£1000 vs £300??


Established Member
Nov 20, 2006
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I have been searching for several weeks now for an AV package and have pitched myself around the £1000 mark for an AV Amp, such as the Sony STRDA-1200 and a 5.1 set like the Acoustic Energy Aego-T, but it got me thinking.

I am also searching for a 'lesser' set for my Mother and currently favour the Sony HTSF1000 for under £300 and it got me thinking, is my system really going to justify the extra £700? The Sony system is quoted at 1000w, I know this isn't the only thing to consider, but please help me!

So, from the perspective of a fairly 'normal' listener (i.e. NOT someone who is highly fussy about sound quality), what difference can I really expect between the 2 systems? Will I really feel like my money was well spent? :lease:
if you are like my dad who finds the bathroom radio good enough to hear music or TV noises through, then you dont even need to spend £300....a cheap PC setup will do you ;)

if however you notice the difference when you go from a cheap portable TV's sound to a decent 28in widescreen TV's sound.....then its certainly worth spending £300 and quite probably worth spending £1000....

will £1k show a big improvement over £300.....at lower listening levels there is every chance it wont show you a lot more with TV/DVD.....music it should still show some improvement........at middling volume levels the £1k system should certainly show improvement, 3x tho is debatable.......at loud levels it should definitely show 3x improvement, if it doesnt to you then you dont need to spend £1k......at very loud levels a £300 system should quite honestly go *pprrrppppt.wang....bleah....cough*.....at least in comparison to how the £1k system will sound...heh....of course, spend £4k and a system will sound superior at all volume levels....

but it does come down to the listener....as i say my dad is happy enough with monotone midrange driver........best thing you can do is listen and see...which is why we always tell folks on here to demo demo demo.....if you cant demo at all, well, tbh unless you are disabled you arnt really trying.....even if it means a £12 National Express journey a few miles its worth it against spending £1,000 to find out the spend wouldnt make any difference ;)
Thanks Knyght byte.:thumbsup:

Any more opinions??
This goes for buying just about anything.
Is buying a £1000 system better than the £300 system, technically yes
You really need to go and listen for yourself and decide if its worth paying the extra for the difference. Some people will, some won't.
"Older" folx hearing drops off considerably and having a top notch system for them may be like casting pearl before swine; they won't be able to fully appreciate it.

Case in point:

I have a system which I have put together which in terms of "cost new" would be the thick end of £3k. My mother-in-law often comments on how nice it sounds and is impressed with the musical capabilities.

A few weeks ago she was having difficulty with an old cd/tape unit (you kow the Bush type!) on which she plays her favourite but nonetheless very old tapes which are of dubious quality to say the least.

To help her out, I had my old Yamaha tape deck which hasn't been used in years, and as she did not have any amplifier, what I did was hook up the line-outs of the tape deck and fed them into the phono inputs on her widescreen CRT TV to play the tapes through her TV.

She was delighted with the result, which is all that matters. But to me it was hissy, bland and awful!! She said to me, "Do you know, to me that sounds just like what you have played to me at your home". :suicide:

For mothers and mother-in-laws, IMHO I think £300 should be fine. But much depends on their age I suppose!!
It's hard enough trying to get a demo of a £1000 system, let alone a £300 one, so hearing them both isn't going to be an option.

I just don't want to be left wondering where my extra £700 went!!
I think that the step from £300 to £1000 is huge. At £300 you are talking about a system which gives you fancy bells and whistles which is glossy on the outside and, at best, moderate in performance. At £1000 you are talking about components which are actually being designed to produce a good quality sound as their principle aim.

There will be those who disagree, but at £300 you are buying a surround sound system, at £1000 you are buying a home cinema.
Third option you should probably consider is our excellent trading forums. There are often really good sets of speakers that go on there for around £100. You can then decide if you want the latest connectivity like the Sony Amp mentioned, or similar / better sound from a cheaper second hand jobby.

Since I started coming on this forum I don't think I would ever buy the likes of amps or speakers new again (unless I was rich or the deal was exceptional). They last for a very long time and the technology is not really moving that fast.

Great example of a system that will be much closer to the one you are looking at for the price of the cheap one went today:


Generally most fairly recent Denon and Pioneer amps are safe bets at the right price. The Kef speakers are great too. Personally I prefered and bought a set of Energy Take 5.1 speakers over them when new though as I prefered the sound. Last set of them went for around £100, absolute bargain :thumbsup:
Hello all

ChristianBeccy - assuming were talking about SRP's then you can expect a much more enjoyable sound with the more expensive system and it ought to make it easier for you to immerse yourself in your movies and not 'hear' the speakers and instead hear what's coming out of the speakers.

If you gave someone who was used to living with a 300.00 GBP system the option to live with a 1K system they would choose the sound they get from the 1K system.

If you gave someone who was used to living with a 1K system the option of living with a 300.00 GBP system they would choose the sound they get from the 1K system.

And as Knyght_byte and Malice highlight if you give someone who would rather have pennies in the piggy bank the option of a 10.00 GBP system they would put up with the 10.00 GBP system - no matter how bad it is.

Malice - I often find folk (especially females) who live in a household where someone has put together a decent HiFi or AV System and will claim to 'not care' about sound quality are the most attuned to any failings in the system or deficiencies in any new kit introduced into a system.


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