All-In-One or separates??

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by bulldog, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. bulldog

    bulldog
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    Hi,

    I`m trying to decide what home theatre setup to buy. I have a budget of £400-500.

    I`ve come down to these two setups. Important factors are
    picture,sound, multi-region, looks & mp3 in that order.

    First is an all-in-one

    Aiwa HT-DV90 at £360 (multi-region) It gets 4.5 out of 5
    in home cinema choice magazine and they even state you
    get alot for you £500. It has 50w per channel rms , and
    everything I want.

    Second setup is.
    Yamaha RXV420 AV Receiver £214
    Toshiba SD210e dvd player £185 (multiregion)
    Eltax Silverado surround speakers £108
    Total £510 roughly. Then another £100 on top I guess for
    cables and a sub. So £600 all together.

    So anyone got any ideas, do I go with the cheap and easy all-in-one setup or got for the break the bank separates.
    I tried an LG 3520 all-in-one for about a week until I returned it to the shop because of high levels of noise from the speakers, but I was blown away by the picture and sound quality apart from that.
    I live in a ground floor masionette so I dont need loads of power, more quality in picture and sounds. My head says go for the separates, but my heart (and probably the wife) says all-in-one .

    thanks
     
  2. Geoffc10

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    Go for seperates. If one bit goes wrong you can replace just that one part of the system, also you can upgrade speakers easier.
    You can buy a lot for £500-600 now. No reason to buy all in one except for the space aspect and maybe the 'other half'!
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    This post looks remarkably like the one that I have just replied to in the General Hardware section.
    I disagree, surely the wife will listen to reason !!!
     
  4. Geoffc10

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    you would hope so! but some women only like speakers the size of matchbox. Doesnt the following quote spring to mind from other halfs "What do you need that for!!" arrrggghhhhhhh
     
  5. bob007

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    Personally i would go the seperate route, all in ones are ok to a point, and to me are no match for a system made up from seperate components.
    Manufacturers are building really good budget amps, Yamaha, Denon, Marantz and Kenwood etc, which 9 times out of 10 will out perform the all in ones in sound quality and power, you will also find it easier to upgrade with seperates.

    Best advice.......take your time in choosing and go for some demos........good luck.
     
  6. pointon

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    Same reply already made in other post:

    Take a look around and you'll see a lot of conflicting arguements for and against these 'All-In-One' things. Those for are mostly those who already own one, and generally the best thing they have to say about them are how good they look.

    Seeing that looks are far down your list, with the important stuff at the top, go for seperates. Your second choice of setup and that suggested by Ian cannot be touched by so called 'All-In-One' solutions.

    Cue replies from 'All-In-One' owners who will tell us that their system is such great value (usually the typical £500 for a non-RGB DVD player and toss speakers is not good value in my book), and it is satisfactory for their needs. If you want a system that is all looks, and is no more than satisfactory, then an 'All-In'One' is acceptable. If you want something more from your HC experience than acceptability, then choose seperates.

    No doubt Spectre will decide the fate of one.
     
  7. Rock Da Bass

    Rock Da Bass
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    Pointon.

    You sound like a broken record. Did an all-in-one land on your head when you where a baby or something? Your obsession with having a go at all-in-one systems is a bit worrying.

    I assume I am one of the 'owners' you refer to. I own a DAV-S500 and have replied to posts in which people asked for opinions on the system. Not once have I said anything about it's looks (which are a bonus but unimportant) or value.

    Simply, I have been, along with many others, happy with it's performance. Presumably in your eyes our opinions are worthless. Personally I don't care what people buy but try to advise from personal experience.

    RDB :)

    PS No offence intended. I've not got involved until now, but it's getting rather tiring.
     
  8. pointon

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    Taking 30 seconds to write an observation is hardly an obsession. If as a result just one person does the sensible thing and buys seperates that will blow them away instead of settling with an 'All-In-One' and being 'happy with its performance', then it's 30 seconds well spent.

    I was referring to owners of 'All-In-Ones', so if you are an owner of an 'All-In-One', then it might be safe to assume I'm referring to you.
     
  9. somebugger

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    I also own a DAVS500 and in my humble opinion think it stands up against most similarly priced separates, and I've auditioned a few in my time. The 500 is an excellent performer at this price point and a good compromise between style and function, and yes I did say compromise, I'm not naive enough to think it's the best in all areas but it's everything I want from a home theatre system.
     
  10. bulldog

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    Thanks for all your posts.

    The problem is I`ve listened to a couple of all-in-ones and they sound just great to me. This is why is difficult for me to go an spend another few hundred quid on a system that is bulkier and on paper doesnt really offer anything more.

    Is there that much difference in the quality of separates?
    I live in a flat, I could only turn up an all-in-one to half volume. When I read reviews of these 100w systems and the reviewer complaining that the sound distorts at high volume it makes me smile. Maybe if I had a detached house with the nearest neighbour a few hundred yards away it would be a problem. But when my neighbours are 12ft away above and to the side of me I dont need power. So shouldnt I just save my money and opt for an all-in-one, that sounds fine to me.
     
  11. Ian J

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    It depends on what you are comparing as "All in ones" covers a multitude of equipment ranging from £99 bargain basement rubbish to £1,000 plus ranges.

    You came to the forum and posed a specific question with a specific set of priorities and there is no doubt that the system that I suggested for about £525 including your Toshiba 210 DVD player will outperform the Aiwa unit that you mentioned in terms of picture and sound quality.

    Power doesn't have to equate with loudness. To draw an analogy both a 20 year old Mini and an Aston Martin will cruise quite happily on the Motorway at 70 mph but you would be much happier in one than the other and it is the same with power outputs.

    Manufacturers get up to all sorts of tricks to inflate the power output figures but a high power amp at a quarter volume will sound a lot less stretched than a low power amp at a higher volume.

    Anyway - you asked for advice which you have now got. It's up to you what you do with it
     
  12. Rock Da Bass

    Rock Da Bass
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    Pointon,

    Writing an observation is one thing. Continually following it up with a desperate sounding rant full of half-baked facts is another.

    RDB :)

    For the record, It's obvious that a system of seperates is always going to be superior to an off the shelf system. The difference of opinion lies in whether the difference in performance is significant enough to warrant the extra time and money. The answer depends on the individual and is not as clear cut as you make out. Your attitude to beginners seeking advice is pure AV snobbery, eg. 'toss speakers'. Untrue and unhelpful. How about a more balanced approach?
     
  13. simon1

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    Couldn't agree more with Rock Da Bass.

    Why is Pointon and IanJ so eager to put down all in one systems?

    Answer: Pure snobbery!

    As Bulldog admitted: "The problem is I`ve listened to a couple of all-in-ones and they sound just great to me." This is true of many other ordinary folk starting up in home cinema.

    "Manufacturers get up to all sorts of tricks to inflate the power output figures" - so what's new? Don't car manufacturer's do the same with MPG quotes?

    Power output is not the be-all-and-end-all. There are some very expensive Brittish made amplifiers delivering only 20w per channel that will sound superior to the Japanese brands with 10x the power.

    At the end of the day, many people are installing this equipment in their lounge. As such, they want to avoid cluttering their living space with unsightly amps/receivers and speakers.

    All-in-ones are ideal for them.
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Simon,

    I always read the question posed carefully, then equally carefully I compose an answer trying to cover the points originally raised.

    You obviously do neither so before you include my name in your gibberish in future check your facts first.
     
  15. Electric Mayhem

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    The best thing to do is demo both the units/systems you have mentioned and then purchase the one you think sounds the best.

    Generally, seperates will sound better than all in one systems and give you more flexibility to change something if you dont like it or it breaks. All in ones have the advantage that they are neat & tidy and some do sound good.

    In the end its down to you, so let your ears decide!!
     
  16. bulldog

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    I think like Jase said. I`ll have to have a demo of the systems. I would prefer to have separates as I`ve always owned separates which meant I could get the best possible separate for what I could afford.

    The first time I tried an combined system was the LG_3520 all-in-one and although impressed with the sound and picture quality the build quality did not impress me.
    I`ve had the same hifi separates for 10 years and theyve never failed me. I think i`d be lucky to get 10months out of that LG setup.

    So I think I`m pushing towards the surround sound separate system , it may break the bank for me now but I want it to last another 10years like my last setup.

    thanks
     
  17. Doubledoom

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    The all-in-ones will sound better than a television but usually not as good as seperates.

    The all-in-ones have the advantage of being smaller and usually they look very smart.

    The disadvantage is that many (like the Sony DAV) don't have scart sockets. So no RGB quality, no scart pin 8 widescreen switching and no way to view region 1 titles if your tv is not NTSC compliant.

    They also tend to have a low quantity of connections. DAV has 2 analogue connections. If you need to connect up 3 items because your tv cannot pass the audio very well or at all (tv, video and sky for instance) you are one connection short.

    Sound output and speaker quality tends to be lower than basic seperate speakers.

    With an all-in-one, you limit your upgrade path and if one bit goes wrong, you stand to lose the whole lot.

    There is no snobbery involved, as has been suggested. No-one on these forums suggests that all-in-ones do not have a place. It's just that the units that are on offer now are poorly featured, under powered and over priced based on the pricing of seperates.

    My view is that they came up with the mass production all-in-one idea a couple of years ago and intended to retail it at a lower price than seperates and designed the features etc to be able to price the units lower. However, in that time the price of seperates has fallen making these all-in-ones look poor value.

    If the pricing was better you wouldn't have any of these discussions taking place. Apparantly, you get the Sony DAV-300 for £199 now. This is a much better price and excellent value for a budget machine.
     
  18. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Bulldog,

    The other advantage of the separates over all in ones is that you say you want to keep it for ten years.

    The system that I suggested (which was only a change of speakers from your original proposal) includes probably the best DVD at that price point plus an effective amplifier. Whilst it will probably last for ten years, if your circumstances change, you can upgrade the speakers and have an even better system but with an all in one you have to start all over again.

    For the sake of idiots who think that snobbery is involved, the system that I proposed will cost you less than a Sony DAV 500 which doesn't sit well with my understanding of the word.

    Several of my neighbours have now got into home cinema after listening to my system and have all come to me for advice.

    With similar budgets to that proposed by you, one wanted the best sound and pictures possible for the money (like you asked for) and is now very happy with his Yamaha HTIB 40 and the other insisted on the smallest, neatest one box design that he could get and he is equally happy with his All in One.

    It is horses for courses but even the "All In One" neighbour will admit that the HTIB sounds much better.

    I hope that you have many happy hours with whatever you eventually purchase and whichever way you go that you come back and let us know how you feel about it.
     
  19. Rock Da Bass

    Rock Da Bass
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    That makes me an idiot then. I wasn't referring to anti-DAV posts in general. Well thought out and reasoned posts such as the ones from yourself and Doubledoom are objective and helpful. But have you actually read some of Pointon's tirades.

    RDB :)
     
  20. bulldog

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    IanJ,

    I have look more into the Htib40 and from a few peoples comments it seems to have quite a bit of hiss and low volume levels. Have you encountered this?
    I`ve also looked at the Marantz RS4200 which got an award in the What hifi 2001 tests. Its slightly more expensive than the Yamaha but after taking back one system because of hiss I dont fancy getting another. Even Yamaha admitted to a customer that the Htib40 suffers from hiss, but what do you expect for that price they said.

    I`m going to richer sounds in my lunch hour so I`ll try and check them out.
     
  21. bulldog

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    IanJ,

    I have looked more into the Htib40 and from a few peoples comments it seems to have quite a bit of hiss and low volume levels. Have you encountered this?
    I`ve also looked at the Marantz RS4200 which got an award in the What hifi 2001 tests. Its slightly more expensive than the Yamaha but after taking back one system because of hiss I dont fancy getting another. Even Yamaha admitted to a customer that the Htib40 suffers from hiss, but what do you expect for that price they said.

    I`m going to richer sounds in my lunch hour so I`ll try and check them out.
     
  22. Ian J

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    Bulldog,

    I must admit that I hadn't noticed any hiss and haven't come across anyone else complaining about it. The HTIB 40 is a combination of amp and speakers. Is it the amp that is supposed to be hissy ?

    The Marantz is light years ahead of the Yamaha in terms of performance but is also more expensive. They also have problems as there are a few threads here relating to spurious clicks and pops from the whole Marantz range.

    I have the 6200 which doesn't seem to suffer from these problems but does have a fault on pro logic 2 which renders it unusable, so Marantz appear to have quality control problems.

    If you live near a dealer it shouldn't matter as you should just keep taking a faulty unit back for exchange until you get one that you are happy with.

    Have a good sniff around Richers and post your short list later.
     
  23. bulldog

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  24. bulldog

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    Btw, the marantz rs4200 is only £40 more expensive than the yamaha rxv420 on richer sounds.
     
  25. Electric Mayhem

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    Just to throw something else into the mix.

    How about the Denon 1602 its around 260 quid from

    www.unbeatable.co.uk

    Something to consider.
     
  26. Ian J

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    I watched Gattaca in DTS last night on my Marantz and paused a couple of times without having any clicks so I obviously have a click free machine even though it does have another fault which means that it has to be changed.

    If the dealer is fairly near and you are willing to be a nuisance it doesn't matter if you get a faulty one as you can keep getting it changed. There is no doubt that a good one is a good machine. Likewise Jase's suggestion of the Denon will also put a grin on your face but this budget of yours is creeping ever upwards which is something that has happened to most of us.

    I hadn't come across the hissing rears on the Yamaha before and am intrigued by Yamaha's apparently honest answer which is very unusual nowadays when the spin doctors rule everything.
     
  27. bulldog

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    Thanks for the new suggestion. I can actually find any real bad comments about the denon 1602. I have a denon cassette deck and do like them.

    Seems I may opt for this setup:

    Denon 1602 or Marantz rs4200
    Toshiba SD210e dvd
    Mission cinema 6 speakers

    Cost is about £620 the cheapest I can find.
    Then there is a small matter of cables.
     
  28. pointon

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    Apologies if my opinion and my statement of the behaviour I have observed on these forums comes across as a 'tirade'.

    But many thanks RDB, for proving my point and backing my argument up, by repeating the only "half-baked fact" that I have ever ranted about, in the same posting that you make this accusation towards me. Much appreciated.

    As long as people continue to ask for opinions on 'All-In-Ones', I will continue to give mine, even if I'm stating the "obvious". If you want to take it personally as an 'AIO' owner, then that's up to you. It's not meant that way, and it's by no means snobbery. How a skint 21 year old dropout living with his parents and sleeping in the middle of his setup can ever be snobbish with other people, I really can't see.
     
  29. Rock Da Bass

    Rock Da Bass
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    You've completely missed my point. However, it's not worth arguing over. Apologies if any offence caused.

    RDB :)
     
  30. pointon

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    Your point is that I'm not objective and unhelpful when it comes to 'All-In-Ones'. To this first part I'll readily admit. I am totally bias towards seperates because I believe that seperates of equal value are far superior to 'AIO's, which are poorly made and overpriced in comparison, in my opinion, and I have yet to meet anyone who is truly over joyed with 'AIO's.

    However, the last part, that I am unhelpful, I feel I should defend myself against. Only when asked for my opinion in these threads will I give it - and will continue to do so, at risk of being "like a broken record" as long as people ask for it. After this I will do as much as the next person would to help an 'AIO' owner with a question. I don't take these things personally, the choice is of course down to the buyer, and if they choose to ignore my opinion and buy an 'AIO', then fair enough. They'll not hear anything more from me, unless they ask for other help which I can provide, as I have already done.
     

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