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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan to set a home theater system within the budget of $900, I would like to get advice on speakers & AV receivers. My preference is a 7.1 ch speaker system with 1.4a hdmi capability. I have shortlisted a few AVR's & speakers. I would like suggestions on better speakers or AVR's. If the ones on my list are good enough please specify which ones are to me.

My AVR list

Yamaha RX-A700

Harmon Kardon AVR 1600/AVR 2600/AVR 3600

Denon AVR 1911/AVR 891/AVR 1611


Onkyo SKS-HT870/SKS-HT750/SKS-HT540

The speakers are 6 ohms whereas the AVR's are 8 ohm, would it be a prob

Please advise so I can finally get it together before Christmas.

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I can't speak to the speakers you are looking at. However looking at a total budget of $900 is a pretty slim when you include a receiver.

A decent sub and receiver will be $900 by itself. I am not saying it can't be done, but since you are just outside of the HITB cost range, I would consider lowering the receiver portion of the budget and looking for used speakers on audiogon, ebay, and here to see if you can stretch your budget.

A Pioneer 1020-K or the Onkyo 608 should be easily had for under $400 street price. This will leave you with about $500 for speakers. A 12" sub like the BIC H-100 can be had for around $230 give or take including shipping, do a search. The bay is an excellent place to find those deals. This leaves you a modest $250 for speakers.

$250 won't buy you a ton, if you could stretch your budget, you could get HTM's from Ascend Acoustics, Level Two bookshelf's and matching center from HTD.com or the Middy's also from HTD.com

Another strong contender is the Pioneer speakers from Best Buy. The towers are $199 a pair, the book shelfs are $90 a pair and the center is $70 a piece. a pair of towers up front with a center and two pairs of bookshelf's would be around $450.

None of these will be 7 channel sounds, but the advantage of starting with 5 channels is that you can upgrade later to get the 7 channels and the sound quality will be much better right off the bat.

IMHO, the two most important parts of a good home theater (at least for movies) is an excellent center channel and a well matched sub woofer. Since you want the front stage to be timbre matched, going with speakers that are designed to work together makes the most sense.

Lastly, consider starting with just the 3.1 (Front, left, Right and subwoofer) It won't be surround sound but with your budget you can get high quality equipment and add the rear 4 channels later.

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I would also consider scrapping the 7.1 idea for now. The last two speakers don't add much for most material and they do add 20% to the cost of the speakers. If you insist on the 7 speakers, you will get lower quality.

Look at the manufacturer sites for refurbs in their clearance centers. Some online stores like Vanns also have clearance pages.

I think Onkyo has the best bang for the buck. You can get a last generation 608 for around $370 now, a 508 for $250. Both are 7.1 receivers with upconversion and a good number of HDMI inputs. That leves more money for speakers.

Speakers are a very personal choice and reasonable ones are not cheap. If you are looking for home theater use, you are going to be disappointed in what you can get for $500-600. On a 7.1 system, that's only around $70/speaker, including sub. You might even consider just getting 3 reasonable fronts for now and start saving for rears and sub. At any rate, speakers are a very personal choice and the best thing you can do for yourself is go listen at reasonable demo rooms. Note: BB is not a reasonable demo room. You cannot hear what a speaker will do on an open floor with 30 ft ceilings with 1000 people milling around.
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