Is this a good combo (put together by a newbie)

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Eric-bo, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Eric-bo

    Eric-bo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've done quite a bit of research and hope I've found what would be best for a budget that I'd like to limit to less than $1000 (DVD player and widescreen HDTV already in hand).

    I used your advice and some ratings I found on consumerreports.com and this is what I'm looking at getting:

    Receiver:Sony STR-DE995 Dolby Digital Home Theater Receiver

    Speakers: Cambridge SoundWorks MovieWorks 106 Home Theater Speaker System

    I have the $$ to buy all at once, that's why I am not getting speakers piecemeal. Thanks for your advice!!!
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let me just say this. AVOID ALL LOW-END SONY RECIEVERS. They are pretty much nothing but bad news and almost everyone will tell you the same thing.

    The cambridge system isn't bad, but I think you can do better.

    Take a look at a Harman/Kardon, Onkyo, and Denon recievers and find yourself a 5.1 set of speakers somewhere.
     
  3. Eric-bo

    Eric-bo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had read that the 995 Sony was pretty good (CR.com) and rated a best buy. I do, however, think I may go with a Onkyo.

    As for the speakers, I believe that set was a 6.1. Shouldn't I look for that as opposed to a 5.1? Or is there a reason I'm missing?

    Thanks.
     
  4. adamKI

    adamKI Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 106 looks like a 5.1 system to me ... also, you might want to look for a speaker package with an active sub ... better yet buy the sub separately. People have said good things about Fluance speaker systems for entry level HT (check out www.fluance.com). There's no advantage to 5.1 over 6, however, if your budget is limiting you, you may want to by 5 better speakers now and add the sixth (or sixth and seventh) later.

    Also, I agree that the lower-end Sony stuff isn't all it should be. Like Chris said, look for a good deal on an Onkyo, Denon or H/K.

    Good luck !!

    adam
     
  5. Eric-bo

    Eric-bo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    1) What is the difference between the sub that comes with the Camridge system and an active sub?

    2) Well, I think I'll go with the recommendations and look at the Onkyo TX-SR501 Receiver and maybe go with the speaker package by Fluance 5 speaker SX-HTB.

    3)Then the sub will come in later based on what I'll read in other threads.

    This sound like a better combo? You guys are a huggggge help. If you need bodybuilding or college basketball advice, I'll be glad to reciprocate.
     
  6. adamKI

    adamKI Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    A powered (aka active) sub has it's own amplifier built in (you'll need to plug the amp into a power outlet seperately to power this amp). Instead of hooking the sub up with speaker wire, you use an RCA cable to send a line level signal to the sub's amp. This generally results in cleaner bass.

    The 501 is pretty good. You may want to head over to Circuit City and give it a listen - you can also compare it to the 601, which is the next step up. It has a more power (85 watts/channel vs. 65) and a few extra inputs (one more video in and an additional optical audio. That'll let your system grow a bit more before you have to upgrade your receiver.
     
  7. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    ChrisLazarko Hi

    Why should someone avoid the Sony "low end receivers". Did you personally had a bad experience with them? One of my friends has the Sony STR-DE695 and when I listen to the staff, it sounds excellent to me. Ofcourse if you spend more money you will get better results, but not everyone has the budget to do so. Based on what I experienced I have ordedred this Sony receiver (STR-DE695) together with SA-VE545 speakers.

    Stelios
     
  8. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I myself did have a Sony reciever a few years ago and it decided to blow itself up one day... end of my experience with Sony. I know people with lower-end Sony's who also have exerpienced problems. One guy's left and center channel stopped working for some reason... and Sony wanted $150 to fix it which was around the price of a new entry-level reciever.

    I feel that Sony has no pride in there product. They build there products by masses and put no care what so ever in them. They do not seem to care about there customer support and the customer at all.

    Onkyo is a nice reciever, but something I would definantly give a look at is Harman/Kardon and there x25 line-up. They just introduced there x30 line-up which means the x25 is on clearence. Check out www.soundcity.com and look for the Harman/Kardon AVR-125. It is a great entry-level 5.1 reciever that I tell alot of people to look at. It is a perfect buy for someone looking for an entry level setup and Harman puts alot of quality into there customer support.

    The AVR-125 on the site is refurbished and still comes with the FULL manufacturer warranty. SoundCity is also authorized so you can be assured you're buying from a good place. Take a look at it and give it some thought.

    As for a 6.1 set being better than a 5.1 set it all depends. A 6.1 set is better in larger rooms and very few movies are even in 6.1 anyways. I think a 5.1 set would be more than enough as I don't think they will have many movies in 6.1 until a few years from now, if they even decide to adopt that....
     
  9. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    ChrisLazarko, I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with Sony but it is quite the opposite in my case. I have a Sony audio receiver for 7 years now, one Sony video camera since 1988, and 2 Sony DV cameras and so far I had no problem what’s so ever. If Sony equipment is not a good quality then it wouldn’t be the No 1 in consumer electronics. I went to the nearest hi-fi shop earlier and did compare the Sony with a Harman/Kardon and Denon and I must tell you they sounded exactly the same to me. In fact at the quite scenes of the DVD the Sony was more natural to hear. Middle frequencies sounded smother also.

    Stelios
     
  10. Craig_W

    Craig_W Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    You might also want to take a look at the Onkyo HT-510. It has the exact same specs as the TX-SR501 but is rated at 100 watts rather than 65 watts. eCost carries refurbs with a one-year warranty for $149.
     
  11. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Only Sony product I have a problem with is there recievers, it's not only me that has had it and alot of people don't like there lower-end recievers. Even the guys at high-end audio shops will tell most people to stay away, and I can't disagree at all.

    I also own other sony products, a camcorder, telephone, digi cam, cd-player, so on and so forth... only thing that never worked good was in there audio department, but there tech support was very nasty to me when I called 3 times.
     
  12. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    ChrisLazarko Hi


    I agree with you that the support is a major consideration when choosing a product. No matter how good the product is, if you have a lousy support then you might as well forget it. Fortunately for me here in Cyprus, the support of SONY is excellent, therefore it will be a big plus consideration when choosing a SONY product.

    Cheers
    Stelios
     
  13. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    quote:


    Yes you are right, in the short and medium term, but not in the long term. Most of the Sony equipment are standard of reference for most products. I am not saying that other manufacturers haven't got superior receivers, but Sony should never be dismissed outright.

    Stelios
     
  15. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have owned 2 Sony ES receivers (one I still use)and have had no trouble with them. Well, the one I use now had to have the volume motor fixed, but it was under warranty (Sony ES have 5 years, which is pretty good). I had a non-ES when I was younger (back in the early 80's) and didn't have trouble with that one (cranked through alot of parties with Cerwin Vegas). If you buy the lower end models from any company, you can expect some lower end performance and compromises. I like the ES line, though. I'm not too sure about the new "digital amplifiers". It's a new technology and needs to work out the kinks and prove reliability.
     
  16. Richard Driskill

    Richard Driskill Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2001
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    [It's probably too late, but...]

    Eric-Bo, PLEASE see my post on the DE995 here-

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...light=strde995


    The STR DE995 is just fine. It is NOT a 'low end' receiver; it is at the top of Sony's 'regular' A/V line.

    I would recommend you go with other speakers (not Cambridge), perhaps Klipsh (if not, at least choose speakers with decent sized woofers; 6.5", 8" or bigger), and use original 12 gauge Monster speaker cable (expensive, but worth it). You should be choosing speakers with a rating between 110 to 150 watts. Even though the 995 is a 7.1 system, you'd be better off getting 2 pairs of decent speakers for now (if the budget goes over) and using the center channel inside your TV (that will give you 5 of the 5.1). Then, when the funds are there, buy a sub (by this time you will be very happy), then 1 or 2 more speakers to make it 6.1 or 7.1.

    When choosing a sub, make sure you meet the minimums: at least a 12 inch cone (preferably down-firing) and 200 watts max (as the minimum amp power). The best general location will be a few inches away from a corner of the room (3 surfaces to travel over).
     
  17. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lacey, WA
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    I might disagree with some of the advice given in this thread.

    I am not a big supporter of the Sony entry level receivers. The ES receivers have had a really good track record, but their entry level stuff is not as good. My first Pro-Logic receiver was Sony and it fit the bill very well until I upgraded to DD, I then got a Yamaha. What I would suggest is that you go to some store and listen to some receivers in your price range. I would strongly suggest that you listen to Harmon Kardon and Dennon. Compare it to the Sony so that you can make a good judgement. I think most receivers do a pretty good job with DD material, but where you are going to notice a big difference is with stereo sound. That will spill over in the movie stuff too, but if you like to listen to music at all, you really need to listen to the receiver in stereo.

    I have had friends who have had some terrible luck with entry level Sony receivers. One had a terrible hiss that came out of the rear speakers and another had the left main channel die right after the one year mark. My Sony receiver did not die or have a hiss, but the stereo playback was AWEFUL! In my opinion, Harmon Kardon has great stereo playback. They will be rated with less wattage, but you need to listen to them to get an accurate idea of how they sound.

    I would DEFINATELY not use my tv as a center channel, NEVER. The two most important speakers in a setup are the sub and the center. I would look at speaker packages from Axiom, Hometheaterdicrect, Energy Take 5's, even the Klipsh sattelite setup. Some of those you can listen to at the stores, some are internet companies. For a very affordable sub, I would look at Parts Express, they have a great kit that is very affordable. Or look at the Adire Rava for $399. Those are really good subs for the money.

    The best thing you can do is go to the stores and listen to as much as you can to get an idea of what sounds good to you. I personally cannot stand the sound of Klipsh, but you might really like the way they sound. There are MANY on this forum that swear by their Klipsh, that is why you should take with a grain of salt what everyone says and go and listen to them yourself.

    Oh, and instead of investing a lot of money in monster cables, I would buy a good gauge wire at Home Depot. Cost is much less and I seriously dought that you would hear a difference. If you were talking higher end equipment, than you might, but there is no reason to spend half as much of your total cost on speakers for your speaker wire.

    I am not saying that speaker wire is not imprortant, I myself have spend a good deal on my wiring, but I think that you truely could not hear the difference between monster and Home Depot wiring.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff Aguilar
     
  18. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi, Eric.

    Did you have any idea you were opening Pandora's box with your question? [​IMG]

    I've been a long-time subscriber to Consumer Reports. Longer than I'd care to admit. And my Father before me. While they aren't perfect, they are an excellent point of reference. And they rank right up there with religion and politics as a great way to start an argument.

    My $.02:

    You [rant]MUST[/rant] audition the speakers at home. Period. They [rant]WILL NOT[/rant] sound they same as they do in the showroom.

    Someone recently posted this link to a good study on speaker wire: http://home.earthlink.net/~rogerr7/wire.htm#wiretable

    Vote with your money and practice conscious consumerism.
     
  19. Chris Cash

    Chris Cash Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a problem with the bashing of Sony on this thread. I used a STR-DE845 reciever for almost four years. I never had a single problem with it. If you go to audio review it has excellant ratings by almost everyone that has bought one. The only reason I boxed it up and put it in the closet was because I got a really good price on a STR-DA7ES. A friend of mine bought a STR-DE945 and he hasn't had any problems either.

    ~C.C.~
     
  20. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,357
    Likes Received:
    293
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    This thread was pruned to get rid of the self glorious hijacking that took place. I do hope Eric-bo is still interested.


    Cees
     

Share This Page