AVS Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I have read many threads here at AVS, but this is my first post. I'm having a hard time making a decision, despite some excellent advice from a friend of mine and I am wondering if anyone had some words of advice before I purchase a new receiver and 5.1 setup.


My setup and requirements are a little unique in that the space is very small where I watch movies and listen to music. I work from home quite often and my office doubles as my man cave (wife gets the living room) and I probably spend 12+ hours in there a day between work, play, and grad school. I sit approximately 4ft from the front speakers, 5ft from the sub, 3ft from the rears, and 2ft from the center. I also crank the system when I workout about 30ft away in a much larger room.


Right now I have a horrible setup. I have several 1080p video monitors, but my receiver / speaker in a box system, while never fulfilling my requirements, just isnt going to cut it anymore. (Sony HT-SS2000). What makes my setup so painful is that I know what truly great audio is. I've spent a fair amount of time around audio systems that cost more than my house and while I don't need to get to that level to be happy with the experience, I need a big step up from what I've got now.


My total budget is a very limiting $1400.00 and after several days of searching and talking to a friend of mine in the sound engineering business the denon receiver below and one speakers of the two speaker setups are what Im ready to purchase once I make up my mind on the speakers.


My concern is that while the denon fulfills several roles for me as both an audio and video receiver, I could probably save 300.00 and get a very entry level receiver new or used and spend an extra 300 on the speakers. However, I was always told that a better receiver will do much more for average speakers than an average receiver will do for better speakers. From reading these forums, I seem to be picking up the opposite message. Am I making a mistake getting a great receiver with these speakers? Even though the price is right on the receiver, should settle for something less and put the extra money into a better set of fronts, or better sub, etc?

Receiver

Denon AVR 991 on-sale for $650.00 (I've always liked Denon and Im only going for this model because on sale its cheaper than the models one or two steps down)


Given my budget, Ive narrowed it down to either (I tried to post links, but due to post count I cant):
JBL Speakers and BIC Sub

JBL ES20BK front and rears - $200/pair

JBL EC25 center $179

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: $770.00

Pioneer Speakers and BIC Sub

Pioneer SP-FS51-LR (Andrew Jones design) front & rear $200/pair

Pioneer SP-C21 (Andrew Jones design) center $80

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: $670.00



The Pioneers have received excellent reviews both compared to other speakers in their price range and several hundred dollars more. The specs on the JBLs look great for what they are and the look does appeal to me more, but they havent received the same amount of attention as the pioneers, so there are less reviews. Due to the rural area I live in, I will not be able to hear either of these systems in person before I buy, which sucks, but no one carries either within a reasonable driving distance.


As far as use, I watch a lot of 1080p movies and the effects are much more important to me than the talking. If my balls vibrate from an explosion or action sequence, Im a happy camper, but my current system just doesnt cut it when it comes to the sound effects. I also listen to a lot of music from various genres and I know its tough to satisfy all genres of music in budget speakers, but I would say that an ideal set of speakers would cater to a great listening experience with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters, or Hendrix. about 75% of the time I listen to movies and music fairly quietly and the other 25% I crank it until the house shakes. I have no neighbors close by and Im not at all concerned if my bass or music makes it difficult for my wife to hear the TV upstairs...actually, the power to prevent her from doing so is a plus lol



Would you recommend I stick with that receiver, or should I get something 200 - 300 less and go for something better as far as fronts or maybe the sub?


Thanks for any advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc0045
Hello all. I have read many threads here at AVS, but this is my first post. I'm having a hard time making a decision, despite some excellent advice from a friend of mine and I am wondering if anyone had some words of advice before I purchase a new receiver and 5.1 setup.


My setup and requirements are a little unique in that the space is very small where I watch movies and listen to music. I work from home quite often and my office doubles as my man cave (wife gets the living room) and I probably spend 12+ hours in there a day between work, play, and grad school. I sit approximately 4ft from the front speakers, 5ft from the sub, 3ft from the rears, and 2ft from the center. I also crank the system when I workout about 30ft away in a much larger room.


Right now I have a horrible setup. I have several 1080p video monitors, but my receiver / speaker in a box system, while never fulfilling my requirements, just isnt going to cut it anymore. (Sony HT-SS2000). What makes my setup so painful is that I know what truly great audio is. I've spent a fair amount of time around audio systems that cost more than my house and while I don't need to get to that level to be happy with the experience, I need a big step up from what I've got now.


My total budget is a very limiting $1400.00 and after several days of searching and talking to a friend of mine in the sound engineering business the denon receiver below and one speakers of the two speaker setups are what Im ready to purchase once I make up my mind on the speakers.


My concern is that while the denon fulfills several roles for me as both an audio and video receiver, I could probably save 300.00 and get a very entry level receiver new or used and spend an extra 300 on the speakers. However, I was always told that a better receiver will do much more for average speakers than an average receiver will do for better speakers. From reading these forums, I seem to be picking up the opposite message. Am I making a mistake getting a great receiver with these speakers? Even though the price is right on the receiver, should settle for something less and put the extra money into a better set of fronts, or better sub, etc?

Receiver

Denon AVR 991 on-sale for $650.00 (I've always liked Denon and Im only going for this model because on sale its cheaper than the models one or two steps down)


Given my budget, Ive narrowed it down to either (I tried to post links, but due to post count I cant):
JBL Speakers and BIC Sub

JBL ES20BK front and rears - $200/pair

JBL EC25 center $179

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: $770.00

Pioneer Speakers and BIC Sub

Pioneer SP-FS51-LR (Andrew Jones design) front & rear $200/pair

Pioneer SP-C21 (Andrew Jones design) center $80

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: $670.00



The Pioneers have received excellent reviews both compared to other speakers in their price range and several hundred dollars more. The specs on the JBLs look great for what they are and the look does appeal to me more, but they havent received the same amount of attention as the pioneers, so there are less reviews. Due to the rural area I live in, I will not be able to hear either of these systems in person before I buy, which sucks, but no one carries either within a reasonable driving distance.


As far as use, I watch a lot of 1080p movies and the effects are much more important to me than the talking. If my balls vibrate from an explosion or action sequence, Im a happy camper, but my current system just doesnt cut it when it comes to the sound effects. I also listen to a lot of music from various genres and I know its tough to satisfy all genres of music in budget speakers, but I would say that an ideal set of speakers would cater to a great listening experience with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters, or Hendrix. about 75% of the time I listen to movies and music fairly quietly and the other 25% I crank it until the house shakes. I have no neighbors close by and Im not at all concerned if my bass or music makes it difficult for my wife to hear the TV upstairs...actually, the power to prevent her from doing so is a plus lol



Would you recommend I stick with that receiver, or should I get something 200 - 300 less and go for something better as far as fronts or maybe the sub?


Thanks for any advice!
IMO, spend more on the speakers and sub and less on the receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Quote:
However, I was always told that a better receiver will do much more for average speakers than an average receiver will do for better speakers.
I definitely think you're making a mistake. An average receiver will drive good speakers just fine and you *will* hear the difference. You may or may not hear the effect of a better receiver on average speakers, and even if you do I'm willing to bet that the sound is not as good as with the better speakers.


Plus, even though the Denon is a fine receiver, when you go up in quality on the Denon's (and Pioneer, Harman/Kardon, Onkyo, and all the rest of the good but not great receivers) what you're getting is more features and watts; very little of that money is going toward sound.


Get a decent set of mid-range speakers: Paradigm, PSB, Axiom, etc - and I'm pretty sure you'll be happier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by C0rk
I definitely think you're making a mistake. An average receiver will drive good speakers just fine and you *will* hear the difference. You may or may not hear the effect of a better receiver on average speakers, and even if you do I'm willing to bet that the sound is not as good as with the better speakers.


Plus, even though the Denon is a fine receiver, when you go up in quality on the Denon's (and Pioneer, Harman/Kardon, Onkyo, and all the rest of the good but not great receivers) what you're getting is more features and watts; very little of that money is going toward sound.


Get a decent set of mid-range speakers: Paradigm, PSB, Axiom, etc - and I'm pretty sure you'll be happier.


I'm willing to entertain the idea that better speakers are more important than a better receiver, but with the money Id be saving by dropping to an entry level receiver, I dont know that I would save enough to step up to better speakers. Both fronts Im looking at are 200 a pair, so lets say I now had $450 - $500.00 for a pair of front speakers, or another $250.00 - $300.00 to spend on the sub, can I get noticeably more for the additional money?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc0045
I'm willing to entertain the idea that better speakers are more important than a better receiver, but with the money Id be saving by dropping to an entry level receiver, I dont know that I would save enough to step up to better speakers. Both fronts Im looking at are 200 a pair, so lets say I now had $450 - $500.00 for a pair of front speakers, or another $250.00 - $300.00 to spend on the sub, can I get noticeably more for the additional money?
There are an incredible number of options out there.


You could buy any number of good speakers, a decent sub and a usable receiver for what you are talking about.


An Emotiva sub with some Primus speakers and a basic receiver fits your budget.


That is just one example.


I really think spending such a huge amount of your budget on something you won't directly hear is a potentially big mistake.


Just MHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can anyone offer advice on a receiver that might work then? I see great discounts around on the primus line, a few paradigms, cewrin vega, and a few other brands. Since I will be routing video through video cards on the computer, I really only need a receiver to handle the audio. Audio will either be optical, RCA, or HDMI. Im most concerned about the quality via RCA. I'd like something that can support 7.1, but if the most I can afford is 5.1 I supposed I'd survive.


Any ideas what would work. I know a bit about speakers, but to be honest, I dont know much about receivers at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
I scored a Denon 4310CI for less than $500 at BB. Go and check BB they have a lot of stuff on clearance right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, what about either of these setups instead:


Infinity Primus P363 x 2 front $400

Infinity Primus PC351BK center $199

Infinity Primus P163BK x 2 rear $170

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: 960, leaving approx $350 for a receiver


Infinity Primus P253BK x 2 front $300

Infinity Primus PC251BK center $140

Infinity Primus P153BK x rear $150

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: 780, leaving approx $500 for a receiver
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bladerunner6 /forum/post/20872001


IMO, spend more on the speakers and sub and less on the receiver.

Thank goodness, you quoted the entire lengthy first post directly above your post. Otherwise, I would have had no idea to what post you were responding.




AJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc0045 /forum/post/20871979


Given my budget, Ive narrowed it down to either (I tried to post links, but due to post count I cant):
JBL Speakers and BIC Sub

JBL ES20BK front and rears - $200/pair

JBL EC25 center $179

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: $770.00

Pioneer Speakers and BIC Sub

Pioneer SP-FS51-LR (Andrew Jones design) front & rear $200/pair

Pioneer SP-C21 (Andrew Jones design) center $80

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: $670.00

Bear in mind that the sensitivity of these speakers is 86-87 dB, which is a bit on the low side. They require twice the power for the same output as speakers with more typical 90 dB sensitivity. Thus, if you really like to "crank the system when [you] workout about 30ft away in a much larger room" as you say, then you may find that a budget AVR lacks sufficient clean power output.


AJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by WiWavelength /forum/post/20873026


Bear in mind that the sensitivity of these speakers is 86-87 dB, which is a bit on the low side. They require twice the power for the same output as speakers with more typical 90 dB sensitivity. Thus, if you really like to "crank the system when [you] workout about 30ft away in a much larger room" as you say, then you may find that a budget AVR lacks sufficient clean power output.


AJ

Thats one of the reason that I used to love the cerwin vegas we used to use for outdoor parties when I was a teenager. They were loud and according to the specs, quite sensitive. I looked up some of their models in my price range and the sensitivity is over 90db, but I know they arent great for allowing you to hear individual sounds and seem to be thought of as speakers that only shine when they are loud.


Short of CV's I cant think of a speaker that both sounds clear and is very sensitive within my price range.


Do you have any speaker suggestions, or could you tell me how many watts per channel Id want to look for in a receiver for the above mentioned infinitys?


as far as the larger room. My office is about 144 sq ft, but the other room is around 700 sq ft. My priority is definitely towards sound quality when in my office though. Im definitely not critiquing sound quality when Im working out. Im just happy to hear music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc0045 /forum/post/20872977


Ok, what about either of these setups instead:


Infinity Primus P363 x 2 front $400

Infinity Primus PC351BK center $199

Infinity Primus P163BK x 2 rear $170

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: 960, leaving approx $350 for a receiver


Infinity Primus P253BK x 2 front $300

Infinity Primus PC251BK center $140

Infinity Primus P153BK x rear $150

BIC F12 subwoofer $190
Total: 780, leaving approx $500 for a receiver

I think this is getting closer with these systems.


I would consider using the P162/163 for mains, the P153/152 for surrounds and the PC250 for the center. Then something like a HSU or Emotiva sub.


Then, put a 2nd pair of the P16X series in near the workout area and get a receiver that has a powered Zone 2, such at the Onkyo TX-NR609.


By buying open box/scratch&dent previous generation products, you could save some more coin that could be used for upgrading a sub.

Or using coupons on new products would also save you some coin.


This might give you the best of both worlds. Music to work out by in the "gym" area and then a nice surround system in the office.


Just MHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for your help. After some more research and talking to a buddy of mine who used to make high end speakers and has the same taste in sound as I do, I've ordered the following:

JBL L820 6-Inch 4-Way Bookshelf - Front L/R

JBL ES30 Bookshelf - Surrounds

Polk Audio PSW505 Powered Subwoofer (wanted the JBL subwoofer, but at 199.00, i couldnt pass the polk up).

JBL LC2- 4-Way Dual 6" - Center

Got decent pricing on the total coming in at 47% off list prices including shipping. The only catch, was my fronts are cherry and everything else is black, for the price, this doesnt bother me at all. I would have preferred the es10s as surrounds, but I was already passed my budget by a bit, so I had to cut somewhere.


After talking to my friend who used to be in the speaker business and has the same ear as I do, I will be going with a used HK 635 or factory refurbished 3600 due to their logic 7 feature. I was going to go with the onkyo 707 for 390.00, which he has and really likes, but since music is more important to me than movies as far as sound, HK seems to have won out.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top