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I could use some advice putting together a simple sound system for playing music, mostly bass-heavy electronic, in a medium size living room. Home theater/surround sound concerns are not important to me.

I'm in Italy, and the selection and prices on Amazon.it aren't as good as Amazon.com.

Budget: 800 euros or so. I'd like a good sub-woofer, 2 large speakers with good clarity and power, and a quality budget amp/receiver.

I'm a big Klipsch fan, and am thinking about the 10-inch Klipsch sub or this Yamaha http://www.amazon.it/Yamaha-NS-SW20...TF8&qid=1429218520&sr=8-23&keywords=subwoofer.

I am a noob confused about wattage. Receivers seem to have a total wattage and a wattage output that is less than the total. How does this relate to the wattage of the speakers? I want this system to shake the walls, so keep maximum wattage in mind. This receiver seems to be a good deal, is it more than I need? http://www.amazon.it/DENON-AVRX1100...&ie=UTF8&qid=1429225201&sr=1-4&keywords=denon or this one http://www.amazon.it/Yamaha-RX-V377-Sintoamplificatore-AV-Nero/dp/B00IRZSOQ2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1429224725&sr=1-1&keywords=AV+receiver

I would rather get 2 really good components, either sub and speakers or sub and receiver, and skimp on the third, which I can upgrade later, than go midrange across the board.

Please help!
 

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The Village Idiot
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Since I don't know what is available to you I would simply suggest this: instead of getting some tower speakers scale back a bit and look for some bookshelf speakers and spend a bit more on a sub. There are lots of subs that will outdo that Klipsch sub - since you like Klipsch look at their bookshelf speakers. They can play very loud without needing gobs of power so most any receiver you buy should be able to drive them to very high peaks. Get a sub that can keep up with them.
 

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Since I don't know what is available to you I would simply suggest this: instead of getting some tower speakers scale back a bit and look for some bookshelf speakers and spend a bit more on a sub. There are lots of subs that will outdo that Klipsch sub - since you like Klipsch look at their bookshelf speakers. They can play very loud without needing gobs of power so most any receiver you buy should be able to drive them to very high peaks. Get a sub that can keep up with them.
What's a better sub for 300 euros or less?
 

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The Village Idiot
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Like I said I have no idea what is available to you - my suggestions are generic for that reason. I wish I could help you more than that. If you were shopping in the USA I could.
 

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You need to give us room dimensions (whl) and surface coverings (wood carpet acoustic ceiling etc) and penetrations (kitchenette stairwell hallway etc.) if you want accurate advice.

First off, you WILL exceed your budget. Everyone does. Plan on this taking more time, money, and effort than you expect. Chasing good sound is an occupation as much as it is a hobby.

Secondly, unless you address the acoustics of your room, you might hate the way loud music sounds in there. You need to check out the acoustic treatment threads on AVS Forum and:

http://ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html
http://arqen.com/

to verify that your acoustics are going to work well with loud music and make any corrections that are necessary. You may have other resources that are local to you as well, but here at AVS people are eager to help too.

In the US, internet direct vendors have cornered the market on bang for buck (affordability) with some amazingly accurate and powerful subwoofers. SVS like others has also branched out into bookshelf and tower systems that are rumored to sound great. ID speakers are not going to look great though. If you want furniture be prepared for substantial price increase.

The thing is, with your budget you are severely limited in what you can do for speakers. Quality costs money and the internet direct (I am tangentially aware) are not necessarily such a good deal abroad because of shipping and tarriff.

I would avoid the Klipsch and Yamaha subwoofers. You can do much better with other brands for the same money, at least in the US. Check the Hsu, SVS, Rhythmik etc. internet direct as your comparison point.

If you are looking to maximize loudness for bass-heavy music it is not enough to just get a powerful subwoofer. You also need to have loud mains to keep the frequency response balanced.

Have you considered buying used equipment? You could easily save 50% off the top with a motivated seller. Even if you have to piece your system together over time from multiple sellers you can still beat 70% off if you are patient, and if you buy equipment that is still available at retail you can fill in the gaps later if you cannot find it used. At least, that was my experience here in the US, but I also live near a major tech population center with lots of disposable income around.

Like it was suggested, Klipsch speakers are very efficient. They use horn drivers and lots of woofer and that is important because the larger the driver is, the more efficient it is, all else being equal. The area of the diaphragm (or horn) is a key indicator of how loud the speaker will play. You still need to check the sensitivity rating though. For very loud music you should be expecting no less than 95dB sensitivity.

It takes 10x the power to get 2x the perceived loudness. Amplification will not do it for you. Concentrate on the sensitivity rating and power handling of the speakers but stay quality or you may hate the sound.

Tower speakers generally have larger drivers and are more efficient, but this is not a rule, just a guideline, all else being equal. If comparing towers and bookshelf speakers to each other be sure to include the cost of any bookshelf or stand or wall mount that you need for installation. My experience is that a good sounding bookshelf speaker probably comes from a company and line of models that costs more than comparably sounding towers, but again that is not a rule, just a guideline.

That Denon receiver you linked looks like a winner. It has 80WPC in 7.1 and it will help you maximize your loudness and 'shake the walls' plus it seems to have updated video processing and passthrough. It also has Audyssey MultEQ-XT and that can help you equalize room frequency response especially for tighter bass. It also is rated to drive 4 ohm speakers and if you really want to 'shake the walls' you might consider such speakers, provided their sensitivity is very high.

Keep in mind that even surround receivers are rated like stereo receivers, that is, they only have enough power supply and heat sink to deliver the goods into two channels. When more speakers are driven, they tend not to get much louder in combination with a receiver. If you want to do an 'all channel stereo' party mode and really get things hopping in there with full output from 7 speakers simultaneously you will need external amplification too, with more speakers. It really depends on how deaf/crazy you are.:eek:

The Denon you linked to is really hard to find any info on here, but it appears it does not have external preamp out so external amplification (other than the subwoofer) looks like it is not going to happen for you with that one. Probably you will not care unless you want extreme loudness levels.
 

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The Village Idiot
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ID speakers are not going to look great though. If you want furniture be prepared for substantial price increase.
There are many ID manufacturers making rather utilitarian speakers - most of them sound very good - many of them are cosmetically challenged but there are exceptions. Salk speakers not only sound good they have furniture grade finish (check out the bamboo veneer!) - and many options. I own a pair of those SongTowers in fireburst curly cherry finish - Selah Audio also makes some very nice speakers with classy finish - my custom center (uses the same OW2 tweeter as in the ST's) speaker was built by Selah in cherry veneer to match the ST's. There are many more ID (Internet Direct) speaker manufacturers making some beautiful speakers.
 
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