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#173533 - 08/01/07 03:20 PM Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated
funkfuzz Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 15
Loc: Littleton, NH
Hi everyone,

I'm new to HT but am a seasoned veteran to appreciating high quality sound. I'd really love some advice on what I should do with my limited budget.

I'm looking to spend about $2,500 or so for Christmas towards some AV gear for our basement theatre that we're putting together. Early next year, I could throw some more money towards it, so, I'm looking at buying my gear in phases and would really like to enjoy each phase, rather than spend a lot of money and in return have a noticeably incomplete setup.

My theater room specs are roughly:

Total room size: 24' x 23'
Active theatre section of room: 17' x 14'
Distance of seating area to screen location: 12'
Area behind and to the right of seating area is a pool table/ bar section.
Ceiling height: 7'3"

There's a wooden support beam that runs along the ceiling parallel to the seating area and viewing screen. It runs at a 13' distance from the screen location that hangs down about a foot and is pre-wired for a projector. That same beam is also pre-wired 4' to the left and right of the projector for surround speakers. Hopefully that is okay, as that was how the house was wired when we bought it. The ceiling is made of pop-out paneling, so I could theoretically put speakers wherever I wanted pretty easily.

In regards to non-speaker gear, I need an AV Receiver and projector. I already have an extra DVD player (OPPO 981), a projector screen that came with the house, and a boat-load of wiring.

For the AV Receiver, I'm looking at the Onkyo TXSR605, which at $399, I've read it is a great deal. If you have suggestions otherwise, chime in!

For the projector, I'm looking at the Mitsubishi HD1000U, which I've read at $849, is a great buy. Again, recommendations?

But let's talk speakers!

I'm pretty sold on Axiom and I haven't heard a note yet. Scary, but I'm trusting the countless glowing reviews I've read on pretty much their entire line of products, and judging by the people on this board and their insights that I've read, I think the concept "smart people make smart purchases" applies to Axiom.

So... with the above 2 non-speaker items weighing in at about $1300, that leaves me with an immediate $1200 or so for speakers. Not a lot, trust me...I know. But, I've got to spend money on the kiddies and wife too. But like I said, I can potentially triple that investment next year. Hope to, plan to.

The thing is, I don't want to spend $1200 on a very noticeably incomplete speaker set up right now, because I'd like it to be gratifying right off the bat, and more importantly, if it doesn't sound good, how do I explain the cost to my beautiful wife!?

Which brings me to the M60. Could/should/would I get the M60 and VP150 for about $1400 now, and later on, add to them with QS8's and a EP350? From what I read, the M60's are pretty incredible right from the start and can be added to later on.

Another option, more financially viable, is to only get the M60's right now (along with the AVR and Projector) and piece-meal the rest of my kick-butt Axiom Theatre next year.

Or...

Would I be better paying $1250 or so for for the M22's alongside some QS4's, a VP100 and the M22 stands (FMS16)? And later on I could add the EP350, etc. I'd like to eventually get the QS8's and VP150 instead, but maybe that is unnecessary?

Lastly, I should note, that I also own the following speakers that came with the house when we bought it, that, while not top-notch quality, could serve as the surround sound until better speakers are bought. Currently, they're used for our upstairs surround sound, but I have no prob moving them, I just don't want them to bring the quality of my theatre setup down.

Cambridge Soundworks Newton MC100 (Surround; I have 2)
Pioneer CS-X580K (Surround; I have 2)

So...summing up. The three options I'm looking at are:

Option #1: approx. $2250
Receiver Onkyo TXSR605 $399.99
Projector Mitsubishi HD1000U $849.99
Mains Axiom m60 $990.00

Option #2: approx. $2650
Receiver Onkyo TXSR605 $399.99
Projector Mitsubishi HD1000U $849.99
Mains Axiom m60 $990.00
Center Axiom VP150 $408.00

Option #3: approx. $2600
Onkyo TXSR605 $399.99
Mitsubishi HD1000U $849.99
Axiom M22 v2 $470.00
Axiom QS4 $428.00
Axiom VP100 $255.00
Axiom FMS16 $196.00 (stands)

Your thoughts? Thanks in advance and thanks for reading!

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#173534 - 08/01/07 03:24 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: funkfuzz]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
That's a tough one. I think I'd go with the incremental approach: M60s now, save money for a good sub next, then do a center, and then do surrounds. If you've already got something covering surround duty (even if it's not great--I don't know, I've never heard Newtons), then you're ok there. You'll want the sub before a center, I think.
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#173535 - 08/01/07 03:41 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: Ken.C]
Hutzal Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2102
Loc: Hollywood. (Canadian @ <3)
I agree,

Get the sub before the centre. As for the speakers, the M60s and a sub would be a great place to start. Have you priced out the Factory Outlet? You get 10% off regular items, the majority of Axiomites on the forum bought from the FO.

In addition to that, your other option should be the M22 speakers and the EP500 sub (which I think you could squeeze into your budget for the first round). They will perform VERY well in your space, and you'll have the enjoyment of having high levels of play with bone crushing bass. If your setup is primarily home theatre, I would not hesitate to recommend the M22 EP500 combo. And if you're at all handy, you can build your own stands for $50 or less.


Edited by Hutzal (08/01/07 03:46 PM)
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#173536 - 08/01/07 03:41 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: Ken.C]
funkfuzz Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 15
Loc: Littleton, NH
Thanks for the reply. In leu of having an immediate need for a sub, I wonder if the M80's would be a good choice, if I'm only to get 1 pair of speakers right now?

Would the above-mentioned Onkyo power those puppies?

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#173537 - 08/01/07 03:45 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: funkfuzz]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13565
Loc: Iowa
Keep in mind you can order from the factory outlet and save 10%. Also, using phantom mode your left/right mains can simulate a center. So I would hold off on the center for now and focus on either surrounds or the sub.
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#173538 - 08/01/07 03:56 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: SirQuack]
funkfuzz Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 15
Loc: Littleton, NH
Hey thanks guys for the head's-up on the Factory Outlet. I will definitely use that.

Quick questions: I really like the enthusiastic recommendation on the M22's and EP500. I forgot to mention I also have a Pioneer S-CR500 center speaker. Would I be better off to use the above-mentioned "phantom mode" on the l/r mains or to use the Axiom lefts and rights in conjuction with the not-so-great Pioneer speaker mentioned above?

Also, is the difference between the EP350 and EP500 substantial? There's a big jump in price there. Go for the 500?

One other question: If you were in my shoes, would you opt to stick with using solely the Axiom mains and sub, or would you use those AND incorporate the not-so-great surround speakers I mentioned above. I'm really after quality and would be okay with having a 2.1 setup versus as 5.1 if the sound-quality would drop by introducing the Cambridge and Pioneer speakers mentioned above.

Your thoughts?

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#173539 - 08/01/07 04:42 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: funkfuzz]
Hutzal Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2102
Loc: Hollywood. (Canadian @ <3)
The EP500 can reach lower than the EP350, and has a bigger enclosure size (can play louder), and also uses a digital DSP to control the accuracy of its output. In your room size, I would recommend the EP500 if you can swing it. It also has a bigger amp (500 watt vs 200 watt).

I think using your current surrounds will work until you can swing some QS8s (which freaking rock I might add). I would use just the axiom mains in phantom mode for the centre channel, it will probably sound better than using your other speaker.


Edited by Hutzal (08/01/07 04:46 PM)
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#173540 - 08/01/07 05:42 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: Hutzal]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
If you're not doing the sub now, and you feel that you can swing the M80s, get them. You won't need a sub for a little while longer that way. Well, other than LFE on DVDs...
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#173541 - 08/01/07 06:30 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: funkfuzz]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 4613
I suggest you purchase the M80s, then the 500 and the centre last. In the meantime, use the speakers you have to complete your HT.

The Onkyo will have no trouble running your M80s. For reference, I have an almost identical room volume and I listen to music with a half watt per side and movies with a few watts. That leaves plenty of headroom for dynamics.

Good luck. I am sure you will enjoy your Axioms.

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#173542 - 08/01/07 06:37 PM Re: Newbie HT Purchase - Advice Appreciated [Re: Mojo]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13565
Loc: Iowa
Please note that Alan has mentioned on past threads that many Onkyo's will shut down when driving the 4ohm 80's. This may not be true for the newest models. You may want to confirm with the mfg.
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Anthem AVM60 Outlaw 7700 Emotiva A500 Epson 5040UB



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