Setup for $1500 or less

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Lipoly, May 13, 2013.

  1. Lipoly

    Lipoly Auditioning

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    As a baseline, I had used some Logitech z680s for maybe 10yrs until they were taken out by smoke damage in a house fire. I was pretty happy w/them but now I am looking to replace (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Computer-Speakers-5-Speaker-Silver/dp/B00007AKDP).

    The room is rectangular, approx 14'x21' w/couch roughly squaring the viewing space @ 14'x16' (rear speakers behind couch pointing inward).

    My budget is less than $1500 for reciever/speakers. I have just started looking and am considering the following:

    Harman Kardon HKTS60
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00413OXLO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Yamaha RX-V475
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B981F2O/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DE

    Any input would be appreciated. I'm not particularly brand-loyal, but do like Yamaha recievers...I am willing to get whatever is the bast bang/buck though.
     
  2. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    IMHO the BIC DV series(namely the 62) represents one of the best values. At $120/pair, great value.I've not heard the Pio AJ. Only qualm I have with it is its "lack" of efficiency. The Polk Mon/TSi, Infiity Primus and Sony SS are all more efficient...for the same, or less money.Any of those, the 5.0 portion of the system is
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    My recommendation (provided you are not using a lot of analog connections):

    Yamaha RX-V375 ($249.95) or RX-V475 ($399.95)
    Definitive Technology ProCinema 600 5.1 Speaker System ($729-799)

    Roughly $1200 + tax out the door, and these can be found quite readily available either on Amazon or at most Best Buy locations that have a Magnolia Home Theater department. You can even listen to the Def Tec's at Magnolia (although it will be on a much more expensive receiver).

    Keep in mind that the RX-V475, although a "networked" receiver, does not have wifi, but you can get an adapter from Netgear that plugs into the ethernet jack on the back of the receiver for around $50.
     
  5. Lipoly

    Lipoly Auditioning

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    Thanks for the suggestions all.

    I am not an audiophile, so have mostly only heard of the big names (Polk, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, JBL, Pioneer, Sony, etc...)

    Todd,
    Is Definitive Technology a well known/respected brand? I don't recall any experience with them.

    I have been noodling this setup as well:

    Receiver (I have a thousand ways to play Netflix/Hulu/etc, so unless I'm missing something, I don't really care if the reciever is networked I suppose).

    RX-V375
    http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V375-5-1-Channel-AV-Receiver/dp/B00B981F38/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368650123&sr=1-1&keywords=v375

    Center - Polk Audio CSI A4
    http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Center-Channel-Speaker/dp/B000V2QVEQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2PPJHGP27IVOA&coliid=I1NDYBFM0O9WD3

    Front - Polk Audio RTI A3
    http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Bookshelf-Speakers-Black/dp/B000V2OQK2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2PPJHGP27IVOA&coliid=IVZT6R8WC6UJV

    Surrounds - Polk Audio FXI A4
    http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Surround-Speakers-Black/dp/B000V2SEZA/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368649957&sr=1-2&keywords=polk+fxi

    Sub - Polk Audio PSW125
    http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-12-Inch-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B000OY6CVI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2PPJHGP27IVOA&coliid=I18UD9HN2CRW8N


    Total = $1550

    One question I have is the "matching" of speakers. One review on the Polk FXI A6 (http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Surround-Speakers-Black/dp/B000V2SEZU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368650848&sr=8-1&keywords=fxia6) said...

    "My only suggestion for any of you looking a purchasing these is to stick with like type speakers. Speaker lines are designed to match each other and if placing a Polk Monitor with Polk RTI you will not get a nice blend. This holds true for any brand you go with."

    First thing is I'm not sure what he means by "monitor"...center channel? Second, how would this apply to the polk speakers I listed. I'm not sure if they are part of the same line since they are labeled CSI, FXI, RTI, etc. Any input on that would be appreciated.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    You definitely want to have matching speakers, or at least speakers from the same line. The goal is to have all of your speakers "timber-matched," meaning that each speaker will reproduce sound very close to each other so that when a sound travels from speaker to speaker, it is not as noticeable a change in tone and quality.

    Having said that, I have the Polk TSi100 bookshelves and CS10 center-channel as my fronts, and they sound great, and are part of the same line from the manufacturer. At the time I purchased them, Polk's website was actually more user friendly in finding matching series of speakers, and these were a recommended matching set. However, for bookshelves, they are quite large and heavy.

    Coming from Logitech Z680, the Def Tech bundle I suggested may be more to the size of speaker you are used to. Def Tech is a well-known and respected brand, and I know many who have purchased their speakers and have been extremely happy with them. I suggest you go to the closest Best Buy to give these a listen to. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Def Tech and Polk are owned by the same holding company. If you have no analog gear(as in everything is HDMI) either of those Yamaha are a good choice.Monitor is the bottom range of polk. RTi are the 2nd highest...with the FXi being an offshoot of both RTi and LSi(the top range).
     
  8. Lipoly

    Lipoly Auditioning

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    I have no analog inputs anymore.

    Is the audio quality of the cheaper Yamaha I am thinking about (RX-v375) the same as the upper echelons? For the price, I can forgo the features of the pricier models, but wonder if audio quality will suffer somehow.

    As far as matching speakers, are all of these matched? http://www.polkaudio.com/products/series/rtia#allmodels It is confusing, b/c it says it is the RTiA series, but contains CSi and F/XiA models.
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    All Yamaha receivers are discrete now. In theory, all the AVR by Yamaha will sound the same...Meaning the 375 and 3010 both sound the same when tasked with 20x5. It is when you over run the power supply of the 375 that it matters.
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    The RT in RTiA means it's a bookshelf or floorstanding speaker, the CS in the CSiA means it a center channel speaker and the F/X in the F/XiA means it's a rear surround or back surround speaker. They are all from the same series. They are not to be confused with the RTi, CSi and F/Xi models (all minus the A suffix) which are the previous generation RTi speakers. Those with the A suffix are the current series. The current series have curved cabinets and are not as bright sounding as the previous versions.

    The Polk RTiA's would be a great choice (if you like the way they sound) but I'd pass on the PS125 subwoofer. It's only rated down to 32 hz. You can do better for the same money with the other subs already mentioned. The sub doesn't have to be from the same brand/series as the other speakers.

    Higher priced receivers may have some features that might affect the sound quality such as YPAO-RSC in the RX-675 vs plain YPAO in the 375 but the difference would be difficult for the average person to notice. It's mostly added features and higher power output in the upper-end models.

    Here's a comparison chart for the Yamaha 375 ($249), 675 ($599) and 3020 ($1999).

    At the very bottom of the chart is a very usefull "Hands On Research" link.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/CompareTo.aspx?compareItems=01|022RXV375&compareItems=01|022RXV675&compareItems=01|022RXA3020&g=10420
     
  11. Lipoly

    Lipoly Auditioning

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    Everyone has been very helpful. Thanks guys, special thanks to gene for explaining how Polk designates series in their speakers.Would the 375 Yamaha be able to handle the polk speakers I listed with reasonable headroom?
    Can you explain this more? Gene stated the RT, CS, F/X, denoted speaker placement (I think), with suffixes denoting series? Are you saying the CSI A4 is bottom "range"?
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Using the Polk "main page floorstanders"
    You have the top models, just like I already said, the LS.
    Next down the line, just like I said, the RTiA.
    Next down the line, is TSx, which is apparently new...didn't know they had them.
    Next down the line, next to the bottom, just like I said before, is the TSi. (TSi and Monitor, New Monitor and Monitor II are all the very same exact speakers. NewEgg sells one version, Best Buy another version, and so on. So they don't have to price match each other. Period, simple)
    At the very bottom of Polk you have the R/T/M series.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/products/home-theater/floorstanding (each and every page of Polk does the same. Top speakers are at the top of the page, bottom rung speakers at the bottom of the page. If that ins't obvious. At the highest part of the page is the highest priced speaker. At the lower end of the page is the lower priced speakers)
     
  13. Lipoly

    Lipoly Auditioning

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    Thanks Schan, much appreciated.

    Will the Yamaha 375 push a set of surround RTiA speakers w/o issue?

    I'm not sure how to confirm this...for instance, Polk says the CSiA4 requires "20-180 watts per channel." That is a pretty large gap and as such doesn't tell me personally anything.

    The 375 says it can push 100W/ch...1ch driven (does that mean it can only push 100W to one channel?)

    There is no mention of what it can push to 5 channels. I'm assuming I am just misunderstanding how the specs are presented.

    Are there any guides to calculate what spec receiver would be needed for a certain speaker setup?
     
  14. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    The two most important specs to look at are ohms and SPL (Sound pressure Level). A 4 ohm speaker, like the Polk LSi series, is harder for the amplifier to drive so most entry-level and mid-range receivers aren't certified for 4 ohm speakers. Doesn't mean they can't handle them. I've used "8 Ohm" receivers with 4 ohm speakers many times, just that the receiver manufacturer didn't certify that it could. Just to be safe, you shouldn't use 4 ohm speakers with receivers that are rated at 110 wpc or less. The receiver will probably go into Self Protect Mode if there is a problem. I've used a Marantz 6005 and Pioneer Elite vsx-23, both rated at 110 wpc, to power my 4 ohm Polk LSi speakers without any issues (so far). When looking at power ratings, which most of us usually ignore completely or with a grain of salt, you also have to look at things like one channel driven or all channels driven, thd levels, frequency response (1k or 20-20,000 hz) and the ohm load. Those "1200 watts of total power!" htib systems are listed as 150 wpc, one channel driven @ 1khz with 10% thd at 3 ohms. In reality that equates to about 12 wpc of usable power. A Harman Kardon receiver might look like 65 wpc, 7 channels driven from 20-20,000 hz with .03% thd at 8 ohms. Power consumption is also a usefull way to judge an amplifiers capability. That htib might draw 130 watts from the wall while the H/K could be 1400 watts.

    SPL is how loud a speaker will play with one watt measured at one meter. 88-91 db is average, 85-87 db is a little low and 92-96 is kind of high. I've seen speakers as low as 81 and as high as 105. I'm sure some go even higher, and lower. They say a 3 db higher equates to twice as loud.

    The Polk RTiA3 and CSiA4 are 8 ohms and 89 db spl so they should work fine with the 375 in an average size room at pretty high volume levels.

    If you haven't seen it yet, here's Todd Erwin's review of the Yamaha 375

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/323583-yamaha-rx-v375-home-theater-receiver-review/
     
  15. swaroopchanda

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    Def Tech is a great brand, I have def tech 'procinema 60' and two def tech BP 8040 super towers. I am more than happy with this 7.1 setup.

    In fact, I had a chance to llisten to def tech 'procinema 600' at best buy Magnolia. Like Todd said, I was pleasantly surprised.
     
  16. HelenG

    HelenG Auditioning

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    How much is Logitech Z680?
     

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