I am currently using about a $250 Sony HTiB that I bought with my first nice TV after graduating from college and getting a real job last December. I knew it wasn't a great setup when I bought it but I love my TV and I wanted something other than the small built in speakers.
Now I am ready to upgrade to something that is 3D compatible and 7.1 so I can get the loseless HD sound from Bluray movies. I will also be using this system for PS3 and Xbox 360 gaming as well as my Dish HD receiver. It will occasionally be used for music but not often. I originally planned to buy an Onkyo HTiB because I don't know anything about speakers or subs, but after reading this forum I am starting to feel more confident about doing it piece by piece for a better sound.
Right now I am looking at the Onkyo TX-NR609 for $379.99, the BIC F12 12 for $188.38, the Energy CC-5 center speaker for $198.88, and a pair of Energy CB-5 bookshelf speakers for $148.00. Unfortunately that already puts me at $915.25 which is about as high as I am willing to go at once.
I was thinking about using the cheap Sony speakers from my HTiB to fill out my system to 7.1 until I can afford to replace them with better speakers. These speakers say they are only 3 Ohms on the back while the Energy speakers I want to use for my fronts and center are 8 Ohms.
I know these cheap Sony speakers wont sound great next to the Energy speakers but it would only be temporary. Are such cheap speakers even compatible with the rest of my setup? I don't want to plug them in and have them just blow out the first time I use them. I wouldn't care except I plan to give my parents the Sony system for their new plasma as soon as I am done with it.
I am also open to other suggestions for my speakers but I want it to be a solid 7.1 system when I am done. I would rather do it in pieces than sacrifice quality to get it all at once.
If I went with the BIC speakers instead of the Energy speakers I could buy everything for a 5.1 system for almost the exact price of buying just the fronts and center. I could stay right around $915 and be done with it for a while. Eventually I would upgrade to 7.1 but I would be happy with solid 5.1 for right now. My goal is to stay under $1000 for now and maybe upgrade things in the future.
Are the BIC and Energy speakers comparable? Like I said before I don't want to sacrifice to much quality for the sake of having everything now.
I do want at least a 5.1 setup though and I still don't know if my cheap leftover 3 Ohm Sony speakers are even compatible with everything else.
Be sure to check the specs on the receiver closely. Some receivers may not do well trying to run 3 ohm speakers. Not sure about the Onkyo, although I do know that some Yamaha receivers, such as the Yamaha RX-V667, list ratings down to 2 ohms.
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Thanks for the help. I spent a few weeks reading this forum as much as possible before pulling the trigger on any purchases. I have to say, this is by far the most helpful forum I have ever been a part of.
In the end I completed my task of coming up with a solid system for about $1000. Its solid for me anyways and blows away anything any of my friends or family have.
I ended up buying the Onkyo TX-NR609, the Bic F12 sub, Bic FH6-LCR center, 2 Bic FH-65B fronts, and a pair of Bic DV62si bookshelves for surrounds. I originally wanted a 7.1 setup but after looking through my collection of Blu-rays I found that most of them are only 5.1 so I decided it wasn't worth the money right now. I'm sure one day I will add those too.
I got everything and started to put it together after work last night. It took me a couple hours to strip the wire and run it through my walls and ceiling. I'm sure I could do it much faster now but I had never stripped speaker wire before and I had trouble with the first couple attempts.
The first movie we watched was Despicable Me because my girlfriend had never watched anything in 3D on a home theater and wanted to see it. It sounded pretty good but I wasn't impressed with my F12 sub. I know it isn't the most action packed movie but I thought It would be more involved than it was. This was an improvement over my old system but it was making us both question whether I should have spent the $1000. It was clearly better but it didn't have that wow factor I was hoping for.
Next it was my turn to pick a movie and I wanted something that could really test my new system. I picked The Dark Knight and all I can say is wow! The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack through my new system completely blew us away. The very first scene where the joker was robing the bank erased all doubt from my mind about both the F12 and the system as a whole. The truck driving scene later in the movie was just incredible!
Needless to say we are both really happy with our new setup even if the girlfriend originally thought it was stupid to spend that much money. Thanks to everyone on this forum. You guys have made me a member for a long time to come.