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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there!

I've recently undergone some remodelation at my living room and I think it is finally time to step up and start building a decent home theatre setup. However, I'm in need of some advice/guidance. We're not an audiophile family, but we're not comfortable just going to a random electronics store and buying something random they have sitting there. We'd like to get some fine quality with a bang for the buck, entry level-wise.

That said, we currently have a Sony KDL 46HX850 with the "stock" sound bar. We mostly watch 720/1080p movies and TV series, Netflix and so. I'm considering adquiring a Minix NEO Z64 to work as a "tv pc" and use XBMC. We stream some music from the PC, mostly pop/rock and jazz/bossa nova stuff.

I attached to this post a map of my room with dimensions in cm and a few photos. The remodelation works are not fully over yet, but I'd like to place the couch on the "left" (on the map) wall, and the TV on the "right", besides the door, on that TV stand there. I intentionally left a tube beneath the floor so I can pass cables from the right wall to the left, without having to hide them under mats and stuff :) The couch will be the one pictured too, and I'm guesstimating the viewing distance will be around 3 meters. TV could be bigger I know, but I'm happy to stick with this one for now.

Sound-wise, I know I'd like some 5.1 system, but I'm very new to DAC, digital signals, SPDIF, DTS, multi-channel passthrough and all those things. I'm really confused on all those, to be honest. I don't feel like investing in something just to find out I bought it all wrong. For one, looks like the Minix can't do the multi-channel passthrough, so I'm not sure how shall I arrange the connections between the TV/media player/sound-system-to-be. Can someone point me some directions on where can I go to, from here?

Cheers
 

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If you want a flexible system that can grow with your interests and accommodate a wide variety of source formats, ( although you may find most everything will be HDMI, which eliminates the cable guessing game in exchange for one of configuration.) you need to invest in a good AV receiver and accompanying speakers and subwoofer. The speaker system can come as a package, although the sub may be worth evaluating on its own merits, if you are really going to get into this. Looks like a small room, so a little will go a long way, speaker-wise. A nice little sub/ satellite system, with the rear channels tucked behind the couch, pointed straight up, would be pretty low key, but still create a nice effect.
Keep your source gear up front, under the TV so you can keep cable lengths to a minimum. Your pathway will be perfect for your rear channel speakers, and possibly subwoofer wiring.
Can't help if you are looking for an all in one box solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Weasel, thanks for your great answer. Im not looking for some all-in-one Solutions, but for the more efective solution for my case. I will dig into some material with your input in mind. Considering the size and space in the room, what would you suggest me to look at, equipment-wise?
 

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If money isn't an object, I'd look at the Marantz NR-1605 and a Definitve Technology Pro Cinema 800 or Paradigm Cinema 100 CT. Marantz is a small form factor AV receiver with built in Bluetooth and WiFi along with 8 HDMI inputs, including 1 4K capable, optical and coaxial digital audio inputs, Audyssey setup software and microphone plus a front panel USB port for hooking up a phone or hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The avr and speakers you suggested seems great, but maybe a little over my budget. Very tempting, though, and I will still look into them as options. If I am to kick it down a notch what would you suggest?

I'm also a bit worried about placement. The space for the speakers/subwoofer may not be the best and I dont feel like spending 1000$+ and underachieve due to inadequate speaker placement:/
 

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Gotta start somewhere..........
Here's a comparable system (feature wise) for far less than the price of the first.
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STRDH550...F8&qid=1427235494&sr=1-8&keywords=av+receiver
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classi...35704&sr=1-1&keywords=energy+take+classic+5.1
Substitute Yamaha Pioneer, or possibly even Denon in place of the Sony if you wish, biggest difference will be remote integration/ layout. Substitute Newegg for amazon, lots of options.
The Energy system has been fairly popular for the price point. Check out the speaker forum for more opinions. If you want to spend more money, put it into speakers.
 

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Hard to say. On paper, the Paradigms are slightly less efficient, (85 dB paradigm VS 89 Energy meaning your amplifier has to work just a little bit harder to achieve the same volume as the Energy's. Might not be a big deal, especially if the receiver has room for heat to dissipate away from it. That being said, Sony's receiver's aren't known for having the most robust amplifier section, but that might be an old stereotype.

Here's option #3 , right in the middle. Act fast, the free subwoofer offer is limited.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882115477
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3JX1UC4797
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117406 (2 pair of these, one front , one rear)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm on Europe, so I've been having a hard time finding the Paradigm and the Energy stuff. Found some Definitive Technology, but not those. I dig around and some people are praising the Sony Core speakers for an entry level. If I want to spend a bit more, I looked at Q Acoustics 2000i and Dali Zensor 5.1, but I have a problem with their center speakers: They don't fit in my TV stand unless I fit them right in front of the TV, which I don't like much. Max height is 5.9". (~15cm)

I don't have much room for the receiver, so I'm leaning towards the slims. Is the Marantz NR-1504 much of a downgrade in quality vs the NR-1605?
 

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standby, let me recalibrate to metric........
to all you future thread starters: This is why IDing where you're from, at least regionally, is really appreciated.
 

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I don't think you give up anything with NR1504 vs the 1605. It may be less buggy than the 1605 based on reviews.
For speakers, check out the Tannoy HTS 101 system, or the KEF E305.
The Dali's look nice. That white gloss finish on the Q Acoustics is pretty attractive as well, don't think you could go too wrong with either of those really, if the price is right.
 

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standby, let me recalibrate to metric........
to all you future thread starters: This is why IDing where you're from, at least regionally, is really appreciated.
Says the man who just ASSUMES people from around the world will know what "Home of the Hawkeyes" means.:D
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Neither the Q-Acoustics or the Dali center speaker fits in my cabinet, height-wise :\

I read some good reviews of the Wharfedale Diamond 220s, Diamond 155s and Diamond 10.X stuff. They 220s cost £200 per pair, doesn't seem too bad. I probably can audition them during the next week. The 155s are more expensive and floorstanding, need to see them in loco to see if they would fit nice in the room. I will try to post some updated pics of the room later today.


Cheers
 
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