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The Official "What Speakers or Subwoofer Should I Buy" Assistance Thread (1 Viewer)

Pupp

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There really isn't a market for passive soundbars, and consumers expect to plug soundbars into both the tv and the wall and get decent sound.

Soundbars don't plug into AV recievers in general.

Not sure your price range, but in my opinion, I'd recommend a soundbar for budgets under $1300, and then find a good soundbar on a decent sale. So don't be an elitist and only go for a certain manufacturer, or even a specific model.

Soundbars, regardless of quality and price will never compete with a full blown decent home theater.

Doing a quick internet search, most, but not all of the home theaters in the under $1500 range use a soundbar. Most include a suvwoofer and a couple of rear speakers. I'm sure most sound decent, but none will give a vicereal, room shaking experience.

It's impossible to describe what it's like to sit in a room with massive subwoofers and high end speakers.

My own system I'm cobbling together (Paradigm MilleniaOne+UltraCube 10 + Anthem MRX 540) is pretty awesome, but pales in comparison with the home theater I scoped out at an AV dealership. Not sure what the price tag was, but I think it was north of $35,000. I think the subwoofers alone was over $7,500 each. I do remember it was a Klipsch system.

-The salesman played a clip from some pirate movie. The distant cannons rolled through the room and my body like velvet... deep and smooth... from my head to my toes.

But most people, like myself, have a budget, so they have to find something that works within thier budget.
 

Dave Upton

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I would actually say $1000 or higher is when soundbars no longer make sense. You can get some affordable speakers and a sub, and start with a solid 2.1 setup and get far superior results to any soundbar
 

Pupp

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I would actually say $1000 or higher is when soundbars no longer make sense. You can get some affordable speakers and a sub, and start with a solid 2.1 setup and get far superior results to any soundbar
I can only speak from my own experience.

I used to have a 5.1 system using Paradigm MilleniaOne speakers, a Paradigm Ultracube 10, and an Anthem MRX 520 AV reciever.
-Or maybe it was a generation older on the Anthem MRX.

Just about the time I was moving across country, the reciever died (after 7 years of use).
I'd already decided to give the entire setup, including an HD tv... which was bought in 2008, to my mom. So I just got a $450 sony AV reciever to replace it.

I could tell immediatrly the difference in sound quality. I no longer had a vicareal sonic experience that felt bettsr than the local movie house.

Eventually, I bought a new house after a few years. I bought a 4k tv and after a year of yhe internal TV speakers, I was desperate for better sound. I scored a Klipsch Bar 48 for about $400 on Amazon. -I think I got it on Prime Days 2019.

It was a massive improvement: the center speaker isolated the dialoge, which made it possible to understand what people were saying in loud scenes.The subwoofer, understandably, did not add much rumble, but it did help bring out some lower frequencies....

...but my longterm goal was to rebuild my origional system...
...and since the Klipsch Bar 48 supports a 2nd subwoofer...
...I found an Ultracube 10 on ebay one day, and added that to my soundbar: adding a 2nd really good subwoofer was an impressive improvement. (Watching Aquaman or any MCU movie is a delight.)

For under $1000 I made a pretty impressive home theater without an AV reciever. (I never bothered with getting rear speakers).

I am still in the process of cobbling together a full blown Anthem/Paradigm home theater. I just bought 5 MilleniaOne speakers, and will get an MRX 740.
 
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KDRDoc

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Hi all…so my old Onkyo HT is slowly dying after 25+ years….

putting together a new set up…,

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Everthing

Primary Use: 20% Music, 80% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 5.1, maybe 7.1

Room Size: 13x12 - basement

Is the room open to other areas of your home: No

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Yes, onkyo tx-sr876 (open to upgrade)

What's your budget (low to high): $1000-2000

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope
 

Dave Upton

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Hi all…so my old Onkyo HT is slowly dying after 25+ years….

putting together a new set up…,

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Everthing

Primary Use: 20% Music, 80% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 5.1, maybe 7.1

Room Size: 13x12 - basement

Is the room open to other areas of your home: No

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Yes, onkyo tx-sr876 (open to upgrade)

What's your budget (low to high): $1000-2000

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope
Brian,

Do you have a 4K display and have any need for HDMI 2.1/2.2 switching? I ask because that will largely drive whether we recommend a new receiver or not.
 

KDRDoc

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Brian,

Do you have a 4K display and have any need for HDMI 2.1/2.2 switching? I ask because that will largely drive whether we recommend a new receiver or not.
Yes a Sony 85" X91J and a Sony Blu Ray player. I have been splitting the audio (to the AV) and video (to the Sony) from the blu ray currently before my subwoofer died.....prompting my ask.
 

Dave Upton

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Yes a Sony 85" X91J and a Sony Blu Ray player. I have been splitting the audio (to the AV) and video (to the Sony) from the blu ray currently before my subwoofer died.....prompting my ask.
Thanks for clarifying!

In that case, I would definitely say a new receiver is worth the investment to simplify your life.

I would go with the below setup for a total of $2110. It's a slight stretch to your budget, but gets you a much better system overall and a modern receiver to handle newer sound formats and HDMI switching.

Receiver:
Yamaha RXV6A-RB ($550): https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...v6a-7.2-ch-x-100-watts-8k-a/v-receiver/1.html

Speakers:
Front L/R ($900): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34188 x 2 [Note: these may require stands at $50 to bring them up to ear height - I recommend these)
Center ($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34189
Surrounds ($60): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24739 (x2 if you want 7.1)
Subwoofer($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=41499
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks for clarifying!

In that case, I would definitely say a new receiver is worth the investment to simplify your life.

I would go with the below setup for a total of $2110. It's a slight stretch to your budget, but gets you a much better system overall and a modern receiver to handle newer sound formats and HDMI switching.

Receiver:
Yamaha RXV6A-RB ($550): https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...v6a-7.2-ch-x-100-watts-8k-a/v-receiver/1.html

Speakers:
Front L/R ($900): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34188 x 2 [Note: these may require stands at $50 to bring them up to ear height - I recommend these)
Center ($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34189
Surrounds ($60): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24739 (x2 if you want 7.1)
Subwoofer($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=41499

Interesting rec. Those Monoprice front L/R actually come w/ atmos height support.

_Man_
 

KDRDoc

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Thanks for clarifying!

In that case, I would definitely say a new receiver is worth the investment to simplify your life.

I would go with the below setup for a total of $2110. It's a slight stretch to your budget, but gets you a much better system overall and a modern receiver to handle newer sound formats and HDMI switching.

Receiver:
Yamaha RXV6A-RB ($550): https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...v6a-7.2-ch-x-100-watts-8k-a/v-receiver/1.html

Speakers:
Front L/R ($900): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34188 x 2 [Note: these may require stands at $50 to bring them up to ear height - I recommend these)
Center ($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34189
Surrounds ($60): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24739 (x2 if you want 7.1)
Subwoofer($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=41499
Wow…ok….so I got some good news today ….getting a larger bonus…budget just doubled. Would you recommend a better A/V or both A/V and speakers? My old receiver was an Onkyo THX….is THX still worth it?
 
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Dave Upton

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Wow…ok….so I got some good news today ….getting a larger bonus…budget just doubled. Would you recommend a better A/V or both A/V and speakers? My old receiver was an Onkyo THX….is THX still worth it?
Congrats on the good news!

Based on that budget, I'd make some slight changes - but nothing massive. Below is my revised recommendation:

Receiver:
Marantz SR6014 ($999): https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...9.2-ch-x-110-watts-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html

Speakers:
Front L/R ($1700): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=39158
Center ($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34189
Surrounds ($60): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24739 (x2 if you want 7.1)
Subwoofer($829): https://www.hsuresearch.com/products/uls-15mk2.html

Total: $3888
 

JohnRice

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I'll give an alternative to Dave's. I think either is worthy.

Same receiver as Dave suggested. That's a great refurb deal on an excellent receiver.
Front L&R ($1,400) ELAC UniFi UF 52
Center (currently $370) ELAC UniFi UC 52
Surrounds (currently $250) ELAC Debut 2 B52
Surround Upgrade Option (Currently $560) ELAC UiFi UB 52 (I'd probably spend more on the sub instead of this upgrade option)
The Hsu sub Dave recommended is hard to beat for the price. Maybe the Rythmik L22. Dave and I both prefer sealed subs, in general.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I'll give an alternative to Dave's. I think either is worthy.

Same receiver as Dave suggested. That's a great refurb deal on an excellent receiver.
Front L&R ($1,400) ELAC UniFi UF 52
Center (currently $370) ELAC UniFi UC 52
Surrounds (currently $250) ELAC Debut 2 B52
Surround Upgrade Option (Currently $560) ELAC UiFi UB 52 (I'd probably spend more on the sub instead of this upgrade option)
The Hsu sub Dave recommended is hard to beat for the price. Maybe the Rythmik L22. Dave and I both prefer sealed subs, in general.

I could 2nd that, especially if prioritizing music playback -- it's basically what I'm now going with myself, except I have a slightly different Hsu sub (VTF-3 Mk5 HP that I've been keeping sealed) and might add a pair of ELAC OW4.2 (I already own) for rear surround (to get to 7.1). Well, I don't use an AVR for the electronics though, but yeah, separates would completely wreck that budget...

Dave's Monoprice rec might be preferable for the 80% movies criteria though... perhaps especially when driven by an AVR... though those Monoprice towers are 4 ohms...

_Man_
 

Dave Upton

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I could 2nd that, especially if prioritizing music playback -- it's basically what I'm now going with myself, except I have a slightly different Hsu sub (VTF-3 Mk5 HP that I've been keeping sealed) and might add a pair of ELAC OW4.2 (I already own) for rear surround (to get to 7.1). Well, I don't use an AVR for the electronics though, but yeah, separates would completely wreck that budget...

Dave's Monoprice rec might be preferable for the 80% movies criteria though... perhaps especially when driven by an AVR... though those Monoprice towers are 4 ohms...

_Man_
Monoprice's THX speakers are actually excellent - well engineered and robust in terms of build quality. I suspect that they are actually a higher cost speaker to build than the ELACs, which is why I recommend them.

I have not reviewed the Monoprice speakers in my room directly, but have heard good things from ears I trust.

Another excellent option if you don't require new and shiny, is to pick up a slightly older/used pair of Revel F32 speakers - https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649710705-revel-performa-f32-speakers/
 

KDRDoc

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Congrats on the good news!

Based on that budget, I'd make some slight changes - but nothing massive. Below is my revised recommendation:

Receiver:
Marantz SR6014 ($999): https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...9.2-ch-x-110-watts-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html

Speakers:
Front L/R ($1700): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=39158
Center ($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34189
Surrounds ($60): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24739 (x2 if you want 7.1)
Subwoofer($829): https://www.hsuresearch.com/products/uls-15mk2.html

Total: $3888
Awesome….I found a great deal on a SR5015, would that work as well as the 6014 or 6015?
 

KDRDoc

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Congrats on the good news!

Based on that budget, I'd make some slight changes - but nothing massive. Below is my revised recommendation:

Receiver:
Marantz SR6014 ($999): https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...9.2-ch-x-110-watts-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html

Speakers:
Front L/R ($1700): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=39158
Center ($300): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34189
Surrounds ($60): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24739 (x2 if you want 7.1)
Subwoofer($829): https://www.hsuresearch.com/products/uls-15mk2.html

Total: $3888
The Atmos monoprice tower versions are on sale...as good as the same without?

Got the SR6015 for a sweet deal from a local dealer, just a bit more than that refurb.
 
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Dave Upton

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The Atmos monoprice tower versions are on sale...as good as the same without?

Got the SR6015 for a sweet deal from a local dealer, just a bit more than that refurb.
Absolutely. I’m just not personally a fan of the up firing atmos module. No harm if they’re the same price
 

ManW_TheUncool

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FWIW, I only paid ~$1380 total (shipped) for my ELAC Uni-Fi UF52 floorstanders + UC52 center + Debut UB52 bookshelves (for surrounds) direct from ELAC. Bought them on one of their seemingly frequently recurring sales (and also got an extra 10% off offer... plus no sales tax direct from them).

Ran into some trouble w/ the shipping (of the bookshelves), and they ended up throwing in a pair of (very) nice 12AWG speaker wires for free for my troubles, which I just use for the Debut bookshelves -- the wires seem fairly comparable to the Canares quad-stars I use for the UF52s and UC52, except the locking bananas Blue Jeans Cable provided are probably better.

_Man_
 

Dave Upton

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FWIW, I only paid ~$1380 total (shipped) for my ELAC Uni-Fi UF52 floorstanders + UC52 center + Debut UB52 bookshelves (for surrounds) direct from ELAC. Bought them on one of their seemingly frequently recurring sales (and also got an extra 10% off offer... plus no sales tax direct from them).

Ran into some trouble w/ the shipping (of the bookshelves), and they ended up throwing in a pair of (very) nice 12AWG speaker wires for free for my troubles, which I just use for the Debut bookshelves -- the wires seem fairly comparable to the Canares quad-stars I use for the UF52s and UC52, except the locking bananas Blue Jeans Cable provided are probably better.

_Man_
That’s a great deal. How do you like them for music reproduction?
 

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