Looking for good cheap receiver/speaker system

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by ramone89, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. ramone89

    ramone89 Auditioning

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    Hi I just recently moved into a new apartment and am looking to replace my rather old Sony GX-800 ES receiver and possibly my entire speaker system at some point in the near future. I am happy with the speakers that I have now but my receiver has been having some technical issues, specifically the left speaker has almost entirely gone out. So I am now looking for good options to replace my old receiver and I have around $200-350 to spend on the receiver and honestly I am not sure how much to spend on a decent sound system. I don't require the best sound, I just need something better than what I have now. My current speaker setup is a Pioneer S-CR400-K for my center and JBL 2800's for my stereo setup. I do have a pair of JBL 2500's that I would like to start using for my rear channels but at the moment I don't have the cables to really hook them up. So basically what I am looking for is a new cheap receiver that would support 5.1 sound, normal DVD players and modern gaming systems. Also good cables for my speakers that aren't too expensive. I have a 27" Toshiba HDTV also. Any help would be most appreciated.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    We really need a budget for your speakers as well. And speakers are a very personal purchase. You may not like what we do. And you really should have all your speakers from the same brand and series. A Pioneer center and JBL fronts will sound out of whack a bit as they regularly produce the same sounds as things pan from one side of the room to the other.
    For cables and wires we like Monoprice.com, Partsexpress.com and for something a little bit better bluejeancables.com. But don't get too caught up in speaker wire and cables. At our level of equipment almost anything will work. Just look for good quality at a good price. Leave the Monster and other "brand name" stuff to someone else. You can even get it in bulk from Home Depot or run to Walmart's automotive dept and p/u a roll or two of 14 or 16 gauge. http://www.monoprice.com/ http://www.parts-express.com/
    For entry level receivers we usually recommend factory refurbished models from ac4l.com. They come with a one year factory warranty and 2, 3 and 5 year extended warranties are available from a third party for only $25, $35 and $50. I've bought from them a few times witout any issues. But make sure they have the inputs you need for all of your equipment. S-video and component video inputs and even analog audio inputs are starting to disappear as everything switches to hdmi. And most of those receivers are only 5.1 but there are a couple of 7.1 receivers there too.
    There are many to choose from but my favorites are the Denon 591 and 1612 and Onkyo 590, all are $180 + shipping. For a little more there is the Onkyo 360 ($240 + sh) and Denon 1712 ($250 + sh). I have a hard time recommending Sherwood (they're usually not much better than a house brand) but a new 772 for $180 with free shipping is hard to beat. http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/AVReceiver/Home-Audio/Home-Theater-Receivers/1.html
    For a speaker package on the cheap I like (but others around hear have their doubts) the Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 speaker system with a 10" powered subwoofer. I'm not sure how these would compare to your JBL's but the 540 package originally came with the Onkyo HT-800 htib a few years ago and sounded pretty good to me for what it was. http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKSKSHT540/Onkyo-SKS-HT540-7.1-channel-Home-Theater-Speaker-System/1.html
    Another popular option are the Polk Monitors from Newegg.com. They're usually on sale for about half price and offer free or in-expensive shipping. But make sure to match the tweeters for all the speakers as the Monitors come in two versions, some with cloth tweeters and others with silk.polymer domes. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&N=100006922&isNodeId=1&Description=polk+monitor&x=27&y=17
    For a complete receiver/speaker package I like the Onkyo 9400 but again, some are doubtfull a pre-packaged system can sound very good. At $630 + sh it may at the top of your budget.http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTS9400/Onkyo-HT-S9400-THX-7.1-Ch-Network-Home-Theater-Receiver/Speaker/1.html
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The JBLs you have are actually good speakers. I think they are equal to the BIC DV62 and Polk Monitor 30. No need to replace them. I had a pair of 2800 that I bought from Lazarus back in '88-'91(I forget the year, they were in sale for a good price). I had them up until 5 years ago when I gave them to a relative going off to college.
    In good shape, those things still pop up on Fleabay for $100-$125. The 2500 is just as good.
    What I would do, spend whatever your "budget" on speakers on locating a center(there is no center an "exact match", but there are numerous JBL centers from the late 90s that will work) and another pair of 2500 for eventual 7.1.
    As for receiver...until we know your "needs/wants" we can't recommend anything...
    And, if you decide to keep your speakers(there is absolutely no reason not to) you might be able to move up to $500 in the AVR???
    Edit:
    Good place to start as a center. The shipping is a bit high...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/JBL-SC305-Center-Speaker-/200835162170?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item2ec2b5603a
    And as for "speaker wire". I use lamp chord. The same thing plugging the AVR into the wall. If wire can handle 15amps at 120...it can handle AVR to speakers.
     
  4. ramone89

    ramone89 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the quick responses. As for my needs as far as the receiver goes all I really am looking for is something that has at least 2-3 Inputs for my Xbox 360, TV and any of my other older gaming systems, and can power a 5.1 surround system with the JBL's I mentioned above. I don't have much use for anything too fancy, I mainly use my receiver to play movies through the Xbox and listen to music occasionally. I just want good quality surround sound, I miss the days when this receiver was new and kicked ass. And yes if I can reallocate most of my speaker budget into a better receiver, I will absolutely be willing to invest in it. I'd be willing to top off around $400.
    And I think I will be keeping my JBL's then since you say they are good, and I kinda figured as much since my dad is a speaker geek and he was the one who I got them from.
    So I need to find a JBL center from the late 90's to match my other JBL's, a $400ish(or less) receiver and 14-16 gauge wire. I will most likely be buying the next generation of either the Xbox or PS, depending on which one turns out to be "better", and other than that I don't really have any input needs that stretch far beyond component. Although I am not really sure where technology is going or how fast it will get there so if investing in HDMI is necessary to keep up with the world then I might just have to.
    Also what sub would you recommend for my system? Just any late 90's JBL sub? My budget on the sub and center is(if feasible) $200ish total, unless that proves to be insufficient.
    Thanks for all the advice and help you guys are providing, this forum is definitely one of the most helpful I have ever been to.
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The best "cheap" subs are BIC. Your sub does not have to "match the rest".
    If you plan on "component" input, you need an AVR with HDMI upconversion...
    If I were you...and your goal...
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR591/DENON-AVR-591-5.1-Channel-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
    That has one component input...if you need another one, pick an Onkyo.
    This Onkyo gives you another component input. 7.1 and the ability to do height/width if you ever choose to.
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTRC360/Onkyo-HT-RC360-7.2-Channel-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    As for sub...
    http://www.amazon.com/BIC-V-1220-430-Watt-Down-Firing-Subwoofer/dp/B0000Y2WYS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1350925813&sr=1-1&keywords=BIC+v1220
    That and the Onkyo 360 gets you "at" $400 together.
    OR if the Denon 591 is "enough", get the BIC F12 and you are around $380.
    Add a JBL center, around $100-ish...
    $500 total....
    That will be a good HT, either way.
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Also check craigslist. There's a pair of 2500's locally (S.F.) on CL for $100. And an SC305 with a titanium tweeter for $150. They do look like really nice speakers.
     
  8. ramone89

    ramone89 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I looked around at receivers and I decided on the Onyko 360. It was a good price and seems like it will be all I need and more for the near future. I am looking into craiglist for a subwoofer at the moment and will try and locate a center speaker as well. Since this will be the first time I am buying speakers is there anything I should look out for before I make a purchase? Any tell-tale signs of abuse or misuse that would fly under the radar of a novice?
     
  9. ramone89

    ramone89 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I looked around at receivers and I decided on the Onyko 360. It was a good price and seems like it will be all I need and more for the near future. I am looking into craiglist for a subwoofer at the moment and will try and locate a center speaker as well. Since this will be the first time I am buying speakers is there anything I should look out for before I make a purchase? Any tell-tale signs of abuse or misuse that would fly under the radar of a novice?
     
  10. ramone89

    ramone89 Auditioning

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    My apologies for the multi post. My internet was acting up and kept saying it didn't submit.
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Look at the surround material, it will be either foam or rubber. Look for tears, dis-coloration and brittleness. Rubber would last much longer but most speakers are made with foam (I think). Make sure the tweeter has been "dented". It doesn't always affect the sound quality but I'd still avoid it. It's always possible someone changed out the drivers or tweeters so make sure you get the exact model number and look at a picture on the internet to make sure it hasn't been fussed with (like a car with an engine swap).
    As for the subwoofer it's a far riskier purchase than a regular speaker. Things seem to happen to subwoofer amps more than anything else. Make sure you can audition it before buying. And even then there could be problems. My brothers sub wooked great while it was on. But when put into standby-mode it would start to hum but for about 10 minutes after it was turned off. (and yes, we looked for a ground loop and everything else we could think of). I always like to talk to a person before setting up a meet. I've never had a problem but you can never be too carefull.
    The multi-post could be a forum problem instead. I've seen other multi-posts lately.
     
  12. DefStatic

    DefStatic Auditioning

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    Not trying to thread hyjack, but seeing what people are recommending for speakers, what do you all think of Infinity home speakers? I saw some on CL that I thought about saving up for (if they are even around by the time I could afford them).
    I run all Infinity in my Jeep, and have always been impressed with the quality of sound I get.
     
  13. DefStatic

    DefStatic Auditioning

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    Not trying to thread hyjack, but seeing what people are recommending for speakers, what do you all think of Infinity home speakers? I saw some on CL that I thought about saving up for (if they are even around by the time I could afford them).
    I run all Infinity in my Jeep, and have always been impressed with the quality of sound I get.
     
  14. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Depends on the Infinity...
    Primus...eeehhh
    Older Beta sure. Even older Crescendo you bet.
     
  15. DefStatic

    DefStatic Auditioning

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    Why the eeeehhh towards Primus? I was actually looking at getting some used ones LOL. Primus 250 Tower speakers, to replace my fat, old floor speakers I have. The ones i have now are ok, they are the Acoustic Home Theater Studio Monitor 3311's. I got them for free, found out they were part of some global scam people were running on people LOL.
     
  16. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Here is my speaker line-up...(and when you Google them, you'll see why my reaction...)
    BIC V830(from the 80-90s)
    Infinity Crescendo 3007
    DCM TF600
    Synergistic S72
    Dahlquist DQ10
    Those 5 speaker sets are currently in my house. The Syn. and Dahlquist in stereo only set-ups.
     
  17. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    IMO Infinity Primus are almost as good as the Beta's, which are fantastic for the price on the used market. But the larger Beta 50's and the Beta 360 center are still holding their values quite well. I'm using Beta 20's, a Beta 250 and a Pair of OWS-1's in my family room. The bass in the 20's is enough that for music a sub isn't necessary most of the time. Really quite impressive. I had a pair of Beta 40 floor standers and I liked the 20 better. More bass output (not deeper, just more of it) and the midrange on the 20's is a bit softer which is what I like. Sold the 40's, a pair of 20's and a Beta 250, all in beautifull cherry (much nicer then the ebony ones) for only $475 on CL. Someone got a real good deal.
    Fry's is selling the Primus P363's for $109 a piece (was $99 each a month ago) which is the deal of the century. They've also had the P53's and 63's on sale lately. PC253 center speaker can be had used for about $50 while the better PC353 is abot $175-$200. And there isn't much difference between the X50, X51 and X53 series. Mostly cosmetic.
    I'd love to hear the older IL series but I have to stop buying things untill I can sell off some of what I already have. The Cresendo 3009's are another pair I'd love to hear. Beautiful speakers as well. And maybe the newer Kappa's but most knowledgable enthusiasts seem to feel H/K's presence in those. But I'd like to see (hear) for myself but they're just too expensive to take for a test drive.
     
  18. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The only reason I "think" the Beta are better than the Primus...
    It has to do with "when they were sold" and their cosmetics. The Beta were around when a speaker had to be impressive in a store to be sold. The Primus just has to "be cheap".
    I would not be surprised(although I have NOT CHECKED) if they use the same tweeter/drivers.
    It is like comparing my older V to the new DV from BIC. They use the same exact tweeter.
    Sitting on a shelf between the older V62 and the current DV62, you couldn't tell a difference...till you picked them up.
    The V62 is a real wood cabinet. No MDF/fibreboard or laminate anywhere near them.
    The DV62 is MDF covered in vinyl.
    They sound the same.
     

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