Here's my situation... We moved into a new house that we had prewired for sound (6.1 surround in the family room and two speakers in 2 additional rooms, as well as the patio, each w/volume controls). The builder was trying to sell me their Speakercraft system (AIM-3's for the surround sound and CRS-1's for the other rooms). I wasn't prepared to spend nearly $5K on it at the time, so I opted only for the prewire. Almost two years later now, I'm getting around to completing my system. I have a Sony STRDE-995 receiver (sorry if I offended anybody by using the "S" word here) that is capable of 7.1 surround at 100 watts per channel.
Initially I was going to put in VERY inexpensive ceiling speakers with the thought of upgrading at a later time and I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I've already bought several pairs of speakers on ebay for that purpose... They're Audiosource IC8S's which I've purchased for around $45-50/pair. I further rationalized this by telling myself that since I am such a novice, my ears are probably not as discriminating as a true audiophile's, so I probably wouldn't be able to notice a difference.
I'm now questioning that rationale and have decided that these speakers will probably suffice in my secondary rooms, but maybe not in my surround system that I would like to use for movies and music. I'm now looking to put in the same equipment that the builder was going to install. I've already purchased the Speakercraft volume controls via ebay and am now looking at Speakercraft AIM-1's (not the AIM-3's because I still can't justify the $$ to myself or the wife). When I'm done, I think I'll be able to finish my system off at about half the price the builder would have charged me.
So, here's my question (finally). Is Speakercraft as good as I've been told they are? Is there something better for a comparable or (better yet) cheaper price? I've also read on other posts that certain speakers sound better on different receivers. How will these work w/my Sony receiver? Is there anything else I should consider? Is my receiver going to be able to handle 4 rooms at once? What kind of sub should I consider? My budget is fairly limited at around $800 to complete the 6.1 speaker system.
Thank you for any advice you can offer...