Seeking Advice for $2K Apartment Setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-23-2014, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Seeking Advice for $2K Apartment Setup

Hi All,

I've been reading the forums for a while now in my search for the best audio setup for my apartment. It's become apparent that I will be reading for some time before I can narrow down my selections, and was hoping a few of you would be able to provide your insight as to which direction I should go while I continue my reading.

The Rundown:

My Goal: Create the best sound experience for movie, music and gaming. I'd like to future proof my setup in the event I move to house or bigger apartment.
  • I have a $2000 budget.
  • Looking for a 5.1 setup - Speakers and Sub.
  • Will consider a 7.2 setup.
  • Will consider power conditioners.
  • Apartment Living Room is 15' x 13' but also has no walls to separate the dining room and kitchen (See attachment for floor plan.)
  • The TV is at eye level (black rectangle on the floor plan attachment) on top of a generic TV stand.
  • If possible I would like to integrate an Onkyo NR626 Receiver and two Energy CB-10 speakers, but will move them to a bedroom if better equipment is needed.
Thank you all for your suggestions.
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Last edited by _Kram; 07-23-2014 at 09:29 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-23-2014, 09:34 PM
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Some previous posts with different budgets and tower / bookshelf front speakers:

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Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
My favorite speakers are Paradigm - slightly bright and lively, and a great center channel speaker that will make your HT sound amazing. You should be able to listen to these at a showroom - it was a few hundred miles for me but it was worth it. These are list prices - you should be able to buy them for 10% to 20% less:

Mains: Paradigm Mini Monitor - $299 each
Center: Paradigm Center 3 - $599
Surround: Paradigm Surround 1 - $279 each
Sub: SB-1000 - 300 Watt DSP Controlled, 12" Ultra Compact Sealed Subwoofer - $499


I would also suggest NHT speakers - they are a very neutral acoustic suspension speaker with very smooth mids, not bright or boomy - you should listen to a pair to see if you like the sound. I have a mint pair of Classic Two's at the office that I bought used on eBay and I can listen to them all day (or night) without fatigue. This would be my ideal "small home theater" system:

Mains: NHT Classic Two Bookshelf Speaker - Only 12" Tall - $330 each
Center: NHT TwoC Center Channel Speaker - 3 way design for better dialog - $450
Surround: NHT Absolute Zero Bookshelf Speaker - $220 each
OR
Surround: Absolute Wall Speaker White - $220 each
Sub: SB-1000 - 300 Watt DSP Controlled, 12" Ultra Compact Sealed Subwoofer - $499
For a $2000 budget where you want great sounding tower front speakers, I would also suggest Polk RTi series:

Mains: Polk RTiA5 Compact High Performance Floorstanding Speaker
Center: Polk Audio CSi A6-Black High Performance Center Speaker
Surrounds: Polk Audio F/XiA4 Timbre-Matched Bipole/Dipole Surround Loundspeaker - Pair
Sub: SVS PB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled, 10" Ported Subwoofer - $499


Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
I usually recommend Polk New Monitor speakers for a $500 - $700 budget as their towers are a very good value, but with $1000 to spend the Inifinity center is much better. This is the $1000 system I would recommend:

Center: Infinity Primus PC351 Center channel speaker - $200
Fronts: Infinity Primus 253BK Floor-standing speakers - $300/pr
Sub: SVS PB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled, 10" Ported Subwoofer - $499

If you could increase the budget $100, you could get these bigger towers to better match the center channel speaker and to get more sound to fill that large space better:
Fronts: Infinity Primus P363 Floor-standing speakers - $400/pr
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2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-23-2014, 09:47 PM
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Oh yea, your Onkyo TX-NR626 AVR should be able to drive any of these speakers easily - you shouldn't need to upgrade unless you need some new features it doesn't have

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-25-2014, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response, I'll be looking into the brands you suggested.

I was considering the SVS PB2000 sub, would this be too much for the room dimensions I have?

Are there any clear lines in regards to price and quality that I should be aware of? Could I get a really nice setup (compared to your suggestions) for 500-1000 more? Or will I have to throw down a lot more to get the next bump in a good audio experience?

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-26-2014, 10:17 AM
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With your open floor plan, I agree that a bigger sub would fill the space better. Remember that other rooms open to your listening room are included in your room volume - especially for bass. The next major step that I would recommend would be going to Paradigm Monitor towers for the front speakers and bigger surrounds. The bigger towers and sub would also future proof your system for a bigger apartment

Mains: Paradigm Monitor 9 - $599 each
Center: Paradigm Center 3 - $599
Surround: Paradigm Surround 3 - $399 each
Sub: SVS PB-2000 - 500 Watt DSP Controlled, 12" Ported Subwoofer - $799 (also be sure to check the SVS outlet specials - they have a PB-2000 for $649)

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-26-2014, 10:18 AM
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I considered one giant sub, but for a couple hundred more I decided to get two smaller subs and I'm really glad that I did. Placement options were improved, together they have much higher output, and smoother in-room response - it was much easier to get a flatter response.

Dual PB-1000 - 300 Watt DSP Controlled, 10" Ported Subwoofers

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-26-2014, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Kram View Post
Are there any clear lines in regards to price and quality that I should be aware of? Could I get a really nice setup (compared to your suggestions) for 500-1000 more? Or will I have to throw down a lot more to get the next bump in a good audio experience?
There are thousands of speakers - all with their own sound and claims to greatness. I would say that you should just listen to as many as you can and decide what you like.

Like most things, there are diminishing returns on spending a lot more money. Many high end speakers are super expensive just to remain exclusive. I try to decide for myself what speakers and brands actually spend the money they charge on world class engineering and expensive materials and not just marketing, advertising, and company profits.

There are some general types and "sound" of speakers - but even these are subjective - figure out what kind of sound you like and listen to speakers with that type of "sound"

- high efficiency, horn loaded drivers (Klipsch, JBL, JTR)
- slightly bright, lively (Paradigm, Polk, Focal)
- slightly warm, neutral (NHT, B&W, KEF)
- warm (Mordaunt-Short?, Sonus Faber?, Dynaudio?) never heard these so these are just what I've heard about
- planar (Martin Logan, Magnepan)

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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