Complete noob, need help, small budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

So my budget is only $500 max and I'm not really sure what to do here. If I should get a HTiB (I can get a factory refurbed Onkyo S8409 or S7500 for under $500, leaning towards the S8409 as I like the PC port, makes life easier for me), should I buy my own receiver and speakers + subwoofer or should I just "settle" with a decent sounbar w/sub to hold me over?
I've always used the speakers built-in to the TV (I know, I know) as I've simply never had the space available to do even a soundbar. I'm finishing up remodeling my family room for my new 65" VT50 Panasonic Plasma and now have the space for a sound system, but money, unfortunately, is kinda tight.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!!!
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 06:38 PM
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I would start out with a 2.0 setup on that budget, which you could easily expand into a full 5.1, a sound bar wouldnt give you that option without dumping it. I'm not sure what a pc port is, your video card doesnt have an HDMI out? Anyway, getting a good pair of speakers to start will give you the best sound quality for your money.

Boston A360. These are a crazy deal at $360pr
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA360WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A360-3-Way-Dual-6.5in-Tower-Speaker-Each-White/1.html#!specifications

Denon 1513 $140
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1513/DENON-AVR-1513-5.1ch-Home-Theater-Receiver-3D-ready/1.html
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I would start out with a 2.0 setup on that budget, which you could easily expand into a full 5.1, a sound bar wouldnt give you that option without dumping it. I'm not sure what a pc port is, your video card doesnt have an HDMI out? Anyway, getting a good pair of speakers to start will give you the best sound quality for your money.

Boston A360. These are a crazy deal at $360pr
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA360WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A360-3-Way-Dual-6.5in-Tower-Speaker-Each-White/1.html#!specifications

Denon 1513 $140
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1513/DENON-AVR-1513-5.1ch-Home-Theater-Receiver-3D-ready/1.html

Thank you for the response!
PC-Port = VGA input. I've always just used a DVI-D-to-VGA cable to connect my PC to my TV due to my current TV only having two HDMI inputs. I suppose I could switch to HDMI. Do nVidia GTX 580's carry sound over HDMI without having to do anything to the video card?
I'm a little weary of that receiver due to the limited number of connections as I'll need to hook up my cable box (HDMI), PS3 (HDMI), PC (HDMI or VGA), Wii U (HDMI or Component (I have both available for it)) and XBOX 360 (Component - it's a first gen 360, no HDMI port), however I'm aware my budget doesn't allow too much room to be picky.
I think the Onkyo S8409 comes with a Onkyo TX-NR609 receiver - Is this receiver better? I know the speakers you recommended are definitely better than the 8409's packaged speakers.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 08:04 PM
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How about a pair of def tech sm350/450 for 200/pr, a used AV receiver (around 200) and that might even leave enough for a budget sub!

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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post #5 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

How about a pair of def tech sm350/450 for 200/pr, a used AV receiver (around 200) and that might even leave enough for a budget sub!

Which model av receiver would you recommend I try to find? I'm not opposed to buying refurbed and/or used equipment.

BTW - I may be able to shell out an extra $100, though I kinda don't want to tongue.gif - I'm not sure if this is worth it but I think the S9400-THX HTiB from Onkyo is in that price range too or should I just stay away from HTiB's in general? I really have no clue with this stuff... Computers, cell phones, TV's definitely, home audio not so much tongue.gif
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

How about a pair of def tech sm350/450 for 200/pr, a used AV receiver (around 200) and that might even leave enough for a budget sub!

Or two pairs of the SM350 with a receiver, and run a phantom center (4.0). Then add a sub in six months or a year.

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post #7 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 09:57 PM
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A pair of the Boston A250 towers, will be $200
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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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork3245 View Post

Thank you for the response!
PC-Port = VGA input. I've always just used a DVI-D-to-VGA cable to connect my PC to my TV due to my current TV only having two HDMI inputs. I suppose I could switch to HDMI. Do nVidia GTX 580's carry sound over HDMI without having to do anything to the video card?
I'm a little weary of that receiver due to the limited number of connections as I'll need to hook up my cable box (HDMI), PS3 (HDMI), PC (HDMI or VGA), Wii U (HDMI or Component (I have both available for it)) and XBOX 360 (Component - it's a first gen 360, no HDMI port), however I'm aware my budget doesn't allow too much room to be picky.
I think the Onkyo S8409 comes with a Onkyo TX-NR609 receiver - Is this receiver better? I know the speakers you recommended are definitely better than the 8409's packaged speakers.

I'm not sure about the nivida cards, my lowly radeon 6850 does it no problem. The 609 is a better receiver, but all of those speaker setups are a joke. You could always replace the receiver if it doesnt work for you, getting speakers at the level of the A360's for $360 is an opportunity you should not pass up.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-28-2013, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork3245 View Post

Do nVidia GTX 580's carry sound over HDMI without having to do anything to the video card?

For every AVR I've used with HDMI in, the AVR will identify itself as a monitor and sound card to the computer. There will be different procedures depending on your OS but, sending audio and not video shouldn't be an issue. On linux you may need to run the proprietary Nvidia drivers instead of nouveau but, I haven't verified that.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 04:35 AM
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Onkyo is known for great receivers...not speakers, so that htib isn't going to measure up to some of the items mentioned in this thread.

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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post #11 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I'm not sure about the nivida cards, my lowly radeon 6850 does it no problem. The 609 is a better receiver, but all of those speaker setups are a joke. You could always replace the receiver if it doesnt work for you, getting speakers at the level of the A360's for $360 is an opportunity you should not pass up.

Okay, my GTX 580 should work just fine with HDMI then, I was just always confused as to how the video card was able to send audio through the cable.
If I were able to spend an extra $100, is there a better receiver I could get that you would recommend? The one you listed just doesn't have enough ports for all of my current needs, let alone my future unfortunately. I'd really need a minimum of 4 HDMI ins (5 would be ideal) and one or two Component in(s) (due to my first gen XBOX)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Onkyo is known for great receivers...not speakers, so that htib isn't going to measure up to some of the items mentioned in this thread.

Yes, that's where my conudrum is coming from. If I get a S8409 or a S9400THX for $500-600 I'd be getting a $600-700 receiver with 7.1 low-end speakers of which I could always replace in the future. The opposite would be to get 2-4 high-end speakers now (adding more in the future) and a low-end receiver which I could replace in the future. Both are extremely valid options, I'm just not sure which path to follow haha
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 06:59 AM
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright guys, so I've been doing some serious thinking. I'm not an audiophile, by any means and I'm not looking to shake down my house. I really don't need to get $150+ speakers (that's per speaker tongue.gif) as I'm coming off of always having used the built-in TV speakers and just want a decent surround set-up. However, I do want what's best for my money that will allow me to have surround sound... SO, what I'm now thinking is purchasing an Onkyo 609 refurb for $270 and then getting 5 speakers now and later-on add a ~$100 subwoofer

I've found these that seem to get pretty decent reviews [for their price range]:
Fluance AVHTB+ for $270 @ Amazon
Jamo S 426 HCS 3 for $180 @ Amazon
OR
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR (pair) + SP-C22 + 2x SP-FS52-LR @ Amazon for $360

The last one puts me a little over budget, but if it's honestly worth it, I'll do it. BTW - I really would like the front speakers to be floor-standing which is why I'm not looking at the Energy Take packages. Would these be better than getting a Onkyo S8409 or Onkyo S9400THX htib?
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post #14 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 09:41 PM
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I like the Jamo s426 cause it leaves money for a $200 subwoofer which is a substantial improvement over $100 subwoofers
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I like the Jamo s426 cause it leaves money for a $200 subwoofer which is a substantial improvement over $100 subwoofers

I was speaking ficticiously as I'll be buying the sub later on, I have no idea what subwoofer prices are like tongue.gif
Whichever speakers are better is what I'd like to get now and then I'll add a sub in 2-3 months.
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 10:13 PM
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The Pioneers are a very good set of speakers. I would go with them. smile.gif

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post #17 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 10:42 PM
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The Pioneers are a very good set of speakers. I would go with them. smile.gif

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post #18 of 22 Old 01-30-2013, 10:24 AM
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Audioengine A5+ and hook it up with the Audioengine D1 DAC. Total for those 580 bucks. Plus you need the usb power adapter and an optical cable.
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-30-2013, 10:25 AM
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Or get a cheap reciever and those andrew jones pioneer speakers for 200 pair.
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-30-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay guys, so I hope you all don't think I've just wasted your time, but the Onkyo S8409 is on sale today from Woot.com for $499 (amazon sent me an email as I guess they know I've been looking at it lol) and I saw it as a "sign" and went ahead and purchased it. Here's my thoughts as to why this was an acceptable route to a home audio noob like myself:
The shipping from Woot is only $5 as opposed to Acessories4less's $499 refurb which is $60+, plus I got the system brand new from Woot and not a refurb. The system comes with a Onkyo TX609 AV Receiver which goes for over $320 (shipped) as a refurb (still $600-ish new), so slowly replacing the included speakers with better ones would be simple... Basically I figured I'm getting a $320 receiver (when purchased refurbished) and then getting 7 speakers and a sub for an extra $180 here. It just seemed kinda worth it when I broke it down IMO. I've been going nuts trying to figure out what speakers to get and I know that I really wanted the TX609 receiver as it seemed to have the perfect amount of ports and a semi-friendly UI and decent upscaling. I figure that if I'm not satisfied with the speakers, I'll replace the two rear's in a month or two, then the towers, then the center, then the sub, then the sides (or until I'm happy) - Though I may change this order around a bit tongue.gif

Thanks for all your help everyone - Sorry I didn't take the advice initially given. I was honestly going to go ahead and purchase those Pioneer speakers today, though I would've been nearly $200 over my initial budget which I really didn't want to do... When I saw that email from Amazon I just thought "well, I guess that's-that".
Feel free to yell at me though biggrin.gif
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post #21 of 22 Old 01-30-2013, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Spork3245 View Post

Okay guys, so I hope you all don't think I've just wasted your time, but the Onkyo S8409 is on sale today from Woot.com for $499 (amazon sent me an email as I guess they know I've been looking at it lol) and I saw it as a "sign" and went ahead and purchased it. Here's my thoughts as to why this was an acceptable route to a home audio noob like myself:
The shipping from Woot is only $5 as opposed to Acessories4less's $499 refurb which is $60+, plus I got the system brand new from Woot and not a refurb. The system comes with a Onkyo TX609 AV Receiver which goes for over $320 (shipped) as a refurb (still $600-ish new), so slowly replacing the included speakers with better ones would be simple... Basically I figured I'm getting a $320 receiver (when purchased refurbished) and then getting 7 speakers and a sub for an extra $180 here. It just seemed kinda worth it when I broke it down IMO. I've been going nuts trying to figure out what speakers to get and I know that I really wanted the TX609 receiver as it seemed to have the perfect amount of ports and a semi-friendly UI and decent upscaling. I figure that if I'm not satisfied with the speakers, I'll replace the two rear's in a month or two, then the towers, then the center, then the sub, then the sides (or until I'm happy) - Though I may change this order around a bit tongue.gif

Thanks for all your help everyone - Sorry I didn't take the advice initially given. I was honestly going to go ahead and purchase those Pioneer speakers today, though I would've been nearly $200 over my initial budget which I really didn't want to do... When I saw that email from Amazon I just thought "well, I guess that's-that".
Feel free to yell at me though biggrin.gif

Don't worry, it's definitely not a bad setup. Plus, you have to option to upgrade later without replacing the receiver.
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post #22 of 22 Old 01-30-2013, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork3245 View Post

Okay guys, so I hope you all don't think I've just wasted your time, but the Onkyo S8409 is on sale today from Woot.com for $499 (amazon sent me an email as I guess they know I've been looking at it lol) and I saw it as a "sign" and went ahead and purchased it. Here's my thoughts as to why this was an acceptable route to a home audio noob like myself:
The shipping from Woot is only $5 as opposed to Acessories4less's $499 refurb which is $60+, plus I got the system brand new from Woot and not a refurb. The system comes with a Onkyo TX609 AV Receiver which goes for over $320 (shipped) as a refurb (still $600-ish new), so slowly replacing the included speakers with better ones would be simple... Basically I figured I'm getting a $320 receiver (when purchased refurbished) and then getting 7 speakers and a sub for an extra $180 here. It just seemed kinda worth it when I broke it down IMO. I've been going nuts trying to figure out what speakers to get and I know that I really wanted the TX609 receiver as it seemed to have the perfect amount of ports and a semi-friendly UI and decent upscaling. I figure that if I'm not satisfied with the speakers, I'll replace the two rear's in a month or two, then the towers, then the center, then the sub, then the sides (or until I'm happy) - Though I may change this order around a bit tongue.gif

Thanks for all your help everyone - Sorry I didn't take the advice initially given. I was honestly going to go ahead and purchase those Pioneer speakers today, though I would've been nearly $200 over my initial budget which I really didn't want to do... When I saw that email from Amazon I just thought "well, I guess that's-that".
Feel free to yell at me though biggrin.gif

You shouldn't feel bad about your purchase. The 609 is a nice reciever, and as you said you are a noob at this hobby. Sound is and always will be a subjective subject or topic. What I like to hear may be different from what you hear and vice versa. There a number of speakers out there, and speaker shopping is a daunting task(I spent the better part of 6-8 months reading about various speakers and visiting forums reading owners threads before settling on my Ascend's). This way you will enjoy having a surround package for the time being until it's time that you see fit to upgrade the speakers to ones you like better.

Cliff
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