I'll try and keep this brief, I am setting up my first a/v system for a new house. I have read a lot on AVS and other sites and have learned that is is a far more complex field than I originally imagined. I am hoping to tap into the wealth of knowledge here and get some advice.
1) I am thinking of setting up a 5.1 system now, with the option of upgrading to a 7.1 with two larger front speakers on a second two channel amp. Would I be better served with a high quality stereo system with two tower speakers and a bigger amp for the same cost.
2) Can I run the outputs directly from my HTPC soundcard to a multi channel amp. Like the Emotiva UPA-500
I am skilled enough with computers and have the time and patience to configure the system correctly, if the hardware permits it.
I really would rather not have a receiver in the mix.
3) How much should I spend on my amp in relation to my speakers? What would you suggest for a 5 channel amp.
4) Speaker selection, I am lost in a sea of choices. What speakers will serve my application best. Depending on the answer to the above questions I likely am looking in the $600-$1100 range. What are your recommendation?
So far I have found the following:
HSU Hybrid 1 Package $1189
Pioneer SP-PK52FS $549.99
Jamo S 426 HCS 3 $499 (Jamo has a number of packages, more and less costly)
I have a $1500 budget, including amp, speakers and sub. If I save for a while I can up that to $2000. Neither my wife or I are audiophiles and the $350 speakers/receiver packages usually sounds fine to us. I am not convinced that spending more than that makes sense for us. Perhaps in time it will.
I am thinking of setting up a 5.1 system now, with the option of upgrading to a 7.1 with two larger front speakers on a second two channel amp.
It will be primarily used for playing music in the house and watching TV and Movies.
The only input to the system is a small linux HTPC. I will be using the 3.5 mm analogue outs.
This setup is going to be installed in a open concept apartment living room and kitchen. Its a 16'x17' room with a very tall 15" ceiling. This is approximately 4000 cu ft. One wall is almost entirely covered with a very large glass window, the floors are hardwood.
It's a duplex with one shared wall to the neighbours unit. It is well insulated for sound, but still a shared wall.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this, I tried to keep it brief.