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Discussion Starter #1
I've never had surround sound but am ready to take the plunge. What is the optimal ratio to spend between the receiver, speakers, and subwoofer? My budget is 1000, although I suppose I'd go to $1500. The room may be 21 x 16 but I may move into something bigger in a few years.


Also, what are good starting points in terms of receivers and speakers?


I heard for receivers:

Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha

Speakers:

Aperion, Diamond


In terms of Use I want to use this as my primary home theater. I'm also a big gamer so I'd like to consolidate and plug 3 game systems (xbox 360 (component for now but perhaps hdmi in the future), PS3 (i hear it could have hdmi), and revolution), a next-gen dvd player, and a cablebox/dvr.


Help? Thanks.
 

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I am very much an amateur, but I will give you my opinion.


If you were to spend 1500 on a 5.1 setup, including receiver, I would budget it like this:


~$200-400 on receiver (if you want to get one that has hdmi now, maybe a bit more)

~$200-300 on subwoofer

the rest on speakers.


If you were to spend $1000:


~$200-350 on receiver

~$150-250 on subwoofer

the rest on speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool Thanks.


This is actually what i'm thinking. I'm new so I'm wondering if this is overkill but I want something to last.


Denon AVR-2807 (new, comes out spring $1100 with 1080 output)

2 Aperion Intimus 532-LR Bookshelf Speaker

1 Aperion Intimus 533-VAC Center Channel Speaker

2 Aperion Intimus 422-LR Satellite Speaker

1 Aperion Intimus S-10 Powered Sub-woofer

Speakers total $1339


How much would I also end up spending on accessories? Cables, etc? Is there something comparable on the speaker arena?
 

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Jason- haven't seen the spec on that Denon, but their 3806 can be had a little less than that if you shop around, and it is, theoretically, a tier above the 2XXX in build and features.

I'm not getting involved in the cable discussion... buy some Monster from BB, some RCA from home depot, keep the reciepts for both...have a friend wire it up without telling you which is which while you make some coffee, if you can tell the difference, keep whichever you like best and return the other.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Priestley
Cool Thanks.


This is actually what i'm thinking. I'm new so I'm wondering if this is overkill but I want something to last.


Denon AVR-2807 (new, comes out spring $1100 with 1080 output)

2 Aperion Intimus 532-LR Bookshelf Speaker

1 Aperion Intimus 533-VAC Center Channel Speaker

2 Aperion Intimus 422-LR Satellite Speaker

1 Aperion Intimus S-10 Powered Sub-woofer

Speakers total $1339
That looks nice, although I might look into something from SVS or HSU for the subwoofer, at least to compare.


You'll also need to look into speaker stands for the fronts - don't get the $50/each stands Aperion sells.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Priestley
Cool Thanks.


This is actually what i'm thinking. I'm new so I'm wondering if this is overkill but I want something to last.


Denon AVR-2807 (new, comes out spring $1100 with 1080 output)

2 Aperion Intimus 532-LR Bookshelf Speaker

1 Aperion Intimus 533-VAC Center Channel Speaker

2 Aperion Intimus 422-LR Satellite Speaker

1 Aperion Intimus S-10 Powered Sub-woofer

Speakers total $1339


How much would I also end up spending on accessories? Cables, etc? Is there something comparable on the speaker arena?



WAAAAYYYYYYY to much of your budget is being put towards a receiver in this scenario.


From the looks of this package it looks like you budget has moved up to around $2500?


If that is the case, I would look to spend around $500 on the receiver (see models from Pioneer, HK, Onkyo, Denon). $700 on a sub (Hsu, SVS, Velodyne, etx) and $1300 on speakers (I am not familiar with the Aperions you mention, but they do fall into this price range).



If you were going with your original budget of $1500, I would go $700 on speakers, $500 on sub and $300 on receiver.


Either way, I woudn't overspend on cable. Look for between 30-50 cents per foot for speaker wire (home depot / lowes) and $10 a meter on interconnects (Parts Express - Dayton Brand).
 

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As technology changes you will upgrade your receiver.


You will not need to upgrade your speakers unless you buy bad ones. Spend the money there first.


Subwoofers are an addiction. You will always want to upgrade no matter how good you have it. Don't go too cheap with your first one though. Make sure that it isn't a complete waste of money.


Lots of good quality older technology receivers out there.


You could also try reconditioned. I did it with Harmon Kardon and got the AVR 525 for half of what the going price was and have been loving it for two years with no problems. I'm sure that you could find other brands as well.
 

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I am with the above posts. Go with a cheaper receiver ( 150 for a pioneer 515). At most $500 for a Pioneer or HK, You can find a nice sub for around 500 hundred and spend the rest on speakers. Since this is mostly going for home theater and gaming go book shelves all around and matching center. get 14-12 ga speaker wire form HD or lowes and low priced interconnects. Even if monster cable are better...which I don't believe for a second. It would be least cost effective to dump money there. Take advantage of return policies and you will find what you are looking for.
 

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Receiver: $500 Pioneer 1015

Speakers and subwoofer: the rest of the budget.

If you want to stay within that original $1500 budget I will suggest going with Internet Direct speakers from the many dealers. Some include Swan, Onix, Ascend, and Axiom. There are reviews from users and "professionals" all over this forum; just search for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the responses guys. My big thing with the receiver is I also want it to be a video receiver. My Sharp Aquos only has one HDMI input and 2 Component. I would like to have more options by using the receiver. Do the receivers you mention have this ability? How long do you think I'll use that receiver before I want to upgrade?


I want to connect my xbox 360, a future next-gen dvd drive, my cable box/hd-dvr, and a PS3 all with surround sound and through the HDMI as I'd like to wall mount the Sharp Aquos with the least amount of cables possible running.


On my way home today I stopped by a best buy/magnolia shop and asked the guy some pointers. I was suprised to find him very well informed, it wasn't a hard sell, and he gave me pointers on what I should be looking into. I was a tad bit disappointed in the lack of selection in my price range but if his setup is good, i'd consider buying from him. ANyway here was his thoughts:


He liked the Denon 3806 (heard of the 2807 which he hears comes in march/april but he mentioned that the 3806 has more power 120watts vs 100 watts). However, he also said for the same price i may want to look at the pioneer elite 72txv. He said that system will even upconvert 480i signals from s-video and rca. What do you guys think?


In terms of speakers, they were a bit limited in what they offer. The only thing they really had in my price range was the Mirage Nano Sat (said it was good for odd shaped rooms and there is a greater sweet spot) for 799.99 for a 5.1 system. He also suggested the Definitive Pro 60 for 699.99, again a 5.1 system. Again, any thoughts on these speakers? How does this compare to the aperion? What about its comparison to an equally or slightly more expensive 5.1 from paradigm? Any other speakers I should be looking at? Should I be spending more than that for the speakers?


Thanks for the thoughts guys. Very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
By the way...I guess my budget is more like $2000-2500. I'm holding off on a larger TV than my current 32inch flat panel as I want 1080P. Is the denon 2807 the only one that can do 1080P?
 

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Jason,


Look into JVC RX-302B, 402B, 702B very good bang for buck. I have a 302B connected to my Sharp LC-26D6U, LG LDA-511 DVD player, and Mirage nanosat speakers.


If you want to use HDMI through the AV Rec then use either 402B or 702B. I'm using the TV HDMI input for the DVD player and component input from the AV Rec. Not ideal but I wanted to keep the price down. I got the JVC, Mirage, LDA-511, Harmony 880 on the Xmas / New Years sales, ~$1200.


It looks and sounds pretty good.


-- Brandy
 

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If your TV is 1080P, then all material fed to it will be upconverted anyway. The xbox 360 only has component output, while an HD-DVD player, PS3, and HD-DVR are all bound to have HDMI with HDCP. I would buy a solid, midrange reciever with component switching, then once you have your new TV, PS3, HD-DVR, and HD-DVD player, upgrade to a HDMI enabled reciever and either sell the old reciever or use it in a secondary setup (like a bedroom stereo). Again, upconversion to 1080P is not necessary as your new TV will do it already.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just keep reading such positive reviews about the aperion that I may have to just go with that. The 30 day guarantee is a good thing anway. It just seems to match sound quality, price, and style (i'm a style whore). Those things just look so beautiful. I will still check out the others before I buy so I have an idea, but those Aperian speakers..


WHat do you think, 8 or 10inch woofer?
 

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And Aperion will pay return shipping if you aren't satisfied. Yeah, they are very nice looking. Did you see the reviews on the Secrets of HT site?


For the sub, how big is your room and what is your budget for a sub?
 

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If you are so worried about your receiver having tons of video inputs and the like, you would be better off buying dedicated switches when you need them.
 

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First the PS3 and NES revolution will not be available for some time. The Xbox 360 uses componet video correct? 1080P is not a format that will be broadcast for some time. HDMI Receivers will blow your budget and the receiver and sub will most likely be the first 2 things you will want to upgrade anyway. A decent Onkyo 503 has 3 componet inputs and like wild said you can also use stand alone switches. Spend the bulk of the money in speakers since technology is slow and quality speakers will last forever. I am not going to go into what brand to get because there are way too many choices.
 

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IMO, you'd be crazy to spend $300 on a receiver in a $2500 system. The receiver is the heart of any system, it amplifies, it switches, it has the chips that decode and it has the surround functions. Drop $500 minimum on it but don't exceed $1000 and you'll can build a rig that will last for a while. A cheap receiver will give you a cheap feature set, low quality amplification, and inferior sound quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok:


I'm starting to agree with everyone about the receiver. I guess I"ll upgrade the receiver when I get a 1080P TV (i'm holding out for the 57" Sharp Aquos when it can accept 1080P inputs or perhaps a Panny 50" with 1080P which I believe comes out next year perhaps). I know this is the speaker section, but what would you recommend to be a really good receiver at under $1000 that will at least last me 3-4 years?


In terms of the sub---I figured I'd get the 10" sub that Aperion sells....I'm also thinking of checking out the nanosats or their bigger brother the omnisats or perhaps something from paradigm as I hear good things (any recommendations for paradigm at under 1400 for the full 5.1?). Any other suggestions greatly appreciated. You guys know more than me and will at least give me some context before walking into store to listen....


How much does a video switcher cost????


Also, any suggestions for really good entertainment furniture? I'd like to keep it under $1000 if possible...currently, I'm checking out this:

ethanallen.com/ea/com.ethanallen.ecom.FrameDirectorServlet?top=1&body=1


Any other suggestions?
 
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