Piecing a 5.1 Home Theater: Three Phases - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-09-2010, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I just purchased a Panasonic P50G25 and while I am waiting for it to break in following D-Nice's settings I've been looking into the sound portion of my home theater.

My goal is to get a 5.1 system in place and then at one point in the future (when I become ambitious about the wiring) purchase additional speakers to bring it to 7.1. or 7.2.

Basically, I have my next three months of expendable AV money already calculated out at $700 to $750 for September - $450 to $500 for October and then $450 to $500 for November giving me $1600 - $1750 total for the system over that span.

My goal is to get the most function I can get upfront and then fill in from there (rather than save and be stuck with the TV speakers in a 16x21 room with a 16' cathedral ceiling until I can spring for the full set.)

So, I guess my plan is to get the receiver first along with two bookshelf speakers that will eventually become my rear surround (but serve as my front speakers for the near term.) Then in October pick up two front speakers, followed by a center and sub in November.

So far, I have only gotten to shopping for receivers and seem to be pulling toward the Onkyo TX-SR608 or the Yamaha RX-V765.

From there, I am clueless and not even sure I am taking the right approach (by buying rear speakers as front speakers for the short term.)

I was hoping that with all the experience on this forum, maybe I could get a starting point, or an idea of a set that I could piece together (getting sound out of the gate and finishing in November) within the stated price range.

Actually, before I came here I was just going to save up and get a Yamaha sound bar, but I've decided to not be so lazy about wiring and get a better sound for the same budget after doing quite a bit of reading.

Thanks.



Edit: So I guess it breaks down as...

Rear - $150 each
Front - $225 each
Center - $200
Sub - $250
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-09-2010, 07:05 PM
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I think you need to allocate more to your subwoofer, unless you live in a apartment, because $250 doesn't go very far in the sub world. For speakers, check out the Infinity Primus line, that will save you some more scratch for a sub. You might also consider getting some Behringer 2030p's all around, that will sound just as good as much more expensive systems and it will really save you money for a sub. For a good sub, look into Outlaw Audio, Elemental Designs, Hsu Research, SVS, Epik subwoofers, or Tweakcity Audio.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I think you need to allocate more to your subwoofer, unless you live in a apartment, because $250 doesn't go very far in the sub world. For speakers, check out the Infinity Primus line, that will save you some more scratch for a sub. You might also consider getting some Behringer 2030p's all around, that will sound just as good as much more expensive systems and it will really save you money for a sub. For a good sub, look into Outlaw Audio, Elemental Designs, Hsu Research, SVS, Epik subwoofers, or Tweakcity Audio.

Thanks for offering a place to start.

So from Infinity I have pieced together a set and just want to get impressions. I want to get the best bang for my buck.

I will anchor the system with the Onkyo SR608.

Front: Infinity Primus P362 x2
Rear: Infinity Primus P162 x2
Center: Infinity Primus PC350
Sub: STF-2

That package, plus speaker wire (based on current prices) puts me at an even $1600 - so that is pretty much where I want to be for total cost.

Just to note, the primary use will be HD TV and Blu-Ray movies.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 10:32 AM
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That isn't a bad system, but I would still allocate more to the sub. Incidentally, I have the same speakers in my home theater, p362's, c350, and p162 surrounds, but my subs are different (two Hsu VTF3's). I also used to own a STF2, that was a great little sub, but for a large room, I would try to upgrade to the VTF2 at the very least, as I think the STF2 would definitely get lost in a room like that. One thing you could do is go with p162 fronts and p152 rears, take that money saved and upgrade the subwoofer. Trust me, in a swap like that you are gaining a lot more than you are losing.

The subwoofer has to pressurize the whole room, and if you are sitting in the center of the room with sub that can't do that, you will hardly hear it at all, even if it is playing at full blast. That is just the nature of the room acoustics of bass. You might also look into the advantages of near-field placement with subwoofers, ie the sub being used very close to the listening position, like an endtable. This is a way to get a nice bass sound with a smaller sub in spite of a large room. Even in that role, I would still want to get a VTF2 or something with about that level of performance. Good bass performance is the difference between a home theater and a kick-ass home theater.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zredsox View Post

Front: Infinity Primus P362 x2
Rear: Infinity Primus P162 x2
Center: Infinity Primus PC350
Sub: STF-2

That package, plus speaker wire (based on current prices) puts me at an even $1600 - so that is pretty much where I want to be for total cost.

Just to note, the primary use will be HD TV and Blu-Ray movies.

You should preferably buy the P362's while they are still available. It seems like the supply is dwindling.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 10:56 AM
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I would also throw out the Elemental Designs A2-300. Its fantastic for HT applications, and fits into your budget perfectly at $415 w/ free shipping.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the different options. I will do more sub research and I might be able to swing a little more at that time so I will keep my options open.

How would Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II compare to the P362s? They are on sale until the 16th on Newegg and at $189.99 each (with promo code) they are quite tempting.

Then I could go with Monitor40/50 Series II rears and Polk Audio CS20 center.

I've wasted all day looking at speakers, with a calculator in hand trying to package a plan together.

Not a bad way to waste a day, I guess.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 03:32 PM
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i did something very similar and found that i should have gotten the sub sooner. I would suggest your plan for bookshelves as temp fronts and a sub, then fronts (move bookshelves to rear) and then center. I found that the sub added more to the HT experience than the rears by a huge margin and if your fronts (either batch) are half decent you will have no issues running without a center.

my $0.02
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zredsox View Post

Thanks everyone for the different options. I will do more sub research and I might be able to swing a little more at that time so I will keep my options open.

How would Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II compare to the P362s? They are on sale until the 16th on Newegg and at $189.99 each (with promo code) they are quite tempting.

Then I could go with Monitor40/50 Series II rears and Polk Audio CS20 center.

I've wasted all day looking at speakers, with a calculator in hand trying to package a plan together.

Not a bad way to waste a day, I guess.

The Polk brand is said to be sound alittle brighter than the Infinities so its best to listen yourself and make the decision. If you find a store with the Polk TSi500's as they are very similar to the monitor 70's
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsax View Post

i did something very similar and found that i should have gotten the sub sooner. I would suggest your plan for bookshelves as temp fronts and a sub, then fronts (move bookshelves to rear) and then center. I found that the sub added more to the ht experience than the rears by a huge margin and if your fronts (either batch) are half decent you will have no issues running without a center.

My $0.02

+1
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