New HT for around $3000 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-18-2013, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to build a 5.1 channel HT in a few months and am wanting to spend around $3000. It will be 50/50 between music and movies and I like to listen to some music really loud - while not sacrificing quality of sound. I was previously using a pair of Tannoy 501A studio monitors with XLR inputs from my PC that I thought were incredible. Was also using a SVS PC12-NSD for my sub. I recently sent my mother the studio monitors and sent SVS the sub back for an upgrade.

Here's what I was thinking for some possibilities:
- around $1000 for a good A/V receiver (used to own an Onkyo and a Harmon Kardon a while back and at the time liked the sound of the HK better, but like I said, it has been a long time since I had an A/V receiver.) I figure $1000 will get me a nice HK, Denon, or Onkyo that puts out about 125W.
- for speakers I have been looking around on the forum and I hear Focals being recommended a lot that I think are in my price-range. I also heard mixed reviews about Energy. Curious about these by Arx too. http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=arx-a3rx-c-floorstanding-loudspeaker&products_id=67&osCsid=bc3a81c6ae617954539651f36ba444ed ..and these but are 6 ohm... http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=arx-a5-floorstanding-loudspeaker&products_id=227&osCsid=bc3a81c6ae617954539651f36ba444ed I'll match the center channel appropriately but am open to suggestions for surrounds.
- as far as the sub goes, it's going to be SVS. Love that company and the service is top notch...plus, I have a $700 credit with them too. Am looking at either the PC12+ at around $500 after my credit is used, but leaning for the PC12-Ultra which will cost $1100 after my credit is used. Really love to feel dubstep and the old PC12-NSD did a good job, but i reached it's limits pretty easy.

Alternative approaches: Should I just get a good sound card instead of a A/V receiver and turn my PC into a HTPC...it'll be a lot easier playing my music list off my PC, Pandora, movies on my HD ect. I'd have to get a good amp and pre-amp if I did this I imagine...not very knowledgeable on HTPC's yet but will be looking in to it.

I don't know the size of the room all this will be going in but my GF and I will be moving in together so I assume a decent sized living room for the HT.

Another question: when I went from a balanced to an unbalanced signal on my studio monitors it was a HUGE change in quality. I'm a bit nervous loosing that clarity by using a A/V receivers unbalanced connection to the speakers. Is this an issue or does that only affect studio monitors as much?

I know I have a lot to learn still and am reading, some suggestions would be greatly appreciated though. TY!
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-18-2013, 05:39 PM
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How loud is loud? You'd better describe your room a bit for better help.

Also, depending on the speakers you choose, and what you'll be demanding of your speakers, you may want to consider an AVR w/ pre-outs at ~$500-600 range (as long as the features satisfy you) and use the rest + maybe a little more for a power amp. At least for the front stage.

Is the $700 SVS credit part of the $3k you're willing to spend?
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-18-2013, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jephdood View Post

How loud is loud? You'd better describe your room a bit for better help.

Also, depending on the speakers you choose, and what you'll be demanding of your speakers, you may want to consider an AVR w/ pre-outs at ~$500-600 range (as long as the features satisfy you) and use the rest + maybe a little more for a power amp. At least for the front stage.

Is the $700 SVS credit part of the $3k you're willing to spend?

My GF and I will be moving in to a house together but nothing huge. I imagine the living room to be around 20 x 15 with 9' ceilings...but it is hard to tell this early on.

I am not counting the credit with SVS in to my budget. That is a bonus.

Okay, so a decent AVR for the center, rears, and LFE to the sub, and then get say a 2 channel amp to run to the mains? I haven't heard of this type of set-up before and didn't know it was possible but sounds interesting, thanks!
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Okay, so a decent AVR for the center, rears, and LFE to the sub, and then get say a 2 channel amp to run to the mains? I haven't heard of this type of set-up before and didn't know it was possible but sounds interesting, thanks!

That's a pretty common way to run more power to your L and R channels. Another option would be a 3 channel amp like the Emotiva XPA-3 and power the L C R channels with an amp. The key here is to make sure you buy an AVR that has pre outs. 

 

Since you will be buying new speakers and an AVR and a new subwoofer you will have to seriously consider where you want to focus your budget. I would say put the majority of your budget into your speakers and that SVS subwoofer. I think getting a power amp on top of everything will just steal money away from your speakers and sub, so I wouldn't do it. You can always upgrade your AVR in a year or two for much cheaper than you can go out and upgrade your speakers. Also the speakers and sub have the largest impact on the sound quality of your HT. So I suggest throw your money into speakers and subs and just buy a mid range AVR for now.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-18-2013, 07:35 PM
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Yeah, I was thinking a three-channel amp at the least. And, whether or not he needs one depends on the speakers he chooses and how much he's expecting out of them.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-18-2013, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post

That's a pretty common way to run more power to your L and R channels. Another option would be a 3 channel amp like the Emotiva XPA-3 and power the L C R channels with an amp. The key here is to make sure you buy an AVR that has pre outs. 

Since you will be buying new speakers and an AVR and a new subwoofer you will have to seriously consider where you want to focus your budget. I would say put the majority of your budget into your speakers and that SVS subwoofer. I think getting a power amp on top of everything will just steal money away from your speakers and sub, so I wouldn't do it. You can always upgrade your AVR in a year or two for much cheaper than you can go out and upgrade your speakers. Also the speakers and sub have the largest impact on the sound quality of your HT. So I suggest throw your money into speakers and subs and just buy a mid range AVR for now.

Okay, that sounds like a good option. I'm guessing the reasoning to have a 3 channel amp is so that the center channel is on par with the L/R fronts then for watching movies? Just using a decent AVR will be enough to power the rear surrounds easily enough I imagine too, since they don't really demand much power.

I looked at the Emotiva XPA-3 and it looks like it is perfect for the job. At $700 I would like to find a decent AVR with pre-outs no more than $500 if possible. With the PC12-Ultra sub costing me $1100, that leaves me around $1000 to spend on speakers. I say about because I don't have a set 'cap' on my budget [but I do know the more I spend on an HT, the more my GF will expect me to drop on an engagement ring lol.] Is there a good set of 5 speakers around this price range that will match the previously mentioned equipment? Or should I wait on the Emotiva, and sink that money in some better speakers (around $1700 now,) and get the 3-channel amp later?

Any suggestions on the AVR and speakers would be great. Thanks.

Btw, just found this Denon for $400 on Amazon...any reason not to use it? 5x175W http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-E300-Channel-Networking-Receiver/dp/B00B7X2OV2/ref=sr_1_2?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1384837004&sr=1-2
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 05:01 AM
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I would go with a Marantz SR-5007 from www.accessories4less.com. They are an authorized dealer and this is a refurbished unit with a warranty, many people on AVS use this website. It has pre-outs and Audyssey MultEQ XT to configure and calibrate your speakers and sub(s). You can pair this with an Emotiva XPA-3 and have plenty of juice for your front sound stage. That receiver will have more than enough power to handle your surrounds.

For speakers, I think EMP would be a good choice. They are having their Black Friday sale right now and you could get a fantastic deal on them right now. There is a pretty good following for them here, and you can find a lot of good reviews and comparisons to other speakers.

EMP E55Ti - $580
EMP E56Ci - $315
EMP E5Bi - $190

With the receiver, amp, and speakers, you have $1400 to put towards an SVS sub (including your credit).

I would probably go with a pair of SVS PB12-NSD subs, dual subs offer a lot of good benefits. You get a more even room response, higher output, and your subs don't have to work as hard. It sounds like you will be in a medium/large room, so you will benefit a lot from a pair of subs.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 06:51 AM
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^^ Transmanicon makes a lot of good points here. I have the Marantz SR-5006 and I like it a lot. The 5007 has the Audyssey MultiEQ XT which is very good and to do better (Audyssey XT32) you would have to spend a lot more so IMO this is a great choice to get started with, especially for $500.

 

I have never heard the EMPTeks but they look like a good choice. They are 6 ohm speakers so I think you can easily drive them with the Marantz. However, if you plan on listening to music really loud as you mention in the OP, especially if you like to listen to your music really loud in a multichannel mode instead of stereo, then I think you might have to seriously consider the power amp. Personally I don't listen to anything really loud so I would still put my money and time into looking around at speakers and forget the amp for now but your needs are different than mine and an amp may be important in your set up.

 

I agree with transmanicon that dual subs would add a lot to your HT experience and that's why I suggested sinking the majority of your budget into your speakers and subs (plural). 

 

On a final note, take some time to go and listen to as many speakers as you can. But keep in mind that they will sound different in you own room. However, it will allow you to get an idea of what the speakers sound like and that's important because people like different things. What I like you might hate and vice versa, speakers are a very subjective piece of equipment so it just makes sense to listen to as many as you can to get an understanding of what you really like and really want. A lot of internet direct companies offer an in home trial (lie the EMPs).

 

Good luck and be sure to enjoy the process of setting up the HT, its half the fun. :D

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I would probably go with a pair of SVS PB12-NSD subs, dual subs offer a lot of good benefits. You get a more even room response, higher output, and your subs don't have to work as hard. It sounds like you will be in a medium/large room, so you will benefit a lot from a pair of subs.

A single PC13 Ultra has more output than a pair of PB12NSDs plus it extends lower, takes up less floor space and then when the OP feels the "need" for a second sub he'll have a pair of PC13 Ultras biggrin.gif

I really like my new Klipsch speakers, they are super efficient, likely no need for an external amp unless you were to get the RF7s and RC64 which are out of the budget unless you can find some used ones.

The EMP are an awesome deal, they will likely need the amp if you want to go really loud with them though. I would try whatever speakers you get with just the AVR and see how it sounds before jumping into an amp right away.

So many speakers and only your ears can make the final decision. So demo as much as you can, or buy from internet vendors that cover shipping and have easy return policies.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I checked out the Marantz 5007 but the link to accessorries4less only showed the Marantz 6007 for $599. Still, I think this would be a good option. Question about the pre-outs though... Does pre-out mean it can go directly to a speaker and power it from the receiver, or it can be sent to a separate amplifier? I'm guessing the power being sent to amplifier cuts off and only the signal is sent? Sorry for the n00b question.

Those EMP speakers look very nice but their cap is 200W at 6 ohms. Will I still be able to push them with a 8 ohms signal? Any idea how they compare to the Focals of similar price range? These Focals have higher sensitivity and can be pushed up to 250W at 8 ohms. http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/FOCAL727VHVN/FOCAL-Chorus-727V-726v-Triple-6-1/2-Tower-Speaker-PAIR-Havana/1.html

None of this gear may be on sale when I am ready to purchase in a few months but it is still good to look around now and plan accordingly.

Appreciate all the help too.
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-19-2013, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

I checked out the Marantz 5007 but the link to accessorries4less only showed the Marantz 6007 for $599. Still, I think this would be a good option. Question about the pre-outs though... Does pre-out mean it can go directly to a speaker and power it from the receiver, or it can be sent to a separate amplifier? I'm guessing the power being sent to amplifier cuts off and only the signal is sent? Sorry for the n00b question.

Those EMP speakers look very nice but their cap is 200W at 6 ohms. Will I still be able to push them with a 8 ohms signal? Any idea how they compare to the Focals of similar price range? These Focals have higher sensitivity and can be pushed up to 250W at 8 ohms. http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/FOCAL727VHVN/FOCAL-Chorus-727V-726v-Triple-6-1/2-Tower-Speaker-PAIR-Havana/1.html

None of this gear may be on sale when I am ready to purchase in a few months but it is still good to look around now and plan accordingly.

Appreciate all the help too.

You can push them with the Marantz no problem, the 6 ohms just means that they can use a little more power than 8 ohm speakers might so you want to have to WPC to be able to give them the power if they want it. Your AVR will be able to drive 4, 6, or 8 ohm speakers but the lower the number the more power your speakers will use when pushed and you want to make sure your AVR has enough to give them when called upon.

 

The link that was provided for accessories4less required some digging to find the 5007. The below link will should take you directly to it.

 

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MARSR5007/MARANTZ-SR5007-100w-x7-NetworkingTheater-Receiver-w/AirPlay-3D-4K/1.html

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