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Looking for lots of advice


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#1 of 6 Bluetobb

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Posted August 26 2008 - 01:47 PM

(I hope this is in the right place)

I have decided that I want to put in a home theater sound system. I started doing research over the last couple weeks. I have some questions. It seems every receiver gets good ratings... 'within its price range'. If I believe everything I read nothing will be a bad purchase as long as I stay out of the low end. It seems the key is in the speakers. Every time I put 7.1 or 5.1 of speaker together I get to about $2000. Is there a middle ground in speakers like there is with receivers? I want good sounds for the money. That's what I am selling to my wife. When we watch a movie we can listen to it a reasonable level and it will be clear and full. Right now we have a 10 year old $200 Awia HTiB and she hates how it over powers with bass.

What I have (all have HDMI except wii):
46 inch 1080p Sharp LCD
Xbox360 (not sure of resolution think 720p)
PS3 (1080p/ BlueRay/ most games run 720p)
Verizon Fios (HDMI,1080i and 420i mostly)
Wii

What I want:
To be able to run three hdmi cables to the receiver (xbox360, ps3, Fios) and one from the receiver to the TV. I still have a hard time figuring out looking at the specs and knowing if the hdmi is only pass through or it can pass through video and the receiver can pull out the audio. I want to be able to watch TV, movies, play games, and listen to music. I know when I hear good sound but I am not a audiophil per se.

I am looking at all the available receivers and I keep finding myself coming back to Onkyo TX-SR805. The only complaints I here is sound delay, and running hot. I don't know what to make of that because so many other people just love it! They can't be loving something with sound delay. Will this give me what I am looking for?. Will something cheaper give me what I am looking for? I know there are a TON of reviews out there. Is there a place that compares receivers in the range that I am looking in an organized fashion?

Any advice on where to start for speakers. I would love to get 5.1 worth of speakers for under $1000-$800? Any chance without giving up reasonable quality? I can get the side speakers later.

I don't want to put it on a budget but I will. Lets say I am shooting for $1000-$2000.

Thanks for any advice!
Dan

#2 of 6 hodedofome

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Posted August 26 2008 - 04:28 PM

There's a lot of options, for 5.1 a $2k budget is easy, for 7.1 it's a little tougher. You can no doubt do it either way, you just need to be a little more creative for 7.1. First off I would spend more on the speakers and less on the receiver, you can get a good receiver for under $500. You will want to get the best sub and front 3 speakers you can. The surrounds receive only about 15-20% of the sound so most of it is coming from the front. Here's just a 'sample:'

Front speakers Klipsch Reference Series 5.25" Bookshelf Loudspeaker - RB51BK At Abt Electronics
Center Amazon.com: Klipsch RC52 Black 2-Way Center Channel Speaker: Electronics
Surrounds Amazon.com: Klipsch RB-10 4-Inch Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker (pair): Electronics
Subwoofer Elemental Designs
Receiver Newegg.com - ONKYO TX-SR606 Black 7.1 Channel Receiver

The Klipsch speakers are very efficient and don't need much power, so the Onkyo 606 would work fine. There's tons of options out there for speakers, Polk, Infinity can be had for fairly cheap, Klipsch, AV123, Axiom, Ascend, HSU, Elemental Designs, all good for speakers.

AV123, HSU, Elemental Designs and SVS are excellent subs that are sold by internet-direct companies with excellent service. So much more bang for the buck than brands sold in stores (Velodyne, Klipsch). The Klipsch SUB-12 is about the only good bang for the buck sub that can be found for ~$400 at Best Buy, it's about the only Klipsch I can recommend.

The cheapest receiver I would look at is the Onkyo 606, there's nothing else with 3 HDMI inputs that can handle 7.1 channel PCM which is what your PS3 will be sending out.

#3 of 6 Ed Moxley

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Posted August 26 2008 - 04:50 PM

Here are some very good speakers, including a very good subwoofer, for $1175 or $1299, depending on if you get the 10" or 12" sub.
SVSound - Complete Systems

Then get the Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver at Amazon.com, and you're still under the $2000. That would be an excellent system for the money. Posted Image
Good luck with whatever you get.
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#4 of 6 JohnRice

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Posted August 27 2008 - 02:14 AM

I would start with 5.1. You will get a lot more for your budget than 7.1. You can add the 2 extra surrounds later if you want.

This may sound odd, but with a $2000 total budget, I would spend 40-50% on the sub, then split the rest between the 5 speakers (mostly in the front, as Aaron said) and the receiver. A better sub does not mean boomy, and it is by far the most expensive piece of equipment in a good system of this price. You will calibrate everything to sound the way you want.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#5 of 6 Bluetobb

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Posted August 27 2008 - 05:23 AM

Thanks for all the advice!

So the 606 can pass video on and pull audio out of the hdmi cable?

You have given me hope. Its all quiet overwhelming. I will keep reading and have more questions.

#6 of 6 hodedofome

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Posted August 27 2008 - 06:00 AM

Yes, the 606 will take care of audio and video for blu-ray and whatever else you have. It will send it out via 1 HDMI cable to your tv. What you will gain with an 805 is more power, possible some better video 'upconversion' but I don't think you'll need the upconversion. You'll be sending out 1080p from the PS3 for your blu-ray and there won't be any upconversion involved.

Check this site for some good subwoofer comparisons:

Subwoofer review summary page ... From the AVS forum - Tweak City Audio