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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I am helping a friend build a HT setup for $5K. He is pre-wired for 7.1 (Zone 2 wired to patio) and already has a Samsung 65” LED for viewing. His room dimensions are approximately 18’ x 18’ with no type of acoustical treatment. I understand $3K isn’t much to work with for a multi-zone A/V Receiver and 7.1 surround, but I need some help from you guys because all of the equipment that I normally research is a bit out of his price range. Don't worry about the Zone 2 speakers as he will be purchasing them seperately, we just need to ensure the A/V Receiver is multi zone capabable. Details below.

Equipment Desired:

*A/V Receiver: 9.1 / Multi (2) Zone / Wifi (Control w/iPhone) / Audussey XT32 (not 100% Necessary)

*L/R Mains

*Center Channel

*Surrounds

*Subwoofer

Goals:

*90% Movies 10% Music

*Best Bang for the buck output and clarity

*Wifi/Bluetooth/Wireless Control Options

*WAF is important (to a degree)

Limitations:

*No in-walls or ceiling mount speakers

*No LAN wired to his AV Rack, so he will need Wifi

*DIY is NOT an option

*$3K MAX (no flexibility)

This is what I am thinking thus far:

*A/V Receiver: Denon 4311CI ($1,300)

*L/R Mains: (1) Polk Monitor70 Series II ($500)

*Center + Surrounds: Polk Audio Blackstone TL150 5-Pack (Center + 4 Surrounds) ($350)

*Subwoofer: Epik Empire $800
Total: $2,950


Note how I focused most of the funding on the 4311 (XT32) and the sub. My initial thought was to recommend at least one or two good components, with the rest being relatively cheap. That way if he decides to upgrade he won’t have to change any middle of the range equipment. Also, I figure that the sub is going to provide the most audible impact when watching movies, so just a long as the Polk Monitors and lower end polk surrounds can provide decent output above 120Hz he will be pleased.


When/if he decides to upgrade, adding another Epik would be a breeze and integration with XT32 would benefit him more then he even knows at the moment. I’ll work with him the future if he want’s to upgrade his LCR and surrounds (thinking Salk – way down the road), but for now what do you guys think of my suggestions?


I’m open to other alternatives and input for sure.


*Edit - Update title to show $5K budget and 5.1 set-up.
 

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I would buy the cheapest AVR possible with his needs and put more into the speakers. Sub is fine as you know we can get into the best $1000 sub and under thing. I am thinking maybe 7 HSU bookshelves, 3 eD cinema 6's with 4 HSU suurounds, stuff like that. These options will leave you with $500 for AVR which should be plenty with these type of speakers.
 

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I agree with spending less on the receiver and more on the speakers. That is the piece of the system most likely to become outdated due to tech upgrades. By contrast, good speakers can last a long, long time.
 

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I would recommend the Onkyo 709 receiver, which you can get for $500 and has plenty of features and preamp outputs for all channels, in case he wants to add amplifiers later.


For speakers, I suggest the PSB Image T6 speakers ($1300), which sound about 3000% percent better than those cheap Polk speakers, and the PSB Image C4 $300) for the center and four of the PSB Image B4 speakers ($600 total) for the other channels.


That is $2200 total for a really really good set of speakers, leaving up to $800 for a receiver.


An alternative set of speakers that also are really excellent would be a pair of the KEF iQ90 speakers ($900 at KEF Direct), plus the Q200C center speaker ($449), and four of the KEF C3 speakers ($650 total), for a total of $2000.



Either of those sets of speakers are so good that there will probably NEVER be a need to upgrade, and there are several excellent receivers available from Onkyo and Denon for $800 or less.
 

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I got the 4311 for less, right around $1000 from I believe Electronics Expo, do not rule out Chase Home Theater, I love mine!!!!!! Your budget would fit the new M1 series Craig is releasing. For 90% Home Theater I would bet the price will be hard to beat.
 

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As others mentioned, spending less on the receiver is a good idea, you can always upgrade it later and some of the lower end models do have great features. I noticed that most of it will be movie viewing and Klipsch would give him a great bang for the buck in terms of playback quality and loudness for movies. You can usually get a great deal through Vanns on speakers when they have their deals. May be biased as I have them for my home theater but friends and family really enjoy them and I find my dad wanted to rewatch a lot of movies on my system.


These prices are from the website so you can usually get better pricing when calling in and asking, I was able to knock off $100 off of each item when not on sale. Here's what I got for around $3,200 between Vanns and NewEgg and all brand new:


2 x Klipsch RF-82 II

Klipsch RC-62 II

2 x Klipsch RS-52 II

2 x Klipsch RF-52 II

2 x Klipsch RW-12D

Onkyo TX-SR609


Drop the RS-52 II's and the RF-52 II's and replace them with RB-61 II's and you should have more than enough for an Onkyo TX-NR709 or better. You can combine the subs into one and get something that's better (paid 750 for both of them).
 
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I am completely in the camp of not spending too much on your receiver. $500 max is a great budget. For home theater usage (which this is mainly for) I would get efficient speakers so it will not take much to drive them.


The Polk Monitor speakers are not bad per say, but with a budget of $3K you can do much better. Some of my recommendations would be:

You could get this package and have $1K to play with for wiring, AVR, etc
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html


Put together an Ascend 7.0 package using the CMT-340 mains and matching center, and the CBM-170 surrounds with an Epik, Hsu, SVS subwoofer and receiver:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html


The Klipsch speakers mentioned above are strong for home theater as well, but I would stick with an Epik, Hsu, SVS sub.


Chase Home Theater seems like a great fit as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22227276


Put together an Ascend 7.0 package using the CMT-340 mains and matching center, and the CBM-170 surrounds with an Epik, Hsu, SVS subwoofer and receiver:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html

T.

You get a nice discount on Rythmik subs from Ascend with their package.


3 340SEs across the front

4 of the HTM 200s for the surrounds and back

Rythmik F12 or FV12 depending on the size of the room.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22225968


I would buy the cheapest AVR possible with his needs and put more into the speakers. Sub is fine as you know we can get into the best $1000 sub and under thing. I am thinking maybe 7 HSU bookshelves, 3 eD cinema 6's with 4 HSU suurounds, stuff like that. These options will leave you with $500 for AVR which should be plenty with these type of speakers.

Ok, I can get behind the cheap AVR methodology. I know tech is constantly evolving and that would be the first thing to be outdated, so I'm with you. I'm looking at the HSU website now and and really liking what I am seeing. If I was lazy I would probably recommend this and be donw with it as it seems like the easiest “turn key” solution… Gotta keep digging though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purpose  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22226051


I agree with spending less on the receiver and more on the speakers. That is the piece of the system most likely to become outdated due to tech upgrades. By contrast, good speakers can last a long, long time.

Agreed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22226061


I would recommend the Onkyo 709 receiver, which you can get for $500 and has plenty of features and preamp outputs for all channels, in case he wants to add amplifiers later.

For speakers, I suggest the PSB Image T6 speakers ($1300), which sound about 3000% percent better than those cheap Polk speakers, and the PSB Image C4 ($300) for the center and four of the PSB Image B4 speakers ($600 total) for the other channels.

That is $2200 total for a really really good set of speakers, leaving up to $800 for a receiver.

An alternative set of speakers that also are really excellent would be a pair of the KEF iQ90 speakers ($900 at KEF Direct), plus the Q200C center speaker ($449), and four of the KEF C3 speakers ($650 total), for a total of $2000.

Either of those sets of speakers are so good that there will probably NEVER be a need to upgrade, and there are several excellent receivers available from Onkyo and Denon for $800 or less.

I’ve spent most of my time this morning reviewing the PSB and KEF options… Both intriguing. The KEF iQ90 sure is a looker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22226143


If you are really set on getting XT32, the Onkyo NR818 is a little over $900 on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR818-7-2-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JOO4XE/

Nice! Thanks for the link.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard8873  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22226632


As others mentioned, spending less on the receiver is a good idea, you can always upgrade it later and some of the lower end models do have great features. I noticed that most of it will be movie viewing and Klipsch would give him a great bang for the buck in terms of playback quality and loudness for movies. You can usually get a great deal through Vanns on speakers when they have their deals. May be biased as I have them for my home theater but friends and family really enjoy them and I find my dad wanted to rewatch a lot of movies on my system.

These prices are from the website so you can usually get better pricing when calling in and asking, I was able to knock off $100 off of each item when not on sale. Here's what I got for around $3,200 between Vanns and NewEgg and all brand new:

2 x Klipsch RF-82 II

Klipsch RC-62 II

2 x Klipsch RS-52 II

2 x Klipsch RF-52 II

2 x Klipsch RW-12D

Onkyo TX-SR609

Drop the RS-52 II's and the RF-52 II's and replace them with RB-61 II's and you should have more than enough for an Onkyo TX-NR709 or better. You can combine the subs into one and get something that's better (paid 750 for both of them).

I have Klipsch Reference in my current theater. I like the fact that they are extremely high sensitivity, but I’m hesitant to recommend them to him. I like the Kipsch, but I really think we could do better for him…
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22227276


I am completely in the camp of not spending too much on your receiver. $500 max is a great budget. For home theater usage (which this is mainly for) I would get efficient speakers so it will not take much to drive them.

The Polk Monitor speakers are not bad per say, but with a budget of $3K you can do much better. Some of my recommendations would be:

You could get this package and have $1K to play with for wiring, AVR, etc
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html

Put together an Ascend 7.0 package using the CMT-340 mains and matching center, and the CBM-170 surrounds with an Epik, Hsu, SVS subwoofer and receiver:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html

The Klipsch speakers mentioned above are strong for home theater as well, but I would stick with an Epik, Hsu, SVS sub.

Chase Home Theater seems like a great fit as well.

Digging the HSU Packages… Might be worth it to go for the Ultra package because his wiring is already in place and $600 might be enough for a good enough AVR. Still a front runner for me.


Not seeing that Chase has much to offer in the Surround department, but I know their subs are pretty sick. I’ll look into them a bit more, but they aren’t my first priority based on what you guys have suggested so far.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22227686


You get a nice discount on Rythmik subs from Ascend with their package.

3 340SEs across the front

4 of the HTM 200s for the surrounds and back

Rythmik F12 or FV12 depending on the size of the room.

As far as the surrounds (340’s & HTM’s), the only thing I don’t like about them really is that he would have to buy three set’s of stands. I guess he would technically have to buy two set’s of stands for his 4 surrounds, but maybe I have a mental block thinking he should have a good set of floorstanders up front… I am going to have to warm up to this. I need to touch base with him to see if he is going to want to physically mount the surrounds on the walls. He mentioned that he had wiring ran, but I have yet to see pictures, so that might change the game a bit in order to have “wall mount friendly” surrounds.


Love…Love… Love… Rythmik’s subs. I was seriously debating a pair of FV15HP’s before I decided to go with LMS Ultras…
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Has anyone tried NTH? Believe it or not, but I guess the AVS targeted marketing worked because an ad for some of their surround packages popped up as I posted the original post of this thread...lol. I'm looking at the Absoulte 5.1 package with a pair of their surrounds as an add on for full 7.1. I think it will cost about $2,300 or so.


Also, I wanted to ask about Infiniti. I was reading a few posts and remember some claims that one of the relatively cheap Infinity Floorstanders (why am I thinking P362?) was extremely well designed and could match some of the Higher End B&W in terms of clarity/detail (not necessarily extension or output).


I think what I am going to end up doing in the end is compiling a list of what I know he would be pleased with, give him the pro's and con's of each option and make him decide because I really don't know the extent that aesthetics is going to play in the overall equation.
 

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I also vote for mid-level AVR & 5.2 speaker system. Quality over quantity. You are not missing anything with 5.2 vs 7.2 as long as the 2 surround speakers are capable. 7.2 might be more appropriate if the room size is like 20' x 30'.


Amazon had the Denon 3312 for $550 one day. Call Electronics Expo and see if they can match that price.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22228781


Has anyone tried NTH? Believe it or not, but I guess the AVS targeted marketing worked because an ad for some of their surround packages popped up as I posted the original post of this thread...lol. I'm looking at the Absoulte 5.1 package with a pair of their surrounds as an add on for full 7.1. I think it will cost about $2,300 or so.

Also, I wanted to ask about Infiniti. I was reading a few posts and remember some claims that one of the relatively cheap Infinity Floorstanders (why am I thinking P362?) was extremely well designed and could match some of the Higher End B&W in terms of clarity/detail (not necessarily extension or output).

I think what I am going to end up doing in the end is compiling a list of what I know he would be pleased with, give him the pro's and con's of each option and make him decide because I really don't know the extent that aesthetics is going to play in the overall equation.

I think NHT is great. The Infinity Primus P362/363 speakers are also great, especially with good subs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22226061


I would recommend the Onkyo 709 receiver, which you can get for $500 and has plenty of features and preamp outputs for all channels, in case he wants to add amplifiers later.

For speakers, I suggest the PSB Image T6 speakers ($1300), which sound about 3000% percent better than those cheap Polk speakers, and the PSB Image C4 $300) for the center and four of the PSB Image B4 speakers ($600 total) for the other channels.

That is $2200 total for a really really good set of speakers, leaving up to $800 for a receiver.

An alternative set of speakers that also are really excellent would be a pair of the KEF iQ90 speakers ($900 at KEF Direct), plus the Q200C center speaker ($449), and four of the KEF C3 speakers ($650 total), for a total of $2000.

Either of those sets of speakers are so good that there will probably NEVER be a need to upgrade, and there are several excellent receivers available from Onkyo and Denon for $800 or less.

good choice....but still need to get a good sub
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22225794


Ok, so I am helping a friend build a HT setup for $3K. He is pre-wired for 7.1 (Zone 2 wired to patio) and already has a Samsung 65” LED for viewing. His room dimensions are approximately 18’ x 18’ with no type of acoustical treatment. I understand $3K isn’t much to work with for a multi-zone A/V Receiver and 7.1 surround, but I need some help from you guys because all of the equipment that I normally research is a bit out of his price range. Don't worry about the Zone 2 speakers as he will be purchasing them seperately, we just need to ensure the A/V Receiver is multi zone capabable. Details below.
Equipment Desired:

*A/V Receiver: 9.1 / Multi (2) Zone / Wifi (Control w/iPhone) / Audussey XT32 (not 100% Necessary)

*L/R Mains

*Center Channel

*Surrounds

*Subwoofer
Goals:

*90% Movies 10% Music

*Best Bang for the buck output and clarity

*Wifi/Bluetooth/Wireless Control Options

*WAF is important (to a degree)
Limitations:

*No in-walls or ceiling mount speakers

*No LAN wired to his AV Rack, so he will need Wifi

*DIY is NOT an option

*$3K MAX (no flexibility)
This is what I am thinking thus far:

*A/V Receiver: Denon 4311CI ($1,300)

*L/R Mains: (1) Polk Monitor70 Series II ($500)

*Center + Surrounds: Polk Audio Blackstone TL150 5-Pack (Center + 4 Surrounds) ($350)

*Subwoofer: Epik Empire $800
Total: $2,950

Note how I focused most of the funding on the 4311 (XT32) and the sub. My initial thought was to recommend at least one or two good components, with the rest being relatively cheap. That way if he decides to upgrade he won’t have to change any middle of the range equipment. Also, I figure that the sub is going to provide the most audible impact when watching movies, so just a long as the Polk Monitors and lower end polk surrounds can provide decent output above 120Hz he will be pleased.

When/if he decides to upgrade, adding another Epik would be a breeze and integration with XT32 would benefit him more then he even knows at the moment. I’ll work with him the future if he want’s to upgrade his LCR and surrounds (thinking Salk – way down the road), but for now what do you guys think of my suggestions?

I’m open to other alternatives and input for sure.

With a 90% movie bias, why are you not concentrating on higher sensitivity speakers. Unless the guy likes to listen at low levels, I would think a Klipsch system would be one to definitely look at.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, I got some updates from my friend. He said all channels have been pre-wired to the ceiling (barring the sub of course). Sounds like he got screwed into being pre-wired for some bose satellities!!! I told him nothing beats a solid set of floor standers for at least your L/R mains and he said he is willing to relocate the wires. Last thing I want to do is have him re-wire especially because I'm not sure he would really miss having good mains. Ignorance is bliss and I'm confident he will be pleased with whatever we end up suggesting to him.


One other thing. He said he is willing to up the budget to $5K. That should complicate things that much more...lol


With a slightly increased budget and ceiling mount now in the mix, I stumbled accross this RSL 7.2 setup . Any one have any impressions/experiences with RSL? Seems like this (with some of their ceiling mounts) paired with an XT32 capabable AVR should be a potent mix for the money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22235297


He said all channels have been pre-wired to the ceiling (barring the sub of course). Sounds like he got screwed into being pre-wired for some bose satellities!!! I told him nothing beats a solid set of floor standers for at least your L/R mains and he said he is willing to relocate the wires. Last thing I want to do is have him re-wire especially because I'm not sure he would really miss having good mains. Ignorance is bliss and I'm confident he will be pleased with whatever we end up suggesting to him.


Hummm... The more I look into it, RSL looks more HTIBish...

I would at least, rewire for the front 3 channels - it would overall be worth it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock  /t/1420608/3k-budget-for-a-v-receiver-and-7-1-speakers-sub-thoughts#post_22235249


Ok, I got some updates from my friend. He said all channels have been pre-wired to the ceiling (barring the sub of course). Sounds like he got screwed into being pre-wired for some bose satellities!!! I told him nothing beats a solid set of floor standers for at least your L/R mains and he said he is willing to relocate the wires. Last thing I want to do is have him re-wire especially because I'm not sure he would really miss having good mains. Ignorance is bliss and I'm confident he will be pleased with whatever we end up suggesting to him.

One other thing. He said he is willing to up the budget to $5K. That should complicate things that much more...lol

With a slightly increased budget and ceiling mount now in the mix, I stumbled accross this RSL 7.2 setup . Any one have any impressions/experiences with RSL? Seems like this (with some of their ceiling mounts) paired with an XT32 capabable AVR should be a potent mix for the money.

Ceiling mount HT system, then I would be looking at Triad:


Bronze/8 LCR: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/icb8lcr.html
 
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