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Help a newbie decide on a speaker setup! (1 Viewer)

Trevin Chow

Stunt Coordinator
Oct 24, 2003
I going to be buying a Sony GWIII LCD RPTV in the next month or so, after which I will want to buy some better speakers and an amp/receiver.

I am a geek at heart and need to research everything to death. You don't want to know how much research I've done so far to decide on my TV :P

I was initially thinking of doing a 5.1 surround sound setup right out of the gates and was thinking of the Bose Acoustimass. Luckily I found a bunch of Home theater enthusasiat forums (such as this one and AVS forums), or else I would have made a mistake. Reading these reviews on here saved my wallet!

After reading lots of threads on here, it seems that I could perhaps go with a good solid 2.1 setup and a good amp/receiver, then later on upgrade to a 5.1 by adding a center channel and 2 rear speakers.

Here's my situation:
  • 90% TV (DVDs, regular TV)
  • 10% Music -- all kinds -- Electronic, Classical, Rock, Rap
  • Size of the speakers is a huge issue. "We" (read: my wife) don't want to put up with huge speakers, and being such a small area, don't want to reduce its effective space by having huge speakers. Running cables across the room to rear speakers is not cool with us at this time, hence even more support for 2.1.
  • Room: 13' x 20', but it is split in 2 -- half for eating area (kitchen table) and the other half is the TV area divided by a sofa. So the subset TV area is about 12'x 10' in reality.
  • Budget: Would like to keep is less than $1200 for 2.1 + amp/receiver. Maybe a center channel too? (not sure if I can even do that.. would that be a 3.1 system?) I'm considering this because I've heard a center channel can really bring out dialog in movies.
  • I live in a townhouse, but am an end unit that only shares one wall. The TV wall is not shared luckily. However, I don't really need gut wrenching bass or insane volume levels. But I like my audio clear and full sounding (if that makes any sense).

I was getting a bit discouraged when reading through the forums, because I thought that in order to get good quality speakers I had to get ones very large in size.

However, I stumbled upon a cachet of threads that discuss the Anthony Gallo speakers and was very intrigued by a A'Diva and Due speakers.

  1. Are the Gallo speakers good and worht the money?
  2. Is their sub worthwhile to get, or is there something that performs better? Remember, I don't need bass to shake the neighborhood :)
  3. Could I buy 2 A'Diva for L+R, Due center channel and a sub? (see previous bullet point about the sub). Would I even want this so-called 3.1 setup?
  4. I'm also considering: Ascend Acoustics CBM170's + Hsu VTF-2, but I think these may be too big and not get the wife's approval..err.. our approval.
  5. Other setup I heard good things about is the Onix ELT from av123.com but they are just too ugly for us.
  6. What receiver? I know this is a broad question, and there are a ton of answers, but I'm cost conscious and don't need to go overboard here. But i do want a good amp/receiver that will handle current needs + future expansion to 5.1 if i decide to do that. Heck, from what I've read, supposedly there are amps/receivers that have"virtual" modes that simulate 5.1 so well that I may not need to upgrade? I've heard The "Outlaw 1050" and "Onkyo 595" are great choices.
  7. Am I completely crazy for considering only a 2.1 setup instead of a 5.1?
  8. Really newbie question: is an amp and receiver the same thing?[/list=1]

Sorry for all the "newbie" questions!

Mike Sloan

Second Unit
May 18, 2002
Trevin...I am going out of town and want to address your questions in a thoughtful manner. Drop me an E-mail and I will get back with some suggestions in a few days! Do not buy Bose...there is alot out there that is cost effective and will blow your mind!

Mike Sloan
[email protected];)

Rory Buszka

Supporting Actor
Jun 5, 2002
Oh, trust me, you NEED bass to shake the neighborhood. If you don't get it to start out with, you will find yourself wanting it once you've really discovered true high-fidelity, and once you know true home theater. One sub that might be a good one is the Stryke Mini Thunder, from http://www.stryke.com. It looks like it is one of Stryke's high-quality 12" subs in a cabinet with a pair of 12" passive radiators. It is cheaper than the smallest box-style SVS for the time being because it has an introductory price of about $550. It is very nicely finished. It should give you the bass you want, plus that little extra you haven't yet discovered that you also want. Stryke Audio is run by John Janowitz, and he is very reputable, with great customer service. He frequents these forums a lot, and with any luck he may stop in here to comment on his design. The Mini Thunder really looks like a mover, while its small, finely-finished cabinet should be very wife-friendly.


Supporting Actor
Sep 13, 2003
1. Not IMO.
2. Yes, and yes you do.;)
7. no
8. no and yes

If I were you I would find a pair of speakers you (I mean your wife) likes and then get a sub (SVS, Hsu its all good). And get a good 5.1 receiver. Then upgrade to the rest of the speakers later.

A receiver does just that, and amplifies the signal, and provides a power source for the speakers. A power amp just provides a power source.

A good 2.1 system can sound fantastic for movies and music, just dont use any virtual this or that.

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