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Building 2.1 system, piece by piece. Need suggestions for bookshelf speakers and sub.

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
So basically, I'm building a 2.1 system piece by piece. I'll start with a receiver and bookshelf speakers, preferably under $500, and implement them in with a sub later on because a good sub can beat my budget on it's own. I'll be expanding it to a 5.1 later on but am limited by the size of my room and my budget right now. I don't need a frilly receiver and I think that Onkyo produces some great sound and features for fair prices. I think the Onkyo TX-NR414 may be what I'm looking for in that regard (HDMI, almost all audio decoding, and 100+ watts per channel). So with the best deal on that receiver, I'd have around 300 to spend on bookshelf speakers. I don't mind waiting for more money to get great quality speakers though.

-I think my budget for bookshelf speakers is probably 300-500 and when the time comes for the sub, 300-500 is probably about right as well.
-My use of this system is primarily for gaming, movies and occasionally music.
-I'm upgrading from crappy vizio tv speakers and hp pavillion dv6 internal Beats speakers. (my sister has my 4 giant 20 yr old sansui speakers and my receiver in Oregon)
-If you have any suggestions on other receivers, my ears are open. (200-300)
-I'll be running HDMI from my laptop and PS3 and VGA from my old pc. All HDMI into my vizio led tv.
-I'd like to have an idea of what sub will work well with the speakers that I choose.
-Looking for absolute best quality for the money.

Remember, I'd prefer to get a good quality receiver and awesome speakers under 500 but am aware that it'll probably take more money and time. I've been all over town listening to set-ups at big-box stores. None of them in my price range have impressed me, and the ones that have exceed it quite easily. I have plenty of speaker wire from the 5.1 system i set up for my dad and plenty of hdmi cables too. I'll probably mostly be buying from online sources because of steep discounts and I'll be mostly relying on the expertize of you good people because of the lack of listening ability in stores.

Any help is appreciated but I'd prefer to hear from people that know exactly what it is that they're suggesting i spend my money on. biggrin.gif
Edited by jewbacca1 - 6/24/13 at 6:19pm
post #2 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewbacca1 View Post

So basically, I'm building a 2.1 system piece by piece. I'll start with a receiver and bookshelf speakers, preferably under $500, and implement them in with a sub later on because a good sub can beat my budget on it's own. I'll be expanding it to a 5.1 later on but am limited by the size of my room and my budget right now. I don't need a frilly receiver and I think that Onkyo produces some great sound and features for fair prices. I think the Onkyo TX-NR414 may be what I'm looking for in that regard (HDMI, almost all audio decoding, and 100+ watts per channel). So with the best deal on that receiver, I'd have around 300 to spend on bookshelf speakers. I don't mind waiting for more money to get great quality speakers though.

-I think my budget for bookshelf speakers is probably 300-500 and when the time comes for the sub, 300-500 is probably about right as well.
-My use of this system is primarily for gaming, movies and occasionally music.
-I'm upgrading from crappy vizio tv speakers and hp pavillion dv6 internal Beats speakers. (my sister has my 4 giant 20 yr old sansui speakers and my receiver in Oregon)
-If you have any suggestions on other receivers, my ears are open. (200-300)
-I'll be running HDMI from my laptop and PS3 and RGB from my old pc. All HDMI into my vizio led tv.
-I'd like to have an idea of what sub will work well with the speakers that I choose.
-Looking for absolute best quality for the money.

Remember, I'd prefer to get a good quality receiver and awesome speakers under 500 but am aware that it'll probably take more money and time. I've been all over town listening to set-ups at big-box stores. None of them in my price range have impressed me, and the ones that have exceed it quite easily. I have plenty of speaker wire from the 5.1 system i set up for my dad and plenty of hdmi cables too. I'll probably mostly be buying from online sources because of steep discounts and I'll be mostly relying on the expertize of you good people because of the lack of listening ability in stores.

Any help is appreciated but I'd prefer to hear from people that know exactly what it is that they're suggesting i spend my money on. biggrin.gif

Am I understanding correctly that your budget for two speakers and a receiver is $500 total?

Also, how big is your room?

Without knowing more, I would probably recommend a pair of Primus P163's and something like a Denon 1612/1613 refurbed or close out priced.
post #3 of 91
Thread Starter 
My room is probably 12x10. Not big but definitely big enough for a receiver, two bookshelf speakers to set on my desk on either size of the tv and a sub. I guess what I'm asking is if its worth holding out for better speakers or can I get away with good quality equipment for 500. I mean I'd like to get a system that blows me away without breaking the bank but I wouldn't mind spending a couple extra hundred if the product is profoundly better.
post #4 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Am I understanding correctly that your budget for two speakers and a receiver is $500 total?

Also, how big is your room?

Without knowing more, I would probably recommend a pair of Primus P163's and something like a Denon 1612/1613 refurbed or close out priced.

Also, why the Denon over the Onkyo receiver? I was actually comparing the Onko to that exact model Denon before but decided to go with the Onkyo. It seems like theyre fairly equal comparisons. The only main concerns i have between the two are what they can and cant decode. The onkyo cant decode DTS 96/24, DTS HD high resolutuion, or DTS Neo:6. The Denon can decode all of those but not Dolby digital 5.1 or DTS HD master audio.

I did a little research on the Primus P163's and it seems like they're good little speakers for the price, especially when paired with a sub. But do you think I could do a lot better if I were to spend a bit more?
post #5 of 91
The Denon 1612 and 1613 can decode. Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as TrueHD. It can also decode DTS and DTS-HD MA. I own the denon 1613 and know this as a fact.

The Onkyo 414 can also decode all of those signals.

The Denon 1613 has a better version of Audyssey which is why I would pick it over the Onkyo.
post #6 of 91
Thread Starter 
Well in that case, the Denon sounds like a winner. Whats better about audyssey in the Denon though? just more accurate?
post #7 of 91
The NR414 doesn't have Audyssey. The 1613 has Audyssey MultEQ which does a great job of setting up your speakers so they can sound their best. If you can find a good deal on the 1713, it has an even better version, Audyssey MultEQ XT. Accessories4less.com has good prices on manufacturer refurbished receivers.
post #8 of 91
Thread Starter 
Yeah I've been checking out accessoriesforless a lot. right now, the 1613 is at $215, the 1713 is at $290, and the 1913 is at $300. The 1913 has considerably more features but is on the far end of my price range. That doesn't mean I won't invest if it's worth it.

http://usa.denon.com/us/product/pages/productcomparision.aspx?pIDs=avr1913%28denonna%29%7Cavr1713%28denonna%29%7Cavr1613%28denonna%29%7Cavr1513%28denonna%29&catID=avreceivers%28denonna%29
post #9 of 91
If you don't need networking, the 1712 is a good option at $250. It is 7.1 and has Audyssey MultEQ XT.
post #10 of 91
As for Bookshelf speakers. I just picked up a pair of Klipsch rb-61 II and think they are great. The replaced a pair of Deftech studiomonitors. They are priced pretty well at around 500 for the pair, but very nice.
post #11 of 91
Klipsch are good in this price range, but if you are sensitive to high frequencies, the Wharfedale 10.1 are a great choice.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
post #12 of 91
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for the that! the 1712 is perfect. It's got everything I'd like to have and drops all the excess features. As for the bookshelf speakers, those klipsch's sound like a great option. I am somewhat more sensitive to the high frequencies though. I like to hear a clean crisp sound that can still cover all it's bases and be paired with a sub nicely. Basically what i'm reading about them is that because of their horn technology moving air more easily and producing a larger sound with less power, they are meant to be paired with a lower power amp/receiver. When paired with a high watt output, the bass gets huge (which is great) but the highs get so loud that they wash out the mid range. (symbols for example) Do you guys think this is something i'll be able to adjust or should I keep looking? Also, do you think I could preview these at a best buy or something?
post #13 of 91
I've only played these so far at medium volume, so i can't really comment on whether the high's wash out. What impresses me is that they have a very wide soundstage and good lows at medium volume. I have them hooked up to a crappy onkyo reciever from an HTIB with a passive sub, and i'm still pretty happy. Obviously I'd like to get a reciever with a pre out so i can put in a real sub, but this is only for my garage.

These speakers are pretty big, I have a pic with a 12oz can for reference:
post #14 of 91
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the pic. they are pretty big, maybe too big to put on my desk but I should have room for stands on either side. I hope the sound stage isnt too wide for my room either but it's good to hear they have an impressive sound.
post #15 of 91
I suggest that you get a pair of the Pioneer BS-22 speakers, which Amazon is selling for under $120 per pair. They should fit your needs perfectly.

Stereophile just did a review on them where they compared well to 3 other very good speakers costing 3 times as much. They are a steal. Read the article if you can.

Use another $120 for a Polk PSW-10 subwoofer. It does not go super-low or super-loud, but it will do for a while as long as you don't expect it to blow the walls down.

Any of the Denon recivers (1612, 1613, 1912, 1913) will be fine, but be careful about getting the DENON warranty. The aftermarket warranties that are "equivalent" are nearly worthless when you need them.

Get the factory warranty even if you have to pay a bit more; it is well worth it.
post #16 of 91
Thread Starter 
This is pretty insightful. I'm used to getting what I pay for, if not less though. So I think you may understand if im skeptical that the SB22's would compare to the Klipsch rb-61 II. Also, I've done a little more digging and found the Def Tech 450's to be another option. At 300 they fit in my price range too.
Quote:
I suggest that you get a pair of the Pioneer BS-22 speakers, which Amazon is selling for under $120 per pair. They should fit your needs perfectly.

What you say the deciding features are about the Pioneers?

Anyone have any experience with the SB22's or the Def Tech 450's?
Quote:
Use another $120 for a Polk PSW-10 subwoofer. It does not go super-low or super-loud, but it will do for a while as long as you don't expect it to blow the walls down.

Also, I've heard great things about Polk subs and that the psw 10 is a monster for the money. However, I've heard of plenty of subs for under 200 that offer a lot. And it seems that it doesn't perform as well as people tend to think at first. Port noise becomes a problem apparently. I think the Polks' quality subs mostly reside in the DSW line. I know the PSW 505 has some of the same issues as the 10. Why go with the Polk over say the Acoustic Audio HD sub10 at 150?

Btw, thanks a lot guys, you've all had some pretty good advice/insight.
Edited by jewbacca1 - 6/24/13 at 4:42pm
post #17 of 91
I have heard the def tech sm450 and the series 1 Pioneers and it was nit even close. The def tech are more sensitive, hit lower, are smoother on the high end... But then again, not really a fair fight, as the def tech list for 500/pr (overpriced at that price, IMHO). The def tech are a much better, and much more expensive speaker. At the price you can get them now, also a real steal!
post #18 of 91
Thread Starter 
I just went to best buy and listened to the Sb 22's and I was not at all impressed. I listened to some def techs of comparable value to the 450 and was blown away. and the def techs are priced at only 320 with free shipping from many sources, 150 used on ebay. I wish I could have listened to the Klipsch rb-61 II's though. From what I'm reading, the rb-61's consistently beat out the sm350's but I have no clue about the 450's. I think I'm deciding between those two, the rb-61 II and the sm 450. Also heard some Energy's that were nice but I know nothing about them and am not looking to complicate things much more.
Edited by jewbacca1 - 6/24/13 at 6:55pm
post #19 of 91
I've never heard the sm450's, but I have a pair of 350's and was underwhelmed, that's saying a lot because I am a huge deftech fan.

My problem though is likely not the speaker so much as the amp, my htib onkyo probably doesn't give enough to the speakers. The deftech's paired with my denon 2312 are beyond amazing.
post #20 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcamaro70 View Post

I've never heard the sm450's, but I have a pair of 350's and was underwhelmed, that's saying a lot because I am a huge deftech fan.

My problem though is likely not the speaker so much as the amp, my htib onkyo probably doesn't give enough to the speakers. The deftech's paired with my denon 2312 are beyond amazing.

What are the DefTech's paired with your 2312? A bit out of my price range? Yeah i edited my last post to say that I've heard plenty of comparisons between the rb-61 II's and sm350's and that the rb-61 consistently beats the 350, especially listening to music. But i haven't heard anything about the sm450 in comparison.

Post edit: I think I'm excluding the sm350's altogether and am maybe still considering the 450. I'd still like to consider def tech as a main player but it seems their high quality speakers are pretty pricey. I think the Klipsch is my best option seeing as how they will work well in a HT setup when it's time for that.

I think maybe it's time to start talking subs now..
Edited by jewbacca1 - 6/24/13 at 7:23pm
post #21 of 91
Make sure you get a good listen to the klipsch! Some of the cheaper lines horn speakers can be a litlle bright and even fatiguing (as opposed to some of rhe higher end klipsch which can be dynamic and not so bright). Often, people will recomm horn speakers for HT and not so music music listening...
post #22 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Make sure you get a good listen to the klipsch! Some of the cheaper lines horn speakers can be a litlle bright and even fatiguing (as opposed to some of rhe higher end klipsch which can be dynamic and not so bright). Often, people will recomm horn speakers for HT and not so music music listening...

Do you know if thats the case with these? I have no idea where to listen to them so I'm mostly relying on what people are telling me and what I read. Kinda sucks.

Actually I found a few stores on the klipsch dealers website. found one dealer of def tech so i might as well go there too. Any suggestions while i'm out?
Edited by jewbacca1 - 6/24/13 at 8:29pm
post #23 of 91
Darn phone issues! Onlyyou can decide if the Klipsch speakers are harsh to your ears!
post #24 of 91
Sorry, duplicate post!
post #25 of 91
Thread Starter 
What are your favorite styles/constructions of tweeters?
post #26 of 91
A good ribbon tweeter can sound phenomenal! However, you pay for those! A well made silk dome tweeter will oftensound very good- the def tech sm450 are silk domes and are very smooth at the high end!
post #27 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

A good ribbon tweeter can sound phenomenal! However, you pay for those! A well made silk dome tweeter will oftensound very good- the def tech sm450 are silk domes and are very smooth at the high end!

Are the 450's suitable for gaming and movies? or are they mostly a music listening experience?

I also found something called the Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8. They're said to be fantastic for the price but are pretty obscure and I can't find a seller anywhere. I doubt I'd be able to audition them.
Edited by jewbacca1 - 6/25/13 at 12:33am
post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewbacca1 View Post

What are the DefTech's paired with your 2312? A bit out of my price range? Yeah i edited my last post to say that I've heard plenty of comparisons between the rb-61 II's and sm350's and that the rb-61 consistently beats the 350, especially listening to music. But i haven't heard anything about the sm450 in comparison.

Post edit: I think I'm excluding the sm350's altogether and am maybe still considering the 450. I'd still like to consider def tech as a main player but it seems their high quality speakers are pretty pricey. I think the Klipsch is my best option seeing as how they will work well in a HT setup when it's time for that.

I think maybe it's time to start talking subs now..

They are the 8040's and a bit more than you wanted to spend, I think they are like 800 each.
post #29 of 91
Yes, I have the SM450 in a 5.1 upstairs, mostly TV and music and they do very well. I have never gamed with them, however.
post #30 of 91
I just had the opportunity to put the rb61's through their paces, only had them for a week. Wife left, 13 yr old is sleeping upstairs with a window unit a/c, perfect opportunity to crank these.

WOW. I wouldn't put them in the same league as my 8040's but damn these things are good. I played a little metallica, disturbed, and then some muse. At full volume they washed out a little, but i assume that's due to the onkyo. For bookshelf's they really hit hard and play loud. I can't imagine a similar price bookshelf sounding this good.

What's even better is i just started putting this together, still using the onkyo HTiB reciever, still using the crappy little wires that come with the HTiB and the passive sub. Get me some real wire (maybe bi-wire), a real reciever, and a real sub and this will be incredible.

So there you have it, A die hard Deftech fan recommending Klipsch speakers for the money.
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