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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll admit I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to audio. What I'm hoping to do is get a little guidance on what type of set up to get to meet my needs. I've been researching for a while now and decided I need to ask a few questions.


Room Dimensions - 20wX30L - This room will be 1/2 HT and 1/2 game room. I'm looking for a set up that will sound great for HT and typical CD audio. I'm not sure if I should go with a 7.1 or a 6.1 or a 5.1 system, or something else .1 that I don't know about. I'd like to stay withing the $1500 range for the the speakers and sub.


I currently have an HK AVR130 and 5 Infinity satelites and a sub. This set up works OK for my current small room, but it isn't great to listen to CD's.


I know I need to listen to speakers and decide what I like, but hopefully the experts can give some ideas of where to start.


Thanks!
 

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I'd recommend these: http://www.wilsonaudio.com/products/x1/index.html

MSRP is $90,000, but you can find them for $40,000.


You don't mention how much you can spend.


This question, and variations on it, has been asked about 1500 times in this forum, and millions elsewhere. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but the answer is always the same: read everything you can, and listen to a LOT of stuff. You can do the Best Buys and Tweeters, but also visit a few high-end shops. Bring your own well-recorded cd's for comparasion. Then I'm sure you'll have some questions by which you can be better-guided.
 

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Well, even if you use only half of the room for HT, it's still fairly large and capable of handling 7.1. However, 7.1 will eat into your budget a little more than 6.1 and 6.1 will eat into your budget more than 5.1. So, it's partially a financial decision. Generally speaker, if you get 7.1 or 6.1, you'll have to either up your budget to get the same quality as 5.1 speakers or get lesser quality speakers. There's nothing wrong with 5.1. That's what I'd go for if I were you.


Then, you have to decide on what kind of speakers you want. Do you want floorstander or bookshelves for the mains? Do you want dipoles or boxes for surrounds?


Without that information, it's kind of difficult to suggest specific speakers. As far as brands go, within your budget there's Ascend, Axiom, B&W, JMLab, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Paradigm, PSB among others. Ascend and Axiom are mail order speaker that you'd have to buy in order to audition. They have a liberal return policy, so that would cost you shipping but you get to audition in your home. The others, unless the dealer allows you to take them home for a try out, you'd have to audition in the store. Begin by taking CD's/DVD's that you are familiar with and go to some audio stores in your area. Listen to as many speakers as you can, even some above your budget, so you can decide what kind of sound you like. Speakers sound different; some say startlingly different.


In between your auditions, spend some time perusing the speaker sections of audio fora such as this. There are a lot of folks on these fora who are much more knowledgable about speakers than I. But, in the final analysis, it'll come down to what you like and can afford.
 

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OOPS, sorry.
 

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for a room that size, a $1500 budget for 7 speakers and a sub is not going to cut it, at least not to get any where near reference level. For a room that size, I would say you would need to spend closer to $5K to get any real performance. That room is huge, and you do not even say how high it is.


Also, the HK 130 will not have enough power to fill the room either, even if running Klipsh ref 7's all around
 

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Unless you are also upgrading the receiver, you can't drive more than 5 channels. So how about sticking with 5.1 for the moment?


If you like the sound of Infinity, what about buying three higher-end Infinity speakers for the front 3 and using 2 of your existing satellites as surrounds? Might help you stretch the budget and provide some more of the 2 channel performance you are looking for.


If you are just using half (15x20) of the room, then you might be OK even with the satellites. Depends on how loud you listen. I'd agree that getting substantial bass will be a bit of a problem with that large a room, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The room is ~8 ft. high.


I've decided to wait until I can actually get something decent to upgrade. Thanks for the suggestions so far.


Where should one start the upgrade process. If the end goal is a 7.1 system that will also sound good while listening to music.


Should I start with the receiver? The main channels and a center? Something else.


Let's assume I'm going to build this over the course of 1 year. In what order should I purchase my "components?"
 

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Buy matching center and fronts first while using your sat speakers for surround. Get a GOOD subwoofer next - this will add a lot of realism to movies as well as round out your sound for stereo listening. If you are planning on going 7.1, you will have to upgrade your receiver next. Finally, upgrade your surrounds with speakers that are meant to go with the front three.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karp
Buy matching center and fronts first while using your sat speakers for surround. Get a GOOD subwoofer next - this will add a lot of realism to movies as well as round out your sound for stereo listening. If you are planning on going 7.1, you will have to upgrade your receiver next. Finally, upgrade your surrounds with speakers that are meant to go with the front three.


Thanks for the advice. This is kind of what I thought as well. Now all I have to do is save the money!
 
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