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New speaker setup, $1000 dollar initial budget.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just bought my first house and am looking to get a speaker setup for my new Panasonic TCP60GT50. I need a receiver and am leaning towards starting with nice 2.1 setup.I would like to keep initial costs below a $1000, but prefer to buy quality. I am willing to buy components slowly. I don't mind waiting a little while longer to increase my budget and am in no hurry and am planning on shopping for deals. That being said, I have a baby on the way and want to get the best price/performance ratio I can. The problem I have is that I am not sure what level of equipment I need. I am no audiophile, but want something that will sound good for music and movies. I have wanted a nice home theatre/music setup for a while, but have abstained due to being in apartments and not really being able to enjoy a good system. I come from a headphone background and am familiar with the diminishing returns on high end audio gear. I tend to be a buy once cry once type of person, but as far as speaker setups go, I don't plan on buying anything on the extreme high end of things.

Having given an impression of what quality of equipment I am looking for, I am a complete home theatre noobie when it comes to audio stuff. I don't know if I should be looking at bookshelf speakers, tower speakers etc. I know I will need a Sub and probably a center channel at some point. I also know that I might want to add rear speakers in the future. I know it is a bit silly, but I would prefer the speakers to look nice as they will be in the living room.

Thanks for the advice in advance, I will be glad to answer anything else you guys need to know to give me advice.

Cole

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 23
We'll need to know the size of your room (HWD) in order to provide any suggestions. That's a critical factor when deciding on what speakers to use.
post #3 of 23
That's $1000 for 2.1 speakers, or does that include the cost of the receiver?

Costs for floor speakers are a lot more, but of course with them you may not need a subwoofer right away.

Decisions, decisions.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
The room is 16ftWx25ftL, open to the kitchen and a hallway to the formal living and dining room, the is on the wall probably 7 to 8ft from the kitchen. I know this open room is not ideal but it is what I have to work with. My budget is fairly open, I just can't spend more than $1000 or so right this second, I do not mind waiting a a month or two, or buying speakers this month and a receiver next month, a sub a couple of months later etc. I just don't want to tie up a retarded amount of money into this thinking no more than $2000 to $3000 total, fairly flexible though. I want a quality amateur setup that will sound good, I tend to shop for value as I know returns are extremely diminished on the high end side of things.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was looking and considering the EMP E55ti tower speakers but do not know if they would be enough or if they are more than I need or if there is better options for the money.

http://www.emptek.com/e55ti.php
post #6 of 23
There are many different companies that have product in the 1000$ range.
Try the
PSB Image T6 towers
Wharfedale Diamond 9.6
Magnepan Magneplanar MMG
Paradigm Reference Monitor 7
post #7 of 23
Along with the suggestions you've gotten thus far you should also consider the Arx A5's. That would only leave you with $250 for a receiver, which isn't ideal, so you might want to check out the A3's as well. That's a pretty large room though - depending upon how loud you like to listen the A5's might be the better choice.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok guys, thanks for getting me started. What do I need in the way of receivers? I think I would like airplay, but I can do the same thing with my TV so I don't know if I really need it. I also know nothing about these speaker brands and quick google search wasn't showing many places that carry the above speakers. Are there any retailers that you guys like to use?
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Along with the suggestions you've gotten thus far you should also consider the Arx A5's. That would only leave you with $250 for a receiver, which isn't ideal, so you might want to check out the A3's as well. That's a pretty large room though - depending upon how loud you like to listen the A5's might be the better choice.

Are these ARX A5's really as good as the review make them sound? They seem like a really good deal for the money. I don't know much about speakers but can give some ideas as to what my sound preferences are from the head phone world. I tend to prefer strong Midrange and highs over Bass. I am definitely not a bass head. I used to think I liked accurate headphones and to some degree I still do, however, after getting sennheiser HD650s then I learned that I prefer a more musical sound, something a little more forgiving and non fatiguing.
post #10 of 23
The EMP speakers are very good and worth every penny!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
What about the HK 1700 for a receiver? I see it gets great reviews and I like the price of $199 from fry's. Is it enough for what I am wanting to do. $199 just seems cheap and I question if it will meet my needs or not?
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey_Its_Cole View Post

Are these ARX A5's really as good as the review make them sound? They seem like a really good deal for the money. I don't know much about speakers but can give some ideas as to what my sound preferences are from the head phone world. I tend to prefer strong Midrange and highs over Bass. I am definitely not a bass head. I used to think I liked accurate headphones and to some degree I still do, however, after getting sennheiser HD650s then I learned that I prefer a more musical sound, something a little more forgiving and non fatiguing.

To me it sounds like you're the perfect candidate for the Arx speakers.

I have an A2b center and a pair of A1b's for review, which I've been using daily for maybe 2 months now. My first draft is about 1/2 way done, so I won't divulge too much, but as soon as I saw you say "forgiving and non fatiguing" I thought of the Arx. These are some of the smoothest, most articulate bookshelf speakers I have ever heard. The detail and dynamics are amazing. I did get to listen, albeit briefly, to a pair of A5's at a GTG last fall. The day was dedicated almost exclusively to subwoofers though, so my time with the A5's was limited, but they did sound pretty nice to me back then.
post #13 of 23
The Monitor Audio Silver RX6 have gotten very good reviews and are around your budget.
post #14 of 23
What is your listening preference for this system ( TV, HT, sports, music, other)? If you want something for HT, you will need a subwoofer (and probably 2 or more) for that size space.

I think the Arx A5's would be a GREAT start to a eventual 5.1 system. I also have the A1bs like JIm above and think they're great ( I have a much smaller space than you)

The other tower speakers listed above in Firebook's post are also excellent.......some will say to get bookshelf speakers( on stands) with subs for primary HT viewing, though.

The Harmon Karden 1700 should be an adequate 5.1 AVR for your needs ( it retails for $499 at Best Buy, so $199, even refurbished, sounds great).

Subwoofers.............many candidates, including Hsu, Rhythmik, Power Sound Audio (PSA), SVS, and they ALL have advocates on this forum........

As commsysman said above, decisions, decisions,,,,,,,
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey_Its_Cole View Post

Are these ARX A5's really as good as the review make them sound? They seem like a really good deal for the money. I don't know much about speakers but can give some ideas as to what my sound preferences are from the head phone world. I tend to prefer strong Midrange and highs over Bass. I am definitely not a bass head. I used to think I liked accurate headphones and to some degree I still do, however, after getting sennheiser HD650s then I learned that I prefer a more musical sound, something a little more forgiving and non fatiguing.

The Arx A5s are awesome. I've had a pair since end of summer and have ZERO regrets in buying them. The Arx are very articulate and easy sounding. They don't have the shrill clinical sound of some other speakers, at least the ones i've owned (Axiom). The build quality is way above there price points and the components are also top notch and rarely if ever seen at each of the price points. Usually you see hollow cabinets, cheap stamped basket drivers, and low quality crossover components and a comprised xover design.

They are very forgiving and they don't "push" a certain freq range. I would say they are natural and balanced sounding. The planar is very articulate and has a great dynamics do it. Midrange is clear and and images well and the woofers are just pure power. Effortless without any boomyness or sloppy sounding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

To me it sounds like you're the perfect candidate for the Arx speakers.

I have an A2b center and a pair of A1b's for review, which I've been using daily for maybe 2 months now. My first draft is about 1/2 way done, so I won't divulge too much, but as soon as I saw you say "forgiving and non fatiguing" I thought of the Arx. These are some of the smoothest, most articulate bookshelf speakers I have ever heard. The detail and dynamics are amazing. I did get to listen, albeit briefly, to a pair of A5's at a GTG last fall. The day was dedicated almost exclusively to subwoofers though, so my time with the A5's was limited, but they did sound pretty nice to me back then.

Can't wait to read your Arx review. Amazing bookshelfs for the money, definitely deserves to be on everyones short list for bookshelfs under $500 maybe even more.
post #16 of 23
post #17 of 23
Since it seems you're talking about eventually getting to a surround sound home theater system, my recommendation would be to focus on sets of speakers that are timbre-matched and can be easily added to. My personal recommendation would be to start with a pair of Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE mini-tower monitors and a decent A/V receiver. (there are excellent stands for these speakers available directly from Ascend) From there I would add a decent subwoofer (Hsu's VTF-2 MK4 is among the best middle-of-the-road subs, and it easily fills my 21'x17' HT), and then just continue adding matching Ascend speakers until you finish a 5.1 or 7.1 system. That way you can add speakers as you feel comfortable, you'll have a really nice fluid sounding system when you're done, and you'll be rocking out in your very first month.

Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE mini-tower monitors ($608 shipped from Ascend)
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html
Yamaha RX-V573 ($299 shipped from Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V573-7-1-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JF861O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1359735237&sr=8-2&keywords=yamaha+rx+v673
Miscellaneous speaker cable, cable plugs, HDMI cords (<$93)
Total: <$1000

Best of luck with whatever you choose!
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

What is your listening preference for this system ( TV, HT, sports, music, other)? If you want something for HT, you will need a subwoofer (and probably 2 or more) for that size space.

I think the Arx A5's would be a GREAT start to a eventual 5.1 system. I also have the A1bs like JIm above and think they're great ( I have a much smaller space than you)

The other tower speakers listed above in Firebook's post are also excellent.......some will say to get bookshelf speakers( on stands) with subs for primary HT viewing, though.

The Harmon Karden 1700 should be an adequate 5.1 AVR for your needs ( it retails for $499 at Best Buy, so $199, even refurbished, sounds great).

Subwoofers.............many candidates, including Hsu, Rhythmik, Power Sound Audio (PSA), SVS, and they ALL have advocates on this forum........

As commsysman said above, decisions, decisions,,,,,,,


30% TV, 30% Movies, 20% gaming, 20% music. The AVR1700 was $199 two days ago at fry's, looks like it went back up. It should go on sale again.
Edited by Hey_Its_Cole - 2/1/13 at 12:21pm
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey_Its_Cole View Post

30% TV, 30% Movies, 20% gaming, 20% moving.

20% moving?
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

20% moving?

Music LOL, You can tell I have been moving all week.
post #21 of 23
How about 100% speaker that can reproduce it's bandwidth accurately? That will yield you 100% of what the director intended for you HT applications and 100% of what the producer intended for you musical applications.
post #22 of 23
+1 for the ascend acoustics cmt 340 se mini towers
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just bought a Yamaha 773 because of the newegg deal for $480. I now need to make a speaker decision. The problem I have when researching things is actually deciding on what to buy. There just seem to be lots of great options for tower speakers in the $1000 range. I have sort of narrowed it down to the Focal 814's, HTD level 3, ARX A5s. Anything else I should consider? The budget is flexible and can be increased some if it is really necessary. I really like the feedback I have seen on the ARX A5s and the the HTD level 3's. Some reviews seem to indicate that the 814's might be better speaker and are a deal at the price on accessories for less. To give you an idea of what room I am working with. That is from the house listing, but the furniture arrangement is similar except my sectional is angled towards the right side of the fire place where the TV currently is and is much closer to divider coming off the master bedroom.
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