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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edit: Budget has doubled since original post. Now ~$2k shipped.


I'm working on my first ever real setup and I could use some help. Who better to turn to than you guys? I did a lot more lurking and used all that I read to decide on a tv, the Samsung LN52A750, and I was about to buy an Onkyo HTIB setup but read on here about some of the shortcomings of the speakers in the set. So after a bit more reading up and looking at my budget (I'm a kid, haha) decided to put together my own setup.


My receiver of choice is the Onkyo TX-SR606, which I've already purchased and is on its way here. Now I need some recommendations for speakers and a sub to go along with. I'm planning on spending around $1k ~$2k on speakers and a sub. I'm not including the receiver in this budget. And to make things more affordable I'm going to be buying these items over the course of the rest of the year.



The room is approximately 13/14' long by 9' wide and 7.5' high but has some open spaces towards the back so... I dunno it's a weird room. Here's a crummy diagram. The light blue is what I would actually consider the room.




I'd be following this diagram for the 7.1 speaker layout basically with the sub on the left however because I feel that it'll get more "oomph" against that wall.




The couch is right up against the wall. I'm thinking about getting 4 Polk RC80is off of Amazon and putting them in the ceiling above the couch, behind the couch or a mix or something. Any thoughts or suggestions on this major shortcoming?


And then the sub, l, c, and r don't really have any issues with I just don't know of anything good myself. Any recommendations? I just wanna keep it around ~$2k is all.


In all the budget threads I keep seeing suggestions for the AV123 x-sub and I've looked at it a bit online and it doesn't really click with me. Any other guys you'd recommend instead of that specific guy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've read through the other budget threads and haven't really clicked with any of the suggestions in those, which is the reason for posting my own thread. Just wanna throw that out there before someone tears my head off. =\\
 

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I'd forget about 7.1 and stick with 5.1. That way you can put your $ towards fewer speakers. Also, since it looks like your couch is up against a wall, the rear speakers will be pretty much useless anyways. All you really need are the side surrounds. FWIW, I'd move the couch out from the wall at least a foot or so, up against the back wall will result in very boomy and muddy bass.


If it were my 1k, I'd look seriously at this setup: http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm (the 5.1 setup).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My budget isn't set in stone. I'll be buying in pieces so a little fluctuation isn't going to hurt. Example, I was almost set to buy an $800 HTIB and now I've got a $400 receiver and am posting threads about $1000 speakers. =P


Those do look really nice though. I might just get those. Possibly just the woofer, l, c, r though and then get some in wall speakers for the rear-rears. Or maybe add those SBSs for the side too and put 'em on a stand. Hmmm...


Thanks deneb, you've been really helpful. =)
 

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subs:

eD A2-300 $300

eD A3-250 $375

eD A3-300 $475

Bic H-100 $250

AV123 xsub $200

SVS PB10-NSD $429

HSU STF1 $299

HSU STF2 $349

HSU VTF1 $399


Speakers - well there's a bazillion threads but

Ascend 340SE

PSB Image

Infinity Beta or Primus

Polk Monitor or Rti

JBL

KEF iQ

Klipsch

Bic Acoustech
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnickrand /forum/post/14242522


Speakers - well there's a bazillion threads but

Ascend 340SE

PSB Image

Infinity Beta or Primus

Polk Monitor or Rti

JBL

KEF iQ

Klipsch

Bic Acoustech

I tried reading some of the threads but couldn't quite get the recommendations I was looking for.


Right now based on your list I was just looking at the Polks. A CSI3 for the center and RTI A3 bookshelfs (or possibly RTI8s) for the L and R and not sure what else.


Might try looking at Klipsch just because I've seen some good opinions on these forums. Any specific models of Klipsch you'd recommend?
 

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Hi grap3 and welcome to AVS,

We ALL face pretty much the same situation you describe.... trying to find the best value for our hard earned dollars.


However, we do have different ideas of what we expect our systems to do, and the best way to get there. After spending several years reading AVS, and listening to many different sets of speakers I actually have found a setup that works for me, and has kept me pleased and content in virtual musical bliss for the last 2 years..... an unusual achievement because I'm a musician, and usually very critical of sound reproduction systems.... and before this, never very pleased with how things sounded.


Here is what I found worked for me:


1. I invested most of my budget in two very good speakers. I was lucky in that I got a set of B stock that had been used as demos for a trade show, so I got them for half price. Keep your eyes open for B stock.... it can save you a bundle. Also, I've found that 90% of music and movie sound comes thru the front 2 speakers...... so why not put most of your money there?


2. I tried a matching center speaker, but for my small room it just wasn't necessary. With my receiver set for no center speaker, it is something that I don't miss...... so don't think it is something that you MUST have just becasue everybody else does. Put that money towards a better subwoofer.


3. In reality, in 5.1 movie soundtracks the side or rear speakers get used only slightly, often times only for ambient type effects.... so unless you listen to a huge amount of 5.1 music..... you can save a bunch by getting moderately priced speakers for those positions. Personally, I've ended up using a nice set of small advent indoor/outdoor speakers that I picked up at Costco for $50 (for the set).


4. Subwoofer..... well, I'm a bass player.... and I have a bodacious bass system which serves quite nicely for movies. For music, I'm perfectly happy with the way my front two speakers sound by themselves.... which is why I got them. However, if you listen to a lot of movies, then getting a good sub is worth the investment..... and placement and adjustment within your system is critical..... usually 2 is better than one and makes it easier to achieve uniform results.


5. After reading AVS I had come to the conclusion that I had not spent enough thought in treating my room or positioning my speakers (or listening area furniture) for optimum sound...... so I made my system a priority, repositioned things to give me a more symmetrical setup, with plenty of room around the speakers, on stands, away from the back and side walls..... added some bass traps and WOW...... what a HUGE difference. All of a sudden I had this terrific soundstage and I could pick out the individual instruments.... like they were there at the end of the room playing..... very cool. So pay attention to that stuff..... it is just as important as the speakers you choose.


So, keep reading........ then go out and listen to as many speakers as you can. And above all...... don't take it all to seriously.... just have fun. It's a journey.... so enjoy the trip.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb /forum/post/14241685


I'd forget about 7.1 and stick with 5.1. That way you can put your $ towards fewer speakers. Also, since it looks like your couch is up against a wall, the rear speakers will be pretty much useless anyways. All you really need are the side surrounds. FWIW, I'd move the couch out from the wall at least a foot or so, up against the back wall will result in very boomy and muddy bass.


If it were my 1k, I'd look seriously at this setup: http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm (the 5.1 setup).

grap, i second this opinion. i have the 5.1 setup and i couldn't be happier with it. i've tried picking it apart and finding flaws, but to be honest, i really couldn't find anything major i didn't like about it. the sound is just fantastic, especially when you factor that the whole set only cost $1000. the sub absolutely rocks, yet produces some of the tightest, cleanest, and deepest bass i've ever heard. the speakers are clean and articulate. they're very very detailed, yet never ever sound harsh or fatiguing or overly bright. the midrange has great accuracy to it. i feel like i'm finally able to hear every single detail of sound in movies i watch and games i play. when you crank the volume on them, they don't blow your eardrums out, it just sounds like the movie is coming into your room and coming alive more. sure, they're not tiny speakers, but i personally like their look and my gf doesn't mind them. they're' just black boxes. they're meant to do one thing-sound good.


the customer service at svs is some of the best you'll find as well which was very comforting. they're just a bunch of normal dudes who love sound and are dedicated to accurately reproducing it. i went to their factory in liberty, oh to pick up my speakers since i live in pittsburgh, pa. they're a great bunch of guys and were always great whenever i'd call with a question or whatever.


i know i may be biased because i own them, but for the money, i haven't found a set of speakers that comes close to their performance. if you heard them and never heard of the brand or anything, i could easily trick you into thinking you were listening to $2-3k+ speakers. yes, they're that good. i would highly recommend them. i did quite literally years of research and listening before taking the plunge, and i'm 100% confident that i chose svs. there hasn't been a single second i've had buyer's remorse. if you don't want to take my word for it, check professional reviews around the net. every review i've ever seen has been extremely impressed with the sound quality and value of these speakers. check em out. see if anyone in your area has them.


if you want to audition them in your home, get the front 2 speakers first, and listen to em to see if you like em. if not, you can send em back and you won't be out much shipping. once you take the time to really listen to them critically though, i really don't think you'll be willing to part with them
they may not have the harsh sound that you're probably used to, but they're incredibly accurate and detailed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thinking about doing this:


LR SCS-01(M) Stereo Pair 350

C SCS-01 Center Channel 185

SLSR SBS-01 2.0 Bookshelf Stereo Pair 225

BLBR SBS-01 2.0 Bookshelf Stereo Pair 225

SUB PB12-NSD 599

TOTAL 1584


Should I bother upgrading the side speakers to the SCS or will the SBSs suffice?


Gonna get the LCR first, follow by the subwoofer and then lastly I'll get the side and back speakers.


I got my Onkyo TX-SR606 today and it is so sweet but I don't have any speakers worthy of it. Just a pair of bookshelf Fisher speakers my parents bought in... 1992? Yeah... Still might use them as a zone 2 set-up somewhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by grap3 /forum/post/14258217


Thinking about doing this:


LR SCS-01(M) Stereo Pair 350

C SCS-01 Center Channel 185

SLSR SBS-01 2.0 Bookshelf Stereo Pair 225

BLBR SBS-01 2.0 Bookshelf Stereo Pair 225

SUB PB12-NSD 599

TOTAL 1584


Should I bother upgrading the side speakers to the SCS or will the SBSs suffice?


Gonna get the LCR first, follow by the subwoofer and then lastly I'll get the side and back speakers.


I got my Onkyo TX-SR606 today and it is so sweet but I don't have any speakers worthy of it. Just a pair of bookshelf Fisher speakers my parents bought in... 1992? Yeah... Still might use them as a zone 2 set-up somewhere.

grap, if you're trying to keep the budget down, i personally see no reason why using scs as l/c/r and sbs as surrounds would be a problem since you won't get the package price anyway if you're purchasing over time. that seems like a pretty solid plan to me. the sbs are more than sufficient for surround speakers as these channels carry very little information in relation to the front 3 speakers-they're moreso used for ambience in movies anyway. tonally, they will be an exact match since the scs and sbs use the exact same tweeter-a very good silk dome unit.


if i were you though, i'd try to do the l/r and sub first, then get center, then surrounds. you can always run your receiver with a phantom center for the time being to mimic the effect of a center channel, but there's no way to mimic the sub. these speakers go down pretty low for bookshelves, but in no way are they a replacement for a sub-especially a sub as good as the pb12! that thing will go extremely low and do it with great finesse. you'll be missing a lot of info below 80hz if you go with l/c/r first then sub, but you'll get the entire frequency spectrum if you go l/r/sub then c then surrounds. my $.02 on it.
 

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How are those Hsu satellites actually? I remember when he first became popular I went to his place and picked up a demo sub since he didn't have a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay so I did some math and my budget's a little higher than I originally thought. ~$2400 shipped.


I was thinking

two SCS-01(M) pairs for the L,R and surrounds (776 shipped)

a SCS-01 center (206)

a SBS-01 pair for rears (247)

and one PB12-Plus/2 (1199).

That's $2428 in total but I was planning on getting the LCR and S this weekend for a tidy $1793. That's all I could afford to spend this one time and then I'd get the rest later on.


Do you guys have any better suggestions on speakers and a sub for my newly increased budget? Uses (music, gaming, movies) and room size remain the same. However I should mention that the floor is concrete in the room that I'll be putting this in. I don't know if I ever mentioned that before.
 

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I would highly suggest an area rug. My last house had ceramic tile everywhere and it makes for a lot of echo and bad harmonics. Rugs do a lot to tame this. I also say forget 7.1 which from your list it looks like you did. when using non matching surrounds the only thing I would say is make sure they are similar in efficiency. I used an old set of B&Ws for my surrounds and my mains were Klipsch Fortes. One is rated at 99db and the other was rated at 86db you just couldn't ever hear the surrounds.
 

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I also suggest getting a 5.1 setup as opposed to a 7.1 setup. With the setup of your room and how small it really is you won't notice much if any difference between the side and rear surrounds. Your sofa being on the back wall REALLY hurts you, and only having a room with ~12' to work with doesn't help the case any further. I wouldn't personally look at 7.1 unless I had a room at least 18-20 ft deep, and my seating area was at least 3-4 feet from the back wall. Since this is your first setup, and your budget is somewhat limited I think you will get significantly better sound by spending more per speaker on a 5.1 setup versus spending less per speaker on a 7.1 setup.


With your newly increased budget I'd look into the AV123 MFW-15 subwoofer at $699. They also make some great speakers in the Rocket RS450's at $699/pair. Add an RSC200 center channel at $449, and RS250MkII's for surrounds and you have a really awesome package at $2,346 shipped. Use the free shipping code at checkout.


I'm not saying this is an end-all-be-all but you're doing REALLY well with this setup and that budget. I think they're nicer looking speakers than the SVS by a mile, and from the reviews I've read they likely sound better as well.


That being said there are plenty more options out there this is just mine at your price point.


Just wanted to add one more thing too. The PB12-Plus/2 is a good subwoofer setup, but for the money you can do quite a bit better these days. It's an older product design, and there are probably more than dozen designs at or below its price point that will best it, some of them significantly. A package deal pair of 2 MFW-15's at the same price ($1,198) would absolutely slaughter the PB12-Plus/2.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Dean /forum/post/14250138


Hi grap3 and welcome to AVS,

We ALL face pretty much the same situation you describe.... trying to find the best value for our hard earned dollars.


However, we do have different ideas of what we expect our systems to do, and the best way to get there. After spending several years reading AVS, and listening to many different sets of speakers I actually have found a setup that works for me, and has kept me pleased and content in virtual musical bliss for the last 2 years..... an unusual achievement because I'm a musician, and usually very critical of sound reproduction systems.... and before this, never very pleased with how things sounded.


Here is what I found worked for me:


1. I invested most of my budget in two very good speakers. I was lucky in that I got a set of B stock that had been used as demos for a trade show, so I got them for half price. Keep your eyes open for B stock.... it can save you a bundle. Also, I've found that 90% of music and movie sound comes thru the front 2 speakers...... so why not put most of your money there?


2. I tried a matching center speaker, but for my small room it just wasn't necessary. With my receiver set for no center speaker, it is something that I don't miss...... so don't think it is something that you MUST have just becasue everybody else does. Put that money towards a better subwoofer.


3. In reality, in 5.1 movie soundtracks the side or rear speakers get used only slightly, often times only for ambient type effects.... so unless you listen to a huge amount of 5.1 music..... you can save a bunch by getting moderately priced speakers for those positions. Personally, I've ended up using a nice set of small advent indoor/outdoor speakers that I picked up at Costco for $50 (for the set).


4. Subwoofer..... well, I'm a bass player.... and I have a bodacious bass system which serves quite nicely for movies. For music, I'm perfectly happy with the way my front two speakers sound by themselves.... which is why I got them. However, if you listen to a lot of movies, then getting a good sub is worth the investment..... and placement and adjustment within your system is critical..... usually 2 is better than one and makes it easier to achieve uniform results.

I think this advice is spot on.


Two quality fronts and a good sub are the way to go, especially if you're in a medium to small room.


I ended up buying a matching 5.1 Paradigm system (matching speakers all around, with an HSU sub) so I could play 5.1 music, but the reality is I never do. So the money spent on the rear speakers was not worth it. As the poster above says, small, cheap wall-mounted speakers would be fine for movies.


The center speaker is nice, but when I'm watching source material that doesn't use it I hardly miss it or even notice that it's not on.
 

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My room area is about the same as yours.

My set up.

Onkyo TX-SR606

Infinity Beta 40s

Infinity Beta 20s

Infinity C360

Outlaw LFM-2 Sub woofer (Discontinued)

(overkill for my 15' & 10' room)

I'm really happy with the sound and I still have not done any advanced tweaking with the Onkyo.

It would cost you around $1200 to get my speaker setup (different sub woofer of course).

If you went with Beta 20s for fronts, Beta 10s for rears,

C250 for center, plus mail order sub woofer

You might get a 5.1 setup for $800
 

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I've recently went tthrought he same general process (and my result is largely posted in another thread, though I shot the budget up more than originaly or even secondarily planned, I wound up well under $2k and found some very workable solutions for ~$1k).


If the $1k was hard and fast, and you happened to want more mainstream speakers rather than the smaller shop stuff (not faulting those at all - they can have awesome value), I would take note of the variouis closeouts out there. Some things to take at least a look at:


Infinity: The Beta series is getting very hard to find, but they are still out there. A full 5.1 will run you more than the $1k, but should be well under the $2k mark. The Primus series should be able to be found for under $1k for a 5.1 depending on specific choices. The one thing I would say there is that you may want to go with a different company's sub (I went for the Infinity CSW10, but they are out of production, hard to find, and aren't compatible with the
Boston Acoustics: The HS460's are nice fronts. A major retailor is runing a "buy two HS460's and get a center free" at the moment, and it's a solid center. You should have enough left over to squeeze in under the $1k mark including a sub.

Polk: I don't have specifics here, but I had the impression that they may have a line go closeout soon also.


Separately, I looked at some wall mounts from RBH. The brushed aluminum finish is on close out through Emptek and is dirt cheap. My real issue with these was that I couldn't find a timber matched center (unless you used another of the wall mounts as a sound bar under the television) or rears without a serious step up in the per speaker cash. YMMV. Just something to consider.


Last, but not least, I don't have my stuff all the way in yet, but I chose to do the 5.1 instead of 7.1 thing. It is, however, one risk I'm taking by going closeout. When I go to add the sides at some point, I'm going to have issues finding timber matched units. That said, it seems well worth the risk - particularly since I went with a name brand (Infinity) that I know I'll be able to watch the used market for and actually eventually find them. When my budget was even lower (around $600 for speakers originally), someone suggested doing a 2.1 or 3.1 thing, and, in retrospect, I think that was probably good advice for that particular budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Any other suggestions for ~$2k? I was planning on purchasing some of the speakers this weekend but my increased budget has got me thinking about new speakers which would require me to do some more research. Those AV123 rocket standers seem okay... I don't know how I feel about them just yet.
 
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