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want to create loud home audio on a budget


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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 03 2009 - 08:21 PM

I am completely new to home audio and I am moving into a small room on a college campus this fall. My only concern is creating an extremely loud system and I am willing to let other areas such as overall sound quality suffer. I still need everything; receiver, speakers, and a sub. My budget is to be somewhere around $500.

I have been looking into getting just the ONKYO HT-S5200 7.1-Channel, but I'm worried this won't be loud enough and the sub won't have enough kick.

Because of this I am exploring the possibility of getting an eD A2 - 250 sub woofer and an extremely cheap ($200) home theater system (Philips HTS3544??). I've been doing a lot of my own research but am still completely lost.

Anyway I look forward to hearing your thoughts

 



#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted July 04 2009 - 12:33 AM

Are you tryingt to recreate the car audio experience?  You don't have enough budget to do that in anything other than a closet.  Also those SPL levels will get you booted out of the dorm very fast.

Is this for movies, music or both?

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#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 04 2009 - 12:40 AM

???? 

1) You're moving into an extremely small room.  Any extremely loud system in an enclosed space like that is just going to make your ears bleed.  The Onkyo is going to be plenty loud enough under those conditions.  In fact, you probably won't be able to stand it turned up much over the 3/4 mark.  And even if you can...

2) Are you trying to piss off your neighbors?  At my old college you got fined if you made enough noise to interfere with the sleep or study of other students.  If you just want to annoy people there are ways to do that without spending $500.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif"> 

3)  A sub won't make your system "louder".  Tying a monster sub into a cheap-o receiver is just counterproductive and dumb. 

4)  What is the system for?  Listening to music?  Watching movies?  Getting in trouble with the adminstration and your dorm/house mates?    This forum is obviously geared towards home theater, so that's where most of our expertise lies.  If you've got a completely different application in mind, you might get better advice elsewhere. <br /></span>
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5)  If you just want a noisemaker, check websites for musicians and theater managers.  You can probably pick up a good auditorium-style amp/speaker combo that can be heard on the other side of campus.  <br />
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Regards, <br />
<br />
Joe
					
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#4 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 04 2009 - 08:03 AM

I should have been more clear about where and what my uses are. I will be living in a fraternity house next year (I didn't want to say anything because of negative connotations people may have) and the louder the better. No one will be complaining about the noise, actually probably the opposite. I am concerned about getting my music drowned out by other housemates on big party nights. I basically want to to turn my room into a club however lame that may sound. I have already been through the dorms, and yes I would agree this would be an awful idea there, I would be kicked out within the day.

I have a dvd player and tv that I also want to integrate, but that is not really much of a concern as I don't have a very discerning ear.

So to reiterate I would like the bass to be very loud, to the point where you can really feel it and loud speakers to go along with it, almost exclusively for music.

If I understand you correctly you say the Onkyo would be plenty loud enough? Because the room is pretty small. If its not what might my options be?

Any help is appreciated, and sorry for asking any stupid questions because I really don't know much about audio.


#5 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 04 2009 - 04:16 PM

You definitely don't want an HTiB.  The speakers won't be up to the task.  It seems that sound quality is a far second to sheer output, so what you want is extremely sensitive speakers, probably with a fairly large woofer.  What you need to understand is that LOUD is not so much a function of the receiver or amp as it is of the speakers.  Probably the best way to go is either Cerwin Vega, or a passive PA type speaker like THIS.  Those Behringer PA speakers will flatten the Frat even if you powered them with an AM radio.  Maybe throw in a commercial sub.  You'll be the hero of the frat. Of course, you'll all be deaf and one day you'll want to slashburn the whole lot, but damn they'll be louder than anything.


BTW, that main speaker spec you should be concerned with is sensitivity.  You want something near or over 100 dB.


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.


#6 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 04 2009 - 06:19 PM

Perfect! that sounds like exactly what I was looking for. So maybe get two of those, a low price receiver and a powered sub and i'll be good to go? Or should I use that PA style one as a center and maybe consider investing in some low priced Left/Rights?

I think that receiver should be good enough, because although I don't care that much I still do want to connect my TV and be able to play DVDs.

I appreciate the help, again great website suggestion.




#7 of 20 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted July 04 2009 - 10:43 PM

A couple notes.

John's advice to go with pro audio gear is very good advice in your situation.  However, it changes some of your needs.  Instead of a receiver, you will now need a mixer and a power amp.  Here's a link to a mixer that would probably be appropriate.

You'll also need a power amp unless you buy powered (active) speakers.  Look for something used, perhaps on ebay.  Peavey is usually a reliable, relatively inexpensive brand.

Also, I would skip the sub initially.  Once you throw in the mixer and amp you will be close to $500.  Plus, you will already have 2 x 12" speakers in those Behringers that John recommended.

For main speakers you might also look at Peavey and Carvin for some other options.


#8 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 05 2009 - 08:35 AM

Ok, this is sounding good. Just to be clear do I need the mixer, or is it just something that will make the whole system sound better? I understand the power amp is completely necessary, and I still do want to wire in my TV to the system so that I can get decent sound while watching movies, low priority but still needed. I was looking around on parts express and I do already have a DVD/CD player that I can connect up if that would work; I found this PA Amp that looks like it might do the job. I just want to make sure that I can connect everything up to it, TV included.

So if I have this right, get the PA Amp that I posted, those 2 x 12" speakers, maybe a mixer, if I want get some mains and a sub, and that should be a pretty good club style set up?

Again, thanks for the great advice.


Edited by tmahoney - 7/5/2009 at 08:51 pm GMT

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted July 05 2009 - 09:19 AM

You need a power amp that has 1/4" outputs to the speakers (or XLR or speakon depending on the speakers you get).  The amp/preamp you linked to appears to only have binding posts for the speakers.

I suggested the mixer, but a preamp or receiver would work as well.  My thought was that a receiver would be a waste of money since you're not doing surround sound and you wouldn't be using the power section of the receiver.  Your mixer/preamp/receiver will route into your power amp and your power amp will feed your speakers.


Quote:
So if I have this right, get the PA Amp that I posted, those 2 x 12" speakers, maybe a mixer, if I want get some mains and a sub, and that should be a pretty good club style set up?

Those behringers John pointed you to would be your mains.  I was just pointing out that they each have 12" speakers in them already, so an additional sub may not be necessary.


#10 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 05 2009 - 11:37 AM

Ok, so if I understand correctly I would be plugging in my TV and CD/DVD player directly into the mixer you mentioned above, which would feed into an amp/pre amp which would then power/feed the 2 x 12" speakers?

I found this amp/pre amp on the same site, made by Behringer so I am fairly positive it has the 1/4 " outputs you were talking about. The only problem I can see is that it is the amp only does 160 watts x 2 at 8 ohms and the speakers are 280 watts each. Would this pose a problem? I am just assuming that the speakers will work fine, but again I don't know much about home audio so I apologize if I'm off on any of this.





Edited by tmahoney - 7/6/2009 at 12:48 am GMT

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 05 2009 - 02:00 PM

I think Seth is making this unnecessarily complicated.  You can use a regular receiver and just fashion speaker cables with bare wires on one end to connect to the receiver and 1/4" jacks on the other end to plug into the speakers.  You can get the plugs at Radio Shack.  The only reason they use this type of connection is to make them simple for repeated connecting and disconnecting, as with someone doing parties.  In the end, the speakers I linked to are just plain old, unpowered speakers.  They are simply very sensitive and have cabinets that are designed for abuse.

Don't pay any attention to the power ratings on the speakers. Speakers like this don't "Have" power.  Those ratings are just essentially useless guidelines of what they can handle.  If you pumped 280 watts into those speakers, you would render anyone within a one block radius completely deaf.  1 watt would be enough to drive anyone in your frat out opf the room. 


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.


#12 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 05 2009 - 02:30 PM

Thanks John, so I could really just forgo the whole mixer amp/preamp situation and just get a receiver like THIS? Then if I really wanted to add on later just get simple powered sub?

Sorry to ask the same question so many times, just making very I understand before I go ahead and buy, appreciate all of the help so far.

Edited by tmahoney - 7/6/2009 at 03:25 am GMT

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 05 2009 - 03:46 PM

I don't know why not.  That receiver may be a good match.  Just realize it has virtually no inputs, so you are limited on sources, and is just 2 channel, so no surround.  It doesn't appear to be set up to use a subwoofer, which could be a larger limitation.  That doesn't mean you can use a sub, just that you are limited on which ones and how they connect.  You'd need one with speaker level inputs/outputs.  The upside is, that receiver appears to be built for abuse.

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.


#14 of 20 OFFLINE   tmahoney

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Posted July 05 2009 - 04:13 PM

That sounds good then, I'm not looking to go for anything beyond 2 channels and good to hear it can take some abuse. THIS sub seems to have all of the inputs I could ever need, could I connect the 2 mains and that sub on that receiver? I see on the receiver specs that it has a 'sub woofer line audio output'; could I connect that output to the RCA inputs on the sub I listed above?

Also I think I'll be getting the 3000 watt version of that same receiver and it runs 300 watts at 8 ohms and the speakers are only 280 watts. Can I still run the speakers without damage?

Thanks for the help!


Edited by tmahoney - 7/6/2009 at 04:45 am GMT

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Sobe89

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Posted August 26 2009 - 07:15 AM

 Hey guys,
   I'm in the same situation as Tmahoney.  I looked around for some PA speakers and came across these [link deleted by moderator; please read our Rules; no eBay links allowed].  Will these work as well as the passive speakers that were linked earlier?  I figure we could use these at our outdoor functions and all I would need is the speakers and an extension cord.  Thanks for your help.     Bill

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Sobe89

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Posted August 26 2009 - 08:58 AM

My apologies I should have checked first.  They are Technical Hifi Jam-12 powered speakers.  I can them for 270 shipped.

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 26 2009 - 01:08 PM

You'll need a source, but that could be an iPod or computer, from what I can tell.  I didn't look closely at the speakers, but if they are powered, that should do the trick.  You also need to iron out however they connect to the source, but I wouldn't think it would be very complicated.

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.


#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Sobe89

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Posted September 11 2009 - 11:55 AM

For anyone who reads this in the future...
    The Jam-12's that I asked about and then bought are not loud enough.  My room is 12x12 and I can turn them to max volume without having to cringe.  I you want something that is loud look somewhere else.  Especially considering how massive these speakers are.  The only benefit is the set up which consists of plugging in the power and running one speaker wire.  I will keep them until they break from being played at full volume and will then look somewhere else.

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Posted September 18 2009 - 12:43 PM

I don't know which advice led you to the jam12s but it was a poor choice. Now that your hindsight is 20/20, get 2X Cerwin Vegas.  I have a pair of RE30s which I paid $150 for. The MSRP when they came out in the early 90s was $699.  They have extremely good sensitivity, 97 dbs as I recall.  My "dinky" Denon AVR 590 which only puts out a maximum of 75 watts ACD, is more than capable of blasting me and anyone in the house.  I now have them connected to an old Pioneer VSX-455 w/6 disc changer, and I cant even imagine going to 1/2 volume with the RE30s.  There are many simple 2.0/2.1 stereo receivers out there.  

What you need: 2.0 receiver capable of a true 100-120 watts of power.  2X Cerwin Vegas w/ at least a 12" woofer.  That means RE30s, D7s, etc. Try Craigs list.  For about $300, you should be able to get exactly what you were looking for.

Good luck.


#20 of 20 OFFLINE   audiomaster

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:43 AM

Please note that amps are rated for different powers at different load impedances. So an amp that is advertised at 1000 watts will only do that into a 2 ohm speaker. Most home speakers are 8 ohms and most commercial speakers are either 4 or 8 ohms. A speaker with a lower impedance can pull more power from your amp or receiver. Just a note. You are legally and ethically responsible for any permanent hearing loss you cause. May not matter to the football jocks, but a music major depends on thier ears for thier career! Suggest you get a cheap sound level meter at Rasio Shack or online and tape it to the wall near the speakers.