HT help! Budget 10k

Hello Audiophile,

Please go easy on me and a noob here when it comes to HT. I do apologize as I know thread like this comes up all the time, but everyone's situation and configuration are different.

I've been running my current system for quite sometime now and it's time to upgrade or replace to a much better HT system that will last me 10+ years. My current budget is $10,000 excluding the TV. If I can spend less, great!

This is not a dedicated HT room. This will be in the living room and the size is 32'x20' (640sqft). We primarily will be using this HT system to play movies, music, and some occasion games. Music is more Trance, Hip Hop, and Rap.

I need real world advice and experience as to what would be my best option here. I'm not against using old speakers or the newest and greatest speakers. Whatever will bring out the best sound for the price is what I am looking for.

I would love to implement a 7.1 or 7.2 system, but I understand price will be a huge factor here so I will consider a 5.1 or 5.2 system as well. Whatever brands and models you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to run a separate setup as well to fully bring out the potential on the speakers.

Below here is my very basic current simple setup:

Denon AVR-790 (Just Died on me)
2 Audiofile 830LR floorstanding speaker
1 Klipsch RC52 Center
1 Klipsch RW10 Subwoofer
Your home theater space is very large, which is an advantage in many ways.  There's room for whatever equipment you might need.  But it's a multi-use room, so maybe you can't go too big.  If it were my large room, I'd pursue some kind of good projection video system.

On a somewhat smaller scale (if you use maybe just part of your room for this rig), I've been happy with a 65" Panasonic plasma.  I forget the model number but plasma's IMO still the nicest picture, although admittedly it's best in lower light situations. 

Given a 10K budget, which is pretty close to the budget we had, take a look at Emotiva electronics.  Their stuff is well-priced and good quality, and you get into a 5-channel amp + processor for $2000-5000 depending on how well you shop their special pricing and whether you need extra amplification for a 7.1 or 7.2 system in that big space.  

For video BOOM, get into some Hsu Research subwoofers. In your space I'd get two (total cost maybe $2000).  

See if you can find a way to get all the electronics into a closet somewhere in the house.  All of this HT junk and cabling looks terrible in a regular living space.  Budget some money for cabling to do this.  Get pros to help you and do it right for maybe $2000.  

Speakers: we've been happy with PSB products: two towers and a center channel.  I'm a big believer in doing ceiling flush-mounts for the rear channels.  Putting loudspeakers (rear channels) in the middle of a family room floor, complete with speaker cabling, is crazy. Ceiling speakers sound great and really clean up the look of your system. You can do speakers for maybe $4000

Budget 12-15K total instead of 10K, and you'll be more realistic.  It's only $$$ and you'll be happier in the long run. 

Looking at the size room and your choice of music, it will be best to use speakers with a high sensitivity, like Klipsch. Also, they will be extremely dynamic for movies. Going to a much lower sensitivity speaker after using Klipsch may prove to be a disappointment. Look at their recommended systems, and add a second subwoofer or extra rear channels, or both.

Driving higher sensitivity speakers can save many $$$ when driving 5-7 channels.

Budget for 2 subs.

That is a pretty good size room(5000 to 6200ft3 +) and larger/dynamic speakers may be in order.  Klipsch speakers are dynamic and efficient and I would not vote against them in your room.  I think a full Klipsch RF-7II setup(RF-7IIs, RC-64II, RS-62II's) would be a good direction to go.  This setup should run you in the range of $4500.00 to $5000.00.  Mate them with a pair of SVS PB2000 subs($1499.99 shipped) and that would leave you with $3500.00 to $4000.00 for a flagship AVR or a midlevel AVR and a 5-channel outboard amp.  

Sell your current speakers and apply that +/- $400.00 to your new setup.


Do you have any local dealers you can visit?  Might be a good idea to go check out a few different options to see what you prefer.
A Marantz SR7010 will run in the area of $2000 to $2200 and will support 7.2.2 or 5.2.4 as it has Dolby Atmos which is great for HT. I also recommend SVS subs.  You could visit their website and discuss with them which models would work best for your room and budget. SVS also has HT speakers that may work nicely also. I also have a 65" Panasonic Plasma but if your budget and room lighting would allow for a Projector screen size would be as large as would fit in connection with seating. Enjoy the process.
Thanks for all the input so far.

I have thought about going with the Klipsch RF II orginally, but there seems to be a following that hates horn.

I have hear great reviews from SVS subs, but I thought about going with PSA subs instead, specifically the v3600i. Thoughts on those?
"I have thought about going with the Klipsch RF II orginally, but there seems to be a following that hates horn."

Yes there is but there is also a following that hates solid state amplification but that does not deter many from buying them.  You know the tubes vs SS debate.

Horns, specifically Klipsch since they were mentioned, do very well in home theater applications, and many like what they do for music, me included obviously.  Some are just biased against horns(and Klipsch) and nothing will change their mind.

I am not telling you that Klipsch speakers are the best thing since sliced bread but will tell you they are great bang for the buck speakers that don't require high dollar/high power amplification to let the dynamics flow freely. 

Bill, I agree that Klipsch are great bang for the buck as my pockets aren't deep enough.

However, I came across a pair of lightly used and still very new Bowers and Wilkins CM9 for under $1,000. Should I pick that up and mix it with the Klipsch if I do decide to go that route? 


I would not mix B&W's with Klipsch.  IMO, all Klipsch or all B&W for seamless timbre matching.  Of course subwoofers are exempt from that rule.  

I don't know much(nothing) about your Audiofile 830's but I do know that your Klipsch RC-52 is not a well regarded center speaker for such a large room.  Fine for a secondary setup in a small room but not for your large space.