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  • If you've ever wanted to ask questions on industry standards when setting up your home theater, you're in luck! Peter Aylett, 30 year integrator and partner at HTE Acoustic Interior Design will be answering questions until Sun. Nov. 28th! The thread is now open, and you can join in here!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I would love some mentoring through the purchase of my first home system.


I had been thinking about getting the Bose cinemate, but have read plenty of you guys be against it, and this specific system especially... However, I need to find an alternative that would fit my parameters and budget. In the other topics that I have read the focus was on why Bose is bad rather than what should replace it.


So this is where you guys come in. I have heard the cinemate and it's enough of an improvement over my current setup for me to be willing to purchase it, however, I wanted to give you guys an opportunity to talk me out of it by offering ideas on what to get instead, and why your suggestion is better.


I don't need all of the components to come together. I'm comfortable enough putting the pieces together. Here is what is important to me. I will only be using front speakers for the foreseeable future because my wife would kill me if i had cables everywhere, and since I live in an apartment I can't be running it through walls. So, a 2.1 would suffice. Unless you think that I should be getting a 5.1 and bouncing the rear speakers on the side walls from the front. Going back to my wife killing me, the form factor of the front speakers matter. One of the attractive things about the cinemate is the form factor across the board. I only care about the fronts in that regard, though. Size matters for us. I can't be rattling subs, as the neighbors would be the ones killing me at that point. Yet, I don't care about the form factor here at all. Nice and controlled subs would be great. As far as the receiver goes, i was thinking about taking the digital audio out of my HDTV, and plugging it into the receiver... Feel free to convince me otherwise, but on this mindset, a little and simple receiver would do just fine. Also, I'm planning on watching lots of movies, so the fake surround of Bose sounds attractive to me. Lastly, I would like to cap what I would spend to achieve this at $600.


I know this is a lot to ask out of this budget, however these are all things that the Bose delivers, and people here keep bragging about being able to create a system for the same amount that sounds much better. Now I would like to know if it is possible to achieve that keeping the form of at least the front speakers.


In summary:


Best possible sound given the following

600-650 budget

Pleasant looking and small front speakers


Have fun with this guys, and I appreciate you all very much. I think this thread will help many in my situation.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a bunch, Cel! Those speakers look great, but I almost have to go with a satellite type of speaker... Very small... Any ideas for those?


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With small satellite speakers you'll take a hit in audio quality. It's much harder to create a small driver speaker that can work as well as a larger driver one. Also, small satellites generally have a much higher crossover. That means the sub has to do more of the midbass work, and generally get a better sub to support that. You also have to make certain you get a sub that is rated to crossover as high as the satellites need.


Cambridge Minx are good for small satellite speakers. Much better than Bose Cubes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, I'm looking at the minx 11s which puts me at $180 for the pair on amazon. I love all of the automation on the sherbourne pa-250. However, is it good on movies? Anyways, that's another $170. Leaving me 300 for subs... What would you recommend? Should i, instead go with the minx 21s which would leave me 120 for a sub? Also, I don't see a sub out of the sherbournes... How do I set that up?


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The PA 2-50 is an amp, so it will power speakers just fine regardless of their use. You do have to make sure that your media player has left/righ analog outputs (not HDMI only).


I'd probably go with the Minix 11 and a better subwoofer since $120 subwoofers don't have great SQ--they work fine with larger speakers where they are only filling in the low end, but I personally would want something more refined for combing with the Minix.


Now the PA 2-50 poses a little more of a challenge than that Onkyo for hooking up a sub, limiting your choices more. The Onkyo receiver has a specific subwoofer input, making it pretty easy to find a sub that hooks up. Because the PA 2-50 doesn't, there are two options:


1) A sub that has both left and right inputs AND outputs, which would require using only one media device with the Sherbourne. You'd run the media device analog outputs to the sub, and the sub outputs to the amp.


2) A sub that has speaker level inputs and outputs. You would run the speaker outputs from the amp to the sub, and then hook the speakers to the outputs on the sub.


If you have a small room and/or don't expect to listen at very loud volumes, the Outlaw Audio M8 sub works with option (2) and is a very good 8" sub (so smaller).


If you go with option 1, the Mordaunt Short Aviano 7 would work very well, have more output than the M8 (so better in bigger rooms/louder volumes), and comes in three finishes.


The Onkyo would work well with those subs and a wide variety of others.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24451472


What are your thoughts on the SUB-1000?


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It's popular sub for it's price. I have no doubts it would work well with larger driver speakers that might need to be only crossed over at 60 or 70hz. But the Minx11 have a low frequency bottom end spec of 120hz. So it's the whole thing that you need a sub that does good midbass, not just sub bass. I've seen people be disappointed when buying the popular budget subs in the
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, my living room is 18'4" by 13'4". Yes it's an awkward shape that we actually usually spilt making the TV portion of it a little smaller. Knowing that, what would you recommend?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24451632


So, my living room is 18'4" by 13'4". Yes it's an awkward shape that we actually usually spilt making the TV portion of it a little smaller. Knowing that, what would you recommend?


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The Aviano 7 over the Outlaw M8. An 8" sub could be a little challenged in that size space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome, so here is where I stand:


Sherbourn pa 2-50 $175

Mordaunt short aviano - $280

Shipping on the above - $11.50

Cambridge minx speaker pair - $190


Grand total: $656.50. Which is $6 over my budget, but I can live with that. Now, for the sake of making a point, what would you anticipate the sonic differences between this and the acoustimax system? Also, for the sake of keeping the price equal... What if I had purchased the SUB-1000, what would you expect the sonic differences to be?


Lastly, the one aspect from the Bose system that we did not address is how they emulate surround sound. Note, I'll be watching movies on this thing, will I miss that emulation? Why or why not?


Once again, thank you very much for going through this exercise with me.


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks ien, I'm stopping by a dealer on my way home today to heck them out and price them. Thanks for the heads up, I hope I can get a deal on them


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24451649

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24451632


So, my living room is 18'4" by 13'4". Yes it's an awkward shape that we actually usually spilt making the TV portion of it a little smaller. Knowing that, what would you recommend?


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The Aviano 7 over the Outlaw M8. An 8" sub could be a little challenged in that size space.

I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24457663


I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?


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Sorry. Wasn't sure what you mean by "this" up above. Also, which sub are you talking about getting with the minx system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24457710

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24457663


I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?


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Sorry. Wasn't sure what you mean by "this" up above. Also, which sub are you talking about getting with the minx system?

RCA Rt2770 5.1-Channel, 1000-Watt Receiver Home Theater System by RCA http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P6J79E/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_DC8gtb1CDSR3W


Forgot to paste, my bad.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24457710

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarc  /t/1521406/bose-cinemate-gs-ii-alternative#post_24457663


I currently have this (which is what I'm upgrading from). What do you think about me keeping the receiver and buying the minx system including the sub? Either that or getting the minx 21 speakers rather than the 11s? What do you think about these options?


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Sorry. Wasn't sure what you mean by "this" up above. Also, which sub are you talking about getting with the minx system?

RCA Rt2770 5.1-Channel, 1000-Watt Receiver Home Theater System by RCA http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000P6J79E/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_mO-gtb1WJN9WP


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Most HTIB sets, like the RCA, are not known for being of very good quality. Some of the Onkyo ones are supposed to be OK because at least you get a real audio/video receiver for your money which can be useful if you ever decide to upgrade the speakers.
 
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