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post #1 of 12 Old 06-28-2019, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Buying a Soundbar....Can't Believe It

Hello,

I'm looking into a Soundbar. Can't believe I'm saying that. I've had an Energy Take 5 system for nearly 20 years. Its time. Initially I thought I'd get another 5.1 system, but for the past two years we've only been running a 3.1 Now with an 8 month old, don't want cables running everywhere and a Soundbar seems the most logical.

A few questions:
1) How would a soundbar and sub compare to the Energy Take 5? The sub is the 150 watt 10" if that helps.

2) The Receiver I have is from 2013, a Pioneer SC-1522. Its a 9.1 system with DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, but no atmos. Would I plug a soundbar into it? Or would I get rid of the receiver altogether? I imagine I could sell it for $200 ish maybe?

3) What do I even look for in a Soundbar? I'm literally 60 minutes into beginning my research.

4) Do people get a soundbar and sub separate? Or go for the package deal?

Best,
John
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-29-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Hello,

I'm looking into a Soundbar. Can't believe I'm saying that. I've had an Energy Take 5 system for nearly 20 years. Its time. Initially I thought I'd get another 5.1 system, but for the past two years we've only been running a 3.1 Now with an 8 month old, don't want cables running everywhere and a Soundbar seems the most logical.

A few questions:
1) How would a soundbar and sub compare to the Energy Take 5? The sub is the 150 watt 10" if that helps.

2) The Receiver I have is from 2013, a Pioneer SC-1522. Its a 9.1 system with DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, but no atmos. Would I plug a soundbar into it? Or would I get rid of the receiver altogether? I imagine I could sell it for $200 ish maybe?

3) What do I even look for in a Soundbar? I'm literally 60 minutes into beginning my research.

4) Do people get a soundbar and sub separate? Or go for the package deal?

Best,
John
A sound bar will totally replace any existing audio components you may have. Start by determining what you are trying to do. Do you want your viewing area to sound like a movie theater with 7 or 9 channels surrounding you, or do you just want a little more bass and volume than the tv provides? For the former, look into the 7 and 9 channel systems such as Nakamichi, which happens to have two wireless sub woofers (which then drive the rear channels from them with a wire). If the latter, any 2 or 3 channel system will work, and most have wireless subwoofers. If loose wires are a problem, glue them along the baseboard with Gorilla Glue adhesive caulk from Lowe’s or HD. An integrated design with subwoofer is always better than amateur mixing and matching.

Last edited by DavAbq; 06-29-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DavAbq View Post
A sound bar will totally replace any existing audio components you may have. Start by determining what you are trying to do. Do you want your viewing area to sound like a movie theater with 7 or 9 channels surrounding you, or do you just want a little more bass and volume than the tv provides? For the former, look into the 7 and 9 channel systems such as Nakamichi, which happens to have two wireless sub woofers (which then drive the rear channels from them with a wire). If the latter, any 2 or 3 channel system will work, and most have wireless subwoofers. If loose wires are a problem, glue them along the baseboard with Gorilla Glue adhesive caulk from Lowe’s or HD. An integrated design with sub-woofer is always better than amateur mixing and matching.
Getting back to this after a month, thank you for the reply though! Here is a picture of the system. We don't need a "Surround" system right now, just something that sounds better than what we have. Currently running a 3.1 system. Energy Take 5 L,R,C from the early 2000s, I believe they have 3.5 inch mains. And a 12" 150 watt sub from Energy. All run through a Pioneer Elite.

My question now is, can a sound bar sound as good as this does, WHILE reducing the clutter, for under $500? I imagine I can get $350 for the receiver, the speakers are trash though. Thoughts?
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Hello,

I'm looking into a Soundbar. Can't believe I'm saying that. I've had an Energy Take 5 system for nearly 20 years. Its time. Initially I thought I'd get another 5.1 system, but for the past two years we've only been running a 3.1 Now with an 8 month old, don't want cables running everywhere and a Soundbar seems the most logical.

A few questions:
1) How would a soundbar and sub compare to the Energy Take 5? The sub is the 150 watt 10" if that helps.

2) The Receiver I have is from 2013, a Pioneer SC-1522. Its a 9.1 system with DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, but no atmos. Would I plug a soundbar into it? Or would I get rid of the receiver altogether? I imagine I could sell it for $200 ish maybe?

3) What do I even look for in a Soundbar? I'm literally 60 minutes into beginning my research.

4) Do people get a soundbar and sub separate? Or go for the package deal?

Best,
John
If you get a powered soundbar, which is the most popular, you would ditch the AVR unless you need a bunch of HDMI pass through. Most soundbars you buy as a package bar and sub. How good they are depends on budget. I mean you can get anything from a simple 2.1, to a full blown ATMOS soundbar. I have had 3 in my room, 4 counting a Bose Soundbase. My personal favorite is the one I have now a Polk MagniFi bar. I cam from a Nakamichi 7.1. I think the Polk has a much fuller overall sound than the Nak, its smaller top to bottom than the Nak was but I think give much better midrange. I don't have to turn it up nearly as loud as I did the Nak. What kind of budget do you have?

Edit saw your budget, there are some good choices, check on crutchfield.com and you can limit the price range and it will give you a selection. Then you can check reviews. I recommend the Polk myself for $399
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 10:03 AM
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Crutchfield has a great deal going on for the Polk 9500 BT soundbar + sub system.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Denon 4300H AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on how the Polk compares to the JBL Bar 5.1? And it seems like the Polk 9500 has better specs, but the magnifi bar is the same price. Is it just a newer model?
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Any thoughts on how the Polk compares to the JBL Bar 5.1? And it seems like the Polk 9500 has better specs, but the magnifi bar is the same price. Is it just a newer model?
The Magnifi is a newer model, but the 9500 is better IMHO. You don't have HDMI connectivity with the 9500, but I don't consider that a big deal, as you would route all your sources through the TV anyway. Optical is perfectly fine--in fact, you avoid potential ARC issues this way.

I don't have any experience with JBL soundbars, so I can't offer any opinion there.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Denon 4300H AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Getting back to this after a month, thank you for the reply though! Here is a picture of the system. We don't need a "Surround" system right now, just something that sounds better than what we have. Currently running a 3.1 system. Energy Take 5 L,R,C from the early 2000s, I believe they have 3.5 inch mains. And a 12" 150 watt sub from Energy. All run through a Pioneer Elite.

My question now is, can a sound bar sound as good as this does, WHILE reducing the clutter, for under $500? I imagine I can get $350 for the receiver, the speakers are trash though. Thoughts?
IDK, for a soundbar to sound its best means it will be pulled forward like you have your current speakers so the "clutter" might not be as reduced as you think.

But easy enough to buy and return at Best Buy.

I was surprised how good the Polk Command Bar I installed for a friend sounded; it was pretty nice and the bass was surprising for such a tiny wireless sub.

It did sound better than his Bose single cube 5.1 system but I think your setup would as well.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sk373 View Post
The Magnifi is a newer model, but the 9500 is better IMHO. You don't have HDMI connectivity with the 9500, but I don't consider that a big deal, as you would route all your sources through the TV anyway. Optical is perfectly fine--in fact, you avoid potential ARC issues this way.

I don't have any experience with JBL soundbars, so I can't offer any opinion there.

If you use optical you might not get DD+ or HDMI CEC features.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-22-2019, 02:15 PM
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If you use optical you might not get DD+ or HDMI CEC features.
I don't think that's a dealbreaker when it comes to a soundbar, especially one that can be had for $350. The core Dolby Digital track would be decoded at 640 kbps--IMHO, that's plenty of resolution for a midrange soundbar.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Denon 4300H AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-26-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Any thoughts on how the Polk compares to the JBL Bar 5.1? And it seems like the Polk 9500 has better specs, but the magnifi bar is the same price. Is it just a newer model?
What about a passive soundbar driven by your current AVR?
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-29-2019, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Hello,

I'm looking into a Soundbar. Can't believe I'm saying that. I've had an Energy Take 5 system for nearly 20 years. Its time. Initially I thought I'd get another 5.1 system, but for the past two years we've only been running a 3.1 Now with an 8 month old, don't want cables running everywhere and a Soundbar seems the most logical.

A few questions:
1) How would a soundbar and sub compare to the Energy Take 5? The sub is the 150 watt 10" if that helps.

2) The Receiver I have is from 2013, a Pioneer SC-1522. Its a 9.1 system with DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, but no atmos. Would I plug a soundbar into it? Or would I get rid of the receiver altogether? I imagine I could sell it for $200 ish maybe?

3) What do I even look for in a Soundbar? I'm literally 60 minutes into beginning my research.

4) Do people get a soundbar and sub separate? Or go for the package deal?

Best,
John
I had a 5.1 surround in my main viewing room for years and a 6.1 home theater to boot. I moved to a new home in Florida and it wasn't wired for surround downstairs. Wife did not want floor speakers and running wires everywhere was a no go (too much time required). So I reluctantly changed to a soundbar. I got the Samsung 850. It was a pretty penny (and now isn't working because my house got hit by lightning). I really like it. It doesn't produce 5.1 sound from the little speakers, but it does disperse the sound nicely. I think it was a good compromise.

I did a lot of research. Passive and add-ons are really tough, especially if you aren't going to spend more than $1K. Very few passive setups, most act as the receiver. Basically, I run everything into the soundbar and then from there to the TV. I have a simple HDMI switch I use for my multiple devices.
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