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I've been wandering both out in the real world and on the web for a few weeks now trying to get a feel for my best options for my basement HT. I developed our basement last year and in the process put in speaker wire in the wall, I've now waited while I paid that off and am ready to spend on the first parts or my HT set-up.

The set-up will get used for Movies, TV and Gaming, I already have the TV, Telus box, BD player and X360. Due to the space around the TV I'd like to mount the speakers on or in the wall. Budget is roughly $2500 to buy a receiver plus speakers, I'm comfortable spending that on just 3.1 now with more speakers to add in the future.

In my wandering i've gathered a few suggestions, but I'm struggling to make a decision. I've listened (and attempted to listen) to a few set-ups in different locations but given that most of my options need to be ordered for one reason or another and then wall mounted I'd say I have 1 chance to get things right, hence the need for more opinions.

I'm mainly intrigued in speaker suggestions as I've been reading lots on receivers recently plus sales on receivers mean I should be able to pick up a $800-$1000 one for $600-$700 or less which I think should work well. In theory that leaves me with $1800 for speakers & sub. (is that a good cash split?)

Options I have:
- Shop big box - The KEF 3005se set-up is down at $1200 on NCIX so with a receiver is well in budget, I tried to listen to the KEF 2005 at Visions but failed due to bad service. It's down my list as I think I can get "more" given my budget
- Go mail order - Axiom M22 & QS8 set-up with an SVS PBS12 sub, should be able to buy 5.1 set-up with a receiver for about $2500. Not listened to as it's delivery and had generally good reviews. The SVS sub has a bit more bang for buck than the Axiom offerings from what I understand.
- Go boutique - local small store in Calgary is offering me Mordaunt Short in walls, Velodyne sub and Cambridge Audio 650R receiver for around $2600. I've heard close to the offering and liked, plus I like the service offered.

I like the latter option, but the receiver has a few shortcomings like only 3 HDMI inputs, I also feel I've not really explored this market since information on these speakers or comparable ones is minimum. The hardest thing can be finding pricing on more boutique set-ups, I went looking for a B&W set-up but came away with a quote for about $2400 for 3 speakers, no sub, no receiver. So essentially looking for some guidance and more speakers to explore.
 

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Hey I am in about the same position as you want to spend $1500 on a LCR and $800 to $1000 on a reciever. I have read lots of threads on this forum I suggest you check into paradigm you can get for approx $1500 for all three up here in edmonton tested them several times they sound great hoping to get a boxing week deal.
 

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I've been looking around at speakers as well. There are a few options I am considering. The paradigm SE 1 bookshelf looks interesting to me as it appears to be a budget boutique speaker that can be matched to their 5.1 package. I'm also looking at the Grant Fidelity MBS 1 bookshelf but there isn't a matching sub as it is more a reference monitor speaker than a HT speaker. He sells an enormous 5.1 speaker system but it is far too large for my room size. Grant Fidelity is located in Calgary btw.

For surrounds I have found that Monoprice has well reviewed in ceiling speakers starting at $50 a pair.(!) I've dealt with them in the past and the shipping to Canada was painless. As well, they sell a pair of speaker wall brackets for $10 that can hold 30 lbs speakers. I'm not sure if I want to mount my front bookshelf speakers or have them on stands. It will depend on how I want to use the little space I have.
 
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