I'm fairly new to posting on these forums and I'm at a point where I need some advice on a setup I'm trying out. So I've moved to a new apartment with a very open layout. Meaning living room & dining room are one, connected to an open kitchen split by a breakfast bar. It's a fairly good size room with a 10 foot high-ceiling. Room minus the kitchen is roughly 12' 5" x 18' 5" with a little desk built into the wall along one of the long walls.
My original goal after moving in here was to buy a nice TV and setup a decent 5.1 home theatre which would be used for around 20% music, 15% gaming and 65% split between TV, streaming content and Blu-rays/DVDs. TV I've decided on a 51" Plasma, got myself an entertainment center to put it on and my recent purchase is the Pioneer VSX-1122-K AVR. I know it only has Advanced MCACC and I won't be able to calibrate the sub with it but it had all the features I wanted and then some for the price. After two weeks of research on here I've realized Denons and Marantz are out of my price range and Onkyo's seem to be hit or miss with reliability. My goal was to buy an AVR where I can eventually setup a 7.2 system in the future house I'll be buying down the road so the Pioneer works.
I have speakers from an old stereo system I had for my bedroom years ago and am using them with the Pioneer for now as a temp solution. Setup right now looks like this.
So I've been on here reading about all matter of speakers from Kef, Hsu, HTD, Ascend and a boatload more. It's a bit overwhelming for a newbie like me. Also reading about subs, speaker placement and just learning what I need for a proper setup. I did want to go with a 5.1 setup but looking at my room layout and dynamics I'm not sure how possible that is. I also didn't want to mount anything on walls which is why I got this specific entertainment system. It has adjustable shelves so I can fit a good sized center channel directly above the AVR and still have breathing room for it. I would just need to tilt the center up a little to get it pointed to ear level.
My questions to you all is, could you provide some advise on speakers for my need and room setup? Can I go 5.1 with small satellites on stands next to the sofa with bookshelf or towers in the front? Or should I stick with a 3.1 for now? If I go bookshelf, would the placement of where my temp speakers are now be ok or should I go with stands instead? Speakers now are at an ideal height where the tweeter is just around ear level. Where should I place the sub? And the most importan question. What should I choose for LCR and sub?
As I've said, I've read dozens of posts on all matters of speakers and it sounds like a few that would fit my budget are
- HTD Level 2 bookshelf or towers or Level 3 bookshelf & center (Don't think I can mix lvl 2 LR with a lvl 3 center due to different tweeter)
- Ascend CBM-170 for LR with CMT-340 SE center
- HSU 3.1 value2 or hybrid1 package (not sure if these will work due to being rear-ported)
- Arx A1B/A2B combo
- many more...
Deciding on a sub is an entirely different question. Again I'm thinking future-proofing here and Hsu STF-2 or VTF-1 MK2 look like they would fill my room but I'm not dead set on these subs. Not to mention I'm still not sure if I should go sealed or ported sub. All in all I want to say my budget is around $1000 max for speakers and sub. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Appreciate any help or insight you can provide on this.