Newb Alert Piecing Together 5.1 System. Help Pls

Hello everyone,

Longtime lurker, first time poster. I'm about six weeks away (depending on the contractor) from having a newly remodeled home and living area. See link (it's a rough diagram - I'm no CAD guy, obviously).

I have a couple of questions about piecing together a 5.1 'entry level' system. I've had a 2.1 system with PSB Century 600is for some time. They have seen better days, and I'm ready for something new to mate to my soon-to-be new HDTV.

After much research, I've found that NHT looks like a good bet at my price point. However, I'm not sure about a couple of things:

1. How, in your opinion, will a set of Classic Threes for front references mate to two AZs for rear satellites?

2. Is my room big/small enough for these particular pieces? The television will be on the 'left' wall of the diagram, pretty much because it has to be. Along with the depicted opening to the kitchen, there is also a 'bar' passthrough that is about 42" up, 48" wide, and ~36" tall. This is about mid-distance between the hall opening and the opening to the dining room.

3. Can those AZs be heard well from the wall behind the couch? The couch will be ~12' from the 'left' wall and the TV.

4. Are there any other similarly priced brands/models you might recommend to audition along with the NHTs? I've seen mixed reviews of Usher, but have thought they might work for my application.

5. I have cats, which is part of the reason I'm looking almost exclusively at bookshelves with stands. I'm not ruling out towers completely, but I am ruling them out if my cats can reach ANY cones from the floor.

6. I've no idea what sub I'll be pairing with the speakers, so if anyone wants to throw out similarly paired/priced subs for my room size, I'm all ears about that, too.

7. My other hardware will be a Sony 60 or 70" XBR2 SXRD, probably a PS3, some sort of upconverting DVD player, and either an Outlaw 1070, or maybe the forthcoming Sherwood 972 (if I can wait). Besides the TV, I'm also open to suggestions in regard to similar price/performance receivers, or separates.

This will proabably be a 65/35 split between HT and music. However, if it does music well, I'll spend more time in front of the system specifically to that end.

Please be patient with me, as I'm just beginning to come to grips in understanding things around here.

TIA for any help,

Euphusman - I hate to bring this up but it sounds like you may need to hire someone who can help you or do the job for you. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're asking someone to pretty much tell you how to assemble, setup and configure your entire system...for free. This in itself, outside of the actual physical assembly, is a full time task. Unfortunately, if you're not into tub rolling or LP's, you're not going to get as much attention. Especially when you mention HT.

I'm not saying no one will help. I'm just saying unless you make helping you worth their wile, you may not get any help.

I'm sure there are many companies in your general area who will be willing to assemble your system and will put forth the effort and have the time to do it for you.

Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just speaking from personal experience. Good luck and best wishes.

PS - You're NHT option will work fine and try not to have the AZ's directly behind the couch. Shoot for b/t 90 and 110 degrees to the side of the listening position.

Thanks for the response, and for the info on the AZs. I really appreciate it.

I guess I may be asking a lot without knowing it. :)

Really, at this point in time, I guess I should narrow things and ask about bookshelf speaks, new or used, for around $1K that would compare (or best) favorably to the NHTs.

Beyond that, I'll figure it out on my own...

And thanks again. I appreciate the response and info.


I should also clarify...

Not looking for setup, per se, but whether I should even worry about the room setup in my novice state of learning.

And hoping for more than just a 'yes'. Perhaps some real basics on how others have dealt with similar situations.

And if it's not too much trouble, is there another forum better suited for HT questions that still emphasizes music listening? AVS does a great job with all things video, but this place seems to be so much more informative with the audio end of things.

Cheers again, and apologies for not keeping the thoughts in a single post.