7.1 Speaker Recommendations around $1250 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone,

I've been living with an 11 year old 5.1 speaker system for a while that has served me well. I'm moving into a new home with a dedicated 20x15ft Home Theater Room which I plan on outfitting with a 7.1 speaker system. I'd prefer to keep the price to around $1250 but can go a little higher if necessary. It will be 95% movies, TV, and games - not much music (if any). I haven't bought speakers for years and am way out of the game so recommendations would really be appreciated. Please let me know if I need to provide more information.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 09:07 PM
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On wall? In wall? Ceiling? Floor standing? What were you looking for and what other equipment are you using

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post #3 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaomizzle View Post

On wall? In wall? Ceiling? Floor standing? What were you looking for and what other equipment are you using
Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2

Satellites will be on wall. Fronts can be standing or on wall. Haven't bought the other equipment yet. In fact, the house isn't even completed yet. But I plan on getting blu ray, connecting an HTPC, and will be using satellite TV. Also using a projector with a screen. I'll be looking for a new receiver too, but I figured I'd post that somewhere else for recommendations.
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 11:45 PM
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Here is what I would do:

Front left/right speakers: Infinity Primus p163 x 2: $220
Center speaker: Infinity Primus c351: $200
Surround speakers: BIC America DV62si x 4: $220
Subwoofer: Hsu VTF2 mk4: $612

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, then after delivery all that ought to be less than $1250. That is a killer system for 1250, believe me!

Alternatively you could use these Pioneer SP-BS21-LR for surrounds, especially if you need something a bit smaller. If you need something really small for surrounds, try these, but the smaller your speaker gets, the less capable it is, especially for bass. An alternate subwoofer which is also very good is the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 05:11 AM
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I would highly recommend looking at BIC Acoustech Platinum Series speakers. IMO it is hard to find better HT speakers for the money. I have the set with the floorstanders and the center with the 2 - 8" woofers, but there is also a dual 6.5" woofer version. I got the 7 speakers for under $1,000 shipped to my house. Here is a link to where I bought my speakers, you get a discount if your an AVS member plus you can do what I did. I flat out asked the owner what the cheapest price he could ship me the speakers I wanted, and I was very pleased with the deal.
http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/brand/index.cfm?bid=67

I also have dual Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus subs I bought them on sale for $499 each with free shipping. For under $2,000 its an unbeatable 7.2 setup.

For a dedicated room that size I highly recommend dual subs... Even if that means buying 1 sub now and then buying an identical second sub later on... Or you could get dual BIC Acoustech PL-200 subs they are good budget subs but they are not on the same level as Outlaw, Hsu, SVS, Epik, or Rythmik.
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Here is what I would do:
Front left/right speakers: Infinity Primus p163 x 2: $220
Center speaker: Infinity Primus c351: $200
Surround speakers: BIC America DV62si x 4: $220
Subwoofer: Hsu VTF2 mk4: $612
If you are a member of Amazon Prime, then after delivery all that ought to be less than $1250. That is a killer system for 1250, believe me!
Alternatively you could use these Pioneer SP-BS21-LR for surrounds, especially if you need something a bit smaller. If you need something really small for surrounds, try these, but the smaller your speaker gets, the less capable it is, especially for bass. An alternate subwoofer which is also very good is the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

I would highly recommend looking at BIC Acoustech Platinum Series speakers. IMO it is hard to find better HT speakers for the money. I have the set with the floorstanders and the center with the 2 - 8" woofers, but there is also a dual 6.5" woofer version. I got the 7 speakers for under $1,000 shipped to my house. Here is a link to where I bought my speakers, you get a discount if your an AVS member plus you can do what I did. I flat out asked the owner what the cheapest price he could ship me the speakers I wanted, and I was very pleased with the deal.
http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/brand/index.cfm?bid=67
I also have dual Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus subs I bought them on sale for $499 each with free shipping. For under $2,000 its an unbeatable 7.2 setup.
For a dedicated room that size I highly recommend dual subs... Even if that means buying 1 sub now and then buying an identical second sub later on... Or you could get dual BIC Acoustech PL-200 subs they are good budget subs but they are not on the same level as Outlaw, Hsu, SVS, Epik, or Rythmik.

Thank you both. These both look like good options to play with. And thanks for the tip about 7.2. I prewired the room for one sub, but running another sub line should be simple enough. How would you recommend placement of subs if you have 2?
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newlinux View Post

Thank you both. These both look like good options to play with. And thanks for the tip about 7.2. I prewired the room for one sub, but running another sub line should be simple enough. How would you recommend placement of subs if you have 2?

Best to get the second sub and then do a sub crawl. Because of the characteristics of your individual room, the choice of the placement of the first sub, and the location of the primary listening positions, the optimal spot for the 2nd sub would be difficult for anyone to predict for you. So wait and wire after you figure out the best location smile.gif

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post #8 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Here is what I would do:
Front left/right speakers: Infinity Primus p163 x 2: $220
Center speaker: Infinity Primus c351: $200
Surround speakers: BIC America DV62si x 4: $220
Subwoofer: Hsu VTF2 mk4: $612
If you are a member of Amazon Prime, then after delivery all that ought to be less than $1250. That is a killer system for 1250, believe me!
Alternatively you could use these Pioneer SP-BS21-LR for surrounds, especially if you need something a bit smaller. If you need something really small for surrounds, try these, but the smaller your speaker gets, the less capable it is, especially for bass. An alternate subwoofer which is also very good is the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus.
Just a question as I get close to purchase - why not the Infinity bookshelf speakers all the way around? What do you think of that as a plan?
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post #9 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newlinux View Post

Just a question as I get close to purchase - why not the Infinity bookshelf speakers all the way around? What do you think of that as a plan?

Of course, that would be slightly better, but I am recommending those less expensive speakers for surrounds so the whole system fits your budget. The surround channels never really carry any critical sound, so you don't need the best speakers back there, just something that will give you a full, clear sound and won't be noticeably lousy. I think the BIC speakers will fill that order nicely. If you can get Primus speakers all around, that would be nice but not hugely beneficial, and I wouldn't do that at the expense of getting lesser front stage speakers or subwoofer.
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post #10 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 01:06 PM
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You can get Infinity Primus 152 here, for surrounds if you are interested.
http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-Bookshelf-Speaker-individually/dp/B000LKC37W/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8

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post #11 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Of course, that would be slightly better, but I am recommending those less expensive speakers for surrounds so the whole system fits your budget. The surround channels never really carry any critical sound, so you don't need the best speakers back there, just something that will give you a full, clear sound and won't be noticeably lousy. I think the BIC speakers will fill that order nicely. If you can get Primus speakers all around, that would be nice but not hugely beneficial, and I wouldn't do that at the expense of getting lesser front stage speakers or subwoofer.

Thanks. I've been reading up more and more on speakers as I expect to close on the house in the next week. What do you think about going with bipole speakers for the surrounds? I know that would increase my budget. The room is actually 30x15, not 20x15 smile.gif Will they give me much advantage over a directional speaker?
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post #12 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 08:52 PM
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Dipole/bipole is really a matter of personal preference. The advantages of dipole/bipoles is they are easier to mount and have a naturally spacious sound. The advantages of direct radiating speakers is they are less expensive and can actually present a coherent sound stage. Personally, I prefer direct radiating because if they are properly placed and they are reasonably well performing they can sound as spacious as dipole/bipoles yet can also have an precise sound stage if called to do so by the source material. Dipole and bipole type surround speakers can only ever have their airy, ambiguous sound, they can't give you a specific sense of position if that is in the source. Another advantage of direct radiating is if you ever wanted to, you could just take them down and use them in another system, whether it is a stereo setup or a surround sound. Dipoles and bipoles can only ever be used as surround channel speakers.

On another note, 30 x 15 is a good sized room. you are going to need some placement work to bring out the best in your sub, even if you end up with a pricier one. Look up the sub crawling technique of optimal subwoofer placement, that may be a big help to you.
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post #13 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Dipole/bipole is really a matter of personal preference. The advantages of dipole/bipoles is they are easier to mount and have a naturally spacious sound. The advantages of direct radiating speakers is they are less expensive and can actually present a coherent sound stage. Personally, I prefer direct radiating because if they are properly placed and they are reasonably well performing they can sound as spacious as dipole/bipoles yet can also have an precise sound stage if called to do so by the source material. Dipole and bipole type surround speakers can only ever have their airy, ambiguous sound, they can't give you a specific sense of position if that is in the source. Another advantage of direct radiating is if you ever wanted to, you could just take them down and use them in another system, whether it is a stereo setup or a surround sound. Dipoles and bipoles can only ever be used as surround channel speakers.
On another note, 30 x 15 is a good sized room. you are going to need some placement work to bring out the best in your sub, even if you end up with a pricier one. Look up the sub crawling technique of optimal subwoofer placement, that may be a big help to you.

Thanks, I currently have bipoles for my rears in a 5.1 setup, and I think I like it. Maybe I'll compromise with bipoles for my side satellites and direct for my rears.
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post #14 of 24 Old 10-10-2012, 02:16 AM
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Since your'e into movies like me, maybe this would give you some thoughts - a 9.2 setup instead of 5.1 or 7.1 for around your price -

Go BIC -
7 x FH6-LCR (2 x Present Front, 1 x Center, 2 x Side Surround, 2 Rear Surround)
2 x FH-6T (Front )
2 x F12 (Subs)

I did and I'm really happy with my 9.4 packed in a 17 x 13 -

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post #15 of 24 Old 10-10-2012, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I'm gonna go with:

  • 2 pairs BIC FH-65b (front speakers and rear surrounds) Don't want to go with the floorstanders because they would have to be elevated due to some constraints I have with the room.
  • 1 BIC PL-28 (center)
  • 1 pair of BIC PL66 (side surrounds)

Or I could replace the FH-65bs with the above mentioned FH6-LCRs... what do you think?

I think I'm going with these over the Infinity because the guy is willing to give me a good price, and the matched bipole PL-66s look good.

Now onto the sub.. I could try and bargain and get dual PL-200s.... Or do you think I'd be better off getting one Hsu VTF2 mk4? I'll be getting a 7.2 receiver if that matters...

Thanks, you all have been really helpful. I've spent hours scouring information and I'm close to a decision.
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post #16 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 08:35 AM
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^^^ Get the exact matching center to whatever speakers you choose... What I think would be a sweet setup would be 7 - FH6-LCR's they are sealed and can be wall mounted vertically or horizontally.

For a sub look at dual PL-200s or even dual BIC F-12s... OR if your willing to spend the money dual Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Pluses would be awesome (that's what I have).

Shawn
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 08:56 AM
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newlinux,

You have your location listed as Parts Unknown. Are you anywhere close to a Fry's Electronics store? If so you can save a lot of money on those Infinity speakers. In fact you could get P363 towers up front for the same $220/pr that was mentioned for the P163 bookshelf speakers.

When on sale the P363 towers are $99 each
When on sale the P163 bookshelf speakers are $107/pr
When on sale the P153 bookshelf speakers are $99/pr

Those prices are usually In Store only, not on the frys.com website.

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post #18 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newlinux View Post

Now onto the sub.. I could try and bargain and get dual PL-200s.... Or do you think I'd be better off getting one Hsu VTF2 mk4? I'll be getting a 7.2 receiver if that matters...

Receivers are not truly 7.2. The ones listed like that just have a built in splitter so that you can plug in two subs. And only the very highest models will actually EQ the sub separately.

VTF-2 MK4 is a better sub in terms of low frequency extension. I'd go with it. Then you always have the option later of adding a 2nd one.

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post #19 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Receivers are not truly 7.2. The ones listed like that just have a built in splitter so that you can plug in two subs. And only the very highest models will actually EQ the sub separately.
VTF-2 MK4 is a better sub in terms of low frequency extension. I'd go with it. Then you always have the option later of adding a 2nd one.

Correct, you have to move up to an AVR with Audyssey XT32 and subEQ. Something like the Denon 4311.

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post #20 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Receivers are not truly 7.2. The ones listed like that just have a built in splitter so that you can plug in two subs. And only the very highest models will actually EQ the sub separately.
VTF-2 MK4 is a better sub in terms of low frequency extension. I'd go with it. Then you always have the option later of adding a 2nd one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Correct, you have to move up to an AVR with Audyssey XT32 and subEQ. Something like the Denon 4311.

It will be an Denon 2312ci. Which I think just has an internal splitter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

newlinux,

You have your location listed as Parts Unknown. Are you anywhere close to a Fry's Electronics store? If so you can save a lot of money on those Infinity speakers. In fact you could get P363 towers up front for the same $220/pr that was mentioned for the P163 bookshelf speakers.
When on sale the P363 towers are $99 each
When on sale the P163 bookshelf speakers are $107/pr
When on sale the P153 bookshelf speakers are $99/pr
Those prices are usually In Store only, not on the frys.com website.

I'm about an hour away from a Frys. If I get time I might go by there.
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post #21 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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In case anyone cares, I ended up going with:
  • 2 pairs BIC FH-65b (front speakers and rear surrounds) Don't want to go with the floorstanders because they would have to be elevated due to some constraints I have with the room.
  • 1 BIC PL-28 (center)
  • 1 pair of BIC PL66 (side surrounds)
  • VTF-2 MK4

I got it all installed over the weekend and it sounds fantastic in my early listening. The MK4 for me is more than enough sub. Will have to listen to it a lot more to know if I'm satisfied but so far really good! Thanks for everyone's help.
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post #22 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 07:30 AM
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Hope it sounds good but I wouldn't have mixed those speakers. now you have a rear ported speakers for front L&R with a single 6.5" woofer and a sealed center speaker with 2 - 8" woofers. You should have just got the FH6-LCR for the center and if you had room you could've gotten them all the way around. Or if you really wanted the Acoustech center the PL-26 would have been the better match.

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post #23 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 09:19 AM
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The tweeters would have been the same, I doubt anyone would even notice the difference. I am sure the voicing is very similar with those models. I don't see any issues with that front stage.
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post #24 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Hope it sounds good but I wouldn't have mixed those speakers. now you have a rear ported speakers for front L&R with a single 6.5" woofer and a sealed center speaker with 2 - 8" woofers. You should have just got the FH6-LCR for the center and if you had room you could've gotten them all the way around. Or if you really wanted the Acoustech center the PL-26 would have been the better match.

The issues I had with getting the FH6-LCRs all around was that I wanted bipoles for the side speakers, and from what I've read and heard I was fond of the PL-28 over the PL-26 for a bit more power. This may just be my ignorance or my lack of hearing (although I'm a recovering car audio nut) but I think getting perfectly matched speakers is overrated. You could be right, it might sound better, but if what I have sounds good to me I'll never know because i won't be replacing them.
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