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Hello- Needing help with Home Theatre

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello, my living room size is about 15x15 and I currently have a budget to spend about $500 on FRONTS,CENTER,REAR, and SUB. I was thinking of getting the Energy take classic 5.1 or the Polk Audio TL1600 Speaker System.

My main concern is of imaging and room filling effect. The clarity comes second. (Although I would expect great clearity from the above mentioned 5.1')

These are my questions.

1. Which 5.1 should I go with considering my main concern said above? (polk or energy)

2. If neither, can any members help me out on getting a better system buying part per part?



Thanks for help!smile.gif
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Hello, my living room size is about 15x15 and I currently have a budget to spend about $500 on FRONTS,CENTER,REAR, and SUB. I was thinking of getting the Energy take classic 5.1 or the Polk Audio TL1600 Speaker System.

My main concern is of imaging and room filling effect. The clarity comes second. (Although I would expect great clearity from the above mentioned 5.1')

These are my questions.

1. Which 5.1 should I go with considering my main concern said above? (polk or energy)

2. If neither, can any members help me out on getting a better system buying part per part?

Thanks for help!smile.gif

$500 for all that is really too small a budget for anything that is of decent quality. Save and go bit by bit, or you'll just end up buying all over again sooner than you think.

If your budget is tight and you can't stretch it much, start with a nice set of left and right front speakers and then go from there.

A lot of bang for the buck and positive feedback for Ascend Acoustic's CMT-340 SE monitors. $568 / pair + shipping. $140 for the stands if you buy them at the same time.

Something a little different with ribbon-type tweeters are Arx A3c floorstanding mini towers for $499 / pair + shipping.

You'll need a sub at some point for home theater since most of these smaller stature speakers need bass augmentation, and you get a lot from internet direct companies such as Outlaw Audio, SVS, HSU, Rythmik and the like.

Do you have a budget for a receiver and Blu-ray player?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help!

Yes, I have a reciever and a bluray player already bought. I am getting the Pioneer K1121. I am particularly getting this reciever because I have heard that it has great video upscaling. I rent have alot of DVD's!


I actually went to magnolia a couple times and one of the tech guys over there told me the same thing. That I should rather invest on the front l/r and casually build it up having a limited budget.

As far as the Polk 5.1's or the Energy 5.1's , have you ever heard these before? If you did do you think its enough to fill a living room 15x15?
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Thanks for your help!

Yes, I have a reciever and a bluray player already bought. I am getting the Pioneer K1121. I am particularly getting this reciever because I have heard that it has great video upscaling. I rent have alot of DVD's!


I actually went to magnolia a couple times and one of the tech guys over there told me the same thing. That I should rather invest on the front l/r and casually build it up having a limited budget.

As far as the Polk 5.1's or the Energy 5.1's , have you ever heard these before? If you did do you think its enough to fill a living room 15x15?

I've heard both and that's why I mentioned these other makes and models. Take from that comment what you wish. biggrin.gif

Another good choice for room filling sound on a budget are the well regarded HSU Research HB-1 mk2 large bookshelf speakers. They aren't like Klipsch compression horn speakers that can get harsh when pushed volume-wise, but wave-guided dome tweeters. Very easy to drive with a budget receiver too. $159 each plus shipping (a little more for the rosenut veneer). Not quite in the same league as the Ascend Acoustics and Arx speakers, but much better than the ones you mentioned from Polk and Energy. HSU, like many other internet companies, have package deals where you can get a small discount by saving up a little and getting a sub or other speakers together in a bundle.

Are you considering getting a projector and screen at some point? If so, go with the HB-1 mk2's all around for best sonic matching and skip the matching horizontal HC-1 center... identical vertical array speakers are best whenever possible.
post #5 of 28
How much, if you don't mind, is the price being quoted for the 1121 receiver? It's a little long in the tooth, so that's why I ask. Might be able to find something with better features for the money.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
I paid $220 for the reciever w/o shipping. ($255 in total)

I decided to go with what you mentioned. two HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speaker for the front L/R. Do you know any websites that are currently selling it at a cheap price for the pair?

Also, If i were to go REARS with the MK2's do you think I would still need a sub? I do like bass. But not so much that the living room shakes. Thanks in advance.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

I paid $220 for the reciever w/o shipping. ($255 in total)

I decided to go with what you mentioned. two HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speaker for the front L/R. Do you know any websites that are currently selling it at a cheap price for the pair?

Also, If i were to go REARS with the MK2's do you think I would still need a sub? I do like bass. But not so much that the living room shakes. Thanks in advance.

The HSU Research speakers, like SVS, Outlaw Audio, Aperion Audio, and other direct-from-the-manufacturer items are usually only sold online via their websites. Take out the middle-man and the prices are generally better for what you get.

The HB-1 monitor's are for fronts and surrounds (one size fits all). There are various options of stands or swivel wall mounts for these speakers, so if you need help with any of that, let us know.

Due to good ol' physics, these monitor bookshelf type speakers do need a sub (even most small tower speakers too, for that matter), but you can get away with not having one until you save up some more. They're not totally devoid of mid-bass response.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/

Here is an HB-1 on the 29" VTI DF Series metal stands, which will get the tweeter to the correct height.



Where you can buy the stands:

http://www.wayfair.com/VTI-DF-Series-29-Fixed-Height-Speaker-Stand-Set-of-2-DF-VI1163.html

Here are pivoting, side-clamping wall mounts recommended for the HB-1's if used as surrounds. Pinpoint AM40b.



Here's where you can get them (buy them directly from Amazon for better returns and exchanges, by clicking over on the right side of the screen in the more buying choices list):

http://www.amazon.com/Pinpoint-AM-40B-Clamping-Bookshelf-Speaker/dp/B002UV03MW

Just a few suggestions...
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 4/22/13 at 2:31pm
post #8 of 28
Read the reviews of the Pioneer Andrew Jones speaker set. If you have a local Best Buy, you can give tham a listen. My budget is a little higher than yours, but I listened to the Pioneers anyways just because of the reviews that I read. I was really impressed by them. They don't play as loud as the others at the same output level, but the sound was very pleasing. I think that the entire set (2 towers, 1 center, 2 surround, and 1 sub) is about $550. Sounds like what you are looking for.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tampa frank View Post

Read the reviews of the Pioneer Andrew Jones speaker set. If you have a local Best Buy, you can give tham a listen. My budget is a little higher than yours, but I listened to the Pioneers anyways just because of the reviews that I read. I was really impressed by them. They don't play as loud as the others at the same output level, but the sound was very pleasing. I think that the entire set (2 towers, 1 center, 2 surround, and 1 sub) is about $550. Sounds like what you are looking for.

To me, the Pioneers sounded okay for the money, but didn't wow me with the whole "these things sound like speakers costing X-amount more." There are other options, and the better way is to not get all the speakers all at once if you are within a tight budget. You'll end up with better quality.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello again Dan!

Well, I am still looking somewhat. I was going to pull the plug and get this set up here.


- Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer ($120)
- Polk Audio R150 Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeakers (PAIR) for the REAR ($140)
- HSU Horn Book Shelf Speaker (PAIR) for the FRONTS ($393.44)
- Skpping the Center channel.

All will be hooked to Pioneer K-1121 reciever.



However, I decided to check on the forum before I place the order and on another thread a poster mentioned that the Arx A1b has better sound stage than the HSU's. My main concern is about the soundstage and imaging.


Do you still suggest I get the HSU's?


My budget went up about $150. (you know how i gets lol) So now I have about $700 spending budgest for the whole 5.1 system.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Skipping the center channel BTW.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Hello again Dan!

Well, I am still looking somewhat. I was going to pull the plug and get this set up here.


- Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer ($120)
- Polk Audio R150 Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeakers (PAIR) for the REAR ($140)
- HSU Horn Book Shelf Speaker (PAIR) for the FRONTS ($393.44)
- Skpping the Center channel.

All will be hooked to Pioneer K-1121 reciever.



However, I decided to check on the forum before I place the order and on another thread a poster mentioned that the Arx A1b has better sound stage than the HSU's. My main concern is about the soundstage and imaging.


Do you still suggest I get the HSU's?


My budget went up about $150. (you know how i gets lol) So now I have about $700 spending budgest for the whole 5.1 system.

Howdy!

You can't go wrong with either the Arx or HSU bookshelfs. Both are well regarded in this price range. You'll be happy either way.

I will, however, caution against using mismatched speakers for the surrounds, even to save some scratch. You really should stay within the same speaker range. It'll sound better overall.

I'd consider saving up rather than blowing the money on the Polk sub... the Arx also have a surprising amount of mid-bass for their size.

Another option is to take the money you were going to spend on the Polk speakers and sub (not great for the money), combine the two prices... add just a little bit more... and get two pairs of A1b's to start (for front and side surrounds).

Here's yet another pathway, this time to 7.1. Get the two sets of Arx A1b's now, then get the A2c for the center... then lastly get the Arx A5 towers later and switch them to the front duties and use the four pairs of A1b's as the side and back surrounds.

Somewhere in there get an SVS, Outlaw Audio, HSU, or Rythmik sub to round out the low end.

It'll be like spreading Christmas over a longer period of time and having something to look forward to as you build up your budget. Then you'll arrive at one kick butt, better-than-budget theater system.

Another, cheaper option for bookshelf wall mounts (similar to the Pinpoints):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X9O8SI/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p147_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0GA9AJGVMJJSABN192Q0&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 4/22/13 at 7:03pm
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Do you think going with 2 sets of ARX A1b's for FRONT and REAR without the SUB will provide good enough bass for the low to mid ends in a 15x15 living room?

Thanks again.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Its hard floor BTW.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Its hard floor BTW.

For now... as in temporarily, then yes, you could get away with no sub until a good one, sized for your mid-sized room, is within your new budget.

You will definitely want to throw down some thick area rugs (especially by the speakers), so as not to have as many hard, reflective surfaces to improve their sound. You should look at the acoustics section of the forum for ideas on room treatments.
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 4/22/13 at 7:41pm
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello again Dan.

So I've been researching all day and I think its better to just go with the arc-a1b for the front r/l and the BIC pl-200 sub.

My priority is the imaging of the room. If it can fill the 15x15 living room then I don't mind having rear speakers.

So far I heard the arx's have great imaging and the bic sub has great imaging and do real well in low frequencies as well which I assume would help the imaging as well.

I prabably won't be upgrading after this setup for awhile. Maybe a year or two.

Do you think this setup will do the job as far as the sounds being room filled ?
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Edit post.

I don't mind NOT having rear speakers if the fronts and the sub produce a good imaging/room filling sound.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Hello again Dan.

So I've been researching all day and I think its better to just go with the arc-a1b for the front r/l and the BIC pl-200 sub.

My priority is the imaging of the room. If it can fill the 15x15 living room then I don't mind having rear speakers.

So far I heard the arx's have great imaging and the bic sub has great imaging and do real well in low frequencies as well which I assume would help the imaging as well.

I prabably won't be upgrading after this setup for awhile. Maybe a year or two.

Do you think this setup will do the job as far as the sounds being room filled ?

Get this sub instead... Klipsch RW-12d. Overall better budget sub than the BIC. Only $279.99 + Free Shipping with the promo code EMCXSWM87 at Newegg UNTIL TOMORROW!!!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078

Since this will have to tied you over for a while it seems... do what you can and splurge to get the other pair of Arx A1b's as well. You don't have a theater system for movies or advanced music recordings unless you have surround speakers to create an enveloping 360 degree sound field. Then add the center later (and re-calibrate the receiver).

This particular sub seems to work better set towards a corner of the room (but still give it about a little more than a foot of breathing room on either side). Be sure to toggle through the settings on the sub to: Lowpass OFF, LFE Mode. Start with the sub gain at about half way. Manually set the speakers at SMALL and the bass crossover at 80 Hz in the receiver's speaker settings after doing the auto calibration with the supplied mic.

Get a heavy duty, shielded subwoofer cable and similar gauge shielded RCA Y-splitter (single female to dual male RCA plugs) for the stereo RCA inputs on the sub's amp (doesn't seem to have a single LFE channel input). Monoprice.com is usually a good source. For a 15 foot room, 14 gauge (14 AWG) speaker wire should be fine (don't go thinner than that!).


RCA audio cables (sold as singles):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10236

RCA Y-splitter:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10236&cs_id=1023603&p_id=6261&seq=1&format=2

Speaker wire (the in-wall rated, jacketed cable looks better... measure your cable lengths needed after determining your viewing location, and be sure to add in about a 10% to 15% cushion to the length... better to be safe than sorry):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239#1023901

This is my advice... hope this helps. smile.gif
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 4/23/13 at 11:19am
post #19 of 28
Do you have an HDTV and Blu-ray player already?
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes. I have the Sony blu ray player with WiFi built in and the tv, I have the Westinghouse 40' LCD.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Yes. I have the Sony blu ray player with WiFi built in and the tv, I have the Westinghouse 40' LCD.

Any updates? Did you choose your speakers, et al.?

How far away do you sit from your 40" screen? The average recommended viewing distance is only 4.5 feet for 1080p source.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
I actually ended up changing things around a bit. Although the ARX's were very tempting I Just decided to go 7.1 instead.

This is the set up that I got.

Pioneer 1121 K for the reciever

Energy CB 10 (pair) for the front

Energy RC-5 5.0 set up for the sides,center, and rear.

BIC H100 for Sub


Paid $694.00 for everything shipping included.
post #23 of 28
Let us know how it is when you have it set up.
post #24 of 28
Good decision ARX 7.1,it is great well surely let us know how your living room is set up.

http://www.wantitnow.com.au/want-it-now-for-retailers
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello All!!!

So its been about a month I think since I got my set up and I think I made a mistake in purchasing the Energy RC-Micro 5.0 system.

I currently have the Energy CB -10 for the fronts, CC-10 for the center and RC Micro 5.0 for side sorrounds and heights. My RC Micro Center is sitting doing nothing. (Replaced it with CC-10)

The dc micro sounds clear and good, but I don't think its good enough for my big living room.

So I'm thinking of setting my CB -10's to the side sorrounds and buying a pair of Arx- A1b for the Front L/R.

My question is, do you guys think having arx a1b for the fronts will blend well with energy cc-10 center and cb-10 side sorrounds?

Another question is, do you guys think the arx a1b's outperform the energy CB-10 by a mile? Enough to shell out another $320?
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Hello All!!!

So its been about a month I think since I got my set up and I think I made a mistake in purchasing the Energy RC-Micro 5.0 system.

I currently have the Energy CB -10 for the fronts, CC-10 for the center and RC Micro 5.0 for side sorrounds and heights. My RC Micro Center is sitting doing nothing. (Replaced it with CC-10)

The dc micro sounds clear and good, but I don't think its good enough for my big living room.

So I'm thinking of setting my CB -10's to the side sorrounds and buying a pair of Arx- A1b for the Front L/R.

My question is, do you guys think having arx a1b for the fronts will blend well with energy cc-10 center and cb-10 side sorrounds?

Another question is, do you guys think the arx a1b's outperform the energy CB-10 by a mile? Enough to shell out another $320?

Arx and Energy speakers are two completely different sonic animals, so not the best match... and yes, the Arx are superior to the Energy's you purchased. Can you send these Energy's back to the dealer? If not, you could slowly swap things out by building an Arx system and sell the Energy's on Ebay or Audiogon... or here. Then get the larger Arx towers for the front at some point and move the A1b's to surround duties due to your larger room.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello Dan!!

What about B&W's ? Do you think they match well with Arx's?
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian323 View Post

Hello Dan!!

What about B&W's ? Do you think they match well with Arx's?

With their ribbon tweeters, Arx sound best with other Arx models. You reaaaally want to stick with Arx all around to make sure everything matches sonically. In fact, you should be doing this with any speaker system. You don't want to mismatch. Subs are different still... you can get a sub from any manufacturer as long as it has quality bass output sized to your room and tastes.
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