I need some help on my surround sound system. I posted a while ago looking at thoughts about Crystal Acoustics 7.1 THX home theater vs. AT 4400. I received a lot of feedback that pointed to other vendors entirely which I am grateful fore. I have a 2200 cubic feet room that the system will go in with one wall open to a kitchen and dining room; so total open space is greater. I'm trying to keep a budget around $3000 but can go a bit higher. I will use the system for more moving watching the music, but it will still be used for music.
So, I have been considering some of the Hsu packages, AT 4400 with a SVS or Hsu sub, and still considering the Crystal Acoustics 7.1. However, the Crystal Acoustics is barely in the running anymore due to the limited information / reviews and to be honest the center channel looks like it could possibly block part of my Pioneer plasma with the tweeter.
I've read great reviews for the AT 4400 and I'm thinking about adding a SVS SB12 NSB, SVS PB1000, SVS SB1000, Hsu VTF-3 MK 4, or the Hsu VTF-15H. However, I'm mostly considering the SVS subs here to keep cost at the right level. Any thoughts on which subs will provide the best "bang for the buck?" It looks like the SVS win in this area but I don't want to sacrifice too much quality sound for $$$.
I am considering a number of the Hsu pre-packages including the Ultra 15, Hybrid 15, Hybrid 3, and Hybrid 2. For the Hybrid 2 and 3, I could probably purchase 2 subs (one in package + 1). I know for sure I can swing the Hybrid 2 with an extra sub. i could possibly add the MBM-12 MK 2 Mid bass to all the packages at least the Hybrid 15, 3, 2, but likely could swing to add to the ultra 15. My understanding is the MBM-12 MK 2 is better with music; if this is the case, I'm not so worried about it as I'm more focused on movies, but if it improved the system significantly, I will consider it as an add on or future purchase.
My concern with the Hsu packages is I read a some comments that the audio specifically from the center was not as crisp and precise. I definitely appreciate the cost savings that the Hsu packages presents.
Based on these two choices, which would be the best option for sound quality? I will admit from a purely aesthetic appearance, I prefer the AT 4400 system. But I am also considering cost too as I have some other purchases such upgrading my BD player. Would there be a noticeable difference in sound quality between the two systems? Which would you purchase and why? If your choice is the 4400 which of the SVS subs would you chose and would most listeners notice a difference between the SB12 NSB and the PB1000 (if so where would you notice the difference)? With the Hsu packages, the only difference appears to be the sub. Would most listeners notice a difference between the hybrid 2 sub and the ultra 15 or hybrid 15? If there would be a difference, what would you hear it in?
I know this is a lot of questions. I'm truly a novice at sound. This is my first upgrade from a 12 year old Dolby Digital Pioneer HTIB. I expect it will be many years before I revisit the task after making a purchase. Again, thanks for all of your help and thoughts!