First apartment, first setup, 1150$, starting slow. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 03-17-2013, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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This is going to sound like another one of those sub-(put-your-budget-here) posts and truth be told, it is. I have been reading up on the sticky threads and the beginners guides to try and make sense of what sort of a setup I'd like for my new apartment where I am starting completely from scratch but am in over my head with most of the terms and jargon used so there's a lot of tab-switching going on.

In order to make things easier, I decided to do a rough sketch of my living room which is 19'4" square to help understand the acoustics better(the entertainment center is against the bedroom wall on the top and the kitchen is in the bottom-left corner) -


Since there are a lot of sundry expenses involved with moving into my first apartment(the first morning I discovered to my horror that I'd have to buy shower curtains!) I'd like to start slow with a basic 2.1 initial setup for mostly music purposes with a bit of movies and gaming thrown in every now and then(an 80-10-10 split). My initial budget is a 1000$ with a 150$ gift certificate from Newegg which will likely be used for this project. My last roommate got me addicted to the warm sounds of vinyl and I want to throw in a record player into the mix too.

From the looks of it, I think my initial wants are - a receiver, a 2/2.1 setup, and a record player with a starting budget of 1000+150. The TV and gaming console can come later on.

Thoughts\Comments\Suggestions?
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post #2 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 10:25 AM
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Polk Audio New Monitor 75T Four-Way Ported Floorstanding Loudspeaker $500.00 PR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

Pioneer VSX-1122-K 7.2-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117411 $349.00


PRO-JECT - DEBUT III MATTE BLACK TURNTABLE
includes cartridge $299.00
http://www.amazon.com/PRO-JECT-DEBUT-MATTE-BLACK-TURNTABLE/dp/B000CDHQK2/ref=sr_1_26?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363799780&sr=1-26&keywords=turntable

$1148.00

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post #3 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 10:36 AM
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I say get a nice pair of bookshelf speakers for $500. Those Polks may not present much of a "warm" sound.

Denon AVR 1713 for the receiver. It has Audyssey, which I like. $350.

And the turntable Tube posted looks good.

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post #4 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post

Polk Audio New Monitor 75T Four-Way Ported Floorstanding Loudspeaker $500.00 PR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

Pioneer VSX-1122-K 7.2-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117411 $349.00


PRO-JECT - DEBUT III MATTE BLACK TURNTABLE
includes cartridge $299.00
http://www.amazon.com/PRO-JECT-DEBUT-MATTE-BLACK-TURNTABLE/dp/B000CDHQK2/ref=sr_1_26?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363799780&sr=1-26&keywords=turntable

$1148.00

I like that turntable! The only ones I have considered so far are Audio-Technica(s) so this comes as a welcome option. I am not sold on the bookshelf speakers, though. I'd much rather prefer floor speakers in the front and then maybe add bookshelf speakers to the rear in the future.This also helps prevents vibrations on the table where the record player is going to be sitting.

Also, 1150$ is not an absolute. I wouldn't mind forking out an extra 100 or more for equipment that's worth it.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 02:39 PM
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fwiw, heres another option to look at
pair of boston acoustics a360's $400 accessories 4less
denon avr1613 $229 accessories4less
klipsch rw-12d sub $300 newegg
pro- ject debut III $299 music direct and you will also need phono amp amp for turntable art dj pre II $49 at parts express
total $1280

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #6 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutewit View Post

I am not sold on the bookshelf speakers, though. I'd much rather prefer floor speakers in the front and then maybe add bookshelf speakers to the rear in the future.This also helps prevents vibrations on the table where the record player is going to be sitting.

Bookshelf speakers need not go "on the bookshelf". Put them on some stands where the floorstanders were going to go. You mentioned a 2.1 setup, so a set of bookshelf speakers will likely get you a better speaker.

Something like these or similar
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

A nice little sub like a NHT 8 or 10" or the SVS SB1000. Add a pair of less expensive stands and you have a full range system instead of some compromised tower setup. AVR of your choice. It doesn't really make a difference which one at this price point. Just look for the best deal.

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post #7 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Bookshelf speakers need not go "on the bookshelf". Put them on some stands where the floorstanders were going to go. You mentioned a 2.1 setup, so a set of bookshelf speakers will likely get you a better speaker.

Something like these or similar
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

A nice little sub like a NHT 8 or 10" or the SVS SB1000. Add a pair of less expensive stands and you have a full range system instead of some compromised tower setup. AVR of your choice. It doesn't really make a difference which one at this price point. Just look for the best deal.

Yeah, if i was him, I would likely go with bookshelves too. More floorstanding speakers seem to have more comprises in his price range. If he wants to play strictly 2.0 for music, then floorstanders might be the better option. But he's moving to an apartment, floorstanders are usually more likely to bother neighbors because of bass extention. Also, may move often and bookshelves adapt more easily to different rooms. Yeah, maybe I'm assuming too much, but just some of my thoughts.

The kef q300 and ascend cmt-340se has gotten some decent reviews, I'm considering these for my next setup when I get some money. However, everybody's tastes are different, so you'll need to listen to be sure. Also, I would get a center speaker too if you care about gaming/movies. I never liked using a phantom center, but some do. I would get the same identical speaker for the front three. Only issue with the kef q300 is they only sell in pairs, but since it is a coaxial driver, you can put sideways without major negative effects. AVR, get the one with features you like, I wouldn't spend too much, maybe $350 maximum.
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post #8 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 08:23 PM
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

The kef q300 and ascend cmt-340se has gotten some decent reviews, I'm considering these for my next setup when I get some money. However, everybody's tastes are different, so you'll need to listen to be sure. Also, I would get a center speaker too if you care about gaming/movies. I never liked using a phantom center, but some do. I would get the same identical speaker for the front three. Only issue with the kef q300 is they only sell in pairs, but since it is a coaxial driver, you can put sideways without major negative effects. AVR, get the one with features you like, I wouldn't spend too much, maybe $350 maximum.

I'd recommend the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE to start and put the rest of the budget toward the rest of your equipment to start. You can always upgrade your fronts to the 340s later on and move the 170s to surround duty.

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post #10 of 37 Old 03-21-2013, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions on the HB-1 MK2's. All reviews(or at least the ones I found on avsforum and Google) seem to indicate that this is an awesome pair. Also sold on the Pro-Ject turntable since that's the only one *everyone* seems to be recommending.

I still need to pick a receiver and maybe a sub. Does it make sense to save up some more and get a better sub in the future? I might extend this to a 3.1 setup sometime later this year but I have no plans for a 5.1 or beyond for this current apartment.
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post #11 of 37 Old 03-21-2013, 09:52 PM
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If you think your neighbors would be ok with it, I'd say shoot for a first sub in the area of $500+. You will not regret it smile.gif
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post #12 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 07:40 AM
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I have an apartment too, and I would suggest going with a nice pair of bookshelf speakers on stands vs. floorstanders. If you are going to be using a sub, it would make more sense to go this route. Less stress on the AVR as well your two front channels, seeing as how the sub would cover the lower frequencies. Well that and whenever you decide to move they are easier to pack and move than a big pair of floorstanders. I added a couple of pics of my setup(the front part) in my profile if you would like to get an idea.

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post #13 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by darkpoet25 View Post

I added a couple of pics of my setup(the front part) in my profile if you would like to get an idea.

I presume you mean this - http://cdn.avsforum.com/8/81/81062e22_IMG_2322.jpeg ?

The apartment building is an old one(think creaky wooden floors with sound travelling easily between units) so I am re-thinking the sub idea.
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post #14 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutewit View Post

I presume you mean this - http://cdn.avsforum.com/8/81/81062e22_IMG_2322.jpeg ?

The apartment building is an old one(think creaky wooden floors with sound travelling easily between units) so I am re-thinking the sub idea.

In that case a sub could very well introduce some problems with the neighbors. It's a tough call in that situation, but hopefully you will find a way to get a good sounding setup without being hit with a noise complaint. Good luck in your search.

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post #15 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 01:09 PM
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Yeah. Probably better to hold off on the sub. And for that matter, you can get bookshelves that sound better for your money than floorstanders. So you loose a little of the low end extension, but then you gain SQ. That would seem better.

Also, do you have a good set of headphones? If not, putting around $200 towards a set would be a great idea for when you want to listen loud, even late at night. Some Beyers, Sennheisers, AKGs, Ultrasones, or Grados could be a very good idea. If interested, talk to the people at head-fi.org and they'll help you pick out a pair that suits your needs that is the best bang for the buck.

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post #16 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 02:06 PM
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Another option that gets good press for decent sound for 2.1 is the Harmon Kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver.
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3490-Receiver/dp/B00198F89A

or the less expensive 3390 http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3390-Receiver/dp/B00198BOAM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363986409&sr=1-1&keywords=hk3470

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post #17 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

...you will also need phono amp amp for turntable art dj pre II $49 at parts express
...


They do have a version with the phono pre-amp built in: http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=debutcarbonphonousb&cat=turntables&lang=en

This version also has a USB out.

David
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post #18 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post

Another option that gets good press for decent sound for 2.1 is the Harmon Kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver.
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3490-Receiver/dp/B00198F89A

or the less expensive 3390 http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3390-Receiver/dp/B00198BOAM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363986409&sr=1-1&keywords=hk3470

I use the HK 3390 with my CBM-170s. The advantage of the 3490 is not the extra power, but the built-in DAC and digital sound processing. But if you don't need that, then the 3390 is a good choice.

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post #19 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 03:03 PM
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They do have a version with the phono pre-amp built in: http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=debutcarbonphonousb&cat=turntables&lang=en

This version also has a USB out.

That's a good point I don't think the Pioneers or some of the others have phono inputs not sure about the Harmon Kardons the art DJ is supposed to be very good .

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post #20 of 37 Old 03-22-2013, 03:33 PM
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That's a good point I don't think the Pioneers or some of the others have phono inputs not sure about the Harmon Kardons the art DJ is supposed to be very good .

Yes. The HKs have phono inputs and ground connectors as well.

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post #21 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, do you have a good set of headphones? If not, putting around $200 towards a set would be a great idea for when you want to listen loud, even late at night. Some Beyers, Sennheisers, AKGs, Ultrasones, or Grados could be a very good idea. If interested, talk to the people at head-fi.org and they'll help you pick out a pair that suits your needs that is the best bang for the buck.

I have a pair of Grado SR-60i(s) which are my go to headphones for the moment with no plans to upgrade anytime soon.
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post #22 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post

Another option that gets good press for decent sound for 2.1 is the Harmon Kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver.
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3490-Receiver/dp/B00198F89A

or the less expensive 3390 http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3390-Receiver/dp/B00198BOAM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363986409&sr=1-1&keywords=hk3470

Thanks for the suggestion on the HKs. The lack of HDMI connectors means that this probably wouldn't scale well when adding a TV and XBOX to the mix, right?
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post #23 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion on the HKs. The lack of HDMI connectors means that this probably wouldn't scale well when adding a TV and XBOX to the mix, right?
I was really trying to keep it simple and go 2.1 at the outset but, with a TV, Xbox etc, HDMI has a strong pull...
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post #24 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mutewit View Post

Thanks for the suggestion on the HKs. The lack of HDMI connectors means that this probably wouldn't scale well when adding a TV and XBOX to the mix, right?

Yeah. If you want to hook up multiple devices that have digital output, it would make more sense to go with an AVR. It would be more convenient to have a HDMI as then you merely switch the receiver to choose what device to watch and listen to. With the HK, you would have to switch the video input on the TV and the audio input on the receiver. More importantly, the HK only has one optical and one coxial input, whereas an AVR will have those types of digital inputs and the HDMI for converting the audio.

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post #25 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 01:24 PM
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Good point about the HK not having HDMI. I missed that consideration an AVR can be a convenient HDMI switch for shure .

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The Soviet people feared the KGB was watching them through their TV's ........or listening to them through their radios, so they kept them turned off often when they wanted privacy .Now the NSA/ DHS /CIA etc. are watching and listening to us!
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post #26 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutewit View Post

Thanks for the suggestion on the HKs. The lack of HDMI connectors means that this probably wouldn't scale well when adding a TV and XBOX to the mix, right?

And it doesnt have bass management or room correction. I had the 3490 and I really did like how simple it was but if you're planning on adding a sub or more then 2 speakers for HT use (3.1 or 5/7.1) I would highly recommend an AVR

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post #27 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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So, any suggestions on AVRs? The current setup I am thinking of includes a pair of HB1-MK2s and the Pro-Ject Debut III record player. I am ditching the idea of a sub because that will probably not be received well in my current building smile.gif
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post #28 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 04:17 PM
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How much of your budget is now left for the receiver . You will really enjoy the project TT , I have a Music Hall with the project arm and it sounds great. I have a denon receiver for my living room HT and in the bedroom I use a Yamaha Aventage for 2 channel listening with my TT and also for 5.1. If all the ipod stuff isn't important to you I would look for a used Aventage from Yamaha which has a decent phono stage built in. If you really get into Vinyl you can later add a good quality phono preamp,i use a project tube box se II.
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post #29 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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If all the ipod stuff isn't important to you I would look for a used Aventage from Yamaha which has a decent phono stage built in.
I don't have an iPod so all the "ipod stuff" is most likely unimportant to me. The final setup will probably have a gaming console or two/a TV and a TT with whatever audio I throw at it. I'd say I have a budget of 350-400$ left over for the receiver(can be higher if it's something from Newegg since I have a gift certificate there).

My priority here is to buy something that will scale with the rest of the setup. The HK's suggested above looked like a good option but they'd be useless with the HDMI equipment which is next on the list.
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post #30 of 37 Old 03-23-2013, 04:27 PM
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since you have the newegg gift certificate I would keep an eye on them for something on sale. Buy as much as you can possibly afford,buyers regret is horrible.
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