Yet another sub $500 kit thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-06-2013, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've seen a bunch of these, but the search on the site isn't exactly friendly and google searching has been giving me fairly old results. So, I'm sorry for creating another thread, but in every case I've seen people giving great answers. Let met give you my budget and requirements.

What I have:
I was just given as a gift a 46in Sony lcd tv (have been using a trinitron crt up until then) as well as 500 bucks to spend on entertainment. Basically, my parents I think got tired of babysitting while having such an old tv to watch, lol. Anyway, I have an medium small livingroom, 17x14 with an open window to a kitchen (if that makes sense).

What I want to do:
This set up will be used for watching our new television and streaming media from our computers and online sources. Probably 50/50. I know I'm in the speaker sub-thread but I'm looking for recommendations for everything I need to get some good sound, including wire and receiver/amp.

What I'm thinking:
I personally would prefer quality speakers over surround sound right now...which has me thinking about floorstanding speakers. But, I've also read from some posters on here that there aren't quality floorstand speakers in this range. Let me know if my goals are impossible. I would like the ability to upgrade at some point, but even if I do, I don't see 7.1 being anywhere in the near future. The tv has built-in streaming capabilities, so I don't think I need a network ready receiver. Is that correct?
With that said, can someone recommend some speakers that can get me under 500 bucks and not be too disappointed in the sound quality? If I have to do without a sub to get better sound right now, then so be it.

Thanks so much in advance. I'm really thankful I found this site.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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by the way, some of the things I've looked are Sony ssf-7000 floorstanding speakers with sub and the Onkyo TX-NR414 receiver. They get great reviews on amazon, but I value your opinions more than theirs. Are there better speakers for the money? I don't know the best places to shop for this stuff. Thanks again!
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-06-2013, 11:35 PM
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This Pioneer series is one of the best values right now:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/pioneer-sp-pk52fs

Get what you can in combination with an entry level receiver and add other components later.

You can learn more about them in the owners thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1278774/pioneers-speaker-genius-hits-low-price-point

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post #4 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 12:49 AM
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You might just spend it all on some active speakers and skip the receiver altogether. Connect them directly to your TV if it has some audio output jacks. There are some very good powered speakers you can get for 500 shipped. They all have some beefy 8" woofers so they ought to be able to do a good job with bass. Here is the ones I would consider:

Behringer Truth B2031A
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/B2031A/

Behringer Truth B3031A
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/B3031A/

KRK Rokit 8
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Rokit8G2/

M-Audio BX8 D2
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BX8D2/

Mackie MR8 mk2
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MR8mk2/
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Get what you can in combination with an entry level receiver and add other components later.
Thanks! That's why I came on this site. I would have never stumbled across those on my own. I may just have to increase the budget a little and get that kit, seems awesome. If I buy piece by piece, it'll cost a lot more in the long run, and I'm against that. Also, there is the issue of if/when I decide to buy more speakers, will they be available? Thanks again for this suggestion!
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You might just spend it all on some active speakers and skip the receiver altogether.
Thanks for your suggestion as well. That would get me pumping within my budget, I agree. But the ability to upgrade the system is important and whenever I do end up getting a receiver, I'm not sure if I'll want double the amount of things plugged into the wall.

So leaning heavily toward buying the whole Pioneer set. Would the receiver I mentioned earlier, the, Onkyo TX-NR414, be sufficient? Is there a cheaper model that once recommends? I'm not opposed to buying used, either.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 08:09 AM
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Yamaha RX-V373 can be had around $200 or less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882115373

or a Denon AVR 1612 refurb for $199 straight from manufacturer
http://usa.denon.com/us/product/pages/refurbishedproducts.aspx?catid=refurbishedprocat(denonna)&catalog=denonna_us#avreceiversref(denonna)

I'd rather have the Denon because of better room calibration software.

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post #7 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thanks. Are the 75w per channel that the Denon has enough for the Pioneer SPs? The towers are 130w peak, the center rated at 90w and the surrounds 80w. I think I'm about to do this. My wife will only be moderately mad I think. We talked about 500, but If I spend 800, that's only like 60% more wink.gif
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

Thanks! That's why I came on this site. I would have never stumbled across those on my own. I may just have to increase the budget a little and get that kit, seems awesome. If I buy piece by piece, it'll cost a lot more in the long run, and I'm against that. Also, there is the issue of if/when I decide to buy more speakers, will they be available? Thanks again for this suggestion!

That Pioneer series has not been out that long. If you are buying the rest of the speakers over the next year, it's a reasonable guess that you shouldn't have any problems getting the other pieces.

Just keep in mind what the review says about the subwoofer. Audioholics recommends a much more expensive sub that would be a great match for those speakers. But even the BIC F12, a $200 entry level HT budget sub, would be better for most people than the matching Pioneer sub.
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Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

Awesome! Thanks. Are the 75w per channel that the Denon has enough for the Pioneer SPs? The towers are 130w peak, the center rated at 90w and the surrounds 80w. I think I'm about to do this. My wife will only be moderately mad I think. We talked about 500, but If I spend 800, that's only like 60% more wink.gif

The Denon can drive the Pioneers fine. You don't want to run it so loud that the receiver amp is clipping (distorting) for it can damage the tweeters. But that's true of any amp.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

Awesome! Thanks. Are the 75w per channel that the Denon has enough for the Pioneer SPs? The towers are 130w peak, the center rated at 90w and the surrounds 80w. I think I'm about to do this. My wife will only be moderately mad I think. We talked about 500, but If I spend 800, that's only like 60% more wink.gif

The power will be plenty for those Pioneers unless you plan to play at ear splitting levels.

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reassurance. I just read somewhere that under driving your speakers can be bad for them. I guess that's only when the amp clips the signal resulting in a drastic change in movement for the driver? I guess I'll work on convincing my wife that we need that setup. The denon with those pioneers. Thanks everyone for your input. I'm going to end up with a better system because of it.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 10:36 AM
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IF the AVR 1612 is not available on the Denon site you can also get it here.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1612/DENON-AVR-1612-5.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html

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post #12 of 21 Old 03-07-2013, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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HAha you read my mind. It said they have one available and denon but it wouldn't let me add it to cart. My guess is someone was in the process of purchasing the last one. Now I can get it. Still working on the wife side of things, but not sure if AVSforums can help me there.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-08-2013, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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So I went ahead and bought the full set of pioneers and the Denon that were recommended. I don't think I'll notice that the sub is sub-par (sort of intended pun) for a while, since I'm upgrading from no system at all. Should be here in a week. I was thinking of getting speaker wire off amazon, any reason I shouldn't get this: RCA AH16100SN speaker wire and these Sewell Deadbolt Banana Plugs?
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-08-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

So I went ahead and bought the full set of pioneers and the Denon that were recommended. I don't think I'll notice that the sub is sub-par (sort of intended pun) for a while, since I'm upgrading from no system at all. Should be here in a week. I was thinking of getting speaker wire off amazon, any reason I shouldn't get this: RCA AH16100SN speaker wire and these Sewell Deadbolt Banana Plugs?

The RCA is copper clad aluminum. Pure copper is a little better. Monoprice carries pure copper for a good price. Or you can buy lamp cord at your local Home Depot or Lowes.

I've used a different model of the Sewell, and they were very good. I would guess these are excellent for the price as well.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-15-2013, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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So everything came in as of yesterday afternoon. I hooked it up in 3.1 for now because we are moving in a few months and I don't feel like running wire twice especially if there's a chance I can't reuse it. I think sound quality is pretty good, but I think the volume level is rather weak in it's current configuration. Does anyone have advice for getting more volume from the towers? If I put the denon at around -15dB the volume is at what I feel like should should be adequate for a movie but I'd like a little more volume for just listening to music. I'm afraid of pushing the receiver too hard and clipping. Does anyone have any ideas, tips for fixing this? Do I just need a bigger amp? Can I wire in the l/r surrounds into the front l/r? Sounds like a bad idea, but I'm just thinking out loud. Thanks again for the recommendations so far!
EDIT: I should add that I don't listen to my audio all that loud. I'm usually made fun of for wearing ear plugs when I ride my motorcycle and at concerts.
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-16-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Anybody?
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-16-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

I think sound quality is pretty good, but I think the volume level is rather weak in it's current configuration. Does anyone have advice for getting more volume from the towers? If I put the denon at around -15dB the volume is at what I feel like should should be adequate for a movie

It depends on the source material and numerous other factors, but -15 dB on a Denon AVR for movies seems quite nominal to me.
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but I'd like a little more volume for just listening to music. I'm afraid of pushing the receiver too hard and clipping. Does anyone have any ideas, tips for fixing this?

Just turn up the volume (carefully), and as long as you don't hear distortion, you should be fine.
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Do I just need a bigger amp?

Even if you bought one, you'd still need to turn it up to see how loud it could get. Try this with your Denon first.
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Can I wire in the l/r surrounds into the front l/r? Sounds like a bad idea, but I'm just thinking out loud.

Yes, that would be a bad idea.
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Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

EDIT: I should add that I don't listen to my audio all that loud. I'm usually made fun of for wearing ear plugs when I ride my motorcycle and at concerts.

You should be able to get these speakers loud enough with your AVR, then. By the way, wearing ear plugs is a great idea under those conditions--by all means continue to do so, no matter what other people think.
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-16-2013, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. That's reassuring. I felt like if 0dB is equal to 100% volume, then I was listening to my system at around 90% capacity and felt that couldn't be good for it. On every other audio device I own (car stereo, computer sound system, mp3 players, built in tv speakers, etc..) if I were to put it at 90% volume I would be blowing my ears out and most likely damaging some speakers. But if it's normal to run at that high of a volume, I'll take your word since I have limited experience with AV receivers.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-16-2013, 05:41 PM
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I've run my SR5007 at -10 before it gets to be 'loud' in my ears. If a system is low distortion and clear you might be deceived to think it's not playing as loud as an inferior system. I've been scolded a few times having the system at reference and not realizing just how loud that is because of how good it sounds.
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-16-2013, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

Thanks. That's reassuring. I felt like if 0dB is equal to 100% volume, then I was listening to my system at around 90% capacity and felt that couldn't be good for it.

You said that you are reassured, but I want to make sure (now I need reassurance wink.gif). Different devices can define what the volume control means very differently indeed. In this case, 0 dB means that you're feeding the audio signal to the built-in amps at full loudness (actually a lot more processing takes place than this, but basically speaking that's what it means, at least notionally), where a certain gain will be applied to power the speakers (which can vary according to the individual channel level), while -15 dB on the volume control means that the signal is only about 3% of the original, which is a far cry from the 90% that it may appear to be on a linear scale.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that this is exactly, literally how Denon or any other AVR implements its volume control (depends on the engineers who designed them), but this does give a basic numerical idea of the scale involved.
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Originally Posted by jjtjp View Post

On every other audio device I own (car stereo, computer sound system, mp3 players, built in tv speakers, etc..) if I were to put it at 90% volume I would be blowing my ears out and most likely damaging some speakers.

Yes, their volume controls apparently work very differently in certain respects, at least in my experience as well as yours. Personally, I watch most movies on BD at -16 dB (Denon AVR), more or less for some, and since I don't hear the speakers distorting due to clipping or any other reason, I know that this is not too high for my equipment.

By the way, the regular DD 5.1 soundtracks of most movies on DVD have the default dialogue normalization setting that takes them down by 4 dB, and sure enough I watch most of those at -12 dB, give or take--exactly as expected. This is also perfectly fine even though it represents 2.5 times the energy because whether an amp clips or not depends on the actual signal it is playing (the actual audio source), which in this case is quieter on the average.
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But if it's normal to run at that high of a volume, I'll take your word since I have limited experience with AV receivers.

As described above, your AVR is not running at 90% or anywhere near that in your case, even though the volume control intuitively appears to be turned that high.
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I've run my SR5007 at -10 before it gets to be 'loud' in my ears. If a system is low distortion and clear you might be deceived to think it's not playing as loud as an inferior system.

Distortion, particularly the kind that results from massive clipping, is a lot more painful to listen to than clean sound, so what you say is true in that sense.

By the way, this is why I, unlike most here, do not endorse the common wisdom that an underpowered amp is necessarily more dangerous to speakers than one with more than enough power. While it's true that turning the volume too high on underpowered amps can damage your speakers, the painful clipping distortion is an obvious warning that makes most people turn down the volume before something really bad happens. On the other hand, powerful amps that are turned too loud may not result in such obvious distortion, at least not as early, and could potentially pump too much clean power into speakers, eventually burning them up or blowing them out unless you're careful. I've seen and heard about both happening. Just listen to your speakers--they'll tell you whether they and/or the amp are being pushed too hard (well, not in English or Portuguese, but you know what I mean wink.gif).
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-21-2013, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to bump my old thread, but figured all the info is already contained in this one. My Denon receiver seems to have some sort of static/popping sound that comes randomly out of the center channel. It did it the first time when I was calibrating on the front right channel but the crackling came from the center. Ever sense then it's only and always been the center speaker and at random times. While it's doing it, I've changed the sound mode to stereo (so that no sound should come through the center speaker) and it doesn't change it. Should I try and deal with accessories for less, where I think they'll charge me for the initial shipping which was free, or call denon and give them a chance? I want to live with it because it happens so seldom and I'd hate to lose my AVR for a few weeks, but I'd also hate for it to worsen after the warranty period. Thoughts?

By the way, thanks so much to all of you, especially Robert for your help. smile.gif
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