Originally Posted by Calhoun612
Hey all, long time lurker, first time poster here. Go easy on me
I'm looking for advice on a quality set up comprised of items that Best Buy sells.
I was gifted a Marantz AVR SR5011 this Christmas to build a set up around. (It's still in the box in case it needs to be returned.)
A very generous gift and a good choice. Having said that, if you can exchange it for an Audyssey MultEQ XT32 enabled Denon for less, I'd jump at that.
I'm able to get a corporate employee discount through a friend and my work consistently rewards me with $100 BB gift cards. Sitting on around $1.5K in gift cards right now. Not in a huge hurry and want to do it right.
The condo I rent is on the small side, Movie/Music mix is about 70/30. Initial thought is to save up a bit and do a 3.1 setup with B&W CM6 S2's for Fronts and a CM2 S2 Center. Martin Logan has some higher end stuff that I was eyeballing but I have yet to give them a listen.
Based on the very good measured performance of the B&W CM10 S2's (here
), the CM6 S2's would be a great candidate. I recommend you go for the more capable 3-way CM Center2 S2 if at all possible though. Give the SVS Ultra Bookshelves and Center a serious listen too.
Cambridge amps and B&W seems to be a classic (very British) pairing. Do I need a separate amp if I already have the Marantz?
No, the Marantz has 7 capable internal amps. Unless you listen at sustained very loud levels &/or have an abnormally long listening distance, the Marantz will be perfectly fine. I recommend you forget all about pairing (it's nonsense) and expensive electronics at this stage and concentrate your spending on speakers/sub to get the best SQ for your budget. The speakers you choose and their interaction with your room will determine the vast majority of what you hear. The electronics contribute only a minuscule amount.
Would I want to drive more powerful towers in the future?
That's a common misconception Cal. Towers will generally have 2 - 3dB higher sensitivity and hence are actually easier to drive than their bookshelf counterparts.
No clue what do do for a sub. Complete newb in that regard.
The sub is arguably the single hardest working component in a movie-centric audio system and should therefore consume a major proportion of your budget. The required sub capability depends on your total open room volume and listening level expectations. As a minimum, aim for a ported 12" design for a reasonable level of performance. SVS is the standout brand at Best Buy. Look at a single PB-2000 or PC-2000 (both $800) initially and aim for a second one if you move to a larger space. If you can manage it, the PC12-Plus
($1200) looks like good value.
Note: Towers for fronts don't fit the initial budget/space, but I will be doing them in the future. (Potentially relegating the B&W CM6 S2's to sides or using them in a second zone.) I welcome any advice on towers though too!
Yes, starting with bookshelf mains and swinging them around to surround duty later is a very good strategy when building a system.
BB doesn't sell Oppo players, but I will go "outside the box" given how good they are.
Oppo are very good. However, they are when it comes down to it, still a disc reader/digital transport and contribute almost nothing to the HT experience when the AVR does the audio processing and the TV does any video processing. Again, you don't want a premium player competing with your speaker/sub budget, so start with a $100 - $120 player from one of the usual suspects (Sony, Samsung, Panasonic etc).