Overclock.net › Forums › Consumer Electronics › Home Audio › which budget system should I go with?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

which budget system should I go with?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just looking for a descent 5.1 setup that I can use with my PC (either optical or HDMI), TV and PS3 (both HDMI)

i would like to get a descent receiver and speakers for under $500 and these 2 from newegg are about the best i have found and since i have the ps3 i dont need a blu ray player...

i don't mind spending up to $500 if im going to buy separately but i would like either the speakers or receiver to be from newegg since i have an account there

Onkyo - $299 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120182

Denon - $209 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882683016
Edited by whipple16 - 5/31/11 at 12:39am
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipple16 View Post
Just looking for a descent 5.1 setup that I can use with my PC (either optical or HDMI), TV and PS3 (both HDMI)

i would like to get a descent receiver and speakers for under $500 and these 2 from newegg are about the best i have found and since i have the ps3 i dont need a blu ray player...

i don't mind spending up to $500 if im going to buy separately but i would like either the speakers or receiver to be from newegg since i have an account there

Onkyo - $299 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120182

Denon - $209 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882683016
Heya,

If you're willing to go as high as $500, I would suggest you stretch it a tad more and you can actually get a very good setup that is several leagues higher than those tweeter and 1x loudspeaker `home theater in a box' setups. The `sub' that those boxed systems come with are not even subs, they're just a normal loud speaker and they couple it with those tweeters. The tweeters just output high frequency and nothing more. The loudspeaker (they call it a sub) does all of the mids and lows. So for several hundred dollars, you're getting a single real speaker and a couple of tweeters with limited connectivity and no room to grow--as in, you can't just keep upgrading or buying new things and hooking them up. And they do not resale very well either if you ever plan to try something else and try to move them out. So what I'm saying is, please, for the love of all things audio, do not buy a `home theater in a box' setup. They're just not worth the money. If budget is important, get a receiver and a good set of loud speakers and then add to it over time as budget permits.

Suggestion for budget route where you're not wasting money:

Onkyo TX-S309 - Great entry level receiver with tons of connectivity. For the price, this will keep you in business for years and you can hook up all kinds of things to it as you change speakers in the future (if you ever do).

PolkAudio Monitor40 Series II - Here's your main loud speakers. These babies will do more bass than the subs in those `prepackaged home theater in a box deals' and these are your mains. You don't even have to start with a sub--seriously. They do awesome audio and have a very good frequency range, so starting out, they're solid. Get solid loud speakers and you can save by not getting a sub and you won't even know you don't have a sub until much later when you want to buy a real sub (when your budget grows in the future). These constantly go on sale, so watch, they'll hit the $120 range, snatch them then. Also check amazon, they often go on sale there too.

That's how you start. That's about $320~350 depending on sales. Seems steep, but I promise you, it will sound way, way, way better, with more rich sound, more bass and will allow you to grow your system compared to those `home theater in a box' traps. I can't suggest enough to avoid those packages and to build your own system with a real receiver and real speakers.

From there, you add to it as you can. Suggested route:

PolkAudio CS1 Series II - Here's your center channel. It goes on sale often. Center channels are important because in films with 5.1, this is where your primary voice will come from usually, so you want a good speaker with a good range. Again, watch for a sale and you can get it near $50. Alternatively, if sale permits, you can step up a bit to the CS10.

That will put you at your primary center and mains with huge sound. Cost wise, you're at about $400 to $500. That's your original budget. You will be far more pleased with the sound from these than those boxed tweeters.

Lastly you need surrounds when budget opens up again. Suggestion:

PolkAudio Monitor30 Series II - These are excellent surrounds. Alternatively if budget is increased, you can just get another set of Monitor40's, which is awesome for music. For movies though, you won't be using your surrounds nearly as much as your mains, so no sense in getting big surround speakers. The 30's are excellent as surrounds and come with mounting brackets and are smaller so they'll not boss the room around like your mains will. Watch for a sale, these will drop to about $70 for the pair when newegg sales go on (this happens every 2 weeks or so, literally, on these and all these speakers I'm listing for you).

That puts your whole 5 speaker surround system at about $600 if you catch the sales. For the money, you will be absolutely blown away compared to those $200 home theater in a box trap solutions. If you're willing to spend money and want to get something worth your money, this is the route I can't suggest enough to you.

Lastly, when all is done, you don't need a sub. I know that sounds weird, everyone wants a sub for big boomy bass, but that's because those people likely don't have loud speakers--they have those computer package speaker systems that don't have real speakers and their subs are just a low end version of what a real speaker's system loud speaker main is. And you have two essentially as your mains here. So when you're ready to get a real sub, you get a real sub. Something that can hit really low end frequencies and is self-amped. So when budget is allowed, later on, when you can save a bit more, you finally add your real sub: PolkAudio PSW505 12". For the money (it's always going on sale in the mid 200's), it's very hard to beat for it's range and power. This is where you add it to your system to complete the 5.1 effect, set the lowpass on it to be 90hz or less or so, so that it only thumps the lower frequencies that your other speakers are not doing as often (to avoid having your sub outputting mid-frequencies which are not going to be needed, since your mains do that). This pushes your final system build to around $800~$850 depending on sales.

Yes, you end up spending quite a bit more than you initially started. But, if you take a track approach to it, getting pieces as money permits, instead of trying to buy everything in one lump, you will end up with an incredible system that you will glow when you listen to instead of just lament when you realize you threw a few hundred down on what are essentially just tweeters and one real speaker. Get a real system! Build it yourself. And you can grow, change it, etc, as you please for years.

Trust me, even on a budget, you can build an incredible system compared to those `trap' box packages.

Very best,
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow. I don't really know where to start! +rep I guess

I'm defiantly not going with a box set up now! I'll get the onkyo receiver and the Polk monitor 40s and just save for the rest later. I might even be able to afford the center channel now.

Thanks a bunch of the great reply and I'll post back with pics when my stuff shows up so your reply wasn't in vein

Add a few more options and this could get stickied as a good beginner buying guide.

Also for connecting my components I have hdmi cables for the tv and ps3 and I'm planning on getting a optical cable for the pc since my mobo has that option
Edited by whipple16 - 5/31/11 at 10:19am
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipple16 View Post
Thanks a bunch of the great reply and I'll post back with pics when my stuff shows up so your reply wasn't in vein
Heya,

I'm glad you're willing to give it a shot, you will not be disappointed with how good things are going to sound compared to those box tweeters they peddle these days. Monitor 40's are not the best, but for the price, they're very good and can be quite bassy (especially when you play with your equalizer and/or receiver's bass/frequency settings).

Just remember to get some speaker wire to connect it all, as it will not come with wires. You can get a roll of 100 feet of 12~20 gauge speaker wire for less than $20 (just type in speaker wire on amazon.com, or just go to your local radio shack and pick it up yourself anyways, its heavy so you don't want to pay shipping on that stuff). Then you can place your speakers any where with no limitation on wiring.

And to top it off, you can build speaker stands for your mains if you just go to home depot or lowes and pick up some wood. Or you can get some brackets and mount them on the wall if you prefer that. You can do all that for very cheap.

Welcome to the world of better audio! And remember to take the grills off the front of your speakers so you can see the drivers moving and grooving!

Very best,
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipple16 View Post
Wow. I don't really know where to start! +rep I guess

I'm defiantly not going with a box set up now! I'll get the onkyo receiver and the Polk monitor 40s and just save for the rest later. I might even be able to afford the center channel now.

Thanks a bunch of the great reply and I'll post back with pics when my stuff shows up so your reply wasn't in vein

Add a few more options and this could get stickied as a good beginner buying guide.

Also for connecting my components I have hdmi cables for the tv and ps3 and I'm planning on getting a optical cable for the pc since my mobo has that option
Good choices there, I never liked box setups myself either, not even for my PC.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well I went ahead and ordered the onkyo sr309 receiver and the Polk studio 40s. I remembered that I have a older (2002) Sony powered 12" sub that will work for now.

Once I save up some more money I'll either get the monitor30s or monitor60/70 depending on my living situation and if I need more surround or not. Thanks again for the help and advice
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks to MalVeauX i got the first pieces of my set up. i'll just run 2.1 for now with a older sony 12" sub that i have until i save some cash and get the rest of it in a month or so
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
Daily Driver
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 6700k ASUS Hero VIII EVGA GTX 980 TI Corsair Ballistx Sport DDR4 16GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 250GB SSD Custom Water loop Windows 10 enterprise XB270UH 
PowerCase
EVGA G2 750w Thermaltake Core P5 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 11
Yum. More pics please.
Trinity
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A10-5800K Biostar Hi-Fi A85W APU Integrated Graphics G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64GB Western Digital WD Blue 500GB Lite-On iHAS124 CD/DVD Burner Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (Pull Configuration) 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX Filco Majestouch Black w/ Cherry MX Blue (JIS l... 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair CX430 NZXT Source 220 Logitech Click! Mouse SteelSeries QcK Mini Diablo III Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Sony SRS-T10PC USB Portable Speaker Realtek Onboard Audio Intel Centrino Desktop Wireless 
  hide details  
Reply
Trinity
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A10-5800K Biostar Hi-Fi A85W APU Integrated Graphics G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64GB Western Digital WD Blue 500GB Lite-On iHAS124 CD/DVD Burner Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (Pull Configuration) 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX Filco Majestouch Black w/ Cherry MX Blue (JIS l... 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair CX430 NZXT Source 220 Logitech Click! Mouse SteelSeries QcK Mini Diablo III Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Sony SRS-T10PC USB Portable Speaker Realtek Onboard Audio Intel Centrino Desktop Wireless 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipple16 View Post
thanks to MalVeauX i got the first pieces of my set up. i'll just run 2.1 for now with a older sony 12" sub that i have until i save some cash and get the rest of it in a month or so
Heya,

Awesome! Go to tone -> double bass - yes -> and crank up your favorite tunes. You'll wonder why most packages even include a `sub'. The power of the M40's for the price is incredible. Congrants on your first step into the wonderful world of audio.

Very best,
post #10 of 11
I came in here expecting to recommend virtually the EXACT same setup. Great choices there.
Budget. <3
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo E7500 Asus P5N-D EVGA 9800GT 512MB 4GB DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
500GB WD Caviar Blue 7200 22x Lightscribe DVD W7 Ultimate 24'' HP 
PowerCase
Corsair 450VX NZXT M59 
  hide details  
Reply
Budget. <3
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo E7500 Asus P5N-D EVGA 9800GT 512MB 4GB DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
500GB WD Caviar Blue 7200 22x Lightscribe DVD W7 Ultimate 24'' HP 
PowerCase
Corsair 450VX NZXT M59 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Home Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Consumer Electronics › Home Audio › which budget system should I go with?