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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my first HDTV and watching it with nothing but the built in speakers is really a shameful experience. The picture looks so good, but the sound is... well, dismal at best



I have convinced my wife that we need a surround system. I personally want a 7.1 system (don't have a receiver yet), but I'm not convinced that the size of my room will really be conducive to it. My budget is $500 for 7 speakers and 1 decent sub.


The room is a rectangle that is 12' wide x 25' long (300 Sq Ft). We sit watching the TV the short way. We are pretty close to centered along the 25' wall. So the viewing distance is about 10'


I just finished this room, so it is wired for 7.1 surround with either 16 or 14 gauge wire (don't remember which).


I have read a ton of threads about this and every time I think I found something that I like, I end up finding something different. So over all I'm pretty confused.


Currently I'm leaning toward the Pioneer SP-BS41-LR for the front, and if I can find them for cheaper the SP-BS21-LR for all 4 backs. The SP-C21 for the center.


I am also considering the SLS Q-Line Gold speakers. Though I'm not really sure about them other than what AV-Express has to say about them.


I have also looked at the Polk, JBL, and Klipsch. I also really like the Energy line of speakers, but they seem to sell them in a package that includes the sub, and I'm not sure about their sub. I know the sub needs to be pretty good, which is why I am hesitant to get one in a package. So suggestions would be great.


I also have between 200-300 more to spend on the receiver. I really can't go any higher than $800 for the entire setup.


Anyway, your help is really appreciated.
 

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Personally, I would not consider 7.1 on that budget. I would buy the least expensive receiver that met my 5.1 needs (likely a used demon or the like) , 4-6 bookshelves such as behringer 2030p, and spend eveything I had left on 1-2 subwoofers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw00dy /forum/post/19567078


I just got my first HDTV and watching it with nothing but the built in speakers is really a shameful experience. The picture looks so good, but the sound is... well, dismal at best



I have convinced my wife that we need a surround system. I personally want a 7.1 system (don't have a receiver yet), but I'm not convinced that the size of my room will really be conducive to it. My budget is $500 for 7 speakers and 1 decent sub.


The room is a rectangle that is 12'4" wide x 25' long. We sit watching the TV the short way. We are pretty close to centered along the 25' wall. So the viewing distance is about 10'


I just finished this room, so it is wired for 7.1 surround with either 16 or 14 gauge wire (don't remember which).


I have read a ton of threads about this and every time I think I found something that I like, I end up finding something different. So over all I'm pretty confused.


Currently I'm leaning toward the Pioneer SP-BS41-LR for the front, and if I can find them for cheaper the SP-BS21-LR for all 4 backs. The SP-C21 for the center.


I am also considering the SLS Q-Line Gold speakers. Though I'm not really sure about them other than what AV-Express has to say about them.


I have also looked at the Polk, JBL, and Klipsch. I also really like the Energy line of speakers, but they seem to sell them in a package that includes the sub, and I'm not sure about their sub. I know the sub needs to be pretty good, which is why I am hesitant to get one in a package. So suggestions would be great.


I also have between 200-300 more to spend on the receiver. I really can't go any higher than $800 for the entire setup.


Anyway, your help is really appreciated.

As someone that just did a 5.1 system for a smaller room and tried to have a similar budget, I have to say this is going to be a bit of a challenge.


Do you really need 7.1? Starting out with a 5.1 system would give you more flexibility and you can always add speakers later to make it 7.1.
 

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For $800, don't expect to buy everything at once... although this could be a good time of year... You need to look for sales and discounts wherever possible.


Myself, for that price point, I'd be looking for deals on Polk Monitor or Infinity Primus speakers. Both lines have excellent speakers - bookshelves and floor standing. For the budget-conscious, the top bookshelf speakers from both lines would serve very well as mains.


Look to monoprice or blue jeans (or other reputable online retailers) for your cables. Speaker wire, hdmi cables, banana clips ... do not buy any of those from a brick-and-mortar store, they have HUGE markups. I'm talking thousands of percent.


For the receiver, I don't have any specific recommendation, besides being patient and finding a good price on whatever you choose. Decide what features you're looking for, figure out which receivers have those features, then search and wait until you find the appropriate receiver for a good price.
 

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I'm in a similar boat - looking to finally take the HT plunge, have a budget of around $800 total. I know that it's not advisable to look at a 50/50 split of speakers to receiver budgetwise, but there are a lot of really nice receivers out there in the 300-400 range.


I've been considering the Pioneer 1020 receiver (roughly 360 right now).


I've been looking at pairing it with either the Energy Take 5.1 system, one of the Polk systems, or creating a system from Polk separates depending on the sales @ Newegg.


If you really are looking to go 500-600 on speakers and 200-300 on receiver, there are a few good receiver options:

Onkyo HT RC260

Onkyo TX SR508

and if you don't care about 3d, there's a lot of really good deals on last years models (the Pioneer 1019 I think is
 

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If I were you I'd piece the system together. Start of with a pair of Infinity Primus P162 bookshelves and the best subwoofer that you can afford. Honestly 2500cuft is going to be on the ragged edge of doable with a $500 sub much less the $300 you'll have left for sub so don't expect great room filling bass at that price. Later you can add the matched PC250 center and a pair of P152 bookshelves as surrounds, and maybe a second sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First off THANK YOU for sharing your suggestions!


I think I may not have been clear on the size of my room (I fixed it in the first post). It's 12'x25' for a total of 300 Sq FT. (2400 cubic feet). It's not that big is it/


The 7.1 could wait, I don't have to get it, but I didn't think my room size dictated that I'd need to spend more money to get speakers that would sound good/fill it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove /forum/post/19567464


Personally, I would not consider 7.1 on that budget. I would buy the least expensive receiver that met my 5.1 needs (likely a used demon or the like) , 4-6 bookshelves such as behringer 2030p, and spend eveything I had left on 1-2 subwoofers.

Thanks for that info. The Behringer look pretty nice and are not bad priced either. They appear to be a little large though, specifically for the rear speakers? Wondering how well they would wall mount?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bladerunner6 /forum/post/19567477


As someone that just did a 5.1 system for a smaller room and tried to have a similar budget, I have to say this is going to be a bit of a challenge.


Do you really need 7.1? Starting out with a 5.1 system would give you more flexibility and you can always add speakers later to make it 7.1.

No, I could go with 5.1 to start. How big was this small room?
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Bull /forum/post/19569297


For $800, don't expect to buy everything at once... although this could be a good time of year... You need to look for sales and discounts wherever possible.


Myself, for that price point, I'd be looking for deals on Polk Monitor or Infinity Primus speakers. Both lines have excellent speakers - bookshelves and floor standing. For the budget-conscious, the top bookshelf speakers from both lines would serve very well as mains.


Look to monoprice or blue jeans (or other reputable online retailers) for your cables. Speaker wire, hdmi cables, banana clips ... do not buy any of those from a brick-and-mortar store, they have HUGE markups. I'm talking thousands of percent.


For the receiver, I don't have any specific recommendation, besides being patient and finding a good price on whatever you choose. Decide what features you're looking for, figure out which receivers have those features, then search and wait until you find the appropriate receiver for a good price.

Thank you for your complete information. I will check out monoprice for sure. Dang those infinities are spendy. I am seeing pricing for EACH instead of as a pair, which isn't good for my budget. Do you have some specific recommendations as far as the speakers you suggested?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smurfocolypse /forum/post/19569418


I'm in a similar boat - looking to finally take the HT plunge, have a budget of around $800 total. I know that it's not advisable to look at a 50/50 split of speakers to receiver budgetwise, but there are a lot of really nice receivers out there in the 300-400 range.


I've been considering the Pioneer 1020 receiver (roughly 360 right now).


I've been looking at pairing it with either the Energy Take 5.1 system, one of the Polk systems, or creating a system from Polk separates depending on the sales @ Newegg.


If you really are looking to go 500-600 on speakers and 200-300 on receiver, there are a few good receiver options:

Onkyo HT RC260

Onkyo TX SR508

and if you don't care about 3d, there's a lot of really good deals on last years models (the Pioneer 1019 I think is
 

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It sounds like your couch is pretty much against the 12ft wall. In that case I would suggest just a 5.1 setup.....You can always add more speakers later when your setup allows.


The pioneer speakers you are looking at are getting great reviews.


To go with 7.1 really depends on seating set up not just the size of your room



Most movies are still only released in 5.1 so you aren't missing anything
 

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Mirage Nanosat satellites - Used or new can be had for a good price


Bic H-100 - ~$230 on ebay


Whatever receiver you want with the left over - I have a Denon 1609


Tis the basic setup I have and can say Im pretty happy with it. Though, with anything Im always looking to upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, the couch is about a foot from the wall (reclining seats) so there isn't too much room back there. I had envisioned putting the 2 rear that would be there in a 7.1 setup on stands that I would move into position when watching shows and then move back when not watching shows. I think you may be right though. The 5.1 might be better suited for my setup.


Here is a picture of my room so you can get an idea of what it looks like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw00dy /forum/post/19570557


Thanks for the info. I'm very sad to hear that my room is going to take some serious money to fill. Is 2400 Cubic Feet really that much?

The room size is doable for the P162 bookshelf speakers. The difficulty is the subwoofer and has to do with the frequencies they deal with. They need to be able to move enough air to minutely alter the air pressure in the room.

Quote:
I do like those speakers though. Do you know of good source to get these speakers at rock bottom prices? Do they even come in pairs?

The site that I linked showed rock bottom prices. That's a really good price for decent speakers. If you wanted and have the room you could go three across the front instead of spending more on a dedicated center. These aren't junk home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) speakers, they're the entry point for decent speakers, and having front instead of rear ports they're easy to place. Here is a review and shootout that might help you. Of those in the shootout I've heard the Infinity and Behringer and both are very good for the money. I very slightly prefer the sound of the Behringer but it has no grill and is very industrial looking compared to the Infinity. Note, If you choose the Behringer B2030P be sure to check if they are being sold as each or per pair. It varies by retailer.

Quote:
Any suggestion on the sub?

There are a few choices in the $200 shipped range such as Bic's F12, Dayton's SUB-120 and 12" from Lava subs but since I haven't heard any of them I won't make a recommendation. You could always add a second identical sub later.

Quote:
Ok, so now I'm really lost. I was on a path that's now changed dramatically. I may just start with 2.1 or 3.1 so I can get good speakers...

I think it's always better to start with the very best 2.1 or 3.1 system that you can afford and add surrounds later than it is to buy a crappy 5.1 system.


Edit: In that room I'd just use side surrounds directly left and right and forget the rears.
 

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Lots of ways to go for your $800.


the Pioneer home theater speakers are great bang for the buck. The BS21 is only sold at Best Buy and Pioneers website so you probably wont get much price break. I think I've seen them as low as $79.


The BS41 with 5.25" woofer is on sale right now for $79/pr shipped at jr.com. I'd go with those over the smaller BS21. The 41 is $199/pr on Pioneers website.
http://www.jr.com/pioneer/pe/PIO_SPBS41LR/


And still get the C21 center at Best Buy. Your total outlay for 5 speakers is ~$250.


leaves you plenty for a subwoofer and receiver. The Bic f12 is the best deal going under $200. Then you'll have ~$350 for a receiver which should be plenty with the discounting going on right now for the holidays.


Another options is the Behringer's mentioned above.


You could go 2.1 right now pick up these Definitive Technology bookshelf speakers with a Klipsch 10" subwoofer. And then spend $400 on a receiver. Add additional speakers when you get more money.
http://www.6ave.com/shop/product.asp...UDIOM450-KW100


With your couch against the back wall, you're not set up for 7.1. Stay with 5.1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3In2Out /forum/post/19570795


Mirage Nanosat satellites - Used or new can be had for a good price


Bic H-100 - ~$230 on ebay


Whatever receiver you want with the left over - I have a Denon 1609


Tis the basic setup I have and can say Im pretty happy with it. Though, with anything Im always looking to upgrade.

Interesting. I had not seen the Mirage speakers. they are pretty funky looking. I'm assuming I would need the nanosat center as well. They are not that cheap though in what I am finding.


That Bic H-100 appears to be a great sub. Found it new on Overstock.com: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...:referralID=NA for $225.


Would it be worth the ~$100 more to go to either of these:

Bic VK-12: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...tml?rcmndsrc=2

Bic PL-200: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...tml?rcmndsrc=2


The problem with that receiver is it is HDMI 1.3a, and I want to ensure upgradability with HDMI 4.x
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sholling /forum/post/19570955


The room size is doable for the P162 bookshelf speakers. The difficulty is the subwoofer and has to do with the frequencies they deal with. They need to be able to move enough air to minutely alter the air pressure in the room.



The site that I linked showed rock bottom prices. That's a really good price for decent speakers. If you wanted and have the room you could go three across the front instead of spending more on a dedicated center. These aren't junk home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) speakers, they're the entry point for decent speakers, and having front instead of rear ports they're easy to place. Here is a review and shootout that might help you. Of those in the shootout I've heard the Infinity and Behringer and both are very good for the money. I very slightly prefer the sound of the Behringer but it has no grill and is very industrial looking compared to the Infinity. Note, If you choose the Behringer B2030P be sure to check if they are being sold as each or per pair. It varies by retailer.



There are a few choices in the $200 shipped range such as Bic's F12, Dayton's SUB-120 and 12" from Lava subs but since I haven't heard any of them I won't make a recommendation. You could always add a second identical sub later.


I think it's always better to start with the very best 2.1 or 3.1 system that you can afford and add surrounds later than it is to buy a crappy 5.1 system.


Edit: In that room I'd just use side surrounds directly left and right and forget the rears.
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt /forum/post/19571026


Lots of ways to go for your $800.


the Pioneer home theater speakers are great bang for the buck. The BS21 is only sold at Best Buy and Pioneers website so you probably wont get much price break. I think I've seen them as low as $79.


The BS41 with 5.25" woofer is on sale right now for $79/pr shipped at jr.com. I'd go with those over the smaller BS21. The 41 is $199/pr on Pioneers website.
http://www.jr.com/pioneer/pe/PIO_SPBS41LR/


And still get the C21 center at Best Buy. Your total outlay for 5 speakers is ~$250.


leaves you plenty for a subwoofer and receiver. The Bic f12 is the best deal going under $200. Then you'll have ~$350 for a receiver which should be plenty with the discounting going on right now for the holidays.


Another options is the Behringer's mentioned above.


You could go 2.1 right now pick up these Definitive Technology bookshelf speakers with a Klipsch 10" subwoofer. And then spend $400 on a receiver. Add additional speakers when you get more money.
http://www.6ave.com/shop/product.asp...UDIOM450-KW100


With your couch against the back wall, you're not set up for 7.1. Stay with 5.1.

Thanks both of you. I'm going to spend some time looking into both suggestions and see what I come up with. I really do want a good system and I'm not against taking it slow to get there.


Lots of processing to do. Thanks again. You all have been great!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw00dy /forum/post/19571029


Interesting. I had not seen the Mirage speakers. they are pretty funky looking. I'm assuming I would need the nanosat center as well. They are not that cheap though in what I am finding.


That Bic H-100 appears to be a great sub. Found it new on Overstock.com: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...:referralID=NA for $225.


Would it be worth the ~$100 more to go to either of these:

Bic VK-12: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...tml?rcmndsrc=2

Bic PL-200: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...tml?rcmndsrc=2


The problem with that receiver is it is HDMI 1.3a, and I want to ensure upgradability with HDMI 4.x

You use a satellite as a center with the nanosat, or you can upgrade to a dedicated type center. Id possibly be willing to sell my 5.1 Nanosat setup with the NanoSub that would work into your price range.


I want to say I got the Bic H-100 for $230 shipped from ebay. The guy that sells them usually has a make an offer thing. It shakes the crap ouf of my house as is, no Im not in a hurry to upgrade for a living room type setup.


Yeah, my Denon is a couple of years old at this point, but there should certainly be something in your range that fits your bill.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw00dy /forum/post/0


Yeah, the couch is about a foot from the wall (reclining seats) so there isn't too much room back there. I had envisioned putting the 2 rear that would be there in a 7.1 setup on stands that I would move into position when watching shows and then move back when not watching shows. I think you may be right though. The 5.1 might be better suited for my setup.


Here is a picture of my room so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

In a 5.1 setup, the two surrounds should be installed directly to the side of the primary listening position, or to the side and slightly back (90 to 110 degrees from listener). You really need more than one foot behind the listener to add rears for a 7.1...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw00dy /forum/post/0


Interesting. I had not seen the Mirage speakers. they are pretty funky looking. I'm assuming I would need the nanosat center as well. They are not that cheap though in what I am finding.


That Bic H-100 appears to be a great sub. Found it new on Overstock.com: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...:referralID=NA for $225.


Would it be worth the ~$100 more to go to either of these:

Bic VK-12: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...tml?rcmndsrc=2

Bic PL-200: http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...tml?rcmndsrc=2


The problem with that receiver is it is HDMI 1.3a, and I want to ensure upgradability with HDMI 4.x

You can actually get the PL-200 for $270, new; and, I highly recommend it, especially for primarily home theater use.


I doubt you can find better (new) for under $300.
 
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