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Are in-the-box systems really that bad?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Samari, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Samari

    Samari
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    Hi, I've been doing alot of reading around this and other A/V forums and websites and the general concensus seems to be that people look down on "in-the-box" systems. Is this just a snobby view or are there any real reasons why they are looked down upon.

    Surely a system that costs £600 must be very good quality, is it just when compared to a £5000 system that all-in-the-box systems look bad or are they just not much better than the TV's built in audio system?
     
  2. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Hi Samari,
    This is my opinion on the subject. Doubtless everyone will have different ideas....
    Yes your probably right. We do tend to look down on in the box systems. There are a few reasons for this.
    In Box systems are produced for the mass market. Not many people who buy in box systems will sit down for an evening and listen to music. A stereo will not have a dedicated listening room or pride of place in the living room. The marketers know this. Therefore not as much attention has been paid to how they sound. If they look good and are full of gadgets and gizmo's (which all interfere with the audio signal) Jo public will be happy. So long as the bass is loud and thumping no body worries. It's like the 'Boom boxes' you hear in cars. All ok if you like that sort of thing. Not for me thankyou! I like my music to be a little more refined and detailed, I still like my bass but I like it to slam rather than boom.
    You know if you play a CD and no matter how loud it goes it still sounds flat and lifeless? Well with this hobby and good seperates you can make it come alive.
    Of course this could be interpreted as a form of snobbery I suppose. :)

    Seperate HI FI generally has been tested and listened to extensively before it hit's the market. More attention is paid to detail with seperates. You also have more choice. You don't have to keep it the same. You can find a sound that suits you my mixing and matching components. A lot can be said for this.
    Another big plus is each device will have it's own power supply and not have interference from everything else that's present in a box system. As you go further up the ladder the improvments become more radical, Seperate power supplies, bigger transformers, higher power, active crossovers, seperate DAC's. All terms i'm sure you'll become familiar with if you choose to follow this hobby. It is a hobby after all.
    I don't think you need to go to the £5000 mark to see that seperates offer less gadgets but more musicality.
    Depending on what you were looking for i.e. CD, Amp and speakers. £600 would buy you quite a nice seperate system.
    Good luck :)
     
  3. bobbypunk

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    Here's a good practical example for £500
    These items can be brought easily for £500 or less
    Sony DAVSC6 'One box' system which gives you a highly exaggerated power output figure, two floorstanding speakers.... But sounds like their own £150 micro
    Denon DHT500 'One box' system which gives you reasonable speakers, upgrade potential, slightly exaggerated power output, a degree of build quality and sounds almost as good as their DM31 micro.
    Pioneer DV370, Vsxc100 and Elac Cinema1 'Seperates' Which gives you excellent full upgrade path a degree of build quality a real (Low In figures) Power output, a full and reasonably musical sound which is about as good as a £100 a piece seperates system (Sony etc..)
    The answer is demo them all. If the Sony gives you the looks you want and the sound you want, Buy it.
    But at least try the other two to check. But be careful once you listen to seperates your budget tends to start rising quite rapidly!!!! (But it sounded much better darling)
     
  4. overkill

    overkill
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    Speaking as someone who used to sell em', no, it's nothing to do with snobbery. Just common sense. You can't offer quality and quantity in sonic terms, at the same time. If you've squeezed an amp, tape deck, CD player, tuner all together in the space that three hi-fi components fill, somethings got to give. Plus for all that lot, at the sub £1000 price you're talking, severe compromises electronics wise have to be made. I've sold £1,000 + midi systems and frankly, sound quality wise, I would've passed them over for a £400 hi-fi seperates kit any time.

    Let's face it, you don't expect to buy a top class motor with all the trims for a "family car" price, so why expect it from hi-fi?

    Used to love all the lights on the text displays though. Looked great at Xmas sales.................... :D
     

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