Help for audio system with an AppleTV+Projector home set-up - AVS Forum
Speakers > Help for audio system with an AppleTV+Projector home set-up
Lucasnyc's Avatar Lucasnyc 11:52 AM 02-24-2013
Hi - I am trying to figure out what audio system I should get for about $750 and I would really appreciate some guidance from folks in the community. I have just bought an AppleTV that I plan to use with a projector in my living room and I will most likely get a separate DVD/Blue-Ray box too. I may add other components down the road, but that's it for now. To date, I have been using an old Cambridge SoundWorks MicroWorks II system with just a basic line-in from the computer, but we can't hear the dialogue very well when watching movies. It sounds muffled.

So I'd like to make an investment now in an audio system that perhaps I could expand down the road, but will for now work with my various components, get me good sound for music and enough clarity for at least understanding the dialogue in my films.

Based on all the above, I'm leaning towards getting two decent bookshelf speakers, a sub-woofer and a receiver to get started, and then possibly taking the two satellite speakers from my Cambridge SoundWorks and using those as the rears in a surround sound set-up.

Does that sound like the right prioritization to you? If so, I would love some advice regarding speakers, sub-woofer and receivers that would work well.

Thanks very much!!!
- Lucas

postrokfan's Avatar postrokfan 02:55 PM 02-24-2013
How large is the listening area? My first thought is the setup below and it is within your budget.

Cambridge S30 (book shelf monitor) front L/R-$219
Klipsch SW-12d (subwoofer)-$299 at Newegg
Denon 1613 $229 (refurb) at

Total $747

I would add the S50 center channel later when finances allow. A center channel will improve clarity of dialogue.

Some other speakers to consider are Andrew Jones Pioneer Speakers (2nd gen) and offerings from Ascend Acoustics. I think the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SEs would be a good fit for you. They're slightly more expensive at $298 (on sale) and would put you above budget with the other options above.
sdg4vfx's Avatar sdg4vfx 09:35 PM 02-24-2013
Lucasnyc's Avatar Lucasnyc 10:10 AM 03-09-2013
Postrokfan - thank so you much for the thoughtful reply. Sorry for the slow response, but I really appreciate it. Looking to do exactly what you suggested...

- Lucas
cel4145's Avatar cel4145 10:27 AM 03-09-2013
Yep. That's a good setup. Having previously owned the S30s and now the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs, I think the Ascends are a worthwhile upgrade if you can swing it. But the S30s are a very good speaker for the price.
Lucasnyc's Avatar Lucasnyc 06:35 PM 03-09-2013
Please excuse the ignorant question but what gauge speaker wire should I buy if I'm running those two bookshelf speakers about 12' away from the receiver? Thanks
postrokfan's Avatar postrokfan 07:07 PM 03-09-2013
For 12', the gauge isn't incredibly important. It's when you go beyond 50 feet. 16 gauge will be fine but really anything in the 12-16 gauge range will work just as well. Keep in mind, thicker wire reduces the overall resistance.
Robert Cook's Avatar Robert Cook 07:17 PM 03-09-2013
Originally Posted by Lucasnyc View Post

Please excuse the ignorant question but what gauge speaker wire should I buy if I'm running those two bookshelf speakers about 12' away from the receiver? Thanks

Almost any will do. Use the following table:

Look under the 4 ohm column just to be safe, because a good many "8 ohms nominal" speakers dip down to 4 ohms at times. Choose a size that works for the maximum length you expect to use it for (now or eventually), and use it everywhere. It doesn't hurt to use a larger size than needed (smaller AWG = larger wire size).

By the way, there is nothing to excuse. The only inexcusable kind of ignorance is the willful kind.
BiggAW's Avatar BiggAW 07:46 PM 03-09-2013
The Onkyo S9400THX cannot be beat for the price, and while it is an HTIB, it's using all "real" components, i.e. powered subwoofer, standard speaker wire, none of the plasticy HTIB crap you'd normally think of. Unless you're looking to spend $1500+, this is the best buy out there. I have it and I love it. It's great for TV, music, movies, etc. The only thing is, it's not a massive system that will put out way more volume than you'd ever used, you can max out the volume, and it will be plenty loud, but it may not be completely overwhelming. Just go 7.1 now- you won't regret it.
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