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Budget HT setup for low-volume usage?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by mister_d, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. mister_d

    mister_d
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    I'm thinking of buying an LG FA-P3000 5.1 speaker kit for £150, as it appears to be spoken of in reverent tones amongst the budget crowd. I'm sure it's considered very rudimentary by audiophile standards, but I'm not particularly willing to spend more money - partly due to financial constraints (I also have to buy a half-decent TV at some point as well), partly because I already have a considerably more valuable stereo setup in this room, but mainly for the reason that's the basis of this post.

    Unfortunately, a certain member of my household who shall remain nameless is slightly averse to external noise (biggest understatement ever). As a result, I have to do almost all my film watching through headphones, which I'm not entirely keen on even though they're pretty good. I will be able to crank the speakers up on occasion, and I'll probably also take them downstairs every now and then (stupid question of secondary importance - is it as compact and light as it looks?), but most of the time they'll have to be kept reasonably quiet.

    So what does this kit, or anything comparable for that matter, sound like at moderate listening levels? I can and sometimes do use my hi-fi (which was purchased many months before said resident moved back home), but I find it very difficult to make out dialogue without raising the volume far enough to generally cause irritation, though admittedly it isn't helped by the fact that the speakers are against a wall perpendicular to my TV.

    I'm not realistically expecting it to sound particularly mind-blowing, and I'll keep the sub well down most of the time assuming it has independent controls, I just want clearly audible dialogue and preferably a convincing surround effect. Any thoughts - and perhaps even some suggestions on minimising sound leakages across certain frequencies - would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mike_cummi

    mike_cummi
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    Don't know anything about the LG kit you mention but what I do know is that many amps/receivers these days feature a surround mode designed to improve the performance at low volume levels, not sure how effective it is though. Different manufacturers call it different things but I have seen it called midnight mode. It may be worthwhile seeking it out which shouldn't be too hard and i think it is available on lots of budget amps.
     
  3. mister_d

    mister_d
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    Wasn't aware of this feature - do any of the cheapo all-in-one 5.1 kits have it though? I'm probably not going for a separates system as I already have my stereo setup here (unless someone can suggest a cunning way of merging it in with a dedicated AV equipment), and it'd work out a little too expensive.

    I have at least established that the LG kit has independent sub control, so I should be able to restrict noise levels reasonably well.
     
  4. mike_cummi

    mike_cummi
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    Don't really know if all in one kits have it, you may have to do a bit of searching around on websites that give you a full spec listing. techtronics and hifibitz are quite informative. it's a reasonably common feature i think so you may be lucky.
     
  5. mrg

    mrg
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  6. mister_d

    mister_d
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    It's surprisingly difficult to find out any information about the LG setup, the only references I've seen to it aside from Argos have been on forums and newsgroups - however, I've just found out that a friend owns the previous version, so I'll try that out sometime.

    mrg, although that's undeniably a great price, everything I've heard thus far indicates that the LG is superior to the Digitheatre, and closer to the (substantially more expensive) Digitheatre DTS in subjective quality. Think I'll stick with one of those two, especially since I'm definitely after something with DTS. Thanks for the suggestion though :)
     
  7. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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  8. mister_d

    mister_d
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    Already got a Toshiba SD330E here that I'm very happy with, went for the DVD player first as it's the cheapest component :)

    It's not that I won't ever be cranking it, I'll just be keeping it down 95% of the time (much less if I ever can be bothered to drag it downstairs). The other 5% of the time I'll want to truly knock the paint off the walls - provided that it doesn't compromise the sound quality at lower volumes.

    This thread is probably slightly redundant now as I've virtually convinced myself over the past couple of days that I will buy the LG kit, so if it turns out to be unsuitable for my room I'll just have to pay for my mistake.
     

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