Referring to Post #17
Asking why you should pay more for one amp vs another is like asking why should you pay $60,000 for a BMW when you can get a Ford for $20,000. The both accomplish the same thing?
The difference is the quality of the product. Look at each manufacturer's line of products. They make $200 AV amps and they make amp up to $3000. Can we assume there is a difference? If you look at the power, most AV Receiver, even lost cost ones seem to have high power, typically substantially higher power than similar Stereo amps.
And there in lies the problem. If you are able to deliver SEVEN 100w channels for $200, what is each channel worth? Actually the lowest SEVEN channel amp I found on a quick search, was $350, but the underlying point remains the same -
And this is the most expensive Denon I could find from the same source -
Now the second amp is 9 channel, but the per channel cost is still considerably more.
Lowest cost Yamaha -
Most expensive Yamaha AV Receiver -
Using my typical method of calcuation, the first Yamaha has $42 amps inside. The second Yamaha has $200 amps inside. If you had to make a guess, which do you think would sound better, a $42 amp or a $200 amp?
Continuing to use Yamaha as an example, this is probably the most common and most popular Yamaha Receiver. For the average consumer it is a fair mid-range blend of price and quality. I would not recommend anything less than this unless it happened to be a better model on deep discount -
But better quality models, and more preferred models would be these -
This is probably the more preferred, but the price is getting up there pretty substantially now -
Again, I'm simply using Yamaha as an illustration. What you get in a better amp is not more power, though you may get some of that. What you do get is better quality components and a more precision build, and in some cases additional feature. Amps universally come with a Calibration Program/Setup, however many new amps are also coming with Room EQ, which can be handy assuming your room acoustics are not a total disaster.
On your sample price for the Denon 2000 amps, that does seem extremely high when the Denon 3000 is only $599 in the US -
I would actually check into the Tax and Import costs of shipping one from the USA. They may not be as high as you think.
You might want to compare brands like NAD and Cambridge Audio, which are UK Brands, and see if the prices are better in Canada -
The Cambridge are said to have very good sound quality, but they are not loaded down with unnecessary features. Still neither are they cheap -
Continuing Post #17
Undoubtedly you need a good quality Center,
but you typically can't choose a Center at random. It is relatively important that the Front and Center be tonally matched, which means that they are from the same Brand and Series of speakers. Alternately, though uncertain, they should be from the same brand.
Here is how I illustrate good tonally matching Front and Center against a poor tonal match in the Front and Center.
Let's assume in a given movie a motorcycle is going to race across the screen from Left to Right, and the Audio track is going to move from Left to Center to Right with the motorcycle.
This is good tonal matching -
Motorcycle - Motorcycle - Motorcycle
This is bad tonal matching -
Motorcycle - Moped
The Subwoofer is not critical at all; any quality Sub will do.
Surrounds are less critical. Ideally they should be brand and series matched to the front, but circumstance don't always allow that. For example, you may simply not have any place to put bookshelf Surround speakers, so instead you may opt for some small easy to wall or ceiling mount Satellite/Lifestyle speakers. Pretty much every system compromises something in favor of something else.
In other case, with a very large room, a person might decide to put floorstanding/towers in place for the Surround speakers.
The trick is not to seek out the best there is, but rather the best their is for your room and circumstances.
Also, I didn't realize there was a CRUTCHFIELD-Canada. Oddly they don't seem to have Yamaha. The Denon AVR-X1000 is considered entry level. The Denon AVR-X2000 is consider mid consumer level. This is about as low as I would recommend. The Denon AVR-X3000 is up on the higher end.
Though for you the latest Denon 3100 is starting to get excessively expensive -
There is also a newer Denon 2100 model -
Which means the older Denon 2000 model is about $100 cheaper. Also, and especially true if you buy an entire system, there is frequently room to bargain. On a system, they may give you some additional discount.
The PSB T5 are out of stock at Crutchfield-CA, but the price seem pretty fair, in fact all the speaker prices seem pretty fair -
But check these Polk Audio Prices -
The Polk Rti are one line better than the Polk TSx, and should be pretty good speakers, especially when you consider they were originally $700 each.
Also available in black.
In the Polk Audio TSx line, again the prices are still pretty good -
The Polk TSx440 is probably all you really need in your space, and at CA$270 each, they are not that expensive.
The new Polk TSx550
are some monster speakers, and should really bring the thunder and lightening to your space. Though realistically, they may be overkill.
Probably more light and less thunder, even the Polk RTi-A5 should do very well in your space. Remember the RTi is one model line above the TSx.
Trying to stay at something even moderately close to your budget, the Polk TSx440 and the Polk RTi-A5 are worthy considerations.
I would say that generally speaking the PSB are more highly rated than the Polk, but they are also considerably more expensive. Given that the PSB T5 are out of stock, this may be your only choice -
Actually, I just looked again, the PSB T5 in Cherry are out of stock. They still have them in Black, which I think you said you preferred.
Still with a $2000 budget for amp and speakers, you are going to have a hard time paying $1000 for just the Front speakers.
If we assume the Denon 2000 at $700, that leaves you about $1300 for a complete speakers system. So, we need to be looking at something that works out in that range.
Let me see how close I can come to putting together a system for roughly $1300 -
NOTE: In a Subwoofer, you want at LEAST a 10" bass driver. 8" Sub are going to be weak. You may find a 8" Sub that has the depth, but it will not have the weight and impact you would hope for.
These Subs are going to add weight, but neither goes especially deep. Ideally you want Sub-30hz response, which mean in the area of 25hz or less. Which is difficult in your price range.
Though crazy expensive, this is closer to the kind of response you want from a Sub -
Also, notice whether the Sub is rated at -3dB or -6dB, remember you can substract 5hz to 8hz from the 3dB rating to get an estimate of the -6dB rating. So, a Sub rated at 30hz at -3db, can probably go down into the roughly 22hz to 25hz range.
Scaling it back to something a bit more realistic ($485)-
So, let's work this out -
= Polk TSx440
$230/ea = Polk TSx150C (alt: TSx250C = £292)
$485/ea = Polk PSW125 Sub
$1275 = Total
Leaving you short on Surround speakers.
= Polk TSx110 bookshelf
New Total = $1520
Plus the Denon 200
Final Total = $2220
That's not bad relative to your stated $2000 budget.
While the Polk are pretty good bargains in Subs, I think some careful shopping might let you find a better bargain. Again, ideally you would like response well below 30hz at -6dB. The Polk 125 will give you very good impact. But most Sub obssessed people would prefer to be down around 25hz or less on the low end. Again, careful shopping could find a better Sub, though specifically what brand and model, I can't say.
A quick check on Amazon-CA indicates the compact 12" SVS SB1000 is $579, which is a very good sub. In the SVS models PB means Ported Bass, and typically means a bigger Cabinet. Where as SB means sealed box and a slightly smaller cabinet.
The SB-1000 is rated down to 24hz at -3dB. That would certainly do the job for you.
That Sub add about another $95 to your existing budget for a new total of -
Net Total = $2315
Hopefully that helps lend some perspective to the realistic possibilities in your budget range.