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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. After getting a job and working a while I've decided it's long past time for me to upgrade my setup.


My goal here is to build something capable, but not home theater-quality amazing. I live in an apartment, and probably will for at least a couple years, so there's a limit on how loud I can be. I primarily use my AV stuff for games, but I also watch movies and TV shows, both on Bluray and DVD.


I've narrowed down my receiver choices to two: Onkyo's TX-SR707 ( http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...s=Receiver&p=i ) and Pioneer's VSX-21TXH ( http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...VSX-21TXH.Kuro ). These are both capable of driving 7.1 speaker setups, but my current room size would make such a setup impractical, so I plan to get only five speakers and a subwoofer, and ignore the two back channels for now.


So now the question is: what speakers would be appropriate for these receivers? I'm willing to sacrifice some floor space for some floor speakers for my left and right channels, and I think I could install a shelf above my TV to support a decent sized center channel speaker, but because of the room size and the way the furniture is organized I'm going to need bookshelf speakers for the two surround channels.


I'm unclear on what power range the speakers I choose should support. Since I'm looking at a maximum of 110W per channel, am I okay in looking for speakers that have a maximum power rating of 110W, or should I be looking higher?


Initially I was looking at the Polk TSi-series stuff ( http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/floorstanding.php ), but now I'm favoring their low-end RTi-series stuff (RTi A5 and A1) and the CSi A4, because their supported power range is higher, and because I'm loving that cherry finish. Sadly they're way more expensive, so I'd want to find them cheap somewhere. In general, though, I could use some suggestions for speakers around this price range.


I'm more or less lost when it comes to subwoofers. As I said before, I am and probably will be in an apartment for a while, so I really don't need anything too powerful, just capable. If you guys have any links to decent subwoofer-buying tutorials, as well as suggestions on models compatible with the quality of speakers and receiver I'm potentially buying, I would be extremely grateful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Around $500 max for each front speaker, around $300 max for each surround speaker, and ... maybe between $200 and $400 for a subwoofer. I'm not sure about the price range for the subwoofer because I'm not sure what the pricing and quality is like in the subwoofer market.


And I just realized that there's a dedicated forum for subwoofers, so feel free to ignore the subwoofer-related portions of my post.
 

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You have a nice budget for speakers. As for subwoofer, with that budget, you can get a lower end elemental design subwoofer...it really comes down to the size of your room when it comes to speaker and subwoofer.


Have you gone out and audition any brands yet? Any local shop that specialize in home theater? Will you be listening to music as well? There are lots of brands you can look into but the best way is actually going out and listen to them....So before you settle on Polks, definately go out and see what other brands bring to the table as well.


Another option you can look at too are Internet Direct stores such as Ascend, Axiom, AV123, Swan Diva, which are sold from Internet directly from the manufacturer. They do offer a good bargain compare to B&M brands.


Another way is to look into speakers that are on sale from such stores as Audioadvisor and Saturdayaudio which sells PSB, Monitor Audio for good prices.


In the end, it comes down to your personal tastes. Audition as many as possible and pick the one you like the most. There really isn't any one fits all type of speaker. The most difficult part is finding enough brands to listen to and what you hear at the store might not be what you hear in your own room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have gone out to listen to speakers, but that was a while ago, and the speakers were cheaper. The only place I know of that sells AV stuff near me is the Best Buy with a Magnolia section, and I do plan on heading down there in the near future. If anyone knows any place near Hampton, Virginia, feel free to let me know about it.


I don't listen to too much music, but it happens every now and then. Occasionally I'll listen to music from my computer, but I don't do it often because my apartment isn't grounded properly and I get an annoying hum whenever I plug my computer in.
 

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The budget you have will allow you to get much better stuff than what BB and Magnolia have. I would also suggest to look at custom dealers for speakers instead. Monitor audio and paradigm are some favorites in that price range and offer very good products for the money. I recently went to a dealer that had monitor audio rx6 towers and was blown away by them, especially for the price heh. Those rx6's might be outside your price range slightly but my dealer cut almost 20% off the price making them a bargain for what they are in my opinion
 

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if you're looking for a low end RTi series, there is a guy selling a setup in the for-sale area. I considered, but passed, because I wanted to go bigger than the A4s.


Also, why are you not considering the Denon AVR-1910? It and the 707 can be found on sale at similar prices. I know everything is pretty close between them, except the Denon doesn't have heat issues, but has 4 instead of 6 HDMIs. I ended up picking the 1910 over the 707 because of the heat concerns.
 

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For home theater, I think your budget priorities are a bit off. I would budget a bit more to the subwoofer and a bit less to the speakers. There are lots of great speakers out there, in a range of prices, but if you shortchange the subwoofer, that is a compromise that will hurt the overall sound more than shorting the speakers. Shift some of your budget to the subwoofer, as at around the $600 point you can start to get subs that play deep frequencies with authority, and ask for recommendations in the subwoofer forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just got back after visiting the Best Buy I mentioned above, and there wasn't anything there in my price range that I could listen to in a quiet room besides Definitive Technology (which I thought were nice) and Vienna Acoustics (which I thought were nicer) floor speakers. Thoughts on those? Looks like I'm going to need to find a specialty audio store, or start buying and hope for the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clemsonpablo /forum/post/18135986


Also, why are you not considering the Denon AVR-1910? It and the 707 can be found on sale at similar prices. I know everything is pretty close between them, except the Denon doesn't have heat issues, but has 4 instead of 6 HDMIs. I ended up picking the 1910 over the 707 because of the heat concerns.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep it in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ /forum/post/18136597


For home theater, I think your budget priorities are a bit off. I would budget a bit more to the subwoofer and a bit less to the speakers. There are lots of great speakers out there, in a range of prices, but if you shortchange the subwoofer, that is a compromise that will hurt the overall sound more than shorting the speakers. Shift some of your budget to the subwoofer, as at around the $600 point you can start to get subs that play deep frequencies with authority, and ask for recommendations in the subwoofer forum.

After my recent visit to Best Buy, it does seem like I'll need more money in my budget for a decent subwoofer. On a side note, the Definitive Technology subwoofer I listened to (I believe it was a SuperCube II) seemed to have a tighter sound than the Klipsch subwoofer I also listened to; I think I prefer the tighter bass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calnbs /forum/post/18135291


The most difficult part is finding enough brands to listen to and what you hear at the store might not be what you hear in your own room.

Seems true enough to me!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 /forum/post/18142858


Buy your sub from an Internet Direct company that specializes in subwoofers such as: SVS, ED, HSU, Epik, Parts Express and soon Tweak City Audio. You will get a lot more sub for the money.

This is correct. Internet direct sub companies are much better than any sub carried at electronics stores. Check out the subwoofer forum, ask for suggestions, you will see the most recommended subs are from ID companies.
 

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Receiver considerations:

There are reports that some of the Pioneer VSX-21 and VSX-23 receivers have an issue of not turning on with the remote control.

All of the receivers do not have this problem, but the reports of it are very common in the VSX-21 / VSX-23 thread.

I bought my VSX-23 very shortly after it was released and there were no reported problems at that time. Fortunately (knock on wood) I have not had any issues with it.

If the remote power on issue had been reported at the time I was making my purchase decision the Pioneer's would not have been under consideration.


Once again I do not know how wide spread this issue is, but it is something to know about before you spend your money.


I know the Onkyo people are rabid in their support of these AVRs, but they do get very hot.

When you go to Best Buy put your hand on top of all the receivers that are turned on but just stiing there and judge for yourself if you think the Onkyos are significantly hotter than the Dennon and Pioneers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losstarot /forum/post/18134927


I'm more or less lost when it comes to subwoofers. As I said before, I am and probably will be in an apartment for a while, so I really don't need anything too powerful, just capable. If you guys have any links to decent subwoofer-buying tutorials, as well as suggestions on models compatible with the quality of speakers and receiver I'm potentially buying, I would be extremely grateful!

I would be careful with your subwoofer choices. I would look for tight bass that doesn't go down too low since you will be in an apartment.


Good speakers for your needs include Paradigm Studio, PSB Image, Monitor Audio RS or RX line, Revel Concerta's B&W 600 or CM if you can swing it, DefTech is worth listening to, those Vienna's you like are good but a surprising choice for someone who doesn't much care about music.


You are going to be in apartment(s) for awhile, I'd suggest considering bookshelf speakers all around rather than floorstanding front two.


Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions. You've shown me I've got a lot of research to do.


One of my original questions still stands, however. The receivers I'm looking at all offer between 100W and 130W per channel. In general, do I want to be looking for speakers with a maximum wattage of about that, or do I want speakers rated for something higher, like 200-230W?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losstarot /forum/post/18157030


Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions. You've shown me I've got a lot of research to do.


One of my original questions still stands, however. The receivers I'm looking at all offer between 100W and 130W per channel. In general, do I want to be looking for speakers with a maximum wattage of about that, or do I want speakers rated for something higher, like 200-230W?

I usually pay attention to Ohms and Sensitivity when it comes to speaker. The higher the number, the easier to power them.
 

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Try craigslist and ebay. You can get speakers and subs MUCH less than what BB has them for. But if you want the satisfaction of warranty stuff, then BB or any authorized dealers will have to do but expect to spend a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well my friends, after some driving around and listening I believe I've settled on Monitor Audio's RX line of speakers. Specifically, the RX Centre for the center speaker, RX6s for the two fronts, and RXFXs for the two surrounds. I could take a day trip and demo some other speakers, but I honestly think these will work fine for me.


In addition to the online retailers already mentioned above, does anyone have any other suggestions on decent places to purchase this stuff?
 
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