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  1. #1

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    Default Need advice building a new 5.1 system

    My first post. Help, advice, cautions, etc, appreciated on setting up a mixed use 5.1 system.

    ME: Iím a newbie. I only have one local hi-fi shop (which unfortunately caters to whole-house high-end systems) and donít have the time to travel to hear speakers, so Iím depending heavily on Tweeterís limited selection. Iím not somebody who will tinker and upgrade from year to year; I want to buy a system I can live with for some time.

    SETTING & USE: a 20x24 living room with cathedral ceiling; probably 75% music (eclectic), 25% movies/tv. Iím much more concerned with music quality than home theater experience. Things rarely explode in the movies I watch. ;)

    BUDGET: speakers + receiver/amp $5000 tops; Iíd like to buy new; no gray market stuff.

    SPEAKERS: Iím posting here because I thought the LSi15s were the best thing I heard at Tweeter in my price range. But Iím not sure I can integrate LSi15s into an overall system, given my budget. (The RTi10ís were decent too, given the price. Not as nice, certainly, but I could live with them.)

    Iím thinking of:
    L/R: LSi15s ($1500)
    Ctr : LSiC ($700)
    Surround: FXi5 ($600) ??
    Sub: ???

    Power????? I know almost nothing about receivers, amps, etc. I do know the LSiís are power-hogs.

    QUESTIONS:
    --Can this be done for $5000? What components would fill out the system at this budget?
    --Or am I better off scaling back to the RTi10s? (Iím concerned about room size.)
    --Or is there a better system to consider in my budget and limited shopping options?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Welcome; you have chosen the right speakers if music is your target. Unfortunately, not wanting to buy used limits you and your budget might be a bit short.
    In speakers alone you have $2800; add another $1000 for a good subwoofer (I saw your explosions comment...but if you really don't want to upgrade, you should buy something good....that's a big volume you need to fill).
    That leaves you with $1200 for receiver, amp (you'll need one for the LSi's), wires, interconnects, etc. Not enough if you buy new. One option would be, if you buy a good sub, you could maybe swap the 15's for the 9's, and have another $900 or so for electronics. There are many options out there; you can buy a low power Denon/Harman Kardon for around $500, and an Outlaw 7500 (5x200W) for $1600. You are above $5000, and you'd still need a couple hundred $$ to hook up everything.

    Buying used gives you more for your money; I used to think that buying new was the only way to go with electronics, but I've learned that you can buy good things in Audiogon or here.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie
    Buying used gives you more for your money; I used to think that buying new was the only way to go with electronics, but I've learned that you can buy good things in Audiogon or here.
    Thanks. I am biased against buying used. (I have visions of someone blasting their speakers at maximum volume for hours on end at a keg party where folks are spilling beer on them ) I'm also leery of getting burned on a used sale. Any advice on improving my odds of success if I go this route?

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    Keep in mind that the vast majority of used audio equipment (such as that which can be found on Audiogon), has been taken care of and pampered in ways that only the audio community are capable of. A "minor scratch" on a non-audio piece found on Ebay becomes a "severe festering gouge of epic proportions" to many involved with the used Audio market...

    That is to say, 9 out of every 10 of my purchases here on the Forum or on Audiogon have been in better condition than described...

    Ebay... it's a crap shoot. But if you want to save a ton of coin by going used (and you'll be glad you did because you'll get twice the system for the same amount of money), check out:

    www.audiogon.com
    I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.Herman Blume - Rushmore

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    Keep in mind that the vast majority of used audio equipment (such as that which can be found on Audiogon), has been taken care of and pampered in ways that only the audio community are capable of.
    Oh, oh. Sounds like more homework for me. :)
    Thanks.

    I'd still like to hear thoughts on powering LSi15s...new or used. Is there an on-line primer on amps/receivers I should read somewhere?

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    Nearly everyone here will tell you to steer clear of a receiver and go with an amp/preamp combo. If you really, really have your eye on a receiver, make sure you get one with preouts so you hook up an amp to it.

    The thing is... the LSi15's are 4 Ohm speakers, and very few receivers are able to manage that load. Of course, there are exceptions (re: high-dollar exceptions....)

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    If you really want to go with the LSi's, look at outlaw audio amp's. They are a great bang for the buck company. Very good equipment.

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    If he's going with about 75% music, I might steer him away from the Outlaws... IMHO

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    WARNING: embarrassing newbie territory.

    Is this correct? A "receiver" is essentially a combo- amp/pre-amp + tuner.

    A "pre-amp" (a) provides switching from various sources and (b) processes the source signal for various formats.

    An amp boosts the signal to power your speakers.

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    You're pretty much right on all accounts with the exception that the preamp also provides gain to the signal...

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    If he's going with about 75% music, I might steer him away from the Outlaws... IMHO
    Why?

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    Because I believe there are many more amps that possess a bit more musicality than what Outlaw offers.... extremely popular among HT enthusiasts for the loads of clean power they provide on a budget -- not so much among the two-channel crowd.

  13. #13

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    Okay, let's say I went the amp / pre-amp route. What, exactly, would I need to adequately power this system (LSi15s)? And--ballpark--how much $$ are we talking about here? (A quick look at amp prices left me with sticker shock, but I'm not really sure what specs I need). HTrookie mentions an amp/pre-amp combo that adds up to $2100. Is that typical?

    I'm still trying to judge if I'm in over my head here...and, if so, by how much :)
    Last edited by kokopup; 01-22-2007 at 05:29 PM.

  14. #14

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    kokopup just a suggestion...

    Instead of LSI15's($1200) look into the LSi9's($700).

    Prices are Acoustic Designs(where i ordered my LSI9's from,new/shipped)

    They are bookshelve speakers, but the money you save would ease up on the amplification you would be required to get and would also save you cash.

    With that money you can invest in a good SVS or HSU Sub.

    My original plan was to get LSi15's, but in the end i ordered LSI9's which were about 500 dollars cheaper for a pair vs the 15's.

    With the 500 i saved, I am putting it towards a new HSU sub personally.

    Because once you setup your 15's and get a good sub, you will apply a cut-off frequency to your fronts and moving all of that bass into your dedicated subwoofer, and essentially making the 8" Sub in the 15's obsolete...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwaarna
    Because once you setup your 15's and get a good sub, you will apply a cut-off frequency to your fronts and moving all of that bass into your dedicated subwoofer, and essentially making the 8" Sub in the 15's obsolete...
    Hmmmm...interesting option. Why, then, does everything I read suggest that if your primary interest is music, floorstanding speakers is still the way to go. What am I missing?

  16. #16

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    Well, floorstanders are the choice of many for music, including me I'd say, but it does not mean you cannot have a great system with bookshelves/monitors and a sub; it requires a good musical sub, and setting it correctly for a good blend. Floorstanders don't require all this hassle.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by kokopup
    Hmmmm...interesting option. Why, then, does everything I read suggest that if your primary interest is music, floorstanding speakers is still the way to go. What am I missing?
    Keep in mind i am not talking about getting a cheap 1-200 dollar sub.

    I am looking at geting the best sub i can afford
    The Two subs i am looking at are:
    http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-ultra1.cfm
    And
    http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3-ho.html

    Where i am getting my choices from are from the Craigsub recommendation list

    1. $3200 JL Audio Fathom 113: 103 points.
    2. $4995 Velodyne DD-18: 100 points.
    3. $2100 ACI Maestro: 97 points.
    4. $2200 JL Audio Fathom 112: 95 points.
    5. $999 Hsu VTF-3 HO + Turbo: 94 points
    5a. $899 Hsu VTF-3 HO w/o Turbo: 92 points
    6. $1199 SVS PB12-Ultra: 90 points.
    6T. $1200 Axiom EP-500: 90 points
    7. $1199 SVS PB12-Plus/2: 87 points.
    8. $1099 Rocket UFW-12: 85 points (provisional)
    9. $199 Rocket X-Sub: 78 points
    10. $99 Rocket Tyke: 60 points


    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&page=1&pp=30


    With a really good sub i think that the 8" Sub in the LSi15's will essentially become obsolete....

    But read that thread and come up with your own impressions....

    If you are going to look at that list as well to purchase, just an FYI SVS is going to release a new Ultra series sub this year, which could blow away that list...

    http://www.svsound.com/news-news.cfm
    Last edited by mwaarna; 01-22-2007 at 06:35 PM.

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