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post #1 of 54 Old 12-18-2013, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. 

 

basically need either a 5.1+AVR for ~1.6k (some, but slight tolerance there) or a AVR+L/R(+?)set up for the same $.

 

Need some help...Current use for our main room is 90% tv/movie/vgames ~10% music. Limited space 18.75x12x7.75(H...in ft) (hopefully diagram attached); Limited Budget (~$1600 including receiver! lol) Thanks in advance, for at least the read...

 

I'm basically trying to pick a path here between a 5.1 system (see budget) or maybe just go stereo? I don't know...is that crazy? I know nearly nothing about the technical side of audio. I suppose I don't particularly care too much about "surround" so long as I can get a moderately immersive sound. 

 

Would two floor speakers be ok just by themselves (obviously not ideal, esp in this pricerange) or is there some compromise to be had with a L/R/+? idk. I need some ideas. 

 

The big caveat for my budget here is that it must be a bestbuy purchase. I have a good amount of gift cards for bby. The plus side you can haggle with them and they price match. The minus...well...i'm sure you know that one.

 

I went to the local Magnolia with the mindset of the Sony STRDN840 AVR & the Def Tech PC600. We demo'd the DT ProCinema600's & I wasn't thrilled with them. I'm sure the sound could be tweaked/improved in my home, however. That made me think the PC800 system would be a better fit for me vs 600 simply for a bigger/better/balanced sound...but my 5.1 doesn't need to be a PCanything, for that matter...that's just all I know for now.

 

So we went from a Sonystrdn840 & PC600's to demoing a Pioneer Elite VSX-43 & two Energy cf-50 floor speakers. It also didn't sound great, but certainly had more depth. Granted this wasn't a full-on sit down and get it right scenario, for either demo so i know they can sound much better...However, the cf-50's were listed $440/ea and I imagine there are much better sounding speakers out there (even after those cf-50's are properly setup) for the money...even at bby...right? Then again, I may need an additional component to that L/R so...

 

 

FWIW; i'm upgrading from a many years old Samsung 2.1 soundbar (HWC450)...so pretty much anything is going to be better; tv is 55"LED

 

Thanks for any help/direction on this. I'll continue to read and read and read but thought I'd get this out there too.

 

Black=Wall; Yellow=nowall; 1 cell~1ft

 

Most viewing is from the large couch there. The tv in the corner really bites it because it's wedged between two windows with zero room for anything. Even a 5.1 system is going to require a new stand that raises the tv higher. I managed to find a stand that did just that with a narrower (30" vs 41") base...which means floor speakers are an actual possibility vs before they were not.

 

Lastly (anyone still there?) we are moving in about a 1.5-2years so I'm not looking to put a ton of effort in this room.

 

Thanks again!


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post #2 of 54 Old 12-18-2013, 11:55 PM
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Get a decent 5.1 AVR and the best L/R speakers you can afford. Do you have any idea of how many people are sitting around listening to their crappy little 5 or 7 channel HTIB speakers and wishing they could do it over? Neither do I - but I ain't one of them. I'd rather have great 2 channel sound than crappy 5 or 7 channel sound. Add a sub when you can. Most tower speakers - when placed right will not need a sub except for bass heavy movies.
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post #3 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 12:01 AM
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I have some similar issues - an open floor-plan condo in my case with a shared living room/media space and I elected to go with 2-channel. It was much easier to implement well. In my case, I already had a quality stereo setup, so am running an old Rotel 2-channel receiver with KEF Q65 floor-standers. You could be better served with a good 2.1 system, jut make sure you get bookshelves that can reach to 60 or 80 Hz so that you only rely on the sub for the low-end.
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post #4 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 12:19 AM
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5.1 can be very nice, but in this particular set up I think surrounds may be more of an annoyance than anything else.

I would look into either a 3.1 or 2.1 system.

To be honest there aren't any speakers at best buy or magnolia that I like better than the Andrew Jones designed pioneers. It may not be much help, but if it were me, with my money, I'd buy them and throw the rest of the budget in a decent multi sub set up and a modest 5.1 receiver.
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post #5 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't expect to hear the PC800 be likened to a crappy HTiB =/

 

Hmm. I have to say I may be liking the floorspeaker route. For simplicity, if nothing else. So I'm clear though, we are talking about floor speakers and not bookshelf speakers, right?

 

For the AVR - I certainly don't need a bells & whistles model. I see the Denon 1713 is about 360 right now. Is that Pioneer (vsx-43) any good? I think it was listed at $440 just like those cf-50's...again I am basing my purchasing knowledge on cnet, this forum, and anything else internet searches give me...because this is the first thought I've honestly ever given to a component system.

 

I will admit that if I did go with those pioneers mentioned, my wife would certainly like the price of those vs anything else. 

 

Do you think the better route here is going to be all in on two floors, 2 floors + center, 2 floors+sub, or 2 floors +C+SW? that last one probably not given I'm really trying to keep things within my modest budget. I understand there are compromises abound in my scenario, but I'd really like to stay ahead of the diminishing returns when I start to spread my budget across multiple channels.

 

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!


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post #6 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd just like to add something here. The total purchase doesn't have to come from bby, but I'd like the majority of it to come from there (see: L/R & AVR). I am more than willing to spend a bit of money on something like a decent sub outside of the confines of bby. The BIC F12 seems to get high praise here...also the SVS PB1000, although the latter is out of my non-bby ~$300 range :)


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post #7 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 09:10 AM
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As a suggestion then:

2 x Pioneer SP-FS52-LR
2 x Dayton Sub-1200
Whichever receiver has features you like. Both of those you mentioned are pretty good.

This should put you well below your budget, and you can pretty painlessly upgrade to 5.1 if your new living situation is more accommodating of it.
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post #8 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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If i did go a route with 2 subs, literally the only place for them would be one on each side of the "large couch" in my totally sweet excel floorplan in the OP. Is that going to be ok?

 

also...i'm loving the cost of that setup you just listed haha :)


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post #9 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 09:38 AM
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I think so.

Depending on how close you plan to put the subwoofers to the couch you may end up with "nearfield subwoofers", which actually can be much easier to get good sound out of than other set ups.

And the excel floorplan is quite useful.
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post #10 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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do you feel that the Pioneer L/R+2subs is a better call than replacing one of the subs with a center? 

 

Granted I haven't heard them, and it's a real PT Barnum type line of thinking, but I am amazed the those Pioneers listed sound better than (or as good as) LR's that are double the price or more. I really need to give them a listen.


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post #11 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 10:48 AM
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You could do both and still be under budget, if you want. The center would be helpful since you have different seating areas. It will help anchor the center image to the screen.

I think people really tend to underestimate the mode cancelling effects two subwoofers have and overestimate the ability of speakers to accurate reproduce bass in a room. My priority in your case would still be two subwoofers > center.
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post #12 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the input. I truly appreciate it.

 

Would both subs have identical settings? I imagine that would be more of a chorus effect than anything? That may not be the right terminology, but I used to do the same thing on a 7-string guitar. I'd tune the 2 low strings (top) to the same note for a cheater chorus sound and to make up for the lack of sound tech/balance in my rig.

 

I definitely think this set-up is the front-runner until someone talks me out of it. The wife factor on this will be huge too. 125ea vs 400+ea is a great sell-in for that :) 


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post #13 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 11:19 AM
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Happy to help.

With no measuring equipment your best bet is probably to set both subwoofers' gain, low pass filter, and phase as the same. But you can experiment.

I don't think it would be quite like the chorus effect. Subwoofer frequencies sum. In the chorus effect there are two slightly different pitches that have their own discrete frequencies. Two subwoofers should sound about like one subwoofer with a smoother response.
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post #14 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 11:59 AM
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Is there anything stopping you from putting the 55" LED on the wall where you have the sofa now? Then you would have wall mount options or placed on a stand of some sort. Then with the large couch into the middle of the room, you would at least have a couple seating positions that would be close to "on axis".
If not, I agree you should go 2.1 or 3.1 (or 2.2, 3.2)...for that sized room, some good bookshelf speakers and one or more subs would suffice. Ascend Acoust CMT340s? (600 dollars), 2 Bic F12 subs (400) and that would leace 600 dollars to split between the CMT340C and an AVR!
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post #15 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwinlied View Post

Most viewing is from the large couch there. The tv in the corner really bites it because it's wedged between two windows with zero room for anything. Even a 5.1 system is going to require a new stand that raises the tv higher. I managed to find a stand that did just that with a narrower (30" vs 41") base...which means floor speakers are an actual possibility vs before they were not.

The set-up between 2 windows, is going to effect your sound - what about an option to re-do your room set-up?
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post #16 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 12:34 PM
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I would put the TV on the top wall, between the window and door, with speakers on either side. Surrounds would have to be mounted along the back wall close to the ceiling, probably.

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post #17 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Is there anything stopping you from putting the 55" LED on the wall where you have the sofa now? Then you would have wall mount options or placed on a stand of some sort. Then with the large couch into the middle of the room, you would at least have a couple seating positions that would be close to "on axis".
If not, I agree you should go 2.1 or 3.1 (or 2.2, 3.2)...for that sized room, some good bookshelf speakers and one or more subs would suffice. Ascend Acoust CMT340s? (600 dollars), 2 Bic F12 subs (400) and that would leace 600 dollars to split between the CMT340C and an AVR!

None of those are bby items ha. thanks for the options, regardless :)

 

Quote:
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The windows thing is going to effect your sound - what about an option to re-do your room set-up?

 

 

There are a few reasons we decided against moving the media to the sofa wall, initially. First, a good deal of wiring would need to be done for moving the tv to that wall. From the cable/pc stuffs to removing the in-wall (on-wall, really) lights, and then moving them to other locations (walls) because they are the only 2 lights in the room. I'm sure we don't want this to turn into a ceiling pot lighting solution..

 

Second, relocating would put all of the media goodies right next to the front door...and space is already tight on that 12' of wall...

 

Third, that's not really 12' of wall. The 3' opening for the hallway + the 3' front door (when open) leave a total of 6' of room for all media + walk-around space from/to the front door/hallway. Basically the Top wall & right/sofa wall are hard sells, due to the front door & travel path being basically on top of them. I should say that I do live in a 4-seasons climate and snow/rain are all very real things that make it through that front door when it's open and kids/dogs barrel through it.

 

Those were all factors to us simply leaving everything where it currently is when we moved in.


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post #18 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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some good deals out there! haha. thoughts on either the infinity P363 or Polk tsx330's for L/R? there is killer deal on the P363's right now...well...killer to me...


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post #19 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 01:51 PM
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Definitely get the infinitys if you can.
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post #20 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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eff. turns out the new tv stand I thought was narrower is actually wider lol...it was late and I may have read the inner dims vs the outer dims or something.

 

Regardless, I pulled the trigger on the P363's for a L/R. however, i may end up having to go bookshelf if I can't find a tv stand solution for the corner...which at this point is going to be really hard because those P363's are 38" tall...which means the tv is going to have to be kind of up there to clear. dagnabbit.

 

ok I'm going to take a breather after that panic/excited P363 impulse purchase. Fry's has them for 107/ea ! and free shipping. Sale ends today...I doubt they'll have them in stock...but I at least locked in the price for however long it takes me to figure this cursed HT solution out.

 

 

Again...thank you, everyone. I'm still up for ideas for some bby brand towers...or I guess bookshelves too now that i've failed so far in the fixturing department haha.


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post #21 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
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Again...thank you, everyone. I'm still up for ideas for some bby brand towers...or I guess bookshelves too now that i've failed so far in the fixturing department haha.

From Best Buy on bookshelf speakers - the Definitive Technology SM55 - a nice speaker
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post #22 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 03:46 PM
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Last time I was at Best Buy...they didn't have a decent sub in the house! Or better than average speaker...

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post #23 of 54 Old 12-19-2013, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Last time I was at Best Buy...they didn't have a decent sub in the house! Or better than average speaker...

they do appear to have a poor selection of subs; which is why i was not opposed to going outside of them for one (or two). Their non-magnolia stores certainly have poor selections...but given the overhead to stock high-end/slow moving equipment and take into account all the money they don't make, as a company, it makes sense they stock the floor with lower cost goods.


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post #24 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I am having a helluva time finding a fixture replacement for the tv/components which accommodates floor speakers...which is not surprising. I suppose I have a little time given the P363's being on backorder. However, I may need to go the bookshelf route.

 

Would you still recommend a 2.2 if my L/R were the DT SM55's? Or would that be overkill so I may be better served with a 2.1 or 3.1? The center channel for those DT's is pricey! Relatively speaking, of course...

 

Thanks again!


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post #25 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 07:36 AM
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You can always start 2.1 to begin with - and then go from there as you desire.
No one can really speak for your ears - a lot of people have started with 2.1

Now if you had placement to do so - 1 ea of the SM45 can be used as a center.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/definitive-technology-studiomonitor-45-5-1-4-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-each/4756469.p?id=1218570958372&skuId=4756469
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post #26 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah, i was thinking the CS8040HD was the appropriate center for the SM's for some reason.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/4-1-2-center-channel-loudspeaker-each/1170399.p?id=1218231080436&skuId=1170399&st=CS8040HD&cp=1&lp=1#tab=overview

 

Are you saying to use 2 SM45's as the center or would it be just one?

 

Regardless, i think you just snapped me back into reality on this. I tend to get excited lol. I can easily start with a 2.1 and go from there. It will likely be easier to identify what else I need with a basic foundation (2.1) vs starting with a 3.2...especially given that I am pre-novice with this. 

 

I think my plan is (for the next 15 minutes anyway lol) get a new tv stand with a mount that raises the tv enough to fit bookshelf speakers. Find 2 bookshelf speakers via bby. I think the high-end of that is going to be the SM55's. I'll head to a magnolia and listen to them and any other recommended ones. I really love floor speakers, but I simply don't have room for them. In the future i can use the SM55's as the rears and get some super fancy looking/sounding towers for LR...because I'll be rich by then lol (not really)

 

Purchase an AVR. Turnsout bby doesn't pricematch any "marketplace" items (items on their website which are sold 3rd party) so that limits my AVR options. The Denon 1713 is out, but there are others. The Pioneer Elite VSX-43 is still there I suppose...

 

Purchase Dayton Sub-1200.

 

get cables and figure out how to wire sub...the next frontier lol


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DT CLR3000 (C)
DT SM45 (Rears)
2x PSA XV15se (SW)
Denon AVR X1000
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post #27 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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until i can understand if you meant 2 SM45's or 1 for a center, would a DT procenter1000 center adequately support the SM55's as the LR? Not that I'm planning on it, but if I can get a good haggle out of the magnolia person I want to make sure it's worth it. Otherwise it's the next step up (linked above) for double the price...at which point the one linked above is the same $$ as the 2 SM45's...not sure which would make more sense? I would think the dedicated center, but idk.

 

man...i can't believe i'm back to DT's after all that lol. stupid living room ;)


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post #28 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 11:04 AM
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Three SM45s (one left, one right, and one center) would be a decent choice.

In any case, if going with DT stick with the SM45. Look at the stereophile measurements of the SM45 and SM55. Most notably, there is a huge off axis flare with the SM55 that is much less present in the SM45.
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post #29 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by drwinlied View Post

Otherwise it's the next step up (linked above) for double the price...at which point the one linked above is the same $$ as the 2 SM45's...not sure which would make more sense? I would think the dedicated center, but idk.

A bookshelf center, is a better way to go - over a standard center channel. Definitive sells the speakers by the each.

The new Definitive bookshelf speakers, do have nice bass.
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post #30 of 54 Old 12-20-2013, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I called DT to get their thoughts on it too, because it looks like it's going to be a DT system, for the most part, after all. The person I spoke with said that for a 3.1 or 3.2 using bookshelves, he'd recommend SM45's for the LR and a SM65 for the center. So I guess that's the official word from DT on the matter lol

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DT CLR3000 (C)
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2x PSA XV15se (SW)
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