Complete 7.1 Surround Sound System For $2,000 Or Less?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Derek Iverson, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a Toshiba 57" Cinema Series 16:9 HDTV (57HX81) about six months ago and I haven't purchased a surround sound system for it yet.

    I have about a $2,000 budget for the complete surround sound system. I'm fairly certain now that I am going to buy a Harman Kardon AVR-525 7.1 receiver (about $700), but I need your guys' help with my speaker selection. I've looked and listened to speakers at stores like Circuit City, but they just don't have a very big selection.

    So, what type of a speaker/sub setup can I get for about $1,300? If I can get something a lot better for not much more money, I will consider buying each speaker as I can afford it (like a 5.1 setup first instead of 7.1) or I'll just hold off on a sub.

    Give me your opinions.
     
  2. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    [c][​IMG][/c]

    Maybe this will better help your recommendations.

    Room:
    20' 7" long
    9' 11" wide
    7' high
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Derek,
    ascends are a great value when they are on sale (the cbm 170s run $150 each so you can buy as many individual speakers as you want- the cbm 200s which are smaller, and what i'm using as surrounds, run even less) they also have packages.
    www.ascenacoustics.com
    they have a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try them in the actual room you will be using.
    i've had mine since late last summer and they were chosen after a long exhaustive search (with a budget that had me looking at much more expensive speakers most of the time).

    only you'll know what kind of sound you like.
    some people prefer brighter speakers
    the ascends are a little laid back, but image like crazy.

    if you a reticent about ordering speakers by mail/internet- i'd suggest you just order 2 or 3 to try them out in front, and if they are your cup of tea, order the rest afterwards.
    thats what i did.

    i was suing them with an HK 520 and they were a good match.

    not sure about your layout though- that back area may be acoustically problematical. someone with more expertise will hopefully chime in.
     
  4. Bob Drugan

    Bob Drugan Agent

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    I have the Aperion Audio 6.1 speaker system with the 12" 250 watt sub and couldn't be happier. The great thing about these speakers is they sound so natural and the bass is awesome. The speakers are very easy to listen to and for the $ I couldn't find anything that compared. Aperion has a 30 day return policy but after hearing these in my home they not going back. The people at Aperion were great to deal with too - I did tons of research and they answered all my questions and couldn't have been nicer. Oh yeah they even send you an owners kit plus my wife really liked the bags the speakers are wrapped in - very classy. Check them out at www.aperionaudio.com. Bob

    you can get a 7.1 system with the awesome 12" sub for under your budget - right now Aperion is offering free shipping plus $200 off - these are great speakers that's why both SGHT and The Perfect Vision have recommended them
     
  5. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Derek- You could also set up 5.1 to start and add the other two later.
     
  6. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Derek,
    Both Paul's and Bob's suggestions seem great. You may have figured this out already but just in case- for Paul's site add a "d" so it reads www.ascendacoustics.com and for Bob's site just remove the period at the end.
    I've read pretty good things about that aperion 12" sub and the VTF-2 that ships with the ascend speakers is one of the top recommended subs here on HTF. Your room layout does seem more like a 6.1 or 5.1 than a 7.1 but I'm no expert and if you have room for speaker stands or will mount the speakers I guess it can be done in there. By the way, don't pass on the sub with these choices- hold off on a 5.1 for now instead of a 7.1, but not the sub. It's amazing what the sub will do for your system.
     
  7. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Go talk to Brian at http://www.rutledgeaudiodesign.com/ and see what he can do for you.

    you might want to start with 2 pairs M-1s a C-1 and a custom built sub. Would be a killer system, and then you could add a pair of M-1s later.
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Also try audioadvisor
    I'm pretty sure you can get a 7.1 set up by simply purchasing mutiple pairs of speakers at a reasonable price. First, I think your room is a pretty good room for 7.1 set up, If you move the couch up may be by a foot, it will allow you to be a little closer to the front and center speakers. Place the SRL/SRR (surround left/right) on the sides of the couch and finally SBL/SBR (surround back left/right) should hang (if possible) from the ceiling directly behind the couch centered or on stands positioned the same way. You may very well be a candidate for speaker stands here in the entire speaker layout. Stands give you more control and flexibility in placing speakers that suit the room more effectively. $1,300 is a good amount of money to get what you need. Remember size isn't everything anymore, you have bookshelf speakers that will put out more than enough sound for the space you have. As far as auditioning speakers before purchase, it's not absolutely necessary. Click on my signature to see the Platinum Audios I picked up, all 5 for $600.00 bucks. One kick ass sound system married to the HK AVR 500. I found that the Polk 25i was the closest match to the rear speakers and I got that on sale as an open box for $50.00. The subs I built myself and they rock.
     
  9. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for all your help, but I've actually already decided to buy JBL's studio series. I just listened to them at a store that I hadn't looked at yet. I thought that they sounded very good (music and movies).

    This is what I plan on getting now:
    1 Harman Kardon AVR-525 (bought) $699 /w S&H
    1 S-CENTER II (bought) $132.50 + $12 S&H
    2 S-312 II $350 + $84 S&H
    4 S-38 II $532 + $68.29 S&H
    1 SVS 20-39PCi $599 + 41.09 S&H

    Total /w S&H = $2517.88

    That puts me $500 over budget, but I've heard that SV Subwoofers are worth the money. Can anyone tell me if it would be worth it to get one from the next series up (SVS 20-39PC-Plus)? It is about $226 more.

    If anyone knows of where I can get any of the stuff above that I haven't bought yet cheaper /w the warranty, please let me know.
     
  10. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    2 center channels?
     
  11. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a 7.1 setup.
     
  12. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Derek, congrats on your choices. I think you will be very happy with your new set up. That HK, JBL, SVS combo will probably keep you smiling for a long time.

    Ron- it looks like there's only one center- the S-center II. It looks like he's going to use the S-312's as his mains and the 38's as his side and back surrounds.

    Jerome, the link on your sig seems to be down- the message states: The File You Are Looking For Is Inaccessible. I'm interestde in taking a peek at those Platinum Audios.
     
  13. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Don't we always go over budget?[​IMG]
     
  14. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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  15. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone know if there is anything on the back of the S-38 II's that could be used to mount them to a wall? I can't find any documentation on it and JBL doesn't advertise them as being wall mountable like the the S-36 II's. If they cannot be mounted to the wall, I might have to get the S-36 II's instead.
     
  16. AnkushGosain

    AnkushGosain Auditioning

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    I have a pair of S38II's as my surrounds (SCenterII, S310x2, S38IIx2) and have searched long and hard for either a wall mounting system or even stands with no success. I presently have them sitting on the ground [​IMG]

    -Ankush
     
  17. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder if there are any small threaded holes on the bottom of them in case they decided to make stands for them. Have you checked?

    If they do have them and it is possible to find a screw that will work with those threads, I'll just build my own stands.
     
  18. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    I decided that my room was not big enough for my home theater, so I'll be putting it in the living room.

    Here is a new to-scale layout:
    [c][​IMG][/c]

    I've been wondering about whether or not my HK AVR-525 is going to be able to power all these speakers properly. I may need another amp to get their full potential. Don't you think?

    JBL's Wattage Rating:
    S-CENTER II - 150 Watts
    S-38 II - 175 Watts
    S-38 II - 175 Watts
    S-38 II - 175 Watts
    S-38 II - 175 Watts
    S-312 II - 250 Watts
    S-312 II - 250 Watts

    Total: 1,350 Watts (into 8 ohms)
    HK AVR-525's Wattage: 490 (into 8 ohms)

    So, I'll be needing another 860 watts? Not all the speakers need the same amount of wattage, so it will be hard finding an amp that could be used in this situation.

    Anyone know of a good/inexpensive amp that I can buy as an upgrade later on for my setup?
     
  19. AndrewErickson

    AndrewErickson Stunt Coordinator

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    Watts are overrated. The H/K is a high-current receiver and will be more than sufficient to drive your speakers.
     
  20. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I think you will have a great JBL/HK/SVS setup.

    I but since you wrote,
     

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