I'm narrowing down options for my first ever real home theater 5.1 and could really use your help, final recommendations in here. What should I buy?

mbhome

Member
Ok so I'm making a whole new thread now that I've learned more. I'm close to ready to buy, just need you all to guide me. It's my first ever home theater system. I have a room with a projector and screen, now just need audio. Here’s my home theater room (Imgur link) (screen is on the top wall opposite of the door) the dimensions are included in there. Somebody asked my “listening style” no idea what that means lol, we just sit on the couch and watch! I love loud, but do have neighbors and can’t bother them TOO much so it will be within reason. I haven’t figured out the couch situation next (that’s my next research project). My budget for home theater audio was $1,700, but some of the options below bring it to maybe $2,000 and I'm ok with that if the quality is really there.


Here is my existing setup (just the AVR) and a few options for speakers.


AVR:

I just purchased a Yamaha TSR-700 – bought it for $400, a few posts on the forum said this is a really good buy, I found some in stock at Costco and picked it up. Here’s a link if you need info. TSR-700 7.2 Channel 8K Home Theater AV Receiver – Yamaha USA



Subwoofer:


Option 1: SVS SB-1000

Option 2: SVS SB-2000, $619 (on Amazon right now), Amazon product I'm guessing because this says 2,000 and that's higher than 1,000, that this option is better lol. Supposedly this is last years model so there "may be sales" somewhere?

Option 3: Somebody said I could try HSU HSU Research but they didn’t give any specific models. I’ve seen two people say that a “Hybrid 3 package” would be good for my price range. Hybrid 3 Packages of course, I know nothing about it but there is some appeal to a one-and-done purchase of this package stuff.

Option 4: ELAC is having a sale (read my section on Speakers below) and somebody said these are really good. I guess I could get one of those ELAC subs, but I have no idea which one and they’re expensive. Debut 2.0 Sale - Elac again my neighbors house is maybe 15-20 feet away so I can't piss them off too much lol.





Speakers (Center, front L and R and rear/surrounds/whatever you call them):

Option 1: ELAC is currently having a sale on their Debut v2 speakers. One poster said I should find a tiny bit more money and get the Debut 2.0 6.2 speakers. These interest me a lot. I only read 2 people on a forum suggesting them, and know nothing about them/never heard of them (don’t really know home audio well) but they said it’s basically the next level up and their ~20% until the 24th sale puts them close to my price range. That’s interesting, and I also Really like the tall standing front L and R speakers, I like floor standing speakers. He recommended I get the following setup:

Debut 2.0 B6.2 6.5" Bookshelf Speakers - On sale for $280 for a pair
Debut 2.0 C6.2 6.5" Center Speaker - On sale for $260 for one
Debut 2.0 F6.2 6.5" Floorstanding Speaker - On sale for $370 each
Each of these speakers can be viewed on this page Debut 2.0 Sale - Elac


Can anyone confirm the idea of me doing this instead? It is above budget, and not sure what I'd do for a sub but.. how are these?



More options: I did make this thread recently Could really use help, struggling to get advice, looking to buy my first home theater setup with roughly $1,700. Which options? and in there I have more options. I guess I didn’t want to include them ITT because I didn’t want to clutter everything.. even though I know almost nothing about the ELACs, something about the way the poster said it made me think it may be the better option.



Thank you all, I can't wait to read your responses because I think I'll actually buy after making this thread.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Great to see you got the dirty cheap Yamaha, it´s basically same machine as V6A which goes for 600$ so you just saved 200$. :thumbsup:

If you can`t go listen the Elacs then you have to buy them blind, but they do have 30day return period so you are covered. You can save easily if you do this:

B6.2 front main l/r
C6.2 center channel
B5.2 surround sides "rears" or if you want to wall mount: OW4.2 model

Then you need two pairs of speaker stands (23,6" tall) for mains and rears. The speakers would cost roughly 770$, stands 200$ probably. You don´t necessarily gain much with the F6.2 mains over B6.2 if your main use is movies, you can use the money in to better subwoofer which is going to make more difference. But if you really like the looks and heart says you got to have floorstanders then pick them! You can save little by going with the B5.2 model for surround channels, no need the larger 6.2 there!

Put some effort how you place the speakers. Below is Dolbys guide to show you how the speakers in 5.1 system should be placed ideally.

For subwoofer HSU offers one of the best value/performance ratio! I would pick ported model over sealed (SB2000) as you have larger space and you live in house so you still have the opportunity to blast quite loud giving you some serious impact and smile on face, if you ask your neighbour come to see few demos with few beers i think you don´t have issues later on going loud.. :)

It really comes down to budget, possible size restrictions etc. But assuming your speakers with stands would cost 1k$ roughly plus you used 400$ already for receiver, so you have 600$ to spend for the sub. So i assume the 800$ subwoofers are out of picture? I have to ask cause i think these would sit in the sweet spot for most people who has largish room. HSU would be the better performing choice with 15" driver, but the Monolith 12THX is superb aswell with slightly smaller cab and driver. Build quality, long warranty, sound quality, no reported port noise etc.

Coming back to under 600$ range the VTF-2 MK5 is one of the best picks in US for that kind of budget so if you can´t spend more then this would be hard to beat. There is hundreds of threads for it if you want to do research.
 

AndreNewman

Active Member
If I was buying from scratch now I'd look for identical speakers all round, it's a decent sized space you have so getting surround speakers at least 3 feet away should be possible. Don't be suckered in over specialised centre speakers they are usually more expensive and not so good as an extra bookshelf speaker placed under the screen (must still be vertical). If you have to buy pairs put the extra one away somewhere safe for when the kids/cat/dog/best mate breaks one of the others.

You often see the top end brands talk about LCR speakers, they mean the same speaker used as left right and center. If you can afford the same ones for surround that means a completely seamless pan around the room.

The other thing I'd do differently from what I have now is I'd buy sealed speakers rather than ported. Ported speakers are all about getting bass extension from a small box and when you have a sub that often just makes main speaker to sub crossover messy and difficult to get right. Ported is great for subs if you want lots of sub bass from a small box but not so helpful with main speakers.

If you will have to install the speakers close to corners or close to a wall, check the speakers you buy are ok like that. Usually rear ported speakers need to be 2 or 3 feet from any wall, better double that, front ported is more tolerant but if it was me buying again I'd avoid ported for home cinema.

Wall mounted (if designed for it) isn't a daft idea for home cinema speakers, especially if the room layout means you will have speakers right up against the wall anyway.
 

mbhome

Member
If I was buying from scratch now I'd look for identical speakers all round, it's a decent sized space you have so getting surround speakers at least 3 feet away should be possible. Don't be suckered in over specialised centre speakers they are usually more expensive and not so good as an extra bookshelf speaker placed under the screen (must still be vertical). If you have to buy pairs put the extra one away somewhere safe for when the kids/cat/dog/best mate breaks one of the others.

You often see the top end brands talk about LCR speakers, they mean the same speaker used as left right and center. If you can afford the same ones for surround that means a completely seamless pan around the room.

The other thing I'd do differently from what I have now is I'd buy sealed speakers rather than ported. Ported speakers are all about getting bass extension from a small box and when you have a sub that often just makes main speaker to sub crossover messy and difficult to get right. Ported is great for subs if you want lots of sub bass from a small box but not so helpful with main speakers.

If you will have to install the speakers close to corners or close to a wall, check the speakers you buy are ok like that. Usually rear ported speakers need to be 2 or 3 feet from any wall, better double that, front ported is more tolerant but if it was me buying again I'd avoid ported for home cinema.

Wall mounted (if designed for it) isn't a daft idea for home cinema speakers, especially if the room layout means you will have speakers right up against the wall anyway.


Hey! Thank you all for replying! I'm excited about all of this. I'll reply more later, but for now, I don't think the surround speakers can be 3 feet from the wall, the room just won't be big enough especially with a couch. Not to mention the wiring is already wired through the walls, at about head level the wiring comes out so the surrounds will be on the wall. Does that change anything for me?

I think I'll do the floor standing speakers for front L and R, so I can probably put those a little away from the wall.

I guess I'm seeing some posts saying yes do the ELAC and another saying do the " T-Zero towers for $400/pr, C1+ center for $250, a pair of B1+ for surrounds for $230/pr" setup instead.

Another post says " The HSU Hybrid 3 package would be a good option"

So I guess I have to just pick one, I'm really not sure which I should do, but I know that I do want floor standing F and L front speakers. What would you pick?

I could spend $2k, I was just trying to be smart and not spend too much but I'm realizing it's a really long term product so I'm ok spending $2k ish.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@mbhome

Both are very popular options if you read US forum, you just got to try one of those if you can´t get a demo before buying. As i said the site mentions 30day return period for Elac so not big risk then. If you want towers then buy towers or you will regret it later with buyers remorse, so choose carefully. The Elacs are front ported and designed by the Andrew Jones who is well known speaker designer, you don´t get bad product from him. Look wise they are not the prettiest - applies to Emotivas too, but we all have different tastes. The decision would be so much easier if you could go to your local Elac / Emotiva dealer and ask demo.

With the subwoofer please stick with the brands/models i mentioned if possible! You get so much better bang for your buck and product that really put´s a smile on your face. You probably haven´t heard similar quality woofer before so it´s going to be nice suprise indeed and if you can get 800$ model then the better. It´s one purchase which you don´t regret if you like typical action/scifi blockbuster movies. :)
 

Dolus

Active Member
If I was buying from scratch now I'd look for identical speakers all round, it's a decent sized space you have so getting surround speakers at least 3 feet away should be possible.
Hey! Thank you all for replying! I'm excited about all of this. I'll reply more later, but for now, I don't think the surround speakers can be 3 feet from the wall, the room just won't be big enough especially with a couch.

I took that to meant at least 3 feet away from where you are sitting, not 3 feet away from the wall. :)
 

AndreNewman

Active Member

AndreNewman

Active Member
Hey! Thank you all for replying! I'm excited about all of this. I'll reply more later, but for now, I don't think the surround speakers can be 3 feet from the wall, the room just won't be big enough especially with a couch. Not to mention the wiring is already wired through the walls, at about head level the wiring comes out so the surrounds will be on the wall. Does that change anything for me?

I think I'll do the floor standing speakers for front L and R, so I can probably put those a little away from the wall.

I guess I'm seeing some posts saying yes do the ELAC and another saying do the " T-Zero towers for $400/pr, C1+ center for $250, a pair of B1+ for surrounds for $230/pr" setup instead.

Another post says " The HSU Hybrid 3 package would be a good option"

So I guess I have to just pick one, I'm really not sure which I should do, but I know that I do want floor standing F and L front speakers. What would you pick?

I could spend $2k, I was just trying to be smart and not spend too much but I'm realizing it's a really long term product so I'm ok spending $2k ish.
On the floorstanders question.

It's what I have, MA Silver 8's (see sig) and they are excellent for music but I wouldn't buy them again for home cinema use. They have been a complete pain to integrate with subwoofers, I only had any success when I plugged the ports and built 300mm square bass traps to install in the corner behind and even now they don't integrate well. My center speaker (sealed) integrates perfectly with the subs.

I bought the L&R floorstanders to replace the old Mission floorstanders long before I got into home cinema, then bought the truly awful 2 way 5G Silver center "to match", then bought the much better 3 way C350.

I got a great deal on some end of stock Silver 1 bookshelf speakers which I replaced my Bronze 1 surrounds with and I was seriously considering getting an extra set and selling the floorstanders, selling the center and just having the same speaker everywhere. I still think I should have done that, I also think the smaller newer MA 100 series would be a better surround speaker.

If I was buying again I'd go with the QA 3020's I very nearly bought and put them everywhere. I don't think QA is well represented in the US but in the UK they are outstanding value and quality for money. They tried to launch some high end speakers and they didn't sell well because their regular speakers were 90% as good for 20% of the price. They learned and now sell some cheaper, poorer speakers 3010i's to help sell the more expensive ones.

I looked at that HSU package and I noted it's all sealed speakers, I believe SVS do the same with their regular speaker packages. Those sort of suppliers do kits where all the speakers are same, well except for the center, most people want a horizontal speaker to go under the TV.

I think if you want a pure stereo system you must have floorstanding, biggest box you can fit, make sure it's several feet from any wall and enjoy.

If you want a surround system you should buy surround speakers designed to be installed where you need to install them (rear ported speakers don't like walls) and to integrate with a subwoofer, preferably two.

And subwoofers you should buy from a subwoofer company, not a speaker company. The subwoofers from most speaker companies are woofers at best, no sub about them and usually more expensive because they have matching cabinets.

All just my experience/ journey into home cinema.

Most of the things the stereo guys talk about, the soundstage, the width, the placement, can be achieved very well with the Dolby Surround upmixer or DTS:X on a surround system. The pure stereo guys will take out a contract on me for thinking it never mind saying it but it's certainly been the case for me and for many I know.

The bass extension you will get with floorstanders will be as good and more with the right L&R speakers and a well integrated subwoofer(s). Many people say they turn off the subwoofer for stereo, this is because their speakers don't integrate well so it sounds better without. There isn't much deep bass in most music anyway.

A lot of people (used to include me) like the look of floorstanding speakers for L&R and in many cases they sound better because they look better, look right ;-)

Bottom line.

Decide what you want; music system or movie surround system and buy what's designed for that.

The room and speaker placement has far more effect on the sound you hear than the manufacturer and model of the speakers so buy the correct speakers for the places you will install them, regardless of stereo or surround.
 

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