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post #1 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm sure you've all heard this before but I'm looking for some knowledgeable advice.

My goal for the setup is to be compatible with my computer, TV, and for general music listening.

Prolly 50% Music, 25% Movie, 25% TV/Sports/Gaming

I am a college student and have a budget of $600-$1000 including receiver

I would keep this in a dorm room and at home in the summer. I want the best sound I can get and was looking at the Take Classic 5.1 with a decent receiver like Denon or a Yamaha.

Then I started reading and thinking I might be able to get better quality sound out of two larger speakers like floor standing or book shelf speakers with a center channel and sub or just 2 speakers and sub. Then eventually adding two more speakers for 5.1.

I want to start setting up a sound system that I will eventually add onto but that will keep my satisfied for the time being. Can I get a nice setup in my price range?

Right now I'm using an Altec Lansing IMT810 which sounds good for what it is, a boom box basically. As long what I'm getting sounds better than that for music I'll be happy. If it would be versatile for movie and sports watching even better. I want something thats gonna last me for at least a few years.

So basically what I'm looking for is a recommendation on book shelf speakers and a sub that will go good with a well-liked receiver. If I could get floor-standing speakers in that price I would think about it but most likely something ill add down the road.

I truly appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks
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post #2 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 06:46 AM
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I would suggest a pair of bookshelves and a sub. It will be a little more compact and easier to transport while still offering great sound.

Take a look at the Infinity Primus P163, Cambridge S30, Pioneer BS22, Energy CB-20, Ascend CBM-170SE, and Polk RTiA3.

Pair them with a receiver like 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

Then add a sub like the Outlaw M8 or HSU STF-1.
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post #3 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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What is your favorite out of those speakers?

I've heard good things about the energy, pioneer, and ascend sets.

Any glaring differences between the three that you could describe?

I probably should go listen to them in person but I don't know any local places.
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post #4 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 07:45 AM
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You can hear the Energy and Pioneer speakers at Best Buy. The Polk's are comparable to Klipsch in terms of being "bright", meaning the high frequencies are more pronounced. I would probably go with the Ascend CBM-170SE, you can audition them risk free for 30 days, might be worthwhile. The Pioneer's sound good for what they are, but I think the Energy and Ascend are in the next tier up. I would also lean towards the STF-1. If space isn't an issue there are some options out there if you step up to a 12" sub.
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post #5 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, are there any other subs that you recommend? Or are those definitely worth the price.

I really like the price of the pioneer set and I know people love them but I am also interested in the Ascend model. Would the pioneers match up pretty well with those?
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:04 AM
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Are you leaning towards the full 5.1 or just a 3.1/2.1 system now? If you are going for the full 5.1 then i think the Hsu STF-1 prob makes the most sense for your budget, but if you were going for a 2.1/3.1 I would step up to the Hsy VTF-1 MK2. All their subs are great though and can't go wrong with any one. I second a vote for the ascends, but you could also look at one of the Hsu bundled packages, although those are too pricey for your budget if you were going for a full 5.1 initially.
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post #7 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Eventually I want a 5.1 but right now Most likely 2.1
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post #8 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Also I was looking at the Denon 1713 for $289 is ti worth the extra $70?
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post #9 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:12 AM
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The Klipsch RW-12D is probably the best sub until you start spending $600. You can get it right now on Newegg for $299. I figured though being in a dorm, it might be easier to fit the STF-1, and you probably wouldn't want to bother your neighbors with a big 12" sub anyway tongue.gif

The Pioneers are probably the best budget choice out there, if you need a full 5.1 I would say get them, but if you can piece it together over time, start with a better speaker like the Ascends.

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post #10 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyv1993 View Post

Also I was looking at the Denon 1713 for $289 is ti worth the extra $70?

It has Audyssey MultEQ XT, which is an upgraded room calibration software, that is really the only difference. If the $70 is going to keep you from getting something else, then don't, consider it more of a luxury.

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post #11 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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How does the denon 1513 compare to the 1613 just out of curiousity
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post #12 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:32 AM
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I wouldn't go lower than the 1613 because then you lose room correction software. Audyssey does wonders to adjust and balance your system based on the room.
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post #13 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome sounds like I will be going with



- Denon 1613 $215
- Ascend CBM-170SE
- HSU STF-1

Can't wait to get a start on a nice setup
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post #14 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Any recommendations for wiring, connecting to TV, and computer/iphone?

Thanks!
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post #15 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyv1993 View Post

Any recommendations for wiring, connecting to TV, and computer/iphone?

Thanks!

www.monoprice.com

Buy 50' of 14/16awg speaker wire, some banana plugs if you want
Digital Optical Cable (PC > AVR)
HDMI Cable (AVR > TV)
Digital Coaxial Cable (Sub > AVR)

You can just plug your iphone into the front of the AVR using your USB charging cable, and the receiver has Airplay so if you connect it to the internet you can just stream instead.
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post #16 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 09:25 AM
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When it is time to upgrade, how long from today? How much do you think your budget will be? How big will your new space be? These are sure unknowns. So here are my suggestions:

Get a good sub, one you won't have to upgrade when you move to a bigger system. You'll find good ones at sub$600, look into a popular line so if you want/need to, you can add a second sub of the same model later one. In other words, a one time investment.

For speakers, I can only speak for the Pioneer BS22. For less than $100, you get a good pair of speakers. They are well balanced, affordable and easily upgradable a 5.1 setup if you get a couple hundreds to spare in the near future. They are widely and highly praised, so you won't feel bad you spend so little or got something cheap. Having them toed in a little and in a calibrated system, I get good "phantom center" when I have tried it (although i do the center speaker, but i wanted to try it nonetheless). Imaging is good for the most part, sound stage is a little narrow, but not bad. All in all, It is a good sounding starter set of bookshelves, allegedly unmatched at this price point.

For the receiver, just get a mid powered 5.1 system, with the features you need. With Dolby set to release a Dolby Atmos home theater solution in the next 2 or 3 years, and probably DTS following suit, you may need to upgrade your receiver later.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #17 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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what sub would your recomend
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post #18 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:11 AM
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I don't think putting a $600 sub in a dorm is the best idea. You will likely bother someone with it, and I wouldn't want to put a nice sub in a dorm room for fear of it getting damaged. Something smaller can be tucked away easier and out of harms way.
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post #19 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree I think I'm gonna stick with the HSU STF-1

I'm considering the SB-22s though. Everything I read people love them.
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post #20 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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BS22s***
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post #21 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:38 AM
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They offer a lot of value, you can go grab a pair from Best Buy and try them out, if you don't like them or want to try something else, just bring them back.
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post #22 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Im really torn between the ascend set and the pioneer set...
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post #23 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 12:08 PM
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I generally would agree with your sub/size relatively to his dorm use, however, buying a $300 sub to be upgraded in a few years (unless he has further use of this sub and/or a lot of disposable income) it doesn't make much sense to me financially speaking. If the "big and one time purchase" sub is not adequate due to room limitation, then buy a $100 sub. There some adequate ones out there that will not hamper his listening experience. After all, the argument of the WOW factor is that it is not suited for his dorm, then buying a cheaper one will make more sense, IMO.

I live in an apartment, so I have to purposely tame my sub, which is a $90 Yamaha. He can also do this with his $600 sub. The listening experience will be hampered nonetheless due to room/neighbors limitations, so you either make a one time purchase of $600 (and tone it down) or spend much less, $100, and he may or may not have to tone it down. Even if he has a need of a second sub later on, it will probably be in a non dedicated room in which a smaller sub will be best suited, and where a $100 sub be just as good as the $300 one.

Again, just my perspective.

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post #24 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 12:21 PM
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Yeah that's a valid point, but I feel spending $600 on a sub limits him more in his speaker choices, which will make the biggest difference in sound. OP if you wanted, you could just get a nice pair of bookshelves and a receiver, and then add a sub at a later time when appropriate. hdnewbie21 makes a good point about not buying twice.
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post #25 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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What bookshelves then should I bump up or are the ascends good enough in the bass department for now?

how tot he pioneer match up to them? or not close
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post #26 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 12:26 PM
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If you spend $600 on a pair of bookshelves, they will more than likely be a big upgrade over the Pioneers. You could get a pair of B&W 685s for ~$650, and you can listen at a Best Buy Magnolia. The Ascend CMT-340SE are the next step up at ~$600 w/ stands, and would be a great choice. See what local stores carry that you can listen to, with more higher end options, you should make sure you like the sound.

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post #27 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Same receiver with say the ascend cmt 340 SE?
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post #28 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 01:43 PM
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Yeah that would work well, if you can swing the 1713, it would be more valuable in the long run with the better version of Audyssey

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post #29 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

Yeah that's a valid point, but I feel spending $600 on a sub limits him more in his speaker choices, which will make the biggest difference in sound. OP if you wanted, you could just get a nice pair of bookshelves and a receiver, and then add a sub at a later time when appropriate. hdnewbie21 makes a good point about not buying twice.

Generally speaking, I would say build your home theater system around the center/mains. Because if you have to restrict your budget, more dollars should go to your mains. But I think that applies for someone who is trying to build something permanent from the get go, not his case.

At his point in life, non of his choices will be permanent. So I say go as low as you can go without much compromising in sound quality. The BS-22 is the answer in my opinion, and that's why the craziness around them. Personal preference will always triumph, of course, but the concerted opinion is the these set of speakers will not leave you desiring something more until you have a dedicated room. Of course, there is always something better at a higher price, but that is true at every price level. Also, with the way I see the speaker market evolving at this time, I'll bet in a couple of years, you will be able to get something better to build your HT system around than the ascend in terms of value.

I don't see this necessarily true with the sub woofer market. I find it more stable. Investing in a good sub now could potentially mean him not having to buy another in 10-20 years, and when he makes his big speakers investment, he already have a good sub. Hence, at this point in his life, it doesn't make too much sense to buy the ascend, imo.

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post #30 of 30 Old 06-28-2013, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyv1993 View Post

Awesome sounds like I will be going with



- Denon 1613 $215
- Ascend CBM-170SE
- HSU STF-1

Can't wait to get a start on a nice setup

I have the CBM-170 SEs. That's a nice setup and would work very well in a dorm room.

If you want a little bit bigger sub for your money, you might consult the budget subwoofer discussion thread. And, you might consider going with the Dayton SUB 1200 to fill in the bass on the low end to save some money and then putting your money toward some good closed headphones if you don't have any already. A closed headphone set in the $150 to $200 range can easily equal the sound quality of the CBM-170 SEs. The reason I suggest this is that when roommates are studying, you won't be able to listen to your stereo and you can't always jam your speakers in the dorms.

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