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Setup for $1500 or less


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Lipoly

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Posted May 13 2013 - 07:51 PM

As a baseline, I had used some Logitech z680s for maybe 10yrs until they were taken out by smoke damage in a house fire.  I was pretty happy w/them but now I am looking to replace (http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B00007AKDP).

 

The room is rectangular, approx 14'x21' w/couch roughly squaring the viewing space @ 14'x16' (rear speakers behind couch pointing inward).

 

My budget is less than $1500 for reciever/speakers.  I have just started looking and am considering the following:


Harman Kardon HKTS60

http://www.amazon.co...d=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

 

Yamaha RX-V475

http://www.amazon.co...id=ATVPDKIKX0DE

 

Any input would be appreciated.  I'm not particularly brand-loyal, but do like Yamaha recievers...I am willing to get whatever is the bast bang/buck though.



#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted May 14 2013 - 05:06 AM

Speaker wise you have many good options. I'm partial to the Andrew Jones series at your budget.

 

Check them out: http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B008NCD2S4



#3 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted May 14 2013 - 05:40 AM

IMHO the BIC DV series(namely the 62) represents one of the best values. At $120/pair, great value.

I've not heard the Pio AJ. Only qualm I have with it is its "lack" of efficiency. The Polk Mon/TSi, Infiity Primus and Sony SS are all more efficient...for the same, or less money.

Any of those, the 5.0 portion of the system is <$650.

AVR really depends on your sourced/content.
PS3, Wii, XBox, BD, DVD, cassette, CD, turntable, ipad, iphone, droid, windows phone, laptop, Pandora, Spotify...???

What you got that you watch/listen to?

Subwoofer...
Bare minimum is the BIC V1020 or the Lava LP10(that is close enough you can find it). But any BIC, Lava and even Dayton are worth buying.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted May 14 2013 - 02:58 PM

My recommendation (provided you are not using a lot of analog connections):

 

Yamaha RX-V375 ($249.95) or RX-V475 ($399.95)

Definitive Technology ProCinema 600 5.1 Speaker System ($729-799)

 

Roughly $1200 + tax out the door, and these can be found quite readily available either on Amazon or at most Best Buy locations that have a Magnolia Home Theater department. You can even listen to the Def Tec's at Magnolia (although it will be on a much more expensive receiver).

 

Keep in mind that the RX-V475, although a "networked" receiver, does not have wifi, but you can get an adapter from Netgear that plugs into the ethernet jack on the back of the receiver for around $50.



#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Lipoly

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Posted May 15 2013 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for the suggestions all.  

 

I am not an audiophile, so have mostly only heard of the big names (Polk, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, JBL, Pioneer, Sony, etc...)

 

Todd,

Is Definitive Technology a well known/respected brand?  I don't recall any experience with them.

 

I have been noodling this setup as well:

 

Receiver (I have a thousand ways to play Netflix/Hulu/etc, so unless I'm missing something, I don't really care if the reciever is networked I suppose).

 

RX-V375

http://www.amazon.co...1&keywords=v375

 

Center - Polk Audio CSI A4

http://www.amazon.co...=I1NDYBFM0O9WD3

 

Front - Polk Audio RTI A3

http://www.amazon.co...d=IVZT6R8WC6UJV

 

Surrounds - Polk Audio FXI A4

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=polk fxi

 

Sub - Polk Audio PSW125

http://www.amazon.co...=I18UD9HN2CRW8N

 

 

Total = $1550

 

One question I have is the "matching" of speakers.  One review on the Polk FXI A6 (http://www.amazon.co...&keywords=fxia6) said...

 

"My only suggestion for any of you looking a purchasing these is to stick with like type speakers. Speaker lines are designed to match each other and if placing a Polk Monitor with Polk RTI you will not get a nice blend. This holds true for any brand you go with."

 

First thing is I'm not sure what he means by "monitor"...center channel?  Second, how would this apply to the polk speakers I listed.  I'm not sure if they are part of the same line since they are labeled CSI, FXI, RTI, etc. Any input on that would be appreciated.

 

Thanks for the help.



#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted May 16 2013 - 03:37 PM

You definitely want to have matching speakers, or at least speakers from the same line. The goal is to have all of your speakers "timber-matched," meaning that each speaker will reproduce sound very close to each other so that when a sound travels from speaker to speaker, it is not as noticeable a change in tone and quality.

 

Having said that, I have the Polk TSi100 bookshelves and CS10 center-channel as my fronts, and they sound great, and are part of the same line from the manufacturer. At the time I purchased them, Polk's website was actually more user friendly in finding matching series of speakers, and these were a recommended matching set. However, for bookshelves, they are quite large and heavy.

 

Coming from Logitech Z680, the Def Tech bundle I suggested may be more to the size of speaker you are used to. Def Tech is a well-known and respected brand, and I know many who have purchased their speakers and have been extremely happy with them. I suggest you go to the closest Best Buy to give these a listen to. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.



#7 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted May 16 2013 - 09:49 PM

Def Tech and Polk are owned by the same holding company.

If you have no analog gear(as in everything is HDMI) either of those Yamaha are a good choice.

Monitor is the bottom range of polk. RTi are the 2nd highest...with the FXi being an offshoot of both RTi and LSi(the top range).

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Lipoly

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Posted May 17 2013 - 04:34 AM

I have no analog inputs anymore.

 

Is the audio quality of the cheaper Yamaha I am thinking about (RX-v375) the same as the upper echelons?  For the price, I can forgo the features of the pricier models, but wonder if audio quality will suffer somehow.

 

As far as matching speakers, are all of these matched? http://www.polkaudio.../rtia#allmodels  It is confusing, b/c it says it is the RTiA series, but contains CSi and F/XiA models.



#9 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted May 17 2013 - 04:20 PM

All Yamaha receivers are discrete now. In theory, all the AVR by Yamaha will sound the same...

Meaning the 375 and 3010 both sound the same when tasked with 20x5. It is when you over run the power supply of the 375 that it matters.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted May 17 2013 - 05:08 PM

I have no analog inputs anymore.

 

Is the audio quality of the cheaper Yamaha I am thinking about (RX-v375) the same as the upper echelons?  For the price, I can forgo the features of the pricier models, but wonder if audio quality will suffer somehow.

 

As far as matching speakers, are all of these matched? http://www.polkaudio.../rtia#allmodels  It is confusing, b/c it says it is the RTiA series, but contains CSi and F/XiA models.

 

The RT in RTiA means it's a bookshelf or floorstanding speaker, the CS in the CSiA means it a center channel speaker and the F/X in the F/XiA means it's a rear surround or back surround speaker. They are all from the same series. They are not to be confused with the  RTi, CSi and F/Xi models (all minus the A suffix) which are the previous generation RTi speakers. Those with the A suffix are the current series. The current series have curved cabinets and are not as bright sounding as the previous versions.

 

The Polk RTiA's would be a great choice (if you like the way they sound) but I'd pass on the PS125 subwoofer. It's only rated down to 32 hz. You can do better for the same money with the other subs already mentioned. The sub doesn't have to be from the same brand/series as the other speakers.

 

Higher priced receivers may have some features that might affect the sound quality such as YPAO-RSC in the RX-675 vs  plain YPAO in the 375 but the difference would be difficult for the average person to notice. It's mostly added features and higher power output in the upper-end models.

 

Here's a comparison chart for the Yamaha 375 ($249), 675 ($599)  and 3020 ($1999).

 

At the very bottom of the chart is a very usefull "Hands On Research" link.

 

http://www.crutchfie...RXA3020&g=10420


Edited by gene c, May 17 2013 - 05:21 PM.

"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.
 
 

 


#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Lipoly

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Posted May 17 2013 - 08:16 PM

Everyone has been very helpful.  Thanks guys, special thanks to gene for explaining how Polk designates series in their speakers.

Would the 375 Yamaha be able to handle the polk speakers I listed with reasonable headroom?

 

Monitor is the bottom range of polk. RTi are the 2nd highest...with the FXi being an offshoot of both RTi and LSi(the top range).

 

Can you explain this more? Gene stated the RT, CS, F/X, denoted speaker placement (I think), with suffixes denoting series?  Are you saying the CSI A4 is bottom "range"?



#12 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted May 17 2013 - 08:48 PM

Using the Polk "main page floorstanders"

You have the top models, just like I already said, the LS.

Next down the line, just like I said, the RTiA.

Next down the line, is TSx, which is apparently new...didn't know they had them.

Next down the line, next to the bottom, just like I said before, is the TSi. (TSi and Monitor, New Monitor and Monitor II are all the very same exact speakers. NewEgg sells one version, Best Buy another version, and so on. So they don't have to price match each other. Period, simple)

At the very bottom of Polk you have the R/T/M series.

http://www.polkaudio...r/floorstanding (each and every page of Polk does the same. Top speakers are at the top of the page, bottom rung speakers at the bottom of the page. If that ins't obvious. At the highest part of the page is the highest priced speaker. At the lower end of the page is the lower priced speakers)


Edited by schan1269, May 17 2013 - 08:53 PM.


#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Lipoly

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Posted May 17 2013 - 09:20 PM

Thanks Schan, much appreciated.

 

Will the Yamaha 375 push a set of surround RTiA speakers w/o issue?

 

I'm not sure how to confirm this...for instance, Polk says the CSiA4 requires "20-180 watts per channel."  That is a pretty large gap and as such doesn't tell me personally anything.

 

The 375 says it can push 100W/ch...1ch driven (does that mean it can only push 100W to one channel?)

 

There is no mention of what it can push to 5 channels.  I'm assuming I am just misunderstanding how the specs are presented.

 

Are there any guides to calculate what spec receiver would be needed for a certain speaker setup?


Edited by Lipoly, May 17 2013 - 09:25 PM.


#14 of 16 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted May 17 2013 - 10:57 PM

The two most important specs to look at are ohms and SPL (Sound pressure Level). A 4 ohm speaker, like the Polk LSi series, is harder for the amplifier to drive so most entry-level and mid-range receivers aren't certified for 4 ohm speakers. Doesn't mean they can't handle them. I've used "8 Ohm" receivers with 4 ohm speakers many times, just that the receiver manufacturer didn't certify that it could. Just to be safe, you shouldn't use 4 ohm speakers with receivers that are rated at 110 wpc or less. The receiver will probably go into Self Protect Mode if there is a problem. I've used a Marantz 6005 and Pioneer Elite vsx-23, both rated at 110 wpc, to power my 4 ohm Polk LSi speakers without any issues (so far). When looking at power ratings, which most of us usually ignore  completely or with a grain of salt, you also have to look at things like one channel driven or all channels driven, thd levels, frequency response (1k or 20-20,000 hz) and the ohm load. Those "1200 watts of total power!" htib systems are listed as 150 wpc, one channel driven @ 1khz with 10% thd at 3 ohms. In reality that equates to about 12 wpc of usable power. A Harman Kardon receiver might look like 65 wpc, 7 channels driven from 20-20,000 hz with .03% thd at 8 ohms. Power consumption is also a usefull way to judge an amplifiers capability. That htib might draw 130 watts from the wall while the H/K could be 1400 watts.

 

SPL is how loud a speaker will play with one watt measured at one meter. 88-91 db is average, 85-87 db is a little  low and 92-96 is kind of high. I've seen speakers as low as 81 and as high as 105. I'm sure some go even higher, and lower. They say  a 3 db higher equates to twice as loud.  

 

The Polk RTiA3 and CSiA4 are 8 ohms and 89 db spl so they should work fine with the 375 in an average size room at pretty high volume levels.

 

If you haven't seen it yet, here's Todd Erwin's review of the Yamaha 375

 

http://www.hometheat...eceiver-review/


Edited by gene c, May 17 2013 - 11:04 PM.

"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.
 
 

 


#15 of 16 OFFLINE   swaroopchanda

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Posted May 22 2013 - 02:41 PM

Def Tech is a great brand, I have def tech 'procinema 60' and two def tech BP 8040 super towers. I am more than happy with this 7.1 setup.

 

In fact, I had a chance to llisten to def tech 'procinema 600' at best buy Magnolia. Like Todd said, I was pleasantly surprised.



#16 of 16 OFFLINE   HelenG

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Posted May 31 2013 - 09:04 AM

How much is Logitech Z680?






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