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Help me finish my system cheaply!


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   hankscorpio

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Posted October 26 2009 - 02:09 PM

I started building up a home theater system piece by piece in my apartment then put it on hold because my walls were paper thin and I didn't want to be that guy.  I now have a house but have realized I don't really have that good an ear to keep spending this kind of money on speakers.  My equipment has been sitting around half unpacked and I want to finish the system so I can call my living room DONE. 

I have

Harman Kardon AVR140 receiver (6.1 ch)
2x Infinity Primus 150 bookshelf speakers.
1x Boston Acoustics HS225 center chanel
2x NS-A638 Yamaha (they're big ugly & don't sound that good, I'd prefer not to retire these to another room for use with the turntable)

I bought all the above equipment on the cheap (like 75% off at the Circuit City going under sale for the center channel)
What would finish this out nicely without spending much money.  I'd like to keep it under $100 if possible but a powered sub looks like it will kill the budget alone for anything decent.  Are the infinity's best as Front or rear? should I look to finish this setup as 5.1 or is 6.1 worth buying the additional satellite?
(why didn't I just go for one of those cheap box sets at walmart? It may be lousy but it would be done and I wouldn't be screwing around looking for speakers anymore)

Thanks



#2 of 7 OFFLINE   krisr2005

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Posted October 27 2009 - 12:25 PM

You don't want cheap wal-mart crap, don't beat yourself up about it, you've got the start of a decent home theater system.

You've got a good receiver and good fronts (Infinity), even the center and rears are good, the only problem I see with your setup is the fact that your Infinity fronts and BA center aren't timbre matched. This would cause the sound to be different on the front end of your system as it goes from left channel to center to right channel. Example would be a helicopter flying from left to right, your center channel sound would be different than your two fronts. Most people say if your ears don't care, then don't worry about it, but personally I've always been able to catch the details from non timbre matching. Your surround channel speakers aren't as much of an issue, since the soundscape is usually quite different from left to left surround and right to right surround, but ideally, every speaker you have should be timbre matched with the exception of a subwoofer.

My suggestion, get a new center, like the Infinity pc-250, which could be had for under $120.

If you really don't care about what is mentioned above, you can get a subwoofer close to your price range, although it's highly recommended you spend a bit more. A Polk PSW10 can be had for around $120. Don't forget a quality surge protector to protect your investment as well. Good luck!


#3 of 7 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 27 2009 - 12:49 PM

What Christopher said about timbre matching is correct but since you don't have one, a powered sub should be next on your list. The Dayton ES8 (HSU) from PartsExpress.com is now on sale for only $99 +9.95 shipping. I'd get it without hesitation.


"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#4 of 7 OFFLINE   hankscorpio

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Posted October 27 2009 - 02:02 PM

I didn't really know about timber matching (although it seems obvious when somebody mentions it)
So you have me thinking finishing the surround with more infinitys to timber match the 150's I already have. Buy the Dayton sub (or something)
The catch is that my Primus 150s has been replaced by an newer generation P152 (the rest of the line with the same sort of name change)  What are the chances that the new generation will match my old speakers.  A quick search of google and I did find one store with 150's like mine but it looked pretty shady...  does timber matching make as big a difference front to rear?  should I say buy the newer Infinities for the front and replace the center channel if it I don't like the mismatch?

Are used ebay speakers a high risk option?

Also is 5.1 vs 6.1 a major differnece?


#5 of 7 OFFLINE   MaxL

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Posted October 27 2009 - 02:18 PM

 ebay is a good option just look for a seller with over 100 and positive feedback.

as for the 5.1 vs 6.1, even if it was different in a noticeable way, you should focus on getting the best you can out of your 5.1 before you start adding the extra speaker.

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 7 OFFLINE   hankscorpio

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Posted October 27 2009 - 02:50 PM

Subs in the $100 price range on Amazon:
Sony SA-W2500    $87.97
Polk Audio PSW10    $99.90
Yamaha YST-SW216BL    $96.97
Dayton ES8   $99.00

Unfortunatlely all the stores I would have gone to to listen to these have closed (tweeters) or given up on working displays (thanks Best Buy)
In general I'd trust the Polk (cnet likes them)  but I really don't follow who's who in speakers and don't know anything about Dayton (gene C is recomending). 


#7 of 7 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 27 2009 - 03:22 PM

The Infinity 150's and 152's are almost identicle. But timbre matching the rears to the fronts isn't as criticle as the fronts to the center. IMO the Infinity's are a warm and soft sounding speaker and Boston is quite a bit brighter. You should be more concerned about getting an Infinity center to match the 150's. I've bought many things from ebay and craigslist without issue (so far) and can be a great way to get things on the cheap. But you need to be careful. I'd cross the Yamaha 216 and Polk PS10 off the list. I've owned both and to me neither were very good. Again, my own opinion and others may disagree. Sony subs seem to be better than they should be according to those who have them but the Dayton ES8 was designed by Dr HSU of HSU Research who are one of the better subwoofer manufactures  out there. I put the ES8 in a different league than the others on your list but again, my own opinion.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 





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