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Recommend: Home theater/surround sound

JasconiusJasconius sword criminalFlo-ridaRegistered User regular
A surround sound system for my living room is high on my list in the next couple of months. Of all things technology, I know the least about speakers and home theater in general.

My ideal system:

Doesn't have a token blu-ray player built into it, if possible (I have a PS3)
Has standing speakers (as opposed to wall mounted)
Rear speakers are infrared/wireless (I've seen this before and I like it)

I've noticed a lot of these systems are now internet enabled. One with reasonable connectivity options to a PC audio source would be pleasant but not mandatory.


Where do I go? What do I buy?


Pure wattage awesomeness is not necessarily mandatory since I am still apartment bound and probably can't crank it up anyway

Posts

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    I'm not too savvy on these things, but what's your budget Jasc? I'm sure that'll be one of the first questions asked.

    chrishallett83
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    My advice if you can is to avoid a preboxed system. You're smart to go without the built-in bluray/dvd player on that basis that generally the quality of the receiver is sacrificed to fit on in. A lot of big box stores do offer 'deals' on receivers with a set of speakers that aren't pre boxed and that is a better way to go.

    Receiver brands worth looking out for: Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, Sony

    Speaker brands worth looking out for: Polk Audio, JBL, Harman Kardon, Paradigm, Bowers and Wilkins (if you're rich)

    There are other brands that make good products but these are the ones I'm most familiar with

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    bowen wrote: »
    I'm not too savvy on these things, but what's your budget Jasc? I'm sure that'll be one of the first questions asked.

    Ideally I want to keep it under a thousand.

    Five hundred dollars is probably a decent target


    Jasconius on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    As for sets, front floorstanders don't really go with wireless rears since anything sold as wireless usually is usually a more compact system with bookshelf-style speakers for the fronts as well. I'd rethink going wireless. They're never truly "wireless" and you can get better speakers for the price if you wire up.

    Djeet on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    i just know I've seen rear wireless floor standers and I like it because

    1) My living room is spacious
    2) My ceilings are high

    I'm not positive but just on casual observation I don't have great mounting points for rear speakers unless they're kind of smack dab in the middle of the walls (vertically), and somewhat spread apart from the sofa

    Floor standers I can align perfectly and I don't need a ladder (I would need a ladder to mount rear speakers in this place)

    Next week I'll take a picture of the area (moving on Monday), and we can decide what my mounting options are

    Jasconius on
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Hardest part is probably going to be running the wires, rather than mounting them. I'd guess I'd avoid wireless speakers, seems like nothing good could come from it.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    It's going to be a challenge to conceal the wires, especially for the right rear speaker

    Photos will explain this. I'm open to suggestions.

    But what I am sensing so far is that I can buy a pretty respectable system for around five hundred, yes?

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    5.1 receiver from sony/yamaha will probably run you $200-300.
    Speakers/subs are probably going to run you between $50-100.

    Should be about $500-700 total for a pretty basic system, so yup, sounds good. Floor based speakers might be expensive, though. There's in-wall speakers for $300 a pop too. You may consider those for the rear speakers, anyways.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    I have never heard a set of wireless speakers that didn't sound like garbage compared to a much cheaper set of wired ones. Running wires under the baseboards isn't really all that hard to do if you have a couple tools around the house and you will get a lot better system.

  • El MuchoEl Mucho Colbchella God damn it!Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    I picked up these because I am on a budget. They sound really good to my ears.

    I also have a Yamaha RX-373 which I purchased for $250 from amazon.com.

    El Mucho on
    A sandwich is a sandwich, but a manwich is a mess.
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Wezoin wrote: »
    I have never heard a set of wireless speakers that didn't sound like garbage compared to a much cheaper set of wired ones. Running wires under the baseboards isn't really all that hard to do if you have a couple tools around the house and you will get a lot better system.

    Or for a tool-free solution, under a rug.

    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    my living room doesn't have carpets, it's a sort of faux-wood flooring, in slats

    I haven't inspected the floors in great detail to see how easy it would be to remove and replace... things

    Last time I had wood floors I used staples to pin down coax against the molding... which was decent enough but not necessarily attractive

    i'll be back next week with photos

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Awesome people run the wire through the drywall or under the floor and put a wall jack in. It's okay if you're not. Under the rug is okay too.

    You just won't be as awesome.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Jasconius wrote: »
    my living room doesn't have carpets, it's a sort of faux-wood flooring, in slats

    I haven't inspected the floors in great detail to see how easy it would be to remove and replace... things

    Last time I had wood floors I used staples to pin down coax against the molding... which was decent enough but not necessarily attractive

    i'll be back next week with photos

    Get yo' arse a nice big rug, man. Soft rugs are awesome. Good for dampening echo and reverb, too!

    chrishallett83 on
    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    i used to have rugs until my cat developed a vomiting problem

    then i stopped having rugs :/

    but they are in my future once I figure out how to fix my cat

  • Mego ThorMego Thor "I say thee...NAY!" Registered User regular
    "Fix my cat." Ha ha ha!

    A more likey scenario is that your cat installs speakers in your living room.

    kyrcl.png
    EsseeSir Carcass
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    i used to have rugs until my cat developed a vomiting problem

    then i stopped having rugs :/

    but they are in my future once I figure out how to fix my cat

    I have some pretty good oriental recipes.

    How handy are you Jasc? Feel like cutting holes in your drywall to run a conduit through your studs and putting in some media boxes?

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    There's flatwire, which is ridiculously thin (and not cheap) but it doesn't make a bump even run under a thin rug. You can also mud over it, retexture and paint for surface wall/ceiling runs. Though if you don't own that may not be a feasible option.

  • BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    There's flatwire, which is ridiculously thin (and not cheap) but it doesn't make a bump even run under a thin rug. You can also mud over it, retexture and paint for surface wall/ceiling runs. Though if you don't own that may not be a feasible option.

    I've never heard of that stuff. I don't think I'd use it if I had to re-mud the drywall though. May as well just take the drywall down and redo the whole thing and do it properly...

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Oh you don't have to remud the wall, but if concern was to avoid the appearance of the cabling you'd probably like a 2.5" wide ribbon cable (10th of an mm thick) even less than standard speaker wire. No doubt re-doing the drywall is the right way to do it, but I'm personally quite intimidated by a job like hanging drywall. Obscuring long thin cracks I can handle.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Fixing drywall is easy. Just rescrew to the stud after you fit a rough patch back into the hole you cut (assuming this isn't an outside wall where there's vapor barrier). Then mud/sand/paint and you're done. If you own the house, by far the easiest and best looking way to do it. Well, not easiest, but, it's pretty easy if you've got like $100 you can spare. Hell if you save the original drywall squares you cut out you can probably just rescrew them to the stud.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    I'm not keen on putting any holes in these walls much larger than a nickel

    I don't want to have to repair that shit when I move out in the next 18 months

    the biggest wiring issue is that the wiring for the right rear speaker has to go either over or under a foyer, or under the sofa and across a walkway... again... pictures will explain. I am pretty sure there's no clean path to run it behind the wall that doesn't involve putting it over my front door arch... or running it to the left, all the way around my living room and back

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    If you ain't want to cut into your walling and your budget is at a level that means going wireless will result in a significant drop in sound (it is), then just run regular speaker wire around your baseboard. Or banish your cat from the room and rug the shit out of your floor. 20AWG dual core copper wire would only make a bump under the thinnest of rugs.

    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
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