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5.1 Sound System (from scratch)


Standard Member
I'm in the market to buy a surround system for my bedroom, i originally looked at the z906's then the onkyo HTIB and now i have my sights on building one myself.

The Problem is im on a budget i was looking to spend about 200 but i could spend up to £500. the system will be mainly used with my PC (Blu Ray) (Music) and my Xbox (Games)

Links are a plus


Distinguished Member
Does it have to be 5.1 from the start?
Would secondhand be OK or does it have to be new?
If music is going to be a big part of your listening then I would look to get a speaker system based around standmounts instead of a budget sub/sat system. You could buy the reciever and a pair of standmount speakers to start and then add the other speakers as funds allow. Or even buy 2 pairs of standmount speakers (to give a 4.0 system) which would give you surround to start and then get the centre/sub later.
With £500 I would look to spend £250 on the reciever and £250 on the speakers if looking at a 5.1 package but if going for the staged approach then I would look at spend £350 on the reciever and the rest on a pair of standmounts.


Active Member
PSM1 said:
but if going for the staged approach then I would look at spend £350 on the reciever and the rest on a pair of standmounts.
Great advice if you're the sort of person who's likely to get the 'av bug' and want to keep improving on what you've got! The extra bit of money on the receiver now will be well worth it when you come to add or improve your speakers.


Standard Member
Yeah it does have to be 5.1 to begin with whats wrong with the av receiver with say a Onkyo HTIB for around £300? im not exactly a audiophile, if it means spending extra hundreds on minimal difference. IF i bought a decent AV Receiver and 2 Stand mount to begin Would i be able to use speakers from my old Z-5500 system for my surround and center speaker? for the mean time at least.
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Distinguished Member
What is the impedance of the z-550 speakers? Anything under 4 ohms should not be used with an AV reciever as you risk damaging it. Even if they are above 4 ohms they are not going to get the best from your new AV reciever with them. Also the front 3 really should be the same make/model of speaker to get a good front soundstage. If the speakers do not match then a sound can change as it moves across the screen. Also with movies the centre takes around 60% of the total sound output so it is not a speaker you want to compromise on either.
The Onkyo HTIB is OK but is based on the bottom of the range Onkyo reciever. This paired with the budget sub/sat speaker system in the set will not give great musical ability which is why I suggested building slowly. If music is not important or a big part of your listening then the HTIB may be an OK option. You also do not have to be an audiophile to notice and appreciate the difference between a budget system and one slightly higher with standmount speakers.


Standard Member
they are 8 ohms and pretty decent, im not looking to buy over time (not my style)
considering i buy the Sony STR-DH810 for £180 which seems to be a good deal? what are a few examples of matching front 3 speakers that you recommend? keeping in mind my price range. also what sub woofer would you recommend? keeping in mind my price range. :)


Distinguished Member
Since they are 8ohms you could use them if you really wanted.
For a sub I would look at a BK Electronics Gemini II sub as these are good value for money.
For the front 3 you could get two pairs of something like the Wharfedale diamond 9.0 or 9.1 and then use 2 as front l/r and one of the others as the centre.

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