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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Speakers

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
xander xander is online now
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Default Filling out 3.1 on a budget

Greetings All,

For starters, I apologize for even starting this thread, but after a couple days of reading through the threads here, I find myself completely overwhelmed with information and locked up on any direction to go in. I would hope my long time history here (feel free to check my thread starting history) buys me a little leeway. I adore this site and consider this the finest resource on the net, so I am biting the bullet and asking for help. I finally through a set of events in the past couple months that would leave you shaking your head at my poor decision making abilities jumped into getting some sound to finally go with my HD video set up. Rather than bore you with that tale, here's the pertinent things you need to know to potentially assist.

I am running with a Sony STR-DH520 Receiver, hooked up to a Sony SA-W2500 Sub, and (wait for it), a Vizio soundbar. Although it was a huge leap up from my tv speakers, obviously it just makes me want more. So, I want to replace the soundbar with a center and left/right. Everything is new, so jettisoning the receiver/sub is not an option. The particulars:

-Small room, 13' by 15' with open doors to the kitchen/hall
-Rears are not an option at this time due to a number of reasons
-VERY minimal space, so I would be looking at small speakers, probably to place on the tv stand.
-Similar minimal budget. Probably $350 would be my cap.


-Am I going to see a significant sound improvement? (the sound bar is loud and.....well that's it. It's "settings" (truvolume, fake surround, etc.) drive me nuts.
-If this is a good idea at all, suggestions on what to buy would be AMAZING.

I'm sorry for the epic ignorance on my part, and thank you for your help. I trust this community a ton to point me in the right direction, even if that is to just keep the bar.

Here's a pic of the space I'm working with. (I'm about as talented a photographer as I am with audio)

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
Gremal Gremal is offline
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Given the limitations in your parameters (budget and room constraints) I think the best advice is to save your nickels and look to expand either your HT room or your HT budget--hopefully both. No sense in blowing your savings on a stopgap measure when what you really want is a decent system. That's how you ended up with a soundbar in the first place.

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
Troy73 Troy73 is offline
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Sep 2009

Will replacing a sound bar with 5 individual speakers sound better? Yes! Can you find a surround speakers set within your budget? Yes! Will you eventually want to upgrade those speakers? Yes! Looking at the picture you provided and reading your description of the room I have to agree with Gremal and suggest you wait to do it right. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years upgrading and making bad/impatient choices because I had to have it now. I let my current budget dictate the choices I made. Even though it's frustrating and may not be what you want to hear I believe you should build your budget and wait to have what you want, not just what you can afford.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #4
xander xander is online now
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. We only bought our current home a couple years back so it's going to be a few years before we potentially move into a larger house. I guess I'll just stick with the bar since you all think it's the best I can do with the space. Again, thanks for the advice.
"Nikko was easy. Now it's your turn. One night you'll close your eyes, and when they open I'll be there. It'll be time to die." - Matt F'in Hunter
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:48 AM   #5
Jim Hawkins Jim Hawkins is offline
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Jun 2011
Everett, WA
Default Another Opinion...


Sounds like you have made up your mind and it is probably the best way to handle this situation. Based on the fact that you have hardly any room it may be best to wait till you have more space. Like moving this to another room or on a different wall.

That said, having at least the front three is WAY better than a sound bar. If you feel like you can swing it here are few suggestions that might work in you space/budget.

Energy Take Classic. Ebay and Newegg have some good deals. Here is one.

Klipsch Mini series (Quintet and RSX) like these

If that works for you, awesome. If you decide to wait and save and plan? Awesome.

I will say this. I have spent a lot of money on speakers and equipment (not as much as some) and it has helped figure out what I like and don't like. Kinda comes with the territory. Some find stuff that is soo awesome that I could only dream about owning and it lasts them a year and they decide they want something better. That is to say that buying and selling and trying is not necessarily a bad thing. I like to think of it as adding to my knowledge.

Best of luck to you!
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