My Bang for the Buck living room HT - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-06-2006, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I've tried over the past few years to put together a system that suits me, which is more for movies & TV than music listening, and I think I am about done. I also went for value too. Here are the monitor and components, which all live above and within an Ikea MARKÖR TV unit:

Panasonic TH-42PWD8UK plasma (with two VGA/RGB inputs, one BNC component video input, one DVI input) on Peerless 660 wall-mount
Panasonic RX-A1000 receiver
Panasonic DMP-BD60 Blu-Ray player
Motorola 7232 HD-DVR from Verizon Fios
Roku XD
Wii
Xbox 360 with Kinect
Roku Soundbridge
Squeezebox Receiver
Linksys 16-port switch

Speakers
Infinity Beta 20 fronts on Sanus Natural stands
Infinity Beta C360 center
Aiwa SX-R275 surrounds on Sanus satellite stands, wired into wall plate
Aiwa SX-R275 rear surrounds on Sanus satellite stands, wired into wall plate
Dayton 300-632 10" subwoofer, wired into wall plate

The entire system is controlled by a Harmony 550 remote.

Speaker wire and interconnects are mostly Radio Shack, Acoustic Research, and Monoprice. Everything is plugged into a Belkin surge protector, for those who are interested in such details.
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-05-2006, 02:19 PM
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Ever consider upgrading the speakers? I actually have an old panasonic mini system (SC-AK57) in storage that is reminiscient of that aiwa and the center and surround speakers that came with it were pretty marginal.

I'd also be leery of what those speakers' actual impedance is. Some mini systems' speakers (my panasonic included) used some funky low impedance designs that are ok with the amps they were paired with but could be troublesome with a standard amp.
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post #3 of 26 Old 08-07-2006, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mjwise View Post

Ever consider upgrading the speakers? I actually have an old panasonic mini system (SC-AK57) in storage that is reminiscient of that aiwa and the center and surround speakers that came with it were pretty marginal.

I'd also be leery of what those speakers' actual impedance is. Some mini systems' speakers (my panasonic included) used some funky low impedance designs that are ok with the amps they were paired with but could be troublesome with a standard amp.

I absolutely consider upgrading the speakers--daily, I think. It's not in the budget at the moment, and I'm also having trouble finding a place to hear the speakers I really want to hear, the new Klipsch Reference bookshelves and centers. Their highly efficient design and reputation for home cinema sound makes me want to check them out, but I can't seem to find too many local dealers, never mind any with them actually in stock or set up for listening.

I'm actually quite pleased with the sound of my speakers, and though I know it could be better (I have heard other speakers that I liked, though not those Klipsch ones yet), I'd really like my next speaker purchase (and perhaps subwoofer too) to be the last one for a long time. Let receivers and sources and displays evolve, and maybe I'll put my money into them if I want--but I'm looking for what I like to call 20-year speakers. I'll know them when I find them, and if they're a good fit for my budget, then I'll definitely upgrade.

The only speakers I've actually heard that really grabbed me were Polk LSi9s, but they are inefficient and 4-ohm speakers, so perhaps not the best match for my little Class D Panasonic that could. I have toyed with the idea of building Hypex Class D amps into a three channel amp for Polk LSis across the front soundstage, but I'd have to make them with high-level inputs since my Panasonic doesn't have preouts, and all of a sudden we're spending a lot of time and money and violating my "Bang for the Buck"!

So that's a long answer to your short question. I have poked around a bunch of threads to get people's impressions of what speakers are a good match with my receiver for movie watching, but I won't buy anything I can't hear first, one way or the other. And I have no immediate urgency to upgrade my existing speakers at the moment, and likely won't unless I make funds available for new speakers or something happens to my current set.
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post #4 of 26 Old 08-07-2006, 08:25 AM
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When you're getting close to ready to get speakers, I recommend a trip to Soundscape on Cold Spring Lane. You'll do much better than the CC/BB standard fare.
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-07-2006, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AcuraCL View Post

When you're getting close to ready to get speakers, I recommend a trip to Soundscape on Cold Spring Lane. You'll do much better than the CC/BB standard fare.

That's where I heard the Polk LSi9s I mentioned. They're good guys there, and I actually bought a NAD component which had a variety of problems--and they took it back with maximum courtesy, which I appreciated. If they carried Klipsch Reference, I would definitely stop there to hear them.

Even if Best Buy or CC carried stuff I wanted to hear (and they sometimes do), it's almost always impossible to listen to anything--check out the speaker aisles (aisles!) for listening at the BB in downtown Baltimore and you'll know what I mean.

I guess if money were no object, I would get the LSi9 fronts and power them with an Arcam AVR250 or AVR300.
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-08-2006, 07:29 PM
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I paired the SA-XR55 I purchased with some internet direct speakers (fluance $300 5.0 set).

I'm glad you like your vintage Aiwa speakers. I'm certainly guilty of reusing old equipment - my own personal system is actually just a circa 1969 Sansui receiver with a pair of Design Acoustics PS-55 bookshelf speakers (rescued from a dumpster (!)) and a pair of old (but surprisingly well made) 1-way kenwood surrounds. I plan to get something better of course, once I don't feel like I'm living out of a suitcase (I'm a grad student right now).

My first concern when I saw your setup was actually the impedance issue, but if it's been working OK thus far they probably are fine.
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-23-2007, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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simplified installation.
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post #8 of 26 Old 05-14-2007, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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updated.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-11-2007, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Added a Wii!
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-30-2007, 08:30 AM
 
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No bang, bang, no buck rogers! Where's the pictures?
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-18-2007, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JBLsound4645 View Post

No bang, bang, no buck rogers! Where's the pictures?

I should take some photos.
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-02-2007, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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simplified setup.
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post #13 of 26 Old 12-31-2007, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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updated with Xbox 360.
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-17-2008, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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updated
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-17-2008, 12:47 PM
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Yo Drew!

Anyone can update "rhetoric!" Where are the photos?!!!!!

No dis respect intended but damn, 14 posts, no photos! Obviously we're intrigued!
Your system seems interesting, "on paper", anyway, but we are visual by nature! Show us what cha got! Hook us up!

Regards!

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #16 of 26 Old 03-17-2008, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew_veloce View Post

That's where I heard the Polk LSi9s I mentioned. They're good guys there, and I actually bought a NAD component which had a variety of problems--and they took it back with maximum courtesy, which I appreciated. If they carried Klipsch Reference, I would definitely stop there to hear them.

Even if Best Buy or CC carried stuff I wanted to hear (and they sometimes do), it's almost always impossible to listen to anything--check out the speaker aisles (aisles!) for listening at the BB in downtown Baltimore and you'll know what I mean.

I guess if money were no object, I would get the LSi9 fronts and power them with an Arcam AVR250 or AVR300.

Drew,

If you want to hear Klipsch Reference bookshelf speakers RB51's; RB61's, go back to Best Buy and if it's so equipped, go into the Magnolia Department. They should have Klipsch RB's ready for auditioning. Those speakers are standard fare in the BB/Magnolia locations. I'm sure that either one in White Marsh, Towson or Owings Mills will have them displayed and ready for listening!

Peace!

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #17 of 26 Old 06-29-2008, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Yo Drew!

Anyone can update "rhetoric!" Where are the photos?!!!!!

No dis respect intended but damn, 14 posts, no photos! Obviously we're intrigued!
Your system seems interesting, "on paper", anyway, but we are visual by nature! Show us what cha got! Hook us up!

Regards!

You are correct, sir. I just put up a very few photos, but they give a general idea. Consider it a start, with more to come.

http://gallery.avsforum.com/showgall...ppuser/7440893
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-29-2008, 10:05 PM
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You should get some floorstanders That would look nice.

That and you have tons of electronics!
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 03:26 PM
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Wow "Drew".

I thought I had a lot of stuff! I don't feel so bad now!
From one component junkie to another.... Nice set up!


Regards!

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #20 of 26 Old 07-03-2008, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Wow "Drew".

I thought I had a lot of stuff! I don't feel so bad now!
From one component junkie to another.... Nice set up!


Regards!


Thanks! I didn't mean to have a lot of stuff from the beginning, but I caught the gaming bug about 3 years ago when my wife got me an Xbox. That of course led to the Wii and the 360, and I love my receiver and I didn't feel like I needed to replace it. The only things the XR55 didn't have were enough inputs (hence the two Inday boxes and Audio Authority box), video crossconversion (hence the NAD TT-1), and lip sync delay (hence the Felston). That all added up to a lot of gear, some of which isn't even visible in the photos (the Roku Soundbridge masks the Linksys 8-port switch and the Audio Authority box, for example). The only other thing I wanted on the receiver was source renaming, but I use a Harmony so I stopped caring about that.

Plus my wife hates the DVD changer, so I put in a single-disc player for her. Of course, I have now maxed out the number of devices on the Harmony. I'm sure I can figure that one out eventually, should one more device creep into the system.

I guess I could always pick an older monster of a reciever, like a Yamaha Z9 with 6 component inputs and 11 or so digital audio inputs, but then we're starting to get away from my bang for the buck ethos. As long as it all fits, and nothing gets hot (so far so good), I've been very happy with all the gear in its right places.

Except the horrific rat's nest of cables in the back, which is my current obsession.
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post #21 of 26 Old 07-03-2008, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SpiderX1016 View Post

You should get some floorstanders That would look nice.

Actually, my real goal is wall-mounting the front soundstage--I have a pair of BT-77 bookshelf mounts for that purpose. With three dogs and three cats, the less to knock over the better! Plus I have a sub and a shaker setup, so I am happy to let them handle the bass.
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-08-2008, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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It looks like one of my Aiwa front speakers may be giving up after years of faithful service, so I will have to see if I can crack it open for diagnosis without destroying it. Meanwhile, what a nice excuse for new speakers. I have a pair of Infinity Beta 20 bookshelves and a matching C360 center on the way. I'll take more pictures when they're set up and, knowing me, when I've taken that as an excuse to rearrange my whole installation.
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-08-2008, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew_veloce View Post

Except the horrific rat's nest of cables in the back, which is my current obsession.

I know what you mean. You try to make your system as functional as you possibly can as painlessly as you can! I'm starting to realize that with my system, it was cool to have a lot of components several years ago. Now it's all about efficiency and simplicity! I will be trimming off some of my components very soon.

And talking about a rat's nest, check out the attached photo of the back of my system! It's Rat's Nest Central!


Regards!

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #24 of 26 Old 07-08-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

And talking about a rat's nest, check out the attached photo of the back of my system! It's Rat's Nest Central!

Regards!

Hey! Mine looks like that, except it is the same mess in a much shallower space, sprinkled with black poofs of dog hair. When I install my new speakers, I will likely take a crack at solving this mess. If I come up with anything even remotely effective, I shall share it with all.
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post #25 of 26 Old 08-13-2009, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Cleaned up my rig, and made it simpler. I'll have to shoot more photos again.
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post #26 of 26 Old 11-22-2011, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Added a new receiver--great surprise anniversary gift!
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