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Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by martin_lee, Jan 4, 2005.
Should I buy an "All in one" (yamaha, philips, sony) or not ? Why ?
Advantages of "all-in-one" systems:
Convenient useability (one remote control, unified functionality)
Advantages of separate receiver/speakers/subwoofer purchases:
Upgradability - easy to upgrade one peice in the future should you want to.
Louder, mostly better "quality" sound.
Do you think you will care about upgrading? Maybe getting better speakers? The HTIB with a reciever/DVD player/speakers would be better than the all-in-one unit then. Do you want to have one small box, plug and play, and forget it? The all-in-one is perfect for this. There's no easy "one size fits all" answer. I am a big proponent of the simple "all-in-one" systems personally for most people. I think they are great! Make sure if you get an all-in-one that it has enough inputs for your VCR (if you have one and it does not) and whatever cable box or sallelite boxes you are using.
I want something with a good sound (Hi-fi?) !!
If you're looking for Hi-Fi sound then seperates are the way to go, with decent sized speakers - at least bookshelf. HTIB are OK and "do the job" but nothing to write home about. At least with seperates you can add or remove any part of it, you also have far better connectivity...such as digital inputs, analogue inputs, pre-outs etc. So you could add poweramps, change DVD player, change each speaker, add a better subwoofer later. Basically upgradibilty is endless. You could start off with a simple AV amp...and end up with a av pre-amp system with bi-amped speakers, several high quality poweramps or monoblocs per speaker/drive unit, seperate "Hi-Fi" 2 channel pre-amp etc etc.
I will say that I've "been there, done that". How "Hi-fi" do you really want or need? I went that way for a time. I had some good quality speakers that were very reasonably priced (B&W DM602 - still have them and love them) . I started with an old 5.1 ready DPL receiver and an external decoder. I upgraded to a better receiver, then separates (Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080/AV-P9080), then newer separates (Outlaw 950 with a Harmon Kardon PA2000 for the 6 and 7 of 7.1). I even had a DD 5.1 setup in the bedroom with cast-offs and a few budget bits for good measure. After a few years I decided "enough is enough", sold off the separates, and put my then bedroom receiver, an 8 year old DD only Pioneer VSX-D606S that I got for $139 refurbished into service as my main receiver. I have not regretted it for a minute. Know what? As far as I'm concerned, the old (ancient by HT standards) receiver sounds as good as the orders of magnitude more expensive separates, and my life is simpler. I kept the front speakers the same throughout the whole shebang. Know what is the most important thing that makes the most difference? Having matching speakers across the front three. Many of the little units offer this! People at sites like this get caught up in the "bigger better" "latest and greatist" "upgraditis". IMO you don't need it. I'm enough of a hobbyist that I don't want a simple all-in-one, but I've got siblings who have them and they're great for both watching movies and listening to music at their houses. Don't buy more than you need. There are a lot of packages that come with a receiver and speakers instead of all-in-one. If you want to upgrade your speakers or something in the future to get better sound, these are the best option.
Martin, Well whichever way you go, just don't buy Bose!