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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon AVS members!

I posted this in the audio theory, setup and chat forum and was recommended to ask over here =)

I am trying to put together my first home theater system instead of relying on out of the box home theater systems. After sifting through a bunch of AVS forums (you guys know your stuff!)
I decided the first order of business was a receiver. With cash in hand I went to a magnolia store and ended up walking out with a Denon AVR-X2100W for 400.00 USD (after price matching Amazon.) The rep. kept saying what a steal it was (don't know if this is true or not lol). I'm building the setup piece by piece. I figured I'd next go with some speakers and then subwoofer. For the subwoofer I'm thinking SVS PB-1000 or STF-2. As for the speakers I'm thinking 2 Polk TSX 330T. That's all I've got so far. What would you guys recommend? Did I do good with the Denon or should I return and get something else? and what would recommendations be for subwoofers and speakers.

Also, I'm trying to go for the best sound for the money. I don't really mind sacrificing nice features, as long as I get really nice sound and it doesn't break my pockets lol. My buget right now is 2000 (well 1600 since I bought the receiver.) It'll be for the living room which is 19' x 15' (later down the road ill build one for my basement! :D)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :):)
 

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I would skip the lower end Polk speakers no matter how cheap they are. If you are interested in Polk, I would go for some of the RTi series at the very least. In your budget I would try for a better subwoofer and stick with bookshelf speakers for the front stage speakers. If you like powerful bass, I would be looking at a Hsu Hybrid 3 package, good speakers and very powerful subwoofer. Some other bookshelf speakers worth looking at is the Ascend CBM-170s. If you really want tower speakers, a great affordable model is the Infinity Primus p363.
 

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While not exactly a steal, that is a good price for a solid AVR. As far as what I recommend for speakers, I recommend you go out and audition both bookshelf and tower speakers at a couple of local audio stores. The reason is simple. There are hundreds of speakers to choose from, and speaker selection is highly subjective. What I (or anyone else here) recommend you may or may not like. Let your own ears be the judge. As far as bookshelf vs tower speakers, I'd be looking at bookshelf speakers since you are going to be incorporating a subwoofer.

Your room is medium size (2,280 cu. ft. w/8-foot high ceilings). The problem is, I suspect that room is open to at least one other room. For subwoofer selection, we would need to know the cubic footage of all rooms open to your listening/viewing room and the size of openings to those rooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would skip the lower end Polk speakers no matter how cheap they are. If you are interested in Polk, I would go for some of the RTi series at the very least. In your budget I would try for a better subwoofer and stick with bookshelf speakers for the front stage speakers. If you like powerful bass, I would be looking at a Hsu Hybrid 3 package, good speakers and very powerful subwoofer. Some other bookshelf speakers worth looking at is the Ascend CBM-170s. If you really want tower speakers, a great affordable model is the Infinity Primus p363.

With that budget, sounds like you might want to check out the SVS Prime review.
Awesome! Thank you guys for the recommendations! I'll definitely take a look into them!

While not exactly a steal, that is a good price for a solid AVR. As far as what I recommend for speakers, I recommend you go out and audition both bookshelf and tower speakers at a couple of local audio stores. The reason is simple. There are hundreds of speakers to choose from, and speaker selection is highly subjective. What I (or anyone else here) recommend you may or may not like. Let your own ears be the judge. As far as bookshelf vs tower speakers, I'd be looking at bookshelf speakers since you are going to be incorporating a subwoofer.

Your room is medium size (2,280 cu. ft. w/8-foot high ceilings). The problem is, I suspect that room is open to at least one other room. For subwoofer selection, we would need to know the cubic footage of all rooms open to your listening/viewing room and the size of openings to those rooms.
You're right! it is open to another room. It's open to the dining area which is then open to the Kitchen. It's an open floor plan so all the rooms have the same entrance except for a little wall that comes out when going into the dining area. The measurements for the dining is 8' x 13' and 17' x 15' for the kitchen. I'll take a look into bookshelf speakers, and go to some of the local audio stores to check them out. Are there any that you would recommend to check out?
 

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I decided the first order of business was a receiver.
Perhaps it's too late or perhaps nobody (you) cares...

I would have told you to decide on your speakers first and then worry about the electronics. Buying electronics before speakers is similar (to me) to buying some specific tires....and then trying to figure out what car they work best on.

Backward backward backward.

Listen to the speakers, decide what has the sound/budget you love.....and then get something to drive them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Perhaps it's too late or perhaps nobody (you) cares...

I would have told you to decide on your speakers first and then worry about the electronics. Buying electronics before speakers is similar (to me) to buying some specific tires....and then trying to figure out what car they work best on.

Backward backward backward.

Listen to the speakers, decide what has the sound/budget you love.....and then get something to drive them.
It's not too late. I bought the Receiver 2 days ago and haven't opened the box. So should I just return it and instead spend the money on speakers? That's a good analogy, I didn't think of it like that. Sorry I'm new to all this so I'm still learning =)
 

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It's not too late. I bought the Receiver 2 days ago and haven't opened the box. So should I just return it and instead spend the money on speakers? That's a good analogy, I didn't think of it like that. Sorry I'm new to all this so I'm still learning =)
You have a good AVR. Don't worry about it. It constitutes only 20% of your budget, which is on target. What coytee was relaying is that your speakers (the front stage) is your most important investment (although not necessarily the most expensive investment), followed by the subwoofer (in your case the most expensive investment), and one budgets accordingly.

Speakers I'd look to audition would be:

$600 / pair (includes shipping) JBL Studio 530 bookshelf speaker: http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/pr...earchMode=regularProductOnly&sCatId=cat140013 (I have not auditioned these but have heard very good things about them).

$600 / pair (includes shipping) Def Tech SM-55 bookshelf speaker: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-3Y9ouBQ92Kx/p_735SM55/Definitive-Technology-StudioMonitor-55.html (I have auditioned these on 3 separate occasions -- along with the SM-45 & SM-65 and were in the running for my home).

Robert Reina review: http://www.stereophile.com/content/definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-loudspeaker

From an Internet-Direct Company:

$498 / pair (on sale w/ $40 shipping) Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE bookshelf speaker: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html (I've not auditioned these, but are thought of highly here on AVS). Use for your front stage (add in a 3rd for your center channel).
$298 / pair (on sale w/ $32 shipping) Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE bookshelf speaker: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html (I've not auditioned these either, but it would make nice rear channels).

I'd also take a serious look into other Internet-Direct companies, and I'd look for cheaper (but excellent) speakers so you can put more money into your subwoofer budget (which is needed in your case). You order these for 30-day in-home auditions (return shipping varies, so check):

ShadyJ already mentioned the Hsu HB-1 Mk 2s. I've heard these at the Hsu facility and feel they are worth auditioning.

$225 / pair (includes shipping) EMP Tek R5Bi bookshelf speaker (formally E5Bi): http://emptek.com/r5bi.php (these are the speakers I liked above all others I auditioned and suggest getting 5).
Andrew Robinson's video review:
Andrew Robinson review: http://hometheaterreview.com/emp-tek-e5bi-bookshelf-speaker-reviewed/

Take your time. Audition as many speakers as practical, and enjoy the process.

For subwoofers, there are many to choose, from I.D. companies like: Hsu Research, Outlaw Audio, Power Sound Audio (PSA), Reaction Audio, Rythmik Audio and SVS.
 

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^ Yes, I meant the 530s ... oops (have been corrected) :eek:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You have a good AVR. Don't worry about it. It constitutes only 20% of your budget, which is on target. What coytee was relaying is that your speakers (the front stage) is your most important investment (although not necessarily the most expensive investment), followed by the subwoofer (in your case the most expensive investment), and one budgets accordingly.

Speakers I'd look to audition would be:

$600 / pair (includes shipping) JBL Studio 530 bookshelf speaker: http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/pr...earchMode=regularProductOnly&sCatId=cat140013 (I have not auditioned these but have heard very good things about them).

$600 / pair (includes shipping) Def Tech SM-55 bookshelf speaker: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-3Y9ouBQ92Kx/p_735SM55/Definitive-Technology-StudioMonitor-55.html (I have auditioned these on 3 separate occasions -- along with the SM-45 & SM-65 and were in the running for my home).

Robert Reina review: http://www.stereophile.com/content/definitive-technology-studiomonitor-55-loudspeaker

From an Internet-Direct Company:

$498 / pair (on sale w/ $40 shipping) Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE bookshelf speaker: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html (I've not auditioned these, but are thought of highly here on AVS). Use for your front stage (add in a 3rd for your center channel).
$298 / pair (on sale w/ $32 shipping) Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE bookshelf speaker: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html (I've not auditioned these either, but it would make nice rear channels).

I'd also take a serious look into other Internet-Direct companies, and I'd look for cheaper (but excellent) speakers so you can put more money into your subwoofer budget (which is needed in your case). You order these for 30-day in-home auditions (return shipping varies, so check):

ShadyJ already mentioned the Hsu HB-1 Mk 2s. I've heard these at the Hsu facility and feel they are worth auditioning.

$225 / pair (includes shipping) EMP Tek R5Bi bookshelf speaker (formally E5Bi): http://emptek.com/r5bi.php (these are the speakers I liked above all others I auditioned and suggest getting 5).
Andrew Robinson's video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nskkt8c3-78
Andrew Robinson review: http://hometheaterreview.com/emp-tek-e5bi-bookshelf-speaker-reviewed/

Take your time. Audition as many speakers as practical, and enjoy the process.

For subwoofers, there are many to choose, from I.D. companies like: Hsu Research, Outlaw Audio, Power Sound Audio (PSA), Reaction Audio, Rythmik Audio and SVS.
Thanks for all the information and recommendations!!! I took a look into all of those speakers. I think I'm going to audition the EMP Tek R5Bi speakers (I think I'll by two pairs) and match it with a R5Ci Center Channel Speaker. As for the subwoofer I'm going to go with HSU's VTF-3 MK5 HP or SVS PB-2000 (both are 800.00 USD). That will put me at 1475.00 USD before taxes and shipping. I think this would be a pretty good setup =D!
 

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Thanks for all the information and recommendations!!! I took a look into all of those speakers. I think I'm going to audition the EMP Tek R5Bi speakers (I think I'll by two pairs) and match it with a R5Ci Center Channel Speaker. As for the subwoofer I'm going to go with HSU's VTF-3 MK5 HP or SVS PB-2000 (both are 800.00 USD). That will put me at 1475.00 USD before taxes and shipping. I think this would be a pretty good setup =D!
It would be more than a pretty good setup. It would be a great setup. However, I caution to start out with buying two speakers just to test (that's what I did). Just because Andrew and I think highly of them, there is no guarantee that you will. By purchasing two, you can test them out for 30 days (they will need a good subwoofer to fill out the range). If they aren't what you had hoped they would be, it would only cost you $25 to ship them back. I know when I was auditioning them, it didn't stop me from going out and auditioning other speakers. BTW, this is what I thought about the R5Bi's (both the good and not so good): http://www.avsforum.com/forum/dbtreview.php?do=view_review&id=4850&ri=review

The Hsu subwoofer choice is top notch and is an excellent value. I would recommend it over the SVS (and I proudly own an SVS sub). SVS, of course, has free shipping both ways, so it wouldn't hurt to check out the PB-2000 and compare it against the Hsu.
 
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