• 03-07-2006, 08:34 PM
    christina
    HELP: Floor standing or a home surround speaker set for Yamaha RX-V995 A/V Receiver??
    I am researching speakers that will be most suitable for the 400 Watt 5.1 channel Yamaha RX-V995 A/V Receiver that I just purchased. I really don't know whether to get a set of home surround speakers for it or to just get two floor standing speakers as the mains. Right now I have 4 Polk bookshelf speakers and a Polk PSW 404 subwoofer. Can anyone please recommend which I should be looking at, best brands, best places to buy, etc. I can only spend a total of around $300.00, so I guess the Meridians are out.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Christina
  • 03-07-2006, 08:45 PM
    PAT.P
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by christina
    I am researching speakers that will be most suitable for the 400 Watt 5.1 channel Yamaha RX-V995 A/V Receiver that I just purchased. I really don't know whether to get a set of home surround speakers for it or to just get two floor standing speakers as the mains. Right now I have 4 Polk bookshelf speakers and a Polk PSW 404 subwoofer. Can anyone please recommend which I should be looking at, best brands, best places to buy, etc. I can only spend a total of around $300.00, so I guess the Meridians are out.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Christina

    First of all Welcome to Audio Review! You'll need a centre channel dont you?It should match your front.Since you already have the Polk just try to by the centre for your system.
  • 03-07-2006, 09:00 PM
    Woochifer
    Pat's right. If you got a set of four Polks, you should complete the set by adding either a matching center speaker, or a fifth Polk bookshelf speaker (this is the way to go if your TV is wallmounted or otherwise positioned in such a way that you can line up three identical speakers up front). Since you already use a subwoofer, you won't really need floorstanding speakers, unless you prefer to listen to two-channel music sources with the speakers at full range (and the sub switched off).

    Anyway, get to know the receiver and its many functions first. Then, decide if you want to start doing speaker upgrades. Keep in mind that once you upgrade the front speakers, then you'll want to eventually match the voicing all the way around for ideal surround performance. So, it's not as simple as changing one set of speakers.
  • 03-07-2006, 09:36 PM
    christina
    Thank you so much. The problem is that the Polks that I have are only 40 watts. The receiver will blow them if I turn it to 2. That's why I think I need the floor standing speakers, which would be around 200w per. I am seriously considering either Fluance or Yamaha, both having rated as 5 star across the board on this website (I can't remember the models). I could then use a polk as a center, or use an old sony center speaker and put speakers in it from some Bose 901s that I have hanging around. What do you think? Thanks again!!

    Christina
  • 03-07-2006, 09:37 PM
    christina
    Floor standing V. Home Theatre Speaker System F-up
    Thank you so much. The problem is that the Polks that I have are only 40 watts. The receiver will blow them if I turn it to 2. That's why I think I need the floor standing speakers, which would be around 200w per. I am seriously considering either Fluance or Yamaha, both having rated as 5 star across the board on this website (I can't remember the models). I could then use a polk as a center, or use an old sony center speaker and put speakers in it from some Bose 901s that I have hanging around. What do you think? Thanks again!!

    Christina
  • 03-07-2006, 09:54 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by christina
    Thank you so much. The problem is that the Polks that I have are only 40 watts. The receiver will blow them if I turn it to 2. That's why I think I need the floor standing speakers, which would be around 200w per. I am seriously considering either Fluance or Yamaha, both having rated as 5 star across the board on this website (I can't remember the models). I could then use a polk as a center, or use an old sony center speaker and put speakers in it from some Bose 901s that I have hanging around. What do you think? Thanks again!!

    Christina

    Keep in mind that your receiver will rarely if ever pump 40 watts out into each channel. Most speakers will play to very loud levels with less than one watt. (the sensitivity rating measures the output at 1 meter with 1 watt of signal input -- most speakers have a sensitivity of 85 db or more)

    The power handling capability is not really an issue with most higher quality speakers. From what you're now describing, it seems that you have more of a prepackaged Polk system consisting of smaller satellite units. Those types of speakers will typically not extend very low. That's very different from larger bookshelf speakers, which will usually cover the entire frequency range down to about 50-60 Hz. With those types of speakers plus a subwoofer, you can cover same amount of the frequency range as a good floorstanding speaker will.

    With a $300 budget, you should forget about floorstanding speakers. The ones in that price range that I've heard generally sound mediocre to gawdawful. You can get a much higher level of quality at $300 by going with a pair of good bookshelf speakers.

    In general, you don't want to do too much mixing up between speaker brands. You want to match the tonal characteristics between the main, center, and surround speakers as closely as possible. A Bose 901 will sound VERY different from your current Polk speakers, and that combination will not create a very coherent surround effect. Ideally, you want the soundfield to blend together seamlessly all the way around, and that won't happen if you use mismatched speakers.

    In the short-term, you should just familiarize yourself with the receiver, and start experimenting with different alignments and setups. A smart investment in the short-term would be to get yourself a SPL meter at Radio Shack and properly calibrate your system. And in the meantime, do some listenings and start forming your preferences around whatever budget you set. Home theater is more of a process than something that you plop into your room and forget about.
  • 03-08-2006, 06:13 AM
    kexodusc
    Woochifer is right about the wattage. Your receiver won't blow them. Just play them as loud as you normally would and don't worry about them (but don't over do it). It's better to have too much power than not enough, because you only send as much power to your speakers as your desired listening volume needs. 1 watt is very loud, most average listening is done around that level.

    Since you already have Polk satellites (or bookshelfs? how big are they?), you could consider building your 5.1 theater in steps. If you listen to a lot more music than movies, I'd advise buying a set of main speakers, decent ones with some of your money. Polk is okay, but there's a lot of other brands to consider. Then add the center channel when your budget permits, while using the Polks as surrounds. If your currents speakers are in fact bookshelfs and not pre-packaged home theater satellites, you can probably look straight to adding a center channel. It's critical the front 3 speakers are matching at the very least. Surround performance is optimized with matching surround speakers, but you can still get good results mixing and matching the surrounds until such a time you're ready to buy matching speakers. For now, I'd just use the Polk satellites as surrounds.

    I really like buying on the used market (maybe that's where you got your receiver - very nice unit by the way). You'll find your money goes further. Ebay has lots of inexpensive speakers, audiogon.com is another good place to go if you're comfortable buying used on-line.

    Good luck.
  • 03-10-2006, 11:27 PM
    manhattanproj
    so matching surrounds optimizes performance...hmmm...i see. people always say that you should match the front two with the center, and you can use whatever as your rear surrounds. now i know that the surrounds should also match.

    one question: by matching, that means they speakers have to be of the same brand, right?
  • 03-10-2006, 11:37 PM
    paul_pci
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by manhattanproj
    so matching surrounds optimizes performance...hmmm...i see. people always say that you should match the front two with the center, and you can use whatever as your rear surrounds. now i know that the surrounds should also match.

    one question: by matching, that means they speakers have to be of the same brand, right?

    The reason for the seemingly mismatched advice is that sometimes budget constraints or other reasons lead people to put "whatever" in the rear and do up their front soundstage real nice and consistent. Not sure what you mean by "optimizing performance, but matching speakers produce a coherent and consistent tonal soundfield. Typically, timbre matching will include same brand and speaker line. In some cases, a speaker line will have a center speaker that is designed to match with the bookshelf models and another center designed to match with the floorstanders of that same line; it depends on the individual manufacturer. Again, it's not the end of the world if the rears don't match, but it's certainly ideal and also ideal for multichannel music.