Help with a 5.1 HT system under 1k - AVS Forum
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Speakers > Help with a 5.1 HT system under 1k
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 01:09 PM 07-05-2011
Hi,

I am planning to buy a home theater system to go with my existing source and display components. I have a PS3, XBOX 360, Wii, HTPC, 55" LG LED tv (55LW5600), Optomo 720p projector and a Vizio sound bar.

A few years back I had sony 5.1 HTiB system for a short while (when I did not have a good TV) and later a Sony CT-100. So those are my only surround sound experiences at home. Now that I have better displays, I would like to improve the sound setup.

I did a good amount of reading on the forums and decided HTiB this time around was not a good option and Bose is a strict no-no :-)

But still there are tons of options and given that I do not have enough experience I am a bit confused.

My preliminary choices are (from reading other threads) :

* Polk Monitor60 for front speakers (Can someone suggest if Monitor50 would suffice?)
* Polk Monitor30 for surrounds
* Polk CS1 for center (or should I get the CS10 series?)
* And the BIC F12 for the sub (I looked at the specs and this looks heavy and big. Is there a smaller sub around the same cost with similar quality?)

I was thinking about Energy CB-5 speakers for the front and surround but that deal is sold-out.

Regarding the receiver I read the recent Onkyo ones are prone to failure and Denon might be better. Reading the Denon owner's thread led me to the Denon AVR-2312IC (which is $650 at amazon). And I read that the guideline is for a $500 receiver I should look at $1000 speakers or so. Now I don't know if I am looking at a high-end receiver and I need to look to older models. Is the networking feature a good option to have? Can I play the music on my network without turning on the TV?

Can someone suggest a good receiver for my price range? And the appropriate speakers?

Also is there a receiver which has more than one HDMI out since I have a TV and a projector? Or would I have to use a HDMI switch?

More Info: I want to take this setup to India where it is 220-240v and 50hz. Would that cause a problem even if I use a step down transformer? the 50 vs 60hz since I wouldn't be able to convert the frequency?

I almost forgot this, I would use the system for movie and TV watching primarily. Occasionally for music. I would like to keep the cost under 1K. The lower the better. And I would like the system to work for around 5 years at least.

Thanks a lot for all the information on this forum. Any help on my questions above is greatly appreciated.

afrogt's Avatar afrogt 01:18 PM 07-05-2011
This receiver has dual HDMI outputs and networking for under $500.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-284-_-Product

If you dont have a problem taking tower speakers and a sub with you to India then you have plenty of options including the Polks you mentioned.

I would get the Monitor 60 and CS2 center. The Monitor 60 is on sale for $110ea and the CS2 can be had around $100 when on sale.
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 02:22 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

This receiver has dual HDMI outputs and networking for under $500.
...
If you dont have a problem taking tower speakers and a sub with you to India then you have plenty of options including the Polks you mentioned.

I would get the Monitor 60 and CS2 center. The Monitor 60 is on sale for $110ea and the CS2 can be had around $100 when on sale.

Thanks for the suggestions. The receiver seems to have more features than the Denon.

Are tower speakers better than the bookshelf ones?

And should I get 4 of the Monitor 60's or 2 of those and 2 of the 30's for surround?

Any other suggestion for the sub? The Polk PSW10 is half the price of the BIC F12. Is it much inferior or would it go well with the rest of the speakers?

I am trying to get the total cost below 1k if possible. But if the extra 200 is worth it, I guess I can spend it.

Thanks.
difallstar's Avatar difallstar 02:28 PM 07-05-2011
Where'd you see that polk deal?
Smigro's Avatar Smigro 02:31 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. The receiver seems to have more features than the Denon.

Are tower speakers better than the bookshelf ones?

And should I get 4 of the Monitor 60's or 2 of those and 2 of the 30's for surround?

Any other suggestion for the sub? The Polk PSW10 is half the price of the BIC F12. Is it much inferior or would it go well with the rest of the speakers?

I am trying to get the total cost below 1k if possible. But if the extra 200 is worth it, I guess I can spend it.

Thanks.

I would def go with with 2 x 60's, 2 x 30's and the CS2. I would stay away from Polk's low end subs, there are comprably priced ID subs that will outperform the Polk; I think for a budget sub you may want to look into the 10" Emotiva sub.
Smigro's Avatar Smigro 02:32 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by difallstar View Post

Where'd you see that polk deal?

I have not looked lately, but go to www.newegg.com
tsantanni's Avatar tsantanni 02:34 PM 07-05-2011
http://www.sounddistributors.com/buy...at_name=Search

Use code TV15 at checkout....$849 shipped. MUCH better than the Polks. For an extra $42, get the BIC PL-200 if you can swing it

That Yamaha receiver above is nice and on sale for less frequently. I have the earlier version V863 and love it.
afrogt's Avatar afrogt 05:03 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by difallstar View Post

Where'd you see that polk deal?

Newegg.com use EMCYTZT574 for the promo code and save $40 per speaker which brings the price down to $110.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290206

you have login to use the promo code.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 05:49 PM 07-05-2011
For under $1k, I have two setups to recommend you. The first would be a polk setup.

A pair of Polk Monitor 60s
A pair of Polk Monitor 30s
Polk CS2 center
BIC PL-200 sub

The second suggestion would be this package. Make sure to choose the PL-200 subwoofer. Apply code ME20 at checkout for 20% discount.

For the receiver, I would recommend the Denon AVR-1712. It has Audyssey MULTIEQ XT, which will automatically calibrate your speakers to sound their best in your room.
sholling's Avatar sholling 06:10 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Are tower speakers better than the bookshelf ones?

The answer is: It depends. Sound quality bang for the buck? No - for a given dollar figure a bookshelf will usually sound better. That's because the larger cabinet and extra drivers in the tower increase costs which for the manufacturer means either having to use cheaper components or charge more for the speaker. Where towers come into play is when you have a room that's too large for a bookshelf to fill and/or you don't plan to use a subwoofer or you plan to use a cheap subwoofer.
stran69's Avatar stran69 06:35 PM 07-05-2011
Just wondering if you have that bic setup looks nice
Smigro's Avatar Smigro 07:14 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsantanni View Post

http://www.sounddistributors.com/buy...at_name=Search

Use code TV15 at checkout....$849 shipped. MUCH better than the Polks. For an extra $42, get the BIC PL-200 if you can swing it

That Yamaha receiver above is nice and on sale for less frequently. I have the earlier version V863 and love it.

I am actually thinking of upgrading from my Polks to these. All of the owners have nothing but good things to say about them.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 07:32 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smigro View Post

I am actually thinking of upgrading from my Polks to these. All of the owners have nothing but good things to say about them.

If you want to get that system, I will recommend you buy it from acousticsounddesign.com. The whole package with the PL-200 sub can be had for $846.

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/c...t.cfm?PID=1540
Apply code ME20 at checkout to get 20% discount.
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 08:47 PM 07-05-2011
Thanks for all the replies.

After reading some more on the suggested options. I am leaning towards the BIC-76 for $850 and the RX-V867 (waiting for a sale to $429 which seems to occur every two weeks).

RX-V867 because of the dual HDMI out and the pre-outs (which I am not sure I will be using ever, but it helps to be flexible I guess).

Also is the PL-89 system for around $200 more worth the upgrade? My thought process being if I am going to spend $1300, then I might as well spend another $200 to make it the best I could get for $1500.

And is this system overkill for a 15x15 room? If it has an open kitchen adjacent to become 15x25 would it then make sense?

Thanks.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 09:12 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Thanks for all the replies.

After reading some more on the suggested options. I am leaning towards the BIC-76 for $850 and the RX-V867 (waiting for a sale to $429 which seems to occur every two weeks).

RX-V867 because of the dual HDMI out and the pre-outs (which I am not sure I will be using ever, but it helps to be flexible I guess).

Also is the PL-89 system for around $200 more worth the upgrade? My thought process being if I am going to spend $1300, then I might as well spend another $200 to make it the best I could get for $1500.

And is this system overkill for a 15x15 room? If it has an open kitchen adjacent to become 15x25 would it then make sense?

Thanks.

Sure the PL-89 will be even better than the Pl-76 package. The towers have bigger drivers and will produce more bass. But they are going to be huge though. Make sure you have room for that.

The ME20 code will also work with the PL-89 package btw.
rchaynesjr's Avatar rchaynesjr 10:52 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Thanks for all the replies.

After reading some more on the suggested options. I am leaning towards the BIC-76 for $850 and the RX-V867 (waiting for a sale to $429 which seems to occur every two weeks).

RX-V867 because of the dual HDMI out and the pre-outs (which I am not sure I will be using ever, but it helps to be flexible I guess).

Also is the PL-89 system for around $200 more worth the upgrade? My thought process being if I am going to spend $1300, then I might as well spend another $200 to make it the best I could get for $1500.

And is this system overkill for a 15x15 room? If it has an open kitchen adjacent to become 15x25 would it then make sense?

Thanks.

The RX-V867 is currently on sale at NewEgg for $429.99, expiring 7/28. Code is YAMAHA705. I bought one over the weekend, and looking forward to receiving it soon.
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 11:03 PM 07-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by rchaynesjr View Post

The RX-V867 is currently on sale at NewEgg for $429.99, expiring 7/28. Code is YAMAHA705. I bought one over the weekend, and looking forward to receiving it soon.

Thanks. Saw your post on the other thread and ordered it just 10 mins back :-)
Looneybomber's Avatar Looneybomber 09:01 AM 07-06-2011
Ugh, cheap horn loaded tweeters. Makes my ears ring just thinking about it. Polk monitors are a better buy IMO.

Side note, the bigger and better (than the polk) BIC F12 is on sale at Amazon for $188 shipped.
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F1...fer/dp/B0015A8
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 09:58 AM 07-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post
Ugh, cheap horn loaded tweeters. Makes my ears ring just thinking about it. Polk monitors are a better buy IMO.

Side note, the bigger and better BIC F12 is on sale at Amazon for $188 shipped.
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F1...fer/dp/B0015A8
Any specific issue with those? I am not knowledgeable on the horn loaded vs competing techs.

It is a $200 difference between the polk setup vs the BIC PL-76. I would appreciate if you could explain a bit more and suggest if I am better off saving the couple hundred dollars.

Thanks.
Looneybomber's Avatar Looneybomber 12:22 PM 07-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Any specific issue with those? I am not knowledgeable on the horn loaded vs competing techs.

It is a $200 difference between the polk setup vs the BIC PL-76. I would appreciate if you could explain a bit more and suggest if I am better off saving the couple hundred dollars.

Thanks.

It's just personal preference. I prefer a little bit of a "BBC dip". However, the physics behind the horns means they augment the 2-5/6khz range (lower if they were bigger) which is the same area that I want reduced or dipped.
I also enjoy the sound of a quality dome tweeter and ribbon tweeter. Again, personal preference.

But that Bic F12 at 188 shipped is a good deal.

*edit*
For my system (well one of my 5ch setups), I bought 5 refurbished Infinity Beta-20's to go with a refurbished Infinity SW-12. The five bookshelf speakers cost less than $300 shipped and worked very well for a 5.1 computer gaming/music/movie setup and worked OK as a family room HT setup. So don't forget about the used/re-manufactured market. There's some good buys on there. And with the money saved, you could buy a second F12 to really help reinforce that oh so important bottom end.
Efflixi's Avatar Efflixi 06:23 PM 07-06-2011
It's a little over $1000 but i just built my own complete HT setup.

Boston Acoustics CS23B http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...coustics-cs23b x4 - $250
Boston Acoustics CS225CB - http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ustics-cs225cb - $60
Emotiva Ultra Sub 12 - http://emotiva.com/ultra_sub12.shtm - $429
Denon AVR 1612 - http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-1612...9998125&sr=8-1 - $350

I am supremely happy with the purchases and have no regrets about any of it (aside from spending the money at all that is!).
crazyrob425's Avatar crazyrob425 06:30 PM 07-06-2011
Review of the Bic ACOUSTECH 5.1-CHANNEL LOUDSPEAKER SYSTEM
http://www.audaud.com/audaud/MAR04/component/comp1.html
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 09:47 PM 07-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post

It's just personal preference. I prefer a little bit of a "BBC dip". However, the physics behind the horns means they augment the 2-5/6khz range (lower if they were bigger) which is the same area that I want reduced or dipped.
I also enjoy the sound of a quality dome tweeter and ribbon tweeter. Again, personal preference.

....

Thanks for the explanation. Upon further reading I found that people either love/hate the horn loaded tweeters.

Given that only a couple of online shops sell the BIC PL-76 speakers, can I listen to some other horn loaded tweeter to see if I will like it? Would Klipsch be a good candidate since that is compared in the review for this speaker?

And can I listen to that in BestBuy or would you recommend any other store that might be better or carry the Klipsch speakers?

Thanks.
Looneybomber's Avatar Looneybomber 10:55 PM 07-06-2011
I find beer, wine, and speakers to be very much the same. You have to sample a lot to be able to tell the difference between them in order to find out what you do and don't like. With the Bic's in question and Klipsch, while the tweeters won't be the same, they will still have the same tell-tale signatures. Just like tasting two different merlots or imperial stouts; there are similarities because they're the same style.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 11:04 PM 07-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Any specific issue with those? I am not knowledgeable on the horn loaded vs competing techs.

It is a $200 difference between the polk setup vs the BIC PL-76. I would appreciate if you could explain a bit more and suggest if I am better off saving the couple hundred dollars.

Thanks.

Yes go into BestBuy and listen to the klipsch tower speakers. They will closely resemble how the PL-76 will sound.
Gundragon's Avatar Gundragon 07:32 PM 07-08-2011
I' m also putting a decent budget 5.1 setup.
I've got a cheap pair of $60 in ceiling 6.5" speakers
That I got from home depot.
Just last weekend, got a onkyo ht-rc360 for $249.
I'm going with a pair of bic dv62si's, matching lcr center, and a f12 for a little over $400 shipped.

A setup like mine would actually leave you a couple hundred
more for a more serious sub.
gg2020's Avatar gg2020 07:09 AM 07-17-2011
Thanks to everyone for their recommendations. I tried to hear the Klipsch speakers but couldn't really since the stores I went to did not have them setup.

* BestBuy had Martin Logan, Energy, Definitive Audio (Salesperson said Definitive was the best).
* Fry's had Polk, Martin Logan (guy said he didn't like Klipsch sound)
* A local audio store had Paradigm and Definitive (They said Polk and Klipsch are one grade lower than the Paradigms).
* And I walked into a Home Theater store called MODIA which I learnt only had B&W speakers. Got to listen to a 15k or 25k/pair speaker and they sounded great :-)
And also learnt that George Lucas uses these speakers in his studio.

After all this learning I decided enough was enough and ordered the BIC system from Acoustic Sound Design. Received it yesterday and the Dark Knight definitely sounds better. The dialogue was pretty clear initially and then started sounding low, but I haven't done the YPAO setup, center channel adjustment or anything else (plugged speaker wires from home depot I bought yesterday, no banana plugs).

But overall I am happy and believe the sound will only get better.

The speakers look good too. I thought from the pictures I may not like it, but both wife and I like it. So thanks to everyone for their recommendations.

One final question. Is there a list somewhere that categorizes speaker brands into groups (for a given price level) so that I know when I upgrade to the next level which brand I should look at?

I was looking for something like
B&W >
Martin Logan, Paradigm >
Definitive >
Polk, Klipsch, BIC

The above ranking was something I gathered from going to the stores above (Not sure if it is close enough to reality).
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 07:19 AM 07-17-2011
Don't forget to post pictures of your system.
holyindian's Avatar holyindian 08:51 AM 07-17-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Thanks to everyone for their recommendations. I tried to hear the Klipsch speakers but couldn't really since the stores I went to did not have them setup.

* BestBuy had Martin Logan, Energy, Definitive Audio (Salesperson said Definitive was the best).
* Fry's had Polk, Martin Logan (guy said he didn't like Klipsch sound)
* A local audio store had Paradigm and Definitive (They said Polk and Klipsch are one grade lower than the Paradigms).
* And I walked into a Home Theater store called MODIA which I learnt only had B&W speakers. Got to listen to a 15k or 25k/pair speaker and they sounded great :-)
And also learnt that George Lucas uses these speakers in his studio.

After all this learning I decided enough was enough and ordered the BIC system from Acoustic Sound Design. Received it yesterday and the Dark Knight definitely sounds better. The dialogue was pretty clear initially and then started sounding low, but I haven't done the YPAO setup, center channel adjustment or anything else (plugged speaker wires from home depot I bought yesterday, no banana plugs).

But overall I am happy and believe the sound will only get better.

The speakers look good too. I thought from the pictures I may not like it, but both wife and I like it. So thanks to everyone for their recommendations.

One final question. Is there a list somewhere that categorizes speaker brands into groups (for a given price level) so that I know when I upgrade to the next level which brand I should look at?

I was looking for something like
B&W >
Martin Logan, Paradigm >
Definitive >
Polk, Klipsch, BIC

The above ranking was something I gathered from going to the stores above (Not sure if it is close enough to reality).

The high end Definitive Technology like the Mythos ST series cudbe bracketted among the martin logan and sound paradigm categories
Looneybomber's Avatar Looneybomber 11:05 AM 07-17-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg2020 View Post

Is there a list somewhere that categorizes speaker brands into groups (for a given price level) so that I know when I upgrade to the next level which brand I should look at?

I was looking for something like
B&W >
Martin Logan, Paradigm >
Definitive >
Polk, Klipsch, BIC

The above ranking was something I gathered from going to the stores above (Not sure if it is close enough to reality).

Nope, it has to be on a case by case basis, not just manufacture. For example, Sony would typically rank below everyone on that list, but they've come up with a new speaker priced like the B&W 801's you listened to.

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