what is the best HT sound option minus the rear speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an audio receiver for the basement, but it is finished so no great way to run rear speaker wires... What is my best option for my home theater-3.1, wireless rears, etc.? It doesn't need to be perfect, but I want decent sound for about $250.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 03:54 PM
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let me make sure I understand you clearly. You want a 3.1 setup for $250?

You can barely get a decent subwoofer for that price.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:08 PM
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People in hell want ice water, but they aren't going to get it either. $500 might be a minimum target price for a very basic 3.1 system that sounds halfway decent, but $250 sure isn't.

I would advise you to get a pair of Polk Monitor 40 speakers, which Amazon has for about $160 per pair, and then save up for a Polk PSW505 subwoofer for around $250. The Monitor 40s are fairly good speakers that have some bass.

Than you can save up for a CS20 center speaker and you will have a decent basic 3.1 system for around $600.

Another possibility is the Jamo S426HCS3 system, which will give you 5 fairly decent speakers for around $250 or so, and then add the PSW505 later. That Jamo setup is exceptionally good for such a low price, and the speakers have a bit of bass. That is probably your best bet.

None of that fits my definition of decent sound, but you would need $2000 or so to go there. It's a modest start, anyway.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate your thoughts, but I am not trying create an audiophile's paradise-hence the "3.1 and doesn't need to be perfect comments"... I realize it isn't top of the line, but there is a full 5.1 surround system on monoprice for $80. http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10906&cs_id=1090601&p_id=8247&seq=1&format=2 The nice system will be upstairs-not this one in the basement.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:34 PM
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With a budget that small, it still makes more sense to get a pair of decent speakers like the Polk Monitor 40 and let it go at that.

You will get far better sound from them than from some el cheapo 5.1 system with main speakers that have drivers of about 3 inches or less and sound quality like the clock radio in a Motel 6. You may think that is "decent" sound quality, but most people do not.

There is NO real SUBWOOFER for less than $250 (many people would say $400). To put out any usable sub-bass takes at least a 12-inch driver and around 300 watts of RMS (not peak) power. The tiny little things that they CALL subwoofers in those cheap little systems are NOT NOT NOT! They are useless; they are a complete joke. You can eat a can of chili with beans and get better bass.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:35 PM
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^Look for deals on Craigslist. When your budget is limited, buying used is often a good way to go. Watch out for all the scam brands on there, but you might find a good buy if you look around enough.

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:44 PM
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If you're in Denver, I see several inexpensive used speakers on Craigslist there, including Boston Acoustics, Polk, Infinity, JBL, etc....

That's the direction I would go. Some of them have matching centers listed, while others don't. With some of the bigger towers, you might get by without a subwoofer.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 05:40 PM
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These look pretty good... http://www.moneysquanderingexpert.com/?tag=transmission-audio

edit... sorry, I didn't see your budget range at first.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvEE View Post

I appreciate your thoughts, but I am not trying create an audiophile's paradise-hence the "3.1 and doesn't need to be perfect comments"... I realize it isn't top of the line, but there is a full 5.1 surround system on monoprice for $80. http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10906&cs_id=1090601&p_id=8247&seq=1&format=2 The nice system will be upstairs-not this one in the basement.
Just to provide some perspective, these suggestions are not for reference loudness or audiophile fidelity. These are Toyota Corollas, not BMWs or Aston Martins. What you are asking for is more like "I just want a simple car, new, for like $5,000." In response, people would suggest raising the budget, buying used, or expect to make due with some ex-Soviet model that makes 42 HP.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 07:08 PM
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I just got a 2.1 in my bedroom last week for $420 that I really, really like the sound of (Energy RC-10 pair and S10.3 sub from Amazon). The "phantom center" effect works surprising well on movies.

BTW, the Jamo S426HCS3 system is $199 on Amazon and at Fry's. (In store at Fry's it's sometimes even cheaper.) Sub later - used or on sale?
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all of the replies, I will hopefully have time to check all of these out tomorrow!
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-26-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I know this will scare some but I ordered up the monoprice 5.1 surround sound for $80. It got good reviews, and for only $80 you cant really lose... I will let everyone know how they sound, not expecting much, but then again I dont need much for the basement.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-26-2012, 04:18 PM
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My father cannot really run side surrounds or rears either so this is what we did. He had Klipsch towers and I set up his Pioneer vsx-821 to run fulltime with the simulated surround mode, and there were plenty for me to tweak. With his horns and the MCACC processing the simulated surround was awesome and I give credit to the horns for the increased wow factor. The throw and the simulated surround processing works just fine, imo. Works for his setup and room.


Brian in Balersfield...

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-04-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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sorry for the delay on the update... I did get the monoprice 5.1 surround speakers and they sound great for only $80! I know this is offensive to some, but they are probably the best surround sound speakers for that cheap...
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-05-2013, 09:17 PM
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How's the sub on the Monoprice?
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-06-2013, 04:29 AM
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Honestly... skip the $250 for a 3.1 idea... for that amount of money, you're not going to find anything decent, but for $250 you can get a decent soundbar. That should fit your set up much, much better.

"Suddenly the thought struck me, my floor is someone elses ceiling" - Nils Ferlin
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