Tight Budget, Looking at starting with a 2.1 set-up to upgrade later - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Tight Budget, Looking at starting with a 2.1 set-up to upgrade later

Hey everyone,

This forum has been a ton of help in helping to choose both my projector and AV receiver, so thanks for that. Now onto my dilemma.

I have $300 (tight budget I know ) to spend on setting up some speakers to hook up with my AV receiver. I have heard varying opinions on what to start out with, with this kind of budget. I was thinking of setting up a solid 2.1 system to begin with, then adding some more speakers to bring it up to 5.1 in a couple months time. At the same time, some people have suggested getting a lower end 5.1 system, then slowly upgrading the speakers as time goes on.

I am having my home theatre set up in a small room (10 feet by 12 feet), and will be watching mostly movies and playing video games with the system, while on the odd occasion having people over to watch sports. (NFL Sundays) The AV receiver for this system is a Onkyo NR515.

Given my budget, where would you recommend I begin in buying speakers? (Begin with 2.1, or just start with a lower end 5.1) What speakers would you suggest I purchase to will give me a solid core to build from?

I plan on building out this system over a 6 month period. If you have any recommendations/suggestions of how I go about building the system out over that period, that would be great as well.

As always, thanks again for taking the time to help me out. You folks are the best.

(**Edit: I don't mind buying used/refurbished either. Would actually prefer that if it means getting higher quality equipment that will last longer)

Last edited by Bateserade; 06-27-2014 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Adding information/spelling
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:04 AM
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the only way you are going to get a decent 2.1 for 300 dollars is to buy used or refurbished. New, 300 dollars will get you:
a. A decent set of bookshelf speakers...OR
b. A decent subwoofer

now, the exception is that sometime you can find some really good deals on lines that are being discontinued. I was able to get my Def Tech SM450 for 180 dollars/pr from New Egg on one of those 48 hr only specials...

Anyway, back to you budget, I would recommend either increasing your budget and going 2.1, or just get the best pair of bookshelf speakers you can and go 2.0 till additional funds allow for a subwoofer...then plan on spending 500 dollars on the subwoofer alone.

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 #3 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
the only way you are going to get a decent 2.1 for 300 dollars is to buy used or refurbished. New, 300 dollars will get you:
a. A decent set of bookshelf speakers...OR
b. A decent subwoofer

now, the exception is that sometime you can find some really good deals on lines that are being discontinued. I was able to get my Def Tech SM450 for 180 dollars/pr from New Egg on one of those 48 hr only specials...

Anyway, back to you budget, I would recommend either increasing your budget and going 2.1, or just get the best pair of bookshelf speakers you can and go 2.0 till additional funds allow for a subwoofer...then plan on spending 500 dollars on the subwoofer alone.
Ya, I would plan on investing in a sub in about a month or two. Just don't have the funds at the moment. I am really looking at speakers that would lend a good start to my system, blocks to build upon. Would you recommend going bookshelf over floor standing at this point in time? What brand/model of speaker would you recommend to start with?

Thanks for your help.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:14 AM
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Amazon has the Infinity P153s on sale today for $45 each, so you could do 5 for a 5.0 system and add a sub later on. I have the P163s as fronts and they are surprisingly good so I upgraded my rears today with the P153s.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Amazon has the Infinity P153s on sale today for $45 each, so you could do 5 for a 5.0 system and add a sub later on. I have the P163s as fronts and they are surprisingly good so I upgraded my rears today with the P153s.
Seems like a pretty good deal for these. How would you compare them to the Energy Take 5 speakers? Those have been on my radar for a bit, and I don't know much about the Primus line.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:27 AM
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In the 300/pr range, there really are a whole lot of choices!

A couple suggestions...

EMPtek E5Bi bookshelf speakers, 225/pr, but EMP has done a July 4th special that last couple years, so maybe you can get them cheaper. Very good speaker with decent bass, and outstanding midbass and the speaker looks better than most.

Ascend Acoustic CBM-170SE, 300/pr. Not the prettiest speaker, but a really good bang for the buck speaker.

I would buy a good bookshelf first, and you always have the option of moving them to surround duty and buying some towers or better bookshelf speakers for fronts later. The biggest improvement you will hear is going from TV speakers to a recevier and some decent front speakers! Just keep in mind that you want you front three speakers from the same brand/model!

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 #7 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:30 AM
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JUST MY OPINION...the Infinity Primus line of speakers will crush the energy take classic in about any measurement or listening criteria! This is also a good suggestion, although I would get the P163 (alittle bigger woofer in this speaker) and maybe the 153 for surround duty.

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 #8 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:34 AM
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I hated the Energy Take One 5.1 speakers from day one. After reading the great reviews, imagine my disappointment over "plain" sounding speakers. I kept trying to match a $99 Logitech 200 watt 2.1 THX speaker set, and fried the Energy sub within 2 weeks. I turned it up during a movie and after a action scene we could smell the speaker. I fixed the sub and added another sub...but still plain.

I broke down and got the P163s and what a difference...just adding the Infinity center made all the difference, so now I have a spare set of Energy speakers. I might upgrade to a 7.2 and use the Energy's in a smaller room with my "projector" mistake (SVGA does not = 170 inch image but I still love the projector for a 92 inch image or outdoors.)

I can't speak for the P153s (yet) but the P163s for the money are great for movies.
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:47 AM
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The Energy's are small..about the size of computer speaker. This is what they look like in my room. (A better picture can be found on my setup thread). The 5 speakers are almost equal in size to one P163. See them in the back of the room.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg roomback1.jpg (96.6 KB, 57 views)
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
In the 300/pr range, there really are a whole lot of choices!

A couple suggestions...

EMPtek E5Bi bookshelf speakers, 225/pr, but EMP has done a July 4th special that last couple years, so maybe you can get them cheaper. Very good speaker with decent bass, and outstanding midbass and the speaker looks better than most.

Ascend Acoustic CBM-170SE, 300/pr. Not the prettiest speaker, but a really good bang for the buck speaker.

I would buy a good bookshelf first, and you always have the option of moving them to surround duty and buying some towers or better bookshelf speakers for fronts later. The biggest improvement you will hear is going from TV speakers to a recevier and some decent front speakers! Just keep in mind that you want you front three speakers from the same brand/model!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
JUST MY OPINION...the Infinity Primus line of speakers will crush the energy take classic in about any measurement or listening criteria! This is also a good suggestion, although I would get the P163 (alittle bigger woofer in this speaker) and maybe the 153 for surround duty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post
I hated the Energy Take One 5.1 speakers from day one. After reading the great reviews, imagine my disappointment over "plain" sounding speakers. I kept trying to match a $99 Logitech 200 watt 2.1 THX speaker set, and fried the Energy sub within 2 weeks. I turned it up during a movie and after a action scene we could smell the speaker. I fixed the sub and added another sub...but still plain.

I broke down and got the P163s and what a difference...just adding the Infinity center made all the difference, so now I have a spare set of Energy speakers. I might upgrade to a 7.2 and use the Energy's in a smaller room with my "projector" mistake (SVGA does not = 170 inch image but I still love the projector for a 92 inch image or outdoors.)

I can't speak for the P153s (yet) but the P163s for the money are great for movies.
Wow guys this is great advice. I think getting two of those P153s (or P163s depending on what price I find them at) sounds like a great idea for the price. I'll look to avoid the Take 5s, especially after steve1106's testimony about them (guess you can't always trust those review sites haha). And as Elihawk suggested, I can move the P153s to surround duty once I have funds for larger front speakers.

If I were to get the P153 centre speaker, would I be able to use it with P163s as my fronts? I know your not suppose to mix and match for the front line, but figure if they are that similar I might be able to get away with it.

In terms of subs, any suggestions for that? I have read good things about the BIC Acoustech PL-200, the BIC F-12, and the Energy 10.3.
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:54 AM
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The best case, if space allows, would be to get an extra p153 or p163 and use three identical speakers across the front. Not all home entertainment layouts allow for that...
Btw, I think the horizontal center channels for those speakers would be the pc251 or pc351...

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 #12 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:56 AM
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I have the Infinity center PC 251 ($66 or $69 now on Amazon but without Prime shipping...I paid $110 a few weeks ago with Prime) with has the same size drivers as the P153... just one less woofer, and I use it with the P163s. It sounds good to me, but keep in mind...I'm over 50, so just being able to hear something sounds good to me.
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 10:59 AM
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I know you said 300 total but right now Amazon has the Infinity P363s for 176 with Prime shipping. You would be a little over budget an without a center channel speaker but honestly, I have the P363s and would not replace them with anything in the 0-600 dollar price range.

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primu...=infinity+p363

I got by just fine with just those for a few months and there was enough bass and clarity in dialogue for our room and it's around 15x18 or so.

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post #14 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 11:04 AM
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Oops. I also have the BIC f12 and it shakes the house with the Infinities. I have three levels in my home and the the wife above complains and my kids on the floor above her complain....I have no complaints. My kids are 18 and 20, so for them to complain...it must be loud.

I did add a $89 Polk sub to the rear to help out the Energy speakers.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
EMPtek E5Bi bookshelf speakers, 225/pr, but EMP has done a July 4th special that last couple years, so maybe you can get them cheaper. Very good speaker with decent bass, and outstanding midbass and the speaker looks better than most.
Wow just read a review on these and apparently they are the budget speaker to beat. Now if I could only find a refurbished model of them, then I would be golden.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 11:07 AM
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The P363s were $99 last week on Amazon, so the price follows Fry's weekly sales that come out on Fridays. That is why the P153s dropped.
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Oops. I also have the BIC f12 and it shakes the house with the Infinities. I have three levels in my home and the the wife above complains and my kids on the floor above her complain....I have no complaints. My kids are 18 and 20, so for them to complain...it must be loud.

I did add a $89 Polk sub to the rear to help out the Energy speakers.
That sounds fantastic haha. Guess I know what I am saving up for now.
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-27-2014, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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The P363s were $99 last week on Amazon, so the price follows Fry's weekly sales that come out on Fridays. That is why the P153s dropped.
Wow if they were $99 now I wouldnt even hesitate to grab them. Think I might go for the P153s in the meantime, for $44 they look like a steal, and should hold me over til I can afford to grab more.
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