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I am looking to put together a 2.0 or 2.1 system for my home office. The room size is 18x16x14 with vaulted ceilings. It's all carpeted with heavy dark cherry wood furniture (desk, book shelves, accent furniture), leather couches, window treatments/drapes etc.


I need a good background music system for casual and light listening (mostly jazz, light rock, classical etc.) when I want to relax, unwind, meditate, read a book or do my office work. This is NOT for my primary listening area or Home Theater. I already have a 5.1 HT in my Family Room and a 7.1 HT in my lower level.


My total budget is about $500-$600. Here are few of my choices:


1. Buy a run-of-the-mill shelf system by Sony, Panasonic, JVC etc. They're cheap, but man they're ugly looking and so-so sounding.


2. Buy a slightly higher-end shelf system like Denon DM37 or Yamaha MCR-230. They range from $250-$400. Definitely look better than Sony, Panasonic et al. Not sure how good they sound and if they're worth the price. I've heard mix reviews. My choices are limited in this category.


3. Put together a 2.0/2.1 system myself. I do have a receiver that is part of the Onkyo HTR-520 (6.1 HTiB system, 130w/ch, 8 ohms) that I can use and buy 2 high-end bookshelf or floorstanding speakers, and a sub. Because of my room decor, I'd prefer cherry/rosenut color speakers.


I found a pair of Energy RC-10s at Vanns for about $299 (on advance order). Looked at AV123 speakers too; seem like a possibility too. Haven't really found any floor-standing in my price/color. Not sure if I really would need a sub; will add-on later if needed.


Of course, I'd need to buy a standalone CD Player/changer to go with this system. Plus, based on the speakers I chose, I'd need to determine if my old Onkyo receiver would suffice.


Though I am leaning towards option #3, I am open all suggestions. All inputs are welcome and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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Since you have a receiver available option 3 seems like the best bet. The Boston Acoustics Classic series (either CS226 floor standing or CS26 bookshelf) are available in a cherry finish and are in your price range.


Onkyo also makes several shelf systems that should be considered if you opt for option 2.


I've had a JVC micro component system (UX-45) for about ten years that puts out a surprising amount of pleasing sound.
 
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