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  1. #1
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    Home theatre speakers

    Looking for a great value for a 6.1 or 7.1 home theatre speaker set-up.Maybe $500 to $750 range.I know a lot of the speaker in a box set-ups are terrible.I actually keep seeing all these great reviews for the Onkyo HTS-240 6.1 set-up at $350.I certainly wasn't thinking Onkyo but people seem to love these speakers and they look nice too.They are also fairly compact as I don't want boxy satellites.

    I'm far more into my 2-channel stereo so I realise the kind of money you can spend on speakers.I'm looking for a good bang for the buck kind of speaker set-up.I can live with good sound as I'm not expecting miracles in this price range.Still need to figure the A/V reciever into the budget and while some sets include them I presume they're usually inferior to one's purchased separately.

    Also wanted to ask if anyone knows if A/V recievers can be controlled through an IR reciever eye or is that only on high end models.Thanks for any feedback.

  2. #2
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    HK CP15

    I wrote that review a little wile ago...
    it is very good for a ht in box...
    when I was in college, a friend got an onkyo ht in box... I thought it sounded good at the time, but that was comparing to party speakers...
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  3. #3
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    How about getting a Pioneer 6.1/7.1 receiver ($250-$300) and then spend the remainder on your speakers. You could probably get something from Polk for that price range, perhaps check out Fluance speakers. Some companies offer entry level lines as well like PSB, B&W, Paradigm, etc, but you might not be able to get all your speakers in that price range, but at least you could get started.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Do what Peruvian suggested and get one of the entry level Pioneer receivers. Then pick up the PSB Mini Theater system for 495.00 from DMC. This set up will pretty much eat any HTIB for lunch.

    https://dmc-electronics.com/Default.htm

  5. #5
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    I was going to say that, but I don't want to be known as the guy who always recommends PSB speakers, although in my mind that's what I am always thinking anyway. You can't go wrong with a Pioneer driving the PSB Alpha's for that kinda money!!!

  6. #6
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    i'd check out the Klipsch Quintet II, series speakers....for $300 shipped you can't go wrong. They throw a huge soundstage and are small enough to hide. They also have wall mount/stands built in so you same money there as well. You will need to add a sub.

    take a look.
    http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ures/544099415

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    we've installed those speakers before, mainly for its' design. IMHO their OK for movies, center channel is a bit weak, midrange is almost non-exsistent up front but a decent enough sub to get you over, and of course great design ( mainly wall mount but matching stands are available). With all the money you saved on your plasma I would think you would want great sound to match it; why not link up your two channel rig until you're ready to put some real effort into a surround system? IR repeater system will work with any AVR

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Make your own system. Check out the infinity Primus speakers. They are excellent budget speakers. Infinity Primus 150 or 160's for the front main speakers and the 140's for the rear. Infinity C25 for the center and then the best sub you can afford. As far as receivers go, you could pick up a pioneer 815 for about $220. But you should also consider the Yamaha HTR series like the HTR 5860 or 5960. The Onkyo SR 504 is a nice high current receiver as well. The Yamaha's and the Onkyo may be out of your budget though. If you don't care about 7.1 sound you could pick up an HTR 5830 or 5840 which are 5.1ch.
    If you check around on the net you will be able to pick up all 4 infinity's for under $300.
    The infinitys are all on sale 150's for $59 each and the 160's for $72 each because the new models are available-142, 152 and 162'S.
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  9. #9
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    if you follow blackraven's advice, go to digital1234.com
    they have the Primus 150s for $80/pair. Neighbor ordered some last week. Can't say much on the company until they arrive, but the price is tough to beat and they claim to have them in stock? We'll see.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The problem with the 5.1 speaker packages in that price range is that the satellite units typically don't extend far enough below the crossover point to avoid a very noticeable frequency gap. Plus, the subwoofers that come with them are almost universally inadequate. The only acceptable 5.1 package in that price range I've heard for myself is the Energy Take 5. They recently revised their 5.1 package options, so things might have changed.

    For your budget, I would recommend phasing in your speaker purchases. With a $500 to $700 price range, you can find some very good bookshelf speakers starting around $200 a pair. Bookshelf speakers in this price range will typically extend far enough below 80 Hz to cover the frequency range down to where the sub picks up.

    This won't leave you with enough budget for a decent subwoofer, so you can either spend your budget just on the L/C/R/LS/RS speakers and add the subwoofer later, or buy just the L/R (or L/C/R) speakers and spend the rest on a subwoofer. All receivers have some form of virtual surround for 2,3, and 4 speaker setups, and they work fine for listening in the interim.

    One of the more intriguing options on the market right now is the SVS speaker package, because it pairs a set of legitimate bookshelf-sized speakers with a true subwoofer capable of extending down to 20 Hz. Altogether, the system costs $1,000, it comes with SVS' $425 PB-10NSD subwoofer, which will likely outperform all of the subwoofers that come with 5.1 packages. The bookshelf speakers themselves cost just over $200, and are unique in this price point because they combine a sealed design with a soft dome tweeter.

    With them, you can start with just the L/R pair and the subwoofer. If you don't like the main speakers, you can always return them and shop for other bookshelf models that better fit your preferences. But, at their price point, the SVS subs are among the most recommended models on the market.

    http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm
    Last edited by Woochifer; 02-08-2007 at 03:40 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVMASTER
    we've installed those speakers before, mainly for its' design. IMHO their OK for movies, center channel is a bit weak, midrange is almost non-exsistent up front but a decent enough sub to get you over, and of course great design ( mainly wall mount but matching stands are available). With all the money you saved on your plasma I would think you would want great sound to match it; why not link up your two channel rig until you're ready to put some real effort into a surround system? IR repeater system will work with any AVR
    Probably the way to go.Of course I'm so pleased with the plasma PQ image I'm dying to get matching audio quality.I did get the 2 channel hooked up and it really is a big improvement over the integrated speakers.I have a sub so it's actually 2.1 sound.

    I'll resist the impulse to go too inexpensive just to swing it now.I appreciate everyone's suggestions and thanks for confirming the ability to use the IR receiver for the A/V component.That save's me from having to re-configure my entire set-up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    i'd check out the Klipsch Quintet II, series speakers....for $300 shipped you can't go wrong. They throw a huge soundstage and are small enough to hide. They also have wall mount/stands built in so you same money there as well. You will need to add a sub.

    take a look.
    http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ures/544099415
    Thanks for the link.I have their 5.1 set-up for my computer and they're very good for the money.I love the compact size as my wife doesn't get this whole HT thing and if I buy speakers that stand out too much it will be an issue.Some of these satellites I see are quite large.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The problem with the 5.1 speaker packages in that price range is that the satellite units typically don't extend far enough below the crossover point to avoid a very noticeable frequency gap. Plus, the subwoofers that come with them are almost universally inadequate. The only acceptable 5.1 package in that price range I've heard for myself is the Energy Take 5. They recently revised their 5.1 package options, so things might have changed.

    For your budget, I would recommend phasing in your speaker purchases. With a $500 to $700 price range, you can find some very good bookshelf speakers starting around $200 a pair. Bookshelf speakers in this price range will typically extend far enough below 80 Hz to cover the frequency range down to where the sub picks up.

    This won't leave you with enough budget for a decent subwoofer, so you can either spend your budget just on the L/C/R/LS/RS speakers and add the subwoofer later, or buy just the L/R (or L/C/R) speakers and spend the rest on a subwoofer. All receivers have some form of virtual surround for 2,3, and 4 speaker setups, and they work fine for listening in the interim.

    One of the more intriguing options on the market right now is the SVS speaker package, because it pairs a set of legitimate bookshelf-sized speakers with a true subwoofer capable of extending down to 20 Hz. Altogether, the system costs $1,000, it comes with SVS' $425 PB-10NSD subwoofer, which will likely outperform all of the subwoofers that come with 5.1 packages. The bookshelf speakers themselves cost just over $200, and are unique in this price point because they combine a sealed design with a soft dome tweeter.

    With them, you can start with just the L/R pair and the subwoofer. If you don't like the main speakers, you can always return them and shop for other bookshelf models that better fit your preferences. But, at their price point, the SVS subs are among the most recommended models on the market.

    http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm
    That's the exact scenario I have on my entry level Infinity's upstairs.The satellite's don't push enough bass and sound tinny.They are completely inadequate for music.The downfiring sub-woofer was a pleasant surprise for me but it doesn't compensate for the less than great satellites.

    This is the same situation I always find myself in with these type of purchases.The budget usually gets blown once I do my research and get realistic.The price range isn't in stone especially if I'm patient and wait a while.Thanks for the link as that set-up is different from what I'm used to seeing.

  14. #14
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    I'd take the PSB's over anything else recommended any day of the year.

  15. #15
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    PSB's over anything else?? i think you need a trip to your local hi-fi shop. While i haven't heard PSB's new high end series, i'm sure others will impress.

    I used to think my $2000 Polk RT2000p were the sh!t, then i spend some time auditioning some other speakers and was blown away how much better a speaker can sound. The grass is always greener at your hi-fi shop....it's a disease i say!!!

  16. #16
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    PSB's over anything else?? i think you need a trip to your local hi-fi shop. While i haven't heard PSB's new high end series, i'm sure others will impress.

    I used to think my $2000 Polk RT2000p were the sh!t, then i spend some time auditioning some other speakers and was blown away how much better a speaker can sound. The grass is always greener at your hi-fi shop....it's a disease i say!!!
    I have found some better sound speakers than my focal jmlabs imo, but for the price of my speakers, I have yet to find a speaker which comes close...
    if I want to jump up a couple thousand / speaker, no doubt...
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  17. #17
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    Thats why I bough tmy PSBs and am definately staying away

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    PSB's over anything else?? i think you need a trip to your local hi-fi shop. While i haven't heard PSB's new high end series, i'm sure others will impress.

    I used to think my $2000 Polk RT2000p were the sh!t, then i spend some time auditioning some other speakers and was blown away how much better a speaker can sound. The grass is always greener at your hi-fi shop....it's a disease i say!!!
    I'm not saying PSB are the best but I do love my Image T45s and I don't feel the need to upgrade anytime soon. Now if I came into some serious cash, like a lottery winning, I would definately replace them with some Canadian high end esoteric stuff like something from Coinicident or Focus Audio (Not to be confused with focal audio).

    But since I don't forsee that happening anytime soon, I'll remian content with my PSBs

  18. #18
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    I am saying that out of anything recommended on this thread thus far for the budget constraints that I would take the PSB's over anything else. Obviously if cash were no limit than that would not necessarily be the case and for the record...I frequent high-end shops quite a bit as well as various high-end shows.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    I am saying that out of anything recommended on this thread thus far for the budget constraints that I would take the PSB's over anything else. Obviously if cash were no limit than that would not necessarily be the case and for the record...I frequent high-end shops quite a bit as well as various high-end shows.
    I used the link for the Alpha's at PCM's website.I guess that must be a specially priced package in white finish only(the $500 set-up)which is a great value.It includes a sub-woofer.I can't seem to bring up any images but maybe I'm doing something wrong.

    PSB's website is showing what must be the current Alpha line.They are quite nice looking and come in 3 finishes with none of them being white.Aluminum grills set them off quite nicely and they look much more substantial than entry level speakers.

    I guess you could simply piece together your own system as the retail prices for these speakers isn't that dear.It would seem these speakers aren't that readily available.I can't seem to find many dealers online or locally.
    .I have an Aiwa 8" front-firing powered sub-woofer I bought for a mini-stereo.Of course it isn't great but if I'm piecing a set-up that doesn't include a sub-woofer It gives me a starting point.I can then add a nice sub-woofer at any point.If it sounds as bad as I think it will that will be sooner rather than later.Is it usually preferable to stay with the same manufacturer for a sub-woofer selection or is that less critical since it's not really a matched sound kind of situation?It seems you have to spend at least $300 to get a decent sub-woofer separately.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Check out the spec's on the infinity's. The 160 has a lower end FQ response of around 50Hz. I bought a pair for may daughter and they are excellent. They have a nice sound, not muddy like many cheap speakers. They have nice tight midrange bass especially if you use a pair of nice analog interconnects with your CDP. Check the online reviews. Stereophile magazine has a nice review on the Primus 150's. The Primus 160's would be my choice for the front channels and the 150's or 140's for the rear. Don't let the cheap price fool you, the 160's used to sell for $250-300pr.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Check out the spec's on the infinity's. The 160 has a lower end FQ response of around 50Hz. I bought a pair for may daughter and they are excellent. They have a nice sound, not muddy like many cheap speakers. They have nice tight midrange bass especially if you use a pair of nice analog interconnects with your CDP. Check the online reviews. Stereophile magazine has a nice review on the Primus 150's. The Primus 160's would be my choice for the front channels and the 150's or 140's for the rear. Don't let the cheap price fool you, the 160's used to sell for $250-300pr.
    Crutchfield has the Primus package for $300.It inludes 4 140's and a center channel to match.No Sub-woofer at that price of course.They're a little boxy looking but they do have threaded inserts for bracket mounting.My front and rear surrounds and Center channel must be wall mounted due to room conditions.This is the smallest of the Primus line so I guess bass respnse could be an issue.The price is right though.

    I noticed Crutchfield also has the Polk(I believe RM-10's) for $539 and you then get $200 towards a Polk subwoofer.They're very nice looking and compact.I don't hear the Polk name mentioned here much as I'm unsure if that's a quality issue or maybe they're just not popular for some other reason.

    I do have one major speaker location issue.I have a 50" plasma wall mounted top dead center on the long wall of a 19'X11" room.Viewing location is directly accross from display about 9' away.I figure on going 5.1 or 6.1 and am unsure about the location of the front surrounds.I assume they should be located close to the front corners of the room toed in.A lot of pictures I see have the fronts located right next to the displays on stands or wall brackets.

    That may look nice but wouldn't they sound better spaced further apart and not so close to the center channel speaker.I'm also going on the assumption that the rear surrounds would also be corner mounted with the rear center directly behind me in the middle.I couldn't locate my upstair's HT speakers correctly due to room joggles and the sound isn't right despite adjustments.

    This new room is a perfect rectangle with a 7' ceiling which I would think would work well for HT sound.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would'nt use the Infinity 140's for front channel. I would use either the 150's or the 160's.
    The 140's have virtually no bass. They are fine for rear channel. I've seen the 140's advertised for $49 each and the 160's for $72 each. = $242 for all four. The 150's can be had for $59pr.
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  23. #23
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    Speakers Sats & Subs
    I'm with Tarheal on the Quintet's. Velodyne has several subwoofers under $500 or you can add the Klipsch 10" sub.

    There are good options for a reciever. Low cost products include mass market brands like Yamaha and Harmon Kardon. Basic no nonsence stuff that is pleasing to the ear, but far from extreme acuracy of higher priced goods.

    You can add an IR repeater to any reciever that has a remote.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Look at www.vanns.com they have a Velodyne VX10 sub for sale for $169.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
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    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  25. #25
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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