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First home theater setup (and thoughts on Pioneer)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am setting up my very first home theater, and I have been looking all over for speaker advice. I am completely new at this (only 6 months ago I was still rocking a 27" CRT), but I finally decided on the setup below, which comes to $1001.80 on Amazon (I'll hunt for better prices after all the decisions are final)

Pioneer SP-PK52FS system (minus the included sub)
BIC America F12 sub
Denon AVR-1613

I found almost universal praise for all of these components everywhere I went (CNET, The Wirecutter, Audioholics, Reddit's /r/hometheater, etc.), and the AVS forums was the last place I was going to check. To my surprise, I have found many threads that strongly criticize the Pioneers.

I understand that for $1000 I'm not going to get an audioholics dream build, but is there a vastly better build to be had for around this price point? Most threads I saw suggested building up to a 5.1 system and hence buying more expensive components slowly over time, and while I understand fully the benefits of this, I would really really like to buy a complete setup at one time. I'll be mostly watching movies, as well as some music, in a medium sized room.
post #2 of 8
Hey don't worry, those items are all well regarded here. I'd suggest you change to a Denon 1713, as it has the better Audyssey if I am not mistaken for the few $$ difference.

Personally I would choose the Harmon Kardon 1650 (95W/ch) over a 80W/chan Denon. I like Denon a lot, but I would much have more power when running tower speakers.

The Pioneers have gotten pretty rave reviews here as far as I've seen. I personally wasn't too thrilled with them when I tried them but it was at BBY in a far far far from ideal area to listen. I felt I had to crank the volume before they got going. I would have to listen to them in a home before I criticized any further.
post #3 of 8
Some basic questions wink.gif

How big is your room/space?

How far away is the seating position?

Ratio of music/movies/tv listening?
post #4 of 8
Yes. The Pioneer speakers and BIC F12 are probably the best 5.1 combination you could get for that price. Good choice smile.gif
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidawgz View Post

Hey don't worry, those items are all well regarded here. I'd suggest you change to a Denon 1713, as it has the better Audyssey if I am not mistaken for the few $$ difference.

Personally I would choose the Harmon Kardon 1650 (95W/ch) over a 80W/chan Denon. I like Denon a lot, but I would much have more power when running tower speakers.

The Pioneers have gotten pretty rave reviews here as far as I've seen. I personally wasn't too thrilled with them when I tried them but it was at BBY in a far far far from ideal area to listen. I felt I had to crank the volume before they got going. I would have to listen to them in a home before I criticized any further.

I wouldn't bet on the HK 1650 being better. Could easily be worse.

The HK 1700 (100 watts/channel) didn't test out that well with all channels driven

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 32.8 watts
1% distortion at 39.5 watts

On the other hand, the predecessor of the Denon 1613, the 1612, did just fine

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 71.5 watts
1% distortion at 79.8 watts

Meanwhile, the HK 3450 (much higher model) didn't fare that much better than the Denon 1612:
Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 70.4 watts
1% distortion at 85.8 watts
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin200183 View Post

To my surprise, I have found many threads that strongly criticize the Pioneers.
.

Good luck finding a speaker with no critics, doesn't exist. When you find one, preferably one that I don't have to sell my home to own, then let me know, so I can end my speaker searching/upgraditus. With any speaker you will have people who don't like it for whatever reason. Some people even prefer bloated muddy bass and some like in your face highs. Everybody is different.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin200183 View Post

I am setting up my very first home theater, and I have been looking all over for speaker advice. I am completely new at this (only 6 months ago I was still rocking a 27" CRT), but I finally decided on the setup below, which comes to $1001.80 on Amazon (I'll hunt for better prices after all the decisions are final)

Pioneer SP-PK52FS system (minus the included sub)
BIC America F12 sub
Denon AVR-1613

I found almost universal praise for all of these components everywhere I went (CNET, The Wirecutter, Audioholics, Reddit's /r/hometheater, etc.), and the AVS forums was the last place I was going to check. To my surprise, I have found many threads that strongly criticize the Pioneers.

I understand that for $1000 I'm not going to get an audioholics dream build, but is there a vastly better build to be had for around this price point? Most threads I saw suggested building up to a 5.1 system and hence buying more expensive components slowly over time, and while I understand fully the benefits of this, I would really really like to buy a complete setup at one time. I'll be mostly watching movies, as well as some music, in a medium sized room.

Your insights serve you well. This is the best advice you could get. Get a receiver and a pair of higher quality left and right speakers and then plug 'n' play as you save up. Stick to the same speaker model line you chose (except the sub, which can come from any manufacturer, as long as they're good, of course). Subwoofers are chosen usually by room size and bass requirements of the listener.

Too often somebody will want it all right away and then end up not being completely satisfied... and turn around and upgrade again soon after, especially if their budget is tight.

The Pioneers are good for the money... but there are better speakers out there if you just give it some thought and time.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Yes. The Pioneer speakers and BIC F12 are probably the best 5.1 combination you could get for that price. Good choice smile.gif

+1
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