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Old 02-20-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
Brent L. Brent L. is online now
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Default Looking for 1st sound system - What Would You Do? (floor plan image included).

Alright, to start off we live in an apartment. Is it even worth doing this in our current position? It would go in the living room, shown below. On the left is the entrance door, and we have the TV on that wall with our couch on the opposite wall. The couch is out from the wall around two feet or so (had problems with 3D glasses and wireless Wii stuff with it back against the wall).



The TV we have is a 50'' Panasonic 3DTV that we got in 2011, so while not humungous it is a fairly decent size. We play all of our Blu-rays on the PS3.

I guess what I'd like to know, first, is it worth doing this knowing the information above. After that, where do I start exactly? Since this would be the first sound system I would ever have, it doesn't have to be nearly the best quality. I just want something to give better sound than simply what we're getting out of the TV, I've never had any sort of surround sound at home. I see kits from time to time with a receiver and speakers, but I have no clue if they are worth getting or not.

So yeah, with the information above, in that size of a room, what would you do?
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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There is no question that a nice sound system is very doable in that space and will give you so much more pleasure when watching your movies, playing games and/or listening to music.

I would stay away from the "kits" you've seen (more commonly known as HTiB's), and buy separate components. This is where it gets tricky however as we really do need to know your budget for this. Without it our recommendations are pretty useless. Do you have a budget in mind and are you flexible with it?
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
Brent L. Brent L. is online now
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The budget is small. I'm talking $500 is pushing the limit right now. Like I said, I don't really need the BEST, I am just craving the sound after all of this time. I've been collecting DVDs and then BDs since 2001 and I've never, not once, experienced it before.

It is time.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
Grif32 Grif32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent L. View Post
The budget is small. I'm talking $500 is pushing the limit right now. Like I said, I don't really need the BEST, I am just craving the sound after all of this time. I've been collecting DVDs and then BDs since 2001 and I've never, not once, experienced it before.

It is time.
At that budget and living in an Apt. I would say go with a HTIB or save up and get a better system down the road.

There are a lot of decent HTIB systems out there, that will satisfy you for now.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
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I would also suggest that you save up a bit more to get something more decent but if you're down right set on getting a surround the only suggestion i could make is to go with Onkyo HT-S9400THX 7.1, it's a home theater in a box but it's actually pretty good for a HTiB.

My cousin has that set up in a townhouse and it sounds pretty good. We watched transformers and I was actually impressed with the quality for a HTiB set up.

EDIT: It's a little bit more above your price range at $650 (on Amazon.com) but I would say that extra $150 will be well worth it in comparison to other HTiB setups.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:39 AM   #6
Brent L. Brent L. is online now
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Interesting, I'll check that one out.

Anyone else got any ideas?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:53 AM   #7
HHX HHX is offline
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you can always start with a receiver and a pair of front speakers (towers or bookshelves) and build on that over time, that way you end up with a good system after some time. For example you can get a pair of Infinity Primus towers for around $220 at Frys (i myself have those in 2 rooms and am happy with them) or a pair of Jamo or JBL for around $250–300 or even the Sony SS-F6000 that are $110-150/pair and add a receiver on sale with the rest and you'll be surprised with how solid a 2 channel system can sound as a start. I'd go this route 10 out of 10 times because HTIBs in my opinion are kind of a waste of money since you cant really improve or build on them and they are a big compromise to give you quantity of speakers over quality.
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Last edited by HHX; 02-21-2013 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
repete66211 repete66211 is offline
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Do NOT get an HTIB. They really are a waste of money, especially when you upgrade 6 months from now. I know it's hard to resist the instant gratification but in the end you'll see much better results if you buy decent equipment over time. Try piecing together something over time as you can afford it. I recommend this order:

1.) Receiver (AVR) - mid-level Denon or Onkyo
2.) Pair of bookshelf or floorstanding speakers
3.) Subwoofer
4.) Center/surrounds

There are always deals to be found on used speakers but even when buying new you can get a good value from some of the mass production companies (i.e. Polk). Get a list of what you're looking for and be flexible. Check all avenues--eBay, Craigslist, FatWallet, fellow Blu-ray.com members, etc. and be ready to pull the trigger when something fits the bill.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
GeneD5 GeneD5 is offline
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I agree....Don't get a home theatre in a box; they're crap. Save up money, start with the amp, center speaker, and floor standing speakers with at least two 5-/14" drivers each. Work in the surrounds ASAP with them!

Buying the home theatre in a box is just pissing your money away because you will ultimately upgrade no matter what.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #10
JunkBoy JunkBoy is offline
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Avoid HTIB and with your budget check Craigslist. You can find some steals on there! Refine your search to specific brands instead of looking for just A/V receiver or speakers. Search for Polk, Infinity, Def Tech, Atlantic Technology, Paradigm...you'll be surprised at what you'll find. Good luck!
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #11
X400 X400 is offline
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there are some adequate htib around that price range from yamaha, denon, definitive tech just shop around and if you can sneak another $100 into the budget then you're set

for instance the yamaha YHTB3730

hes in an apartment so he cant exactly pound the sound ^^ that should be more than adequate

and you can find it for $530 (at least in Canada and i imagine you can find it for cheaper in the states)


YHT-697 in the states you can find it for $560 i kow its a bit over the limit but its an option

Last edited by X400; 02-26-2013 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X400 View Post
there are some adequate htib around that price range from yamaha, denon, definitive tech just shop around and if you can sneak another $100 into the budget then you're set

for instance the yamaha YHTB3730

hes in an apartment so he cant exactly pound the sound ^^ that should be more than adequate

and you can find it for $530 (at least in Canada and i imagine you can find it for cheaper in the states)


YHT-697 in the states you can find it for $560 i kow its a bit over the limit but its an option
I agree... just get the HTIB and be happy. Honestly, if you spend $500 on a craigslist AVR and some bookshelf speakerse you're just going to upgrade those one day anyway. I started out with a really cheap $200 Microsoft Spherex surround sound and loved it. totally met my needs. Then I moved to a hand-me-down Onkyo AVR from my dad and a pair of book shelf speakers from my past that I had lying around (Granted they were a pretty solid pair of Celestion SL-6's). This held me over for some time as well, then I eventually started swaping out components building up to what I have now.

This 'game' doesn't end, the upgrades can go on forever and you have to start somewhere so I say start with the HTIB and see where it goes from there. You may spend the rest of your life happy with that, if you do just consider yourself lucky
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
Brent L. Brent L. is online now
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Thanks for the advice so far guys. As much as it will make many people cringe, I'm leaning towards an affordable HTIB for now. By the time we have our own house, likely within 2-3 years, we should have the money to toss towards a complete, higher end, sound system. I'd rather not spend too much now and know I'll just sell it or even junk it in a few years.

Now that said, what are some other solid HTIB to look for?

Then, beyond that, I'd like some discussion on how to set it up for a beginner. Like I've said, I am totally new to this. I obviously don't want wires just everywhere in our living room. What would be the best way to do it? Are they usually wall mounted or placed on shelving and that sort of thing?

Here is our TV and stand (ignore Clancy, I posted this in the Neco-Ban thread I started in the deals section to show him enjoying the movie) - how would I place what I need in that area? It certainly can't go right below the TV or in front with it like that...



Thanks guys!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:34 AM   #14
X400 X400 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X400 View Post
there are some adequate htib around that price range from yamaha, denon, definitive tech just shop around and if you can sneak another $100 into the budget then you're set

for instance the yamaha YHTB3730

Yamaha YHT-697 in the states you can find it for $560 i kow its a bit over the limit but its an option
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent L. View Post

Now that said, what are some other solid HTIB to look for?


Thanks guys!

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/13/yamama-yht-697/


and you're set

3D, 4K passthrough (if you ever upgrade to a 4k set), Airplay (if you've got an ipad/phone/mac,)


http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Yamaha-YHT-6...tem-/118573761

just took a quick look at prices

its $650 on Amazon and $580 on ebay could probably shop around

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00916E6OK
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:49 AM   #15
Jim Hawkins Jim Hawkins is offline
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Default Packaged systems

I have bought a few items from here.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...Systems/1.html

Or you could go on Craigslist or eBay and piece stuff together. I modified an eBay search to look somewhat in your parameters. I would look for stuff from Klipsch or Energy. They sell a lot of packaged smaller systems that aren't too bad considering the cost.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Home-Speaker...o=76&_udhi=390

Or Newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...eaker%20System

Good luck!
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:55 AM   #16
X400 X400 is offline
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you can also get this onkyo 7.1 system for $550

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-MjemGH5...-HT-S5500.html

you could ask around in the HTIB forum too


or crutchfield is having a bit of a sale right now
you can grab these 5.0 speakers for $250

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-3tJC89M...mnews=11275485

and grab a receiver separately, worry about a subwoofer later on or take advantage of the $50 discount on a powered sub now
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:08 AM   #17
Yungheat Yungheat is offline
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If you want some good sound for that appartment I would go this route it's 35$ over budget but its worth it

Center:Newegg.Com - Open Box: Polk Audio CS1 Series II Center Channel Speaker (Black) Each 89.99&
Bookshelfs x4:Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers, Pair, Black:Amazon:Electronics 189.77
Subsw10 Newegg.Com - Polk Audio PSW Series PSW10 Black 10-inch Powered Subwoofer Each 79.00$
Receiver: Newegg.Com - YAMAHA RX-V373BL 5.1-Channel AV Receiver 177.00$


Total:535$. And everything on newegg.com is tax free and shipping free you will not be able to get a better 5.1 system than this for 500$ I promise better act fast
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:44 AM   #18
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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While I agree that a HTIB might be satisfactory, I would go with a decent refurbished receiver like this Onkyo TX-NR609 for $270 and it should actually last you a good while and then get 2 floorstanding speakers like these Polk Monitor 55T for $230. Floorstanders by themselves should fit perfectly in your apartment no need to worry about running cables and when you do get a bit more money, buy the matching center and when in your house you can go all the way to 7.2 if you want.

You're in budget and I firmly believe you'll be happier with something like this and no need to change anything if you feel the urge, just complete.

Edit: If you can go slightly over budget you can add this Polk center for $80. And a bit more for your surrounds with these Bookshelves. I know that's $200 more than budget but just to prove that for a similar price to an HTIB you can get a decent setup that should please you for a way longer time IMO

Last edited by pentatonic; 02-28-2013 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #19
parisarm parisarm is offline
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I just picked up the Yamaha YHT-397 HTiB on Amazon for $300.00, I was on a tight budget and wasn't looking to spend an arm and a leg. I didn't need anything super fancy or super high end.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
Brent L. Brent L. is online now
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How is that one working out for you?
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