First big-boy 5.1 setup -- under $500 challenge! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Long story short -- I've had a sub-$200 Onkyo HTIB system I've been using (pretty happily) since college circa 2005/6; my main complaint being that I'm a gamer and, with no HDMI inputs in my receiver, have had to come up with quite the convoluted setup of optical switchers to make everything work. I found a Samsung HD-W7000 receiver/blu-ray open-box for $80 at Best Buy, which was a lemon, so I sent it in; received another lemon, so I sent it in; received another lemon, so... I was refunded $430 to spend on a new setup!!

At some point along the line I also picked up a Sony SA-W2500 Subwoofer, but in my ignorance have neglected to acknowledge that if I'm paying all this attention to my other components, I should probably also pick up a new 5.0 speaker set instead of the lackluster pack-in speakers I've been using. I'm willing to spend about an extra $100 in addition to my $430, for either receiver + 5.0, or HTIB with 5.1, or any combination (I considered the Denon 5.1/Boston Acoustics HTiB offered at Best Buy, but it lacks the component inputs I'm looking for for my cable/Wii)

Keeping in mind I live in a small studio apartment, so 7.1 or 2 isn't really a necessity for me, so for cost reasons I'm assuming I'll end up with a 5.1 receiver. I've been considering the Polk TL150 speakers along with a $250-ish Yamaha, Sony or Pioneer receiver.... what are everybody's thoughts? I'm not necessarily married to this subwoofer, but I would certainly love to get my money's worth, so if it fits in well enough I'd love to be able to incorporate it to the setup. Thanks for your input!
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 02:58 PM
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OK. I'll bite.

Onkyo HT-RC360 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver (refurb) @ $249.99
(http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTRC360/Onkyo-HT-RC360-7.2-Channel-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html)

Upgrade the Sony sub later.. Get your speaker and HDMI cabling at monoprice.com.

I know you're looking for tiny, but check out the Pioneer speakers on sale @ Newegg.com - they're not a bad deal. Alos, you might be able to pick up a 5.0 set of Energy RC-Micros on eBay for $200 as well.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 08:28 PM
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Denon 1612 - $190 shipped
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1612/DENON-AVR-1612-5.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
Dayton Sub 1000 - $110 shipped
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-628
Pioneer C21 x3 for LCR (stand up the left and right for vertical mtm's) - $150 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117404
Pioneer BS21 pair - $50 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405
$500 shipped!

Agreed. Great budget set for $500. smile.gif

And if the refurbished unit scares you away, ten more bucks for a new Denon 1612 at this moment. Amazon's price has been fluctuating from there up to around $220 for the last few weeks, but no guarantee it will stay at that price long.

Here's a review of that receiver: http://www.hometheater.com/content/denon-avr-1612-av-receiver

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 08:47 PM
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Good call with the new Denon only being $200 shipped. Amazon even has used ones for $180 shipped.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Dear all, thanks very much for your input. I would love to go for the Denon 1612; unfortunately it doesn't have any component inputs (of which I need two), and also at 4 hdmi in I'd already be maxed out, so I'd prefer to have some room for expansion should I need it. That Onkyo refurb unit seems like the winner so far, so I'll probably pull the trigger on that one...

One more question: I was able to find an open box set of Polk TL150 5.0 speakers at Best Buy for $100. I know they're not everyones favorite speakers, but considering my extreme budget consciousness and that they're one third the original price (leaving me more money for a sub/receiver/groceries), does this seem like a good purchase or would I STILL be better off with a more highly regarded budget set (Energy or the Pioneer listed above)? I have 30 days to decide and return should need be! (unfortunately the open box speakers were DOA, so if I decide to keep based on feedback, I'll be going through the Polk warranty/repair process)

Thanks again, all!
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 09:46 AM
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Denon 4306, $215 with shipping. The receiver doesn't have 3D, because it's an older receiver. It has all the connections that you will need. The receiver also has pre-outs, so when you get married and move to a bigger house, you could still use this receiver in the garage with an amplifier to escape the wife and kids.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Denon-DVR-4306-A-V-Receiver-7-1-Channel-130-Watts-/160827012283?pt=US_Stereo_Receivers&hash=item25720974bb



Polk RM 705.1 system $285 with free shipping

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Polk-Audio-RM705-5-1-Home-Theater-System-Six-Piece-/280890750599?pt=Home_Theater_in_a_Box&hash=item416664b687


I ran polks RM6800 HTIB with the same receiver in a small space and loved it. I still have the receiver as part of my main system and the RM6800 is used in the bedroom.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 12:10 PM
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That Denon AVR 4306 still has 6 days left on ebay. I highly doubt it'll stay at the $200 initial price. This used to be a $2,000 receiver back in the day.

Afro GT
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 12:25 PM
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If you are set on going small - look at Definitive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882325104

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vampirepope View Post

One more question: I was able to find an open box set of Polk TL150 5.0 speakers at Best Buy for $100. I know they're not everyones favorite speakers, but considering my extreme budget consciousness and that they're one third the original price (leaving me more money for a sub/receiver/groceries), does this seem like a good purchase or would I STILL be better off with a more highly regarded budget set (Energy or the Pioneer listed above)?

Bad idea. Energy Micros have a higher resale value on eBay than those Polks. Also, lets say you ever want to upgrade the Micros at some point. Pick up a pair of RC or CB fronts + center and you only have to upgrade the front 3.

5.0 set of Energy RC-Micros @ $188.95
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energy-Micro-Pro-5-Speaker-Speaker-System-/330750479489?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item4d0243cc81

Newegg has the S10.3 subwoofer today for $169.99, if you're in the spending mood.

I'd hold off on a sub for now. The Sony should still be serviceable for a few months while you save up enough for an upgrade to it.
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarlinFan View Post

Bad idea. Energy Micros have a higher resale value on eBay than those Polks. Also, lets say you ever want to upgrade the Micros at some point. Pick up a pair of RC or CB fronts + center and you only have to upgrade the front 3.
5.0 set of Energy RC-Micros @ $188.95
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energy-Micro-Pro-5-Speaker-Speaker-System-/330750479489?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item4d0243cc81
Newegg has the S10.3 subwoofer today for $169.99, if you're in the spending mood.
I'd hold off on a sub for now. The Sony should still be serviceable for a few months while you save up enough for an upgrade to it.

Great price on that Energy. Although probably not the best match for the Energy Micros. The S10.3 has a pretty steep rolloff at the high end, and the Micros have a -3db of 150hz.

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Great price on that Energy. Although probably not the best match for the Energy Micros. The S10.3 has a pretty steep rolloff at the high end, and the Micros have a -3db of 150hz.

Hell. At that price, I jumped on an S10.3 for myself.

Cel4145, You make an excellent point on the rolloff, but it is a vast improvement over the Onkyo HTIB presently in place and becomes a non-issue after the front three get upgraded OR he goes with bigger speakers like the Pioneers.

Hey VampirePope! How much space you got for speakers? Have you considered the Pioneer towers and center?
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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Hey guys - I'm also looking to do something similar so have been piggy backing on the info in the thread. After a bunch of reading over the weekend, I jumped on the Pioneer BS-41 bookshelfs and the C-21 center for $150 shipped. Will add a sub after some more research but will likely hold off on any surrounds until I have more space (currently in an undersized NYC apartment).

I am torn on which receiver to pair with the speakers and would love to hear some thoughts from those of you with experience. I've been looking at the Denon AVR-1612 referenced below ($200 shipped from Amazon) and some of the other similarly priced refurb units on accessories4less (Onkyo TX-NR609, Onkyo TX-SR608 and Denon AVR-1912 mainly).

In terms of use, my current components that will need to be connected are a cable box, PS3, roku (all via hdmi) and an older turntable (via preamp -> RCA). I also use my PC via hdmi from time to time and may add an Apple TV or Airport Express to enable streaming from my iPhone/iPad (in place of the direct USB connection option on the 1612).

Any clear reasons to purchase the more expensive refurb units given my uses and budget speaker setup? Additionally, what gauge speaker wire would you recommend? Speakers are all in the front, so distance will be minimal.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grones View Post

Hey guys - I'm also looking to do something similar so have been piggy backing on the info in the thread. After a bunch of reading over the weekend, I jumped on the Pioneer BS-41 bookshelfs and the C-21 center for $150 shipped. Will add a sub after some more research but will likely hold off on any surrounds until I have more space (currently in an undersized NYC apartment).
I am torn on which receiver to pair with the speakers and would love to hear some thoughts from those of you with experience. I've been looking at the Denon AVR-1612 referenced below ($200 shipped from Amazon) and some of the other similarly priced refurb units on accessories4less (Onkyo TX-NR609, Onkyo TX-SR608 and Denon AVR-1912 mainly).
In terms of use, my current components that will need to be connected are a cable box, PS3, roku (all via hdmi) and an older turntable (via preamp -> RCA). I also use my PC via hdmi from time to time and may add an Apple TV or Airport Express to enable streaming from my iPhone/iPad (in place of the direct USB connection option on the 1612).
Any clear reasons to purchase the more expensive refurb units given my uses and budget speaker setup? Additionally, what gauge speaker wire would you recommend? Speakers are all in the front, so distance will be minimal.
Thanks in advance for any help!

For the wires, there's a good guide for wire gauge here . It all depends on the distance to the speaker from the AVR. Good sources are Monoprice and Blue Jeans cable, or my favorite for quick purchases, Home Depot.

As to the receiver, it's features that count unless you're dealing with low efficiency or low impedance (4 ohm?) speakers. Then you need power. But for most 8 ohm / 6 ohm applications, especially at 5.1, Any of the mentioned ones will do, as long as you're happy with the features.

You mention 5 HDMI sources : Cable box, PS3, roku, PC and Apple thingie (technical term). The 1612 has 4 HDMI inputs, so that puts you at -1 on what you want. The 1912 has six HDMI inputs, so would be able to handle the fifth HDMI connection and still leave one for expansion.

The compromise would be to get the 1612 and plug/unplug one of the other sources.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hernanu View Post

For the wires, there's a good guide for wire gauge here . It all depends on the distance to the speaker from the AVR. Good sources are Monoprice and Blue Jeans cable, or my favorite for quick purchases, Home Depot.
As to the receiver, it's features that count unless you're dealing with low efficiency or low impedance (4 ohm?) speakers. Then you need power. But for most 8 ohm / 6 ohm applications, especially at 5.1, Any of the mentioned ones will do, as long as you're happy with the features.
You mention 5 HDMI sources : Cable box, PS3, roku, PC and Apple thingie (technical term). The 1612 has 4 HDMI inputs, so that puts you at -1 on what you want. The 1912 has six HDMI inputs, so would be able to handle the fifth HDMI connection and still leave one for expansion.
The compromise would be to get the 1612 and plug/unplug one of the other sources.

Thanks for the response and the speaker gauge guide!

Speakers are 6 ohm, so think I should be fine there. Will likely only be at 3.1 for the foreseeable future given the logistical restrictions of my current living room.

On hdmi inputs, I would like to have 6 inputs vs. the 4 on the 1612 but not really critical given my PC usage is pretty limited (probably a couple times a month). If I get the Apple thingie (like the technical term), I'll probably just deal with switching in the PC when needed.

Sounds like I can't go wrong then. Also feel a little more comfortable getting a new unit from Amazon given its my first AVR purchase.
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