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Budget External 5.1 surround sound system suggestions/advice please.

post #1 of 13
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Hey guys. I'm putting together a budget sound system for my living room home entertainment center. It revolves mainly around my sig rig(HTPC//Gaming duty) and an Insignia 46" TV(amazing TV for the money!!). I plan to use a receiver and 5.1 speaker/sub system. This system is going to be used for music, movies/tv show's and gaming so it needs to be pretty versatile. So I need speaker's that are able to cope with both 2.1 and 5.1 sound output Another key thing I have to keep in mind is that I live in a very crappy appartment with very thin walls, So I can't go crazy with the sub. Here is what I have picked out so far:

YamahaRX-V373 5.1-Channel AV Receiver Seems like a great buy. Decent DAC. Enough HDMI and Optical audio input's for my needs. 100w per channel is more than enough power. All review's seem good enough. Price at $177 +shipping

Dayton Audio CCS-33b 3 way Center Channel Speaker. Cheap, good reviews and seems to be a good match priced at $49.99


Monprice 3-way bookshelf Speakers. The idea is two buy two set's and use them as surround speakers(front and rear) speaker's. They have nothing but great review's everywhere on the net. From the sound of them they work equally well as a surround system for movies and as a 2.1 system for music. cost a little over $100 after shipping for all 4 speakers.

Dayton Audio 100w powered subwoofer. Its small, cheap and again has great rating's. With the Yamaha receiver there are a few ways to hook it up and control how much bass the system has.

Total cost is just right around $450-460 after shipping.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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post #2 of 13
That looks like a good setup to me, i'd like to hear those monoprice speakers though, see how they hold up to my BA 6 1/4's. Those L + R front speakers (stereo sound for music) are the most important imo. I rarely use my subwoofer, only for movies with lots of action noises (explosions biggrin.gif)
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post #3 of 13
If nothing else, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120201

7.1 for 100 bucks cheaper than what you have now.

I personally would avoid multi channel audio unless you have a LOT of money and can afford decent book shelf speakers and buy 4 of them with a good subwoofer and everything else.

2 channel audio is the way to go. As long as you have speaker that fill the room, you shouldn't have to much issue with gaming.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290277 get 2 of these plus some type of speaker amp

Please keep in mind, this is not what I am recommending. This is a basic starting point that someone else can beat. I am not particularly familiar with the speaker market. I do know however that what you are doing by mixing and matching speakers like that will lead to totally messed up sound.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripsaw View Post

That looks like a good setup to me, i'd like to hear those monoprice speakers though, see how they hold up to my BA 6 1/4's. Those L + R front speakers (stereo sound for music) are the most important imo. I rarely use my subwoofer, only for movies with lots of action noises (explosions biggrin.gif)

I am very interested as to how they sound too. I'm not expecting a whole lot for the money but over at Head-Fi.org they are considered "hidden gems" and a few people over at AVSForums.org have used them in their surround sound set up, again with great reviews for the price.

These Daytons were also candidate's for use as satellite speakers. The main reason I selected the Monoprice speakers is their power handling and that they are 3-way speakers.

I'm hoping the 3-way's will have enough kick to them that the sub won't be needed. My neighbor's hated my last system... shook the whole damn building with ease lol. Thanks for your input!
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhaoticKomputing View Post

Hey guys. I'm putting together a budget sound system for my living room home entertainment center. It revolves mainly around my sig rig(HTPC//Gaming duty) and an Insignia 46" TV(amazing TV for the money!!). I plan to use a receiver and 5.1 speaker/sub system. This system is going to be used for music, movies/tv show's and gaming so it needs to be pretty versatile. So I need speaker's that are able to cope with both 2.1 and 5.1 sound output Another key thing I have to keep in mind is that I live in a very crappy appartment with very thin walls, So I can't go crazy with the sub. Here is what I have picked out so far:

YamahaRX-V373 5.1-Channel AV Receiver Seems like a great buy. Decent DAC. Enough HDMI and Optical audio input's for my needs. 100w per channel is more than enough power. All review's seem good enough. Price at $177 +shipping

Dayton Audio CCS-33b 3 way Center Channel Speaker. Cheap, good reviews and seems to be a good match priced at $49.99


Monprice 3-way bookshelf Speakers. The idea is two buy two set's and use them as surround speakers(front and rear) speaker's. They have nothing but great review's everywhere on the net. From the sound of them they work equally well as a surround system for movies and as a 2.1 system for music. cost a little over $100 after shipping for all 4 speakers.

Dayton Audio 100w powered subwoofer. Its small, cheap and again has great rating's. With the Yamaha receiver there are a few ways to hook it up and control how much bass the system has.

Total cost is just right around $450-460 after shipping.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any suggestions!

That's a pretty legit setup for a starter system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

If nothing else, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120201

7.1 for 100 bucks cheaper than what you have now.

I personally would avoid multi channel audio unless you have a LOT of money and can afford decent book shelf speakers and buy 4 of them with a good subwoofer and everything else.

2 channel audio is the way to go. As long as you have speaker that fill the room, you shouldn't have to much issue with gaming.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290277 get 2 of these plus some type of speaker amp

Please keep in mind, this is not what I am recommending. This is a basic starting point that someone else can beat. I am not particularly familiar with the speaker market. I do know however that what you are doing by mixing and matching speakers like that will lead to totally messed up sound.

I wouldn't go with the HTiB as they tend to be pretty lacking all the way around on everything. Those polks though are a great suggestion if you can make it into the budget.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

If nothing else, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120201

7.1 for 100 bucks cheaper than what you have now.

I personally would avoid multi channel audio unless you have a LOT of money and can afford decent book shelf speakers and buy 4 of them with a good subwoofer and everything else.

2 channel audio is the way to go. As long as you have speaker that fill the room, you shouldn't have to much issue with gaming.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290277 get 2 of these plus some type of speaker amp

Please keep in mind, this is not what I am recommending. This is a basic starting point that someone else can beat. I am not particularly familiar with the speaker market. I do know however that what you are doing by mixing and matching speakers like that will lead to totally messed up sound.


You should fiddle with audio more before handing out advice like that. I have built MANY multi channel sound systems for $400-ish and all have sounded great in the past. Much better than ANY prebuilt system your going to find at the same price.

The system you linked I have personal experiance with and let me tell you its a giant waste of money at any price. The receiver is ok at best, the speakers are total junk.

Also the 5.1 is more for gaming than anything. I have a very strong preference to directional sound when playing my FPS game's.

Also those tower speaker's + amp are going to be way to much for my apartment, thin walls suck with nice sound equipment.


@ perrrfekt Thank's. I'm still looking to see what else I can come up with as far as reciver's and speaker combo's. I'm fighting the impulse to buy the Onkyo TX-NR515 Network A/V Receiver. Its on sale for one hell of a price but all the reciver's in its line up have a few firmware bug's that have yet to be fully adressed by Onkyo, On paper its a sexy receiver @ $280 right now.
Edited by KhaoticKomputing - 2/15/13 at 9:45pm
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhaoticKomputing View Post

You should fiddle with audio more before handing out advice like that. I have built MANY multi channel sound systems for $400-ish and all have sounded great in the past. Much better than ANY prebuilt system your going to find at the same price.

The system you linked I have personal experiance with and let me tell you its a giant waste of money at any price. The receiver is ok at best, the speakers are total junk.

Also the 5.1 is more for gaming than anything. I have a very strong preference to directional sound when playing my FPS game's.

Also those tower speaker's + amp are going to be way to much for my apartment, thin walls suck with nice sound equipment.

I have fiddled around with audio to know that it does not work for me.

If you have done it, and done it well, then great on you. I will be coming to you for advice. I have tried to do the same thing you are doing, and so have many others and we have all failed. The sound is very separate sounding and just all around funky sounding. eg. the satellites will sound super anemic, the center will sound too harsh, and the bass is too boomy. Or in other words, each component sounds totally different and nothing melds together.

If you pull this off and it sounds good, I will be very interested in seeing how exactly you did that because I still have extra speakers lying around.

If your walls are preventing you from having good audio, then the most I could say is to put your speakers on spikes. It sounds like you are the type of person who has already tried that, but who knows.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

I have fiddled around with audio to know that it does not work for me.

If you have done it, and done it well, then great on you. I will be coming to you for advice. I have tried to do the same thing you are doing, and so have many others and we have all failed. The sound is very separate sounding and just all around funky sounding. eg. the satellites will sound super anemic, the center will sound too harsh, and the bass is too boomy. Or in other words, each component sounds totally different and nothing melds together.

If you pull this off and it sounds good, I will be very interested in seeing how exactly you did that because I still have extra speakers lying around.

If your walls are preventing you from having good audio, then the most I could say is to put your speakers on spikes. It sounds like you are the type of person who has already tried that, but who knows.


Well I can tell you that you cannot just throw some random speaker's together in hope's that it will sound good. in fact you need a pretty decent receiver or the whole thing is doomed to fail from the get. One of the things to note about the receiver I have selected is the ability to tune each channel along with a few different sub cross-over settings. Anymore these settings are common place on home receiver's.

Yea, I have and do use spike's but they don't help in this situation at all really. I can safely say there isn't much one can do with thing walls and little insulation. It also brings up my rant of how movie's and TV show's set up the audio... Silly quiet talking/dialog with over the top epic explosions and effects.. Wish they could harmonize it a little better frown.gif
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhaoticKomputing View Post

Well I can tell you that you cannot just throw some random speaker's together in hope's that it will sound good. in fact you need a pretty decent receiver or the whole thing is doomed to fail from the get. One of the things to note about the receiver I have selected is the ability to tune each channel along with a few different sub cross-over settings. Anymore these settings are common place on home receiver's.

Yea, I have and do use spike's but they don't help in this situation at all really. I can safely say there isn't much one can do with thing walls and little insulation. It also brings up my rant of how movie's and TV show's set up the audio... Silly quiet talking/dialog with over the top epic explosions and effects.. Wish they could harmonize it a little better frown.gif


Hmmm I do have the option to tune each channel but it does very little. Stupid harman kardon piece of junk.
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Yin&Yang
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Hmmm I do have the option to tune each channel but it does very little. Stupid harman kardon piece of junk.

Some receiver's do it better than other's. My current Kenwood can, but sucks at it. Every 5.1 set up on it sounds like crap. Downright amazing for a 2 or 2.1.

EDIT: I have found that when looking for a budget 5.1 receiver the one's that offer built in "auto tuning" via mic tend to have the most settings to play with even if the "auto tune" function itself is horrible. My finger's are crossed on this Yamaha

Edit: Harman has some great stuff's.. Sorry you don't like yours frown.gif
Edited by KhaoticKomputing - 2/15/13 at 10:56pm
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