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Budget Consious Appartment Dweller Looking for Help and Opinions


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#1 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 22 2012 - 03:49 AM

Hello, long time lurker first time poster here (always wanted to say that). I'm looking for a few opinions on buying my first home theater set up and I apologize if I'm in the wrong place. Feel free to move this post to the appropriate area if needed. I've been looking for a while at HTiB (I know, I know) and I'm considering buying the Onkyo HT S5400 7.1. I live in an apartment so I don't need much and I'll probably only use it for a 5.1 setup at first anyway but I also want to be smart and future proof for when I move into a house. It would mostly be for movie/tv viewing and some music. I have no need for an ipod/iphone dock or connection (android user so if there's one with that option it would be nice) but if its included oh well. I was also looking for 4 or more hdmi pass-throughs and a wide range or decoders (TrueHD and PCM a plus). I'm sure it's also apparent I know nothing about sound systems. Amazon has this for $360 and I'd like to stay under $400 but will go to $500 if it's a great deal. I guess my question is, should I stick with the S5400 or should I consider another HTiB or could I get better components for the same price? Thanks for all the help.

#2 of 23 Phil Taylor

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Posted January 22 2012 - 06:15 AM

That would be a decent, economical all-in-one package for starters in an apartment - has the features you want and also has the capability to play louder than your neighbors would like.
 

#3 of 23 Al.Anderson

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Posted January 22 2012 - 06:23 AM

The 5400 is a very good choice for a first unit, especially if you're not sure what you're getting into. It comes with a "real" receiver (unlike many other HTiBs). The speakers are not great, but they will serve. And because it's a true receiver, if you later want to upgrade speakers you won't have a problem. (Other HTiBs use proprietary connections and low resistance speakers to boost volume.)

#4 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 22 2012 - 08:41 AM

Thanks. I know they don't list what model receiver is in the bundle on the Onkyo website. Does anyone know which one it is?

#5 of 23 gene c

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Posted January 22 2012 - 03:11 PM

I looked at a picture of the back of the receiver and it looks like it says HT-590. They give these packaged receivers a different number than the receivers sold individually. But it's probably very close to the 509.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#6 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 24 2012 - 06:40 AM

I've got another question... I'm debating between Onkyo HT-S7409 vs Onkyo HT-S5400 and the only differences I know off are: the S7400 is networked an only 5.1 and the s5400 is 7.1 and has the Audyssey mic calibrator (which is very nice). Is there other differences I should be considering? If there's a better sub $500 setup you could suggest I'm open to that too. Thanks! P.S. I'm getting my tax refund Friday and I'm hoping to have a decision made by then but I don't know enough to make an informed decision and I hate buyers remorse lol.

#7 of 23 Phil Taylor

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Posted January 24 2012 - 06:50 AM

Network capability on a receiver is no big deal as most BD players and a lot of new TVs have internet apps. 7.1 would be nice since you can run it as 5.1 if apartment space is limited and since it is a 'real' AVR you can keep it as your living space or finances allow.
 

#8 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 24 2012 - 06:57 AM

Is the quality/specs of either speakers or receiver any different or are they pretty much the same except for the differences I listed?

#9 of 23 Al.Anderson

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Posted January 24 2012 - 07:19 AM

Network capability on a receiver is no big deal as most BD players and a lot of new TVs have internet apps.

This is a preference topic, there's no right or wrong per se - but I have to say that I would prefer having the networking. In limited exposure I've found that the BR players are good at video streaming and not very consistent with audio stream (a couple Sony's I have won't stream FLAC files). My new receiver performs audio streaming very well, but doesn't perform video streaming. I'm sure there's a performance level where they do all things well, but it's not at this level. I'm not a big 7.1 guy, but having it better than not having it. Since the 7409 has almost everything that the 7400 has (except an iPod dock it seems), and is actually less expensive on Amazon, I'd go with the 7409. I certainly think the 7409 is worth the $120 over the 5400, assuming you have the money.

#10 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 24 2012 - 07:35 AM

Network capability on a receiver is no big deal as most BD players and a lot of new TVs have internet apps.

I'm not a big 7.1 guy, but having it better than not having it. Since the 7409 has almost everything that the 7400 has (except an iPod dock it seems), and is actually less expensive on Amazon, I'd go with the 7409. I certainly think the 7409 is worth the $120 over the 5400, assuming you have the money.

I'm kinda confused. On one hand you say that 7.1 is better than not having it but you chose the 5.1 system. Is networking worth the $120? Am I missing something else that the 7409 has over the 5400? Oh and kudos to this forum! I've posted this question in a couple other forums (with even more active members) and this forum is already a lot quicker with responses and more helpful than those other! Thanks!

#11 of 23 Al.Anderson

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Posted January 24 2012 - 09:21 AM

I'm kinda confused. On one hand you say that 7.1 is better than not having it but you chose the 5.1 system.

I see the problem, the Onkyo site reports the 7409 as both a 5.1 and a 7.1 system, the last time through I only saw the "7.1". Since they're both essentially the same price, 5.1 makes more sense. The choice is now a little tougher. You're essentially trading the 2 rear speakers for network capability. (Ignore the "network capability" the 7400 says it has; that will just allow you upgrade firmware over the internet. Not used that much and not worth paying for.) The extra two speaker are usually used as rears, and more recently as front heights. Both of those are only used as "extra" surround effects, most media/movies still only encode at 5.1, but that's slowly increasing. Also, if you set up a zone-2 with 5 a five speaker system and use the zone-2, you lose the surrounds in zone-1. With a 7 speaker system you still have your normal surround. On the other side is internet and network access (internet radio in many forms and PC/media server access to music files). I would much prefer the network features in trade for 7.1, but it's perfectly resonable to prefer the extra speakers. As an aside the 7409 also advertises discrete amps. That means that each amp's power is independent of the others, and drawing on one amp will not deminish the capability of another amp to produce power. It's an advanced feature set, but is something nice you're paying for.

Oh and kudos to this forum! I've posted this question in a couple other forums (with even more active members) and this forum is already a lot quicker with responses and more helpful than those other!

Don't get used to the speed, it depends on luck and how much we feel like blowing off work. However I do think you get a more sane and balanced set of opinions here. Much less pushing of someone's personal opinion (often because that's what they bought). Stick around and compare notes as you upgrade ... and you will upgrade!

#12 of 23 gene c

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Posted January 24 2012 - 10:17 AM

I've got another question... I'm debating between Onkyo HT-S7409 vs Onkyo HT-S5400 and the only differences I know off are: the S7400 is networked an only 5.1 and the s5400 is 7.1 and has the Audyssey mic calibrator (which is very nice). Is there other differences I should be considering? If there's a better sub $500 setup you could suggest I'm open to that too. Thanks! P.S. I'm getting my tax refund Friday and I'm hoping to have a decision made by then but I don't know enough to make an informed decision and I hate buyers remorse lol.

The 7409 also has analog to digital video conversion and video up-conversion to 1080P (which your display will also do), a powered Zone 2, HD radio and a better remote. I'm pretty sure all three come with the Audyssey setup mic.You have to be carefull when comparing specs and features on receivers. You have to act like a detective since various websites (and individual forum posters :blush: ) will not always be entirely accurate. Even the manufactures website can be mis-leading or down-right wrong (down-right-wrong :confused: ). It's always best to down-load the manuals when you've narrowed it down to two or three. The info there is usually the most accurate. The not-so-good about these Onkyo htib systems are the speakers and sub. Not bad for the price but they have to skimp somewhere. Here are a couple of other options just to see what else is available for around $400. Match one of the receivers with a speaker package that follows. The Onkyo 509. This receiver is close to what the 5400 has. No internet streaming, HD radio, video conversion etc. ($199 + sh) http://www.accessori...eceiver/1.html. The Denon 1612 has a better version of Audessey, MultEQ vs. 2EQ ($219 + sh) http://www.accessori...Receiver/1.html The Denon 1611 might be even better. It has video conversion to 720P, and is 7.1 with a powered Zone 2. ($219 + sh). The Onkyo HT-540 speaker/sub package should be a little better than either the 5400 or 7400/7409. ($159 + sh). http://www.accessori...r-System/1.html The Onkyo 509, HT-540 and Denon 1611 and 1612 from ac4l.com are factory refurbs with a one year warranty. Boston Acoustics CS2310B The sub is kind of small but maybe enough for an apartment. And it certainly isn't worth the $749 list price but for $199 it's worth a look. http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_vtp_e_1 So is the MCS90 http://www.amazon.co...&pf_rd_i=507846 Both are $199
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#13 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 24 2012 - 11:45 AM

I believe I'm going to go with the Onkyo HT-S7409 and just upgrade the speakers later. Onkyo says the receiver in the package is the TX - NR609 which is a 7.2 receiver but they only put 5.1 in the box. My only question is whether it has the Audyssey speaker setup mic. I can't find that information anywhere and there isn't a user manual for download on the site.

#14 of 23 gene c

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Posted January 24 2012 - 01:20 PM

I'm 99% sure it comes with the setup mic. The 7400 comes with it and near the bottom of the "Features" page it clearly states "Auto Speaker Calibration W/Mic......(Audyssey 2EQ)." You're right about no manual. But download the 7400. I bet it's pretty close.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#15 of 23 Phil Taylor

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Posted January 24 2012 - 01:25 PM

In my experience Audyssey only gets it 'close' and sets the system flat = which is less than what I personally like. Each person's ears are different of course...
 

#16 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 24 2012 - 01:41 PM

In my experience Audyssey only gets it 'close' and sets the system flat = which is less than what I personally like. Each person's ears are different of course...

For a beginner like myself "close" would probably be close enough. To give you an idea this is the sophisticated setup I am using for my TV right now Logitech S220 ;)

#17 of 23 Phil Taylor

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Posted January 24 2012 - 01:44 PM

For a beginner like myself "close" would probably be close enough. To give you an idea this is the sophisticated setup I am using for my TV right now Logitech S220 ;)

Good lord - you are going to really appreciate REAL system ... no offense intended...
 

#18 of 23 gene c

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Posted January 24 2012 - 02:45 PM

In my experience Audyssey only gets it 'close' and sets the system flat = which is less than what I personally like. Each person's ears are different of course...

That's what i like about Pioneers MCACC. It allows you to tweak the settings and eq it came up with after you run it. Logitech makes great remotes but...You're going to love that Onkyo 7409. :)
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#19 of 23 DudeGuru

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Posted January 24 2012 - 02:51 PM

Good lord - you are going to really appreciate REAL system ... no offense intended...

. Logitech makes great remotes but...You're going to love that Onkyo 7409. :)

Lol I had in plugged into my computer but I needed something to hold me over. Funny as it is that little speaker setup was still much better than the speakers on my hdtv. Sad I know.

#20 of 23 Phil Taylor

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Posted January 24 2012 - 02:53 PM

That's what i like about Pioneers MCACC. It allows you to tweak the settings and eq it came up with after you run it. Logitech makes great remotes but...You're going to love that Onkyo 7409. :)

Auto-setup programs are nice for the new-comers and a fairly decent 'starting point' -- but usually a bit lacking and in need of personal 'tweakage'. And yes indeed - Logitech makes some absolutely great remotes - I still have an old, but familiar H659 model workhorse that they will have to pry out of my dead, cold hands... :D