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First Timer, Need Help choosing 7.1

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey guys... I'm trying to pick out my speakers for a 7.1 system in a room that is 14x22. I don't know much about it. So far I was thinking...

Denon AVR-1911
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_033AV19...11.html?tp=179

1 Infinity Primus PC351
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108PC35...mus-PC351.html

2 Infinity Primus P363's
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P363...63.html?tp=185

4 Infinity Primus P163's
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P163...imus-P163.html

Is there anything I can do to make this better or cheaper? Please give me any advice you can. I have no idea what I'm doing.
post #2 of 10
Do you really want cheaper? Or less expensive?

Here's cheaper...
http://www.fluance.com/fluanceavhtb.html (add two more bookshelves a la carte)
Sony STRDH 820

Here's less expensive...
BIC DV64(or 84)
BIC DV62(2 pairs)
BIC DV62clrs
Refurb Onkyo RX NR608/609/RC260/360

And, by the way...nothing wrong with what you've chosen. Primus is no better(or worse) than BIC DV/Polk Monitor-TSi/Energy CF-B/Mordaunt Short Carnival.

Sometimes, speaker choice comes down to "how does it look in my room?"

That is how I chose the last speakers I bought...but then again, these are speakers I chose for my main channel. The room features a 25' long 12' high "window wall"...
http://www.amazon.com/Waterfall-Audi...1528016&sr=1-1
Was it the "best sounding speaker" I auditioned? Nope, not by a long mile...but it makes the biggest impression in the room...
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
That's why I came to ask the pros. The reviews are great on that setup...
post #4 of 10
I don't see a sub on your list. Why 7.1 instead of 5.1? Generally speaking, AVRs specified output driving 7 channels is much lower than listed and lower than driving 5 speakers. Those speakers' sensitivity are 90-93, so middle of the road to easy to drive, that's a decent middle of the road AVR. It's a good moderately priced combination and if you like the sound of the speakers, I say go for it. Set it up and enjoy! You can easily spend 100 hours researching how to design a system and you might come to a different conclusion, but many people have better things to do and just want "something" given a certain budget. Paralysis of analysis can be overwhelming if you don't know someone knowledgeable you can trust. Many here will give opinions, many are worth what you pay for them, which is "nada". Some will point you to respected reference sources so you can educate yourself on home theater or surround sound topics. At a minimum you should visit the thx and Dolby websites. The "stickies" at the beginning if the amplifier forum, something about room treatments, the various flavors of audyssey, etc
post #5 of 10
You can also look at the Infinity Classia speakers

http://search.vanns.com/sitesearch/s...finity+classia

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Infinity...68&st=infinity classia&cp=1&lp=1

Do you also need a sub?
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipperjatl View Post

Is there anything I can do to make this better or cheaper? Please give me any advice you can. I have no idea what I'm doing.

I think starting with a 2.2 system will be the optimal choice. Two or three GOOD subs and a good front stage. You can always add surrounds by the pairs some other day, as long as you've got a receiver that has 7 channel outputs. I don't even think centers are necessary. In my experience good speakers give a more realistic center image than most center speakers, until you get high end.

I do think the Infinities will wipe the floor with the Fluance stuff, no questions asked.

So maybe two Infinity C336s as recommended above, and two Rythmik FV12 subwoofers. I think the end result will more than impress you. You can always upgrade it to 2.3 or 4.2 or 6.2 as time passes. Living with two good speakers for a little while will also get you learning a bit about home theater and speakers and things of that sort. After a few months of living with and tweaking the 2.2 system I'm sure you'll have a lot more perspective on what makes a system really enjoyable. You may find that stereo is all you need even for movies, and you'd be better off adding room treatments like bass traps or rear wall acoustic panels rather than just more speakers. Quality over quantity!

The room is a big part of what you hear, and until you put a pair of good speakers in the room and start toying around with it, you really have no idea what you really want out of your system. Surround effects sound cool on paper but in my experience they aren't the end-all be-all. I do think getting at least two surrounds eventually will be worth it, but what i'm saying is to start small and get the best out of that, and them work your way up.

One thing I will say is that for a lot of us here, the first setups we got were the biggest step up, but they also got us thinking that we could have done better for the money if we hadn't gone "all-in" right from the start. Myself for example, I bought a center channel to go with some excellent speakers, and the center just never sounded right and I ended up disconnecting it and it flat out sounds better that way. I'm not saying all centers sound wrong and the best can in fact slightly improve the experience, but in retrospect I might have saved myself some money with this particular purchase and that same money spent on a center might have gone towards higher end speakers like Aperion Verus Grands or something. I will say this though - if your speakers need a center to have decent imaging then the speakers you picked probably suck. Good speakers, even if you sit off axis, dissapear into the room and always have stable stereo image that doesn't beg for a center.

Finally, I think you can probably do better on a receiver. Don't spend a world but try to get something that's 4 ohm stable in the amps and with robust pre-outs.

I think this is a good choice:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

The receiver is going to be the heart and soul of your system so you want it to be very future ready so you're not upgrading all the time, so I realize an SR6004 is an older model in terms of features. But it has the features that MATTER - measurably good amp section, powerful preamp outs, 7 channel, DTS-MA, TrueHD, etc. It's not 3D ready but that's not relevant as good 3D Blu ray players have dual outputs - one for sound and one for video. The video processing isn't great but that's not relevant because that's not why we have receivers.

If you've got some woodworking tools/skills, also consider a pair of DIY subwoofers (and speakers while we're at it). The performance will blow you away what you pay. Like if you built a pair of Statements and four eminence MFW-15 or something :O
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah I have the sub covered. Thanks for the info everyone. Gave me some things to look at at least.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipperjatl View Post

Hey guys... I'm trying to pick out my speakers for a 7.1 system in a room that is 14x22. I don't know much about it. So far I was thinking...

Denon AVR-1911
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_033AV19...11.html?tp=179

1 Infinity Primus PC351
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108PC35...mus-PC351.html

2 Infinity Primus P363's
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P363...63.html?tp=185

4 Infinity Primus P163's
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P163...imus-P163.html

Is there anything I can do to make this better or cheaper? Please give me any advice you can. I have no idea what I'm doing.

The Infinity Primus would be my choice in that price range, or possibly the Classica line. The only thing that I see missing is a good subwoofer. I'd probably go with a Hsu VTF-2 but you might be able to get away with an Elemental Designs A2-300. I would contact both and ask them for subwoofer advice.

For a receiver I'd probably go with either the AVR-1911 or if you can afford a bit more a re-certified Onkyo TX-NR708. The Onkyo has a bit more power and has preouts should you ever decide to add an external amp.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
So how do you know if your receiver has enough power to drive your speakers fully? What numbers should you be looking at?
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipperjatl View Post

So how do you know if your receiver has enough power to drive your speakers fully? What numbers should you be looking at?

Sensitivity tells you how loud that a speaker will play when driven with 1 watt with the mic 1 meter away. Keep in mind that you have to double wattage for each additional 3db volume increase and that distance to your seating location also increases the power requirements (I just don't recall the formula off the top of my head). As a rule of thumb a sensitivity rating over 90db is pretty easy to drive, and over 93db is very easy to drive. Below 85 and below and you're looking at a fairly challenging speaker - again distance and desired peak volume levels come into play. That said my little Sierra-1s play as loud as I want to listen in my bedroom with 100w and an 86db sensitivity rating. But sensitivity doesn't tell you everything - some speakers might test to an 89db sensitivity rating but actually require a big gnarly amp to come to life.

Impedance (ohms) most consumer speakers are rated at a very easy to drive 6-8ohms but not all. Some are rated at 4 or even 3 ohms nominal impedance which can overheat and shutdown a receiver not designed for low impedance loads and eventually damage the receiver.

Those are the two things that make it wise to pick speakers first and then decide on a receiver that meets the needs of the speakers.
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