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post #1 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I would love some mentoring through the purchase of my first home system.

I had been thinking about getting the Bose cinemate, but have read plenty of you guys be against it, and this specific system especially... However, I need to find an alternative that would fit my parameters and budget. In the other topics that I have read the focus was on why Bose is bad rather than what should replace it.

So this is where you guys come in. I have heard the cinemate and it's enough of an improvement over my current setup for me to be willing to purchase it, however, I wanted to give you guys an opportunity to talk me out of it by offering ideas on what to get instead, and why your suggestion is better.

I don't need all of the components to come together. I'm comfortable enough putting the pieces together. Here is what is important to me. I will only be using front speakers for the foreseeable future because my wife would kill me if i had cables everywhere, and since I live in an apartment I can't be running it through walls. So, a 2.1 would suffice. Unless you think that I should be getting a 5.1 and bouncing the rear speakers on the side walls from the front. Going back to my wife killing me, the form factor of the front speakers matter. One of the attractive things about the cinemate is the form factor across the board. I only care about the fronts in that regard, though. Size matters for us. I can't be rattling subs, as the neighbors would be the ones killing me at that point. Yet, I don't care about the form factor here at all. Nice and controlled subs would be great. As far as the receiver goes, i was thinking about taking the digital audio out of my HDTV, and plugging it into the receiver... Feel free to convince me otherwise, but on this mindset, a little and simple receiver would do just fine. Also, I'm planning on watching lots of movies, so the fake surround of Bose sounds attractive to me. Lastly, I would like to cap what I would spend to achieve this at $600.

I know this is a lot to ask out of this budget, however these are all things that the Bose delivers, and people here keep bragging about being able to create a system for the same amount that sounds much better. Now I would like to know if it is possible to achieve that keeping the form of at least the front speakers.

In summary:

Best possible sound given the following
600-650 budget
Pleasant looking and small front speakers

Have fun with this guys, and I appreciate you all very much. I think this thread will help many in my situation.

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post #2 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 06:53 AM
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This Sherbourne PA-250 is a nice little amp that has analog hook ups for 2 devices with remote to control the volume. Or you could go with this Onkyo stereo receiver for more features.

Cambridge Audio S30 or Wave Crest Audio HLV-1s would be good speakers to pair with that. Then you just need a sub smile.gif

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post #3 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch, Cel! Those speakers look great, but I almost have to go with a satellite type of speaker... Very small... Any ideas for those?

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post #4 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 07:40 AM
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With small satellite speakers you'll take a hit in audio quality. It's much harder to create a small driver speaker that can work as well as a larger driver one. Also, small satellites generally have a much higher crossover. That means the sub has to do more of the midbass work, and generally get a better sub to support that. You also have to make certain you get a sub that is rated to crossover as high as the satellites need.

Cambridge Minx are good for small satellite speakers. Much better than Bose Cubes.

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post #5 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm looking at the minx 11s which puts me at $180 for the pair on amazon. I love all of the automation on the sherbourne pa-250. However, is it good on movies? Anyways, that's another $170. Leaving me 300 for subs... What would you recommend? Should i, instead go with the minx 21s which would leave me 120 for a sub? Also, I don't see a sub out of the sherbournes... How do I set that up?

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post #6 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 08:41 AM
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The PA 2-50 is an amp, so it will power speakers just fine regardless of their use. You do have to make sure that your media player has left/righ analog outputs (not HDMI only).

I'd probably go with the Minix 11 and a better subwoofer since $120 subwoofers don't have great SQ--they work fine with larger speakers where they are only filling in the low end, but I personally would want something more refined for combing with the Minix.

Now the PA 2-50 poses a little more of a challenge than that Onkyo for hooking up a sub, limiting your choices more. The Onkyo receiver has a specific subwoofer input, making it pretty easy to find a sub that hooks up. Because the PA 2-50 doesn't, there are two options:

1) A sub that has both left and right inputs AND outputs, which would require using only one media device with the Sherbourne. You'd run the media device analog outputs to the sub, and the sub outputs to the amp.

2) A sub that has speaker level inputs and outputs. You would run the speaker outputs from the amp to the sub, and then hook the speakers to the outputs on the sub.

If you have a small room and/or don't expect to listen at very loud volumes, the Outlaw Audio M8 sub works with option (2) and is a very good 8" sub (so smaller).

If you go with option 1, the Mordaunt Short Aviano 7 would work very well, have more output than the M8 (so better in bigger rooms/louder volumes), and comes in three finishes.

The Onkyo would work well with those subs and a wide variety of others.

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post #7 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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What are your thoughts on the SUB-1000?

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post #8 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 08:54 AM
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What are your thoughts on the SUB-1000?

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It's popular sub for it's price. I have no doubts it would work well with larger driver speakers that might need to be only crossed over at 60 or 70hz. But the Minx11 have a low frequency bottom end spec of 120hz. So it's the whole thing that you need a sub that does good midbass, not just sub bass. I've seen people be disappointed when buying the popular budget subs in the <$200 range and pairing them with small satellites. A large portion of the reviews you see are not going to be for that context.

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post #9 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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So, my living room is 18'4" by 13'4". Yes it's an awkward shape that we actually usually spilt making the TV portion of it a little smaller. Knowing that, what would you recommend?

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post #10 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc View Post

So, my living room is 18'4" by 13'4". Yes it's an awkward shape that we actually usually spilt making the TV portion of it a little smaller. Knowing that, what would you recommend?

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The Aviano 7 over the Outlaw M8. An 8" sub could be a little challenged in that size space.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #11 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, so here is where I stand:

Sherbourn pa 2-50 $175
Mordaunt short aviano - $280
Shipping on the above - $11.50
Cambridge minx speaker pair - $190

Grand total: $656.50. Which is $6 over my budget, but I can live with that. Now, for the sake of making a point, what would you anticipate the sonic differences between this and the acoustimax system? Also, for the sake of keeping the price equal... What if I had purchased the SUB-1000, what would you expect the sonic differences to be?

Lastly, the one aspect from the Bose system that we did not address is how they emulate surround sound. Note, I'll be watching movies on this thing, will I miss that emulation? Why or why not?

Once again, thank you very much for going through this exercise with me.

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post #12 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 11:22 AM
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Hey,

Just so you know, if you do decide to go with the Minx, it might be worth your time to get them from a dealer instead of (I'm assuming) amazon. You could get them at a substantially lower price and still might be worth it even if you have to have them shipped.

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/dealers
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post #13 of 32 Old 03-07-2014, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ien, I'm stopping by a dealer on my way home today to heck them out and price them. Thanks for the heads up, I hope I can get a deal on them

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post #14 of 32 Old 03-08-2014, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc View Post

So, my living room is 18'4" by 13'4". Yes it's an awkward shape that we actually usually spilt making the TV portion of it a little smaller. Knowing that, what would you recommend?

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The Aviano 7 over the Outlaw M8. An 8" sub could be a little challenged in that size space.

I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?

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post #15 of 32 Old 03-08-2014, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc View Post

I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?

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Sorry. Wasn't sure what you mean by "this" up above. Also, which sub are you talking about getting with the minx system?

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post #16 of 32 Old 03-08-2014, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc View Post

I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?

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Sorry. Wasn't sure what you mean by "this" up above. Also, which sub are you talking about getting with the minx system?

RCA Rt2770 5.1-Channel, 1000-Watt Receiver Home Theater System by RCA http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P6J79E/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_DC8gtb1CDSR3W

Forgot to paste, my bad.

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post #17 of 32 Old 03-08-2014, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc View Post

I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?

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Sorry. Wasn't sure what you mean by "this" up above. Also, which sub are you talking about getting with the minx system?

RCA Rt2770 5.1-Channel, 1000-Watt Receiver Home Theater System by RCA http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P6J79E/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_mO-gtb1WJN9WP

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post #18 of 32 Old 03-08-2014, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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RCA Rt2770 5.1-Channel, 1000-Watt Receiver Home Theater System by RCA http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P6J79E/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_mO-gtb1WJN9WP

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post #19 of 32 Old 03-08-2014, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry about the extra replies, my phone was acting up

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post #20 of 32 Old 03-09-2014, 07:02 AM
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Most HTIB sets, like the RCA, are not known for being of very good quality. Some of the Onkyo ones are supposed to be OK because at least you get a real audio/video receiver for your money which can be useful if you ever decide to upgrade the speakers.

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post #21 of 32 Old 03-09-2014, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I see, I was just trying to see if I would be better of getting better speakers now and then upgrading the receiver at a later date...

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post #22 of 32 Old 03-09-2014, 10:46 AM
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Either of these sets are better than most HTIB speakers:

http://www.amazon.com/MartinLogan-MLT-2-Theater-System-Version/dp/B0049P2000/
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-Theater-System-Black/dp/B001202C44/

Then grab a name brand receiver on sale: Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, or Yamaha. Newegg and Amazon often run deals. Or you can buy a refurbished from accessories4less.com.

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nah, I just heard the minx and they will do just fine in my environment. Actually the ones I heard are the 10s and I'm getting the 11s which are supposedly a little bit better. This will hold me over until I purchase a house. At that point I'm going to go all out :-)

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Thank you for your help. 

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post #25 of 32 Old 03-09-2014, 01:12 PM
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You are welcome. Those Minx should be a nice setup smile.gif

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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You'll find that the 2nd gen Minx will sound better.

The 21's are a better speaker over the 11's, I've had both as L/R. My dealer only have one 21 when I got the set so I was using the 11's I was going to use as rears for the L/R while waiting for the other speakers to be shipped in. I find that the 21's have a...fuller sound to them, not a great descriptor I know but being able to set the crossover at 120 instead of 150 and having the extra driver makes a bit of difference for me.

That said, I wasn't disappointed with the 11's.
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post #27 of 32 Old 03-09-2014, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm excited.

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post #28 of 32 Old 03-10-2014, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc View Post

Hey guys,

I would love some mentoring through the purchase of my first home system.

I had been thinking about getting the Bose cinemate, but have read plenty of you guys be against it, and this specific system especially... However, I need to find an alternative that would fit my parameters and budget. In the other topics that I have read the focus was on why Bose is bad rather than what should replace it.

So this is where you guys come in. I have heard the cinemate and it's enough of an improvement over my current setup for me to be willing to purchase it, however, I wanted to give you guys an opportunity to talk me out of it by offering ideas on what to get instead, and why your suggestion is better.

I don't need all of the components to come together. I'm comfortable enough putting the pieces together. Here is what is important to me. I will only be using front speakers for the foreseeable future because my wife would kill me if i had cables everywhere, and since I live in an apartment I can't be running it through walls. So, a 2.1 would suffice. Unless you think that I should be getting a 5.1 and bouncing the rear speakers on the side walls from the front. Going back to my wife killing me, the form factor of the front speakers matter. One of the attractive things about the cinemate is the form factor across the board. I only care about the fronts in that regard, though. Size matters for us. I can't be rattling subs, as the neighbors would be the ones killing me at that point. Yet, I don't care about the form factor here at all. Nice and controlled subs would be great. As far as the receiver goes, i was thinking about taking the digital audio out of my HDTV, and plugging it into the receiver... Feel free to convince me otherwise, but on this mindset, a little and simple receiver would do just fine. Also, I'm planning on watching lots of movies, so the fake surround of Bose sounds attractive to me. Lastly, I would like to cap what I would spend to achieve this at $600.

I know this is a lot to ask out of this budget, however these are all things that the Bose delivers, and people here keep bragging about being able to create a system for the same amount that sounds much better. Now I would like to know if it is possible to achieve that keeping the form of at least the front speakers.

In summary:

Best possible sound given the following
600-650 budget
Pleasant looking and small front speakers

Have fun with this guys, and I appreciate you all very much. I think this thread will help many in my situation.

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Your wish is my command! I actually did a thread a couple months ago about some alternatives to Bose at their price points.

You can see the thread here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1515129/bose-killers-for-every-budget-a-series in its entirety.

Alternatively, you can read my recommendation for options that compete amazingly well against Bose's Cinemate GS II:

Bose buyers usually fall into 3 categories – they’re buying Bose for ease of use and setup, because they are stylish and unobtrusive, or they’ve been told that Bose represents the best in sound quality. First, we’ll tackle their least expensive “home theater” system – the Cinemate GS Series II.

1. The Cinemate GS Series II at $600 includes a pair of small satellite speakers that Bose calls Gemstones, one of Bose’s Acoustimass modules, a remote control and remote sensor. It can only connect to a TV that has an audio output, via analog stereo or optical.

Ease of Use - For those who like a sleek look and simple setup, the AVR is the Marantz NR1403. It features Audyssey MultEQ system calibration. It’s $400 list, but you can catch it for less on sale. To get 2.1 stereo sound boosted by a good subwoofer, pick up these Insignia NS-SP213 5 ¼” bookshelf speakers for $70, and round out the LFE with this Bic America V80 8” 100w subwoofer for $110. This puts you at $580, giving you $20 for cables at monoprice.

Low Profile - For those who want a solution that disappears with no visible wires, go with the ZVOX ZBase 580. Like the Bose, it connects to your TV via optical, analog stereo, or digital coax. It’s also $500, and exceeds the performance of the Bose in every way. It also gives you the ability to add a true subwoofer to really enhance the LFE. Use the money you save on an optical cable if you need it, and be sure to pick up some popcorn for movie night, because you’ll be doing it a lot!

Sound Quality - For those who want the best sound quality in a 2.1 system, get a pair of the lauded Andrew Jones SP-BS22 monitors for $130. Couple it with Bic America’s F-12 12” subwoofer for $200. Then power everything with Pioneer’s VSX-523-K for $250. This will leave you with $20 for cables at monoprice. Everything you play on this system will destroy the Bose Cinemate in every conceivable way.

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post #29 of 32 Old 03-10-2014, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I would love some mentoring through the purchase of my first home system.

I had been thinking about getting the Bose cinemate, but have read plenty of you guys be against it, and this specific system especially... However, I need to find an alternative that would fit my parameters and budget. In the other topics that I have read the focus was on why Bose is bad rather than what should replace it.

So this is where you guys come in. I have heard the cinemate and it's enough of an improvement over my current setup for me to be willing to purchase it, however, I wanted to give you guys an opportunity to talk me out of it by offering ideas on what to get instead, and why your suggestion is better.

I don't need all of the components to come together. I'm comfortable enough putting the pieces together. Here is what is important to me. I will only be using front speakers for the foreseeable future because my wife would kill me if i had cables everywhere, and since I live in an apartment I can't be running it through walls. So, a 2.1 would suffice. Unless you think that I should be getting a 5.1 and bouncing the rear speakers on the side walls from the front. Going back to my wife killing me, the form factor of the front speakers matter. One of the attractive things about the cinemate is the form factor across the board. I only care about the fronts in that regard, though. Size matters for us. I can't be rattling subs, as the neighbors would be the ones killing me at that point. Yet, I don't care about the form factor here at all. Nice and controlled subs would be great. As far as the receiver goes, i was thinking about taking the digital audio out of my HDTV, and plugging it into the receiver... Feel free to convince me otherwise, but on this mindset, a little and simple receiver would do just fine. Also, I'm planning on watching lots of movies, so the fake surround of Bose sounds attractive to me. Lastly, I would like to cap what I would spend to achieve this at $600.

I know this is a lot to ask out of this budget, however these are all things that the Bose delivers, and people here keep bragging about being able to create a system for the same amount that sounds much better. Now I would like to know if it is possible to achieve that keeping the form of at least the front speakers.

In summary:

Best possible sound given the following
600-650 budget
Pleasant looking and small front speakers

Have fun with this guys, and I appreciate you all very much. I think this thread will help many in my situation.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

Your wish is my command! I actually did a thread a couple months ago about some alternatives to Bose at their price points.

You can see the thread here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1515129/bose-killers-for-every-budget-a-series in its entirety.

Alternatively, you can read my recommendation for options that compete amazingly well against Bose's Cinemate GS II:

Bose buyers usually fall into 3 categories – they’re buying Bose for ease of use and setup, because they are stylish and unobtrusive, or they’ve been told that Bose represents the best in sound quality. First, we’ll tackle their least expensive “home theater” system – the Cinemate GS Series II.

1. The Cinemate GS Series II at $600 includes a pair of small satellite speakers that Bose calls Gemstones, one of Bose’s Acoustimass modules, a remote control and remote sensor. It can only connect to a TV that has an audio output, via analog stereo or optical.

Ease of Use - For those who like a sleek look and simple setup, the AVR is the Marantz NR1403. It features Audyssey MultEQ system calibration. It’s $400 list, but you can catch it for less on sale. To get 2.1 stereo sound boosted by a good subwoofer, pick up these Insignia NS-SP213 5 ¼” bookshelf speakers for $70, and round out the LFE with this Bic America V80 8” 100w subwoofer for $110. This puts you at $580, giving you $20 for cables at monoprice.

Low Profile - For those who want a solution that disappears with no visible wires, go with the ZVOX ZBase 580. Like the Bose, it connects to your TV via optical, analog stereo, or digital coax. It’s also $500, and exceeds the performance of the Bose in every way. It also gives you the ability to add a true subwoofer to really enhance the LFE. Use the money you save on an optical cable if you need it, and be sure to pick up some popcorn for movie night, because you’ll be doing it a lot!

Sound Quality - For those who want the best sound quality in a 2.1 system, get a pair of the lauded Andrew Jones SP-BS22 monitors for $130. Couple it with Bic America’s F-12 12” subwoofer for $200. Then power everything with Pioneer’s VSX-523-K for $250. This will leave you with $20 for cables at monoprice. Everything you play on this system will destroy the Bose Cinemate in every conceivable way.

Thanks for the great response. What do you think about the minx system I mentioned above?

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post #30 of 32 Old 03-12-2014, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Follow up question for you guys. I purchased the minx speakers, the mordano aviano sub, and the onkyo tx-8050 receiver. Cab someone walk new through setting it up properly?

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