How to budget a 5.1 Speaker System - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-27-2012, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking into building a home theater system and was curious how I should go about budgeting for the speakers and sub. I'm thinking of building around an Onkyo TX-NR616 receiver but doubt I'll be able to do it all at once. If I was to build a system, in what order would it be best to pick up new speakers/sub and about how much money (based on an overall %) would be a good way to invest money?

IE

100% Total System

50% Receiver
20% Sub
15% Center
10% Front Main Speakers
5% Back Speakers

Thanks for any insight that can be offered.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-27-2012, 08:22 PM
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It will of course vary based on deals that you find, but I would say:

- 25% receiver
- 25% sub
- 50% for the 5.0

I got a great deal on my speakers, so my system was:

- 33 1/3% receiver
- 33 1/3% sub
- 33 1/3% speakers

Key takeaway, you're planning way too much on the receiver and not enough on the speakers. Speakers make the most difference; buy last year's receiver on clearance and save a bundle.

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-27-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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50% was really just an example. I have no idea how it should be budgeted against everything else.

Any idea how I should budget my speakers within that 33% (or 50%)?
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-27-2012, 08:30 PM
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Do you ever listen to multi-channel music? If so the rears become more important than in HT only.

Will your space allow you to put 3 identical speakers across the front? If you can, you should - and that would have your centre costing 50% of your mains not 150% as in your first cut. If you can't, then unfortunately the compromise horizontal centres that most people get cost proportionately more, but still shouldn't cost more than the front pair.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-27-2012, 10:48 PM
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RULE OF THUMB: - when it comes to buying speakers for HT or stereo - doesn't matter - spend as much as you can on speakers. Buy them one at a time if you have to. The best receiver in the world will sound like crap with crap speakers. Good speakers will make all but the very cheapest receiver sound like gold.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-28-2012, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

RULE OF THUMB: - when it comes to buying speakers for HT or stereo - doesn't matter - spend as much as you can on speakers. Buy them one at a time if you have to. The best receiver in the world will sound like crap with crap speakers. Good speakers will make all but the very cheapest receiver sound like gold.

I agree. Buy the best 3.1 set up you can, and then decide on a receiver.

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I agree. Buy the best 3.1 set up you can, and then decide on a receiver.

On a tight budget, I would say get 2.0.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-29-2012, 09:30 PM
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I would agree on speakers first and then go from there.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-29-2012, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wes182 View Post

I would agree on speakers first and then go from there.

That will depend on your budget. You want the best speakers that you can afford.

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 12:03 AM
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Can't budget on percentages alone, need $$ amounts here. And it's not an investment except in your own pleasure...not much of a way to invest money.

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 09:18 PM
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It really depends on your budget. For example, if your budget is $500, a decent budget A/V receiver will eat up at least a third to more than half of that amount. On the other hand, if you're looking at a $5,000 system, a $500 receiver might be all you need to spend if your speakers aren't too difficult to drive. Generally, my rule of thumb is that the three front speakers are the most important, followed a great distance by the sub, then closely by the receiver (amp and then preamp if you're talking separates), and then the rears. Cables would be last, but in a budget system they would occupy a much higher percentage than in a more expensive one.

Don't discount a 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, or 3.1 system if you're on a budget; two good speakers are better than 5.1 lousy ones.
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 10:58 PM
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60% fronts 40% receiver
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