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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry, the too much info. I’m totally new to home theater setup. No offense, but I'm not an audiophile or musician, so I do not care about some minor differences which most people can't hear the difference, but only audiophile or experts can see it in charts and measurements. So, I only want something sound great for music and movies compared my current cheap $350 5.1 setup. But I definitely want to hear great sound with the new setup.

I listen to all kind of musics and watch all kind of movies. No video games at all. For movies, I definitely want something theater sound effect (I mean just close to it, not exactly the same. I know $2500 won't get the real movie theater effect).

I want keep the total cost about $2500, if possible I want to keep the budget about $2000 if the differences are not going to be noticeable.

About the room size: About 3800 cubic feet room. It's a great room - on the left living room space and on the right kitchen no walls in between. 3800 cubic feet is for both living room and kitchen. I'll be keeping the home theater setup on the left of course. Since it's a great room without walls between the living room and kitchen, I think I need to consider total space which 3800 cubic feet.

HSU VTF3 MK5 - sub - $900

For the front JBL Studio 530 pair - $600 or Studio L810 $550. Which one these is better?

For center, JBL Studio 520CBK - $300

For the surround either JBL Studio 230 pair- $400 or Studio 210 pair $350. Which one these is better.

Receiver - Denon AVR-X2100W $400

Total cost: $2500 to $2600 for the above.
I think cables and speaker stand will cost about extra $100.

I definitely want a good sub. I thought of getting a tower speaker, but I heard many people say tower aren’t adding anything noticeable when we compare tower+sub and good bookshelf+sub. Is this really true?

Is there any alternative models or brands you suggest? If I want to reduce the budget to $2000, what would you suggest?

If I want to have tower what would you suggest for the similar budget? And is it really worth to get a tower?

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Actually, you've listed what I would probably suggest (you've done your homework). That would be a great setup. I don't know about the L810, but I doubt you'd go wrong with the 530. I'd get the cheaper surrounds (unless you listen to a lot of 5.1 concert videos, then I'd match the surrounds to the fronts). The Studio 530 has gotten very good reviews and is highly recommended here (a member stated he saw it on sale for $310!, so start looking). Find out where you can audition and give them a listen.

With a good subwoofer, there is no need to go for towers.

Now, if you want to save money and have patience (these have been out of stock and I don't know when they will be replenished), you might be very surprised by these:

$225 / pair (includes shipping) EMP Tek R5Bi bookshelf speaker (formally E5Bi): http://emptek.com/r5bi.php (I own these)
Andrew Robinson's video review:
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