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Are there any good 2.1 home cinema systems?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Majid Khan, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. Majid Khan

    Majid Khan
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    Hi folks, I've been thinking recently about buying a home cinema kit, to get dolby digital surround sound from my DVD player - but my main problem is that the missus will not allow me to have speaker wire running all over the floor , which is likely to be the case with rear speakers..

    So as an alternative, I've decided that maybe I could think about getting a good 2.1 set up (two speakers and subwoofer for bass) , as a way to improve the sound quality from my Tv.

    I realise it won't quite be Dolby Digital 5.1 , but i'm wondering whether it would be possible to get Dolby Pro Logic or PL II through a 2.1 set up like that.. and could someone kindly recommend me a good set up ?

    I am ideally looking for a 'home cinema upgrade kit' but would be willing to go the separates route if that's a better option..

    Thanks in advance, for any replies..
     
  2. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    you can have 3.1 also it all depends on budget but a decent av-amp would b a start
     
  3. Sniper

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    if you can don't get the "home cinema" kit - any idea on what you're willing to spend?
     
  4. Majid Khan

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    I'm prepared to spend upto £250 ish.. ideally.

    Actually yes I wouldn't mind a 3.1 set up either, to be honest I didn't realise there were any 3.1 sound systems :)

    I would also ideally like Dolby Pro Logic surround sound.. (i'm assuming here that you dont need a 5.1 system for Pro Logic, is that right?)
     
  5. Sniper

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    Since you can build a system from indiviual components 3.1 systems are very possible - what you mean is you haven't seen a box saying "3.1 system inside", and you won't!!! But basically - buy 2 fronts, a centre, a sub = 3.1 .

    NOW: may i reccommend that you forget about the ".1" (that's the SUB) as it's going to be hard to get anything decent if you include a SUB in your £250. SURE you can find one of those do-it-all boxes - but i would really stay away from those.

    So: I guess that a Yamaha RXV357 (£155) and a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze B1 (£135) should really get you going. It's £290 in all (not that FAR from 250).

    You can shelf mount the B1 - or standmount (extra cost) - and place them close to the room corners for bass renforcement.

    Then, when funds allow - add a sub & a centre. But with the above kit you'll definately see the improvment in TV sound you're looking for!
     
  6. Majid Khan

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    Sniper, how would you rate this set up with the sound quality you could get with a cheap 5.1 system from Argos (like the Acoustic solutions DS533 @ £89) ?

    Also just looking at the Yamaha amplifier you recommend, it seems to have DD/DProLogic II/DTS.... - am I right in thinking that these three formats require a 5.1 speaker set up? would this amp also be compatible with DProlLogic 1 ?
     
  7. CJROSS

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    Majid

    Get a DVD player, Stereo Amp & a set of bookself speakers for your budget.

    Good for CD, listenable for DVD movies, upgradeable with a sub in time.

    Never felt the need to go to a 5.1 system from my 2.1 stereo one (separates)
     
  8. nsherin

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    CjROSS - agree with you there. I'm going back to stereo from 4.0 as from tomorrow. Trading my Mission m30s and Yamaha HTR-5540RDS for a NAD C320BEE.

    I've certainly been underwhelemd by the capabilities of 4.0 sound, especially on a budget. As my split is 95% music and 5% movies, going stereo makes sense. In fact, you could (if the amp can also act as a pre-amp), add a power amp at a later date, should you upgrade to more demanding speakers. Certainly the NAD series of integrateds alow you to do this, as do the Rotel series.
     
  9. jon_mendel

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    Yeah, with your budget and your wife's aversion to loads of wires you might well do better with a stereo set-up. You could get a decent budget stereo amp with plenty of change from £100 (I've got a Cambridge a500 in the classifieds now ;) but you see lots of decent cambridge, marantz, rotel, etc. amps going secondhand for reasonable prices...) leaving you about £150-178 for speakers. Especially if it's mainly for AV use, you might get a decent set of floorstanders for the money, which could give you more bass in the absence of a sub (you often see mission 7xx series speakers going cheapish) or a decent set of standmount speakers would be good as well. This wouldn't mean any more boxes than an 'all-in-one' upgrade kit - just the amp and the speakers.

    I've certainly never felt the need to upgrade from stereo to 5.1 to movies - to get a sound in 5.1 equivalent to my (modest) stereo set-up would cost a fair bit and mean lots more wires...

    Jon
     
  10. Sniper

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    The cheap 5.1 system (like any other cheap 5.1 system) is just that CHEAP! No good! Stay away a mile!

    I recommended that amp as it's quite good value & leaves space for future upgrades. BUT if you're sure you won't be upgrading from stereo then definately loose the 5.1 amp and get a stereo one - your money will be better spent! A good stereo amp & a couple of floorstanders should give you quite some bass - so you won't be missing the sub soon (which you could anyway add to the stereo amp).

    As for all that DD/DTS/what have you... they are all 5.1 formats & Dprologic1 is a 4.1 format anyway.... but with the amp correctly setup, the sound from a missing speaker will be directed elsewhere.
     
  11. Majid Khan

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    Sniper, I've taken a look around and found a Sony Home Cinema Kit, priced at £169.

    SONY HTSS600

    http://www.multizoneav.com/shop/customer/product.php?productid=19743

    This is a 5.1 surround sound system, with a total output of 600 watts RMS.. do you think this is a good system?

    It also has an amplifier/reciever unit, it appears.

    What i'm thinking is maybe i could go for this and for the time being, just use the 3.1 front speakers with sub... would this be okay? or do I need to connect all 5 speakrs up to the amplifer/reciever to hear all the sounds..? or am i right in thinking that with just 3 speakers wired up, sounds which should be for the rear speakers will be redirected to these 3?
     
  12. GrahamC

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  13. dan1979

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    I've just downgraded from 5.1 to 2.0 (after siz years) due to space constraints and I've hardly noticed, most films don't make much use of the rears anyway so as long as you can create a good sound field it's not that big of an issue.
     
  14. nsherin

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    Dan - fully agree with you. I've gone from 4.0 to 2.0 and the sound imrpovements with a good 2ch stereo amp are very very noticable. I picked up my NAD C320BEE amp yesterday and am very pleased with the sound from it!
     
  15. GW43

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    This is an interesting thread! If you spread your budget across 6/7/8 channels (5.1, 6.1 or 7.1) as opposed to over two/three channels, (2.0 or 2.1) then it's pretty obvious that you will be buying better quality kit when you confine yourself to 2.0 or 2.1. And you don't have to go too expensive before the laws of diminishing returns kick in. It's pretty clear that 2.0 will give far better results than 5.1 for the same total outlay - obvious really...

    ...and higher WAF!!!

    How many others are looking at going back to 2.0 after failing to recreate their local Odean in their front room?
     
  16. CJROSS

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    £300 will buy you 2nd hand these days :

    Sony NSV-900 DVD-V/SACD Classifieds Here
    Rotel RA-01 Ebay
    £100 on speakers of your choice lets assume AE Evo 1s or Wharfdales 8.1.

    I don’t know a £300 all in one 5.1 or 2.1 system that would come remotely close to such a system for CD use or even DVD visual use.

    Majid step away from that £169 5.1 effort your about to buy :

    plllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssseeeeee !!!!!!
     
  17. Sniper

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    hehe... hmn.... so how about MONO !? even better still! more WAF ;)

    But really - Majid in your situation (i.e. not being able to use rears anyway) there's only one good solution - get a good stereo system with the money you have. Those 5.1 do-it-alls are just a quick fix & anyway you won't be using the rears so what's the point???

    As already said - if you sure you'll never be adding the rears go for a 2ch amp.
     
  18. superman22

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    just a thought, but why dont you check out the sony dav-x1.....offers surround sound is 2.1? only stumbeling block might be the price
    details can be found 'ere' :thumbsup:
    i think it looks ace too! :cool:
     

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