Budget Speaker Setup for Onkyo TX-NR809... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum as a poster but finally have taken the plunge into the Home Theater world with something a bit more planned out than what my roommates were throwing away!

I got in on a great deal on an ONKYO TX-NR809 receiver. I know that some people have had problems but in everything I have read most reviews are excellent and for the price I was willing to deal with potential issues.

Regarding speakers, I am setting up my 'theater' in a room that is approximately 16' x 20' using a Epson 8350 HD projector (if it matters).

I have only a limited budget now with the intent on slowly upgrading the speaker components as time and money allows. For these purposes I am trying to get 5.1 for under $300, with an additional $100 or so on reserve for good in-wall 12 or 14 AWG speaker wires (suggestions?) and banana clips, etc. I have not purchased anything yet but probably will in the next few days.

Where I am right now in my thinking is a POLK PSW10 subwoofer:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002KVQBA right now for $90 on Amazon

and a choice between the Energy 5.0 system:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021L9BME for $178 on Amazon OR

the Jamo S426 HCS3 system for $180:

http://www.amazon.com/Jamo-426-HCS-WENGE-5-Piece/dp/B003GGXGU6

From reviews and specs I like the Jamu for tall fronts and slightly higher power but dislike what I understand to be cheapish build quality.

One advantage I see with the Energy system is that if I move to the 7.1 then I think I can take the fronts from the 5.1 to make the 7.1 and buy a nice pair of towers int he future. The Jamu would make me need to trash the towers to replace them since they would not really be space efficient as rears.

Both seem to get great reviews for sounds quality for this level of speaker.

Apart from soliciting any advice or other speaker options I should look into at this price point for a 5.1, can AVS reach a reasonable consensus on the 5.0 speaker selection described above?

Thanks in advance...you all are a great resource and much appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 01:52 PM
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I own the Jamo set. It's not bad for HT use, in fact it's pretty good for the price, but with your room size and nice projector setup I'd definitely aim higher. Also, you bought a great receiver which severely outclasses the speaker options you mention. You'd probably have been better off spending less on the receiver in order to spend more on speakers.

I'd absolutely stay away from the Polk sub and only buy one of the 5.0 sets you mention if you MUST have something now. Take it from someone who's learned the hard (i.e. money-wasting) way: you'll be happier in the end if you buy quality from the beginning, even if it means waiting for a bigger budget and/or starting with a 2.0 or 2.1 system.

Do you have any speakers at all now? If you do, you could use those and start by buying a Klipsch RW-12D or a Polk PSW505 as both are available for $300 from time to time.

But PM me if you want to buy a lightly used 426 set in black ash at a great price...

Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks willieconway!

I appreciate the info. I may take your advice on delaying the sub purchase and wait until I can get something more....'appropriate'.

Since you have the 426 setup, I recall reading that the satellites only have springclips. True?

I am embarrassed by the discrepancy between the receiver/projector and speakers that I am mentioning and wish there was another way, but part of the situation is that because the 809 has some bad build issues, I wanna get something setup fast, and really just can't invest what I want to in it. I could conceive of install max at $400 but really haven't come across anything that seems to make that much difference. Again, I am just going on reviews and forum feedback.

My main use is also movie focused (I can't claim to be any kind of audiophile) so a full surround system with poor quality speakers right now is preferred to a 2.1 with slightly better speakers. I'll hopefully be back soon looking for advice on top-end speakers!
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 02:25 PM
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Yes, spring clips only on the satellites.

I should have mentioned that you can sometimes find the 426 set even cheaper, down to $120 or so. But even at $180 you do get quite a bit for your money.

Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I continue to scour the forums on these speakers and still come up against one final question that I originally posted, but will rephrase here:

Is there any issue that a newbie wouldn't know about using the 4 energy satellite speakers in a 7.1 system if an additional 2 towers of better quality were purchased down the road? For example, this 'upgrade' would leave the newer and better tower speakers with the original Energy 5.0 center speaker for some amount of time...would it need to be replaced immediately? Is there any other use for the entry level center speaker besides center channel on another system?

I make the assumption that the center channel speakers cover the same range (generally) as the satellites but maybe this is not a good assumption.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimecfs View Post

I continue to scour the forums on these speakers and still come up against one final question that I originally posted, but will rephrase here:
Is there any issue that a newbie wouldn't know about using the 4 energy satellite speakers in a 7.1 system if an additional 2 towers of better quality were purchased down the road? For example, this 'upgrade' would leave the newer and better tower speakers with the original Energy 5.0 center speaker for some amount of time...would it need to be replaced immediately? Is there any other use for the entry level center speaker besides center channel on another system?
I make the assumption that the center channel speakers cover the same range (generally) as the satellites but maybe this is not a good assumption.

I don't see any issues at all with using the Energy satellites with different front speakers. I wouldn't use the center with other speakers though as the front three should be tonally matched. Best to get a matching center if you upgrade your mains.

Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimecfs View Post

I continue to scour the forums on these speakers and still come up against one final question that I originally posted, but will rephrase here:
Is there any issue that a newbie wouldn't know about using the 4 energy satellite speakers in a 7.1 system if an additional 2 towers of better quality were purchased down the road? For example, this 'upgrade' would leave the newer and better tower speakers with the original Energy 5.0 center speaker for some amount of time...would it need to be replaced immediately? Is there any other use for the entry level center speaker besides center channel on another system?
I make the assumption that the center channel speakers cover the same range (generally) as the satellites but maybe this is not a good assumption.

I wouldn't use your original Energy center at all. Just use the two towers and no center for "phantom" mode until you get a chance to upgrade the center. Use the other 4 satellites for surrounds if you wish. Do you have Take Classics or RC Micros?

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post #8 of 15 Old 01-07-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

I wouldn't use your original Energy center at all. Just use the two towers and no center for "phantom" mode until you get a chance to upgrade the center. Use the other 4 satellites for surrounds if you wish. Do you have Take Classics or RC Micros?

+1
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-08-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks AfroGT and sdg4vfx for the input.

I don't have anything right now except the receiver but I am close to buying. I am considering the Take Classics vs. the Jamo 426 systems with a polk PSW10 sub as a cheap way to get 5.1 and test and use the receiver. I have no audio system to speak of now so just the move to an entry level 5.0 or 5.1 will probably make me very happy. Since the receiver support 7.1 (7.2?) I was looking down the road to that upgrade by buying new fronts (and center) but keeping my options open.

I will be putting in-wall speaker wire (taking down the sheetrock and wiring for 7.2 at least) that will have to last me through upgrades. Suggestions? 12 awg overkill? Good brands? I don't anticipate pushing serious current (not making a concert hall here) but definitely want to future proof myself for this level of receiver I would think.

Thanks!
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-08-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
I will be putting in-wall speaker wire (taking down the sheetrock and wiring for 7.2 at least) that will have to last me through upgrades. Suggestions? 12 awg overkill? Good brands? I don't anticipate pushing serious current (not making a concert hall here) but definitely want to future proof myself for this level of receiver I would think.

Monoprice in wall CL2 rated wire. Inexpensive and great quality. Either 12ga or 14ga. Are you connecting this wire to speaker terminal plates or directly to the speaker? If going to the speaker the little Takes can't accept 12ga bare wire. Too thick for those small holes in the terminals.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023902&p_id=2820&seq=1&format=2

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023901&p_id=2817&seq=1&format=2

Wall plates.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10425#1042503

Afro GT
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-08-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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So you bring up a good point that I haven't even considered yet. I guess ideally I would do wall plates for a clean look. Any drawbacks I should consider? Good tip on the posts and wire gauge.

Thanks for the links. That site is great! Good prices and glad to hear someone endorsing their products.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 04:50 AM
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Hello, I am new here too, also bought a onkyo tx-nr717 avs that is supposed to arrive today 1-9-2013, Same boat on speakers but i have a 5.1 mixed matched setup that is ok but want to upgrade on a budget. I have been looking at this company that has free shipping from canada, Fluance http://fluance.com/product/SXHTB_5_Speaker_Surround_Sound_Home_Theater_System.eng-9.html these are real close to your budget and have really good reviews. Good luck. I am looking at there high end line. Remember to check power handling on the speakers. these are not high so you will not want to crank them all the time. One good thing is their warranty is awesome.
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Allnighters!

I was not aware of that company but it does seem to get good reviews so far. I am weighing different options especially foregoing the sub now for better speakers as others have mentioned. I can see this hobby turning expensive VERY quickly!
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 10:36 AM
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I would look at something like the Boston A series, to build a system around

A360
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA360WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A360-3-Way-Dual-6.5in-Tower-Speaker-Each-White/1.html

A250
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA250WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A250-2-Way-Dual-5.25in-Floor-Standing-Speaker-EA-White/1.html

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 12:10 PM
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Honestly, if I was in your situation, I would forget about a subwoofer for right now. A subwoofer is something that you need to be able to get a high quality piece, or else it is just going to drive you nuts with how bad it sounds. You will just be throwing away your money on that Polk subwoofer. Also, by not getting that polk sub, you can now spend the full $300 on speakers. I just set up a budget surround sound system for my father-in-law about a month ago and his budget was $300 as well. I put together a Polk 5.0 system and he absolutely loves it. Here is what it consists of:

CS1 Series 2 center channel (newegg is out of stock, but I bet you can find it elsewhere online): $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290210

2 pairs of Monitor30 Series II bookshelf speakers: $170 (with newegg discount code that is on the page)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290200

Then you will have a good setup for $270 that should keep you happy until you are ready to buy a good subwoofer and upgrade the speakers to a higher level someday.

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