$2,000 budget... No idea on what I should do. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all! Would like to state that this is my first post, and though that may be, I have been a fan of AVS for a while now, lurking and trying to find out more info on my video needs.

Also, pardon my ignorance, as I consider my knowledge on audio as good as that "Young Guy at Bestbuy".

But I'm looking for some suggestions on a possible speaker and receiver\amp setup. It shall be used for music (over toslink from my computer), gaming, and movies, so 7.1 for surround and 2.1 for music I presume.

I really like the way JBLs sound; my Dad loves them and that's all he purchases (currently owns a set of Northridge ND310's).

So, given that, I was looking at:
  • Two JBL Studio 1 Series Studio 190
  • Two sets of JBL Studio 1 Series Studio 130
  • JBL Studio 1 Series Studio 120C
  • JBL Studio 1 Series SUB150P
  • YAMAHA RX-A1020

Again, pardon my ignorance, but I'm sure I can do better (and less expensive). They don't have to be JBLs either, it's just what I picked. I would love some suggestions. If the whole thing needs to be built up again using complete different equipment then so be it.

Thank you for your input! biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 06:59 PM
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I haven't heard JBL's recent offerings (I'm old, last I lusted after were L100s and L65s). Welcome to the forums and start reading and learning. There's a lot of choices. Personally I'd steer you towards Ascend Acoustics. You can't get 7.1 from a toslink connection, though; you'd need HDMI or a 7 ch analog input and hopefully your computer can handle that (the HDMI that is) too.

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post #3 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:04 PM
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First, your subwoofer does not need to be from the same manufacturer, so get the best sub you can. With your budget, I recommend the Klipsch RW-12d on sale at Newegg for $299.

Next, electronics (the receiver) give you the least bang for your buck in terms of audio SQ. A $400-$500 receiver with more put toward the speakers would give you a better sounding system.

Since I own a pair, I'm partial to the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE and CBM-170 SE speakers. They are an Internet direct speaker company that gives you good price/performance value. Other Internet speaker vendors to consider are Arx and EMP Tek.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #4 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

I haven't heard JBL's recent offerings (I'm old, last I lusted after were L100s and L65s). Welcome to the forums and start reading and learning. There's a lot of choices. Personally I'd steer you towards Ascend Acoustics. You can't get 7.1 from a toslink connection, though; you'd need HDMI or a 7 ch analog input and hopefully your computer can handle that (the HDMI that is) too.

You beat me to the Ascend recommendation. I was too slow in posting smile.gif

If your computer is a desktop, your graphics card might have HDMI out. That would be a great way to connect your system to your receiver. Otherwise, maybe you need a graphics card upgrade for gaming biggrin.gif

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #5 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. I have an HDMI port, but unsure that if my sound card would be source for audio or my video card if I was to use HDMI. From my computer I would be listening to music, and would go 2.1 for that. As for everything else, I would be using HDMI.
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post #6 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:09 PM
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If you have HDMI out, it will work just as well as optical for sending music to the receiver. The one connection is all you need smile.gif

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #7 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

First, your subwoofer does not need to be from the same manufacturer, so get the best sub you can. With your budget, I recommend the Klipsch RW-12d on sale at Newegg for $299.

Next, electronics (the receiver) give you the least bang for your buck in terms of audio SQ. A $400-$500 receiver with more put toward the speakers would give you a better sounding system.

Since I own a pair, I'm partial to the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE and CBM-170 SE speakers. They are an Internet direct speaker company that gives you good price/performance value. Other Internet speaker vendors to consider are Arx and EMP Tek.
Are those AAs what you use with the RC LCR?

No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!
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post #8 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:15 PM
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Are those AAs what you use with the RC LCR?

Nope. Using CBM-170 SEs with computer desktop setup. Listening to them right now smile.gif

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #9 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thanks, I'll look into Ascend(two recommendations is good I guess). I have a MSI GE70 with a GTX660m. It's a very good laptop for what I paid for it (IT is my forte), and the sound is amazing coming from it. 24bit 192000Hz biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:18 PM
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OK. A laptop. You definitely just use the HDMI out for sound.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #11 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys!

The only thing about using HDMI from my laptop for audio is when a device is plugged into my HDMI port, the audio is switched from playing from my Creative\Reltek to Intel's generic "Display Audio" . It sounds alright playing through my tv's speakers, but I haven't heard it over any audio equipment.
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post #12 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:40 PM
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When you send digital to the receiver, whether it's over optical or HDMI, your receiver will do the processing to analog. Most likely, you would notice no difference.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #13 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah, I never though of that. Thanks for clearing that up! HDMI would be easier, too, I guess.

Any recommendations on a center? Should I look at Ascend again?
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post #14 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 07:52 PM
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Your center should be (a) the exact same speaker as the right/left or (b) the speaker designed to match by the manufacturer. An exact timbre match is important for the front sound stage. It makes the panning of sound from right to left smooth. And mismtached centers are also one way people end up with trouble hearing dialogue.

So with the Ascends, the CMT-340 SE center is a good choice to match either with the CMB-170 SE or the CMT-340 SE main.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #15 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, didn't know that. Cool. Thanks! Now for a receiver. Is there some rule of thumb I should know about when looking for one? Should I also look at biamps?
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post #16 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:05 PM
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Biggest thing with an avr is having features, apps and connectivity you want and need, as well as your budget (and to some extent the amp power, but that's more dependent on speakers and spl levels and even then most modern receivers are in the same general range in any case). Unless you're going to do a true active bi-amp don't worry about bi-amping or bi-wiring (mostly marketing).

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post #17 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Gotcha, so just a receiver. Would a Denon AVR-E400 suffice?
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post #18 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:19 PM
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Sure. But since that's one of the first of the new line of receivers coming out, probably have to pay full retail. If you look at last year's models, you might get a better deal. Denon receivers typically don't change much each year except for new features. If you don't need the features, save yourself some money smile.gif

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #19 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, you guys are great! Thanks for all the help so far. Any other good receiver brands you could recommend? (sorry, I know this is the speakers subgroup)
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post #20 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:44 PM
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Awesome, you guys are great! Thanks for all the help so far. Any other good receiver brands you could recommend? (sorry, I know this is the speakers subgroup)

Lots of reliable brands, but where you are can make a difference as to what's a good deal. I'd look at accessories4less.com for a refurb with warranty as well as regular internet and B&M deals.

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post #21 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Noted. I'll check it out, thanks!
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post #22 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:55 PM
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I like Denon because of Audyssey MultEQ. Automatic EQ system that will help to smooth the in room response of the speakers and sub. Most other room correction software does not EQ the sub, too. Onkyo and Marantz also have Audyssey, but the cheaper Onkyo models have Audyssey 2EQ which does not EQ the sub. Often the sub response needs help as much or more than the speakers do.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #23 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 08:57 PM
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Noted. I'll check it out, thanks!

My main brands for consideration, in no particular order, Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer. For "higher end" there's others but there's a diminishing return thing going on, sometimes the others are more about prestige (think Cadillac over Chevrolet even tho the basic equipment involved is the same, just prettier trim so to speak).

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post #24 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I like Denon because of Audyssey MultEQ. Automatic EQ system that will help to smooth the in room response of the speakers and sub. Most other room correction software does not EQ the sub, too. Onkyo and Marantz also have Audyssey, but the cheaper Onkyo models have Audyssey 2EQ which does not EQ the sub. Often the sub response needs help as much or more than the speakers do.

Audyssey MultEQ, from what I have read, seems pretty cool. I've heard some crappy Samsung HTiB room correction, it really didn't seem like it did anything. Then again, it was in an open apartment.
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My main brands for consideration, in no particular order, Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer. For "higher end" there's others but there's a diminishing return thing going on, sometimes the others are more about prestige (think Cadillac over Chevrolet even tho the basic equipment involved is the same, just prettier trim so to speak).

I'm liking what I am seeing/reading about Denon. I've seen a few things on Marantz, but I really only hear people rave on and on about the usual Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo.
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post #26 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm liking what I am seeing/reading about Denon. I've seen a few things on Marantz, but I really only hear people rave on and on about the usual Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo.

Mind you, these people aren't audio experts. Mainly people who buy solely on brand name.
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post #27 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aflyingdutch View Post

I'm liking what I am seeing/reading about Denon. I've seen a few things on Marantz, but I really only hear people rave on and on about the usual Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo.

Mind you, these people aren't audio experts. Mainly people who buy solely on brand name.

Then again (all of them) they're the major survivors of the brand wars for reasonably priced gear smile.gif

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post #28 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Then again (all of them) they're the major survivors of the brand wars for reasonably priced gear smile.gif

Haha, my dad has an old Pioneer from the 70's powering those Northridges.
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post #29 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by aflyingdutch View Post

I'm liking what I am seeing/reading about Denon. I've seen a few things on Marantz, but I really only hear people rave on and on about the usual Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo.

In case this helps, here's a breakdown on AVS of all the different Denon models that describes the differences: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1409431/the-official-denon-avr-xx13-model-owners-thread-faq#post_21995235

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #30 of 54 Old 03-09-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
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Then again (all of them) they're the major survivors of the brand wars for reasonably priced gear smile.gif

Haha, my dad has an old Pioneer from the 70's powering those Northridges.

There's little in common between Pioneer from those days to now on the other hand...

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