need advice on beginner system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sathyan, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    I am seeking advice on selecting components for my system particularly in terms of receiver and speakers. This is my first component system. I will be upgrading from a 30wpc Dolby Surround minisystem (Aiwa NSX-AJ17) which lacks clarity and bass and is underpowered in the surrounds. Specifically I need recommendations for speakers, receiver, and CD changer. I this point all I have are a few sources (DVD, PC, VCR) and two speakers which may not be up to par (Audiosource LS100 50W 8 ohm). Could these speakers be demoted to surround - I like the sound? I want a system primarily for music but also supporting multichannel DVD and eventually SACD. I have a limited amount of space so a bookshelf solution for the front speakers would be desirable if it can provide sufficient dynamic range.

    I want to buy new or factory refurb w/warranty.


    Room size: 12ft x 12 ft, 8 ft ceiling
    Musical genres: opera, orchestral, chamber, pop, hollywood/bollywood


    Budget: US$700 (incl. components, cables, tax & shipping)
    Receiver - $300
    CD Player - $150
    Speakers - $200
    Assorted cables - $50



    Receiver (looking at Onkyo TX-SR500)
    -digital ins: coax + whatever the CD changer needs
    -3 a/v in
    -1 monitor out (rca or s-vid)
    -1 audio monitor (rca)
    -1 aux audio (rca)
    -sub preout
    -5.1 channel speakers
    -DPL2, DD, DTS
    -quality stereo support
    -sounds good at low volume
    -headphone jack
    -binding post

    CD Player (looking at Sony CDP-CE375)
    this will be used as transport only (unless HDCD supported) with the receiver doing the DAC
    -changer: 5 CDs
    -digital out
    -analog out
    -supports CDR/CDRW
    -HDCD would be nice but not required
    -SACD/DVDV/DVDA not needed

    Speakers (I have no idea)
    -down to at least 60Hz
    -clear midrange
    -binding post

    I've listened to KLH and didn't like them (sound was undefined; bass boomy and muddy). With the budget I'm giving the speakers, if I can't get all the channels I'd rather get quality fronts. Please suggest (1) 5.1 system (2) speaker set minus the subwoofer (3) front speakers.

    One last question: how low does a center need to go? I found an inexpensive JBL that goes to 200Hz.

    thanks,
    sathyan
     
  2. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Sathyan,
    I'm sorry I can't give any specific advice, since I really don't have any experience with the equipment you mention. The Onkyo does seem to have reasonable features and power.
    Your current speakers should be fine as surrounds. Exact matching isn't as critical as for the front three speakers.
    However, the "satellite" speakers (fronts, center and surrounds) all need to be able to produce sound down below the crossover frequency of the receiver you choose. (Most have a 100Hz crossover.) The center speaker is the most important for movies, since that's where most of the dialog happens. It should sound as much like the other two front speakers as possible.
    While I'd suggest listening to speakers in your price range to find the ones you like best, you also might want to consider purchasing mail-order/online. Home Theater Direct (http://www.hometheaterdirect.com/) and Swan Diva speakers from AV123 (http://www.av123.com/) both have had quite good reviews. Both companies' prices are low since they avoid the markup the local dealer has to include.
    I hope this helps a little.
     
  3. Andy Hardin

    Andy Hardin Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got a low end Onkyo from 2 years ago (probably the one that you mentioned replaced) and couldn't be happier with it. I'm at work so I forget the exact model#, but a discrete 55 watts per channel and excellent sound quality and features for the price. I'm sure the one you will look at will perform much the same way.
    For your budget point, let me give a recommendation for the speakers. Fluance.
    http://www.fluance.com/fluanceavhtb.html
    I just set up a friend with this system and for the price he couldn't be happier. The link I provide is $199 for the 5 speaker set, and you can get it for $179 on ebay. You may be able to talk to the company and get 4 "surround" and one center insteal of the 2 tower, 2 surround, and center they show. I know they used to sell this package. Anyway, I was very surprised at the quality for that price (including the gold binding posts on the towers). The 6.5" woofers lend themselves to the need for a subwoofer but you are going to find that no matter what with the size speakers you are looking at.
    The only drawback is they have a chinsy look with the nameplate on the grill fabric but what is more important in the end, sound or looks.
    Just for reference, I set him up with the pioneer VSX-711S for $250 off ebay, the Fluances, and a 15" 250 watt powered udiosource sub from Ubid for $200. Came to $850 with optical, s-video, and componet cables for his Sat, DVD, and PS2 to go into his Toshiba 61" TV. Excellent set up *for the price*. He was very happy, his wife was as well since they didn't break the bank.
    Good luck!
     
  4. chella

    chella Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    thanks to everyone who has replied
    quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------
     
  6. chella

    chella Stunt Coordinator

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    I am sorry, you are right. Onkyo TX-SR500 does have a 5.1 analog input that could be used by SACD. My mistake [​IMG]
     

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