Here's a much
better than average 5.0
speaker package for movies and music: Identical Ascend Acoustic's Sierra-1 monitors in natural bamboo (the glossy finishes aren't recommended for home theater usage). $2,130
(package price w/ shipping calculated in).
As an upgrade path:
Start there and then later consider adding a pair of matching Sierra towers for the fronts and using the Sierra-1 monitors for the back surrounds... you then have a 7.1 system. Then add the Sierra Horizon and one other single Sierra-1 monitor to compliment the one you're using as a center speaker for the height surround channels... you then end up with a 9.1 system (the 1522k has DTS Neo:X 9.1 processing included). And you're more than ready for the next thing in surround technology coming in just a few years... object-oriented audio similar to Dolby Atmos.
If that doesn't sound doable, you could go down a peg sonically with speakers probably a bit more movie oriented, but get a complete surround package (Blu-ray includes up to 7.1 discrete channels; with ProLogic IIx processing you can synthesize back speaker audio from 5.1 tracks as well), and go with this deal:
Ascend Acoustics CMT 7.0
speaker package deal, including: Two CMT-340 SE's (with fillable stands), One CMT-340 SE Center, Two pairs of HTM-200 SE surrounds (wall mountable). $1,560
(package price w/ added stands and shipping calculated in). You can also call and ask that they send a single CMT-340 SE instead of the center speaker version, if you plan on getting a projector and screen at some point. Matching vertical aligned speakers are ideal for the front channels. Look at any audio mixing stage or commercial theater, and that's what they use.
As an upgrade path:
Add another pair of HTM-200 SE surrounds for use as the height effects speakers... you then have 9.1 channels. If you want to try the wide front effects processing of DTS Neo:X instead of the height effects, grab another pair of CMT-340 SE's and stands... and you still have 9.1 channels.http://www.ascendacoustics.com
A better sub should definitely come before any additional speaker upgrade add-on's. We can get to that when the time comes.
Even the CMT speakers will be quite noticeably better than what you have currently.
Questions? Comments? Fire away...Edited by Dan Hitchman - 4/10/13 at 11:52am