Building a Surround Sound to Last... Anybody want to weigh in?

The Stig

Aug 18, 2011
Hi, first of all let me start by saying i don't know much about advanced audio terms (bi-amp comes to mind) and install so forgive me when I dont understand something. Second, the only system I've ever had is the HTIB Onkyo HT-S5200. It was nice as a beginner's system, but now I want more. Newegg had a great deal on a Pioneer VSX-1121-k receiver with a Klipsch RW-12d sub. So now those two are a basis for my new system. Here's what I'm hoping for:

1. The best speakers for around $300-400 per speaker.

2. "Full sound", the Onkyo system had a big gap between the sub and the mids of the speakers.

3. Being able to buy each speaker separately or in pairs. (college student, I'd be buying a speaker each month or so).

4. Hopefully get all floorstanding speakers with the ability to plug into the wall for power so wattage isn't a concern (not sure if this is possible, or if I get the wattage-to-receiver relationship).

5. Wireless capability with my receiver? The receiver has bluetooth and a ethernet plug... so maybe?

6. Easy installment (as in I hook it up and the sound is full), I don't want to have to spend my life figuring out how to create a custom EQ especially since each month is going to have another speaker added.

7. USED!!!! I don't care if they're a little beat up looking. So long as none of the speakers are blown, I'm up for buying any awesome speaker, the $300-400 range must be considered no matter what. I'm already skipping out on lunch to afford that budget.

I'm sure that matching all of the criteria can't be found in most speakers, but that's why I'm asking, and I'm not picky I just want an amazing sound system that's cheap (I know that the good ones are going to cost over 1k per speaker). At the moment I'm looking at the Fluance ES-1 as my fronts. But I'm also looking into Klipsch speakers and Aperion because cnet rates them as best.

Can I use a sound bar as a center speaker?

This next part is troubleshooting...

My sub doesn't seem to be working right. It's not very loud even when I crank it up to 11+db. It'll hit once or twice and then nothing for a minute or so unless I turn it down. Am I cranking it too much for the receiver/sub to handle or what?

Also my reciever has enough plugs and jacks to hook up essentially a 14.2 system I think (5 rca plugs for speakers, 2 subs, and 9 with speaker wire). Can I do that? The RCA jacks are in a box marked pre-out.

Thanks in advance. AND DON'T SUGGEST BOSE! I know for a fact that they are overpriced for what they are, Bose just has an amazing marketing scheme. My Klipsch S4i headphones blow the Bose equivalent out of the water and they were literally half the price!


Oct 15, 2007
i didnt read all of your post.
but i read the numbered part.
# 6 requires a consultation with a custom's specialist.
based on the economy, these generally dont happen much - but inevitably, people want to work and enjoy their job.
your results will be competely subpar without an equalizer or any other 'out-boxed' form of calibration.

you might get speakers custom made, and then you might get a receiver with a custom programmed filter on a memory chip that is designed for your room.
custom speakers mean you cannot change the size of the room.
custom filters in the receiver means you cannot change the furniture or the layout of the room in any way.

this is generally why people are not allowed a private consultation, because they dont realize the requirements.
if you get something custom and you take the couch out of the room, all of the work done is completely ruined.
if you keep the couch, but wrap the couch in different fabric - all of the work is ruined again.

nobody wants to work and see their effort ruined.
they will charge you extra because it happend in the past.
they might charge you extra because it might happen again in the future.
they might charge you extra because you dont live alone.
if you let a bunch of people into the house and one day somebody says 'hey.. why dont you ever change the furniture in this room?'

then you are faced with having to answer the question, and seeing the person's feelings towards you change.
you dont answer the question and it puts the friendship into trouble.
both of them could put your friendship in trouble actually.. except one is when the person walks away and doesnt want to come back , the other is when the person finds out there is something extra special going on and doesnt want to leave you because of it.

being aware of the above could bring the prices down, as well as make the consultation actually happen.

# 7 doesnt happen much unless the speaker sounds like crap without calibration.
you might get a better sound from the speakers because your room size is different.
it is a gamble of knowing whether or not the speaker is going to outperform.
first the basics:

what will you be using the speaker system for primarily?
games, movies, music, etcetera.

how big is the room you will be using?
you dont want to under/overpower.

why do you think you require $400-500 speakers? why must they be used?


i'm not familiar with the model receiver you are speaking about but i'm using a pioneer vsx-30 and i absolutely love it. my model will auto-adjust the speaker timings based on results from a self-sound test with the included microphone. was definitely worth the $500 that i paid for it (and the hour drive to get it!).

again, i'm not familiar with the particular sub you're looking to purchase but i myself have a 450w klipsh subwoofer. its the flat black one (one step up from the base 350w model). if i cranked it up i could easily shake some pictures off the walls in the smaller room i use for my entertainment center.

i personally use the base model klipsch set, the 5.0 quintet IV, which is a satelite speaker based system (as opposed to freestanding models). build quality is impressive for the $500 total price and in general i'm impressed with sound quality.

i know klipsh also makes some floorstanders and i've had a chance to listen to their lower end models at a local BB. they sounded perfectly fine to me but i didnt want to make my budget too large and i do not have the space for floorstanders in my entertainment room.

in total i think i spent about $1400 to $1500 on my setup including cables, connectors and plates. i'm 100% satisfied with how it turned out in a 14x12 room.


i just got into the whole higher end audio scene myself so i'm not well versed in all the complicated terminology either. i currently don't run (or need) an amp and i'm just running a standard ps3 & pc for inputs.

from the diagrams that came with my vsx-30 it looks like you could set up more speakers than the standard 5.1 or 7.1 . i'm not sure how this would translate out if you have a 7.1 signal and a 14.1 system. my guess is that two speakers may act as one channel (two as front left for instance).


i know what you mean about bose. their products are inferior and only sound good due to their technology and software. i used to have a pair of bose headphones for $200 and the $140 pair of audio-technicas i bought sound 2x better at least for a lower price.

The Stig

Aug 18, 2011
Thanks, I was kind of hoping for better news but I'll take it. I'm also trying to figure out exactly what model speakers people have good praise with. You're making it sound like this is my final system and I can never change what I pick out. Again, not a big audio guy, but I figured it was like picking out pc components, you know. There really isn't a good tutorial on sound equipment, you know "if this is your budget, this is your set up, this is what you're looking for then these three are good for you". PC building is as simple as: here is how well this performs, and if you want to do this with it you need to spend this much". Basically, I was hoping for a cnet review website for speakers. They've got a couple (mostly about whole systems), but I want more in depth reviews.

Also, you make it sound like my receiver is subpar. Cnet listed the lesser/older model (VSX-1021-k) as the best receiver out right now. Is it not a good one?

The Stig

Aug 18, 2011

Ok, the system will be split:

40% Games, 30% Movies, 25% Music, 5% for anything else since I can't really think of anything else. I'm a huge gamer, but I watch movies probably just as much. The music thing is important because I throw big parties. I'm also one of those nuts that likes going deaf when I watch stuff because it makes me more involved in whatever I'm doing.

Is there such a thing as overpowering a room?

Again, I'm going off everything else in the world and that is you get what you pay for. That's why it's set at that price.


Oct 15, 2007
of course you can overpower a room.
the rich will tell you they overpowered their room and caused drywall to crack or see complete chunks missing.
and in some years down the road, the house might get sucked in because the wood vibrated on the nails too much (or the nails vibrated and bent)

you have the rest of the idiots that put too much power into one thing and not enough power into something else.
could be subwoofer to midrange.
could be midrange to tweeter.

audio is seriously not the industry people 'blanket' it to be.
things do appear to be moving towards a better stage.
for instance..
i know there are some tweeters that have less power than the midrange.. but sometimes the tweeter magnet is much stronger than the midrange magnet, and this allows it to be just as loud as the midrange.

if you are capable of taking a step back and looking at the audio industry..
you are going to see the industry pulling out all of these stops and tricks to show off their advanced skills.
people generally have no idea about what is going on because they dont look at it like going to school.
and when they do look at it like going to school.. there really isnt any information available to tell the person one thing or another.

you have to understand audio is like a religion to some people (not that i agree with religions, but if you have a favorite sense of the 6 human senses.. you should be able to 'gang bang' )
with that said..
those people are not going to treat you extra nice when you dont show the same kind of love for audio that they do.
you will have to start making contacts with stores first to hear things YOURSELF.
and ask that person if they are important or a pimple-faced loser that knows almost as little as you do.

if you go from store to store and cant find anybody that is able to connect you with something special on the side ... then you have to look at businesses that do audio consulting.
could be any goofy business that does something to do with audio.
if you are looking for speakers, you should stick to a speaker consulting place.
not asking a sound absorption store a bunch of questions about the speakers.
they dont know speakers.. they know how to shut speakers up.

you wont find easy answers without becoming active.
it is the simple rule.
and if you stick around at walmart or best buy waiting for the angels of the audio industry to shine their gifts onto you ... keep dreaming, because love doesnt work that way.
the industry makes strides in the store.. YES.
there are more improvements if you would look somewhere else.
they simply cannot change this to be the opposite.
because people would go in there and buy the best sounding speaker and totally leave the other speakers there to rot and collect dust ... maybe even kick a hole in the cone before they leave.

dont fool yourself with 'this company isnt at walmart or best buy .. they must be good'
you have to see there is something that IS NOT flea market associated.
it isnt very hard.
but society is failing and failing quite disappointingly.

this is what everybody see's is on sale ... that doesnt make the product any good !!
walmart and local stores are good for a lot of daily things.. mainly things to keep you ALIVE.
you have to have soap to keep yourself away from germs.. you have to have clothes to keep you away from germs.

there are policies in place that almost state 'we do not want the general public to obtain such high quality'
it is a federal government rule.
and it is a psychological endeavor to put everything at walmart and watch the undeserving idiots fight and whine and complain about the products.

if you want these things to fall onto your lap at walmart.. it is going to cost you a huge price that makes you not want the thing at all.

i wish everybody could have a much better audio system in their house.
because even then.. they still dont know what it is like to be sitting there and suddenly the walls dont exist anymore and it sounds like you are outside.
if we make it better for them.. we FORCE it upon them because sometimes they search as dumb as an insect.

think about how many times people have come here and asked for a specific model or brand name to go and buy.
why hasnt anybody went to the store and made a list of the best ones?
first of all.. it is hard because none of them are all that good.
second of all.. people could sell that list on ebay for like $5 and send the list to the buyer with an email and make some money doing it.

i think some of the audio people already know.. if you are lazy now, you are going to argue OR totally give up way too early.
no point reaching out to you and helping when the way you spend your time is ugly.

that is like saying i have white carpet and you come into my house and dont take off your shoes.. you spill your soda on my carpet too.
there are things on the shelves that are all nice and neat.. and you mess with them, but you dont put them back nice and neat.

when you leave.. the whole house looks like a micro-hurricane has gone through there.
nobody wants to clean the house because you wanted to come over.
they shouldnt have to clean the house at all.

half of their love is letting you into the house..
and you dare tell them the other half of their love is cleaning up the mess you leave behind?

that is very stupid logic.

The Stig

Aug 18, 2011
ok, problem for me is I go to school in a very small town. Audio systems are not too good. The only reason I haven't just bought a Bose system is because every person I've talked to with any sort of an audio recommendation says Bose is just a marketing thing. I like Klipsch because their headphones are good... I'm trying to find good speakers, but it's hard enough finding mediocre ones I can listen to.


Oct 15, 2007
name brands that have been in the game for decades and are known to the older folks as 'audiophile'

in all honesty, i am not old enough from the 70's / 80's era to know of all the companies that hit the market up for something extra.
i know of some that are 'still going'
that doesnt mean the rest are any less (or if they were ever any better outside of the 1970's / 1980's realm)

if you go to this website and have a look at their front page..
you will see dozens of name brands that are in the scene.
i cant possibly know if they all sound good naturally.. or if there are some that need specific attention to sound their best.

i know there is a sum of companies on the list that adhere to the fact of one thing..
seperating the toys from the tools.
since audio has demanded a lot out of speakers over the course of the last 30 years .. i cannot safely say whether or not all of those companies can keep up.

some might be falling off because of increased dynamic range.
others might be falling off because of increased sample rate and bit depths.
and some others might be falling off because of decreased harmonic distortion.

obviously, the distortion back then was a lot more than it is nowadays.
and that is pretty much the final determining factor of a company going bankrupt, unless they find some effort somewhere that can take their old designs and notch them into two or more units that provide further functionality down the road.

and it may be that some companies have already found the limitations of the designs they represent, and there isnt anything left for them to do (except maybe add some pieces of ceramic into the voice coil and go along the battle of burning up that ceramic before the copper .. or seeing the ceramic totally lose its place in the windings)

definitely some movement going to happen.
and it doesnt really matter if i look at it from a senior citizen with hands on experience, or a computer programming churning out the same results and then some more.
what is the fact of the matter?
harmonic distortion value changes, and higher dynamic peaks.
some people might get by with a limiter for now.
some might need a limiter, but cant steer themselves away from the new harmonic distortion levels.

signal to noise ratio and slew rate is what made these companies important.
dynamic peaks, sometimes helped too.
hell.. even harmonic distortion levels were improved from previous generations.

speakers are like growing up in the same town.
you spend 20 years there and you look around at all the people who were in their 20's when you were a kid.
now, it is very sad - those same people are getting wrinkles on their face as they remind you death is going to happen.

bose is decent.. but i dont think there is any way to improve the speaker system because they dont give you the option in the menu.
other speakers probably wont sound as good as bose systems .. mainly because the bose system has been fine-tuned and the other system hasnt been tuned at all.
those two circumstances has made some of bose's systems a neck to neck race.
and yes.. i would believe those bose systems didnt sound half as good as they could have.
then there is always going to be the system that will play louder, and that makes the person more happy.

you need a calibrated microphone from a sound engineering laboratory (costs like $50 - $80 to have a microphone calibrated)
then you use the mic to adjust the equalizer.

there are a lot of people who listen to speakers, and 90% of them dont use the equalizer with the calibrated microphone from a sound lab.
using the microphone that comes with your receiver isnt guaranteeing you anything.
and that is how the entire society gets stupid and stays stupid.
because they are too lazy to spend the $50 - $80 to get their microphone calibrated.

many people say ... i want good speakers.
and the people who have heard good speakers before are saying ... you dont know what the problem is, you dont know what you want/need.

imagine a person who is eating some food and they keep saying to themselves 'i want a bigger spoon or fork'
and what they really want is an extra side dish to make the meal less boring.
they never get up to get a different size because the place only has one size.
and therefore.. they never try the bigger spoon or fork, and that is how they get tricked into thinking the same thing over and over again.
without trying the different size.. they will never ever say to themselves 'nope.. the bigger spoon isnt working out for me, it must be something else'

think about that for a moment.
there is a severe problem about people and their lack of this sentence..
'it must be something else'

sure.. they say 'i demand something better'
and that is one way to read the sentence.
the other way to read the sentence is..
i have tried, and it didnt work.. therefore it must be something else.

and yes..
i could boil it down to say this:
people dont use the word 'therefore' and it is robbing them of happiness.

there is always going to be a market that sells stuff to people at places like walmart or best buy.
there is always going to be places that sell upgrades of the same type of stuff.

lets take window cleaner for example.
lots of people use windex.. and it is decent.
there are places where you can get a case of spray window cleaner of commercial strength and it really beats windex by a large margin.

if windex can make the window clean.
the commercial cleaner can make the window look new AND leave no streaks without even trying.

what is the catch?
it could be you have to buy a case of 12 or a case of 24
maybe you need a business license
maybe the stuff is too strong and it ruins the UV coating on the window (this has always been the problem since commercial products have been released to consumers for purchase)
they dont use the right product with the right UV coating because they dont know how to test.
and the window gets ruined.. costing more money to get it fixed.

sometimes we live in a world where the window installer will sell you some windows.. install them for you.. AND tell you what commercial window cleaner to use.
i bet you paid more for the final bill.
i bet you are friends with a friend, and you actually know a person of a person.

we dont live nice because we dont share nice.
we dont share nice because some people break our nice things.
people break our nice things because they are not 'awake' enough.
they arent 'focused' or there is no 'attention' to the details.

a person might grab your delicate toys off of the shelve and try not to break anything because they can clearly see it is easy to break.. but they dont go the extra step to make sure they put it back exactly the way they found it , so you dont have to go over there and twist it until it is perfect again.
people simply dont care about the extra step.

and then they all come here asking for 'where can i get the products that go the extra step?'

the industry hides that stuff from people.
as i said..
the only time they dont hide it is when the industry is forcing everybody to buy it.

imagine if they used dolby digital HD as something to hide.
you would not even know it exists until you look in the blu-ray menu and see the option for dolby digital HD
then you would say 'hey what is that?'

you might read about what it is.
then you say 'hey where can i get that?'
and if you are saying 'hey' you are not searching, you are talking.

but nope..
the audio industry wants the people to have some decent quality.
and how did they make sure that happend?
every single receiver has dolby digital HD on it.
every single one, except the receiver with only left/right output.

people absolutely love it when the government forces them to buy upgrades.
the situation isnt as cool and casual when the government forces them to do something they dont like.

take the laundry cleaners for instance.
we could have split the soap into different categories.
one for grass
one for mud
one for car oil
one for sweat

then choose which one you need as if making some soup one ingrediant at a time.
we really are at a war with people who are not happy with what they have, and then they make other peoples lives worse.
sometimes people complain about buying junk.. but they dont stop buying it.
and sometimes people complain about working hard.. but the job is easy (it is all of the time that gets eaten up)

they stretch out the world until grown folks start talking to them like a 6-7 year old
those grown folk start slapping down the rules until the person starts to change their attitude.

the common ground is easy .. it is COME ON !
some of us want to see many of you evolve into something better so we dont have to be ashamed or embarassed of the human species.

i swear to god.. it is easy to drive through a neighborhood and think to yourself.. 'wow, these people are living their lives and raising a family as if it was as easy as making cotton candy'

stupid people having children together means more stupid people.
so if i was talking to two people.. in 6-7 years i will now be talking to THREE or FOUR people.
and they are not the only one that does it.

a lot of people bring more than one child into this world.
there are lots of people who can say 'i have a brother' or 'i have a sister'
that means the stupidity is DOUBLING and TRIPLING.
it really is the truth.

you cant just go to a job and expect your life to be perfect because many people do it everyday.
most people whine and complain they have no time to do anything except work.
nobody is working to make the shifts at work less, and hire more people.
there are three shifts in the day.. and there could be four or five.

what good is it going to walmart or best buy when their products are ment for elementary school kids?

you can go hunt down some speakers that are not toys ment for kids.
there is a big difference between a toy and a tool.
look at the easy bake oven for example.
it is a light bulb that doesnt get very hot at all.
and a real oven can get as hot as 800 degrees.

what about this..
you could move all your furniture in your friends truck (a toy)
you could move all of your furniture in a u-haul truck (a tool you rent)

you can get one of those 2ft inflatable pools
you can go buy a real swimming pool
(i have always teased people with 4ft swimming pools, because they are a toy too)

what do you think you want?
a 2ft inflatable pool from walmart
go to the local pool and spa/jacuzzi store to buy something like 8ft deep?

you cant afford the 8ft deep pool?
why the hell are you asking us which 2ft inflatable pool is the best?
we dont care if you are going to buy a 2ft inflatable pool, because it isnt what you really want.

if you really wanted a 2ft inflatable pool.. you would go grab one and buy some waterbed patches to seal up any holes.
or AT LEAST stop at the bicycle area of the store and pick up some inner tube patches.

you try to make the cheap stuff last/work
you build it yourself
you pay a lot for somebody to hand you something, and you dont know if it is the best or the worst ... all you know is you paid a lot for it.

that is how it goes.
if you try all three, you will know what is good and what is bad.
that is how you know what is worth buying and what is worth building yourself.
we really are in a state of technology where sometimes it is better to buy something and let them do it for you instead of trying to do it yourself.
cooking and going out for fast food might be one example.

building an electric LED clock might be another example.
just imagine buying a kit for $35 and it lasts for five years.
imagine buying a cheap LED clock for $15 and it lasts fifteen years.

sometimes people are young and they feel it is safe to ask questions.
sometimes people never get past the asking questions part because there wasnt anybody there to give them a road to walk down.

you teach a person how to fish and they will catch fish without bothering you whenever they are hungry.

what do you think happens when somebody asks for 'what is the best' and a person gives them the answer?
that person will go buy the speakers and be happy with them.
in a little bit of time.. the person might forget who gave them the advice.
in a little bit more time.. the person might totally forget they asked for advice at all !!

i think we really miss out on the beauty of finding happiness in places we dont expect to see any happiness.
there is a huge divide in this day and age we live in.
people who expect everything
people who dont expect anything

there are plenty of situations you can find on a forum where the conversation is trying to steer the person one way or the other.

there are people who want you to have it
there are people who dont want you to have it

there are people who waste crayons
people who dont waste crayons

there are people who waste pencil erasers
people who do waste pencil erasers

why are you asking us important questions and you dont know if we are the type of person that wastes the pencil eraser or doesnt waste the eraser ??
i said it before..
it gives people a chance to lie to you.

i am not apologizing here.
i have always believed.. simply because there is a whole group of people doing something, that doesnt make it right - and it doesnt make it safe.

i would tell you to go to madisound or parts express
it doesnt make it totally safe.

it wont be a situation where you peel back some plastic and start eating.
if you want that crap.. buy something that says everything is engineered to sound good.

klipsch doesnt say anything about being engineered EXTRA to sound good.
but bose does!
and if you arent happy with what you are listening to ... try a different model number or a different model completely.

speakers are not color by number.
you will have to pick your own crayons.
this appears to be too difficult for many people.

there is no wonder why posts from people who care are as long as mine.


Jul 15, 2008

I'll try answering your questions, based on the number:

2) How do you know the onkyo has a big gap? The receiver is part of many variables that affect sound quality.

4) Speakers that plug into the wall are rare. Not to mention you wouldn't need an amplifier as they have one built in side. This would be difficult to do, because there are few speakers that feature plug-into-walls and you would need a receiver with pre-amp outs for every channel which many receivers do not have. More expensive ones do, but are likely out of your budget. Plus, why would you want all floor standing speakers anyway? Do you want more bass or something?

6) If you want to listen to music properly, an EQ is essential. I always use a 10band EQ which I've made dozens of presets for different genres and such. Some music needs low end boost, some needs high end. An EQ is important and if I were you I'd spend some good time tweaking it to make it sound right.

Next, don't listen to CNET please...there are hundreds if not thousands of speaker brands. The speakers will sound good/bad in different purposes and envirnments. I personally love klipsch speakers, but they are far from the best. For your budget I'd be looking into DT, Polk, and Cerwin Vega speakers. Cerwin Vega are very cheap and sound pretty decent. Not to mention they make lots of bass.

And no, you cannot have a 14.2 system. No source movie has been encoded to support such a format and receivers cannot support that in actual surround mode. I wouldn't waste time with nonsense and just make a solid 5.1 or 7.1 surround system. Blu-Ray is 7.1 and it will stay like that for a long time.


Oct 15, 2007
14.2 is possible if the other channels are not discrete.

even if the 7.1 channels are discrete, you might get in there and watch the surround sound effect matrix itself, and then choose a threshold (a specific point) where the matrix passes a certain point and changes the speaker output.

that is how you add 7 extra speakers to 7.1

then you have the option to leave the extra 7 speakers on as clones (not recommended)
let each speaker do its thing when the request calls for that location to emit sound.

speakers that plug into the house might be more than life threatening , if your neighbors get shocked too !

basically you take the electricity that comes into the house, turn it into DC ... put all of the appliances on 60hz with custom power supplies.
the scariest part is what will happen when you ask the incoming electricity to be transformed into DC.

obviously you need to isolate yourself from the incoming electricity to prevent any swelling or causing some type of wave in the system.
and to do this, you have to match your resistances as if the circuit breaker box and all of the outlets are still connected.

even then..
how much amperage you are sucking up on demand is going to need a bank of power.
and then
you probably dont want to recharge all of those banks at full rendering.

its a pain in the butt.
you need to know what is best for the power bank you run from
you need to know what is best for the line of electricity you are connected to.

match those two together, then you have some serious amounts of DC power, and you still need a way to oscillate it.
you need to make sure your electrical wires can handle all of that oscillation without melting or evaporating (or any other problems that could cause a fire/disconnection)

blah blah blah...
once you get this far, you still need speakers that can handle the power.
what are the chances your speakers will sound any good and be worth the electric bill ?

at best..
you down-size the power requirements
get yourself some higher quality step-up transformers
save some electricity per amplifier
double or triple the number of speakers
puts the electric bill right back where it was (with extra amplifiers now)
you fill the room with the same sound or better.

i can take it back to the 1990's where 100 watts RMS was simply a matter of how many speakers and how big they were + how strong the magnet was.

sometimes people simply want to add more PSI for the sound pressure.
if they havent done it already..
they need to be optimizing the dispersion pattern of the PSI to get a localized or de-localized.

i wasn't trying to say that your choice of a Pioneer VSX-1121-k receiver was a subpar choice. i was just stating that i've had good luck with my particular model. overall, pioneer seems to have a good reputation. having the on screen display (OSD) and tuning speaker really helps so you might want to look for these items.

if you want to get technical then when matching speakers you need to take many things into acount, many beyond my experience. also sound is a personal thing, what sounds great to me might not sound so great to you.

yes, you can overpower a room. having the door shut and blasting the speakers and sub are bad for both your eardrums and possibly the walls as stated before. if you're in a smaller room you don't require the power output that you do for creating sound in a large area. on my unamped system i'm normally running the receiver at -45 to -20 volume and i have the sub set to about 15-20% on the knob. this is more than enough volume for the smaller room i have (believe me, it shakes the walls at this volume). i cannot get above +20 volume as my ears literally will start ringing.

as stated klipsch arent the best speakers ever made but they aren't a bad choice at all. as i stated before i've heard their freestanding speakers myself and they sounded fine. a best buy has such speakers on display in their audio room.

i'd stay with a standard 7.1 system. as the others stated you can make additional speakers work but not quite in the way you want.

as far as an EQ goes: sure you can boost different media/genre types but i've found it to be a hassle. the included settings on my receiver are more than enough for me. keep in mind if you're playing music then you already have access to an EQ on your pc or other input device.
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