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post #1 of 49 Old 02-02-2013, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Moved this thread to "Speakers"

Hello everyone first time post. - I posted this in a different thread but I think maybe it belongs here more so.

So I just bought a new Samsung 7150 LED TV (Same thing as the 7100).
I have an HTPC hence the want to use LED TV over Plasma (I sometime leave the desktop up).

Anyway so I have a decent sound card the brand new Sound Blast Z series (the good one not the cruddy Recon series).
http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-Z-PCIe-Sound/M/B009ISU33E.htm


Anyway so the TV as all built in audio is terrible and on this particular unit its hard to even understand speech. I am a bit of a headphone audiophile I have all sorts of different heads phones and audio equipment but I have never done a home theater set up.

I use a HD homerun prime for TV and use netflix/amazon for movies and such.

Generally I use the optical out on my sound card.

So I need some advice.

Do I need to buy an AV receiver with a HTPC? - I don't have to many
Should I just use an amp? Do I even need an amp even and should just spend money on a better receiver with more amperage?

Speakers - I am on a budget here and want to spend no more than a $1000 on speakers. However over time I could always add I guess...
AV/Amp - I would like to stay under $500.

A few particulars about the room. It is a good size room, far longer than it is wide. I am seated about 10-12 feet from the TV. It has high ceilings 13 feet high or so.

You can add me on Skype if you would like to chat! Psylacus

Thanks!
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post #2 of 49 Old 02-02-2013, 04:42 PM
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I would get a receiver if I were you. It has a lot of features that you will want to take advantage of to get the best sound. I would also use sound output from HDMI if you have it available. Optical SPDIF will work too, but it can not handle DTS-HS MA or Dolby TrueHD, so you can't take full advantage of blu ray sound. Optical can still sound fine though.

Since the room is large and you are not going to be sitting close to the speakers, I recommend getting some capable speakers and a sub with decent output capability. If you really want to do all speakers under one grand, here is a setup that can get you there:
5 x Infinity Primus p163 for front left/right and center = $252
2 x Infinity Primus p153 for surrounds = $150
Hsu VTF2 mk4 = $596 shipped.
Yamaha RX-V671 receiver = $500

That's a very good system for almost exactly $1500 shipped.

If you want something better and are willing to add over time, here is another path:
start with two Infinity Primus p363 for $310 and a Hsu VTF2 mk4 for $596. That is a killer setup in itself and is just a bit over $900. Over time, add a Infinity Primus c351 center, two or four Primus p163 bookshelf speakers for surrounds, depending on if you want 5.1 or 7.1, and then add another Hsu VTF2 for a dual drive so you will be less reliant on equalization for great bass. Use the same Yamaha receiver. This will be a much more powerful system, and will get you closer to that THX-you-are-at-the-movies feeling. This is what I would do. Your friends would be envious, and, in the end, that's what matter most.
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post #3 of 49 Old 02-02-2013, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your input. is the yamaha rx-v671 the best for that price range of if I went a little higher would it matter (or lower for that matter)? I assume with that receiver has enough juice that I I don't need an amplifier?

What about this model http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V673-7-2-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JF85WE/ref=dp_ob_title_ce
it is only $50 bucks more.

Lastly knowing me I would rather just take the time to upgrade as I go rather than settle for the complete thing up front. Do you think the infinty Primus p363 are better than the
Pioneer SP-FS52-LR. I have heard lots of good things about those. Anything close to that price range thats a little better.

Basically I am trying to see if I have to stretch whats the best and if I settle where I am at.
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post #4 of 49 Old 02-02-2013, 05:09 PM
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You won't need an amplifier with these speakers. The 673 has a few features that the 671 doesn't, if you think you will use those features I would say go for the 673. Take a look at what is available on each unit. As for being the best in its price range, well its very good. It basically a very close competition between yamaha, Pioneer, Denon, Onkyo, and Harman/Kardon at this point. I would go with whichever one has the most features you want for the price. Onkyos have a lot of bang for the buck, but they can get scary hot sometimes.

Some people like the Pioneer speakers better than the Primus speakers, but I think the Infinity speakers might be better for a large room, I think they might have a greater dynamic range. The Pioneers towers would be good, but the Pioneer center speaker looks pretty sad. The Infinity center would kick its ass for sure. I think I would go for the Infinities for its more capable center speaker if for no other reason.

If you want a good time at the movies, don't go cheap on the sub, I wouldn't get anything less than the VTF2, if not a more powerful sub from Power Sound Audio, Hsu, Rythmik, or Outlaw Audio.
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post #5 of 49 Old 02-02-2013, 05:24 PM
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Right now you can get the soon to be discontinued def tech sm350/450s for 200/pr. Really good speaker fir the price, although the clr 2002 center is harder to find. However, right now you can get 3 pr of sm350s for under 500 at new egg, so 5.1 with an exta speaker. Then, get the sub recommended above and a receiver which has the features you need...and you will have a great system!

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 #6 of 49 Old 02-03-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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For the 50$ it maybe worth it. Anyway for budgeting I had mention 1000 dollars for the set, but it appears that stretching that a little bit might be more worth while.
So if I take the build it up approach and lets say just bought front speakers and a sub any suggestions?

Elihawk, or anyone else what does sm stand for like the brand?
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post #7 of 49 Old 02-10-2013, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am in between buying a yamaha and a onkyo receiver. Looking around the 500 dollar range. I don't want to have to use a amp but if I will get better sound quality from a more expensive receiver. Anyone have any thoughts?

Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JF85WE

Open to any other suggestions for receivers.


Thanks!
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post #8 of 49 Old 02-10-2013, 04:04 PM
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I prefer Yamaha because of the reliability issues that some Onkyo models have had. They also can run awfully hot. Onkyo doesn't have a great reputation for customer service either. On the other hand, the room correction EQ that Onkyo has, Audyssey, is supposedly better than Yamaha's room correction, YPAO. I haven't compared them personally. You might also give Denon receivers a look, they also have Audyssey.
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post #9 of 49 Old 02-14-2013, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Ya room correction isn't as big a deal as reliability for me considering how long you generally keep one of these.
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post #10 of 49 Old 02-15-2013, 04:59 AM
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I would recommend you take a look at www.accessories4less.com and see what Denon has to offer. Denon uses Audyssey EQ which is generally preferred over Yamaha's YPAO EQ. I would take a look at the Denon 2312, it is factory refurbished with a 1 year warranty, and you can get a lot more receiver for your money this way.

I also support the idea of going 2.1 for now. This lets you get a nice pair of towers and a sub that will last you. In addition to HSU, take a look at Rythmik and SVS.

Living Room
Samsung PN60F5300 | Denon DBP-1611 | Roku 3
Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12

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post #11 of 49 Old 02-15-2013, 07:49 AM
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My setup is similar to shadyJ's initial suggestion, and I can confirm that the RX-V671 and VTF-2 are best in-class products. Below is a list of hardware that I run in my system, the prices that I paid including shipping, and where it was purchased. (everything was purchased in the last 8 months)

Custom built HTPC exporting audio via S/PDIF to DAC (~$700 - Amazon/Newegg)
DAC: Schiit Bifrost ($350 - Amazon)
AVR: Yamaha RX-V671 ($399 - Amazon)
Mains: Polk Monitor 70 ($320/pair - Newegg)
Center: Polk CS2 ($80 - Newegg)
Surrounds: Polk Monitor 60 ($220/pair - Newegg)
Rears: Polk Monitor 40 ($120/pair - Newegg)
Presence: Polk Monitor 30 ($80/pair - Newegg)
Subwoofer: Hsu Research VTF-2 MK4 ($589 - FD from Hsu)

shadyJ's suggestion of the Infinity Primus speaker line is a solid one, particularly considering Polk is phasing out the Monitor 30/40/50/60/70 series for the new 35/45/55/65/75 which is more expensive and has the exact same drivers. Another route I would seriously consider is one of Hsu's all inclusive packages like the Hybrid 2 5.1:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html

If you really wanted to step it up and think long term, I would without hesitation recommend Ascend Acoustics' CMT-340SE speakers for mains/center, and their CBM-170 SE for surrounds. (having recently heard this setup, I wish I had gone this route myself)
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/spkrlist.html

As far as reliability between Yamaha and Onkyo AVR's, I'm really torn. My first AVR was an Onkyo that I used fairly hard for 3 years before it died. My second AVR was another Onkyo that I rode even harder and it's still running strong 7 years later. I've now had the Yamaha 671 for ~8 months, and it's running extremely well even though I occasionally listen at reference levels. On the other hand, my brother got a new Yamaha RX-V373 back in October, and he's already had the original, and then the replacement up and die on him. He's now waiting on his second warranty replacement. So at this point it's tough to say which brand is more reliable in my opinion. For what it's worth, Yamaha's warranty service is apparently easy to deal with, but fairly slow.

Best of luck with whatever you choose!
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post #12 of 49 Old 03-31-2013, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so my project has been put off a little bit. All that means is a bit more money wink.gif

So I have decided I rather sink my money into better speakers and receiver and build over time rather than all at once.
So what I plan to have hooked up to it is:
A media computer
Xbox
PS3 (4)

So for a reciever. Is there any reason to go to the Yamaha AVENTAGE series?

I have been looking at their A720/820 and 1020.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087KGMUC

Also their other counter part V series. 673

SO budget just for receiver and 2 large front speaks (will add the sub later) is around $1200-$1500
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post #13 of 49 Old 03-31-2013, 06:46 PM
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For just two speakers, I would get something with some bass to hold you over till you get a sub. That means tower speakers mostly. Some to look at that will leave you money for a receiver:
EMP tek E55Ti
Focal Chorus 814v
Arx A5 floorstanders

I think these Philharmonitors would be great too, but getting a matching center for those wouldn't be very straightforward or inexpensive.

For a receiver, just get the best Yamaha, Harman Kardon, Denon, Pioneer, or Onkyo that you can, based on the features you like the best.
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post #14 of 49 Old 03-31-2013, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

For just two speakers, I would get something with some bass to hold you over till you get a sub. That means tower speakers mostly. Some to look at that will leave you money for a receiver:
EMP tek E55Ti
Focal Chorus 814v
Arx A5 floorstanders

In addition to those tower speakers, I would recommend looking into the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE mini towers. They have dual 6.5" drivers and are a great choice for HT usage. They also have an exact matching center channel. Having the exact same speaker for your center channel is optimal for the best front soundstage because of the exact timbre match.

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post #15 of 49 Old 03-31-2013, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions, out of those 3 any one of those particularly stand out. Shame I don't know of any place near by (i am sure I can google it in orange county) to give them a good listen.

Also anyone have any input on the AV receivers I put up earlier?

Ty!
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post #16 of 49 Old 03-31-2013, 11:09 PM
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Emp , very highly rated. Myfronts and centre are not timbre matched but are from the same company . Neither me nor the dozen people who have heard them can tell. Emp has a no risk policy so yuo can send them back for no cost.
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post #17 of 49 Old 03-31-2013, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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It appears they are out of stock?
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post #18 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

For just two speakers, I would get something with some bass to hold you over till you get a sub. That means tower speakers mostly. Some to look at that will leave you money for a receiver:
EMP tek E55Ti
Focal Chorus 814v
Arx A5 floorstanders

I think these Philharmonitors would be great too, but getting a matching center for those wouldn't be very straightforward or inexpensive.

For a receiver, just get the best Yamaha, Harman Kardon, Denon, Pioneer, or Onkyo that you can, based on the features you like the best.

Two of the three suggested here were recently compared head-to-head (Emp and Arx).
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458372/arx-a5-vs-htd-level-three-vs-emp-e55ti-tower-shootout/60#post_23070163

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post #19 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psylacus View Post

Thanks for the suggestions, out of those 3 any one of those particularly stand out. Shame I don't know of any place near by (i am sure I can google it in orange county) to give them a good listen.

Also anyone have any input on the AV receivers I put up earlier?

Ty!

If you are in Orange County, you should contact Ascend Acoustics and see if you can setup a demo session of their CMT-340 SEs. I believe that they are located in Gardena, CA.

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post #20 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 11:16 AM
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what ever you end up with for Recv & Speakers,your gonna want a nice Video Card with Hdmi for your Pc, that makes the Difference and send that Hdmi to your Recv. A good Video Card will come with built in 7 or 9 channel Hd Master Audio,DTS Hd & Dolby True..And will also come with a Dvd/Blu ray codec Palyer from like Cyberlink.. You will get way better Sound and Performance from the Video Card. And Make sure you got enough Ram too at least 8 gigs
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post #21 of 49 Old 04-01-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes my computer for my media center is total overkill. Rocking a 3570k, 16 gigs of Ram and a EVGA GTX 660ti.

I will still have to purchase cyberlink but its like 60 bucks so not to bad.
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post #22 of 49 Old 04-07-2013, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so now I am a new owner of the: Pioneer SC-1522-K 9.2. Killer deal at Costco and don't really care about 4k upconversion.

Anyway so now for speakers. Once again suggestion time. So first things first I want to get two floor speakers. Then I will get the center and then a sub.

What is the best speakers I can get for the two fronts for this amp for around $1000 give or take a bit (realistically I could go up to 1500).

Thanks, this forum has been great smile.gif!
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post #23 of 49 Old 04-08-2013, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Update to this, so I have been looking around for speakers. Looking at Ultra/Axiom. Preferably not the brick and mortar ones because from what I gather the internet based companies have better bang for your buck and I can always test them in house.

Any input?
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post #24 of 49 Old 04-09-2013, 07:45 AM
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I'd still recommend that you go listen to the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SEs. They are mini towers that would work well for an HT setup.

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post #25 of 49 Old 04-09-2013, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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What about their ascend towers. They look nice... though pricey. Something worth saving for?
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post #26 of 49 Old 04-09-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psylacus View Post

What about their ascend towers. They look nice... though pricey. Something worth saving for?

People seem to love them. But since you are near Ascend's main office, your best bet would be to listen to them yourself smile.gif

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post #27 of 49 Old 04-09-2013, 01:35 PM
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Im glad I stumbled upon this thread and I hope the OP doesnt mind me participating as well since I have a similar setup.

I have just purchased a new Sharp 80in TV and am in the process of setting up my man cave/media room from scratch and want to do a 5.1 Surround Sound Setup with the option to upgrade to a 7.1 Setup in the future.

I also have an HTPC that is a bit of overkill, I5 processor with 3.5ghz FSB, Intel HD4000 graphics card, and Intel sound card with 7.1 HD surround sounds and THX True Studio ect. I watch TV using a HDHomerun Prime card as well as a bit of Netflix and of course Blu-Ray Movies and such on my HTPC. There is of course also a bit of gaming on my Xbox 360. All are pretty similar to the OP from what I can tell.

Essentially, I am looking to purchase a good receiver or amplifier (as necessary) as well as 5 speakers and a sub. All will be connected to my HTPC via HDMI, however I also have optical out on my HTPC. I would really prefer a wireless setup, however most people seem to feel there is a significant difference in sound quality so I have mostly resigned myself to a wired setup.

It looks like the Infinity Primus and Ascend Acoustics are recommend for speakers and the Yamaha RX receiver, however I wanted to touch base and see what other equipment would be recommend/needed, especially as I want to be able to add 2 speakers in the future. I dont mind spending a couple grand on my initial 5.1 Setup, however I also dont want to throw money away if it is not necessary. (I figure this will also give the OP more options if he chooses to up his budget again as well)

Any other suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

-Sayajin
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post #28 of 49 Old 04-09-2013, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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For receivers check out this if you have a Costco nearby: Pioneer SC-1522-K 9.2. Killer deal if you can find them near you. I did and its one of the best bang for you bucks out there.

As far as speakers I am looking at a little more expensive than you for loud speakers but any input is good smile.gif

Welcome to the thread smile.gif
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post #29 of 49 Old 04-09-2013, 05:06 PM
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Sorry, didint see the part where you already increased the budget.

I do have a Costco by me, however I didn't see this available with an online search of the site, but I did find the Pioneer SC-1522-K 9.2 online. Is it really worth the 2.5x more money then it costs than the Yamaha RX-V673? I dont mind spending the extra cash, but I want it to make sense.

Also, if your HTPC and receiver both have HDMI inputs, do you need a DAC?

-Sayajin
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post #30 of 49 Old 04-10-2013, 08:44 PM
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Okay,

So I am ready to go ahead and buy my system but wanted to run the specs by you guys one more time. Please let me know if I should upgrade or am missing something.

Sharp 80in LCD TV
Custom built HTPC exporting audio via HDMI
Logitech Harmony 1100 Remote Control
AVR: Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver
Mains: Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE (4)
Center: Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE Center (1)
Subwoofer: Hsu Research VTF-2 MK4 or Hsu Research VTF-3 MK4

Also, would you guys suggest 16 gauge or 14 gauge speaker wire?

What do you guys think would be best for the Sub? I know a poster above said to go with AT LEAST a VTF-2 MK4, so should I just go with the VTF-3 MK4? I know the latter is side firing as opposed to front firing and I dont know if it makes a difference. Thanks a lot and please let me know if I am missing anything! As I mentioned previously, I plan to start out with a 5.1 setup and then expand to a 7.2 setup over time. Thanks.

-Sayajin
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