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Old 06-27-2014, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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building a home theater suggestions

I've been reading for a few days and I keep seeing posts about high end stuff and articles about cheap stuff. I think I need something in between. I've found the projector I want but audio has always been my bane. I've never invested well in it and I always end up with bad systems.

Right now I have a budget close to $1200 for audio.

I assume buying reciever and speakers separate is the best. I don't know what good speakers are or what to look for in speakers. general advice would be very helpful.


I do like onkyo but my only experience is with cheap HTiB builds. the room i'm using is 10x20 with over 100" screen. i want an experience that will look and sound like a real theater. I'm sure $1200 won't get me there but with the right setup and design i can create a mini director's suite.

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Old 06-27-2014, 03:32 PM
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Onkyo is known for making good electronics, but not so much speakers.
With a 1200 dollar budget, I would spend NO MORE than 300 on a decent, budget AVR, 300 on a sub and most of the remaining budget on your front three...and then cheap surrounds.

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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Old 06-27-2014, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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do you have any specific recommendations? I'm not sure what a good sub is and what are good front 3
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:11 PM
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Very good subwoofer for $300: http://www.amazon.com/NXG-Technology.../dp/B008FSTU4G

For speakers, get these CBM-170 SEs for the left and right:
Then this for the center: http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...c/cmt340c.html
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...70/cbm170.html

You could start with that and wait on the surrounds a little. Then, if you decide you like what you hear but want more, move the CBM-170 SEs to the rear and get the CMT-340 SEs for the front: http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...m/cmt340m.html

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:30 PM
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Denon E400
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...3Adenon%20e400

HSU STF-2 subwoofer
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

Look at starting with 3 speakers for the front channels

WaveCrest Audio
http://www.wavecrestaudio.com/

HTD Level Two - bookshelf and center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers

Definitive SM-350 > Buy 2 pair, and use 1 as a center channel - and have a spare
The price is worth it
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882325059

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
First time I've seen your recommend Sony speakers, Jim

(check the link)

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
First time I've seen your recommend Sony speakers, Jim
(check the link)
Link in post is corrected.

However, I do like the new Sony Core speakers - and they sound better to me,
compared to the budget friendly - Pioneer, Polk, Klipsch, JBL and Infinity.

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Old 06-27-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Link in post is corrected.

However, I do like the new Sony Core speakers - and they sound better to me,
compared to the budget friendly - Pioneer, Polk, Klipsch, JBL and Infinity.
That's good to hear. About time Sony came out with some decent sounding speakers

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Very good subwoofer for $300: http://www.amazon.com/NXG-Technology.../dp/B008FSTU4G

For speakers, get these CBM-170 SEs for the left and right:
Then this for the center: http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...c/cmt340c.html
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...70/cbm170.html

You could start with that and wait on the surrounds a little. Then, if you decide you like what you hear but want more, move the CBM-170 SEs to the rear and get the CMT-340 SEs for the front: http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...m/cmt340m.html
I think could be a good strategy for him. For his budget, the NXG makes a lot of sense.

I would go for a less expensive receiver than the OP suggested.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you everyone that has replied. I asked this on my work laptop and didn't get a chance to check it this weekend. I read everything now.

ziegl, were you saying 3 of the wavecrest speakers and using one as a center channel? I've never bought speakers individually and i have always bought the big CE brands that don't perform well. I do like Denon receivers.

Cel, did you have a receiver recommendation? if not i like that denon. my dad uses denon and his setup is good.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:38 AM
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At that price, those Def tech SM350 are great. I was able to get my SM450 for that price, about 1.5 yrs ago.
IMHO, and I own the SM450 and have heard the Ascend Acoust 340, the AA CMT340 is a much better speaker in almost all respects and I trust that the 170s, the 340 mini me, is pretty damn good as well (same woofer and tweeter, just one less woofer)!

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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Old 06-30-2014, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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so are we looking at this

AVR
Denon E400 $350
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...3Adenon%20e400

Center CMT 340C $300
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...c/cmt340c.html

Sub NXG $270
http://www.amazon.com/NXG-Technology...iglink20246-20

Fronts CMT 340 SE $570
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...m/cmt340m.html

Rears def tech sm350 $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...d=scsho5462016

$1670 or $1790 if i want CBM-170 instead of def tech.
what is the consensus on def tech vs cbm 170?


what if i wanted to make this 7.1 or use "zone 2"?
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:17 AM
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I would spend another $50 and get this Denon AVR-X2000, you get a lot more features, most notably a better version of Audyssey which will improve sound quality. http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-X200...ds=denon+x2000

I think those are probably overkill for surrounds, something like the Polk OWM3 is a good affordable option that works well as a surround speaker.

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Old 06-30-2014, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrynerdjosh View Post
ziegl, were you saying 3 of the wavecrest speakers and using one as a center channel? I've never bought speakers individually and i have always bought the big CE brands that don't perform well. I do like Denon receivers.
Yes, 1 could be used as a center channel - that is why I suggested them - designed by
the same person who owns Ascend.

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Old 06-30-2014, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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so many options. i'm going to be doing my homework. i think i'm going to expand my budget to $1800. i can hold off on some other projects. i want excellent sound. not just "eh it sounds good" but "wow... that was incredible"
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrynerdjosh View Post
so many options. i'm going to be doing my homework. i think i'm going to expand my budget to $1800. i can hold off on some other projects. i want excellent sound. not just "eh it sounds good" but "wow... that was incredible"
If that is the case, then I would strongly recommend putting that towards the sub. Something like SVS PB-1000 or Rythmik LV12R would be a big upgrade and in my opinion no other change to that setup would make more of an improvement in sound quality (within your budget).
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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so i'm looking at 3 different rear speaker recommendations

def tech sm350 $180

Polk OWM3 $100

AA CBM-170 $300


are the polks going to compare to these much more expensive ones?
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrynerdjosh View Post
so i'm looking at 3 different rear speaker recommendations

def tech sm350 $180

Polk OWM3 $100

AA CBM-170 $300


are the polks going to compare to these much more expensive ones?
A majority of the sound content in movies is going to come from the front three speakers. I think the Polks would do fine as surrounds if you wanted to scale back some. If you listen to multi-channel music like SACD/DVDA/Blu Ray Audio, then having a more capable speaker that is timbre matched would be beneficial. However, if going with the Polks means you can upgrade your sub instead, then I take that option everyday. The better sub will make a much bigger improvement in sound quality than a slightly better surround speaker will.

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Old 06-30-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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If that is the case, then I would strongly recommend putting that towards the sub. Something like SVS PB-1000 or Rythmik LV12R would be a big upgrade and in my opinion no other change to that setup would make more of an improvement in sound quality (within your budget).

I have heard a lot of good things about the LV12R. I've been eyeing it but it's so much money. I think if i went for the $100 polk reear speakers i could take that $200 saved and upgrade from the NXG to the LV12R and be extremely happy.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by angrynerdjosh View Post
I have heard a lot of good things about the LV12R. I've been eyeing it but it's so much money. I think if i went for the $100 polk reear speakers i could take that $200 saved and upgrade from the NXG to the LV12R and be extremely happy.
That's a good plan. You really do get some nice performance benefits stepping up to a better sub.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:43 PM
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I would take a look at one of the HSU packages.

Hybrid 2 or 3, 3.1 systems and then add some less expensive speakers for the surrounds.

The VTF2 and 3 are both a step up on the SVS PB1000 and Rythmik LVR-12 and by all accounts the HSU speakers sound terrific.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html

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Old 06-30-2014, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I would take a look at one of the HSU packages.

Hybrid 2 or 3, 3.1 systems and then add some less expensive speakers for the surrounds.

The VTF2 and 3 are both a step up on the SVS PB1000 and Rythmik LVR-12 and by all accounts the HSU speakers sound terrific.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html
Are the VTF2 and 3 supposed to be better than the LVR12? I keep reading that the LVR12 is the best $600 sub. The packages do look nice but at $1659 i can build a set for less. Will the HSU package sound as good as what has been mentioned?

lvr12 sub
def tech sm350 rears
AA center
AA fronts
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by angrynerdjosh View Post
Are the VTF2 and 3 supposed to be better than the LVR12? I keep reading that the LVR12 is the best $600 sub. The packages do look nice but at $1659 i can build a set for less. Will the HSU package sound as good as what has been mentioned?

lvr12 sub
def tech sm350 rears
AA center
AA fronts
Then build it.

I was just providing another possible alternative.

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Old 07-01-2014, 05:24 AM
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I'm not sure the HSU VTF2.4 is outright better than the LV12R, I would say they are pretty similar. Now the VTF3.4 is a step up and will have more output and extension, and be more accurate, but you obviously pay more.

I think you would really enjoy the Ascend speakers, and the Rythmik sub is very good. Also you get a discount for buying a Rythmik sub with Ascend speakers, so you can save a little cash that way. If you are considering the SM350 for surrounds, I would just go with the CBM-170 instead. This way you have a matching setup and those DefTechs would be difficult to mount because they are pretty heavy IIRC.

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:16 AM
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I'm not sure the HSU VTF2.4 is outright better than the LV12R, I would say they are pretty similar. Now the VTF3.4 is a step up and will have more output and extension, and be more accurate, but you obviously pay more.

I think you would really enjoy the Ascend speakers, and the Rythmik sub is very good. Also you get a discount for buying a Rythmik sub with Ascend speakers, so you can save a little cash that way. If you are considering the SM350 for surrounds, I would just go with the CBM-170 instead. This way you have a matching setup and those DefTechs would be difficult to mount because they are pretty heavy IIRC.
Agreed. The CBM-170 SEs will be a very close timbre match. So doesn't make sense to go with the DefTechs unless there is some other very good reason to.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Then build it.

I was just providing another possible alternative.

I'm looking into HSU. I'm trying to get the best sound in this price range. if the HSUs are worth a few hundred more than I'd go that route.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Agreed. The CBM-170 SEs will be a very close timbre match. So doesn't make sense to go with the DefTechs unless there is some other very good reason to.
Mainly due to costs. weren't they $120 cheaper? I considered the Polk OWM3s but was afraid they would suffer when listening to spotify or FLAC. They put the total for my Ascend setup at around $1570 I believe.

if I go all Ascend/Rythmik my price goes right to my max. which is okay if it plays Tron Legacy as good as advertised.

so it seems like the general consensus is

Hybrid 3 - 5.1 Package $1659

1 VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer
4 HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speakers
1 HC-1 MK2 Horn Center Channel speaker

vs

AA setup $1770

Rythmik LV12R $600
CMT-340 fronts $570
CMT-340c Center $300
CBM-170 $300

the VTF 3.4 > LV12R but what about the rest of the speakers in the build?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrynerdjosh View Post
Mainly due to costs. weren't they $120 cheaper? I considered the Polk OWM3s but was afraid they would suffer when listening to spotify or FLAC. They put the total for my Ascend setup at around $1570 I believe.

if I go all Ascend/Rythmik my price goes right to my max. which is okay if it plays Tron Legacy as good as advertised.

so it seems like the general consensus is

Hybrid 3 - 5.1 Package $1659

1 VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer
4 HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speakers
1 HC-1 MK2 Horn Center Channel speaker

vs

AA setup $1770

Rythmik LV12R $600
CMT-340 fronts $570
CMT-340c Center $300
CBM-170 $300

the VTF 3.4 > LV12R but what about the rest of the speakers in the build?
Music is stereo, meaning it is only going to play through the left and right speakers, and if you select the music mode on your receiver it will engage the sub. If you listen to SACD/DVDA/Blu Ray concerts, then you may want something better than the Polks, but for just Spotify and ripped CDs, there won't be a difference.

Both speakers would be a good option, you are likely to get better output from the Ascend setup, as far as sound goes that is difficult to answer. If it was my money, I would be looking at the Rosenut set from HSU, but that is simply because the Ascend speakers are not my cup of tea appearance wise.

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:07 PM
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Mainly due to costs. weren't they $120 cheaper? I considered the Polk OWM3s but was afraid they would suffer when listening to spotify or FLAC. They put the total for my Ascend setup at around $1570 I believe.
Wave Crest HVL-1 can make some nice surrounds - designed by Dave from Ascend
http://www.wavecrestaudio.com/produc...udspeaker-pair

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I just noticed the HSU package in black is only $1399. that's awesome but too bad shipping is an extra $229
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