AVR & Speaker setup under $1400 for Music - including AVR & Floorstanding speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-26-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for a combination of AVR & Speaker setup that will be mostly used for music(more) & movies. This will be my first move up from an HTIB(if it happens that is...)

1. Medium size room
2. I listen to more music than video
3. Atleast 5.1
4. Airplay (Can AVR's do video also ?)
5. Audyssey for speaker setup - How important is this ? Need some help
6. Sound normalisation - so that commericals / music sound is not too high or low - important
7. ARC

Nice to have
1. Bluetooth

I have looked at various AVR's and being a newbie, i am confused as to which one to go for...

For speakers, i am leaning towards Monoprice 9774 or Energy 5.1 if monoprice not available. So, AVR recommendation for these speakers would be awesome to know. Also, i am open to HTIB's but have read on this forum that sperate setups might be a better idea. 700$ is not rigid, i can move up if quality moves up.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-27-2013, 04:46 AM
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As your preference is more towards music, you really need to move up the speaker ladder.
Quality wise, better to spend more on a larger pair of speakers than the same money for 5.
Start out with the L/R mains or LCRs then add matching surrounds/center as you have more money to spend.
As for AVRs, most brands offer refurbs at quite a discount.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-27-2013, 05:05 AM
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For mostly music, better to focus on only a 2.1 or 3.1 setup noting the Energy/Monoprice (although good speakers) are only tiny satellite speakers better chosen for mostly 5.1 movie listening. Review Marantz's 1403 which is on clearance now with the arrival of the new 2013 model.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-28-2013, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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4dhd & jdsmoothie: thanks for helping out a newbie. I really like the idea of going for tower speakers LR's or LCR'a .. I went to a store & checked out Polk RTIa7 & was blown away.. As a result i am am upping the total money i am willing to spend to 1400 ! But, thus being my first proper audio system, i am still wondering if it is worth spending that much money to begin with- two rtia7's & 1 avr .. Will i need center with this setup for regular tv viewing ? I also heard polk loft 50's that were 150$ cheaper at 350$ but i could tell the difference with polk.. Any other recommendations for towers that r cheaper than rtia7 but similar quality ?
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-28-2013, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

4dhd & jdsmoothie: thanks for helping out a newbie. I really like the idea of going for tower speakers LR's or LCR'a .. I went to a store & checked out Polk RTIa7 & was blown away.. As a result i am am upping the total money i am willing to spend to 1400 ! But, thus being my first proper audio system, i am still wondering if it is worth spending that much money to begin with- two rtia7's & 1 avr .. Will i need center with this setup for regular tv viewing ? I also heard polk loft 50's that were 150$ cheaper at 350$ but i could tell the difference with polk.. Any other recommendations for towers that r cheaper than rtia7 but similar quality ?

Assuming similar but slightly below the rti-a7's the following are the most often recommend budget towers.
Polk Monitor 75T (newegg has the best deals, you can demo the TSI series at frys or best buy, they are very very very similar)
Infinity Primus 363 (Frys usually has the best deals)
Pioneer SP-FS52 (Frys, Best Buy and Amazon run good sales on these).

Each have their strengths and weaknesses and given the choice I would choose the rti a7's (or better yet the rti a9's or check out kef Q series towers - see accessories4less for some good deals) if money were not a factor: All have available matching center channels and surround/bookshelves for their respective lines.

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post #6 of 21 Old 04-28-2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

4dhd & jdsmoothie: thanks for helping out a newbie. I really like the idea of going for tower speakers LR's or LCR'a .. I went to a store & checked out Polk RTIa7 & was blown away.. As a result i am am upping the total money i am willing to spend to 1400 ! But, thus being my first proper audio system, i am still wondering if it is worth spending that much money to begin with- two rtia7's & 1 avr .. Will i need center with this setup for regular tv viewing ? I also heard polk loft 50's that were 150$ cheaper at 350$ but i could tell the difference with polk.. Any other recommendations for towers that r cheaper than rtia7 but similar quality ?

I'd stick with what you were "blown away" with and also add a center for movie/TV dialogue as they'll likely give you a discount if you buy the L/C/R package.

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post #7 of 21 Old 04-28-2013, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

I'd stick with what you were "blown away" with and also add a center for movie/TV dialogue as they'll likely give you a discount if you buy the L/C/R package.

I was hoping to stay below 1400 but if i have to get the Center for Polks, it would be too big to put it underneath my TV. Also, if i get the center for 400, i would be looking at 1800$..
I am inclined to look at some of the cheaper options although i might come around & get the pol LCR's.. Is it important to get the Center for TV audio purpose or i can get by with the two towers ?
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-28-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

Assuming similar but slightly below the rti-a7's the following are the most often recommend budget towers.
Polk Monitor 75T (newegg has the best deals, you can demo the TSI series at frys or best buy, they are very very very similar)
Infinity Primus 363 (Frys usually has the best deals)
Pioneer SP-FS52 (Frys, Best Buy and Amazon run good sales on these).

Each have their strengths and weaknesses and given the choice I would choose the rti a7's (or better yet the rti a9's or check out kef Q series towers - see accessories4less for some good deals) if money were not a factor: All have available matching center channels and surround/bookshelves for their respective lines.

Thanks for the lot of options on the lower end .. i have been looking at these online all day .. I will try these out and also keep an eye on the Polks..
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-10-2013, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

As your preference is more towards music, you really need to move up the speaker ladder.
Quality wise, better to spend more on a larger pair of speakers than the same money for 5.
Start out with the L/R mains or LCRs then add matching surrounds/center as you have more money to spend.
As for AVRs, most brands offer refurbs at quite a discount.


I am going to get L,C & R for sure. Do i need to get Subs ? I will use it for both music & movies but can live without too much loud thumping sound from the woofer .. Also, thanks for the tip regarding refrubs, i will definitely get AVR's from accessories4less..
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-10-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been doing some reading at avsforum & other websites but am still a newbie. I am looking for a setup for music & movies. So far i have learnt this

I want to get floorstanding speakers & i loved RTIA7's but i am not going to spend that much money on Speakers alone. I have looked at

Polk Monitor 75T - These are my best bet at this time. Are there any similarly priced floorstanding speakers i should look at ? Also, which center & subwoofers are they paired with
Infinity Primus 363 - on good deal but i don't like the looks
Pioneer SP-FS52 - good, cheap solution & sound is pretty good ... have to raise the volume for more crispness ?

If i go with Monitor 75T above, i plan on getting, L,C & R's. Do i need to get Subwoofer also if i am not too much into hip hop or heavy beats ?

Also, what do i need to look for in an AVR to drive the 75T's ? I still want to have airplay & bluetooth.
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-11-2013, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

I have been doing some reading at avsforum & other websites but am still a newbie. I am looking for a setup for music & movies. So far i have learnt this

I want to get floorstanding speakers & i loved RTIA7's but i am not going to spend that much money on Speakers alone. I have looked at

Polk Monitor 75T - These are my best bet at this time. Are there any similarly priced floorstanding speakers i should look at ? Also, which center & subwoofers are they paired with
Infinity Primus 363 - on good deal but i don't like the looks
Pioneer SP-FS52 - good, cheap solution & sound is pretty good ... have to raise the volume for more crispness ?

If i go with Monitor 75T above, i plan on getting, L,C & R's. Do i need to get Subwoofer also if i am not too much into hip hop or heavy beats ?

Also, what do i need to look for in an AVR to drive the 75T's ? I still want to have airplay & bluetooth.

If you go with the 75T's then you will be "ok" not running a sub as they can go to around 40-50hz on relatively decently on their own, which is satisfactory for a lot of music, although a sub will help define the lower end in much better ways then the 75T's can. I'd start with the towers and center and add a really nice sub at a later date when funds allow.

As far as what AVR to use, what is your budget? There are some really good avr's in the $400 to $1000 range. I like audyssey and I would recommend an AVR that uses audyssey multeq XT or higher. Denon, Marantz and Onkyo all use audyssey.

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post #12 of 21 Old 05-11-2013, 10:59 PM
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Depending on your seating layout you could run a phantom center and put the center channel money towards a sub. Im running one and have no need for a center. What's your budget for the avr? As far as AirPlay, it's becoming pretty common now in most avr's but do note that you'll need an Apple TV if you want to AirPlay video.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-14-2013, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I have learnt quite a bit on this forum & as i continue to understand speakers & audio better, I have some more fundamental questions that I am posting in another forum as a continuation of my research. Thank you all for your help, it is much appreciated
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-14-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I do not think that funds is a big issue for me. I loved the RTIA7's enough to spend money on them. The bigger issue for me is whether i will be able to use this system adequately if i move to an apartment ? I currently live in a house with living room size being (12 W x 20 L). I might have to move to an apartment in the near future. If i do so, will i be able to use the RTIA7's fully ? With that in mind, should i go for relatively cheaper speakers ?

I do not think that i need that much bass. With that in mind, will LCR be considered a complete system ? Atleast for music ?
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-14-2013, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Depending on your seating layout you could run a phantom center and put the center channel money towards a sub. Im running one and have no need for a center. What's your budget for the avr? As far as AirPlay, it's becoming pretty common now in most avr's but do note that you'll need an Apple TV if you want to AirPlay video.

Assuming that i have the funds, would I need to get atleast a left, center, right and a sub ? If so, can i skimp a bit on the sub ? I wonder if i would be able to use a sub in an apartment effectively though ..thoughts ?

As for the AVR, I am holding it off until i definitively decide on the speaker setup. Thanks for your help though.
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-15-2013, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
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Assuming that i have the funds, would I need to get atleast a left, center, right and a sub ? If so, can i skimp a bit on the sub ? I wonder if i would be able to use a sub in an apartment effectively though ..thoughts ?

As for the AVR, I am holding it off until i definitively decide on the speaker setup. Thanks for your help though.

With full range speakers and mostly playing music, you don't have to have a sub. Polk claims -3db@35 htz, which is not as good as JBL L890 -3db@28 htz. I've run the L890 w/o subs in a very large room and I was not missing much, especially for music.
I currently live in a 5 floor high rise and use two subs with my L212/PT800s. But I am not really trying to rumble the floors, either, although I could.
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-15-2013, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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With full range speakers and mostly playing music, you don't have to have a sub. Polk claims -3db@35 htz, which is not as good as JBL L890 -3db@28 htz. I've run the L890 w/o subs in a very large room and I was not missing much, especially for music.
I currently live in a 5 floor high rise and use two subs with my L212/PT800s. But I am not really trying to rumble the floors, either, although I could.

I am getting a bit confused here..it looks like i might not need either the sub or the center speaker ? My seating position is right in front of the speakers, with speakers about 8 feet apart & sitting distance about 8 feet which makes it a triangle. If i run phantom center channel with the RTIA7's, can i do without Sub & center then ? I would love to have least pieces of audio equipment !
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post #18 of 21 Old 05-16-2013, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

I am getting a bit confused here..it looks like i might not need either the sub or the center speaker ? My seating position is right in front of the speakers, with speakers about 8 feet apart & sitting distance about 8 feet which makes it a triangle. If i run phantom center channel with the RTIA7's, can i do without Sub & center then ? I would love to have least pieces of audio equipment !

Most certainly, especially for music. Most of the music I listen to is stereo sources.
As I've mentioned to many people, if one wants quality, but wants to also hold down the total cost, spend the same amount on the L/R instead of a 5.1 system.
At some later time a sub or center can always be added if the desire strikes.
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post #19 of 21 Old 05-17-2013, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I was calling up various places in Chicago to find someone who can demo the NHT Absolute Tower speakers and i happened to speak to someone who had left the business but was very knowledgeable.
He strongly suggested to go for NHT Absolute Tower package & I am inclined to give these a try. This person is no longer in the business & he gave very unbiased advice. I will give these a try & if these do not work for me, I will try the Polk RTI A7's. What do you all think ? I am eagerly looking for your inputs ...

http://www.nhthifi.com/Home-Theater-Subwoofer-Absolute-Tower-B-10d

These would 1200 with the discount they are having right now.
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-18-2013, 03:22 AM
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I for one, can not tell you anything about NHT. I've never auditioned them. I've heard Polks over the years, they are OK.
I am a higher end JBL/Infinity/Revel kind of guy.
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-24-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to thank everyone for their valuable inputs. Since i live in a small town, i went to Chicago to audition several speakers. I listened to RTIA7, A9, P363, some JBL's & Klipsch floorstanding speakers at FRY's. Then I went down to Saturday Audio Exchange to audition PSB 6's. Tyhe folks at Saturday Audio Exchange were very nice and helpful but i did not like the speakers that much. They sounded 'tinny' to me. Maybe it was the lower quality MP3's on my iphone... I realized that I need to start with something not too fancy since my audio sources are not that good(MP3's 320 kbps at best playing from HTPC or Airplay). At this point my fav's were still RTIA7's but they were a bit big for my room. I chose to go with Pioneer SP-PK52FS LCR's and the matching sub. I have picked up AVR 1613 from Best Buy but have already ordered Denon AVR E300 from Accessories For Less. I also ended up returning the subwoofer the next since i am enjoying the sound without the subwoofer.
I am really enjoying this 3.0 setup with LCR from Pioneer and want to thank everyone for their inputs in helping me choose the setup that i like.
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