Receiver / Floorstanding recommendations

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by naiku, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. naiku

    naiku Extra

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    Hi,

    I was not sure whether to post this in the speakers forum, or in this one, or both, but decided to try here first.........I am hoping to start putting together a surround sound system and am looking for some opinions. This will be my first system, so I am not looking for the best there is, but I am looking for the best that my (currently limited) budget can afford.

    I want something that I can use for both music and movies, and since I am on a budget plan to buy various components over a period of time. The first items I want to buy are going to be a receiver and floor standing speakers. So with a $500 budget, what do people recommend? I have looked at some Infinity speakers (Primus 360 $175), Onkyo (TX-SR504 $220), Denon (AVR-1507 $300) and Sony (STR-DG600 $200) receivers.

    Also, since I will be using the system to listen to music. Should I invest in a dedicated CD player? or will a DVD player be ok to use for playing music CD's?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

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    $500 is a fairly slim budget for a receiver and floor standing speakers, but it can be done. I would suggest you start with something like a pair of Acoustic Research VP600 floorstanders from J&R ($150/pr) and an Onkyo SR504 from accessories4less.com ($170). This would actually leave you with enough in your budget to go ahead and add the matching XP242C ($59/ea) and XP62 surrounds ($99/pr). Something like this would make a VERY good starter system and all you would really need to add in the near future would be a decent sub.

    Also, since you'll be passing audio digitaly (optical or digital coax) there's little if any advantage to adding a dedicated CD player as opposed to using a DVD player you already have.
     
  3. naiku

    naiku Extra

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    Thanks for a great reply, I know that $500 is a small budget. But figure that it's a good place to start, and I can ultimately upgrade if I get really seriously into the whole HT setup.

    Oh, one quick question........... what's J&R? I am heading to Google now, but not sure if it's an online shop.

    EDIT: Ok, found J&R online [​IMG]

    Thanks again.
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Try auditioning the "full setup" first. There's little point in starting out with a set of, say Primus 360s, if in the end, the Primus speakers don't appeal to you. Likewise, the receiver. Some will probably tell you to avoid the Sony, but not having heard it, I can't speak to that.

    As for the CD player-- "digital is digital"-- yes. But some CD players have different--perhaps even better-- DACs than the receiver. Some also have better ergonomics or more informative displays. And lastly, some DVD players produce mechanical noise, which can be annoying. But you'd probably get more of your money's worth by "investing" it elsewhere.
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi Ian

    Jeremy is exactly correct in that you can't choose speakers without hearing them first.

    If you can't hear them in person, there are a set of main speakers that have been beta tested by one of the members of this Forum...they promise to be excellent...however, you can only obtain them via mailorder...they are sold by AV123...and are the x-xls towers for $319 plus shipping...combined with the Onkyo SR504 suggested by Jeremy, that would be the beginnings of a truly high quality system that could serve as the basis of one of the least expensive systems that begins to approach a high-end surround system.

    The speakers are in pre-order status. I plan on getting the Onix x-sub in white shadow maple.

    Please keep in touch.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I would go for either the Denon or the Onkyo receivers.

    I've never heard the AR speakers Stephen listed, but I have read lots of good reviews for them over the years - they are cheap now because I think there is a new series coming out to replace them (speaker technology changes very slowly nowaways so wouldn't worry about the older ones being "old fashioned"). I also like Infinity's speakers.

    If you listen to music a lot, I second the dedicated CD-only player.

    Like Jeremy said, most CD players are built so they are much easier to use i.e. functions like track programming, repeat, random, etc are accessible via buttons on their front panel and usually their remote too and not an onscreen menu viewed on your TV that 99.9% of dvd players make you use, which is a major hassle. And many cheaper dvd players I've played with can act sort of goofy when playing CDs: long track access times, can't handle scratched discs very well, etc which makes them irritating to use. Lastly, dvd players generally don't seem to be very long lived compared to CD players, so having separate players will lengthen the lives of both.

    Right before they stopped selling them, back in 2003 I bought a Technics SL-PG4 single disc player, sensing that most mid-fi companies were already cutting way back on their production of these models.

    CD players are quite inexpensive now, I guess since CDs aren't "cool" anymore (I am starting to really dislike that word [​IMG]) but are getting a bit hard to find. Off the top of my head, Best Buy and Circuit sell a Sony 5 disc changer for@$120, Circuit sells a nicer Onkyo changer, BB sells a Sony mega changer and also a Sony CD/5.1 surround sacd combination player for @$150. Pioneer still sells changers but haven't seen them at any stores down here.

    FYI: entry-level single disc players which used to be very common from manufacturers like Sony, Pioneer and Onkyo are pretty much gone now.

    To go with the CD player Panasonic, Sony, Philips and some other major brands now sell stripped-down dvd players for around $50-$70, I'm sure to compete with those cheapie no-name brands that go for $40 and less hanging on peghooks next to the Snickers and packs of post it notes.
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    BTW: I've bought several audio items from J&R and always had a good experience with them.

    Forgot to add above: while I will admit these aren't the last word in refinement, if they are like the other MTX speakers I've listened to for not much $$ they should deliver tight punchy bass and clean highs for rock/pop music with little power needed to do so: Monitor 600i. They also sell matching rears & centers (same woofers/tweeters but smaller cabinets). They look pretty decent too. Partsexpress also has given me great service.
     

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