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Recommendations for reasonably priced receiver and speakers?

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Recommendations for reasonably priced receiver and speakers?

Old 04-12-07, 07:34 AM
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Recommendations for reasonably priced receiver and speakers?

Hey all,

I am looking for suggestions for reasonably priced (aka...cheap...) receiver and speaker combinations.

In total I really only have $500 or less (OK, you can stop laughing now), I might be able to go a little higher, but not much.

I am a bit of an agoraphobic. Even the thought of going into a store makes me cringe, which is why I tend to buy online and watch movies at home rather than at the theater.

So going to a store to listen to receivers and speakers is not an option. I know this is not an ideal for choosing sound components since everyone's perception of what sounds good is a bit different.

Anyhow, I have a lot of respect for the members in this forum and would really appreciate suggestions (...about the receiver and speakers, not about how to cure my agoraphobia).


Useful Info:
Room 15ft wide x 18 ft long with 12 ft ceilings.
Room is prewired for speakers in ceiling (left, center, right, and surrounds).
Room is carpeted
Receiver and speakers will also be used for music
I plan to run video from components directly to TV, so I don't really care about video switching on receiver
I am a bit of a novice when it comes to home theater

Now for my questions:
Can anyone recommend a combination of receiver and speakers that fit in the under $500 budget?
I am fine with putting surrounds in the ceiling (or mounting them on the ceiling). Is it OK to mount the fronts and center from the ceiling as well? This would put them about 8 feet above the TV.

Thanks.
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Old 04-12-07, 09:31 AM
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Good luck. And this isn't an audiophile trying to spew info about how there is no way in hell you can get a decent sounding system for that price.

That is a good sized room...3200 cubic feet. I assume there are opening to that room without doors? You have to take that into account as well.

You will need a decent receiver to power the speakers to sound decent in that room.

this is $170 shipped from Amazon and is a STEAL for you purposes...

Onkyo

If I was you, I would worry about your fronts and center and deal with the rears and sub at a later time. Spend your budget on your 3 front speakers for now.

You may even want to just buy your fronts for now and buy the matching center when you can afford it.

Dont buy in-ceiling speakers for your mains. You can buy in-ceiling speakers for your rears at a later date.
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Old 04-12-07, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
Good luck. And this isn't an audiophile trying to spew info about how there is no way in hell you can get a decent sounding system for that price.

That is a good sized room...3200 cubic feet. I assume there are opening to that room without doors? You have to take that into account as well.

You will need a decent receiver to power the speakers to sound decent in that room.

this is $170 shipped from Amazon and is a STEAL for you purposes...

Onkyo

If I was you, I would worry about your fronts and center and deal with the rears and sub at a later time. Spend your budget on your 3 front speakers for now.

You may even want to just buy your fronts for now and buy the matching center when you can afford it.

Dont buy in-ceiling speakers for your mains. You can buy in-ceiling speakers for your rears at a later date.
Thanks for the feedback. I like the receiver.

I hadn't thought about just getting the fronts for now. That might be doable.

Yes, the main living area opens to other rooms. I hadn't thought of that as being an issue. See, I am a novice.

OK, so it is no-go for "in-celing" speakers for the fronts. Would it be OK to use ceiling mount for the fronts? Or should I absolutely stick to floor speakers?

Also, I have no problems with people saying that I can't get a decent sounding system for the amount of money I have to spend. Bottom line is that I have a limited budget and I suspect ANYTHING would sound better than what is coming through the speakers on the TV.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-12-07, 04:04 PM
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hsu research makes these packages that you could buy that would be worth saving up soem money for...

http://hsuresearch.com/products/performance2.html

the speakers run $600 for a 5.1 system and it is a very nice system. my buddy has the performance 1 system but his room is about 12 x 15.

$600 for the speakers
$170 for the receiver

i know it is over your budget but it will sound nice in your room without breaking the bank.

or you could pair up that receiver with...

This Velodyne System

...for $199 shipped.

That is $368 total, shipped.

You MUST get a sub though.
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Old 04-12-07, 04:12 PM
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The performance 2's appear to be on sale for 519.00. I didn't check shipping. The satellites are small. I kinda like that.
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Old 04-12-07, 04:16 PM
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"Can anyone recommend a combination of receiver and speakers that fit in the under $500 budget? "

To fill that room, no. And I always recommend deciding on speakers first. A nice receiver and poor speakers will always sound bad.
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Old 04-12-07, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Webber
The performance 2's appear to be on sale for 519.00. I didn't check shipping. The satellites are small. I kinda like that.

for about $200 over budget, it is a nice little system.
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Old 04-12-07, 06:18 PM
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Some options....


http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.ph...49&postcount=5

And BTW, I think you can put together a "nice" system. Not perfect, not the best, but a nice enjoyable system.
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Old 04-12-07, 10:38 PM
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I know you can get some good deals on Onkyo refurbs through their online store.

I have Paradigm in my HT room, and obviously spent well over your budget on them. However, I also have these in my living room, and I have been very happy with them - especially for the price: Yambeka
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Old 04-13-07, 06:59 AM
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I've always believed www.Norh.com has some of the best speakers for the price.
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Old 04-13-07, 08:27 AM
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First of all, do not use in-ceiling's if you do not absolutely have to...even for the surrounds, but especially not for the center or fronts. I've heard in-ceiling's used as surrounds and it was very weird and not natural. Maybe others have had better luck, but in the system I heard they were nasty. In-ceilings have their place in something like a whole-home system for a little ambiance music, but not for home theater, at least in my opinion (which may not mean much!).

For that budget I like the idea of getting a little nicer fronts and center, then add surrounds and a sub down the road when funds allow. Do not worry about those saying that a sub is a must, it isn't right now. I went a few years in apartments without a sub and was happy. Yes, the deep stuff will be missing for now, but it will still be enjoyable, especially to someone new to HT. Plus it will give you something to look forward to when you can add it! Yes, you have a big room, and you won't get anything earth-shaking in your budget, but you can get a nice little system started. Besides, anything is better than TV speakers!

I'd start with the speakers, and you can't get much more bang for the buck than av123.com. Check out their new X-series line. You can pick up the x-cs center for $139 and a pair of x-ls for the fronts for $219. These should blow away most any other speakers in their price range and a ways above. Plus they will give you the best customer service you have ever seen. Check out the forums while you are there...tons of info and good people willing to help. It gets a little "fanboy-ish" from time to time, but for good reason...they keep their customers happy and put out great products at amazing prices. OK...enough with the av123 commercial!

For a receiver on a budget, adding the Onkyo suggested above would be great, but puts you a hair over budget, especially once shipping on the speakers and receiver are factored in. Another option that would save some money would be check out ecost. Most of their stuff is refurbished, but do not let that scare you away. There are some great deals and when something is factory refurbished, and you have to figure the manufacturer payed more attention to getting it right in the refurb than when mass producing new product! I bought a higher end Denon DVD player from them a couple years ago for a great price and haven't had any issues with it. I saw an Onkyo 5.1 receiver on their today for $99 that would serve your purposes.

These speakers with this receiver would add up to $450-ish, leaving you a little extra to cover shipping and some cheap speaker wire. Just go to Home Depot for your speaker wire...anything else is overkill for what you need. Hmm...speaker stands. Yes, you will probably want some eventually, but if you do not have WAF (wife acceptance factor) to deal with, you could use some sturdy TV trays or something like that for now. I did that for a few years too. Get creative with what you have laying around rather than over-extending your budget right now. The speakers are more important that what you are setting them on (to a point of course) That probably sounds crazy, but it will help you get started. It is much better to get the nicest stuff you can now, then add to it rather than sacrificing quality to just get everything right now within your budget...know what I mean?

I started with much lower end stuff than we are talking about (KLH and Sony Best Buy specials!), and was happy with it at the time, then upgraded little by little to where I am now. It has been an adventure and you learn as you go. Plus you don't break the bank that way.

Sorry for writing a book here, but I hope it helps some. Good luck and have fun...that's what it's all about!
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Old 04-13-07, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jediturtle
First of all, do not use in-ceiling's if you do not absolutely have to...even for the surrounds, but especially not for the center or fronts. I've heard in-ceiling's used as surrounds and it was very weird and not natural. Maybe others have had better luck, but in the system I heard they were nasty. In-ceilings have their place in something like a whole-home system for a little ambiance music, but not for home theater, at least in my opinion (which may not mean much!).
Intuitively, that is what I thought. But I am glad someone with more experience was able to weigh in on it.

Thanks for the great feedback.
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Old 04-13-07, 11:45 PM
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Adjustable in-ceiling speakers are much better since you can aim them a bit, but generally I share Jediturtle's opinion.

BTW, surrounds work better near the ceiling. Front speakers work better at ear level. But that doesn't mean you can't put them higher.
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Old 04-14-07, 08:14 AM
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Yup. I have front and CC speakers up high above a door on either side of my screen. I tested before mounted and know I'm losing "somthing". However based on my physical set up, my only other choice was to build a smaller screen.

In this room, with these speakers, I'm very pleased with the sound in this set up. I know I could have better sound, but everything is a compromise. So on my on my budget, my DIY abilities, the physical room, the size screen I wanted, I'm very happy with the overall sound quality.

All that is to say, yes, you should have a plan. But don't get so locked into "the plan" that you don't try things regardless of what is idea or not.

Here is a pic if interested,

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Old 04-17-07, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Yup. I have front and CC speakers up high above a door on either side of my screen. I tested before mounted and know I'm losing "somthing". However based on my physical set up, my only other choice was to build a smaller screen.
My main concern with ceiling mounting was the distance between the TV and the speakers. I thought it might be weird to hear the sound coming from way above the TV. In your setup (pretty creative, by the way), the speakers are pretty close to the screen.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Webber
My main concern with ceiling mounting was the distance between the TV and the speakers. I thought it might be weird to hear the sound coming from way above the TV. In your setup (pretty creative, by the way), the speakers are pretty close to the screen.
Thanks! Yea, I used plumbers pipe to mount the CC. The fronts have mounts designed to mount to a wall or ceiling.

Most with big screen recommend putting the CC below the screen as this is closer to ear level. However, that was not appealing for me as I figured I would have lots of kids around, heck even vacuuming you might bump it or something. So I went over the screen.

The next guide line is that your fronts and CC should all be at the same level. This I did (or pretty close). In my physical set up, didn't have much choice. But I'm very, very pleased with the sound.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:37 AM
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Hmm. I was thinking about mounting the fronts on the ceiling and having the center down lower. Sounds like I probably don't want to do that!!!

I guess I will just have to see how things look and sound down low. I wouldn't want to put mounts in the ceiling just to find out I don't like how it sounds.

For the record, I went ahead and got the following:
Onkyo TX-SR504
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR504...6824021&sr=8-5


Polk Audio RM6750
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3996145

$430 total, plus shipping on the speakers.

Now I can't wait for everything to arrive.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:03 AM
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I reccomend these speakers. I know its a no name brand but they have been getting stellar reviews. I ordered a pair for myself yesterday. and for less than $200 shipped it's a great price.

http://www.yambekaaudio.com/
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Old 04-17-07, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by takingchase
I reccomend these speakers. I know its a no name brand but they have been getting stellar reviews. I ordered a pair for myself yesterday. and for less than $200 shipped it's a great price.

http://www.yambekaaudio.com/
copycat
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Old 04-17-07, 10:01 PM
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For the up vs down speakers, line it up with where you sit. Sit down and look at the possible speaker locations. Whichever crosses the screen the most will sound more like it is coming from the right place, even if it appears to be way too high or low.
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Old 04-18-07, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by shelland
copycat
haha my bad, I didn't even see you mention them. Well then that makes two votes towards the Yambekas, plus just about everyone at satalliteguys loves them too.
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