questionscan anyone help me get started with home audio?

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Here are some things to think about to help you get started:
1) What is your budget for the entire project? Generally, the speakers are going to be the most critical/expensive component. I would recommend NOT using flush mount speakers if you desire the best sound. There are plenty of smaller speakers/subs out there that will work in most rooms and give you great sound.
2) Do your due diligence. This is not a project you want to start ripping apart if something is not right. Use Google heavily not just for price but also for reviews and warranty info. Spend a lot of time in retail stores (those that are actually set up for listening, not dept. stores or big box retailers) and compare speakers using the same music (yours) with the same amp/preamp/receiver setup.
3) Wireless is getting better, and there are now systems that can stream all your digital content (not just music) into every room of the house and outside as well. This will save a lot of work & $$.
Hope this helps!

vote-for1vote-against

I have a Onkyo receiver. My Speakers are freestanding Polk RTi Series ( Fronts RTiA7 / Center CSiA6 / Surrounds F/XiA4 / Surround Back F/X Wireless ), and the sub is a Velodyne DEQ10R.

I f'n love this system. The sound is so ridiculous good that there have been multiple points during movies where we will pause it to find out who is at the door or making noise downstairs and realize it was the surround system.

When you buy your system get the best speakers you can. A good set of speakers will last you a very long time. Oversizing your speakers now can save you from buying new speakers later.

You can play around with the receiver. When I bought my system originally I had a Pioneer receiver and a Plasma TV, but we upgraded to a Projector and the Onkyo receiver with no change to the speakers.

Stay away from Home Theatre in a Box!

Sorry for the rambling post.. Sort of did a brain dump.

vote-for1vote-against

If you want flush mount speakers all over your house for "muzak" you should go to a local AV company.
They can set you up a multi-zone music system ... but it will cost. You will have to run alot of cable unless you do something like this
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-LightSpeaker-5-2-2-Wireless-Efficient/dp/B0036OR7XK

If you do put them everywhere, don't use the flush mount speakers in your Home Theater.