New Basement = New Speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone. This is my first thread at avsforum and I hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting in the wrong section.

My entire budget for the whole system (includes: receiver, speakers (5.1), and projector) is about $2700. I definitely don't want go to into the HTIB systems because I currently own one of those and am not satisfied.

My current plan includes:
Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1018AH ($503 from Amazon)
Projector: Mitsubishi HC-5500 ($1749 from Amazon without $300 rebate)
Speakers:????????? (Around $500 left)

I've lurked these threads for a while and came to either buying Fluance 5.1 (http://www.fluance.com/fluan5speaks.html) and the JBL - ES250P sub for $300



or the Energy C-300 5.1 Home Theater System from wwstereo.

What should I do? Nothing is set in stone so feel free to make changes. BTW the room is fairly large but rectangular. I'll update with exact size later.


Here is what I have already:
Samsung 52LN750
PS3 (HDMI)
2 XBOX 360s (1 HDMI, 1 Composite)
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 12:46 PM
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At those prices, i dont see why you would choose the Fluance over the Energy C. Serious, why?
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post #3 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 12:56 PM
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Why are you spending so little on speakers? You are spending less than 20% of your budget on them. I would go 2.0 or 2.1 first and buy the rest when you can get more money. Sound will make a larger impression than a huge screen.

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post #4 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:05 PM
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The Energy tower selloff at $500 is probably the best value for that much money.

But know that even before they arrive you will already want an upgrade (first the sub, then the front three, then the rears).

I'd be inclined to get the Energy 5.0, get a less expensive receiver and buy a better sub.

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post #5 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MameXP View Post

At those prices, i dont see why you would choose the Fluance over the Energy C. Serious, why?

Thanks for the response. I have no experience in either of these speakers but from what I've read they are both good. I am still researching but Energy ones are my number one choice at the moment.

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Originally Posted by mbyrnes View Post

Why are you spending so little on speakers? You are spending less than 20% of your budget on them. I would go 2.0 or 2.1 first and buy the rest when you can get more money. Sound will make a larger impression than a huge screen.

You make a good point but the budget is set. You can maybe look at it like this. I have $1000 to spend on speaker+receiver but it has to be 5.1 from the get-go and the receiver has to have HDMI (at least 3 in). I have decided not to spend any more money since the basement is already costing me $40k+ . If you can make recommendations that mix and match speakers without going over the $1000 limit by too much that would be great!
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:22 PM
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- receiver, Marantz sr4002 from accessories4less, $300
- speakers, Energy 5.0 from wwstereo, $400

subwoofer options
- best value, Outlaw LFM-1 EX, $520 delivered
- next, SVS PB10-NSD, $420 plus delivery
- next, sub from eD, could be shipping delays
- next, Paradigm DSP-3100, check local dealers for best discount from MSRP
- next, HSU STF-2, $385 delivered

PS. I also personally prefer the KEF iQ line from Vanns over the Energy; but 5.0 (iQ5-walnut, iQ2-walnut, iQ1-black) is $660.

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post #7 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:27 PM
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The Energy C-Series package is a really great deal... I would maybe recommend the 5.0 package with a Dayton Sub-120 subwoofer instead. Others to look at would be Polk Monitor 50, Monitor 30, and CS1 from NewEgg (if you like the Maple finish) along with the Dayton sub. Another option would be The Speaker company TSBL, TSB, and TSC2 along with the Dayton sub.

The tSc option would probably be my choice... I listened to the Tweeter Saphire series extensively a few years back and almost bought the equivalent to the TSB and TSC2 at 2x the price... The Speaker Company is a new ID speaker brand owned by D&M holdings (Denon, Marantz, Boston, McIntosh) and the TS line is a re-brand of the Sapphire line carried as a house brand by Tweeter/HiFi Buys/Sound Advice a few years back... they reviewed extremely well even at 2-3x their current tSc prices.

All this is assuming you stay with the 1018AH... a great receiver, but not the best price around for it (even from authorized dealers). If you can cancel it, I'd consider doing so and re-ordering it from B&H for $430 to free up a little more budget... maybe even enough to bump the sub up to a Premier Acoustic PA-120.

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post #8 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

- receiver, Marantz sr4002 from accessories4less, $300
- speakers, Energy 5.0 from wwstereo, $400

subwoofer options
- best value, Outlaw LFM-1 EX, $520 delivered
- next, SVS PB10-NSD, $420 plus delivery
- next, sub from eD, could be shipping delays
- next, Paradigm DSP-3100, check local dealers for best discount from MSRP
- next, HSU STF-2, $385 delivered

PS. I also personally prefer the KEF iQ line from Vanns over the Energy; but 5.0 (iQ5-walnut, iQ2-walnut, iQ1-black) is $660.


Wow! Thank you for such a detailed post. I'm gonna go look into these and see if I can find something that suits everything I need. Does the Marantz perform better than the Pioneer VSX-1018AH. What would be the differences besides price of course! Would I hear a big difference between the two if I choose to go with the Energy 5.0 package + additional sub?
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post #9 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

The Energy C-Series package is a really great deal... I would maybe recommend the 5.0 package with a Dayton Sub-120 subwoofer instead. Others to look at would be Polk Monitor 50, Monitor 30, and CS1 from NewEgg (if you like the Maple finish) along with the Dayton sub. Another option would be The Speaker company TSBL, TSB, and TSC2 along with the Dayton sub.

The tSc option would probably be my choice... I listened to the Tweeter Saphire series extensively a few years back and almost bought the equivalent to the TSB and TSC2 at 2x the price... The Speaker Company is a new ID speaker brand owned by D&M holdings (Denon, Marantz, Boston, McIntosh) and the TS line is a re-brand of the Sapphire line carried as a house brand by Tweeter/HiFi Buys/Sound Advice a few years back... they reviewed extremely well even at 2-3x their current tSc prices.

All this is assuming you stay with the 1018AH... a great receiver, but not the best price around for it (even from authorized dealers). If you can cancel it, I'd consider doing so and re-ordering it from B&H for $430 to free up a little more budget... maybe even enough to bump the sub up to a Premier Acoustic PA-120.

Thanks! I haven't looked into tsc before but I'm not looking at what they have to offer. As for the receiver, yes B&H does have it for $430 but it is out of stock. I'm creating a list of new and potential setups and am trying to fit the Premier Acoustic PA-120 or the Dayton in there somehow.
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:48 PM
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The biggest difference between the two receivers is lossless audio decoding. If your Blu-ray player does not do the decoding then the 4002 will not work for you.

The Pioneer has a bit more power, but the difference would not be noticeable.

The difference in your HT by saving the $200 and spending it on a sub would definitely be more beneficial.

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post #11 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:03 PM
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How big a screen will you using, and at what distance?
I've got a 110" diag 16:9 screen and at 12' I see absolutely no pixel structure with my HC1500.

You may be better off with a 720x1280 PJ, which will leave you with another $600 or so to spend on sound.

So much media, so little time...

 

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post #12 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

The biggest difference between the two receivers is lossless audio decoding. If your Blu-ray player does not do the decoding then the 4002 will not work for you.

The Pioneer has a bit more power, but the difference would not be noticeable.

The difference in your HT by saving the $200 and spending it on a sub would definitely be more beneficial.

Well my bluray player is the PS3 and it does have decoding except the PS3 can't output Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in bitstream format. I'm still researching into adding a better sub. More than likely I will have to go with the Energy 5.0 speakers and a good sub but I definately don't want to compromise too much on the receiver.

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Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post

How big a screen will you using, and at what distance?
I've got a 110" diag 16:9 screen and at 12' I see absolutely no pixel structure with my HC1500.

You may be better off with a 720x1280 PJ, which will leave you with another $600 or so to spend on sound.

The screen will be approximately 100" at 14-16 ft distance depending on how low the ceiling gets once they put up the drywall. I have looked into some 720p projectors but I mainly bough the ps3 to watch videos in 1080p so I would like to stick with that. You do make a good point because I can spend more money on speakers.
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post #13 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br0wNb0y View Post

Well my bluray player is the PS3 and it does have decoding except the PS3 can't output Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in bitstream format. I'm still researching into adding a better sub. More than likely I will have to go with the Energy 5.0 speakers and a good sub but I definately don't want to compromise too much on the receiver.

Since the PS3 decodes everything and sends it as PCM the sr4002 would do a great job for you.

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post #14 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br0wNb0y View Post

The screen will be approximately 100" at 14-16 ft distance depending on how low the ceiling gets once they put up the drywall. I have looked into some 720p projectors but I mainly bough the ps3 to watch videos in 1080p so I would like to stick with that. You do make a good point because I can spend more money on speakers.

At that screen size and viewing distance, there will be little to no difference in visible resolution between 720 and 1080.

I'd shift my budget towards speakers.

YMMV

P.S. Projector tech. is moving ahead at a rapid rate. I prefer to buy a bit behind the curve because every couple of years what you can get for your $$ is greatly increased, and it's something that will likely be upgraded every 4 or 5 years. Speakers are something most people hang onto if they're good to start with, because the technology dosen't change the same as most other parts of the system.

Again, YMMV

So much media, so little time...

 

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post #15 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:32 PM
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His blu-ray player is ps3. Does it do the decoding?
I dunno much about recievers, $500 seems a bit much to me tbh.
I would strongly advise on not getting low-end 5.0 speakers for $500, and get a pair of good speakers used from audiogon, or a pair of these or these, and add the other 3 speakers later. The difference between decent speakers and very cheap ones is bigger imo, than difference between stereo and suround sound.
For the pj, you should try to get benq w20000 from this place. If you can get it from them with all needed accessories and no hidden fees, it is a waay better projector than hc5500. It is a reference class projector with top class contrast, sharpness, shadow detail and color accuracy, and twice brighter than hc5500.
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post #16 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CADOBHuK View Post

His blu-ray player is ps3. Does it do the decoding?

Yes, the PS3 decodes the lossless formats and outputs them as PCM over HDMI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CADOBHuK View Post

I dunno much about recievers, $500 seems a bit much to me tbh.

That's pretty much bottom dollar for anything able to accept audio over HDMI. The Marantz I suggested is half price (old version) which is what gets it to $300.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CADOBHuK View Post

I would strongly advise on not getting low-end 5.0 speakers for $500, and get a pair of good speakers used from audiogon, or a pair of these or these, and add the other 3 speakers later. The difference between decent speakers and very cheap ones is bigger imo, than difference between stereo and suround sound.

I'll agree and disagree with you here. Definitely, good speakers make a huge difference and buying something really cheap would be a mistake.

If HTIB or nothing is what you are used to then $1200-$1500 for 5.1 will blow the person away.

The suggested Energy system is being replaced with a new line, so a $1000 MSRP 5.0 is going for $400. Great value.

Buying a better pair and building up from there is OK if the pieces are going to come fast, and 2 ch music is important; but for an obviously HT-centric space I say the hands-down winner is a decent surround package vs. a great front pair.

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post #17 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CADOBHuK View Post

His blu-ray player is ps3. Does it do the decoding?
I dunno much about recievers, $500 seems a bit much to me tbh.
I would strongly advise on not getting low-end 5.0 speakers for $500, and get a pair of good speakers used from audiogon, or a pair of these or these, and add the other 3 speakers later. The difference between decent speakers and very cheap ones is bigger imo, than difference between stereo and suround sound.
For the pj, you should try to get benq w20000 from this place. If you can get it from them with all needed accessories and no hidden fees, it is a waay better projector than hc5500. It is a reference class projector with top class contrast, sharpness, shadow detail and color accuracy, and twice brighter than hc5500.

Thanks for your input. The dilemma is that I really don't see myself reserving more money later on for the system. I would definitely like to get it all over at once to save me the time. As for the projector I will have to go with the Mitsubishi since it does come with a $300 rebate and a free bulb replacement later on. This brings the price down to ~1400 which is $400 less than the benq w20000 (Assuming i still stick with 1080p projectors since some people are making compelling arguments towards buying a 720p.)
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post #18 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay guys after doing some research I think I will have to go with the Energy 5 Speaker Home Theater System (5.0) for $399.

For the sub I think I have narrowed it down to Premier Acoustic PA-120 $229

Now my concern comes down to the receiver. Initially, I decided to go with the Pioneer VSX-1018AH ($430) but rick240 recommended the Marantz sr4002 ($299)

Price wise they difference is ~200$ if I go with the Pioneer and I'm only slightly over budget which is not a problem.

I would like to "futureproof" my stereo system and it concerns me that the Marantz doesn't have built in decoding. What if I get new equipment later on?
What do you guys suggest? I really can't find a well written professional review for the Marantz.

(also lets try and leave the PJ out of this, I'll probably start another thread in the Projector section to get that resolved )
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post #19 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CADOBHuK View Post

For the pj, you should try to get benq w20000 from this place. If you can get it from them with all needed accessories and no hidden fees, it is a waay better projector than hc5500. It is a reference class projector with top class contrast, sharpness, shadow detail and color accuracy, and twice brighter than hc5500.

Brooklyn, NY. Hello bait 'n' switch.

0.56/10 http://www.resellerratings.com/store/On_Time_Digital

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post #20 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Brooklyn, NY. Hello bait 'n' switch.

0.56/10 http://www.resellerratings.com/store/On_Time_Digital


Ouch, good call. I refuse to deal with any small-time stores from NY. Price was too good to be true. Avg retail online is around $3800.

P.S look 2 posts above if you wan't to help me decide. Thanks!
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br0wNb0y View Post

I would like to "futureproof" my stereo system and it concerns me that the Marantz doesn't have built in decoding. What if I get new equipment later on?
What do you guys suggest? I really can't find a well written professional review for the Marantz.

There are more things to consider than internal decoding if you want to "future proof" your receiver. For example, what if someday you decide to get some speakers that require more power? It would be nice to have pre outs so you only need to add an amp rather than buy a new receiver. If internal decoding concerns you then get the Pioneer, but make sure you have enough connectivity and functions for your future plans.
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Onkyo TX-SR606 gives you another HDMI input, full decoding, for a price in-between the other two.

Amp will be comparable between all three, don't decide on that number.

Audyssey (Onkyo) & MCACC (Pioneer) room calibration I know work well, the M.R.A.C. in the Marantz I don't know anything about.

If receiver choice impacted your speaker budget, I'd say get the Marantz no question, as it has all the necessities. Since you've settled on the Energy set, I'd say spring for the Pioneer and be happy with the future-proofing it provides, extra features (XM/Sirius, iPOD control without a deck, etc...), and sexy enclosure.

Pioneer & Marantz will both provide you 7 channel pre-amp outs, if you choose to add a separate amp later.
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post #23 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br0wNb0y View Post

(also lets try and leave the PJ out of this, I'll probably start another thread in the Projector section to get that resolved )

Just in case I miss it in the pj forum, I will chime in and say that you *don't* want that Benq W20000. I have a Benq W10000. It's a great projector, ISF calibrated, it looks wonderful. The temperature sensor in it failed and I called for a repair. They offered to replace it with a W20000. I wasn't sure I wanted a DI, but I thought it *must* be a better pj, due to the higher CR and the added features. I got it and spent 2 weeks trying to remove the video noise from the image. It has several video processing modes, and I shut them all off. It still had some inherent noise, sparklies in solid color blocks, graininess in blacks, etc. It was literally unwatchable. I had 2 other AVSr's over to look at it. One brought his Sencore video calibration system. We spent 3 hours tweaking it and never got rid of the noise.

I sent it back and had my W10000 repaired. It looks beautiful again.

Avoid the W20000, even if you find it for an unbelievable price. BTW, this guy agrees with me:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/tvs/re...P-Projector/p1

Craig

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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #24 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

Onkyo TX-SR606 gives you another HDMI input, full decoding, for a price in-between the other two.

Amp will be comparable between all three, don't decide on that number.

Audyssey (Onkyo) & MCACC (Pioneer) room calibration I know work well, the M.R.A.C. in the Marantz I don't know anything about.

If receiver choice impacted your speaker budget, I'd say get the Marantz no question, as it has all the necessities. Since you've settled on the Energy set, I'd say spring for the Pioneer and be happy with the future-proofing it provides, extra features (XM/Sirius, iPOD control without a deck, etc...), and sexy enclosure.

Pioneer & Marantz will both provide you 7 channel pre-amp outs, if you choose to add a separate amp later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ickysmits View Post

There are more things to consider than internal decoding if you want to "future proof" your receiver. For example, what if someday you decide to get some speakers that require more power? It would be nice to have pre outs so you only need to add an amp rather than buy a new receiver. If internal decoding concerns you then get the Pioneer, but make sure you have enough connectivity and functions for your future plans.

Thanks for the responses guys. I decided to go with the Pioneer based on its extra goodies and that it can still fall in my budget. I'm glad it comes with the option to add separates later on if I feel I need to upgrade. Plus I also just got an ipod touch recently and having ipod functionality built into the Pioneer is something I'm looking forward to using.

For the Onkyo 606, I've seen it in person and was not impressed. Plus it runs VERY hot.

I just bought the Energy 5.0 set. Hope it sounds good! I think I will now look into buying the Premier Acoustic Model PA-120 as the sub. Anyone have any other recommendations for subs around $230?
EDIT: Went ahead and bought the PA-120. Thanks everyone for their help
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post #25 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 08:27 PM
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I just bought the Energy 5.0 set. Hope it sounds good! I think I will now look into buying the Premier Acoustic Model PA-120 as the sub. Anyone have any other recommendations for subs around $230?
EDIT: Went ahead and bought the PA-120. Thanks everyone for their help

I think you'll be happy with both of those choices.

The PA-120 is well regarded, but it would be the weakest link in your chain and the first one you'd want to upgrade.

That why I suggested the Marantz (which also would have made you happy) as it would have freed up ~$150 more for the sub.

The PA-120 is probably the best in that price range; if you can stretch your budget, any of the ones I mentioned above would be better.

Unfortunately, once you enter this game upgrade-itis strikes. My speakers were bought in June and my sub 2 weeks ago, and I'm busy planning their replacements and actively considering immediate great deals...sigh

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post #26 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Just in case I miss it in the pj forum, I will chime in and say that you *don't* want that Benq W20000. I have a Benq W10000. It's a great projector, ISF calibrated, it looks wonderful. The temperature sensor in it failed and I called for a repair. They offered to replace it with a W20000. I wasn't sure I wanted a DI, but I thought it *must* be a better pj, due to the higher CR and the added features. I got it and spent 2 weeks trying to remove the video noise from the image. It has several video processing modes, and I shut them all off. It still had some inherent noise, sparklies in solid color blocks, graininess in blacks, etc. It was literally unwatchable. I had 2 other AVSr's over to look at it. One brought his Sencore video calibration system. We spent 3 hours tweaking it and never got rid of the noise.

I sent it back and had my W10000 repaired. It looks beautiful again.

Avoid the W20000, even if you find it for an unbelievable price. BTW, this guy agrees with me:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/tvs/re...P-Projector/p1

Craig

Being out of his budget range, I know this is irrelevant, but I have to disagree. I've owned the W5000 for over 9 months, and it throws a spectacular image for the money. If you peruse the owners thread you'll quickly find that image noise, if existent, was an early firmware issue. It's simply one of the sharpest displays you can buy, and as such will show you everything the source has to offer. Given quality HD (Blu-ray), proper calibration, and BC turned off there is no image noise that does not exist in the source. Garbage in, garbage out- it will not lie to you, or hide anything from you. I happen to love that fact. The W20000 only improves on the W5K with added contrast/better blacks (DC3), and I'll be giving it a try later this week. Not taking anything away from the W10000, I've heard it was a fantastic projector as well- but you're in the minority thinking that image noise is an issue with the W5K/20K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

I think you'll be happy with both of those choices.

The PA-120 is well regarded, but it would be the weakest link in your chain and the first one you'd want to upgrade.

That why I suggested the Marantz (which also would have made you happy) as it would have freed up ~$150 more for the sub.

The PA-120 is probably the best in that price range; if you can stretch your budget, any of the ones I mentioned above would be better.

Unfortunately, once you enter this game upgrade-itis strikes. My speakers were bought in June and my sub 2 weeks ago, and I'm busy planning their replacements and actively considering immediate great deals...sigh

I definitely have to agree with Rick here, I forgot you were still looking for a sub. You will enjoy what you bought though, and yep... you will be browsing AVS looking for replacements soon enough. :P That's how it goes.
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post #27 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 08:39 PM
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I'm sure many people will say w20000 is a great pj, any issues are covered by the warranty, and I knew that kind of stores is fishy but most of the negative feedback is associated with cameras and not projectors. I'd personally make an attempt and see how it works out and bail out if it doesn't. But if it is out of your price range, then it is all irrelevant.
And about the stereo vs 5.1 - I've seen many movies in my 5.1 HT and majority of the time surround speakers are doing nothing or very little. But if you don't see yourself spending any more on speakers in the future, then surround sound may be more important to you.
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post #28 of 37 Old 01-29-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the help. I know the sub is probably the weakest link but I think it should be fine for now. Sucks how anything to do with technology basically means you upgrade as soon as you find a good deal. I'll definately be keeping an eye out. I'm waiting for b&h to restock on the pioneer receiver and I'll update this post once I start a pj thread if anyone wants to help!
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post #29 of 37 Old 01-29-2009, 12:37 PM
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Personaly id hold off on the sub and put 10 maybe 20 $$$ a weak away. your weakest link, the sub should be your strongest. any type of theater needs a kick ass sub.

end of story.

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post #30 of 37 Old 01-29-2009, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury View Post

Personaly id hold off on the sub and put 10 maybe 20 $$$ a weak away. your weakest link, the sub should be your strongest. any type of theater needs a kick ass sub.

end of story.

Is the sub really that bad? From the owners thread it seems like the people love it and don't really have too many complaints towards it. I'm by no means an audiophile. I can tell the difference between bad and good sound but not between good and REALLY good unless you go into the 2000-3000$ a speaker/sub sets. Also I can't cancel an ebay order so I'm with the sub if I like it or not lol.
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