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dvd/receiver package or separate dvd player and receiver/speaker package?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by KenH, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Hi there.

    Being completely new to this I would appreciate any help you could give me. I've looked at dvd/receiver packages particularly the sony davns550, and that seems good. But a couple of friends have advised me to buy deparate dvd player eg sony dvpns705s and then a receiver/speaker package eg sony htddw8405, on grounds of quality and ease of replacement/upgrade. My budget is about £500 for dvd, receiver, speakers and another £500 approx for TV. Our living room is 14 feet square approx. One wall has fireplace in centre with TV cabinet next to it in one corner. Opposite wall has tall dresser where the hi fi speakers sit currently. My friends have systems which can play ordinary tv in some kind of virtual surround sound. What would that be? Is that something the receiver does or the dvd player? Thanks for any help.




    Ken
     
  2. nathan_silly

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    New Sony DVD players are trash.
    Sony AV amps are trash.

    Virtual surround sound is a gimmick.

    What you want is a DVD player WITHOUT a Dolby Digital decoder, ie Pioneer 3xx range or 5xx range. Make sure it has manual region change. Don't bother with Region 2- it's rubbish. Buy Region 1 discs only.

    Then you'll need a AV amp that decoders Dolby Digital, DTS. Something like the Onkyo 595 at £450.

    You'll need a total of 5 speakers, plus a subwoofer. Spend at least £500 on a subwoofer. £200 a pair on speakers.

    I don't want to recommend speakers as we're all different. Go to a friendly HiFi/AV shop, preferbly with a friend with that has AV system him/herself (they will spot the owner if he's telling pork pies)

    And you'll need speaker cable, coaxial RCA lead and SCART/S-Video leads.
     
  3. bob1

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    Hello ken mr silly didn't read your post very well hes gone well over your budget £500 just on the sub.The only thing i can say is the pioneer dvds are very good for the price you can get a pioneer 350 multi region dvd player for £130 on the net,that would leave you £370.It would be better to spend as much as you can on the amp they should all give you surround sound from the tv try to get one with dpl2 if you can. spend less on the speakers you can upgrade bit at a time its taken me a year for me to upgrade the speakers to a full matching set.But in the end make your own mind up and go and listen to the stuff before you buy.
     
  4. nathan_silly

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    I did read the post, unfortuantly most amp/5.1 speaker packages are pretty bad (and the DVD/amp/speaker 5.1 are even worse!)

    I would just fork the extra, if you get a cheap unit it'll probably pack up within a year or so. Like the previous poster said, get a high-current amp ie Krell (just kidding!) Don't buy Technics, Sony or JVC.

    Then buy a good set of L/R speakers. Then rears, then centre, and then eventually subwoofer.

    To put your limited entire budget for everything is reducing the overall performance dramtically.

    for example...

    28" 16:9 TV- £400
    High Quality AV amp- £350-£500
    DVD player - £250-£300
    Main speakers- £200-£300



    14' square is a medium size room, I doubt a £500 complete package will be sufficient.
     
  5. Andywilliams

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    hi kenh
    have a look at yamaha hti-b 60 you get a quality amp dvd player and 5-1 speaker setup for around £520 .You won't be disappointed everything is easy to upgrade it is a good value set up cheers gonzo.
     
  6. sounddog

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    Unfortunately not everyone has such deep pockets Mr Silly. Infact yout suggestions are just plain silly considering what the OP put.

    Contry to Mr Silly's sugestion, you can get a good system for £500.

    Sony DVD players are NOT trash and Sony AV Amps are NOT trash.

    I would suggest you should look in the reigion of £200 for the amp (e.g. Marantz SR4200).

    Then around £100-150 should be sufficiant for a good DVD player (Toshiba 220, Pioneer 350, etc)

    That will leave you around £150 for a speaker package. Forget the Sub and spend the money on an Eltax or Gale package from Richer Sounds.

    Then at a later date, you can consider adding a sub.

    for example ... (from Richer Sounds advert)
    Amp - Marantz SR4200 (with PLII / DD / DTS) £200
    DVD Player - Toshiba SD220E (Multiregion) £135
    Speaker Package - Eltax Liberty 5.0 Package £150-180

    Total £500 give or take pocket change :)

    Add to that £20-30 for a decent interconnect and some speaker cable to wire it all together.

    Yes this will not give you the BEST system in the world. But will give you many hours of enjoyable entertainment without completly breaking the bank.

    And the best thing about spending your £500 this way rather than on an all in one system is that when and if the time comes, you can upgrade in stages rather than having to throw it all out and start again from scratch.

    I know, as this is how I started out (different kit at the time but similar costs) and don't regret a single penny of what I've spent.

    Just remember ... Buy within your budget and have great fun listening to the films. You don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself, just get the best you can within your budget, sit back and enjoy it.


    Victoria
     
  7. sounddog

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    Oh ... and a Thompson 28" Widescreen is a pound under £400 ... and this is from Curry's!!!

    I'm sure you'll find better bargins elsewhere (online).


    So there you go ... a whole system which WILL give you many hours of joy WITHOUT breaking your £1000 original budget.


    Victoria
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    The Toshiba's are good DVD players-excellent picture- however..

    1) Slow menu operation with Disney releases
    2) Noisy transport.
    3) Impossibly hard to use remotes.
    4) Auto Region is not a good mod. Make sure it has manual Region change. Otherwise RCE Region 1 disc's will either refuse to play or you have to do a disc swap method. And if RCE2 comes out (or a new region checking method) it will just not work

    Sony amps are good then? hmmm...Rotel's are MUCH better.

    What about Sony's DVD player Chroma problems?

    Marantz- ok.
     
  9. sounddog

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    Your reply really doesn't deserve a detailed reply ... you're just being plain silly.

    I'm trying to help the OP ... contry to what you are saying your CAN spend £500 on decent home cinema.

    Don't like the Toshiba DVD player ... buy a Pioneer or Philips. Don't like the Marantz amp ... buy a similarly priced Denon or Yamaha. There are lots of options!

    For £500 you can't expect to better a Rotel system ... but you can get a good system.


    Victoria
     
  10. KenH

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    Thanks for all your advice and suggestions. Very helpful! Am definitely going for separates now rather than an all-in-one system. Keep the advice coming!

    Ken
     
  11. nathan_silly

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    Philips?? oh dear... don't start me off with philips..

    Noticed you recommended Thompson TV's. oh god!

    Have you noticed you recommended the Marantz amp- and then said you don't like them? what's up with that?

    Do you not know of the Sony NS300 and NS400 chroma problem? Do you also know the £1000 7700 and £1600 9000ES ALSO has this problem? It's pretty obvious Sony does not even care about it's flagship player!

    I was comparing a Rotel v Sony integrated amp (on general sound quality) The Rotel AV amps are a bit too much I agree. But some people jump onto the all-same make Sony/Technics bandwagon.

    Don't even bother with something like the Sony DAV units. The "subwoofer" is more like a "parpwoofer!"

    Decent? no. 1st AV system?- ok.
     
  12. Nobber22

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    Nathan, could you please be a little less...um, "forceful" with your product/region bashing? I see you have a few issues with certain products and manufacturers, but slagging off every poor product in the OP's sights is not helpful. As Sounddog kept trying to tell you, this thread is for (primarily) KenH's benefit and those who are in the same boat as he is.

    Now you may have had some bad experiences with Tosh or Sony or Thompson, but I think most people here prefer to gently point someone seeking help in the right direction (in your opinion of course) and not go "off on one!"

    Newbies find AV intimidating enough without you introducing loud and forceful statements into your posts. I realise that Sounddog appears to be more than a newbie, but poo-pooing every one of his suggestions so scathingly is just rude. Please try to be more patient.

    Thanks. :)
     
  13. nathan_silly

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    You think I'm being rude?

    Do you want me to recommend products which are just plain bad then?

    As for "Region" I take it you're talking about me bashing Region 2. It is rubbish. Why bend the truth?

    If he can't take advice on "what not to buy" then he soundn't come here. Just walk into Dixons. For example reading comments on Apex and Scan DVD player's he should make a pretty obvious conclusion.

    I agree with Soundog on Pioneer DVD player!

    I was a newbie once- I bought a Aiwa midi system. I wish I had access to the internet- I would have taken in peoples bad comments in.
     
  14. Nobber22

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    It's not your advice, it's your tone. Be a bit nicer please. Chill out. This forum is generally a friendly & pleasant place to visit, so one would like to see everyone being nice to each other. Perhaps I'm just old-fashioned :rolleyes:
     
  15. nathan_silly

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    I am being nice to him! by explaining what is terribly bad and why- he won't have the stressful experience of buying it!

    If I just say "the scan dvd player is ok" he won't know it's not.

    If I say "the scan is *************** and ********* and it burns out and catches fire. Don't you think that's better? At least he won't have wasted £100, then he'll have to buy another one!
     
  16. Ian J

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    You could always start by reading the question properly. It is of no help to anyone if you intend to answer questions that haven't been asked.
     
  17. hutchingsp

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    Into the Lions den :D

    I would go for separates every time unless you really really want something discreet and "designer" looking.

    You can get TVs with dolby, either with proper centre/rear speakers, or with a virtual dolby, but you'd probably be pushing it for £500, plus I don't think it would sound nearly as good.

    IMHO one of the biggest problems you'll find is that for that sort of budget you can get decent kit, but it may be hard to find a dealer that'll let you try it out - rightly or wrongly I suspect a lot of them won't want to time and effort just to sell a £150 amp.

    I'd take a look on the Richer Sounds website and get a couple of magazines to get a feel of what you can get for what sort of money...

    This is just an opinion but I would suggest spending £150-200 on an amp/receiver and £120-150 on a DVD player - spend as much as you can on the speakers as better speakers with a lesser amp will give you a better sound than lesser speakers and a better amp.

    Personally I have a Sony 830 receiver that's a couple of years old, and a Toshiba 2109 DVD player that's a couple of years old, my speaker setup is a front pair of B&W DM601s2 that cost £200, the rears are a pair of Mordaunt Short MS05s that cost £40 and the centre is a Gale Centre 10 that cost £20 from Richer Sounds last Saturday.

    If I were to replace it all I believe I could buy a suitable amp for around £200, an equivelent Toshiba DVD player for £120-130, but I'm not sure I could get speakers as good as the B&Ws for less money.

    Everyone has their preference on what they consider good and bad, that includes dealers (they also have their profit margin thrown into the equation) so you will get conflicting advice - I'd take everything with a pinch of salt.

    regards
    Paul
     
  18. Nobber22

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    I'd agree with everything hutchingsp said up to the point where he has partnered his B&W's with a Gale centre speaker. Accepted wisdom is to use matching speakers across the front 3 to get a uniform soundstage. I reckon his Gale will be swamped a bit by the B&W's and make the dialogue harder to hear IMO :)

    He probably was on a budget and wanted surround sound, but that Gale is likely to hold his setup back a little. I'm sure he'll look to get a matching B&W soon :)
     
  19. nathan_silly

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    Agree with nobber- you need a high quality centre speaker, more important to have quality centre than fronts or rears. Natural sounding speaker is a must. But then I have a Kef Model 200!


    gonna get more flames here- I also the B&W CC6. Lacking in midrange ability for voice, sounds a bit aritficial, bass a bit whoompy. Treble is a bit splashy. Biamped, with 100W amps.
    Kef Q95C is better, Model 100 better still. And 200 even better.
     
  20. hutchingsp

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    It's a bedroom setup, the previous centre speaker was a Mordaunt Short MS209c in cherry/maple finish.

    I'm taking delivery of a Panasonic TX28PL1 this weekend and I wanted something physically smaller, and in a black finish just to look a little more "right" - I don't have money to burn but for £20 if I use it for a month and then get a B&W....

    It's just forcing myself to get over the "£200 for a speaker" mentality.

    regards
    Paul
     
  21. KenH

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    Hi again

    Thanks for all your replies! very interesting and thought provoking. One thing I did not make clear at the beginning is that I will not be thinking of upgrading in 12-18 months time. I can just about just afford to buy a system which hopefully will last for some (years). If it helps, I bought my current Technics hi fi system for £500 about 7 years ago, and haven't felt the need to upgrade it. I'm not really into top quality gear, just something that'll work well and give decent quality. That's just the way of our finances: mortgage, children at university etc etc. so not a lot left; and I don't want to use credit! So that's why I'm aiming to buy the dvd player, amp and speaker system now, I won't have any 'spare money' later! One more thing about the speakers. One of the things we, especially my wife, liked about the dav system was the small size of the speakers ('they'll fit on the TV cabinet around the TV'). With the speaker systems you recommended, are the speakers of a similar size or are they larger speakers like my Technics (14" x 8")? Finally, I had thought that this system would replace my hi fi system, but your replies seem to suggest that you have separate hi fi systems and home cinema systems - am I correct?

    Thanks again.



    Ken
     
  22. hutchingsp

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    It's six of one and half a dozen of the other really - if you want something that you can stick in, looks good, is descreet, and easy to use, and that you'll probably be delighted with 95% of the time I suspect there's an all-in-one that will suit you (I wouldn't want to suggest one as I don't know enough about them).

    On the other hand if you want generally "better" quality and something that you _could_ upgrade if and when you want to then I'd still suggest separates, but with the obvious caveat- more unsightly, and generally larger boxes.

    You definately don't need a separate music and AV system - maybe when you step into audiophile territory, but if (as it sounds like) you've a living room that's used by the family and you like to watch TV/movies or stick on some music then there's no need at all.

    I have to say that whilst it isn't everyone's cup of tea due to being an all-in-one, the Sony DAV-S550 does look bloody nice..

    regards
    Paul
     
  23. nathan_silly

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    Satellites/subwoofer combinations are not suited to music. Primarly use is AV.

    The minimum size speaker for stereo pair would be a two way, standmounter with a 6 / half " woofer/midrange, and 25mm soft-dome tweeter.

    In music the DAV would sound very harsh, with a lower bass gap between the subwoofer and satellites. If you tried replacing the DAV sub with a expensive subwoofer you might be able to get away with it. However a £500 bundled subwoofer cannot fill the 50hz (LF corner on a standmount) to 120hz- 240hz (lower midrange)

    Yes I have two seperate systems. A Stereo Transport/DAC/Pre-Power setup/biamped speakers, and DD Processor, several poweramps, subwoofer, centre and rears.

    The DAV system won't have the frequency range of your Technics speakers
     
  24. flat spot

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    I think the bottom line is this. For the money you have seperates aren't really an option. Go for the best all-in-one system you can afford. Obviously these aren't to everyones taste but I think you would be happy with it. They're more practical if nothing else:D
     
  25. sounddog

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    Sorry ... ended up posting same thing twice so have deleted one of them.
     
  26. sounddog

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    Sounddog is a she not a he ... but thats okay. Now weather I'm a newbie or not depends on what / who you're comparing me too ...

    To make it clear this is my experience ... over the last few years I've worked my way through Sherwood 8095 with £150 worth of speakers from Richer Sounds, through several DVD player (Samsung 709 ... Toshiba 200 ... Toshiba 210E ... NAD T550 and now just picked up my Arcam DV88 this AM). The Amp has been swapped for a Sony 930 and then a Marantz SR5200 which I've now suplemented with a Rotel 1060 for Stereo duties and these power B&W 602s2 front / 601s2 rears (x3) / LCR60S3 front centre. I have a very low end sub and keep thinking I should replace it but the abilities of the 602s mean I keep putting a sub replacement on hold.

    So as you see I've spent not inconsiderable money upgrading my system ... each time I've felt I had a good system though each a little better than the last. I will agree that probably the BEST upgrade I ever did was buy the 602s for the front though ... expecially for music rather than movies.



    Or the alternate bottom line is ... buy the best you can ...

    If you don't mind the look ... geting a set of reasonable front speakers (Gale / Eltax ... stand or floor standing) will give you much better stereo music than a Sony all in one will.

    On the other hand, a set of small speakers as pet a Sony all in one will be more discrete.

    In fact ... the new bottom line is ... take a look at somewhere like Richer Sounds which will sell you the lower end Home Cinema kit as I first sugested ... and will also give you the opportunity to listen and compare to a Sony all in one which they also sell.

    Let YOUR ears and eyes decide which is better in YOUR circumstances.



    I'd like to think that I have been of some help to both the OP and anyone else in a similar situation.


    Victoria
     
  27. KenH

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    Yet again thanks for your help.

    Your advice does though prompt more questions for me.

    Can I ask if soundhog and hutchingsp have separate hi fi systems and home cinema systems.

    When playing music CD's through the home cinema system does the music come through all the speakers or just some (which?).

    Could I use my technics speakers as the rear speakers for a home cinema speaker set-up? If so what front speakers/sub woofer would match it; or would I be do better to buy a complete speaker package - if I did this would you advise me to keep my existing hi fi system and use that for music, or does music CD's sound better through a 5.1 speaker package (I'm picking up some of the jargon)?

    Ken
     
  28. nathan_silly

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    if you select stereo on the AV amp, it'll just do the L/R's. If you choose a DSP (rock, disco, or even Dolby Pro-Logic II Music) it'll come through all speakers plus subwoofer.

    Some DSP's are ok (rock) but some are really bad (disco, church, stadium) as some add too much reverb- echo echo!
     
  29. hutchingsp

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    No I don't. It's in my bedroom so space would be the biggest problem, plus I don't listen to music an awful lot - and when I do it's either on my PC (I have some half-decent labtec panel speakers) or as "background noise".

    In short I'm not a "glass of wine, lights down, stick in a CD" sort of person.

    Personally I think that you have to go some to justify totally separate audio and AV systems - I'd wager that for most people it's just not a big concern as even a fairly basic separates system is still damn good compered to most mini/midi systems.

    Playing music via an AV system depends somewhat on the system, they'll all do regular stereo and most (I'd guess nearly all) will do some form of virtual surround for music - some (my Sony for example) has about 20 "virtual cinema" modes that can strangle just about anything and output it through various speaker combos...

    Assuming stuff like ratings and impedance (and anything I don't know of) aren't a problem you probably would be able to use your Technics speakers as rears - a technical match is one thing but a tonal match is a little subjective, not sure there's a black & white "these will match" answer, it's all quite subjective.

    You don't strictly need a sub, I know on my amp you can tell it whether or not you have one and if you don't it will direct the bass to the regular speakers, sounds fine to me, but as I said it's in a bedroom so I don't get to crank up the volume that often.

    I don't think anyone here can say whether or not to keep your existing system just for music and whether CD's sound better in 5.1 or not - 99% of audio CD's are stereo AFAIK, so anything that makes them play via 5 speakers is going to involve some form of virtual surround.

    Whatever you end up buying you may just prefer the sound of your Technics - and if that's the sound you prefer who am I, or anyone else, to say don't use it :)

    regards
    Paul
     
  30. Ian J

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    In the interests of economy you could use your Technics as rear speakers but don't bother trying to match them with a front three. Buy the best front three that you can afford and think later about matching rears.

    You can have two complete systems but if in the same room you will end up with a lot of speakers. Invariably music doesn't sound as good through an Av amp as a dedicated stereo amp as too many compromises have to be made to keep the price down and personally I don't like playing stereo CDs through 5 speakers as I think that the result is a mess.
     

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