Budget system build

B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
My pops called me yesterday and asked me about building a home theatre. Actually, what he really said is that he bought an iPhone and a 75” x850g at Best Buy, and might go back to get a center channel for $350 that the guy was trying to up sell him on.

I told him I’d consult you fine people here on the forums first, as you set me up well my Klipsch horn loaded system and HSU sub.

He has an enormous living space, with just a fraction dedicated for viewing movies. For reference, the tv is mounted on a wall roughly 15” from the seating area. The seating area itself is 16’ wide In a straight line and centered with the tv. The rest of the room is something like 25’x40’. He will only build a 3.1.

He wants a new system but is very frugal. I was considering HSU horn loaded center, but I’m not seeing any towers from them. I’m not sure how their bookshelves would perform if someone can chime in on that because they are a great price point. Remember he is not, and has never been, a person that cares much about sound. He is an old cowboy and doesn’t know a thing about electronics. He just needs a decent system and at a good price and I don’t want to see him blow money at Best Buy.

I was also considering setting him up with the PB12 from SVS first, and then he can build the rest of the system later as he sees fit. He has a horrific little subwoofer right now, so maybe replace this first? Not sure where to start!
Thanks for any opinions on this.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Horn-loaded speakers are a great call. As you've mentioned on a low budget is Klipsch and HSU.
No towers from HSU, but you could put HC-1 MK2 vertically on stands and have pseudo-towers :) 3 of these would be very capable even in your folk's larger room even with a moderately powerful avr.
Speaking of AVR, does your father has one?
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
When you have a good subwoofer, you don't need tower speakers. The Hsu speakers are fine, but they are expected to used with a subwoofer. How loud does your pops like to listen to stuff?
 
B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
Hey doesn’t listen to stuff very loud but he loves movies. He plays music sometimes too but mostly tv and movies. Never as loud as you or I would listen to it I’m sure.

I was considering getting him a PB12 on sale for $500 as a gift, but I’m not sure. How do you think it would perform for him? I really want to impress him with it and $500 is sort of a limit for a gift for me. He laughed when I suggested he buy it so I know he’ll never shell out for something that costs that much. He has a mid grade AVR but I forget what it is.

Why 3 bookshelf speakers? You mean with the center channel right?
 
B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
Oh oh I see, you suggest running three center channels instead of the two bookshelves and a center. Why?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
As the blurb for the HC-1mk2 says, you can use the speaker upright for an even more powerful version of the HB-1mk2.....
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Oh oh I see, you suggest running three center channels instead of the two bookshelves and a center. Why?
I'd think of it more like 2 mini towers and a center! :p What's nice with using 3 identical speakers across the front is it's as perfect a timbre match as you can get for movies and tv. Hsu is a great bang for your buck company. Solid products across the board.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Given you father's tastes, I think towers or larger LCRs would be overkill. I regular bookshelf speakers and a center will be quite enough. The PB12 is a fine sub, but if you are going to get Hsu speakers, you do get a package deal if you go with one of their subs too. That pretty much brings the VTF-2 down to the cost of a PB12, and the VTF-2 is a more powerful sub overall.
 
B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
Given you father's tastes, I think towers or larger LCRs would be overkill. I regular bookshelf speakers and a center will be quite enough. The PB12 is a fine sub, but if you are going to get Hsu speakers, you do get a package deal if you go with one of their subs too. That pretty much brings the VTF-2 down to the cost of a PB12, and the VTF-2 is a more powerful sub overall.
I’m looking at the charts and it looks like the PB12 is louder and more linear than the vtf2mk5, am I wrong? What makes the VTF2 a better sub when it’s normally $250 less than the PB12?

I can’t spend $1000 on his set up right now, or ever really. I mean the man raised me and all, but I’m still not sure I can justify it.

If I was to just get him a nice subwoofer to start him off, what would you guys recommend? I’d like to stay around $500. Otherwise, I’ll probably set him up with some LRC package deal, but I’m thinking he’ll enjoy the sub more first.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
I’m looking at the charts and it looks like the PB12 is louder and more linear than the vtf2mk5, am I wrong? What makes the VTF2 a better sub when it’s normally $250 less than the PB12?
Which PB12 are we talking about here? They had at least 2 of 'em. A PB12 + and PB12 NSD, IIRC.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I’m looking at the charts and it looks like the PB12 is louder and more linear than the vtf2mk5, am I wrong? What makes the VTF2 a better sub when it’s normally $250 less than the PB12?

I can’t spend $1000 on his set up right now, or ever really. I mean the man raised me and all, but I’m still not sure I can justify it.

If I was to just get him a nice subwoofer to start him off, what would you guys recommend? I’d like to stay around $500. Otherwise, I’ll probably set him up with some LRC package deal, but I’m thinking he’ll enjoy the sub more first.
Both the PB12-NSD and VTF-2 mk5 are very linear. The PB-12-NSD isn't louder overall, and the VTF-2 mk5 has a pretty significant advantage at 40 Hz and above. The PB12-NSD's advantage is its very clean output around 20 to 25 Hz. The VTF-2's advantage is that it digs a bit deeper and has greater mid-bass headroom. Here is a review for the PB12-NSD and here is a review for the VTF-2 mk5. Both are fine subs. If you father doesn't listen to things at loud volumes, me may not take advantage of the VTF-2 mk5's headroom, in which case the PB12-NSD would be a terrific choice.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Between the PB12-NSD and the Hsu VTF-2 mk5, I would always choose the Hsu.
Reason is simple - the Hsu offers several tuning configurations to help you get it to sound the way you want!
With the PB12-NSD, you get what you get! It may happen to work well in your room, but most people are clueless how much room gain they will experience until they get a real subwoofer in their room and too often they get stuck with a less than optimal setup.
From my perspective the Hsu gives you the security of knowing you can tailor it to your preferences fairly easily!
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Room gain-ing the bit deeper part would be sweet.

If only it were that simple. Actually I don't know that it's not but it's not, is it?
I've had more problems with too much room gain in the deep frequencies than the opposite!
Too much deep bass completely destroys the sound quality of music while too little bass is just too little bass!
 
B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
Great info shady j I read both of those thoroughly. Well, if they were the same price I’d get the HSU for the lower excursion, so you guys will have to weigh in for me -

The sale for the PB12 goes until Thursday and is $500 shipped no tax.

The VTF2MK5 is not on sale and is $540+shipping, which was $60 last time I bought from them.

So, 5 bills for the SVS or 6 bills for the HSU? I’m really leaning toward that HSU but is the extra worth it? Do you guys think I could get them to cut me a Black Friday deal?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
I like Kurt's logic in going with the Hsu for more flexibility with variable tuning. It's more of an all in 1 solution. That said, 5 hundo for the PB is a good deal. The good news is, I don't think either is a bad option.
 
B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
Shoot the more I look at it I think I’m going to get him the HSU, that midbass is killer too on it. And it looks nicer aesthetically. Damn it.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Shoot the more I look at it I think I’m going to get him the HSU, that midbass is killer too on it. And it looks nicer aesthetically. Damn it.
It is worth the extra money!
Old people are stubborn assholes (I should know, I am one) and he (or his wife?) is liable to restrict you to tucking the sub in a corner where the boom could get totally out of control! In such a case the tunability of the Hsu could make the difference between a good sub and an "annoying piece of crap sub" (even though the SVS is, mechanically, a very competent sub).
 
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B

BayAreaRider

Junior Audioholic
That’s a very good point KEW. My step mom, his wife, is pretty cool, but who knows. Better overwhelm him with tuning options. The man doesn’t know what a crossover is yet, so I can only imagine what he’s going to say when he sees the Q control dial. LOL!

The HSU it is!
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Good call in my opinion!

A good sub, properly set up has a way of really elevating the rest of the system. It's worth it to do a little bit of homework and help him dial it in correctly. When I upgraded to good subwoofers I was blown away how much better my whole system sounded.
 

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