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Discussion Starter #1
While I'm very advanced in terms of streaming media and my other components, I've always let sound slide. The reason is that up until now I've been a renter, and never wanted the hassle of setting up a sound system only to have to take it down again. Later this month we will be closing on our first house, and it's time to upgrade the old audio. I already have a receiver on hand, a Pioneer VSX-72TXV receiver given to me by my brother when he upgraded. I don't have a pressing need to try to go 7.1, nor do I have a lot of money to spend. I know for $400 or less you get mostly garbage, but what's the BEST garbage I can get?
Keep in mind I'll be upgrading from a Vizio soundbar!


The living room this system will go in is 15 X14. There are two doorway size openings, One on the south wall, one on the west wall, but mostly it's just an almost square room. The floor is hardwood, if that makes any difference.


If I had to rank WHAT I wanted to sound good on my system, it would go like this:


Movies

Video Games

Music


We've never listened to music that much in the living area, but perhaps that will change with a better audio setup. My brother sent me a recommendation for these:

Mirage NanoSat 5.1


Also, this audio system doesn't need to last forever. In the not too far future I can upgrade it more seriously, but for now I just want to try out a 5.1 system. I feel like the room I have might be pretty good for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm attaching a photo of the room, it's not great but gives an idea.


The TV will be on the wall you can't see in the picture (Either wall mounted or on a stand, haven't decided yet), with the seating area on the back wall next to the opening to the dining room.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions so far. What I'm seeing are two different Energy sets, and one from MartinLogan.

  1. MartinLogan MLT-2 5.1CH Premium Home Theater Speaker System Black System

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882981013


    $349
  2. Energy PS500 5CH Home Audio Speaker System

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269038


    $180 (No Sub)


    Energy S10.3 Subwoofer

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269026&Tpk=energy%20s10.3


    $190


    $370 for 5 speakers and sub
  3. Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black)

    http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-Theater-System-Black/dp/B001202C44/


    $400


I would say if I were picking one right this second, I'd go with #2. I like the floorstanding speakers, and feel like perhaps I'm getting a slightly better sub in this setup. Is that correct?
 

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yes, the S10.3 sub will greatly outclass the smaller 8" subs with the smaller sub/sat packages. Plus you get larger speakers, although note that those are really rebadged JAMO's (Audiovox now owns both companies) and will give you quite the refinement that the smaller Martin Logan or Energy's will. But the larger speakers will play louder and have more "impact" for HT, plus the better subwoofer of course!


the Mirage Nanosat package will fall into the "small sub/sat" category with the ML's and Energy Take's. You will get nice, refined sound in a tiny package but without the "oomph" of larger speakers.


whatever you do, hopefully you add a rug and some stuff on the wall to "soften" up the acoustics of that room!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, this is from the listing for the house, so a completely empty room.
We have an area rug that will go in there, along with some wall decorations. And furniture of course!


Also, this isn't a huge cavernous room we need to fill, and we don't need to get crazy with the volume. Will the smaller speakers be sufficient in that kind of space? I've been reading reviews, and the Martin Logans seem to be very well received.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom  /t/1418971/making-my-first-jump-to-...-budget-already-have-a-receiver#post_22195959


Yeah, this is from the listing for the house, so a completely empty room.
We have an area rug that will go in there, along with some wall decorations. And furniture of course!

Also, this isn't a huge cavernous room we need to fill, and we don't need to get crazy with the volume. Will the smaller speakers be sufficient in that kind of space? I've been reading reviews, and the Martin Logans seem to be very well received.

It is hard to bypass the Energy sub, You can start with the Jamo/Energy tower speakers and see

how that works.


However, the Martin Logan system will work in that room.


However, I would think about mating the Energy sub with the Pioneer speakers, and do the surrounds later.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117403

The center
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117404
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One other bit of color I should add, we have a 5 and 3 year old, so perhaps floor standing speakers aren't the best option.
I might want to wall mount as much as possible!
 

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Have you listened to your brother's Mirage system? The Mirages have a different sound, more diffuse and enveloping. The Energy S10 sub is probably better than the one in the Mirage set.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffer65  /t/1418971/making-my-first-jump-to-...-budget-already-have-a-receiver#post_22196513


Have you listened to your brother's Mirage system? The Mirages have a different sound, more diffuse and enveloping. The Energy S10 sub is probably better than the one in the Mirage set.

He doesn't actually have that system himself. He has a much higher end surround system, but I don't know what it is exactly. He just tells me that if he had my budget, he'd go with the Mirage set for sure. Really, I know I'm not getting a GREAT system for $400, I just want to make sure I don't end up with garbage at that price. It sounds like maybe given the size of the room and my needs, Just about any of the 5.1 systems mentioned thus far will do.
 

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If you NEED to wall mount.. then clearly one of the satellite systems is a better option. I personally would choose either the Energy or the ML. Not a big fan of the diffuse tweets on the mirage stuff and I will point out... probably not the best choice for your highly reverberant room. I like a direct radiating speaker for that type of environment. If overall sound quality is the goal and you can compromise on the wall mount... I think that the recommendation for the Pioneer speakers and the Energy sub was the best option. The Energy sub, as mentioned before, will simply outperform any sub in the sat systems. The Pioneer speakers are likely the most carefully engineered budged speakers on the market. If I'm reading the current newegg pricing correctly... you can get a 5.1 for $420 plus shipping. Just hold off on the surrounds for now if the budget is that tight. I will also point out the the Pioneer speakers in particular are often classified as somewhat warm sounding. A good match for those hardwood floors




Allan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm really leaning towards the Martin Logan MLT-2 for $350 and be done with it. The lowest price for a set w/ the sub, and so far what I've read about those speakers is very positive. I am also still considering the Energy 10 sub with the pioneers separate, but the fact that they are towers is holding me back. My 3 year old boy is a little bit crazy, as 3 year old boys are, and I could easily see him causing a catastrophe with a tower speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For reference, I priced out the Energy 10.3 sub, Pioneer SP-C21, SP-FS51, and SP-BS21 and it came to just under $420 altogether. That is just barely over budget, and doable. I do like that combo, if only the fronts weren't towers. Decisions, decisions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom  /t/1418971/making-my-first-jump-to-...-budget-already-have-a-receiver#post_22197433


For reference, I priced out the Energy 10.3 sub, Pioneer SP-C21, SP-FS51, and SP-BS21 and it came to just under $420 altogether. That is just barely over budget, and doable. I do like that combo, if only the fronts weren't towers. Decisions, decisions.

While the towers are a better deal - there is the BS41 bookshelf speakers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117406
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom  /t/1418971/making-my-first-jump-to-...-budget-already-have-a-receiver#post_22197433


For reference, I priced out the Energy 10.3 sub, Pioneer SP-C21, SP-FS51, and SP-BS21 and it came to just under $420 altogether. That is just barely over budget, and doable. I do like that combo, if only the fronts weren't towers. Decisions, decisions.

I think that would be your best sounding option w/the given budget and in that room. Kids are definitely a consideration though. I remember when I was choosing sub drivers for a dedicated room some years back. I went with drivers that flaunted metal cones fearing what my son would do to them



You could anchor the towers.... at least to the back wall with a sheetrock anchor and eye-hook.
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01  /t/1418971/making-my-first-jump-to-...-budget-already-have-a-receiver#post_22197500


While the towers are a better deal - there is the BS41 bookshelf speakers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117406

Yeah, I found those last night. Unfortunately, that adds another $30 to the cost, and it's already over budget. And I'll still have to get speaker wire and such. (What should I get for that btw?
)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom  /t/1418971/making-my-first-jump-to-...-budget-already-have-a-receiver#post_22197739


Yeah, I found those last night. Unfortunately, that adds another $30 to the cost, and it's already over budget. And I'll still have to get speaker wire and such. (What should I get for that btw?
)
Speaker wire chart
http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

I still use 14awg under 40ft


Speaker cable
http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=speaker+cable


Subwoofer cable
http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=subwoofer+cable
 
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