Budget Home Theater Advice

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Ben.K, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Ben.K

    Ben.K Auditioning

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    Hello,

    Disclaimer: I am extremely new to decent audio.

    We are moving to a larger house in a few months and will need to put in some speakers. First, the new house has a media room. In this room, we will put a Sony flatscreen TV (I believe just under 40") which we purchased a few years ago. For the sound system, we need a pair of front channel speakers. There are already built in rear channel speakers. I am unsure of the brand. We also would like to reuse our JBL center channel speaker and subwoofer.

    The front speakers will be used for listening to music, mainly Jazz and some rock and blues. They will also, of course, be used for the home theater system. Today I got a chance to get to the local Good Guys and listen to some things. In their demo room, the guy showed us various models from Klipsch, Monitor, and Energy. Personally, I found the Klipsch and the Monitor to be suited to my tastes. The Monitor seemed darker and little fuller but the Klipsch were pleasing as well. For the front speakers I have no preference: either bookshelf or floorstanding, whatever sounds better.

    We also will need some speakers to go in various other rooms to serve mostly as background music (i.e. should sound good but will not be heavily scrutinized). These will need to be built into the ceiling. The salesman at Good Guys showed us some Klipsch and some Niles speakers. The Niles sounded better by far, but were 750 a pair, more than we would like to spend on something that will be playing mostly background music.

    Lastly, we will have to get some outdoor speakers. For these, we were showed some Klipsch, some Bose, and a pair of Niles. I liked the Klipsch the best, but again they were the most expensive; more than I could justify for something that will play background music.

    Budget: Basically, we would like to get something that sounds really good for the media room and then some other things that sound decent for everything else. Unfortunately I can't give a number right now, but we want something that will give great sound for the dollar.

    The home theater setup will be driven by a Yamaha RX-V795. We will need to purchase a reciever that can handle the 6~10 other speakers though.

    Whew. Tell me what I should try out. I am in San Diego, so if there are any specific stores that I should check out, please let me know.
     
  2. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Welcome to the forum.
    For the home theater fronts, I would suggest you get JBL bookshelves or floorstanders. I dont know very much about JBL, my brother has them but I'm not crazy about them. Although many here are and they can suggest which ones will match with the center if you tell us your model no. and budgets. For outdoor speakers you should demo paradigm, excellent value. For ceiling speakers i have no idea, maybe paradigm as well. As for the receiver to power up to ten speakers, maybe get two which have a 5STEREO setting or one with 4ohm capability and wire 8 ohm speakers in parallel on 5stereo. Oh one more thing, DONT buy bose. anything else.
     
  3. Ben.K

    Ben.K Auditioning

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    Hmmm... after looking around the forum a little bit, the Polk RTi150s or the 100s look pretty tempting, especially since they're being clearanced out right now. The only thing is that I don't if the Yamaha reciever would be able to drive them well. What do you think about this? I will look into Paradigm for the other speakers, thanks for the recommendation.
     
  4. Ben.K

    Ben.K Auditioning

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    Oh, by the way, the center channel is a JBL Pro III. I couldn't find a model number on the back of the speaker. How important is it that the center channel be the same brand as the front speaker? Is it more of a volume thing? Couldn't any volume issues be balanced with the reciever?
     
  5. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not a volume thing, it's a timbre thing. The tweeters should be matched so that the 3 front speakers sound the same, not volume, but quality and characterstics of sound. As the sound pans across the front of your sound stage, you don't want the character of the sound to change from one speaker to another...for instance, if your mains are brighter than your center, you will hear the sound get "warm" or "laid back" as it goes through the center. This can't be corrected with volume settings.

    I haven't listened to JBL in awhile, but I know that several years ago, they made some really nice speakers. Call a JBL dealer and ask which model line matches your center channel speaker and try to give those a listen. most speaker manufacturers make a whole range of speakers in each model line, from bookshelf to floorstanders with prices varying accordingly. You should be able to find something you like in your price range. Especially if you like the sound of your present center channel speaker now, the matching mains should have the same "type" of sound so it stands to reason you would like them too.

    Are you confused yet? I think I just confused myself. [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  6. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well it is usually good to go with the same kind of speaker such as if you have JBL for center and rears then stick with JBL's for the fronts as well. For something like music depending on the size of the room and the size of the rest of your speakers that will usually determine how big your fronts should be. For a medium sized room usually bookshelves will do, for larger rooms something like floorstanding is better.

    As for outside speakers... I wouldn't even consider the Bose speakers. They usually end up having very bad wear and tear from just a year or two of use. I have a pair of 151's which are shot, and my uncle has the 151's his neighbor had the upgraded version of those and he had gotten rid of them.

    Out of everything that is out there I would recommend the Klipsch without a doubt. Klipsch uses some of the strongest components out there and there life is usually the best. I've heard there outdoor speakers but don't know anyone who owns a pair. They do sound very nice, very good bass reproduction, something I don't see many outdoor speakers have.

    Two things to consider when buying an outdoor speaker though...
    1)How long will the speaker last through wear and tear with the weather?

    2)Sound quality, usually most outdoor speakers sound like a pair of headphones I believe...
     
  7. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Polks are a good deal if you can get a csi40 or 30 to go with them. I have some and I like em, not as much as paradigm though, just my taste. You want the front sound stage matched if possible. Not the end of the world though.
     
  8. Domonic A

    Domonic A Stunt Coordinator

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    Domonic Ableidinger
    Once you decide on an outdoor speaker it may be worth the time to check some online stores for some good deals.

    Good luck with your search
     
  9. Ben.K

    Ben.K Auditioning

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    Looks like the CC manager won't budge on the RTi150 price. Even though another local Circuit City sold them for 279 and the ones that he has in stock are open box as well, he gave me some bs about the condition of the speakers blah blah blah. There is a high end audio store near me that I'd like to look at, I've got reccomendations for Paradigm, yes? Do they manufacture any speakers that could be had for under 800 bucks a pair? I know its not alot to work with but as I said we are moving into a bigger house and we're not in the position to spend alot on speakers. Right now I'm trying to convince the rest of the family that we should get a kit do a DIY deal but so far they haven't been too excited about making a mess of the garage while we're trying to show the house but if that's what I have to do to get a decent audio system perhaps I have some leverage. I was looking at the Adire Kit 281. I saw somebody selling it in the FS/T forum for 250 bucks (slightly used) and I've heard that it gets great reviews, even when compared to stuff that costs way more. One thing that does concern me is the efficiency of the speakers. Will my Yamaha reciever be able to drive them well?
     
  10. Jamie=B

    Jamie=B Auditioning

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    Have you thought of checking out jamo or mb Quart for you speaker needs.. I listen to both of these brands on a daily basis.. They do well by my standards.. Iam also new to high end audio my self.. Any input on these brands would be apreciated...
     
  11. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Ben, efficiency is always a concern but I have also heard good things about Adire kits. My advice, buy a new kit. As for paradigm, I love em. you can get the Monitor 3s for under 800 american i believe. The whole performance line is cheaper though, check out the website, they are a great value if you can afford them, they aint cheap.
     

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