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HT Gurus,

I am an HT newbie looking to get a system to be used in the capacity of watching movies with my 7-yr old son. I will also be doing some gaming. I live in an apartment so I can't be ridiculously loud but I can push some limits during reasonable hours. My living room is 16x20. My initial price range is $500.


I was hoping to get something by Christmas, so I thought an HTIB might be a reasonable starting place. Reviews and price looked good on the Onkyo HT5300. The other option I have is that I have a pair of Klipsch Chorus IIs. If I piece out the system, I am guessing that my $500 will only get me a receiver and bring me to 2.0. Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether to start small (in # of speakers) with the Klipsch, or to jump to an HTIB with more speakers?


I really don't want to spend more than $500 over the next year, but I do want to start watching some movies right away with enhanced audio. Thanks in advance for your input.
 

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I would definitely go the slow build process. Starting with an AVR and fronts is fine. You could even start real small and move the first speakers you buy to rears. HTiB are nice starter systems but most who start there end up with separates. Start small and work your way up. It will be a much better experience and you will end up with a much better system!


Listen to as many speakers as you can. Don't go off of name alone. Bring some music you know and listen to different speakers. For subwoofers go to the subwoofer forum. Good luck!
 

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The one thing you want to look for in a speaker is it's ability to play below 80hz so it can blend with a subwoofer. If you cross a sub too high, you will get localized bass because above 80hz, some voices and other low notes will be detectable as coming from the subwoofer. Something down to 65hz or so should be fine.
 

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I have a pair of Klipsch Chorus I and use them as the mains in my system. If the caps in the crossovers are still good you have an awesome pair of speakers (seen them ranked as #3 best Klipsch).

There will be a loss in the highs if the caps have aged 20 years or more (see critesspeakers.com FAQ). If you are a bit handy with a soldering iron you can replace them with new caps found at that website.


If your Chorus II's are still good put the money into the AVR and a center speaker.



-peter
 

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I agree about the "start slow" advice, with one caveat. You WILL be unhappy until you get a subwoofer.



So the "starter HT" should really be a 2.1 system, an AVR, two good mains, and a decent sub. Don't go cheap on the sub either, keep in mind that its also your second power amp.


Think of it this way: Despite the wattage claims of inexpensive AVRs, your luck to get 30-35 RMS watts out of the two front channels. So your pushing 70 watts RMS which isn't too bad, as long as your not trying to drive power hungry bass frequencies.


Now cheap subs can't cheat on specifications quite as easily, after all, they only have one speaker to measure. So a "100 Watt" subwoofer, may actually push close to 60-100 watts. And if you splurged and got like a 250 watt subwoofer - then you would be better prepared to "help" a full 5.1 system, rather than a 2.1 system.


Just a thought.
 

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My audio system:


Pioneer SC-05

Klipsch Chorus mains, new Bob Crites x-overs and titanium diaphragms

Klipsch RC-64

Klipsch RS-42

Yamaha NS-500


I find that the Chorus have quite a bit of bass with those 15" woofers. They also don't need a lot of power to get it with an efficiency of 101 dB SPL at 1 watt.


I do eventually want to get a sub but it is not high on my list.



- peter
 
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