5.1 recommendation on budget $500 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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Old 06-15-2014, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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5.1 recommendation on budget $500

Looking to upgrade my Yamaha home theater in a box 5.1 system I purchased around 6 years ago with something a bit better today. Hoping I'll be able to get it at best buy.

So far what I think I've gleaned from the forum looks like 2 pairs of Pioneer BS22s as fronts and rears as well as a C22 center is going to be the best for my money. I don't have a sub recommendation yet so any speaker or sub recommendations would be much appreciated! I'm at about $385 with the 2 pairs of BS22 and C22. So I only have about $120 to spend on a sub - though I might be able to stretch to $200.
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention that my room is 15x22 and I'm using a Pioneer VSX-522 receiver. Currently using Yamaha Center NS-AP2800BLC, fronts NS-AP2800BLF, Rears NS-AP2800BLS, and sub YST-SW012.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:02 AM
 
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Infinity P143 for $60 each x 5 = $300.

BIC F12 for $200.

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...nfinity+primus

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F1...ywords=bic+f12

Alternatives:

Infinity PS410 sub for $300.

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...nfinity+primus

BIC DV62 front & surround speakers for $110/pair x 2 = $220.
BIC DV62 center $95.

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-DV...s=BIC+speakers

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-DV...s=BIC+speakers
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. So the P143s would be front center and surrounds? I always thought centers speakers were designed specifically for speech. I could definitely be wrong though because i know very little about the topic. Is this setup a considerable upgrade from my current set?

Also what about the BIC F12 for $200, with the DV62s?

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:02 AM
 
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Thanks. So the P143s would be front center and surrounds? I always thought centers speakers were designed specifically for speech. I could definitely be wrong though because i know very little about the topic. Is this setup a considerable upgrade from my current set?

Also what about the BIC F12 for $200, with the DV62s?
It doesn't matter if the speaker is vertical or horizontal for center. It will sound good either way. A vertical center will sound good, a horizontal center will sound good.

Yes, with the subwoofer, the P143 will sound much better than your old HTIB system.

The BIC system (BIC F12 + DV62s) would also sound much better than your HTIB system.

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. So the P143s would be front center and surrounds? I always thought centers speakers were designed specifically for speech. I could definitely be wrong though because i know very little about the topic. Is this setup a considerable upgrade from my current set?

Also what about the BIC F12 for $200, with the DV62s?
It doesn't matter if the speaker is vertical or horizontal for center. It will sound good either way. A vertical center will sound good, a horizontal center will sound good.

Yes, with the subwoofer, the P143 will sound much better than your old HTIB system.

The BIC system (BIC F12 + DV62s) would also sound much better than your HTIB system.

Personally for about $500, I would take the all-BIC system. Although the Infinity system will be more accurate (better measurements), I think the BIC will sound more dynamic and exciting, especially for movies.
Awesome. Looks like the best buy near me has all the BIC stuff minus the Sub. So I'll probably grab that and order the sub on amazon prime. I'll let you know how it sounds! What's weird is to me the HTIB sounds great - but I'm sure it's one of those things where you don't know what you're missing until you hear the better stuff.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:18 AM
 
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What's weird is to me the HTIB sounds great - but I'm sure it's one of those things where you don't know what you're missing until you hear the better stuff.
Well, good thing about Best Buy is that you can always return the purchase.

I think you should compare the Pioneer vs. BIC vs other speakers vs your current HTIB. If none of them sound better, you should just keep your current HTIB. Or just upgrade the subwoofer alone. Try one of the subs from Best Buy too.

In the end, let your ears be the judge. Don't spend a dime unless the sound is ACTUALLY significantly better per your ears.

Really, if your HTIB sound almost as good, just keep it.

I have a feeling that what you really need is a better subwoofer. So try one of the subs from Best Buy and see.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:20 AM
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Man, you're about a week late on the Pioneer speakers. Amazon had the Pioneer BS-22's for $65/pr last Sunday and the C22 center for $50.

do you have a Fry's Electronics near you? If so they have the Infinity P153 speaker for $49 each.

I assume you're using Best Buy because you have gift cards or rewards points?

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmm I wonder if I should keep the speakers I have and just spend the $500 on a much better sub? Like I said I've always thought the speakers I have sound great. The sub has always been iffy

Thoughts on these?

Niles - 6-1/2" 800-Watt Powered Subwoofer
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/6-1-2-80...ofer&cp=1&lp=9

Velodyne - Impact 12" 275W Subwoofer - Black Ash
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/impact-1...ofer&cp=1&lp=8

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Man, you're about a week late on the Pioneer speakers. Amazon had the Pioneer BS-22's for $65/pr last Sunday and the C22 center for $50.

do you have a Fry's Electronics near you? If so they have the Infinity P153 speaker for $49 each.

I assume you're using Best Buy because you have gift cards or rewards points?
No frys near me - in jersey.

Using best buy because it's generally the only store around here that sells a decent range of speakers. Gonna head there now - any help in selecting a $500 or less sub would be great.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:06 AM
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The Bic V1220 is a pretty good sub if you want to purchase from Best Buy.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/bic-amer...&skuId=2750541

The F12 is more popular and may be slightly better..

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Old 06-15-2014, 09:37 AM
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2 pair of Polk Monitor 30's, $200 shipped
Polk CS1 center, $90 shipped

Dayton Sub-1000, $109

If you are looking to spend $500 on a subwoofer alone, DON'T buy one from Best Buy. $500 can get you a great subwoofer far superior to anything best buy has for sale for that price. Like the SVS PB-1000 or Reaction Audio BPS-212. Both companies allow for a in home trial. SVS's in home trial is 45 days risk free they pay shipping both ways

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Old 06-15-2014, 09:41 AM
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2 pair of Polk Monitor 30's, $200 shipped
Polk CS1 center, $90 shipped

Dayton Sub-1000, $109
Click the Polk link-$99.00 shipped new from Polk.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:44 AM
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2 pair of Polk Monitor 30's, $200 shipped
Polk CS1 center, $90 shipped

Dayton Sub-1000, $109
Click the Polk link-$99.00 shipped new from Polk.
Yeah but 2 pairs is 199.98. As each pair is $99.99
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking at some subs such as definitive technology 1000 powered sub, energy ESWc10, martinlogan dynamo 500
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:23 AM
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Looking at some subs such as definitive technology 1000 powered sub, energy ESWc10, martinlogan dynamo 500
The SVS PB-1000 and Reaction Audio BPS-212 are far superior over those subwoofers.

Go to the Subwoofer forum and for $500 that is what they will recommend. I am just saving you some time.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking at some subs such as definitive technology 1000 powered sub, energy ESWc10, martinlogan dynamo 500
The SVS PB-1000 and Reaction Audio BPS-212 are far superior over those subwoofers.

Go to the Subwoofer forum and for $500 that is what they will recommend. I am just saving you some time.
Ok cool appreciate the help. Now I'm looking at Bowers and Wilkins M1MBs for fronts. Thoughts on that? They're $250 each.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:27 AM
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Looking at some subs such as definitive technology 1000 powered sub, energy ESWc10, martinlogan dynamo 500
The SVS PB-1000 and Reaction Audio BPS-212 are far superior over those subwoofers.

Go to the Subwoofer forum and for $500 that is what they will recommend. I am just saving you some time.
Ok cool appreciate the help. Now I'm looking at Bowers and Wilkins M1MBs for fronts. Thoughts on that? They're $250 each.
Thats bit steep for what you are getting, you are paying a huge price for name.... Are you planning on increasing your budget now?
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking at some subs such as definitive technology 1000 powered sub, energy ESWc10, martinlogan dynamo 500
The SVS PB-1000 and Reaction Audio BPS-212 are far superior over those subwoofers.

Go to the Subwoofer forum and for $500 that is what they will recommend. I am just saving you some time.
Ok cool appreciate the help. Now I'm looking at Bowers and Wilkins M1MBs for fronts. Thoughts on that? They're $250 each.
Thats bit steep for what you are getting, you are paying a huge price for name.... Are you planning on increasing your budget now?
Budget around $600 would be right. At the end of the day I'm trying to decide what I can spend the $600 that is gonna give me the overall best increase in sound quality. Whether it's one $600 center or 2 $250 fronts etc. my goal is to increase audio sound from $600 the best way possible.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Try the ~ $200 sub from Best Buy (BIC or whatever they have) and see what you think. It may sound just as good (subjectively) as some $500-$600 sub.

I think a $150-$200 BIC or Dayton sub will sound 100% better than those HTIB bass modules.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:53 AM
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Before my divorce I had the BIC F12. For an average Joe on a budget it sounded great. If I were in the same place with the same budget, I would purchase it again in a heartbeat. I don't have golden ears nor am I an audio snob.

Now that I've done a lot of research my next system will have the SVS PB-2000. After all of the reading I've done: one of the subs that stood out in almost every recommendation was the SVS PB-1000 for $500. Then further reading in that post or thread, most people chime in that they wish they had bought or that they planned to upgrade to the PB-2000. I think I will skip the financial discomfort and pain of regret and get the PB-2000 off the bat. If the SVS PB-1000 and PB-2000 aren't the best performance at their respective price points, then someone slipped me some kool-aid.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:36 PM
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So far what I think I've gleaned from the forum looks like 2 pairs of Pioneer BS22s as fronts and rears as well as a C22 center is going to be the best for my money. I don't have a sub recommendation yet so any speaker or sub recommendations would be much appreciated! I'm at about $385 with the 2 pairs of BS22 and C22. So I only have about $120 to spend on a sub - though I might be able to stretch to $200.
Stick with you're original idea for the Pioneer Speakers. Andrew Jones is an amazing speaker designer. Basically you're getting a very very talented and gifted audio engineer that mentored under the founders of our industry at the peak of R&D development during the Golden Age of Audio. He helped produce legendary products at KEF then broke off on his own to form the high end engineering company TAS. There he designed and built state of the art audiophile products priced in the upper stratosphere of the high end audio market for tens of thousands of dollars.Here is a link from an interview with Andrew Jones of Pioneer:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...drew_jones.htm



Pioneer is a giant behemoth astride the entire consumer electronics industry. They enticed Andrew to join them with the challenge of applying his considerable talents to "trickle down" the essence of quality in his hand built $20,000 designs into products that sell for under $200 and could be mass produced for the general market. He had already reached the pinnacle of boutique audiophile excess, now he was to figure out a way to replicate that with entry levee mass market practicality. The hope was that his incredible talent coupled with Pioneer's enormous R&D capacity could crack this dilemma and produce a product that audiophiles would buy but college students could afford. They succeeded in spades. Here's an interview between Scott Wilkerson from AVS and Andrew Jones regarding the Pioneer challenge that was broadcast on Home Theater Geeks called "Good Speakers for Less":


Just one example this success is Andrew's design for the the traditional commercial mass market center channel speaker in a 5.1 theater setup. Most manufacturers use a common design in their main floor standing stereo speakers called a D'appolito Speaker Array which places the tweeter at the center between two midrange drivers above and below. This is on purpose because all speakers beam and the cone shaped sound wave emanating from the tweeter in the middle will interact with the cone shaped sound waves emanating from the midrange drivers above and below. Like ocean waves that you might observe at the beach, these colliding wavefronts intersect and combine into high peaks and low troughs. This "intermodulation" between these two wavefronts will reach your ear concurrent with the sound directly from the individual drivers and can be interpreted by the brain a distortion in the sound.

However, the good news is that our brains have evolved to be sensitive to the sound of this type of distortion mostly when it's coming horizontally from the left to the right, not vertically from the top to the bottom. Turns out when we were scurrying throughout the bush in prehistoric times we were much more worried about being attacked and eaten from predators surrounding us on the ground that flying in from the sky above. The vast majority of food we hunted was by listening to rustling in the bushes beside us rather than listening for bird calls from the sky.

As a result, our brain minimizes intermodulation distortion from a vertical D'appolito Speaker Array with the tweeter between two drivers above and below, while it amplifies intermodulation distortion from a horizontal D'appolito Speaker Array with the tweeter between two drivers to the right and left.

Well, of coarse, most manufacturers lay their center channel speaker on it's side to fit under the flat screen TV. This usually necessitates using a horizontal D'appolito Speaker Array with the tweeter between two midrange drivers to the right and left. Does that mean that ALL center channel speakers suffer from IM distortion? Not necessarily so…

If you have the product cycle time, research budget, and design expertise, you can develop a crossover design (the part that divides the sound frequencies between the different drivers) that compensates and minimizes the effect of IM distortion. Sort of like using noise canceling headphones on a airplane (they add in frequencies that are the opposite polarity of the outside noise which combine to cancel out that noise) the crossover can be custom tailored to boost or reduce countervailing frequencies to offset the unique distortion pattern from the specific combination of drivers at the exact distances they are mounted apart on the font baffle. Of course this is an iterative engineering process of trial and error, requiring the time, budget and expertise to winnow the design down to a successful product with little or no IM distortion.

Because of this expensive engineering process, most commercial speaker manufactures ignore intermodulation distortion between the drivers and use a basic standard crossover in their entry level and mid priced products. It doesn't make much difference because they're competing against similarly handicapped designs from all the other manufacturers at these same price points. When you start getting into speakers costing significantly more, some manufacturers address this, but many leave it alone even in their most expensive designs.

What about the Andrew Jones designed center speaker for Pioneer? Not only does it have a compensating crossover network, but every year since the center speaker was first introduced, Andrew kept tweaking the drivers, introducing updated, tweeters, midranges, enclosure material, cabinet and baffle shape, and of course redesigning the crossover to compensate for the new parameters with minimal IM distortion. That's a lot of engineering value to get in a speaker that's priced around a cart of groceries from Costco.

Take a look at last year's 2013 front center channel redesign video that he posted on youtube:


Here's the 2013 redesign youtube video on the main right and left speakers:


Here's the 2013 redesign youtube video on the bookshelf surround speakers:


=================================

Regarding your sub. The Andrew Jones designed sub is a quality product that's a fantastic match to the rest of that system. However if you put that part of your budget back in the bank and save up just a little more money, you can have a little fun, and way way outperform the Andrew Jones model with an absolutely killer sub that's DIY.

Look at a DIY flatpack with any one of a number of inexpensive drivers from Parts Express. They don't take a lot of skill to assemble, just a screwdriver and a couple tools and you're on your way o affordable subwoofer nirvana. The other advantage of a DIY sub is you can always upgrade for minimal cost by swapping out the woofer for a more expensive driver later. For about $249 you can start with a really nice driver like the Dayton Audio RSS460HO-4 18" Reference HO Subwoofer from Parts Express:

http://www.parts-express.com/cat/sub...%5D&PortalID=1

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...4-ohm--295-472




For $189 + shipping you can get a Marty Cube flatpack:

Martysub Flatpacks/Veneer Flatpacks



Or for $177 + shipping you can get a DIY Stonehenge flatpack:

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/ported-...tonehenge.html

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Old 06-15-2014, 12:38 PM
 
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I think a $200-$275 sub is very appropriate for HTIB speakers.

I mean seriously, a $109 Dayton SUB-1000 10" sub is very appropriate for HTIB speakers.

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--300-628

It will sound 100% better than the HTIB bass module or those silly Bose bass modules.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I think a $200-$275 sub is very appropriate for HTIB speakers.

I mean seriously, a $109 Dayton SUB-1000 10" sub is very appropriate for HTIB speakers.

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--300-628

It will sound 100% better than the HTIB bass module or those silly Bose bass modules.
Wow thanks for all the feedback and replies. I'm gonna try a different approach. I'm gonna build up a somewhat more premium system over time, starting with fronts today. I purchased Bowers and Wilkins 684s and just got them setup. Currently trying them out with master and commander on blueray. Still working out the levels but DAMN these things can sing.

Oh and I most certainly went over budget. These were open box items I purchased for $720 for the pair.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:29 PM
 
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Wow, now it's really going to cost you.

Now you can save up for 3 B&W 685 bookshelf for Center and Surrounds and 1 Sub (like SVS, HSU, Rythmik). Unless there is another open-box B&W subwoofer that sounds good to your ears.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, now it's really going to cost you.

Now you can save up for 3 B&W 685 bookshelf for Center and Surrounds and 1 Sub (like SVS, HSU, Rythmik). Unless there is another open-box B&W subwoofer that sounds good to your ears.
Yup that's the plan! For now the fronts sound great to my ears. I'm having a little issue getting the other speakers to catch up. The highs are too low due to the fronts being somewhat overpowering. Bumping the center channel up a bit seems to be working somewhat.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Picture of the setup now.

Last edited by citsur86; 06-15-2014 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:56 PM
 
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The pic is upside down.

The waiting and saving up is going to be hard.
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Weird it uploaded upside down. I turned it upside and reloaded it here.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:47 AM
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Great place to start with. Now you can slowly build your perfect set-up.
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