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Home Improvement ideas, help, DIYs, and show room. Got a home improvement project you need help with or want to share. Post your project now!

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Old 05-20-2013, 03:49 PM   #1
'busa
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Basic, decent quality home theater setup

My sister and her husband bought a home that's prewired for a 5.1 setup. I believe all the wires have been routed into the ceiling. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there and the more I read, the harder it becomes to figure out what's good and what isn't, what's important or what's a good deal.

I want to help them not make a mistake. I don't think they should spend much, since neither of them is an audiophile, but I do want them to have something nice.

Help?
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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You have to have a budget ballpark.

Systems can range from $500-$50,000 without even being silly.

$2500 can get you a good start (without TV)
$5000 is much better.

Under $1000, I would stick with 2.1 (quality over quantity) You can add/upgrade later.

For the money, I like Onkyo, Denon, and Marantz for Receivers.
For the money, I like Polk and B&W for Speakers.
For the money, I like Sony BluRay and DVD players.
For the money, I like MX850 Universal Remotes.

Always try to go with 8" woofers for in wall and in ceiling speakers. They are easier to fit in holes (you cut them larger) and they generally have better bass response and handle more power (within the same line).

JMO.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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Well, the thing is, they kind of want to use the prewired speaker locations, so I think they'd like 5.1 because of that. I know it's not a great reason, but some enjoyment has to come from that.

I don't know exactly where they want to be, but I, personally, as a good brother and brother-in-law, would like to keep them under $1000, seeing how probably neither of them (or me, for that matter) can tell the difference between various price points.

So, for a layman, is this bad: Onkyo HT-S5400 7.1-Channel Home Theater System

Or, if buying separately...

This receiver got good reviews: Yamaha RX-V673 for $399. Speakers? How about Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System for $399?
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:35 PM   #4
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GlockMan I was basically going to say the same thing

I have a Yamaha receiver from probably 10-15 years ago that has served me very well. I has been demoted to garage work, but has survived alot and sounds great. I don't know how their quality is now though. That one seems to be getting good reviews.

How big is the room that they'll be installing this in?

Does $1000 include the screen or are you just shopping for a receiver and the 3 or 6 speakers?

Do they have any equipment already? For example some speakers which could be used as the back surround channels
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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GlockMan I was basically going to say the same thing

I have a Yamaha receiver from probably 10-15 years ago that has served me very well. I has been demoted to garage work, but has survived alot and sounds great. I don't know how their quality is now though. That one seems to be getting good reviews.

How big is the room that they'll be installing this in?
I've found a floor plan. I had to flip it left to right and also change the labels. I've marked the approximate speaker locations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy2108 View Post
Does $1000 include the screen or are you just shopping for a receiver and the 3 or 6 speakers?
Sound only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy2108 View Post
Do they have any equipment already? For example some speakers which could be used as the back surround channels
No.

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:44 AM   #6
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^ they are not going to be able to do a decent 5.1 system for $1000.

For starters, they need in ceiling speakers that are able to be aimed.

A good in ceiling speaker that can be aimed is at least $250 each. That leaves no room for sub or receiver.

I would do two really nice in ceilings up front and the cheapest speakers I could find for the center and rears to plug the holes (and not hook them up.) Something like SpeakerCraft Aim8 Series 3.

Add a basic Onkyo for $350 and a basic sub for $350 and you would have a nice sounding system under $1500. Upgrade center and rears later for $500 and you have a nice system for $2000. Upgrade sub later for $800 and you have a nice system under $3000.

JMO.

If they just will not spend the money, look at the Polk RC80i at around $250 per pair street price. Fantastic bang for the buck.



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Old 05-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
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^ they are not going to be able to do a decent 5.1 system for $1000.

For starters, they need in ceiling speakers that are able to be aimed.
What about mounting speakers to the ceiling via a mount? Not "in-ceiling".

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlockMan View Post
A decent in ceiling speaker is at least $200 each. That leaves no room for sub or receiver.

I would do two really nice in ceilings up front and the cheapest speakers I could find for the center and rears to plug the holes (and not hook them up.)

Add a basic Onkyo for $350 and a basic sub for $350 and you would have a nice sounding system under $1500. Upgrade center and rears later for $500 and you have a nice system for $2000. Upgrade sub later for $800 and you have a nice system under $3000.

JMO.

OK, what is the cheapest they can get away with while still having a decent product? Are speakers that simply mount to the ceiling rather than in the ceiling possible? Keep in mind, I don't think either of them has ever listened to anything better than the TVs built-in speakers.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'busa View Post
What about mounting speakers to the ceiling via a mount? Not "in-ceiling".


OK, what is the cheapest they can get away with while still having a decent product? Are speakers that simply mount to the ceiling rather than in the ceiling possible? Keep in mind, I don't think either of them has ever listened to anything better than the TVs built-in speakers.
I thought they had holes? They just have wires hanging out?



7" tall, 3 lbs each = $99.99 each.

$500 for sub, $400 for receiver, $100 brackets = $1500 ish and will sound better than Bose.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #9
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RC80i's are $139.99 on Amazon!

Is this a good setup?
*******>********>
+ +
Price for all three: $530.97

Buy the selected items together
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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I thought they had holes? They just have wires hanging out?
It's a very small hole (about an inch diameter) with a plastic plug in it to which the wire is attached.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
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RC80i's are $139.99 on Amazon!

Is this a good setup?
*******>********>
+ +
Price for all three: $530.97

Buy the selected items together
Fantastic Price, I would do all the same RC80i. Squares are for walls (generally). No real advantage to buy a real center for them and cosmetically, it would look better.

$139 is dirt cheap.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Fantastic Price, I would do all the same RC80i. Squares are for walls (generally). No real advantage to buy a real center for them and cosmetically, it would look better.

$139 is dirt cheap.
I don't understand. Buy 6 identical speakers? All RC80i? I guess there will be an extra?

Which woofer? I've seen this Dayton recommended.
Receiver? How about this Onkyo TX-NR616?

That would come out to this:

$139.99
$139.99
$139.99
$99.00
$329.00
_______
$847.97

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I think they will have an entertainment center in the front, so the in-wall/in-ceiling speakers might only be needed for the back... Does that make things easier?
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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I have never been a fan of in wall/ceiling speakers.

I have Paradigm front speakers and Mirage for the center channel and powered sub. Yamaha bookshelf speakers are sufficient for the surround. I have no place to put the middle rear surround.

They are older and I think some company now owns both as well as Klipsch. The Canadians play well together up front and the rear Yamahas are bookshelf speakers that I stuck back there are very efficient. These things were purchased in 1995 and are seamless. My receiver is the weak link. Maybe two grand in 1995 money for the sub and front speakers.

I completely agree with the Onkyo suggestion. I need a better way to plug in this bi-wire. Speakers have separate places for the tweeter and mid range wires and the at the receiver end this is not easy to deal with so moving sucks. It is not easy to cram that into the receiver all at once. I have very thick Monster bi-wire cable for that which I think helps but idk.

My parents have the in wall and ceiling stuff and spent more. Their couch is in the wrong place but my mom won't let me tell my dad lol.

I like regular speakers but I am old fashioned.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'busa View Post
I don't understand. Buy 6 identical speakers? All RC80i? I guess there will be an extra?

Which woofer? I've seen this Dayton recommended.
Receiver? How about this Onkyo TX-NR616?

That would come out to this:

$139.99
$139.99
$139.99
$99.00
$329.00
_______
$847.97

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I think they will have an entertainment center in the front, so the in-wall/in-ceiling speakers might only be needed for the back... Does that make things easier?


Yea a lot easier and a lot better quality.

Let me look at some more stuff for the front entertainment center.

Polk has their outlet center on ebay, they have some amazing deals on there. I remember some great bookshelves dirt cheap.

I would probably still do the RC80i in the rear for $139 - unreal price.

Look at CS10 on Amazon for $99 - Center
Look at TSi200 on Polk for $249 - Fronts
Look at RC80i on Amazon for $139 - Rears

Look at Onkyo TX-NR414 for $269 on Amazon

KILLER SYSTEM FOR $800 (without sub)


Budget $400-$500 for sub. (will research soon)

JMO
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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Yea a lot easier and a lot better quality.

Let me look at some more stuff for the front entertainment center.

Polk has their outlet center on ebay, they have some amazing deals on there. I remember some great bookshelves dirt cheap.

I would probably still do the RC80i in the rear for $139 - unreal price.
Sounds good! Thanks, Glock!
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #16
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Sorry for a long winded and obtuse "response". Center channel is most important as it carries the most sound. The the sub for impact.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #17
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Sorry for a long winded and obtuse "response". Center channel is most important as it carries the most sound. The the sub for impact.
Center is the least important for music. You have to know what your clients are using the system for before stating what is most important.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:34 AM   #18
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Yea a lot easier and a lot better quality.

Let me look at some more stuff for the front entertainment center.

Polk has their outlet center on ebay, they have some amazing deals on there. I remember some great bookshelves dirt cheap.

I would probably still do the RC80i in the rear for $139 - unreal price.

Look at CS10 on Amazon for $99 - Center
Look at TSi200 on Polk for $249 - Fronts
Look at RC80i on Amazon for $139 - Rears

Look at Onkyo TX-NR414 for $269 on Amazon

KILLER SYSTEM FOR $800 (without sub)


Budget $400-$500 for sub. (will research soon)

JMO
Really? Recommended Polk Subs are half that at most. Can you explain to me how to justify the cost to them?

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-12-...ref=pd_sim_e_3
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-10-...ref=pd_sim_e_1
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:41 AM   #19
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What about the BIC sub? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0015A8Y5M
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:44 AM   #20
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Are those Onkyo receivers trouble? The *Official* Onkyo TX-NR414/515/616 Problems Thread
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