great sound on a budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Trying to recommend a home theater system to a friend. Budget is $500. So far I have pointed out HTIB setups from Panasonic and LG for under $350. For 5.1 not much can be done beyond that. There is a Denon system (Denon DHT-391XP) and a Yamaha system (Yamaha YHT-393BL) at Amazon.com that look really good for about the same price but without the blu-ray player. I think he has a PS3 anyway, so doesn't matter. Other than that, I am trying to recommend other options to get better sound on the same budget.

One idea was to use studio monitors and go 2-channel. KRK has Rokit 5 monitors that can be found for $200/pair. Mackie has the MR5s for the same. But then I have to find a receiver/pre-pro with at least L/R pre-outs. Is that feasible? What about connecting the source directly to the active speakers?

Anyway, just looking for opinions about recommending the studio monitors for someone looking for a good movie setup. It doesn't seem like you can get speakers as good for the same price in the passive realm, or anything comparable in 5.1. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 05:24 AM
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take a look at the Onkyo HTiB's. The HT-S6300 is a great entry level system for the price. This is a factory refurb, sold through an Onkyo authorized dealer. They have excellent pricing on extended warranties is there is a concern about a refurb.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...od-Dock/1.html
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 05:50 AM
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I recommend scouring the used market for non-HTIB. I don't have any specific examples that would be in the price range, but there are some pretty good deals out there.

I know of an Onkyo TX-SR805 and 7.0 JBL Venue series setup that could be had for around $750-800, but again, that's not in the stated price range. It's just an example of a pretty good deal on used gear to get up above the HTIB level.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 06:04 AM
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http://www.6ave.com/shop/SearchResul...wd=jamo%20s426

Here are a few offerings from 6ave.com. One is in the $500 range with a better one (the Denon 1911 bundle) being around $600.

Hope this helps.

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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all good input. any thoughts on te studio monitors in place of traditional 5.1 setup?
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 07:58 AM
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You're comparing 2-channel vs. surround sound, so it's not really "comparable". With 2-channel you will get better sound quality for your money, at the expense of surround effects.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 08:19 AM
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I would check out SLS @ $375 for the system, hard to beat for the money.
http://www.av-express.com/AV-Catalog...ineHomeTheater
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 08:25 AM
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Ask yourself this question: does your friend have discerning ears? If he does I would suggest an onkyo htib as the speakers in that setup can be upgraded over time (and the avr in those onkyo setups tend to be full fledged recievers) to something of much better quality.

If your friend doesn't have particularly discerning ears I would recommend a low end avr from sony, onkyo or denon (can be found for under $300 in many places) and a set of polk or pioneer or sony speakers. It might be possible to find 2 sets of bookshelf speakers and a center for around $200. I know you can get the sony setup (ss-b3000 fronts, ss-b1000 surrounds and ss-cn5000 center) for right around $200 if you keep your eyes peeled for deals.

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post #9 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 09:25 AM
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On my budget set I put together I started with
Polk RM6750 5.1 speaker set(Currently available here at $170 with promo code EMCKFKE65 until 4/11) and Sony STR-DH700

I have been extremely pleased with my Speaker set for the $200 that I paid for it I know for a fact I could not get anything better. I found that the RM6750 5.1 speaker set surpassed all the speaker sets which came with these other HTIB's in terms of sound quality

I looked at the budget Onkyo HTIB and kinda lusted after them but budget onkyo products all have the issues of dying pretty short in their life time. Plus the Polk speaker set was much much better sounding to me
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If your friend really wants good music listening experience the monitors would be a better way to go but if he wants the surround sound movie experience more I would go with the 5.1
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 09:45 AM
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If you get seperate speakers and receiver, your buddy might have to wait to get a subwoofer, which isn't really that big of a deal if you get front speakers that go fairly low.

I myself purchased SS-B3000's for my front's (I'm on an ultra low budget) and I was shocked at how low they go and how nice they sound while doing it. Of course, they don't compare to a subwoofer, but the B3000's 8" woofer does a wonderful job on its own. I can now take my time to save up and find a good quality subwoofer to add to my system.

The Polk 5.1 surround setup mentioned above sounds like a very viable option if your buddy feels like he can't live without a sub...

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post #11 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 09:49 AM
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What I just finished.

Onkyo TX-SR508 (Onkyo outlet) $200 shipped.
Polk Monitor 60 towers (Newegg) ~$250 shipped.
Polk CS1 (Polk eBay outlet) $70 shipped.

Still waiting on the funds for a sub. I'm picky about my audio, and TV sounds fine to me. You can defiantly tell the difference in music between my dedicated stereo setup and the HT though. The good news is I only play music on the HT when entertaining or doing other things. For focused dedicated listening I use my stereo system or my headphones in the den. It's not that music is BAD on the HT, just colored and not as accurate.

My stereo setup is vintage entry level. (Marantz 2220B and KLH Seventeen) But it certainly shines brighter on music alone.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 10:13 AM
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Also poke around your local Craigslist.

I'm helping a couple of friends put together a 5.1 surround system with a budget a little higher than yours. I grabbed a full 5.1 speaker setup (off CL) consisting of Monitor 50's, Monitor 30's, a decent 12" sub (can't remember name) and center channel (Polk) for less than $300. I had them purchase a CS2 center to better match the rest of the speakers ($103 new shipped). I plan on offering them my current Onkyo receiver for a good price so I can move to another with pre-amp outs.
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

On my budget set I put together I started with
Polk RM6750 5.1 speaker set(Currently available here at $170 with promo code EMCKFKE65 until 4/11) and Sony STR-DH700

I have been extremely pleased with my Speaker set for the $200 that I paid for it I know for a fact I could not get anything better. I found that the RM6750 5.1 speaker set surpassed all the speaker sets which came with these other HTIB's in terms of sound quality

I looked at the budget Onkyo HTIB and kinda lusted after them but budget onkyo products all have the issues of dying pretty short in their life time. Plus the Polk speaker set was much much better sounding to me
----------------------------------------------------------------
If your friend really wants good music listening experience the monitors would be a better way to go but if he wants the surround sound movie experience more I would go with the 5.1

The Polk RM6750 was my second 5.1 Set. The speakers are great for the price. The sub isn't great by any means but most HTIB subs aren't. I would highly recommend this for a budget set.

I had a Sony Receiver for two years and upgraded that to a Denon AVR591 and i would highly recommend. You can get the Denon and the RM6750 for that budget and then have a nice receiver to upgrade your speakers later.

Just upgraded my front speakers to Polk Monitor 40s and CS2. If he wants to expand his budget just a little, the Monitor Series II from Newegg is nothing to laugh at for the price...
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-08-2011, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osiris13 View Post

You're comparing 2-channel vs. surround sound, so it's not really "comparable". With 2-channel you will get better sound quality for your money, at the expense of surround effects.

yep, exactly what i'm trying to do


Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Polk RM6750 5.1 speaker set(Currently available here at $170 with promo code EMCKFKE65 until 4/11)

I like this option for a budget speaker package.

I did find a nice Denon stereo receiver with L/R/SW pre-outs for $125 + shipping. My options are to use that with used KRK Rokit 5 or Mackie MR5 monitors for about $200/pair. I'm looking at $350 for some serious sound, at the expense of surround sound.

Otherwise it will either be an all-in-one package or receiver/speakers separately or packaged. I can get Denon AVR-1611 with Audyssey MultEQ for 250 + shipping. If I can come up with a 5.1 speaker setup for about $250 we'll be set.
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