the tip.

magicpie...my suggestion was only for the Oppo or other SACD/DVD-A capable players. You'll likely get no benefit to an analog connection if it's just vanilla prog scan or upscaler.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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