Best Surround Sound Speakers (5.1 or 7.1) for under $500? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys. My girlfriend's father just received a nice Denon receiver for the holidays and he's now asking me to help him pick out some speakers.

He just got a new HDTV as well so he is just looking for something to compliment movies and TV. He told me he's not looking to spend too much but he wants something decent. I would say the price range he is looking for is $300-$600ish.

Any standard picks that are good in this price range?
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 11:24 AM
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please post a little more info on room size, owners wishes concerning type/look of speakers, etc.

without knowing any of the above, this is an excellent sale (and it won't be around long)
http://www.wwstereo.com/#/ecommerce/...rs/33/144560//
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 02:24 PM
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I second the Energy setup - it's a great value. AudioAdvisor also has good deals on the Energy C series.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 02:29 PM
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The Energy system is good. A couple other options that will come in around $600:

Mirage/HSU
5 Nanosats - Check out Vann's
1 HSU STF-2 Sub - Direct

Ascend/Dayton
5 HTM-200SE - Direct on special
1 Dayton Sub - PartsExpress
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 04:30 PM
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Last week I ordered Polk Audio RM10 (4 satellites + 1 center) and Polk Audio PSW111 sub from Amazon (they were shipped from wholesaleav.com). They cost me $428 including shipping and tax. I think that was the best deal for a budget 5.1 setup (I wasn't allowed to buy big speakers or pay more than $500 - wife factor).

The only downside is that it's almost impossible to find black RM201 or RM101 satellites if you want to upgrade to 7.1. I am considering about getting newer RM8 or RM7 satellites for the future upgrade but not sure if they will be a good match with RM10. Also cheaper RM6751's can be purchased as rear speakers if you want to spend less for a 7.1 upgrade.

Anyway, it may seem funny to say this in this audiophiles' forum but I am really excited about my first entry level speakers.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 04:56 PM
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If you can push the $600 a little bit, then:

- sub, Bic PA-120 from eBay $230
- centre, KEF iQ2 from Vanns $150
- front and rear, KEF iQ1 from Vanns $200 per pair, $400

Nice 5.1 for $780.

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 05:26 PM
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I third the Energy 5.1 system. cimbom that's a decent deal but those polks just don't compare. If you're only looking to have low level sound for movies and music in a 'small' room then you're ok but filling anything larger or turning the volume up for music would expose that little system for what it is....a compact 5.1 surround. $400 for a compact 5.1 or about $500 for the Energy 5.1 system. I say the Energy with those compact towers and better sub would sound amazing....and much more 'room filling' than most any compact system. Polk subs are ok but not quite in the same league as the Energy either IMO. my vote is for the Energy on sale.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

The Polks "look" real nice and I wonder how much he will care about the look of the speakers. The price is something he would also have no problem.

I don't know much about the Energy system but based on your responses it's a great deal. The entertainment center is a part of his basement which has been completely redone and furnished. I would have to say medium-large. I wouldn't say those polks would do justice, but the room isn't huge so they could maybe get by.

I will push him on the Energy speakers. I can see the wife giving him a bit of a hard time since they might not blend in quite as well as something smaller and easier on the eyes like the polks.

Thanks guys.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

If you can push the $600 a little bit, then:

- sub, Bic PA-120 from eBay $230
- centre, KEF iQ2 from Vanns $150
- front and rear, KEF iQ1 from Vanns $200 per pair, $400

Nice 5.1 for $780.

Listen to Rick240
You can save $50 by going walnut on the iQ2
This is a real system.
Compare.
Its worth it.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightguy View Post

Listen to Rick240
You can save $50 by going walnut on the iQ2
This is a real system.
Compare.
Its worth it.

I know, but then they don't match. And the only place with walnut iQ1 is accessories4less at $250 plus shipping; so same total plus shipping.

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

I know, but then they don't match. And the only place with walnut iQ1 is accessories4less at $250 plus shipping; so same total plus shipping.

Once the lights turn off they look the same
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booloo View Post

Hey guys. My girlfriend's father just received a nice Denon receiver for the holidays and he's now asking me to help him pick out some speakers.

He just got a new HDTV as well so he is just looking for something to compliment movies and TV. He told me he's not looking to spend too much but he wants something decent. I would say the price range he is looking for is $300-$600ish.

Any standard picks that are good in this price range?

You might check the Def Tech 600 home theatre package. BB carries it at $699 list. They will usually discount it. The system includes 5 satellites and a sub. Some internet sellers also carry Definitive Technology.

DaveG
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-16-2009, 10:04 PM
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the $399 Energy package (C-300's + C-C50 + C50's) with a $230 PA-120 sub would be tough to beat at $630 shipped if he can do tower speakers up front. If he can't do towers, you could do C-50's all around + a C-C50 center for $280 shipped, or even the larger C-100's up front, then add an even more monstrous $300-350 type sub sub stashed away in the corner away from the wife's scornful gaze, something like the eD A-300

it's the top of the price range, but it's a real shame how everyone wants to skimp on speakers after spending all the dough on the display and receiver. convince him that he needs to do his shiny new Denon and HDTV justice, man!!! the wife should be able to make any "blend-in" complaints in the freaking basement!! That being said, the Energy C-Series speakers are very attractive with a high quality of fit&finish for a "budget" speaker.

And, in a big space like a medium-sized basement, if he wants to crank it on movies those tiny sub/sat systems will just not be able to hang.

a system anchored by towers up front with a nice sub will really do the HT justice.

batpig's "Denon-to-English Dictionary"
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-17-2009, 07:40 AM
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just in case there is some confusion about the "looks" of the Energy speaker system, it is shown on the wwstereo.com site with the black grills removed to show the actual speakers. With the grills on, the speakers will tend to blend into the environment as black rectangles and really not be all that noticable (almost all speakers mentioned will do this)....it is a home theater room after all.

http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...-300-overview/
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-17-2009, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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After talking to him again it seems he is looking for something pretty nice. He mentioned a budget, but it seems like he is willing to spend a little more if need-be.

He sounded real interested in the Energy speakers. Rick240, what you listed looks nice too. I will show him your setup.

Thanks for all the informative responses.
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-17-2009, 09:40 AM
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FYI - if he prefers a wood finish look you can also get the Energy C-Series AND the PA-120 sub in cherry finish, which might please the wife more (depending on their decor and taste). Several people have this combo and apparently the PA-120 cherry finish happens to be a perfect match for the C-Series. Either way it will match because they both have glossy block baffles offsetting the wood veneer.

It would be slightly more expensive in cherry but just throwing it out there as an option.

C-300 (cherry) for $260 a pair shipped from Audio Advisor
C-C50 center (cherry) for $70 shipped from Audio Advisor
PA-120 sub for $230 shipped in cherry off ebay

That puts you at $560 shipped and you just need surrounds. For $100 more you can get the larger C-C100 center channel in cherry from Audio Advisor (who BTW is also an authorized dealer so they will get full 5-yr warranty). I couldn't find the C-50 bookshelves in cherry which is why I didn't list surrounds, but we're in the ballpark. If he has room for slightly bigger bookshelves in back he can get the C-100 in cherry.

batpig's "Denon-to-English Dictionary"
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