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#1 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 08 2012 - 04:54 PM

Hello! I recently bought an LG 47" 3D LED TV, the LW5300 to be exact. I have never owned a speaker setup for a TV before, so I want to get one to complete my in-home cinema experience. To start off, here are some important details: -Dimensions of room are: 11'(w)x17'(l)x7'8"(h). I have a couch, along with two recliners(on each side of couch) along one of the 17' walls, and the TV on the other 17' wall, thus there is around 10' between the TV and the center of the couch. Due the couch and chairs being against the back wall, a 7.1 setup doesn't really seem possible, and that is perfectly fine with me, 5.1 should still be great! -The TV is wall mounted, with a shelf/stand thing under it for devices. -I currently have a Playstation 3 hooked up to the TV, I will also NEED to hook up a PC(likely through HDMI) to the TV/receiver regularly and need surround sound for Playstation 3 games, PC games, and Blu-Ray/DVD movies. -As I mentioned earlier, I have never really owned an actual speaker setup before. IMO TV speakers sound fine, but I want the real experience. I want to hear the sound all around me and feel the bass and vibrations, like in an actual theater. That being said, I AM NOT an audiophile. I have enjoyed movies and games for years using TV speakers, so I don't think I will be super picky about audio quality(ohms, frequencies, all that). I want the best for my price, but I don't think I will need the best possible set-up. -I am hopefully looking to spend $500. This budget includes a receiver and set of 5.1 speakers. If everything for that price is junk or you can get way better for a little more, I suppose I could go up to around $700, but that is pushing it. Since I'm not an audiophile, I think $500 will be enough, but please let me know if it isn't. I realize this budget kinda sucks compared to the nice set-ups you probably all have, but thus is the life of a college student :( -My TV is 3D, and I play many PS3 3D games, watch 3D Blu-Rays, and will soon have a 3D-capable PC. So whatever I get it must support 3D. I don't know what it needs to support this, I've only read something about 3D Pass-through? I don't know, hoping you guys do. -I've got no brand preferences. From what I've read, Onkyo is good for HTiB at my budget. I've also been told to avoid Sony recievers, stick with Yamaha, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon. -A friends dad who sells speakers for a living told me that 8" or smaller sub-woofers were too small/lean for my room, so I don't know if I need to go 10"+ or not. Opinions? -I can't do in-wall speakers, and would prefer to have like ones that stand on a shelf/table or floor standing than ones that you mount on a wall. If you recommend otherwise, let me know. So I think that's all the information I have. Please just let me know if you need more, I'll do my best to provide it. Long post, I know, I just want to be sure I make a good purchase. Thanks for reading!

#2 of 57 Al.Anderson

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Posted February 09 2012 - 12:53 AM

Congratulations Calvin, you've done your research well and have provided nearly all the needed requirement information. From what you describe you could easily go with satellite speakers and a good sub. The one requirement that would change that direction for me is whether you plan on using the system for music also; if you are, then satellites are not the best choice. Onyko makes the standard combo pack for someone in your position, the HT-S5400 should be you base review system, the one you use to compare your other options. In general, sales and such aside, Onkyo usually provides the best cost/performance of all the mainstream manufacturers. (Mainstream = Onkyo, Pioneer, Marantz, Yamaha, Harman/Kardon, Denon) Based on your preferences, I would look to upgrade the sub. (And your friend's dad is correct, you should not go down to an 8" sub.) The speaker that come with the combos (HTiBs) are usually a weak point. Based on on preferences, I think you'd be fine with the regular speakers, either bookshelfs or satellites, but will want a better sub. To do that you'd have to move away from a package deal and get separates. Thatt would increase the price of the system unless you went with used, which I won't discuss as I have no experience. Others have had very good results putting together systems from used components. If you went with separates you could go with the Onkyo 509 ($230), average bookshelf/satellite speakers (say Dayton, ~$150), and a 2nd line 12" sub (Bic, Lava, Velodyne, ~$350).

#3 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 09 2012 - 06:31 AM

Thanks for the reply! So you recommend a 12" sub for the room I listed? Also, what do you mean by satelite speakers? Sorry,I'm really bad with the terms for home theater. And how hard is it to set all of this up? I have hooked many tv's up, assembled multiple computers from the ground up, but have never done speakers before. Is there like a guide with it that helps you determine the correct distance between all of the speakers and what angles to place them at? I am fine with it taking like a whole day to set up, I just want to know if it's something I would be capable of doing. EDIT - sorry, forgot to add this. System will be used for movies and games 99% of time. Maybe music occasionally, like 1% of time.

#4 of 57 Robert_J

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Posted February 09 2012 - 08:09 AM

Dolby Labs has a great setup on the consumer side of their site. Satellite = really small speaker. Bookshelf = larger speaker that can sit on a bookshelf Tower = speaker about 36" to 7 feet tall.

#5 of 57 Al.Anderson

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Posted February 09 2012 - 08:18 AM

I'm recommending an upscale 12" sub in that room *for you*. ("I want to hear the sound all around me and feel the bass and vibrations, like in an actual theater.") I'd be happy with a 10" sub for the same application. Not that I'd shake a stick at a 12" if it was dropped into my lap. This will be very easy to set up. Almost all of the receivers have an auto-calibration system built in these days (Auddessey or something similar). But even if they didn't, it's very simple to use a $30 SPL meter and calibrate yourself. It will probably take you 30 minutes to connect the wire and an hour to run through the auto-calibration. If you are self-calibrating, maybe 2 hours. Speaking of wire, don't be talked into expensive cables or wire. Use Monoprice or Bluejeans for cables; DO NOT under any circumstances use Monster. Any standard speker cable will do. I think 16 guage is plenty big enough, but if you feel the need keep face, then 14 guage; 12 guage is overkill for you. Satellite speakers are just very small speakers. Some people like them because they're easier to place, others to appease roommates (read wives) that don't like the look of larger speakers, others because you can save a few bucks using them. You definitely give up some sonic quality when your midrange is being produced by a 3" driver; but they can be surprizingly good for home theater purposes. But not so much for pure music. I have Harman/Kardon satellites in my main theater room and they perform great. But I would not listen to music in there. In the room I listen to music in I have mid-tier bookshelfs (Axiom). Here's a link to some satellites: http://www.amazon.co...8821650&sr=1-36 You should use the Dolby guide for placement: http://www.dolby.com...ide/index.html. But don't worry too much about distances, that's what the calibration adjusts for.

#6 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 09 2012 - 09:08 AM

Hmm, those speakers look nice. One problem though is the height of speakers. According to the Dolby website, you want all the speakers at ear level(besides sub), correct? That shouldn't be too hard for the center speaker, since I can put it on the stand that sits under my wall mounted TV. However, the problem for me seems to be with the left and right speakers. There are no stands or shelves to put those on, so I don't know how I could get them at hear level. I maybe could with the front ones, by putting a shelf on each side of the TV, but there is a chair on each side of the couch, so there is no room for a shelf for the left and right rear speakers. For this reason, I think that floor-standing(that a term...?) speakers would work better for me. Like the speakers they show in the picture on the Dobly page. Let me know if that makes any sense to you guys whatsoever. Also, I realized that the wall my TV is mounted on is hollow(no insulation, so in-wall speakers would work there. Is it possible and plausible to use in-wall speakers for the center, front-left, and front-right speakers, and use standard floor-standing rear speakers? Would tower speakers = floor-standing speakers? As for the sub, I can see why I would want a 12". Would a 10" be good too for the size of my room? I use a small sub at my computer, and it works, but that is obviously a much smaller area. I just am wondering if a 10" would be goo enough for me, or if it's not much more for a 12" and I should just go for it. Sorry for all these questions, I just want to make sure I do my research and pick out good components before I go out and buy equipment.

#7 of 57 Robert_J

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Posted February 09 2012 - 10:01 AM

As for the sub, I can see why I would want a 12". Would a 10" be good too for the size of my room? I use a small sub at my computer, and it works, but that is obviously a much smaller area. I just am wondering if a 10" would be goo enough for me, or if it's not much more for a 12" and I should just go for it.

Ignore the size of the sub and focus on performance. A great 10" sub from SVS will outperform a 12" sub from other companies in both volume and extension. How much room are you willing to give up for a sub? Shoe box size, refrigerator size or something in-between?

#8 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 09 2012 - 11:41 AM

I could put in a sub the size of a dorm- fridge, that's not a problem. But maybe I wrote the wrong thing in my original post. I don't need a subwoofer that is better for than the rest of the speakers. Like I don't need the subwoofer to be the best part. As long as it produces good bass that can be felt, then it works. If I need a 12" to do this, then that is fine, I just don't want to go overkill because I don't need the best. What about the rest of the stuff I wrote in my post? I also have a REALLY old Bose speaker set I just remembered. The receiver is too old, like 1987ish, so it can't be used, but the speakers do still work. They are Bose 401's, so I was just wondering if those could be incorporated as front left and right speakers, or I should just get new ones. Thanks again for taking the time to educate me on all this. I really appreciate it guys.

#9 of 57 Al.Anderson

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Posted February 09 2012 - 01:18 PM

A great 10" sub from SVS will outperform a 12" sub

Hey, I'm workin' to spec here Robert! He's in the $500 range for the entire system, he's not getting a great sub from SVS. Calvin, there nothing wrong with having the sub be a little better than the other speakers if that's the sound you're looking for. I'm not suggesting you rig you rig up a lowriding theater room. But a 12" sub from Lava is not going to overpower your system. What you want is a strong low end. While not huge, an 11x17 room has enough volume to make use of the 12". But no, you don't *need* a 12" sub, but from how you described you goals, it's what I would aim for.

#10 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 09 2012 - 03:31 PM

So looking at Lava subs, a 12" would be $330, and a 10" around $250. I just feel like I might be better off with the $250 one that would allow me to get decent other speakers and a good receiver. $330 for a sub alone just seems like I would have to bump my budget up to get the rest of the components. What are your guys' opinions? Can you guys check out the other questions I had in post #6 and #8? Thanks!

#11 of 57 Al.Anderson

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Posted February 09 2012 - 10:59 PM

I just feel like I might be better off with the $250 one that would allow me to get decent other speakers and a good receiver.

What you're describing is the standard approach, and there's nothing wrong with that either. (In fact, it's probably what I'd do; but I was just going on your original goals where you said you were actually just fine with TV speakers and wanted the theater-like low end response. If you go the "level" approach you can either go back to the HTiBs (like the 5400), or get a receiver/speaker combo, which might up your overall speaker level. But I'm going to stick with my original suggestion - get decent satellites and a better sub. (Unless Robert comes back and says otherwise, then listen to him.) The front 3 speakers should ideally be at ear height. That said, I mounted my theater satellite L/R near the ceiling and pointed them down. I'm okay with the sound. I would always place the center at ear height. And for music I always have them at ear height. If you used satellites it would be trivial to mount them to the wall. They're very light and you can use standard wallboard mounting. If you went with bookshelfs you'll need a stand or shelf. The rears have even more flexibilty for off-height mounting, they just provide surround effects. Floor standing speakers in this price range usually don't offer added acoustics, and you pay more for the larger case. I usually recommend staying away from them if you're on a budget. In-wall speakers are usually considered your worse choice. Low end in-walls are not very good, and beyond that they cost more for the same level of quality as similar bookshelfs. Plus, you can't change your mind and move them around. Newer Bose speakers are universally ridiculed - they suck. But I believe the 401s go back to when Bose made decent stuff, so if the speaker hasn't deteriorated you should give them a try (the part around the edge that allows it tomove (I forget the name right now) is the part that typically goes first. That can be replaced on most speakers fairly cheaply. I almost forgot to mention, ideally you want the front three speaker to be acoustically the same (timbre matched). So it's not recommended to have a different model-line center then the L/R. But cost and convenience often trumps "rules".

#12 of 57 Robert_J

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Posted February 10 2012 - 12:25 AM

Don't forget the HTF discount at Lava. You have to call them to get it.

if the speaker hasn't deteriorated you should give them a try (the part around the edge that allows it tomove (I forget the name right now) is the part that typically goes first. That can be replaced on most speakers fairly cheaply.

It's called the "surround". Re-foaming speakers is extremely easy. In fact there are even You Tube "how to" videos.

#13 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 10 2012 - 05:05 AM

So you guys wouldn't recommend 4 of these? http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882290204 Just some I found on newegg, but I have no clue how to tell if they are good. So you suggest I buy 4 satellites, a good center, receiver, then a sub from Lava? Could you possibly suggest some satellites, center, and a receiver? I would do it myself, but like I said, I would end up picking out crap. You actually know what is good and bad. So satellites are easily wall mounted? The problem is running the wire, I don't think I can cut into the walls since they are insulated, and it would just be a hassle. And, satellites just seem small to the point where the sound would be wimpy. But I'm guessing that size != sound produced, and a good set of satellites will still fill the room with plenty of sound? I can wall mount speakers on the wall the TV is on, so the center, front-left, and front-right can be wall mounted and have wire run into the wall. The back ones are what are giving me trouble though. I don't think there will be room for a shelf in the back due to the couch and chairs. So for the back I though floor-standing speakers were a good choice, but from what you guys are saying I'd have to fork out a bit of dough to get decent ones. As for Bose, I though that since they cost so much they were top of the line. But I have also heard they are simply over-priced. I don't think I will use the 401's I have. Just using huge speakers from 1987 that won't match the other speakers doesn't seem like a good idea. And I don't know if they have deteriorated. They still produce sound and work, but I don't know what a good set of speakers is supposed to sound like :(

#14 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 11 2012 - 05:50 AM

Hey here are some speakers that I found, just want to run them by you guys. Set of 5 speakers: http://www.amazon.co...28917215&sr=1-2 or these: http://www.amazon.co...8917215&sr=1-15 Is there a difference between these? Which would you guys recommend? Would they be loud enough to provide sound for my room? Can they be easily wall mounted or put on a shelf? Do they each need to be powered from an outlet, or get power from receiver via speaker wires? And here is the receiver: http://www.newegg.co...Tpk=pioneer 821 That one is on sale until 2/12, so if I can't buy by then I would go with this: http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/B004M8RPAY Is there a big difference between them? And finally, the sub: http://www.lavasubs...._subwoofer.html Or I might go with 12", still deciding. And if you guys could still address the questions in my other post, thanks!

#15 of 57 gene c

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Posted February 11 2012 - 07:16 AM

Spend an extra $20 and get the 1021. Much more receiver for the money. The Energy and Take Classic speakers are often recommended around here. So are the Polk Monitors from Newegg. Not because they are the greatest speakers out there but because they are a great value. Towers are kind of a waste for surrounds. Monitor 40's, or even the little 30's, would be more than enough. The 1021, 2 pair of 40's, a CS1 and the Lava sub would be a nice system. The 50's to replace one pair of 40's for the front would be $50 more.
"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.
 
 

 


#16 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 11 2012 - 07:28 AM

But the 1021 is a bit more than an extra $20. It's like $150 more since the 821 is on sale. What exactly makes the 1021 better? I don't need the best, I just want a good entry-mid level set of speakers and receiver. And would the Monitor's be better than the speakers I linked? They cost a bit more, at-least the 40's do.

#17 of 57 gene c

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Posted February 11 2012 - 08:34 AM

The 1021 offer quite a bit more than the 821 or 921 but I didn't notice the $140 off promo code on the 821 :blush: . The final price on the 821 is about the best I've seen from an authorized dealer. Here's the Newegg comparison chart for the 821, 921 and 1021. http://www.newegg.co...6^82-117-396-TS Pioneer doesn't offer the comparison function on it's website but under Manuals and Brochures on the individual receivers "details" page there is a Product Sheet which highlights the upgrades from the next lower model. The biggest difference is the 1021 has the Advanced version of MCACC but the price on the 821 is real good. I would take the Monitors over the Energy's based soley on their larger size. Both the Energy packages are very good for their size (and price - I've seen both 5 packs for $200-$250 http://www.amazon.co...electronics,315) but I'd still prefer the Monitors for their larger size, especially the center. BTW, just to confuse you even more, the Pioneer speakers are also very good for the price (but pass on the sub). But they aren't as efficient as the Polks so they won't play as loud at the same volume setting. http://www.newegg.co...eTabStoreType=0
"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.
 
 

 


#18 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 11 2012 - 04:31 PM

Thanks for the reply! So here is what I am thinking: Set of Polk monitor 40's for the front, a Polk monitor cs1 center, a pair of Polk monitor 30's for the back, the 821, and. 10" lava sub. So the 40's are wall mountable correct? I likely won't place the rears on the wall, but the fronts ones I probably will. The center I would like to wall mount, but if it's too big I can put it one a shelf. Do you happen to know how much the HTF discount is if I call in for the lava sub? Also, I notice the higher up receivers like the 1021 list video up conversion of 1080p. If my PS3 already plays blu rays at 1080p and upconverts dvd's, what is the used for?

#19 of 57 gene c

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Posted February 12 2012 - 02:24 AM

I don't think the 40's are wall mountable (they're 16"s tall and weight 15 ibs) but as I said somewhere recently, give me a big enough hammer and scredriver and I can mount anything to a wall. Be creative. Buy or make some small shelves, maybe a u-bracket that mounts to the wall and clamps down on the top and bottom of the speaker. I've even screwed two satellite brackets to the back of a single speaker before (not as easy as it sounds). The things I've had to do to please someone elses wife. :rolleyes:: ... ;) . I don't remember what the discount is but I think it places the 12" sub well under $300. But don't quote me on that. The BIC V1220 or F-12 is a decent alternative. Video up-conversion to 1080P is really only needed if you're using a device that outputs less than 1080P, like a SD tv broadcast. And even then your display will probably do just as good of a job converting it, or even better, than a receiver will. It's one of those features that isn't isn't really necessary but they have to include to keep up with the Jone's. What is nice to have is analog to hdmi conversion. If you still use an analog device like a VCR then it will convert the analog signal to digital for output through the hdmi connection.
"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.
 
 

 


#20 of 57 Trogdor796

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Posted February 12 2012 - 03:38 AM

Stuff has come up that really makes budget a problem. So this is what I am thinking now: Set of 5 Energy Speakers ($180) http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882269004 Pioneer 821 receiver ($190 w/ promo code): http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882117397 10" Lava Sub($246 before HTF discount): http://www.lavasubs...._subwoofer.html Total of $616, minus whatever the HTF discount on the sub is. Are the energy speakers wall mountable? Sorry, I just want to be sure... I know, it sucks that I have to downgrade the 5 speakers, but I'm still hoping they will work good enough. With the parts I have above, how will it compare to like those $300-$500 HTiB sets at Best Buy, or like an Onkyo HTiB for $500 from newegg? If as good or better due to the sub I'm getting, it should sound fine to me. Also, does this receiver include the calibration guide thing that helps you place the speakers?




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