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Old 03-11-2009, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello AVS Forum!

i'm trying to build a budget midrange HT.

TV (purchased already): Vizio SV420XVT 42"er with 6500:1 dynamic contrast ratio (low) but has 120hz. $799 shipped - dell

Receivers: Onkyo 606 ($300 shipped with 1 yr warranty REFURB from shady dealer) or Yamaha HTR 6160 (same as rx-v663) ($350 + tax free shipping from dell) leaning towards yamaha since i've owned 2 before and had good experiences and dell doesn't fuss too much over replacing things.

Speakers: Polk 5.1 RM6750 ($200 shipped from newegg though i've seen em lower)

Priorities: in this order: Music/HD Movies/Xbox Gaming

Will be placed in an apartment so i'd rather trade thump for quality. I also don't even think i have enough space for 5.1 as is, so 7.1 is probably overkill.

my living room is open to the left, window/patio door to the right, Higher than normal cielings for an apartment, 11'5" X 13'8", Carpet (beige)

I >REALLY< like the out the door price of the yamaha + rm6750 for ~ $550 and would at all costs like to keep it to this price range. although i have a feeling that these speakers are sub par.

the lack of hdmi inputs on the yamaha is not much of a limitation right now since I'll be plugging in the XBOX elite and wd hd tv into the 2 open slots. HD cable or satellite can occupy a component slot since it doesn't "need" 1080p/hdmi.

i'm going this route b/c i like my ability to upgrade to much better speakers with this receiver.

I'm open to all suggestions/criticisms (or corrections. not much of an audiophile so i'm sure i've made amistake somewhere )

Thanks. Been following this forum for a while now. By far the best in its class.

Diego
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:48 PM
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A couple of things:

1) The Yamaha is a really nice receiver but the 2 HDMI inputs is really limited. It also tested poorly on the test bench power wise (in the 30's for watts with all 5 channels driven) This isn't bad as the Onkyo with 60 or so watts per channel will only get you another 2-3 dBs. The good thing is the Speakers you are after are pretty efficient (89 dB). The advantage to the Yamaha is the pre-outs so you could add an amplifier later. You cannot do that with the Onkyo. Many use the 663 in this way and love the results. I would go with the Yamaha over the 606 (I actually own an Onkyo and love it!)

Waiting for the new 2009 models might pay off for you. It appears all of the new models will have 4 HDMIs which should be plenty for almost all regular systems. On another note the older models may get cheaper and you may be able to move up in models and get more features for your dollar.

2) Polk speakers range a lot in sound. I am not a fan of their cheaper speakers AT ALL. As you move up the line the quality improves and at moderate prices they make some great speakers. They are not to my taste, but I can clearly understand why so many own them. I blame the Best Buys and Circuit Citys of yore for the crappy Polks (and Infinity). There was a niche (Joe Homeowner) that wanted cheap sound and those two companies added cheaper lines. I would go listen to this set and see if you like the sound. Granted you plan on upgrading at some point, but not liking your current system would suck. You may have to upgrade all of it.

3) Is music more than 50% of your listening? If so you might want to consider going with a 2.0 system where you can buy a nicer setup through time but get what you need right away. Surround sound is great but on a cheap system music sounds like crap. The cheaper 5.1 systems are really for HT, not heavy music listening. The crucial mid bass area is usually crap and this will hurt all music. IMO you need a good sub to go with decent bookshelves for music. My sister has a cheaper Polk system and it sucks for music. She is happy with it though and I guess that is what matters.

I feel many rush to 5.1 only to find they don't like their setup. They end up replacing ALL of it. Slowly building a system can usually pay off with a few years of enjoyment (until income increases and the upgrade bug bites, LOL).

Wait some if you have to, it will be worth it. Most AVRs regardless of power will be plenty for normal listening. Go for features you need/want. Be happy with your speakers. Go listen before you buy and see what you like. Speakers last MUCH longer than an AVR will. Spend more on speakers if you can.

good luck with everything.

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Old 03-11-2009, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mbyrnes View Post

A couple of things:

1) The Yamaha is a really nice receiver but the 2 HDMI inputs is really limited. It also tested poorly on the test bench power wise (in the 30's for watts with all 5 channels driven) This isn't bad as the Onkyo with 60 or so watts per channel will only get you another 2-3 dBs. The good thing is the Speakers you are after are pretty efficient (89 dB). The advantage to the Yamaha is the pre-outs so you could add an amplifier later. You cannot do that with the Onkyo. Many use the 663 in this way and love the results. I would go with the Yamaha over the 606 (I actually own an Onkyo and love it!)

Waiting for the new 2009 models might pay off for you. It appears all of the new models will have 4 HDMIs which should be plenty for almost all regular systems. On another note the older models may get cheaper and you may be able to move up in models and get more features for your dollar.

2) Polk speakers range a lot in sound. I am not a fan of their cheaper speakers AT ALL. As you move up the line the quality improves and at moderate prices they make some great speakers. They are not to my taste, but I can clearly understand why so many own them. I blame the Best Buys and Circuit Citys of yore for the crappy Polks (and Infinity). There was a niche (Joe Homeowner) that wanted cheap sound and those two companies added cheaper lines. I would go listen to this set and see if you like the sound. Granted you plan on upgrading at some point, but not liking your current system would suck. You may have to upgrade all of it.

3) Is music more than 50% of your listening? If so you might want to consider going with a 2.0 system where you can buy a nicer setup through time but get what you need right away. Surround sound is great but on a cheap system music sounds like crap. The cheaper 5.1 systems are really for HT, not heavy music listening. The crucial mid bass area is usually crap and this will hurt all music. IMO you need a good sub to go with decent bookshelves for music. My sister has a cheaper Polk system and it sucks for music. She is happy with it though and I guess that is what matters.

I feel many rush to 5.1 only to find they don't like their setup. They end up replacing ALL of it. Slowly building a system can usually pay off with a few years of enjoyment (until income increases and the upgrade bug bites, LOL).

Wait some if you have to, it will be worth it. Most AVRs regardless of power will be plenty for normal listening. Go for features you need/want. Be happy with your speakers. Go listen before you buy and see what you like. Speakers last MUCH longer than an AVR will. Spend more on speakers if you can.

good luck with everything.

Thanks. That's a very interesting point with the higher end 2.0 vs a crappy 5.1. you are right. i can build the system as i go. i kind of want something byt the 29th of march because i'm hosting a party

can you recommend some? i've been looking at the energy C-100 Book shelf speakers. i like what i see as far as specs and reviews and price.
THESE SPEAKERS are being sold locally ON CL. i'm also checking those out.

by the way, i pulled the trigger on the yamaha. EVERYTHING will eventually go down in price, i'll make due with this one for now. worst case scenario, i'll ghetto rig an hdmi switch or get up n change cables until i upgrade.

at 350 i still think it's great performance/dollar.

thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:47 PM
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If you don't mind floorstanding. This energy set is a good price:
http://www.wwstereo.com/#/ecommerce/...rs/33/144559//

or something from:

http://www.thespeakercompany.com/
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:02 PM
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So basically now you have $200 to spend on speakers. I completely agree that you should go 2.0 and build. Its hard to tell yourself that b/c it seems that a lot of people want quantity over quality...espc. in this economy. You will be MUCH happier in the end and you won't regret spending more money b/c the end result will be above and beyond what your expectations would be...atleast if your wanting the 6750's....their still good but you'll do much better. Its kind of hard to recommend some mains for that kind of budget but when something like this happens, most people buy some mains and when they accumulate more money they buy some nicer speakers and move their currents to the rear surrounds. Also, you can go in any order to speakers you'd like but i'd recommend one of these 2...

- 2.0 mains...then moved back to surrounds
- New mains
- Sub
- Center

or

- Mains..then moved
- Sub
- New Mains
- Center


For a pair of speakers for $200 you have a ton of options but see if you can up your budget for Fronts just a tad tinny bit.
- Polk Monitor 50's
- Energy C-300 (would be about $250 though)
- Energy C-100
etc etc...hopefully others will chime in and help you find something you like!
-

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:15 PM
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For around $200 shipped you could get a set of Athena LS-300 towers from Audio Advisor- http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ATLS300 They are similar to the C-300s (I had a set of those and they were pretty good IMO, especially for music). They also have a pretty good return policy (you pay shipping and no restocking fee) if you don't like them. You could also add a small sub down the line for a bit more bass in movies. For the price it would be a decent 2.0 system until you have the money and the room to upgrade to something better.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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i came on here for help and help i got. i'm 90% decided on either the polk monitor 50's or the Energy C-300... any last words on comparing these 2? i like the look of the polks more but sound is way more important.

The support at this place is just unreal. i was afraid i'd get flamed for being a newb at first
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattman193 View Post

For around $200 shipped you could get a set of Athena LS-300 towers from Audio Advisor- http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ATLS300 They are similar to the C-300s (I had a set of those and they were alright). For the price its a good deal. And they have a pretty good return policy if you don't like them. For the price it would be an ok 2.0 system until you have the money and the room to upgrade to something better.


I believe Athena has been scrapped so it would be difficult to piece together something at a later date. I could be wrong....not usually but it happened once...back in Viet. Nam

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:31 PM
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I believe Athena has been scrapped so it would be difficult to piece together something at a later date. I could be wrong....not usually but it happened once...back in Viet. Nam

I do believe your right but it would work for the time being and then he could always get rid of them when its time to upgrade. I think they are also discontinuing the C series so now is the time to pick up a center channel if you plan on making a C series 5.0 system.

Barrerard, have you looked at the Polk T90E's from Newegg? Those go on sale quite often too.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrerad View Post

i came on here for help and help i got. i'm 90% decided on either the polk monitor 50's or the Energy C-300... any last words on comparing these 2? i like the look of the polks more but sound is way more important.

The support at this place is just unreal. i was afraid i'd get flamed for being a newb at first


Shut up newb! Haha jk. Im in too good of a mood to have 2 midterms tomorrow.....prolly not gonna do good on either one .

Seeing how your looking at the C-300's then I assume its ok for your budget to be right there. Like someone already said, I'd take a look at the Polk T90e at Newegg. Their the equiv. of the Polk Monitor 60 but better and their a 3-way unlike the M50's and M60's that are 2-way. Soooo you'll be getting a midrange woofer and a much nicer looking speaker. I think thats what I'm about to pull the trigger on for my Fronts.


Mattman- You say that the T90e goes on sale frequently? Do you remember what you saw them go down to? Every dollar off helps when your in college haha

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:46 PM
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I think I saw them around $120 w/shipping last time they were in the email deals maybe two months ago. I would think if they are sitting heavy on them they are due to go on special soon. If you really want to know the exact price, you can go back though the email specials on their forums and find them. I love Newegg
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattman193 View Post

I think I saw them around $120 w/shipping last time they were in the email deals maybe two months ago. I would think if they are sitting heavy on them they are due to go on special soon. If you really want to know the exact price, you can go back though the email specials on their forums and find them. I love Newegg

Maybe i'll just give them a call and ask them if I can get them for $99...just b/c its Fri.



- Edit- To the OP, you should have gone with a diff. TV. I have a feeling that wont last much longer. Just don't visit the Plasma/LCD forums or you're gonna go in debt! lol

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Old 03-11-2009, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe i'll just give them a call and ask them if I can get them for $99...just b/c its Fri.



- Edit- To the OP, you should have gone with a diff. TV. I have a feeling that wont last much longer. Just don't visit the Plasma/LCD forums or you're gonna go in debt! lol

HAHA. I Bet!

these T90e's look amazing but i don't think the price is quite right on them right now. $320 shipped with the cables to connect them. going over my budget by about 100...

i think i'll stick to the monitor's right now. are the 60's worth the $10 upgrade each?

EDIT: but remember for me it's all about the music. i want the centerpiece to be the sound not so much the movies or TV. i have a much larger music collection than movies.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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okay okay okay... i consulted a friend who poitned out that i like "flashy" things and he said these are nicer looking and started to explain "3-way" to me.... considering that they are MORE discounted than the other set of speakers and they managed to make it onto slick deals at this price, i decided to bite on the T90Es

I hope you are all happy.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:27 PM
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The T90e pair should only be like $280 shipped....I dunno where you shopping or getting you speaker wire from! Newegg is where I'm looking.

There's like 3 or 4 people looking at these T90e's right now and I wonder if we ask Newegg if we can get 5 people or so to buy 2 a piece if they'd give us a deal?? Worth a shot.

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Old 03-11-2009, 09:41 PM
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okay okay okay... i consulted a friend who poitned out that i like "flashy" things and he said these are nicer looking and started to explain "3-way" to me.... considering that they are MORE discounted than the other set of speakers and they managed to make it onto slick deals at this price, i decided to bite on the T90Es

I hope you are all happy.

No, I hope your happy!! Seriously though, if you want cheap prices on decent cables check www.monoprice.com Its a good place to get all the stuff you need. This forum has a strange way of doubling your "budget" when your looking at things. I went from wanting to spend $200 on some new speakers to buying (and then returning) a 5.0 C-300 package, to in two weeks getting a pair of Monitor RS6 at about $1000 a pair. I'm not so sure I should should be spending that kind of money but I gotta do my part to stimulate the economy. No vacation for me this year..
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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No, I hope your happy!! Seriously though, if you want cheap prices on decent cables check www.monoprice.com Its a good place to get all the stuff you need. This forum has a strange way of doubling your "budget" when your looking at things. I went from wanting to spend $200 on some new speakers to buying (and then returning) a 5.0 C-300 package, to in two weeks getting a pair of Monitor RS6 at about $1000 a pair. I'm not so sure I should should be spending that kind of money but I gotta do my part to stimulate the economy. No vacation for me this year..

LOL!! I've used the "stimulating the economy" excuse before too. glad to know i'm not the only one who thinks that way.

i'm excited as hell now. i'll make sure to post up my impressions once i have my speakers. hopefully within the next couple months or so i'll supplement with a good sub and rears. my apartment is going to explode and my neighbors will want to kick me out
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:56 PM
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Yes please get pics and a hardcore review! I want to know everything about these T90e's! They looks to good to be true!

I personally demo'd the Infinity 362's and they sounded to harsh on the highs for me. That was paired with a Dennon too I believe! I wish I could step up to the RTi line but us budget guys will have to settle. I hope you like em!!! When will you have them?



Edit- Damnit...I think I'm more excited than you!

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Old 03-12-2009, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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[quote=ousooner2;16023591]Yes please get pics and a hardcore review! I want to know everything about these T90e's! They looks to good to be true!

I personally demo'd the Infinity 362's and they sounded to harsh on the highs for me. That was paired with a Dennon too I believe! I wish I could step up to the RTi line but us budget guys will have to settle. I hope you like em!!! When will you have them?



Edit- Damnit...I think I'm more excited than you![/QUOTE]

TRUST ME, it's not possible. as soon as it's set up i'll shoot you a pm or reply here with my personal opinion as well as that of a friend who happens to be a sound engineer and bonafied audiophile if he makes it out to my place.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:57 PM
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In my opinion, you're spending too much on the AVR, not enough on the speakers. While you have some good options, I would strongly caution against buying refurb online from a shady dealer. Also, don't get hung up on the number of HDMI inputs, if you need more, you can get a 4-port HDMI switch for less than $40 if needed.
Instead, head over to www.shoponkyo.com. Hurry, because their deals end without notice, but right now, you can get the Onkyo 506 for $160 shipped. Then, take that extra money and put it towards speakers. There are some great suggestions already here, including the Athena speakers, those Energy speakers, and the Polk T90e speakers. Also, if you're interested in Polk, visit their website and look for the link to the official Polk Audio eBay store, some good deals to find there, too.

But yeah... don't blow too much money on the receiver, pile as much $$$ into your speakers as you can...
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:08 PM
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In my opinion, you're spending too much on the AVR, not enough on the speakers. While you have some good options, I would strongly caution against buying refurb online from a shady dealer. Also, don't get hung up on the number of HDMI inputs, if you need more, you can get a 4-port HDMI switch for less than $40 if needed.
Instead, head over to www.shoponkyo.com. Hurry, because their deals end without notice, but right now, you can get the Onkyo 506 for $160 shipped. Then, take that extra money and put it towards speakers. There are some great suggestions already here, including the Athena speakers, those Energy speakers, and the Polk T90e speakers. Also, if you're interested in Polk, visit their website and look for the link to the official Polk Audio eBay store, some good deals to find there, too.

But yeah... don't blow too much money on the receiver, pile as much $$$ into your speakers as you can...


+1,

Should have been under $200 for the receiver and $300 or more for speakers. Heck 2 year old AVRs can be near $100 so that might give you $400 for speakers.

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