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Help for 1st Time Buyer - 5.1 for 5k

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi all, this is my first time putting together a HT system and I really could use your help.  I am starting from scratch, but I have a decent budget of $5000 for front speakers, rear speakers, a sub, and an AVR.  My requirements include: floor standers, clear dialogue, accurate music reproduction, good performance at low volumes, and no DIY.  My usage is around 75% TV/movies/games and 25% music.

 

Here is rough view of my floor plan:

                               ____

 __________________ l TV l________

|             l                                    l

|             l                                    l

|             l   Living Rm                     l

|             l    17.5' x 29.5' x 7.5'        l

|             l_                                   l

|________/|/_________       ________l

|               l  Bath   l                /l     l

|               l    Rm   l                 l     l

|               l_______l  Hallway     l     l

|                          /l   18' x 8'    l     l

|                           |               |    |

|_________________l _________\l___l

 

My living room opens up to the hallway only.  The TV is recessed by 1.5' and my sitting position is 11' away.

 


I've compiled a starting point based on past AVS forum discussions.  Some of these might break my budget, but the budget is flexible. I am also open to holding off on the rear speakers.  I am looking for any information I can get.  Feel free to critique my lists or add your own recommendations.  I'd really like to get your feedback, narrow down my list, and then go audition if possible.

 

Speakers (2k-3k)
-------------------------------
Martin Logan Motion 40 - $1900
JBL Studio 590 - $2000
Aperion Versus Grand - $2000
NHT Classic 4 - $2400
JTR Noesis 228HT - $2400
Paradigm Studio 60 - $2500
Salk SoundTower RT - $2700
Ascend Sierra RT - $2700

 

Subs ($500-$900)
---------------------
SVS PB1000 - $500
SVS SB1000 - $500
HSU 3MK4 - $700
Epik Empire - $800
Rhythmik F12 - $875
HSU 15H - $880

 


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 23
Since you're doing mostly movies+, I personally would go for non-RT Songtowers (Salk makes some inexpensive surrounds) and use that difference to get dual but less expensive Rhythmik subs.
post #3 of 23
I wouldn't bother getting JTR speakers when the subs you are considering are so weak in comparison. The JTRs are not tower speakers anyway. I would shift quite a bit more budget to the subs and AVR from the speakers. Here is a $5k system fitting your criteria you might consider:
Denon AVR-X4000: $1300
EMP Tek E55Ti towers: $700
EMP Tek E56Ci center speaker: $400
EMP Tek E5Bi bookshelf speaker: $225
Hsu VTF3 mk4 dual drive: $1520

That will be a great sounding system. The subs are big but can dig very deep in bass. By the way, I am not recommending two subs for the sake of loudness, but for the sake of sound quality. Two subs can do a lot more to address room acoustics than one sub can. The receiver can automatically calibrate two subs, so all you have to do is place the subs and let the receiver do the rest. That receiver features a room correction equalizer that tunes the sound to a very fine degree for all listening positions. If you are looking for a way to mount the surround speakers, consider this excellent speaker mount, the videosecu side-clamping mount. If you have the room to do so, you might as well go 7.2 with those mounts and speakers.
post #4 of 23
Have you looked at Outlaw subs?
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
@charmerci - Thank you for your feedback.

@shadyJ - I appreciate the information. I am reviewing the components and how you spent the budget. As far as the receiver goes, I am leaning towards a Denon with Audyssey but not sure I want to spend extra for 9.2, airplay, etc.

@Randall - I have not specifically looked at outlaw for subwoofers. I am willing to consider this brand and will take a closer look today.


Keep the info coming, thanks.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I wouldn't bother getting JTR speakers when the subs you are considering are so weak in comparison. The JTRs are not tower speakers anyway. I would shift quite a bit more budget to the subs and AVR from the speakers. Here is a $5k system fitting your criteria you might consider:
Denon AVR-X4000: $1300
EMP Tek E55Ti towers: $700
EMP Tek E56Ci center speaker: $400
EMP Tek E5Bi bookshelf speaker: $225
Hsu VTF3 mk4 dual drive: $1520

That will be a great sounding system. The subs are big but can dig very deep in bass. By the way, I am not recommending two subs for the sake of loudness, but for the sake of sound quality. Two subs can do a lot more to address room acoustics than one sub can. The receiver can automatically calibrate two subs, so all you have to do is place the subs and let the receiver do the rest. That receiver features a room correction equalizer that tunes the sound to a very fine degree for all listening positions. If you are looking for a way to mount the surround speakers, consider this excellent speaker mount, the videosecu side-clamping mount. If you have the room to do so, you might as well go 7.2 with those mounts and speakers.

+1
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLivesOn View Post

@shadyJ - I appreciate the information. I am reviewing the components and how you spent the budget. As far as the receiver goes, I am leaning towards a Denon with Audyssey but not sure I want to spend extra for 9.2, airplay, etc.
It isn't the airplay or 9.2 that I recommended this receiver, its the room correction equalization. The receiver automatically calibrates the speakers and two subs to work with your room acoustics. A lot of receivers have room correction, but Audyssey MultuEQ XT32 with the SubEQ is one of the best.
Edited by shadyJ - 11/13/13 at 1:02am
post #8 of 23
I'd add Golden Ear to your list of speakers prospects.
http://www.goldenear.com/
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLivesOn View Post


@Randall - I have not specifically looked at outlaw for subwoofers. I am willing to consider this brand and will take a closer look today.

If you like what you see with Outlaw, last year they had a Black Friday sale.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I wouldn't bother getting JTR speakers when the subs you are considering are so weak in comparison. The JTRs are not tower speakers anyway. I would shift quite a bit more budget to the subs and AVR from the speakers. Here is a $5k system fitting your criteria you might consider:
Denon AVR-X4000: $1300
EMP Tek E55Ti towers: $700
EMP Tek E56Ci center speaker: $400
EMP Tek E5Bi bookshelf speaker: $225
Hsu VTF3 mk4 dual drive: $1520

That will be a great sounding system. The subs are big but can dig very deep in bass. By the way, I am not recommending two subs for the sake of loudness, but for the sake of sound quality. Two subs can do a lot more to address room acoustics than one sub can. The receiver can automatically calibrate two subs, so all you have to do is place the subs and let the receiver do the rest. That receiver features a room correction equalizer that tunes the sound to a very fine degree for all listening positions. If you are looking for a way to mount the surround speakers, consider this excellent speaker mount, the videosecu side-clamping mount. If you have the room to do so, you might as well go 7.2 with those mounts and speakers.

+1

I have heard the E55 towers and they are great sounding and look nice for their price. I would say that they are on the smooth and laid back side. Another option would be Arx 5 towers and the matching center and bookshelves. They uses a ribbon driver. That does not necessarily mean it is better, but it would likely sound a bit different and you might prefer that type of sound. If you can go demo some ribbons vs. dme tweeters you might decide which you like better. Just another option.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
@shadyj - thanks for the additional clarification on the AVR and Audyssey xt32. I've replaced the jtr's with the emp tek's on my short list. I'll also restructure my budget to account for two subs and the better AVR.

@transmaniacon - I appreciate seeing your vote of approval towards @shadyj recommendations.

@GTZ - I've been hearing a lot of this company lately. I'll add them to my long list which I compiled before goldenear was making headlines.

@Randall - You bring up a good point and I hope to be ready in time for black Friday.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

I have heard the E55 towers and they are great sounding and look nice for their price. I would say that they are on the smooth and laid back side. Another option would be Arx 5 towers and the matching center and bookshelves. They uses a ribbon driver. That does not necessarily mean it is better, but it would likely sound a bit different and you might prefer that type of sound. If you can go demo some ribbons vs. dme tweeters you might decide which you like better. Just another option.

I would have recommended Arx as well but their center speaker seems to be perpetually out of stock. You could substitute the bookshelf speaker for the center if you have room for vertical placement.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTZ View Post

I'd add Golden Ear to your list of speakers prospects.
http://www.goldenear.com/

If I was looking at GE, in your situation, I would skip the Triton 2 and 3 because you don't need the powered subs built in. TheTriton 7 with one of the new, larger center speakers and either the small SuperSat or smaller Aon bookshelves would be my preference.

Oh, I didn't know about Arx being out of stock on their center speakers. You could call and ask what their expected ship date is.
post #14 of 23
NHT had a 15% on all speakers a few days ago. I would get the NHT Absolute Tower ($550 each x 2) + Absolute Center ($330) + Absolute Zero ($220 each x 2) = $1870 - %15 off ($280) = $1590 shipped.

NHT offers free returns if you are not happy (30 days).

Then get dual HSU VTF-15H for $1995 shipped.

Call Onecall and ask for a brand new Denon 4311 (MSRP $2100, made in Japan, Audyssey XT32 + dual Sub EQ) for $1225 shipped. Electronics Expo was selling them for $1225 shipped. Perhaps Onecall and other dealers can match.

Unless you need 4K video, then get the Denon X4000 for about $1300 (maybe less if you talk to Electronics Expo - they have an open-box like-new X4000 for $900).
post #15 of 23
[quote name="AcuDefTechGuy" url="/t/1499129/help-for-1st-time-buyer-5-1-for-5k#post_23943766"

Unless you need 4K video, then get the Denon X4000 for about $1300 (maybe less if you talk to Electronics Expo - they have an open-box like-new X4000 for $900).[/quote]

And maybe a LOT less if you call JDSmoothie at AVS. wink.gif They have some very good prices.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well it seems like the emp tek's are getting a lot love here. I am taking a serious look at them.

It also seems unanimous that I should go for two sub's and Audyssey xt32.

I will take note of the arx's too. I recall seeing these mentioned before in other threads.

@acudeftechguy - I am glad you added another option to the mix. I will definitely consider the nht's. I also see you spent more of the budget to upgrade the subs and I am glad you did this too. I wouldn't even mind knowing what the "next step up" option would be.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
post #17 of 23
You have a lot of options at $1500-1700.

HSU VTF-15H Dual Drive
PSA XV15 Pair
SVS PB12-NSD Pair

Moving up to $2500 lets you get a pair of Rythmik FV15HP, which is quite a step up. But then spending over $2k on subs gets you into high-end territory like the Seaton Submersive or JTR Captivator. I think if you wanted to make a noticeable upgrade from the $1500 tier, the Rythmiks for $2400 would be a great choice. But as you can see, it's very easy to spend a lot on subs, fortunately their performance and cost scale pretty well so most of the time the more you spend the more you get.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post


And maybe a LOT less if you call JDSmoothie at AVS. wink.gif They have some very good prices.

Well, if I were buying a Denon, I would call an "authorized" friend of mine. wink.gif

But it's good for others to know that they could get the X4000 for a lot less than $1300 from AVS. biggrin.gif
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLivesOn View Post


@acudeftechguy - I am glad you added another option to the mix. I will definitely consider the nht's. I also see you spent more of the budget to upgrade the subs and I am glad you did this too. I wouldn't even mind knowing what the "next step up" option would be.

I believe you are now on the correct path. biggrin.gif

Denon X4000 w/ Audyssey XT32 + Dual Sub EQ
Dual Subs
5 speakers

I am not clear on the "Next step up".

If I were making recommendation for my own family or friends, I would tell them to buy Revel or KEF for several reasons: great sound quality, great speaker measurement, and I could also get great prices. biggrin.gif

Send me a PM if you are interested in talking about prices since it is "not allowed" to discuss detail on prices. eek.gif
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
@transmaniacon - thanks, good info. Let me clarify my next next step up comment though. I meant with the total package, speakers and/or the subs, not specifically with the subs only. Your suggestions still apply though.
post #21 of 23
It's easier to step up with subs than speakers. You would need to invest a lot more to get a significant increase in sound quality from your speakers than you would from subs.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

It's easier to step up with subs than speakers.

I agree...Unless you already have great dual subs...Then the diminishing return is the same here as well.
post #23 of 23
I will chime in and say the EMPtek are very good speakers for the money! Excellent midrange, yet balanced. There aren't designed to be full range, so you need a sub...like with almost all speakers!
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