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post #1 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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5.1 system, $850 budget

Just got the Samsung H5000 64" plasma, and I would like to upgrade from my soundbar to a more immersive experience. My budget for the full audio system is $850 (a little flexible if I can get a lot more system for a little more money) . I don't need any fancy feature, just good sound from the devices attached. Includes a Roku 3, HTPC, BluRay, and cable box (eventually will be replaced with an OTA antenna).

Currently I am looking at the Denon AVR-X1000 (last years model so its cheap). But I am not sure what speakers to get. The Pioneer SP 52 series looks nearly perfect, and can be gotten off amazon as a bundle, which fits nicely in my budget. My biggest concern is that the rear speakers are shelf speaker (no mount hook ups), and the back of my living room opens into the kitchen/playroom area with a 9ft ceiling hight. I could make a little shelf for the speakers, but I guess I would need to angle the speakers down at an angle somehow.

Is there anything I am missing here? I just don't know enough about speakers to even know for certain that these will even work together. It makes me tempted to look for an all-in-one setup.

Micah
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post #2 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
Just got the Samsung H5000 64" plasma, and I would like to upgrade from my soundbar to a more immersive experience. My budget for the full audio system is $850 (a little flexible if I can get a lot more system for a little more money) . I don't need any fancy feature, just good sound from the devices attached. Includes a Roku 3, HTPC, BluRay, and cable box (eventually will be replaced with an OTA antenna).

Currently I am looking at the Denon AVR-X1000 (last years model so its cheap). But I am not sure what speakers to get. The Pioneer SP 52 series looks nearly perfect, and can be gotten off amazon as a bundle, which fits nicely in my budget. My biggest concern is that the rear speakers are shelf speaker (no mount hook ups), and the back of my living room opens into the kitchen/playroom area with a 9ft ceiling hight. I could make a little shelf for the speakers, but I guess I would need to angle the speakers down at an angle somehow.

Is there anything I am missing here? I just don't know enough about speakers to even know for certain that these will even work together. It makes me tempted to look for an all-in-one setup.

Micah
The Denon AVR-X1000 is a good unit, I would probably go with the AVR-E300 though given your budget. The only real difference is a lower version of Audyssey, but you would gain more sound quality by spending the extra on a better sub anyway.

The Pioneer's are a good choice, you may also want to look into the Infinity P163 and PC351, with perhaps the P143 for surrounds. For a sub, the best contenders at varying price points are the Dayton SUB-1200 ($120-130), BIC F-12 ($190-200), and NXG BAS 500 ($270).

For your surrounds, you can use these wall mounts which will allow you to angle them down: http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Clam...speaker+mounty
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post #3 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
It makes me tempted to look for an all-in-one setup.
No

And, Pioneer is nice for the price

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post #4 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
No

And, Pioneer is nice for the price
I said TEMPTED. :-) But I know just enough to realize its worth the work to figure out a better setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon
The Denon AVR-X1000 is a good unit, I would probably go with the AVR-E300 though given your budget. The only real difference is a lower version of Audyssey, but you would gain more sound quality by spending the extra on a better sub anyway.

The Pioneer's are a good choice, you may also want to look into the Infinity P163 and PC351, with perhaps the P143 for surrounds. For a sub, the best contenders at varying price points are the Dayton SUB-1200 ($120-130), BIC F-12 ($190-200), and NXG BAS 500 ($270).

For your surrounds, you can use these wall mounts which will allow you to angle them down: http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Clam...speaker+mounty
Since the price difference between the X1000 and the E300 is only $29, I'll probably stick with the slightly higher end. I just don't want to pay for things like blue tooth or wireless, both of which would go completely unused in my setup.

For speakers I like the recommendation of those infinity speakers. Particularly I like the idea of a better center and sub- both of those seem to have excellent reviews on amazon. The Infinity center is twice as much as the Pioneer, but seems to have people very impressed, particularly with dialogue clarity. I am thinking about going with just the P163 and PC351 with the BIC F-12 sub for now. That would fit nicely into my budget. Then, next month, when I have time to wire the stuff anyway, add the rear speakers.

Thoughts?
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post #5 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
I said TEMPTED. :-) But I know just enough to realize its worth the work to figure out a better setup.



Since the price difference between the X1000 and the E300 is only $29, I'll probably stick with the slightly higher end. I just don't want to pay for things like blue tooth or wireless, both of which would go completely unused in my setup.

For speakers I like the recommendation of those infinity speakers. Particularly I like the idea of a better center and sub- both of those seem to have excellent reviews on amazon. The Infinity center is twice as much as the Pioneer, but seems to have people very impressed, particularly with dialogue clarity. I am thinking about going with just the P163 and PC351 with the BIC F-12 sub for now. That would fit nicely into my budget. Then, next month, when I have time to wire the stuff anyway, add the rear speakers.

Thoughts?
If the difference is only $29 then that is an easy choice!

I think that would be a solid system, the PC351 is a good center and there are lots of happy Infinity owners. The BIC is a decent sub for the money, definitely better for movies than it is music however. The NXG would be a good upgrade if you could stretch your budget some.

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post #6 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 11:31 AM
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Get the Bic and get as many M25s as you can from Accessories4less. They are currently on a special sale. The SP 52s you mentioned are $130 each so I'm gonna work off that value and tell you the M25s are $150 each with free shipping. They got rave reviews at the $1,000 a pair price point, so at $300/pr they are pretty much gonna absolutely destroy anything in around the price point.

On the review side - The only reason the M25 set didn't get a perfect 5 stars from Sound and Vision is because the MSurrounds and MCenter are, quite frankly, poor. But they still gave it 4 stars because the M25 was that good to over come it. AVRev said the M25 is the new bench mark in sub-$1000 monitors. Digital Trends said "The M25Bs were also a potent addition to the team. Some musical testing of the speakers isolated in stereo revealed an effortlessly capable command of the midrange and treble registers, with excellent balance and detail. As such, the M25s served as extremely capable surround speakers, exuding a high level of textural depth when given their turn at the shifting sound stage." The M-set got a 4 stars, because, once again, the MSurround and MCenter are quite poor, while the M25 was raved about. AdventureInHiDef got to listen to them at a trade show and assumed they were $2K+ in value and calls it an absolute stunning achievement in the audio world... There are tonssss more reviews out there all praising it at ~$1k price point that they originally debuted at. At $150 each it is a total no brainer. If you're getting a sub, you won't need towers and you can just get these amazing bookshelves.

If that isn't your thing then BajaWaveRunner is DefTech's official refurb seller. He sells the Studio Monitor 45s for $100 each (normal 200 each) on eBay as well as the SM55 for 180 each (normally 300 each). DefTech 45s got greatttt reviews as well.

Don't just jump for the Pioneer's unless you are getting a sweet deal on them. Like I said I worked off the standard going rate for the Pio floor standers, SP52, you listed, so this still might be out of your price range if you're getting a deal! haha
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post #7 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
If the difference is only $29 then that is an easy choice!

I think that would be a solid system, the PC351 is a good center and there are lots of happy Infinity owners. The BIC is a decent sub for the money, definitely better for movies than it is music however. The NXG would be a good upgrade if you could stretch your budget some.
Well, I might could make that work, but I need a source for the NXG. Its not sold by amazon, but the amazon seller does have free shipping. But the price is about what you mentioned. Is this the best place to get it from?
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post #8 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by zxfreese View Post
Get the Bic and get as many M25s as you can from Accessories4less. They are currently on a special sale. The SP 52s you mentioned are $130 each so I'm gonna work off that value and tell you the M25s are $150 each with free shipping. They got rave reviews at the $1,000 a pair price point, so at $300/pr they are pretty much gonna absolutely destroy anything in around the price point.
That is a serious good good price on the M25 - I would easily take them over Infinity and Pioneer.

3 of them for the front 3 channels, would make a good higher level system. That Boston tweeter is a real good one.

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post #9 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
Well, I might could make that work, but I need a source for the NXG. Its not sold by amazon, but the amazon seller does have free shipping. But the price is about what you mentioned. Is this the best place to get it from?
RadioShack also has the NXG subwoofer
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...uctId=24534886
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post #10 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 12:04 PM
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You may want to consider starting with a 2.1 system. Get a good sub and fronts, let Audysee set things up to make up for lack of a center channel, then add a good center later, then rears last.

Rears just aren't used that much, so you won't be missing much in the meantime.

A good center is important, but wouldn't allow much left for fronts and sub (which is also important).

A good 2.1 system now will be a huge upgrade from a sound bar and allow you to grow gradually into a system you won't feel like updating right away. Sure, you *can* do a 5.1 system for your current budget, and it will be better than a soundbar, but it'll also be a compromise that you may find yourself regretting and wanting to upgrade pretty quickly.

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post #11 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zxfreese View Post
Get the Bic and get as many M25s as you can from Accessories4less. They are currently on a special sale. The SP 52s you mentioned are $130 each so I'm gonna work off that value and tell you the M25s are $150 each with free shipping. They got rave reviews at the $1,000 a pair price point, so at $300/pr they are pretty much gonna absolutely destroy anything in around the price point.

On the review side - The only reason the M25 set didn't get a perfect 5 stars from Sound and Vision is because the MSurrounds and MCenter are, quite frankly, poor. But they still gave it 4 stars because the M25 was that good to over come it. AVRev said the M25 is the new bench mark in sub-$1000 monitors. Digital Trends said "The M25Bs were also a potent addition to the team. Some musical testing of the speakers isolated in stereo revealed an effortlessly capable command of the midrange and treble registers, with excellent balance and detail. As such, the M25s served as extremely capable surround speakers, exuding a high level of textural depth when given their turn at the shifting sound stage." The M-set got a 4 stars, because, once again, the MSurround and MCenter are quite poor, while the M25 was raved about. AdventureInHiDef got to listen to them at a trade show and assumed they were $2K+ in value and calls it an absolute stunning achievement in the audio world... There are tonssss more reviews out there all praising it at ~$1k price point that they originally debuted at. At $150 each it is a total no brainer. If you're getting a sub, you won't need towers and you can just get these amazing bookshelves.

If that isn't your thing then BajaWaveRunner is DefTech's official refurb seller. He sells the Studio Monitor 45s for $100 each (normal 200 each) on eBay as well as the SM55 for 180 each (normally 300 each). DefTech 45s got greatttt reviews as well.

Don't just jump for the Pioneer's unless you are getting a sweet deal on them. Like I said I worked off the standard going rate for the Pio floor standers, SP52, you listed, so this still might be out of your price range if you're getting a deal! haha
I think I have ruled out the pioneers, with a couple other better options available that I could afford. Those M25's sound appealing. One issue is that the wall with the TV will have only the TV mounted on the wall, and the old TV stand that will be 1ft shorter than the TV. As such, I would also need stands for those M25's. The look of the Infinity towers will definitely sit better with the wife.

Plus, its not clear what I would use for a center if I got these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
That is a serious good good price on the M25 - I would easily take them over Infinity and Pioneer.

3 of them for the front 3 channels, would make a good higher level system. That Boston tweeter is a real good one.
They only sell these in pairs. Although they are $300 from both accessories4less and Boston Acoustics via Amazon- free shipping either way.

In light of that, I am still leaning strongly to the Infinity matching center and sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko85 View Post
You may want to consider starting with a 2.1 system. Get a good sub and fronts, let Audysee set things up to make up for lack of a center channel, then add a good center later, then rears last.

Rears just aren't used that much, so you won't be missing much in the meantime.

A good center is important, but wouldn't allow much left for fronts and sub (which is also important).

A good 2.1 system now will be a huge upgrade from a sound bar and allow you to grow gradually into a system you won't feel like updating right away. Sure, you *can* do a 5.1 system for your current budget, and it will be better than a soundbar, but it'll also be a compromise that you may find yourself regretting and wanting to upgrade pretty quickly.
If I started with a 2.1 system, I would have to get a matching center later. I would rather get the front 3 started, and since I am told the towers have decent bass, add the sub and surrounds later.

This will be used for TV and Movies almost exclusively, with Pandora being the source for the occasional music. As such, I think having the solid center is my highest priority. I have been pretty happy with my $200 sound bar/sub combo.

Micah
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post #12 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
They only sell these in pairs. Although they are $300 from both accessories4less and Boston Acoustics via Amazon- free shipping either way.

In light of that, I am still leaning strongly to the Infinity matching center and sides.
At AC4L you need to buy a pair to get started - after that, you can buy one each.
They are good higher-resolution speakers.

The Amazon price is $299 each

However, nothing wrong with going with Infinity - they may float your boat.

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Last edited by zieglj01; 07-31-2014 at 02:08 PM.
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post #13 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
At AC4L you need to buy a pair to get started - after that, you can buy one each.
They are good higher-resolution speakers.

The Amazon price is $299 each

However, nothing wrong with going with Infinity - they may float your boat.
OK. well that changes things a bit then- just makes it harder to decide. How do you think the M25 would compare to the PC351 for a center, particularly for vocal clarity?

I would also have to add some sort of stands for them, but that's a minor concern.

-Micah

The more I learn, the less I know....
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post #14 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
OK. well that changes things a bit then- just makes it harder to decide. How do you think the M25 would compare to the PC351 for a center, particularly for vocal clarity?

I would also have to add some sort of stands for them, but that's a minor concern.
The best option for the center channel, is the same as the L/R speakers with vertical placement - this brings
good timbre, balance/blending and off-axis response. The center channel does more than just voices, it can
anchor your front 3 speakers.

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post #15 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 03:47 PM
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$800 is not getting too much, but you should check out Fluance XL7 line. I think you could get 5.0 system for less than $700 shipped to your door and awhile back after reading the Audioholics review it seems to be a decent system for that kind of budget in mind especially if your like to get towers into the mix and get away w/o getting a sub to get some decent upper bass rumble in the room (if you don't have a subwoofer).
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post #16 of 45 Old 08-01-2014, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
The best option for the center channel, is the same as the L/R speakers with vertical placement - this brings
good timbre, balance/blending and off-axis response. The center channel does more than just voices, it can
anchor your front 3 speakers.
Alright, I think 3 of the BA M25's and the BIC F12 sub along with the Denon AVR-X1000 is the way to get this setup started. After tax, etc, it will run under $950- still doable on my budget. I'll have to figure out what to do for stands (maybe build them), and the even more confusing topic of wires to connect all this.... Suggestions?

micah
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post #17 of 45 Old 08-01-2014, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
Alright, I think 3 of the BA M25's and the BIC F12 sub along with the Denon AVR-X1000 is the way to get this setup started. After tax, etc, it will run under $950- still doable on my budget. I'll have to figure out what to do for stands (maybe build them), and the even more confusing topic of wires to connect all this.... Suggestions?
Speaker wire
http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Enha...monoprice+wire

http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-100-...ce+wire&dpPl=1

Banana plugs if you desire
http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-Direct-...s=banana+plugs

http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-Direct-...l+banana+plugs

Subwoofer cable - get the size you need
http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-UL...ubwoofer+cable

http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-UL...r+cable&dpPl=1

You can also check Monoprice online - however, need to weigh out their shipping cost.

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post #18 of 45 Old 08-01-2014, 08:14 AM
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Those are all good options for wires.

For speaker stands, try here?: https://www.parts-express.com/cat/speaker-stands/2017

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Check your local Craigslist for speaker stands. You can save a lot of money that way if you are lucky to find a pair you like.
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post #20 of 45 Old 08-01-2014, 11:14 AM
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Would 3 M25's work for the LCR? or would 2 M25's and 1 MCenter be better?

Also if you went with 3 M25's could one be turned on it's side for the center?
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post #21 of 45 Old 08-01-2014, 11:37 AM
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Would 3 M25's work for the LCR? or would 2 M25's and 1 MCenter be better?

Also if you went with 3 M25's could one be turned on it's side for the center?
Not a fan of the tweeter in the M center channel - the original center measurements
with the BMR tweeter are weak.

The M25 has a better tweeter - and is the best center match for the M25

It will be OK to turn the center horizontal - however the overall better performance,
will come from keeping it vertical.

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post #22 of 45 Old 08-01-2014, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
Alright, I think 3 of the BA M25's and the BIC F12 sub along with the Denon AVR-X1000 is the way to get this setup started. After tax, etc, it will run under $950- still doable on my budget. I'll have to figure out what to do for stands (maybe build them), and the even more confusing topic of wires to connect all this.... Suggestions?
That will be a good setup. I'm sure you'd enjoy the sound

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post #23 of 45 Old 08-02-2014, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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That will be a good setup. I'm sure you'd enjoy the sound
I'm sure I will. Its all in the mail. Cost $1011 after cables,taxes,etc (all free shipping). I will build 2 stands, should be fairly simple, and I can make them fit nicely into out room. Somewhat over my initial budget, but I think it will be worth the extra cost in the long run.

Thanks for the help guys! I would have ended up with the acceptable, but not as nice Pioneer setup. I think this will be much better, particularly after I add the surrounds at some point.

Micah
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post #24 of 45 Old 08-02-2014, 10:02 AM
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I think you made a good decision. Let us know what you think of your new toys. I'm curious about the Boston M25s.
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post #25 of 45 Old 08-03-2014, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I have some older Kenwood speakers from a 5.1 theater in a box system that I got from my brother-in-law. They are KS-305HT speakers. If I get things wired for 5.1, would it be better or worse to use these as surrounds until I can add in some better speakers?

Also, is there any reason to get the MSurrounds instead of an additional 2 M25's when the time comes?

Micah

FYI: Looks like the M25's went up to $169, glad I didn't stall any longer!
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post #26 of 45 Old 08-03-2014, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by micahshaw View Post
I have some older Kenwood speakers from a 5.1 theater in a box system that I got from my brother-in-law. They are KS-305HT speakers. If I get things wired for 5.1, would it be better or worse to use these as surrounds until I can add in some better speakers?

Also, is there any reason to get the MSurrounds instead of an additional 2 M25's when the time comes?
On the Kenwood, keep an eye on the volume

When the time comes - go with some more M25s for surrounds - will make for a good overall balance/blend.

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post #27 of 45 Old 08-03-2014, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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On the Kenwood, keep an eye on the volume
I don't know what you mean by this. Should I be concerned with balance, or should I be worried that I will blow them out if I turn up the volume too loud?

Micah
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post #28 of 45 Old 08-03-2014, 07:23 PM
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I don't know what you mean by this. Should I be concerned with balance, or should I be worried that I will blow them out if I turn up the volume too loud?Micah
They have limited clean power handling - watch the volume - if they distort,
then cut back the volume on the surround level only.

As far as balance - they are no where near the quality of the Boston

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Last edited by zieglj01; 08-03-2014 at 07:29 PM.
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post #29 of 45 Old 08-03-2014, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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They have limited clean power handling - watch the volume

As far as balance - they are no where near the quality of the Boston
Ok good to know. Most of our TV watching is done with little ones in bed, so usually not getting too loud anyway.

And ya, they make sound, but i am not expecting them to be anything like the BA speakers- just a little atmosphere in the surrounds is all I am expecting. I will likely be able to upgrade in the next few months.

micah
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post #30 of 45 Old 08-10-2014, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I think you made a good decision. Let us know what you think of your new toys. I'm curious about the Boston M25s.
The Samsung H5000 64" plasma, the Denon X1000, the BIC F12 sub, and the 3 M25s all came in on wednesday. I got it all set up, and have been enjoying my new toys this weekend!

As far as the sound system, I am not blow away at this point, but I think that I need to break it in and get it set up. I set the speakers up using the cables that were recommended. I used the Audyssey system to set up the EQ. However, I definitely feel like it lacks some of the fullness that I was getting from my $250 sony sound bar. The sound is very clear (much better than the cheap sound bar), and I wouldn't describe the sound as tinny or anything, but it just doesn't have that full low end that I would expect. Watching Pacific Rim, the sound effects did have some good bass, but voices just seem to not have the full low end I am use to. I notice this particularly when watching things like baseball or listening to podcasts.

I was able to find info on this site to get my TV fined tuned, and it looks great. Is there something I should read to learn how to get the sound equally well set up?

Also, side note, the banana plugs do not seem to seat all the way in to the back of the M25s the same as they do in the back of the receiver. I think its in all they way...

Micah
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