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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, two things first. One, if this is in wrong forum, I apologize to everyone and the mods and please point me in the right direction. Two, thanks to everyone who has posted here and helped me make some decisions prior to me registering and creating my first post.

That said, this will be my first semi-serious home theater build, and I would appreciate this forum's input before my return periods expire. I set out with a $1500 budget for receiver, speakers, sub, and wiring, as I already have a good 1080p TV, media devices, and speaker stands.

Room Details:
Square Footage - Approx. 720 sq. ft.
Ceiling - 9ft, Popcorn
Floor - Tile
Layout - Not square, living room with home theater is attached to a kitchen and a small hallway. Kitchen and hallway included in above mentioned square footage.

Home Theater Uses:
TV, movies, and a very wide range of music.

Hardware:
Receiver - Onkyo TX-NR737 (chose this receiver as I wanted something with HDCP 2.2, Dolby ATMOS, and enough power to drive the SP-FS52s)
Speakers - Pioneer SP-FS52 5.0 Speaker Set (chose these speakers mostly due to my budget, and the positive reviews here and elsewhere on the internet)
Sub - SVS SB12-NSD (chose this sub based upon reviews here, the warranty/reputation over other brands, and a tech at SVS who recommended it over the SB-1000 for my square footage)

Wiring:
Sub RCA - Soundpath RCA, 5m
Speaker Wire - Monster Cable XP
HDMI for Receiver Output to TV - Monster Cable UltraHD Black Platinum

With the above mentioned purchases I just eeked over my $1500 budget to $1620.54. I have to thank the SVS outlet store, and believe it or not BrandsMart USA for beating online prices for everything else, including tax.

I have the Onkyo receiver and wiring in hand, pick up the Pioneer speakers on Friday, and should receive the delivery from SVS later this week or early next week.

So before my return periods expire, what do you think of my decisions within my budget range? Is there anything I should consider swapping out?

And looking ahead at setting up my system, are there any threads you could bring to my attention?

I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. Other than upping my budget another $1000-$1300 to take the next step up ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After reading some more around this forum, I think it may be a better idea to substitute the following speakers for the Pioneers.

Front and Rears:
Infinity Primus P153 or P163

Center:
Infinity Primus PC351

This would cost about another $100-120, but may be worth it. I'll definitely wait until auditioning the Pioneers, but I'd be open to suggestions for a similar change in cost.
 

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I think you've made excellent decisions so far. I own the Infinity speakers as surrounds, but I believe I would be perfectly satisfied with them as mains. With that size room I would get the p163 with the larger woofer (6.5" vs. 5.25"). I believe the Pioneers you were looking at are great speakers as well, and I suspect you would be happy with either.

Have you bought the Monster speaker cable/HDMI yet? If not, I would stay away from Monster and look at Monoprice or other cheaper brand. Most scientifically-minded people believe expensive speaker cable is a straight up scam.

One thing: I notice you mention the floor is tile. As a next step thing you might consider putting a carpet on the first reflection point or even look at the walls/ceiling.
 

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Your choice of speakers is really a matter of personal preference. It really depends what "sound" of speakers you like. That said, I have some comments about those two choices - I've listened to both brands and this is what I think about them.

The Pioneer speakers seem to have a pretty flat frequency response but at the cost of max output and "dynamics" - they are a warmer sounding speaker. The Infinity speakers have a brighter, more lively sound than the Pioneers and they seem to have more "punch".

If you like brighter speakers, louder music or action movies, i suspect that the Infinty speakers would be a better fit. The bigger Infinity P363 are an amazing deal at $168 each with free shipping on Amazon and the bigger center channel speaker, the PC351 at $199 is also a great deal. I have also seen them both on sale for less on Amazon. I have the same sub and I think the Infinity speakers would be able to match the output of the sub closer - without limiting its output to a fraction of its possible output.

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-Three-way-Speaker-Center-Channel/dp/B0044D1788
http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-Three-way-Floorstanding-Speaker/dp/B0046A8R3M
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both for your comments.

In regards to my floor being tile, I was planning on using a large throw rug to help with the reflection points. Does the popcorn ceiling help at all with this?

Thank you for the recommendation on the HDMI cable, I will return the Monster and swap it for the Monoprice. Also, the 16AWG Monoprice speaker wire is a few bucks cheaper so I will swap the Monster out for this as well. I've read that 16AWG is the proper size for runs less than 50 ft, is that correct?

At this point I believe I have made a mistake purchasing a receiver so close to the release of DTS X. I'm more than likely going to return the Onkyo receiver and wait for the summer/fall release of affordable receivers with DTS X and Dolby ATMOS. Since I bought the receiver, HDMI, speaker wire, and Pioneer speakers all from BrandsMart, I feel it best to probably just return everything unopened all at once. I have an old receiver and set of front and rear speakers I can pair with my new sub to hold me over for the time being.

In the meantime I think I will wait for deals on the Infinity Primus to pop up on Fry's or Amazon. I've subscribed to slickdeals.net with an "Infinity Primus" tag, and registered for Fry's flyers. So I should be able to jump on any deals that pop up. I think I would do P363s for the fronts, P163s for the rears, and the PC351 for the center.

To be honest I wish I lived near a Fry's so I could just listen to both of these speaker sets in person, as they are pretty much the only speakers in my price range with good feedback. But alas, I'm stuck in south Florida.
 

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Given your budget, I'm not sure I would worry about Atmos and other "object based" surround decoders right now - it would give you time and budget to focus on your 5.1 speakers / subs and time to enjoy your system.

Think of it this way - instead of paying top dollar for bleeding edge equipment that will rapidly decrease in price and be obsolete as soon as the next technology comes out, why not get a previous year model with 7.1 processing for a bargain price now and wait for those AVRs with object based surround decoders (along with the latest 4k video and new HDCP once it is defined) once they become mainstream and drop in price. There won't be that many cutting edge movie soundtracks that you will be missing out on.

If you are a carefull shopper, and time your purchases well, TWO AVRs (7.1 now and object based decoding / 4k / HDCP 2.? For 4k later) may actually cost less than buying one bleeding edge AVR in the near future. NOTHING is more expensive or a budget killer like chasing the bleeding edge!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm definitely familiar with the pain the "bleeding edge" has caused to my wallet. The deal I'm getting on the Onkyo receiver is about $330 less than original MSRP. If you combine that with another purchase about 5-6 years in the future, with a similar philosophy and save about another $300, you're exactly right on target with another $600 receiver budget.

The main reason I'm contemplating holding off on the receiver is that I will be purchasing a home soon. And with that home comes the privilege of defacing my drywall :)

But realistically you are right, there aren't that many tracks I will be missing out on. I used blu-raystats.com (sorry for not using a link, my noobness won't allow me to post them) to do some research after reading your comment. There are currently only 14 Dolby Atmos titles. There are about 6000 DTS HD titles, and about 1300 Dolby TrueHD titles.

DTS HD was released in 2004, and really took hold around 2010, according to the sources off Wikipedia. I can only assume that this trend in history will repeat itself, but at a somewhat accelerated pace. Sorry for the history about stuff you all might know, I'm just thinking while typing, and trying to convince myself to keep my new, yet to be unboxed receiver.

Side note, just found a local deal on some used equipment. 4 Pioneer SP-FS52 towers, SP-C22 center channel, and a Polk PSW10. So maybe I'll only return the wiring, the fronts, and the center, and build a 7.1 setup! With two subs!

So last question, for the day at least, will the Pioneer towers make good rears? :p
 

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+1 to Monoprice cables

+1 to buying last year's bleeding edge, about what you're doing with the Onk TX-NR737. There will always be new models. I have the TX-SR707, released just before networking was added to AVRs, and use TV and BD for network connections. In my case, other components provided the upgrade; that's not likely the case with DTS-X/Atmos, so our situations differ in that regard.

Conversely, in addition to the lack of program you noted, we're not talking a "gotta-have "improvement here. It's a huge change under the covers, but to the listener, these new encoding schemes are still only changing the ambiance information, the signal sent to speakers other than LCR. Far more significant to your HT experience is a good LCR set and sufficient subwoofage.

I guess what I'm saying is take your time. This is your "first semi-serious home theater build" and as your first, this is more learning experience than anything else. Yes, you'll have a fine HT, but not right away if you're honest. I built my first speakers in the '70s, yet it took me 5 iterations on center channels before I got it right. Of course, "right" cost twice as much, but I admit I'm a cheapskate!

But if there's a place to splurge, it's on speakers, and with the knowledge that they won't become obsolete if you buy the right ones. The biggest reason to upgrade speakers is not spending enough the first time.

HAve fun,
Frank
 
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