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Beginer 5.1 Setup

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at putting together my first real surround system.
This is what I'm considering.
Front - Polk Monitor 70's
Center - Polk CS2
Sur. - Polk Monitor 30's
Sub - not sure, would rather discuss this separately.

The other option is the Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid SD
http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/...70,71,416.aspx

I will be using an Onkyo TX-NR709 (I think)

The Polk speakers are refurbished (from Polk Audio Direct on Ebay) and about $300 less than than the Aperion. No a big difference overall but for my budget it is.
Are the Aperions worth the extra scratch, which I can come up with if it is really worth it. Keep in mind I have nothing even close to compare too so either way I'll be amazed.

Your opinions are much appreciated.
Thanks,
LouieIV
post #2 of 18
I wouldn't consider the 4T unless your room is very small, and I wouldn't consider any of the Aperion subs.

What exactly is your total budget?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that the Aperions would be minus the sub.

So you don't think they would fill up a room as well as the Polks?

We are moving into a new house so I don't know the room dimensions exactly,
but my guess would be around 12x18 ish.

I'm trying to keep the budget around $1500 for speakers, reciever, and sub.

-LouieIV
post #4 of 18
Be sure to subscribe to Newegg's mailing list if you have not, and then login to the site and check the prices on the Polk Monitors before you buy. Sometimes they have prices that equal the refurbished ones.
post #5 of 18
The Aperion 4 series only has 4" woofers, they're not going to be capable of much mid-bass, and might sound pretty thin, and they'll easily be over driven.

You should also cut your receiver budget a little, check out http://www.accessories4less.com/ for really good deals on slightly older refurbs. Something like this for example. For the sub I would go with this Energy S10.3, it's a great value at $250. That leaves you $900 for speakers.

There are tons of options for speakers at this point, but you'll get better value with bookshelf sized speakers in this price range. Here are a few starters

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/manuf....php?mPath=13&

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...ti%2Caps%2C238
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

The Aperion 4 series only has 4" woofers, they're not going to be capable of much mid-bass, and might sound pretty thin, and they'll easily be over driven.

Are you saying in general 4in drivers will have trouble with mid-bass? This review seems to say quite the opposite. http://hometheaterreview.com/aperion...kers-reviewed/ Do these guys give reliable reviews? They seem like they know their stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

You should also cut your receiver budget a little, check out http://www.accessories4less.com/ for really good deals on slightly older refurbs. Something like this for example.

Couple of things on the receiver. I'm a bit leery of refurbished electronics. I know I'm considering refurbished speakers, but relatively speaking they aren't that complicated. Maybe I shouldn't be.
The reasons I picked that receiver over a not or 2 down was because it has Audyssey MultiEQ XT and phono jacks. I've read in these forums and elsewhere that MultiEQ XT is spending a bit more for.
As far as the phono jacks go, I'm looking at getting a TT and thought it would lower the initial investment. Eventually I would probably set it up on a separate system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

For the sub I would go with this Energy S10.3, it's a great value at $250. That leaves you $900 for speakers.

That's one of the subs I was considering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

There are tons of options for speakers at this point, but you'll get better value with bookshelf sized speakers in this price range. Here are a few starters

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/manuf....php?mPath=13&

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...ti%2Caps%2C238

I'm not familiar with the ascend's or the Arx's, I'll have to look into them more.
I realize I might be able to do a Wharfdale setup also.
Diamond 10.2, 10.SR, and 10 CS or maybe drop it down to the 10.1, and 10 CC.

By the way thanks for the detailed reply Jay.

-LouieIV
post #7 of 18
Yes in general across the board a 4" woofer is only capable of doing so much. I didnt see any high output distortion and power compression measurements in that review, so I take all the hype as typical review bs. Not saying those speakers cant sound good, but understand their limits are based on simple physics. I personally don't consider/recommend any L/C/R speaker without at least 5.5" woofers minimum, unless circumstances are special. There's a 30 day return policy so give them a shot. There's also a 30 day policy for Ascend, so pick up some 340's to compare against the 4T's and see for your self.

You can look into the warranty and return policy on that refurb, generally if electronics go bad it's right away, or after many years.

edit: You can also get that same Onkyo 709 for a pretty good price as a refurb

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html
post #8 of 18
Be sure to subscribe to Newegg's mailing list if you have not,
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheriRone View Post

Be sure to subscribe to Newegg's mailing list if you have not,

Thanks, I've been on it for years
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I've reading up on the recommendations and crunching numbers and I leaning towards the Arx's:
Front - A3s
Center - A2 Center
Rears - A1bs

As far as the Ascends go they are just a tad more money and by the time you add in shipping they go over my budget just a bit. That being said I'm not convinced that one is particularly better than the other. If I were convinced that the Ascends were a lot better I might just wait a little longer and get them.

So the Arx and Ascend are a bit on the ugly side IMO. So I'm going to ask about the Wharfdales, which are gorgeous looking.
10.2
10 CS
10.SR

Are they just not in the same category as far as sound?

Any way thanks for the help so far.

-LouieIV
post #11 of 18
You can't hear speakers on a forum, no matter how good it is or articulate it's members. So my advice, since you asked, is to step away from the keyboard and the reviews and go listen to as many speakers in your price range as you can.

Polks are decent speakers. So are Ascend. So are Wharfdales. So are the others you and others have mentioned. But until you listen to them, you won't know which ones are right for you and your space. Ordering and listening in home is certainly an option, but why not at least get an idea from a listening room if you might like the ones you order first?

I was sold on a Polk setup. Then I went and listened, and wasn't sure. Then I went to an audio retailer, and fell in love with Paradigms. Before I bought, I went and listened to a few more at a little specialty home theater shop. Lo and behold, I came across PSBs, and fell in love.

I couldn't afford the Synchronies that I wanted, so I took a chance based on that listening impression and a few reviews and testimonials, as well as some internet-deal finding, to go with a PSB Image setup (the old series - T55, C60 center, B25 surrounds, and a Subsonic 5i) and I could not be happier. Very clean, very flat, very neutral, and paired with a Harman Kardon amp, exactly what I wanted my soundstage to be. The speakers disappear, and the sound shines through. Great for movies, and incredibly good for 2 channel listening, too.

All for about the money you're looking to spend.

But note, I didn't tell you to run out and buy PSB. Listen. With your ears. Decide what you like, and what will work for you. Then buy that.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here's an update.

The room I will be setting up my system in is 21x13 with a bay window that is 11x4. The ceiling starts at 8ft and slopes up to 10ft from the bay window to the fireplace wall (see attached drawing).

My budget is $2000 for surround speakers, sub, and A/V receiver.

Thoughts on setup?

gene c353 has a Swan Diva 5.1 7.0 setup for sale and lives near me. I can't find a lot of info on these, are they comparable to what I have been looking at?
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/vbcla...do=ad&id=17359
LL
post #13 of 18
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid1pkg.html

I have the Polks and love them for my classical music listening, but I think my 15 year-old Acoustic Research cube system sounded better for movies. But I'm running Monitor 40 in front instead of 70's.. Next I'm going with either the HSU's, or ARX
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedcaum View Post

You can't hear speakers on a forum, no matter how good it is or articulate it's members. So my advice, since you asked, is to step away from the keyboard and the reviews and go listen to as many speakers in your price range as you can.

Polks are decent speakers. So are Ascend. So are Wharfdales. So are the others you and others have mentioned. But until you listen to them, you won't know which ones are right for you and your space. Ordering and listening in home is certainly an option, but why not at least get an idea from a listening room if you might like the ones you order first?

I was sold on a Polk setup. Then I went and listened, and wasn't sure. Then I went to an audio retailer, and fell in love with Paradigms. Before I bought, I went and listened to a few more at a little specialty home theater shop. Lo and behold, I came across PSBs, and fell in love.

I couldn't afford the Synchronies that I wanted, so I took a chance based on that listening impression and a few reviews and testimonials, as well as some internet-deal finding, to go with a PSB Image setup (the old series - T55, C60 center, B25 surrounds, and a Subsonic 5i) and I could not be happier. Very clean, very flat, very neutral, and paired with a Harman Kardon amp, exactly what I wanted my soundstage to be. The speakers disappear, and the sound shines through. Great for movies, and incredibly good for 2 channel listening, too.

All for about the money you're looking to spend.

But note, I didn't tell you to run out and buy PSB. Listen. With your ears. Decide what you like, and what will work for you. Then buy that.

+1

Excellent post.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
I understand that listening in person is a good idea and I intend to do some listening. What I have available in my area that is in my price range is basic big box stuff. Polks, Klipsch, and KEF. There are some home theater specialty shops, but most of what they carry is out of my price range.

As far as internet direct, that is a lot of hassle to test and send back. Plus since most charge for shipping both ways that can add a lot to the cost if testing 2 or 3 different brands. Obviously if I got something that I really didn't like I'd send it back and try something else.

Since I'm new to anything even close to this level of quality maybe I should just choose one at random because I'm fairly certain that any of the sets already mentioned will be very impressive to me.

Ultimately I'm just looking for opinions on how different speakers sound from people that are more experienced than myself. Then I can narrow down my choices and perhaps make a better informed decision.

-LouieIV
post #16 of 18
I'll stick with my Ascend recommendation (340s up front 200s surround), and still see no reason you shouldn't go for the refurbed Onkyo 709. That leaves about $500 for a sub, the Outlaw LFM-1+ happens to be on sale for $500 shipped, I dont think there's better value then that.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jay,
That setup is pretty nice looking. You think the HTM-200's would do well enough, and the 170's would be overkill?

-LouieIV
post #18 of 18
If you feel like spending the difference the 170's will be more capable, but there's nothing about the 200's that wouldn't work for your setup as surrounds based on your drawing.
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