Low-end 5.1 suggestions -- computer speaker system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-16-2012, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I am building a low-end 5.1 system for my new computer. What is the best speaker system, ideally in the $200-300 range? The Paradigm Cinema CT (70/90/100/110 series) look nice but are at least 2-3x that price range, possibly the Martin Logan MLT1 or MLT2.

Can anyone recommend an integrated amp to go with this for under $200? I intend to be feeding it off of a Creative Labs Sound Blaster. Right now, I am looking at something like the Yamaha RX-V371BL, Denon AVR-391, or Pioneer VSX-821-K.

Damn it Jim, I'm a physicist, not an engineer!
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-16-2012, 10:47 AM
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Those sound like good receiver choices in that budget range. If you want more receiver for your money, accessories4less.com has factory refurbished/factory warrantied Denons and Onkyos.

With promo code, the Energy Take 5 package at Newegg is only $150. Then get a sub separately to go with it. If you are in a small room, the Pioneer SW-8, which is very similar to the sub that is part of the Energy Take 5.1 package. What size is your room in cubic feet?

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-16-2012, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't check in this case; I would say small, though not bathroom-small. It will have a permanently-open double-door. I can check later today.

Would you consider those Energy Take to be superior to the Martin Logan MLT-1 for $250, w/ sub (similar promo deal and duration.)

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post #4 of 8 Old 03-16-2012, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheHolodeck View Post

Would you consider those Energy Take to be superior to the Martin Logan MLT-1 for $250, w/ sub (similar promo deal and duration.)

You might ask in the Energy Owners Thread. It's very active, and someone there may have compared both directly.

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-16-2012, 11:50 AM
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I have a Martin Logan MLT 1 that I want to sell if you are interested. You can PM me.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-19-2012, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Ended up taking the MLT1s from Newegg.

Damn it Jim, I'm a physicist, not an engineer!
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-20-2012, 11:23 PM
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Looks like I got in late on this discussion. I've been doing so much research on what is appropriate. I am in the same issue on what kind of system to buy but the best sound is to go separate components with a speaker set, and then buying a receiver to drive them. I want to put a 5.1 system into my bedroom. so having a receiver in my room is a no no. We already have a THX 140 watt per channel JVC receiver driving Energy CF 70s full 7.2 surround with two subwoofers.

I am trying to find a good 5.1 system to sound my PC and my game consoles.
as I understand, PC speakers have powerful subs in the higher end systems, but you can't get them to play music well because they got no tweeters and the speakers are small.

The separate components route is no good for me because I am putting the system in my bedroom. I don't have that kind of space.

The other option I tried hard to find was an amp with built in inputs. or a receiver that is slim sized. What I found out during my weeks of research:

HTSS370 and HTSS380 by Sony. Comes with a subwoofer, receiver, and 5 speakers. this was a perfect set for me to choose because I can have it run LPCM from the PS3 to pick up DTS HD Master audio when running blu ray movies. it will also decode dolby pro logic II for my Wii. and the optical digital inputs for my PC audio.
problems: lackluster and weak subwoofer. it's a passive subwoofer. the speakers are kind of weak too. there is a troublesome option to replace the sub or speakers. but that would mean going through the problem of getting proprietary speaker cables for the receiver unit.

PC speakers Logitech Z906
powerful subwoofer with 5.1 channels and decodes dolby digital and DTS signals.
cons: overpowered sub muffling highs. speaker set not for music. especially with speakers having no tweeters. I can buy a receiver and separate speaker sets for same or lower price.

Onkyo HTX-22HDX Ultra-Compact HD
A home HTiB that has a built in amp on the subwoofer. reviews are good for the unit. it's a 2.1 set and is expandable to a 5.1. It decodes Dolby digital, prologic II and DTS HD MAster audio. HDMI passthrough connections and optical digital + rca inputs. I could add some good bookshelf speakers as my fronts, put the included speakers as my rear surround and this would sound good.
cons: subwoofer is supposedly powered, but still pretty weak. the system outputs only 25 watts rms per channel. sub at 60 watts. The best you can get out of this set in terms of sound is clarity with the power output. bass probably sucks. I'd like to try this system out in a local store like best buy or fry's, but no one carries it. it's only sold online through amazon and a few websites.

I am likely going the logitech speakers route and buy some tweeters to add into the front channels. I won't actually be playing a lot of music anyways as these speakers will be used for gaming and movies. I will wait for a deal on logitech or through amazon and make my purchase on the logitech z906. I think the HTiB route will not be good enough with the bass on the subs being too weak.

I wanted to post all this in case someone runs into this thread researching on a 5.1 system. I recommend going the separate receiver and speaker set combo just like everyone else here if you really want the best sound for your buck. provided, you can spare the space to do so. Receivers are quite big because of all their connections and features.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 06:09 AM
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I don't think I have ever heard anyone describe a Logitech subwoofer as "powerful" before. Be careful of making decisions about subwoofers purely on RMS or peak power specs. Driver size and enclosure size are significant factors.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
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