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First Setup - Matching Timbre

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I just acquired my first HDTV (Panny Plasma 50GT25) and have a need to add in a sound system to match (aka - incoming tax refund burning a hole in my pocket).

Just a few notes to consider, I live alone in an apartment, no kids or non-aquatic pets, and can't really change walls or drill things. I'd like to keep the total price to less than $2k... preferably around $1.7k. Receiver should be able to handle 3D, a blu-ray player, a game console and a dvr as inputs.

My current layout (to scale):


The system I'm looking at (7.1):
Receiver: Marantz SR6005
Center: Polk CS20 (is there a difference between the CS2 and CS20?)
Front L/R: 2x Polk Monitor 70s
Side L/R: 2x Polk Monitor 40s
Rear L/R: 2x Polk Monitor 40s
Sub: ???

Anything notably wrong with it (or areas that I could improve)? Will the center and the monitors have matching timbre? I've heard Polk subs are pretty 'meh', so any suggestions around the $200 price point?

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #3 of 14
Well you shouldn't spend $1000 on a receiver. $2000 is your budget so I'd spend $500 or less on the receiver and the rest on speakers. System won't sound good if the speakers are crap. I'd nix 7.1 too. Almost all movies are 5.1. The surround speakers are barely used in comparison to the front three and subwoofer. I'd spend the bulk of my money there. Also you might consider bookshelves instead of the towers. More performance for your $$$.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 357 View Post

Well you shouldn't spend $1000 on a receiver. $2000 is your budget so I'd spend $500 or less on the receiver and the rest on speakers. System won't sound good if the speakers are crap. I'd nix 7.1 too. Almost all movies are 5.1. The surround speakers are barely used in comparison to the front three and subwoofer. I'd spend the bulk of my money there. Also you might consider bookshelves instead of the towers. More performance for your $$$.

Thanks for the reply. One of the reasons I was looking at the Marantz was I found a factory refurb for about $700 and one of the few in that range that has pre-outs (which I've gathered is fairly important for when I'm ready to upgrade down the line).

From my understanding the Polks are some of the best for my particular budget range, are there other brands/models you would recommend more?
post #5 of 14
you will want to leave at least $400 for a nice subwoofer as well...
post #6 of 14
Unless you plan on hooking up an amp down the road you won't need any preouts. You will replace your receiver every couple of years unlike your speakers which you will need to replace once every ten to fifteen years.

If I had $2000 to spend on a system this is where I'd spend it right now.

$1000 NHT Absolute Tower & Center
$380 Onkyo TX-SR608
$600 on either of these subwoofers...Outlaw LFM-1 Plus or the HSU VTF-2 MK 3

I know this is a 3.1 system but trust me it will sound incredible. You can get some surround speakers later as I'd say around 90% of your audio comes from the front three speakers and subwoofer. For an extra $100 you could also upgrade your center channel to a better one.

This is just my opinion on what I'd do if I had the money.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Alright, convinced me to drop my receiver down a notch.

Now looking at the eD A5-350 for a sub, and sticking with a 3.1 to start... until I've saved a bit more for some good surrounds.

Anyone else have opinions on some decent fronts and a center?

Edit: Also willing to bump up my limit slightly if there's a front 3 that's worth it.
post #8 of 14
If you are willing to bump up a little, for $ Sierra 1's across the front would be hard to beat by anyone - go to ascendacoustics.com and check out all the reviews from various a/v publications plus the thread dedicated to them on this forum. You may also want to look at the 340SEs as well. Aperion is also another choice to investigate and they have a very active thread on this forum - both companies offer excellent customer service and a 30 day return policy so you can demo them in home. The Sierra's will be a speaker you can live with for many years, I've owned a lot of different speakers in the last 30 years and I can honestly say they out perform speakers that cost twice as much (or more). Everyone says spend on the speakers and let the rest follow - you seem to be going that way which is smart. A thousand dollar receiver with average speakers is going to sound average.
post #9 of 14
For a 2K budget you should seriously consinder the Energy RC 50 speakers with a matching RC LCR center.
RC 50s should cost you $540/pair and RC-LCR center around $300 to $400 and the RC-R rears for around $270/pair. All coming to around $1200 for the speakers leaving around $500 to $800 for receiver.
If you can swing another couple of hundred then get the RC 70s at around $800/pair instead of the 50s
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Gah... budget creep is killing me. Started off a few weeks back thinking of the Onkyo 7.1 HTiB THX system for $900... then bumped it up for the separates to $2000. And I'm pretty sure I'm now going to bump it up to $3k.

How do the Energy's compare to the Sierras? Is there much difference between the HSU VTF-MK3 and the eD A5-350?

Here's my current thoughts for a build (5.1):
[Option 1]
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
L/R: 2x Ascend Sierra-1
Center: Ascend Sierra-1 Center
L/R Rear: Ascend CBM-170 SE
Sub: eD A5-350

[Option 2]
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
L/R: 2x NHT Classic Three Bookshelf
Center: NHT ThreeC Center
L/R Rear: 2x NHT Absolute Zero Bookshelf
Sub: eD A5-350
post #11 of 14
I like your option #2
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RowingMunkeyCU View Post

Gah... budget creep is killing me. Started off a few weeks back thinking of the Onkyo 7.1 HTiB THX system for $900... then bumped it up for the separates to $2000. And I'm pretty sure I'm now going to bump it up to $3k.

How do the Energy's compare to the Sierras? Is there much difference between the HSU VTF-MK3 and the eD A5-350?

Here's my current thoughts for a build (5.1):
[Option 1]
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
L/R: 2x Ascend Sierra-1
Center: Ascend Sierra-1 Center
L/R Rear: Ascend CBM-170 SE
Sub: eD A5-350

[Option 2]
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
L/R: 2x NHT Classic Three Bookshelf
Center: NHT ThreeC Center
L/R Rear: 2x NHT Absolute Zero Bookshelf
Sub: eD A5-350


Blow out the budget and go with the Sierras and HSU.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yep. I blew the budget, waiting on the receiver to get here.

Went with B&W CM-5s for the fronts, CM Centre, 686s for the rears. Might go with the 15H... haven't decided yet.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RowingMunkeyCU
Gah... budget creep is killing me. Started off a few weeks back thinking of the Onkyo 7.1 HTiB THX system for $900... then bumped it up for the separates to $2000. And I'm pretty sure I'm now going to bump it up to $3k.

How do the Energy's compare to the Sierras? Is there much difference between the HSU VTF-MK3 and the eD A5-350?

Here's my current thoughts for a build (5.1):
[Option 1]
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
L/R: 2x Ascend Sierra-1
Center: Ascend Sierra-1 Center
L/R Rear: Ascend CBM-170 SE
Sub: eD A5-350

[Option 2]
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
L/R: 2x NHT Classic Three Bookshelf
Center: NHT ThreeC Center
L/R Rear: 2x NHT Absolute Zero Bookshelf
Sub: eD A5-350
I would ditch the onkyo and go with HK or NAD.
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