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Advise for a newbie

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello All - I am new to this forum and wanted to seek some advise. I have decided to invest in a Home theater system. On reading through the threads and other articles, I have decided not to go the HTIB way but rather build a set with best of breed speakers + receiver. I live in an apartment and have a a 50 inch Plasma TV. I am interested in a 5.1 configuration. At the present time, I am interested in buying the speakers and sub-woofer without breaking the bank. The budget is $250 - $300. I could go higher but prefer not to. When researching I came across the following options.

Home Theater speakers
1. Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black) - $399 at Amazon
2. Polk Audio RM6750 Black 5.1CH Home Theater Speaker System - $179 at Newegg
3. Polk Audio RM705 5.1 Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black) - $250 at Amazon
4. Definitive Technology ProCinema 60 5.1CH Home Audio Speaker System - $230 at Newegg
5. Boston Acoustics SNDWRESHTSB Compact Home Theater System - High Gloss Finish (Black) - $ 300 at Amazon

The two HTIB options if I had to consider are:
1. Denon DHT-1312BA A/V Home Theater Receiver with Boston Acoustics MCS 160 5.1 Surround Speaker System - $440 at Amazon
2. Denon DHT-1513BA Total 650 Watt 5.1 Channel Home Theater System with Boston Acoustics Premium Speaker System - $600 at Amazon

I had personally prefer the Energy 5.1 but at $399 I feel the price is above what I had be comfortable paying. Based on the above, can someone advise what would be a reasonable option for me? The RM6750 does look tempting at the price range above but I read a few threads where they mentioned the sub-woofer may not give what you expect. Also, can someone also suggest if the HTIB options above can be considered. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #3 of 31
The Energy Take Classic is a dead-end that will leave you unhappy after about 2 days; it is not worth 2 cents IMO.

The main speaker drivers are only 3 inches in diameter, which is totally inadequate.

The Jamo S426HCS3 and Martin-Logan 2.0 systems can be had for under $500, and are far more likely to be "keepers' than the Energy system.

The Jamo system, which HAS been going for around $350 or $400, is for some reason only $169 on Amazon right now; that is incredibly cheap! (list price is $799). It does not have a subwoofer, but at that price you can get a sub for $200 or less and be in great shape.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi - I think we might be talking about two different Energy Take Classic. I am referring to the 5.1 which has the CNET Editor's choice award for 2011 and can be found at the following location.

http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-Theater-System-Black/dp/B001202C44/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1350838184&sr=1-1&keywords=energy+take+classic+5.1

I think you might be referring to the Energy Take Classic 5.0 without the sub-woofer found at the following location

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269004&name=Home-Audio-Speakers
post #5 of 31
Get the Martin Logan MLT-2 for $299-$319. They come on sale almost weekly at Newegg.com. Keep checking there or even better sign up for the email specials.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882981013&name=Home-Audio-Speakers
post #6 of 31
They both have the same undersized speakers and are crap. The only difference is that one includes the sub and the other does not.

I have seen postings here a hundred times saying that people want to dump them and get something decent.

The guys who write the CNET reviews are industry shills and every piece of crap in the world is wonderful according to them.

The reviews in Home Theater Magazine are more likely to be a bit more informative.
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
I see. Understood. So, for the MLT 2, I heard the sub is not very powerful. Is this true? Or would I be ok with the MLT2 system. Also, I am open to other suggestions. If you do know any good ones, kindly recommend.
post #8 of 31
The Energy Takes and MLT-2s (I would go for these over the Takes) are very good for what they are, but you can do much better if you get larger, full size speakers. Those small speakers are only a good choice for someone that has to have that size speaker.

The best bet would be to focus on 3.0 or 2.1 with your current budget, and build out the rest as you can. Get a $200 receiver, like the Denon 1612 from accessories4less.com, and then put the rest into speakers.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Ok. I assume on a 3.0, you would need the two fronts, center and a sub-woofer. Can you recommend good speakers for this configuration?
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Ok. I assume on a 3.0, you would need the two fronts, center and a sub-woofer. Can you recommend good speakers for this configuration?

I would be focusing on the recently refreshed Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers:
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1350846099&sr=8-7&keywords=pioneer+bookshelf+speaker

If you have room for the towers:
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-FS52-SP-FS52-LR-Designed-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2S4/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1350846169&sr=1-2&keywords=pioneer+floorstanding+speaker

Matching center channel:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3381567&SRCCODE=WEBGOOPA&cm_mmc_o=mH4CjC7BBTkwCjCV1-CjCE&gclid=CLTorKLmkrMCFQVgMgodOQ4A5A

Hell of a system for the money.

If you want to take advantage of this deal, you could get a pair of these discontinued Andrew Jones speakers for surrounds:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405&name=Home-Audio-Speakers
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Ok. I assume on a 3.0, you would need the two fronts, center and a sub-woofer. Can you recommend good speakers for this configuration?

3.0 means left/right/center. 2.1 is left/right sub. 3.1 is left/right/center/sub.

ack_bk's Pioneer speaker recommendations is one of the best for building a system on a budget. But stay away from the Pioneer SW-8 and other budget subs in that price range. Most people agree that something like the BIC F12 is one of the best entry level HT sub choices. When you buy a sub, you are buying a speaker and amplifier, so not good to cheap out on that too much.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I cant seem to find any reviews for the andrew jones speakers on the links posted. So i am unable to see he user opinions. I assume its either or between the tower and the book shelf speakers wih the cheaper surrounds to be added. However if i get the book shelf speakers ($100) and center ($100) and discontinued surrounds ($50) and throw in the bic f12 subwoofer ($200), i am addding up to a total of $450 which is way higher than what i wanted to spend and i would also end up with aesthetically unmatched speakers. Whats the drawback in buying the mlt 2 or any of the other options i had asked for (except the energy of course)?
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Thanks. I cant seem to find any reviews for the andrew jones speakers on the links posted. So i am unable to see he user opinions.

There's a 3100 post Pioneer owners thread here on AVS devoted to that speaker line and the new versions. Opportunity for hours of reading user opinions biggrin.gif
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

There's a 3100 post Pioneer owners thread here on AVS devoted to that speaker line and the new versions. Opportunity for hours of reading user opinions biggrin.gif

Also, there is this one >
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/loudspeakers/81868-pioneer-andrew-jones-sp-pk52fs-review.html

Also, I would not be looking at the surround speakers, when listening and watching the source.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
On reading through, it looks like the Andrew Jones have lower sensitivity and are 6 ohms. Would this be a drawback?
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

On reading through, it looks like the Andrew Jones have lower sensitivity and are 6 ohms. Would this be a drawback?

6 ohms is not a problem. Lower sensitivity means that they won't get quite the volume with the same amplifier power as higher sensitivity speakers. However, they should still get plenty loud for apartment living.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

On reading through, it looks like the Andrew Jones have lower sensitivity and are 6 ohms. Would this be a drawback?

No, the Denon 1612 from AC4L is a good option - the Denon receivers
are rated for 6 ohms. The Pioneer speakers are not weak, and can/will
play loud in your apartment.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello - Given that the smaller BS22 can only accommodate 80 Watts, does it mean the maximum receiver I could get is one capable of producing an output of 400 - 500 watts?
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Hello - Given that the smaller BS22 can only accommodate 80 Watts, does it mean the maximum receiver I could get is one capable of producing an output of 400 - 500 watts?

The BS22 is not a wimp, and I do not pay a lot of attention to specs > I can play the
Pioneer speakers with a receiver rated higher in watts (above 100 watts per channel).
The key is to watch the volume levels.

It is rare that you will use all the watts in the receiver at the same time. The receiver
divides the watts into the individual channels. Something like the Denon 1612, does
a little over 70 watts into 5 channels - you will still not hear all the watts at the same
time. Most people do not use all the watts - the power is in reserve for dynamic peaks.
The Denon will give more watts in 2 channel mode >> however the speaker does not
need all the watts to get loud > As long as you keep the volume below head-banging
levels, you will be fine >> When you hear a speaker that sounds stressed, or begins
to distort, then turn the volume down - this goes for all speakers.
Edited by zieglj01 - 10/21/12 at 3:53pm
post #20 of 31
If cost is a concern, start with just the fronts and a receiver. I feel that it's a better experience to have a pleasing high quality sound than weaker sound coming from more directions. You can always add speakers as you can afford them but it's much more costly to have to dump an entry level surround set for pennies on the dollar to upgrade.
Start with the Denon 1612, the Pioneer towers and maybe a Center. Six months down the road, add the bookshelves for the back and a sub.
post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks. How does the option of SP-BS21-LR sound for the surround speakers? They are only $50 and is there going to be a noticeable difference between selecting these versus the BS22 which is the newer model? Also, what options would I have for the sub-woofer. I don't want to end up with mismatched aesthetics if I decide to get one later. Also, how would the sound be without having a sub-woofer when I start off?
post #22 of 31
The BS21s would be fine. It's not so important that the rears are an exact match like the front left/right/center.

For the sub, you should simply get the best value you can for your money. BIC F12 and PSW505 are two good entry level ones for around $200 (check Amazon).
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Thanks. How does the option of SP-BS21-LR sound for the surround speakers?
Also, how would the sound be without having a sub-woofer when I start off?

The BS21 is close enough for surrounds. Depending on your funds, I would start with a pair of the BS22
and the sub. Then finsih out you system as funds allow.
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you. That would ease things up. But bs22 or the towers? Someone suggested starting with the towers.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Thank you. That would ease things up. But bs22 or the towers? Someone suggested starting with the towers.

Start with the towers, that would be some nice good sound for you. These will have
some nice bass, if you decide to hold back on the sub for a while.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you. Before i jump in, one question. Whats your take on Jamo s 426 hcs 3? Its on sale at Amazon for $170 without subwoofer and has great reviews.
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post

Thank you. Before i jump in, one question. Whats your take on Jamo s 426 hcs 3? Its on sale at Amazon for $170 without subwoofer and has great reviews.

I have no comment on the Jamo - also it is easy to find good reviews on
all types of speakers, with places like Amazon >> For me, the Pioneer is
something special and a rare find >> and I have owned, and listened to
a lot of speakers.
post #28 of 31
General rule is to have ten times the power you listen with.
This is very easy with efficient drivers.
post #29 of 31
I'm relatively a newbie and I'm looking to buy a 5.1 system for myself - I live in an Apt so space is a constraint for me right now (and I don't see getting into a house etc for next few years). I came across this MLT-2 5.1 system for 250.00 from Newegg and I think this is a great price. Prior to this, I was leaning to Energy Take Classic or Monoprice speakers (but Monoprice is OOS for 2-3 months), so will this MLT-2 be a good option over Energy Take Classic or Monoprice?

My more important question is - what is the best pair for MLT-2 - Onkyo or Pioneer or Denon and which model? Any suggestion is as always highly appreciated...
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello - After using the MLT2 for the last 8 months or so, I can say that I am extremely pleased. I also live in an apartmemt and the sound quality is awesome. I got the MLT 2 and a Yamaha 373 receiver for $200 and for approximately $500 I can say I have a really nice set up. The speakers look beautiful as well. If you are getting it for $250, i would grab it if i were you.
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