First, sorry this is in the high-end, just didn't want it to get lost in the general discussion. This is a more mid range components I'm looking at, but considering what gets posted here...
Basically it's a home theater setup, just receiver and speakers.
Where I'm coming from: I used to play various instruments in concert and jazz bands up through college, as such I'm a little bit more discerning when it comes to accuracy and balance. My tastes in music are wide though so there isn't a particular genre I'm looking at. This will also be used for movies and gaming.
My previous system was a Sony STR-D1011 running Infinity Crescendo 3006's and video speakers. Dated to be sure but great sound for the price I paid back in the 90's. Unfortunately all of it needs repairs, the receiver isn't worth fixing, and the speakers need to be refoamed which isn't practical at this time. So I'm going with a new system.
So, for the room: The listening area is 10.5' wide by 12' long, but there's another open area of 12' behind it where the kitchen is. Off the left side is a 7' opening to the den which is centered in the listening area. Ceiling is nearing 8' tall. We have a hard floor with an area rug.
(hopefully my little ascii drawing works)
My budget is around $1000 and currently looking at only 5.1 though 7.1 in the future.
I've looked around some and have some preliminary thoughts, but want some input. Currently I live in Hawaii and we have limited selections to look at and listen to.
The receiver I was looking at is the Marantz NR1603. A couple of reason why this particular unit are from what I have read, the sound quality is very good and secondly the low profile will be a bit convenient for me at this time. A nice feature that it has is that it'll connect to my media server (dlna) which I'd definitely use. Given that my friends here use Apple phones/ipads, airplay could be a useful function for get togethers but this isn't a must.
The speakers I was thinking about are the Energy Take Classic 5. Not sure if to go with the 5.1, or just the 5 and get a different sub. At this point in time, I'm willing to put more into a receiver and upgrade speakers later. My thought is that I do want 7.1, so later on I'd replace the 2 fronts with larger bookself or tower speakers and move the current fronts to surrounds.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to listen to those speakers and I'm going strictly off of reviews.
I'm open to any suggestions anyone might have with either the receiver or speakers. I'm not in a huge hurry to purchase so I'm willing to wait a little for deals to pop up to help with the budget.
If the Energy's are a good bet, I was also wondering if anybody knew if Monoprice's 5.1 Hi-Fi system is just a rebranding of the Take Classic, given that it's listed at $250 instead of $399 for the Take's this would be an excellent deal.