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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all. I am in the market for an AV receiver and a set of front speakers to serve as the starting point for what eventually will be a 7.2 home theater setup. Before you read any further, keep in mind that the oddly-shaped room I am describing below is NOT the room where I'll eventually have a surround setup. It is, however, the room where I'm starting out, and that's what I need help on at this stage.

Before I describe the room, here's a basic run-down of what we do on our TV in order of frequency:
  • Watch Blu-Ray (decent mid-quality Sony BDP) on a very clear 50" Sony Bravia
  • Watch DVDs
  • Watch HD cable programming
  • Watch videos streamed from our HTPC to our TV through PS3
  • Listen to music streamed from our HTPC to our TV through a PS3 - everything from David Gray to Dvořák to The Rolling Stones
  • Play PS3 games (I haven't played a game in 4 years)

I grew up in a home with a gazillion watts of power and an amazing AV receiver for its time--I literally blew out the windows as a kid turning up Michael Jackson and similar stuff all the way to the max. It's time for some audio in the household.

The main challenge (as I see it): a pretty odd, large, and open room. It's roughly 30 feet by 20 feet, and there's open space to the back corner of our room that flows into a kitchen and dining room (no walls separating - it's a condo-style layout). Our TV is set up against the "front" wall, furthest from the open dining room in the opposite corner. We watch TV/listen to music from our couch, which is about 7-8 feet from the TV. Oh, and the room has a cathedral ceiling. It's about 22 feet high at its apex, which just so happens to be slightly behind where our couch is positioned in the room.

We want a receiver that will be sufficient to cover the long-term plan of building a 7.2 system, but the most important thing is for us to start out with a pair of floor-standing speakers that will do well in our space and present good-quality sound from our typical viewing/listening position on the couch. The bass performance of the floor-standing units is not critical, as we'll probably add a subwoofer in the near future. (We probably won't add anything but a subwoofer to this room before we move.)

Pluses for a receiver would be multiple zones (for future considerations), and we really need it to be Ethernet-connected. Would really like SiriusXM integration. AirPlay I don't care about either way.

Here's what I'm thinking about for the moment:


Pioneer VSX-60

Pioneer Elite SC-61

Yamaha RX-A710 (last year's model)

Floor Standing Speakers

Energy RC-70

Energy CF-70 (I've listened to them for 2 hrs and, damn, they're good)

Energy CF-50

I'm a Klipsch and Pioneer fanboy at heart but I don't have any blind allegiance to anyone.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer, and please feel free to ask questions if you want more info! (If you are curious about my budget, I'd rather keep it under $1,500 for the AVR+2 speaker setup.)

1,367 Posts
Well, this probably isn't the correct forum which would explain the answers. Also, your choices are all pretty similar, so deciding between them is down in the noise.

I have built systems in rooms similar to the one you are describing. You do your best and live with it. Your biggest problem is going to be bass response. You likely need to supplement with a good subwoofer.

I would also consider Denon and Onkyo for receivers. The energys are good, but I also like Klipsch for home theater. I especially like the efficiency of the Klipsch line, where you get a lot of sound from a small amount of power.

Finally, $1500 should get you a reasonable 3.0 setup if you shop around. I would really suggest you add a center as a phantom center setup is problematic if you have more than 1 person in the room.

12,100 Posts
I would consider Denon just for Audyssey MultiEQ alone with your room. Something like this:

That receiver has network capability as well.

This leaves you with $1000 or so for speakers.

For mains, if you like Klipsch, you would still have enough for RF-62's, or could spend a little more and get the RF-82's.

Here is an open box pair of RF-82's for under $1000:

Another option that I like are these:

You would be under $1000 for the pair.

If you are going with a subwoofer, you may want to look at some of these bookshelf speakers which are very efficient and will play loud and clean:
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