(NFR) Surround Sound speakers


Active Member
I recently did some tractor work for my neighbors and to compensate me for my efforts they gave me a Yamaha HTR-5460 surround sound receiver. It is far more sophisticated than the 15 year old Pioneer I have and vastly more powerful. The speakers I have are an eclectic assortment of Advent, Boston Acoustics, and Polk Audio stuff that is all pretty long in the tooth. They have all been assigned to barn duty. I would like to get a matched set of modestly sized speakers that included front and rear plus center speakers. I am not too hot on the subwoofer idea.

I am not interested in audiophile grade stuff either and would like to keep the outlay in the $200 range. I see lots of sets advertised on the web and many in the price range I am looking at. But I am clueless about who is building what these days and need some advice about which product line to look into. Maybe just getting a set of Yamaha speakers would be the best bet and keep everything in the family. Any ideas? Ive

Jeremy Floyd

fly fishing my way through life
NFR: Surround Sound speakers

I would recommend you go to a stereo store that has a soundroom that you can sit in and listen to different speakers and then try to find the ones you like the best on ebay/craigslist etc for a lot less than market price..

I personally run a Pioneer deck connected to Infinity speakers and they sound sensational.

The idea of staying away from the subwoofer means your deck and front speakers will have to work harder. The subwoofer takes a huge amp load off of the main front speakers since it will use a crossover and send the lower frequency sounds to the sub which in most cases has its own amp built in. That extends not only your deck life but also speaker life even if you dont listen to things loud.

Things will also sound clearer if each speaker does the job it was specifically designed for (subs doing low, front speakers doing mid range, side and rear doing higher pitch echo's etc..) instead of having to produce every sound that you are trying to listen to.

I use a really small 8" sub that is only like 12x12x12" and it sounds WAY better than if I just run all the sound directly to the from two speakers which are really good 250 watt Infinity Studio Monitors.

Willie Bodger

Still, nothing clever to say...
NFR: Surround Sound speakers

I have a Denon setup with a sub. My speakers are Mission (made by Denon) and they are small, but the sub really rounds it out. I have seen the mission speakers cheap on Ebay. In fact, I got my rear surrounds on Ebay a few years ago and they have been great.



Be the guide...
NFR: Surround Sound speakers

will this be mainly used for general music listening our for a home theater type setup?

Sounds like you want a basic 5.1 home theater setup. Most 'out of the box' setups seem to include the DVD player and \ or receiver in the combo. But I finally found a set of just the speakers at Costco and have been happy so far. But I'm not really an audiphile type either. We just to like watch movies and having surround sound and a nice sub woofer makes a HUGE difference.

Our house came pre-wired for satalite speakers in all 4 corners of the room. With kids, that's the best way to go, since you don't have wires sticking out all over just begging to be messed with...


dead in the water
If you live anywhere near Marysville, the Sony store at the "Seattle Premium Outlets" can have some good deals on speaker sets. As mentioned though, most of them seem to come with reciever/cd/dvd players. Don't think they all do though.

You can often get a 10% off coupon if you sigh up for their free "VIP shopper" club online.
You will get many opinions on which route to go.

In my line of work, I'm able to sample first hand extremely high-end, mid-grade and low-end audio & video systems. You can easily drop thousands of dollars on speakers and the like and find a system that does not play very well together.

My honest opinion is to pair your new-found receiver with the current speakers you have and spend money to upgrade each component as you go.

If you go that route, the tendency is to buy the most expensive front L & R speakers and save the center and surrounds as an afterthought. The most important speaker for surround sound movies is by far and away the center channel.

So enough of that- you wanted recommendations so here goes...


- A decent "bang for your buck" system- 5 speakers for $299. I'm not going to use 'bose'-like cliches in describing its performance (i.e. "it sounds like systems costing 5 times as much!!"), but it's a good value for the price. My only complaint is the center channel is miserable if the placement of the front speakers isn't far enough apart. Basically the sweet spot of the center channel somewhat small.


Again, a pre-packaged 5(!) speaker sound system + sub for around $350. This is the entry-level speaker-setup I suggest for persons wanting a complete system for less than $600. Small, attractive and generating good sound for their size and price, they also have a high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) which has its own benefits. Not too badmouth anybody's personal choices if they have gone that route- for anyone who thinks that 1) Bose speakers sound good, and 2)Bose speakers are a good value, I challenge them to listen to these and see if their opinion changes.


For a bit more money, Athena Technologies has some excellent values with in their entry level setups. I've had a variey of speaker systems in many different price points. A couple of years ago, if you would've asked what the best low-end speaker value was I would've said Polk. I listened to a friends' Athena speakers and have raised my expectations for what kind of performance one should be getting in the entry-level speaker price point.


If you're going to go this route- I would suggest replacing your 2 front L/R speakers with a pair of one of these bookshelves. Then the center and then the surrounds. I should be forthright and disclose that I own Axiom speakers (not the ones in the link) and they are what I consider the measuring stick mid-range surround sound systems should be compared against. I haven't heard center channels that performed better at their price point and the build quality of their speakers are exceptional. I intend to keep my Axioms as my main system until I can afford the Paradigm system I've had my ear on for a while now. ;)


New Member
I agree with Captain
Home audio/theater is my bidniss, and for someone to know about the WAF, they know a bit about speakers:beer2:

Another company for you to check out is HSU Research. http://www.hsuresearch.com/

I did an install where the customer wasn't willin to shell out much green, but wanted a thirty thousand dollar-millionaires version of high-end sound. The Ventriliquist V-12 is designed as a 6.1 setup, but its lacking the sub.
Not to worry my gill-scented friend, hit up they're website and they'll knock 100 bones off the cost of any subwoofer with the surround speaker purchase.

Surprisingly full sound for such a small package.
I think the overall bill was around 500 bucks, but not too much to complain about when you got yourself a system thats hittin freqs. low enough to get the women squirmin in their victoria secrets with a smile that'll take ya all the way to the Elwha.