My wife has given me "free" reign over the basement... as long as it's clean. Meaning no visible cables or huge speakers, be it floor standing or large bookshelf speakers. With that said, here's what I have to work with.
My basement measures roughly 30'x25' with 9' ceilings. The TV and front speakers are about 20' away from the sitting area. For this size room, I think I'm pretty content on a 5.1 system. I visited a Bose store a few months back and sat through the V35 demo. I must say, I was quite enthused and walked away with my mind set on purchasing the system. An immediate "ignorant, ill-informed, mass-market consumer" that was willing to dump $3300 right off the bat. It sounded great and the speakers were small. Which was definitely a check mark in the wife approved column.
Then... there was avsforum. And boy do you guys hate Bose. And after reading the facts, man was I blind! And probably deaf as well. I think I've pretty much gotten over the Bose infatuation... now my dilemma... where do I go from here?
My setup will mostly be used for sporting events and movies. Also, a few gaming sessions (currently PS3) here and there. Here's what I'd like to accomplish:
Speakers - smaller than the standard bookshelf speakers; I'd like for the front left/right to be the same size as the rear left/right and the center speaker to be somewhat comparable in size. How do you feel about in-wall/in-ceiling mounted speakers? And is wireless even an option? I did check out the HIW-1 HSU Speaker. Any feedback on HSU and their products?
Receiver - very good quality with at least 5.1 and 3D capabilities. Interested in the Denon AVR1713. Will that be enough or do I need more oomph?
Subs - love the bass... Looked at the HSU VTF-2 MK4. Again, I don't know too much about their equipment or how it performs.
Just a lot of options out there that's a bit overwhelming and I just want a solid, great sounding system that I can enjoy for years to come.
I'd surely appreciate any feedback or suggestions you guys may have. I have a $3500 budget for the Surround Sound setup, mainly because of the Bose system, but if I could stay between 2-3000, that might help me achieve yet another check mark in the wife column!
Thanks for your time spent on reading this, and even more so, if you reply back.
Have a good one!
The very first step in being an "audio enthusiast" is to ignore anything Bose. You are well on your way now, the first shackle of crap audio is now past you.
Try many things, many brands. Make sure to check out some "NON" Japanese models, as well. Such as the Anthem MRX300. Might be a good $$$/value/quality fit for you.
The more you've heard, the better informed you are going to be. And remember, spec sheets are just ONE tool, not THE tool, in a purchasing decision.
Consider searching for a specialist dealer in you area. The best way to begin is to listen to things, tell your salesperson your room size (it's on the larger side) and well as your need for the speakers not being too large. Find out what speakers you like (and like the sound of) and then picking a receiver is easier. In wall speakers can sound good but can be budget busters. Don't get hung up on spec. sheets trust your ears and your other senses. You have a decent budget to work with a good dealer can actually help get what will work for you. There are some honest ones out there.
Beware the Bose haters! If you truly liked the way it all sounded and how it worked ( remote,ergonomics etc.) It's your earsand money. The Bose system you heard would be find for a smaller living room but won't have the Oomph you're looking for downstairs so it would be ruled out in this case,
If a some point you going to be listeing to music downstairs you'll want to bring something you're familar to listen to when you try out speakers.
Above all, have fun with this!