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Sub $4000 Strong 7.2.4 System… Is it possible?!

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Aug 6, 2023
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Hey Everyone,

I’m new to home theater/surround systems and have really dove in head first over the last month. Of the endless forums I have read, opinions here seem to be the least biased and most scientific. I currently own a Denon AVR 1611. An old unit that does what it’s supposed to with Definitive Technology ProCinema6D 5.1 speakers. My ultimate plan is to have a 7.2.4 atmos setup. I really enjoy listening to music through my AVR as well. My room is 16’ x 16’ with 8’ ceilings, with 2 areas of the 16x16 square being open to the kitchen and dining room, so there will need to be some help with filling the room since it’s an open floor concept.
. I don’t want to do in ceiling speaker so mounted bookshelf or satellite speakers for the atmos height channels. Trying to find a sub $2000 do-it-all AVR with the ability to support external amps if my journey takes me there. Deciding between:

Denon x3800 - $1700
Denon x4700 - $1300 (Denon factory cert refurb)
Denon x4800 - $1800 (Denon factory cert refurb)
Emotiva BasX MR1L - $1600
Onkyo RZ50 - $1600 ($1000 factory cert refurb)

Am I better off buying the higher end Denon unit but the previous years model? Any issues buying factory certified refurbished?

Based on Amir’s reviews, it seems he really liked the 4700 and recommended it and didn’t recommend the 3800. Emotiva seems to have a great reputation in the community for affordable high end electronics, this unit seems to check almost every box. I guess I need at least 11 channels of processing for the speakers and 2 sub pre outs. I certainly like tweaking and wouldn’t mind digging into Dirac or MultEQ. Am I missing any systems or do y’all have a recommendation amongst the ones I listed?

As for speakers, I already have the DT ProCinema6D which includes 4 equal sized small “satellite” speakers, a center and an 8” 250W powered sub. Need the front speakers to be bookshelfs and not towers to stay somewhat wife friendly.

My current list, from research includes:

Emotiva b1/b2 plus
Sony sscs5
Jamo concert series
Elac bs41
Klipsch rp6000f
Klipsch r610

Subwoofers:

Emotiva se12
Polk psw10
Elac sub 1010
Infinity sub r12
Jamo C912

Any input is appreciated! My lists are just preliminary research over a few months, I’m completely open to components not listed here.
 
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Welcome to our hobby. It is as much a learning journey as an audio enjoyment journey. Maybe 5-10 years back I would have thought factory refurbished units would be fine. However, post Covid and the reality of newly hired service workers, I would steer clear of buying factory refurbished. Returned units that do not have easily diagnosed problems might just wind up being classified as “OK” when the original glitch wasn’t detected. Regarding Emotiva their processors have a bad reputation for reliability. You can do some quick google searches and find multiple complaints.

I do recommend Crutchfield as a trustworthy and customer friendly company https://www.crutchfield.com/About/Valueprops.aspx. They often have open box return specials and will stand behind all their sales. As an added bonus they give lifetime tech support which really comes in handy when trying to install a new piece of equipment—especially for new audiophiles.
 
I would spend a lot more on the subs than the rest of the speakers if I were you. Cheapish Emotiva monitors that can be easily placed around a room will probably be fine for a budget setup, but correcting the room will make a huge difference. The stereo mains (L/R) can be upgraded later as they will do the majority of the work, but a solid subwoofer foundation can make a huge difference, making the quality of the satellites matter a lot less.

I was in a movie theater recently for the first time in a long while, and the most noticeable differences between my current setup and the professionals was the level of absorption in the room. Highly damped walls with deflecting curves and angles, all to allow the speakers to do the work. There was also an incredibly deep, effortless quality to the subwoofers. They went far lower than the usual 30hz and could be represented loudly without a booming quality. The bass never seemed to be too much.

That's what I'd focus on when replicating a theater.
 
I would spend a lot more on the subs than the rest of the speakers if I were you. Cheapish Emotiva monitors that can be easily placed around a room will probably be fine for a budget setup, but correcting the room will make a huge difference. The stereo mains (L/R) can be upgraded later as they will do the majority of the work, but a solid subwoofer foundation can make a huge difference, making the quality of the satellites matter a lot less.

I was in a movie theater recently for the first time in a long while, and the most noticeable differences between my current setup and the professionals was the level of absorption in the room. Highly damped walls with deflecting curves and angles, all to allow the speakers to do the work. There was also an incredibly deep, effortless quality to the subwoofers. They went far lower than the usual 30hz and could be represented loudly without a booming quality. The bass never seemed to be too much.

That's what I'd focus on when replicating a theater.
Thank you!! Any recommendations on a good foundation subwoofer and front L/R main spekers?
 
A suggestion between many for around US$ 3,600.00. Enough for a 16m² to 25m² room (my set is very close to this configuration):
  1. Pioneer VSX LX503 ($ 1,000.00 the newer 505)
  2. Fosi Audio TDA7498E 2 Channel 160W x2 Stereo Audio Amplifier for surround back ($70)
  3. Six Polk 265RT In Wall Speakers (around $ 1600.00 for them)
  4. Polk Audio 255c-RT ($200)
  5. Four Polk Audio RC80i ($400.00 four)
  6. Acoustech H-100 Cinema Series Subwoofer ($300)
Consider that the receiver might not have enough muscles to push these nine speakers on high continuous volume
 
Thank you!! Any recommendations on a good foundation subwoofer and front L/R main spekers?
I build my own, so not really. Good luck!

Edit: I have heard some quality SVS subs and their software is very nice to use. They make complex integration easy. Adequate sub for a room likely won’t need changing until the room does.
 
If you want to go really inexpensive, JBL in the USA has some of their least expensive Stage series of speakers at a nice discount.

Stage A170 $130 ea
Stage A180 $150 ea
Stage A190 $200 ea
Sub 550P $190 ea
Studio 580 $300 ea
 
I build my own, so not really. Good luck!

Edit: I have heard some quality SVS subs and their software is very nice to use. They make complex integration easy. Adequate sub for a room likely won’t need changing until the room does.
Great input, that’s the second SVS recommendation
 
Welcome to our hobby. It is as much a learning journey as an audio enjoyment journey. Maybe 5-10 years back I would have thought factory refurbished units would be fine. However, post Covid and the reality of newly hired service workers, I would steer clear of buying factory refurbished. Returned units that do not have easily diagnosed problems might just wind up being classified as “OK” when the original glitch wasn’t detected. Regarding Emotiva their processors have a bad reputation for reliability. You can do some quick google searches and find multiple complaints.

I do recommend Crutchfield as a trustworthy and customer friendly company https://www.crutchfield.com/About/Valueprops.aspx. They often have open box return specials and will stand behind all their sales. As an added bonus they give lifetime tech support which really comes in handy when trying to install a new piece of equipment—especially for new audiophiles.
Thanks for the input, I’m worried that if I purchase a refurb I’ll always be wondering if something isn’t what it’s actually supposed to sound/function like compared to new…
 
Very important question: Will this setup have EQ and how? A global EQ will require the same speakers at every spot, but it's doable. It gets more complicated with a mix and match. An alternative to the JBL Stages might be the Emotiva setups. I'm a huge fan myself of JBL's Studio series, but I think that will be hard to set up with it's active plate amps in a theater. It would certainly invalidate the purchase of a top-shelf AVR going active. The bonus is each is adjustable with tone controls for their unique position. The 306p may be my favorite commercial speaker at a fair price. Buying 7 of them would only cost $1400.
 
Very important question: Will this setup have EQ and how? A global EQ will require the same speakers at every spot, but it's doable. It gets more complicated with a mix and match. An alternative to the JBL Stages might be the Emotiva setups. I'm a huge fan myself of JBL's Studio series, but I think that will be hard to set up with it's active plate amps in a theater. It would certainly invalidate the purchase of a top-shelf AVR going active. The bonus is each is adjustable with tone controls for their unique position. The 306p may be my favorite commercial speaker at a fair price. Buying 7 of them would only cost $1400.
The EQ would be whatever the AVR's native system supports, looks like DIRAC with OnkyoRZ50 and MultEQ XT32 with the Denons. Those JBL studios have a great reputation but looks like they only accept XLR or 1/4', how would I send signal to these speakers without the outputs from AVR's in my price range. From suggestions, it sounds like the center speaker should be one of the anchors of my system, with that, Klipsch RP-600C, Elac Debut C6.2, JBL Stage, Emotiva C1/2+, SVS Prime, Monolith 365c have matching speakers all around. I do see that @amirm has some high preferences in these powered speakers in the $150-$400 range. I was always looking at passive speakers because that's my knowledge base, but I'm opening up to the powered option. What would be the matching center speaker to something like the 306/8p or Kali LP6-V2 or Audioengine A5+?
 
Hey Everyone,

I’m new to home theater/surround systems and have really dove in head first over the last month. Of the endless forums I have read, opinions here seem to be the least biased and most scientific. I currently own a Denon AVR 1611. An old unit that does what it’s supposed to with Definitive Technology ProCinema6D 5.1 speakers. My ultimate plan is to have a 7.2.4 atmos setup. I really enjoy listening to music through my AVR as well. My room is 16’ x 16’ with 8’ ceilings, with 2 areas of the 16x16 square being open to the kitchen and dining room, so there will need to be some help with filling the room since it’s an open floor concept.
. I don’t want to do in ceiling speaker so mounted bookshelf or satellite speakers for the atmos height channels. Trying to find a sub $2000 do-it-all AVR with the ability to support external amps if my journey takes me there. Deciding between:

Denon x3800 - $1700
Denon x4700 - $1300 (Denon factory cert refurb)
Denon x4800 - $1800 (Denon factory cert refurb)
Emotiva BasX MR1L - $1600
Onkyo RZ50 - $1600 ($1000 factory cert refurb)

Am I better off buying the higher end Denon unit but the previous years model? Any issues buying factory certified refurbished?

Based on Amir’s reviews, it seems he really liked the 4700 and recommended it and didn’t recommend the 3800. Emotiva seems to have a great reputation in the community for affordable high end electronics, this unit seems to check almost every box. I guess I need at least 11 channels of processing for the speakers and 2 sub pre outs. I certainly like tweaking and wouldn’t mind digging into Dirac or MultEQ. Am I missing any systems or do y’all have a recommendation amongst the ones I listed?

As for speakers, I already have the DT ProCinema6D which includes 4 equal sized small “satellite” speakers, a center and an 8” 250W powered sub. Need the front speakers to be bookshelfs and not towers to stay somewhat wife friendly.

My current list, from research includes:

Emotiva b1/b2 plus
Sony sscs5
Jamo concert series
Elac bs41
Klipsch rp6000f
Klipsch r610

Subwoofers:

Emotiva se12
Polk psw10
Elac sub 1010
Infinity sub r12
Jamo C912

Any input is appreciated! My lists are just preliminary research over a few months, I’m completely open to components not listed here.
Monoprice has good discounts on the encore series right now. They measure good and the left over money will get you some great subs.
 
The EQ would be whatever the AVR's native system supports, looks like DIRAC with OnkyoRZ50 and MultEQ XT32 with the Denons. Those JBL studios have a great reputation but looks like they only accept XLR or 1/4', how would I send signal to these speakers without the outputs from AVR's in my price range. From suggestions, it sounds like the center speaker should be one of the anchors of my system, with that, Klipsch RP-600C, Elac Debut C6.2, JBL Stage, Emotiva C1/2+, SVS Prime, Monolith 365c have matching speakers all around. I do see that @amirm has some high preferences in these powered speakers in the $150-$400 range. I was always looking at passive speakers because that's my knowledge base, but I'm opening up to the powered option. What would be the matching center speaker to something like the 306/8p or Kali LP6-V2 or Audioengine A5+?
The thing about powered speakers that always concerned me is that they are self contained and ONCE the amps go bad there are no other alternate solutions for amplifiers. And they still need AC power connections.
 
What would be the matching center speaker to something like the 306/8p or Kali LP6-V2 or Audioengine A5+?
It would be another 306. Upright and in the center position. That’s the not great part. DIRAC native should allow any speaker with adequate dynamic range and directivity to play with perfect tone.
 
It would be another 306. Upright and in the center position. That’s the not great part. DIRAC native should allow any speaker with adequate dynamic range and directivity to play with perfect tone.
How would I run the 306s? There are no 1/4" or XLR outputs on any of the AVRs I mentioned....
 
Hi

Welcome to ASR! @FriendofBill35 !!Can I chime in ? Please :D

I'd stay within JBL.
How would I run the 306s? There are no 1/4" or XLR outputs on any of the AVRs I mentioned....
You would use an RCA to XLR converter such as these
at around $20.oo for 20 feet.... I use those with my JBL 308 , so do several people here with excellent results.
My current system is based on Denon and JBL. I am very, very pleased.

I'd advise :
Denon X-3800 (Denon Refurb ) for around $1300
3 JBL LSR 308 for $750-. (total) (LCR)
2 LSR 305 for $350 (Surround)
2 stage A-130 for $250 (For height/Atmos Ceiling).
2 x SVS PB1000 $1400
Audyssey MultEQ-X $200.oo (Software)

Lot of back and forth with people here.. often, again and again...

A bit over budget at $4250.oo but , this could be a real ear opener. You may begin to wonder if you really want/need /have to spend more.... Speaking from experience ;).

Peace.
 
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Hi

Welcome to ASR! @FriendofBill35 !!Can I chime in ? Please :D

I'd stay within JBL.

You would use an RCA to XLR converter such as these
at around $20.oo for 20 feet.... I use those with my JBL 308 , so do several people here with excellent results.
My current system is based on Denon and JBL. I am very, very pleased.

I'd advice :
Denon X-3800 (Denon Refurb ) for around $1300
3 JBL LSR 308 for $750-. (total) (LCR)
2 LSR 305 for $350 (Surround)
2 stage A-130 for $250 (For height/Atmos Ceiling).
2 x SVS PB1000 $1400
Audyssey MultEQ-X $200.oo (Software)

Lot of back and forth with people here.. often, again and again...

A bit over budget at $4250.oo but , this could be a real ear opener. You may begin to wonder if you really want/need /have to spend more....

Peace.
Thank you for the input, my eyes continue to open to options I didn't even know existed!! What makes you prefer the X-3800 over the X4700?
 
Hi

Welcome to ASR! @FriendofBill35 !!Can I chime in ? Please :D

I'd stay within JBL.

You would use an RCA to XLR converter such as these
at around $20.oo for 20 feet.... I use those with my JBL 308 , so do several people here with excellent results.
My current system is based on Denon and JBL. I am very, very pleased.

I'd advice :
Denon X-3800 (Denon Refurb ) for around $1300
3 JBL LSR 308 for $750-. (total) (LCR)
2 LSR 305 for $350 (Surround)
2 stage A-130 for $250 (For height/Atmos Ceiling).
2 x SVS PB1000 $1400
Audyssey MultEQ-X $200.oo (Software)

Lot of back and forth with people here.. often, again and again...

A bit over budget at $4250.oo but , this could be a real ear opener. You may begin to wonder if you really want/need /have to spend more.... Speaking from experience ;).

Peace.
How do you control volume for these active speakers, they have their own built in volume control on the internal amp, correct? When watching a movie, changing the volume on the AVR would control the powered speakers volume output also along with any satellite speakers being run by the internal AVR amps? Or do you need to get up and adjust each powered speaker individually?
 
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