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A good 5.1 solution

Last response: in Home Audio
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March 26, 2010 2:35:54 PM

Hey guys, I've already asked this but unfortunately it's lost:( 

I'm looking for a home theater for my living, since it's so big (13ft x 11 ft) I don't think that 7.1 will make sense.
So I need a receiver, the speakers and a good sub-woofer.

Basically to the receiver I will connect a hd DVR, 2 gaming consoles, a blu-ray and a htpc.
for the speakers I want to towers on the front, a center and may be to other towers for the back (please give me your advice here)
and for the subwoofer I want an important one... I mean love the sound of that.


ok.. as you realize I have no experience at all on this.. all my life I have theater in a box, but I think I deserve to go for the next step.

budget.... I really have no idea.. probably I can have it for 1k or for 20k.
Unfortunately I don't have 20k to spend on this... so basically my forecast budget is this:

Receiver 300-600
speakers 1400-1700

basically I'd like to spend a maximum of 2000-2500 but if you think that I should spend more please let me know.
I'm looking for quality... and I want this to be a investment to last.
I know that the htpc, the consoles or the tv may be will not last too much, but I hope the audio to be better so if I have to spend more please let me know.

and after all of this please give me an advice on the cables please.

thanks in advance...

More about : good solution

March 27, 2010 1:56:49 AM

Come on guys.. any help?
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March 28, 2010 7:34:31 PM

???????
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April 4, 2010 9:59:15 PM

Please !!!
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April 5, 2010 8:26:07 AM

People from many countries in here. Can you give some links to shops in your country?
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April 5, 2010 8:27:35 AM

Well I don't know if 13x11 is "so big". I think my living room is above average and its 27x17. I don't think 7.1 makes sense in general; it's very hard to position 7 speakers without it looking like a clown setup.

$600 for receiver, I would look at Onkyo receivers. Onkyo puts out the most watts/$.


http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=item&id=...

Get a 8xx series if you can; it puts out 130W/channel. If you can get it for under $650 I think its a great deal.

For speakers I would suggest Ascend Acoustics. They make some of the most neutral speakers you can buy, with top notch drivers.

http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/purchase/advisor.mv#bo...

My suggestion:

Fronts: Ascend Sierra
Center: Ascend Sierra
Rear: HTM-200SE

Afterwards, add these stands for the fronts (couples with the speakers so it becomes a floorstander).

http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/access/accssi...

This should come up to about $550 for the receiver, $1750 for the speakers.


Finally for the subwoofer I suggest the Hsu STF-2 for $350:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

This should total about $2700. If you change the fronts to the 340SEs (almost as good as the Sierras), the total price goes down to around $2300. 70% of vocals come through the center channel so I would suggest keeping the Sierra as the center.

Additionally, you can go to SVsound.com, they have some good package deals.

I suggest you go here if you need more suggestions:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=89
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April 5, 2010 8:34:06 AM

I personally own a pair of Ascend Sierras. I also own or have owned speakers from MANY other brands, some much cheaper (Athena, Klipsch in the $100-300 range), some in the same price range (Axiom, Energy in under $1k range), and some much more expensive (Paradigm Signature, Usher Beryllium, in the 2-3k range).

I can vouch for the Sierras. Not only is the piano finish flawless, they are very acoustically neutral, have excellent bass--they sound much larger than they are, even beating out my Paradigms and Ushers in that regard, which is impressive because the Sierras weigh 20lbs each, while the Paradigms and Signatures are 30lbs and 50lbs/each.

These speakers sound much more expensive they their price range. I've used them for front channels in home theater as well as in the office for music, or bedroom speakers. They excel at low volumes and also have very good power handling when you need it. The biggest complaint people have is vocal clarity in the center channel in home theater. The Sierra is one of the best I have ever heard, very very close to my Paradigm Signature C3, which was $1,500.

Ascend provides both specs and speaker measurements on their website, and have also been reviewed by numerous publications that have called them the best speakers under $1k.

http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1...



Just my 2 cents.
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April 5, 2010 10:14:48 AM

flipping heck.
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April 5, 2010 5:28:03 PM

First of all thanks for the answers...

mosox said:
People from many countries in here. Can you give some links to shops in your country?

Sorry, I live in miami, usa.

astrallite said:
Well I don't know if 13x11 is "so big"..

sorry I was being sarcastic, of course my living room it's small.

astrallite said:
For speakers I would suggest Ascend Acoustics. They make some of the most neutral speakers you can buy, with top notch drivers.

sorry for the dumb question.... but what's the meaning of neutral speakers.

astrallite said:
Ascend provides both specs and speaker measurements on their website, and have also been reviewed by numerous publications that have called them the best speakers under $1k.

Ok.. so le't say that the ascend are the best under 1k. The next one, let's say the 2k-3k makes sense?

Also I'd like to ask you something... as you know I don't have experience on this... but I want to buy something good for my budget..
so... are you really comfortable to buying speakers through internet?
I mean... it's not about security since I buy a lot of things online... but I mean... I'd like to listen to the speakers before buy... or at least I'm used to this...
what do you think??

ok now.. The Question...
I've put that budget as an estimate... but let's say that you as an expert suggest me to spend 3k-5k if that's the case I could get a loan or use any financial service to improve my budget... but I will do this only if you guys as experts suggest me so.
I'd like to do it only if you think that the different matters.

again, thanks in advance for your time...
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April 5, 2010 8:18:22 PM

377351,10,307621 said:
First of all thanks for the answers...

sorry for the dumb question.... but what's the meaning of neutral speakers.

"Neutral speakers" means very accurate. Like look at the graph I listed on my previous post. Aside from the bass frequencies (which a sub will cover), the speakers are close to a straight line. That means if what your TV/DVD player/video game system wants the speakers to play, that's what it plays. Some speakers (like your box home theater) is not as accurate and if you pic up a microphone and measure it, it won't sound the same as the original audio signal.


Quote:
Ok.. so le't say that the ascend are the best under 1k. The next one, let's say the 2k-3k makes sense?

ok now.. The Question...
I've put that budget as an estimate... but let's say that you as an expert suggest me to spend 3k-5k if that's the case I could get a loan or use any financial service to improve my budget... but I will do this only if you guys as experts suggest me so.
I'd like to do it only if you think that the different matters.



I think you are probably better off putting your money towards getting your kids to college first than squeezing out the last few ounces of performance in audio, especially if you are coming from a home-theater-in-a-box. I'm an audio fanatic but even I will admit, the extra 1k-2k doesn't do much more than give you another 10-20%. If you need a loan to pay off more expensive speakers, I don't think it's a good idea.


Quote:
Also I'd like to ask you something... as you know I don't have experience on this... but I want to buy something good for my budget..
so... are you really comfortable to buying speakers through internet?
I mean... it's not about security since I buy a lot of things online... but I mean... I'd like to listen to the speakers before buy... or at least I'm used to this...
what do you think??


Ascend offers a 30 day return policy as does most online dealers. Aperion Audio (another brand) actually pays shipping both ways, but I don't think their speakers are as good. If you go to that avsforum link (the biggest online audio enthusiast site, where not only audio buffs but even speaker manufacturers post), many people rave about the brand, including other speaker manufactures. Now you can go to that forum and reiterate the question and you might get other suggestions that you might like better. Most high end audio won't sound "significantly" different so an important aspect for many may be home decor--how the speakers look.
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April 7, 2010 1:37:45 AM

astrallite, was funny but true the comment about the college... to make the story short I've just moved to miami so I have to spend a lot of money on building my new apartment... that's why I was thinking on a loan or to buy it through credit.

anyway... let me ask you guys about the receiver..
I was looking on those models but I have decided yet, can you please help me:

Denon AVR-2310CI http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/5011.asp
Onkyo TX-NR807 http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-NR807&class=Rece...
Onkyo TX-SR707 http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-SR707&class=Rece...
Onkyo TX-SR608 http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-SR608&class=Rece...
Pioneer VSX-1020-K http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Products/HomeEnt...
Pioneer VSX-23TXH http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Products/HomeEnt...
Pioneer VSX-21TXH http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Products/HomeEnt...

and for yamaha there are a lot and I have no idea what to pick up from there.

thanks a lot...
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Best solution

April 7, 2010 5:51:10 AM

I think in terms of features I would put Yamaha at the top, say the 665 or 765 (both the same, the 765 just has a few more watts).

The Onkyo 807 is the biggest receiver on your list. It's a beast and puts out the most power (130W/channel). The downside is the thing is heavy and puts out a ton of heat--you need to make sure it's at the top of an equipment rack with free airflow. I do own an Onkyo (806) and one of its drawbacks is that it can only output sound to the subwoofer when there is a "0.1" subwoofer track in "pure audio" mode (unmolested sound), or if you manually change the receiver to stereo mode (2 channel only), which will kick in the variable crossover to get the sub moving. I personally found having to change modes tedious since I use a computer media server with many types of source files, and I rather not have to change the mode if I want to play mp3s instead of a movie.

Yamaha I know for a fact does have this issue--the variable crossover is always active in "direct" mode (pure mode with active crossover)--which is why I ended up with a Yamaha for the living room (with an external amplifier for power).
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April 7, 2010 12:38:17 PM

astralite, you will probably hate me but I'd like to ask if you could explain it like I were a child :( 

also I have another question... I see the difference on watts per channel... but is this a really issue? I mean... I live in an apartment so I don't think that I will be able to use it at a 100%.
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April 7, 2010 9:48:22 PM

To be honest, the difference is probably going to be irrelevant in an apartment :p 

Even the subwoofer may not be necessary in an apartment; the speakers themselves play very deep. Also a subwoofer may bother your neighbors -_-

I think I'm just confusing you; I think you should go with a Yamaha :) 
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April 7, 2010 10:31:38 PM

hmmm... the subwoofer I'd love it...
I mean... love the sound and vibration of that...

basically I'm looking for quality of sound not power... as you defined before I want as neutral as possible.

also about the heat that's ok. I mean I will handle it since I will have a lof of products producing heat I haven't decided it yet but probably I will use an open rack or a closed with forced refrigeration.
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April 8, 2010 4:19:39 AM

I'd probably get the STF-2 subwoofer that I linked. It hits clean and is a very well priced. Hsu subs are known for their clean bass; their drivers recover very fast from full excursion (called cycle time).

Anything larger will probably overload your smaller room. Smaller rooms are physically incapable of hitting very deep bass because lower wavelengths (20hz and below) require a lot of space to complete a tone--if space is unsufficient, it causes what's called a standing wave, and instead you get higher frequencies (30 or higher) that are doubled in volume, causing "boomy" bass instead of clean, hard hitting bass.

You would need a really big room to get the deep bass you feel in movie theaters. Like the "thump" you got in movie theaters when the Rhino-like animals (Hammerheads) were flapped their huge feather fans in Avatar. Instead in a smaller room you would just get a muddy boom.
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July 3, 2010 10:35:55 PM

Best answer selected by buwish.
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