Is this a good match?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by DanHe, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    I am considering purchasing a Pioneer VSX-816-K receiver and a JBL SCS136SI speaker system. I don't want to spend more than $300 for each of these, and I need to purchase them from Best Buy (gift cards & rewardzone). I already have a pair of Yamaha YST-SW105 subs. Will this setup work? I am open to other suggestions. However, at least one component (receiver or speaker) must be purchased in-store at Best Buy. The other piece can be bought on line if necessary. TIA. Dan.
     
  2. Patrick Bond

    Patrick Bond Auditioning

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    Dan, purchasing the Pio from BB might be the way to go. I dont know about that model JBL speaker package but most of the ones they carry are fairly good. If you only had to purchase one in store, go with the Pioneer receiver. It's a very nice unit and it performs well. We're using the 815 Pioneer on a in-wall 5.1 speaker setup using a 50" Philips plasma, LG dvd player, 8" JBL sub, and HomeTech inwall spkrs. It's not the loudest(those speakers aren't the world's greatest)but it's clear and does fairly well in the open space it's located.

    How many speakers does this JBL package contain that you're considering? Have you given a look the new Yamaha 59XX series receivers coming in at BB?
     
  3. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    Thanks for the response. There are six speakers plus a 100 watt sub. I'm not sure if I would use the sub that comes with this system or the two Yamaha YST-SW105 that I already own. The comparable Yamaha receiver (HTR-5940) is 6.1 and 105w/channel as opposed to the Pioneer's (VSX-816-K) 7.1 and 110w/channel. I don't know much the quality of Pioneer vs Yamaha, but these two units seem fairly similar. I don't have a lot of money and I won't be able to upgrade the system for a while so I want something that will last and adapt to new technology. Let me know if you have more thoughts on this. Thank You. Dan.
     
  4. Marc L

    Marc L Stunt Coordinator

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    you might want to listen to the Pioneer vs the Yamaha for yourself before you purchase. from what i understand, Pioneers output ratings are way overstated.
     
  5. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Dave
    I started out with a similar system the Yamaha HTR 5740 and the JBL 6.1 speakers. I don't have the speaker package number, but they look like the same ones that you are investigating. My wife gave them to me as a gift from BB.
    My first theater was 12 x 14 and the system did a good job filling the room with sound. The only thing I found lacking was the dialog out of the canter. I ended up replacing the center with a JBL EC35. This was a big improvement.
    After I rebuild my theater, the room is almost twice as big. 14 x 23, so I replaced the front R&L with E30s. I use the old fronts as a second set of surrounds for my second row of seats.
    I have a 12" Sony front firing sub and the 10" down firing JBL that came with the package. In the smaller theater the JBL was more than enough. With the larger theater I have the Sony up front and the JBL in hte rear. I believe that both subs are rated down to about 30-35 Hz. When setting up my BFD, I found that the JBL actually played lower frequencies than the Sony. Down to the 20-25 range.
    I currently have the EC35 center below the screen running in parallel with the original center mounted above the screen. I still have troubles hearing the dialog sometimes. I don't think it is a null because it was in both size rooms. I also don't think it is the speakers. That leaves receiver or the way the DVDs are mixed. Other than that the HTR 5740 works just fine. It is a 6.1 receiver and I have 9.2 speakers hooked into it with no power or heat issues.
    If you have a smaller room to fill, this system is good. The THD is low on the speakers and they sound great. If you room is larger, you might want to consider buying the speakers separately. The 3" fronts won't do the trick. If your subs are good, you don't need another.

    Dave
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Since you guys are recommending specific models for Dan to purchase, the thread has been moved to Speakers/Subs. Please note that the Basics area is for general discussion of home theater issues at the beginner level. For information as to what to purchase, post in the appropriate hardware-related area.
     
  7. NickSI

    NickSI Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey! i have the SCS 6.1 system. it is our first HT setup and we like it. i replaced the fronts with the bigger speakers off of my Sharp AQuous LCD which are a little bigger and fuller. i do have trouble hearing speech so its the constant battle of turning it up for people talking then a car exploding and having the house shake and my mom yelling!! so ill look into a new center. but the speakers do well with music and the sub really rattles things. i have a lowend yammy hooked up to it and for what it is, it is real nice and i enjoy it. make sure you check the inputs you want and need before you purchase cause i didn't and i got screwed out of S-Video switching.
     
  8. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    Thanks for all the responses, and I'm sorry for double-posting. NickSI and drobbins both mentioned difficulty hearing speech out of the center channel of their JBLs. This is the problem with my current system, (which is probably 12-15 years old) and it is the reason I want to upgrade. I can't hear dialog, so I have to constantly ride the volume. The Pioneer 816 has something called "dialog enhancement". Are any of you familiar with this, and would this solve the center channel issue? Someone mentioned that I should spend $500 instead of $300 and pick up the Klipsch Quintet III system. Would this Klipsch system provide better dialog? Thanks again for all your advice. Dan.
     
  9. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    The more I think about this, the more confusing it gets. The center channel is really important to me. If I can't hear or understand dialog I end up turning up the volume on my 25" tv. I am now thinking more about piecing together a better speaker system over time, starting now with a good center speaker. Here is what I have right now:
    Receiver: Fisher RS-727
    Speakers: Fisher SPM-993
    Center: Technics SB-C22
    Surround: Technics SB-S29
    Subwoofers (2): Yamaha YST-SW105
    I am still leaning strongly towards the Pioneer VSX-816-K receiver. Would it work to bring a $200-$300 center speaker into my setup? If so, what speaker? Thank you so much for all of your patience and advice.
     
  10. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    If the dialog is too low in level, just turn up the center channel volume - don't worry that this isn't what your calibration settings came up with. Also, some movie soundtracks literally weren't mixed well.

    But if it's the sound quality of the dialog that makes it difficult to understand (for all movies), then the speaker itself is most probably at fault. And judging by what this page says about that center channel, I am 99.9% sure this is the problem. You don't have to spend $300 to get an improvement - don't take this personally but even a $100 center speaker from any major speaker-only manufacturer should provide a huge sonic improvement.

    If you're on a tight budget & you don't mind a slightly large (ahem [​IMG] ) center, J&R Music is selling two different Cerwin-Vega models, the lively E-Series for only $115 (way under its MSRP) and the smoother sounding Classic center for only $120. Both are more efficient than average & the 816 should not have any problem driving them. C-V is coming out with smaller centers to accompany these so I guess this is why they're being sold so cheap now.
     
  11. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    DanHe, just want to point out that some of Best Buy's gift cards can actually be exchanged for cash. If you can do that, then perhaps you will no longer be restricted to buying speakers from Best Buy.

    Since you already have a pair of subwoofers, have you considered the Athena Point-5 system?
    http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetail...6-458&id=21573
     
  12. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    How would it work to use a pair of Polk R15s for the front and another pair for the surrounds? I would then pick up a JBL or Athena center channel and use my existing Yamaha YST SW-105 subs? The R15s are really inexpensive and seem to have good reviews. Thank You.
     
  13. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going the R15 route, you might as well wait to get the matching Center channel Csi25 when it goes on sale (around 80 dollars).
     
  14. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    Will the Polks (front, surround, center) work fine with my Yamaha subwoofers? Regarding the quality of the R15s, are these good speakers, or are these good speakers only if you can't afford anything else? I know there is always a better speaker, but do these sound good? Will these be an improvement over my current system? Thank you.
     
  15. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Definitely yes.

    And try to stick with the same brand of speakers all the way around, especially the front left/right and center.
     
  16. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want to spend more, you can always use the R30s or the R50s as fronts, Csi25 as the center, and the R15s as rears. That would be a step up from using 4 R15s + 1 Csi25.
     
  17. DanHe

    DanHe Extra

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    Ya'll are great! Thank you for all your advice. I was driving by Best Buy tonight and decided to stop in and take a closer look at speakers. I asked one of the blue shirt dudes a question and in the end I bought a Pioneer VSX-816-K and the Klipsch Quintet III. All along I had planned to spend $600 (not counting gift cards, reward zone certs, and tax). He said that if I bought a receiver, speakers, and a subwoofer he would drop the price by $200. I already had the subwoofer so I asked him what kind of deal he could give me without it. He took 10% off the receiver ($300-$30=$270) and took the speakers from $450 to $400. In the end I overspent by $70, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I'm sure there are cheaper prices on the web but Joe's Audio Warehouse probably doesn't take reward zone certificates. I will hook the system up when I get a chance. Thanks again for all your help. Dan
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    In case anybody was lamenting the disappearance of the E series from Cerwin-Vega's lineup, they've suddenly returned.

    E Series 2

    They now have a "2" attached to their name but they seem to look the same.

    BTW, AFAIK this is the series of CVs that produces the sound that audiophiles love to hate (they look to be built very much like what I used to sell): the forward sounding highs, very clear midrange and in particular the very punchy/whack-you-in-the-chest bass. Individual level controls are provided for the midrange and tweeter which can really help the owner customise their sound to whatever room they're located in, a feature that used to be very common on loudspeakers of all price ranges until the mid 1980s, though many studio monitors still include them.

    IMO they are not the most revealing/high resolution speakers around, but for many users these speakers' "happy" attitude makes up for that. And they're built quite well - check out their weight specs. Plus, they are extremely efficient and don't need a $500 receiver to reach stupidly loud levels. For example, the 12" model has a 98dB rating. Speaking of that.........

    To keep the price down to their affordable levels, ultimate bass extension had to be sacrificed but this increased their effciency & ability to generate all that punchy bass.* But if these are used mostly for music, most people won't miss that lack of extreme low bass extension (though many movies still have a good portion of their bass in these speakers' frequency ranges**). So if you're a fan of the Chemical Brothers, Tool, etc, these could be a good choice for speakers. Movies could also sound good with these because of their lively personality, sort of like a poor man's Klipsch.

    I'll admit it, I like large speakers like these partly because of nostalgia because I grew up with them, but really, mostly because of their much fuller sound than some "hi-tech" 4" woofer satellite + subwoofer system. And on a purely gut-level note, you can let your hair down & twist the volume knob to the right to insane volume levels with little fear of frying anything.

    [​IMG]

    * there's more to that extension/efficiency relationship, but that issue is beyond the intended scope of this CV buttkisser post. [​IMG]

    ** particularly if you use the disc's stereo/Dolby Surround audio option - I have read where certain soundtrack mixers place higher-frequency bass in this track specifically for people who are using a stereo-only/no subwoofer system but still want to hear some rumble. And sometimes they'll do the same with a 5.1 track, since when a standard dvd player downmixes 5.1 to stereo to allow it to be output via the left/right analog outputs, the player does not include the LFE channel in that downmix process, because a TV's cheesy speakers cannot handle such low/intense frequencies.
     

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