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basement Home Theatre in need of the right

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   johnnyutah



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Posted September 28 2009 - 03:29 AM

Hello all,

I am a newbie to this forum and website and wish I would have found it before I completed my home theatre.  :)

I gutted my basement and turned it into livable space.  While doing it, I decided to make it my little Home Theatre too.  Wife said I could get a new TV as soon as I finished.  (you can see the old tube we were used too). 

Now I'm down to finding the right surround sound system for it and desperately need some help or advice as I have no real knowledge on what companies are reputable and which ones aren't.  I don't game and need a kickass system for sports and movies.  want that chest rattling bass.  I am limited to Best Buy/Magnolia or some really high-end audio stores in the Portland, OR area.  Magnolia has this Definitive 5.1 system that sounded good in their audio room but at $800 for just the speakers might be a little high for me because I need a receiver and blu-ray player.  However, one of the higher end stores says they have a Gale 5.1 system they could sell me for under $500.  Just speakers, no receivers.  I've never heard of Gale and the fact that I won't be able to listen to it before I buy makes me stand-offish to them.

Here's the specs of the room:
  • 22ft long by 13ft wide, 7' 2" ceilings. (Pic below)
  • Carpeted floor
  • Just purchased a 46" Samsung 640 LCD  (which i'm thinking of exchanging for a Plasma - another post)
  • Monster THX cable run through walls and ready for mounted speakers up close to the ceiling - 5.1
  • Ran Monster Ultra Sub cable under floor to a connect next to the sofa.

My questions:
    [*]Without Spending a lot of money, is there a good HTIB system that would be sufficient in this room?[*]What size system and Subwoofer would I need in this room?

Thanks so much for any help and advice!!!!!!!
-johnny utah

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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   CB750



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Posted September 28 2009 - 06:01 AM

From your pictures you have crafted yourself a nice HT room.  I would recommend that you scrap the idea of putting you speakers near the ceiling and move them closer to ear level height while being seated.    It also looks like you have may lots of options for speakers from satellite systems to floor standing or towers. 

Since you say you want a strong bass I assume that audio quality is important to you.  If this is true then perhaps you may want to save your lunch money and spend a little bit more than you currently have budgeted.   A good speaker system which your ears are happy with are going to last you many years, much longer than your receiver or other components.  

Since you looked at and like Definitive Technology.  My guess is that many are going to recommend the SVS 5.1 system that sells for around $950.  I did look at the Definitive Technology 600 which retails for $800.  They may be a little weak for the size of your room when compared to the larger and more expensive 800 and 1000 systems.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted September 28 2009 - 06:12 AM

Perhaps a bit late now, but if possible return the way overpriced Monster cable and put that savings to your speaker budget.  It sounds like you spent more on cables than you want to spend on speakers...

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   johnnyutah



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Posted September 28 2009 - 01:53 PM

thanks for some responses folks!  yeah, the only reason I decided on the speaker placement near the ceiling was due to the fact that with floor speakers in front, walking space would be a bit limited.  Plus, with dogs and kids... I didnt want to chance damaging nice speakers to curious little fingers, hands or paws.

I still have access to the area behind the TV and can mount the front speakers closer to ear level but the rear boxes will need to stay.  I suppose I can run longer speaker wires down the wall but that defeats the purpose of having a nice sleek look.

Any one hear of Gale speakers?  All i know is that they are an English company, but not sure about quality....

(yeah Dewd, the monster cable cost me about $140 all together.  It seems I'll have to piece it together when I get the funds starting with the receiver and front speakers then moving to the back.)

Thanks again guys!

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   MaxL


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Posted September 28 2009 - 02:52 PM

 I just lost most of this post with more specific links, but here's the gist:  

if you want a cheaper, for now system to upgrade over time, you can get a 5.0 set up with athena or energy speakers from audio advisor for as little as $180 (2 pr ls50's + matching center).  then either wait for the sub all-together, get a real sub now, (probably $500+/- to qualify as real) or pick up something for $300 or less like a dayton sub from parts express or any number of discounted subs from audio advisor or saturday audio.

good luck

HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Robert_J


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Posted September 29 2009 - 02:04 AM

Originally Posted by johnnyutah 

Plus, with dogs and kids... I didnt want to chance damaging nice speakers to curious little fingers, hands or paws.

Swat them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper if they get close to the speakers.  I'm not sure what to do about the dogs though.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   ShanonS


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Posted September 29 2009 - 02:37 AM

Never heard of Gale, so I would be leery.  The energy system is a great suggestion.  I've seen them going from time to time for very good prices.  Amazon occasionally has great prices on the Take 5 classic with a sub.  You can get much better subs, but for the prices I've seen on some of the packages, the make some decent starter subs if your patient for the right deal.  Personally, I like Definitive.  I pieced together my 7 Definitive speakers from various e-bay purchases.  Luckily, we were in temp housing for several months in the process of moving and had time to find the various pieces.  Then I bought an internet direct sub to finish the set up.  I can't say I've ever heard Athena, but they seem to have a fairly good reputation around here.  The room doesn't look too large to me, I think the DefTech system you were looking at would work if you really like it and you can find a good deal. 

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Leon O

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Posted October 04 2009 - 11:31 AM

If quality bass is important to you.  Spend your funds on a quality Sub.  The Energy Take Classics sound good with a quality sub (12" sealed box, 300w) to me.  You can aways upgrade the speakers later and the $200 for all five Take Classics isn't much more than you spent on wire.  If you're getting more cables, check out Monoprice.com

I have my speakers up about 6 feet in my bedroom.  In my main system, the surrounds are about 1.5 feet over the listening position.  If you have the time & energy, experiment with different heights.  If you are really close to the ceiling, you may want the tweeters on the bottom.

Also, experiment with the location of the sub.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   smithb



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Posted October 04 2009 - 04:32 PM

I would recommend you piece-meal your purchases and don't try to do it all at once. An HTIB is not going to give you any kind of bass. Speakers will last you a long time so do it right from the get go.

Buy a matching set of front (left, right and center) speakers with the budget you have. Later, either get the two surrounds or the sub depending on which would give you what you feel you are missing most. Last, get the remaining piece. It will cost more and take longer but you will reap the benefits for years to come.

For the fronts, you could get one's that are mountable to more easily keep then away from kids and dogs. You could also go with inwalls or low profile if you end up with a plasma.

It is less important that the surrounds match your fronts but still isn't a bad idea to get them from the same maker or brand. The fronts are also more important so based on your budget spend more on each of the fronts then the surrounds.

For the subwoofer, you will get more bang for your buck by going with one of the online specialists in this area (e.g., SVS, HSU) then a typical store brand. But be warned they usually get more bang by making bigger.