Help with Entry-Level Home Audio System


New member
Username: Reggie_lives

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-04
I was hoping someone would have the time and the desire to help me pick out a system. I know it's Christmas time, and you guys are probably are very busy with the holiday's, but I'd truly appreciate a hand.

My goal is for a mid-ranged 5.1 audio system that will last me about 4-5 years. The main use of this system is for watching DVD's and playing Xbox/PS2, but I also plan to use it to listen to music. (Either through the DVD player, or preferably from my computer.) This will all be going in my room (roughly 17x14), and will accompany my 24" Toshiba Flastscreen.

Right now I have no "big picture" budget, but was thinking of spending about $1000 CND (sadly only about $800 USD) on a receiver and 2 front speakers. Eventually, I plan on purchasing a center channel, two rear's and a sub (is there a certain order i should stagger this?)

First, I was wondering if it's advantageous for all the speakers to be of the same make and model.

Second, for my needs and room size, would you suggest bookshelf speakers or tower speakers?

Third, do you have any specific models of receivers and speakers in mind for my needs and budget?

I've been to three different shops, and these are the setups they recommended:

1) Receiver: Denon AVR-1705
Speakers: Energy C1

2) Receiver: JVC RX-8040
Speaker: Mirage Omni 260? (or looked like them) (floor speakers that went for around 300-350)

3) Receiver: Panasonic SA-XR50
Speaker: Paradigm Cinema 90's plus Sub

From what I've listened to, the Energy's have more bass, and sound like they'd be better for music. The Cinema 90's were excellent for dvd's, but lacked the bass i'd prefer for music (hard rock, techno, hip hop), but that could possibly change with the right sub.

I'd definatly prefer to buy from a local shop (vancouver, BC), so shopping online isn't really an option.

The budget could also increase slightly if it's warranted.

This is a lot to ask, especially during the holiday season, but was would really appreciate any help. I'm a poor college student, and can't afford to waste money :-(

Thanks a lot

Reggie Lives

Bronze Member
Username: Dloweman

Post Number: 28
Registered: Nov-04
As a fellow canadian and college student, I would have to suggest you look at the paradigms. With a small budget, the speakers are the most important. I would suggest getting the mini-monitors for around $400, and then get either a yamaha 550/650, or denon 1705/1905. Put these speakers on stands and you are good to go. From there i would get a nice sub. I would suggest Hsu as they make great subs. Then, in a few years you can get new floor speakers and move the mini-monitors to surround speakers and you are on your way to a full surround system. Go to the local dealer and listen to them and see what you think. I used the lower end paradigm titans as fronts for a while, and they are also great speakers for around 250.

Unregistered guest
Since In-Ceiling speakers cost so much, a guy at Best Buy suggested I get a speaker kit of JBL model SCS160SI and put them in the ceiling anyway. Will this work(assuming I can get them mounted )? Also is there a way to tell which speaker wire is which in a pre wired ceiling?
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