5.1 amp and speakers for £300 - £500


Active Member
Help for a newbie to AV please
I have a Panasonic G10, Panasonic blu-ray, Xbox360 and media center with hdmi (Amd 785G).The system is in an awkward room corner so auto setup would be a bonus.

I currently have a very old sony HT-BE1 5.1 which I've repaired a few times and so needs to be replaced.
Main needs are blu-ray and FPS and racing on the xbox. A good positional audio mode would be great for call of duty etc.

I started the journey with the £199 onkyo 3305 package at pixmania but I would like autosetup and an active sub to support keep options open for future upgrades. I've looked at the onkyo 5305 and 6305. The top package initially seemed ok but I don't have an ipod so the free adaptor is snake oil and of no real benefit.

I'm not planning on 3d so an older reciver would no doubt do the job just fine as long as it accepts audio over hdmi.
Receivers I've looked at, Sony 510, 810, 2400ES, Onkyo 308, 508, 578, 608 and packages along with yamaha 365, 465 and 665.

For my basic needs, a Sony 510 has autosetup, accepts audio over HDMI and has a reasonable power output seems to cover all bases. Do the higher spec sony models 810 or 2400ES have better acoustical qualities or greater depth than the basic 510 or does the addition cost go into more preset soundfields and av source conversion.

For speakers I was set on the Tannoy SFX 5.1 but the Canton CX80 are similar price and are still available in low numbers. Is there a clear best in these or are they comparable?

Is there anywhere that lists best system options for £300, £400, £500 etc? I'm tempted to just pick up the Sony 510 and a set of Cantons for around £320 as a starter system but have bought cheap before and then spent more upgrading over the next months so would rather get a decent base system to start.

Could this be significantly improved for an extra £100-200. I guess it can but what I don't understand is exactly what those extra £££ are buying. Can anyone put it into plain english??

Any advice greatfully recieved.

I did go to the new Lichfield RS today and left empty handed after the following advice:
- Is there an Onkyo 508, haven't heard of that. Do you mean the 608?
- No the Tannoy SFX 5.1 does not include a sub, would you want a sub too?
- All AV amps sound similar, spending more gives you more input options and better processing

Very disappointed, had expected much more from RS

Help :lease:


Distinguished Member
I would go for the 2400ES and SFX speakers. The 2400ES originally sold for around £500 so is a far better receiver. The 2400ES will also drive better speakers so should do you for some time and through an upgrade in speakers. The 510 would not IMHO. You should be able to get them both for £500 inc. cables.


Active Member
Hi Davepuma,

Thanks for the reply,

I'm seriously considering the 2400ES though it will now blow the budget as I've decided to invest in better speakers up front as amps tend to EOL annually whereas speakers have minor updates.

I picked up a pair of QA 1030i floor standers for the fronts and have reserved a second pair for collection tomorrow as rears. Somewhat overkill as rears but they cost about as much as the 1010i's once you factor in stands or brackets so they seemed a fair deal and will help the bass a little as I intend to run without a sub initially. Center will be a QA 1000Ci or 2000C to keep the soundfield quite neutral.

Has anyone bought a 2400ES from Amazon of late, I did read about an updated uk verson which some have not had though it was a year ago so I'd assume they are ok now.

RS only seem interested in selling me an onkyo 608.....

Back to subs ...

As the 1030's can handle a the low end mid range is the quality of the sub as important ? Would a £60 Etax be worth adding in or is it better to get something more substantial




Distinguished Member
There is a lengthy thread on the 2400ES in the AV receivers forum.

I would definitely recommend getting a sub. Floorstanders simply cannot go as low as a sub. I went without a sub for a while, then bought one and would not go back to a subless setup.

I wouldn't bother with a cheap sub, you would be wasting your money. Save up the ££ and go for something decent like a BK XLS200 at least.


Active Member
The deal is done

2400ES from Superfi

I'll have to hold on for a sub, the XLS200 isn't cheap !


End of thread

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