Need Some Advice on Putting Together a Budget 5.1 System - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-27-2011, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to put together a 5.1 system for around $500. I know that won't get me much, but anything would be better than the HTIB I have now (Philips HTS3372D). I play a lot of games, watch movies frequently, as well as listen to music (mostly hard rock and heavy metal). The room is about 25ft long x 15ft wide x 8ft tall.

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Right now I'm looking at:

Fronts and rears: Sony SS-B3000

Center: Sony SS-CN5000

Sub: Recommend me one under $200 (around $150 would be better).

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I have already purchased:

Receiver: Denon AVR-1611

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I'm pretty much set on the B3000's as they seem like a really good speaker for the price, but I'm open to suggestions.

EDIT: I went ahead and ordered a refurbished Denon 1611 from Accessories4less for $221 shipped. They have a deal now which includes a free Denon i-Pod dock with the purchase of any Denon receiver. The dock sells for about $40 to $50 on ebay, so I figured I would go ahead and get it and sell the dock since I have no use for it. I should have said earlier that right now I have my set up in a 13x13x8 room, but I am moving it to the bigger room within a few weeks. I have an old set of satellites from an old RCA HTIB that should work until I move rooms and have room for the bigger Sony's (I don't want to use the ones with the HTIB I have set up now since they have an impedance of 4ohm, but the RCA's rated at 6ohm and should work for now). It looks like I can not connect my passive sub to the 1611 (other than wiring it into the front channels), so I'm going to try to get a sub right now as well. I was looking at the Polk PSW505 on Amazon (the price was $169 new and $150 used yesterday), but the price keeps fluctuating. Newegg had it on sale as well, but they are now sold out. The BIC F-12 is at $188 on Amazon right now, and it is looking to be best choice but will put me slightly over budget. I have never owned a powered sub and the sub I have now only has a 6.5" driver, so it will probably not take much to impress me.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-27-2011, 01:57 PM
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You are on a budget so I offer an idea or two or three:

1. Why not just use the receiver than came with the htib? Yea they aren't packed full of features but they do dolby digital just fine and have power to driver the speakers you can afford.

2. Can you build your own sub? Rip the amp out of your htib sub and build a new one. I have done this for a "travel" system. For monoprice money you can have alot more if you do the research and have the skills.

3. When I am on a tight budget for something I buy used stuff.

Have Fun!
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-27-2011, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmannth View Post

You are on a budget so I offer an idea or two or three:

1. Why not just use the receiver than came with the htib? Yea they aren't packed full of features but they do dolby digital just fine and have power to driver the speakers you can afford.

2. Can you build your own sub? Rip the amp out of your htib sub and build a new one. I have done this for a "travel" system. For monoprice money you can have alot more if you do the research and have the skills.

3. When I am on a tight budget for something I buy used stuff.

Have Fun!

1: The receiver does not have HDMI in, so I have a mess of toslink cables and since it only has one optical port I have splitters as well and only one device can be on at a time (not that big of a deal and I could buy a switch and get rid of the splitters, but I would like to make things neater). It also only does Dolby Digital, and I hate it when I go down to watch a movie and find out it only has a DTS track and I have to watch it in 5 channel stereo.

2: I could build my own sub, and I will look into that.

3: I plan on buying used when I can as long as the price is difference is worth it. Right now if I go with the Polk PSW10 for the sub and buy everything used I'm looking at $440.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-28-2011, 05:57 AM
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How long would it take for you to save another $500?

Also where do you live. Members can always dive into Craigslist for you and help you find that used gem of a speaker or receiver.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-28-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shilo59 View Post

I'm trying to put together a 5.1 system for around $500. I know that won't get me much, but anything would be better than the HTIB I have now (Philips HTS3372D). I play a lot of games, watch movies frequently, as well as listen to music (mostly hard rock and heavy metal). The room is about 25ft long x 15ft wide x 8ft tall.

Right now I'm looking at:

Receiver: Pioneer VSX-821-K

Fronts and rears: Sony SS-B3000

Center: Sony SS-CN5000

Sub: Monoprice 12"

I'm pretty much set on the B3000's as they seem like a really good speaker for the price, but I'm open to suggestions.

I know the Pioneer 521 has a problem with artifacts on HDMI sources, but I have not read anyone saying this about the 821. What I'm a little worried about is that the 821 is basically just the 521 with iPod support, so it would make sense that both of those models share that problem.

I've seen some people say some good things about the Monoprice sub and it seems pretty decent for the price (going to be $115 after shipping). There isn't much to choose from when it comes to cheap subs, and I'm thinking about either the Monoprice one, the Polk PSW10, or the Sony SA-W3000.

If you are rocking a low cost HTiB right now, those Sony speakers will work just fine for you. With $500, you'll be able to afford the full set of speakers AND an entry level reciever (look at the entry level Denon, Onkyo or Pioneer recievers) if you look at last years models, they'll be even cheaper than this years models (and they all should have HD audio, much better than lossy Dolby Digital and DTS surround)
The area where you will run into problems will be with your sub. With the $500 budget, considering the above already purchased, that would leave you with around $100 for the sub which would get you a pretty low quality sub. Something from Sony or Polk can be had for that price, but it won't be very good, or go very low. If you don't mind your sub at modest volumes, you'll be fine with one of those subs. But if you want your HT to rumble deeply, you will need to spend a bit more.

Stand tall and shake the heavens...
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-28-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

How long would it take for you to save another $500?

Also where do you live. Members can always dive into Craigslist for you and help you find that used gem of a speaker or receiver.

I could save up another $500, but it would take a few months and I would rather the money go else where (another $100 or so would be do able though). I live in Luray, Virginia and I've been looking around craigslist without much luck (Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Charolettesville).


Quote:
Originally Posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post

If you are rocking a low cost HTiB right now, those Sony speakers will work just fine for you. With $500, you'll be able to afford the full set of speakers AND an entry level reciever (look at the entry level Denon, Onkyo or Pioneer recievers) if you look at last years models, they'll be even cheaper than this years models (and they all should have HD audio, much better than lossy Dolby Digital and DTS surround)
The area where you will run into problems will be with your sub. With the $500 budget, considering the above already purchased, that would leave you with around $100 for the sub which would get you a pretty low quality sub. Something from Sony or Polk can be had for that price, but it won't be very good, or go very low. If you don't mind your sub at modest volumes, you'll be fine with one of those subs. But if you want your HT to rumble deeply, you will need to spend a bit more.

There are some decent used deals on Amazon (sold by Amazon Warehouse), so if I go with those instead of buying new and I go over my budget just a little bit I could buy a better sub like the BIC America F12 or the Polk PSW505. The Polk was on sale for $178 ($150 used) yesterday, but the price seems to have gone back up today. Coming from the 8in passive sub I'm using now, any powered sub would probably impress me, so I probably wouldn't have to speed that much.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-28-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shilo59 View Post


I could save up another $500, but it would take a few months and I would rather the money go else where (another $100 or so would be do able though). I live in Luray, Virginia and I've been looking around craigslist without much luck (Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Charolettesville).

There are some decent used deals on Amazon (sold by Amazon Warehouse), so if I go with those instead of buying new and I go over my budget just a little bit I could buy a better sub like the BIC America F12 or the Polk PSW505. The Polk was on sale for $178 ($150 used) yesterday, but the price seems to have gone back up today. Coming from the 8in passive sub I'm using now, any powered sub would probably impress me, so I probably wouldn't have to speed that much.

I would go with the BIC F-12 myself, but ultimately the specs on those subs are very comparable. The only difference I saw was that the polk had a higher continuous power useage, but they had the same peak power stats, so ultimately I think either would be fine. They go down to 25hz (23hz for the polk) which is probably good enough for your purposes. I'm sure you would be fine with either option.

Stand tall and shake the heavens...
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-28-2011, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post

I would go with the BIC F-12 myself, but ultimately the specs on those subs are very comparable. The only difference I saw was that the polk had a higher continuous power useage, but they had the same peak power stats, so ultimately I think either would be fine. They go down to 25hz (23hz for the polk) which is probably good enough for your purposes. I'm sure you would be fine with either option.

I'm probably going with the F-12 if the price of the Polk doesn't drop again. I'm going to probably be ordering everything sometime late next week, so I still got some time. Newegg had the Polk sub on sale, but is out of stock right now and Amazon keeps raising and lowering the price.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-29-2011, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I went ahead and ordered a refurbished Denon AVR-1611. The next thing I want to get is a sub. I am willing to go over my budget a little bit, and I'm looking at the $150 to $200 range (on the lower end would be better).
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-29-2011, 10:30 PM
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Same exact position as you: starting from scratch, 20 x 15 x 9 living room, up to a $700 budget, and just drowning in all the options and opinions! Music is my main 'concern' but i also do a ton of movies and small amount of gaming.

I was really looking for L/R/C's with lower bottom end frequency for a smoother blend of sound but I don't have an ideal setup for the larger satellites so really wrestling with this decision.

CONSIDERING this set-up due to low price point, but I also feel like I'm just getting anxious to pull the trigger:
- $160 for Energy Micro 5.0 on promo deal on Newegg [oops, too noob to post link]
- With the Bic F12 sub for $188 on Amazon

Will this present too large of a gap in sound quality/frequency with the smaller speakers or is this a great blend and the sub makes up for the satellites' disparities?? Open for any and all suggestions though. Really really sick of looking and want to get something soooon.

Other common systems I hear all over the place (but would love more input):
Jamo S606 - dont know the brand well
Pioneer SP-PKxx
Polk Monitors
Definitive Technology ProCinema 60.6
Klipsch Quintet
Sony SS-B1000 - not much of a fan of the brand

Best bang for price point, HIT ME!
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