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Hello HT enthusiasts,

I've recently bought a house that is coming with a projector/screen combo and has prompted me into purchasing a HT setup. I've decided I'd like to drop some decent money and have a system I will enjoy for years to come. My previous experience with HT is basically nil, I have have been only 'enjoying' 2.1 setups from computer speakers at best, or TV speakers. My usage will be primarily Movies/Gaming with about 25% audio.

My local dealer sells Paradigm as their top end, and to my virgin ears they (Monitor setup) sound amazing! They're also giving me a pretty good deal (~25-30% off MSRP) if I buy a full package. I do not have an opportunity to demo any other paradigm speakers The following scenario will be paired with an Anthem MRX 710.

Scenario #1 – X Dollars

Monitor 11
Mini Monitor
Monitor Center 3

Scenario #2 X + 4500

Prestige 85F
Prestige 55C
Mini Monitor

Scenario #3 X + ~1000
Used Studio 100V5
???Center
Mini monitor

Room is open concept with main are being 17x18 feet with 9foot ceiling, but immediately behind you with no walls is a 28x11 feet with 9 foot ceiling. The place is prewired to having ceiling speakers (visible in one of the photos), but they are not ideally placed same with the floor standing, center and subwoofer. Don't judge me! It's previous owner's setup.

I would like some suggestions on how to decide which way to go. Essentially I want to buy a setup I can love for 10 years and not resent ‘cheaping’ out.

  1. Will a non audiophile such as myself and my wife notice a difference between Monitor, Prestige and Studio?
  2. I suspect the setup would be better with book shelf speakers + stands placed at ear level instead of the ceiling mounted book shelf the previous owner had.
  3. Subwoofer – I’m debating either a Monitor Sub 12 or a Power Sound Audio XV15SE.
  4. I understand floor standing speakers should be on the floor. Will I notice a huge difference having them in those recessed locations?
  5. Are surround speakers like the Monitor Surround 3 superior to forward firing versions like the Mini monitor?
 

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