AV set-up dilema

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by RGM80, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. RGM80

    RGM80
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    Hi, I'm new to this so I'll try to explain my predicament...

    Current system:

    LG 42PQ2000
    Onkyo TX-SR505E
    Yamaha SW-P130 (Superfi - DISCONTINUED YAMAHA NSP110 5.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM)
    Sky HD
    PS3
    Wii
    I also have a TEAC Legacy 600 mini hi-fi with matching speakers (LS600u)

    My problem is that my wife has never been happy with the amp and thinks it's ugly, far too big and would like it removed. I toyed with the idea of getting rid of the amp and speakers and getting a 2.1 blu-ray all-in-one but I don't think I wish to take that step backwards.

    Part of the issue I have is that I am in a mid-terrace house and can't have music/movies blaring (I can hear my neighbours dog walk across the laminate flooring at night from my lounge!). I also have two young children so again late night movies need to be controlled. I want the detail and surround experience like all of us.

    With this is mind I recently came across the LG NB3520A soundbar which is being sold in Curry's for £199. (LG NB3520A 2.1 Sound Bar buy online | Currys). In many ways this solves the space/appearance concerns my wife raises but I'm not sure I would be so convinced. I did hear it playing some music in PC World the other day and it was impressive, particularly the bluetooth function but I'm not sure it will deliver much for watching movies!

    So, here's my question - what's the alternative to the soundbar?

    I have about £200 to spend, on the condition I sell my current amp and speakers which are partly financing the change. I've been pouring over this forum and RS and found the LG SR906 but I'm not sure how good it will be. Possibly the best option I can see is the Pioneer VSXS300 or Marantz NR1402 which are very neat compared to my Onkyo.

    If I went with one of these amps I thought I could use my PS3 to play CD's through the new amp and keep the speakers from the TEAC mini-system and hopefully upgrade the speakers gradually to include a subwoofer and centre speaker when money is available.

    Does anyone have any advice/suggestions on what I should do considering aesthetics are very important? (Divorce is not an option I should add!)

    Thanks in advance :smashin:
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Why not buy one of the slimline receivers you mention and keep your current speakers?
    What impedance are the TEAC speakers?
    I feel you will be disappointed with a soundbar as they will not give a surround sound experience. They are a step up from TV speakers but a step down when you have already had a surround system. Also £200 is not a lot of money to get a decent active soundbar either.
    Another option would be the Onkyo HTX 22 HDX which is a 2.1 system but can be expanded easily to 5.1. The sub contains all the amp etc. so quite compact.
     
  3. RGM80

    RGM80
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    Thanks for your advice PSM1

    I hadn't considered the Onkyo HTX 22 HDX but have looked it up at RS. It does look like a nice system and gets good reviews. My only concern with it is that with the connections being on the back of the sub it wouldn't fit in with my room layout. It also wouldn't fit in with my wife's eye, she hates any kind of sub so it really needs to sit in the corner behind a sofa or something.

    The TEAC speakers info: 75W, 4-8 ohm impedance. Do you think the speakers would be ok as fronts if I purchased one of the slimline receivers I mentioned previously?
     
  4. PSM1

    PSM1
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    4 to 8 ohms should be OK although slimline amps do not have the biggest power supplies so a 4ohm speaker would represent a fairly difficult load for it. Although it should be OK at moderate volumes and with a good amount of airflow (space around) the receiver.
     
  5. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    Another direction could be to hide the offending amp in a cupboard (or like I do have it in another room) and get an IR repeater to control it.
     
  6. RGM80

    RGM80
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    Thanks again for taking the time to offer some advice, much appreciated.

    Moving the amp to the under stairs cupboard is something I thought of before but I think I'll need to wait until the next time we plan to change carpets or decorate. To be honest I have good space either side of my tv which is wall mounted and walls are shelved either side with storage cupboards below. I originally designed it to house the av equipment but to fit the amp in it was going to be too deep and wasn't appealing aesthetically. So I want to make use of this space where possible. If I keep my wife happy then I can gradually develop the system with better speakers etc (well, I'm hoping that will work).

    I'll post a pic later to give an idea of the layout I'm using and if anyone else has any suggestions I'm all ears.

    I've discounted the idea of the soundbar and I'm leaning more towards the slimline receivers I mentioned before. For future planning is there particular speakers I should look to pair with the pioneer or marantz or will most things work. Is it ok to mix the speaker set-up if I'm gradually developing it over the next year or so, e.g. centre is different to fronts and then different rears again?

    It's mind-boggling stuff!
     
  7. HankM

    HankM
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    Recently I was in a similar situation, but it was not the wife who wanted a change; I have a problem with big ugly boxes in my living room, and especially with different electronics all different color and shape.

    I ended up with slimline Marantz NR1602 AVR and MA BX2 bookshelf speakers.
    My system has some boxes:
    - Panasonic plasma 42”
    - Marantz NR1602 AVR
    - PS3
    - IPTV STB
    - Popcorn Hour A-100
    - Pioneer DVD
    - MA BX2 frons (black), KEF T101 slimline center and (soon) KEF T101 surrounds; MA sub

    All controlled by Harmony 900 and AVR I control by iPhone/iPad.
    Besides speakers only TV is visible, everything else is in cabinet below TV.

    Out of speakers, mayor problem I have are central speakers, they all look to bulky and big, that is why I decided for T101c.

    For me speakers and all electronics that are visible are furniture and should fit both with color and shape in my living room.

    I didn’t quite understood you; do you want 5.1 or stereo system?
    what ever you do, you can always hide all electronics so just think what speakers can esthetically fit in your environment.
     
  8. PSM1

    PSM1
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    You really want the front 3 speakers to be matching (same make/model) to ensure a good front soundstage. It is less important to match fronts to rears although I always prefer to have all 5 speakers matching.
     
  9. RGM80

    RGM80
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    ForumRunner_20120826_212700.jpg

    So here's my set-up/lounge layout. My PS3 and Wii are in the 1st cupboard below the amp. There's plenty of space for av equipment but the distance between shelves is about 1 foot so any speakers I purchase in the future news to be on the small side height wise. The shelves are 11 inches deep and the bottom shelf which has the cupboards below is roughly 16 inches in depth.

    I have to agree with my wife that the onkyo isn't particularly pretty and I think the marantz slimline receiver would be nice there in its place, certainly less imposing. I may even be able to put my sky box on top of the amp if there is enough space for the air to circulate?

    The speakers I have always loved are Kef Q1's in dark apple but they don't fit in the shelf space. The matching centre is too big though. On that point does the position of the centre speaker make a difference, i.e. above or below tv? Another speaker related query is could I house them on their side if they were too tall for the space?

    Can anyone suggest which receiver would be better, the Pioneer VSXS300 or Marantz NR1402?

    Thanks to all again for input, really got me inspired to improve my system.
     
  10. PSM1

    PSM1
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    I would not put anything on top of an amp. They produce a lot heat and that needs space above to dissipate. Putting the sky box on top may not only cause the amp to overheat but could cause damage to the sky box as well due to the heat.
    Speakers in general do not like being put in or on shelves as they will interact with them and this lower sound quality. Speakers like to be in free space and this is when they will sound their best. Near walls or in cabinets will cause a boundary affect which lowers sound quality. Your centre on the mantle piece is also not ideal as again it will interact with it. Wall mounting a centre above the TV and pointing it down to the listening position would be preferable.
    I used to have a Pioneer slimline receiver and was very disappointed with it. I have also read a thread on here with someone who was not happy with the vsx300. Hence I would lean towards the Marantz. However, even that I doubt will sound as good as a full sized receiver for the same price. Slimline amps are always going to be a compromise due to the small power supplies etc.
     
  11. RGM80

    RGM80
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    Error
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  12. RGM80

    RGM80
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    Thanks again PSM1, great to get sound advice from someone.

    I wouldn't actually put anything on top of my amp, did that before and had to get it repaired for the very reason it over-heated.

    I think I read somewhere before about using halved squash balls under speakers/amps to reduce the transfer of sound or vibration?

    If I keep the speakers small I can probably get my wife's approval to mount them on the wall, does it make a difference if they are higher up and also angled downwards to listening position?

    I'm sure the slimline option isn't the best but I very rarely get to crank the system up so I probably couldn't tell the difference.

    I'm going to look again at RS website to see what's within my budget?
     
  13. PSM1

    PSM1
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    You will be fine having the speakers mounted high and angled down.
    You can buy isolation pads for speakers on top of cabinets but they will not fully cure the problem of a speaker in an enclosed shelf.
     
  14. HankM

    HankM
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    I generally agree, but music is more important to me and also esthetics of TV area, so regular box centar speaker was out of question and slimline fronts where out of question because of music quality.
    So it was a compromise I was willing to take.

    In future I am thinking in adding a better front speakers for music, probably from KEF range, even floorstanders maybe with integrated amp on pre outs, but slimline center and surrounds will most probably stay.

    Although my front speakers are not matched, overall system is for me very good for some PS3 playing and for few movies that I watch per month. At the same time I listen to music every day for hours and BX2 are there doing excellent job.
     
  15. paul1979

    paul1979
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    If music is important and you want rid of your amp I would consider something like Bose cinemate 2.1. This allows you to move speakers and sound quality will IMO be better than sound bar ESP for music in price range you are talking (for this price you will need to go for pre owned)
     
  16. HankM

    HankM
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    Not sure if you replied to me or to thread starter RGM80...
     
  17. PSM1

    PSM1
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    HankM- You may be better not having a centre at all and letting your fronts create a phantom centre, especially if you upgrade the fronts to floorsatnders. The centre takes 60% of the total sound output for TV/films so it is not a speaker to compromise on. Good floorstanders will be able to create a good stereo image so may well be better creating the centre channel as well compared to a small compromised centre.
    I would not bother with Bose as they are over priced and underperform. For the price of the Bose you could get an AV receiver and pair of speakers that will sound so much better.
     
  18. Kadooosh

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    Just as a note from your first post, I recently bought and returned a 5.1 pioneer system and soon realised it took up alot of room so returned it and today bought the LG3520a.

    I love it, really good sound, its obviously not full surround sound but i was playing battlefield 3 with it and it had brilliant surround sound effect. The blue tooth is brilliant, I was streaming music from my phone on it so easily.

    Anyways, any questions about it please ask, im really happy with it. Saves loads of space and the fact the sub is wireless is brilliant, tucked right away ;-)
     
  19. HankM

    HankM
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    I have try that already and I was so-so, there is centar channel integrated in front soundstage, but when dedicated speaker is used sound from centar is more forward and clear.
    I will play with that option again when I get floorstanders.
    Most probably I will not update AVR as I really think that this one is excellent and has everything I need; I will get stereo amp and connect it to preouts of AVR. As nr1602 is slimline I will for the size of regular AVR get very good for both worlds.
    Thanks for comments!

    Now back to original question from thread owner, I really dont want to steel a topic. ;)
     
  20. paul1979

    paul1979
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    I thought point was he wants rid of receiver. Thats why I suggested the cinemate
     
  21. $weetFA

    $weetFA
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    It's RGM80 the OP who wants to change his amp. :)
    OP I put an order in for the Marantz NR 1420 today £229 in silver.
     
  22. RGM80

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    $weetFA - Once you have your Marantz set up could you let me know what you think? What speakers are you using with it? It's my birthday next week and I might be in a position to order one myself although I was planning a Google Nexus 7 to be my next purchase, decisions decisions...
     
  23. RGM80

    RGM80
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    I went up to Currys the other day to listen to the LG soundbar which wasn't bad, wireless and bluetooth but only connections are optical, no HD. I nipped into Comet and one of the staff was trying to sell me the Bose Companion 3 for £200 to be an alternative to any AV set-up. It's supposed to be PC speakers, couldn't believe his brass neck. That aside I did think the sound was good for such small speakers.

    Having spent time comparing receivers on RS website I feel I must be mad to potentially spend more money, £30 roughly, to buy the slimline Marantz and overlook the Sony STRDH820. In terms of size the Marantz is 10mm wider, 40mm deeper and it's only the height where it's smaller by 50mm. This then brings me full circle that I should be happy with what I've got (Onkyo TX-SR505E) and just look to improve the speakers.

    Anyone have any pearls of wisdom on what I should do...?
     

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