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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am new to home audio, so I do not even know where to begin. The last thing that I have to set up in my media room is the sound system. I am looking for a 5.1 system that will be great for games/movies/music. I have been researching and noticed that it can get very expensive fast. I have looked at everything from a system in a box to piecing it together. I don't know what would work better for a novice such as myself. I don't know what brand, model or anything, really.

I need something that I can run through my PC and gaming consoles. I think that I would like to have a central receiver that I can plug in HDMI cables into and then have one HDMI run from the receiver to the TV...if that makes any sense.

I do have a bit of a budget, I would say around $300-400. If there is any other information that you need to help me out, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for any and all help, suggestions and advice that you can offer.

Testudo
 

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hi... your budget is light.. to get everything for a 5.1 setup ...but maybe

being a bit flexible and willing to consider used gear would help... i am not sure about where you live but here there is frequently some decent used gear on CL and whatnot.

but here goes for (with refurbs to have any chance of staying in budget)

receiver $100~ Denon refurb

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavr1513/denon-avr-1513-5.1ch-home-theater-receiver-3d-ready/1.html

center $80~
Pioneer SP-C21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117404

speaker (fronts and surrounds) $80 * 2 =160~
Pioneer SP-BS21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405
(x2 pairs)

and sub
Pioneer SW-8-K $100~
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117402

before tax / shipping (i think free shipping on it all however) $440~ you'll need some cables (speaker wire, hdmi and a sub woofer cable.. and maybe rca cables for anything with analog outputs... maybe figure $30~ or so more for that stuff (depending on where you buy ...monoprice is cheap on that stuff).

this would imho be a decent starter system that depending on your tastes /requirements / budget might well be good enough for the long haul as well.
 

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Not going to be too much help here:

The best way to start out is a 2 channel system. That way you can get the most (sound quality) bang for the buck. Two bookshelf speakers (on stands?) and an integrated amp or preamp/power amp. Don't be afraid to look at used. There's really, really great bang for the buck there, especially from the late 70s to early 80's. Add more amps, center and rear speakers, and a sub as you can afford them.

Go to stores and listen, no matter which way you decide to go. That way you become familiar with no only brands, but also learn how to differentiate differing levels of sound quality.

There is no best system at any price level. If there were, all the other brands at that price level would go belly up.

Look at it this way: Whatever you decide to do, it will just be a temporary stopping off point in your audio life's quest for the ultimate sound quality.
 

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i will post a pic of my pc desk to PROVE
biggrin.gif
I love me some vintage two channel audio ...but for the op's objectives not sure if it the way to go... really for 5.1 setups with pc, gaming console..etc integration a modern AVR with HDMI is really the way to go...

it is fustrating because (used gear estate / thrift store finds) I am enjoying greatly some fantastic sound quality (2 channel) for $32~ (Kenwood KR-V106R $20 and $12~ set of Monitor Audio Silver S1 speakers )..but this set up wouldn't really lend itself that well to the op's goals.

but again let no man claim i don't love me some vintage 2 channel audio.
https://imageshack.com/i/cbrzboj

but still with research and care the op might well find used avr (with needed modern features) at good price... on local used gear boards (CL or whatever) ..and also maybe some used speakers also for significant savings.

used has a number of concerns , function ,condition...personal safety (when meeting strangers to buy gear) ... but can be a great value...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the responses!

Yeah, looking around it get expensive and I don't know if I am "allowed" to spend that much money.
rolleyes.gif


I am looking at soundbars now. I am sure that there is a big difference in sound, but it may be the way that I have to go. Do you all have any suggestions?

Also, I will be hooking up my PC and my two consoles to the TV through HDMI. I have my PC monitor hooked up through DVI and speakers from the PC's audio input. Is it possible to have the two consoles and the PC hooked up to the TV and then the TV to the soundbar with an optical audio cable (Toslink?)? One concern is that I will not be able to get audio through the PC using HDMI if I have speakers hooked up to the PC already...if that makes sense (I am using Windows 7).

Thanks again!
 

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What are the output connections behind the TV? I dunno if that will work cos if you hook up your TV to PC with HDMI then you can't use your PC speakers since the sound is going to exit out of the Hdmi as the primary playback device IIRC. I think you really need a receiver to accomplish what you are trying to do

Go with Atarione's suggestion of Receiver- $100 and add 2 fronts- $80 and a sub- $100 later you can add the center and surrounds if you wish
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by atarione View Post

i will post a pic of my pc desk to PROVE
biggrin.gif
I love me some vintage two channel audio ...but for the op's objectives not sure if it the way to go... really for 5.1 setups with pc, gaming console..etc integration a modern AVR with HDMI is really the way to go...

it is fustrating because (used gear estate / thrift store finds) I am enjoying greatly some fantastic sound quality (2 channel) for $32~ (Kenwood KR-V106R $20 and $12~ set of Monitor Audio Silver S1 speakers )..but this set up wouldn't really lend itself that well to the op's goals.

but again let no man claim i don't love me some vintage 2 channel audio.
https://imageshack.com/i/cbrzboj

but still with research and care the op might well find used avr (with needed modern features) at good price... on local used gear boards (CL or whatever) ..and also maybe some used speakers also for significant savings.

used has a number of concerns , function ,condition...personal safety (when meeting strangers to buy gear) ... but can be a great value...
Used old good gear is the way to go. If you have the space for a receiver I would get one. I got my Yamaha HTR-5790 on CL, thing weighs a ton and is powerful. For $125. Can turn it to 10+ db and not even hear a hiss from my speakers with nothing playing, and I would never even use it past 0db, Normal use is in the -50 to -30 range and -20db is pretty loud. Can cleanly power my speakers past 0db though which is nice. My old HRT-5630 has a amp hiss after -40db, and would distort near -20-15db. Though that stooped at 0db unlike newer Yamaha receivers which stop at around +13db or so. My New Amp really made my Klipsch B-20's hit harder, really cleans up and brings out the bass in high volume. Speakers have a ton of bass and still vary clean and detailed. Reason I got a more powerful 7.1 unit is because I use the multi channel input on the back, and I feed it from my sound card. I also run tower speakers as rears so I actually have the surround and rear channels connected to the sound card's rear channel and I Bi-Amp the rear speakers. Just haven't got a center speaker for it yet.

You can also find nice Harman Kardon AVR Receivers on CL for cheap sometimes, Those are also vary good. Have a good sound to them. Just make sure you get one that has a pretty big transformer inside of it. And Heavier tends to be better.

Though It nice to have a receiver with HDMI, Pretty much why I just a newer mid range Yamaha receiver for my Home Theater. Though Optical isn't so bad for 5.1, just more of a hassle. But you can find some really nice old high end receivers from the optical days. Though even a cheap receiver like that Denon would do fine for a basic setup.

As for speakers:

For cheap good sounding bookshelf speakers, do not get the other cheaper pioneer speakers. Get this

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396823938&sr=8-1&keywords=pioneer+bookshelf+speakers

Well worth it.
The Pioneer SP-BS21's would be fine for rears though

Sub:

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1000-10-100-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-628

Center:

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396823938&sr=8-1&keywords=pioneer+bookshelf+speakers

Or look for all used speakers.
 
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