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New hometheater to gradually be added to over time, feeling in over my head

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, basically I was going to buy a HTIB before to go with my new Pansanoic 50" ST60 & Sony BDP-S5100...but now I'm thinking I want to start assembling a home theater system from individual pieces. I've combed through the forums extensively, but kind of feel overwhelmed with all of the options so hopefully some of y'all can help give me a bit of guidance.

I'm currently renting a house where the room it will be used in is about 20 long by 15 wide. This set-up will be used for movies/TV about 60% of the time and music 40% of the time for hanging out and entertaining guests on the weekends.

Instead of buying a cheap HTiB I'm thinking I would be better off with a 3.1 or 5.1 that can be added to later. Currently, the least important part of the system is the sub since a roommate's bedroom is directly beneath, so a cheap one will suffice for now until I move into a new place in a year or 2.

What would you recommend as the essentials to start out with i.e. AVR, # of speakers, etc. My current spending budget for RIGHT NOW is preferably from 500-700, but up to an absolute MAX of 800. Please keep in mind that I would like to eventually add pieces to this system to make it first a 5.1 and eventually a 7.1

Should I go with an onkyo/denon AVR? If so, what do you recommend?
How about 2 front speakers and 1 center speaker to start, along with a $100 sub? If so, what speakers and sub would be best?

Thank you all so much in advance!
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgt5027 View Post

Hey everyone, basically I was going to buy a HTIB before to go with my new Pansanoic 50" ST60 & Sony BDP-S5100...but now I'm thinking I want to start assembling a home theater system from individual pieces. I've combed through the forums extensively, but kind of feel overwhelmed with all of the options so hopefully some of y'all can help give me a bit of guidance.

I'm currently renting a house where the room it will be used in is about 20 long by 15 wide. This set-up will be used for movies/TV about 60% of the time and music 40% of the time for hanging out and entertaining guests on the weekends.

Instead of buying a cheap HTiB I'm thinking I would be better off with a 3.1 or 5.1 that can be added to later. Currently, the least important part of the system is the sub since a roommate's bedroom is directly beneath, so a cheap one will suffice for now until I move into a new place in a year or 2.

What would you recommend as the essentials to start out with i.e. AVR, # of speakers, etc. My current spending budget for RIGHT NOW is preferably from 500-700, but up to an absolute MAX of 800. Please keep in mind that I would like to eventually add pieces to this system to make it first a 5.1 and eventually a 7.1

Should I go with an onkyo/denon AVR? If so, what do you recommend?
How about 2 front speakers and 1 center speaker to start, along with a $100 sub? If so, what speakers and sub would be best?

Thank you all so much in advance!

I would tend to think a $100 sub will not do well in that space, especially if you have high ceilings.

I might start with a 2.0/3.0 and then save up to get a solid sub.

I do have a question for you, are you located near a Fry's?

Thanks.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Bladerunner, the ceilings are not high, but I could do without a sub to start since I don't think it will get a ton of use (not nearly as much as I'd want personally, but roommates...) to justify splurging for a quality one in the $500 range. Based on their website, it doesn't look like there's one anywhere remotely close--I'm in Baltimore, MD.

If i were to go the 2.0/3.0 route, could you make some recommendations on what equipment to get in my budget? Thanks!
post #4 of 19
Based on what we've been hearing about Onkyo HDMI boards frying, I'd stay away from them.

I started my home theater system years ago with cheaper components, then upgraded over time. Spreading out the cost really helps.
I had an all-Sony set: pair of Sony towers with Sony center and surrounds, with a Sony Receiver. My center channel just sounded too boxy for movies, so I got a Magnepan MMG-C, then a pair of Magnepan 0.5/QRs for L/R.

Still using the Sony surrounds for now, but plan to upgrade them to Maggie MMG-W or MGMC1. Running a Sony STR-DA3000ES receiver, rated for 4 ohm output on all channels (Maggies are 4-5 ohm speakers). It's an older receiver, but still works fine for now. Will upgrade later, as funds become available.
post #5 of 19
Decent Choices /Options

Approx $700.00 to start 2.0 channels can add items further below later OR SEE 5.1 option also.
Pioneer VSX-823-K 5-Channel Receiver $399.00 pretty decent sounding receiver I wouldn't go below this price point much especially if you plan on some phat speakers later
any of the receivers below will work also and there may be decent ~399.00 models available in those brands also.
Polk Audio New Monitor 45B Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker (Black) Pair $299.00 Front L/R OR Rear L/R Or Both F/R L/R

5.1 Option
A very decent surround for the money Energy Take Classic 5.1 $349.00 5.1 CH Premium Home Theater System You can always add some phat frt L/R later same for rear and center Energy Take 5.1 gets excellent review [/SIZE]
Monoprice 5.1 $248.71 cheaper and similar is ok also
. both sound phat for the money! some say they are almost identical sound the energy is proven design from long established company Energy is owned by Klipsch btw the Monoprice is new product .

]Pioneer VSX-823-K 5-Channel Receiver-Channel Receiver $399.00 ( or any of the receivers listed below)

My personal Choice of receivers listed wold be the Pioneer Elite model.
Pioneer Elite VSX-60 7.2-Channel Network Ready AV Home Theater Receiver New at $429.99 anything under or close to $500.00 for an Elite is good IMO. Suggested Price: $650.00 The Elite line is Pioneers best !


Energy Take Classic 5.1 5.1 CH Premium Home Theater System
You can also get a very Similar Monoprice speaker set for $100.00 cheaper Don't Forget cables You need not spend more than $6.00 or $10.00 for an HDMI cable
they carry only ones and zeros . Amazon basic or monoprice cables are fine decent speaker Cables at Monoprice or Amazon should be similarly inexpensive
they also have sone OK inexpesive cables at new Egg dont get sucked into high prie cables put your money in speakers and reciever .
Home Depot 16AWG household zip lamp cord will work as well don't believe the hype you can not hear the wires just don't use 18-24 ga zip cord
16 Ga is good for more than 500 wpc at 30 ft with only a 0.25 inaudible db loss.


Recievers

Pioneer Elite VSX-60 7.2-Channel Network Ready AV Home Theater Receiver New $429.99 Suggested Price: $650.00

Pioneer VSX-823-K 5-Channel Receiver $399.00

Denon AVR-E400 7.1-Channel Network Home Theater Receiver $499.00



Onkyo TNR 626 AVR 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver $499.00



Even a budget ~$300.00 + or so Receiver will work



Speakers

Polk Audio New Monitor 75T Four-Way Ported Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Black) Each $399.00 L/R front

Polk Audio New Monitor 45B Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker (Black) Pair $299.00 Rear L/R OR Front L/R Or Both F/R L/R

Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker (Black) Pair $149.99 Similar but cheaper
Rear L/R OR Front L/R Or Both F/R L/R

Polk Audio New Monitor 25C Two-Way Center Channel Loudspeaker (Black) $149.00 Each


No Sub woofer

I have no interests or affiliations to any of the of the re sellers or retailers or their affiliates or to
any links or videos mentioned in this or any thread here at AVS they are provided for information purposes only


Don't forget a thumbs up if this has been helpful for you!
Edited by tubetwister - 9/24/13 at 8:10pm
post #6 of 19
For a tight budget and good sound - look at Cambridge Audio
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/cambridge%20audio/results/1.html

Also, Definitive Technology
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882325059

Receivers - Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V673-7-2-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JF85WE
Edited by zieglj01 - 9/24/13 at 8:38pm
post #7 of 19
+1 ^^^
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgt5027 View Post

Bladerunner, the ceilings are not high, but I could do without a sub to start since I don't think it will get a ton of use (not nearly as much as I'd want personally, but roommates...) to justify splurging for a quality one in the $500 range. Based on their website, it doesn't look like there's one anywhere remotely close--I'm in Baltimore, MD.

If i were to go the 2.0/3.0 route, could you make some recommendations on what equipment to get in my budget? Thanks!

Primus speakers are popular for budget systems.

http://www.crutchfield.com/shopsearch/primus.html

The Cambridge speakers might also be a good choice.

How much are you willing to spend right now on a 2.0 or 3.0 system?
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of the replies, I'm currently looking into all of the recommended receivers, speakers, and subs (although probably will purchase one down the road).

Bladerunner, right now I could comfortably put up to $700 ($800 max?) in a 2.0/3.0 system. Anything beyond that will have to be saved up for, unfortunately. Hmm...Unless my bestbuy store card gets the best of me and I max it out, which I would rather not do due to credit utilization...but that's a whole different conversation.

So $700ish for 2.0/3.0.
post #10 of 19
For $800: You could get a pair of Magnepan MMGs for $600 & have $200 for a sub and have a 2.1, or go with MMG-W for $325 + MMG-C for $300, and have $175 for a sub, for a 3.1.
post #11 of 19
I'd go Cambridge Audio S30 + SVS PB1000 or S30 + S50 + NXG sub.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Subie, my budget includes needing to buy an AVR as well, so I don't think I could swing your suggestion without going way over. Correct me if I'm wrong
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

I'd go Cambridge Audio S30 + SVS PB1000 or S30 + S50 + NXG sub.

Normally, I would agree.

But the S30s are on closeout because of the new model line. Might make it hard to buy the matching S50 when ready to buy it. Hopefully, the new Aero 5 center would be a match.
post #14 of 19
A pair of Ascend 340SE
And this Pioneer receiver or equivalent Denon if you can find for the same price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117409
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well I think I've decided on either a Denon 1913 or Denon E400 refurbished for about $300 from accessories4less
I'm probably going to start out with 2.0 then go to 3.0 and 3.1 in the coming months.
Speaker research continues as you all have given me a lot of solid options to consider.
post #16 of 19
Some good suggestions here either Denon should be fine IMO accessories4less not a bad idea either have read good comments about. The e 400 might add some features and functionality
Best thing to do with speakers ofc is try to go listen to them also but that is becoming increasingly difficult these days.
For sure a decent 2.0/2.1 beats a crappy 5.1 7 days a week . Another option is to use the tv speakers on mono or stereo (see what you like better) setting for faux center channel' as long as it syncs and does not delay too much but even that is cool for movies sometimes anyway by doing that it will allow you to
spend more of your budget towards the important front L/R speakers .Infinities mentioned above might not be bad other good suggestions here also.


Don't forget a thumbs up if this has been helpful for you!
Edited by tubetwister - 9/25/13 at 3:36pm
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgt5027 View Post

Well I think I've decided on either a Denon 1913 or Denon E400 refurbished for about $300 from accessories4less
I'm probably going to start out with 2.0 then go to 3.0 and 3.1 in the coming months.
Speaker research continues as you all have given me a lot of solid options to consider.

For receivers, you might also want to try local brick and mortar stores for closeouts, open box, etc.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Good call Bladerunner, I will check out a few local stores as well.

Thanks for the tip, Tubetwister. I'm probably going to do just that, get 2 front speakers and set my TV in mono to imitate a central speaker for the time being.
post #19 of 19
I agree with the sm 350s a very good bookshelf speaker to start out on we had ours for over 10 yrs.
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