5.1 Home Theater Speaker Suggestions? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 58 Old 01-11-2013, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffer65 View Post

I also have Ascend speakers. I have the 170s, the 340 Center, and the smaller 200s for surrounds. Very happy with them. For any brand listed on this thread, check their sites for B-stock. Ascend does not have any B-stock 340s listed right now though.

For subs, Outlaw and Empire are other brands to consider. I think the Outlaw subs are similar to the HSU subs (they are both designed by Dr. Hsu).

I saw on another thread that by asking Ascend if any B-stock was available (when the site didn't have any posted) he was able to save some $. Call them.

Empire is not a brand, it's a model of Epik (and currently Epik is on hiatus so not available); it's also an $800 plus shipping model. The lower priced offering is the Legend. Not sure Chad's bringing them back or offering something new this year....

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post #32 of 58 Old 01-12-2013, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

Thanks so much for all of the help, guys. I'm going to keep researching those links.

I am intrigued by the top-of-the-TV-shelf option that you've suggested, NewHTbuyer. Has anyone here actually used one of those? Is it stable and safe, or does it make the set a top-heavy threat? (I've got a rambunctious six-year-old in the house.) Also, is that ok positioning for the center speaker? I will measure when I get home tonight, but I am guessing that it is a little further from ear level up there than sitting below the TV. Is there any conventional wisdom about this?

I use a Center Stage shelf and it works pretty well.

You can adjust the angle on it so that you can aim the speaker towards the listening area.

Depending on your set-up, I recommend it.
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post #33 of 58 Old 01-12-2013, 07:39 AM
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While I'm not a speaker expert, I am quite versed in low budgets smile.gif If you truly want a terrific bargain, I would check out the Pioneers designed by Andrew Jones. With terrific reviews across the board I could not resist, and picked up several pairs on sale this week at BB. The Bookshelves are an incredible deal at $89.00 a pair, but almost as a good a deal at their list price of $129.00 a pair. I'm very happy with them! I've read mixed reviews on the sub so did not get that. I bought a pair of the towers, two sets of Bookshelves, and a center.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Speakers/Home+Theater+Speakers/SP-FS52

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post #34 of 58 Old 01-15-2013, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of the help so far in this thread. I haven't pulled the trigger yet on the speakers, but I'm enjoying the research! So here is a little sketch of my basement as I'm getting it set up. The floor is bare concrete, except for the large portion covered by a (roughly) 10' by 12' carpet. A few new questions:

1) Should I prefer position 1 or position 2 for the sub, or are they pretty much equal because it is a sub? (I am leaning strongly towards the SVS PB-1000 recommended earlier in this thread.)

2) I am going for a 5.1 system, so only two surrounds. They are going to have to be wall-mounted, near the ceiling, aimed down. Should I prefer position a? for those, or position b?

3) I get that the R and L towers and center should all match. And that the sub can be a different brand with no problem. But how about the surrounds? Do they need to match the fronts, or can I shop freely for something that -- while good quality -- are small and will mount easily?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks again!
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post #35 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Bummpity bump. Thanks!
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post #36 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 05:21 PM
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1) Should I prefer position 1 or position 2 for the sub, or are they pretty much equal because it is a sub? (I am leaning strongly towards the SVS PB-1000 recommended earlier in this thread.)
Try the sub in both locations and go with the one that sounds best to you / works best for you.

IMO, try also spacing your mains further apart and putting the sub between the mains and the display (both L and R). (Just because it's at the front, doesn't mean it has to be in the corner. A corner may provide the most output, but it won't necessarily provide the best overall sound or integration with the rest of your system.)

Better yet, just do a sub crawl and find the two or three best-sounding locations for the sub and then see which of those locations works best for you.
Quote:
2) I am going for a 5.1 system, so only two surrounds. They are going to have to be wall-mounted, near the ceiling, aimed down. Should I prefer position a? for those, or position b?
I'd go with position A.
Quote:
3) I get that the R and L towers and center should all match. And that the sub can be a different brand with no problem. But how about the surrounds? Do they need to match the fronts, or can I shop freely for something that -- while good quality -- are small and will mount easily?
Ideally, L-C-R should be of the same make, model/series and (perhaps to a lesser extent) version. With surrounds, it's not as critical, but the closer you can get to a match with the L-C-R, the better the overall system will sound.


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post #37 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks eljay -- looked at your pics and love your HT setup! Someday, I hope to undertake something similar, but it is years off, I think. Makes me wonder if I should just get an entry-level setup for the time being, like maybe this pioneer set, and otherwise bide my time and save and learn. Then when we move to a bigger house, budget enough to do it right.

How much worse is that Pioneer setup likely to sound than $1500 or $2000 worth of speakers? Will those systems sound three to four times better? Or will I be paying three or four times as much for a 20 percent improvement in sound?

Aarrgggh -- speakers is really a rabbit-hole for us noobs!

Thanks again, everyone. Keep those helpful comments coming!
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post #38 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

How much worse is that Pioneer setup likely to sound than $1500 or $2000 worth of speakers? Will those systems sound three to four times better? Or will I be paying three or four times as much for a 20 percent improvement in sound?

The Pioneers sound pretty good. If you have a Best Buy nearby, you could try to demo them there, or even better, pick up a pair and demo them at home. Return them if you don't like them.

Speaker preference is subjective. Something like the Ascends will likely sound better to most people, but maybe not to you. Maybe not three to four times better. You might want to order one pair of the Ascend CBM-170s and pick up one pair of the Pioneers and compare them. Worst case is you would pay $30 to $40 to ship the Ascends back and then save money on your purchase. Besides, it can be fun to demo to sets of speakers and compare them together biggrin.gif

One thing about those Pioneers is that they have lower sensitivity. That means for the same wattage of power, they tend to put out less volume than many other speakers.

As for subs, yes. There is a big difference when you go up in spending on subs when it comes to HT usage. Even a good $200 budget HT sub, like the BIC F12, will not perform nearly as well as a 12" ported sub from SVS, HSU, Outlaw Audio, or Rythmik. You'll get much more performance down low where the special effects are in movies, and the bass will be cleaner, tighter, more realistic (less "thumpy").

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post #39 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks very much, cel4145. Here's what I'm thinking at the very moment:

Front right and left: Pioneer SP-FS52 Andrew Jones Towers (rear port) $250.00
Center: Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Center $100.00
Sub: SVS PB-1000 10" 300w Powered Sub $500.00
Surrounds: Polk OWM3 Surrounds $130.00

TOTAL: $980.00

All the reviews seem to say that while the pioneer towers are not exceptional, they are way better than their price, although they can really use the help of a quality subwoofer. That's where the SVS that you recommended comes in. Maybe that will end up being the one piece I won't need to upgrade when I get the money and space to do my HT right (years down the road). For the surrounds, at this point, I am just after acceptable, small, and inexpensive.

What say you?

Also, again, the Marantz 1403 or 1603 that I am planning on will drive all of this fine, yes? Should I be concerned about your "lower sensitivity" comment? Or will I just have to turn the volume up a bit more?

I will try to listen to whatever I can, but I really am out in the boonies. We've got a best buy at the mall 10 miles away, but it is a really crappy, low-end one (even for best buy). I'm not sure I've got the patience (or ears) to order several and return ship, but I'll think about it more.

Thanks again all! This is incredibly helpful.
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post #40 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 08:59 PM
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I definitely would stay away from Theater in a Box, they are usually cheaply constructed and are sold for a quick solution. I would recommend 5.1 systems from Polk, Klipsch, Def. Tech., Paradigm, or Boston Acoustics. All are high quality and reasonably priced. Also consider how they match to your amp etc..... For example Yamaha receivers tend to sound Bright with Bright Speakers like Klipsch. A match for Klipsch would be a receiver from Pioneer Elite which sound Warm. Just a few thoughts, I hope it helps and good luck.
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post #41 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post


Also, again, the Marantz 1403 or 1603 that I am planning on will drive all of this fine, yes? Should I be concerned about your "lower sensitivity" comment? Or will I just have to turn the volume up a bit more?

If you were 18 years old looking to blast your brains out, then you should worry wink.gif You'll find many happy people with both the old and this new series of them in the owners thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1278774/pioneers-speaker-genius-hits-low-price-point.

But the one good thing is that your room is not very big. If you were in a much bigger living room with the speakers further away, it would be more important to try to get higher sensitivity.

I think you are getting a nice setup, and for your budget for speakers, I could easily see doing the same thing smile.gif

Be sure to run Audyssey first off. That's going to set the speaker distances and the channel levels, and it will also EQ the speakers and sub. Really helps. Sometimes it's necessary to run it more than once if the subwoofer channel level ends up very low (a high negative number--you want it to come out close to 0 db); you have to adjust the gain (volume) on the sub and run it again.

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post #42 of 58 Old 01-16-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

Thanks very much, cel4145. Here's what I'm thinking at the very moment:

Front right and left: Pioneer SP-FS52 Andrew Jones Towers (rear port) $250.00
Center: Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Center $100.00
Sub: SVS PB-1000 10" 300w Powered Sub $500.00
Surrounds: Polk OWM3 Surrounds $130.00

TOTAL: $980.00

The Pioneer's are real nice and do sound good. If you want to save some money on
the surrounds - then look at NXG Pro 4.1 speakers.
http://www.amazon.com/Nxg-Pro-4-1-Satellite-Speaker/dp/B0044UHVOK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358404741&sr=8-1&keywords=nxg+pro+4.1

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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 #43 of 58 Old 01-17-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Feeling vindicated! Just found this link in the pioneer thread -- coming up with a very similar set to what I listed a few posts ago.

I think this will help me pull the trigger with confidence!
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post #44 of 58 Old 01-17-2013, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

Feeling vindicated! Just found this link in the pioneer thread -- coming up with a very similar set to what I listed a few posts ago.

I think this will help me pull the trigger with confidence!

It's a nice setup. Notice that they picked the SVS SB1000 instead of the PB1000. The difference is that the SB1000 is a 12" sealed sub. Because it's sealed an in such a small box, it probably won't have quite the max volume output of the PB1000 (just a guess), but it should sound a little tighter and cleaner. However, the PB1000 will go a little lower in frequency response. If you are curious about whether or not one would suit you better over the other, there is a thread where people have been discussing the two of them: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1439755/new-svs-sb1000-pb1000-subwoofers

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post #45 of 58 Old 01-17-2013, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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You read my mind, cel! That was absolutely going to be one of my next questions. I liked what you said earlier about the PB1000 and was sold on it, but if the SB1000 also sounds truly great, its smaller size could go a long way on the WAF. I'll check out the other thread you've pointed me to after I get the kid to sleep. Thanks yet again -- you've really helped me a ton.
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post #46 of 58 Old 01-20-2013, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Try the sub in both locations and go with the one that sounds best to you / works best for you.

IMO, try also spacing your mains further apart and putting the sub between the mains and the display (both L and R). (Just because it's at the front, doesn't mean it has to be in the corner. A corner may provide the most output, but it won't necessarily provide the best overall sound or integration with the rest of your system.)

Better yet, just do a sub crawl and find the two or three best-sounding locations for the sub and then see which of those locations works best for you.
I'd go with position A.
Ideally, L-C-R should be of the same make, model/series and (perhaps to a lesser extent) version. With surrounds, it's not as critical, but the closer you can get to a match with the L-C-R, the better the overall system will sound.

Love your setup! GREAT JOB!

Dave


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post #47 of 58 Old 01-20-2013, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

You read my mind, cel! That was absolutely going to be one of my next questions. I liked what you said earlier about the PB1000 and was sold on it, but if the SB1000 also sounds truly great, its smaller size could go a long way on the WAF. I'll check out the other thread you've pointed me to after I get the kid to sleep. Thanks yet again -- you've really helped me a ton.

Looks like you are making terrific progress! Pull the trigger and enjoy!

Dave


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post #48 of 58 Old 01-20-2013, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks davboy! Trigger is pulled, and am in the process of getting it all set up. Will post some pics and impressions when it is all in place. Have the receiver and Pioneers downstairs waiting for a free few minutes to wire up (with luck before the Pats / Ravens game today). Subwoofer is ordered and should be here by Friday! The surrounds, and getting them wired up will be phase 2, in a couple of weeks. Going to need to get a buddy or two over to figure out how to get the wires behind the wall and across the ceiling for those.
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post #49 of 58 Old 01-20-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

Thanks davboy! Trigger is pulled, and am in the process of getting it all set up. Will post some pics and impressions when it is all in place. Have the receiver and Pioneers downstairs waiting for a free few minutes to wire up (with luck before the Pats / Ravens game today). Subwoofer is ordered and should be here by Friday! The surrounds, and getting them wired up will be phase 2, in a couple of weeks. Going to need to get a buddy or two over to figure out how to get the wires behind the wall and across the ceiling for those.

Awesome! Did you end up getting the SB or the PB?

Once you get everything setup, you'll need to run Audyssey on your receiver using the enclosed microphone once you get everything in place. It will configure your speakers to sound better for the primary listening position. If this is your first time using it, there is some learning to do to optimize your setup after it is run, like setting the crossovers for your speakers.

With the sub, sometimes the gain (volume) on the speaker is too high, and Audyssey ends up with a high negative number for the subwoofer channel. If that happens, it is best to turn the gain on the sub down and rerun Audyssey. The goal is to get a subwoofer channel level somewhat close to 0db. Because odds are you will have to run it more than once, I only run Audyssey for one listening position the first time to ball park how much to adjust the sub.

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post #50 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Ended up going with the PB -- very excited to hear it! Got the Pioneers (L/C/R) hooked up to the Marantz today and it sounds great to me right out of the box. When the sub arrives (should be by Thursday), I'll get it hooked up and run Audyssey -- thanks for the tips on that. Going to try to have some people over for the maiden blu-ray voyage this weekend. I'm thinking Avengers or Bourne Legacy. Once this is all dialed in, I'll turn to choosing, buying, and installing the surrounds.
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post #51 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

Ended up going with the PB -- very excited to hear it! Got the Pioneers (L/C/R) hooked up to the Marantz today and it sounds great to me right out of the box. When the sub arrives (should be by Thursday), I'll get it hooked up and run Audyssey -- thanks for the tips on that. Going to try to have some people over for the maiden blu-ray voyage this weekend. I'm thinking Avengers or Bourne Legacy. Once this is all dialed in, I'll turn to choosing, buying, and installing the surrounds.

Glad you are enjoying the Pioneers! I vote for the Avengers for the maiden voyage!

Dave


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post #52 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again everyone for your immense help in getting me this far!

I've been agonizing about the surrounds the past few days, and realize I need some hand-holding with those too, so I've just started a new thread asking for advice on that topic. If you are interested, it is here.

Here is a picture of my humble little system in progress. Sub is still not here yet, but will sit (at least initially) right next to the TV stand, inside of the left speaker. And of course I'll get the cables neatened up, etc., once we're fully up and running.



(I'm especially emabarassed to post this after looking at your set-up, davboy, but we've all got to start somewhere, right?)

Thanks yet again. I'll post another pic or two when it is all finished.

Noobio
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post #53 of 58 Old 01-23-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobio2 View Post

Thanks again everyone for your immense help in getting me this far!

I've been agonizing about the surrounds the past few days, and realize I need some hand-holding with those too, so I've just started a new thread asking for advice on that topic. If you are interested, it is here.

Here is a picture of my humble little system in progress. Sub is still not here yet, but will sit (at least initially) right next to the TV stand, inside of the left speaker. And of course I'll get the cables neatened up, etc., once we're fully up and running.



(I'm especially emabarassed to post this after looking at your set-up, davboy, but we've all got to start somewhere, right?)

Thanks yet again. I'll post another pic or two when it is all finished.

Noobio

Nothing to be embarrassed by at all, a great start! Do you have any thoughts on hiding the center speaker somehow? Do you use the lower center drawer in that cabinet? If not it might be tempting to remove it, get some cheap black GOM (or any fabric really) from Walmart, get some thin wood strips you could paint black to tack over it, and hide the center speaker behind it in that space. Or not! I'm a little OCD that way!

Also, have you thought about putting the surrounds on stands instead of mounting to the wall? Would allow you to match with another set of the pioneers? You'll get an overwhelming amount of feedback on surrounds in your new thread...it's a hotly debated topic...just remember they are intended to be to the side of the primary listening position, not behind it...I was never happy with my setup until I finally figured that out.

Dave


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post #54 of 58 Old 01-24-2013, 07:40 PM
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Saw your pictures of the SVS sub in the other thread. Looks good with your setup, Noobio smile.gif

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post #55 of 58 Old 01-25-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, cel! I really appreciate you pointing me to that sub and to that thread. Due to family stuff, it may be a few days before I can even hook the sub up and give it a listen. I really can't wait!
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post #56 of 58 Old 01-25-2013, 10:12 AM
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You might enjoy getting one or two of the 4 to 5 star movies from this list to test it out: The New Master List of BASS in Movies with Frequency Charts.

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HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
Desktop: CBM-170 SE | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | HK 3390
Headphone & Portable HE-400 | K612 Pro | HP150 | DX50 | E12
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post #57 of 58 Old 03-13-2013, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I know it has taken me a while to get back to this, but I wanted to close this thread out properly.

First off, a huge THANK YOU to AVSforum generally and to the many individuals here who helped me out with this project.

Though I’ve still got some wires to neaten up and some settings to play with, I am considering my budget home theater installed and complete. The sound is excellent to my ears, and I’ve hosted several movie nights and the reviews have been great. I am incredibly glad I did not end up compromising with a sound bar or other corner-cutting and instead went with proper 5.1. I realize now how critical good sound is to the home theater experience.

All that said, my entire theater was very low budget. Here’s the final breakdown (including taxes and shipping, to the best of my records / recollection):

Front right and left: Pioneer SP-FS52 Andrew Jones Towers ($125 each): $266.00 [Best Buy]
Center: Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Center: $107.00 [Best Buy]
Sub: SVS PB-1000 10" 300w Powered Sub: $499.00 [Direct from SVS]
Surrounds: Polk OWM3 Surrounds: $112.00 (for the pair) [Amazon]
Marantz NR1403 Slim Line AV Receiver: $409.00 [Amazon]
Panasonic VIERA TC-L55ET5 55-Inch: $1148.00 [Amazon]
Sony PS3 320GB: $304.00 [Amazon]
Power Strip and Miscellaneous Cables and Hardware: Approximately $95.00 [Various]
IKEA Hemnes TV Stand: $210.00 [IKEA]

Total: $3150.00 (that’s EVERYTHING, including the TV stand and cables!)

Ok, ok, don’t laugh. It is pretty much all entry-level stuff. I know that lots of people here spend my total budget (or lots more) on an individual speaker. But that’s about as much as I had to work with, and I’ve got to say, with a lot of help from the great folks on this forum, I am confident that I got about as good a set-up as possible for about $3000.

And as far as I am concerned, it kicks ass. I am not an audiophile. I’m in my mid-forties and my eyes and ears are far from what they were 20 years ago. But the screen is big, bright, and sharp. Blu-ray looks incredible. And the sound is loud and clear. The sub is awesome. Dialog is clear and distinct. And man oh man do I LOVE the surround. I get a little thrill every time I hear stuff going all over the place. Bottom line is that I am veeeeery satisfied with the results.

Thanks again to everyone for helping me through the process!
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post #58 of 58 Old 03-13-2013, 03:31 PM
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Yea, alot of us have settled for less than perfect. All that matter is you like what you hear!

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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