Looking for suggestions for 2.1 + reciever w/network support

I'm looking into putting together a 2.1 entrance system, and expanding to 5.1, for media use. Primarily music and movies. So the speakers would need to drive audio for just about any music scenario and just general audio clarity.

For the audio qualities, I'd like it to sound overall neutral but with a light sense of warmth in the highs and a very crisp clean bass. The mids I'd like them to be neutral but not dampened or compensated in any way. I want absolutely nothing tinny or muddy. Hopefully to get the sound as full and vibrant as possible with no compensation for anything, other than maybe saving some money on the cabinet being of a cheaper material. I do not want skimping on driver material at all. 

Size isn't an issue, I'm going to plan my set-up based on the size of the cabinets and receiver.

For the receiver I'm currently looking at is the Marantz NR1504

  • It has everything I want, and expansion for more at a price that I like.
  • I was also very highly recommended Marantz for receivers.

For my bookshelves I'm currently looking at are the Paradigm Mini Monitors and the Atom Monitors as well as the Sub 8

  • I don't know exactly the sound, but the price and build quality is right.
  • I was also highly recommended Paradigm.

My budget for this I'm aiming for something in the $2000-$2500 range (overage to $3000 is fine but not preferred, given this is a sound system start-up I do want to start with no compromises)

If there are recommendations that you'd like to give, I'm not settled on anything at all, so feel free.

Thanks for any help.


With this start-up type system I do intend on using the cabinets I buy with this to become the rear support in the future, and I will be re-cabineting them for colour. So having them being passive is essential. 

I suggest you go with Active speakers (especially studio monitors), and get better surround processor. As for brand, if you do have that kind of budget, I suggest you look into world class studio monitoring system brands (Klein & Hummel [also now known as Neumann], ADAM AUDIO, Genelec, Barefoot Sound, JBL [get the higher priced parts OR get Hamman], and many others).

Look for recording studios, read their equipment list - especially the one that lists a studio monitor. I read about Abbey Road Studios (London, England), one of the more famous studio in the whole wide world, uses ADAM AUDIO studio monitors in one of their control rooms. Since then, I went to ADAM AUDIO and never looked back :D. By the way, for ~3000, you can get an awesome system from ADAM that will RIVAL home systems that costs at least twice (or more).

The surround isn't what I'm really caring too much about, and I do not want active. I'm looking for passive because I'm going to be getting a receiver with a strong enough pre-amp and the Marantz that I'm looking at has that for me.

I've heard the processing of the Marantz 7.1 reciever from the same line, and I loved the tone it gave to the speakers, so I'm going to be hard to be swayed from the Marantz unless it can offer the same elements that I enjoy from this one.

And maybe I should have added this, but I do plan on re-cabineting the speakers down the road to colour the sound some more and give them more durability and lifetime.