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  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default First Home Theater Advice

    Hi everyone.

    I've decided to take the plunge and join the home theater club. I'm going to start with a 3.0 system and build from there. My speakers of choice are going to be a pair of TSi500's to be supported by a CS20 center channel. Driving these speakers will be an Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2 A/V receiver. I chose this receiver because I'm opting for the Samsung PN50C8000 3D Plasma (and 3D Blu Ray player) and I wanted to be able to take advantage of a complete HDMI 1.4 system when content to use that is available. Protecting all of this will be a Panamax M5100-PM power management center.

    OK, here are my questions:

    1) What gauge wire is best with these speakers? Can I use banana clips?

    2) Will my choice of receiver provide enough power to listen comfortably in an apartment with a listening room that is approximately 12'x18'?

    3) The TSi500's are not shielded from what I can tell. Is this an issue or can I skirt a potential one by keeping them a certain distance away from the rest of the setup? All equipment will be sitting on an open stand with glass shelves though the TV will be on a floater arm.

    I appreciate any and all responses offered. Any general thoughts about this composition of HT elements would be welcome as well. It will also be listened to for general music as well though not in a critical manner. My current "home theater" consists of an eight-year old JVC 32" CRT maybe I'll notice a difference? :D

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Fairchild AFB WA.


    Sounds like you are off to a good start, the 500's are a great speaker. The CS20 will go well with the 500's, so you are well on your way. I would go to Monoprice and get some 12 or 14 AWG wire and call it good. Get some nanners (yes you can use them with the 500's and the 608) I just nannered my whole HT and man has been a great help, so much simplier now. That AVR will be more than enough to power you rspeakers for your listening pleasure. The ONLY drawback of that 608 is that it doesn't have pre-outs for adding an external amp, but it is no way a necessity, just nice to have in case you want to add an amp down the road. As for the 500's not being magnetically shielded, I'm not sure if they are or not. However, I would not worry about that since most issues with distortion were only for older CRT type TV's and with the newer LCD/Plasma/DLP TV's it isn't an issue anymore. Keep them about 2 or 3 feet away from your TV and you will have no problems. Have you thought about a sub or surrounds? The 500's have a decent low end, but nothing that a sub could provide. Good luck and welcome to Club Polk.

    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3

    2 CH rig (in progress)
    Polk Audio Monitor 10A's

    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    I just wired up a set of monitor 70's and a CS2 (similar to your setup, just the previous generation) and ran 12ga for a distance of about 30 - 40 feet, so for your situation I would say you could use 14ga or even possibly 16ga if its a really short distance.

    It also depends what you're going to do with the speaker wire. If you're planning on hiding them in the baseboards, watch out for the 12ga....if you've got 3 wires running through the boards at any one point (doesn't sound like you will be?) you may have some problems getting the baseboards back on snugly.

    Banana plugs will make your life so much simpler!

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (10)

    Join Date
    May 2007


    Interesting, the info from Polk doesn't specifically say whether the 500s are shielded or not. I would assume they aren't since they don't say anywhere that they are. However, if you are creating an equilateral triangle with the speaker positions (Left and right) and your seating position, they should be plenty far away from the sides of the TV (50", right?) to not create any interference, especially since it is a plasma; +1 to what Jeff said. The center is shielded, according to the info in the manual.
    "Don't forget to change your politician. They are like diapers they need to be changed regularly, and for the same reason."

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    May 2010


    Thanks so much for the input.

    I do intend to get to a 5.1 system, but my budget has reached its limit at this point. I could have backed off on some items to have a 5.1 system now but I'd rather start at 3.0 with equipment I am happy to keep for a while than go 5.1 and know that I'm not satisfied with my choices.

    I purchased six Menotek HDMI 1.4 cables online today (including shipping) for less than the price I saw one of those cables at two big box stores I was in this afternoon while I purchased my stand and an Xbox 360. That will give me at least one spare.

    I'm looking at some GLS locking banana plugs to go with probably a 12 gauge speaker wire. I won't be doing a custom installation at this time as this equipment will be sitting in an apartment for the time being. Will this plug fit the bill for both the speakers and the Onkyo receiver?

    Back in the mid-80's, I used to sell Polk speakers (home and auto). We used to push a lot of Polk Monitor 10s out the door with the first Carver receiver pushing them. That was a great combination at a very good price back in the day.

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