Creating a modest home sound like a Phoenix where Sears is the only speaker outlet - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 02-14-2012, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I live on Kauai with a Sears, Kmart and a Costco. That's it for audiophile. No way to listen to anything except fly to Honolulu. Don't think so. Something to consider for warranties, updates,shipping,etc.
I am on a limited budget but think the way to go is build on quality at each component.

I have a small, carpeted room 10'x15' with a large stuffed couch and recliner.
Moderate levels on volume,mostly for Movies but do like to play some tunes(rock,Hawaiian)
42" Panasonic HDTV 1 year old, simple blu ray panasonic player, I am not a Mac person and I have been out of the loop since buying my old Panasonic HTIB 10 years ago. It's crap and anything would sound better.

My point is I don't really know enough about what is out there now let alone what is coming down the pike in the way of gizmos and connections. Never heard of "firmware" till I started looking into the new system.

I need a good avr, thinking Denon's 1712 is reasonable. I'm interested in more better sound than bells and whistles. Open to suggestions there.
My budget for this first go round is $1K max. With that i would like the amp and the front speakers, keeping in mind matching the subwoofer and rest of the 5.1 later. The room is so small 7.1 would be overkill. I really love reclining in my chair and watching a good movie. I want to hear glass break and doors slam and cars roar. My first post, appreciate any suggestions. Mahalo
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post #2 of 50 Old 02-14-2012, 11:38 PM
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I am a fan of Emotiva amplifiers. They are reasonably priced and work very well. They are internet direct. I am sure they would ship to you, but I am sure that Hawaii would cost a few dollars.

What about the used market where you live?
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post #3 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 06:24 AM
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I would shop Newegg. You can get a nice AVR as well as the entire set of Pioneer speakers for within your budget. Everything listed below adds up to $750 and you have yourself a very good HT for less than you expected.

Here are some options.

HK AVR 2600 $329 (Excellent receiver at an excellent price)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882121062

Pioneer SP-FS51-LR $199/pair (Highly rated for their price point)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117403

Pioneer SP-C21 $59
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117404

Pioneer SP-BS21 $69/pair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117405

Pioneer SW-8 $94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117402
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post #4 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 07:42 AM
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I agree you would be better buying online, assuming you can get shipment to Hawaii. That said, I took a look at Sears website, and they seem to carry JBL, Energy, Bic and Boston Accoustics. You should be able to piece something together that is decent amongst those.

Seems to have a fairly decent offering of recievers with Yamaha, Pioneer and Denon. Also looks like if you buy from the website, you can pick up in store.

I wouldn't imagine Kmart would have anything worth buying, but Costco sometimes carries some decent stuff
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post #5 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 08:12 AM
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Aloha! I live on the Big Island and face the same problems as you. I will be buying a new 5.1 speaker set within the next 3-4 months.

I would look on Amazon. Items sold or fulfilled by Amazon ship free. Crutchfield ships free. Axiom Audio (these seem to have either a love hate opinion) ships free.

Newegg shipping can be quite expensive, so keep that in mind when looking at their prices.

The biggest problem I am having is not with speakers- Amazon and Crutchfield both carry a selection that would more than satisfy my needs. Plus other ID makers will ship for a fairly reasonable rate as long as you avoid large tower speakers.

The subwoofer is where shipping really bites us here in Hawaii. Most of the forum recommended subs are about $200 or more to ship.

IMO I would try and budget that $1000 for a 2.1. Movies without a sub kind of suck.

You could always start off with a less expensive sub for now (which still would work nicely for movies in your room) sell it later or add a better one down the road.

I'm using a 12 year old Audio Source 15" sub that bottoms out easily and makes all kinds of noise during the really bass heavy movies but I still prefer that to no sub at all.

So check out Amazon and Crutchfield, see what they have that fits your budget and post your potential selections here to get opinions or actual user experience.

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post #6 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 08:33 AM
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This may seem like it is out of left field, but hear me out. If you are handy with woodworking, you could go the DIY route. The cost of shipping these speakers and subs is the weight, and a big portion of that weight is the cabinet itself. For example with regards to a subwoofer, there are many plans out there that all you would need to buy online would be a driver and amplifier and then you could build the cabinet locally. You would end up getting a much better performing subwoofer for less money and that would allow you to spend more on your speakers.

Just a thought.
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post #7 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 11:59 AM
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ack_bk has a great idea to save you some money on the shipping of a sub. If you cannot do the build yourself, maybe a friend or a local car stereo place can build something for you. Sealed sub enclosure is very easy to make. While properly designed ported enclosures require more cutting and skill in my opinion.

As for the Pioneer setup listed above, I can attest that they sound fantastic for the money. I have a set and so does my buddy. He's using a modest receiver (vsx-521) and they sound really nice. I'm using a vsx-1121 and they sound even better. The vsx-1021 was on sale at newegg for $250 last week. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend or use that receiver with Pioneers speakers.

Lastly, I LOVE Kauai!!! Spent two weeks there a few years back and I definitely plan on returning. It was so lush and dense compared to Maui. But they both had their own beautiful places and things to see. You, my friend, are very lucky to live in absolute paradise!!!!!
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post #8 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Aloha! I live on the Big Island and face the same problems as you. I will be buying a new 5.1 speaker set within the next 3-4 months.

I would look on Amazon. Items sold or fulfilled by Amazon ship free. Crutchfield ships free. Axiom Audio (these seem to have either a love hate opinion) ships free.

Newegg shipping can be quite expensive, so keep that in mind when looking at their prices.

The biggest problem I am having is not with speakers- Amazon and Crutchfield both carry a selection that would more than satisfy my needs. Plus other ID makers will ship for a fairly reasonable rate as long as you avoid large tower speakers.

The subwoofer is where shipping really bites us here in Hawaii. Most of the forum recommended subs are about $200 or more to ship.

IMO I would try and budget that $1000 for a 2.1. Movies without a sub kind of suck.

You could always start off with a less expensive sub for now (which still would work nicely for movies in your room) sell it later or add a better one down the road.

I'm using a 12 year old Audio Source 15" sub that bottoms out easily and makes all kinds of noise during the really bass heavy movies but I still prefer that to no sub at all.

So check out Amazon and Crutchfield, see what they have that fits your budget and post your potential selections here to get opinions or actual user experience.

Gene

Thanks to you all. Good suggestions that I will investigate. The do it yourself sub is a possibility. I knew shipping would be a bite. I have been looking on CL but u have to understand this is a small island with a small population. If u've never been it is small but packed with beauty. I probably should be out and around more but I see plenty. Am sure to have more questions, stay tuned!
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post #9 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

Thanks to you all. Good suggestions that I will investigate. The do it yourself sub is a possibility. I knew shipping would be a bite. I have been looking on CL but u have to understand this is a small island with a small population. If u've never been it is small but packed with beauty. I probably should be out and around more but I see plenty. Am sure to have more questions, stay tuned!

Definitely a DIY sub and possibly speaker kits might be the way to go if you know at least someone with some woodworking skills.

That way you are not paying the shipping costs for the heaviest part of the speaker.

As for a DIY sub kit, Rythmik may be worth a peek.
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post #10 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

The subwoofer is where shipping really bites us here in Hawaii. Most of the forum recommended subs are about $200 or more to ship.

I wonder if SVS offers free shipping to Hawaii?

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post #11 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I wonder if SVS offers free shipping to Hawaii?

I just looked. Free shipping is within the continental US only.

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post #12 of 50 Old 02-15-2012, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Been liking the idea of simply shopping online at sears. Started in earnest shopping with all the great ideas everyone has mentioned. Thank u. Has anyone heard the Definitve Technology ProCinema 400's? They were given a very high recommendation from the Las Vegas electronics show 20102 in SoundandVision. I started reading about building a subwoofer (ugh). Is a set up like this something that if it was not enough bass I could get another sub down the road?
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post #13 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 02:07 AM
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You can do pretty good with Amazon's Marketplace (used). It's still free shipping, and easily returnable, and every item is rated either "good" or "like new". I would look at something like this.


Denon 1712 $335

Polk RTi A3 $310

Polk CSi A4 $180

Polk PSW 505 $220
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post #14 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

I live on Kauai with a Sears, Kmart and a Costco. That's it for audiophile. No way to listen to anything except fly to Honolulu. Don't think so. Something to consider for warranties, updates,shipping,etc.
I am on a limited budget but think the way to go is build on quality at each component.

I have a small, carpeted room 10'x15' with a large stuffed couch and recliner.
Moderate levels on volume,mostly for Movies but do like to play some tunes(rock,Hawaiian)
42" Panasonic HDTV 1 year old, simple blu ray panasonic player, I am not a Mac person and I have been out of the loop since buying my old Panasonic HTIB 10 years ago. It's crap and anything would sound better.

My point is I don't really know enough about what is out there now let alone what is coming down the pike in the way of gizmos and connections. Never heard of "firmware" till I started looking into the new system.

I need a good avr, thinking Denon's 1712 is reasonable. I'm interested in more better sound than bells and whistles. Open to suggestions there.
My budget for this first go round is $1K max. With that i would like the amp and the front speakers, keeping in mind matching the subwoofer and rest of the 5.1 later. The room is so small 7.1 would be overkill. I really love reclining in my chair and watching a good movie. I want to hear glass break and doors slam and cars roar. My first post, appreciate any suggestions. Mahalo

My local Costco has the Pioneer 1021 for $350. Also, I am not sure, but I think that the cost of shipping for the receivers they offer online are a flat rate, so that might benefit you.

And if you don't like, just trot into the store and return it.
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post #15 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

Been liking the idea of simply shopping online at sears. Started in earnest shopping with all the great ideas everyone has mentioned. Thank u. Has anyone heard the Definitve Technology ProCinema 400's? They were given a very high recommendation from the Las Vegas electronics show 20102 in SoundandVision. I started reading about building a subwoofer (ugh). Is a set up like this something that if it was not enough bass I could get another sub down the road?

Seriously, get something from Crutchfield or Amazon. Crutchfield gives a 60 day return policy and Amazon's standard is 30 days. You may or may not have to pay return shipping depending on the situation.

Gene

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post #16 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 08:26 AM
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I recommend that you get two of the NHT SuperZero speakers, which are $99 each on Amazon and are WAY better than a lot of speakers at similar prices. NHT makes excellent speakers for the money.

Put those together with the Polk PSW505 subwoofer, which is currently $250 on Amazon, and you have a start on a very nice system.

Add two more NHT SuperZero speakers later for 5.1.

I recommend Denon receivers for the most part, but Yamaha and Onkyo are possibilities. it's best to get one with a full range of functionality and features now so you don't have to trade up later.

I would recommend the Denon AVR-1911 or 1712 because they have Audessy EQ room correction, dual-zone, and tons of very good features. Amazon has them for around $420. Good choices all.

I guess that comes to $900 plus shipping.

Amazon lists shipping to Hawaii as $9.99 plus 59 cents per pound for electronic items, which doesn't sound too bad at all. That should be less than $100 for everything.

The subwoofer is really an independent thing and there is no need to "match" it to the other speakers brand-wise, and you might want to see what you can come up with locally, since it is such a heavy item to ship. I would suggest that you look for one with at least a 12-inch driver, and at least 200 watts RMS (400 watts peak). Sears seems to carry a full line of 12-inch BIC America subs for $200-400 dollars. With your small room, almost any of their 12-inch models should work.

Real tough place to have to live, Kauai...rofl.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

I live on Kauai with a Sears, Kmart and a Costco. That's it for audiophile. No way to listen to anything except fly to Honolulu. Don't think so. Something to consider for warranties, updates,shipping,etc.
I am on a limited budget but think the way to go is build on quality at each component.

I have a small, carpeted room 10'x15' with a large stuffed couch and recliner.
Moderate levels on volume,mostly for Movies but do like to play some tunes(rock,Hawaiian)
42" Panasonic HDTV 1 year old, simple blu ray panasonic player, I am not a Mac person and I have been out of the loop since buying my old Panasonic HTIB 10 years ago. It's crap and anything would sound better.

My point is I don't really know enough about what is out there now let alone what is coming down the pike in the way of gizmos and connections. Never heard of "firmware" till I started looking into the new system.

I need a good avr, thinking Denon's 1712 is reasonable. I'm interested in more better sound than bells and whistles. Open to suggestions there.
My budget for this first go round is $1K max. With that i would like the amp and the front speakers, keeping in mind matching the subwoofer and rest of the 5.1 later. The room is so small 7.1 would be overkill. I really love reclining in my chair and watching a good movie. I want to hear glass break and doors slam and cars roar. My first post, appreciate any suggestions. Mahalo

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post #17 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 08:55 AM
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Actually if it's something that Amazon sells directly shipping is free. I got my HK AVR in 3 days, free shipping.

Also Crutchfield sells NHT and ships free.

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post #18 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 09:10 AM
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I know they do that in the 48 states, but it wasn't clear to me if that was true for Hawaii; that certainly is nice then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Actually if it's something that Amazon sells directly shipping is free. I got my HK AVR in 3 days, free shipping.

Also Crutchfield sells NHT and ships free.

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post #19 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I recommend that you get two of the NHT SuperZero speakers, which are $99 each on Amazon and are WAY better than a lot of speakers at similar prices. NHT makes excellent speakers for the money.

Put those together with the Polk PSW505 subwoofer, which is currently $250 on Amazon, and you have a start on a very nice system.

Add two more NHT SuperZero speakers later for 5.1.

I recommend Denon receivers for the most part, but Yamaha and Onkyo are possibilities. it's best to get one with a full range of functionality and features now so you don't have to trade up later.

I would recommend the Denon AVR-1911 or 1712 because they have Audessy EQ room correction, dual-zone, and tons of very good features. Amazon has them for around $420. Good choices all.

I guess that comes to $900 plus shipping.

Amazon lists shipping to Hawaii as $9.99 plus 59 cents per pound for electronic items, which doesn't sound too bad at all. That should be less than $100 for everything.

The subwoofer is really an independent thing and there is no need to "match" it to the other speakers brand-wise, and you might want to see what you can come up with locally, since it is such a heavy item to ship. I would suggest that you look for one with at least a 12-inch driver, and at least 200 watts RMS (400 watts peak). Sears seems to carry a full line of 12-inch BIC America subs for $200-400 dollars. With your small room, almost any of their 12-inch models should work.

Real tough place to have to live, Kauai...rofl.

Ok, thinking with further recom(thanks again) and research I am taking the NHT super zero . With those and a Polk 505 sub and the Denon 1712 receiver. Perhaps i should just get 2.1 and hear if they are what I like. Seems the sub is very important and is what i would want no matter. If I like the zeroes then order 2 more and voila(hope). All within in a livable budget and free shipping from NHT certified retailers, Crutchfields. If I don't then I will search for the front speakers again. Still open to suggestions , but the denons 1712 should last a long time. Not looking forward to the set up of the Denon's but,,
Yes, it is the cost of living in Paradise.
Aloha
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post #20 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

Ok, thinking with further recom(thanks again) and research I am taking the NHT super zero . With those and a Polk 505 sub and the Denon 1712 receiver. Perhaps i should just get 2.1 and hear if they are what I like. Seems the sub is very important and is what i would want no matter. If I like the zeroes then order 2 more and voila(hope). All within in a livable budget and free shipping from NHT certified retailers, Crutchfields. If I don't then I will search for the front speakers again. Still open to suggestions , but the denons 1712 should last a long time. Not looking forward to the set up of the Denon's but,,
Yes, it is the cost of living in Paradise.
Aloha

My only concern with that combo would be the Polk's ability to successfully cross over with the Super Zero- which will need to be crossed over at about 100hz. Not too sure what the upper level is on the Polk.

Good luck with it.

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post #21 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

Ok, thinking with further recom(thanks again) and research I am taking the NHT super zero . With those and a Polk 505 sub and the Denon 1712 receiver. Perhaps i should just get 2.1 and hear if they are what I like. Seems the sub is very important and is what i would want no matter. If I like the zeroes then order 2 more and voila(hope). All within in a livable budget and free shipping from NHT certified retailers, Crutchfields. If I don't then I will search for the front speakers again. Still open to suggestions , but the denons 1712 should last a long time. Not looking forward to the set up of the Denon's but,,
Yes, it is the cost of living in Paradise.
Aloha

Place two different orders for the speakers and add this to each order:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_659FCON...arch=connector

Then use a coupon code with each order and you will save yourself $39 total.
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post #22 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

My only concern with that combo would be the Polk's ability to successfully cross over with the Super Zero- which will need to be crossed over at about 100hz. Not too sure what the upper level is on the Polk.

Good luck with it.

Kini u just lost me. What is the crossover point. What numbers do I need to loook at?

Coupons sound good as weel.
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post #23 of 50 Old 02-16-2012, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

Kini u just lost me. What is the crossover point. What numbers do I need to loook at?

Coupons sound good as weel.

The thing is that the SuperZeros low frequency limit is about 70-80 Hz, so the subwoofer will have to take over below that and do all of the bass from 80 Hz on down. You just need to set the rolloff knob on the subwoofer for around 80-90 Hz so it won't try to put out anything higher than that.

According to the PSW505 manual, which I just looked at on the Polk website, the HF rolloff control can be adjusted from 60 Hz to 120 Hz, so that is no problem.

The PSW505 should be able to do that all right. It should be a good combo. The NHT SuperZeros have 4.5-inch drivers, so they are not as pathetic as these little things with 2.5 inch drivers (which are lucky if they can go down to 120 Hz).

Speakers that can go lower might be better, but to get quality speakers that will go much lower raises the price quite a bit.
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post #24 of 50 Old 02-17-2012, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I just "pulled the trigger" and bought a denon 2112ci. I figured this will give me all i want and probably more for the next few years. This the basis of my "Phoenix". I tried to order the denon through amazon and they would not ship here. I did not call but went ahead and ordered through electronic expo. $120 for shipping but got it for $430. plus the 120 so $550.
Now on to speakers and sub. Still hot on the SuperZero NHT's with the polk sw505. I can go to costco and get an 8" Sony for 94$. Have a great Holiday everyone!
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post #25 of 50 Old 02-17-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Pulled it again, ordered from Crutchfield, 2 NHT superZeroes, no polks so got the deal with a 10" SONY sub for 99$. Figure I can listen to that till I want to upgrade all around. Still ahead with the lower cost on the denons 2112 ci and the shipping charge. Plan to listen to what I got and go from there to the 5.1 sound I am after. Spent right at $850 and should be setting myself up till I go to the old folks home.
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post #26 of 50 Old 02-17-2012, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The thing is that the SuperZeros low frequency limit is about 70-80 Hz, so the subwoofer will have to take over below that and do all of the bass from 80 Hz on down. You just need to set the rolloff knob on the subwoofer for around 80-90 Hz so it won't try to put out anything higher than that.

The Super Zero NEEDS to be crossed over at least at 100hz. Just because the Polk Sub can be adjusted between 60 and 120hz doesn't mean it will work well that high. There will likely be a lot of roll off for a cheap sub up top.

For music he's be much better off spending the extra for the NHT 8" sub.

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post #27 of 50 Old 02-17-2012, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

The Super Zero NEEDS to be crossed over at least at 100hz. Just because the Polk Sub can be adjusted between 60 and 120hz doesn't mean it will work well that high. There will likely be a lot of roll off for a cheap sub up top.

For music he's be much better off spending the extra for the NHT 8" sub.

Just checked out the NHT 8" subs. They look great. Does anyone out there have these? I am now anxiously awaiting my Phoenix. I am tapped out for now, not just financially but I haven't shopped so hard in my life. A very high learning curve and am motivated to learn more. I have actually been looking for a business to start here. This island needs a stereo store of some sort. Apparently Maui does not have a BB so don't know about a stereo place there. Even if it was custom made stuff. I would have happily listened to some home grown speakers. I digress but thanks for all the help and will be back to let u all know how similar our taste r!
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post #28 of 50 Old 02-18-2012, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post

Just checked out the NHT 8" subs. They look great. Does anyone out there have these? I am now anxiously awaiting my Phoenix. I am tapped out for now, not just financially but I haven't shopped so hard in my life. A very high learning curve and am motivated to learn more. I have actually been looking for a business to start here. This island needs a stereo store of some sort. Apparently Maui does not have a BB so don't know about a stereo place there. Even if it was custom made stuff. I would have happily listened to some home grown speakers. I digress but thanks for all the help and will be back to let u all know how similar our taste r!

Lots to learn, I agree.

As for the sub, I have zilch experience with NHT subs but that being said:

Subs do not have to match your speakers, so pick any brand.

Also, the general consensus on this board is that Internet Direct subs offer the best value.

So something from HSU, Epik, etc.
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post #29 of 50 Old 02-18-2012, 06:53 AM
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If you are listening preference is mostly movies, a lot of people in the subwoofer forum will recommend that you will want a sub that goes solidly down into the 20hz range, optimally with a flat response down to 20hz. The NHT 8" sub has a -3db of 37hz. Assuming that the small size has enough output for the size of your room (8" subs are not output beasts), it would work great for music, but would not be as impressive for movies as a larger sub would.

Then again, while the PSW505 would have better lower extension and more volume output, it will probably not have the same sound quality as the NHT sealed sub for music and might really struggle to be articulate enough through the mid-bass range necessary for crossing over the speakers at 100hz.

So you either have to up your budget, or compromise a lot on performance. My choice would be to minimally go for the NHT B-10d so that you get a little more low frequency extension and more output, and I don't think that extra money is a diminishing return. I believe you'd appreciate the difference between it and the Super 8 sub. If you can manage to spring for one of the 12" ID subs that bladerunner6 mentioned, all the better.

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post #30 of 50 Old 02-18-2012, 07:06 AM
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Good news. I just checked and Outlaw Audio has reasonable shipping on their subs. Instead of approximately $50 on their LFM-1 Plus, it's just over $70 to Hawaii. The Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus is a kick ass 12" ported sub. Would sound amazing and would have below 20hz response. Here's a review of it's big brother, the LFM-1 EX. They have the same driver and amp, just smaller enclosure with the Plus (a little less total output, and a little less low end frequency response).

Now there are b-stock Plus's on sale for free shipping at $499. Maybe they would let you have it for $499 plus the difference they normally charge for shipping for Hawaii (call them). My LFM-1 EX is a b-stock, and it was in great shape with only a small cosmetic problem on the back.

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