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post #1 of 12 Old 11-19-2013, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I am somewhat of a newb when it comes to high end speakers/receivers and I need some help. I am currently trying to select a 5.1 speaker system for my home theater. I haven't bought a receiver yet, but I plan on getting the Onkyo TX-NR717 7.2-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver I was also thinking of getting the Marantz NR1403 receiver

My living room is approx 19'x12' and I primarily intend on using the system for TV,Video Games, Movies, and Sporting events. My budget for the speakers & sub is ~$500-$800.

I was referred to the 5.1 Pack Sib setup by a friend, its a bit pricey, but apparently it is really nice and would definitely sound good with the Marantz (i don't know enough about specs to say if it would be equally as good with the Onkyo - I would like clarification on that as well if possible). I have also seen the Mirage MX 5.1 Channel Miniature High-Performance Speaker System in action at a friends house and it sounded great to me in a larger and taller room than mine (also not sure if that would sound optimal with either of the Receivers I have selected).

I would greatly appreciate some opinions on these speakers/subs with the receivers I am considering as well as other speaker/sub combos in the 500-800 price range.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-19-2013, 08:16 PM
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If I were you, I'd definitely check out the HSU Research speakers. They sound absolutely phenomenal for the prices they charge and will get pretty loud because their sensitivity is decently high. I don't own any personally, but one of my college buddies had them and they sound like they cost a hell of a lot more than they do. A full 5.1 setup is probably a little over your budget, but they do sell 2.1 and 3.1 systems. I would say one of your best options would be the HSU 3.1 and then some budget speakers for the surrounds (which aren't as important as the front speakers anyway). There are numerous cheapie bookshelf speakers that you can use as surrounds that will also sound great.  I've also never ever heard anything bad about HSU subwoofers. Their more expensive models would eat up your budget, but I have heard them and they are very high quality subs. I'm sure the lower models are plenty of sub for most people.

 

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/value1pkg.html - One of the setups on this page would be excellent. I don't know how the STF subs sound (never heard one personally - but I have heard a VTF), but people seem to really dig them and they have great reviews.

 

Another option is pretty much any of the BIC horn loaded speakers (I have a set of Acoustech towers and like them quite a bit). They don't sound quite as good as the HSU speakers, but they are more sensitive (they will get VERY loud and most of them will handle a lot of power) and will beat a lot speakers in their price range and higher. I, and a lot of other people, prefer them over expensive Klipsch speakers because the Klipsch's are too bright for many. Some people say the BIC's are a tad bright too, but I disagree to an extent and I think they will beat many - and probably most - of the speakers (and crush any HTIB setups without mercy - including the vastly overrated Bose systems, those are overpriced trash) you could get at a place like BB in my humble opinion.

 

As you can see, I am a fan of (some) horn loaded speakers! There are BIC and HSU owners threads here. I would suggest stopping in and asking some questions before choosing what to buy.

 

As far had receivers go, I've had bad experiences with Onkyo (my receiver died after a year and one of the channels on my dad's died after 2).  I have a Sony now (can't remember the model, its a network receiver with 7.2 channels) and have noticed a definite improvement in sound quality over the old Onkyo. Thus far, it's been very reliable. I've also heard good things about Marantz, but never owned one.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Edit: Also check out some of Energy's offerings. They are a great company and have some solid speakers for the money. I've heard good things about the Take Classic, and they are a lot cheaper than what I suggested. They won't be as powerful as my other suggestions though.

 

Also, you could save some cash by going with a 5.1 receiver, although offerings of those receivers are starting to get slim because 7.1/2 channels are taking over. If you are definitely solid on going with 5.1, I'd see what's available then. 7.1/2 isn't totally necessary unless you are going to drop some serious dough and you would get much more for your buck with a higher quality 5.1 than a lower quality 7.1 or 7.2 in my opinion. Of course, if you ever want to upgrade, you'd need a new receiver but even then I think upgrading your speakers (depending on what you already have) would still be better.

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info I will definitely check those speakers out. I was actually leaning towards the Marantz receiver for a while until I found out that the hdmi passthrough only works on one input which is a big turn off for me cause I don't want to use the surround system late at night when others in my house are sleeping. I like the onkyo cause I can get it for about $50 than the marantz as opposed to the normal price which is about $100 more.
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 05:29 AM
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Cambridge Audio S30 @ $180/pr
Cambridge Audio S50 center @ $140


Leaves you $300 for a sub, which I'm not qualified to recommend, however I've read the BIC F-12 and PL-200 are well thought of within that price range.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrunked View Post

Hey guys, I am somewhat of a newb when it comes to high end speakers/receivers and I need some help. I am currently trying to select a 5.1 speaker system for my home theater. I haven't bought a receiver yet, but I plan on getting the Onkyo TX-NR717 7.2-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver I was also thinking of getting the Marantz NR1403 receiver

My living room is approx 19'x12' and I primarily intend on using the system for TV,Video Games, Movies, and Sporting events. My budget for the speakers & sub is ~$500-$800.

I was referred to the 5.1 Pack Sib setup by a friend, its a bit pricey, but apparently it is really nice and would definitely sound good with the Marantz (i don't know enough about specs to say if it would be equally as good with the Onkyo - I would like clarification on that as well if possible). I have also seen the Mirage MX 5.1 Channel Miniature High-Performance Speaker System in action at a friends house and it sounded great to me in a larger and taller room than mine (also not sure if that would sound optimal with either of the Receivers I have selected).

I would greatly appreciate some opinions on these speakers/subs with the receivers I am considering as well as other speaker/sub combos in the 500-800 price range.

The issues I question are:

(1) Spending more than twice on the AVR as the speakers if I got which Sib system you are picking right. If not, proceed to (2).

(2) Choosing speakers that are highly styled, but pretty close to entry level in terms of tech specs. You can get better performance out of the Pioneer "Famous designer" series or Infinity "Primus" series.

IMO it takes a good 12" econo sub like the Polk PSW 505, BIC Acoustech PL-200, orBIC America F-12 to be worthy of the kind of money you are spending and do right by the room you have. Focal is just another Harman brand, if memory serves. Its not their performance for the buck line.

The pricing equation I would recommend is spending as much on the AVR as either the sub(s) or the L+R. If that only gets you into initially a 2.1 or 3.1 system, that's OK.

Marantz and Denon are the same company and factory, and it seems like the Denon Brand gives you more bang for the buck, but are still pretty posh.

The Hsu Research systems mentioned above are another approach that has a lot going for it, too even though its not my first choice. Energy also has some attractive offerings, but I'd probably put Hsu a little ahead of it, but that's probably just my biases speaking.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The issues I question are:

(1) Spending more than twice on the AVR as the speakers if I got which Sib system you are picking right. If not, proceed to (2).

(2) Choosing speakers that are highly styled, but pretty close to entry level in terms of tech specs. You can get better performance out of the Pioneer "Famous designer" series or Infinity "Primus" series.

IMO it takes a good 12" econo sub like the Polk PSW 505, BIC Acoustech PL-200, orBIC America F-12 to be worthy of the kind of money you are spending and do right by the room you have. Focal is just another Harman brand, if memory serves. Its not their performance for the buck line.

The pricing equation I would recommend is spending as much on the AVR as either the sub(s) or the L+R. If that only gets you into initially a 2.1 or 3.1 system, that's OK.

Marantz and Denon are the same company and factory, and it seems like the Denon Brand gives you more bang for the buck, but are still pretty posh.

The Hsu Research systems mentioned above are another approach that has a lot going for it, too even though its not my first choice. Energy also has some attractive offerings, but I'd probably put Hsu a little ahead of it, but that's probably just my biases speaking.

Sorry I should have been more clear. I plan on spending about 400-450 (depending on which AVR i choose) for the AVR and then 500-800 on the 5 speakers & 1 sub. so yes basically i am looking to spend up to double the money for the speakers+sub than the avr
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 10:09 AM
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You are spending too much on the AVR. I would recommend a Denon AVR-1913, it does everything either one of those receivers does, and you can get it refurbished from www.accessories4less.com for $299 (and they are an authorized dealer).

Take the extea $100 from your receiver budget, and put it towards your speaker/sub budget. I woud recommend the Cambridge Audio S70/S50/S30. You can get the whole 5.0 set from the same website, brand new, for $580. With your last bit of budget, I would recommend an EMP e1010i sub, it is currently on sale and offers good performance and an unbeatable finish. Alternatively, you could also go with an EMP setup, two pairs of E5Bi bookshelves and the E5Ci center would be $600 IIRC.

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

You are spending too much on the AVR. I would recommend a Denon AVR-1913, it does everything either one of those receivers does, and you can get it refurbished from www.accessories4less.com for $299 (and they are an authorized dealer).

Take the extea $100 from your receiver budget, and put it towards your speaker/sub budget. I woud recommend the Cambridge Audio S70/S50/S30. You can get the whole 5.0 set from the same website, brand new, for $580. With your last bit of budget, I would recommend an EMP e1010i sub, it is currently on sale and offers good performance and an unbeatable finish. Alternatively, you could also go with an EMP setup, two pairs of E5Bi bookshelves and the E5Ci center would be $600 IIRC.


Agreed on the receiver suggestion. The Cambridges are also very nice speakers. I'm not familiar with EMP though.  Anyone have any testing data on those subs? They sure look nice, but I don't know anything about them. BIC's PL-200 sub is also a good bet for <300. I'd still go with HSU over the BIC though.

 

I dunno, once you start getting into the more expensive speakers (and especially the super high end ones, all of which cost ridiculous amounts of cash), a lot of times it comes down to personal preference given a particular price range IMO. The reality is, any of the suggested speakers I think will beat that Focal or Mirage setup.

 

OP, do you have any specific space requirements? The problem with those smaller speakers is that they may have big dips in their frequency response (making them sound worse), and will not be near as powerful as decent bookshelves or towers and might start distorting when pushed. In a room that size, if you are willing to sacrifice a tad more space, I'd go with bigger speakers. I've never heard a set of tiny speakers that could really compete with decent (not HTIB) "standard" sized speakers.

 

Also, the most important speaker in a home theater application is the center channel imo, so I would not skimp on that. Second most important (not far behind) is the sub. Then front left/right, and then rear speakers. Just my 2 cents. Ideally, you want your front 3 speakers L/C/R to be of the same line of speaker (made to match each others characteristics) as well.

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 08:04 PM
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Not to disagree, but I have run great HT without a center... So for me, your L/R speakers are #1 and your sub is #2! However, a good center can really make a great front stage!
That not withstanding, both the Cambridge audio and EMP suggestion are good choices. I own an emp system, so I have spent a lot of time with one of those systems. The EMP are about as good a budget speaker as you will find and don't sound budget! I will add one more. Right now, you can get great deals on the def tech sm350/450s (as low as 200/pr ), so that would be another option. I own the def tech sm450s and they pack a good punch for a small bookshelf! Get the clr 2002 and you have a solid front stage!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Not to disagree, but I have run great HT without a center... So for me, your L/R speakers are #1 and your sub is #2! However, a good center can really make a great front stage!
That not withstanding, both the Cambridge audio and EMP suggestion are good choices. I own an emp system, so I have spent a lot of time with one of those systems. The EMP are about as good a budget speaker as you will find and don't sound budget! I will add one more. Right now, you can get great deals on the def tech sm350/450s (as low as 200/pr ), so that would be another option. I own the def tech sm450s and they pack a good punch for a small bookshelf! Get the clr 2002 and you have a solid front stage!

 

Haha, like I said, it comes down to personal preference :D. I've never really tried out a system without a center, so I couldn't say what it would sound like. I would imagine it could be done and sound great with a good set of fronts though.

 

Edit: Ok, I lied about the whole no-center thing. But that was with a set of 2.1 computer speakers I had lying around and plugged in to the aux out on my TV back in college. I actually did that in a dorm room with two sets of computer speakers and a headphone jack splitter. I simply matched up the left and right sides, and threw the rear sub under my crappy futon haha. Ghetto as hell, but I suppose it did the job alright for a dorm room :rolleyes: haha.

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thecrunked View Post

Hey guys, I am somewhat of a newb when it comes to high end speakers/receivers and I need some help. I am currently trying to select a 5.1 speaker system for my home theater. I haven't bought a receiver yet, but I plan on getting the Onkyo TX-NR717 7.2-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver I was also thinking of getting the Marantz NR1403 receiver

My living room is approx 19'x12' and I primarily intend on using the system for TV,Video Games, Movies, and Sporting events. My budget for the speakers & sub is ~$500-$800.

I was referred to the 5.1 Pack Sib setup by a friend, its a bit pricey, but apparently it is really nice and would definitely sound good with the Marantz (i don't know enough about specs to say if it would be equally as good with the Onkyo - I would like clarification on that as well if possible). I have also seen the Mirage MX 5.1 Channel Miniature High-Performance Speaker System in action at a friends house and it sounded great to me in a larger and taller room than mine (also not sure if that would sound optimal with either of the Receivers I have selected).

I would greatly appreciate some opinions on these speakers/subs with the receivers I am considering as well as other speaker/sub combos in the 500-800 price range.

 

  hey got a good tip for you ..   save up more money and buy a better system.. you ears will love you for it..

 

  cheers

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post #12 of 12 Old 11-20-2013, 09:27 PM
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I agree with elihawk on the def tec sm350 or the sm450 with the clr2002 a great bang for the buck system.
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