Building Surround Sound Systems Better than Bose. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Ladies and Gentleman, I would love to get your brilliant minds together to talk about creating a surround system that can destroy Bose. I know this won't be very hard so I just threw the Bose in there for us to talk crap about on the side. I would like to build a nice to quite nice surround system to pair up with my 65" Panny Plasma. Folks I have been outta the speaker game for 15 years. Share your opinions on the best speakers, receivers, subs, etc. Brag about your system all while helping me build my first one. Thank you for your replies...(this is a presumptuous statement. Damn can't believe I spelt presumptous correctly on my first go.)

GO!

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 09:30 PM
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Depends on how much you want to spend.

I have a Denon 1713, Bowers & Wilkins 685, Bowers & Wilkins 686, HTM62C, with a klipsch sub (ran out of funds)... Close to $2,000ish setup.

Pioneer has some cheap entry level speakers.

Above that i would rate Polk's new TSX speakers... Klipsch makes some good tower speakers and bookshelfs, they have more bass than polk's but slightly less clarity.

Looking to spend more than that I would suggest brands such as Bowers & Wilkins, Definitive Technology, Energy, or Martinlogan.

Setup:
- Bowers & Wilkins 685, HTMC62B Speakers, ASW61 Sub -
- Denon 1713 Receiver -
- Panamax MR5100 -
- Samsung PN51F8500 -
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-05-2013, 12:22 AM
 
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Hi NaX

Spend $1000 on this and easily destroy Bose: http://www.onkyousa.com/Products/model.php?m=HT-S9400THX&class=Systems&source=prodClass

But you want to do better than that right? Do you want to tell us a few other things* so we can narrow it down a bit for you or shall we just have fun chucking ideas around?

[* Like: rough budget or maximum spend; size and type of your space & seating distance; prefered maximum volume levels; percentage use and/or priorities (eg. movies/music/OTA TV/gaming). Any WAF considerations?]

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Originally Posted by NaX View Post

GO!

Right! Making a few assumptions about your situation and needs, this is what I like for a "bang for your buck" system at the moment. Properly positioned and set up, a system like this will absolutely blow you (and Bose) away for the price:

Speakers: Highly subjective. The ideal way to judge speakers is in your own room with program material you're familiar with. Unless you have a very accommodating local dealer, the best way to accomplish this is with an ID speaker companies with a reasonable (30 days?) trial period and generous return policy. If I was in the market, the first speakers I'd try would be a 7 speaker variant of the Aperion Audio Grand Verus XD system (excluding the sub): http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/verus-home-theater-speakers/verus-grand-tower-xd.



Other highly regarded options in their price brackets include Ascend Acoustics (Sierra Tower/Centre based), SVS (Ultra range) and EMP Tek (E55Ti/E56Ci based).

Subwooferage: Dual subs are highly recommended. Again, ID subs offer terrific performance and value. Look at HSU, SVS, Rythmik, PSA, Outlaw and ??? (brain fade). My pick is 2 X Rythmik Audio F15: http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F15.html.



The volume of your space will impact more than anything on the required output and/or number of subs. This is a great resource to compare subs: http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=home

Receiver: Go for an AVR that packs Audyssey MultEQ XT32; IMO easily the best consumer grade auto set-up and "room correction" EQ system currently available. Look for the cheapest AVR's with XT32 and pick the one with the most useful features to you (or toss a coin). A couple of newer offerings from the usual suspects...
Denon AVR-X4000: http://usa.denon.com/us/product/pages/productdetail.aspx?catalog=denonna_us&pcatid=avsolutions(denonna)&catid=avreceivers(denonna)&pid=avrx4000(denonna)
Onkyo TX-NR929: http://www.onkyousa.com/Products/model.php?m=TX-NR929&class=Receiver&source=prodClass


Also, have a look at this for other ideas: http://www.audioholics.com/buying-guides/system-buying-guides

Good luck & have fun! biggrin.gif


Edit: added the images.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-05-2013, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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wow we already received some great feedback. A few things about my sitch, I would like to stay below 2500 a real win would be sub 2k. My current living room layout is not that big of a deal as I will be moving soon. The living space for this future set up will be very ideal. I have looked hard at Aperion Intimus, an HSU sub and TX-NR709 Onkyo recever. I will probably go with a dual sub one day (front and back) but for now it will only be one. I enjoy crisp details over bass any day and would not want my speakers to over power spoken words. Hope this helps!

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-05-2013, 05:59 PM
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Do you want tower speakers or bookshelfs? For that price range the only brand i think would work with towers would be Energy.

Here is a few different options i think would be good with front towers, rear bookshelfs: Prices are from best buy listings.

energy setup:
2x Energy CF30(towers) - $650
1xEnergy ESW-C10(sub) - $429
1xEnergy CB20(bookshelf pair)- $370
1xEnergy CC10(center) - $320
Denon AVR-X2000 - $650

Total: $2419


bowers and wilkins setup:

2x B&W 686 Pair (4 bookshelf) - $960
1x B&W HTM62 (center) - $425
1xB&W ASW68STB (sub) - $500
Denon AVR-x2000 - $650

total: $2535


Definitive technology:

2x SM55 (bookshelfs) - $600
1x CS-8040HD (center) - $500
1x PROSUB800BLA (sub) - $400
Denon AVR-x2000 - $650

Total: $2150


Just a few different options. Energy will probably be the best value of the bunch, as you could get bookshelfs instead of towers for cheaper than any of the other brands. They will likely also have more bass and less clarity compared to the other two. Bowers & Wilkins will have less bass but tons of clarity. To get the B&W close to your price range i had to choose 5 1/4" speakers rather than 6.25 that i chose for the other brands. They won't get as loud as the other two, but will sound crystal clear. Definitive technology i would believe should be a mix between the two.

Any other questions feel free to ask.

Setup:
- Bowers & Wilkins 685, HTMC62B Speakers, ASW61 Sub -
- Denon 1713 Receiver -
- Panamax MR5100 -
- Samsung PN51F8500 -
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I think bookshelves would be the way to go. I always like the option of being able to build them in wall. Thanks for those last 3 options.

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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whats yalls opinion the 5b, 5t, and 5c?

http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/intimus-home-theater-speakers

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaX View Post

wow we already received some great feedback. A few things about my sitch, I would like to stay below 2500 a real win would be sub 2k. My current living room layout is not that big of a deal as I will be moving soon. The living space for this future set up will be very ideal. I have looked hard at Aperion Intimus, an HSU sub and TX-NR709 Onkyo recever. I will probably go with a dual sub one day (front and back) but for now it will only be one. I enjoy crisp details over bass any day and would not want my speakers to over power spoken words. Hope this helps!

OK, so I'm about 100% over budget! smile.gif

Your strategy of buying one sub now and the other later on is good. A quality sub, properly set up and operating within it's capabilities should never overpower the material with boomy or bloated bass. I've changed my recommendation to the new entry level Rythmik sub, to trim the budget and in recognition of second one down the track. This is still a very solid Direct Servo sub that gives up little (if anything) in terms of output to the Rythmik F15.

Good solid options from Logan above. Another option for towers in this price range is the EMPTek Impression line. These represent a heck of a lot of speaker for the money, especially as the price looks to have dropped $50 for the E55Ti and E56Ci. The centre channel is actually a bit of a monster. Here's the Audioholics reviews of the towers as well as centre and surrounds.

The Onkyo TX-NR818 is currently the cheapest AVR running Audyssey XT32. It is soon to be superseded, so run-out prices will be around. The price below is from US Ebay for an open box unit from an authorised dealer. The 818 will cleanly drive those EMPTeks to satisfyingly loud levels.

So adopting Logan's format...

7.1 channel EMPTek/Rythmik/Onkyo setup:

2 x EMPTek E55Ti (front towers) = $695
1 x EMPTek E56Ci (centre) = $395
4 x EMPTek E5Bi (surrounds, rears) = $450
1 x Rythmik Audio LV12R (sub) = $590
Onkyo TX-NR818 = $700

TOTAL = $2830

BUT, defer purchase of rear speakers (until at new digs?): $2830 - $225 = $2605


PS: NaX, I had most of that ^ in the editor before I spotted your last two posts.


Edit: Alternately, Onkyo TX-NR818 for sale in AVS classifieds, asking $550: $2605 - $150 = $2455 .....under budget!! biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 08:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaX View Post

I think bookshelves would be the way to go. I always like the option of being able to build them in wall. Thanks for those last 3 options.
If you favour bookshelves, you probably won't be overly keen on the big, glossy towers I just recommended. biggrin.gif

Please be aware that building speakers into a wall when they're not specifically designed for that application, should not be attempted. Look for speakers that are clearly designated as "in-wall" speakers if that's what you wish to do.

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Originally Posted by NaX View Post

whats yalls opinion the 5b, 5t, and 5c?

http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/intimus-home-theater-speakers
They're a medium sized speaker and probably pretty good contenders. However, IMO you get much more speaker for your money with the EMPTeks.

The Aperion Verus line would be a clear step up in quality over both. Perhaps look at bookshelves initially for the fronts to defray up-front costs and plan to add towers and centre channel later, when funds/priorities permit. The bookshelves would then be moved to surround duty. Just a thought...
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-08-2013, 07:04 AM
 
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NaX, what do you think?
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-08-2013, 04:01 PM
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I'm not too familiar with aperion myself, so i can't comment on those.

As Giegar said, bookshelfs aren't meant for in wall use. You can buy specific in wall speakers for that, but for the most part i don't think the quality of audio would be quite the same. That being said, i'm also not extremely with in wall units as i prefer towers / bookshelfs.

Setup:
- Bowers & Wilkins 685, HTMC62B Speakers, ASW61 Sub -
- Denon 1713 Receiver -
- Panamax MR5100 -
- Samsung PN51F8500 -
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