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Best 5.1 home theatre system for less than $800?

I have a large theatre room which I am looking to install a 5.1 sound system in. What is the best system (w/out receiver) that I can get for less than $800?

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Best Answer

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Be specific about which components you need

So you need 5.1 speakers and sub? That's it?

If so, I'd probably look at Polk, Energy, Infinity and Paradigm brands. I'd first use their respective web sites to learn more about their products, then look @ Amazon for user feedback, and also AVS forum for more gory details on how they might compare. Energy Take Classics is probably the best priced entry level 5.1 speakers/sub system right now. For $399 it's hard to do better. I have a soft spot for the Paradigm Cinema 90 too (which would fit your budget), although I don't typically see them as much in the U.S. compared to other brands. (Actually, Energy & Paradigm both may be Canadian companies?)

The other one that peaked my interest is the Aperion Audio Intimus 4B. Really nice sound for the money, if you can actually find one inside your budget.

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Im looking for everything, i need 4 speakers a sub and a center speaker
A complete package or individual speakers would be fine. I have heard about the take classic, but im wondering if i can get something more than entry level.

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Your budget is still on the low side, since arguable, even the $800 models are still generally entry level/mid quality rigs.

You might also look into used gear from a mom-n-pop audio shop if you are looking for higher end stuff that fits you price point. IMO you would have to go over $1K if you were looking to buy separates. Such a large HT space would dictate you need some extra horsepower. I assume you mean 120' long? Or do you mean a 10 x 12' space??

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100 feet long

The room is about 100 feet long sorry not 120 feet

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Partitioning the room will be a must

I would even consider partitioning it so you only end up with 1/4 of the total sq footage for the actual HT section.(something like 12' x 25') Look into professional grade, heavy room dividers or movable curtains to seal the deal on the space where the HT action will be. Otherwise, such entry level systems I mentioned won't be effective as has already been suggested in this thread. A smaller space gives you much more leeway in where the speakers may be placed too.

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Most speakers will get lost

Pepe, it's been a long time since I last visited this forum. I bought the Energy Tale Classic system for my son last Xmas, and while the systm is excellent, it would totally get lost in that auditorium-sized room. I would safely say there is no 5.1 system available for $800 to satisfy a room that big. At work we auditioned some large speakers for our mixing bays that would work, but they cost $20,000.

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Correct, hence my suggestion... truly partition the room. Been there, done that. In a commercial setting (my workplace), actually. It shaped the surround sound to where it needed to be.

An entry level 5.1 system, w/ proper care to speaker placement, would be find in a 12' x 25' HT space. Not ideal obviously, but it could work on his modest budget. Perhaps adding the heavy curtains install could add $200-300 onto the budget though. If someone was a seamstress/tailor in his home that could reduce the cost a little more.


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I'd have to do more planning.

You can't imagine the number of times folk try to get 5.1 out of today's HDTVs. That's just a planning issue where consumers were not told why that fails or when to expect it to work.

Also, what is a large room? Here I call that something like 100 by 120 feet. In other works, not only the tech side must be considered but the size and acoustics. That is, sometimes you need curtains around the periphery.

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Good points

And if the rooms really good sized, planning ahead for 7.1 also isn't a bad idea. The OP could chooses a brand where you would have the option later on to add two more rear speakers to achieve 7.1 surround.

FWIW, I used a large area rug (8' x 10'?) to clean up some of the sonic 'reflections' in front of a couch in my primary HT space.

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Size o room

Yeah the room would fit your description of large. Its about 120 feet. I dont want to do a 7.1 because of the extra wiring.

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At 120 feet you have issues.

The speed of sound is such that you won't have a great high def sound experience in such a large space. And you could spend suitcases of green to duplicate the systems they use in big theaters. So for that size I'd go with simple big watt stereo and do more research about big screen theaters.

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