$800 Budget. Help me choose my AVR and 5.1 Speakers. Please? - AVS Forum
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm finally getting to the point in my life where I can start using equipment that isn't from goodwill or garage sales and would like to buy a 5.1 setup for my living room (apartments for now). With a new HDTV, my old speakers look and sound weak. I'm currently using a Philips blu-ray home theater system that I got for less than $300 so this is going to be a huge improvement, I don't think I need the $2000+ setups I see around the internet as that'd pay for a semester of college. I've got a budget of $800 (I'd like to go lower if possible) and need an AVR and 5.1 speakers. I don't care if they're different brands, but I'd prefer towers over satellites for the fronts, and the backs need to be mountable.

I can increase my budget, as long as the speakers come separately so I can buy over time.

So far, with my research I've found a few options.

AVRs:
Yamaha RX-v573
Good choice because 7.1 and brand new.

Denon 1612 Refurbished
Nice option for saving money, but nervous about the refurb bit.

Denon 1913 Refurbished
Refurb still make me nervous, but this it a nice balance between the two above. Top choice at the moment.

Speakers
Pioneer Andrew Jones 5.0 speakers w/ bookshelf speaker wall mounts

Klipsch sub-12 synergy. Wife wants down firing sub for looks. Is there a better down firing sub for $300?

Wiring
Wire
http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Gauge-Speaker-Wire-Feet/dp/B0044YPN0A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1WZZH58BPHWW1&coliid=I13YJWPO3K41R5

Plugs
http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-109436-High-Quality-Copper-Speaker/dp/B0097JLQVC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1WZZH58BPHWW1&coliid=I11L6Z73UP7LUO

Thanks for all the help so far.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:14 PM
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Check out the Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers. Here's a review:
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/pioneer-sp-pk52fs

Then wait and get a better sub later on.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:44 PM
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+1 on the Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers - at that price point they simply cannot be beat. The msrp for the 5.0 is just under $500, but you can often find some or all of the speakers on sale at either BestBuy or Fry's.

Also, for that budget you might consider these less expensive AVRs ...
This Denon 1612 for $199 would work fine for you - http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1612/DENON-AVR-1612-5.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html.
If you really want to add AirPlay then for $220 you can get the Denon 1613 - http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1613/DENON-AVR-1613-5.1ch-Networking-Receiver-w/AirPlay-3D-ready/1.html.

Both those AVRs will handle 3D, have network connectivity and include Audyssey MultEQ room correction.

The go-to budget HT sub most often recommended in the forums is the Klipsch RW12D, which can often be purchased on sale for $300. If you don't want to grow the budget at the moment, you could always add this sub later.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandrako View Post

So, I'm finally getting to the point in my life where I can start using equipment that isn't from goodwill or garage sales and would like to buy a 5.1 setup for my living room (apartments for now). With a new HDTV, my old speakers look and sound weak. I'm currently using a Philips blu-ray home theater system that I got for less than $300 so this is going to be a huge improvement, I don't think I need the $2000+ setups I see around the internet as that'd pay for a semester of college. I've got a budget of $800 (I'd like to go lower if possible) and need an AVR and 5.1 speakers. I don't care if they're different brands, but I'd prefer towers over satellites for the fronts, and the backs need to be mountable.

So far, with my research I've found a few options.

AVRs:
Yamaha RX-v573
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V573-7-1-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JF861O/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
This will leave me room to get more speakers down the road if I get more space. Ethernet is nice too.

Sony STR-DH540
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STR-DH540-Channel-Receiver-Black/dp/B00BHC7ZT4
This one doesn't seem as good, but is cheaper which will leave a bit better budget for speakers.

Speakers
Energy 5.1 Take Classic
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-Theater-System-Black/dp/B001202C44
The reviews sound solid, but they're satellites so I know they wont pack the same sound towers can.

Then there's buying monitors and subs separately, which I have no clue about.

Wiring
Wire
http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Gauge-Speaker-Wire-Feet/dp/B0044YPN0A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1WZZH58BPHWW1&coliid=I13YJWPO3K41R5

Plugs
http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-109436-High-Quality-Copper-Speaker/dp/B0097JLQVC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1WZZH58BPHWW1&coliid=I11L6Z73UP7LUO

I know I'm asking for a lot, and this budget wouldn't be terrible if I didn't need a receiver as well, so it's below beginner audiophile budget, but it'll be enough for me until I have to upgrade my TV in 10 years. So have I picked out the best for my small budget or is there something I'm missing? I'm heading over to Listen Up later today so I can listen to a few systems myself, but I'd like to get some input from you guys, since you seem to know more than most employees do at audio stores (who are likely getting payed to boast certain brands). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

How big is your room?

I am wondering if towers are the best option?

Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions!
My living room is currently about 13'x11'. Kinda tiny, and my neighbors won't necessarily enjoy my speakers, but my wife only wants to buy this once. Meaning that when we upgrade to a bigger apartment this year, and we're saving up for a house (we'll have enough in 2-3 years) I'll still be using this system. Hopefully for the next 10 or so years, preferably longer.

My idea was to extend my budget, but also buy over time so it's not a huge cost all at once. I was thinking buy an AVR now and splice my current speakers to use it, then replace my current satellites with the Energy Take 5.0 system, then get the Klipsch sub-12 (wife wants down firing for looks), then either inherit my late uncles towers (he had a several thousand $ setup, which my grandma doesn't know how to run) or buy polk audio tsi300 towers and move the Energy satellites to the side. After all that I'd end up with a 7.1 setup costing about $1300 (less if I can get my uncles old towers) but it would be over a couple months or years.

I'll look into those cheaper AVRs and the Pioneer speakers as well. But since my couch is against the wall, should I not get the bookshelf speakers and get mountable satellites for the surrounds?
And should I worry about those being refurbished, or is Denon good about that? I don't have any Apple products, I don't believe in supporting terrible company practices, so I don't need airplay, but is there any other benefit to having ethernet on the AVR?

Just a bit more info, the devices I need to connect are:
blu ray
Xbox 360
PC
Next console, either PS4 or Xbox 720. These will have a blu ray drive so I can get rid of the blu ray for this.

It will be used for roughly 45% games, 20% TV shows, 20% music, and 15% movies.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:16 AM
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I suggest saving up more money but failing that you should consider a Monoprice.com setup. Go browse the site, they got cables and everything.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:29 AM
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IMO the Energy Take speakers are a joke. The front speakers have main drivers that are the same size as the speaker in a cheap clock radio.

For $800, you can do a lot better.

You can get a much better receiver, the Harman-Kardon 1650, for under $400, and IMO it is MUCH better than anything else at that price (much better amplifiers and power supply IMO).

I would never recommend a Sony or Yamaha receiver to anyone. IMO they are the worst ones on the market.

The Jamo S426 HCS 3 system is probably the perfect speaker system for you.

It is a 5.0 system with tower speakers, and Amazon has it at the incredibly low price of $179 right now. It has sold in the past at $300-400.

I would jump on that deal quickly.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You can get a much better receiver, the Harman-Kardon 1650, for under $400, and IMO it is MUCH better than anything else at that price (much better amplifiers and power supply IMO).

Might want to take another look at that receiver. Seems like HK has changed their design with their more recent receivers. That 1650 only weighs 9.1 lbs, which does not bode well for the quality of the power supply and output of the amp eek.gif

Moreover, unless things have changed, I've never seen good reviews of the HK room correction software, which is an important feature. Perhaps it has improved?

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

IMO the Energy Take speakers are a joke. The front speakers have main drivers that are the same size as the speaker in a cheap clock radio.

For $800, you can do a lot better.

You can get a much better receiver, the Harman-Kardon 1650, for under $400, and IMO it is MUCH better than anything else at that price (much better amplifiers and power supply IMO).

I would never recommend a Sony or Yamaha receiver to anyone. IMO they are the worst ones on the market.

The Martin-Logan MLT-2 system has better speakers all around, especially the sub. Don't worry about the bass affecting the neighbors, because you can turn down the subwoofer as much as needed,
depending on the circumstances. You should be able to get it for well under $400 also.



I agree with you about the speakers, but i am partial to the Denon as the receiver. Denon sound quality is top notch in my opinion..............they lack certain outputs on the lower end receiver.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Great input. I've updated the topic post with my preferred choices so far.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:52 AM
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You are seriously confused on the weight of the 1650.

It weighs 9.1 KILOGRAMS, WHICH IS 21 POUNDS!! (Check the PDF -owner's manual)

(shipping weight 25 pounds)

LOL

biggrin.gif



Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Might want to take another look at that receiver. Seems like HK has changed their design with their more recent receivers. That 1650 only weighs 9.1 lbs, which does not bode well for the quality of the power supply and output of the amp eek.gif

?
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You are seriously confused on the weight of the 1650.

It weighs 9.1 KILOGRAMS, WHICH IS 21 POUNDS!! (Check the PDF -owner's manual)

They say on their website that it is 9.1 lbs:



So I'm not the one that is confused. HK obviously is.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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How is the HK 1650 compared to the Denon 1912?
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:04 AM
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The Amazon website and the Harman-Kardon 1650 owner's manual both say 9.1 KG and 21 pounds, so you obviously were misled by a misprint.

I don't think ANY receiver weighs much less than 15 pounds, so any reasonably intelligent person would have checked further before believing a ridiculous number like 9.1 pounds (or repeating it).
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:06 AM
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I like the HK better, but you are not going to go wrong with either one.

They are both better IMO than the Pioneer, Yamaha, or Sony AVRs for similar prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandrako View Post

How is the HK 1650 compared to the Denon 1912?
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I like the HK better, but you are not going to go wrong with either one.

They are both better IMO than the Pioneer, Yamaha, or Sony AVRs for similar prices.
How about the Denon 1913 $320 vs Onkyo TX-NR515 $220
What's the better deal.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandrako View Post

Thanks for the suggestions!
My living room is currently about 13'x11'. Kinda tiny, and my neighbors won't necessarily enjoy my speakers, but my wife only wants to buy this once. Meaning that when we upgrade to a bigger apartment this year, and we're saving up for a house (we'll have enough in 2-3 years) I'll still be using this system. Hopefully for the next 10 or so years, preferably longer.

My idea was to extend my budget, but also buy over time so it's not a huge cost all at once. I was thinking buy an AVR now and splice my current speakers to use it, then replace my current satellites with the Energy Take 5.0 system, then get the Klipsch sub-12 (wife wants down firing for looks), then either inherit my late uncles towers (he had a several thousand $ setup, which my grandma doesn't know how to run) or buy polk audio tsi300 towers and move the Energy satellites to the side. After all that I'd end up with a 7.1 setup costing about $1300 (less if I can get my uncles old towers) but it would be over a couple months or years.

I'll look into those cheaper AVRs and the Pioneer speakers as well. But since my couch is against the wall, should I not get the bookshelf speakers and get mountable satellites for the surrounds?
And should I worry about those being refurbished, or is Denon good about that? I don't have any Apple products, I don't believe in supporting terrible company practices, so I don't need airplay, but is there any other benefit to having ethernet on the AVR?

Just a bit more info, the devices I need to connect are:
blu ray
Xbox 360
PC
Next console, either PS4 or Xbox 720. These will have a blu ray drive so I can get rid of the blu ray for this.

It will be used for roughly 45% games, 20% TV shows, 20% music, and 15% movies.

For your current space, buy some decent bookshelf speakers, then convert them into surrounds later.

Some Polks, Infinities or Pioneer speakers on sale would all be good choices.

How much of that $1300 total do you want to spend right now? Are you sticking to $800? And also would you mind getting a sub later versus sooner?
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Amazon website and the Harman-Kardon 1650 owner's manual both say 9.1 KG and 21 pounds, so you obviously were misled by a misprint.

I don't think ANY receiver weighs much less than 15 pounds, so any reasonably intelligent person would have checked further before believing a ridiculous number like 9.1 pounds (or repeating it).

Really? After the tirade you went on this past week about someone else having a history of insulting and nasty posting, you want to make personal attacks in this thread? Why not eat your own dog food and restrain yourself? rolleyes.gif

Amazon probably has some little office worker that pulls information from vendor materials. So citing their specs in a discussion is typically not very helpful. They have been known to be wrong.

But 9.2kg does convert to 20 lbs, so more likely that is the case.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I found these mounts http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Clamping-Mounting-Surrounding-MS56B/dp/B000X9O8SI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3BB581EHBM1M7&coliid=INKX4UN5FR0ZP
so I think I'll go ahead and go with the pioneer bookshelf speakers for surrounds. Does the $140 price include two speakers or just one?
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