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What is the Best 5.1 Speaker System Under $1,000?


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   SubWoofer

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Posted July 31 2014 - 10:08 AM

I am in the market for a new 5.1 speaker system that I will use in my 12'X15' living room. I am also looking for a decent receiver. This system should sound good for movies as well as music and gaming. My budget is about 1K for everything (exluding a Blu-Ray player which I already have--I use my PlayStation 3).

I recently read some rave reviews about the Pioneer SP-PK52FS Andrew Jones 5.1 Home Theater Speaker Package. Some reviewers claim this system is worth at least double what it sells for ($549.95 for 5.1 system without receiver), and sounds just as good, if not better, than other speakers selling for more than twice its price.
However, some reviewers had reservations about the subwoofer that comes with this Pioneer package. They felt that it doesn't deliver quite enough punch, and recommend to buy the HSU STF-1 subwoofer instead.

(1) Is there something better than this Pioneer system for around the same price? One person I spoke with suggested the following alternatives. How do they compare?
 
- Fluance SXHTBFR 
- BIC Venturi DV84
- BIC Venturi DV64
- Pure Acoustics Supernova 5 F

(2) Is the HSU STF-1 my best option given my budget? I know there are cheaper alternatives that would still be better than the anemic sub that comes with the Pioneer system. But so many people rave about HSU subwoofers that I am reluctant to consider anything else.
Also, if HSU is the best brand for my budget, should I get the STF-1, or the STF-2? Would the STF-2 be overkill for a system like the Pioneer (or anything else within that price range)?

(3) BONUS QUESTION: Can you recommend a receiver for my new home theater? (Does it matter if the receiver is a different brand from the speakers?)

In case you're not familiar with them, these are the speakers:

http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B00IK8I9K2

.... and this is the HSU STF-1 subwoofer that I am considering buying in place of the one that comes with the Pioneer speaker package:

http://www.hsuresear...ucts/stf-1.html
 
FYI: My "taste" in sound is crisp separation, with a sense of 3 dimensional space. I also don't like boomy or distorted bass. I like it to be tight and refined, with enough heft to support the higher frequencies, but without being overbearing.
I am fairly new to quality home theater, so I can't consider myself an audiophile. I am more like a newbie with a good ear.

 

Thanks.


Edited by SubWoofer, July 31 2014 - 10:14 AM.


#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted July 31 2014 - 12:47 PM

(2) Is the HSU STF-1 my best option given my budget? I know there are cheaper alternatives that would still be better than the anemic sub that comes with the Pioneer system. But so many people rave about HSU subwoofers that I am reluctant to consider anything else.

Also, if HSU is the best brand for my budget, should I get the STF-1, or the STF-2? Would the STF-2 be overkill for a system like the Pioneer (or anything else within that price range)?

 

Hsu is a good option, but not your only one; there are definitely larger good sube out there for about the same amont of money.  I have both the STF-1 and -2, I like them both, but the -1 might be a little light for a 12x15 room, especially if it's open to other rooms.  I use the STF-1 in a 12x13 study and that feels about right.  I would spend the $50 and go for a 10" driver.

As for overkill, you might spend more than you need to but it'll never overmatch your speakers, you just turn it down during calibration.


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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 31 2014 - 04:24 PM

With apologies for pimping my own review, this set at just over $1k might be worth considering in that space:

http://www.hometheat...d-sound-review/


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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   SubWoofer

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Posted July 31 2014 - 08:43 PM

Hsu is a good option, but not your only one; there are definitely larger good sube out there for about the same amont of money.  I have both the STF-1 and -2, I like them both, but the -1 might be a little light for a 12x15 room, especially if it's open to other rooms.  I use the STF-1 in a 12x13 study and that feels about right.  I would spend the $50 and go for a 10" driver.

As for overkill, you might spend more than you need to but it'll never overmatch your speakers, you just turn it down during calibration.

Thanks; I suspected that springing for the STF-2 would be worth it. Now it's only a question if I have enough space for it....



#5 of 16 OFFLINE   SubWoofer

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Posted July 31 2014 - 08:48 PM

With apologies for pimping my own review, this set at just over $1k might be worth considering in that space:

http://www.hometheat...d-sound-review/

I will need to investigate these further. Could you honestly say that this set would compare to the speakers I'm considering? Space or cosmetic considerations are not an issue for me, only sound.



#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 01 2014 - 04:37 AM

 

I also don't like boomy or distorted bass. I like it to be tight and refined, with enough heft to support the higher frequencies, but without being overbearing.
I am fairly new to quality home theater, so I can't consider myself an audiophile. I am more like a newbie with a good ear.

 

Thanks.

 

Then budget for some bass EQ.  I use the Behringer Feedback Destroyer but a lot of people have been moving to the mini-DSP ( You will also need a measuring device and as luck would have it, the Dayton UMM-6 mic is on sale at Parts Express.  Pair that up with Room EQ Wizard and you can tailor the bass exactly the way you want.



#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 01 2014 - 04:41 AM

Thanks; I suspected that springing for the STF-2 would be worth it. Now it's only a question if I have enough space for it....

Really?  It's 19" H x 14" W x 1734" D.  My room is also 12 feet wide and I'm gathering parts to build a pair of subs 24" H x 48" W x 17 1/2" D.  Each will be a speaker stand and hold the amp powering the sub.  One enclosure will hold a pair of 15's and the other an 18.  I have a Behringer EP-2500 amp for each enclosure.



#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted August 01 2014 - 09:08 AM

Sorry I haven't heard either of those two, tho both are highly rated.  I have much bigger spaces to fill and budgeted as such, I wouldnt necessarily have been looking at the KEFs except they had products on offer for review and I figured k lets try a bedroom build


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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   SubWoofer

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Posted August 01 2014 - 09:17 PM

Then budget for some bass EQ.  I use the Behringer Feedback Destroyer but a lot of people have been moving to the mini-DSP ( You will also need a measuring device and as luck would have it, the Dayton UMM-6 mic is on sale at Parts Express.  Pair that up with Room EQ Wizard and you can tailor the bass exactly the way you want.

I don't want to get too complicated. I just want a good receiver and speakers that will do the job adequately.



#10 of 16 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 01 2014 - 09:20 PM

With your budget...

Buy your speakers used.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted August 02 2014 - 06:30 AM

I agree.

 

Used speakers. Best value but you need to be patient and lucky to find something to your liking. Avoid those with powered subs (even though I'm selling some Polk LSi 25's locally  :blush: ).

 

New subwoofer. Used subs can also be a good option but a new BIC, HSU, etc. with a factory warranty might be the better option.

 

Refurished receiver from ac4l.com. Also consider the 3 or 5 year extended warranties.

 

Just a few examples of speakers available locally to me:

 

http://sfbay.craigsl...4588894019.html  KEF Egg's

 

http://sacramento.cr...4576415109.html  Infinity Primus Pack...sell the avr for $60

 

http://sacramento.cr...4570150152.html Infinty BU2 subwoofer

 

http://sfbay.craigsl...4591945844.html  Polk Monitors

 

http://sfbay.craigsl...4586149251.html  Yamaha 565, Polk Monitors and sub.


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"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.
 
 

 


#12 of 16 OFFLINE   SubWoofer

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Posted August 02 2014 - 10:41 AM

I agree.

 

Used speakers. Best value but you need to be patient and lucky to find something to your liking. Avoid those with powered subs (even though I'm selling some Polk LSi 25's locally  :blush: ).

 

New subwoofer. Used subs can also be a good option but a new BIC, HSU, etc. with a factory warranty might be the better option.

 

Refurished receiver from ac4l.com. Also consider the 3 or 5 year extended warranties.

 

Just a few examples of speakers available locally to me:

 

http://sfbay.craigsl...4588894019.html  KEF Egg's

 

http://sacramento.cr...4576415109.html  Infinity Primus Pack...sell the avr for $60

 

http://sacramento.cr...4570150152.html Infinty BU2 subwoofer

 

http://sfbay.craigsl...4591945844.html  Polk Monitors

 

http://sfbay.craigsl...4586149251.html  Yamaha 565, Polk Monitors and sub.

Wow. I was always wary of purchasing used speakers, but some of these deals seem too good to pass up.

Can I expect to see offers like this all the time in the used speaker market, or are the above examples better than what's usually available?



#13 of 16 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 02 2014 - 10:51 AM

Depends where you are. Where I am...it is a veritable feast.

 

I have family in Colorado, Buffalo NY and Houston.

 

Houston is always crazy good.



#14 of 16 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted August 02 2014 - 12:32 PM

Like Sam said, it vary's from place-to-place and time-to-time. In larger area's the S.F. Bay Area there's usually some pretty good deals to be found. But a great deal is no good at all if you don't like the way they sound when you get them home.

 

And many people don't feel safe when buying used off CL. If something doesn't feel right then pass it up. Safety first.


"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   SubWoofer

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Posted August 03 2014 - 09:02 AM

Like Sam said, it vary's from place-to-place and time-to-time. In larger area's the S.F. Bay Area there's usually some pretty good deals to be found. But a great deal is no good at all if you don't like the way they sound when you get them home.

 

And many people don't feel safe when buying used off CL. If something doesn't feel right then pass it up. Safety first.

I live in Brooklyn. I should have a smogasboard of choices here.



#16 of 16 ONLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 03 2014 - 09:08 AM

Last time I looked up NYC, I had to stop...cause all the stuff was making me cry.
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