Ultimate Budget 5.1 Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm chucking down the gauntlet here:

AVR Onkyo HT-RC360 $330 Amazon/Newegg
Sub Klipsch RW-12d $300 Newegg (from time to time)
Ctr Energy RCLCR $250 Vanns
Spkrs Energy RC-10 $600 Vanns (but credible reports of $250/pr)

Total: $1480.00

I strike at you: can you produce better sound quality for less money?

Parameters:

The price ceiling is firm. Please do not suggest that for a couple hundred dollars extra, you could get so much more.

No used/refurbs/unauthorized dealers on eBay. Let's stick to new units from authorized sellers.

If you suggest an Internet-direct source, please include shipping costs. Amazon & Newegg generally do not have these.
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 09:02 AM
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Ascend 340 lcr and htm200 surrounds $1154 shipped

Energy S10.3 $200

I have no problem buying used from Amazon, as their return policy is still outstanding, so

Pioneer VSX 821 $160

I'll take the bigger higher quality speaker setup any day.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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The Ascends would appear to be altogether excellent.

BUT

The used Pioneer suggestion violates the parameters of the exercise.

Also, the Energy S10.3 would appear to be inferior to the Klipsch RW-12d.

And, the total $1514 exceeds the ceiling set forth in the original question.

Next, please.
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 09:28 AM
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Your sub costs $500, who knows when it will be $300. I've bought enough used electronics off amazon that I trust them completely, so, like I said....

The S10.3 is very nice, and actually costs $200.

$34 is umm only $34

Speakers by far make the biggest difference for SQ. Are you actually interested in the highest quality sound, or some made up parameters.
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 10:52 AM
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Being familiar with the way the typical audio forum works, if you DON'T mention a firm price ceiling (since many people don't have bottomless pockets) someone will see that added $34 charge and think "the OP seems to be O.K. with that, so I'll suggest something that's only another $70." And then someone else comes along and thinks.........

So eventually you end up getting a thread full of systems way out of the OP's price range.
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 03:23 PM
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If it were me, I would not get surrounds at the expense of a good subwoofer. I say on a tight budget skip the surrounds and make sure sure the sub is decent. I would go for a 2.1 or 3.1 system at first in this case. Definitely do not get Energy RC-10s at 600 a pair. Check out Infinity Primus p162 or p163, with a Primus c350 center. Check out a Hsu Hybrid 2 3.1 package, that comes with a terrific subwoofer, way better than the ones mentioned thus far. One thing I would definitely do is check out the Behringer 2030p bookshelfs, you can get a whole front stage for $330 by using one as a center. Add a Outlaw LFM-1 Plus sub for $650 shipped, or a Rythmik FV12 for roughly $600 shipped, or a Hsu VTF2 for less than $600 shipped. There is your front stage and sub for less than $1k. Get some decent but inexpensive bookshelf speakers for the surrounds like these BIC America DV62si speakers for $110. With the Onkyo receiver I think that system will be a much better then what you suggested for less money. If you want some serious deep bass madness, check out the Hsu VTF3, that is $759 shipped, but it is so much better than the energy or klipsch sub that its hard to even call those subwoofers in comparison.

Hsu VTF2 + Behringer 2030p x 3 + BIC DV62si x 2 + Onkyo RC360 = $1350; cheaper but will perform far above your original system simply for the fact of having a real subwoofer. Also remember there may be other expenses like speaker mounts, wall plates, cables, etc.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puzurinsusinak View Post

The Ascends would appear to be altogether excellent.

But they do cost more, given the fact that the Energy RC series is on clearance at a fraction of their original prices. What if I suggested three CBM-170 SEs across the front and two HTM-200 SEs for the surrounds, though? This system costs $806 shipped, which is less than the Energy RCs. I have a similar system and I've helped somebody install an RC-LCR/RC-10 system similar to the one you suggested, so I've heard them both, and personally I think the Ascends are better, at least to my ears. The CBM-170 SE is neutral in tone, more detailed and revealing, and has cleaner bass and a clearer midrange (especially at lower volumes), while the Energy RCs have a warmer, more laid-back sound that some people prefer (including the person I helped install that system).

To be fair, although I haven't pointedly tested this aspect, I'd expect that the CBM-170 SE center (ideally vertically-oriented, as in my case) would suffer more at high volumes in comparison to the RC-LCR, which after all is a larger speaker that has two 5.5" woofers, but at normal listening levels the CBM-170 SE still, to my ear, has a better midrange, despite the RC-LCR's three-way design. And the R-10 for the left & right fronts don't quite measure up to the RC-LCR, in my opinion. They're all good speakers, and some people will undoubtedly prefer how they sound, but I consider the Ascends a small but noticeable step above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If it were me, I would not get surrounds at the expense of a good subwoofer.

I was just going to suggest skimping on the surrounds to put more into the sub and center, but you beat me to it. How much of an advantage this would be depends on how much subwoofer you need, though. I think that the rest of us were trying to match the priorities of the original system that was suggested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Definitely do not get Energy RC-10s at 600 a pair.

That's actually $600 for two pairs (on clearance), one pair for the left & right fronts and the other for the surrounds, which is a good deal considering their level of quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Check out Infinity Primus p162 or p163, with a Primus c350 center.

The Infinity Primus series is an exceptional value, but I think the point was to exceed the sound quality of the original system at the same or lower cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Hsu VTF2 + Behringer 2030p x 3 + BIC DV62si x 2 + Onkyo RC360 = $1350; cheaper but will perform far above your original system simply for the fact of having a real subwoofer. Also remember there may be other expenses like speaker mounts, wall plates, cables, etc.

Now this is a winning combination. I've only heard the active version, which has different specs, although I'd expect that the B2030P is a high quality speaker. I wonder about its 75 Hz spec on bass output, though--with ported speakers I usually prefer to have more of a "cushion" when crossing over to a sub at 80 Hz.
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post #8 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 04:19 PM
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Work within the budget for a good subwoofer - you can get
something like the RBH AC51 for surrounds.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RBH-MODEL-AC...item3f173a4c96
http://www.rbhsound.com/ac51.php

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post #9 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 04:23 PM
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The b2030p actually roll off relatively high, but I expect you could cross them over at 80 hz with little consequence. They have to be at least as good as the RC10 in this regard, having bigger woofers. I have a pair of b2031p myself, now those are terrific speakers with excellent bass, but I don't ordinarily recommend them due to their 4 ohm impedance. The Hsu HB-1s also have terrific bass, pretty strong all the way down to the high 50 hz range. That is good considering they only have 6.5" woofers.
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 06:05 PM
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heres what i do

pair of energy rc-50 -fronts $800 vanns

pair of pioneer sp bs21 -rears $50 newegg

i would set avr up for "phantom center"

bic pl200 sub $280 acoustic sound design (make offer)

denon avr 1912 $340 (shipped to where i live could be more or less for you) at accessories4less and i know its refurbished but manufactures refurbish from authorized dealer

total $1470

i'm sorry but the onkyo receivers look good on paper for price but i will never own one again from previous experiences i had nr606 few years ago for less than 2 weeks before 2 hdmi inputs failed to work sent it back and got refurbished harman kardon avr 354 which works and sounds great today.i also have refurbished denon avr 791 i purchaced from accessories4less last april and had nothing but great sound. if you want to know more about the onkyo ht-rc360 or the nr 609 ask my dad he's had both then again maybe you should'nt he might have a stroke from telling you where to put them. he sent both back for same reasons bad hdmi inputs. it might be a coincidence and i'm sure many other owners love theirs but its three strikes and your out for me just my 2 cents

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-18-2012, 07:11 PM
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Given the longevity issues with Onkyo and Dennon, I would go with a Yamaha receiver personally

Now lets talk about a budget setup

1 RX-V667 $250 used from Amazon
2 YST SW 215's $100 each on clearance at Electronics Boutique
4 NS-6490 acoustic suspension speakers $100 a pair on clearance at Electronics Boutique
1 NS-C 125 ported center speaker $80 from Amazon

Total cost $730 and it sounds great for the price.....

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post #12 of 25 Old 05-19-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puzurinsusinak View Post


The used Pioneer suggestion violates the parameters of the exercise.


Then you're wasting everyones time. If you're on a budget used/refurb is where it's at.

As said I personally would not go onkyo receiver for that $. Nor would I buy a klipsch sub for $300 or what seems more like $500.

P.S. $1480 really is not "budget".
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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The AVS community has taken up the gauntlet, and done so with authority. The Behringer 2030p suggestion would appear to be "winning," as Robert says. I think a guy could buy 5 of those, get near-reference quality sound, and save money over the original post.

Though not strictly relevant on a speaker forum, I suppose that a discontinued 5- channel receiver (since the OP specifies a 5.1 system) like the Yamaha RX-V371 on Newegg could be bought for half the price, and the savings larded into a better subwoofer.

KEF iq10s are occasionally offered at under $200/pr (most recently on Newegg). These probably aren't as good for home theater as the Energy RC-10s, but would produce good quality sound at a modest savings.
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puzurinsusinak View Post

KEF iq10s are occasionally offered at under $200/pr (most recently on Newegg). These probably aren't as good for home theater as the Energy RC-10s, but would produce good quality sound at a modest savings.

Why would they not be good for home theater, compared to the Energy.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 08:39 AM
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The Klipsch RW-12D is currently $300 at Newegg this week. It's definitely a great bargain for an HT setup at that price.

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post #16 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 03:18 PM
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Swan D10HT: http://www.lockwaresystems.com/D10HT-111-169.html - $900



Pioneer VSX 112 (Amp needs to be 4ohm capable, not sure if this is the best amp. Separates are my strong suit): http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-VSX-11.../dp/B004M8RPBS - $400 used

HSU STF-2: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html - $350

Total: $1650

A little more but well worth it. You won't have the desire to upgrade for quite some time.

The swans are a great sounding pair. Here are reviews about the drivers:

M4N: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...97-434&FTR=m4n
TN25: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=297-408
BG8N: (Not sold in America, however, being the bass driver, the towers are rated down to 35hz)

The hsu stf-2 is a great subwoofer and would be well suited for both music and HT usage.

 

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post #17 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 05:55 PM
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YAMAHA RX-V373BL 5.1-Channel AV Receiver $250 and free shipping (egg)

HSU value 2 5.1 package
4 HB1s, 1 HC1, 1 STF2 sub $1212 w/ shipping

total $1462


I have not heard the HSUs but they are pretty efficient so the Yamaha should not have a problem driving them

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post #18 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 06:20 PM
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I like your Energy selection and own the RC-10s and RC-LCR. I also have the 10.3 subwoofer.

Here is another option. Speaker preference is subjective so you might like the Hsu speakers more.

Denon AVR 1612 and Hsu Value 2 package.

AVR 1612 $212.74 shipped
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-1612...7821956&sr=8-2

Hsu Value 2 package $1049 plus $163 shipping = $1212 total.
http://hsuresearch.com/products/value2pkg.html

So you'd be out the door around $1425.

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post #19 of 25 Old 05-23-2012, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

I like your Energy selection and own the RC-10s and RC-LCR. I also have the 10.3 subwoofer.

Here is another option. Speaker preference is subjective so you might like the Hsu speakers more.

Denon AVR 1612 and Hsu Value 2 package.

AVR 1612 $212.74 shipped
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-1612...7821956&sr=8-2

Hsu Value 2 package $1049 plus $163 shipping = $1212 total.
http://hsuresearch.com/products/value2pkg.html

So you'd be out the door around $1425.

x2

The Denon avr-1612 is miles better than the Yamaha avr
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 06:53 AM
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AVR: Onkyo TX-NR414 = $272.09 (amazon/used; or $299/new)
Sub: HSU STF-1 = $312 (shipping included)
Speakers: Ascend HTM-200 for L/R and surrounds and CMT-340 for the center = $864 (shipping included).
For best sound quality the focal point should be the center. The 340 performs.


Grand Total = $1448.09
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triumphrider74 View Post

AVR: Onkyo TX-NR414 = $272.09 (amazon/used; or $299/new)
Sub: HSU STF-1 = $312 (shipping included)
Speakers: Ascend HTM-200 for L/R and surrounds and CMT-340 for the center = $864 (shipping included).
For best sound quality the focal point should be the center. The 340 performs.


Grand Total = $1448.09

Or maybe:

AVR: Onkyo TX-NR414 = $299
Sub: Energy S10.3 = $244
Speakers: Ascend CMT-340 SE center + 2xCBM-170 SE L/R + 2xHTM-200 SE surround = $922
Total: $1465

The STF-1 is a good sub, but I don't think it can keep up with the S10.3 (more comparable to the STF-2) in every way. I also took the liberty of applying the savings toward upgrading the left & right front speakers.

If you wait for the S10.3 to go on sale at Newegg.com, as it periodically does these days, then you could assemble the following system:

AVR: Onkyo TX-NR414 = $299
Sub: Energy S10.3 = $200
Front: 3xAscend CMT-340 SE L/C/R + 2xPioneer SP-BS21-LR surround = $974
Total: $1473

Here I skimped on the surrounds to upgrade the front to all CMT-340 SEs. The "best" or "ultimate" system for a certain budget is always dependent on one's priorities as well as the characteristics of the home theater room, of course (and whether you can wait for components to go on sale ).
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post #22 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 01:10 PM
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Ultimate budget?
How about the Onkyo ht-s3500 for $250?
It does 3d and is up to date with all latest technology, and comes with 5.1 speakers.

WD 73740 DLP HDTV - 73 inches
Polk RTI 8 Towers
CSi3 Center
Energy 10.3 subwoofer
denon 2112ci receiver
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post #23 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 02:23 PM
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I say NHT SuperZero x 5 = $500 delivered.
Or wait for Infinity P163 to go back on sale @ $80 each x 5 = $400.

For sub, get the Rythmik FV12 for $565 delivered.

Then $400 - $500 for Denon or Yamaha AVR.
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post #24 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew3821 View Post

Ultimate budget?
How about the Onkyo ht-s3500 for $250?
It does 3d and is up to date with all latest technology, and comes with 5.1 speakers.

The OP issued the following challenge: "can you produce better sound quality for less money?" (than $1480) While the Onkyo HT-S3500 is a pretty good deal at $250, it definitely does not produce better sound quality than the system that the OP proposed.

I bet that even the following system sounds far better than the HT-S3500 for just $60 more:

Denon AVR-391 - $140
Dayton Audio HTP-1 - $170

I would argue that this is a better deal, even for the extremely budget-conscious. Of course, it depends on where we draw the lines.
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 09:32 PM
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For cheaper than my previous recommendation, I'd say this is the best:

Arx A3 (Fronts) - $500
Arx A1b/A1 (Rears) - $300/250 (Which ever version you want)
Arx A2 (Center) - $190
HSU STF-2 - $350
Denon AVR-1612 - $212

Total - $1552

It's still more expensive but nonetheless, a huge improvement over your current choice.

The issue with my other recommendation is that because the speakers are 4ohms, they technically require a better amp. If you are getting a 4ohm capable amp then I highly recommend the D10HT, otherwise the Arx are great speakers.

 

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