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Entry level system w/ in-wall speakers?

266 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  M NEWMAN
Complete beginner here. Trying to design a system for my house. Was planning to spend about $1k on the audio system (receiver/amp, sub, speakers, wires) and probably about $500 on an installer. Might skinny up a bit on price if need be. For aesthetic reasons, I am only looking at in-wall sattelite speakers - and strongly prefer ones that can be mounted flush and painted.

Otherwise I am pretty open. Been looking at Onkyo(502/602?) and Marantz (4400/5400?) receivers - but nothing is set in stone. Speakers will primarily be used for movies, and some music. I am not (yet?) a purist on audio. Might eventually stream some mp3's in, and would prefer a receiver with optical inputs - but that seems pretty common.

Attached is the layout (can't tweak the furniture much at all), and suggested speaker placements by one store. I would secretly like to do 6.1 (instead of 5.1), by adding a center above the stools. Wiring it in the wall would be hard, any one use the flat wires you can drywall over? I'd like the wires and speakers to be pretty decent, with some upside in each. The tv is just a 27" CRT. Will be upgraded eventually, but not for a while. Sound system is first.

Any suggestions, equipment/layout?


layout.txt 0.9189453125k . file


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Wow, you're really asking a lot out of $1000. Labor to install all that including fishing wires for inwall speakers, can easily exceed $1000 depending on how tough it is to run wiring in your house. Better plan on doing a LOT of self install, or raise your budget considerably, because if you don't, the best you could probably hope for is a $200 HTIB system. Why don't you try a different strategy; buy the best equipment you can afford, then, as budget allows, have it professionally installed. This way, you can get a really decent receiver, good inwalls, and at least a modest sub. For the speakers, I'd look at NXG - 'bout the best bang for buck on the cheap end. Good luck
I was budgetting 500 for labor, 1k (plus?) for equipment.

The labor number came from a rough estimate given by a guy at a store (Cambridge Soundworks) as to what they'd charge. Personally, my gut said it would probably be 500 to 750.

I am not real handy, so I am not sure about doing it myself. The part I hesitate on is how you figure out how to snake the wires around. There is a basement below, so If I can get around (through?) the studs it wouldn't be that bad. The mounting and configuring I wasn't going to sweat too much.

I will research NXG. In the low end, I had looked at the Hometech THX(BestBuy) because they are supposedly flush mount-able (I like the surprise/illusion factor, plus WAF) and you can aim the tweaters which might be good since I have the tv in the corner of the room. I guess they are a lower end version of Sonance. The configurations look similar, with lesser materials. Also had looked at the Cambridge stuff, which isn't flush.

Does the world change dramatically if I double the equipment budget to 2k? Will my ears tell the difference as much as my bank account?
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Originally posted by dc_pilgrim

Does the world change dramatically if I double the equipment budget to 2k? Will my ears tell the difference as much as my bank account?
From an install + equipment standpoint, yes. By the way, NXG line has aimable tweeters (and mids in the 3 way line).
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