Best budget route to 5.1 surround

  Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
bluray Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,297
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 145
Post: #31
(2014-01-26 17:56)joelbaby Wrote:  Avoid: The 5.1 "all-in-one" packages - the speakers are cheap, and the tweeters will blow when you play loud music. Blown tweeters create muffled speech in films.
You cannot say avoid all the 5.1 box package, because these 5.1 out of the box systems are quite good- Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker/Receiver Package, Yamaha YHT-397 5.1-Channel Home Theater System, Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System, Pioneer 5.1 500W Surround Sound Package Designed by Andrew Jones, etc....

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
find quote
Talguy Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Sep 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #32
I love my jamo S426HCS3 speaker system. They're a 5.0 system but I paired them with a cheap 100w Yamaha sub and it sounds great running off a 8 year old insignia 600w 6.1 receiver.

For $300 for the jamo speakers I'm really blown away with how good they sound.

[Image: all-thin-banner.jpg]
find quote
joelbaby Offline
Fan
Posts: 395
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 8
Location: Perth, Australia
Post: #33
(2014-01-26 23:35)bluray Wrote:  
(2014-01-26 17:56)joelbaby Wrote:  Avoid: The 5.1 "all-in-one" packages - the speakers are cheap, and the tweeters will blow when you play loud music. Blown tweeters create muffled speech in films.
You cannot say avoid all the 5.1 box package, because these 5.1 out of the box systems are quite good- Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker/Receiver Package, Yamaha YHT-397 5.1-Channel Home Theater System, Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System, Pioneer 5.1 500W Surround Sound Package Designed by Andrew Jones, etc....

Ok, I'll say it again.
Don't buy any all-in-one 5.1 Speaker + AV Receiver packages.

Onkyo make good equipment, but don't waste your money on that all in one 5.1 system.
Same with the Yamaha.
The Pioneer system is speakers only, so is probably ok.

Also ... listen to anything before you buy it, and compare it with something else.
find quote
bluray Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,297
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 145
Post: #34
(2014-01-27 15:31)joelbaby Wrote:  Ok, I'll say it again.
Don't buy any all-in-one 5.1 Speaker + AV Receiver packages.

Onkyo make good equipment, but don't waste your money on that all in one 5.1 system.
Same with the Yamaha.
The Pioneer system is speakers only, so is probably ok.
Have you personally owned it and listened to it? I installed it and listened to it. It sounds quite good for a small surround sound system. The guy in post #24 owned the Onkyo 5.1 system, and he is very happy with it too....

If your budget is tight, it is a good and decent system to have....

(2014-01-27 15:31)joelbaby Wrote:  Also ... listen to anything before you buy it, and compare it with something else.
I agreed to a certain point. It is very hard to find a good showroom to listen to these speakers. These speakers are usually setup in the middle of BestBuy or Fry's Electronics. It is hard to listen to it. The only way to find out is by installing it in your own theater room.....

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
(This post was last modified: 2014-01-27 16:07 by bluray.)
find quote
LazerBlue Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Sep 2011
Reputation: 3
Location: Tampa, FL
Post: #35
(2014-01-27 15:50)bluray Wrote:  
(2014-01-27 15:31)joelbaby Wrote:  Ok, I'll say it again.
Don't buy any all-in-one 5.1 Speaker + AV Receiver packages.

Onkyo make good equipment, but don't waste your money on that all in one 5.1 system.
Same with the Yamaha.
The Pioneer system is speakers only, so is probably ok.

Also ... listen to anything before you buy it, and compare it with something else.
Have you personally owned it and listened to it? I installed it and listened to it. It sounds quite good for a small surround sound system. The guy in post #24 owned the Onkyo 5.1 system, and he is very happy with it....

If your budget is tight, it is a good and decent system to have....

And it has spent a lot of its seven years with me on the high end of the volume with both music and movies (I like it loud) and the sound is as clear and crisp as the day I bought it. The tweeters are definitely still kicking.
(This post was last modified: 2014-01-27 16:08 by LazerBlue.)
find quote
Psychofly Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2012
Reputation: 0
Post: #36
(2014-01-25 00:33)charliek Wrote:  (I may even have some old Cambridge Soundworks satellites from an ancient analogue Creative surround sound PC system that could stand in until I can afford 'proper' speakers)

I used to have an old dirt cheap out of the box budget 5.1 system and it was far far better than any crappy TV sound - although it was still far from good.
Last year I spent about £150 on a Denon AVR-1312 (I think that's the right model) and about £70 on a Yamaha YST-FSW050.
I reused the crappy speakers from the old 5.1 out of the box system (including the terrible centre speaker that had the built in remote sensor for the old system) but used Cambridge Soundworks satellites for the front L and R speakers.
This straight away produced far better sound than I'd ever had before (for relatively little money).
Later on I spent a little over £100 on a QAcoustic 2000i center speaker and have never regretted a moment.

I don't have the money to spend hundreds on speakers and amps, particularly all in one go. The advice I was given at the time was to initially buy the amp and sub (which I did) and to use my crappy old speakers. I was then advised to upgrade the centre speaker next when I had the available funds (which I also did). I still use crap rear speakers and the Cambridge Soundworks for front L and R (the Cambridge Soundworks being surprisingly good quality despite them being probably 12 years old if not more). My next plan is to get better fronts but I in no way feel like I'm desparate for them.

I suppose my point is you don't need to spend a lot to get a vastly better sound than your TV will give and in my experience I feel like the approach that was suggested to me has worked very well. In total I reckon I've spent £320 over the course of about 12 months for an infinitely better sound system and that's less than what some people spend on a single item. I'm no audiophile by any stretch and while I don't doubt I would appreciate the quality of a vastly more expensive system I couldn't justify it. The Cambridge Soundworks speakers are a good step up if you are prepared to upgrade a little at a time.
find quote
joelbaby Offline
Fan
Posts: 395
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 8
Location: Perth, Australia
Post: #37
(2014-01-28 17:51)Psychofly Wrote:  I used to have an old dirt cheap out of the box budget 5.1 system and it was far far better than any crappy TV sound - although it was still far from good.
Last year I spent about £150 on a Denon AVR-1312 (I think that's the right model) and about £70 on a Yamaha YST-FSW050.
I reused the crappy speakers from the old 5.1 out of the box system (including the terrible centre speaker that had the built in remote sensor for the old system) but used Cambridge Soundworks satellites for the front L and R speakers.
This straight away produced far better sound than I'd ever had before (for relatively little money).
Later on I spent a little over £100 on a QAcoustic 2000i center speaker and have never regretted a moment.

This is definitely the way to go. I'd recommend any Denon with Audyssey setup. A microphone that it comes with, allows the receiver to set up all the volume levels and delays for the speakers. You position the microphone at the various spots that you sit at in the room. Takes about 5 minutes. This helps give you the best sound for your room. Does not have to be this year's model Denon. You can get a much better deal on last year's run-out models.

I too have the QAcoustic 2000Ci and it is great.

To answer a question from Bluray: Speaker bundles with 5 small speakers and one woofer hardly ever sound good when you compare them to even a cheap set of speakers in tall cabinets. This includes the Onkyo which I have heard in the shop. Usually - only the high quality 'small' speakers can produce good mid and low range. Klipsch Quintet speakers are good for a 'small' system, and reasonably priced, and also Paradigm Cinema CT90. In most bundled 5.1 systems (including the Onkyo) the sub is doing a lot of compensation for the missing sound that the small speakers cannot make. The problem with this is that you lose some of the stereo/surround effect because a sub usually goes in the corner of the room. With the onkyo system, some of the sounds will be directional (going through all your speakers), but many of the important sounds will just be generated by the sub. The sub should just be for the very low frequencies which are non-directional.
(This post was last modified: 2014-01-28 18:22 by joelbaby.)
find quote
bluray Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,297
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 145
Post: #38
(2014-01-28 18:20)joelbaby Wrote:  This includes the Onkyo which I have heard in the shop.
Did you demo it in the middle of the store aisle? They usually don't have this type of boxed speaker in the proper demo room. I wouldn't judge this type of speaker by listening to it in a very big open space. The Klipsch and Andrew Jones floor standing speakers that I bought sounds terrible at Best Buy Magnolia demo room. With proper placement and calibration, it sounds great in my theater room and master bedroom.....

(2014-01-28 18:20)joelbaby Wrote:  To answer a question from Bluray: Speaker bundles with 5 small speakers and one woofer hardly ever sound good when you compare them to even a cheap set of speakers in tall cabinets. This includes the Onkyo which I have heard in the shop. Usually - only the high quality 'small' speakers can produce good mid and low range. Klipsch Quintet speakers are good for a 'small' system, and reasonably priced, and also Paradigm Cinema CT90. In most bundled 5.1 systems (including the Onkyo) the sub is doing a lot of compensation for the missing sound that the small speakers cannot make. The problem with this is that you lose some of the stereo/surround effect because a sub usually goes in the corner of the room. With the onkyo system, some of the sounds will be directional (going through all your speakers), but many of the important sounds will just be generated by the sub. The sub should just be for the very low frequencies which are non-directional.
Now, you start to loose me on this. You dismissed the bundle speakers I listed (Energy Take Classic, Yamaha, Onkyo and Andrew Jones) in my earlier posts, but you praised Klipsch Quintet and Paradigm Cinema CT90 boxed speakers. I happen to own Klipsch Quintet in the past, and it sounds very similar to the Yamaha in my list. For about the same price, Yamaha included a very nice AVR too. Quintet does looks cleaner and nicer though. After owning both Energy Take Classic and Klipsch Quintet, I'm taking Energy Take Classic over it too. It sounds very similar in my room, but Energy looks classier in my room.

Oh, by the way I never say these package speakers sounds better than the bigger floor standing speakers. I never compare my smaller Andrew Jones floor standing speakers in my master bedroom to my bigger Klipsch floor standing speakers with two 12" subwoofers in my theater room either. As I mentioned many times, for its small size and price the speaker packages I listed sounds quite good. The 5.1 systems in my lists will sounds better than any LEDTV speakers, and it will produces very nice surround sounds for the money.

If you don't have a lot of money to buy a bigger and more expensive surround sound system, you should be able to enjoy the surround sounds from the speaker packages that I listed above.....

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
(This post was last modified: 2014-01-29 04:23 by bluray.)
find quote
charliek Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2012
Reputation: 0
Post: #39
(2014-01-25 21:35)Tobor Wrote:  
(2014-01-24 21:02)charliek Wrote:  A recent incident involving a small child means that I'm having to replace the telly... *sigh*

I hope the kid is alright!?!

She's fine, thanks for asking. Her experiment involving coloring in the lcd screen with a nice sharp 3H pencil, however, wasn't a total success.
find quote
bluray Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,297
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 145
Post: #40
(2014-01-30 22:32)charliek Wrote:  
(2014-01-25 21:35)Tobor Wrote:  
(2014-01-24 21:02)charliek Wrote:  A recent incident involving a small child means that I'm having to replace the telly... *sigh*

I hope the kid is alright!?!

She's fine, thanks for asking. Her experiment involving coloring in the lcd screen with a nice sharp 3H pencil, however, wasn't a total success.
I have 5 kids in the house. I have two in kindergarten, and other kids are teen. I have three separate home theater systems in the house, but they never mess around with home theater component. It stays very clean other than dusts. I take that back, they did touch it a couple times when they were babies. But after a couple slaps on the hand, they never touch it again. I never try to block or hide any home theater component in the cabinet either. Everything is in the open in the theater rooms....

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
find quote
charliek Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2012
Reputation: 0
Post: #41
Thanks for all the advice so far!

So now I'm thinking that I'll take the little-by-little approach: initially spending on the av receiver (something like the Yamaha RX-V475) and using a pair of bookcase speakers that I already have (presumably it will be able to down-mix to 2.0 in the absence of a full set of 5.1 speakers?)

I propose to add a quality centre, then a sub, then fronts and backs as I get the budget to do so. (Again, presumably the receiver can down-mix to whatever speaker configuration I have?)

Cheers

Charlie
find quote
Post Reply