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$10,000 budget for new home theater


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#1 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 06 2011 - 08:58 AM

I want to finish my basement, the most important thing for me is the home theater. please see the image file attached, I designed the home theater by myself, and i would like to buy the onkyo tx-nr3009 receiver or the same level, anything else, i know nothing. please give some good idea for the design and speakers, i need in-wall speakers for the front speaker, the $10000 budget includes: 65 inches flat tv, receiver, speakers, subwoofer(s) and equipment rack, remote control and installation fee. I need two or four ceiling speakers for my game room. any help will be a great appreciated. thanks much Max[ATTACHMENT=206]hometheater2.png (104k. png file)[/ATTACHMENT]

#2 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 06 2011 - 02:27 PM

If you are going to drop $10K and use a receiver and in-wall speakers, just scrap the whole idea. Sorry to be so blunt. Instead, take a look at some reasonably priced separates (pre-amp/processor and external amps). Emotiva has some fine amps as well as the processor, but so do Outlaw and Marantz. Do yourself a favor and DON'T use in-wall speakers. There is almost an unlimited selection of traditional speakers and most of them are a better choice.

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.


#3 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 07 2011 - 06:09 AM

Thanks JohnRice, the $10k is almost for everything in the home theater, except td seatings. two things are really confused me: 1 - this is home theater, not a listening room. do i need the preamp/amp for the surround sound system? 2 - except the selection, any difference beween in-wall speaker and stand alone speaker? thanks

#4 of 38 Robert_J

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Posted December 07 2011 - 06:42 AM

1. You don't. But in your price range, we assume you are going for quality and a good pre-pro / amp combo is great. Then again, we don't know your other goals. 2. Absolutely there is a difference. In-wall speakers are a compromise at best. Quality speakers are an investment that will last decades. Audio and video formats change but quality speakers from the 70's are still sought after.

#5 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 07 2011 - 07:23 AM

Thanks Robert. generally speaking, here are my goals: 1 - flat tv (panasonic 65 inches) $2500 2 - onkyo tx-nr3009 receiver $2200 3 - sanus - cfr127 equipment rack $500 4 - logitech harmony 1100 remote control $400 5 - wires and installation fee $1000 6 - blu ray player $200 7 - power conditioner $200 8 - acoustic panel $500 so I have $2500 left for these speakers and subwoofers. 2 or 4 front speakers (may just need 2) 2 side speakers (may not needed) 2 rear speakers 1 or 2 subwoofers 2 or 4 ceiling speakers for the drum set area and marimba area (in the home theater, see pic attached) 2 or 4 ceiling speakers for game room (another room) any suggustions for those speakers? 5.1, or 5.2 or 7.2? which one is better to fit my home theater? do i need buttkickers for the seat or bass shakers under the seat? thanks alot for any help

#6 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 07 2011 - 07:28 AM

the thing may be deffrence with you is I also have drum set and marimba in the same room , so do i just need to set up the surround sound for the theater area? or I need to set up it for the entire room? that is why i just want to install the surround sound for the theater area and install 2 or 4 ceiling speakers for the drum set area and marimba area.

#7 of 38 Robert_J

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Posted December 07 2011 - 10:15 AM

Let me comment on a few of these: 1 - flat tv (panasonic 65 inches) $2500 - I've seen 65" TV's for much cheaper. Do you have a model picked out yet? Link to it? 2 - onkyo tx-nr3009 receiver $2200 - Your receiver shouldn't cost the same as your speakers. I spent $400 on my receiver. I did build my speakers but they are comparable (not by me but others) to some costing $1,000 each. I spent about $1,000 on my sub and it can outperform dual SVS Ultras ($3,000). 3 - sanus - cfr127 equipment rack $500 - I bought my equipment rack at Office Depot for $60. I'll bet the performance is the same as the Sanus. 4 - logitech harmony 1100 remote control $400 - The Harmony is worth the money. 5 - wires and installation fee $1000 - Monoprice.com for cables and DIY install. Do you really need someone to install it? What happens when you change out a piece of equipment? Gonna call them back in to plug it all in? Or when a kid hits the wrong button on the receiver and you can't get the system off Dolby Pro Logic? 6 - blu ray player $200 - Depending on your goals, that may be a good budget. 7 - power conditioner $200 - Do you have dirty power? I use a pair of UPSs with surge protection. I keep my DVRs running and surge protect the rest. Under $100. 8 - acoustic panel $500 - There's a good DIY tutorial in the forum right below this one. $30 each.

so I have $2500 left for these speakers and subwoofers. 2 or 4 front speakers (may just need 2) 2 side speakers (may not needed) 2 rear speakers 1 or 2 subwoofers 2 or 4 ceiling speakers for the drum set area and marimba area (in the home theater, see pic attached) 2 or 4 ceiling speakers for game room (another room)

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/setup/connection-guide/home-theater-speaker-guide/index.html choose 5.1 or 7.1. You will end up with 3 front speakers. Subs quantity and number depend on the size of the room and your goals. Want to reproduce action movie explosions? It's not cheap. You need a 3 zone receiver. Most of the time, zone 2 uses the amps from the rear surrounds so you will be stuck with 5.1. Zone 3 almost always requires a 2nd amp. That can range from $30 to $3,000 depending on your goals.

any suggustions for those speakers?

Audition them. What sounds good to me might sound terrible to you. If you can't audition everything, let us know what you like and we can suggest similar models.

5.1, or 5.2 or 7.2? which one is better to fit my home theater?

Again, what are your goals. It's like stopping by a car forum and asking what vehicle under $50,000 fits your needs. You have to help us.

do i need buttkickers for the seat or bass shakers under the seat?

I'm not a fan of them. I do like a tactile sensation but I just have large subs that play extremely low. I can crank my system to the point that I will knock my projector out of focus due to the vibration. I can feel the concrete slab of my entire house vibrate.

the thing may be deffrence with you is I also have drum set and marimba in the same room , so do i just need to set up the surround sound for the theater area? or I need to set up it for the entire room?

Are you going to sit at your drums when watching movies? No, then it becomes a 2nd zone.

#8 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 08 2011 - 05:10 AM

Robert - thank you so much for taking much time to answer my questions one by one, and give me many good idea. will post links later thanks again

#9 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 08 2011 - 06:09 AM

tv link receiver - my friend told me that receiver for the surround sound system likes the engine for the car, it is very important. that is why i choose the receiver Sanus component rack another day I went to best buy and the pro gave me some ideas about the in wall speakers. the brand of the speaker is Speakercraft front speakers - Aim cinema three x 2 http://www.amazon.co...23371313&sr=1-1 Rear - Aim cinema dipole three x 2 http://www.amazon.co...23371203&sr=1-2 subw - aim cinema sub 8 system ceiling speakers for the game room - crs6 one

#10 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:29 AM

Regarding the receiver. Yes it is the center of the system, but you are misunderstanding the rest of the principle. From experience I have found that power can make a significant difference in the system. NO receiver has much power, regardless of what they claim. A receiver is simply radio/switching/volume/amplifiers in one box. Separates put everything except amplifiers on one box and the amps in another. For $2,200 you can get substantially better external amps and either a pre/pro or a good receiver with pre-amp outputs to control everything. There are two major upsides. You get better sound and dynamic range, plus when you upgrade, you only upgrade the "brains" and processing/switching, but keep the amps. Let's say you get THIS amp, if you want to start with 5.1, or move up to 7.1 using that amp for the front three channels and two of the surround channels and let the receiver power the other two surrounds, which don't need as much power. You can add THIS pre-amp/processor, and the combination will BLOW AWAY the Onkyo receiver you listed in every possible way that actually matters, for $1,000 LESS. The only thing you lack is hdmi 1.4a, which you need for 3D, but you get a 40% off upgrade certificate with the UMC-1 which you can use on the upcoming updated model when it comes out. Then you sell it and you are still several hundred $$ ahead. The other (also excellent) option is to get a reasonably priced receiver that can operate as a pre-amp and use it that way with external amps. That receiver I linked probably sounds much better than the Onkyo you are considering and when you match it with a good amp, it is incredible. As far as in-wall speakers, you seem hell-bent on them, despite the best attempts from some very informed people here. All I can say is, "Best Buy" and "Pro" should never be used together. They only know what they want to sell you, nothing more.

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.


#11 of 38 Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:34 AM

I went to best buy and the pro

Are you a stand up comedian? Best Buy and "pro" is like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence.

my friend told me that receiver for the surround sound system likes the engine for the car, it is very important

Amps burn out. Surround formats change. Technology advances. Yes, the receiver is important but quality speakers are an investment. People are still using their speakers from the 1970's. Yes, a cap may spring a leak but you can replace that for $5 and the speaker are as good as new.

front speakers - Aim cinema three x 2

For that price you can get great, conventional speakers. In-wall speakers are a compromise at best. They use the drywall cavity as the enclosure. 1/2" drywall as the enclosure. See the picture below? They are made from 3/4" or thicker MDF with proper bracing to keep cabinet resonance at a minimum. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ What if your wall studs don't allow you to center your speakers on your TV? Will you live with a lopsided room layout? I looked at the sub. MSRP of $999 for 150 watts and an 8" sub. With a $10,000 budget I thought you were after performance over aesthetics. Subwoofer placement is critical. Are you going to remove it from the wall if you find that the first location wasn't optimum? If you are dead set on in-walls then Parts Express has the Dayton line and Monoprice has their own line as well. I'd put them up against any other in-wall speaker. You could outfit your entire room for 1/5 the price and I'll bet you couldn't tell the difference.

#12 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:38 AM

A few more things. Take Robert's advice. In your price range, I would say the ONLY things you should even consider buying from a place like Best Buy are the TV and BR player. Maybe the Remote, but you can get that from Amazon. Otherwise, go elsewhere. My "good" system has an SVS subwoofer and while they are excellent performers, I don't think they offer the value they did when I got mine. Again, in your price range, my #1 speaker recommendation is probably Vandersteen. You won't find them on every corner and you may not like their sound. That's your decision. In any case, I would probably spend 50% of the total budget on speakers, including sub, maybe even more. I don't mean more speakers, but better ones.

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.


#13 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:55 AM

This got me thinking, so I thought I'd calculate where I have put money in my "Good" system. If I exclude some uncommon electronics which are dedicated exclusively to 2 channel music playback, then I have spent exactly twice as much on speakers (including sub) than on all electronics (pre, amps, TV, BR player). In my "Cheap" living room system it is about 45% on speakers and 55% on electronics. My point is, and I see this over and over, people spend WAY too much on electronics and far too little on speakers.

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 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 09 2011 - 04:02 AM

John and Robert, you give me such great suggestions, l learned a lot of things about the ht system. thank you so much. I changed my mind:) 1 - instead of buying tv, i am going to buy a projector 2 - instead of buying in-wall speakers, i need to buy floor speakers 3 - instead of buying one receiver, i need prefamp(surround sound?) and amp for speakers I have a pair of ProAc studio 140 speakers on my second floor, just for listening music, and just a few times for more than 2 years. so I want to use those two speakers as the front speakers in the home theater, and also i have one preamp NAD c272 and two amp NAD(i forgot the model, but they are the same level with c272), can i use those for my home theater? thanks again for all your helps Max

#15 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 09 2011 - 04:42 AM

The NAD c272 is a power amp, not a pre-amp, and yes, you can use those in the system. That gives you 4 channels of power, so if you add a 3 channel amp you are ready for 7.1. The pre-amp you have probably can't be used in the system though. You need a surround pre-amp/processor instead. Still, you saved a bunch of money and have better equipment.

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.


#16 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 09 2011 - 05:49 AM

Thank you, John. I just spoke to the US importer of the ProAc speakers. He gave the price for center and rear speakers. can you please take look those speakers? are they good enough for the ht and music? are they matched? 2 front speakers: ProAc studio 140 --- used, i bought them 3 years ago 1 center speakers: ProAc studio Centre Channel, brand new $1125 2 rear speakers: ProAc studio 100, brand new $2050 if they are good enough and also matched, what kind of prepro and power amp I need to buy for those speakers? thanks again

#17 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 09 2011 - 11:16 AM

I don't know anything about ProAc, but they certainly aren't cheap. You already have the L&R and you apparently like them, so that is the way to go. Those models should be matched to what you have. One suggestion is to try setting the center vertically, not horizontally. It is actually supposed to be placed that way but with centers people tend to end up placing them horizontally. You will get much better side-to-side dispersion when it is vertical. So, my recommendation would be to use the NAD amps for the side and rear surround speakers and get THIS amp for the front three channels. Just be aware, that Emotiva amp is ENORMOUS. Make sure you have room for it because you don't want to stack any of those amps on top of each other. Each one should be on its own shelf with a few inches above to breathe. If you want an incredible deal and don't want 3D right now, then the Emotive UMC-1 Pre-amp/Processor is an absolute steal right now on closeout. If you want 3D, you can wait for the new model or step up to something like THIS one from Marantz for more than 3x the price. With the two Emotiva pieces you have only spent $1,100 while they are on sale. Get suggestions from Robert regarding subs. Of course, he'll want you to build one. :D The SVS Ultras are quite good, but they are getting awfully expensive these days. You want a major sub to pressurize that 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.


#18 of 38 Maxmillion

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Posted December 10 2011 - 04:16 AM

After collect all info, suggestions and recommendations, here is the final decision (maybe not) 1 projector - Epson powerlite 5010 2 screen - don't know any, need one for 3d movie 3 Preamp/processor - marantz av7005 4 Amp - marantz mm7055 (or Cmotiva Xpa-5) this is for 5 speakers 5 amp - nad c272 this is for two ceiling speakers in drum and marimba area 6 amp - nad c272 this is for two ceiling speakers in another room( pool table and poker table ) 7 front speaker - ProAc studio140 8 center speaker - ProAc studio centre channel 9 rear speaker- ProAc studio100 10 subwoofer - PB12-plus or X-Ref 12 10 remote control - Logitech harmony 1100 I think all above include most things i need for my ht. A couple of questions: 1 the marantz mm7055 power amp is very good one 140w/channel, i like it. Also I like Xpa-5 ,it has more power 200w per channel, but the center speaker and rear speakers are150 watts amp recommended, the Xpa-5 will blow them out? 2 if I use Xpa-5 ,where the subwoofer connect to?

#19 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 10 2011 - 04:35 AM

Ignore speaker power ratings. They are useless. Speakers don't blow because the amp has too much power. They blow because the amp has too little power and you overdrive it into distortion. As far as the sub, it will typically have it's own amp built-in and you connect it directly to the processor. the subs you listed have internal amps. If it doesn't have it's own amp, then you still connect it to the processor but use a different type of amp than you use for the other speakers. Something like a Behringer PA amp with tons of power. Robert can help you with that.

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.


#20 of 38 JohnRice

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Posted December 10 2011 - 04:37 AM

BTW, I have a few Marantz pieces and I am very impressed with them. If you want a KILLER CD (and SACD) player for music, I recently got their SA8004 and I am extremely happy with it.

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.