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Which Audio would you buy?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok, tax return will be here any day, but I also have to be smart with my money (3 kids yada yada yada).

Which would you buy on these limited funds?

Onkyo HT-S3300, everyone knows it, has all the basics included. ~$280.

Or

I'm considering piecing together a little 3.0 system.

I could get the TX-SR308 from A4L for 167.03 shipped.
A pair of Monitor 30's from the egg for 92.98 shipped.
And a CS1 Series II center from egg for 70.98 shipped.

coming out to 325.01.

It costs more, and doesn't have the bass or the surround, but I half expected to run the 3300 as 3.1 anyhow. Also regarding the sub, I'm coming from my flat panel tv's speakers, so I'll have more bass no matter what I buy .

Man I'd love to be having a pair of monitor 70's up there rather then 30's!

That $325 is my absolute max (well, it's past what I wanted to spend). I was happy with the $280 of the 3300 until I started second guessing.
     
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post #2 of 7
Buy the components separately. You will really appreciate having a quality set, even if you're missing the bass and surround.

I started with a Pioneer receiver and two Polk TSi300s. Then added the rest (PSW110 sub, CS20 center, Klipsch Quintet III surrounds).
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to think that may be best. I'm obviously not looking at the TSi series (financially at least), but I think maybe just getting the receiver and a set of Monitor 40's for right now may be best to start out.

I wonder what I'd buy after that start!
     
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post #4 of 7
Regardless, just plan ahead such that you match your front soundstage (i.e. same series speakers from same brand). If you start with a receiver and 2 speakers, get a subwoofer next. 2.1 makes much more difference than 2+center. I would also recommend something larger than a 10". I'm not too fond of my PSW110's frequency response for movies and music.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I had heard that Polk subs were a bit lacking compared to some other brands, but that is what makes me think they'd be just right for us. My wife is not a fan of large in your face bass, so I'm assuming a smaller sub is my best route.

I wasn't sure if the sub or center was best. I'd heard that much of a movies sound stage was in the center channel, so that made me question its importance, thanks for commenting before I asked.
     
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post #6 of 7
You're right about the center channel in that it is definitely important. It's where all your dialogue comes through. That being said, your front two speakers can pick up that load better than they can the lower frequencies set aside for subwoofers. You get a fuller sound with a 2.1 setup than with a 3.0 setup.

As for choosing a subwoofer, the best thing I can recommend is heading into your local home theater stores and listening to their subwoofers. It's not an ideal environment by any means (gigantic warehouse store vs your living room), but it will give you an idea of its frequency response and power. You'll find that some will shoot an earthquake through Best Buy (might want to stay away from those).
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post #7 of 7
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