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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have finally started finishing my basement and would like to setup a 5.1 home theater. I have a fairly limited budget for speakers, $300, but on the good side I already own a Definitive Technology Power Field 1500 subwoofer from my old mid 90’s setup (15”, 350 watts). I will be purchasing a basic $200 receiver (Yamaha RX-V377, Onkyo TX-SR313, Pioneer VSX-824-K) to power it or something better if I find a good deal. My old Denon 1600 is getting a bit old (20 years) with no room/speaker calibration on it. I am looking to do bookshelf speakers up front and possible in-wall for my rears. Small size is importaint for the rears.

The speaker series I am looking at:
-Infinity Primus 163
-Pioneer SP-BS22
-Monoprice Bookshelf and in-wall speakers.
-Def Tech SM350 (seen them for $150/pr but would be hard to find a center and surrounds for $150)

Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I am not really looking to buy used as they seem to be really hard to find in my location but I am open to open box, clearance, etc. This is a 100% home theater application.
 

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$300 for 5 speakers is $60 each. Not a lot of choices. If you can't stretch your budget, and don't have a huge room, I would get the Energy Take Classic or RC-Micro setup. At least you're getting 5 identical speakers and they actually sound pretty darn good. And the RX-A377. Save up to upgrade down the road.
 

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If 300 is your budget for now...stretch it! Spend all 300 on a good set of bookshelf speakers and run 2.1 for now (your biggest improvement will be from TV speakers to a decent set of fronts). Some time from now, when you have a little more cash, buy the center. Then add a set of surrounds! unless your room is wicked small, the Energy takes or RC won't be a good long term solution!
 

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You have 2 choices for a 5.0 system

Sound Appeal - by 3 pairs for the 5.0 channels and have a spare - they are
nice/decent for the price - and are better than Dayton and Monoprice, and
can even hang and dance with the Pioneer speakers.
http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Books...573471&sr=8-1&keywords=sound+appeal+bookshelf

IntelliTouch EOS bookshelf speakers - by 3 pairs and also have a spare
They are over-built and over designed/engineered for the price. And are
my clear preference over Infinity, Pioneer, Klipsch and Polk - and can hang
and dance with the Definitive SM350.
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...ouch-eos-5-inch-bookshelf-speakers-(eos150sp)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
If 300 is your budget for now...stretch it! Spend all 300 on a good set of bookshelf speakers and run 2.1 for now (your biggest improvement will be from TV speakers to a decent set of fronts). Some time from now, when you have a little more cash, buy the center. Then add a set of surrounds! unless your room is wicked small, the Energy takes or RC won't be a good long term solution!
My basement room is 16' X 30. The home theater portion of the room will be 16' X 14'. So it is a fairly big room and I don't think mini speakers will cut it. Especially since my sub is a 15" and I am guessing they would not do well trying to meet a small woofer that would not go too low. I have attached a photograph of the room framed out and basic setup but the couch will be moved back to the column once finished.

If I did spend the $300 on a pair of decent bookshelf speakers for a 2.1 system what would you recommend? The choices seem endless. I know i do l like the Def Tech SM350s but they are 15+ years old at this point. On the good side I have seen the SM350's on sale for $150/pr. Is there a better sub $300/pr speaker out there? I see a pair of manufacture refurbished Def Tech SM45 for $110/each, how do they compare? Thanks.
 

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On the good side I have seen the SM350's on sale for $150/pr. Is there a better sub $300/pr speaker out there? I see a pair of manufacture refurbished Def Tech SM45 for $110/each, how do they compare? Thanks.
The new Definitive SM series is more smooth and refined over the former series.

As far as what is best under $300 - that would be subjective.

The JBL Studio 2 series is on sale - look at the Studio 230 as an option.
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-23...qid=1429586368&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+230
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The new Definitive SM series is more smooth and refined over the former series.

As far as what is best under $300 - that would be subjective.

The JBL Studio 2 series is on sale - look at the Studio 230 as an option.
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-23...qid=1429586368&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+230
How well liked are HTD speakers? The level two bookself, center and in wall speakers are total under $500 and seem decent. Are they enough speaker for a mid sized basement setup?
 

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How well liked are HTD speakers? The level two bookself, center and in wall speakers are total under $500 and seem decent. Are they enough speaker for a mid sized basement setup?
They are popular - and a good deal for $500

In reality, I would take the Sony Core speakers over them.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-co...lack/5721014.p?id=1219148662428&skuId=5721014

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-co...lack/5720006.p?id=1219148662291&skuId=5720006

However, HTD does offer free return shipping (except towers) for first time buyers.
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Also, for $549 you can start with this - and save for some budget surrounds

JBL Studio 230 bookshelf
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-230-Bookshelf-Loudspeaker/dp/B00GJXSWZW

JBL Studio 235 center
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-23...9630693&sr=1-1&keywords=jbl+studio+235+center
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They are popular - and a good deal for $500

In reality, I would take the Sony Core speakers over them.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-co...lack/5721014.p?id=1219148662428&skuId=5721014

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-co...lack/5720006.p?id=1219148662291&skuId=5720006

However, HTD does offer free return shipping (except towers) for first time buyers.
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Also, for $549 you can start with this - and save for some budget surrounds

JBL Studio 230 bookshelf
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-230-Bookshelf-Loudspeaker/dp/B00GJXSWZW

JBL Studio 235 center
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-23...9630693&sr=1-1&keywords=jbl+studio+235+center

It's funny, I never thought of Sony putting out good speakers, let alone decent ones.
 

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It's funny, I never thought of Sony putting out good speakers, let alone decent ones.
The Core is in a different league - these are not the same as them lower bottom
levels that Sony has done for ears.

They are built better with good drivers and a real nice working crossover. The
reviews are good for these speakers.

They do work better with a sub - the review was without a sub.
http://stereos.about.com/od/stereospeakers/ss/Sony-SS-CS5-Speaker-Review.htm#step-heading
 

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Having just recently heard the newer SM series, I would say this. The newer ones are better. However, it took me awhile to come to that conclusion, so not by much. I would say that the SM350/450 at around 2-250 pair are a better buy than the SM55/65 at close to list price. However, keep in mind the CLR2002 center is hard to find and that speaker is never on sale for a great price...I got my SM450 for 190/pr and dropped 300 dollars on the CLR2002! Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, there really are really a lot of speakers in the 2-300/pr range, and a lot of good ones!
 

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Frys frequently runs sales on the JBL Loft series.

2 pairs of the Loft 40s with the Loft 20 center at full price is $360 shipped, but is frequently on sale for $150 shipped for the 5.0 set.

http://www.frys.com/product/7683157
http://www.frys.com/product/7327174

The loft 30s are on sale this week, but sales change on Sunday and I wouldn't be surprised if it is the 40s turn to be on sale.

(I am using the Loft 30s for my office sound and am quite happy with them)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Core is in a different league - these are not the same as them lower bottom
levels that Sony has done for ears.

They are built better with good drivers and a real nice working crossover. The
reviews are good for these speakers.

They do work better with a sub - the review was without a sub.
http://stereos.about.com/od/stereospeakers/ss/Sony-SS-CS5-Speaker-Review.htm#step-heading
My sub is a older Def Tech PF1500 15". It is great for HT, plays low, moves alot of air, but does not have the fast punch of a 10" around 100Hz as it seems to trail off their. Will I have issues or a hole around 80Hz-120Hz using small front speakers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Having just recently heard the newer SM series, I would say this. The newer ones are better. However, it took me awhile to come to that conclusion, so not by much. I would say that the SM350/450 at around 2-250 pair are a better buy than the SM55/65 at close to list price. However, keep in mind the CLR2002 center is hard to find and that speaker is never on sale for a great price...I got my SM450 for 190/pr and dropped 300 dollars on the CLR2002! Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, there really are really a lot of speakers in the 2-300/pr range, and a lot of good ones!
The center is the main reason I am holding off on the SM-350. My brother inlaw has them and they are great. I just dont want to have to drop $300 on a hard to find center.
 

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yes, a prefered set up has three identical speakers across the front, so Rob is correct. it is only space limitations that sometime demand the horizontal center. ANd the SM250/450 isn't a real tall speaker... Sometime, you can find a seller who will sell them in odd numbers, otherwise, at 150/pr, but 3 pair and just have an odd man out/spare!
 

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My sub is a older Def Tech PF1500 15". It is great for HT, plays low, moves alot of air, but does not have the fast punch of a 10" around 100Hz as it seems to trail off their. Will I have issues or a hole around 80Hz-120Hz using small front speakers?
All you need is a speaker that will go a little lower than 80 hz - which most will do.

You can always upgrade your sub in the future.

With your tight budget, you need to decide where you want to go.

And, Definitive is always showing up on Ebay from different sellers,
if you want to lean/stay with Definitive.
 
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