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Completely new to Home Theater - please help me?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   daveyi

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Posted February 17 2012 - 06:03 AM

Hi Everyone, Dave here. Just joined the forum, and brand new to home theater! I am no audiophile, nor a sonic expert AT ALL. I've also never owned a home theater (speaker) system before. I'm not all that tech-savvy, but I'm also smart enough not to be duped by sales associates at BestBuy/Sears trying to sell me lemons (or maybe I'm just paranoid about salespeople!). Which is why I've turned to this forum for help! ANY advice or feedback would be very appreciated. I'm very excited to be making a purchase of this magnitude, and really hoping to enrich my experience with TV, movies, gaming, and music (maybe). What I have: 1) In a matter of days, I will be a first-time, new condo-owner (yay). 2) My living room has wood flooring, and is 13' x 20' . The TV/system will be on the 13' side, meaning ~20 feet from my eyes to the TV. 3) The gf has left it up to me to decide how we setup the Home Theater (it's the 1 single component I have a say in ANYTHING...yes, I'm happily whipped) 4) 3 yr old 46" Samsung 1080p LCD Flat TV. What I am planning to have soon: 1) PS3 2) Roku? for Netflix? Still torn whether to use my PS3 for Netflix, or get the Roku device...a separate discussion altogether. If I did get Roku, not even sure if it would integrate with the theater system? My Budget for everything (speaker system, receiver, amp?) : $1100 - $1200 I've done a little bit of research, and I've also read a lot of the correspondence on this forum. Most experts (you guys!) seem to suggest to stay away from Sony and Bose. That is perfectly fine by me. QUESTIONS: I did stumble across a JBL speaker system, the Cinema 500, which I believe has an 8" sub. I've also come across the Yamaha RX-v571 receiver? Would those 2 jive OK? Would an 8" sub be too weak for the room size? I'm also hoping to put the surround/satellite/bookshelf speakers on poles/stands. Do I need an amp? From what I've read, most of the mid-higher range Yamaha receivers have decent amps built-in? Or, would you guys suggest anything more robust/efficient for my budget? If you were in my situation, what would be your setup? ANY advice would be so helpful, thank you. I'm pretty pumped to pursue this new endeavor, and I'm sure it won't be without its bumps and hurdles.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted February 17 2012 - 08:31 AM

Answers: If the JBL speaker system is rated at 8 ohms then it will work with 99.9999% of the receivers on the market. The biggest thing - do you like how the speakers sound? What are your goals for a sub? Mine were to reproduce explosions in action movies at reference levels with extreme tactile force. An 8" sub doesn't work for me. A 12" sub doesn't work for me. I reached my goal with dual 15" subs and a 2,500w amp. The receiver will work fine. JBL is a good company for small speakers. Klipsch, Hsu, Axiom and Fluance as well. Your sub doesn't have to come from the same company. In fact, few speaker companies make great subs. Some sub companies do make great speakers.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   raehza

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Posted February 17 2012 - 06:31 PM

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882120187 The Onkyop 9400 THX is an excellent HTIB system. A family member of mine has the 9100 THX and it sound good. Your room is rather large but the sub should be good enough. You can always change the sub to something bigger in the future if you feel like. The ONKYO system is a 7.1 system with a receiver, so you can always add different speakers or a different sub if you like. Ray

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   daveyi

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Posted March 05 2012 - 03:38 AM

Hey guys, really appreciate the feedback. So, here's what I'm thinking of doing instead.. The Onkyo 9400 looks great, except I haven't been able to find any dealers/shops in my area that have it available for demo or listening. However, the shop I did step into was, an education of sorts. Spent a few hours there with a friend, learning about home theater and audio in general. So much I didn't know! Still much much to learn, but wow, you guys are crazy! A whole new world indeed. While at the shop, they (the guys at the shop) showed me all sorts of different speakers, with different receivers and such, it was pretty mindblowing. These guys weren't there to sell me anything, just educating and guiding me along - it was a great experience. So much so, that, I actually want to purchase my gear from them. With all of that being said... I was shown a pair of the B&W 686 Bookshelves, which I really liked. Now, i'm starting to think...maybe just build my system over time, instead of purchasing HTIB? But that Onkyo system has such great reviews.... So, what I'm thinking now is, something very rudimentary and basic - and just build over time...receiver, center/dialogue speaker, and 2 bookshelves. Marantz SR5006 receiver, B&W 686 Bookshelves for L and R. I've extended my budget a few hundred dollars to $1600. Marantz receiver is $800, B&W bookshelves are $480. That only leaves around $300 for a center - will that suffice for a decent center? Additionally, if that is a decent price, what Center would you guys recommend? Or, if I need to spend a lil more, what would you get? I certainly plan to add a sub at some point, but based on what I've read, and what the guys at the shop were telling me is, the fronts are the most important, get those first.... ANY feedback is so greatly appreciated. I'm so new to this thing, but it's fun and exciting.. Dave

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 05 2012 - 03:56 AM

The Onkyo 9400 looks great, except I haven't been able to find any dealers/shops in my area that have it available for demo or listening.

I just look for features. Most people couldn't tell who made which receiver in a blind listening test. Auditioning speakers is much more important.

B&W bookshelves are $480. That only leaves around $300 for a center - will that suffice for a decent center?

How much is the recommended matching center from B&W? Because that's the one you need to get. All 3 front speakers should be timbre matched (sound alike). If needed, I'd go with a less expensive receiver so I could get the speakers that match.

I certainly plan to add a sub at some point, but based on what I've read, and what the guys at the shop were telling me is, the fronts are the most important, get those first....

But a sub will add much more especially if you watch action movies.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Martino

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Posted March 05 2012 - 04:03 AM

Rule of thumb: The center and front speakers should be from the same company and have drivers that match as close as possible.... If you were given a demo of B&W bookshelves and really like them - ask that dealer what center speaker from the B&W line matches these bookshelf speakers. You have found the best rule to use with speakers - listen to them with your own ears and see if you like them. I would also suggest bringing along movies and music that you like to listen to. Also ask if they allow for a at home demo...as the acoustics in a show room will be different that what you have in your house. Most of the dialog from a movie will be coming out of the center speaker - but they also use the front 3 as a sound stage to place the action in a movie. If you do not have matching speakers - when an actor in the movie moves to the left of the screen, and they place their voice in one of the side speakers, they will sound different if these are not matching. It can be distracting if their voices change every time they move around....They also use "placement" of the sound between speakers, and if they don't match well you will be able to tell. If these guys were helpful with the demo - then have them setup the system you are thinking of buying - and try it out. Those speakers you listened to are very nice, but you don't want to get a cheap center that does not match. I'm not sure what the B&W center speaker is that matches those, or how much it will cost.....

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted March 05 2012 - 04:15 AM

I'll second everything that Robert and Martin said. Building a system over time will always yield better end results.  Focus the bulk of your budget to the speakers - they will far outlast any other component you buy. Finding a dealer you can trust can be difficult, but it sounds like you found some good guys.  Regardless, you can always come here to "confirm" things with us, or get a second opinion as needed. Best of luck to you!

Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#8 of 8 OFFLINE   wildjungle

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Posted March 05 2012 - 05:21 AM

Great Idea Martino...Having the same products for the whole systems makes it easier to sort problems in case there is a minute connection problem




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