Need help for equipment suggestions for Surround Sound

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by LarryR, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. LarryR

    LarryR Agent

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    I recently purchased a Samsung DLP TV, 50", Model number HL-R5067W. I really like it.
    Room size: approximately 15' X 15' (bad I know). Length is complicated by fact that there is no posterior wall, but only the dining room and kitchen (separated by eating bar). Dining area and kitchen add another 10' to length. Ceiling is 8' high.
    Originally wanted to use a 6.2 surround sound system, but there is no wall to place back speaker. Mounting to ceiling is difficult, even though there is an upstairs. Would have to pull up rug in upstairs master bedroom to facilitate wiring, unless placed across the ceiling. Using a 5.2 system would eliminate this problem. Side walls will allow for mounting surround speakers.
    Floor is tile covered with an area rug that is 9' X 12'.
    I am looking at surround sound systems. I live in Hawaii and shipping is expensive. I have been trying to work with a dealer on another Island, but his suggestions are over my budget, even for his "good" system, vs. his "best" system.
    "Good System" suggested: Denon DVD-2910; Integra DTR-6.6; Polk Audio CS15 for center speaker; Polk Audio FX13 for directional surround speakers; Polk Audio RTi10 for floorstanding loudspeakers; Velodyne DD-10 for subwoofer; RTiT2+ for Touchscreen Remote (don't know why I need such a fancy remote?).
    This system is quoted at just under $8000.00! Does not include connectors/wires or installation. Does not include Hawaii State Tax of 4.17%, but does include shipping. I need to get a less expensive but good quality system. Does anyone have suggestions. My budget is for a maximum $4500.00, but less would be a blessing.
    Aloha, Larry
     
  2. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Larry --

    Your room layout sounds very similar to mine. Much less than ideal but we just have to live with what's there. Essentially tho' you can go with a 5.1 speaker set up. Virtually any good AVR is going to support 6.1/7.1 but will work just fine with a 5.1 subset. As for the equipment, set a budget and stick with it and don't let a dealer or a "golden ears" guy push you to spend more. Invest as much as you can but, personally, I don't think you have to spend that much. His recommendations will result in an excellent system but, frankly, I view it as overkill. I'm no expert in this and many here have much broader experience but from one consumer to another here goes:

    Based on what I seen most seem to recommend spending 60% or more on speakers, say 10-15% on DVD and 25-30% on the AVR.

    AVR -- heart of the system. Your room isn't large so you don't need huge power output. Look from flexibility in video inputs and outputs if you want it to do the video switching. I won't attempt to recommend specific models but Denon and Onkyo are good brands at the top of the mass market heap. Both make good gear and you should find a broad range of models and prices.

    DVD -- you don't need to spend a lot on this one to get something that will work well. IMHO once you get past the really inexpensive ones ($100), how much you spend here depends more on features than how a DVD will look on the screen. Look for a progressive scan model -- makers I know and would consider include Denon, Onkyo, and Toshiba.

    Speakers -- dangerous ground here [​IMG] Very subjective and personal choice but on the audio side the choice here is important. No matter how good the AVR, your ears are only going to hear the speakers. Again your room isn't so large that you need to worry about filling it with sound. I overspent/overspec'd on my sub and bought one that is way overkill for my room.

    Everyone has their favorites but I'll go out on a limb and put in a recommendation for Cambridge Soundworks. You can buy better gear but I own quite a bit of their stuff and, in my experience, it's very good. And since your intending to buy by mail their direct mail order sales policy is a big part of my recommendation. Their "buy it and try it" works and they really do stand behind their product if you have any problems what-so-ever.

    In any case, this is the part of the system to spend the most money on and consider it a good investment. Speakers last a long time and while you may upgrade other parts buying good ones now is worthwhile.

    Lastly, spend some time reading through the FAQ here and various threads about others starting into this. I think you'll learn a lot that will help you make good choices and enjoy the results!
     
  3. LarryR

    LarryR Agent

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    Thanks for the reply. You have helped to clarify many of my conerns. I have looked at Cambridge Soundworks, but I have made no decisions. As was stated, speakers are the most subjective. Besides Cambridge, I am still looking at Polk, depending on the shipping costs. Some of the better known stores have some good prices on these, and I will find out their shipping costs. I am also looking at Axiom Speakers and Avant Speakers (Mourdant). I also like Denon for the AVR and DVD player. Aloha, Larry
     

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