Advice on budget 2.0 system please

eddiegordo

Member
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum, so apologies if this is in the wrong section, happy for mods to move it elsewhere if that's the case.

For quite a long time I've been thinking about buying something to improve the sound in my living room as I have the TV speakers only. I currently have a 48" Samsung H6400, which I think it's already a 2014 or 2015 model. I'm planning on upgrading the TV late next year to something like an LG CX 55", although meanwhile I'll think about which TV properly.

As mentioned in the title, I'm looking into buying a 2.0 system, with the potential to upgrade to 2.1 in the future. I don't see myself upgrading to a 5.1 system, so I think I can narrow my options there.

I watch some TV Shows and films mostly in apps like Netflix/Prime Video/etc through my Xbox Series X, some videogames, music via Spotify/Youtube, Freeview TV...

My budget is somewhere between £500 and £750. From what I read, I'm best not going with a soundbar, but I'm happy to be challenged on that.

I started looking into AV Receivers but now I think I that I might not need an AV Receiver and a Stereo Receiver might be enough, as I'm able to connect my TV to the Stereo Receiver via Optical out. The reason for this is that if I bought an AVR I would want one that supports 4K @ 120Hz to future proof the TV I'll buy next year and make use of the Xbox Series X 4K120FPS capabilities, but that would go above my budget quickly. With a Stereo Receiver I can just keep the Xbox plugged into the TV directly and just use the amp for audio.

Does this make sense? If so, what kind of things should I look for in an amp and speakers? Should I go via the second hand market or new?

I was looking into Richer Sounds and found the Denon PMA600NE and Dali Spektor 2 at £548 (£349 + £199) which I think would be a good price for me. I would also have to buy some speaker stands. I also saw the Marantz PM6006 UK as I can find these used for less than £250 on ebay, but they don't have a Sub Out. Would I be able to plug a sub in the future to it?

Or should I be looking into completely different things? Anything in the forum's classifieds that could fit my needs?

Thanks in advance!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
TV - your next TV will most likely support eARC and any ‘next gen’ gaming console will likely be best connected directly to the TV to take full advantage of VRR and similar features.

TV Audio - as you say your current and future TV will support optical digital audio which is usually very reliable though does lack support for uncompressed HD audio, which eARC will support.

Stereo amp - ideally look for something with Optical Input and the ability to allow you to adjust the audio delay to keep video and audio in sync. Too early, from what I have seen so far, to see many options in terms of eARC support on a stereo amp - a few support ARC.

Loudspeakers - lots of great options available, if going for stand mounts you may also want to consider floor mount options, always match the speaker to the room/room layout.

Joe
 

eddiegordo

Member
TV - your next TV will most likely support eARC and any ‘next gen’ gaming console will likely be best connected directly to the TV to take full advantage of VRR and similar features.

TV Audio - as you say your current and future TV will support optical digital audio which is usually very reliable though does lack support for uncompressed HD audio, which eARC will support.

Stereo amp - ideally look for something with Optical Input and the ability to allow you to adjust the audio delay to keep video and audio in sync. Too early, from what I have seen so far, to see many options in terms of eARC support on a stereo amp - a few support ARC.

Loudspeakers - lots of great options available, if going for stand mounts you may also want to consider floor mount options, always match the speaker to the room/room layout.

Joe

Hi Joe, thanks for replying to me. I agree with connecting the console directly to the TV to take advantages of its features, hence why I'm leaning towards not buying an AVR.

Is audio delay usually a problem? Because the audio will be going from the console to the TV and then to the Stereo amp will there be a delay thus video and audio might be out of sync? I don't think I've seen any in my price range that will support audio delay adjustment :(

Any suggestions on equipment that I should look into? I think I'd prefer stand mount speakers but can consider floorstanding speakers but I think they'll be harder to pass the girlfriend approval on aesthetics :D

Here's my living room layout with a poorly drafted sofa and TV:
WEd7fFu.png
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Lip sync - with so many new technologies at play it can be a bit of a minefield where you send video+audio from the Source to the TV as HDMI and then pass audio forward from the TV to the Amp, most often you can get away without the delay option in the amp but worth keeping it in mind when planning ahead.

TV > Amp - you can use Optical Out to an amp equipped with Optical Input or spend around £30 on an Optical to 2RCA DAC and open up your options on the stereo amp front.

Speakers - do you have the option to go listen to a few options?

Joe
 

eddiegordo

Member
Lip sync - with so many new technologies at play it can be a bit of a minefield where you send video+audio from the Source to the TV as HDMI and then pass audio forward from the TV to the Amp, most often you can get away without the delay option in the amp but worth keeping it in mind when planning ahead.

TV > Amp - you can use Optical Out to an amp equipped with Optical Input or spend around £30 on an Optical to 2RCA DAC and open up your options on the stereo amp front.

Speakers - do you have the option to go listen to a few options?

Joe

Thanks, I'll try to look into the audio delay feature otherwise I'll have to bite the bullet and hope that there's no delay. Is this something that the TV could have as well?

Good tip on the Optical to 2RCA, thanks! :) What about sub out in the amp, is it really necessary if I want to add a sub in the future, or can I still plug the sub somehow?

As with the speakers, I would have that option but every thing is closed these days with the lockdown. :(

Also, is it usually best to spend more money on the amp or the speakers? As in, would something like the combination I mentioned in my previous post be a good option, or would I be better off with better/more expensive speakers and a cheaper amp?

Edit - I've checked and my current TV has a audio delay feature, and I think that the LG CX also have a similar feature, so maybe I can sync the audio via the TV if there's any delay issues.
 
Last edited:

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Digital Audio delay - not a common feature fir a TV to offer that option on the Optical, ARC or eARC Output.

Sub - a Sub out on a Stereo Amp gives you a lot more options on the Sub front, if you go with an Amp with no Sub Out you look for a Sub with High Level (speaker) Input.

Budget - that discussion has been going around in circles for many years. If you follow a certain Mr Tiefenbrun’s mantra you spend high to low: Source > Amplification > Transducer (Loudspeakers).

Loudspeakers tend to stay with you a long time and modern electronics tend to demand to be upgraded every few years.

With your indicated budget I’d consider spending a bit more on the speakers - if they are still available there were some good deals on Yamaha A-S301 stereo amps (with digital input) last time I looked.

Joe
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So I'm about to pull the trigger on this bundle - Marantz PM6007 Integrated Amplifier with Dali Spektor 6 Floorstanding Speakers. Anyone see any reason not to? :)

Spektor is Dali`s cheaper range. You can get both QA 3050i and MA B200 which has better build quality for same price, knowing the earlier Bronze 5 the new 200 model is without doubt great choice and being slim it doesn´t need massive space around it. I can´t say which you would like best, but MA is not as bright as Dali but that extra sparkle might be something you like. I would try to haggle down the Oberon 5 price if you want Dalis (i heard the earlier Zensor 5 which were nice), ask from other dealers aswell cause you never know who is going to give you best BLACK FRIDAY deal (use that as your advantage!). It´s very tricky to pick speakers blindly. QA 3050i are larger with stronger bass, but with neutral and non fatiguing sound. If you have to keep them close to wall in that corner then maybe not the best option.



 

eddiegordo

Member
Spektor is Dali`s cheaper range. You can get both QA 3050i and MA B200 which has better build quality for same price, knowing the earlier Bronze 5 the new 200 model is without doubt great choice and being slim it doesn´t need massive space around it. I can´t say which you would like best, but MA is not as bright as Dali but that extra sparkle might be something you like. I would try to haggle down the Oberon 5 price if you want Dalis (i heard the earlier Zensor 5 which were nice), ask from other dealers aswell cause you never know who is going to give you best BLACK FRIDAY deal (use that as your advantage!). It´s very tricky to pick speakers blindly. QA 3050i are larger with stronger bass, but with neutral and non fatiguing sound. If you have to keep them close to wall in that corner then maybe not the best option.




Thank you for your reply. I'm on the fence between the Dali Spektor 6 or the Monitor Audio Bronze 200 actually. It's a shame I can't hear them before, but from what I read the Dali's have a bit more bass which is something that I usually like, especially as I won't be running a sub for now.

Looks wise I definitely prefer the Monitor Audio ones. I can have the speakers about 20-25cm away from the wall. Do you think this would be a problem for the Dali's? I read their manual and they recommend this distance.

I'm not a fan of the QA 3050i looks wise, and it's something to take into account as well, it was already quite hard to convince my partner to have large speakers in the living room ahah.

This is all already a bit above my initial budget. The bundles on PeterTyson seem like a good deal, as they also include speaker cables etc. On richersounds the same bundles would be £998 for the amp and Dali's, or £1068 with the MA, versus £849/£869 on Peter Tyson.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you for your reply. I'm on the fence between the Dali Spektor 6 or the Monitor Audio Bronze 200 actually. It's a shame I can't hear them before, but from what I read the Dali's have a bit more bass which is something that I usually like, especially as I won't be running a sub for now.

Looks wise I definitely prefer the Monitor Audio ones. I can have the speakers about 20-25cm away from the wall. Do you think this would be a problem for the Dali's? I read their manual and they recommend this distance.

I'm not a fan of the QA 3050i looks wise, and it's something to take into account as well, it was already quite hard to convince my partner to have large speakers in the living room ahah.

This is all already a bit above my initial budget. The bundles on PeterTyson seem like a good deal, as they also include speaker cables etc. On richersounds the same bundles would be £998 for the amp and Dali's, or £1068 with the MA, versus £849/£869 on Peter Tyson.

In that case Spektor 6 could be better bet. Slim smaller cabinets with dual 5,25" so it`s no suprise the bass isn´t as strong on Bronze 200 / Oberon 5.

They should work fine with space of 25cm left behind. Spektor 6 as white actually looks quite good and the walnut is decent too, but the black ash looks bit cheap, well these are personal views always. Front grills don´t have magnets like MA has, so there is those darn holes visible if you keep them without grills.

So basically 225£ off vs normal prices, looks good deal! Usually other dealers should price match/ beat these, but not sure as PT throws the expensive wire there in too.
 

eddiegordo

Member
In that case Spektor 6 could be better bet. Slim smaller cabinets with dual 5,25" so it`s no suprise the bass isn´t as strong on Bronze 200 / Oberon 5.

They should work fine with space of 25cm left behind. Spektor 6 as white actually looks quite good and the walnut is decent too, but the black ash looks bit cheap, well these are personal views always. Front grills don´t have magnets like MA has, so there is those darn holes visible if you keep them without grills.

So basically 225£ off vs normal prices, looks good deal! Usually other dealers should price match/ beat these, but not sure as PT throws the expensive wire there in too.

Thanks again, I think I'll pull the trigger on this bundle then! I'm going for the walnut as my TV unit is also walnut so I think it will be a good match. :)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks again, I think I'll pull the trigger on this bundle then! I'm going for the walnut as my TV unit is also walnut so I think it will be a good match. :)

Keep us posted if you go forward how it sounds after some time in with new speakers. :)
 

eddiegordo

Member
As promised, here are a couple of pics of the setup. Still need to experiment with different placement and do some cable management, but quite happy overall for now! :D

My partner wasn't very keen on the looks of it though :(

zKL9wkb.jpg


Zb9U8vD.jpg
 

eddiegordo

Member
She will hopefully get use to em. :) How do they sound?

Hopefully, yes :)

They sound amazing, a lot better than I expected to be honest. I know I won't need a subwoofer anytime soon, especially in this room. Maybe if I move I'll need one but this is more than enough bass wise for my current setup.

Watched a film yesterday and a couple of episodes on netflix shows, no lip sync issues at all.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
My partner wasn't very keen on the looks of it though :(
I agree with her. Put that big potted plant out on the patio.:lesson:

Then you can space the left speaker further away from the wall. Jokes aside looks good.
 

fearce

Active Member
Hi there @eddiegordo

Thanks for sharing this journey I have the exact same requirements I.e. 2.0 or 2.1 good quality sound for TV and movies.

Few months on, how are you finding this set up? In particular for tv/ film for the different sound ranges I.e. speech vs sound effects with deep base and also sound track and music?

I'm current testing a denon ceol n10 with denon bookshelf speakers which has good clarity for TV. It lacked bass, so also added a sub. In any case all of this is being returned this week, so am wondering if your setup has adequate base to negate sub for movies in particular?
 

eddiegordo

Member
Hi there @eddiegordo

Thanks for sharing this journey I have the exact same requirements I.e. 2.0 or 2.1 good quality sound for TV and movies.

Few months on, how are you finding this set up? In particular for tv/ film for the different sound ranges I.e. speech vs sound effects with deep base and also sound track and music?

I'm current testing a denon ceol n10 with denon bookshelf speakers which has good clarity for TV. It lacked bass, so also added a sub. In any case all of this is being returned this week, so am wondering if your setup has adequate base to negate sub for movies in particular?

Honestly it's great! Bass is great, no need for a sub at all, at least for my requirements. If you have close neighbours they'll be able to hear the bass quite loud if you're not careful :D I think it would be overkill to have a separate sub with these speakers.

I'm no expert audiophile but the setup is really good for my ears. Music sounds amazing, I can hear every detail, and TV (films/shows) experience has been great. I'm currently watching Dark on Netflix and there are a lot of occasions with suspenseful deep background music and it just makes the immersion so good.

The one thing I would say is that if you plan on having more than 2 speakers in the future, maybe have a look at a different amp as this one has only output for 2 speakers (and a sub). Apart from that, I can't recommend this setup enough! You won't be disappointed. :)
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'The one thing I would say is that if you plan on having more than 2 speakers in the future, maybe have a look at a different amp as this one has only output for 2 speakers (and a sub)' - the one problem with that advice is the cost of a multichannel AVR which matches the sound quality of the Stereo Amp; you will be paying out a lot of money for features you likely may never use or by the time you get around to using them the AVR will be 'out of date'. Stick with a stereo amp :)

Joe
 

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