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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1) Ideal budget: 400-700$, can be completed in two steps (need two fronts, sub, and two rears), I am not including a new receiver in this budget as that will be an upgrade next year.
2) Listening: This would be 80% movies / tv, 10% game (low volume), 10% music (low to moderate volume, not rockstar levels)
3) Receiver - Optimus STAV-3780 (yes ancient) (90's?)
EQ - Audiosource Model EQ Eight/Series II (90's?)
Center: Monitor CS2 Series II
Front L/R: Ultralinear 1000 (yes ancient :eek:) (70's?)
Rear L/R: Ultralinear 1000 (see above)
Display: Vizio P602ui-B3 (60" LCD)
4) Room info: Room is 18 wide x 20 long, vaulted ceiling 16 ft at peak down to 9 ft (9ft is at tv side and den side), to the right is our kitchen 9 ft ceiling, and is open with island bar. Rear wall has an opening 6ft x 3ft into den (like a window without glass), hallway to right of den runs into dining room / rear rooms of house. Acoustic nightmare?
5) Placement restrictions: Room is pre-wired w/ banana wall plates at 9ft height. Would like to keep placement of speakers front/rear at same locations within reason to make it easier to wire.
6) Asthetic or size concerns: Wife would like the speakers to be wall mounted either by wall plate, or by shelf to gain floor space
7) Considering: BIC-F12, or any sub 300$ sub, Polk Monitor 40's for replacement for ultralinears (bf deal @ newegg).
8) Clarity over volume, we have children age 2&3, and dogs so we don't normally just blast audio

We watch movies off a dedicated computer behind the TV, which has 5.1 analog output to the receiver. I hope next year to upgrade the receiver. This isn't a dedicated theater room, and won't ever turn into one but obviously I need some help in the speaker department. Wife wants the old loudspeakers gone. Theater room plan is for the basement in 5-7 years, I have a room 12' wide x 20' width with a clean slate (planned projector, carpeted walls, 2 tiered couches, etc.). Due to size of the room I don't think the monoprice cheapies would cut it and then save the money for the theater downstairs.

Open to suggestions and questions, thanks in advance!

edit: wife axed floor speakers for the room
 

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1) Ideal budget: 400-700$, can be completed in two steps (need two fronts, sub, and two rears), I am not including a new receiver in this budget as that will be an upgrade next year.
2) Listening: This would be 80% movies / tv, 10% game (low volume), 10% music (low to moderate volume, not rockstar levels)
3) Receiver - Optimus STAV-3780 (yes ancient) (90's?)
EQ - Audiosource Model EQ Eight/Series II (90's?)
Center: Monitor CS2 Series II
Front L/R: Ultralinear 1000 (yes ancient :eek:) (70's?)
Rear L/R: Ultralinear 1000 (see above)
Display: Vizio P602ui-B3 (60" LCD)
4) Room info: Room is 18 wide x 20 long, vaulted ceiling 16 ft at peak down to 9 ft (9ft is at tv side and den side), to the right is our kitchen 9 ft ceiling, and is open with island bar. Rear wall has an opening 6ft x 3ft into den (like a window without glass), hallway to right of den runs into dining room / rear rooms of house. Acoustic nightmare?
5) Placement restrictions: Room is pre-wired w/ banana wall plates at 9ft height. Would like to keep placement of speakers front/rear at same locations within reason to make it easier to wire.
6) Asthetic or size concerns: Wife would like the speakers to be wall mounted either by wall plate, or by shelf to gain floor space
7) Considering: BIC-F12, or any sub 300$ sub, Polk Monitor 40's for replacement for ultralinears (bf deal @ newegg).
8) Clarity over volume, we have children age 2&3, and dogs so we don't normally just blast audio

We watch movies off a dedicated computer behind the TV, which has 5.1 analog output to the receiver. I hope next year to upgrade the receiver. This isn't a dedicated theater room, and won't ever turn into one but obviously I need some help in the speaker department. Wife wants the old loudspeakers gone. Theater room plan is for the basement in 5-7 years, I have a room 12' wide x 20' width with a clean slate (planned projector, carpeted walls, 2 tiered couches, etc.). Due to size of the room I don't think the monoprice cheapies would cut it and then save the money for the theater downstairs.

Open to suggestions and questions, thanks in advance!

edit: wife axed floor speakers for the room
I'm confused, what are the two steps.

If step one is two fronts+center+rears+sub for maximum $700 I'd strongly suggest you just buy the front three and a sub for $700 and either use the existing rear speakers for a while or get rid of them and just run 3.1.

That is a decent sized room and you're sitting pretty far away...but at least your volume levels aren't huge so a 5.25 center and left and right should work fine.

Forget the BIC F12; get the Emotiva BasX S10 for that same $299 so now we're at only $400 for three speakers.

Unlike other budget Polk speakers the new Signature series has been VERY well received in the pro press and by AVS member who own the.

Buy the Polk S15s from NewEgg Factory refurbished, (I've bought refurbished and they always look and perform like new), on this page; they come with port spacers on the back with keyholes for wall mounting. On the same page buy the S30 Center Channel to place on your cabinet below the TV.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...1&N=100008225 50012345 4016&Manufactory=12345

Still curious as to what step 2 is and what that budget is?

There is another good option which is a great deal right now though I think the above 3.1 system is better in terms of dynamics and subwoofer bass extension; your wife will certainly like it much better.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091SIB51B/Focal-Sib-5-1-Pack-Black.html?tp=184&omnews=14173836
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry I wasn't clear enough. If I had to do the upgrade in two steps, I could buy the front stage and sub, then add rears at a later date.

We won't be listening at ear piercing levels, but want the sound to be clear. The setup now is not ideal, but just what I had sitting around. I guess I wrote off small satellites and smaller systems thinking they would sound horrible in the room, very bright and lacking mid range and bass. Do you think that Focal system has enough punch to sound full being so small? This may be the better option for saving space, and saving money to put toward a new receiver. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Sorry I wasn't clear enough. If I had to do the upgrade in two steps, I could buy the front stage and sub, then add rears at a later date.

We won't be listening at ear piercing levels, but want the sound to be clear. The setup now is not ideal, but just what I had sitting around. I guess I wrote off small satellites and smaller systems thinking they would sound horrible in the room, very bright and lacking mid range and bass. Do you think that Focal system has enough punch to sound full being so small? This may be the better option for saving space, and saving money to put toward a new receiver. Thanks for the suggestion.
It might be perfect for your needs and you can double check with Crutchfield as I think their return charges aren't too expensive.

The Focals have surprisingly large 5" main drivers and 3/4" tweeters so might actually be perfect for your needs.

At some point, to upgrade, a $300 BasX S10 would be a substantial upgrade if you are happy with the rest of they system.

If you buy it be sure to come back and give us your impressions.

4" Focal speakers are $100/each at Accessories4Less so even if you sell the little sub at some point you still got a great deal on the five 5" Focals for $400, or $80/each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Purchased the Focals today and should be able to set them up just before Thanksgiving to try them out. Just for anyone wondering there is a $10 return fee if you simply don't like the purchased speakers within 60 days of purchase at Crutchfield. They provide you a return shipping label. The crutchfield rep said they sounded good for their size, and would be lacking a little bit of bass for the room size. Since I won't be looking to rattle windows or feel like we are in the flight path of a landing strip these should work out great. What would you suggest for a replacement receiver?

TV to receiver will be hdmi audio or optical depending if the receiver will do ARC.
Computer will be HDMI to the TV first to port 5 to achieve higher frame rates [email protected] or 4k @ 60hz. Hope the latency isn't that bad for audio.
Gaming console will be HDMI, or rca for old school (snes / etc).

Bluetooth would be nice to pair to phones for listening but not required as we have a chromecast and a computer hooked up. I did notice almost all receivers don't have the option to have an EQ attached, kind of sad not having the ability to adjust the sound to your taste anymore maybe this is built in?
 

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Purchased the Focals today and should be able to set them up just before Thanksgiving to try them out. Just for anyone wondering there is a $10 return fee if you simply don't like the purchased speakers within 60 days of purchase at Crutchfield. They provide you a return shipping label. The crutchfield rep said they sounded good for their size, and would be lacking a little bit of bass for the room size. Since I won't be looking to rattle windows or feel like we are in the flight path of a landing strip these should work out great. What would you suggest for a replacement receiver?

TV to receiver will be hdmi audio or optical depending if the receiver will do ARC.
Computer will be HDMI to the TV first to port 5 to achieve higher frame rates [email protected] or 4k @ 60hz. Hope the latency isn't that bad for audio.
Gaming console will be HDMI, or rca for old school (snes / etc).

Bluetooth would be nice to pair to phones for listening but not required as we have a chromecast and a computer hooked up. I did notice almost all receivers don't have the option to have an EQ attached, kind of sad not having the ability to adjust the sound to your taste anymore maybe this is built in?
Excellent.

Wow, to be honest I had no idea Crutchfield's return policy was THAT good. Thanks.

The best deal on a receiver right now is one of the Denon X300 models.

Not sure why you would use your TV as the HDMI hub rather than the receiver which is designed specifically for that purpose.

This $300 receiver does everything you need including EQ on the sub to get the most out of that little guy and eliminate any "boominess" that sometimes little subs produce when pushed.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_033AVX1300/Denon-AVR-X1300W.html?tp=179
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Not sure why you would use your TV as the HDMI hub rather than the receiver which is designed specifically for that purpose."

Honestly I don't know enough about how the receiver HDMI system works to know if it would be able to pass the data and achieve 120 fps on screen correctly. That will be a trial and error setup for me when I cross that bridge. I hope to upgrade the receiver early next year. That receiver looks like it would fit the bill, I see a lot of these units have a self calibration mic included which is nice feature.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

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"Not sure why you would use your TV as the HDMI hub rather than the receiver which is designed specifically for that purpose."

Honestly I don't know enough about how the receiver HDMI system works to know if it would be able to pass the data and achieve 120 fps on screen correctly. That will be a trial and error setup for me when I cross that bridge. I hope to upgrade the receiver early next year. That receiver looks like it would fit the bill, I see a lot of these units have a self calibration mic included which is nice feature.

Thanks again for all the help!
Yes, not sure ANY AVR these days lacks a microphone based EQ system.

Denon is attractive because, for a low price, (as low as $300 at the moment), you also can get sub EQ which subwoofer manufacturers used to charge a $300-$1000 premium for!

When the time comes just talk to Crutchfield and they will answer all your questions but, in general, a quality AVR will NOT "hurt" the video signal quality, (ie. a 1080P AVR passes full 1080p, a 4k AVR passes full 4k, some, like the Denon, with Dolby Vision and HDR).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for the suggestion to these speakers. Finally able to watch a show without the kids, albeit with the old receiver. Watched Hitman's Bodyguard, and quite impressed with the sound quality of speakers and the response from the sub being so small. We don't need rock the house bass up here but you can tell the lack of lower frequency punch from before. I learned a few things after install. One, the pre-amp on the receiver is only for L/R speakers so this has to be disabled to have even levels of all speakers. Two, windows or the amplifier has issues with dolby on some programs. After setting up speakers correctly and testing them in windows on the PC, some programs will not output to the center or sub channel, so I cannot use the 5.1 option on the receiver. When using VLC with the same content there is no problem with 5.1 option on the receiver as windows is passing correct channels. Not sure what is causing this but I'm guessing encoding somewhere or lack there of. Work around is just use the dvd option and not true 5.1 for content that isn't properly providing all channels. This should all be fixed once I purchase a new receiver, this will also give us 5.1 for OTA antenna, netflix and prime direct from the TV as we only use L/R rca cables currently since the receiver has no optical.

Regarding install of the speakers. Each speaker comes with brackets for wall mounting which was great. They are very adjustable on L/R and U/D and have a good solid feel. Each speaker comes with it's own allen wrench attached to the mount for later adjustment! The speakers came with drywall mounts but I opted to get at least one stud per speaker and the other I used dry wall molly different than the ones provided. Very good fit, finish, appearance and weight. So far the speakers fit our needs very well. I imagine with a new head unit it will really bring the speakers to life even more. Ignore the Christmas mess as it is -1 here and the kid's have to use energy somewhere! Thanks again, and I look forward to getting a head unit this year.
 

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Thanks again for the suggestion to these speakers. Finally able to watch a show without the kids, albeit with the old receiver. Watched Hitman's Bodyguard, and quite impressed with the sound quality of speakers and the response from the sub being so small. We don't need rock the house bass up here but you can tell the lack of lower frequency punch from before. I learned a few things after install. One, the pre-amp on the receiver is only for L/R speakers so this has to be disabled to have even levels of all speakers. Two, windows or the amplifier has issues with dolby on some programs. After setting up speakers correctly and testing them in windows on the PC, some programs will not output to the center or sub channel, so I cannot use the 5.1 option on the receiver. When using VLC with the same content there is no problem with 5.1 option on the receiver as windows is passing correct channels. Not sure what is causing this but I'm guessing encoding somewhere or lack there of. Work around is just use the dvd option and not true 5.1 for content that isn't properly providing all channels. This should all be fixed once I purchase a new receiver, this will also give us 5.1 for OTA antenna, netflix and prime direct from the TV as we only use L/R rca cables currently since the receiver has no optical.

Regarding install of the speakers. Each speaker comes with brackets for wall mounting which was great. They are very adjustable on L/R and U/D and have a good solid feel. Each speaker comes with it's own allen wrench attached to the mount for later adjustment! The speakers came with drywall mounts but I opted to get at least one stud per speaker and the other I used dry wall molly different than the ones provided. Very good fit, finish, appearance and weight. So far the speakers fit our needs very well. I imagine with a new head unit it will really bring the speakers to life even more. Ignore the Christmas mess as it is -1 here and the kid's have to use energy somewhere! Thanks again, and I look forward to getting a head unit this year.
I must admit they look better in your photos than in other photos I've seen.

Where is the center channel speaker?

With your left and right sooooooooooo far apart that speaker becomes even more important.

Glad you are happy thus far.

For a receiver consider a factory refurbished Denon from Accessories4less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The speakers have a matt-rubber finish and a high gloss plastic, which is a nice contrast that helps when mounting so they don't slip out of your hand. I was very impressed with the weight, construction and appearance. Center speaker is just below the TV next to the receiver (see pic attached). I usually have it next to the receiver but I was having a connection issue I was chasing with RCA cables so I had to move it over. I know ideally it would be best to be right under the screen but we wanted it as low as possible for viewing and since the TV was mounted about 3 years ago I don't think moving it will make that big of a change for our viewing as it is not a dedicated theater room.

Regarding the receiver X1300 looks pretty good for the price as you suggested before. I will probably pick this up in the next few months unless you have another suggestion. Another downfall was that our current receiver's remote stopped working which is fairly annoying when watching a movie. Replaced batteries but still no luck.

Thanks again!
 

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The speakers have a matt-rubber finish and a high gloss plastic, which is a nice contrast that helps when mounting so they don't slip out of your hand. I was very impressed with the weight, construction and appearance. Center speaker is just below the TV next to the receiver (see pic attached). I usually have it next to the receiver but I was having a connection issue I was chasing with RCA cables so I had to move it over. I know ideally it would be best to be right under the screen but we wanted it as low as possible for viewing and since the TV was mounted about 3 years ago I don't think moving it will make that big of a change for our viewing as it is not a dedicated theater room.

Regarding the receiver X1300 looks pretty good for the price as you suggested before. I will probably pick this up in the next few months unless you have another suggestion. Another downfall was that our current receiver's remote stopped working which is fairly annoying when watching a movie. Replaced batteries but still no luck.

Thanks again!
I'd place the center above the TV angled down, much better than buried int he cabinet.

I'd just get a universal remote for your current receiver.

Easy to return if not happy.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/logite...niversal-remote-black/8167004.p?skuId=8167004
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Regarding the remote, I believe it's something with the receiver. I tried two remotes, the original and a replacement both had and no luck in any function even with new batteries. Going to try my phone next to triple check.
 

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Regarding the remote, I believe it's something with the receiver. I tried two remotes, the original and a replacement both had and no luck in any function even with new batteries. Going to try my phone next to triple check.
Make sure nothing is blocking the RF receiver on the AVR and try a factory reset to see if that wakes it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thread revival, speakers are still working great. Imaging and sound quality is so much better than what was previously there, but that wasn't hard to beat with 30+ year old speakers. Yesterday Best Buy had the Denon X1400 on sale for $300 (X1400) so that is on the way. This should complete this portion of the upgrade and also allow me to have a remote for the stereo! I can then move this receiver to the garage to replace and even older unit that is running 4 BIC speakers which are also ancient. This new receiver will also allow me to move from analog 5.1 to digital from the PC that is connected to the TV. I had a problem in windows where it wasn't passing 5.1 correctly in windows media player, and I had to move to VLC to get true 5.1 from movies. I never noticed this with the old speaker setup as I didn't have a sub. Thanks again for the help and I look forward to getting this setup and dialed with the new receiver!
 

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Thread revival, speakers are still working great. Imaging and sound quality is so much better than what was previously there, but that wasn't hard to beat with 30+ year old speakers. Yesterday Best Buy had the Denon X1400 on sale for $300 (X1400) so that is on the way. This should complete this portion of the upgrade and also allow me to have a remote for the stereo! I can then move this receiver to the garage to replace and even older unit that is running 4 BIC speakers which are also ancient. This new receiver will also allow me to move from analog 5.1 to digital from the PC that is connected to the TV. I had a problem in windows where it wasn't passing 5.1 correctly in windows media player, and I had to move to VLC to get true 5.1 from movies. I never noticed this with the old speaker setup as I didn't have a sub. Thanks again for the help and I look forward to getting this setup and dialed with the new receiver!
That is a fantastic price for that receiver with its excellent EQ.

Congrats.

BTW, the price on that receiver is $100 more today!
 
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