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post #1 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to slowly build a 5.1 system, piece by piece. I recently blew a lot of money on a projector, so I am going to have to cool off my spending a bit. I am thinking I can spend about $200 a month until I get my 5.1 system completed. Here is my problem... I know nothing about setting up an audio system. I did a little research, and here is my plan for spending about $200 a month to get a good system. I am not sure if everything is completely compatible, so I would love some input about my choices.

I will likely only have my Xbox 360 and my WD TV Live hooked up to the receiver.

Month 1 - Yamaha Receiver. This is what I am most worried about. The receiver is a moderately complex item, and I know nothing about them. No idea if this is the best option for me at the $200 mark, but it is getting decent reviews.

Month 2 - Sony SS-F6000 (fronts). I will see how happy I am at this point. I may just stick with this two channel setup for awhile if the audio is satisfactory...

Month 3 - Sony SS-B3000 (rears), Sony SS-CN5000 (center).

Month 4 - Sony SA-W3000 (subwoofer).

Throw in some decent speaker wire, do a little research to make sure I don't screw anything up, and I have a decent audio system. Any thoughts on my plan/ setup? I am just worried that I am missing something in my plan, or am making some big mistake.
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegeta13613 View Post

I am looking to slowly build a 5.1 system, piece by piece. I recently blew a lot of money on a projector, so I am going to have to cool off my spending a bit. I am thinking I can spend about $200 a month until I get my 5.1 system completed. Here is my problem... I know nothing about setting up an audio system. I did a little research, and here is my plan for spending about $200 a month to get a good system. I am not sure if everything is completely compatible, so I would love some input about my choices.

I will likely only have my Xbox 360 and my WD TV Live hooked up to the receiver.

Month 1 - Yamaha Receiver. This is what I am most worried about. The receiver is a moderately complex item, and I know nothing about them. No idea if this is the best option for me at the $200 mark, but it is getting decent reviews.

Month 2 - Sony SS-F6000 (fronts). I will see how happy I am at this point. I may just stick with this two channel setup for awhile if the audio is satisfactory...

Month 3 - Sony SS-B3000 (rears), Sony SS-CN5000 (center).

Month 4 - Sony SA-W3000 (subwoofer).

Throw in some decent speaker wire, do a little research to make sure I don't screw anything up, and I have a decent audio system. Any thoughts on my plan/ setup? I am just worried that I am missing something in my plan, or am making some big mistake.

Big mistake. Spend more on speakers and subwoofer. Save a couple months worth of budget for fronts and a center channel, and do the same for the subwoofer. You can chince out a bit on the receiver and surrounds.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 02:24 PM
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you might look at the Pioneer SP line of speakers http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...r+sp+speakers+

as for the receiver, the V371 you referenced is not sold by Amazon, but a 3rd party dealer who is not an authorized Yamaha reseller (warranty will not be any good). Look and the new V373 model sold by Amazon and just a few bucks more.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mannoiaj View Post

Big mistake. Spend more on speakers and subwoofer. Save a couple months worth of budget for fronts and a center channel, and do the same for the subwoofer. You can chince out a bit on the receiver and surrounds.

I more or less planned this as the max of my budget. I was hoping on spending about $600 total for a sound system, at least for now. Upgrading in the future may be an option, but right now I need to stick to about $600-800 max. I'm not an audiophile, so I am pretty sure this price point is fine for me. From my little research (more or less just searching Amazon and Newegg), this is probably about as good as I can do for around $700.

Anyway... I am still a bit unsure about the receiver... I assume most any decent 5.1 receiver will work with these speakers? Something like this Sony receiver would work just fine with this setup, right? Once again, sorry for the stupid questions.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

you might look at the Pioneer SP line of speakers http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...r+sp+speakers+

I will definitely look into these... from the little I can tell, they seem fairly similar to the Sony line I was looking at, so I might just buy based on which brand ends up being cheaper.

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Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

as for the receiver, the V371 you referenced is not sold by Amazon, but a 3rd party dealer who is not an authorized Yamaha reseller (warranty will not be any good). Look and the new V373 model sold by Amazon and just a few bucks more.

Great idea. The V371 is getting great reviews on Amazon. It is a bit more expensive than the Sony one, but seems to be worth it. Thanks for the help.
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 03:14 PM
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cheapest receiver that has the features you need is recommended. Honestly, cheap bookshelf speakers for the fronts w/ matching cheap center channel and even cheaper surrounds is what I'd do. Spend the rest on the most capable subwoofer you can afford.
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mannoiaj View Post

cheapest receiver that has the features you need is recommended. Honestly, cheap bookshelf speakers for the fronts w/ matching cheap center channel and even cheaper surrounds is what I'd do. Spend the rest on the most capable subwoofer you can afford.

Any ideas on a subwoofer than would be significantly better than the Sony subwoofer, but is still under... let's say $250? Perhaps something like this Polk subwoofer?
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 07:09 AM
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The Polk PSW505 is the lowest you should go in the Polk line-up - it's a decent sub. But if the budget is an issue, BIC makes some well liked subs for even less.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...=bic+subwoofer
The BIC F12 is a very good sub for the money.
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

The Polk PSW505 is the lowest you should go in the Polk line-up - it's a decent sub. But if the budget is an issue, BIC makes some well liked subs for even less.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...=bic+subwoofer
The BIC F12 is a very good sub for the money.

And well within my budget. Think I just found a new sub! Thanks for the help. I think I just may have my setup in place.

Yamaha 5.1 receiver

Sony SS-F6000 (fronts)
Sony SS-CN5000(center)
Sony SSB3000 (rears)
BIC America F12 (sub)

Definitely not the greatest setup ever, but probably the best I can do within my budget, and it should be more than enough for my moderately small home theater room.
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 08:07 AM
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Enjoy your new HT system ! It will serve you well until "upgrade-itus" hits, a costly disease that no home audio "true believer" is immune to.
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, one more question... would I perhaps be better off going with Bic America for all speakers over the Sony ones? Did some research on Bic after the suggestion for the subwoofer, and they seem to make great products at great prices.
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 09:04 AM
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the BIC Acoustech line of speakers are highly regarded, BIC mid-level speakers are decent, and I don't know much about their RTR budget line.

I think I see the early symptoms of "upgrade-itus" already so hang on to your wallet !
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 01:14 PM
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Upgrading to the F12 was a good choice.

Might want to take a look at the Onkyo receivers as well. For the same price range you could get Zone 2, Audessey, Network ready (Love controling my AVR from my iPhone), etc etc. When Newegg has them in stock I think they are $229.

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR509...5384619&sr=1-2
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-26-2012, 05:24 AM
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I just bought a BIC V1020 last week; it's even less expensive than the F12, and takes less space too (it's a 10" rather than 12").

I installed it a couple days ago. I used to be one of those car audio subwoofer weirdoes, and I had some of those bass test CDs, which I ripped to MP3 at the time just for fun. I dug those up and played them on the BIC, and with the sub gain set to 8/10 and the receiver volume where I normally have it, some of the ultra-low frequencies felt like it was going to shake my house down. I ended up turning the gain down to 6. This is in a 1500 cubic-foot space that is pretty open to an adjacent 2400 cubic-foot space. The bass was strong even from the other end of the house.

If your budget is as tight as you say, and your listening space isn't huge, I think the 1020 might be plenty and would leave a little more room for some better front and center speakers.

Regardless, consider this a +1 on the BIC suggestion.

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post #15 of 22 Old 04-29-2012, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JakeRobb View Post

I just bought a BIC V1020 last week; it's even less expensive than the F12, and takes less space too (it's a 10" rather than 12").

I installed it a couple days ago. I used to be one of those car audio subwoofer weirdoes, and I had some of those bass test CDs, which I ripped to MP3 at the time just for fun. I dug those up and played them on the BIC, and with the sub gain set to 8/10 and the receiver volume where I normally have it, some of the ultra-low frequencies felt like it was going to shake my house down. I ended up turning the gain down to 6. This is in a 1500 cubic-foot space that is pretty open to an adjacent 2400 cubic-foot space. The bass was strong even from the other end of the house.

If your budget is as tight as you say, and your listening space isn't huge, I think the 1020 might be plenty and would leave a little more room for some better front and center speakers.

Regardless, consider this a +1 on the BIC suggestion.

The more I hear about BIC, the more they seem perfect for me. Great equipment at an amazing price. I will probably stick with the F12 since it isn't much more and space is most definitely not an issue in my case. Perhaps I will purchase the BIC V1020 in the near future for my livingroom, as my soundbar there is in desperate need of a subwoofer. I did however decide to upgrade my center from the Sony to the BIC FH6. Everything except the rears and subwoofer have been purchased and should ship soon. I must admit that I am a bit worried that my Sony speakers will be somewhat lacking, but they're about the only thing within my budget that is well reviewed on Amazon. I have a feeling that my fronts and rears may be replaced by something like the BIC DV84 and the BIC DV62SI before long... and "upgrade-itus" is hitting already.
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post #16 of 22 Old 04-29-2012, 04:18 PM
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you really want to stick with one mfr across the front 3, or the car driving across the screen could sound like a porsche at first, then a vw as it gets to the middle, then back to a porsche as it gets to the other side.

...what a long, strange trip its been.
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post #17 of 22 Old 04-29-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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you really want to stick with one mfr across the front 3, or the car driving across the screen could sound like a porsche at first, then a vw as it gets to the middle, then back to a porsche as it gets to the other side.

Interesting... so, I may be better off with the cheaper Sony center over the BIC center channel? Granted I will very likely be upgrading the Sony fronts to BICs (depending on how they sound to me), but that may take a year or so.
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post #18 of 22 Old 04-30-2012, 12:15 PM
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+1^ however you purchase your system over time, please try not to mix the front three speakers by manufacturer and series. IF necessary, start off with a 2.1 setup with the front L & R you ultimately want, add the center next, and then the surrounds as the budget allows. Don't waste short term money on speakers you will ultimately need to get rid of.
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post #19 of 22 Old 04-30-2012, 12:54 PM
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These are the speakers I would look at! One of the best bangs for the buck!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117403
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post #20 of 22 Old 04-30-2012, 03:11 PM
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These are the speakers I would look at! One of the best bangs for the buck!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117403

I've been doing some research and those seem to be recommended for people on a budget. Mix them in with some Pioneer BS-21 for surround, a Pioneer C21 for center, and a Polk PSW505 sub and you have a decent system for around 700 on Amazon prices. Shop around and I'm sure you can get a better price.
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post #21 of 22 Old 04-30-2012, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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And the great info keeps pouring in! The Polk PSW505 sub does look nice, but $250 on Amazon seems just a little more than I want to spend. I'm still leaning toward the BIC F12 subwoofer at $189 on Amazon.
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post #22 of 22 Old 05-26-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I put my system together a few weeks back. I went with the Yamaha Receiver and all Pioneer speakers. I am planning on upgrading the subwoofer eventually, but I have to say I am extremely pleased with the setup. That being said, I have run into another situation where I could use a little advice. Recently I bought a sectional and tore down a wall to help improve my home theater. I'm going to be mounting my projector, and now I am thinking about getting a larger screen. Currently I have an 80" 16:9 screen, and the viewing distances would be right around 10 feet (give or take a little depending where you sit on the sectional). Would it benefit me to buy a larger screen? I would imagine 120" would be overkill for 10', but what about a 100" or 92" pull down? Yes, I have looked at the screen size calculators, but they don't really answer my question of "is it worth it?" A vital piece of information.... right now all I have is a 720p projector (Acer H5360). I do plan on upgrading to 1080, but it is out of my budget range for the next year or so. I know that as I increase the screen size, I will be able to see the pixels, but I do want a large screen... Also, this home theater is in my basement, so I have great light control. Thoughts on what my best bet would be?
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