Hello, thank you for any comments, suggestions. I am preparing to invest in a sound system for what will certainly be a huge step up from the speakers on our flat screen TV. This is not for HT per se but for general listening pleasure: 50% satellite programming/netflix/roku..., 25% gaming and 25% music: rock, some hard, eclectic (terrific source is kcrw if you don't know of it), smooth jazz, blues, concerts, ufc fights, x-generation party music (loud for the 'kids'). Movies anything from chick flicks to action/adventure. Sometimes we like it loud but not excruciating.
Room is 14x28 with 7.5 sidewalls and vaulted ceiling to 12? feet, roughly 3900 cubic feet. TV will be wall mounted on a 14' end wall which has nothing on it or in front of it except a stand with dish receiver and game boxes, leaving plenty of room for towers and sub. One long wall is mostly windows and patio door. Other long wall has counter-height pass-thru to kitchen on one end and open to dining room on the other. Carpeted floor, seating is 18' from the TV wall. I'd like sound to carry to kitchen and dining when volume is cranked up (i.e., parties or cleaning house).
I've been doing a lot of internet research, a lot of reading this forum. Went to the only audio specialty store in town, got excited listening to the Pioneer VSX-52, Denon 2312, PSB's and Paridigms they promote but left with sticker shock, as sales staff shook their head at my budget and recommended a 3.1 and receiver starting at $4000. I can't imagine there isn't a satisfying start-up solution for less.
I don't expect to ever do 7.1, possibly 5.1 in the future (high and wide) but would realistically like to start with 2.1 or 3 or 3.1 including receiver for $2000-$2500. I need minimum 4 HDMI inputs, internet connectivity, dual zone (for speakers on the patio), airplay not necessary. I do want a solution that will greatly improve dialog delivery.
I understand the recommendations about receiver cost relative (1/3) to speaker cost (2/3). I tend to be OCD about researching for big purchases and want balanced value/sound for $ (who doesn't). The audio components i have in early wish lists include Pioneer AVR and Polk Audio speakers but with so many positive comments about Denon and Emp Tek, Rhythmik, Boston Acoustics, Infinity Primus, and on and on, I'm having a difficult time making a decision. Should $ be spent on sub or center first? What size sub? Towers versus bookshelf. Pioneer vs Denon vs ?. Cone vs horn ,etc.
Considering my room size, listening habits and objectives I would appreciate any thoughts you may have.