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Speakers for small room (towers?bookshelf?powered?)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I live in an apartment with a living room that is 12x10. I am on the fourth floor with no one above me. I have the couch in the center of one of the 12' walls. There is only air on the other side of the wall since the next door building is only 2 stories, therefor I have no neighbors on that side to worry about. I have a 48" Samsung LN48C870M1F in the center of the 12' wall opposite the couch. It is a smartTV and I use its Netflix and Pandora capabilities often. On the other side of that wall is the stairwell but the wall is insulated but not soundproof. I have an HD cablebox and a PS3 connected to the TV via HDMI. I currently have no external speakers for it.

Below the TV I have an really old Receiver/Turntable (Magnavox MX1180) which I use for my vinyls and FM radio. I have two Pioneer S-HF21 bookshelf speakers for that.

I want to create a 3.0, or possibly a 3.1 system. It does not all have to be at once and I can build in stages. For this first stage I have a $400-$500 budget. Ideally $200 for receiver and $200 for speakers. I can stretch it if it is really worth it. Also I don't have to buy now and can postpone indefinetly since I won't have time to build this until after December 19th anyway.

I was thinking of just getting a good set of powered speakers and call it a day. I have seen that recommended on these forums for small scale projects like mine. I wouldn't have to purchase a reciever and put my budget towards high quality speakers.

My other option is for a receiver/speaker combination. The issue I see with this is the SmartTV features giving me trouble. I know a lot of receivers have pandora built in but do any have netflix built in? If I use the TV for Pandora and Netflix, would it better to get a receiver without networking to save money? I have been looking into Denon AVRs since people on these forums seem to state Yamaha and Onkyo are hit or miss. I don't plan on ever upgrading to 5.1 with this system. When I do move to a bigger place, i plan on turning this system with the TV into a bedroom setup and getting a new HT at that point. Therefore I was thinking of a Denon 1312 since it is cheap and I can spend a good deal of money on speakers.

For speakers I don't know if i should go tower or bookshelf. I sit approximately 7 feet from where the speakers would be. Would tower overpower me in this room? I only have one neighbor I need to worry about who lives below me and he keeps odd hours and never complains so that is not going to be an issue. I don't even know were to start with speakers since after the receiver price i will only have maybe $200 leftover for them.

Any suggestion for a noob?
post #2 of 12
I would check out a Denon 1612 from A4Less for $200. Then you can get def tech sm450s for under $300 from newegg, giving you a very solid 2.0 to start.
post #3 of 12
The HTD Level Three is also good for music - do not be fooled
by the name. The Denon 1612 is a good option.
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-Speakers
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
So bookshelf speakers should be what I am looking into. By going with the 1612 over the 1613, I am losing networking ability. To use the SmartTV features, would ARC work simply enough so that my girlfriend could just do what she is already doing for Pandora and Netflix?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerkasaurusRex View Post

So bookshelf speakers should be what I am looking into. By going with the 1612 over the 1613, I am losing networking ability. To use the SmartTV features, would ARC work simply enough so that my girlfriend could just do what she is already doing for Pandora and Netflix?

You can get the 1613 refurbish for $249, at AC4L
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1613/DENON-AVR-1613-5.1ch-Networking-Receiver-w/AirPlay-3D-ready/1.html
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
After doing additional research, my TV does not have ARC so I will need to run an optical cable anyway.

If i go with the sm450, would the mythos center channel be the best upgrade for the next step? Would the sm450 be a bit much for such a small room sitting only 7 feet away?
post #7 of 12
The Denon from A4L is a good deal.

As far as speakers:
Towers:

You could always start off with the Pioneer towers.
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-FS52-LR-Designed-standing-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2S4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355113503&sr=8-1&keywords=pioneer+floor+speakers

$250 shipped.
I have these towers and they are very great budget speakers designed by an amazing guy, Andrew Jones. Check em out.

Also consider:
Great deal on Polk Floorstanders on Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290206
$200 shipped

Bookshelfs:
Again...Pioneer bookshelves...same series:
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG/ref=sr_1_3?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1355114075&sr=1-3&keywords=pioneer+bookshelf+speaker
$129.00

Infinity Primus:
http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-P153-Bookshelf-Satellite/dp/B004649W1Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355114167&sr=1-1&keywords=infinity+primus
$150

Bonus:
5.1 Jamo Setup. Im not sure about this Jamo setup, but these speakers are dirt cheap, but probably not that great. Maybe someone who has heard these could chime in. But a whole 5.1 for under $200 interesting:
http://www.amazon.com/Jamo-426-HCS-WENGE-5-Piece/dp/B003GGXGU6/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355114254&sr=1-1&keywords=jamo

There are a ton of others. Hope this gets you started. Have fun. Budget speaker shopping is fun.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't feel too comfortable purchasing a refurbished receiver although that price is very tempting. The cheapest I could find a new one was for about $350.

As for speakers, I am going to go with the Def Tech sm450s.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerkasaurusRex View Post

I don't feel too comfortable purchasing a refurbished receiver although that price is very tempting. The cheapest I could find a new one was for about $350.
As for speakers, I am going to go with the Def Tech sm450s.

That's the chance you take to get more for less. It still has a one year warranty and you can get another year warranty for $25. Most receivers only have a 2 year warranty.
post #10 of 12
If you're stuck on getting a new receiver this is probably the best deal

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V373-5-1-Channel-AV-Receiver/dp/B007JF8FD8/ref=sr_1_4?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1355119899&sr=1-4

You're obviously going to give up features vs the higher end refurbs.
post #11 of 12
I had an unpleasant ... experience with AC... yes, many, many people have had great experiences with them, acknowledged. The great reviews I found here were the only reason I gave a then unheard of ( to me ) online company a chance in the first place.

Cliff's Notes version.... sent brick 876... replaced w/ defective unit...told they "wouldn't send a third " so "pick something else" (( At this point, I should''ve just dealt with Onkyo warranty, and cut AC out of the picture...)) They had nothing comparable (to me) at the time... told to wait for new (to them, but comparable to my needs at = $$) Marantz 6005, i think ... but was sold out online the morning I was told it would show up on their website, and via phone... was very unpleasant... even inferring I had something to do with the first two defective units they sent, and that they were all sold out. I just wanted to be done with them at that point... they'd had my $ for over a month... I did have a receiver to use during that time, but unwiring and rewiring a new AVR twice... and then starting over a third time... was too much...

Of course, I had to eat some shipping charges (and here's where they really rubbed my wrong) because " it's not their fault if they send you a box that was that sent to them that contains something that doesn't work." ( TWICE !! ) and wouldn't send another 876, even though listed as 'in stock' on their website.

And then it took over a month to actually see a credit . They had my $ for over 2 months while I had nothing but verbal diarrhea from their end., and the joy of driving defective receivers across town to Fed-ex. I see how they do business. Never again.

OTOH, I've ordered multiple Onkyo refurbs directly from ShopOnkyo.com and have had no problems with those units at all.

Yes, it's like a 1 in a hundred bad review, but it was really bad. I can only choose where to spend my $$, but they'll never get another cent from me...

"the dissatisfied AC4Hell customer",
Joseph
post #12 of 12
I too have an MX1180 that my husband and I recently acquired. We do not have an instruction manual and have no clue how to use it. We can get the turntable to turn, but no music comes out (we know the speakers work, the radio will play on it). Could you possibly help walk me through how to use the record portion of this?
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