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2.1 to start?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'd like to start piecing together a sound system to go with my recently mounted television and the video cabinet I just finished building (see below). My initial goal is to disconnect from the horrid built in speakers on my television and add some base, with an end goal of having a 5.1 system built on decent components.

I Currently have my eyes on the Onkyo TX-NR509 receiver, a pair of Polk Audio Monitor 30's (Bookshelfs for the front) and a Polk Audio PSW10 sub. All of these have pretty good reviews on the consumer sites and are well priced for my budget right now.

I can't imagine this would be a downgrade from the built in TV speakers, but will I have any major problems only running a 2.1 system? I've never put together a sound system before, so I'm kind of shooting in the dark here... any advice is welcome!



post #2 of 28
I'm guessing your budget is $500? If you plan on expanding this setup to a full 5.1, I would actually skip the sub for now and start out with a pair of $250 monitors from a quality line of speakers you can build into. Then you would save a few hundred, buy a sub, then a center, and then new mains, and you would simply take the original speakers you bought and move them to surrounds. Yes you could do this with the polks, but the monitor line is dirt cheap budget quality...That sub is not very good either, which is why I suggest you dont waste your money on it. I would try to get to the $350 price point for a quality sub like this ED A2-250

For example, you could start with Ascend HTM-200s, then eventually get a CMT-340 center, and CMT-340 mains.

In the long run this will give you a very high quality surround system, and save you from from "upgraditis" when you realize those polks aren't very good.
post #3 of 28
I would go something wall mount like the DT Mythos and a sub like previously mentioned.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input so far, and yes... my budget is between $500 and $600.

My main draw to the Polks was that they had good reviews and they look nice. My living area isn't very big, so if it's going to be bulky it has to look nice as well. I'm looking to outfit a carpeted 14x14 area (picture below) and don't want it to be overkill, but also don't want to be forever disappointed with what I end up with.

Are there any good sattelite speakers that will work well for fronts now and rears later on, or should I stay away from them? I don't mind bookshelfs, but I'll probably want to cut holes in the wall so I can recess them back a couple inches to keep it clean.

Any comments on the receiver I'm looking at?

Those Mythos are beautiful, but are way out of my price range... unless I'm looking at the wrong speakers.

post #5 of 28
Pick up an Onkyo SR608 for $300 shipped and 2 Infinity Primus P163s for $85 each.

The Polk sub won't do much of anything for your setup. You have a large space there. Save up a little longer and get a real sub. Expect to pay about $500 for a decent sub. Don't bother with anything cheaper or lesser than, say the HSU VTF-2.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddanak View Post

Thanks for the input so far, and yes... my budget is between $500 and $600.

My main draw to the Polks was that they had good reviews and they look nice. My living area isn't very big, so if it's going to be bulky it has to look nice as well. I'm looking to outfit a carpeted 14x14 area (picture below) and don't want it to be overkill, but also don't want to be forever disappointed with what I end up with.

Are there any good sattelite speakers that will work well for fronts now and rears later on, or should I stay away from them? I don't mind bookshelfs, but I'll probably want to cut holes in the wall so I can recess them back a couple inches to keep it clean.

Any comments on the receiver I'm looking at?

Those Mythos are beautiful, but are way out of my price range... unless I'm looking at the wrong speakers.

Those Ascend HTM-200s that I linked earlier will work wall mounted for all 5 channels. I wouldn't mess with speakers any smaller then that.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Where should I be doing my shopping anyway? I've been looking on Amazon for the most part... probably not the best idea?

I live in Alaska, so shipping is going to be an issue.
post #8 of 28
Depends on what you're looking for. Amazon is good for a lot of gear, like Infinity speakers and receivers and some subs and whatnot. A lot of brands are really ID brands that you buy directly from - HSU, Rythmik, Axiom, Ascend, eD, Emotiva, etc. Accessories4less.com is a great place for a lot of stuff, especially refurb receivers. The AVS store has a lot of great gear. Newegg is good for some things, such as Polk speakers when they are on sale.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddanak View Post

Where should I be doing my shopping anyway? I've been looking on Amazon for the most part... probably not the best idea?

I live in Alaska, so shipping is going to be an issue.

Haha I completely feel your pain. That definitely changes things then

The JBL L Series should be perfect for you. Start out with the L810, then add an LC2 center, and L820 mains. All wall mountable. You're going to be pretty screwed on a sub though...

Edit: A Bic VK-12 looks like a decent option for a sub.
post #10 of 28
The JBL L820 speakers are amazingly good. I have a friend with a pair of them with a 10" Dayton sub driven by an el cheapo Sherwood 4105 (4501?) and it sounds great. Harman Audio is currently selling the L810 on ebay - you should be able to get a great price on a pair of them.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddanak View Post

Where should I be doing my shopping anyway? I've been looking on Amazon for the most part... probably not the best idea?

I live in Alaska, so shipping is going to be an issue.

Speaker preferences are pretty subjective, if at all possible you should try to audition your speakers in a proper environment before purchasing, though obviously your ability to do that will depend on what is available in your area. If you can find what you want locally, see if the dealer will match or at least come close to Amazon prices or other major retailers. If you must mail order, read the fine print of the return policy. Amazon's return policy is pretty good (though you should expect to pay return shipping if you need to return something you don't like).

I think you have the right idea though to build up gradually. I did the same, from 2.0 to 3.0 to 5.0 to 5.1. Not sure about Onkyo, but my Denon did a good job of adapting to the various configurations.
post #12 of 28
I live in Hawaii so I know the shipping prejudice you face. Crutchfield ships free to Hawaii and I assume to Alaska. Axiom also ships free. They do have some nice wallmount versions of their bookshelf speakers.

Marting Logan motion 4s and or motion 2s would work well too. They're OK for music and really nice for movies/television/gaming. And Amazon sells them with the free shipping.

Gene
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post

Depends on what you're looking for. Amazon is good for a lot of gear, like Infinity speakers and receivers and some subs and whatnot. A lot of brands are really ID brands that you buy directly from - HSU, Rythmik, Axiom, Ascend, eD, Emotiva, etc. Accessories4less.com is a great place for a lot of stuff, especially refurb receivers. The AVS store has a lot of great gear. Newegg is good for some things, such as Polk speakers when they are on sale.

I've used accessories4less a couple of times. Great place to pickup a Marantz or Onkyo receiver.

Vanns.com sometimes has good specials.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks for the site suggestions everyone.

I don't know why, but Polk keeps pulling at me. I particularly like the look of the OWM5's, especially since my focus with the TV and cabinet has been low profile from the start. The TSi's sound like they could be fun but they're so big, lol. I'm not a huge audio guy yet, and I've gotten used to my TV speakers... so I have no idea what anything is going to sound like.

I'm a CAD guy, so I mocked up everything real quick to get a feel for how the space would fill up. I'm terrified the TSi's will get knocked off the wall by someone coming around the corner not paying attention.

OWM5's


TSi100's


TSi200's
post #15 of 28
You could consider in-wall speakers.

Or:

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-L820-Wall-...4838177&sr=1-1

They are a little pricey but I hear they sound good, and the size,form factor is right up your alley.

Or even just a nice soundbar.
post #16 of 28
The problem with wall mounting speakers that weren't designed to be wall mounted is that placement factor was accounted for in the crossover design. This will lead to chesty voices and boomy mid bass. Look at those JBLs again
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddanak View Post

Hey, thanks for the site suggestions everyone.

I don't know why, but Polk keeps pulling at me. I particularly like the look of the OWM5's, especially since my focus with the TV and cabinet has been low profile from the start. The TSi's sound like they could be fun but they're so big, lol. I'm not a huge audio guy yet, and I've gotten used to my TV speakers... so I have no idea what anything is going to sound like.

I'm a CAD guy, so I mocked up everything real quick to get a feel for how the space would fill up. I'm terrified the TSi's will get knocked off the wall by someone coming around the corner not paying attention.

TSi's sound nearly identical to the Polk Monitors, which are much better value

Polk Monitor 30's = TSi100's; Monitor 40's = TSi200

Sign up for newegg.com email alerts and you will get the promo codes and be alerted to their sales. Polk Monitor 40 series ii usually go for $120 a pair and the Monitor 30 series ii go for $90 a pair

With the money saved you can get a better subwoofer than the Polk PSW10... Like Bic PL200 or Lava LSP12 or Polk PSW505
post #18 of 28
Infinity Cascades are designed to be wall mounted. Just a thought. And they sound great IMO.
post #19 of 28
If you went Def Tech, you would want to go Promonitor 800 or 1000. I think the 800 would stay with the look that you desire.

If choose ML it would be the Motion 4s or 2s. (rear ported) but have a mounting bracket.

Polks do sound very nice, but with the money you save, get a nicer sub from an ID sub company.
post #20 of 28
Awesome cabinet build. I too am looking to start a stereo set up. I have had the polk monitor 30s on my ever changing list since I started doing research. You have a bigger budget then me though =).

I'm going to start out with a stereo amp like the lepai t-amp. It's less then 30 bills. I was thinking you could always go that route and then when your ready to upgrade to 5.1 you could get a "newer" receiver.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes, yes, lol. Those JBL's look nice. I think I like the 810's more than the 820's though... They're a little narrower and would fit in the space to the sides of the TV better.

Has anyone listened to the Polk OWM5's? They're going for $110 a pop on Amazon right now.

Going with a simple amp like that sounds better the more I think of it. I originally wanted a decent receiver because I was going to go with a 2.1 or 3.1 system. If I end up going with just front L/R channels right now I'll probably do that. I suppose it would also give me more budget for the fronts.

I can always ask for a good receiver for Christmas right, lol!?

Any more suggestions for low profile fronts? Say... 6 inches or less in depth, 12" or less in width and around $400 for the pair.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
JBL L810's have been ordered. Time to start waiting, lol.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddanak View Post
JBL L810's have been ordered. Time to start waiting, lol.
Good choice
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
So, I pulled the trigger on a Lepai Tripath TA2020 Class-T amp to power the pair of L810's that are on the way. The amp is supposed to output 20-25 amps, while the speakers are spec'd at 75 watt continuous and 300 watt max output.

What does this jibberish mean? Will I be able to turn the speakers up to a decent level with this amp? I'm not looking for deafening or anything.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
L810's, speaker wire and 2RCA/2RCA cable came in today... fast shipping to Alaska, especially for free, lol. Still need the amp though, and it only shipped today... not looking good for a weekend setup.

I can at least get the wire routed and speakers mounted this weekend so it'll be an easy hookup when it get's here.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, speakers came in about a week and a half ago and haven't even been tested yet. The amp I ordered got lost in the mail and never made it, so I'll be ordering something else once my refund is processed.

The speakers look good on the wall though... especially with the covers on. I see a center channel in my future!

post #27 of 28
I just got that Lepai T-Amp yesterday. I'm driving a pair of Yamaha NS-6490 speakers (cheap) and it sounds pretty good. Bass is excellent at low volumes - I really didn't expect this to sound as good as it does. It plays very well right up to where it starts distorting & running out of power. When it hits the distortion it sounds like crap and shuts down. Played within it's capabilities it sounds very good and has very good volume. I'm impressed with it - for under $30 it is hard to beat. There is a bit of a scratching noise in the direct/tone button - its a push on/off button that enables or defeats the treble/bass knobs. I enable it.

You might rethink driving those JBL's with this amp if you like loud. If not then I think you'll like it. Very clear sounding.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

I just got that Lepai T-Amp yesterday. I'm driving a pair of Yamaha NS-6490 speakers (cheap) and it sounds pretty good. Bass is excellent at low volumes - I really didn't expect this to sound as good as it does. It plays very well right up to where it starts distorting & running out of power. When it hits the distortion it sounds like crap and shuts down. Played within it's capabilities it sounds very good and has very good volume. I'm impressed with it - for under $30 it is hard to beat. There is a bit of a scratching noise in the direct/tone button - its a push on/off button that enables or defeats the treble/bass knobs. I enable it.

You might rethink driving those JBL's with this amp if you like loud. If not then I think you'll like it. Very clear sounding.

Yeah, I was originally going to pick up the Onkyo TX-NR509, then conceded to buying that T-Amp to save some money. When it didn't make it, I decided to go back to my original plan with the receiver. Was able to scrounge up some more funds for this project and I ordered the Onkyo TX-NR609. Can't wait!
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