A newb looking to upgrade.... all suggestions welcome! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone! I'm budgeting some cash to start upgrading my home theater system. I'll be needing a whole new rig so let the suggestions flow.

My budget is around 5k. I like Onkyo receivers and the new NR818 caught me eye (TBR 5/12).

Other than that, i'm a blank piece of canvass looking for some help. I heard good things about Polk, Klipshe, Cerwin Vega, Aperion, Energy, and Paradigm. However, I couldn't tell you why they are good and why one brand is better than another.

I would use this as the main home theater system. I would use it to watch blurays, listen to music, and view regular sports. That is the priority order, as well.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you folks might have. I really appreciate it!
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post #2 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 07:09 AM
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What size room is your HT setup in?

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post #3 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Its a good 15x20ish.
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post #4 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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No suggestions from anyone?
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post #5 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 09:37 AM
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OK. First and foremost, people always recommend what they own most of the time. The most important thing to do is go listen. Your ears are most important. That being said, here is my opinion on what you have mentioned:

I am not a fan of Onkyo. I was not impressed with their receiver I auditioned a few years ago. I think their reliability is questionable. I prefer Denon. To each their own...

Polks to me are budget speakers. I have heard the tsi and rti lines. I have not heard the lsi. They are OK, but not the best bet for the money.

I have never heard cerwin vegas.

Klipsch hurts my ears. Too harsh for me. Others love them. I have auditioned the RF lines and they just weren't for me. You would have to listen for yourself and make that decision.

Energy makes some good speakers but I would stick with the Veritas or RC lines.

I have not heard Aperion but they seem well reviewed and offer a free in home trial with paid shipping both ways so you have nothing to lose. Give it a shot.

I own Paradigm monitors because I loved their sound compared to everything else I had available locally. For me they are equally as good for theater and music for what I paid. I run v6 monitor 9s, CC290 center and mini monitor surrounds with a Hsu sub. I like it, others may not. Paradigms are not sold online. Only local dealers so price varies. If interested, you would need to go audition them.

Just a starting point:

Acsend CMT-340 plus the matching center $950ish
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...m/cmt340m.html

CB-170 surrounds $375
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

Hsu VTF-15 $1000
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html

Pair it with a Denon 2112 from Electronics Expo for $450
or the 3312 for $799 (call in prices) and you should have an exceptional system for HT and music.

Thats about $3000 (give or take a few hundred depending on your choices)

As a side note, Paradigm monitors run $1500-$3000 roughly for the speakers (L/R/C/surr) depending on the models you choose. If you go to the studio or signature line they are significantly more. With a decent sub and receiver it will still bring you in under your $5000 budget.

Good luck and enjoy the experience. I personally love shopping for audio equipment.

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post #6 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Cj,

Thank you, tremendously, for the response. This is the exactly the kind of information i'm looking for. I like to gather as much data as I can, including experiences from others, so that I can make an informed decision.

I'm glad I did too because i thought that Polk was considered a mid-high end speaker. I'm happy to have that corrected.

All of our points are well received and i greatfully appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I love shopping for audio equipment as well. The problem is that now, i feel like i've been out of the market for so long that i just dont know what brands/models are good and how they differ.

Is paradigm considered a high-end speaker brand? I always thought energy and paradigm were higher end.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 11:37 AM
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Is your $5k budget just for audio equipment? Are you going to have a regular tv on a stand, or mounted on the wall, or a projector? Basically do you have speaker size/placement restrictions?


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post #8 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 11:43 AM
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If your ever interested OP, i have a pair of Energy v5.1 Veritas in Rosenut and a pair of Ascend Sierra-1s in natural along with a Parasound HCA-855a that i will be putting up on Audiogon but you can have first dibs if youre interested. Plenty of people here can give you opinions on these, as well as myself. You can find great stuff on the used market.

I dont wanna give up the Sierras and the amp, but bills came into play.
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post #9 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Is your $5k budget just for audio equipment? Are you going to have a regular tv on a stand, or mounted on the wall, or a projector? Basically do you have speaker size/placement restrictions?

I have a 70" Sharp Quattron LED FS, wall mounted. But, there is plenty of room all around the TV for anything i want really so there are no size restrictions.
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post #10 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coN83 View Post

If your ever interested OP, i have a pair of Energy v5.1 Veritas in Rosenut and a pair of Ascend Sierra-1s in natural along with a Parasound HCA-855a that i will be putting up on Audiogon but you can have first dibs if youre interested. Plenty of people here can give you opinions on these, as well as myself. You can find great stuff on the used market.

I dont wanna give up the Sierras and the amp, but bills came into play.

Thanks for the heads up! I need to do a bit of research first before I make any decisions like that, but thanks for giving me the opportunity.
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post #11 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 11:57 AM
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You might want to research subs a little, first, before deciding on your speakers so that you know how much you want to allocate for them. Lots of discussion in the AVS subwoofer forum.

Assuming that your room does not have cathedral ceilings or is not part of a larger open area plan, seems like you have about 3,000 cubic feet. Most of the 12" ID subs from Epik, Rythmik, HSU, Outlaw Audio, and SVS should be fine in that room in terms of SPL output for that space; these Internet direct subs are much better values that you can get from places like BestBuy, etc. However, you might consider dual 12" subs with your budget. Two subs are better for creating a more uniform frequency response.

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post #12 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulo28 View Post

I have a 70" Sharp Quattron LED FS, wall mounted. But, there is plenty of room all around the TV for anything i want really so there are no size restrictions.

Do you have room to place a floorstanding speaker under the tv as a center channel, or is there some kind of media stand below the tv?


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post #13 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Do you have room to place a floorstanding speaker under the tv as a center channel, or is there some kind of media stand below the tv?

The TV is a little over 3ft from the floor, so there is definitely room for a center channel shelve to be installed under it.
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post #14 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You might want to research subs a little, first, before deciding on your speakers so that you know how much you want to allocate for them. Lots of discussion in the AVS subwoofer forum.

Assuming that your room does not have cathedral ceilings or is not part of a larger open area plan, seems like you have about 3,000 cubic feet. Most of the 12" ID subs from Epik, Rythmik, HSU, Outlaw Audio, and SVS should be fine in that room in terms of SPL output for that space; these Internet direct subs are much better values that you can get from places like BestBuy, etc. However, you might consider dual 12" subs with your budget. Two subs are better for creating a more uniform frequency response.

A friend of mine has a cerwin vega 10" sub that he apparently swears by. I'll be checking that out this weekend. Any recommendations are appreciated.
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post #15 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:46 PM
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I'll throw def tech speakers out there.

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post #16 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulo28 View Post

A friend of mine has a cerwin vega 10" sub that he apparently swears by. I'll be checking that out this weekend. Any recommendations are appreciated.

Cerwin Vegas are generally over-priced and won't compare to the ID sub companies listed. It won't be the same caliber. Research in the AVS subwoofer forum. Pretty much everyone there is in agreement about those ID sub brands being best bang for the buck. We just argue over which particular sub of those brands is best in a specific situation

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post #17 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:52 PM
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I'll throw in PSB. The Image line should work nicely for you.

Upgraditis Anonymous
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post #18 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll throw in PSB. The Image line should work nicely for you.

Yes, I heard good things about those as well. Any personal experience with those?

Thanks!
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post #19 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Cerwin Vegas are generally over-priced and won't compare to the ID sub companies listed. It won't be the same caliber. Research in the AVS subwoofer forum. Pretty much everyone there is in agreement about those ID sub brands being best bang for the buck. We just argue over which particular sub of those brands is best in a specific situation

Good point. I'll take a look at the forum and check it out. Thanks for the help!
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post #20 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 12:58 PM
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Backing up a little, Polk's LSi series is definitely very good, and right now an outstanding value. The original LSi is on closeout, replaced by the new LSiM. You can get them for almost half off their original price right now.

LSi 15 $1000pr

LSiC $400

LSiFX $600

So $2k for the full LSi setup that would have cost close to $4k last year. That's an outstanding deal while it lasts.

For electronics I would get a decent lower priced receiver with preouts, so you can afford a nice outboard amp, since no receiver has a great amp section. This refurb Denon 3310 is only $500. Now you can spend $700 on real amps, like this ART SLA2 for you front LR, and this ART SLA4 for your center and surrounds (all you need is a 1/4 to rca to hook up the amps to the receiver).

That puts you at $3.2k for a full separate front end with very nice speakers. This leaves you with a nice chunk for a pair of subs to round out a top notch theater. Something like a pair of HSU VTF-3's would do the trick for really deep bass in a room your size.

edit: you could also get an amp like his emotiva xpa 5 instead of the slightly cheaper pro amps

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/.../products/xpa5


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post #21 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 01:10 PM
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A newb looking to upgrade.... all suggestions welcome!

Buy JTR. It's the best bang for buck product out there right now. That's a completely unbiased and objective statement.
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post #22 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Backing up a little, Polk's LSi series is definitely very good, and right now an outstanding value. The original LSi is on closeout, replaced by the new LSiM. You can get them for almost half off their original price right now.

LSi 15 $1000pr

LSiC $400

LSiFX $600

So $2k for the full LSi setup that would have cost close to $4k last year. That's an outstanding deal while it lasts.

For electronics I would get a decent lower priced receiver with preouts, so you can afford a nice outboard amp, since no receiver has a great amp section. This refurb Denon 3310 is only $500. Now you can spend $700 on real amps, like this ART SLA2 for you front LR, and this ART SLA4 for your center and surrounds (all you need is a 1/4 to rca to hook up the amps to the receiver).

That puts you at $3.2k for a full separate front end with very nice speakers. This leaves you with a nice chunk for a pair of subs to round out a top notch theater. Something like a pair of HSU VTF-3's would do the trick for really deep bass in a room your size.

edit: you could also get an amp like his emotiva xpa 5 instead of the slightly cheaper pro amps

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/.../products/xpa5

Jay,

Wow, this is great information. Let me absorb it and come back with some questions.

Thanks again!
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post #23 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 05:08 PM
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The reason you need a receiver with pre outs and an external amp is the Lsi's are 4ohm speakers and require more juice to drive them. I am not disagreeing with the suggestion. I have not heard the lsi line but I have heard good things about them. Your room isn't that big and most speakers can be driven by a decent name brand receiver without the need for an external amp as well. Obviously staying away from the entry level receivers and going mid line or up. Like I said, not disagreeing with the post at all. To me it just adds more expense and another piece to shop for and research that may not be necessary with other brands.

If you do want separates, Jay has recommended some good amps. Emotiva is great equipment for the money.

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post #24 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 05:44 PM
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As someone who has been in the hobby less than 2 years, the mistakes that I made are still very fresh in my memory

I would HIGHLY recommend getting a lower-end receiver with all of the features you want and preouts, then spending a considerable amount of money on a separate amplifier. Look for used Parasound, B&K, or Adcom to get decent bang for your buck. You'll have to power to drive most sets of speakers with no problem. The Polk Lsi's are absolutely a great value. I'd look in the the KEF Q series. Love those things...

Don't kid yourself, this won't be your last set of speakers

Last bit of advice is LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN. You may have to eat some return shipping costs but it'll be worth it when you find the speakers that you fall in love with.
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post #25 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 05:46 PM
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It wasn't as clear as I had intended, but I am suggesting that you get your electronics first so that you can audition speakers in your home.
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post #26 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 05:49 PM
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The reason you need a receiver with pre outs and an external amp is the Lsi's are 4ohm speakers and require more juice to drive them. I am not disagreeing with the suggestion. I have not heard the lsi line but I have heard good things about them. Your room isn't that big and most speakers can be driven by a decent name brand receiver without the need for an external amp as well. Obviously staying away from the entry level receivers and going mid line or up. Like I said, not disagreeing with the post at all. To me it just adds more expense and another piece to shop for and research that may not be necessary with other brands.

+1

You can start with the receiver with pre-out and then add amplification later down the road as an upgrade if you need it. In addition to the low impedance, the LSI5s are also rated with a sensitivity of 88db. If you go with higher sensitivity speakers, you get more volume from the speakers with the same amplifier power.

Another popular speaker line to look at in this price range is the Energy RC-70s and RC-LCR for fronts, and then either the RC-10s for rears or the Veritas VS Surrounds from Vanns. Lots of love for these in the Energy Owners Thread.

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post #27 of 41 Old 04-18-2012, 07:41 PM
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It absolutely makes sense with a budget as large as the OPs to set himself up for the future with separates. 5-10 years down the line when a new receiver is desired OP can again buy a moderatly priced model with all the new features and still be able to drive any set of speakers available. 300 wpc to the lsi set is plenty in his room, and everyone who's added power amps to a receiver can attest to the improvements getting away from anemic receiver amp sections provides.


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post #28 of 41 Old 04-19-2012, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

It absolutely makes sense with a budget as large as the OPs to set himself up for the future with separates. 5-10 years down the line when a new receiver is desired OP can again buy a moderatly priced model with all the new features and still be able to drive any set of speakers available. 300 wpc to the lsi set is plenty in his room, and everyone who's added power amps to a receiver can attest to the improvements getting away from anemic receiver amp sections provides.

I really do like that suggestion now that i've had some time to think about it. Sounds like I need to start looking at some mid-range receivers with pre-outs and then at some Amps.

Information overload, but its what i wanted so thank you all for the great suggestions so far!
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post #29 of 41 Old 04-19-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

It absolutely makes sense with a budget as large as the OPs to set himself up for the future with separates. 5-10 years down the line when a new receiver is desired OP can again buy a moderatly priced model with all the new features and still be able to drive any set of speakers available. 300 wpc to the lsi set is plenty in his room, and everyone who's added power amps to a receiver can attest to the improvements getting away from anemic receiver amp sections provides.

And yet, the most common recommendation here on the speaker forum for achieving louder volumes or even reference in a room is to get speakers with high sensitivity. Repeatedly that's recommended before suggesting someone get additional amplifiers. And so recommending speakers that are difficult to drive seems counter productive if SPL is a concern.

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post #30 of 41 Old 04-19-2012, 03:26 PM
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And yet, the most common recommendation here on the speaker forum for achieving louder volumes or even reference in a room is to get speakers with high sensitivity. Repeatedly that's recommended before suggesting someone get additional amplifiers. And so recommending speakers that are difficult to drive seems counter productive if SPL is a concern.

Very true, and I'm a believer in high sensitivity. The problem is it isnt always easy to find those speakers that have smooth SQ, can fit the living space, and meet the budget. A lot of people around here only consider max out put without anything else considered. I think many of the comments from that SE WI gtg were pretty interesting (jtr vs salk).


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