5.1 + Receiver under $500.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by aadeshgandhi, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    Hello All
    I have 55 inches LED and would like to now buy a good HT system. I was hooked onto buying a Bose 5.1 that's is arnd the 1K range. Then I came to know that I ALSO need a receiver that runs about 300-400 for a decent piece. You by now know the depth of my knowledge! After reading online a bit about Bose overall review is Bose is over-priced and there are plenty other better/cheaper options, correct me if I am wrong.
    So my question is this... can I have a 5.1+ receiver in $500 or less range that is as good as Bose? If yes can you point me to some forums where I can learn more about the configs in that price range?
    Thanks for your help.
    Aadesh.
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    There's pages of receivers here that are better: http://www.amazon.com/Receivers-Amplifiers-Audio-Video/b/ref=amb_link_18311901_25?ie=UTF8&node=281053&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gp-left-2&pf_rd_r=0W6EJM8EM89A0Q2CD1D7&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=466640531&pf_rd_i=1065836
    If you're looking a whole system in one, called an HTIB (home theater in a box), I'd go with an Onkyo. I say Onkyo because they are a lot of bang for the buck. They have a real receiver included, with plenty of inputs and features. They're also easy to set up and use. For your price, this is the one I'd go with: http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S6300-7-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B003IT49LG/ref=sr_1_1?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1340234888&sr=1-1&keywords=HT-S
    Good luck.
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Hi Aadesh, once again, welcome to HTF!
     
  4. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    Hello Ed,
    Thanks for the reply, I am not averse to the idea of buying receiver and speakers from varied sources as long as I would be getting the best output. Suggestions welcome on this as well. I will specify the details of the room as well shortly (in about 10 days once I move into the new house).
    Thanks,
    Aadesh.
     
  5. Martino

    Martino Supporting Actor

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    With a $500.00 budget...here is the 5.1 system what I would go with for the best bang for the buck....and this system will be better sounding and more flexable than the 1K system you were looking at from bose...for 1/2 the price...
    Instead of having the bose plastic speakers with 1 full range driver that does not do that great of a job with the high frequencies and a passive sub - you will have speakers made of MDF with a real tweeter/woofer configuration and cross over and a powered sub instead of a passive one.
    You will also have a real receiver that decodes all of the latest sound codecs, and has HDMI switching as well.
    4 Speakers - Right, Left, Right Surround, Left Surround:
    Pioneer SP-BS21-LR Bookshelf Loudspeakers Pair - $99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405
    2 pair needed -
    $50 off w/ promo code EMCNDJA78, ends 6/25 -- can use up to 5 pairs - total for the 2 pairs with discount: $99.98
    Independent review of the speakers:
    http://hometheaterreview.com/pioneer-sp-bs21-lr-bookshelf-loudspeaker-reviewed/
    Matching Center Channel:
    Pioneer SP-C21 Center Channel Speaker - $99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117404
    $50 off w/ promo code EMCNDHJ82, ends 6/27 -- $49.99
    Sub:
    Dayton Audio SUB-1200 12" 120 Watt Powered Subwoofer -- $129.00
    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-629
    Speaker package: $278.97
    Budget left for Receiver: $221.03 -- looking at some referb units for best cost/feature list...
    Receiver:
    DENON AVR-791 7.1 Channel A/V Home Theater Receiver - $219.99
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR791/DENON-AVR-791-7.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
    Total budget: $498.96
    Also note - even though this is a 7.1 channel receiver - it can be setup and run in a 5.1 configuration. If you ever want to expand to a 7.1 system - you can buy 1 more pair of the same speakers....
     
  6. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    I think the suggestion of a refurb up above is a good one for the receiver. In fact, I'd probably lean toward getting one of the package deals from Accessories4less.com that Onkyo offers, or one of the Denon/Boston Accoustics speaker packages probably somewhat over the Pioneer speakers.
     
  7. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    Hello Jeremy,
    Thank you for the reply, I also liked the idea of buying a refurb receiver, as I am looking at it in more detail I would like to understand more about each component, the receiver, speakers, sub-woofers. I tried to look up some videos on youtube but did not offer much help. Do you know any places where all the details are explained in a common man's lingo?
    Thanks,
    Aadesh
     
  8. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    I think Denon has a channel on Youtube, they might offer some assistance. I will admit, I'm not much on Onkyo right now, my 4 year old $800 ($1,100 MSRP) Onkyo receiver just lost a channel (not sure what it is yet) so I'd probably go Denon, Pioneer or Yamaha if it was me. The Pioneer speakers suggested above do have some good reviews, it's hard for me to get in my head they would be even remotely superior to an offering from Boston Acoustics, but it's possible. The sub on teh other hand, haven't heard the Dayton, but it's had pretty rave reviews for it's price.
    If you have any specific questions about the individual parts, you could always ask here, and either I, or others smarter than I on here would be glad to help. Be aware, however, that alot of what you get on here will be opinion. Onkyo is known to have some of the best bang for teh buck receivers (and also their reliability has been called into question recently) out there, but you wouldn't catch me touching one with a 100 foot pole right now. But the next one might be fine. I might like one thing, somebody else might like another, and you might like neither. But on specifics, we could certainly help. Somebody else might have a better suggestion on where to get more information however. There will be a general consesnus to avoid Sony audio products, and Bose however:D
    If you have questions about specific terminology for technology built into receivers, you could always go to Dolby Labs website, and www.dts.com . And I'm sure the manufacturers website will offer some assistance as well, although alot of that will be meaningless marketing lingo.
    If it was my money, however, just doing a fairly quick search, this is probably where I'd put it.
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSMCS150B/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-Horizon-MCS150-5.1-10in-150w-Sub-Speaker-System-Black/1.html
    and
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR791/DENON-AVR-791-7.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html#!specifications
    or this (and say a prayer and buy the extended warranty)
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTS9300THX/Onkyo-HT-S9300THX-THX-7.1-Ch-Home-Theater-Package/1.html
     
  9. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    Guys,
    A friend recommended this system,
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-981-012&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=361116&SID=FWawkg72
    Pro's-Cons please!
    Thanks,
    Aadesh
     
  10. Martino

    Martino Supporting Actor

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    From the speaker system I recommended above - this one has an 8" powered sub vs a 12" model. Also - the main speakers have a rather high rate on their lower frequency range - meaning they cannot handle any lower frequencies - so your sub will have to make up the difference. The sub in that system is rated down to 40 Htz - where the model I recommended goes down to 25 Htz....more lower bass for the money...
    Here is what the specs say:
    Speaker system you are looking at above:
    Freq Response:
    MLT-1 SPEAKER: 125–20,000 Hz ±2db
    MLT-1 CENTER: 130–20,000 Hz ±2db
    MLT-1 SUBWOOFER:
    - 40–200 Hz ± 3 dB. Anechoic in the LFE mode
    - 50Hz–200 Hz Low Pass Filter
    Speaker system I recommended in the previous post:
    Pioneers Freq Response:
    - 65 Hz-20 kHz
    Sub: - 12" model vs 8" model...
    Power output: 120 watts RMS • Frequency response: 25-140 Hz
    So for system #1 - you will have a rather high low frequency rating (125 HTz) - where you will have to run your cross over higher or have a hole in your sound...you will also have higher frequency information coming out of the sub, making it sound rather strange where some of the male voice dialog will be coming out of the sub. - The sub has a rather small speaker (8") and is only rated down to 40 Htz..
    With the system I recommended - you could run the cross over frequency at the recommended 80 Htz - where the sub will not have to reproduce the 80 to 125 htz range....but the 80 to 20 htz range that it is better designed to do...so you won't have male voice dialog coming out of your sub. The sub is larger and will give you more of the low level information that you are expecting.
    Then there is the cost - the one you are looking at is $ 299.99 - the one I recommend is a little cheaper (with the discounts) @ $278.97
    Pros for the system above - that is a sat/sub system with very small speakers (why they do not play low freq) - making it a little easier to mount/place the speakers.
    If a small speaker size is important to you, then that system will fit the bill. You did not mention speaker size in your original query, but did mention the bose system you were looking at - and these also use small speakers.
    Also if you are just looking at getting a better than bose system cheaper - those speakers have separate tweeters and woofers in them with a cross over, instead of the 1 cone model that is in the bose speakers. (so these should have better high frequency reproduction than the more expensive bose model)
     
  11. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    Hello Guys,
    I looked at systems in an store today, Boston Acoustics MCS 90 with Denon 1712 for 540 with tax or with Denon 1513 for 540+tax would these be a good buy?
    Thanks,
    Aadesh.
     
  12. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    Hello Guys,
    So based on Martino's suggestion I did get the Denon amp, Dayton sub and Pioneer speakers... n I am highly please with the purchase.. Martino helped along the way a lot... I have a more general question now... I tried playing a movie from my laptop on VLC player... but I noticed that the mode is multi channel in.. I cannot get the PL II or Dolby Digital mode... I can get it on my xbox... ny thoughts?
    Aadesh.
     
  13. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    "...but I noticed that the mode is multi channel in"
    Multi Ch In is an input which bypasses all processing. Do you have something connected to the 5.1 Multi-ch inputs on the back of the receiver?
    You asked this a couple of weeks ago.
    "Do you know any places where all the details are explained in a common man's lingo?"
    Here's a couple of places...
    Crutchfield.com http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Learn/Article/Menu.aspx?c=4&tp=4
    AperionAudio.com http://www.aperionaudio.com/catalog/Home-Theater,45.aspx
     
  14. aadeshgandhi

    aadeshgandhi Auditioning

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    What do you exactly mean by this? I am still not clear why I do not see an option of PL II or Dolby digital when I play movies thru VLC on my laptop.
     
  15. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I think I miss-understood your post :blush: . The Multi-Ch input is a way of connecting a device to the rear of some receivers but it usually only allows the signal to be played as received. No Dolby ProLogic or any other processing what so ever. When you said the mode was "multi channel in" that's what I thought of. But now I think the VLC signal is Multi-Ch PCM so the receiver is getting the 5.1 signal. I don't know much (if anything) about VLC. In any event, check and see if the receiver is set to "Direct" or Pure Direct" . These two will also not allow any processing of the signal. Also check the speaker setup menu and make sure the center and surround speakers are turned on (and set to Small).
     
  16. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Are you sure that VLC is capable of playing 5.1 surround?
    A couple of years ago, I was looking for a free software player, that supported 5.1 surround. My computer is a stand alone surround system too. I could not find a free software player that played in 5.1 surround. They only played in stereo.You could buy one for about $80 that would. I wouldn't think a software player would have anything to do with your receiver being able to choose Dolby Pro Logic II. It may very well have something to do with getting Dolby Digital. If it's not putting out a 5.1 signal, your receiver can't play a 5.1 soundtrack. It should be able to be set for DPL II though.
     
  17. Nandan Hegde

    Nandan Hegde Extra

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    yup..
    VLC is capable of playing 5.1 provided you are playing an original video file lik blu-ray movies or master print movies which are configured for 5.1ch..or u can always try powerDVD12 if you want to make acoustic adjustments...
     

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