Beginners sytem: all in one or separates?...


Well-known Member
My brother is about to step into the wonderful world of home cinema. Unfortunately he doesn't have a massive budget - and I mean really low by the standards of some of the kit on these pages.

So its down to goof 'ol Richer Sounds and see what they have.

Their magazine has a Cyberhome DVD, AIWA receiver and Gale Speaker package for under £300, or an all in one system for similar money (AIWA, Panasonic or Sony etc)

I've suggested he up his budget slightly to get a set of Eltax Liberty speakers as an upgrade to the Gales (this package got an excellent write in HCC magazine and did retail for a suggested £500, as did the Cyberhome). I know Eltax capable of producing decent kit as I have a similar set myself.

His argument against the separates is the usual "my wife won't like it", "They're too big". I reckon the sonic difference alone from the Eltax should swing it.

Any suggestions and comments welcome - especially on what benefits are to be gained from separates




Standard Member
Seperates are better as you can upgrade componant by componant which is better for your wallet.

As regards wife not liking it: I got round it by
1) Promising to hide the wires and agreed to redecorate room and embed cables in wall by channelling the plaster

2) Allowing my wife to specify the colour of the speakers. I took her to the shop to see the speakers as she thought floor standers were massive. When she saw the size of them her fears were allayed. I also got her to listen to DD and even she had that cheesy grin you get when you move from DPL to DD (ive even got "planning permission" from her for a projector using this method of including her in the purchase and getting things demonstrated to her - nothing like seeing coronation street on a projector in DPL2 to get a soap addict wife to support a large screen upgrade)

3) Buying a stylish rack that ( to tidy up and minimise the impact of AV kit) the wife picked to ensure that it matched her vision for the room.

Basically I let her "design and pick colours" and promise to decorate to hide things where possible and she's happy!!!


Or of course, if big speakers are a problem get a sub/sat system. Mission do some cracking deals (and yes, at RS). Highly rated speakers. You end up with one large sub to hide and 5 much smaller speakers (all though I'll personally kill you if you don't put the front L&Rs on stands ;) ).

As for all in one dvd / hi-fi systems, there are some really nice ones out there now though I'd ditch the supplied speakers, and you'll end up short on power.

With separates you can get away with two boxes anyway (DVD and AV amp) which will not be much bigger than an all in one jobby.

Separates are a much better choice because (and there are lots of reasons, but these are the obvious ones) you neraly always get a lot more amplification - does not just mean louder - means better sound, you get upgrade flexibility, manufactures can concentrate on making one component great rather than trying to get every feature squeezed in one box on a tight budget....



Novice Member
hi chris; im sure you will be disapointed if u go with any of systems u mention from rs, that is if they have them anyway.my advice, stay away from all in one systems, they dont have enough power, if u can strech another £150 i would go for yamaha htib 45 which comprises of yamaha receiver & sub sat speaker system.the all u need is a budget dvd player & digital connect to hook it all up, beleive u me this will sound like a £1000 system compared to any of the systems mentioned above. good luck
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