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post #1 of 24 Old 10-18-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys.. I am a noob when it comes to home audio but I see this seems to be the season to get speakers discounted as the holidays approach. I have about a 12x15 room and looking to setup a 5.1 system. I have been doing some research and it seems polk may be the way to go for a pretty good budget system (although I have read some good stuff on pioneer as well). I was looking to spend no more than $500 on speakers and a sub. I am likely going to buy the Onkyo NR515 or NR616 (seems they fixed the HDMI issues) once a deal comes around.... That all being said can I use bookshelves for rear and front? Also can I use the exact same speakers for rear and front or is it recommended to get different speakers for them? And lastly for that size room what is a good size bass speaker to buy? If you guys can give me some models for fronts, rears, center and sub for $500 or less that would be great.
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-19-2012, 07:40 AM
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Hi, I am in no way near an expert but as I've recently been looking around on line at speakers and AVRs I thought I'd take a stab. (wouldn't hurt to get you bumped to the top either. wink.gif ) I haven't been able to hear demos of any speakers in years, I live too far away even from a Best Buy (do they even have speaker rooms?). Anyway I read a bunch of reviews here and there and liked what I saw about Atlantic Technology's 2200 series. A few years ago they were quite pricey but now can be found on Amazon for $149 a pair for surrounds and mains. I'm not sure what the sub costs, the center is $99. I actually bought the center as we were limping along with a slightly dead 30+ year old Altec Lansing. I also like the AT because its specs were very close to the Boston Acoustic mains I was already using. (not that you have to compare specs since you haven't got a thing). Both DH and I are really pleased with how the center sounds and it meshed well.

Here's a short review: http://www.hometheater.com/content/atlantic-technology-system-2200-speaker-system-glance-ratings

I'm thinking of getting the surrounds if I can talk DH into it he thinks the LREs we have are good enough but I know these would be much, much better.

I don't know anything about Polk these days, I didn't care for the ones I heard back in '97 but I know there are quite a few on this board who have some. Maybe they can tell you more. Have fun, building up a nice HT on a limited budget may be hard but it's certainly doable.
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post #3 of 24 Old 10-19-2012, 08:03 AM
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Wow, that is a really great deal on the Atlantic Technology speaker set. Clearly this is a closeout sale on these spakers and wont last.

I think the recently revised Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers should be on your short list as well at your budget.

To answer some questions:
Quote:
That all being said can I use bookshelves for rear and front?

Absolutely. The key here is understanding limitations of a bookshelf vs a floorstanding speaker. If you are getting a subwoofer (as you are) the is not as much tradeoff vs not getting a subwoofer where a tower speaker typically offers more extension for bass. The other tradeoff would be for 2 channel music. A tower speaker will typically sound better, due to having that additional headroom for bass.
Quote:
Also can I use the exact same speakers for rear and front or is it recommended to get different speakers for them?

It is typically recommended to match the speaker brand and speaker line for all your speakers when possible. This allows for timbre matching, so yes, nothing wrong with matching fronts and rears. That said, most of your audio comes from your front three speakers and subwoofer. So I typically recommend spending most of your money there and then getting cheaper surrounds from the same speaker line when possible. Also keep in mind that you want your main front three speakers tweeter to be at ear level when seated at the primary seating position, and rear or surround speakers, tweeters should be at ear level when standing.
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And lastly for that size room what is a good size bass speaker to buy?

Subwoofer is really dependent on your expectations. If you are a bass head, you may want to buy your speakers first then save up for a sub. Otherwise, due to your budget, I would be looking at something like this:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-629

And the new Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers are here:
Fronts and rears:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+-+4%26%2334%3B+Bookshelf+Speakers+%28Pair%29/5086955.p?id=1218610014045&skuId=5086955
Center
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+-+Dual+4%26%2334%3B+Center-Channel+Speaker/5086891.p?id=1218610015437&skuId=5086891

I would also consider these for your mains vs bookshelves if you do have the space:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+-+5-1/4%26%2334%3B+Floor+Speaker+%28Each%29/5086937.p?id=1218610014331&skuId=5086937
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post #4 of 24 Old 10-21-2012, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So for the front and rear speakers I will want to use 2 different models? and rear speakers are referred to as surround speakers? I dont have room for floor standing speakers. I can do bookshelves and satellites. Oddly enough the only way I can do floor standing speakers is on the rear, however i would prefer not to as it would be an eyesore next to the couch. I included pics of the area if that helps. Basically a 12x12. space




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post #5 of 24 Old 10-22-2012, 06:38 PM
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Rear speakers are generally referred to as surround. These days there seem to be dipole, "this pole, that pole", I can't keep them all straight. wink.gif I suggest googling and reading about them. I know I read quite a few articles unfortunately I didn't bookmark any of them and of course, I can't find them. You don't have to use the same brand, I just used speakers I had around the house except for buying a new center speaker. You also don't have to have floor standers, there are some really great book shelf ones out there, go to the different sections on this forum and read. With such a small space book shelf speakers would be fine. I've got a huge cavernous space and I'm still using all bookshelf speakers. Sounds great to us. Just go slow, do what you can, when you can. We limped along with an old speaker for our center for over a decade. we just disconnected the blown woofer and relied on the tweeter and mid-range. I must say the new speaker is a heck of an improvement. As I mentioned before my center is not the same brand as my front bookshelfs. But I tried to match sensitivity, cross-over frequency etc and at least for me, it worked.
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-23-2012, 07:03 AM
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Here's one article that will explain the jargon, dipole. bipole, etc. http://www.hometheater.com/content/ht-guide-speakers

Some tips on home theater from Crutchfield http://www.crutchfield.com/S-mQ9WOCWXyzW/learn/learningcenter/home/ht_speakers.html

ANd a little subwoofer info http://thespeakerguys.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-choose-subwoofer.html
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post #7 of 24 Old 10-25-2012, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so from what i am gathering from reading is that surround (rear) speakers are the same type of speakers as the fronts? they are not a special type of speaker. so theoretically whatever i buy for my fronts i can buy for my surrounds?

I am debating between all bookshelf or all satellites. or at least bookshelfs in front and satellites for rear. I have not figured out how the hell i am getting speaker wire to the back yet frown.gif
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-26-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

Ok so from what i am gathering from reading is that surround (rear) speakers are the same type of speakers as the fronts? they are not a special type of speaker. so theoretically whatever i buy for my fronts i can buy for my surrounds?
I am debating between all bookshelf or all satellites. or at least bookshelfs in front and satellites for rear. I have not figured out how the hell i am getting speaker wire to the back yet frown.gif

Theoretically you could use book shelves all around. That's what I am doing because I already have 2 pair of bookshelf speakers. They're both Boston Acoustic but different lines. I'm using the smaller ones as surround simply because with what I have it makes sense to use the bigger ones as the front mains.

If you look at entire lines these does however, most speaker lines seem to have a dedicated surround-type speaker that is capable of being used as dipole or bipole by flipping a switch. For instance look at these Atlantic Tech surrounds I have looked at because I bought the matching center:

versus the mains that go with them.

From everything I've been reading specialized surrounds can enhance the listening experience, but not essential. The only reason I haven't bought these even at what I consider a damn good price is cash flow problems and a spouse who thinks what I have is good enough. rolleyes.gif Then again Hal is probably right and for us what I already have ARE good enough.

So yeah, You can use the same bookshelf speakers for front and back BUT if you're looking at a particular brand and the price is the same (as is the case with my example) it wouldn't hurt to get the specialized surrounds.

As for running the speaker wire. If you ran it along the ceiling for instance, you could always paint the wire to blend in. I've got my surround wires running across the beams above me (cathedral ceiling) I just try not to look up. rolleyes.gif
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-01-2012, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys. Once the NR515 goes on sale again or price drops (hopefully in the next few weeks) i will then be looking at speakers. for now I am in a holding pattern.. unless of course some speakers go on sale. But i check the deal sites to see whats available.
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-01-2012, 09:50 AM
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I would say...you front 3 speaker absolutely need to match. The surrounds, well maybe in a ideal world but much less critical. A lot of people want smaller speakers for surrounds, to wall mount.
I have a EMPset up for my front 3 and am running SLS Q line gold speakers as surrounds. Sounds great!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #11 of 24 Old 11-01-2012, 12:42 PM
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I am running these, Energy 5.1 Take Classic speakers ($400, 5 speakers and a sub) and I am loving them, I am definitely not an audiophile, however. If you get mounts (extra $40) you can mount these anywhere. I am using a denon AVR-1312 receiver.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001202C44/ref=asc_df_B001202C442220131?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=cnet-ce-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B001202C44

They are the cnet's #1 recommended speaker system for the cost
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you guys think about this setup the center is on sale for $100 as well as a pair of the bookshelfs for $100.

center: Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker
fronts and surrounds being Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf

Only thing I am missing is a sub and receiver. I have been waiting for a good deal on a onkyo nr515 now that they HDMI issues are fixed.

Thoughts?
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 08:40 AM
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If my budget were 2 bills those would be my choice. I have the CS2 Series 2 and it is a very good center for the money.

Denon AVR4311CI
Magnepan 2.7QR's w/ MGCC3 Center
(2) Polk RT15i
(2) Sonotube Subs with 18" Stereo Integrity D4 Drivers
Behringer NU3000 & NU4-6000 Amps
Panasonic DMP-BDP210 - Projector: BenQ W1070
Panamax M5400-PM
60" Samsung TV
WDTV Live & Minix Neo X7
Some audio history: https://skydrive.live.c...
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XStanleyX View Post

If my budget were 2 bills those would be my choice. I have the CS2 Series 2 and it is a very good center for the money.
It will be 300. Because I need to buy the bookshelf for the fronts and for the surrounds. Still the right choice?
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post #15 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 02:19 PM
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For the money it would be hard to beat. I can't think of anything better for the same price.

Denon AVR4311CI
Magnepan 2.7QR's w/ MGCC3 Center
(2) Polk RT15i
(2) Sonotube Subs with 18" Stereo Integrity D4 Drivers
Behringer NU3000 & NU4-6000 Amps
Panasonic DMP-BDP210 - Projector: BenQ W1070
Panamax M5400-PM
60" Samsung TV
WDTV Live & Minix Neo X7
Some audio history: https://skydrive.live.c...
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post #16 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

What do you guys think about this setup the center is on sale for $100 as well as a pair of the bookshelfs for $100.
center: Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker
fronts and surrounds being Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf
Only thing I am missing is a sub and receiver. I have been waiting for a good deal on a onkyo nr515 now that they HDMI issues are fixed.
Thoughts?

It will be 300. Because I need to buy the bookshelf for the fronts and for the surrounds. Still the right choice?

There are other options - however, that may float your boat

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

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 #17 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

There are other options - however, that may float your boat
What other options? I am open.
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post #18 of 24 Old 11-21-2012, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like the NR515 is on sale as well. Now is the time for me to buy it seems. Does anyone think I should go a different route then the polk setup? and if not any recommendations on a sub that will go nice with this system?
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post #19 of 24 Old 11-21-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

Looks like the NR515 is on sale as well. Now is the time for me to buy it seems. Does anyone think I should go a different route then the polk setup? and if not any recommendations on a sub that will go nice with this system?

How do you plan to set-up your front channel speakers, since your TV is in
the left corner, and then try to balance it out with surrounds in a open room?

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

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 #20 of 24 Old 11-21-2012, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

How do you plan to set-up your front channel speakers, since your TV is in
the left corner, and then try to balance it out with surrounds in a open room?
The front will likely go behind the TV or in the shelves below the TV.
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post #21 of 24 Old 11-21-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

The front will likely go behind the TV or in the shelves below the TV.
Behind the TV will block and interfere with the sound. In shelves is better than behind
the TV. For in the shelves, you will need front ported or sealed speakers. > The Polk
is not a good option for this. I would also think about 3.1 or 2.1 to begin with, till you
can figure your balance out.

HTD has front ported speakers, and I would consider them, and I much prefer their
sound over the Polk Monitor speakers.

HTD Level Two
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Bookshelf-Speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

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 #22 of 24 Old 11-21-2012, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Behind the TV will block and interfere with the sound. In shelves is better than behind
the TV. For in the shelves, you will need front ported or sealed speakers. > The Polk
is not a good option for this. I would also think about 3.1 or 2.1 to begin with, till you
can figure your balance out.
HTD has front ported speakers, and I would consider them, and I much prefer their
sound over the Polk Monitor speakers.
HTD Level Two
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Bookshelf-Speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker
Those speakers will break the price range. They are double the cost of the polks.
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post #23 of 24 Old 11-21-2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

Those speakers will break the price range. They are double the cost of the polks.

Than buy the Polks, it will be a little better than TV speakers. >>>
The choice is up to you. It is not recommended to put rear ported speakers
inside a cabinet hole, it tends to hinder and muddy the sound. > Placing a
speaker behind the TV, will also interfere with the soundwaves, and bass.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

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 #24 of 24 Old 11-23-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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is there anything in here worth getting?

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=amb_link_366576902_11?ie=UTF8&bbn=172563&rh=i%3Aelectronics%2Cn%3A172282%2Cp_75%3A50-%2Cn%3A!493964%2Cn%3A667846011%2Cp_n_availability%3A1248800011%2Cp_6%3AATVPDKIKX0DER%2Cn%3A3236449011%2Cn%3A172563&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-5&pf_rd_r=1ASG7WVRKMHGKDYTWSXH&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1427057002&pf_rd_i=384082011

the Monitor 40's were too big. i would need to go monitor 30 or some satellites. But for around $400 do you guys see anything on par or better than the polk setup i was looking at? I didnt realize how big the center speaker was on the polk either.
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