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Help me setup a beginner system - thanks!


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   23109VC

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Posted October 20 2013 - 10:47 PM

HI everyone.  this is my first post.  I am hoping to put together a simple home theatre system.. it doesn't have to be Earth shattering, but I don't want a boxed system / cheap stuff.

 

My home has a large / great room - the entire room is at least 20x20, but the couch is maybe 10-12' from the TV.

 

I have a tv niche where i have a TV stand and my Panasonic Viera 58" plasma tv.  I've had the tv about 5-6 years... it still works great.

 

I have no quality speakers except for a VERY old Klipsch sub.. an SW-8 that I bought back in college.. late 1990s... and it still works great.  I curently have my TV audio output going into the RCA inputs on my SW-8... when I want some bass for movies.. I turn the sub on and whateve ris on the TV outputs bass to my sub.. but i'm just using the built in speakers on the Tv.. they are so-so for tv but are really garbage for nice movies and crap for music.

 

I woudl like to add some decent speakers and try to continue using my SW-8 sub, if possible.  I Know the sub is old and may not be that compatible with newer stereo equipment... but it seems like a nice sub.  the bass is pretty good from it.. depending on where you are int her oom it really booms. the room is fairly large so in some spots of the room it seems like it lacks enough punch..but it's not bad.

 

I know I need to add a nice surround sound receiver.  that is something I plan to add.

 

next step is to get some decent speakers for up front - a center and left right.  i'm not sure if i should go for standing speakers or get smaller bookshelf speakers.  i honestly have no idea if they are equal in quality or if one is better than the other.

 

I also have prewiring in my ceiling..so I could add in celling speakers.. I'd just have to cut holes into the ceiling, install ceiling speakers, then run the wires.  I currently have my TV resting on a nice tv stand.. but would like to mount it to the wall, and raise if off the stand.. then I could put decorations, a center speaker, etc on the tv stand... 

 

here are some of my questions:

 

I really don't know what kind of receiver I should get. I have an apple computer, ipads, iphones.. if there is somethign that would work better with mac stuff..so I can easily stream my music...  that would be good.  I have an apple TV and use that to send muisc to my Tv curerntly.

 

I woudl like some kind of a setup so I can listen to music and have it sound really good... moviess/tv is also a priority.. but if i had to pick one, I'd rather have great music system..with movies/tv being secondary.  i love music..and it drives me nuts to not have a great ystem to listen to music on. 

 

should I get floor speakes or are nice bookshelf speakers ok?

 

are free standing speakers like floor/bookshelf speakers as good , superior, or inferior to in ceiling speakes for home threatre vs. music?  wthout knowing anything, and just using my intuition.. I assume that the ceiling install stuff is fine for surround sound for a movie..but not as desireable for real quality music.. I just cant imagine those little round speakers in the celing can do the same thing as anice floor or bookshefl speaker?

 

also - i'm on a huge budget..so I'll probably try to find stuff used on craigslist...or buy some stuff new and some stuff used.

 

my klipsh SW-8 is over 20 years old and sounds awesome.. i can imagine that if I foudnquality stuff like klipsch speaker on craigslist..i coudl find quality stuff, that is still plenty nice, and a bargain compared to buying new.

 

i also don't have to have the best / top qualty stuff.  i don't want crap though.  a while back I bought oen of those all in one boxed home theatre systems from costco.. it was pretty crappy.  i don't want that stuff.. i want to put together a qualiity system... bit by bit.. id rather take a while..buy parts here and there..and end up wth a nice systme that sounds great.

 

but i don't want to buy stuff that winds up not working for my needs/goals..and figured i"d coem to a place like this and ask questions, get educated, and make intelligent purchases based on infromation from others who know more than I do and are willing to share their knowledge.

 

besides a nice receiver, some decent speakers, what else should I consider?

 

thanks for any info!!

 

shojld I ditch my SW-8 and get something newer?  bigger? or can I make due on that for now?  it still works!

 

if I just got no input and started buying stuff.. here is what I wuld do...

 

buy a decent receiver for $250-300 at best buy or some other stereo shop.. or find something decent on craiglist. somethign with HDMI inputs...

 

i'd run my TV, apple tv, etc.. into the reciver. then i'd run my sub with the system.  then i'd go on craigslitt and buy a center/left/right speaker setup that is used..but decent stuff like klispsh.  the floor speakes may not fit in my existing space as my tv stand fills up the width of my tv cutout.. so I'd get bookshelf speakers... i'd try to get good speakers. maybe better quality than my reciever.  then i'd install the left/right/center.  pari it up with my sub.  i'd eventually get the rear satellite speakers..but that would be last priority.  i'd focust on the front speakers..  i'd put m y tv up on a wall mount..

 

that woudl probably sound a million times better than qhat I have now and cost $1000 or less off craiglist.

 

or am I totally wrong adn there i sa bette rway to do it?

 

i want to have nice sound for movies/tv.. and when I want to listen to music..and stream stuff from my iphone/ipad..I want the music to sound great and fill up that room!

 

thanks so much!!



#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted October 21 2013 - 05:13 AM

Welcome to the forum Sean :)

I think youre on the right track with your ideas.  You know a htib wont take you where you want to go, you dont want to go too cheap, youre willing to go with used equipment.
 
Heres a couple of quick shots of my zone 2 rig.  Panasonic Viera TH-58PZ800U 58" plasma and Infinity P162 speakers, all purchased used and still going strong btw ;)...

DSC_0694_zps70628d63.jpg
 
 
DSC_0695_zps79db54b0.jpg

So that just kinda gives you an idea of how simple and cheap you can go. Something like this, counting receiver, less than probably $600 and a substantial increase in performance over the TV speakers. Bookshelves will work but towers will be better for music.

I would check out accessories 4 less on refurb AVRs, youll still get a warranty. However, depending on your location, you might have even better options on the used market. Give us your location and acceptable driving distances and we'll take a look at craigslist in your area.


JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   23109VC

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Posted October 21 2013 - 10:34 AM

thanks!!  yoru TV looks exactly like mine!  :)

 

I'll take some pics of my entertainment center / tv cutout / etc.. so you have an idea what kind of space I'm workign with.

 

I live in zip code 92591 / inland empire area of craiglist in California. id go as far south as San diego for really good deals or as far north as Riverside..

 

temecula/murrieta/corona are all relatively close for me.

 

thre is a guy near me selling two used Klipsch SF-1 speakers, and a Klipsch center speaker for $200.  it appears to be a low end / entry level klipsch speaker setup that is now discontinued.. $200 seems decent.. or is that high?  they are floor spekers.



#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted October 21 2013 - 11:29 AM

Oh wow, that puts you in a pretty good area.  Hopefully Sam will do some research also, he's good at finding good deals on craigslist also.

 

I would start by searching your area based on manufacture names, just to name a few good performers that likely have a solid used market...

 

 

Paradigm

PSB

Totem

 

Cheaper but a very good value...

Bic

Infinity

 

 

 

 

 

Heres an interesting result in North West LA (still in your northern limit)  from just as a quick initial search for Paradigm in San Diego:

 

http://losangeles.cr...4142093513.html

 

These got really good reviews, he might go even better on that price (because of cosmetics).  A matching center is probably fairly easy to find but youll have to do some research.

 

 

Klipsch is a horn-loaded speaker, very forward sounding.  Theyre a good speaker but do you like that forward sound?


JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#5 of 14 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 21 2013 - 11:34 AM

You'd be crazy not to jump on that pair of Paradigm.

Not home so my searching won't happen till later.

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   23109VC

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Posted October 21 2013 - 02:16 PM

what about these??

 

http://inlandempire....4054016089.html

 

also - I assume that well cared for speakers last a relatively long time..so even older speakers can be really nice..but is there anything I should look for / be cautious of when buying used speakers?  obviously I would ask them to hook them up and listen to them...but is there anything you do when listening to them to verify they are not damaged / broken / etc?

 

things to visually look for?


Edited by 23109VC, October 21 2013 - 02:17 PM.


#7 of 14 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 21 2013 - 03:42 PM

$200 is worth it, if you like horn.



#8 of 14 OFFLINE   23109VC

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Posted October 21 2013 - 04:01 PM

I listen to a lot of electronic music that has nice beats / bass...so I'd want speakers that will give good bass...but the music has highs too...

 

i don't listen to rap music or stuff with boomy bass....  ;)

 

lots of 80s music... depeche mode, erasure, etc...  

 

then for movies..obviously I want sometig that will work for movies and provide good sound.  

 

woudl I be better of getting nice bookshelf speakers to go with my SW-8 sub?  



#9 of 14 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 21 2013 - 04:19 PM

Your SW8 is going to be "lost" with any good speaker. I doubt it will do anything if paired with these RF-1.


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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   23109VC

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Posted October 22 2013 - 03:14 PM

so basically, if I were to get really good floor speakers - the sub would not be needed?

 

what if I went with bookshelf speakers?  then would I need the sub for the bass?  I guess what I"m getting at is that maybe if I want to run a standalone sub.. then I shoudl just use smaller bookshelf speakers that focus on mids/highs...??



#11 of 14 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 22 2013 - 05:00 PM

I'll be blunt.

The SW8 sucks. Calling it a sub is a misnomer. My point regarding those speakers is the RF1 renders the SW8 totally pointless...as a sub.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted October 22 2013 - 05:45 PM

so basically, if I were to get really good floor speakers - the sub would not be needed?

 

what if I went with bookshelf speakers?  then would I need the sub for the bass?  I guess what I"m getting at is that maybe if I want to run a standalone sub.. then I shoudl just use smaller bookshelf speakers that focus on mids/highs...??

 

 

You are just begging for a complicated answer and Im struggling to give you a simple answer.

 

1. In a home theater application bass is critical.  Even a tower wont reach as low as a good sub.

2. A good sub sounds like crap trying to do music, good bass but poor mid bass performance.

3. A tower will help correct this mid bass deficiency but will bring along the mids and highs for the ride, be prepared to turn it up and have some good power behind it.

4. Bookshelf speakers are generally cheaper than their tower counterparts.  This could be factor depending on your budget and what your ultimate goals will be.  Personally, Ill take a good book shelf over a mediocre tower but thats just me.

 

 

 

All that having been said I think theres a couple of reasons that should point you towards towers...

 

In your budget there are lots of used budget towers, you live in a huge used market making your options even greater.

 

Music is important to you and the music you listen too is rich in midbass, most music is.

 

Will you be investing in a good sub any time soon?  Theyre about $500.

 

What is your ultimate goals?  What will be your ultimate budget?


  • Travis-techheads likes this
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted October 22 2013 - 05:47 PM

I'll be blunt.

 

Im so not gonna touch this.   :lol:


  • Travis-techheads likes this
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis-techheads

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Posted October 30 2013 - 10:04 AM

Lots of info. Some are confusing. I will take a while to sink in.  :(






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