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Budget setup advice (1 Viewer)

Lee Bosley

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Hi guys!

First off, I've got a modern 55" TV, but naturally the onboard sound isn't at all satisfying.

I'm on a budget of around $800, so I realise this puts me at the bottom end. I'd still rather go for a conservative real-setup than a soundbar. This will be my first build, so assume I'm a complete beginner.

Not sure it's of any use, but I inherited a Sony STR-k990 receiver from a friend, whilst I know it's old, I figure it might give me more cash to put towards to the other components. Is it even worth trying to re-use this? Or shall I just recycle it. I'm unclear if it's got the beef to power modern speakers anymore (?).

I was thinking initially of just a 2.0 or 2.1 setup, then adding a subwoofer and center later once my finances allow, so that I can keep the components more respectable. Then further increasing to a 5.1 later on.

Not adverse to buying 2nd hand or trawling Craigslist for bargains either.

Just looking for some thoughts or recommendations from you more seasoned listeners.

Thanks!

Lee.
 

Todd Erwin

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Lee - Welcome to Home Theater Forum!

I would forget about that Sony receiver you inherited. There are no HDMI ports and pretty much everything runs off HDMI these days. I would look at Yamaha or Onkyo kits (receiver plus 5.1 speakers) to start if you want to start off with a full HT system, or look at some 2018 model year receivers as those are on clearance and will help stretch your dollar. These aren't used or refurbished, either. Two months ago, I picked up a Denon AVR-X2400 7.2 receiver with Dolby Atmos capability on clearance from Amazon for under $250. This was last year's model and originally sold for $800. I see they are still available, so that may be worth checking out, then looking at a pair of speakers plus subwoofer and building from there.

The nice thing about the kits from Yamaha and Onkyo is that they come with a real (but entry level) receiver and decent speakers, allowing you to swap out with better speakers over time. The one thing to look out for, especially with Onkyo, is that they have two almost identical setups and I recommend, should you decide to go this route, spend the extra few bucks on the model with the active subwoofer rather than the passive sub. In other words, get the model where the sub has its own built-in amplifier. It makes upgrading the sub and/or receiver down the line much easier and also puts less strain on the receiver.
 

Lee Bosley

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Thanks Todd for the advice!

The Sony Receiver I inherited does actually have HDMI ports on it. Not sure that makes a difference.

Are the speakers that come with those all-in-one packages usually not really bad? I guess anything is going to be a big upgrade on the TV built-in sound, but in my mind was kind of hoping to slowly build a custom setup.

I also see I can get a Denon AV Receiver Audio & Video Component Black (AVRS540BT) for under $200 on Amazon if that's a good beginner place to start.
 
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Todd Erwin

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The Sony Receiver I inherited does actually have HDMI ports on it. Not sure that makes a difference
That receiver is over 12 years old, and a lot has changed with HDMI, especially over the last two years. The receiver does not support lossless audio or 4K video.
Are the speakers that come with those all-in-one packages usually not really bad? I guess anything is going to be a big upgrade on the TV built-in sound, but in my mind was kind of hoping to slowly build a custom setup.
This is my advice - if you are desperate to get 5.1 theater sound NOW, then get something like this and slowly upgrade the speakers and eventually the receiver.

Yamaha YHT-4930UBL 5.1-Channel Home Theater in a Box System

If you want to gradually add speakers and upgrade your system over time, then go with a clearance receiver like this one and add on speakers and other components as your budget allows.

Denon AVR-X2400H

The Denon receiver is a major step above the receiver that comes with the Yamaha set. This option will allow you to customize over time and choose the speakers you are happy with.
 

Len Harris

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Look at the in wall speakers. Amazon
Just set mine up today.
 

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Len Harris

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Also I picked up a used reciver RX-V561 $200. WITH three b&w m-1 and an 8" b&w subwoofer.
 

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Todd Erwin

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Also I picked up a used reciver RX-V561 $200. WITH three b&w m-1 and an 8" b&w subwoofer.
I hate to tell you this, but that receiver is the same vintage as the Sony and has older HDMI ports that may give you issues down the road if they have not done so already. It does not have lossless audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD), either. If the $200 included the receiver AND speakers, then it may not be quite as bad, but you will eventually need to replace that receiver soon.
 

JohnRice

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I wasn't going to say anything negative, but... yeah... that receiver isn't worth anything. I have a couple newer ones, which do play HD soundtracks, and I can't find a new home for them.
 

Len Harris

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All. Sounds great for now. I got a 8" b&w sub and 3 b&w m1. I'll use this stuff in my man cave when I upgrade
I plan to upgrade to a atmos system.
But working on the house this summer 1st.
Fall I'll start shopping.
Eather way it saved me money now.
I actually worked for Sony for 5 years. About the time this reciver was new. I'm pleased with what I have for now.
 

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Len Harris

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I may also use the m1 for my rears and use the other set of in wall for the atmos.
I'm not completely familiar with this atmos yet. Still have research to do.
Also waiting for a split cable so I can add the 8" b&w subwoofer behind the sitting area. I know these in walls are not your 1st choice. But I actually really like them. Both music and theater. With the sub turned just right. They sound great.
Back when I was with Sony. I had everything top end.
Full set of Jamo's. They were awesome. But I'm quite happy with this setup now.
 

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