Thank you everyone for your suggestions so far. Been doing a lot of reading up as a result.
Originally Posted by Sekosche
With your budget and being 100% movies, definitely take a look at Power Sound Audio. There’s an amazing value in their home theater speakers and subwoofers. I’ve had a Polk setup similar to yours and a handful of reference Klipsch speakers and anything from the PSA line will elevate your movies to a whole new level.
These seem excellent. Great specs at the price point and well reviewed. Do they ever go on sale? I oddly find the rugged look attractive. Typically i'm more into a natural wood cabinet.
Originally Posted by gajCA
I'd shoot for 5.2.4.
JBL HDI series; $75/pair return shipping on towers at Crutchfied if not happy.
Denon 3600; excellent review here and has pre outs if you find you need an outboard amp for the towers as they are 4 ohms.
Review of the HDI 3600s here but with your budget might consider the 3800s.
HDI are beautiful speakers. Seems they were just released and are eliminating the monitor series? Only issue is they seem to really need an amplifier to shine which if I could, i'd like to avoid. Your 3600 receiver suggestion sent me down the rabbit hole of receivers. Really like that one, or the 4500(?) both of which seem to often go on sale for half off msrp.
Originally Posted by Rex Anderson
Planning now for what you will do in a year or two is not realistic. Everything changes at least once a year, lots of new products are released annually.
I would look at Revel, JBL Professional and JBL Synthesis. I think they are doing excellent work, cover lots of price points and strive for neutral sound.
You should do at least a 5.2 (two subs) system. Add Atmos if you can afford it. You don't say anything about TV, projector, screen etc. Is your budget just for audio?
Sale items come and go quickly. You have to be ready to buy when things are available.
Fair enough, for the year or two out thing. That's why i'm biding my time (and have been) and looking to get things @ a discount so if things do change unexpectedly, I can pivot without losing a ton of cash unnecessarily. Right now i'm using a 65" 5k LG OLED TV. I'm pleased with it. Anything bigger in my current living room might be a bit overwhelming. Definitely planning two subs. Atmos will be an add on later most likely unless i come significantly under budget.
Originally Posted by Zorba922
Right now, the single biggest weak link holding you back is that god-awful Polk center. The M70s are harsh yet undetailed as you put it, but for 100% movie use they are not as bad as a disaster because they're not doing 70-80% of the HT output like the center speaker does.
The SB12 is ok for music, for HT I would want to position it nearfield to maximize impact.
If you're willing to wait, Infinity puts its R-263 towers on sale for half off MSRP a couple times a year...last time was back in November/December.
You could easily get 4 of those, plus the excellent RC-263 center ($160 when on sale, $500 regularly).
I'd put aside at least $1200 for a pair of Hsu VTF-2 subs.
If you don't wish to wait, I'd look at the Chane A5.5 towers with A2.4 center. Do a forum search for user feedback on those.
Another good option would be 2 pairs of JBL A190s, also currently on sale, and with the benefit of free return shipping:
The "matching" A125C is also on sale---and with free returns shipping you could easily send it back and use a good mismatched one if it doesn't satisfy you 100%.
PS. How loud do you listen? Download a free SPL Meter app to your smartphone and find out. Most people are in the 60-75db range. If you're like 75-80db, something with around 90db sensitivity would be prudent, such as Ascend 340SE or Klipsch RP series. Above that level, you might have to look into the not-cheap PSA speakers.
The center truly is horrible. It was an even worse setup when I had the "matching" center (monitor 20 or something, i don't recall) The infinity R-263 are showing as discontinued on multiple sites? Ironically, JBL recommends the infinity 263 center for their Monitor 590 line. (Researching that from Zorba922 suggestion)
In regards to the 190, with my budget, id move to the 590s and even then I feel like i'm leaving something on the table. I'd say I listen medium to loud as just a broad assumption, but that's an excellent idea to test it out and see, thank you.
Originally Posted by Zorba922
Well, you're in luck: JBL has just started another of its barn-burner sales on the Studio series.
4 of the Studio 590 towers would cost your $2K instead of their regular $4K. They have massive 8" woofers. Aesthetically, you'll either love their looks or hate them. Performance wise, they get rave reviews from users.
I'd experiment with their 520C center even though they have just 4" woofers but some people like them; if you don't, could always try a "phantom" center or go with a good mismatched center, and all the JBL speakers come with free return shipping anyways.
That leaves you plenty left over for a pair of robust subs, external amp, new AVR, etc.
These speakers seem like a fantastic deal. I worry about some reviews saying they can be harsh or bright @ the high end and also complaints about build quality. My only concern (which I mentioned above) are that i'd wish I spent a little more to get something quantifiable (spec wise) "better" i'd say right now these
JTR speakers look like absolute monsters. Can't say I recall seeing a speaker that big. Certainly look like an option for dedicated theater, but i'd have trouble with them now space wise.
Chane i'm currently looking into. Ultimately , should I get a second matching sub, or just get two new more suited subs? (HSU was mentioned)
Note: I had to remove URL from quotes , forum won't let me quote them due to post count.
Thank you for suggestions so far! Alot of food for thought.