7.1 Speaker System? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi There,

I am looking for some expert advice on purchasing a 7.1 speaker system and figured id turn to some experts. =)

I am relatively new to the field of home audio and recently purchased an Onkyo - NR807 as a receiver. I absolutely love it. However, I am running some absolutely garbage speakers from an old Yamaha set I had before. With it I am in the market to pick up a speaker set. I am not looking to buy individual speakers at this time since I dont think I would recognize the difference and my budget is not too high. Looking to spend roughly 500 or so, although could go as high as 1k.

I have done some searching online and am leaning towards the Onkyo SKS HT870 set. However, I figured I would ask if there are any suggestions anyone else would have? It seems like I may have some time before that items come back into stock anywhere.

Thanks,
Munkiez.
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

Hi There,

I am looking for some expert advice on purchasing a 7.1 speaker system and figured id turn to some experts. =)

I am relatively new to the field of home audio and recently purchased an Onkyo - NR807 as a receiver. I absolutely love it. However, I am running some absolutely garbage speakers from an old Yamaha set I had before. With it I am in the market to pick up a speaker set. I am not looking to buy individual speakers at this time since I dont think I would recognize the difference and my budget is not too high. Looking to spend roughly 500 or so, although could go as high as 1k.

I have done some searching online and am leaning towards the Onkyo SKS HT870 set. However, I figured I would ask if there are any suggestions anyone else would have? It seems like I may have some time before that items come back into stock anywhere.

Thanks,
Munkiez.

Onkyo SKS HT870 that is a negative. you have 1k to spend upgrade your LCR(left , center, right) Speakers. look into paradigm monitor 9 or 11 witha cc390 center,
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:23 AM
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You can do pretty well on $500-$1000 budget.Dont get a home theatre in a box,go for seperates,they always sound a whole lot better.
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:29 AM
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Onkyo aren't known for speakers so I would skip on the HT870. Speakers and subwoofer makes the biggest impact to sound, not receiver, so its always wise to spend more on speaker and subwoofer when you can.

Your budget is too limited for 7.1, you are better off with just 5.1. Go around town and audition as many brands as you can from cheap to expensive to give you an idea of what each brands brings.

If you want to go cheap, Polk Monitor usually sell cheap at newegg. Infinity goes cheap often too but currently not on sale at the moment. SVSound have some affordable packages that is worth looking at. You can also check out Elemental Design to build a system. If you don't mind horn tweeters, the BIC Accoustech is a good buy as well. I don't know if you'll like any of these brands, just throwing out some brands within your budget.
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post #5 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by calnbs View Post

SVSound have some affordable packages that is worth looking at.

+1 on the SVSound
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

Hi There,

I am looking for some expert advice on purchasing a 7.1 speaker system and figured id turn to some experts. =)

I am relatively new to the field of home audio and recently purchased an

lol..

You add our opinions + the dealer salesmenship + the manufacturer witchcraft = you!-the expert!

McIntosh Labs! What am I listening to?
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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See thats the thing, i dont know really any of the brands you mentioned except Polk and Infinity. Thanks for the great advice! The SVSound looks pretty appealing as well...

Thanks for all your help! I will take a look at some more brands and expand my horizons. Also, how noticeable is truly a 7.1 to a 5.1? How much does room size come into play?
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post #8 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oOOBillO0o View Post

lol..

You add our opinions + the dealer salesmenship + the manufacturer witchcraft = you!-the expert!

Hey give me some credit for not just going to a best buy and purchasing whatever they sold me...at least I have the knowledge base to come ask the "experts" first
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

See thats the thing, i dont know really any of the brands you mentioned except Polk and Infinity. Thanks for the great advice! The SVSound looks pretty appealing as well...

Thanks for all your help! I will take a look at some more brands and expand my horizons. Also, how noticeable is truly a 7.1 to a 5.1? How much does room size come into play?

Your room will always be a factor on how it impacts the sound. Depending on your room size, you might not even have the space to go 7.1. Also, too many people ignore room treatments (I'm one of them) but from what I have read, it's a very important part of the HT process that should not be ignore.
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

Hey give me some credit for not just going to a best buy and purchasing whatever they sold me...at least I have the knowledge base to come ask the "experts" first

Have you looked at the HSU ULS-15 + their monitor speakers? You can get 4 15" subwoofers and 7 speakers for under $5,000!!

McIntosh Labs! What am I listening to?
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post #11 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 12:46 PM
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If you can afford it then Bose is definitely the way to go. Their cube speakers are the best sounding speakers ever invented. It proves that you don't need big speakers to get loud, distortion free sound.
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post #12 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mrbose View Post

If you can afford it then Bose is definitely the way to go. Their cube speakers are the best sounding speakers ever invented. It proves that you don't need big speakers to get loud, distortion free sound.

you said the "B" word,
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post #13 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 12:54 PM
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Just posting to see how the rest of this thread turns out after the 1:46 post...

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. -- Albert Einstein
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post #14 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 12:56 PM
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Just posting to see how the rest of this thread turns out after the 1:46 post...

Bose employees come on from time to time, we just ignore them now. then ban them
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post #15 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

Bose employees come on from time to time, we just ignore them now. then ban them

I thought this was a forum to talk about high quality equipment, not a forum with biased people that probably haven't even listened to a properly set up Bose speaker system.
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post #16 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbose View Post

I thought this was a forum to talk about high quality equipment,.

thats the point

Quote:


not a forum with biased people that probably haven't even listened to a properly set up Bose speaker system.

yes i have in one of their biggest presentation rooms, were the cover up there speaker with fake floor standers, then after their horrible presentation they lift off the fake floorstanders.....been there done that, bought the tee shirt and threw it away
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post #17 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 02:05 PM
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Anyway... I am also wondering about the 5.1 to 7.1 question. Is there a spreadsheet of recommended room sizing and # of speakers? Factoring in Room size, number of rows, screen size, viewing distance etc....
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post #18 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 03:46 PM
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It's not so much room size as room layout. 7.1 can fit in a fairly small room if seating is in the center and there is a decent distance behind it.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #19 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Even I am not enough of a noob to drop the Bose line...

I also have come across some of the Mirage speakers recently...how are those for a setup? It seems like they seem to direct the sound in a non custom manner...any insight from my experts?
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post #20 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

I am relatively new to the field of home audio and recently purchased an Onkyo - NR807 as a receiver. I absolutely love it.

With it I am in the market to pick up a speaker set. I am not looking to buy individual speakers at this time since I dont think I would recognize the difference and my budget is not too high. Looking to spend roughly 500 or so, although could go as high as 1k.

.

You have your budget completely backwards. You probably paid $800 or so for that receiver, but you want to spend less on the speakers.

You should spend at least TWICE as much on speakers and a sub as you do the receiver. Speakers affect sound far more than the electronics.

$1000 is not that much of a budget to put together a 7.1 speaker set worthy of an $800 receiver. If you can up your budget to about $1400-1600, then you can really put together a nice system.

If $1000 is your limit, I'd say the SVS system that's on sale is about the best you can get. (7.1 compact surround system with SBS-01 mains and PB10-NSD)

I know Elemental Designs makes about one of the best budget subs around, the A2-300 for $350, but I don't know much about their speakers. If you go to their package builder page, you can put together what looks like a nice system for $1200 (A6 6T6 MTM of the L/C/R, and A3 5TC for all the surrounds, with an A3-300 sub (that's a good size sub).

Internet direct (ID) companies are going to give you more for your money than Best Buy. THere are many ID companies to choose from other than SVS and ED, Ascend Acoustics, Aperion, Hsu, etc.
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post #21 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbose View Post

I thought this was a forum to talk about high quality equipment, not a forum with biased people that probably haven't even listened to a properly set up Bose speaker system.

Someone just got hired at a Bose store making 8 bucks an hour. Congratulations sir!
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post #22 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok you all have been very helpful.

Looks like I need to expand my horizons a bit which is fine, I am hoping a nice system can last me a while...

So leaning towards more of a custom speaker system of either Elemental Designs or the SVSound packages...they both seem pretty reasonable...may also expand amount willing to spend to around 1,400 or so to get some top notch gear from those place. Would you all still recommend staying with something like that? I just fear that if i start getting into individual speakers I am going to get waaayyyy over my head. Once again i'm new to this sort of thing as my receiver purchase has shown...
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post #23 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry more intro level questions. I know a sub is necessary, but will it mess my system up if I do not have one initially? Can i go a couple weeks before I pick one up? Getting antsy want to pull the trigger on something, but the economy is keeping me down
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post #24 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

Sorry more intro level questions. I know a sub is necessary, but will it mess my system up if I do not have one initially? Can i go a couple weeks before I pick one up? Getting antsy want to pull the trigger on something, but the economy is keeping me down

You can go years without a sub if you want to. No one from the AVS police will come and arrest you. A lot of us built up high-quality systems over years, starting with the best pair of front speakers that we could buy, and using them (possibly) for months or years before adding a center channel or surrounds or a sub. One thing about rushing into a complete speaker system with a limited budget is that all to often the money you spent becomes "wasted" when you decide it's not all it's cracked up to be and you start over. I'm not saying that will happen with you if you go with one of the suggested systems (well, with the exception of Bose, but I can't help you anymore if you decide to go that route ). If you are truly looking for a quick system, and believe that you'll be happy with a "cheap"er complete system, then by all means go for it. However, if you want to build a higher-quality system (part of the fun of this hobby), then look more at spending your current budget on just the fronts or the front three speakers, and building as you build up more funds.

However, back to your question, while a subwoofer is "necessary" from the standpoint of most of us here at AVS, it can certainly be added later. It'll make you appreciate your speakers all over again when you eventually get it!

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. -- Albert Einstein
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post #25 of 29 Old 01-05-2010, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

Sorry more intro level questions. I know a sub is necessary, but will it mess my system up if I do not have one initially? Can i go a couple weeks before I pick one up? Getting antsy want to pull the trigger on something, but the economy is keeping me down

With a limited budget, I'd buy a sub, then the three front speakers, left, right, center. Use your existing speakers for surround duty. Then, when you get more money, fill in the surrounds with better speakers.

But your front three and the sub are the heart of your system, take most of the sound in both movies and music, and the sub is critical for home theater use. If you mostly listen to music, a sub is not really required, especially if you go with floor standing speakers that put out a lot of bass.

You should try to get three matching speakers for the front, but some people opt for floor standing speakers on the left/right and have to get something smaller in the middle.

With a larger budget, and doing as I suggest, I'd consider other options. I'm partial to Ascend, and you could do CBM-170 for your front three, or maybe use the 340 for the center. With their 3-channel sale going on right now, that's $450, or $550 with the 340 center. THe 170 will need a sub, but you may be able to go without one if you use the 340 for all three fronts, again, if it's mostly music.

If you want to go without a sub, you could do 340 all across the front, for $688 shipped, but you need stands for another $100.

You could go with a Hsu or SVS sub, or the ED sub. I'd get at least a 12".

There is a saying that applies to spending more money for what you really want. "You only cry once." Because when you buy cheap stuff that you want to change, you will cry when you pay the first time, and again when you upgrade.
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post #26 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 06:17 AM
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Just take a deep breath and slow down. You're talking about spending a lot of money and I really think you don't want to rush into a bad decision.

Your decision to buy that receiver and then look for speakers is a little backward as is your budget allotment. The general rule of thumb is to spend 1/3 on receiver and 2/3 on speakers. Next to room characteristics, speakers have the most impact on the sound you hear so they should get the biggest chunk of the pie. One reason there are so many speaker choices is that we all hear things a little differently - which is why you should audition some before you just run out and buy the ones that had the best reviews. Would you buy a car without test driving it? Of course not. You need to test drive some speakers to figure out what type of sound you like.

Before you run out and spend your hard earned money on a 7.1 speaker setup, there are some things you need to consider. Did you know a good 5.1 system that is properly setup and calibrated will sound tons better than a 7.1 that is not? The decision whether to invest in a 7.1 over a 5.1 should not be made just because you have a 7.1 receiver and therefore 7.1 must be better than 5.1! The decision should be based on whether your room layout will get the most out of 7.1. If your main seating is against a wall, 7.1 is out. To get the most out of 7.1 you need at least 3 feet of space behind your seat - 6 feet or more is better. Adding 2 more speakers is not going to give you better sound. So, if you don't need 2 more speakers, it gives you the option of spending more money on a better sub, or a better center channel, or room treatments. Spending your money wisely instead of quickly will give you more of what you're looking for.

My advise would be to take some time to learn more about what you plan on spending a good amount of money on. You've come to the right place to learn, take advantage of our wisdom from past mistakes so you don't have to make the same ones.
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post #27 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Great thanks for all of your help everyone. I've made a complete 180 in my decision thinking and I appreciate everyone's support and understanding.

Looks like I need to take my time and truly reevaluate how I am purchasing these items. If you cant tell I am a bit of a compulsive person, but looks like I need to slow down and build this out step by step. Schroedk is right, its a hobby and should be enjoyed, not rushed into.

I think I will start with a solid sub, since my system is currently missing one, then work on building on my speakers starting with the front. I may also move into a 5.1 system, was initially leaning towards a 7.1 as a nice to have and keeping my options open for a sound system to support a larger room at another time. Ill take a listen at some of the places around town and go from there.

You all have been very helpful, even the Bose Employees out there

/Thank You!
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post #28 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkiez View Post

Great thanks for all of your help everyone. I've made a complete 180 in my decision thinking and I appreciate everyone's support and understanding.

Looks like I need to take my time and truly reevaluate how I am purchasing these items. If you cant tell I am a bit of a compulsive person, but looks like I need to slow down and build this out step by step. Schroedk is right, its a hobby and should be enjoyed, not rushed into.

I think I will start with a solid sub, since my system is currently missing one, then work on building on my speakers starting with the front. I may also move into a 5.1 system, was initially leaning towards a 7.1 as a nice to have and keeping my options open for a sound system to support a larger room at another time. Ill take a listen at some of the places around town and go from there.

You all have been very helpful, even the Bose Employees out there

/Thank You!

dont forget the room treatments
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post #29 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 09:09 PM
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Onkyo SKS HT870 is not all that bad powered by a Onkyo 707.
For under $325 shipped, they are good for everyday TV and video listening, especially with DSX/wides.

I bought them with the idea they can be used in a bedroom or den later when replaced w/a high quality set at my desired price.

would not recommend though if you are using mostly for music.

would love the svs speaker, but you are at $1800 to start. A grand, maybe i would go there....
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