AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off let me say that this is my first post and that i'm a newbie to HT systems, but i've made leeps nad bounds in the past few dyas browsing forums and realizing that a HTIB is a waste of money and where my money could be better spent.


I've basically settled on the Athena Point Five system, i've seen posts in the pst few days claiming they found these for $149 at BB!!?? The best deal I have found is $200-$220 shipped. What BB's are people finding these at?


Secondly, for someone such as myself who has a small apartment living room of 15X11 how necessary would a sub be? The satellite speakers come with a 4 inch woofer cone and the center speaker has two woofer cones. Now for someone like me who has neighbors to worry about how necessary would a 8 or 10 in sub be? I'm not looking to rattle the windows or shake the walls and floor, just something with some bass that'll satisfy the average moviegoer. The system would mostly be used for watching DVD's and videogames on a five year old rear projection TV that one of my roommates picked up that I havent seen yet.


When it comes to receivers i'm a bit over my head, i've realized it'd be best to go with a Panasonic or Pioneer receiver either 5.1 or 6.1 depending on whether a sub is recommended. Any suggestions when it comes to receivers? I know that is such a general question but im looking to spend max 150 on a receiver, but thats pretty easy on ebay, estock, overstock etc. Any suggestions?


One last issue, considering the high praise these speakers have got how come they aren't THX certified? I was looking at the Logitech Z-5500 (which come with their own version of a receiver) and they are THX-certified, what gives? Is money my money better spent on the logitech's considering my use.


(sorry for the length of this post)

VTnewbie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Don't worry about THX certified.


Yes, get a sub if you want to hear all of the music/movie being played.


Pioneer makes some pretty good/affordable receivers.


Congrats on realizing you are better off without a HTIB.


Oh, and welcome to the forum!!!!!!!!!!


Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any recommendations as to where to find the speakers cheaper online? I've spent several hours searching and still come up at about $200. Am i looking in the wrong place?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
btw, the difference between 5.1 and 6.1 is the rear channel... these days, 7.1 is your best option (you don't have to use the rear two) but it gives you the choice. The .1 is the sub channel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
THX Certification is absolutely meaningless. I have the Logitech Z-2200 for my PC which has THX-C, and it still sounds like crap unless I jack with the software equalizer.


With your budget and small apartment situation, you might want to rethink carefully how much you really need surround sound. I see only two reasons to have it: 1. you plan on forking out $20-30 a pop for the lousy selection of SACDs and DVD-As out there, or 2. You watch tons of Hollywood action flicks.


Much better to have a decent 2.0 setup than a lousy 5.1 in my opinion and also add a few bucks to your receiver budget. At such a low price range an extra $100 can make a big difference between a POS versus a half-decent receiver.


My recs:


1. Athena AS-B2 speakers, $150/pair from audioadvisor.com


2. Panasonic SA-XR55 pure digital receiver, $240 shipped from jandr.com ... I've heard of many people preferring the pure-digital sound over traditonal analog receivers costing upwards of $1500-2000 for both music and HT.


My first addition to that would be a Dayton 10" sub from partsexpress.com for about $140 shipped.


I know this appears to be a lot more money than what you were hoping for less gear, but think QUALITY not quantity. You buy HTIB speakers coupled with a $150 receiver, you'll be eager to garage sell it within a year or two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTnewbie
Secondly, for someone such as myself who has a small apartment living room of 15X11 how necessary would a sub be? The satellite speakers come with a 4 inch woofer cone and the center speaker has two woofer cones. Now for someone like me who has neighbors to worry about how necessary would a 8 or 10 in sub be?

VTnewbie
First, wecome to the forum.


With only 4" mid-woofers, you definattely need a sub; the system will sound almost anemic without one. With some care you can get away with a sub in an apartment. I have an Outlaw Audio LFM-1 sub with downstairs neighbors, a combination most would think is a recipe for disaster! Just recently, they mentioned how quiet we are :p . I have the sub on a Auralex Subdude and am reasonable with the volume (typically 15dB below reference for movies, usually less than 80/85 dB average SPL when listening to music), but I still crank it up on occasion.


I would recommend a good 8" or 10" sub. If your budget can go up to $300 for the sub, I'd recommend a Hsu STF-1 or the new Outlaw LFM-2; I'm not familiar enough with true budget subs to recommend a cheaper model, but I really think you need one. Even if you have to run it a few dB's low, it will add a lot of presence to both music and movies that would otherwise be missing.


Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is a stupid question but i'm having troubble finding the answer, so here it goes. If I was to buy the Athena AS-B2's I would need a receiver capable of 150 watts per channel since hte as-b2's are rated at 150 watt's correct?

Thus, eliminating a receiver such as the panasonic SA-XR25 which puts out 100 watts per channel.


Correct me if i'm wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,162 Posts
4" can go pretty low depending on the driver. Creative Sound Solutions' WR125ST in an MTM TL config could go down to 80Hz if I remember correctly. I don't have the link to that project offhand, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTnewbie
This is a stupid question but i'm having troubble finding the answer, so here it goes. If I was to buy the Athena AS-B2's I would need a receiver capable of 150 watts per channel since hte as-b2's are rated at 150 watt's correct?

Thus, eliminating a receiver such as the panasonic SA-XR25 which puts out 100 watts per channel.


Correct me if i'm wrong.
Panasonic will be very fine. The speaker rating is the maximum it can take. Even a good integrated amp (like NAD or Cambridge Audio) with 50 watts will be able to power those speakers with ease.


If you have neighbors, you wont be worrying about being able to make your system very loud either.



Sometimes on Fry's website, you can find Polk bookshelves for cheap. I would say that if you don't mind, spend as much as you can on good front speakers and build a 2.1 system. This can be done for around $600 after shipping including the Dayton 10" subwoofer. If you want a little more bass, grab the 12" dayton for a few dollars extra.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
Your listening room seems pretty similar to mine...with small satellites (4" cones) and a 8" sub you'll be more than happy, believe me.


If those Athenas don't come around, look for the Acoustic Research HC-5 or HC6 system (I know they are HTIB, but they are good)...I'll vouch for them (preferably the HC6). However, with small satellites you'll lack a bit of detail in the midrange...


If you'll get serious about HT, I'd really recommend getting a 2.1 setup now and adding on to it in the future...


My HC5s have worked flawlessly for 2 years now (the sub really rocks!) but I'm ready to go for a bigger set up now....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
Sometimes on Fry's website, you can find Polk bookshelves for cheap. I would say that if you don't mind, spend as much as you can on good front speakers and build a 2.1 system.
Where is Fry's website?? I can't find it.

I went into circuit city today and was listening to their Polk Audio system that had set up, and I noticed that most of the clarity and dialogue from the movie playing came from the center speaker not the two floorspeakers next to it. Hence, would money be better spent on two Athena AS-B2's and a center speaker or still go with the AS-B2's and the sub?


They also had a open box sale for two receivers: Pioneer VSX-D814K and a Harmon Kardon DPR-1001. Pioneer $150 HK $230 both prices were negotiable too. Should I be tempted?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
VTNewbie,


Speaker power ratings are even more meaningless than receiver power ratings. The only number that really matters is impedance: you don't want to buy speakers of a lower impedance than your receiver can handle so 4 ohm speakers would not be a good idea with an 8 ohm receiver. The Panny and Athenas are both 8 ohms, so no worries there.


AS-B2s + center vs. AS-B2s + sub: really depends on your application. If you watch a lot of action flicks with rumbles and explosions every 3 minutes, you'll get more out of the sub. If your movies tend to be dramas, comedies, and other low LFE genres then the center will provide much more clarity for dialogue, you won't need to turn the volume as much to enjoy it. Also if you listen to a lot of music, with a sub you can have the Panny send all the low frequencies to the sub while your front mains handle only mids and treble which is what they are better suited for so you'll get better efficiency and clarity out of them.


So ask yourself where your tastes in movies lie, and also what %music vs. HT you'll be using the system for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Aight here is what i've come up speaker wise:


Athena AS-B1's as fronts and an AS-B2 as center (if possible to buy only one AS-B2)


Athena AS-B1's as fronts and an AS-F1 or F2 as center


Athena AS-B2's as fronts and an AS-F1 or F2 as center


Aight now give me the good, bad, and the ugly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,371 Posts
Of the speakers you listed, my first choice would be three AS-B2 speakers across the front (second choice would be three AS-B1s). This should give you a seamless front soundstage, where sounds maintain consistency as they move from left to right and vice versa.


Later you can add a pair of AS-R1 bipole surrounds for wrap around envelopment in the surround field, and then a subwoofer to round out the bottom end (and wake up your neighbours).


Good Luck,

Sanjay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
> This should give you a seamless front soundstage,


Isn't that what getting a center channel from the same manufacturer and model line does, timbre match?


Plus the Athena center has an extra driver so it should deliver dialogue with better clarity and detail than the B1 or B2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,371 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by edster922
Isn't that what getting a center channel from the same manufacturer and model line does, timbre match?
That's the intent, but not always the real world result. For example:
Quote:
Plus the Athena center has an extra driver so it should deliver dialogue with better clarity and detail than the B1 or B2.
Are you saying the Athena centre speaker sounds different than the B1 and B2? If so, then sounds are going to appear noticeably inconsistent as they pan across the front soundstage.


Best,

Sanjay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,727 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTnewbie
I went into circuit city today and was listening to their Polk Audio system that had set up, and I noticed that most of the clarity and dialogue from the movie playing came from the center speaker not the two floorspeakers next to it. Hence, would money be better spent on two Athena AS-B2's and a center speaker or still go with the AS-B2's and the sub?


They also had a open box sale for two receivers: Pioneer VSX-D814K and a Harmon Kardon DPR-1001. Pioneer $150 HK $230 both prices were negotiable too. Should I be tempted?
Just remember, you never know who calibrated anything in a B&M. Most of the systems I played with were setup terribly. Speaker size, xovers and levels were always pretty whacked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
> Are you saying the Athena centre speaker sounds different than the B1 and B2? If so, then sounds are going to appear noticeably inconsistent as they pan across the front soundstage.


I would agree with you...that is, if you were doing a lot of multichannel SACD and DVD-A music.


A Dolby Digital film soundtrack on the other hand is a very different animal, it is written with different channels in mind, with the center channel getting the huge bulk of the dialogue, which means that a specialized center channel that's designed to produce the clearest mids and compromise on the other frequencies to do so would logically be a better performer.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top