The age old question....My wife said I can spend <$1000 on 5.1 speakers... - AVS Forum
Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > The age old question....My wife said I can spend <$1000 on 5.1 speakers...
Saitac's Avatar Saitac 02:14 AM 03-24-2014

All ye wise men - help a young bloke out?

 

I'm a bit of an audio greenhorn and I'm rather overwhelmed by my options.  I've got a 100" projector/screen that I'm looking to marry some audio to but my wife is only half sold on the whole idea and has set a budget.  I was considering buying the Definitive Technology ProCinema 600 package (PM600x4,PC600,PS600) because it fit easily in my price range and would leave room for a decent receiver with the bells and whistles but I'm a bit underwhelmed with the sub and concerned about it filling my big room.

 

Then I saw the PM800's and started matching it up with the PC1000 but I read you should pass the speaker cables through the sub's output for best performance???? Since when did that catch on....  If I get a different brand sub would I still want to do that?

 

I've got a 15'x20' room with a 9' ceiling.  I haven't picked out a receiver but I've got to stay UNDER $1,000 on the 5.1 speakers.  I can't do towers - the speakers have got to be wall mounted.

 

I like the sound of the DT brand but am open to anything that can wall mount and is under $1,000 as a whole 5.1.  If I can get speaker's+receiver for $1,200 the wife will even give me bonus points.

 

The receiver is a bit complicated with the video implications but I'm all ears there too.

 

So, 5.1 speaker recommendations < $1,000 (w/no towers)? 

 

Thanks in advance - you guys are awesom!



BIslander's Avatar BIslander 06:15 AM 03-24-2014
Where did you read that you should run the speakers through the sub? That was a common approach many years ago. These days, the usual approach is to run everything through the receiver. The AVR does all of the processing and has a pre-out that sends the sub only the audio that it is supposed to play (LFE and redirected bass from bass management). The sub has its own power source.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 06:52 AM 03-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Where did you read that you should run the speakers through the sub? That was a common approach many years ago. These days, the usual approach is to run everything through the receiver. The AVR does all of the processing and has a pre-out that sends the sub only the audio that it is supposed to play (LFE and redirected bass from bass management). The sub has its own power source.

+1
Saitac's Avatar Saitac 12:31 PM 03-24-2014

The sub link up method was in the linked cnet article..

 

http://www.cnet.com/products/definitive-technology-procinema-600/

 

Quote:
 You can hook up the ProCinema the usual way and run all the satellites as "Small" speakers and let your AV receiver handle bass management, but Definitive recommends an alternate hookup method to maximize sound quality. Basically, you run the front left and right speaker cables to the corresponding inputs on the subwoofer, and then run a second pair of cables to the actual speakers. Indeed, it does sound a bit better--producing a better blend between the satellite speakers and the subwoofer--but it was somewhat annoying to have to deal with those extra cables.

 

 

I'm leaning towards 4xPM800's, PC1000, and some sub - not sure there.  Any thoughts?


Saitac's Avatar Saitac 12:33 PM 03-24-2014

Can't link - no permission yet. Anywho - it's kind of below.

 

w w w .cnet. com/products/definitive-technology-procinema-600/

 

A quote from the article...

Quote:
 You can hook up the ProCinema the usual way and run all the satellites as "Small" speakers and let your AV receiver handle bass management, but Definitive recommends an alternate hookup method to maximize sound quality. Basically, you run the front left and right speaker cables to the corresponding inputs on the subwoofer, and then run a second pair of cables to the actual speakers. Indeed, it does sound a bit better--producing a better blend between the satellite speakers and the subwoofer--but it was somewhat annoying to have to deal with those extra cables.

 

 

I'm leaning towards 4xPM800, 1xPC1000, and some sub - not sure there.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks!


Saitac's Avatar Saitac 12:35 PM 03-24-2014

For pete's sake - 3rd attempt trying to reply.  I can't reply with links.  I was going to link to the cnet article that talks about it.  If you google ProCinema600 review - it's in the cnet article.

 

Here's a quote....

Quote:
 You can hook up the ProCinema the usual way and run all the satellites as "Small" speakers and let your AV receiver handle bass management, but Definitive recommends an alternate hookup method to maximize sound quality. Basically, you run the front left and right speaker cables to the corresponding inputs on the subwoofer, and then run a second pair of cables to the actual speakers. Indeed, it does sound a bit better--producing a better blend between the satellite speakers and the subwoofer--but it was somewhat annoying to have to deal with those extra cables.

 

 

I'm leaning towards PM800x4, PC1000, and some sub - not sure on the sub yet.

 

Any thoughts on a <$1,000 5.1?


Saitac's Avatar Saitac 12:36 PM 03-24-2014

For pete's sake - 4th attempt trying to reply.  I can't reply with links or quotes or images.... yeesh.  I was going to link to the cnet article that talks about it.  If you google ProCinema600 review - it's in the cnet article.

 

I also can't quote it apparently but they said DT recommends their alternative hookup style - through the sub....

 

I'm leaning towards PM800x4, PC1000, and some sub - not sure on the sub yet.

 

Any thoughts on a <$1,000 5.1?


Osirus23's Avatar Osirus23 03:49 PM 03-24-2014
I don't know why they would recommend that, all you're doing is using your subwoofer's crossover instead of your AVR and complicating things by having to run a bunch more cables, which also complicates your sub placement options.
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 04:03 PM 03-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osirus23 View Post

I don't know why they would recommend that, all you're doing is using your subwoofer's crossover instead of your AVR and complicating things by having to run a bunch more cables, which also complicates your sub placement options.

Probably because the speakers have a severely limited low-end capability. And maybe because it is a dated recommendation.

And you wouldn't be running them through the sub's "crossover". Subs don't have crossovers; they have variable low-pass filters and sometimes (as is probably the case, here) a fixed high-pass filter which is applied to any directly-connected speakers.

With those speakers and the continuously variable low-pass filter on the sub (no idea what its slope might be), you may be able to better adjust the overall sound quality than what can be achieved by using an AVR's crossover, which usually has a 24dB/octave low-pass filter and a 12dB/octave high-pass filter.
Saitac's Avatar Saitac 05:02 PM 03-24-2014

I think I hijacked my own thread onto a "hook your sub up" topic :/  mwahahhAHAHAa I have the POWER!

 

Any recommendations/thoughts on the <$1,000 5.1 gear??


sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 06:46 PM 03-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saitac View Post

Any recommendations/thoughts on the <$1,000 5.1 gear??

Are you completely averse to starting with less than 5.1 and adding more speakers/sub(s) later?
Saitac's Avatar Saitac 06:52 PM 03-24-2014
I'd be willing to start with 2 or 3.1 but I'd the whole setup to stay under $1500 at 5.1. Is there really nothing for $1000 at 5.1?
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 07:13 PM 03-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saitac View Post

Can't link - no permission yet. Anywho - it's kind of below.

w w w .cnet. com/products/definitive-technology-procinema-600/

A quote from the article...
Quote:
 You can hook up the ProCinema the usual way and run all the satellites as "Small" speakers and let your AV receiver handle bass management, but Definitive recommends an alternate hookup method to maximize sound quality. Basically, you run the front left and right speaker cables to the corresponding inputs on the subwoofer, and then run a second pair of cables to the actual speakers. Indeed, it does sound a bit better--producing a better blend between the satellite speakers and the subwoofer--but it was somewhat annoying to have to deal with those extra cables.


I'm leaning towards 4xPM800, 1xPC1000, and some sub - not sure there.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

I'm not a DefTec fan.

I've done well with Infinity Primus line - often P363s are dirt cheap which is the deal of the century. P143s and 163s are good surrounds and the PC351 is a great center. That leaves moolah for a BIC Acoustech PL200 or BIC America F12 subwoofer.
Saitac's Avatar Saitac 01:06 AM 03-25-2014

Wow... nice setup by my eye.

 

BIC PL-200 = $329

IP PC351 = $275

IP P163 * 2 = $260 (130/per)

IP P143 * 2 = $120 (60/per)

 

TOTAL = $984.... free shipping from Amazon

 

Great scott man - you've done it!!  And a might better then the system I was thinking of.

 

Any other suggestions (like per channel wattage on a receiver...)? I'll be pulling the trigger tomorrow...

 

Thanks for the hand holding I needed it.


Jack D Ripper's Avatar Jack D Ripper 01:39 PM 03-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saitac View Post
 

Wow... nice setup by my eye.

 

BIC PL-200 = $329

IP PC351 = $275

IP P163 * 2 = $260 (130/per)

IP P143 * 2 = $120 (60/per)

 

TOTAL = $984.... free shipping from Amazon

 

Great scott man - you've done it!!  And a might better then the system I was thinking of.

 

Any other suggestions (like per channel wattage on a receiver...)? I'll be pulling the trigger tomorrow...

 

Thanks for the hand holding I needed it.

 

If I were buying Infinity Primus speakers, I personally would go with the Infinity Primus P153 for all channels (currently $75.71 each at Amazon), and then have more money for the subwoofer.  That model seems to go deep enough for an 80Hz crossover.  You could then step up to an SVS PB-1000, which is a significantly better subwoofer.  And you would have perfect voice matching for all channels, as they are the exact same speaker for all channels.


htcritic's Avatar htcritic 02:02 PM 03-25-2014
Before I'd "rush" out to buy the first thing somebody recommended that was in my price range, I'd relax, take a breath, and looked into used. Audiogon, etc where you can get great deals. hell, I easily have $5,000 worth of speakers in my system that I paid less than $1,500 for.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 09:02 PM 03-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by htcritic View Post

Before I'd "rush" out to buy the first thing somebody recommended that was in my price range, I'd relax, take a breath, and looked into used. Audiogon, etc where you can get great deals. hell, I easily have $5,000 worth of speakers in my system that I paid less than $1,500 for.

Buying used speakers is one of the riskiest plays around. Shipping is a killer and hidden damage is a major exposure.
rick240's Avatar rick240 10:02 PM 03-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by htcritic View Post

Before I'd "rush" out to buy the first thing somebody recommended that was in my price range, I'd relax, take a breath, and looked into used. Audiogon, etc where you can get great deals. hell, I easily have $5,000 worth of speakers in my system that I paid less than $1,500 for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Buying used speakers is one of the riskiest plays around. Shipping is a killer and hidden damage is a major exposure.

Sure it's a risk - but you can get some great deals. I have bought and sold - getting and giving great deals.

The other thing to do is look for end-of-line selloffs. Find some great speakers that are being sold off cheap (I got my 5.0 when the Kef iQx series were ending for $700, excellent deal).
bladerunner6's Avatar bladerunner6 10:10 AM 03-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saitac View Post

Wow... nice setup by my eye.

BIC PL-200 = $329
IP PC351 = $275
IP P163 * 2 = $260 (130/per)
IP P143 * 2 = $120 (60/per)

TOTAL = $984.... free shipping from Amazon

Great scott man - you've done it!!  And a might better then the system I was thinking of.

Any other suggestions (like per channel wattage on a receiver...)? I'll be pulling the trigger tomorrow...

Thanks for the hand holding I needed it.

You can save some money on the Primus speakers by waiting for a sale by Amazon or Crutchfield, getting open box from Crutchfield, refurbished units from the Harmon store online (when in stock) or from Fry's if you have on nearby.

What is your timetable?
Jack D Ripper's Avatar Jack D Ripper 10:42 AM 03-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by htcritic View Post

Before I'd "rush" out to buy the first thing somebody recommended that was in my price range, I'd relax, take a breath, and looked into used. Audiogon, etc where you can get great deals. hell, I easily have $5,000 worth of speakers in my system that I paid less than $1,500 for.

Buying used speakers is one of the riskiest plays around. Shipping is a killer and hidden damage is a major exposure.

Since he is, as he states, "an audio greenhorn," I agree with you. Buying used requires knowing what one is doing, or being lucky. And it is also much, much better to buy used locally than remotely, because of shipping costs and shipping damage, but also so that one can see and hear what one is buying before one parts with one's money.

So, I think he would be much safer buying new from authorized dealers, so that he gets things with a warranty, and without previous wear and tear.

That said, if one knows what one is doing, and is careful, one can often get much better deals on used gear. If one screws up, though, a mistake can be costly.
htcritic's Avatar htcritic 02:20 PM 03-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Buying used speakers is one of the riskiest plays around. Shipping is a killer and hidden damage is a major exposure.

For about 4-5 years I bought used speakers just so I could get an opportunity to listen to a bunch of different speakers for the fun of it. Once I was done, I sold them and moved on to another pair. I listened to Dunlavy, NHT, Aerial, Infinity, Vandersteen, Monitor Audio, Legacy, and Triangle. I always got killer deals, always made my money back, and never received a single damaged speaker. Not one. I used mainly Audiogon, always insisted on speaking with the sellers, and never got burned. Right now I have a pair of Triangle Antal ESW's that I picked up in mint condition for $450. I just don't see how you can go wrong buying used if you use a little common sense. I'm looking out for a pair of NHT XD's if I see a god deal and sooner or later...I will!
SMHarman's Avatar SMHarman 04:28 PM 03-26-2014

KEF e305.1

 

http://www.kefdirect.com/e305-system.html

 

Keep an eye out for special offers, stretch the budget or look on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271411649400?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

That is not my listing, just know it is out there as I had a search for these.  I bought mine from kefdirect in their Christmas sale.

 

They also have great WAF.


mtn-tech's Avatar mtn-tech 04:53 PM 03-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Buying used speakers is one of the riskiest plays around. Shipping is a killer and hidden damage is a major exposure.

Agreed - some speakers are difficult and expensive to ship like large floor standing speakers. Others are inherently easier to buy used and have shipped - like smaller bookshelf speakers. There is some risk, but the rewards can be huge if you have the patience. My best find was my pair of brand new piano black Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 speakers with Be tweeters - discontinued in 2010, I found a pair in the original factory sealed boxes on eBay for about half of the original list price - I would have paid list for these brand new discontinued speakers but got a deal.

If you require (or the seller site requires) the seller to backup the sale and allow return if not as described you will get a much more honest seller that works harder to disclose issues up front and properly pack the speakers so they are not damaged. I look for speakers in their original packing and boxes and I usually ask for a 15 day return for any performance issue and ask the seller to double box or wrap original boxes in an additional layer of cardboard - it has helped. My experience with 5 used speaker purchases: (2) purchases were perfect, (2) purchases had broken grilles when they arrived (shipper insurance purchased new grilles both times) and 1 speaker had a "static" sound from the mid-range driver on very quiet passages. In the last case, the seller paid for a brand new driver from the manufacturer and I installed it - perfect result. Can be challenging but as other say you can get the speakers you really want for 50% or even less of their original cost - world class speakers on a realistic budget.
mtn-tech's Avatar mtn-tech 11:18 AM 03-27-2014
Another low cost / high value brand to listen to before deciding is Polk. A friend of mine has speakers from the "Monitor Series" and for the price they blow my mind - check these out for under $500:

Polk Audio Monitor Series 45B - $160/pr
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

Polk Audio Monitor Series 25C Center - $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290281

Polk Audio Monitor Series 35B - $100/pr
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290268
Jack D Ripper's Avatar Jack D Ripper 12:19 PM 03-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post

Another low cost / high value brand to listen to before deciding is Polk. A friend of mine has speakers from the "Monitor Series" and for the price they blow my mind - check these out for under $500:

Polk Audio Monitor Series 45B - $160/pr
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

Polk Audio Monitor Series 25C Center - $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290281

Polk Audio Monitor Series 35B - $100/pr
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290268

I think it would be better to go with RTi series speakers for $175/pair direct from Polk via their eBay site:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/360804038210?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

RTi is a higher line than the Monitor series. It also has a nice real wood veneer finish, which is hard to get at this price point.
Saitac's Avatar Saitac 02:36 PM 03-31-2014

Thanks for all the replies guys.  I went with a super cheap 3.1 off of craigslist (I have no audio otherwise) for now and bought the discontinued Onkyo 818 for $600 which is the receiver I'd been eyeballing for a couple weeks (  Audissey XT32 + 2 HDMI out + OSD for <$1000 :)  ).  After reading all the comments here and other threads I think I need to spend $1000+ to really get what I want in speakers. Also, I'm going to need to take my time and maybe wait for a sweet deal.  The 3.1 cost $50 and is just to get audio out of my projector until I figure something out.  You guys rock!!


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