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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My home has a large, open living room/kitchen/dining room area. I have attached the floor plan; the TV is a 75" Samsung Q80R on the left wall of the gathering room and the couch splits the living area and kitchen. I'd like to set up a 5.1 system at minimum, possibly expanding in the future to include Atmos speakers and a second sub. The room is squarely in the main area of our home without room for an equipment rack, so I'd like to run everything off a receiver and keep the setup as simple and unobtrusive as possible. I understand that I will be compromising absolute performance as a result of foregoing a pre/pro and power amp combo, but I'm ok with that. I don't have any specific goals in terms of frequency response, total dB, etc. I just want a respectable bang-for-the-buck system which will primarily be used for TV/movies, but speakers that are flexible for enjoyable music reproduction as well. I do have space for floor standing left and right speakers, or large bookshelves on stands, but the surround channels MAY need to be wall-mounted to keep them out of the middle of the room. They would be mounted to the drywall above the lanai sliding glass door and above the foyer hallway, approximately 8' above the floor. I will probably have one subwoofer placed close to the receiver and hope to add a second beside or behind the couch which would need to have an embedded or external wireless kit.

I am looking at very sensitive speakers in order for a receiver to provide sufficient power. My speaker budget will likely be an absolute maximum of $2,500 for the 5.1 not including the future Atmos/second sub. I'd like to use a Denon AVR-X1200W I already own for now, but understand this may need to be upgraded fairly significantly. Will I be able to achieve my goals without dropping $3,000 on a receiver? Are there other considerations I should have to eliminate the need for extraneous devices? Finally, do you have suggestions on specific speakers that would facilitate the type of setup I've described?


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Edit: Pics of the room, more to come as progress is made:

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Semi-finished floating cabinet and feature wall:

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That's a pretty nice-looking house.
Are you in the Lower 48? I ask, because there are several vendors that won't ship to Hawaii or Alaska.
A Klipsch Reference Premier 5.0 setup sounds like it would fit your budget and volume requirements. I suggest the RP-6000, RP504C, and RP400M speakers, paired with a 12" sub from SVS, HSU, or Rythmik.
With your surround speakers mounted that high, I'm afraid Atmos is not in your future. You need a vertical separation between your ear-level speakers and your Height speakers in order to get a sense of 3D sound. If you can get a pair of speaker stands for the RP-400Ms, then Atmos would be a consideration.
Your current AVR will be perfectly fine to drive this setup with zero issues. If and when you decide to do an Atmos upgrade, then I would recommend a 5.1.4 setup, as you really don't have the room for rear surrounds. This will save you about $1000 on electronics and speakers; or about the cost of a high-output 15" subwoofer.
The Denon 3600/3700 is probably the best BFTB AVR on the market right now, and both can run a 5.2.4 setup without external amplification. There is no NEED to spend $3k on electronics.
There are many other speaker systems within your budget. Any speakers that are 90dB/W/m sensitivity would be fine in your room with an average AVR.
 

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My home has a large, open living room/kitchen/dining room area. I have attached the floor plan; the TV is a 75" Samsung Q80R on the left wall of the gathering room and the couch splits the living area and kitchen. I'd like to set up a 5.1 system at minimum, possibly expanding in the future to include Atmos speakers and a second sub. The room is squarely in the main area of our home without room for an equipment rack, so I'd like to run everything off a receiver and keep the setup as simple and unobtrusive as possible. I understand that I will be compromising absolute performance as a result of foregoing a pre/pro and power amp combo, but I'm ok with that. I don't have any specific goals in terms of frequency response, total dB, etc. I just want a respectable bang-for-the-buck system which will primarily be used for TV/movies, but speakers that are flexible for enjoyable music reproduction as well. I do have space for floor standing left and right speakers, or large bookshelves on stands, but the surround channels MAY need to be wall-mounted to keep them out of the middle of the room. They would be mounted to the drywall above the lanai sliding glass door and above the foyer hallway, approximately 8' above the floor. I will probably have one subwoofer placed close to the receiver and hope to add a second beside or behind the couch which would need to have an embedded or external wireless kit.

I am looking at very sensitive speakers in order for a receiver to provide sufficient power. My speaker budget will likely be an absolute maximum of $2,500 for the 5.1 not including the future Atmos/second sub. I'd like to use a Denon AVR-X1200W I already own for now, but understand this may need to be upgraded fairly significantly. Will I be able to achieve my goals without dropping $3,000 on a receiver? Are there other considerations I should have to eliminate the need for extraneous devices? Finally, do you have suggestions on specific speakers that would facilitate the type of setup I've described?
Hell no, if movies/TV are your primary usage you do NOT need to throw away $3K on a stupid receiver, let alone separates.

What you WILL need is a powerhouse sub given your layout, at minimum something like this...ideally, two of them but start with one and go from there:

Nor do you necessarily need VERY sensitive speakers---anything around 90-92db will be fine and easily fit your $2500 budget, unless you are a confirmed volume freak...I'd suggest using an SPL Meter (or download an app for it) to measure your actual preferred listening volumes first.
 
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If this works, there is a pretty good sale going on now but I don't know how long it will last. You can also easily go to 2 subs. Save some money from the AVR and get a good subwoofer like the HSU Zorba mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
That's a pretty nice-looking house.
Are you in the Lower 48? I ask, because there are several vendors that won't ship to Hawaii or Alaska.
A Klipsch Reference Premier 5.0 setup sounds like it would fit your budget and volume requirements. I suggest the RP-6000, RP504C, and RP400M speakers, paired with a 12" sub from SVS, HSU, or Rythmik.
With your surround speakers mounted that high, I'm afraid Atmos is not in your future. You need a vertical separation between your ear-level speakers and your Height speakers in order to get a sense of 3D sound. If you can get a pair of speaker stands for the RP-400Ms, then Atmos would be a consideration.
Your current AVR will be perfectly fine to drive this setup with zero issues. If and when you decide to do an Atmos upgrade, then I would recommend a 5.1.4 setup, as you really don't have the room for rear surrounds. This will save you about $1000 on electronics and speakers; or about the cost of a high-output 15" subwoofer.
The Denon 3600/3700 is probably the best BFTB AVR on the market right now, and both can run a 5.2.4 setup without external amplification. There is no NEED to spend $3k on electronics.
There are many other speaker systems within your budget. Any speakers that are 90dB/W/m sensitivity would be fine in your room with an average AVR.
Thank you, we're very happy with it. My last home had a very large upstairs loft that I planned to enclose as a dedicated theater room. It's unfortunate that I don't have that option here, but I'll make do.

Good point about the Atmos needing vertical separation from the surrounds. I'd obviously prefer to have them on stands, but I'm not sure I can do so without impeding the walking space around the couch, so maybe that will influence my decision to not concern myself with Atmos and maybe install some in-ceiling speakers for casual music listening instead.

I am in Florida, so no concern with shipping availability. Klipsch was one that sprang to mind, although I know they're fairly divisive with their tweeter design, and I thought that also may make them sub-par for music use. I assume they'd be fairly easy to find for a demo, though, and I bet my wife would like the gold accents. Is their Reference Wireless line worth a look (for surrounds)? Those sub brands are definitely on my shortlist, but I'm having some custom cabinetry installed and will need to check clearances for placement or size limitations. The aesthetics of the room area taking priority over optimizing for AV performance.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
 

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I am in Florida, so no concern with shipping availability.
How close are you to Tampa? I'd check out Chane A5.5 if you're looking for towers. Or if you're patient enough to wait for restocking, their A2.4 and A1.5 speakers. All of these will easily fit your budget and be easy to drive w/o needing an external amp at all. If within easy driving distance then it would be easy to test out and take back within their 30 day trial period.

Do a forum search, they come widely praised.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
These sound great! Have high sensitivity and will pair nicely with one of the aforementioned subs. I am listening to the Borea Towers now and like them.
If this works, there is a pretty good sale going on now but I don't know how long it will last. You can also easily go to 2 subs. Save some money from the AVR and get a good subwoofer like the HSU Zorba mentioned.
Thanks, I've never heard of these before, but will add them to my research. I like the front-facing port, which may help if I do end up needing to wall mount the surrounds. Is $2299 a price that is available regularly, or a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal? How's the subwoofer that comes in the kit? I know adding a second in a room of that size will make all the difference, but would it be decent enough to start out?

Why is it I can't seem to locate that deal unless I use your link?

On an unrelated note, does Adorama not understand what each digit of "5.1.1" is supposed to indicate?
 

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Thanks, I've never heard of these before, but will add them to my research. I like the front-facing port, which may help if I do end up needing to wall mount three surrounds. Is $2299 a price that is available regularly, or a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal? How's the subwoofer that comes in the kit? I know adding a second in a room of that size will make all the difference, but would it be decent enough to start out?

Why is it I can't seem to locate that deal unless I use your link?

On an unrelated note, does Adorama not understand what each digit of "5.1.1" is supposed to indicate?
I don't know how often they will go on sale. I don't really know the performance of the sub but at the price for the other speakers, you could sell the sub if you don't like it. The deal is there, getting to it is sometimes the challenge but I have no idea how long the deal will last.
 

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I don't really know the performance of the sub but at the price for the other speakers, you could sell the sub if you don't like it.
Sub is a 8" driver that barely gets down to 30 Hz and only has 200 watts of power. "Regular" price is $999.

A sub of this caliber typically sells for $149 or less just about anywhere else.

The floorstanders are £999/pair MSRP, or about $1,275 US, a pair. Adorama has them elsewhere on their website for $699 each.
The center speaker has two 13cm drivers (5 1/16"), gets down to 57 Hz, and weighs 17 lbs.
By comparison a Chane A2.4 has two 5 1/4" drivers, gets down to 48 Hz, and weighs 28 lbs.

I'm not seeing the package deal at $2,299 as being anything to get excited about.
 

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Sub is a 8" driver that barely gets down to 30 Hz and only has 200 watts of power. "Regular" price is $999.


A sub of this caliber typically sells for $149 or less just about anywhere else.
:ROFLMAO:

Ah, but you need just the right $150 subwoofer cable to bring that REL sub alive !!!
 
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Sub is a 8" driver that barely gets down to 30 Hz and only has 200 watts of power. "Regular" price is $999.

A sub of this caliber typically sells for $149 or less just about anywhere else.

The floorstanders are £999/pair MSRP, or about $1,275 US, a pair. Adorama has them elsewhere on their website for $699 each.
The center speaker has two 13cm drivers (5 1/16"), gets down to 57 Hz, and weighs 17 lbs.
By comparison a Chane A2.4 has two 5 1/4" drivers, gets down to 48 Hz, and weighs 28 lbs.

I'm not seeing the package deal at $2,299 as being anything to get excited about.
REL makes superb subs according to many people. The T series will likely not blow your house like a ported one, it's supposed to be great for music use. I'd get one for my stereo system if they had some sense to make them in non-gloss finishes. Still, it could be sold and replaced. They are expensive subs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hell no, if movies/TV are your primary usage you do NOT need to throw away $3K on a stupid receiver, let alone separates.

What you WILL need is a powerhouse sub given your layout, at minimum something like this...ideally, two of them but start with one and go from there:

Nor do you necessarily need VERY sensitive speakers---anything around 90-92db will be fine and easily fit your $2500 budget, unless you are a confirmed volume freak...I'd suggest using an SPL Meter (or download an app for it) to measure your actual preferred listening volumes first.
How close are you to Tampa? I'd check out Chane A5.5 if you're looking for towers. Or if you're patient enough to wait for restocking, their A2.4 and A1.5 speakers. All of these will easily fit your budget and be easy to drive w/o needing an external amp at all. If within easy driving distance then it would be easy to test out and take back within their 30 day trial period.

Do a forum search, they come widely praised.
I'm definitely not looking to set any volume records, so glad to hear I can open up my speaker research. In terms of subs, I'm not sure I'll have the room for something very large, unfortunately. My wife also won't be thrilled about having a giant box dominating the room. I'm thinking the best I'd get away with is one sub at either end of the couch (a pretty large U-shaped sectional) but they'd have to be a more moderately sized option. I've been reading these forums for a while, so Hsu, SVS and Rythmik automatically came to mind. I also was thinking about putting one dead center under the TV, but after my floating cabinetry is installed, there's going to only be room for a very short box, maybe a DIY option that's not very tall, but a wide box to get a sufficient interior volume. I'm not a seasoned woodworker and have never built a speaker enclosure before, so I'm not very confident in my abilities there.

I'm in SE Florida, so about 4 hours from Tampa, why do you ask? Chane A2.4 was one that I had specifically added to my list as an option based on what I've read about them here. I'm in no rush. I feel like towers may be the better option, though. Since I probably won't be able to get the very large sub that would be optimal for this type of room, at least a tower would help by extending into some of the lower frequencies. I'm a little concerned by the rear port on the Chanes since I think I may have to wall mount the surrounds.
 

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I'm definitely not looking to set any volume records, so glad to hear I can open up my speaker research. In terms of subs, I'm not sure I'll have the room for something very large, unfortunately. My wife also won't be thrilled about having a giant box dominating the room. I'm thinking the best I'd get away with is one sub at either end of the couch (a pretty large U-shaped sectional) but they'd have to be a more moderately sized option. I've been reading these forums for a while, so Hsu, SVS and Rythmik automatically came to mind. I also was thinking about putting one dead center under the TV, but after my floating cabinetry is installed, there's going to only be room for a very short box, maybe a DIY option that's not very tall, but a wide box to get a sufficient interior volume. I'm not a seasoned woodworker and have never built a speaker enclosure before, so I'm not very confident in my abilities there.

I'm in SE Florida, so about 4 hours from Tampa, why do you ask? Chane A2.4 was one that I had specifically added to my list as an option based on what I've read about them here. I'm in no rush. I feel like towers may be the better option, though. Since I probably won't be able to get the very large sub that would be optimal for this type of room, at least a tower would help by extending into some of the lower frequencies. I'm a little concerned by the rear port on the Chanes since I think I may have to wall mount the surrounds.
The Chanes come with foam port plugs that can be used if you need to position them close to a wall.

The further away from the wall you put any subwoofer, the less room reinforcement it will get meaning the more power/size you'd need to achieve the same results. That's why corner placement is very popular, even though sometimes it can cause boominess...this all depends on the room, the sub, and one's individual preferences of course. But corner placement also has WAF advantages in terms of making the sub less conspicuous since you can easily disguise it as a plant/lamp stand. If you want a smaller FOOTPRINT you may want to look at SVS's cylindrical subs which are especially handy for corners.
 
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I'm a little concerned by the rear port on the Chanes since I think I may have to wall mount the surrounds.
Chane has the A4.5 on wall surrounds dropping at some point in the near future.
Towers would save you on adding stands (something I personally don't like), they can't compete with subs on the low freqs.
If you want a smaller FOOTPRINT you may want to look at SVS's cylindrical subs which are especially handy for corners.
They are a bit on the high side though. 34.34” high on the PC2000, 46.9” on PC4000.
 

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Chane A2.4 was one that I had specifically added to my list as an option based on what I've read about them here. I'm in no rush. I feel like towers may be the better option, though. Since I probably won't be able to get the very large sub that would be optimal for this type of room, at least a tower would help by extending into some of the lower frequencies. I'm a little concerned by the rear port on the Chanes since I think I may have to wall mount the surrounds.
I, too, was concerned about the rear port and wall placement. If you get too wrapped up in it you severely limit your choices for speakers.

I've had my Chane A5.5's (towers) for almost three weeks now. Now that I have them set up and have been experimenting with placement and toe in, I haven't found the rear port to be a problem whatsoever. Like you, my floor plan does not allow me to position the speakers too far from the wall. (Love that floor plan, BTW.) The back of my speakers are 7" from the wall. I've listened with the port plug in and the port plug removed and I think they sound better with them removed. So I wouldn't worry about rear ports.

I'm rebuilding my whole system and right now I'm running with just a 2.0 system. As to bass response with the Chane towers, it's really good. Listening to music I could probably live without a sub, but for home theater, there is no substitute. Having my son's stereo setup at my house over the summer with his 15" Hsu Research sub kind of spoiled me. Now that it's gone I know what I'm missing on the deep low frequencies. I will get a sub in the future, but I'm in no hurry.
 

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Sub is a 8" driver that barely gets down to 30 Hz and only has 200 watts of power. "Regular" price is $999.

A sub of this caliber typically sells for $149 or less just about anywhere else.

The floorstanders are £999/pair MSRP, or about $1,275 US, a pair. Adorama has them elsewhere on their website for $699 each.
The center speaker has two 13cm drivers (5 1/16"), gets down to 57 Hz, and weighs 17 lbs.
By comparison a Chane A2.4 has two 5 1/4" drivers, gets down to 48 Hz, and weighs 28 lbs.

I'm not seeing the package deal at $2,299 as being anything to get excited about.
There are lots of options with speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Simply not true.
Ok, fair enough, maybe I unfairly ruled them out based on my perception of them being a mass-market product. I know that they have their fans, but I know many are turned off by their treble response as well. It certainly couldn't hurt to audition them.

Sub is a 8" driver that barely gets down to 30 Hz and only has 200 watts of power. "Regular" price is $999.

A sub of this caliber typically sells for $149 or less just about anywhere else.

The floorstanders are £999/pair MSRP, or about $1,275 US, a pair. Adorama has them elsewhere on their website for $699 each.
The center speaker has two 13cm drivers (5 1/16"), gets down to 57 Hz, and weighs 17 lbs.
By comparison a Chane A2.4 has two 5 1/4" drivers, gets down to 48 Hz, and weighs 28 lbs.

I'm not seeing the package deal at $2,299 as being anything to get excited about.
Thanks for looking into that package, I haven't had a chance to research it yet myself. The specs aren't jaw-dropping, but you never know.

REL makes superb subs according to many people. The T series will likely not blow your house like a ported one, it's supposed to be great for music use. I'd get one for my stereo system if they had some sense to make them in non-gloss finishes. Still, it could be sold and replaced. They are expensive subs.
Thanks for weighing in, I'd certainly try to find as many user reviews as possible if purchasing in a situation where returns weren't going to be simple and convenient. I'm not crazy about gloss finishes, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The Chanes come with foam port plugs that can be used if you need to position them close to a wall.

The further away from the wall you put any subwoofer, the less room reinforcement it will get meaning the more power/size you'd need to achieve the same results. That's why corner placement is very popular, even though sometimes it can cause boominess...this all depends on the room, the sub, and one's individual preferences of course. But corner placement also has WAF advantages in terms of making the sub less conspicuous since you can easily disguise it as a plant/lamp stand. If you want a smaller FOOTPRINT you may want to look at SVS's cylindrical subs which are especially handy for corners.
My issue with sub placement in this room is that I don't really have any corners at all. There is a hallway to a bedroom at the corners on either side of the TV, and behind the listening area is wide open and includes the kitchen and dining room. Directly under the TV is going to be a floating cabinet with relatively low clearance underneath. My only option for putting a sub against the wall would be some DIY enclosure that was very wide and short to slide underneath it, which would ruin the look of the floating cabinet. I can't imagine it would be possible to place a sub underneath the left and right speakers, at least in this application where they're not behind an AT screen.

Chane has the A4.5 on wall surrounds dropping at some point in the near future.
Towers would save you on adding stands (something I personally don't like), they can't compete with subs on the low freqs.

They are a bit on the high side though. 34.34” high on the PC2000, 46.9” on PC4000.
Thanks for the heads up about the on-wall surrounds. My mounting location would be a little behind the listening area, which is where I'd want them anyway, but do the wall mounts generally allow for the speakers to be angled towards the couch instead of just firing perpendicular to the wall?

I, too, was concerned about the rear port and wall placement. If you get too wrapped up in it you severely limit your choices for speakers.

I've had my Chane A5.5's (towers) for almost three weeks now. Now that I have them set up and have been experimenting with placement and toe in, I haven't found the rear port to be a problem whatsoever. Like you, my floor plan does not allow me to position the speakers too far from the wall. (Love that floor plan, BTW.) The back of my speakers are 7" from the wall. I've listened with the port plug in and the port plug removed and I think they sound better with them removed. So I wouldn't worry about rear ports.

I'm rebuilding my whole system and right now I'm running with just a 2.0 system. As to bass response with the Chane towers, it's really good. Listening to music I could probably live without a sub, but for home theater, there is no substitute. Having my son's stereo setup at my house over the summer with his 15" Hsu Research sub kind of spoiled me. Now that it's gone I know what I'm missing on the deep low frequencies. I will get a sub in the future, but I'm in no hurry.
Thanks for your feedback on the Chanes. They are definitely in serious consideration. I heard on some podcast that the company wasn't always super reliable and their customer service was sub-par, but I'll spend some time in the owners thread and see what people are saying. My fronts would actually be a decent distance from the wall behind them, it's only my surrounds that pose an issue. Since behind the listening area is the kitchen, there's no place to put them on stands, and I'll have to wall-mount them up high.

Just typing this post prompted me to wonder if in-wall or in-ceiling subwoofers are worth considering.
 
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