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Discussion Starter #1
I begin by clearly stating that I am a noob when it comes to this stuff.

Now...please someone put me out of my misery!!! I've spent so much time researching receivers, and to a lesser extent speakers. Even after many hours, I've finally come to the conclusion I know nothing! So I'm hoping some kind soul (with a lot more knowledge and understanding than myself) will take pity on me and help me out. I am on a bit of a budget, so that's why you'll only see entry level stuff below.

I basically want to know, should I go for the Polk Audio 5.1 Home Theatre Speaker System (RM75BD) and pair them up with one of the following receivers:

Denon AVR-591
Pioneer VSX-520K, VSX-820K (possibly splurging a little more for the 920K)
Yamaha HTR4063

OR

Scrap that idea and just go for the Onkyo HT-S5300 HTIB

I simply have no clue what's going to give me the best sound. I don't know how the Polk speakers compare to the ones that come in the Onkyo HTIB. I know that the Onkyo receiver outputs more watts per channel.

Higher on my priority list are v1.4 HDMI inputs, automatic calibration (with a microphone), and DTS-HD/True HD decoding.
Lower on the list are 1080p Upconverting and 7.1

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.
 

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personally, I'd wait for a short while, and squeeze the budget a bit for Pioneer VSX-925.

note: VSX-920 in Canada is NOT the same as VSX-920 in the US. The US version of VSX-920 is equivalent to the upcoming VSX-925 (Futureshop only)
 

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I'd say whats your total budget? and are you someone willing to upgrade over time?


My first tip is I think your researching in the wrong place, If you want really good sound and are on a budget, Make sure you invest in good quality speakers. Good speakers will last you 20 years a good reciever could be obsolete in 3.

So if your on a budget and just getting into Home theater, start with some good speakers & Sub, and a decent Reciever nothing fancy. Then wait and see what 3D and these discussions on new HDMI formats are brining and maybe invest in a solid Reciever piece in a couple of years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all the feedback.

I think I'm looking at spending no more than $1K for a receiver and 5.1 speaker setup.

How would you guys compare the Polk Audio RM75BD to the Energy RC-Micros?
Bearing in mind that I'm no audiophile. Do you think I would hear a difference?
 

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I personally don't consider myself as an audiophile, but even with my modest (approx) $3.5k receiver/speaker system, I can assure you that you'll be able to hear the difference between (say) a $1k setup vs a $2k setup. It's when you start going to around $20k setup and higher is where the difference in sound is starting to get less and less (as the price go higher).
 

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Draven,


I can't comment too much on the Polks never owned a set. I myself have some older series Energy Con. speakers and I've always loved them. However I do notice a difference in overall quality since they moved there production to China.

Other brands I like for smaller speaker types are Paradigm, Anthony Gallo's, AV123 (Online only).

As David said you will notice the difference in sound quality as the price of the gear goes up. Mostly its the quality of the Chip sets & power supplies/building materials and a few software benefits that make the differences.

In all honesty I think to invest in Home theater if your not earmarking $500-600 for a reciever, $800 - 1000 for speakers & $200 for blu Ray then your really going to struggle finding Quality items and obviously the bigger the budget the better.

If your cash strapped then as I said I'd build it up over time, get a $200 reciever with 5.1 and then spend the rest of your budget on speakers. Then replace the rest of your electronics when you can since there always changing.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly. I even go a step further by recommending in getting just a pair of PSB Image T5 and the cheapest 5.1 receiver and a basic BD player. Then add PSB Image C5, then the subsonic 5i and then another pair of T5 on later dates.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback.

I think I'm looking at spending no more than $1K for a receiver and 5.1 speaker setup.

How would you guys compare the Polk Audio RM75BD to the Energy RC-Micros?
Bearing in mind that I'm no audiophile. Do you think I would hear a difference?
Now that you have provided an idea of your budget, can you now provide the size of the room where you'll be using the HT? Will you also be playing music on that system? What percentage use for music versus HT percentage? It's easy for everyone to lead you in spending thousands of $$$$ but will spending that kind of money on your part justified, that is what needs to be determined. BTW, IMHO depending on your answers on the above, those Polk satellites might make for a good entry level for you as many on this board acquired similar (RM10s) in the past and are quite content.

You always get what you pay for but the big concern is to make sure you get what you need, no more no less.

BTW, have you considered going use? When properly threated speakers last forever and you of course get more bang for the same $$$ spent ;) Also, do you presently own decent speakers which you could use temporarly with an HT AVR and you could upgrade as money comes available.

Now, when it comes to audio your hears are your best ally and you should NOT rely on a forum to guide you into what speakers to buy but should get out there and demo some ;)

Cheers!
TK
 

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Technokid raises a good point, used speakers are worth a look, certainly you can get a higher value for your dollar and as mentioned by all of us speakers last forever so this is a good route to look at.

I would disagree though that at the price points your talking getting into specifics of room size and usage isn't a huge deal the equipment price range your in is developed for multi purpose.
 

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Now, when it comes to audio your hears are your best ally and you should NOT rely on a forum to guide you into what speakers to buy but should get out there and demo some
Absolutely. You need to listen to some speaker setups and find the ones that sound good to you because it comes down to personal taste. I would drop in to a few stores to listen to the same speakers if possible, as some will have better listening environments than others. Check the setting before listening, as stores may have the treble and base turned way up. I like to set everything to neutral as possible when demoing - that was easier 20 years ago when there were only knobs and buttons instead of menus!

The receivers you are looking at are solid for the speakers, and the sound differences between them will be minimal compared to the variations in the speakers. I would look for the feature set you want in a good unit, and put the time in to listening to the speakers.

As mentioned, used speakers can be a great option. There are some superb deals for used speakers, and even new in box ones that people got as part of a package deal. eg. I've seen Klipsch, Kef and Harmon Kardon sets on for half to 60% of the cost of buying new. These were also current models that you can listen to.

If you aren't constrained to needing micro fronts, speakers like the Paradigm Titans are around for really good prices. eg. Paradigm Titans v.3 with stands and the CC-170 Centre for $250 total.

Watch for recievers to, I got the Denon 591 for $300 new in the box from someone who got it as part of a package deal with his TV.

One advantage of buying new is that if you get them home and the sound is not what you expected compared to the store demo, you can return them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Boy, where to begin. First off, I really do appreciate everyone offering some insight. Thanks.

In no particular order:

I currently have a very old Pioneer HTIB (VSX-D409). So I imagine the speakers that came with that set are pitiful at best.

My room is 10.5' x 19' and it is primarily used for movies (and some gaming).

I am definitely open to used speakers, but to be honest, I haven't really seen very much around. As an FYI I'm in Montreal. Even when it comes to auditioning the speakers in store, I have yet to find any of the sets I'm currently looking at set up in store. They're either very expensive speakers, or your standard HTIB. So, I think it's coming down to me just taking a chance.

I actually recently bought a set of the Polk RM75BD (with the PSW111) for $299 (soon after they were no longer listed on the store's site), but haven't opened the box yet. I haven't bought a new receiver yet, and as you can tell, I also haven't decided if these are the speakers for me as of yet. The problem I'm having is that most of the other speakers I'm considering would be online orders (haven't found them in store), so returning them would be a pain (possibly with some costs associated - restocking fee, return shipping).

Speaking of online speaker orders, I was also looking at the KEF 2005.3 K1 set on sale for about double the Polks.
 

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As much as I'm a Pioneer ******, Pioneer HTiB have always been... uggggh... [email protected] (I'm not talking about HTiB available in Australiasian region, only the ones available in the NA)
 

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!

I actually recently bought a set of the Polk RM75BD (with the PSW111) for $299 (soon after they were no longer listed on the store's site), but haven't opened the box yet. I haven't bought a new receiver yet, and as you can tell, I also haven't decided if these are the speakers for me as of yet. The problem I'm having is that most of the other speakers I'm considering would be online orders (haven't found them in store), so returning them would be a pain (possibly with some costs associated - restocking fee, return shipping).
Then, you do not have anything to loose. Go and buy a decent receiver and plug them and demo them. If you have been using an HTIB in the past, this small bookshelf set will definitely be an improvement.

Now, as far as receivers: I like Yamaha but some people claim that the Yamaha will run the Polk too bright. I never experience that.

A brand I never cared for but many people will favor with Polk speakers is Onkio. Generally in runs hot compared to most receivers but it is just a matter of allowing extra breeding space for it.

Pioneer is a well respected brand and many on here have reported good results with Polk speakers. I however think Pioneer is not necessary the best bang for the buck.

Make sure you buy a receiver from a store with good return policy. Buy, audition and return if not satisfactory. If you had done this with your speakers it would have been much easier for you to make a sound decision (sound decision ;) ).

Cheers!
TK
 

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for sure there are very good deals on used equipment ...yes in montreal (and area)

you may have heard of canuck audio mart. and there's a very good classified in montreal area quebecaudio.com

for the most part, i find HT-Stereo enthusiasts take good care of their equipment. there will be opportunity to visit sellers location(s) to audition ..etc. just have to keep an eye on the situation .. make contact when something of interest surfaces.

for example .. there was (sold now) a yamaha HTR-6190 for sale for $ 500 (or less) .. this is an excellant AVR. A current listing shows a Denon AVR-889 less than $ 500. again .. very good.

additional examples for your market .. there were a pair of focal - JM Lab 706 V speakers for sale in your market .. $ 250. they were snapped up. i demo'ed these in my setup, very good.

you will get a sense of the person your dealing with (if you go private) .. the condition of the equipment, in home demo's ..if the person is honorable .. etc..etc..

i am speaking primarily for a 2 channel setup to begin. for your room size .. this a ample. add more as budget allows. it can get **complicated. but you will be in a good position, with a very good start. excellant sound .. etc.

** for example .. i allow my BR player to process the hi def audio .. and run it through the AVR in pure direct mode, reducing processing. video run directly to the the LCD. depending on the BR, you will have options for PCM'ing the audio in 2 channel or multi-channel. careful when choosing BR player if one decides allowing player to send out hi def audio .. some don't offer DTS-MA audio and Dolby HD (you would want a player that does both) ..

if you must have a 5.1 at stated budget .. than you will be channeled into speakers packages in a box as you are now ... decent, but .. mehhh..

here's a checklist for your interest re: choosing an AVR
 
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