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Poor Man Luxury - HELP for Choosing HT System Components

AV Cables

Doomster69

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Hi All,

A bit about the user - I'm fairly an amateur when it comes to Hi-Fi, just started exploring online and through auditions. Feel that i have a "decent pair of discerning ears" (bought my AT M50s after some research). Have a very laid back taste in music - Absolutely love my floyd tracks, but listen fondly to reggae, jazz & symphonies, electronic lounge, some hindi (AR Rahman mostly), lots of retro (Led Zep, Who, etc.) & easy rock (Alexis Murdoch). Enjoy warm bass and crisp vocals/acoustics. For video, mostly hi res downloaded movies in the sci-fi (read surround experience) , action (read warm rumbling bass), drama and documentaries (read crisp audio). As i also watch downloaded concerts alot, would love a system with good sound stage.



:sos:What i Need Help On:sos:
Firstly :signthankspin:want to thank everyone on HiFivision forums to make me a more informed person. Thanks to your reviews,discussions & suggestions, my decision set has narrowed down significantly. Keep up the good work:clapping:

Looking for Poor man's luxury

Been saving up for a comprehensive system for 5.1 HT & Stereo listening for quite some time. Till now was managing with my Samsung HT q20 which was received as a gift. The ICB is burnt now thanks to the 3 Ohms speakers being driven at high volume (35-40/50). I stay in a DDA flat in Delhi (read small room 10ft by 8 ft) and may be moving to a larger room house soon (post marriage). Would be sound proofing the room with some dampners (rugs, wall panels, egg crates :p)

Have been saving up for a while to buy some - an affordable luxury system if you will. My budget is between 2 - 2.25 lacs to set up the entire gear comprising AV Receiver, Towers Speakers, Centre, Surrounds and a sub. Though i liked the HTiB from Paradigm & JBL, found these severely lacking from a stereo use perspective. Have been researching a bit (HiFi vision threads, other review forums and personal auditions) & shortlisted the following options for the config:


AV Reciever (50-60K range)
Yamaha - RX V 677
Onkyo - TX NR 636
Denon - AVR X1100
Marantz - NR 1504
(prefer a self calibrating audio set up)

Towers
1st Preference options (Affordable Budget -80-85K)
Paradigm - Monitor 9 - S7 (@Sound Lounge Ghitorni)
PSB - Imagine T 6 (Lakozy)
Monitor Audio - MA RX6
Polk - RT Ai7 (@Pro Fx)

2nd Preference options (Stretch Budget 90-110k)
Paradigm - Monitor 11 - S7
Polk - RT Ai9
KEF- Q900
Klipsch Ref 52

Centers (30-40k)
Polk - CSI A6, CSI A4
Paradigm - Center Monitor 1
PSB - Please suggest
Klipsch - RC-52

Surrounds (30k)
Polk - FX Ai6 or FX Ai4 - (Both Dipole)
Paradigm - Dipole Surrounds (dont remember model)
PSB - Please suggest
Klipsch - RS-42
KEF - Please suggest

Subwoofer (35-40k)
90% set on buying SVS PB 1000 - 10" heard good reviews
Would also consider Velodyne Impact 12 or Polk - DSW PRO 660
Klipsch R-10 SW (if Klipsch)
(appreciate warm bass - not the kind u hear in cars with tinted windows in Delhi :p)


Power Amp (pre-out for towers)
- Not sure if i need one?
- do i need an integrated one or a simple power amp will do?
- Which one - model, prices etc.?

Having set the context, have the following queries:

1. Between the AVs mentioned, which one would be recommended - i intend to hook up my hard drive media player, 50" plasma TV, Xbox, blu-ray. Would prefer wireless connectivity - Bluetooth & LAN connectivity. Dont mind a 7.1 & upscaling/passthrough option for future proofing :)


2. Between the towers, im tending towards PSB T6, followed by Paradigm 9 & Polk Ai 7. Which would meet the wholesome experience requirement? I dont like KEF much - bit warm for my taste. Klipsch audition pending so cant say.

3. Which center & surrounds would you recommend, considering pt 2 above

4. Which AVR would go best with which 5 speaker set up (.1 would most probably be SVS PB 1000)

5. Where can i trim options, considering costs & budget - surrounds or sub maybe?Would the HT experience be complete if i plan to buy the surrounds later, considering the small room. Would i need a sub (for movies) given the room size & the speaker choices (since they have adequate bass)

6. What combinations can i try to limit overspend - maybe look for a lower spec AV & go for better speakers? If so, which combinations (models would be nice)

7. Any alternate suggestions on the center or surrounds? For eg. i liked the center speaker in one the 'Energy' system i auditioned @ pro fx. Was cheaper than Polk.

8. Here is a tricky one - My Samsung HT speakers still work mighty fine, but are 3 ohms speakers. Any "jugaad" for using these - maybe with a decent AV receiver + power amp - can drive these power suckers (till the time i can save up for a bigger budget :lol:)

In case there are other posts on this, please share. I recall a long post where the gentleman finally bought the PSB's after a long drawn evaluation - can seem to find that thread..

Any help on these would be much appreciated. Greatly indebted to you all!!

Thanks:thumbsup::signthankspin:
 
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shibashis

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You have lots of questions in an organized manner, good!

I want to make a few points, more experienced forum members can chip in and advise you better.

You mentioned you want to play media from hard drives and so on, for that you will need either a media player or a Blu Ray player. Your AVR will not play any media files, it is not designed for that. AVR will process the player's output.

As a rule of thumb the front left right and center should be of the same make and same series, otherwise they will differ tonally and the experience will not be as great as it should be. So if you choose to go with Paradigm Monitors for fronts then you have to go with Paradigm Monitor Center as well.
For the surrounds your choice of options are wide open, pick what you like.

If you are going with AVR then you do not need a power amp. AVRs will have a preamp section and then a power amp section, the output from the AVR will go straight to your speakers and that will create the music. A power amp comes in the picture if you are going the separate way, i.e., you use a preamp/processor such as Emotiva UMC 200 (https://emotiva.com/products/pres-and-pros/umc-200), this will do the job of sound processing and then you will need to take the output to a power amp like, Emotiva XPA-5 (https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-5). The speaker will connect to the power amp. An AVR has both the processor and poweramp section built in, it is you can say an 'integrated' solution.

Strongly suggest you to not use 3 Ohm speakers with any AVR, most recommend 4-16 Ohms, you can damage your shiny new AVR!

Spend good on the AVR, front pair and center. If you are getting floor standers then you can even skip the sub now and add later, but if you have budget then by all means get a sub.

Happy hunting and shopping! More experienced members will explain better.
 

krishnamurthy

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PSB Image T6 is a discontinued product, warranty issues for sure

QAcoustics 2050i FS is reasonable (66k)
Dali Zensor 7 FS is reasonable (70k MRP but can be got for 58-60k)
Jamo C97 (100k)/C109 is fairly good
 

Doomster69

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Thanks shibashis.

Some confusion there buddy: ;) as i mentioned, i already have a Seagate Hard drive player with a HDMI & Composite out..so i would be hooking this up with the AV!! Its the AVR for which im still fishing for an answer :)

Regarding the AVR, my guess is for a 200 watt speaker, a 80-100 watt per channel AVR may be slightly lacking. Iv experienced this first hand when the shop guy changed amps to power the PSB X2Ts..significant change in sound!! thats y the dilemma. Though again, i can live with 100 watt/channel if it meets the budget :p

i know the 3 ohms speaker will juice the life out of the AVR - hence the question on "makeshift"gear (power amp to channel extra water through the hose!!)

Thanks for the tip on the center selection. Guess will have to invest in that center after all..or live with a good 2.1 system.. eh?! :D
 

Doomster69

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Thanks krishnamurthy.

Yeah i visited LAKOZY today to know PSB T6 is discountinued. However, did audition the newer breed of PSB Imagines - (Imagine X2t & Imagine T). Splendid soundstage - X2T list price somewhat over 100K but seemed worth it.. More confused on which AVR would be best for these (from the listed ones). Can obviously pair it up with the NAD AVR but that seems out of budget!!

As for the suggestions on the other speakers, will try some of them out. Know a Jamo dealer in gurgaon. will be meeting him on Saturday.

Thanks again
 

shibashis

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Do keep the Dali Zensor series in your options, beautiful speakers and pair really well with Yamaha AVRs. Zensor 5 or 7 will really suit your needs, they are quite great for music as well.
Spend well on the AVR, very important.
 

ghatgepatil

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How to fit FS in a 10' x 8' room?:indifferent14:
You might have to sacrifice great acoustics till the time you get married!:rolleyes:
 

GeorgeO

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Poor man you sure aint! The higher end AVRs are a bit pricey but you wont need to upgrade for a long while. You need to keep this tradeoff when buying many components-but bottom line, go for the best you can afford to AFTER auditioning.
 

Sumanta

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If you soon are going for a bigger room, then for now you can have L & R speakers and the AVR to enjoy present days.

You can use your 3 ohm speakers keeping both of them in series and use it as centre for now. I think your AVR can drive a 6 ohm driver.

For surround and sub, you can search/research at your own pace.

AVRs generally sound weak compare to a stereo amp, but that will be more pronounced in a bigger room. And then if it so happen, you can buy a dedicated power amp and use your AVR for pre and for receiving all sorts of signals.
My Onkyo TX SR 806 fails miserably against my 3 watt (I think so) SET stereo amp for the same 91 SPL floor standers.
I would also suggest to buy high SPL speakers. It will help you now and in long run too. To me high SPL means any speaker having more than 90 dB sensitivity.
 

RajithKumar

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If u r more inclined towards music consider Marantz AVR also ,In speakers Consider for Dali Zensor 5,7 or Dali ikon series speakers.. or KEF Q500 speakers
Denon,Marantz &Yamaha AVR pairs well with Dali Speakers..do audition of the same.
 
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krishnamurthy

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X2T is really good. Try to get it for 90-95k if possible.
NAD AVR (T757) pairs well but is 1.1L and above. Onkyo NR838 is good but is 95k
Marantz 6009 should be fine too. (85-90k)
 

Doomster69

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Thanks Everyone!!!

Really appreciate the inputs.

After a second round of auditions, still stuck with the PSB X2T (PSB 6) - precise, warm, bassy and good allrounders. Best part - auditioned them in a room as big as mine...loved the sound...Liked the overall feel of the Paradigm 11's as well...so these are now running second...

Going to audition the Dali's and Monitor's today for a cross check on the decision..

So here is the next question:

Which AV receiver would be best for the PSBs (model & brand). Review & seller recommend NAD's being the best for PSB (same co.) but its too costly for the full range variety (NAD T 757)..seller says over 1 lac a piece!!

#Georgo: Even i am thinking about a 2.1 set up with a good amp for starters...so again, suggestions on the model are welcome...!!
 

GeorgeO

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You wont go wrong on that bro! I am a strong believe in DIY, that's an option that you could consider too. Currently working on a Hiraga Le Monstre. Personally, I find that 2,1 is the best way to listen to music.
 

Doomster69

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Hi Guys..

Thanks for the inputs...Really helpful...

Decided on buying a pair of X2Ts in the next week or so...absolutely love the sound...needed help choosing an AVR to drive these...not looking to set up a pre+power amp setup. The dealer mentioned i should go for the NAD (t757) to drive these..bit i dont like the AVR - has limited options (bluetooth/wifi, etc)..dealer mentioned that something like a x2100 would keep tripping out due to load/lack of power and its preferable to have atleast a 40-60 watt dedicated channel to drive the speakers to their true potential..he's hard selling the NAD but i honestly dont like the product features...!!

as i mentioned, i need an integrated AVR solution...So between

Denon (AVR X2100,X3100)

Onkyo (TX NR 737,TX NR 838)

Marantz (SR6009)

which ones would be a good fit? Ive read the specs but not sure what the site mentions as the dedicated wattage per channel!! As ive come to know, these no.s are usually "cooked"

# Krishnamurthy: Do you have experience of using the suggested AVRs with a similar speaker? Would these have heating, tripping issues if paired with the power hungry X2Ts

I'm really keen on buying the PSBs. But if im not convinced about the AVR+Speaker marriage working out..(divorce means more money :p)
In fact if its such a hassle to pair up, id rather go with the Paradigm's 11's with a Denon X2100 - used the same pairing for demo, sounded great..!!

Big thanks for the answer to all :)
 

shibashis

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Thanks Everyone!!!

Really appreciate the inputs.

After a second round of auditions, still stuck with the PSB X2T (PSB 6) - precise, warm, bassy and good allrounders. Best part - auditioned them in a room as big as mine...loved the sound...Liked the overall feel of the Paradigm 11's as well...so these are now running second...

Going to audition the Dali's and Monitor's today for a cross check on the decision..

So here is the next question:

Which AV receiver would be best for the PSBs (model & brand). Review & seller recommend NAD's being the best for PSB (same co.) but its too costly for the full range variety (NAD T 757)..seller says over 1 lac a piece!!

#Georgo: Even i am thinking about a 2.1 set up with a good amp for starters...so again, suggestions on the model are welcome...!!
Just a friendly suggestion, I have found that for Dali's a proper pairing is very important, otherwise they can sound flat and drab. Cambridge Audio sounds very good with them, or a good Yamaha AVR as well. So when you do go to listen to them make sure they have the right electronics to go with them.
 

Doomster69

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Hi

Now evaluating x3100 (95k), Onkyo 828 (90-100K) and marantz 6006 for the X2T speakers, but not with any power amp attached.

Heard Onkyo has a warm muffled sound & has issues with the HDMI boards.
Marantz isnt perky enough for movies.
NAD isnt feature rich so dropping it out.
Have not read much about any problems with the Denon though. Plus they have an authorized service center in Delhi. So tending towards the Denon.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Tx
 
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