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advice please on beginner setup large room $2500

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello, thank you for any comments, suggestions. I am preparing to invest in a sound system for what will certainly be a huge step up from the speakers on our flat screen TV. This is not for HT per se but for general listening pleasure: 50% satellite programming/netflix/roku..., 25% gaming and 25% music: rock, some hard, eclectic (terrific source is kcrw if you don't know of it), smooth jazz, blues, concerts, ufc fights, x-generation party music (loud for the 'kids'). Movies anything from chick flicks to action/adventure. Sometimes we like it loud but not excruciating.

Room is 14x28 with 7.5 sidewalls and vaulted ceiling to 12? feet, roughly 3900 cubic feet. TV will be wall mounted on a 14' end wall which has nothing on it or in front of it except a stand with dish receiver and game boxes, leaving plenty of room for towers and sub. One long wall is mostly windows and patio door. Other long wall has counter-height pass-thru to kitchen on one end and open to dining room on the other. Carpeted floor, seating is 18' from the TV wall. I'd like sound to carry to kitchen and dining when volume is cranked up (i.e., parties or cleaning house).

I've been doing a lot of internet research, a lot of reading this forum. Went to the only audio specialty store in town, got excited listening to the Pioneer VSX-52, Denon 2312, PSB's and Paridigms they promote but left with sticker shock, as sales staff shook their head at my budget and recommended a 3.1 and receiver starting at $4000. I can't imagine there isn't a satisfying start-up solution for less.

I don't expect to ever do 7.1, possibly 5.1 in the future (high and wide) but would realistically like to start with 2.1 or 3 or 3.1 including receiver for $2000-$2500. I need minimum 4 HDMI inputs, internet connectivity, dual zone (for speakers on the patio), airplay not necessary. I do want a solution that will greatly improve dialog delivery.

I understand the recommendations about receiver cost relative (1/3) to speaker cost (2/3). I tend to be OCD about researching for big purchases and want balanced value/sound for $ (who doesn't). The audio components i have in early wish lists include Pioneer AVR and Polk Audio speakers but with so many positive comments about Denon and Emp Tek, Rhythmik, Boston Acoustics, Infinity Primus, and on and on, I'm having a difficult time making a decision. Should $ be spent on sub or center first? What size sub? Towers versus bookshelf. Pioneer vs Denon vs ?. Cone vs horn ,etc.

Considering my room size, listening habits and objectives I would appreciate any thoughts you may have.
post #2 of 13
Pioneer SC55 + KEF C7 5.1 mixed package. Look around and you can get them for exactly $2500.
post #3 of 13
You have TONS off options at your budget, good job passing on the store "recommendation". You could easily get Polk rti's with your budget if you like their sound. I would look into ascend acoustic though, 340's up front, 200's for surround. Check accessories4less for a receiver, lots of great deals on refurbs. For a sub stick with the ID brands, Hsu, outlaw, rythmik, epik, svs, cht, etc
post #4 of 13
Well if it were me with a budget of 2500 and considering the name brands you were dropping. I would spend as little as you could bear on the receiver and the rest on a good 3.1 setup.

Just me but I would do about 500 on receiver. And rest on speakers. Paradigms are awesome but if you want towers and 3.1 hard to get there with 2K. I would probably just spend my 2 k on towers and a center and wait on the sub. That way you could get awesome towers that have good low end extension. Then you would also have a matching center. When you have more budget go and get the sub of your choice.

Of course if you went used you could get a nice 3.1 system with your budget.
post #5 of 13
an option many here would endorse would be an Energy RC-70 based 5.0 system for $1499 w/no tax and free shipping:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...04/energy-rc70 (see sidebar for package deal)

this leaves 1K for a sub and a receiver. and if you look at discontinued receivers (ie - "last year's model") you can stretch the budget for your sub.
post #6 of 13
Check out the Salk Sound SongTowers and Philharmonic 1's and 2's. They offer the best performance for the money by far in my opinion.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

For a sub stick with the ID brands, Hsu, outlaw, rythmik, epik, svs, cht, etc

Yep. For your size room, a minimum sub would be the Rythmik FV12, HSU VTF-2 MK4, Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus, or Epik Legend. Anyone of these will run you between $500-$600.

For a receiver, I recommend getting a model with Audyssey MultiEQ room correction software as it will EQ both the speakers and the sub; most other room correction software does not EQ the sub.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18837 View Post

Well if it were me with a budget of 2500 and considering the name brands you were dropping. I would spend as little as you could bear on the receiver and the rest on a good 3.1 setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumsky View Post


...look at discontinued receivers (ie - "last year's model") you can stretch the budget for your sub.

+1 to both of these suggestions.

You simply must go and have a listen to different speaker brands and pick the one you enjoy the sound of. A nice sub is very important, ID brands are said to be a steal. I'm saving up for one!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
THanks for your comments. I have done much more research and have a shortlist of receivers and speakers that i'm going to make a decision about soon.
Receivers:
  • Denon AVR2112ci (open box)
  • Pioneer VSX1121-K. (open box)
Speakers:
  • KEF Q900 mains, Q600C center (open box)
  • PSB Image T6, C5 center (new)
Subwoofer (possibly):
  • Rythmic FV12
  • HSU VTF-2 MK4
  • Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus
  • Epik Legend

My budget can easily accommodate the KEF as 3.0, or the PSB as 3.1 if i open my budget a bit to include subwoofer.

I have wondered whether the KEF's would be too much for my room or if the receivers would be adequate for them. KEF support responded to a similar question that their speakers are not too big for the room (imagine that) and the Denon would be a good pairing.

I am not able to listen to the KEF's but read great things about them that suggest they would sound fine without a subwoofer. The PSB Image also gets rave reviews but has a slightly weaker bass response and a subwoofer might be a good addition to that system.

Does anyone have any comments on these components for my application?

Thanks for your thoughts.
post #10 of 13
For me, the edge goes to >
Denon
KEF
and maybe the HSU

Rythmik and Outlaw are good, and the Epik is no wimp.
post #11 of 13
Given that you are coming from TV speakers, I'd get the Kef two towers and the sub before the center. It'll be a dramatic improvement. Add the center later.

And the KEF Q900s have a -3db point of 44hz. There's a lot of bass content from there on down to around 20hz that you'll be missing out on with movie content.
post #12 of 13
You're gonna mix different brand speakers? Hmm...
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

You're gonna mix different brand speakers? Hmm...

I don't believe he's stated that...
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