Noob alert - time to buy real equipment. (1 Viewer)

meStevo

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So I've been a homeowner for about 2 weeks, and it's time to install the receiver/surround speakers, but it's a hand me down JVC system and I think I've got the money for a new one.

As a relative newbie to this stuff, the Onkyo 507 should be a pretty good start?

Amazon.com: Onkyo TX-SR507 5.1-Channel A/V Surround Home Theater Receiver (Black): Electronics

Also, there a good set of speakers people could recommend? I hear nothing but good about Klipsch, and something like these would be a signifigant upgrade to the old ones I have, with their speaker clamps on the back all breaking and stuff in the move from being old and brittle - [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Synergy-Quintet-Theater-Speaker/dp/B00009L1UX"]Amazon.com: Klipsch Synergy Quintet III Home Theater Speaker System (Set of Five, Black): Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417k%2B1ldjPL.@@AMEPARAM@@417k%2B1ldjPL[/ame]

Thanks!
 

teachsac

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You might consider the Denon receivers, also. The 1610 is around the same price as the 507. IMO they have a cleaner power section and sound. Having owned the Integra line, I was not too overly impressed with the brand. I like Klipsch Speakers.

S~
 

jayn_j

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I own both Denon and Onkyo. IMHO, teachsac is correct that the Denons are better built and give a cleaner sound. However, Onkyo brings on important features at a generally lower price point. I have been satisfied with both.

I am also a big fan of Klipsch. However, be advised that the Quintet III is their bargain line and you won't get as full a sound as everyone has been talking about. I still think they are a good value, but you need to recognize them for what they are. In particular, they need to eventually be mated to a good subwoofer. At a minimum the larger Klipsch. Preferably, a mid line selection with some serious power in the amp and a cutoff that extends around 100 Hz. The Quintets will start dropping off rapidly around there. Go ahead and get the Quints, but start to budget the sub.

As a point of comparison, I am running some large heritage speakers as my mains (KG-5) and still back it up with a 12" Velodyne running 2000 W for the sub.
 

HiDefRev

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I think you'll be perfectly happy with the Onkyo and Klipsch package. The good thing about it - you can upgrade as funds permit. You'll also have time to play around with the mulitude of features on the Onkyo and familiarize yourself with them. Then you can decide which features you like and in what direction you want to go with your upgrades. :D
 

raoul5788

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I own both Denon and Onkyo. IMHO, teachsac is correct that the Denons are better built and give a cleaner sound. However, Onkyo brings on important features at a generally lower price point. I have been satisfied with both.

I am also a big fan of Klipsch. However, be advised that the Quintet III is their bargain line and you won't get as full a sound as everyone has been talking about. I still think they are a good value, but you need to recognize them for what they are. In particular, they need to eventually be mated to a good subwoofer. At a minimum the larger Klipsch. Preferably, a mid line selection with some serious power in the amp and a cutoff that extends around 100 Hz. The Quintets will start dropping off rapidly around there. Go ahead and get the Quints, but start to budget the sub.

As a point of comparison, I am running some large heritage speakers as my mains (KG-5) and still back it up with a 12" Velodyne running 2000 W for the sub.

I'll bet your neighbors just love you! ;)
 

raoul5788

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meStevo
Just a note about speakers. They are VERY subjective! The above posters really like Klipsch speakers. I don't. That doesn't mean they aren't a good product. In fact, they are a very good one. I just don't happen to like their sound. That's the subjective part of speakers. You should go to a good local store where you can listen, and preferably, take home for a weekend, the speakers you want to buy. They are likely to sound much different in your home than they do in the store. At least make sure the store has a flexible return policy. There are lots of very good speakers out there. I would suggest checking out Paradigms or Definitive Technologies, but that's just me! Good luck and make sure to let us know what you end up with.
 

meStevo

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Ya, this stuff is new to me (to the point that some of the posts above this one barely make sense), so I'll be doing some shopping around locally too before I buy. Those speakers I linked normally around that price level? Decent price for that MSRP.

I've got a weak sub that i'm going to use, but since I have to hang/mount the surround speakers, I'm going to make it worth my while to do so.
 

jayn_j

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Ya, this stuff is new to me (to the point that some of the posts above this one barely make sense), so I'll be doing some shopping around locally too before I buy. Those speakers I linked normally around that price level? Decent price for that MSRP.

I've got a weak sub that i'm going to use, but since I have to hang/mount the surround speakers, I'm going to make it worth my while to do so.

I got buried in the details, but I second Chip's comments. Klipsch's have a very distinctive sound than many don't like. Many say they are OK for HT, but way too bright for music. Personally, I like the crispness. It brings out dialog, and I have learned how to tame it for music.

Taking the speakers is best, but at the very least find places where you can relax and do serious listening. Adjust to your tastes. Try to use a similar amplifier and make sure your amp has enough power to drive the speakers without driving them into saturation. You will know if this happens when the sound becomes harsh and suddenly loud.

Bring along some material you like to see and listen to. You will be more comfortable with it, but more importantly, it will be consistent as you move between the stores.

One more thing about receivers. Make sure that the receiver can process the sound from the HDMI. Some cheap receivers will just switch the video and require a different audio connection. Also a good feature to check out is upconversion of component and composite video to HDMI. That will allow a single connection from your receiver to your TV. This is on the Onkyo 607, but not the 507 and is the main reason I upgraded.
 

meStevo

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I actually only had 1 connection going from my receiver to my TV... I had everything connected to my TV and HDMI going to my receiver.

Is this bad? Or not ideal for some reason?

I have a 47" Sammy LCD.

This was optimal for us because of how limited the receiver we have is.
 

jayn_j

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I actually only had 1 connection going from my receiver to my TV... I had everything connected to my TV and HDMI going to my receiver.

Is this bad? Or not ideal for some reason?

I have a 47" Sammy LCD.

This was optimal for us because of how limited the receiver we have is.

It only matters if you have older equipment that needs to get connected. Say an old VCR or laserdisc player. If everything has HDMI, then the feature doesn't matter.

However, be careful of text that says "HDMI 1080P pass-through" That generally doesn't decode the audio in the receiver, and you need to add a second optical cable. There are numerous threads here about how the optical link doesn't support the best audio codecs, if that is important.
 

bhelms

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Paradigms here as well. Listened to several brands including Polk and JBL before making the decision. Have a full 7.1 set-up with the "Titans" in the side and rear locations and Monitor 9s in the front. Middle-grade center and 12" sub. (Might replace that with a 15" or add another 12".)

Your speakers will have much more influence on the sound quality (as you define it) than your receiver, assuming you're choosing from comparable receiver models. That said, get a receiver with the latest features/codecs and as much power as you can afford. Keeps it from becoming obsolete a bit longer. Higher power = less chance for distortion and speaker damage, not to mention the awesome dynamic range it will support! You'll probably need to "negotiate" with your neighbors in any case following an upgrade. Invite them over for blockbusters and major sports events!

Agreed that your receiver should also accept/process audio over HDMI. Look for HDMI 1.3 as a minimum. Gives you more decoding options and reduces wiring considerably. You'll probably find that you eventually let your receiver do all the switching and end up with only a single connection to the TV from the receiver.

Take your time with your upgrade project! Allow flexibility and "upward mobility". I ended-up spending all $5K of the $3K I originally budgeted...!
 

meStevo

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I have a 360 (VGA), PS3 (HDMI), Wii (Component) and HR22 (HDMI) to deal with.

Had all of this going into my Sammy and then an HDMI and an optical cable over to my receiver.

Looks like with a 507 I'd have to do the same thing (no VGA), or buy a 360 with HDMI or dig up/buy the component cables for it.

I like the current setup because we don't ever touch the receiver, we change inputs on the TV and whatever is on the TV we hear through the receiver. If we can do the same without ever touching the TV inputs, then great. VGA ports uncommon on receivers these days im guessing.
 

jayn_j

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I have a 360 (VGA), PS3 (HDMI), Wii (Component) and HR22 (HDMI) to deal with.

Had all of this going into my Sammy and then an HDMI and an optical cable over to my receiver.

Looks like with a 507 I'd have to do the same thing (no VGA), or buy a 360 with HDMI or dig up/buy the component cables for it.

I like the current setup because we don't ever touch the receiver, we change inputs on the TV and whatever is on the TV we hear through the receiver. If we can do the same without ever touching the TV inputs, then great. VGA ports uncommon on receivers these days im guessing.

I tried that when I first got the new Plasma. I found out that although the Panasonic had an optical audio out, it only passed the front two channels, and not the surround information. A little investigaton showed that this was very common. In order to get surround, you needed to go through the receiver first.
 

mike123abc

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Speakers are one of personal taste. For best results once you have yours installed is do not listen to others and you will stay happy. Going over to someone elses house and listening to theirs might lead one to be dissatisfied. This can happen at almost any price point. Figure out how much you want to spend and listen to all those in that price range and buy the ones that you like the best.
 

bhelms

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...I like the current setup because we don't ever touch the receiver, we change inputs on the TV and whatever is on the TV we hear through the receiver. If we can do the same without ever touching the TV inputs, then great. VGA ports uncommon on receivers these days im guessing.
In my case it's just the opposite. I only need to turn the TV on. Everything else is done in the receiver. I haven't integrated my remotes into 1 yet, but once you do that it's even simpler, 1 button powers everything up, etc. I've never seen VGA inputs on a receiver but I'm newer to this level than some who have or had older equipment. Some newer computers have SD or even HD outputs that could connect to the receiver that way, or maybe you could add a video card that allows the option. Even my 10 y.o. laptop can be connected via composite...
 

raoul5788

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Speakers are one of personal taste. For best results once you have yours installed is do not listen to others and you will stay happy. Going over to someone elses house and listening to theirs might lead one to be dissatisfied. This can happen at almost any price point. Figure out how much you want to spend and listen to all those in that price range and buy the ones that you like the best.

You know, I laughed when I first read this, but there is more than a hint of truth to it!
 

CDH

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Newegg has some pretty good deals on the Polk Monitor series of speakers right now. I just bought pairs of Monitor 70 and Monitor 60 speakers plus a CS2 center, all delivered for $700 - less than just a pair of Monitor 70s would have cost you at list price, so that is a pretty good deal. The center speaker is pretty big (has the same 6.5" drivers in it that are in the front and rear speakers). These Monitors are floor-standing speakers, but they also have smaller book-shelf models available.

I haven't set it all up yet but I'm optimistic. I may in the end need a subwoofer, but I can always add that later.

CDH.

Edit - Whoops: just realized the Klipsch speakers you're looking at are a lot cheaper than the Polks, quite a different price point, so maybe these Polks aren't worth considering for budget reasons.
 

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