Advice on home theater components.

I

Icarus82

Audiophyte
Good afternoon! I am currently planning my home theater and trying to get it done as affordably as possible while maintaining some quality as well. I just wanted to run my plan by you all and see if there is any advice/changes I should make. This post will mostly pertain to the AV equipment I plan on using but just so you know, the theater will be in a basement room 12x20 with only one window. I plan on arranging it so that the screen is on the 12' wall. I'm shooting for 7.2.4 Atmos surround. I plan on using what equipment I have and upgrading as funds allow. I currently do not have a receiver that supports any kind of surround sound so I was thinking of going with the Denon AVR X4300H for my receiver. I Figure I would invest in a good quality receiver that will allow for me to upgrade the system for a while without needing a new receiver. I have a pair JBL Studio Series S26 Speakers that I was planning on using for my fronts and Purchasing the matching center speaker to go with them. I was planning on purchasing the Micca C8 speakers for my 4 high channels as I currently have a pair of Micca mb42x that I really like. I have a pair of dayton B652 Airs that I also plan on using and a pair of Teak bookshelfs. for my sub I have an older Active Sony i believe 10". Also have a Andrew Jones Pioneer 10". For my projector I'm looking at getting the BenQ HT2050A. As money allows I can update my speakers. Any input is greatly Appreciated.
Thank you.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Good afternoon! I am currently planning my home theater and trying to get it done as affordably as possible while maintaining some quality as well. I just wanted to run my plan by you all and see if there is any advice/changes I should make. This post will mostly pertain to the AV equipment I plan on using but just so you know, the theater will be in a basement room 12x20 with only one window. I plan on arranging it so that the screen is on the 12' wall. I'm shooting for 7.2.4 Atmos surround. I plan on using what equipment I have and upgrading as funds allow. I currently do not have a receiver that supports any kind of surround sound so I was thinking of going with the Denon AVR X4300H for my receiver. I Figure I would invest in a good quality receiver that will allow for me to upgrade the system for a while without needing a new receiver. I have a pair JBL Studio Series S26 Speakers that I was planning on using for my fronts and Purchasing the matching center speaker to go with them. I was planning on purchasing the Micca C8 speakers for my 4 high channels as I currently have a pair of Micca mb42x that I really like. I have a pair of dayton B652 Airs that I also plan on using and a pair of Teak bookshelfs. for my sub I have an older Active Sony i believe 10". Also have a Andrew Jones Pioneer 10". For my projector I'm looking at getting the BenQ HT2050A. As money allows I can update my speakers. Any input is greatly Appreciated.
Thank you.
your proposed system is a matter of bad priorities. It's a case of quantity over quality, and though you will have lots of speakers, the system just could not sound great. The problem is you are spending a lot on the receiver but next to nothing on anything else. The speakers and sub have more to do with sound quality than the AVR. The JBL speakers are the only ones that might actually sound good. The rest are pretty mediocre. I would cut down on the receiver cost and re-allocate that to a decent subwoofer, for starters. Just go with 5.1 for now. Get an entry-level sub from Hsu, SVS, Monoprice Monolith, or Outlaw Audio. Starting with a Denon 4300 might be OK if you really do intend to add speakers in the future that matches its cost bracket. But those Micca, Dayton, and Teac speakers, along with the Sony and Pioneer subs, are not worthy of that receiver. It's like buying a car with a great engine but bad wheels.
 
I

Icarus82

Audiophyte
your proposed system is a matter of bad priorities. It's a case of quantity over quality, and though you will have lots of speakers, the system just could not sound great. The problem is you are spending a lot on the receiver but next to nothing on anything else. The speakers and sub have more to do with sound quality than the AVR. The JBL speakers are the only ones that might actually sound good. The rest are pretty mediocre. I would cut down on the receiver cost and re-allocate that to a decent subwoofer, for starters. Just go with 5.1 for now. Get an entry-level sub from Hsu, SVS, Monoprice Monolith, or Outlaw Audio. Starting with a Denon 4300 might be OK if you really do intend to add speakers in the future that matches its cost bracket. But those Micca, Dayton, and Teac speakers, along with the Sony and Pioneer subs, are not worthy of that receiver. It's like buying a car with a great engine but bad wheels.
Understand. Thanks.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
How much are you spending on the 4300? Used I assume? The Denon would max out at 7.1.2 tho a 5.1.4 setup would probably be just fine anyways. I would concentrate on building up your bed layer speakers before getting into buying Atmos speakers, and a better/more capable sub.
 
I

Icarus82

Audiophyte
The 4300 is $649.99. My thought is speakers are easier and cheaper to upgrade later. I need an AVR no matter what so rather than buying one now then having to upgrade and buy another later, just buy the better one now and upgrade the speakers as I can. and your right that I am only able to do 7.1.2 I was getting the 4300 mixed up with the 3600.
 
tmurnin

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
Agree with what others have said - focus on upgrading your speakers first, start with 5.1, then I’d go to 5.1.4, then I’d add a second sub before I’d ever bother with a 7-channel system. Put all the money you can into the best L/R/C speakers you can possibly afford, you can save a little by choosing lesser models from the same vendor for the surrounds and Atmos speakers. Get that right and you probably won’t miss the extra surround channels, esp if you have the Atmos speakers. $650 for an AVR isn’t that bad but check sites like Accessories4Less and you can usually get good deals on previous year models (which may well have all the features you need)
 
I

Icarus82

Audiophyte
Agree with what others have said - focus on upgrading your speakers first, start with 5.1, then I’d go to 5.1.4, then I’d add a second sub before I’d ever bother with a 7-channel system. Put all the money you can into the best L/R/C speakers you can possibly afford, you can save a little by choosing lesser models from the same vendor for the surrounds and Atmos speakers. Get that right and you probably won’t miss the extra surround channels, esp if you have the Atmos speakers. $650 for an AVR isn’t that bad but check sites like Accessories4Less and you can usually get good deals on previous year models (which may well have all the features you need)
Thank you for your reply. The 4300 AVR for $650 was from Accessories4Less, but its not there anymore so must have sold out. Ok so If I get a decent AVR and focus on upgrading my speakers first, what brands should I be looking at that are good sounding, good quality speakers that are still affordable? At this time I'd like to keep my expenses between $1000-$1500. Keep in mind that price includes an AVR and Projector? Also, I've been considering sacrificing in the projector department by holding off on a $700 BenQ and settling for a cheaper Mini/portable projector off amazon for like $100. That would allow me to focus more on the speakers as everyone is suggesting.
 
Last edited:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
The 4300 is $649.99. My thought is speakers are easier and cheaper to upgrade later. I need an AVR no matter what so rather than buying one now then having to upgrade and buy another later, just buy the better one now and upgrade the speakers as I can. and your right that I am only able to do 7.1.2 I was getting the 4300 mixed up with the 3600.
I'd say the avr is the easiest purchase and lets you get to listening soonest with your current speakers but the 3xxx series is worthy, too and can be had at a good price...
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Good afternoon! I am currently planning my home theater and trying to get it done as affordably as possible while maintaining some quality as well. I just wanted to run my plan by you all and see if there is any advice/changes I should make. This post will mostly pertain to the AV equipment I plan on using but just so you know, the theater will be in a basement room 12x20 with only one window. I plan on arranging it so that the screen is on the 12' wall. I'm shooting for 7.2.4 Atmos surround. I plan on using what equipment I have and upgrading as funds allow. I currently do not have a receiver that supports any kind of surround sound so I was thinking of going with the Denon AVR X4300H for my receiver. I Figure I would invest in a good quality receiver that will allow for me to upgrade the system for a while without needing a new receiver. I have a pair JBL Studio Series S26 Speakers that I was planning on using for my fronts and Purchasing the matching center speaker to go with them. I was planning on purchasing the Micca C8 speakers for my 4 high channels as I currently have a pair of Micca mb42x that I really like. I have a pair of dayton B652 Airs that I also plan on using and a pair of Teak bookshelfs. for my sub I have an older Active Sony i believe 10". Also have a Andrew Jones Pioneer 10". For my projector I'm looking at getting the BenQ HT2050A. As money allows I can update my speakers. Any input is greatly Appreciated.
Thank you.
I concur with post #2.

Granted, the AVR is the control of the system and provides the surround sound modes so it's natural to do exactly as you said and get something that will allow you to grow with the system. Buy one with pre-outs and the most up to date surround modes, and you're okay. If your needs for power increase, you can always add an auxiliary amp to the AVR down the road if it has preouts.

For home theater you don't need a pair $3000 main speakers for a nice sounding system, but you do want the best sound that you can afford...also the subs shouldn't be looked at as an afterthought...especially if the sub is more than 10 yrs old....pardon the pun, but really good bang for your buck in the sub market now.

Upgrade the AVR to get you in the game, but wait on the CC (run phantom in the meantime), ramp up the sub, and move on to the LCR.

Final thing...7.1

With a 20' deep room, more than likely you will have plenty of room depth for rear surround speakers to complete the 7 channels.

Bottomline...if you intend to rent or build your own 7.1 blu ray library...you're a good candidate for 7.1.

If you plan to stream most of your movie content...you will spend more time looking for 7.1 movies than you will watching them...you're better off with 5.1
 
CoryW

CoryW

Audioholic
Understand. Thanks.
I’ve owned a pair of S-26. I powered them with my old Hafler XL-280 They were really a great sounding bookshelf that conveys great transients and power. I think you would need to focus on finding a full set in the same series or you just end up with sound pollution. Better to have consistency and great quality with your speakers, and settle for a good receiver. I’ve done what your trying. I could never get it right, and the low end was awful.
I am always a man on a budget. Been there. Best of luck
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
The 4300 is $649.99. My thought is speakers are easier and cheaper to upgrade later. I need an AVR no matter what so rather than buying one now then having to upgrade and buy another later, just buy the better one now and upgrade the speakers as I can. and your right that I am only able to do 7.1.2 I was getting the 4300 mixed up with the 3600.
Nonsense. Speakers are far, far more expensive than receivers if they are any good. Personally I would start with a really good two channel system and sub. A system like that gets you 90% of the way. A good two channel system with good speakers out performs a bunch of cheap speakers. Yours is a rookie mistake.

I own a 2.1 system, a 3.1 system and a 7.2.4 system to Dolby specs. All systems give an excellent home theater experience but the percentage increase in performance is far from linear. Having done this for years, a know that poor speakers is a rotten experience and two good ones give an excellent experience. I would get a mid level receiver with preouts, so as you add more good speakers over the years, if you feel so inclined you can add external power amps, if your speakers end up being power hungry.

With Atmos forget that height nonsense. If you really must use four ceiling speakers in that space to exact Dolby specs. Speakers determine what your system will sound like the rest is facility and durability.

If you have bad speakers, no amount of messing with anything else will get you further ahead.
 

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