View Full Version : 600 Dollars, Full Clear Surround Sound Needed, Little Space (Difficult, I Know)
06-22-2004, 01:27 AM
EDIT: SEE OTHER THREAD(S)
(have decided and am now looking for potential receiver alternatives)
06-22-2004, 02:06 AM
As a starting point, what is your take on this (http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_browse/product_detail.asp?urlMaterialNumber=AVR%20130-Z&status=)?
A 400 dollar receiver for 230, Harman Kardon (an excellent brand which I have experience with), 5.1 (which is all I can afford in speakers anyway), very styish (I'm sorry, I know this isn't allowed to be a factor here), etc. Would 225 watts be enough? Should I get this before it runs out? Are there better or comparible alternatives? Remember, its a small room and these will be sats. Thanks!
06-22-2004, 06:10 AM
I have the Onkyo 501 (predicessor to the 502), I like it and the volume is sufficient to fill my 13x15 room. But I have to keep reminding my daughter not to turn the volume up over 2/3 (50 out of 0->78). So if you like ear damaging volume, the Onkyo 502 may not be enough. Another point you may not be aware of, is that the 501 only has a low/high tone control on the main speakers (the tone is not adjustable on the center, B-mains or surrounds). So the tone of your system is going to be whatever the natural tone of the speakers are (unless you use analog inputs with an equalizer).
Just so you don't miss understand, I do really like my Onkyo, it is a good solid performer in it's price range.
06-22-2004, 06:32 AM
Just an FYI... The Polk 7600 system is $600 bucks at J&R Music.... Granted this does not include the subwoofer....
I am sure you can pick up a cheap sub and most people seem to avoid the Polk subs. If you wanted to stick with a Polk sub there are Polk PSW202 subs for sale on ebay since many people received them for free with their speakers and opted for different subs like SVS or HSU
I am not sure where you live but J&R has a limited delivery area for Polk stufff
This might be out of your price range but I just thought I would point out the 7600 speakers since they are being sold way below their original MSRP. Maybe you would spend a few extra bucks to get exactly what you wanted
06-22-2004, 06:48 AM
Well, that's the problem. I really can't afford more, no matter how badly I wish I could. I'd have to, like, start starving myself. See, that brings my budget for actual speakers including a sub to 300/400 bucks, which as we all know, is usually only enough to buy one decent speaker. Uhhhh! I've heard some good reviews about the Infinity TSS-450, which would be within my price range. Some claim it compares to the Polk, which obviously isn't true, but perhaps it isn't as bad as I think. At least it isn't sony or panasonic, thank god.
06-22-2004, 07:37 AM
look for used or refurbs on receivers or speaker. ebay is a pretty good place to get used speakers for a decent price.
I've heard good things about these Klipsch Pro media DD 5.1 system that includes a subwoofer.
06-22-2004, 08:20 AM
IMO, the only way to get great sound on that budget is to get just a receiver and a pair of bookshelf speakers. You can always add more quality speakers later and remember that you get what you pay for. That said, if you really want 5.1, I have heard good things about the HSU ventriloquist VT-12 system with the STF-1 sub which is a smokin deal at $499. You can learn more about it at www.HSUresearch.com
06-22-2004, 08:45 AM
Here's an interesting thought I'd pass along to you. Logitech's Z-680 computer speakers are pretty nasty speakers, fully wall mountable with a pretty hefty subwoofer (it certainly beats the pants off my 303 in terms of output) The system has I believe decoders for dolby digital, dts, dolby prologic 2, and an all channel stereo mode. It has two digital inputs (one coax and one optical) and one stereo mini jack in, as well as analog inputs to run from a computer. While it's limited in connectivity it will allow you to hook up a dvd player and an xbox or ps2 and get surround sound. You could also purchase an av selector and use that if you're looking to connect further components through analog cables (i.e. cd player, tape deck, sattelite receiver, tv). This falls well below your budget as the system with a av selector won't set you back more than 320 dollars. (purchase the z-680's through Newegg.com, excellent online retailer) I've demoed both of Infinity's speaker packages and the 450 is really the only one within your price range as the 750, even when it's on sale at circuit city, goes for 600 (I work there). Another option, good sir is to pick up a part time job at CC wait a month, take advantage of the accomodation program and order an HK receiver (probably just the avr-130) and the polk rm 6700 with a psw 404. Otherwise reconsider the Onkyo-760. Yes, I know it has large speakers, but at 500 dollars (450 after rebate right now) There isn't a thing that can touch it terms of sound quality. One last thing to consider, a couple of panasonic's all in one systems are actually pretty decent, there's a new one out at circuit city that retails for like 500 and uses small footprint floor standing speakers and dipole surrounds as well as a pretty hunky subwoofer. There's also another model that goes for 250 which just got an 8.0 score from cnet.com. http://reviews.cnet.com/Panasonic_SC_HT05/4505-6740_7-30898391.html?tag=promo2 I'd suggest checking out both of these options as well as the ones I provided above. Oh yeah, one last thing. You could apply for a circuit city credit card, hope you get a 1000 or 1500 dollar limit and then you could buy what you want and ask them kindly to give you a 12 month no interest period. (They have to this week because of the promotion best buy is offering)
06-22-2004, 08:57 AM
Oh, and stay away from the gmx line of Klipsch stuff, it really isn't that impressive over all and the z-680's do a pretty good job of destroying them. The klipsch promedia ultra computer speakes are quite good, but you have to order a seperate decoder which I think drives the price on them up over 400 (in my opinion, not worth it when the 680's go for only 270 and include a decoder). Also Logitech is a great company to deal with, I made my subwoofer catch on fire one night, told Logitech what happened (well mostly what happened anyway, heh...) and they sent me a whole new system inbox and all I had to do was send out the control pod and speakers, allowing me to keep the five fully functional logitech sattelite speakers, which really are pretty decent. Oh wait, that reminds me. One more suggestion, buy the logitech sattelites speakers off of me (I'd let them go for say $80 plus shipping) then you can order a dayton sub here http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=300-632 and that leaves you like 350 to spend on the receiver which will easily net you a new onkyo 502 or a Harman Kardon avr-130 (used or refurbed, be aware, that this receiver has the lowest number features I've ever seen) Also you could check ecost to see what their price is on a refurbed denon avr-1804, I really like mine and paid 300 including shipping for it. Just trying to lay out as many options as possible, I hope one of them works out for you.
06-22-2004, 10:45 AM
If you are extremely picky about your gear and have only a $600 budget....good luck. You might start with a 2-channel system and upgrade as funds become available.
06-22-2004, 10:50 AM
I'd have to agree with Steve. Go for a 2 CH rig. Shop the pre owned market and BUILD man BUILD!!!
06-22-2004, 11:08 AM
With a budget of 600 bones, your are going to HAVE to compromise.
In your situation, I'd start with buing a decent receiver (used) and a good pair of mains (again, used) and build your system over time.
Just my .02
06-22-2004, 11:36 AM
I know these aren't the favorite speaks of everyone here but Frys was selling R20's for $89/pr. Pretty damn good deal, and I think they sound pretty good, especially if you only have 600 to spend total.
06-22-2004, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. In hindsight, what I was attempting to do was pretty stupid. I'll probably go with a refurbished HK receiver but with a pair of halfway decent bookshelf speakers instead. However, if I go this route, would it be smarter to go with the 230 over the 130? Also, does anybody have particular speaker recommendations for 2 channels for maybe 400 tops? Thanks again for helping me recognize my own stupidity.;)
06-22-2004, 12:06 PM
Spend the few extra bucks and get the 230. I have it and LOVE it. I use my 7.1 outputs on it to an amplifier. The 130 doesn't have 7.1 outputs if I remember correctly.
06-22-2004, 12:18 PM
I'd like to suggest checking eCost.com for refurb receivers. They have plenty of Onkyo and Denon you could check out for decent prices. I got my Denon there and there wasn't a mark on it when it came. And then there's the fact that I love the way it sounds too...
06-22-2004, 12:29 PM
just make sure whatever receiver you get has preouts so that you can upgrade later if you want...
06-22-2004, 01:30 PM
So you have $300-400 for speakers with sub? Look for 5 or 7 Radio Shack Minimus 7's. That ought to leave you plenty money for some kind of sub. Killer little satellites that can be found for as little as $10/pair used.
I have at least 5 or 7 laying around the house.
George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
06-22-2004, 01:49 PM
Recent advances in technology have made for some great inexpensive bookshelf speakers. I think you'll be surprised at the quality of sound you can get with some research. Look at these:
1. Polk Rti6
2. Polk Rti4
3. Athena AS-B2 or B1
4. Axiom M2Ti
5. Polk "R" series
This is just a quick handfull, all can be found for under $300 (some just $99) and will surprise you with the quality attainable at that price point. Of course there is always the "used" route as well. Just be careful with used speakers, there's alot of boneheads out there performing certain 'tweaks" that ruin an otherwise good speaker....can you say "Armor All?"
If it were me, I'd go the used receiver, new speakers route--but thats me; and with $600 bucks, you can build a pretty respectable system with this approach...
06-22-2004, 01:50 PM
Well, I came into this thread a little late, but I agree that $600 is nowhere near close to getting you to your goal. I'm sure there are a few decent sub/satellite systems out there in your price range (the HSU one looked pretty good), but you really should go with two-channel and then upgrade. I think with your budget the only way to go is buying a refurbished receiver. Same quality, if not more rigorously tested, but for much cheaper. Ebay has links to the HK refurb site, and eCost is a good place for others.
As far as decent bookshelf speakers, the Rti 6's are great. Look around at Circuit City stores in the area. They are phasing out the Rti line and you may get lucky on the cost. Of course, you won't have anything left over for a sub. I have to recommend the Sony SAWX 700 for a sub though. I bought it at Circuit City for $300, but you can get it at bhphotovideo.com for $200. Those on the forum who like SVS will shoot me, but people like us can't afford $1000 for a sub. The Sony performs very well, goes very low (with two 10" woofers) and is not too boomy. It works great for music and movies. I'm sure if I heard the SVS I would say the Sony isn't that great, but with only the 8" subwoofer from the Onkyo HT in a box system to compare it to, the Sony blows me away. In regards to that Onkyo system at CC for $450, it's really not a bad system at all. I needed to upgrade, but I sold the front speakers in that system to a buddy, and they work great. Just the mains fill up his little place with lots of sound, and they have a lot of bass. The surrounds weren't that great, very small little boxes, and the surround effects were not very prominent. However, the receiver is good, the fronts are good, and the sub was decent, although once you experience sound down to 20Hz you never want to go back. Good luck in your search.
06-22-2004, 01:56 PM
Don't know how they sound yet, because they haven't come out, but Circuit City will be carrying Polk's new Monitor line in July. Noticed their Monitor 40 bookshelf speakers have two woofers and a tweeter, and they are only $350/pr, and that will probably be cheaper, as no one ever sells as high as the MSRP on the Polk website. So, if you're willing to wait a few weeks, you may want to check out the Monitor series. You may even be able to afford to get 40's for fronts, 30's for rear, and the new smaller center channel from the Monitor series, if you like the sound.
06-22-2004, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by gregure
Look around at Circuit City stores in the area. They are phasing out the Rti line and you may get lucky on the cost.
Sunday I picked up a pair of RTi70 at $109 each ($218 total).
06-22-2004, 02:07 PM
Wow, Rti 70's for $218. Where was that? You lucky dog. Are they open box, or brand new?
06-22-2004, 02:18 PM
The RTi70s were wasting away in corners of my local CC's back demo room for stereo speakers, for over a year. They still sound good.
06-22-2004, 03:00 PM
I was checking eBay and there's some RT15i's on there that may be close to what you're looking for as well. They're a nice little bookshelf and they sell for cheap.
06-22-2004, 05:54 PM
The Polk RTI6's look like a nice match for the 230 HK in terms of both sound and style. Polk is to speakers like HK and Denon are to receivers, right? Do you need a sub to enjoy these or will they sound nice on their own until the void can be filled?
Although I'm sure I'll return to consult you guys when I decide to buy more speakers, in what order would you buy the center, surrounds, and sub? Also, when you buy Polk RTI6's as mains, does that mean you're commiting yourself to buying mostly Polk speakers in the future?
06-22-2004, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by User Name
in what order would you buy the center, surrounds, and sub?
surrounds, then sub, then center...
at least in your case...
06-22-2004, 06:32 PM
Are the RTi's being discontinued? What is the difference in sound between them and the Monitor 40's? I see they have the same recommended amp power, share the 1 - 1" diameter silk/polymer tweeter, but the Monitors have 2 - 5-1/4" diameter drivers in place of one 6-1/4" driver on the RTi and weigh in at just 8 pounds whereas the RTis seem to weigh considerably more (although they don't provide their exact weight). I don't want to assume newer is better and obviously will not buy before auditioning them both, however what's your take?
06-22-2004, 07:20 PM
Are the RTi's being discontinued?
No. Circuit City will be replacing the RTi's for the Monitor Series. The RTi's will go to Tweeter.
You should find some pretty good deals on the remaining RTi's at Circuit City.
06-22-2004, 07:25 PM
I see. I hate to put it so bluntly, but in your opinion, which has the makings for better sound?
06-22-2004, 07:27 PM
The monitors aren't out yet...so no one here will really be able to give a good comment on how they sound.
I think they're slated for release sometime in June or July...we're all waiting anxiously...
If I were you, I'd keep an eye on the RTi series at CC...you should be able to get more for your money if you can find some good deals...
06-22-2004, 07:30 PM
Okay. :) I was just trying to figure out why they're intruding a competing product line, which is a very interesting approach in my opinion. Maybe I'll email them to see what they see the differences as. Thanks.
06-23-2004, 12:57 AM
As for your question on if you should buy all Polks, I would say yes. The dominant theory is that the timbre is matched all around by buying the same brand name. Different brands have different frequency response, bass output, etc. It is better to have speakers of the same brand.
As for whether Monitor is better than RTi? I would say probably not. Rti speakers are made of real wood, whereas the Monitor are not (thus the lighter weight). Still, though, I'll bet the Monitor are still fine speakers, and if you'd rather go with those I don't blame you. If you can find some good Rti speakers on clearance at CC, however, I would recommend those. 6's for fronts, 4's for rears, and a CSi 3 for center. Yes, that would be a fine system for now. A sub would really make movies more enjoyable, but for music that would be fine. Plus, if you are in a place that can't handle a lot of bass, like an apartment or dorm, then you should be fine for awhile. I think you should go with a system like that, and save up for a sub later. You could even wait until after college and spring for a SVS sub, then you would really be cooking!
06-23-2004, 01:41 AM
Yes, that is what I figured. Damn, I hope I can get a great price on these at CC. If I got them for 260 (as somebody reported) new, that'd leave enough to buy an HK 130 new (as I've decided, since I doubt I'll still want the receiver by the time I need more channels) and some new CD's and DVD's, which is what this is all about, right?!
EDIT: SEE OTHER THREAD(S)
(no more cd's or dvd's with different decision but what I have is gonna sound sweet)
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