Originally Posted by dwa04
As the title states, I have finally decided to piece together my first "proper" sound system. A few years ago, I went with a HTIB. It was good, but not great compared to the setups that some friends of mine have.
The weakest parts of the better HTIBs are the speakers. Sometimes just upgrading the speakers can be a great first step that gives big rewards in terms of sound quality.
What make and model HTIB do you have?
The important stuff (I am sure I will forget stuff, so just ask!).
-I plan on getting a receiver and 2 bookshelves (which will ultimately move to the rear when I get nice towers / center etc.)
-My friend is hooking me up with an Outlaw LFM-1 subwoofer (http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1.html
Seems like a pretty good choice. This appears to be a pretty fair comparison of similar products:
The only subwoofers that outperform it cost a ton more money. So it is at least not a bad choice.
-I currently live in an apartment, but have will end up in a townhouse in the next few years
Whether your neighbors will give you any peace if you actually try to enjoy a subwoofer this good... Lotsa luck unless you own the building! ;-)
I have been talking with some of my friends and they all think I should go with a Marantz receiver (NR1602/3 or SR5006/7). They are arguing over whether I need the power that would be had from the 5006/7 or whether the 1602/3 would be sufficient for my audio needs as detailed above.
They may not understand power. Power is rated in watts as a linear quantity. Our ears are sensitive to the logarithm of power. IOW it takes a lot of power for something to be even a little bit louder. It takes 10 times as much power for your system to seem twice as loud. If your receiver puts out 60 watts or 110 watts, the difference is only 3 dB which is really not all that audible. Twice as much loudness would take 500-600 watts, which one simply does not find in receivers.
I am terrified of blowing speakers, so if I would have an honest chance of blowing the speakers with a NR1603, then I would definitely want to go with the SR5007.
I agree with the other posts that down play the possibility of a reasonable, sober person blowing their speakers. IME most speakers get blown when people have a party and start dancing and drinking or enjoying the affect modifier of their choice. These tend to desensitize the ears.
They all seem to agree that the PSB Image B5 bookshelves would be good to start with, and then those can migrate to rear speakers once I get a proper center channel and front towers.
For the little extra money, I would shift my sights up to the B6s. Still bookshelves, but a little more robust.
I would compare the above to my price/performance benchmark: (Infinity P162)
The PSB speakers seem to be a reasonable value offering a bit more smoothness for the extra money.
Forgot to add this in, but why are my friends so against other companies for my receiver.
Maybe they are prejudiced. Many people recommend either what they have or what they aspire to. Receivers are a very competitive field and no single brand has the edge when it comes to price/performance.
It looks like certain Onkyo models are far superior to Marantz based on the bells and whistles and the amplifying capability when comparing by price. Is there some intangible that I am not aware of with Marantz?
People who are looking for big sound quality advantages with unnecessarily expensive electronics don't understand how to invest money in an audio system. Sound quality in an audio sytstem is primarily in the speakers and room acoustics. The more money you can spend on the speakers the better, but the more money you spend on the speakers the more critical your system will be of the acoustical properties of the room that you listen to them in.Edited by arnyk - 9/19/12 at 8:05am