Home Theater - $2k Budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-23-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I will be getting a house soon and I can finally get a good sound system that I don't have to worry about neighbors with smile.gif I plan to spend up to $2000, more like $1500 if I can.

Can you guys suggest some options for me based on the details below? Thanks in advance.

Details:
- 5.1, 7.1 considered but not that important
- Would prefer tower fronts, bookshelf rears.
- I am open to DIY, but would prefer a box already built as I know that is where a ton can go wrong. A Dayton DIY sub would be fine as long as peeps say it compares or is better than brick and mortar subs.
- Would prefer a network receiver to control from a smartphone.
- Room about 20x25, 2 story ceilings
- Wide range of use: movie, music, tv.
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-23-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone?

Also, since this is a huge room and is open to the foyer dining, etc, is it even feasible to put a 2k system in there and have it be nice?
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-23-2012, 04:24 PM
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I know you said towers, but take a look at the HSU Hybrid 15 5.1 package. You get enough sub to fill the room, and horn-loaded bookshelf speakers will play loud so you can get adequate SPL in a large space. Pair this with say a Denon 2112 AVR from www.accessories4less.com and grab some stands off Amazon. It would make for a nice system. There are a good deal of options, this is just one. You can also take a look at Polk Rti, Klipsch Reference, Arx, HTD, and Ascend, to name a few. For subs, HSU, SVS, and Outlaw are some good options. Most of the internet direct companies will let you try the speakers at home, and often will pay shipping both ways.

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post #4 of 26 Old 10-23-2012, 06:10 PM
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You are going to want a beefy subwoofer with a room like that. I would be taking a hard look at a Hsu VTF15h or a Power Sound XV15 if not something that is even louder on that budget. Like the above said, put money into the subs, and get capable bookshelf speakers. Even if you get a high performance subwoofer, you will need to have a good place for it for it to sound good in a room that huge, so make sure you take some time to look up optimal placement techniques like the so-called "sub-crawling" technique. Trust me on this! You may also think about getting dual subs, and in that budget I would be looking into dual Hsu VTF2s, or dual Outlaw LFM-1 Plus subs.
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-23-2012, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I know you said towers, but take a look at the HSU Hybrid 15 5.1 package. You get enough sub to fill the room, and horn-loaded bookshelf speakers will play loud so you can get adequate SPL in a large space. Pair this with say a Denon 2112 AVR from www.accessories4less.com and grab some stands off Amazon. It would make for a nice system. There are a good deal of options, this is just one. You can also take a look at Polk Rti, Klipsch Reference, Arx, HTD, and Ascend, to name a few. For subs, HSU, SVS, and Outlaw are some good options. Most of the internet direct companies will let you try the speakers at home, and often will pay shipping both ways.

I was going to recommend the Hsu Hybrid 15 5.1 package as well for that space.
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 08:43 AM
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I have no experience with the HSU, except that a lot of AVS forum participants like them (great subwoofers, however- those I have heard!). However, make sure you listen to the horn tweeter before you buy. Many like them a lot, but some think they can be shrill and fatiguing.

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post #7 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

I have no experience with the HSU, except that a lot of AVS forum participants like them (great subwoofers, however- those I have heard!). However, make sure you listen to the horn tweeter before you buy. Many like them a lot, but some think they can be shrill and fatiguing.

The Hsu speakers are not nearly as fatiguing to me as an entry level Klipsch tweeter for instance. They use different horn tweeters and are not as efficient, but when I demoed them I did not find them fatiguing at all But you make a great point in that no matter what you buy, you need to try it in your home and make sure the company or retailer you buy from has a good return policy.

This is Hsu's return policy:
Quote:
30-day Satisfaction Guarantee.
If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you have 30 days to begin the return process. We will refund the complete purchase price, minus any shipping charges, after our technicians review the return. The refund happens under four conditions: (1) all items must be in "like new" condition, (2) there must not be any missing items, (3) the product needs to be in transit back to Hsu Research within 30 of delivery (4) you must call us to receive an RMA number. Failure to comply with all of these conditions may result in either the item being refused or you may be charged a 15% restocking fee. Note that, in the event that an item is damaged during shipping and returned for refund without replacement, then the same terms as stated above will apply, and we will not refund any shipping charges
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 09:19 AM
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I have a 7.2 setup that I love. And I would highly recommend 2 subs for your huge open area.

Speakers: BIC Acoustech
PL-89 X 2
PL-28 X 1
PL-66 X 4
$989 delivered to my house http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/brand/index.cfm?bid=67

Subwoofers: Outlaw Audio
LFM-1 Plus X 2
$998 delivered to my house http://outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html

I have a Refurb Onkyo TX-NR808 that I paid $563 for.

I bought everything for about $2,500 but everything was on sale so the prices might be a lil higher now.


For a receiver the next model year up would be the Onkyo TX-NR809 for $700 for a refurb http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXNR809/Onkyo-TX-NR809-7.2-Channel-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html
The new equivalent would be the Onkyo TX-NR818 for $800 for a refurb http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXNR818/Onkyo-TX-NR818-7.2-Ch-THX-Certified-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html

If those receivers are too expensive for you, you could even consider the Onkyo TX-NR609 for $290 for a refurb http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXNR609/Onkyo-TX-NR609-7.2-Channel-3-D-Ready-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html

Shawn
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I have heard alot about HSU lately, how do they compare to BIC Acoustech?

What difference if any will I notice between good towers and good bookshelves as my fronts?

What difference does .2 provide over .1 split to 2 subs?
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mginster View Post

I have heard alot about HSU lately, how do they compare to BIC Acoustech?
What difference if any will I notice between good towers and good bookshelves as my fronts?
What difference does .2 provide over .1 split to 2 subs?

If you listen to lots of 2 channel audio, IMHO, get a good floorstanding speakers. If you are mostly listening to multichannel music and home theater, as long as you buy a good subwoofer, you are not losing much with a good bookshelf speaker.

2 subwoofers allow for more output, and make it easier to smoother out bass response across a room.

There are caveats though. It really comes down to the room and your placement options and budget. In some situations you might be better off buying a single better subwoofer versus two lesser subwoofers. Your room also dictates if two vs one is better as it depends on how flexible your placement options are.

Same with a floorstanding speaker. Buying a large floorstanding speaker and then cramming it into a narrow space or right next to boundary walls can result in poorer sound than a smaller bookshelf speaker that is designed to be mounted in a tighter space.

Can you explain your room? Dimensions and layout?
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mginster View Post

I have heard alot about HSU lately, how do they compare to BIC Acoustech?
What difference if any will I notice between good towers and good bookshelves as my fronts?
What difference does .2 provide over .1 split to 2 subs?

I actually have a pair of HSU HB-1's in my living room right now that I demoed against some Ascend Acoustic CMT-170's. The HSU's are a pretty good speaker for the price, but I definitely preferred the Ascends while A/B'ing.
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mginster View Post

I have heard alot about HSU lately, how do they compare to BIC Acoustech?
What difference if any will I notice between good towers and good bookshelves as my fronts?
What difference does .2 provide over .1 split to 2 subs?

Dr. Hsu actually helped BIC design their Acoustech Platinum series speakers. So I would expect the same type of sound but with the Hsu's being a bit more refined.

Towers look more impressive and provide a larger front soundstage IMO, but if you are going to have an 80hz crossover its not that big of a deal. However I still prefer towers over bookshelves.

2 identical subs will give more headroom in the bass department and if you place them at 2 different spots it will help even out freq resp in your room. With your huge room 1 sub in a front corner and then 1 sub next to or behind the seating position within less than 4ft of the listening position as a near field effect will probably be a good option. But the sub crawl is the best way to find the 2 best spots in the room for the subs.

Shawn
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post #13 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the room layout. The couch will be at the end of the living room arrow and face the 22.7 wall.


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post #14 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 02:07 PM
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So the room is actually larger than 20x25 then, as you have all the open space behind where the couch will be?

If I understand it right, you will be sitting about 20+' back from the speakers?

Sorry for the 20 questions, but what is the primary useage of the system, movies or music? And for music are you planning on listening to a lot of 2 channel audio?

Also what size screen are you looking at on the 22' wall?
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post #15 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes the living connects to the foyer and dining and it is all open. The arrow on the left is where the couch will be, about 10 ft back from the wall. The TV is a 52" but may be upgraded in the future. I plan to mostly use it for TV/Movies, but will definitely use it for music also. It would all be 2 channel and I probably would just run it Stereox2.
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post #16 of 26 Old 10-24-2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mginster View Post

I have heard alot about HSU lately, how do they compare to BIC Acoustech?
What difference if any will I notice between good towers and good bookshelves as my fronts?
What difference does .2 provide over .1 split to 2 subs?

For movies, there is no .2 channesl to send to the subs. The 7.2 receivers are still just splitting the .1 channel output.

In addition to what ack_bk said about dual subs, one advantage in a room this size is if you can locate one up with your front soundstage and the other near the primary listening position so that you get good bass impact in that big room you have.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #17 of 26 Old 10-25-2012, 08:47 AM
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While I'm all for great subs, and I own both HSU and Outlaw and have been happy with both, I think several of the previous reccos that have the OP spending half of his 2000 dollar budget on bass are off-the-mark. If it were me, I'd check out the 'budget subwoofer' thread on this forum and find out what's the consensus on the lowest, loudest sub for 300. (BIC PL200 perhaps?) With my remaining 1700, I'd buy Ascend 340 SE for mains and center ("mini-towers, between tower and bookshelf, solid down to 60 hz) and Ascend CMB 170 rears, a Sony PS3 as a source and a decent Denon, Onkyo, or Marantz 100-120 wpc av receiver with the features you want and pre-outs so that when I saved enough money to buy a great sounding 200 wpc power amp, I could add it to the system at a later time.

IMO, the Ascend CMT speakers offer absolutely incredible bang for the buck. And while bass is definitely important for HT, you can always add a second sub later to get more output. Speakers need to be replaced if you want to upgrade, so IMO its more important to get the speakers right in the beginning.

Finally, don't be scared of buying used. There are some incredible deals on Audiogon, and the market is fairly well regulated. I've bought there on several occasions, and my products have always been as described. If you buy used, 2000 can really go a long way. You might very well be able to find the subs that the other posters are telling you to get at the 300 price point.

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post #18 of 26 Old 10-25-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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In the budget subwoofer department, the Klipsch, 12D-RW rises to the top and can be had at Newegg for $299.99.

FWIW;This sale price ends tomorrow!
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post #19 of 26 Old 10-25-2012, 01:30 PM
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Def Tech has a sale on the BP8060ST. Buy a pair and get an 8040 center and a pair of 8040 surrounds for free. That's $2000 for all 5 speakers. Maybe add a separate sub later.

Klipsch RF-62II, RC-500, RS-400, SVS PC12+,
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post #20 of 26 Old 10-25-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Def Tech has a sale on the BP8060ST. Buy a pair and get an 8040 center and a pair of 8040 surrounds for free. That's $2000 for all 5 speakers. Maybe add a separate sub later.

Not knocking your above recommendation but the OP's budget is up to $2k, including AVR.
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post #21 of 26 Old 10-25-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses thus far.

So I have on my list to research:

- HSU Hybrid 15
- BIC PL's
- Def Tech BP
- Ascent CMT

Another idea that I am fine with is DIY. How would the Dayton kits from PE for towers and subs compare to some of the above choices?

Any votes on the above list?
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post #22 of 26 Old 10-26-2012, 06:43 AM
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2 x KEF Q500 @ $380 each = $760 (Front Left & Right).

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFQ500BLK/KEF-Q500-Q-Series-5-1/4-inch-Black-Floorstanding-Speaker-Each/1.html

4 x KEF Q100 @ $400 per pair = $800 (Front Center, Rear Center, Surround Left, Surround Right).

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFQ100BL/KEF-Q100-Q-Series-5-1/4-inch-Black-Bookshelf-Speakers-pair/1.html

Add a sub or two for a 6.1/ 6.2 system.

Used Denon 3310 AVR for $370 (network).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002AKKFQ2/ref=sr_1_23_olp?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351259733&sr=1-23&keywords=Denon+receivers&condition=used

Total so far is ~ $1930. Adding a sub will be over budget, but you deserve it. biggrin.gif

So just get an Outlaw or HSU budget sub. biggrin.gif
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post #23 of 26 Old 10-26-2012, 08:27 AM
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I recently approached a similar project when adding a 9.1 system to my new basement theater, and had excellent results for just under 2K with the following components:

Yamaha RX-V671 $399 shipped (Amazon)
Center: Polk CS2 $79 shipped (Newegg)
Fronts: Polk Monitor 70 $159 each shipped (Newegg)
Surrounds: Polk Monitor 60 $129 each shipped (Newegg)
Rears: Polk Monitor 40 $129 pair shipped (Newegg)
Presence: Polk Monitor 30 $99 pair shipped (Newegg)
Sub: Hsu Research VTF-2 MK4 $582 shipped (Hsu's website)

The key to my $1,864 total was being patient and ordering parts over a 3 month span as they each went on sale. My room is just over 400 sq ft, and this system flat out pounds. It will play crystal clear at 100+db all day long, measured at the seating area in the middle of the room. (a single VTF-2 is more than enough sub for a space this size)

I should note that although this setup sounds quite good, my objective was quantity>quality, as I plan on building a separate listening room for music in the near future. If I had to have one system serve both music and HT duties, I'd save until I had ~3K and get Ascend speakers and a Hsu sub . . . or start with a 3.1 Ascend system and add to it as I could afford. (CMT-340 mains and center, a VTF-2, and a RX-V671 would run you $1,943 shipped) Good luck with whatever you decide on!
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post #24 of 26 Old 10-26-2012, 01:17 PM
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Speaking of Deftechs, I just saw a post on Audiogon for a complete set of Deftech bipolar a (2 x BP 7002, CLR 2002, 2 x BP-2X) for 1800. You'd probably need to bump your budget by a couple hundred to get a network AVR with sufficient power for the 7002s, but if you can do that, this might be your ticket. Each 7002 has a built-in powered 12" sub, so you'll have some bass.

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post #25 of 26 Old 10-26-2012, 02:21 PM
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Edit: I actually went to listen to the 8060s and found them sounding muddled compared to the B&W I also listened to (683 and CM9). So I have no further questions about the current promotion smile.gif
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post #26 of 26 Old 11-18-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

If you listen to lots of 2 channel audio, IMHO, get a good floorstanding speakers. If you are mostly listening to multichannel music and home theater, as long as you buy a good subwoofer, you are not losing much with a good bookshelf speaker.
2 subwoofers allow for more output, and make it easier to smoother out bass response across a room.
There are caveats though. It really comes down to the room and your placement options and budget. In some situations you might be better off buying a single better subwoofer versus two lesser subwoofers. Your room also dictates if two vs one is better as it depends on how flexible your placement options are.
Same with a floorstanding speaker. Buying a large floorstanding speaker and then cramming it into a narrow space or right next to boundary walls can result in poorer sound than a smaller bookshelf speaker that is designed to be mounted in a tighter space.
Can you explain your room? Dimensions and layout?

Interesting comments concerning the size of the room.

I'm planning out my home theater for my living room which is only 13x13. I was originally thinking in-wall speakers, but I've heard conflicting reports on the sound quality. I'm now considering floor standing for my L/R, but based on your comments maybe bookshelf speakers are a better choice? This room will be 70-80% home theater and 30-20% music.

I've heard good things about the NHT Absolute 5.1T as well as the Monitor Audio RX6.

Any input you have is greatly appreciated.
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