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Discussion in 'Speakers' started by John Matt, Dec 29, 2005.
... what kind of speakers would you get for a 5.1 home theater setup?
4 CBM-170s, CBM-340 center
$906 shipped from Ascend Acoustics
(I'm assuming the $1K does not include the sub?)
3 pair of JBL E30's and either dual 12" subs or one Velodyne DLS5000R sub. If you went the dual 12" route, you could surely get better front L/R speakers if you chose to, lots of great choices in the E series from JBL.
PSB Image Series, and the least expensive Hsu sub to come in at 1K
Have you looked at Onix
Take a look at their Reference 0.5 monitors. If you call or email, you can easily get a lower price than their listed. If you do a search on Onix in the forum, you will find nothing but good things said...
Take a look on the specials page
They have a 5.1 set up with their Ref 0.5's for $999 shipped. I think this would warrant strong consideration for a small to midsized HT room.
I second the Onix Ref syestem for $999 shipped. That would be a very nice system.
Take a look at the new SVS 5.1 setup. It got a great review over at audioholics recently and comes in just under $1000.
>>>(I'm assuming the $1K does not include the sub?)
The $1,000 has to cover everything. It's a minor miracle the wife will let me spend *that* much. : )
Thanks for the suggestions, please keep them coming!
Both the Onix system and the SVS system that are suggested here include the sub.
If this is a primarily HT setup, I'd go cheap on the speakers and splurge on the sub:
Athena AS-B1s, 2 pairs for $200 shipped
Athena AS-C1 center channel, $100 shipped
Hsu VTF-3, $700 from hsuresearch.com
SVS PB12, $600 from svsubwoofers.com
What receiver will you be using?
Does the $1000 need to include a receiver and/or DVD player? If so, then you should definitely look at the Athena Micra6 system which would free up some capital for the other items.
An initial investment of a couple of hundred dollars into something she likes may increase your budget.
Onix for sure! Reason... Not only do they sound and look excellent but their end of year sales are a "10"
>>>If this is a primarily HT setup, I'd go cheap on the speakers and splurge on the sub
I'm not very knowledgable about such things. Why is the subwoofer more important for HT?
>>> What receiver will you be using?
I'm leaning toward the Onkyo TX-SR703. The screen will be a Pioneer 61" plasma monitor.
> Why is the subwoofer more important for HT?
Well this is assuming that you like big-budget action flicks with plenty of explosions, rumbles, car crashes, etc. which most guys are into. If you are mainly into dramas and comedies then the subwoofer is less important. Probably the single most important speaker for any kind of HT though is center channel (does all the dialogue which is at least 50-60% of the audio track), then the front mains (mainly musical scores and front panning effects), with the rear/side surrounds a distant last (mainly spatial and ambient sounds).
> I'm leaning toward the Onkyo TX-SR703.
Particularly if you are on a tight budget, I would recommend taking a long hard look at the digital-switching Panasonic sa-xr55:
Even its most vociferous critics usually concede that it is a very good choice for HT. Read up on what all the buzz is about, if anything deserves the term "giant-killer" this is it! A couple of threads about this receiver on different forums:
A few caveats---very minor IMHO at this pricepoint: no pre-outs (would negate the whole point of a digital amp after all), subwoofer crossover only down to 80Hz, no room speaker EQ, primitive remote, no digital outputs, no OSD (onscreen display). Also may not be the best choice if you have lousy, overly bright speakers.
Just as some folks still prefer LPs to CDs and tubes to solid state, you might decide to stick with an analog receiver, I'll make no guarantees. But it's definitely worth hearing it to make up your own mind, in any case...it’s a whole different animal!
>>>Well this is assuming that you like big-budget action flicks with plenty of explosions, rumbles, car crashes, etc
I do but the house has a very open architecture, so I'm bit concerned about the system being too loud when my kids are in bed at 9:30. I'll have to keep the volume pretty reasonable, which could negate the impact of spending a lot on the sub.
I should note that the system will also be used for playing music as well, and since I favor guitar heros over bassy music (funk, etc), I'm a "treble" kind of guy.
>>>Particularly if you are on a tight budget...
Budget for the receiver is around $600 - $800. I'm not exactly an audiophile, as you can probably tell, but I know what I like when I hear it.
I'm having all of the gear installed by a HT specialist; I'll be relying on him to configure and tweak everything. I don't expect that I will be playing with settings or anything after it's all set up. I just want it to sound good when I sit down to watch a movie of pop in a cd.
As an aside, the HT guy recommended Pinnacle speakers (but he said he doesn't particularly care what I ask him to install). That's why I'm fishing for recommendations from people that spend a lot more time thinking about this stuff than I have.
> I do but the house has a very open architecture, so I'm bit concerned about the system being too loud when my kids are in bed at 9:30.
So you watch most of your movies after 9:30pm? In that case I can understand why you wouldn't be able to get the most out of a strong sub.
> I should note that the system will also be used for playing music as well, and since I favor guitar heros over bassy music (funk, etc), I'm a "treble" kind of guy.
In that case the Athena speakers with the Panasonic xr55 should make you quite happy.
To be honest, I am not sure if your setup really requires an HT specialist to set it up, especially not with the kind of pricepoints that you're talking about.
You might want to invest $35-40 on an Avia DVD (search on amazon.com) that will take you through the whole process of calibrating your TV as well as audio gear, it contains color and musical test tones that will let you get the most out of your equipment. The whole setup process doesn't take more than maybe 2-3 hours max, really.
btw, if you are able to set it up yourself and go with the Panny, you can spend the extra savings on some Ascend Acoustics speakers (ascendacoustics.com) which go really well with the Panny and will take your system to a whole other level. Here's a comparison someone did of the two:
And professional reviews of the Ascends:
>>> Have you looked at Onix
I noticed that the Onix ref monitors are bookshelf speakers. I was planning on using wall mounted "cubes" since I don't have shelves in the room to sit larger speakers.
What's the consensus? Are full sized bookshelf speakers much better than the little cube ones?
I suppose I could have dedicated shelves put in to accomodate them if needed. But the rears would have to be high (8 feet or so) and might look a bit awkward since they'd be in an area at the back of the room, which also serves as a much used walkway between the kitchen, living room, fireplace area and foyer.
Perhaps I could put bookshelves up front and cubes in the rear. But I'm not sure a bookshelf will work as the center speaker since the plasma tv is gonna be wall mounted.
Can I mix and match like this and still have it sound good? Or is it better to get a surround sound system that was designed to work together as a whole?
>>>To be honest, I am not sure if your setup really requires an HT specialist to set it up, especially not with the kind of pricepoints that you're talking about.
Me neither, but I tried to setup my mom's HD system and the experience put me off doing it myself.
I have to have someone come in to fish the wire for me anyway and since I know nothing about making all of the pieces talk to each other properly (this is my first plasma and receiver setup) I figured I'd bring in someone with experience to do it for me. I'd hate to spend eight or nine grand on the entire affair and not have it optimal.
But I've yet to see the estimate for the installation, so I might wind up doing it myself anyway.