LCRS in low-budget setup for medium-size home theater

M

mrhifi

Audiophyte
Hello, thanks for checking out my post. I am a newbie to the HT arena and need help sourcing gear for a budget 5.1.2 system in a pre-wired 22ft x 14ft basement home theater room with 2 tier seating- 1st row at 10ft and 2nd at 14ft. I already have 2 ceiling speakers installed for Atmos- these are the SONANCE MAG6RSUR 6.5inch. I have 2 subs to choose from- Klipsch R-100SW 10in 150W and a SONANCE MS8 8inch 100W.
I am now looking to purchase the AVR and the remaining 5 LCRS for under $2K CAD. For the AVR, I am eyeing the Sony STR-DN1080 but open to other suggestions in this price range (~1K CAD for AVR with Atmos).
When choosing speakers, considerations include-
  • Need to minimize sound travelling through walls to adjacent rooms and upper floors
  • Preference for dialog clarity at low volumes so emphasizing the center channel above all else
  • Rear surrounds are pre-wired 6ft from the ground so will need speakers that are wall-mountable
All the above considered, can anyone advise me about using the Magnat Symbol X130/160 vs widely recommended Stereo Bookshelf Speakers | SS-CS5 | Sony CA for wall-mounted FL, FR and Rear surround speakers?
What is a suitable 3-way center channel speaker I can pair these with? Will this one work- SVS Prime (SVS Prime Center Channel Speaker Review (erinsaudiocorner.com)) or is it better to look for a Magnat Center speaker to match like Signature Center 53 Center Channel Speaker | Magnat US (magnat-usa.com)?

Any suggestions for budget compact LCRS which are easily sourced are welcome.
Thanks in advance for guiding this noob.

(edited to add sub and Sony bookshelf options)
 
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-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
Welcome to the Forum. I don't want to discourage you, but with your budget, I'd be very tempted to buy used, as getting all of that gear to a decent specification is dam near impossible for $2K CAD.

I'm a fan of Sony's STR-DN1080, which is discontinued by the way. It was introduced about 4 or 5 years ago. I was recently looking for a STR-DN1080 for my Mother to replace her Sony STR-DE598 as she needs to get to HDMI switching for her newer devices (Apple TV, Telus Cable box, & a Blu-ray Player) and Bluetooth Broadcast for headphones. I was also looking for the STR-DN1080 as it has the simplest remote I have ever used; and my Mom is getting up there and gets confused with her current remote. (I've got a STR-DN1050 in the Family Room 5.1 setup, and a STR-DN1060 at the Family Cabin in 5.1. I also have a Denon AVRX-4400H in the Atmos set-up => 5.2.4 in the Games Room, and a Denon 7.1 AVR-S900W in the Man Cave / Junk Room in the basement. Yes I'm an Audioholic, and I know I've got a problem...)

In Canada (yes I'm a proud Canadian) there may be the odd STR-DN1080 around (Best Buy?) at $1000. Best Buy has a open box listed on the Web for $800, and a few open box ones through their marketplace at $770 with a 6 month warranty. Even at such prices it's just too much for your budget.

Frankly, I think Denons are a better receiver than any similar priced Sony. And I have had multiple samples of both. I used to have a 3rd Denon but I gave it to my brother.

The Sub mentioned seems too small for your room, and the Magnat speakers wouldn't even cut it in my garage. The enclosure, is plastic and they are targeted to outdoor patio type applications as they have a splash proof designation (IPX 5).

Below is from their website describing the X160:

"The big sister of the X 130 is equipped with a 165 mm bass-midrange driver. With an extended bass range that delves down to 30 Hz and an upper cut-off frequency of 36,500 Hz, it ensures full music enjoyment regardless of whether it´s used as a monitor speaker directly on a workstation, or as a speaker in a hi-fi configuration on a shelf or sideboard. An efficiency level of 92 dB and a maximum load capacity of 220 watts ensure a high dynamic range. The dimensions, however, remain pleasantly compact: Measuring 186 mm wide and 310 mm high, it is hardly any bigger than an A4 sheet. A weight of 3.3 kg, however, gives you an idea of just how much technology is incorporated in the Symbol X 160."

Frankly I don't believe a word of it They say the frequency response is 30 - 36,500 Hz with a 6.5" woofer and a PET Tweeter. Total Bullsh*t. You'd be wasting your money!

Other will chime in with their suggestions, but I doubt if the speakers and the Sub will get any positive responses.

Take a look at Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji, and maybe you'll find someone selling a whole system for $2K CAD or less. If so, post it here and the gang will chime in if you should go look at it, or walk away.

I hope this is helpful.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I would skip both those subs and look elsewhere.

For speakers, $2k is a good budget for 5. Focus on the mains and I would not mix and match the front 3. If you're considering SVS, you might just consider a package 5.1 deal since you'll get a better price for that and you'll get a much better sub than those mentioned.

The Prime Surround system + PB2000 Pro puts you just above $2K USD. SB2000 Pro would be a bit less, since you are looking for a little less sound transmission. There are 3 or 4 Canadian SVS distributors.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Plenty of Energy/Athena/PSB/Mirage speakers on kijiji. I'd suggest focusing on these.
This is one heck of the deal:
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
Plenty of Energy/Athena/PSB/Mirage speakers on kijiji. I'd suggest focusing on these.
This is one heck of the deal:
I'd buy it for the PSB speakers and relist the Yamaha RX-V640 (6.1 channel) Receiver for $100 as it won't fit @mrhifi 's needs. Then look for a deal on a Denon receiver.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
I would skip both those subs and look elsewhere.

For speakers, $2k is a good budget for 5. Focus on the mains and I would not mix and match the front 3. If you're considering SVS, you might just consider a package 5.1 deal since you'll get a better price for that and you'll get a much better sub than those mentioned.

The Prime Surround system + PB2000 Pro puts you just above $2K USD. SB2000 Pro would be a bit less, since you are looking for a little less sound transmission. There are 3 or 4 Canadian SVS distributors.
@mrhifi 's budget for the receiver and 5 speakers is $2K Cad (less than $1550 US). I know of no new quality gear that sells new that fits the desires of mrhifi.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
@mrhifi 's budget for the receiver and 5 speakers is $2K Cad (less than $1550 US). I know of no new quality gear that sells new that fits the desires of mrhifi.
SVS package WITH sub is $2k USD. Sub is the big ticket, so you could adjust accordingly to accommodate that budget, obviously the sub needs to step down quite a bit though. I'd advise holding until there is enough budget to fit a decent sub, maybe RSL Speedwoofer 10S MKII? (when they're in stock).

 
M

mrhifi

Audiophyte
Welcome to the Forum. I don't want to discourage you, but with your budget, I'd be very tempted to buy used, as getting all of that gear to a decent specification is dam near impossible for $2K CAD.

I'm a fan of Sony's STR-DN1080, which is discontinued by the way. It was introduced about 4 or 5 years ago. I was recently looking for a STR-DN1080 for my Mother to replace her Sony STR-DE598 as she needs to get to HDMI switching for her newer devices (Apple TV, Telus Cable box, & a Blu-ray Player) and Bluetooth Broadcast for headphones. I was also looking for the STR-DN1080 as it has the simplest remote I have ever used; and my Mom is getting up there and gets confused with her current remote. (I've got a STR-DN1050 in the Family Room 5.1 setup, and a STR-DN1060 at the Family Cabin in 5.1. I also have a Denon AVRX-4400H in the Atmos set-up => 5.2.4 in the Games Room, and a Denon 7.1 AVR-S900W in the Man Cave / Junk Room in the basement. Yes I'm an Audioholic, and I know I've got a problem...)

In Canada (yes I'm a proud Canadian) there may be the odd STR-DN1080 around (Best Buy?) at $1000. Best Buy has a open box listed on the Web for $800, and a few open box ones through their marketplace at $770 with a 6 month warranty. Even at such prices it's just too much for your budget.

Frankly, I think Denons are a better receiver than any similar priced Sony. And I have had multiple samples of both. I used to have a 3rd Denon but I gave it to my brother.

The Sub mentioned seems too small for your room, and the Magnat speakers wouldn't even cut it in my garage. The enclosure, is plastic and they are targeted to outdoor patio type applications as they have a splash proof designation (IPX 5).

Below is from their website describing the X160:

"The big sister of the X 130 is equipped with a 165 mm bass-midrange driver. With an extended bass range that delves down to 30 Hz and an upper cut-off frequency of 36,500 Hz, it ensures full music enjoyment regardless of whether it´s used as a monitor speaker directly on a workstation, or as a speaker in a hi-fi configuration on a shelf or sideboard. An efficiency level of 92 dB and a maximum load capacity of 220 watts ensure a high dynamic range. The dimensions, however, remain pleasantly compact: Measuring 186 mm wide and 310 mm high, it is hardly any bigger than an A4 sheet. A weight of 3.3 kg, however, gives you an idea of just how much technology is incorporated in the Symbol X 160."

Frankly I don't believe a word of it They say the frequency response is 30 - 36,500 Hz with a 6.5" woofer and a PET Tweeter. Total Bullsh*t. You'd be wasting your money!

Other will chime in with their suggestions, but I doubt if the speakers and the Sub will get any positive responses.

Take a look at Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji, and maybe you'll find someone selling a whole system for $2K CAD or less. If so, post it here and the gang will chime in if you should go look at it, or walk away.

I hope this is helpful.
Thanks for sharing your personal experience Jim. Appreciate the heads up about the unsuitability of the Magnat speakers. Will be on the lookout for used and deeply discounted LCR speaker sets. Cheers!
 
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M

mrhifi

Audiophyte
I would skip both those subs and look elsewhere.

For speakers, $2k is a good budget for 5. Focus on the mains and I would not mix and match the front 3. If you're considering SVS, you might just consider a package 5.1 deal since you'll get a better price for that and you'll get a much better sub than those mentioned.

The Prime Surround system + PB2000 Pro puts you just above $2K USD. SB2000 Pro would be a bit less, since you are looking for a little less sound transmission. There are 3 or 4 Canadian SVS distributors.
I appreciate your suggestion about the subs. I wish I could afford a whole SVS system. Cheers!
 
M

mrhifi

Audiophyte
Plenty of Energy/Athena/PSB/Mirage speakers on kijiji. I'd suggest focusing on these.
This is one heck of the deal:
Thanks very much for sharing a used system you recommend. It looks like a good deal and could resell the AVR as Jim suggested. I have never owned tower floor standing speakers of that size before and am just concerned whether these will justify the space occupied compared to bookshelves in my 22x14ft room
 
M

mrhifi

Audiophyte
SVS package WITH sub is $2k USD. Sub is the big ticket, so you could adjust accordingly to accommodate that budget, obviously the sub needs to step down quite a bit though. I'd advise holding until there is enough budget to fit a decent sub, maybe RSL Speedwoofer 10S MKII? (when they're in stock).

Haha that gif is great. Yea, the budget is tight right now but thanks for the sub suggestion.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
The Athenas are older budget speakers but they were a big deal at the time. They're surprisingly good for the price. I had the bookshelf version in a second setup and they often surprised me. In a budget system I would not usually say towers, but in this case, you might be able to put off a sub for a while using them. They won't dig as deep as a sub, but they'll likely get you by.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Hi, I'm also in Canada. If you skimp on the front speakers now you will likely want something better in the near future. Focus your budget on the front 3. That might mean forgoing rear speakers or subwoofers for a few months, but you'll be happier in the long run. If you get towers for the front then they typically get down to 35Hz or so and you can get by without a sub for a while. If you go bookshelves across the front then a sub can be more desirable particularly for movies with deep sound effects. Can you go with an upright bookshelf for the centre or do you need it to lay flat? Might be hard to find a bookshelf that is available as a single, though.

Monoprice's Monolith speakers offer a lot of value for the money, but $2k is a pretty tight budget for 5.1 plus a receiver. If you're looking in the used market, don't forget CanuckAudioMart. I tend to look there first as sellers get rated and my experiences have been good. Kijiji and FB Marketplace are more of a crap shoot and you need to be able to hear them first to avoid getting garbage.

There are usually some used Paradigms for sale, everywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars depending on model and age. You could get used Paradigm Monitors for mains and then some Atom or Titan bookshelves for surrounds for under $1000. I often see Paradigm centres, but 2-ways are more common and 3-way centres will cost a fair bit more. There are even some Paradigm Studio series for sale, but $850 for a pair of Studio 20v5 (North York, ON) and $950 for Studio 40v4 (w/ stands). I currently run the Studio 20v5 bookshelves for my mains and you will be hard pressed to get a better speaker than that for under $1000. They sound as good as speakers costing twice the price. Studio 20v5 for $850 (plus stands), Titans for rears for $125, a CC370 centre for $225 totaling $1200 plus shipping. That leaves $800 for the receiver and then add a subwoofer later.

I may be biased, but I recently auditioned some $5000 Monitor Audio speakers and JBL HDI speakers in Burlington. When I got back home, my Studio 20s sounded just as satisfying. The only caveat is that they will sound better than the CC370 centre. I later got the matching the CC590v5 centre which makes a great front stage, but those centres are hard to find and may cost as much as the 20s. There is a CC690v5 in gloss black listed, which would match the gloss black Studio 20v5 for sale, but it's selling for $1299, for comparison. Awesome centre speaker though.

If you see anything on CanuckAudioMart or elsewhere that piques your interest, feel free to ask for opinions here.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
For what it's worth, I clued my Mom into the Best Buy Open Box "sale" of the Sony STR-DN1080 (she loves a bargain) and she bought it Wednesday night and it was delivered today!

She has very specific needs which the STR-DN1080 meets. Normally I'd be recommending something else although for $800 CAD with a Full Warranty I'd struggle naming something. She owns a Condo, never has it loud, and it will be a 5.1 setup (no Atmos, or second remote pair of speakers, etc.) It will have a very easy life - so no stress on the amplifiers.

Guess who has to drive 60 miles to set it up tomorrow?:rolleyes:

@mrhifi Please advise us what is your nearest major city in case a member finds another great used deal like those PSBs close by for you to take a look at. Those small Towers won't take up much space in your 22ft x 14ft basement HT Room. My L&R HSU CCB-8 Bookshelves in the Games Room (similar Size to your room) are on Stands with a footprint almost the same as the PSB Image 4Ts (6 1/2" x 36" x 14 5/8") and with the CCB-8 on them they are 8 inches taller. I think those PSB speakers are a steal, and it would be a great starter for your build...
 
W

Wardog555

Junior Audioholic
I find Sony av receivers to be just cheap and low quality. I'm surprised someone here is recommending it!
The quality brands are the following. Yamaha. Denon. Marantz.
While there's others but they are higher end and more expensive
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I find Sony av receivers to be just cheap and low quality. I'm surprised someone here is recommending it!
The quality brands are the following. Yamaha. Denon. Marantz.
While there's others but they are higher end and more expensive
The biggest difference IMO/IME is the different dsp/eq setup in terms of sq....Sony is minimal compared to the others so may get less "respect". Otherwise they can often be competitively priced as well for the features/connectivity otherwise. Don't think they've pursued this market niche particularly for a while, tho.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
Gents, we shouldn't really take this Thread too sideways with discussions on Sony Receivers (especially without real data, or accurate references to their performance ;) ) but I do agree with lovinthehd that Sony has not pursued this market niche (and that's what HT Receivers have become) with any vigor for quite a while.

By the way, Best Buy Canada just posted the Open Box "sale" of the Sony STR-DN1080 at $550 CAD this morning.:eek: Now I'm trying to guide my Mom through their Low Price Guarantee process.o_O

Crazy times ahead...
 
M

mrhifi

Audiophyte
Hey everyone, thank you so much for your contributions. This has already been the liveliest thread I have ever initiated. I only had time to consider some of your suggestions and look for deals online. Instead of replying to each post, I am choosing to consolidate thoughts in a list below to reduce clutter. Just a reminder that I am looking for a compact LCRS speaker set, a sub and 5.1.2 AVR for around $2K CAD (~$1.5K USD) for a 22ftx14ft room. Its worth adding now that my folks have sound transmission concerns as they upgrade from an old Sony HTIB so expectations are relatively low and I aim for acoustic treatment in future.
@-Jim-, hope you and your mom get great value out of the receiver. I can relate to seeking features like having a simple remote.
Thanks for detailed reply, Eppie, I am looking for a slim (low depth dimension) center speaker and I am afraid a single bookshelf center under my TV will not work as well in my setup with 2-tier seating.
 
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Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
@mrhifi Of those posted I like the 2nd set of PSB speakers in Bolton which look to be a better model than the Kijiji ad. The receiver with the PSBs on Kijiji looks too old, as well as the one on Ebay with the Paradigm speakers. Those receivers lack digital inputs and you need to avoid any old receiver that's mostly analogue. Stick to something newer with plenty of HDMI inputs for future expansion but keep in mind if you'll need certain analogue inputs for any older gear you want to use. Most newer AVRs still come with analogue inputs so it's not usually an issue.

The SVS speakers are pretty good and while the sub is their lowest model it will still beat most of the cheap Best Buy subs out there. They make a decent centre speakers as well. It's a good option for 3.1 and you can add some cheaper rears.

The Paradigm Millenia and Cinema I have not heard first hand but those are on-walls. They're good in a living room where you don't have space for stands or towers, but in a theatre room I think you'll get better sound with bookshelves or small towers and a decent sub. Not familiar with the set of NHTs so I'll leave those to others.

The Paradigm Studio are the best on the list but you may not be able to stay within budget if you add a decent AVR and subwoofer. They could pair ok with the SVS Prime centre or you could look for a Paradigm centre, but I think if you go that route you may have to forgo something for now and complete the system over time.
 
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