Help with new 5.1 set-up

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by sid369, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all,

    I currently use HTIB in an apartment and soon will be moving to a house. I recently bought the Pioneer SC 1522K receiver from costco because it was for a good price.

    Now I wan to add speakers, center channel and sub, However, I am no audiophile and don't want to spend thousands of dollars to get good sound, now will I be able to hear the difference.

    I am attaching the layout of the room and where I think I would be placing the speakers, please recommend if something looks way off to you guys. Also, since I am getting the builder to do pre-wiring it would be helpful if you guys could tell me the best location.

    Now as for sub I think I will get the Klipsch RW 12D, since it gets good reviews and newegg has them on sale.

    The speakers, I started with Pioneer FS52 but did not like that it was not crisp or clear to me in the store. next to it were ther polk tsi300 and klipsch I forget what the model number was, but I liked how the sound came out to you and was so crisp.

    Then, someone suggested he Infinity 363 from fry at a good price, but no frys around here so have to go with the reviews.

    I also read up on the KEF and Focal Chorus.

    The KEF I have not had a chance to listen to yet but I have a feeling I may find them warm or neutral which is something that I think I don't like having listened to the pioneers.

    I listened to the focal bookshelves 806v I think yesterday, and felt the same thing, that it was really nice, but was not excited by the sound and it did not seem clear or crisp to me.

    I really was hoping that I would like the focals and they look great and wife also likes their looks (WAF).

    Accesories4 less had the 814v for $850, which way over my budget or the bookshelf version from music direct for $400 demo unit.

    I think the infinity 363 would be fine, but they don't look great and look cheap.

    I can't decide if I should buy cheap and upgrade in a couple of years of buy something nice and don't upgrade for a few years.

    I feel like I am already happy with the HTIB and it would be an upgrade with even the infinity 363.

    Can someone suggest what I should do, and steer me in the right direction.

    I can't upload the pic, it only give me the URL option. the room is 22X19 and opens to the kitchen with 9 foot ceiling, carpeted.
  2. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

    Pyrrho
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    3,699
    Likes Received:
    979
    Generally, it is most cost effective to save your money and buy speakers that you never feel the need to upgrade. Speakers don't need to be changed when they come out with some new format or feature, so they tend to be useful for a very long time. Most people, however, seem impatient and so they often go through many sets of speakers (and other gear), which costs more money in the long run.

    Since you will soon move to a house, I recommend that you wait at least until you move before buying anything. Anything you buy now you will need to move, and that is more trouble and runs the risk of damage during the move.

    I recommend that you go to all of the audio stores in your area, and listen to all of the speakers that are within your price range. With speakers, more money often does buy better sound, and so you may want to consider whether it would be a good idea to save up for some really good speakers, or keep things within your current budget. You might also want to consider just buying a pair of good speakers with your entire budget, and get the rest later when you have more money. The risk with doing that is that it may be that you will have trouble matching them later on, so some people like to get the front three all at once to ensure that they will be voice matched.

    For subwoofers, I like SVS, though there are other brands that are also good. But I think SVS would cost you more than you seem to want to spend:

    High Performance - Subwoofers - Home Theater - SVS

    I recommend not getting a cheap subwoofer at all, and save up enough to buy at least their bottom of the line model.


    On a very tight budget, I would go with just a pair of speakers, buying the best that I could afford, instead of getting a bunch of lesser speakers. I personally value the quality of the sound more than I value having sound coming at me from all directions. And although I really like deep bass (I have 2 of the old SVS CS-Ultra subwoofers in my home theater), I would rather give up some deep bass than to have the rest of the frequencies not reproduced very well. So I recommend getting a pair of speakers that you think are good enough to never need upgrading, keeping in mind that eventually, you will probably add a subwoofer, so the speakers selected need not go terribly deep. If they are good down to 60 Hz, you should be fine for blending with a subwoofer later on to get the deep bass, when you have the money for it.
  3. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thanks for your response and suggestions.

    Any other speaker suggestions?
  4. Jimz711 Full Audioholic

    Jimz711
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    44
    I demoed the Pioneers in store, and didn't like the sound, but after returning to Best Buy and talking to a different salesperson, he grabbed a pair and put them in their Magnolia room. What a difference. When I tried them at home they sounded even better. It is very difficult to get a feel for the sound of a speaker in a large store, plus the Klipsch is more sensitive so it will be louder when run through the same receiver. I'm not trying to talk you into the Pioneers because in the end you have to get what sounds best to you, just relating a very similar experience that I went through.
  5. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am glad that they were able to set that up for you. I will see if my store does it or not.

    Anyways, I See a lot of folks viewing this thread but hardly anyone giving any suggestions or tips.

    What do you guys think of the EMP tek55ti, they look beautiful, do they sound crisp or neutral.

    Will they have some in stock soon, any other place selling them.
  6. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,991
    Likes Received:
    3,305
    Location:
    New Joisey
    I have heard EMP 55TI system at AH-GTG 2012 and I think they sounded and looked excellent. Don't discount their dual 10" sub - in smaller rooms it could really kick a$$
    AH Reviewed AJ's Pioneer system and found it to be amazing value. Best Buy demos are probably not best way to judge them - since you don't know expertize (of more likely lack of it) of Best Buys employes which set it up for demo.
  7. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    How do you upload an image here from your computer. It just gives me a url link.
  8. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    1,083
    It sounds like you prefer forward sounding speakers. If I were you, I might go for a pair of Klipsch Reference bookshelf speakers and add a good subwoofer. A tower + sub isn't really the best value proposition as towers are intended to handle the bass range that the subwoofers already cover. You might take a look at the Klipsch RB-61 bookshelf speaker. But the Infinity Primus is a very good speaker too, and it would be a bit cheaper. I think you would be happy with either one.
  9. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

    Pyrrho
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    3,699
    Likes Received:
    979
    I use Aurum Cantus Leisure 2SE (original U.S. version) speakers in my surround system. Unfortunately, the American version I have is no longer made, and finding any version to audition before buying would be difficult. If your receiver has a good EQ system in its automatic setup, there would be less need for the American version (which flattens the frequency response, and slightly extends the depth of the bass). If you like the sound of ribbon drivers, you could try a pair of them from eBay, but it is always risky buying speakers without hearing them, particularly if you don't have a good idea of the sort of thing you like.

    I like Magnepan speakers, but they can be difficult to use in a small home theater due to size and space required for them (and they are generally 4 ohms). If you were wanting stereo only, I would point you to:

    MMG - Magnepan, Inc.

    As for most inexpensive speakers made these days, I have not heard them, and so I cannot comment on them. In the past, I generally liked the bottom of the line Polk speakers that had real wood veneer (currently, that would be the RTi line), for their price point (not that they were great, just good for the price). They also look nicer than most speakers at their price point, if one chooses NOT to get them in black. But I cannot say how they compare with everything now, because I have not heard the latest of them, nor have I heard the current competition.


    Also, with speakers, no matter what you buy, at no matter what the cost, something else will be better in some way or other. So it is a question of which virtues you require and which vices you can tolerate. So it is very difficult to recommend speakers to others, beyond recommending that people listen to them and decide. This is why it is a good idea to listen to a wide variety of types of speakers (ribbons, horns, domes, whatever) and as many brands of each type as possible, in order to get a good idea of what is possible and what the limitations are for each. And as was pointed out by someone else, listening in a room that is very unlike your home (e.g., a huge showroom floor that is typical at Best Buy) does not help nearly as much as listening in a room that is at least vaguely similar to the room that you have at home.
  10. Jimz711 Full Audioholic

    Jimz711
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    44
    I saw the EMP towers in stock at the AH store, only in black though.

    I should have mentioned that on my first listen to the Pioneers at BB they were next to some Polk and Klipsch speakers and the Pioneers sounded dull in comparison, until I got them into a smaller room on their own and like I said an amazing difference. In a large showroom with the high sensitivity of the Klipsch speakers, they are going to play louder and sound better than a speaker of much lower sensitivity like the Pioneers. The Polk's would be in the middle, so would also play louder than the Pioneers, unless you try to volume match the speakers, the speaker of higher sensitivity will generally sound better in a place like BB.

    It may be that you like the Klipsch, generally you can find some good deals on their speakers, but like everyone else keeps saying nothing beats an in home trial.

    BB offers a 30 day return policy with no restocking fees, they also price match authorized online dealers, so you could take home the Polk and Klipsch if they are in your price range and give them the demo they deserve. I would just say be careful of selling the Pioneers short.
  11. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jim and pyrrho thank you both for trying to give me some directions.

    Jim I agree that I should not take the pioneers off my list, however, I am thinking if polk and the klipsch sound the way they do and I like them in the store, I would like them even more at home after setting it up properly. Can the same be said for the pioneers.

    The other thing that I have to take into consideration is the looks of the speakers as well. The klipsch look alright but I am really liking how the emp looks as well as sounds from their reviews. Wife will approve of the emp vs pioneers or the infinities.

    That is also the reason that I started looking at focal and KEF.

    I will give the pioneers one more try though.

    I apologize that i don't understand some of the term used like high sensitivity vs low sensitivity etc.

    Which klipsch would you recommend? tower and center
  12. Jimz711 Full Audioholic

    Jimz711
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    44
    I can only speak to my experience with the Pioneer, and what I noticed was getting them in a sealed room and being able to turn up the volume they came alive. I've heard others say the same thing. They may not be for you though, if not no harm no foul, it's just that my first experience is very similar to yours.

    I have KEF bookshelf speakers, and from what you've said about what you like, I can see that they may not be to your liking. My concern with the EMP is based on what you've liked initially the EMP's may be more like the Pioneers/Focals

    I do not have enough experience with Klipsch to recommend what you might like. I always thought they put out too much bass for an apartment. I can just say for home theater because of their high sensitivity they can really rock, although some people report them being fatiguing when listening to music. Obviously they wouldn't still be as prevalent as they are if they weren't solid speakers.

    Some people will talk badly about Polk, but I found a open box soundbar to use in the bedroom, and it certainly is a fine sounding speaker for what it does.

    Let me throw out another name of an internet direct brand and that is HTD Home Theater Driect, I've heard good things about their speakers, a simple check around the forums will bear me out, and from the pics I see, they are rather attractive speakers. Same price as the EMP's and I've read some people prefer them, I was reading someone had a comparison between the EMP towers, HTD level 3, and I believe Arx, and although it was very close and everyone liked all the speakers, the HTD was the winner. The only problem with HTD is they charge return shipping on towers although you do get a 30 day money back guarantee so if you were interested you could try the bookshelves and if you don't like them send them back free of charge, if you do send them back and get the towers.
  13. NewHTbuyer Audioholic

    NewHTbuyer
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    56
  14. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I took my wife to the store to get her thoughts as well. Started with pioneer she did not like it. i told her that with the right set up they are great speakers like you guys have said here.
    then tried the klipsch k series was hooing to find the RF 62ii but they dont have those, the klipsch were ok, then tried teh polk Tsi300 and she liked them immediately. As we were listening to it the sales guy came up and asked out budget and what we were looking for. He then offered if were would like to hear something else in the same klipsch price range.

    He then demoed us the def tech 8020 which were great in that room and was good for movies, but when he played music my wife and I both agreed that the sound does not come to us as we like it. I guess the def tech are also on the warm side.

    So now I have found a place which will be drive for us to listen to the Klipsch RF series. We will see how that goes.

    Off topic - where do you guys buy tv entertainment centers from.
  15. Jimz711 Full Audioholic

    Jimz711
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    44
    I myself bought a tv stand, not so much an entertainment center, but it has enough room on the bottom for a center channel, large cd player, two dvd players, receiver, cable box, modem, completely open in the back so the center sounds good, plus it looks pretty good. I went to furniture stores and my goodness the darn things were more than my sofa. I ended up going to Big Lots, and I thought they had nicer looking stuff for 1/5 the price.
  16. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ohh one other thing. I found a local store selling the older klipsch model Rf-62. It's the unit thats on display and he said he could give it for $560 pair. What do you guys think? or I should look at the newer Rf62ii model for a little more $$
  17. Irishman Audioholic

    Irishman
    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    41
    Good, solid start on your receiver.

    The good news is you don't have to. You just have to know what kind of sound you want, and what your budget is.

    As some of the others have suggested, you might want to reconsider this choice. Klipsch makes some great speakers, but their subs are usually lacking. Consider something from SVS as suggested, or Hsu (pronounced "she", oddly enough).

    The differences you're hearing between the Pioneers and the Klipsch especially can be chalked up to two things - the higher efficiency in the Klipsch's (they require less power to drive to equivalent volume, which is why they sound louder than any less-efficient speaker at the same volume level). This only matters if you're planning on routinely burying the volume needle when listening to music or watching movies. The higher-efficiency isn't necessarily better or worse, but it does explain why the Klipsch's sound more in-your-face during a quick store demo. The second factor is the horn tweeter. It's the reason why the Klipsch speakers sound more detailed in the high frequencies. The Pioneer doesn't have a horn tweeter, so there you go. Just advice here - try to determine how much of your listening on this system will be music, versus movies. If it's mostly music, I would suggest staying away from the K series Klipschs in Best Buys now. THe reason why is that many find Klipsch's horn sound harsh for music over a long period of listening. If it's mostly movies, the extra detail will probably be very pleasing, because it will resemble more the sound you get from Klipsch movie theater speakers, which most still use.

    Try not to buy speakers on reviews alone, as you probably will end up shipping them back.



    I have always been impressed by the Klipsch Icon W series, ever since they were released a few years back. It has a lot of the traditional dynamic qualities that Klipsch is known for, but it makes a change for the better in terms of music listening (for when you just gotta pop in that new CD or stream a new music file from your PC, etc for that "you are there" feeling). The change they made was to smooth off the high end that can make Klipsch difficult for some to listen to for long periods. The end result is a very appealing sound that deserves a listen. Also, the cabinet design isn't the typical vinyl textured-to-look-like-wood you see in most mass market Klipsch speaks. It is real wood veneer, and it's gorgeous. Klipsch calls it "an exotic, non-endangered Berlinia veneer from West Africa", and it's available in two colors - cabernet and espresso. (I prefer the look of the cabernet myself. Like the name implies, it is a red hue that blends in well with many room designs).

    The cabinet size is very wife friendly (as you've said that matters), again, unlike a lot of Klipsch speakers, which can be very huge and aggressive-looking.

    The pics and specs on them can be found here (don't be intimidated by the MSRP, as they're available online for much better deals):

    Icon W - Icon W Speakers | Klipsch

    These have become VERY Hard to find new. In fact, the used market like on Audiogon or ebay will be your best friend in finding a deal on them. Now, I know that I'm breaking my own rule by suggesting you buy these sound unheard, but they're that good, to my ear.

    This puts you at $1200-$1500 without a sub. Some of the other guys have made solid sub recommendations (SVS, Hsu are always fine choices). And honest to God, I'm both a listener, and a hobbyist, and to my ear, this would give you a system that would be very hard to beat for both film-watching AND music-listening, at its price.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  18. Irishman Audioholic

    Irishman
    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    41
    They used to have a 30-day return window. As of March 3rd, it's 15-days. Just FYI.
  19. Jimz711 Full Audioholic

    Jimz711
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    44
    Good to know, when I bought my Pioneers in January it was 30 days.
  20. sid369 Audioholic Intern

    sid369
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I am missing something or listening to polks tsi300 set up in way which I feel sound great. Wife and I listened in then store the polk TSI300 and she also agreed that the polk sounded better.

    Today I went to listen to the klipsch RF62ii and felt that the polks sounded more clear. Am I listening to them wrong?

Share This Page

  • EMPTek.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA