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Need help choosing my first HT system

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've narrowed down my choice to the following iterations:

1. Energy Take 5.1
2. Polk 5.1 CS2, M40 x4 (fronts and surrounds), a sub for $150-$200
3. Polk 5.1 CS2, M60 fronts, M40 surrounds, a sub for $150-$200
4. Polk 5.1 CS2, M70 fronts, M40 surrounds, a sub for $150-$200
5. Polk 7.1 CS2, M70 fronts, M40 x4 (surround and back), a sub for $150-$200
5. Polk 7.1 CS2, M70 fronts, M60 surround, M40 back, a sub for $150-$200

- The receiver will be either a Yamaha RX-V667 or possibly a less expensive 5.1 receiver depending on which system I decide on.
- The system will mainly be used for a movie or two on the weekend. I'm not an audiophile. I just want something that sounds good to my fairly non-discerning ears. I'll be using it as my bedroom set for the time being, and then as a main living room set when I move. I don't plan on upgrading for the next 5-10 years.
- With that in mind, I was wondering which system you guys think would be right for me, and why.
- BTW, the reason I chose the Polk Monitor line is that it seems to be the best bang for the buck since it's being discontinued.
post #2 of 24
for 400 you can get this 5.0 set from Jamo. It is of high quality and with 8 inch bass drivers you can save up for a high quality sub later:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...speaker-system
post #3 of 24
If you are going to use it for music I would not recommend monitor 70s as I had them previously and I hated listening to music from them as the sound was way too harsh and that caused me to sell my 1st ht within 1 month but from movies they were fine. I would recommend ED a6 speakers for $500 a pair or the jamos are also a good option.
post #4 of 24
It depends on what YOU like. Some people will like Polk, some won't like the poster above. See if there is a store near you that sells Polk and go audition them to see if you like them. As for me, I went with Infinity Primus. They are just right for me, not too warm, not too bright. Right in the middle.

Let me say that you should spend a little bit more on your subwoofer, especially if that is going to be your main home theater. It's amazing how important a good subwoofer is. There is such a huge difference between a $200 subwoofer and an $800 subwoofer. It's not even close. Your front three and your subwoofer are the biggest factor when it comes to good home theater.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
- I've noticed the Jamo setup in the threads I've been reading, but I need them in black to match. Otherwise, I would strongly consider getting them.

- Since this is my first setup (other than a Cambridge Works system for my PC more than decade ago), maybe I'll just go w/ Monitor 40's for the fronts and surrounds, and a CS2 for the center. Especially since you guys think the Monitor 70s might be a little harsh.

- If I decide that I really want to upgrade, then I can sell the CS2, move the front Monitor 40s to the back, and invest in higher end center and fronts. I was originally leaning towards the Energy Take 5.1 because I was afraid that I would be buying more than I need or would be able to appreciate. However, I also wanted to get it "right" the first time. But it looks like that isn't going to happen since a lot of what's recommended is really subjective for each price point. I guess that means I'll have to figure out what I like the hard way. That being said, does anyone have suggestions for a 5.0 system (center and bookshelf) below $500 that is "better" than the Polk CS2 and Polk Monitor 40s? The Polk setup would cost me ~$400 shipped.

- As for the sub, I haven't decided how much I want to spend on it yet. Since I won't be getting any towers for a while (if ever), that frees up the budget a bit. I'm thinking maybe $200-$400, what do you guys think? Or should I move this question to the sub forum?

Thanks!
post #6 of 24
As I just said....spend good money on your subwoofer. You won't regret it. HSU, SVS, Elemental Design, Epik, or DIY are all good options. Even if you don't know how to build an enclosure, hired someone to do it and buy the other parts yourself and put it together.
post #7 of 24
Check my signature for some good subs, personally I would go w/ Monitor 40's or 60's, CS2 up front and then get something like the PSW505 from newegg (~250).

Otherwise its worth it to step up to something like the HSU STF-1 or STF-2, or some of the sealed SVS subs if you can....

Regarding your reciever I would go with something other than Yamaha. Most other AVR's all are using Audyseey room correction which is quite good. Yamaha used YPAO which is proprietary and its not as good. If you get the MutlEQ version it will not only EQ the fronts, but also the subs. MultiEQ XT or XT32 is really where its at but thats waaayy outside your budget.

For surrounds I would go with Monitor 30's not 40's. I am using 40's but they are waaay to big for what I need and also required an additional purchase of a 60 dollar pair of mounts. The Monitor 30's have a built in mount, are smaller and look just as good.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBR View Post

As I just said....spend good money on your subwoofer. You won't regret it. HSU, SVS, Elemental Design, Epik, or DIY are all good options. Even if you don't know how to build an enclosure, hired someone to do it and buy the other parts yourself and put it together.

Thanks! I'll take a look at them.
post #9 of 24
If you stay with the Yamaha brand - do not go lower than the 667.
The power is better from the 667 up. All Polk Monitor series, have
the same tweeter.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post

Check my signature for some good subs, personally I would go w/ Monitor 40's or 60's, CS2 up front and then get something like the PSW505 from newegg (~250).

Otherwise its worth it to step up to something like the HSU STF-1 or STF-2, or some of the sealed SVS subs if you can....

Regarding your reciever I would go with something other than Yamaha. Most other AVR's all are using Audyseey room correction which is quite good. Yamaha used YPAO which is proprietary and its not as good. If you get the MutlEQ version it will not only EQ the fronts, but also the subs. MultiEQ XT or XT32 is really where its at but thats waaayy outside your budget.

For surrounds I would go with Monitor 30's not 40's. I am using 40's but they are waaay to big for what I need and also required an additional purchase of a 60 dollar pair of mounts. The Monitor 30's have a built in mount, are smaller and look just as good.

In regards to the receiver, my other choice is the Pioneer 1020. I'll probably go w/ that one if the room correction will make that big a difference. Plus, it costs less!

So I guess it's tentatively going to be:
- Pioneer 1020
- CS2 center
- Monitor 40 fronts
- Monitor 30 surround
- sub - undecided

I have a couple of questions:

* How much of a difference in sound would I hear when watching a movie between a setup that has Monitor 40 surrounds vs Monitor 30 surrounds? I wouldn't mind putting up w/ the Monitor 40 as surrounds if it provides for a better movie experience.
* Also, I know that many movies don't utilize the 7.1 format. But I was wondering, for 5.1 movies, would there be any benefit from placing maybe a pair of Monitor 30s or Energy CB-5s in the back? I figure that either pair of speakers would be so inexpensive, that it would be worth it if there's an improvement in the movie experience.

Thanks for all the input so far guys! I'm looking forward to getting my system choice ordered soon!
*
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

* How much of a difference in sound would I hear when watching a movie between a setup that has Monitor 40 surrounds vs Monitor 30 surrounds? I wouldn't mind putting up w/ the Monitor 40 as surrounds if it provides for a better movie experience.*

No difference in sound, so lets save you a couple bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

* Also, I know that many movies don't utilize the 7.1 format. But I was wondering, for 5.1 movies, would there be any benefit from placing maybe a pair of Monitor 30s or Energy CB-5s in the back? I figure that either pair of speakers would be so inexpensive, that it would be worth it if there's an improvement in the movie experience.

Dont know off the top of my head but have to say I think it wont make much of a difference at all. Good setup 5.1 will be more than adequate. Adding Height's and Wide's would make more of a difference from my understanding if your receiver can do that.

I haven't done 7.1 or Heights/Wides either
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post

No difference in sound, so lets save you a couple bucks



Dont know off the top of my head but have to say I think it wont make much of a difference at all. Good setup 5.1 will be more than adequate. Adding Height's and Wide's would make more of a difference from my understanding if your receiver can do that.

I haven't done 7.1 or Heights/Wides either

It's settled then:
- Pioneer 1020
- CS2 center
- Monitor 40 fronts
- Monitor 30 surround
- sub - undecided

I'll sleep on it for the next day or two to make sure that I'm making the right decision and then order it.

Thank you Shadow of Mr. Wiggins, and everyone else that helped to guide me in the right direction.

Next, I just have to decide how much I want to spend on a sub!
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

It's settled then:
- Pioneer 1020
- CS2 center
- Monitor 40 fronts
- Monitor 30 surround
- sub - undecided

I'll sleep on it for the next day or two to make sure that I'm making the right decision and then order it.

Thank you Shadow of Mr. Wiggins, and everyone else that helped to guide me in the right direction.

Next, I just have to decide how much I want to spend on a sub!

If you want my advice its about as much as you spent on your speakers. A good sub will augment your speakers problems with low frequencies and let your speakers focus on what they are good on, your mid's and highs.

Plus since bass is unidirectional you can put the sub just about anywhere you want.

My thoughts would be at minimum a PSW505 which you can normally find on newegg for around 230 + a couple bucks shipping. If your looking for the most bass for your buck try to go with a ported over a sealed. But Emotiva makes some really good sealed 10 and 12" sub's. Some others are a SVS SB-10 (if they are out yet), or any other ~500ish sub (HSU, Epik, Elemental Designs).

I spent ~300 on my PSW125 and after a bunch of time am going to up to a SVS PB-12NSD and possibly two of them (because I really really like bass).
post #14 of 24
I would take a look at this, before they raise the prices - Epik Legend
http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I would take a look at this, before they raise the prices - Epik Legend
http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html

How do you think that one compares to this? http://emotiva.com/ultra_sub12.shtm
The Emotiva is $70 less.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

How do you think that one compares to this? http://emotiva.com/ultra_sub12.shtm
The Emotiva is $70 less.

Untill they are compared side by side - there are no guarantees.
With the Epik - I like the dual parallel drivers, and that it looks to
be a little heavier. The potential for more peak power - also, it
looks like it will go down a little lower, than the Emotiva. I do not
like Polk subs - the Epik subwoofer reviews are good. You could
be happy with either one.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was just looking at the elemental design speakers.

What do you guys think about the following setup:

A6.mtm center
A4.mtm fronts
A4.b surround

vs.

Polk CS2 center
Polk M40 fronts
Polk M30 surround

The elemental design setup will probably cost me about $90 more.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Untill they are compared side by side - there are no guarantees.
With the Epik - I like the dual parallel drivers, and that it looks to
be a little heavier. The potential for more peak power - also, it
looks like it will go down a little lower, than the Emotiva. I do not
like Polk subs - the Epik subwoofer reviews are good. You could
be happy with either one.

Hmm... I'm leaning towards the Epik then. Probably should pick it up soon. Does it go on sale often?
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

If you stay with the Yamaha brand - do not go lower than the 667.
The power is better from the 667 up. All Polk Monitor series, have
the same tweeter.

I ended up deciding against the Yamaha. At this point, it will probably be the Pioneer 1020, but I should probably take another look at the Denon 1911.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

Hmm... I'm leaning towards the Epik then. Probably should pick it up soon. Does it go on sale often?

I can not answer that. Their subs tend to sell fast.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

Hmm... I'm leaning towards the Epik then. Probably should pick it up soon. Does it go on sale often?

Just noticed that shipping for the Epik is $83. It's hard to justify the extra $150 for the Epik over the Emotiva at this point.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I ended up ordering:
Polk CS2
Polk Monitor 40 fronts
Polk Monitor 30 surround
Denon 1911
12 gauge wire from Monoprice
Nakamichi banana plugs

And still deciding between HSU MTF-3 (MK2 or MK3), SVS SB12-NSD and Epik Legend for the sub. I plan on going to check out HSU since they are local for me.
post #23 of 24
Tos check your PM
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TosTos View Post

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I ended up ordering:
Polk CS2
Polk Monitor 40 fronts
Polk Monitor 30 surround
Denon 1911
12 gauge wire from Monoprice
Nakamichi banana plugs

And still deciding between HSU MTF-3 (MK2 or MK3), SVS SB12-NSD and Epik Legend for the sub. I plan on going to check out HSU since they are local for me.

I would go with one of the Hsu subs. The SB12 is a smaller, sealed sub, it won't have the power of the Hsu subs, especially on the really deep frequencies. Same with the Epik, although the Epik and SVS might match the Hsu's in the mid and upper bass region.
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