Hello, all. I am in the market for an AV receiver and a set of front speakers to serve as the starting point for what eventually will be a 7.2 home theater setup. Before you read any further, keep in mind that the oddly-shaped room I am describing below is NOT
the room where I'll eventually have a surround setup. It is, however, the room where I'm starting out, and that's what I need help on at this stage.
Before I describe the room, here's a basic run-down of what we do on our TV in order of frequency:
- Watch Blu-Ray (decent mid-quality Sony BDP) on a very clear 50" Sony Bravia
- Watch DVDs
- Watch HD cable programming
- Watch videos streamed from our HTPC to our TV through PS3
- Listen to music streamed from our HTPC to our TV through a PS3 - everything from David Gray to Dvořák to The Rolling Stones
- Play PS3 games (I haven't played a game in 4 years)
I grew up in a home with a gazillion watts of power and an amazing AV receiver for its time--I literally blew out the windows as a kid turning up Michael Jackson and similar stuff all the way to the max. It's time for some audio in the household.
The main challenge (as I see it): a pretty odd, large, and open room. It's roughly 30 feet by 20 feet, and there's open space to the back corner of our room that flows into a kitchen and dining room (no walls separating - it's a condo-style layout). Our TV is set up against the "front" wall, furthest from the open dining room in the opposite corner. We watch TV/listen to music from our couch, which is about 7-8 feet from the TV. Oh, and the room has a cathedral ceiling. It's about 22 feet high at its apex, which just so happens to be slightly behind where our couch is positioned in the room.
We want a receiver that will be sufficient to cover the long-term plan of building a 7.2 system, but the most important thing is for us to start out with a pair of floor-standing speakers that will do well in our space and present good-quality sound from our typical viewing/listening position on the couch. The bass performance of the floor-standing units is not critical, as we'll probably add a subwoofer in the near future. (We probably won't add anything but a subwoofer to this room before we move.)
Pluses for a receiver would be multiple zones (for future considerations), and we really need it to be Ethernet-connected. Would really like SiriusXM integration. AirPlay I don't care about either way.
Here's what I'm thinking about for the moment:Receivers
Pioneer Elite SC-61
Yamaha RX-A710 (last year's model)Floor Standing Speakers
Energy CF-70 (I've listened to them for 2 hrs and, damn, they're good)
I'm a Klipsch and Pioneer fanboy at heart but I don't have any blind allegiance to anyone.
Thanks for any suggestions you can offer, and please feel free to ask questions if you want more info! (If you are curious about my budget, I'd rather keep it under $1,500 for the AVR+2 speaker setup.)