I'm helping a friend piece out a new HT set up for his home, it'll be in a multipurpose living room/HT that's approx 13' x 16' (square, one open doorway to dining area). He's going from zero (TV speakers) to first set up, doesn't want to break the bank so probably a max budget of $600-700.
I originally recommended he look at buying pieces at a time so he could get better components and build over time, however, he's more interested in getting a 5.1 set up off the bat and is willing to sacrifice on performance in trade. Being that the receiver he may be looking at (Denon AVR-1613) is already $350 this is half the budget (wise choice to allow the AVR to withhold a couple upgrades?). Myself, I really wish he would piece it together as opposed to getting a 5.1 speaker package, but to each their own. I did well by upping my budget a few hundred and fitted myself with Polk Monitors + PSW505 + Denon 591 a while ago. Similar set up was shot down due to $$ restraints.
I guess there are two routes - Sound bar (L/C/R) + Sub + Surrounds (is that possible, the sound bars seem to all use proprietary hook ups sans AVR) or 5.1 package set up
$170 range - Polk Audio RM6750 Black 5.1CH Home Theater Speaker System, seems pretty budget to me. All bookshelf type speakers with a lackluster sub (freq response is listed at 40Hz at the bottom end). Drivers are only 3.5" + .5" tweeters (Front + Surr) with center having 2 3.5" drivers and a .75" tweeter. But I guess for this price you really can't complain. That and I've always trusted Polk.
Upping slightly to $200 range - Definitive Technology ProCinema 60 5.1CH Home Audio Speaker System... No experience ever with Definitive, are they any good? They seem to use a lot of power, might not be powered sufficiently by this AVR. The specs seem comparable aside from the 1" tweeters vs .5" tweeters on the Polks, and the sub goes down to 23Hz (not sure how well it will sound down there for an 8" and at what db level).
I'm almost just leaning towards the Polk and telling him to ditch the included sub on craigslist and buy a separate one.
Anyone have any thoughts? I'm kinda stumped since I never was into package deals and somehow I managed to have wife approval for a component system :-)
Bit by the upgrade bug, limited by the WAF