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Where to start?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi All,


after (months/years?) of complaining, my wife is allowing me to spend my entire tax refund on a sound system. Currently, my man cave consists of a 65" Tv + video game systems + an old Logitech system. I'd like to build some nice DIY speakers for my room which will mostly consist of video games/movie/tv watching.


I know i will need a receiver, and i keep seeing mid range Onkyo (626 vs 727) online. I'm not going to match my friends Integra mated with B&W 800's, but would like to come close to what he has with some DIY stuff. 


my question is, any suggestions on what type of equipment to start with? I am a technical person, and not afraid of DIY (soldering a few components easy, soldering tiny chips on a PCB not keen on) but woodwork is fine. I have most tools myself, and what i don't have my father does. I know this will save me a few $$ in building my own cabinets with MDF instead of buying a pre-purchased one.


I am thinking of spending some good money on the main L/R speakers, and some decent money on a sub and center, and worry about rear speakers sometime in the future (when the man cave is finished) I'd like the Linkwitz Orions, but i don't think they're what i'm after considering this is more for a home theater setup with room dimensions of 12 x 14, and within a few years upgrade to about 20x20 (moving from bedroom to basement)


So, can anyone make some suggestions of where to start looking? Oh, FYI, budget is over $4k, but i don't "NEED" to spend it all, would prefer to stay at half that, and i still need to buy "all" my equipment (receiver, amps, speakers, etc.)


Thanks in advance,



post #2 of 12
We could use some more information on listening habits etc.

From basic information here's just one suggestion, there are a million others.

Receiver: Onkyo 818 (inexpensive, especially used, XT32, etc)
Sub: Numerous options (sealed, ported, etc) SI and Dayton are popular performers
Amps: Inukes have been on sale and are a great bang for the buck
EQ: XT should get you started but mini dsp or the like are great for "dialing" everything in
Speakers: Hop over to DIYsoundgroup and check out the offerings. Many to choose from.
post #3 of 12
Last year's model TX NR717 is considered to be a better model than the newer 626 and 727 models, due to slightly more power and THX certifcation. The 717 does not have the HDMI problems the 626 and lower models had. I don't know if they fixed the HDMI problems with the 626, you'll need to do your own research. The 727 is around $750, the 717's are still around for less than $500 and have a HUGE amount of features for the money, ie 7.2, pre-amps out, maybe 6 or 7 HDMI in, 2 HDMI out, and two sub outs. Both sub outs are the same signal that have been split.

You'll need to provide some more info on your listening environment, but the Fusion 12 Tempests are around $400 each including flat packs, for L/C/R totaling $1200.

I know you can build your own enclosures, but the flat packs are relatively inexpensive and have great engineering and are CNC cut. They will save you a ton of time, but if you want the DIY experience of cutting and building your own, there are several threads on people who have done just that, and you can get some great advice. I bought the flat packs and I am a great fan of them.

You can get excellent L/R Surrounds Fusion Alchemy 8's at $200 each with flat pack, $400 total.

I've now spent $2100 of your money, and some others here will suggest type and size of subs, I am not knowledgeable enough to give you solid suggestions on that.

You should also know that the DIY Soundgroup is in the process of updating several models, including surrounds and some center channel options. Please consider my suggestions as a starting point for research, and you can vary from my suggestions without hurting my feelings in the least. cool.gif

Edit: I saw where Mr. Bass Addict's post has passed mine, and he has already suggested the Onkyo 818 for about $700, instead of the Onk 717, which I own. That is an excellent suggestion, as it has a little more power, and a better version of Audyssey which is an advanced speaker balancing technology which is unheard of at this mid price point. Most of the serious audiophiles here rave about the superior Audyssey MultEQ XT32.
Edited by wvu80 - 2/10/14 at 2:13pm
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies. I was interested in seeing some of the refurbished Onkyo's in the 626/727/828 around the $400-$600 mark (i should've snagged the 626 from Woot this morning for $240 when i had the chance, now they're selling the 727 for $430 but not sure if it'd be better to jump up to the 828 refurb from Amazon ($599) to get those extra watts if i don't buy an amp) 


I'll start looking into the DIY Sound group website. I've been browsing sparingly over the past few weeks but never into anything in-depth.


My listening room is currently a spare bedroom which will eventually move into a basement home theater in a few years time. Again, dimensions are 12x14. Of which we play our xbox360 + Wii U (and one day i will use my Xbox1, no games yet)  and also for movies and shows such as Game of Thrones. Most video/audio will come from streaming netflix so decent quality. Not really used for listening to music, with the exception of maybe using a second zone to hook up to some outdoor speakers at some time in the future. Not sure i'd need 7.1 sound, seeing as I don't have a BluRay player or anything along those lines.


The room will eventually be much larger (basement is 30x60, but obviously whole thing won't be a movie room) so i do have plans to upgrade, and have no problem with overkill. Also, not worried about a system being "too" loud seeing as it's a single family home not a townhouse or anything.


As for the speakers you referenced, would the Fusion 1099 tower be any better? Not sure if "more" speakers means better, and you've definately stayed within an appropriate price range. Also, would the Onkyo receiver be able to push these, or better to get a dedicated amp?


If i need to do some more homework (eg: read up more on receiver vs amp etc.) please feel free to let me know and I will spend more time. I know i shouldn't just post "my friend has an integra 30 receiver with B&W 683s and i want to match his sound system but not pay $8k"  but in essence that's what i want :-)



Thanks again guys, and i'll start some more homework.

post #5 of 12
Do not consider a Onk 616 or lower model. They have a well known problem with the HDMI boards that fail within a year. I don't know if they've fixed that with the newer 626 model, but in any case 717 or 727 or higher models do not have that HDMI problem.

If you get the 818 or newer 828 model, don't do it for the few 10 extra watts of power above the 727, it makes literally no difference in sound quality or SPL. You would be paying the extra dollars to get the Audyssey MultEQ XT32. The SEOS speakers are very efficient, and I have a test bed with a pair of the SEOS 12" and 15" Celestion woofer driven by a 15 wpc mini-amp. It plays loud enough to be heard throughout my entire house, and certainly plays loud enough to drive you out of the room.

I had not seen that Fusion 1099 tower before! smile.gif It has been in the prototype stage for some time and I didn't know they had gotten the design onto the web page. The designer posts on this forum under TuxedoCivic and he is great at answering questions about his babies! Here is the thread on that 3-way design:

post #6 of 12
Go with the Onkyo 818 or 828 as it has XT32 version of Audyssey room correction which makes it a worthy upgrade from the 717 or 727 for a modest amount of additional funds. The Seos-based speakers are great, but perhaps a bit overkill for a room as small as yours. There are designs out there for conventional speakers with dome tweeters/mids and smaller woofers. I would suggest that you find some way to audition both speaker types to get a feel for what type of sound you may be getting, and having something for comparison. I like the DIY speaker called the Statement, as it uses a ribbon tweeter and more conventional mids and woofers. Another good conventional design would be anything from Zaph audio, which is a good place to do some research reading as well.
post #7 of 12
+1 on the 818 I paid 1G and didn't look back so $700 is tempting enough to get another one because it's there . . .
and with the resources you have available, DIY IS the way to go, especially for subs,
tjhis thread has a great number of excellent possibilities
as a total noob last year I went with a BF 24" THTLP for my man cave (10 x 11) BASH 300 and 4 Aura shakers on my love seat for a 7.1 system.
But I'd build a martysub or 2 if I had the discretionary funds
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, looks like i'll be getting the 828 (can't really find an 818 "new" anymore) I don't mind a refurbished from Amazon (seeing as they are technically a valid re-seller + i always buy extended warranties from them with no questions asked, they've been great at stuff like that, not sure if anyone cares)


As for the speakers, i still need to do some research on speakers + subs + amps. Question about the Onkyo 828, will that be enough to power this setup:


R/L  : Fusion-12 Tempest (or maybe Fusion 1099 Tower)

C : Fusion 1099 Center

Surround(rear) L/R : Fusion-8 Alchemy

Sub (TBD)


i know it might be overkill for a smaller room, but if i'm planning on moving this system to a proper media room (20x30) sometime in the next 2 year, any reason *not* to get these speakers? I'm not going to be listening to deafening death metal long hours on end.


Thanks again.



post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by NixEqnx View Post

Thanks guys, looks like i'll be getting the 828 (can't really find an 818 "new" anymore) I don't mind a refurbished from Amazon (seeing as they are technically a valid re-seller + i always buy extended warranties from them with no questions asked, they've been great at stuff like that, not sure if anyone cares)

I just bought a 818 on onecall yesterday: http://www.onecall.com/onkyo-tx-nr818-7-2-channel-3d-home-theater-receiver
post #10 of 12
The 828 at around 135 wpc should be able to drive your SEOS based 5.x system with no problem. And if it isn't enough for you, you can use your Onk as a pre-amp and add amps to your heart's content. The 828 is easy to plug and play, but it has a TON of features, so be prepared to read the manual when you need it to understand what all the options and listening modes are.

I know this is the DIY speaker section, but a good AVR is really the heart of the system for most of us.

About that Fusion tower: I have a pair of Fusion 10 Pures, which features a 12" SEOS and 10" Woofers. That tower uses a pair of 10" Eminence woofers, which is very close to what my Fusion 10 uses, and the compression driver for the 12" SEOS is the same as the tower, the Denovo DNA-205. Even though I haven't heard comparisons to the Fusion 10, I think you will find that tower design will sound TREMENDOUS. That CD is very smooth sounding and will timbre match the perfectly with the Alchemy surrounds which also use the DNA 205. The Fusion Tempests use the DNA-360 CD, which is a VERY close timbre match to the DNA 205's, I have both.
Edited by wvu80 - 2/11/14 at 9:55pm
post #11 of 12
Note: the 828 does NOT have Audyssey XT32. The 818 does. 2013's models, like the 828, cut back some features and included them only in the higher models. The 828 just has MultEQ like the 808 had from a few years ago. For 2013, the 929 is the "lowest" model to get XT32.
This makes buying a refurbed 818 for not much money a great deal.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for convincing me to get the older 818 vs the 828. We had a bunch of Bose systems back in my college days and i do remember that after sitting in different seats with a microphone and listening to clicks beeps and whistles for awhile it made a huge difference, so i'm sure this will be better for lack of Wifi/Bluetooth. as for the bose systems, my roommate worked for a Bose dealer so we got to "review" all of them and i worked for the AV team at school so i also "worked on projectors at home" so we had a pretty sweet ghetto setup back in the day ;-)


note: the 828B was a refurb that i had my eye on, not an 818 refurb. I will be getting it from Amazon (sold through Hubbins...called Onkyo to verify a valid dealer it's okay) Just filed my taxes and opted for the extra 10% Amazon giftcard option to cover it. So, once the refund is accepted i'll get the amp :-)


As for the speakers, still going to do some more research on the forums this week to compare the towers to the Tempest for the fronts. I also need to build a new cabinet to house my equipment, so it will be a few weeks before i get it all setup.


Thanks again for the input guys! i really am a lazy newb ;-)

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