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Looking for a 5.1 + receiver setup for my 13x16 room. Max price: $1500

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone! Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I've recently moved into a new house and turned the library room into a theater room. The room is 13' x 16' (9' high) and I'd like to buy a decent 5.1 speaker setup + AV receiver for (at most) $1,500.

The speaker systems I'm leaning towards based on friend recommendations:
DefTech ProCinema 600
Energy 5.1 Take Classic

The receivers I'm thinking of getting based on my own research include:
Denon AVR-1913 (or 1713/1613)
Pioneer VSX-1122-K

I'll be watching a lot of movies, occasionally playing games, and sometimes watching TV with this setup. I should mention that the rear speakers will be hanging on the wall or sitting on speaker stands directly next to where we will be sitting (to the sides), due to the limited space.

I prefer to have a lot of HDMI ports on the receiver for various consoles, a PC, etc. that I'd like to hook up. At least 4 is preferable (I am not against buying an HDMI switch for more inputs). I'll be hooking all of this up to a projector, if that matters.

So, based on the above, will the DefTech + Denon 1913 setup work for me? Do you have any suggestions for speakers and/or receivers I should take a look at?

One thing to keep in mind: I'm kind of a beginner when it comes to audio (though I'd consider myself a videophile), so if you can recommend any features in particular I should be looking out for that would help greatly in making a decision smile.gif
Edited by GunslingerBara - 1/13/13 at 12:36pm
post #2 of 28
For small speakers with tiny drivers, the Takes and the DT 600s can be a good choice, but only if you have to have them that small. You can get better sound if you can go with larger, more full range speakers. How big can you go on speaker size?

While it's important to have your other speakers match in terms of speaker brand, doesn't matter for the subwoofer. So get the best sub for your money that meets your needs.

Update: The Klipsch RW-12D would be a good sub for someone in your budget range.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
I don't particularly have any restrictions in terms of size. I'm just concerned about the room being small and overspending.

I'm not against getting tower speakers for the front and shelf speakers for the back (mounting them on wall shelves), I just don't want to buy anything "too powerful" for a 13x16 room. Same goes for the subwoofer.
post #4 of 28
fwiw, take a look at the home theater direct level 3 bookshelves and center for the lcr and a pair of level 2 booksshelves for the surrounds $700

hsu vtf2mk4 sub $590

look at the denon avr 1612 at accessories4less $220. imo this is a great starters avr with audyssey this will save you some cash to put towards the more inportant parts of the system the speakers just one suggestion
post #5 of 28
If it is still available the denon avr 1712 is a better buy since it has a much better version of Audyessy.

Travis
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
The 1712 has a better version than the 1713?
post #7 of 28
In a small room, the HSU Hybrid 1 5.1 package here is a good one: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid1pkg.html
post #8 of 28
Look at 2 pairs of HTD Level Two speakers and the Level Two center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers

With the Denon receiver of your choice

Then around a $500 HSU, Outlaw or SVS sub
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-1000

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html
Edited by zieglj01 - 1/14/13 at 3:37pm
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Look at 2 pairs of HTD Level Two speakers and the Level Two center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers

With the Denon receiver of your choice

Then around a $500 HSU, Outlaw or SVS sub
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-1000

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html
Is it better to buy four Level 2 bookshelf speakers? Or two bookshelf + two surround? If I'm going to buy all HTD speakers, why not go with the HTD Level 2 sub as well?
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

Is it better to buy four Level 2 bookshelf speakers? Or two bookshelf + two surround? If I'm going to buy all HTD speakers, why not go with the HTD Level 2 sub as well?

I prefer monopole/direct radiating speakers for surrounds - I would get 2 pairs.

While I would go with SVS, HSU or Outlaw sub - HTD would not be a loser >>
If you go with HTD sub wise - then go for the Level Three sub.
http://www.htd.com/Products/powered-subwoofers/Level-THREE-Powered-Subwoofer
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I prefer monopole/direct radiating speakers for surrounds - I would get 2 pairs.

While I would go with SVS, HSU or Outlaw sub - HTD would not be a loser >>
If you go with HTD sub wise - then go for the Level Three sub.
http://www.htd.com/Products/powered-subwoofers/Level-THREE-Powered-Subwoofer
Thanks a lot for the help. I do have one more question: What makes those subs better than the Level 2? What should I be looking for in terms of hardware, specs, features, etc.? I'd like to learn about why they're better than just blindly picking one smile.gif
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

Thanks a lot for the help. I do have one more question: What makes those subs better than the Level 2? What should I be looking for in terms of hardware, specs, features, etc.? I'd like to learn about why they're better than just blindly picking one smile.gif

HTD Level Two sub specs
Power: 170 watts RMS, 290 watts peak
Frequency Response: 29 Hz - 150 Hz
Voice Coil: 2.5"
Shielded Magnet: 7 OZ neodymium
Sensitivity: 90 dB
Dimensions (HxWxD*): 17 1/2" x 14 1/2" x 16 1/2"
Weight (per piece): 44 lbs
Key Functions: Power (on/off, auto-on/auto-off), Phase switch, Variable Level Control, circuit protection
Dedicated LFE Input

For $350 you should be able to get a sub that plays deeper than 29hz. The Hsu-STF-1 goes down to 25hz for the same price.
http://hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

And the fact that SVS, HSU and Outlaw are subwoofer specialists I'd rely on their expertise in this area to build a better sub for the money.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

What should I be looking for in terms of hardware, specs, features, etc.? I'd like to learn about why they're better than just blindly picking one smile.gif

You have a lot to learn, and more than people can easily explain in a forum post or two smile.gif

Best place to start out is to understand the three factors to consider in sub performance: max SPL (max volume output), SQ, and frequency response.

If your subs don't have enough max SPL, then they will stress or distort (not good) when you turn them up. How much you need is dependent in large part on the size of the room and then how loud you run your system.

SQ varies based on a number of factors, but definitely better subs typically have better drivers that can more accurately reproduce the bass.

Then ultimately, you want a sub that has a fairly flat frequency response because most people's room response wrecks havoc on that anyway (which is why Audyssey MultEQ or MultEQ XT on a receiver is plus--it EQs the sub). And generally most people want a sub that goes down to 20hz or below for HT usage. There's plenty of that good deep bass content in the below 30hz range that is great for movies.

So with the HTD 2 vs HTD 3? Bigger 12" driver (and bigger box) in the HTD 3 means more max SPL. But also note the lower frequency response than the HTD 3.

Still, I would also go with the Outlaw, SVS, or HSU subs over the HTD. Outlaw, SVS, and HSU have a reputation for making some of the best subs for the money, and there has been performance testing on the part of professional reviewers and AVS members to support that.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

The 1712 has a better version than the 1713?

No, my response was more referring to the guy who suggested a 1612.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
That is a wealth of information! That has definitely helped me in making some decisions. After talking to an audiophile friend of mine, here's the setup we came up with:

Two Level 3 Bookshelf speakers
Level 3 Center speaker
Two Level 2 Surround speakers
SVS PB-1000 or Outlaw LFM-1 sub
Receiver still being decided on (friend suggested the Yamaha RX-V473, I'm still leaning towards the Denon AVR-1713 or 1913)

Thoughts on this setup? My only concern is that the HTD Level 2's and 3's are the only speaker brand/models I've really been looking at and don't really know what else to compare to. Any suggestions I should take a look at with similar prices?
post #16 of 28
Room correction software is an important consideration because it really can improve the SQ of your speakers in your room. Between the Denon 1713 or 1913, the 1713 has the higher version Audyssey MultEQ XT instead of regular MultEQ. It should give you a little better SQ from your speakers (read about Audyssey). Meanwhile, the version of YPAO room correction software in that Yamaha does not EQ the subwoofer response, where as both flavors of MultEQ will help the sub. That can help a lot since subwoofers often need EQ help to smooth out the in room response.

Of the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus and SVS PB-1000, the Outlaw will have more SPL (bigger driver and more powerful amp), but probably similar low end response.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Of the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus and SVS PB-1000, the Outlaw will have more SPL (bigger driver and more powerful amp), but probably similar low end response.
How would you compare the Outlaw to the HSU VTF-2 MK4 suggested earlier?
post #18 of 28
The Outlaw LFM series was also designed by Dr. Hsu for Outlaw. The LFM-1 Plus is similar to an older HSU VTF-3 model. When Dr. Hsu revised the VTF-3 (it's no longer downfiring), the VTF-2 came out with the old VTF-3 design but slightly less powerful amp. So best guess is that the LFM-1 Plus is similar but slightly more powerful because of the higher wattage amplifier. Your room is small enough that either would work. Meanwhile, the VTF-2.4 does have Q control which allows some fine adjustment to how the sub responds in the room.

The other sub that is the same price/performance class as these would be the Rythmik FV12 which is considered to have a little better SQ. They were out of stock for several months for some minor cabinet redesign, but I have read it might now be available at the end of the month. Rythmik subs have direct servo technology, where the amplifier and driver work together to correct the driver output to better match the audio signal. Of the three, I would probably go with that one (and I own an Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX)

That all being said, any of these will sound phenomenal, and will be better than any sub you can buy at BestBuy and other brick and mortar retail stores for $1000 or more MSRP. You can't make a wrong decision. smile.gif
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

That is a wealth of information! That has definitely helped me in making some decisions. After talking to an audiophile friend of mine, here's the setup we came up with:

Two Level 3 Bookshelf speakers
Level 3 Center speaker
Two Level 2 Surround speakers
SVS PB-1000 or Outlaw LFM-1 sub
Receiver still being decided on (friend suggested the Yamaha RX-V473, I'm still leaning towards the Denon AVR-1713 or 1913)

Thoughts on this setup? My only concern is that the HTD Level 2's and 3's are the only speaker brand/models I've really been looking at and don't really know what else to compare to. Any suggestions I should take a look at with similar prices?
fwiw, the hsu hb-1mk2 and matching center and the ascend acoustics cbm 170 se's great speakers in your price range. again could not go wrong with any of these. it really all comes down to "your" listening pleasure
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The Outlaw LFM series was also designed by Dr. Hsu for Outlaw. The LFM-1 Plus is similar to an older HSU VTF-3 model. When Dr. Hsu revised the VTF-3 (it's no longer downfiring), the VTF-2 came out with the old VTF-3 design but slightly less powerful amp. So best guess is that the LFM-1 Plus is similar but slightly more powerful because of the higher wattage amplifier. Your room is small enough that either would work. Meanwhile, the VTF-2.4 does have Q control which allows some fine adjustment to how the sub responds in the room.

The other sub that is the same price/performance class as these would be the Rythmik FV12 which is considered to have a little better SQ. They were out of stock for several months for some minor cabinet redesign, but I have read it might now be available at the end of the month. Rythmik subs have direct servo technology, where the amplifier and driver work together to correct the driver output to better match the audio signal. Of the three, I would probably go with that one (and I own an Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX)

That all being said, any of these will sound phenomenal, and will be better than any sub you can buy at BestBuy and other brick and mortar retail stores for $1000 or more MSRP. You can't make a wrong decision. smile.gif
Is there any indication of when the FV12 would be back in stock? I would like to purchase my entire home theater system soon, if possible. If it doesn't release soon, I think I'm pretty much convinced to go with the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

fwiw, the hsu hb-1mk2 and matching center and the ascend acoustics cbm 170 se's great speakers in your price range. again could not go wrong with any of these. it really all comes down to "your" listening pleasure
Great suggestions, thank you! Would you recommend the Ascend CMT-340 SE as a center to go with the CBM-170 SE's?
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

Great suggestions, thank you! Would you recommend the Ascend CMT-340 SE as a center to go with the CBM-170 SE's?

Yes
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

Is there any indication of when the FV12 would be back in stock? I would like to purchase my entire home theater system soon, if possible. If it doesn't release soon, I think I'm pretty much convinced to go with the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.
Great suggestions, thank you! Would you recommend the Ascend CMT-340 SE as a center to go with the CBM-170 SE's?
as for the fv12, give ascend acoustics an e-mail or call (they now carry the rythmik subs) to see their availability and ask about maybe a better deal if you purchase their speakers.and as for the cmt 340se for center it would be very good choice if you can put into your budget
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

Is there any indication of when the FV12 would be back in stock?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

They were out of stock for several months for some minor cabinet redesign, but I have read it might now be available at the end of the month.

You could try calling or emailing Rythmik if you want to know more.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

as for the fv12, give ascend acoustics an e-mail or call (they now carry the rythmik subs) to see their availability and ask about maybe a better deal if you purchase their speakers.and as for the cmt 340se for center it would be very good choice if you can put into your budget
I've done exactly that smile.gif I emailed them to see if they can slash the price of the speakers a bit for me. I also mentioned interest in the FV12 once it is available. When they reply, I'll ask for more info on availability. I did email Rythmik yesterday and they told me the FV12 would be available in two to three weeks.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I'm pretty much decided on my speakers being the following:
2x Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE - Front
1x Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE - Center
2x Ascend Acoustics HTM-200 SE - Surround

For the subwoofer, I am waiting on the Rythmik FV12. Is it OK to assume that it will be a great sub and I should buy it as soon as it's available prior to reviews? If not, I could also go for the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.

The last thing on my list is the receiver, and I'm having a bit of trouble deciding. The Denon AVR-1713 that I originally chose does not have a component input, which I need (for my Xbox 360). I decided to look a step or two up at other options and came up with these (listed in the order that I like them):
Yamaha RX-V673
Onkyo TX-NR709
Sony STR-DN1030
Denon AVR-1913

The Yamaha has 4K pass-through, which would be really great for future-proofing my purchase. The Onkyo has Audyssey MultiEQ XT, 2 more HDMI ports, and 10 more watts-per-channel (@ 8ohms) than the Yamaha. However, I've heard some bad things about the HDMI board on the Onkyo giving some people trouble. The Sony is the cheapest of the bunch with similar features but lacks Audyssey or (the admittedly less-likely) 4K pass-through. The Denon has a slightly older version of Audyssey, but otherwise has everything else I need in terms of features (except maybe 4K, which is more of a like-to-have).

Any thoughts on which of these receivers I should go for? I'm also open to looking at other receivers if any are suggested (including steps up from the ones mentioned above) smile.gif
Edited by GunslingerBara - 1/17/13 at 7:38pm
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

For the subwoofer, I am waiting on the Rythmik FV12. Is it OK to assume that it will be a great sub and I should buy it as soon as it's available prior to reviews? If not, I could also go for the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.

Here's a member review of the FV12: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1394772/spent-some-time-comparing-a-fv12-to-my-other-subs

Supposedly the new version is a slight update. Since Rythmik makes excellent subs, I would order it as soon as it gets released if I wanted one.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunslingerBara View Post

So I'm pretty much decided on my speakers being the following:
2x Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE - Front
1x Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE - Center
2x Ascend Acoustics HTM-200 SE - Surround

For the subwoofer, I am waiting on the Rythmik FV12. Is it OK to assume that it will be a great sub and I should buy it as soon as it's available prior to reviews? If not, I could also go for the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus.

The last thing on my list is the receiver, and I'm having a bit of trouble deciding. The Denon AVR-1713 that I originally chose does not have a component input, which I need (for my Xbox 360). I decided to look a step or two up at other options and came up with these (listed in the order that I like them):
Yamaha RX-V673
Onkyo TX-NR709
Sony STR-DN1030
Denon AVR-1913

The Yamaha has 4K pass-through, which would be really great for future-proofing my purchase. The Onkyo has Audyssey MultiEQ XT, 2 more HDMI ports, and 10 more watts-per-channel (@ 8ohms) than the Yamaha. However, I've heard some bad things about the HDMI board on the Onkyo giving some people trouble. The Sony is the cheapest of the bunch with similar features but lacks Audyssey or (the admittedly less-likely) 4K pass-through. The Denon has a slightly older version of Audyssey, but otherwise has everything else I need in terms of features (except maybe 4K, which is more of a like-to-have).

Any thoughts on which of these receivers I should go for? I'm also open to looking at other receivers if any are suggested (including steps up from the ones mentioned above) smile.gif

I would suggest the Onkyo or the Denon, most people here don't go for Sony receivers, for good reason.

Why can't you use an HDMI cable for your Xbox?

So yeah, either the Onkyo 709/717 or the Denon 1713/1913. All are decent choices.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Here's a member review of the FV12: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1394772/spent-some-time-comparing-a-fv12-to-my-other-subs

Supposedly the new version is a slight update. Since Rythmik makes excellent subs, I would order it as soon as it gets released if I wanted one.
Very cool, thank you. I'll give it a read!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post

I would suggest the Onkyo or the Denon, most people here don't go for Sony receivers, for good reason.

Why can't you use an HDMI cable for your Xbox?

So yeah, either the Onkyo 709/717 or the Denon 1713/1913. All are decent choices.
What's wrong with the Yamaha? It seems to be the best-reviewed on Amazon.

And my Xbox 360 is a first-gen that doesn't have an HDMI output.
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