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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time lurker/reader sporadic poster here.


My fiance and I are finally leaving the apartment life and moving into the realm of owning a home. This is what brings me here today. Because I've been living in an apartment most of my adult life, I have never really given the audio portion "home theater" much thought...something that is evident from my current speaker setup which consists of Logitech Z-5500 speakers hooked up to my HTPC that delivers my media/cable TV. That shows how little I know about audio...to me, Z-5500's sounded GOOD. However, now that I we have a house and are no longer surrounded by paper-thin walls and neighbors that call the cops with noise complaints at the drop of a hat (I'm a cop, which makes things worse lol), I would like to correct the errors of my ways.


Unfortunately, change is a lot easier in thought than in practice; especially on a budget. With that said, my thought is to spend good money on core components and build up a surround system in increments, rather than taking that money is buying a crap 5.1 surround in one go. So this is why I am here, to find a good starting point from which I can build my home theater over the course of something like 6 months to a year. One of the worries I have is that speakers tend to get discontinued and become hard to come by, which may leave me trying to match up speakers I already have with the ones I need to achieve 5.1


My current budget to get things started is ~$800-1000 for receiver and speakers. This is for 90% movies/TV 10% music. With that in mind, I figured I would go for an AVR + L/R. Then later, add a sub followed by a CC (since from what I understand you can setup the L/R speakers to create a fake CC). Lastly, add two more speakers to achieve the full 5.1.


Quick layout (pardon my MS Paint skills). TV will be wall-mounted above the fireplace mantle. Approximately 4.5-5ft off the ground.



Here is what I have so far:
AVR: Denon AVR-1713 - Seems to be a fairly well rounded receiver for the money (MultiEQ XT, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume). I don't need 7.1 and I won't be viewing 4K content any time soon.
Front Speakers: AA CBM-170s?
Center: ???
Sub: SVS PB1000
Rear Speakers: ???


Any suggestions, ideas, constructive criticism? What should I be looking at on my current budget? After 2.0, should I go for 3.0 (CC) or for 2.1? All around, what would be a good choice for my needs, environment and budget?


~cheers
 

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Looks like you're on your way to a very nice setup. I have a Denon (avr 1709) and love it. I might suggest getting some full range speakers- 2way or even 3way to broaden your stage. What do you like? What do you want to accomplish? Any gaming? What type of music?
 

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are you planning to use bookshelf speakers for your fronts, or are you open to floor standers? Or are you planning to start out with bookshelf speakers as fronts and then rotate them back when you can afford floorstanders? If you're going the bookshelf route, I'd suggest getting a sub as well to start. Those speakers you listed are very well reviewed. I would go out to your local audio store and audition some of the major brands to get a feel for what your ears like. Some people LOVE polk, I personally don't. Some people think Klipsch speakers tend to be too harsh, but I love them. The only absolute I can give you is not to buy a cheap Polk sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Ulate  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24408071


What do you want to accomplish? Any gaming? What type of music?

I have my PS3/360 hooked up so there will be some gaming. As for music, between my fiance and me we listen to a bit of everything. It's primarily for movies...to get the full experience. Eventually I really want to make it our own little movie theater...away from the movie theater lol. As for 3-way vs 2-way, I never really thought about it. Honestly, I'm not sure if I would know the difference between the two if I heard it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandlewood  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24408103


are you planning to use bookshelf speakers for your fronts, or are you open to floor standers? Or are you planning to start out with bookshelf speakers as fronts and then rotate them back when you can afford floorstanders? If you're going the bookshelf route, I'd suggest getting a sub as well to start. Those speakers you listed are very well reviewed. I would go out to your local audio store and audition some of the major brands to get a feel for what your ears like. Some people LOVE polk, I personally don't. Some people think Klipsch speakers tend to be too harsh, but I love them. The only absolute I can give you is not to buy a cheap Polk sub.

Right now, I was thinking about doing shelf speakers up front and then move them to the back and get some floor/free standing up front in their place. Right now I just cannot afford to drop additional ~$500-$600 to get free-standing speakers.


With a quick calculation, it would cost me approx $1300 to get the above-mentioned AVR+2.1. Which is a bit out of my budget right now. Is the sub really that crucial to the setup? If it is, I suppose I would have to expedite the purchase of the sub. Another option would be to opt out for other components, which really would like to avoid if it means a significant drop in quality. I really don't want to get stuck listening to something for years just to save a couple of bucks. But if I can shave off a chunk and still get 90% of the sound quality, I would not be too much opposed to that. Is this something that's viable?


How about floor standing speakers and CC? Any suggestions? I would like to keep it in the $800 range for L/R tower + CC. I think that all together for AVR + 5.1 I really do not want to spend more than $2000 if I can help it. I know it may be doable with some sale-hunting, but I would prefer to be the every day price.


I figured it's a relatively small place to fill with sound and I don't need to blow the doors off their hinges or anything (but it would be nice to listen to music and not have to be huddled around a speaker). Or am I asking for too much for the money?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Speaking of Polk, I found RTi4 and RTi6 on their eBay store for $175 and $250 respectively. How do they compare to the CBM-170s? Does it warrant the $$ difference (would save me almost $200)? Because if they are relatively close, I could swap them out and be able to buy the AVR + RTi4 (6's seem kinda big) + SVS PB1000 in one go.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape of Grey  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24408447


Speaking of Polk, I found RTi4 and RTi6 on their eBay store for $175 and $250 respectively. How do they compare to the CBM-170s? Does it warrant the $$ difference (would save me almost $200)? Because if they are relatively close, I could swap them out and be able to buy the AVR + RTi4 (6's seem kinda big) + SVS PB1000 in one go.

I can't compare the Polks to the CBM's, but they are darn good speakers. I use the 4's for my surrounds and they are great. As mains, they would be fine for awhile, but they are not quite as detailed as the RTI8 towers that I have. The RTI6's would be better as bookshelf mains as they are somewhere in between the 4's and the 8's as far as overall sound with better mids than the 4's. I'd also agree to stay away from the Polk subs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about Cambridge S30?


If one had to take S30's vs RTi4 vs CBM-170. CBM is obviously the benchmark of the 3, however, is the difference in quality proportional to the bump in price ($150 vs S30 and $200 vs RTi4).


1. AVR + 2.1 (CBM-170/PD1000) = $1259 shipped

2. AVR + 2.1 (S30/PB1000) = $1093 shipped

3. AVR + 2.1 (RTi4/PB1000) = $1054 shipped
 

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Skip Polk. Can't go wrong with either the Cambridge or Ascend, IMO.
 

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in the end, you can always upgrade and that's what a lot of folks end up doing anyways. if you're moving into a house, eventually you might have an office or a game room, etc and can always move the bookshelves in there. These might be a good option for budget: http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/products/ES20/ES20_JBL_US $130


then get whatever AVR you want ~$500


and get this sub and you'd be pleased for a while.

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1000-10-100-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-628 $109


Puts you in the ~$750 range with some good equipment.


Or, you could go a little higher up w/ the speakers or move some of that extra $250 around to see what works. Do you live near a Fry's or a best buy? you can always get the AVR and audition some from the retail stores or try some of the internet direct places that offer free shipping both ways.

http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/intimus-home-theater-speakers/intimus-4b-satellite-speaker $263 --- try and send back if you aren't thrilled


Hope this helps a bit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape of Grey  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24408447


Speaking of Polk, I found RTi4 and RTi6 on their eBay store for $175 and $250 respectively. How do they compare to the CBM-170s? Does it warrant the $$ difference (would save me almost $200)? Because if they are relatively close, I could swap them out and be able to buy the AVR + RTi4 (6's seem kinda big) + SVS PB1000 in one go.
The Polk RTi-Series is a great line of speakers just below their highest line the LSi-Series.


I have Polk RTi4's with a CSi3 Center. I absolutely love the system. Only thing I am going to change when I get more funds is get the RTi6's


Here is a review of the Polk RTi4 http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcomponents/1004polk/


The Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 would be better compared to the RTi6's, whether they are worth the $100 saved is for your ears to decide. Ascend Acoustic's does allow you to do an in home trial period so you can demo them yourself. The center you will want with the CBM-170's would be the CMT-340se
 

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Where do you live? Large metro area? If so hit up craiglist or the classifieds. You should be able to get a really nice Klipsch setup or pair of towers easily in that price range. A pair of RF62 or 82s would give you enough bass to satisfy for music and movies until you can get a good sub.


Also, I would not place the sofa directly against the wall. I'd move it in about 2 ft or so, maybe even more depending on how big your screen is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape of Grey  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24408695


How about Cambridge S30?


If one had to take S30's vs RTi4 vs CBM-170. CBM is obviously the benchmark of the 3, however, is the difference in quality proportional to the bump in price ($150 vs S30 and $200 vs RTi4).


1. AVR + 2.1 (CBM-170/PD1000) = $1259 shipped

2. AVR + 2.1 (S30/PB1000) = $1093 shipped

3. AVR + 2.1 (RTi4/PB1000) = $1054 shipped

The word bench-mark speaker is subjective.


Here is one subjective review of the Cambridge S30 - the S30 is not really a wimpy speaker
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A746B2EA57ZMQ/ref=pdp_new_read_full_review_link?ie=UTF8&page=1&sort_by=MostRecentReview#RTJS5HPPB37NR


And another one
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1453448/dynamics-at-the-front-fs52-s30-or-hb-1-mk2/60#post_22933842


However, I am confident that the Ascend is a good strong option - and some others have chosen it over Cambridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you guys so much for all of the fantastic feedback/suggestions. My decisions just got harder....so many possibilities.



I've never dealt with Accessories4less, but have seen it come up on more than one occasion on these forums...how advisable is it to buy a refurbished AVR? Should I buy the extra warranty? Ii am just a little skeptical and weary of getting something like the AVR-X1000 for half the cost of a new one.


Thoughts?


It if turns out to be reputable, I can save $80 by buying a refurb X1000 over a new 1713, take that money and put it towards speakers/sub while staying within budget. Which brings me to my next dilema. Up until now, I had not considered the LV12R, simply because I didn't even look at subs above $500. Honestly, I still feel a bit uneasy dropping $600 for a sub. Would the PB1000 be at its limits for my room/setup?


Right now I am strongly considering buying a refurb AVR as suggested (unless I hear something negative) + CBM170s + PB1000, which would put me at $1170 for a not to shabby 2.1 setup. On the other hand If I opt for S30s over CBM170 I would right at the top end of my original budget @$1070. OR I could go quite a bit over and splurge for the LV12R at almost $1300. Sigh, decisions...decisions.


Back to the proverbial drawing board.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape of Grey  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24409807


Thank you guys so much for all of the fantastic feedback/suggestions. My decisions just got harder....so many possibilities.



I've never dealt with Accessories4less, but have seen it come up on more than one occasion on these forums...how advisable is it to buy a refurbished AVR? Should I buy the extra warranty? Ii am just a little skeptical and weary of getting something like the AVR-X1000 for half the cost of a new one.


Thoughts?


It if turns out to be reputable, I can save $80 by buying a refurb X1000 over a new 1713, take that money and put it towards speakers/sub while staying within budget. Which brings me to my next dilema. Up until now, I had not considered the LV12R, simply because I didn't even look at subs above $500. Honestly, I still feel a bit uneasy dropping $600 for a sub. Would the PB1000 be at its limits for my room/setup?


Right now I am strongly considering buying a refurb AVR as suggested (unless I hear something negative) + CBM170s + PB1000, which would put me at $1170 for a not to shabby 2.1 setup. On the other hand If I opt for S30s over CBM170 I would right at the top end of my original budget @$1070. OR I could go quite a bit over and splurge for the LV12R at almost $1300. Sigh, decisions...decisions.


Back to the proverbial drawing board.

Well, as someone on this forum said recently, if you spend more than you thought for better stuff, you only cry once. I personally would choose your first option.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape of Grey  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24409807


I've never dealt with Accessories4less, but have seen it come up on more than one occasion on these forums...how advisable is it to buy a refurbished AVR? Should I buy the extra warranty? Ii am just a little skeptical and weary of getting something like the AVR-X1000 for half the cost of a new one.


Thoughts

I have bought 2 receivers from them with no problem
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci  /t/1519813/new-guy-on-the-block#post_24409947


Well, as someone on this forum said recently, if you spend more than you thought for better stuff, you only cry once. I personally would choose your first option. Remember, Ascend offers free shipping both ways so you'll be able to listen to them in your home for a while first.

If its free shipping both ways why do they charge $32 for shipping?

 
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