New to the game. Please help with set up.

I am new to the all this but I just bought a house with a good size media room. I want to set it up right, but I can't break the bank. I have a small inexpensive focal sib xl system that I use a Pioneer elite A/V reciver to power(Its about 130W per channel). The previous owner left his B&W 805s and I was wondering if the Pioneer could power these speakers as fronts with a sub and use the Focals as the surounds in a 7.1 system.

Thanks for any help you can provide

The answer is yes, it should work reasonably well.

You might even consider going simply two channel. The B&Ws are good enough that they might pull that off. Of course, if you need helicopters flying over your head, then you'll need surround. Nothing wrong with that, but many of us are very happy with great two-channel AV.

So it would be ok to use the Focals as surounds? I have been told that I should not mix speaker brands. I would like full suround but sound quaily is more important, should I get a B&W sub and center channel and not use the Focals at all? Will my Pioneer be enough to push this set up?

Thanks Michael
use what you've got for now.....the new house is gonna need money like oxygen for awhile.
Well Michael, it may not be ideal, but you're ears won't bleed and you won't vomit at the results. Could it be improved? No doubt!!

Set up of a surround system is way more critical than the speaker brands and their interaction. Since the surround channels require much less power and, generally, produce much less energy, a bit of a mis-match will not render things as unacceptable. Set up is the key. (Easier said than done, unfortunately).

For the surround speakers, in my opinion, you can get away running non-matching (to the front speakers) without really a big deal at all (with movies surround sound, not necessarily as true to with multi-channel audio). I think it is more important that the front channels (left, right and CENTER) be better matched. Based on this belief, you may want to consider adding a B&W center channel speaker (I believe it would be the HTM model that would go with these, but I am not sure on this). I would not go with a B&W sub, as I don't think they are really very good in comparison to others that you can get. For me, I much prefer REL (maybe an older Storm).

Another future consideration would be to add a good 2-channel amp and run the pre-outs from your receiver to this amp for the front two speakers (left and right) to get more enjoyment out of music (2-channel).
I have been using a mixed marriage of drivers for years, with ok results. As long as the speakers are somewhat similar in timbre, they will do just fine. Level matching is not a problem with multi-channel, so sensitvity isn't really an issue. I am more into 2 channel, but when playing M/C recordings, I get most of the desired results.
As previously stated, it will cause no harm, and it might surprise you with how good it sounds. Have fun with it, if you like it, great, if not, you are free to try anything you can afford later.

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Hi Michael:

My comments are should be considered supplementary vs. contrary to the good guidance posted so far. Let me suggest that you look at this as an opportunity to build up a system over time.

Given the 805s are likely the strong player (I have to cop to a pro-B&W bias) in your current setup, you could build from that foundation one piece at a time as budget allows.

Were in in your shoes, I'd follow CKoffends advice and get that matching center channel in place first. Either another 805 or an HTM 2 would be a good fit. You could go bigger into the HTM 1 since the center channel does the lion's share of the work on theater playback.

Given three B&Ws across the front, you have enough of the sibs for both rear and side surrounds (plus a spare), assuming your Pioneer can handle that.

After the matching B&W Center, I would then focus on outboard amplification for at least the Left/Right front channels. Were it me, I'd go for a high quality three channel amp to power all the front speakers. All of the B&Ws are worthy of good amplification and the biggest benefits will probably come in the area of bass control.

That would present a pretty satisfying system and assuming a good amp was chosen, you should get many years of satisfaction and service.

From there, I'd work my way up to a high quality H/T processor (preferably one with two-channel analog bypass for music only).

Then a sub that's able to go pretty deep and pressurize your good sized room.

I also agree with the postings that the rear surrounds are far less critical for timbre matching so they'd be the last thing on my upgrade wish list. I hope this is helpful advice!