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Novice looking for advice on first home theater

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Curlyp



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Posted July 07 2014 - 06:34 PM

Hello AV Community,

I am new to the AV forums and a novice with it comes to purchasing AV equipment and/or setting it up. I am seeking the communities advice on which receiver and speakers would be the best bang for my budget for my current room setup (and is scalable for a bigger and/or smaller room in the future).


Currently, my budget is around $500 -$600. Yes, I know that may not be much, but as the rest of the year goes on and into 2015, I will slowly add to the collection. I know that I won’t be able to buy everything brand new and the latest and greatest (which I am okay with); however, I am open and have been looking at some older systems/speakers. I addition to my budget price, room space is going to come into play. From what I have read, certain types of speakers and brands are only good for certain room types. Which is why I would like to purchase one that is scalable up to a bigger room or down to a smaller room.

First, before we get into what brands I have been researching, let me give you my room dimensions.

Back wall (leads into the Kitchen)
- 214” full wall - part of it is a 72”wall with a window that overlooks into the kitchen

Left side wall (leads to front door and hallway)
- 187” full wall - part of it is a 72” wall that leads to the front door and hallway

Right wall
- 187” full wall

Front wall (Entertainment center)
- 219 1/2” full wall - the left part of the wall is open to the doorway and hallway

I also uploaded a diagram of the room to point out the open spots.


The receiver brand I have been looking into is Onkyo for three reason. One, from the research I have done, the brand offers quite of bit features for a reasonable price. Two, from what a buddy has told me, the best receivers come from companies that don’t make speakers, i.e., Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, and so on. Three,

The Onkyo model I am looking into purchasing is TX-NR535. This model includes six HDMI ports and had built in WiFi. In addition, if I were to purchase Bose, this receiver brand and model is recommend by Bose.


I find this to be the most difficult decision when planning out my home setup. There are literately a dozen brands of speakers to choose from. As I mentioned in my budget, I would like to purchase speakers that are scalable to a bigger and smaller room.


The first set of speakers/sub I have been looking at is Bose. Mainly because many people rate them as the “cream of the crop” when it comes to speakers (plus the bonus to the small sleek size). I have been to the Bose store a few times and I am impressed with the sound they are able to pack in a small 3” cube!

Bose is fairly expensive for their packages. However, their Acoustimass 6 Series III is only $699.95 brand new. I found some used Acoustimass 6 Series I (1996) and Series II (2001) on Craigslist, bay, and our local AV resale for $100 - $250.

There is one major downfall to Bose though. From what I have been told and read on the forums, Bose speakers only work well in a certain size room for all four walls. If the sound doesn’t have room to bounce off of or is too big, the quality is diminished. With that said, I am not 100% sure if Bose would work for my current setup and/or is scalable.

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W)

I do not know much about the brand; however, I read a few forums and B&W was recommended several times for their quality.

Polk Audio

Again, I don’t know much about the brand; however, my buddies home theater setup consists of Polk Audio speakers, and he swears up and down about the brand. The downfall to his speakers is they are huge floor standing speakers. I do like the look of the small sleek size though.


My budget is sort of small and I have an oddly shaped room with several openings which might make it difficult to keep the sound contained. The good thing is this will not be the theater room forever! Based on the information that I have provided and my budget, what would you recommend as the "best" bang for my budget?

Attached Images

  • Diagram of room.png

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Wayne_j


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Posted July 07 2014 - 07:46 PM

With your budget I would go with something like the Denon AVR-E200 for the receiver.  Available from Amazon for $159.


http://www.amazon.co...non av receiver


For speakers I would go with something along the lines of the Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater system for $365.62.


http://www.amazon.co...ake classic 5.1


Or the pioneer speaker package for $450.



These will get you the best bang for the buck and fit your budget.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Robert_J


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Posted July 08 2014 - 06:05 AM

Search this and other home audio forums for Bose reviews.


Take Wayne's advice for the best bang for your budget.  The only cheaper option is DIY but you need woodworking skills, tools and time.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   schan1269


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Posted July 08 2014 - 07:37 AM

Also include BIC the DV line fits your budget. Two pairs of DV62 with the 52/62 center is barely $300. Add the Denon, you have room for decent sub.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   ArmSC


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Posted July 08 2014 - 12:18 PM

I think I would look hard at the BIC's like Sam suggested.  If you have room the DV62's up front ($110) + DV52C($60) or the DV62C ($100) at the center+ DV32's out back ($50).  That leaves you a lot of money for sub/AVR.  Now add in the Denon e300 referb ($190) and you have enough for the F12  sub if you go with the less expensive center or something like the Dayton 1200 with the 62C.  You could also go less on the AVR and up on the speakers but I do like the Audyssey and network functionality of the E300.  

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Curlyp



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Posted July 09 2014 - 09:48 AM

Wayne_j - thanks for the recommendation.  I definitely like the look and cost of the Denon.  Do you think it would be worth the extra money to get the E300 (which has networking and Audyssey)?

For speakers, the Energy 5.1 look really nice.  However, it might benefit me to start with a 2.1 system for now and work up to a bigger and better 5.1.  I was looking at some speakers and the Polk Audio New Monitor series looks good and the Pioneer Andrew Jones as well.  Very decent prices on them.

Schan1269 - I looked at some BICs and they are decently priced.  How do they compare and sound to the  Pol Audio New Monitor and Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers?

ArmSC - thanks for the recommendation.  Does the DV32B stand for “back”? And ‘C’ would stand for “center”?

Also, what since all of these speakers are bookshelf, what stand would you recommend?  Are all stands basically the same, or is there a major difference?

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   schan1269


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Posted July 09 2014 - 10:42 AM

With BIC. Only your ears can determine if you like them better than the Pio AJ and Polk TSX.

B stands for black. As there is a 32W, white. They are plastic indoor/outdoor.

C is center.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   ArmSC


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Posted July 10 2014 - 05:34 AM

Sam is right that only you can determine what sounds "best."  I don't think any of them are bad I was just suggesting something different that you might not have thought of.  The other suggestions are good and you would probably be happy with any of the suggestions options.  


You need to decide if you want to go with a 2.1 or a 5.1.  Obviously if you're working with the same budget you can go up and the speaker quality/size if only going for a 2.1 vs a 5.1 straight away.  I obviously like the upgrade to the 300 vs the 200 but the 200 would still be a solid unit.  


As far as stands go you need to match the stand to the size and weight of the speaker.  I have some smaller adjustable stands for the DV32's that I have.  They work well because they are smaller and lighter speakers that a lot of other models.  Those same stands would not work well for the DV62's as they weigh too much for them.  So in my experience you decide what speakers you want then pick the stand for them.  Unless you want to go with heavy duty stands so you're covered pretty much no matter what you get.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   schan1269


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Posted July 10 2014 - 06:10 AM

Or, buy towers, and forget the stand.

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