Starting HTS setup


I’m a newb when it comes to Home Theater setups. I would like some information about how best to start my HTS journey. I’m thinking of starting with a 2.0/3.0 setup and build from there. My budget for the base setup (AV receiver or Separates + Speakers) is ~$2,500. I would use this system for Movies and TV (70%) and music (30%). See my planned setup below. My living room is 23x13ft.

  • What kind and/or brand of speakers do you recommend?
    Been thinking in the range of Klipsch RPs (tower and/or bookschelf). :thinking:
  • AV receiver, AV (pre-out chan) + Amp or Pre-Amp + Amp and which brand?
    Currently leaning towards Marantz or Denon.

Thanks for any info.

I would tell you to either build a 2 ch setup, or start of with a cheapish sound processor and spend all your budget on front speakers.
You can use very cheap rears, or buy the rest later, your gonna thank me.
Auditioning Speakers is recommended and look for used deals.

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as a European, I dont have many suggestions for Speakers, most we have here, are European.
But if you can move the Speakers 1-2 meters into the room, get magnepan lrs(or+, I have the og lrs),
a rel subwoofer and a high quality class a/b amp, I use a 1984 ASR Emitter, but if you wanna make lrs work, you need at least a 500-1000 dollar amp for them, the tv processor wont work.
Otherwise, look as mentioned at used deals, or at zu audio, The dirty weekend is very Interesting, I really want one and then maybe a tube amp. The processor, would also power them fine.

The room layout or HT-layout is mainly always a compromise but the corner loaded speakers might not be ideal location, specially if the speaker air ports are behind and close to wall. Before buying check the manual of recommend room location and distances (good ones tell you that).
I would also try to move everything inwards the room, more away from the window corner.

If it’s not possible then i might consider speakers with with front ports.
The mentioned Klipsch RP’s have rear ports, so at “movie volumes” there might be unwanted noises.

Trying to manage and control FR curves what the room produces you probably need a AVR that has some room measurement to calmdown unwanted noises and vibrations.

I always prefer same series speakers so the surround sounds same from every direction. So i would be watching speakers you match, same series Front speakers, Rear Speakers and possible even Center channel if there will be future upgrades.

The main issue of course is finding speakers you like to listen, what type of sound pleases you and suits the room and speakers locations. What can the AVR help with room noises etc.
Building a good HT-setup usually needs money. So its not a shame to build it in parts.

  • AVR first with Front speakers.
  • Then probably Rear speakers
  • Center and possible subwoofer?
    That pretty much has been my build phases. Plus after that upper surrounds.

Marantz and Denon AVR (owned by the same mother company) are good. IF you compare the two and similar models, the Marantz might be little newer and have little better components.
Kinda like VW concept. Audi might have some new thingy and little better interior and quality, then little later Denon has same thingy but might not be as good as the Audis one but is also bit cheaper.
Point being similar parts are being used but Marantz should be a touch better quality.
Some sound differences also between similar models so again, what you like.

You mentioned a possible AV- Pre-Out receiver, that would mean you go for active speakers?
Now days im all active/powered speakers guy but they also cost more than passive speakers but you also get so much more. So the part building it in phases comes even more important and matching speakers to get the END result you are aiming for.
5 similar speakers or very close in the speaker range, same series but bigger size still being same type of sound but more bass usually from bigger speakers.
Point being. With active speakers and AV-receiver, you can have quality bass and low end from speakers and not needing much volume. More volume only makes the same sound louder but with same passive speakers you might need more power to get the bass so more volume and thats not always possible like night times.
Listening with low volumes and still getting low end and bass. It a win win situation.

Yeah the room layout is not ideal. I live in an appartment so my placement of the speakers are limited. I could move the FL & FR further from the wall (1-2ft) and the entire seating position more towards the middle of the room.

Yes, that’s one of the features I’d like to have on my AVR (AccuEQ/ MultEQ/Dirac).

I had a feeling it would be like this for those brands.

My reasoning behind this choice of AVR is that I could upgrade later with an Amp to power FR & FL (maybe center also) and the rears by the AVR if I would have speakers that need an Amp to bring out the full potential of said speakers. That way I would not need to buy a Pre-Amp first and ditch the AVR if I would like a seperate Amp upgrade.

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I have contacted a dealer with the same questions except I didn’t mention any brands (I didn’t want my choice to influence the suggestion they would make). The dealer is Klipsch focused however (pic below).

Speaker brands


This is the suggestion I received.

Klipsch R-600F (Pair) - $1,103.38
Klipsch R-30C - $441.13
Onkyo TX-NR5100 - $993.91

Total: $2,538.42

They already might have influences with the Brand (brands) they have the best cut. :wink:
Would imagine dealers best sales comes from Klipsch products, so of course they try to sell.

In any case if you like the Klipsch house sound and music sounds just right to you. That is the place to start HTS journey. All are R-series so drivers and sound is same, that is good.
They also have smaller speakers like for rear usage and even a Sub. For matching looks.
That sub-sound (series) is not as important than it is in speakers. Qualitys, tuning, details and performance are important but thats for another topic.

As mentioned buying in phases is a good option.
If you find a suitable Marantz/Denon unit, then maybe pick Front speakers at the same time.
Center later and Rears later in dif.phases, what is suitable for the time and budget.

Price comparing is important as well since that same amp can be found on crutchfield and amazon for 450$ (might a limited time sale?).
So picking amp from dealer 1, speakers from dealer 2 is also good option to think about, even all the speaker from different dealers. Little work for you but its worth it.
Also every special deal is worth waiting and spotting the best deal.
The overall budget might be few hundred cheaper than planned or with the same budget, you get much better gear.

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This seems like a good deal. Ofc international shipping might be expensive. That’s where the local dealer gets the benefit. Regarding warranty and free shipping it might be best to stay local if the price differences are not extreme.

Edit: nvm, they do not ship to Belgium.