Need help making a final decision on 5.1 speaker system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello I posted here a little while ago to ask about a home theater system for around $1500 and got a lot of great replies. So, now I have narrowed it down to a couple different options and am curious what you all think of these options. A little information that might help everyone out is. The room is around 14ftx20ft with fake wood floors. I want to get a 7.2 receiver for when I have room for it but at the moment I just want a 5.1 system. I will use the system to mostly watch movies, but also play video games, and listen to music (usually rap music or rock). I do enjoy a hard hitting bass in movies. The room where the system is located has a wall that is open on one side. I originally was looking at a Klipsch system which I enjoyed the sound of but after hearing people’s opinions on them it made me a little worried about ear fatigue with them. So then I started looking into other systems and I have narrowed it down to just a few. One of the problems I have is that there are no stores around me where I can demo any of these systems so I am forced to buy them blind. *Edit* I also don't have room for floor standing speakers at the moment but I would be all for them in the future when I have room.


Hsu Enthusiast 2

This is a little above the original price range I was looking at because I need to buy a receiver as well but if the improvement is substantial then I can shift the budget even more.
Total Price = $1432

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/enthusiast2.html


Infinity Primus System

4xP163BK

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...0635755&sr=8-2

1xPC351BK center channel speaker

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...0635755&sr=8-7

BIC PL-200 Subwoofer


JBL System

4x ES30BK

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-ES30BK-3-W...0636059&sr=1-4

1xES23CBK Center Channel Speaker

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-ES25CBK-Ce..._bxgy_e_text_b

BIC PL-200 Subwoofer


Hsu Hybrid 15 5.1

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html

I know this system is more expensive than the other ones I listed above but I would be willing to pay the extra price if this system will be substantially better than the other systems listed. I know that the Hybrid 15 and the Enthusiast 2 are the same system except for the subwoofer the enthusiast 2 uses a VTF-2 MK4 and the Hybrid 15 uses a VTF-15H, can anyone tell me if the hybrids sub is worth it to pay the extra money for it?

The last thing I need help with is which receiver I should get, I was looking at the Yamaha RX-V867BL and the Onkyo TX-NR609. The Onkyo receiver is quite a bit cheaper on amazon so if someone could provide some insight on which receiver I should get of the two or if I should look into getting a different or better receiver.

I’m sorry how much I’m asking of you all but I know so little about this stuff and I want to get the best possible stuff that I can afford. Thank you all for your help.
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 01:29 PM
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I'd get the HSU Enthusiast 2 package and get a bit better receiver with more horsepower, better Audyssey calibration software (MultEQ XT), and full pre-amp outs to possibly add a better power amp later on (it's a great upgrade item!). The amplifier section in receivers is their Achilles' heel... they have to cram a lot of stuff in one box and something has to give.

Try the Onkyo 709 instead.

Add another HB-1 mk2 pair for the rear channels when you can move up to 7 channel surround.

Add another VTF-2 mk4 at a later date. Two of these vs. one 15 would be superior for smoother bass response.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 01:52 PM
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You really don't need more power for the HB-1's. In fact Hsu uses some really moderately priced stuff in their demo room.

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post #4 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 02:28 PM
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My short list for a different set of speakers right now is between the HSUs and Ascends (the CBM 170s particularly). Haven't heard either. Hopefully the horns on the HSUs aren't as harsh as the Klipsch I've heard; the built in 1/4x20 inserts for wall mounting on the Ascends is a plus. Ascend I think could package a Rythmik sub for you similarly to Hsu but it will likely come out a bit higher in any case.

The HSU packages are nice in any case, but which would depend on what you want for now, personally I'd favor the package with the more versatile 15" sub over the 12". Can always save up for another of either sub and the 15" will give you more oomph in the meantime.

As to receiver it doesn't make much difference at the wattage right around 100w/channel (but definitely make sure you have the pre-outs for amp options), and both the HSU and Ascend speakers are relatively efficient. I'd get as many features as possible in the receiver, though, for the relatively little more it will cost. Might consider the Onkyo HTRC370, too (mine just arrived today).

In any case you're well on track for great sounds...

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post #5 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

You really don't need more power for the HB-1's. In fact Hsu uses some really moderately priced stuff in their demo room.

Pre-amp out's is a big plus... the difference in price isn't huge. Adding a good power amp is like taking your system to 11. Far more headroom and far less chance of clipping and other speaker damaging distortion when you pump the volume for movies.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

My short list for a different set of speakers right now is between the HSUs and Ascends (the CBM 170s particularly). Haven't heard either. Hopefully the horns on the HSUs aren't as harsh as the Klipsch I've heard; the built in 1/4x20 inserts for wall mounting on the Ascends is a plus. Ascend I think could package a Rythmik sub for you similarly to Hsu but it will likely come out a bit higher in any case.

The HSU packages are nice in any case, but which would depend on what you want for now, personally I'd favor the package with the more versatile 15" sub over the 12". Can always save up for another of either sub and the 15" will give you more oomph in the meantime.

As to receiver it doesn't make much difference at the wattage right around 100w/channel (but definitely make sure you have the pre-outs for amp options), and both the HSU and Ascend speakers are relatively efficient. I'd get as many features as possible in the receiver, though, for the relatively little more it will cost. Might consider the Onkyo HTRC370, too (mine just arrived today).

In any case you're well on track for great sounds...

The HSU's are smoother than the Klipsch, and I could live with the HSU's as a good budget system. The only Klipsch speakers I like are the THX Ultra2 monitors and above... though I normally don't like horn speakers unless they're really well designed (meaning: usually much more expensive like the Procella or Triad's).

Two subs are better than one. It's up to the OP if they can afford to upgrade to two 15" 'er vs. two 12" 'er subs. Of course, if I could swing it, I'd do two 15's.

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post #7 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Pre-amp out's is a big plus... the difference in price isn't huge. Adding a good power amp is like taking your system to 11. Far more headroom and far less chance of clipping and other speaker damaging distortion when you pump the volume for movies.

Won't disagree with you on that, but most people and home applications that these types of speakers are intended for, really do not need it.

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post #8 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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So should I be looking at the Yamaha receiver or should I look into a higher end onkyo receiver? Which one would be best for me if I went with one of the Hsu systems. I could probably get the Onkyo 709 if I really needed too. Also what exactly are pre-outs? I have seen them referenced when talking about receivers but I don't know what they are.

I wouldn't be able to get 2 of either of the subs any time soon but that would be a possibility once I maybe moved into my next house. At the moment I am going to college and am graduating in spring and once I move into my new place I will probably add 2 more speakers and potentially another sub if I have room to make a 7.2 system. Currently though it would be hard to be able to fit a second sub woofer in the house I am currently living at because we don't have enough space. So that being said is the enthusiast 2 still my best bet?
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos101 View Post

So should I be looking at the Yamaha receiver or should I look into a higher end onkyo receiver? Which one would be best for me if I went with one of the Hsu systems. I could probably get the Onkyo 709 if I really needed too. Also what exactly are pre-outs? I have seen them referenced when talking about receivers but I don't know what they are.

I wouldn't be able to get 2 of the VTF-15H subs any time soon but that would be a possibility once I maybe moved into my next house. At the moment I am going to college and am graduating in spring and once I move into my new place I will probably add 2 more speakers and potentially another sub if I have room to make a 7.2 system. Currently though it would be hard to be able to fit a second sub woofer in the house I am currently living at because we don't have enough space. So that being said is the enthusiast 2 still my best bet?


Pre-amp outs are female RCA (or balanced XLR... but that's another story) jacks that send out analog audio from a receiver or pre-amplifier/surround processor to a separate power amplifier when analog cables are connected between the two.

This allows you to bypass any or all of the built-in amplifiers in a receiver and power your speakers with better, beefier outboard amplifiers that have large power transformers and heavy-duty circuit boards. Most average amplifiers with good power ratings are around 200 - 250 watts/channel.

Full pre-amp outputs would mean the receiver or pre-amplifier/processor has one jack per audio channel and sends out all the decoded channels. Right now, that's up to 9.2 channel outputs. Most receivers have 7.1 or 7.2 channel outputs, except for the cheaper models that only have one or two subwoofer outputs.

Back panel of Onkyo 709 showing 7.2 channel pre-amp outs (they're located at just right of center of the receiver, right above the speaker binding posts):





Here's the back of a typical multi-channel power amplifier (this one has 7 channels of amplification with both RCA and XLR input jacks):



I'd go with the E2 package and Onkyo 709 receiver. You'll be happy for quite some time.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #10 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos101 View Post

So should I be looking at the Yamaha receiver or should I look into a higher end onkyo receiver? Which one would be best for me if I went with one of the Hsu systems. I could probably get the Onkyo 709 if I really needed too. Also what exactly are pre-outs? I have seen them referenced when talking about receivers but I don't know what they are.

I wouldn't be able to get 2 of either of the subs any time soon but that would be a possibility once I maybe moved into my next house. At the moment I am going to college and am graduating in spring and once I move into my new place I will probably add 2 more speakers and potentially another sub if I have room to make a 7.2 system. Currently though it would be hard to be able to fit a second sub woofer in the house I am currently living at because we don't have enough space. So that being said is the enthusiast 2 still my best bet?

Pre-amplifier outputs, lets your AVR process and switch various sources but bypasses the amplifier section to allow you to use external amps for more flexibility (and if you go to lower efficiency speakers down the line that's a nice option...for me currently I have several nice 2 channel amps laying around that I can supplement the receiver with as my current speakers aren't so efficient).

The receivers mentioned are all within roughly the same specs, and are all very nice units; you'll do fine with whatever feature set/pricepoint you like the best.

If you're in school still I'd say go for the Enthusiast 2 for now and save a few bucks...

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post #11 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 04:23 PM
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I would knock JBL off the list - and the BIC off the list
The HSU looks good
This Yamaha is 7.2 - and will drive the HSU
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-A800.../dp/B003XDU498

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post #12 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so it is looking like I'm going to go for the Enthusiast 2 and the Onkyo 709. Just out of curiosity why do you recommend the Enthusiast 2 over the hybrid 15? Because someone said above that one 15" is better then one 12" but two 12" are better then one 15" and for the time being I am just going to be using one sub and maybe in a year or two I could add a second sub(I am uncertain if this will be possible simply because I don't know what my situation will be like after school is over) and if I am in the market for a second sub I could potentially get another 15" or a 12"(would having a 15" and a 12" together not be good?). Also thank you for the info about the pre-outs. Is an Amp something that I will need to get with this setup or will I be ok with the onkyo 709?
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos101 View Post

Ok so it is looking like I'm going to go for the Enthusiast 2 and the Onkyo 709. Just out of curiosity why do you recommend the Enthusiast 2 over the hybrid 15? Because someone said above that one 15" is better then one 12" but two 12" are better then one 15" and for the time being I am just going to be using one sub and maybe in a year or two I could add a second sub(I am uncertain if this will be possible simply because I don't know what my situation will be like after school is over) and if I am in the market for a second sub I could potentially get another 15" or a 12"(would having a 15" and a 12" together not be good?). Also thank you for the info about the pre-outs. Is an Amp something that I will need to get with this setup or will I be ok with the onkyo 709?

If you can afford the 15" I'd go for it, although I'd hate to be encouraging someone on school loans. Now, two of those HSU 12" for not that much more money gives you more positioning possibilities in your room, which could be advantageous, depending on your room.

If floor speakers might be an issue make sure you have a place for the sub(s) before you decide, too. You can mix sub sizes, and even models/brands, although some prefer not to. Me, I went with a nice sized footprint for a single enclosure with dual 15" drivers (Epik Empire), which is about the same cost as that HSU 15" single Someday I will pickup another sub, but not an urgent issue as the Empire works great...but you can never have too much bass, can you?

The subs you're considering are self powered (active) so the receiver amp will only be driving the HSU satellites, and the power ratings of all the receivers in the thread should work fine with those satellites to a decent SPL...but could sound even better with more power down the road . HSU rates those speakers suitable from 10W to 250W per channel. Extra headroom is a good thing.

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post #14 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 06:52 PM
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I would go for the hybrid 15 if you can afford it. It will have more output overall, and if you are only going to have one sub, might as well make it the best one you can get. The VTF15h is a brutal sub, your friends will be amazed if you have them come over for a movie with bass. Two VTF2s might give a smoother response for a larger area of seating positions, but it still won't match the sheer SPL of a single VTF15h.

Also you won't need a separate amp with the Hsu speakers, you don't have to worry about that. The Onkyo 709 is more than capable of driving the speakers to deafening levels. I had some HB-1s connected to a 707 and they rocked pretty hard with that AVR.
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post #15 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 09:29 PM
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I would go for the hybrid 15 if you can afford it. It will have more output overall, and if you are only going to have one sub, might as well make it the best one you can get. The VTF15h is a brutal sub, your friends will be amazed if you have them come over for a movie with bass. Two VTF2s might give a smoother response for a larger area of seating positions, but it still won't match the sheer SPL of a single VTF15h.

Also you won't need a separate amp with the Hsu speakers, you don't have to worry about that. The Onkyo 709 is more than capable of driving the speakers to deafening levels. I had some HB-1s connected to a 707 and they rocked pretty hard with that AVR.

+1

You said you like bass for movies, well this will do it all in one sub. shadyJ is right. Your friends will be impressed. And not just with movies. Wait until you play some low hitting hip hop

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post #16 of 17 Old 11-07-2011, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. I wasn't sure if everyone was recommending the enthusiast 2 because the hybrid 15 sub had problems or something. I am lucky enough to have school paid, so you don't have to worry about recommending a system to someone with school loans but thank you for worrying. All this information has been a huge help to me and I want to thank everyone for all of your input, I hope that I will be able to use someone of the advice I got to help one of my friends make a good decision if they ever get a sound system.
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post #17 of 17 Old 11-08-2011, 01:50 PM
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If you can afford the HSU package with the 15" sub... please, by all means, go for it. Don't let me stop you! You won't regret it. If you end up in a larger space down the road, you can always get another.

The Onkyo 709 powering the main speakers would be fine for now... plan on an outboard amp down the road and the HSU's (and other speakers) will really sing. You'd keep the amp (if it's a good one) long after you changed out all of the other HT electronics.

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