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Full new system - lots of questions!


Standard Member
Hi, im new to the whole Home theatre/hifi hobby.

However i am very interested in it and have been searching the net for along time looking for research.

Currently my system for music in my room :-

20" iMac (connected via Monster 3.5mm to phono) (also have the abilty for fibre optic)
JVC HiFi MX-MD70R - classic old style i found in the loft
Custom Edwardus speakers x2 - floorstanding 3 speakers in each 10" woofer (hand me downs)

My current set up is ok, but id like to have something thats made for the job.

So, Im looking for a decent set of floorstanding speakers, preferable all in one (bass and treble). I have been looking at Cerwin Vega speakers.

In terms of whats to power the speakers i have no idea!

I have seen a denon A/V with 9 phone inputs, 4 digital and 7.1 speakers out puts.

I would like something like this as so i can always add more speakers to a channel if i want to in the future.

I want a setup that has plently of bass. Which is the reason i chose cerwin vega. (also i have looked on youtube at the tests!)

If you think there are better out there for bass, please tell me.
the reason i want bass, is because the music i listen to is pretty much all bass.
Hardstyle, Hardcore, Dubstep, and occasionaly heavy metal.

I currently dont have a budget as i will be getting every thing bit by bit.

If you have any recommendations please tell me.

As for Watts, Volts and ohms? I havnt a clue. So please be gentle to a newb.

If youd like a picture of my set up then please ask :)

Another few questions, is it possible to use a car subwoofer inline with a home set up? the only benefit i can see is that they are cheaper..

Is there any downside?

and, i am also interested in bass shakers.. how would i go about connecting that to my new/existing set up?


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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Hi and welcome Lewis

Ok, so you don't have a overall budget, but you must have an idea of how much are you looking to spend on each 'bit' and what are you looking to get first?

You mention Cerwin Vega speakers but which model interests you?

The Denon av (again which model) may have alot of connections and flexibility but i doubt it wil give you the music performance you seek. You will be paying bewteen £1-2k on a av for something near that when you can get a stereo amp quarter of the price and which will beat it. Less speaker connection but way way better music performance. Anyway quite alot of stereo amps have connections for up to 2 pairs of speakers to be used either spilt across 2 rooms or in the same room. IMO, unless using surround sound, 2 pairs is more than enough to hear music with.

For your music tastes, Marantz, Nad, Hardon Kardon, Cambridge audio and a few other amps makes will do the job as long as they are paired with the right speakers. Don't know much about Cerwin Vega so i cannot comment on them.

Have no clue about bass shakers or whether you could use a car subwoofer in the home. Hopefully someone will post their thought on that.

So before we start recommending stuff answer the following questions.

How big is the room the hifi will be in? This wll help determine how much watts per chan will be suitable. i.e 500 wpc in a 3m x 3m room is a no no :nono: but 30-40 wpc is ok
Will you want to be hooking up any av equipment to it, i.e dvd player, sky box, tv, etc?
Will you be requiring surround sound in the future (if so, might be worth looking at AV amps)?
Any space constraints to be considered? no point buying the kit then to find out it cannot fit where you want it to go or bad ventilation.
Will you be streaming any music stored on a pc? This will also need some thought if you wish to play though the hifi.

Then there are cables to factor in, Speaker cables and interconnects can cost an arm and a leg or just toe nail :D.
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Standard Member
Thanks for the reply.

As for budgeting i wouldn't like to spend over £500 for the whole lot.
I only need an amp to power the speakers, and i guess 2 will be ok, providing that they have subwoofers in built.

My room is about 3.5mx6.5m.

The only equipment i will be hooking up to it is my mac. which has digital and analogue out put.

No surround sound.

My current speakers are about a 1M tall and 1ft and a bit wide. they fit fine, can be 3m tall, but not much wider. (although i can make space).

I wont be streaming any music.

And cables i can upgrade as time goes on. Currently using a Monster 3.5mm to phono.

Thanks for replying!

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
The following is a small list of amp which should get you started



Nad C355BEE Titanium £299

The above amps are quite powerful for the price £300 and are of good quality and sounding. The HK3490 has digital inputs so you could hook the imac directly to it with an optical cable which should sound alot better than the 3.5 -phono cable you are currently using.

The Nad C355 normally retails around £400- £450 and is a kick ass amp, but it is only available in titanium with this deal- pity.

There is also:

Marantz PM6003 45wpc, Nad C326 - 50wpc or CA550 60wpc, all from £250- £300

All the above should perform well with your musical tastes


If you can still get them, look at these:
Acoustic Energy Aegis Neo 3 Speakers £239 They are more or less discontinued now so there should be some good deals to be had


I put the wharfedales in there because i have its much older bigger brother Zarus XR 5000 speakers which i found to be darn good. So if VR400 are anything like those then you are on to a winner.

Hopefully Others will post different suggestions for a more broader view of what is available to you and to confuse you even more ;). More importantly demo where possible.


Standard Member
Thanks for the info!

The amps look good, but the speakers have small drivers?

I currently have a 10" woofer in built into each of my current speakers.

The speakers you showed me look nice, but dont seem to look like they are best for shaking my room..




Distinguished Member
Perhaps I missed it, but for this conversation to be effective, you need to clearly state your budget range.

Also, check out this thread regarding Cerwin Vega speakers -


Though for you, I would not consider the PA amps suggested at this link.

The amps suggested by Don Dadda are probably better choice in your case. The Harman Kardon HK3490 in particular is worth a look. This amp has the advantage of having an optical/coaxial digital input, which means internal DAC converters, and I think twin subwoofer outs. The fact that is is digital and has subwoofer outs also implies it has a degree of bass management capability.

For £309, you get AM/FM radio, 120w/ch, turntable input, a digital media port for iPod connectivity, optical/coaxil digital inputs, and many other features.

In term of absolute quality, the NAD C355 is an excellent deal at about £299, since this amp typically sells for about £450. The C355 is a solid 80w/ch.

Again though, you need to clearly state your budget. If you have enough, consider the 3-way Cerwin Vega XLS 28 floorstanders with twin 8" woofers.


Priced at £750 per pair, and capable of handling up to 200w.

As another alternative, consider the very similar Cervin Vega XLS 12 for £870 per pair. They have a single 12" woofer in a 3-way system capable of handling amps up to 300w.


If you are serious about music, I would forget AV amps, they do what they do well, but music isn't one of the things they typically do well.

The Harman HK3490 is essentially a 2.2 AV amp. The best of stereo and the best of digital connectivity. Though note it only has one digital input channel to which you can connect by either optical or coaxial.

I suspect you will not need subwoofers, especially in a small room. If you get the final setup and use if for a while, and decide you do need Subs, we can deal with that later. However, a single 12" woofer or twin 8" woofer are well above average for modern speakers, and more that capable of kicking substantial bass in an ordinary room. But today's stereo standards, a single 12" or twin 8" would be considered a huge speaker.

But, we are all just shooting in the dark until you give us an indication of your needs, and a budget.

Just a few thoughts.


Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Yep, You missed it Steve,:)

£500 for the whole lot.

The speakers suggested are not big, but are new and falls within your budget including the price of a new amp, but don't watch the size, the Neo's are slim but can punch a fair whack. In fact, quite a few speakers with say 6" or 7" drivers, if paired with the right amp, can rock many a room like you wouldn't believe. As for the wharfedales, as mention i in my earlier post, i haven't heard them, but if they are anything much like its older bigger brother, Zarus XR 5000 (discontinued), then they should fair well.

As you can see by what Bluewizard has linked to, if you want bigger with at least the same quality -new, then they are considerably more than your total budget. And with around £200-£250 left after buying a amp, it doesn't leave much towards the ones suggested but if you try second hand, there are some excellent bargains to be had which can fall within the remainder of your budget. Probably have change left over as well :D

Wharfedale Valdus 500 Loud Speakers . These should put a few cracks in your walls ;)


Distinguished Member

Nad C355BEE Titanium | Stereo Amplifier | Richer Sounds - £299 in-store

And -

INFINITY BETA 40 (BETA 40) 3-Way Dual 6-1/2" Floorstanding Loudspeaker Featuring Patented... - www.hiwayhifi.com - £199/pr

Or -

Wharfedale XARUS5000-BLACK from Hughes Direct - £149/pr

Tons of power and tons of speaker to go with it, plus excellent sound for the money?

If you need a turntable input, then consider one of the Harman Kardon amps - HK980 or HK3390.

If you are willing to down size the speakers and give up a little bass, I'm sure we can find some bookshelf in you price range. Though for shear weight and power, you'll not do better than the suggested above for the money.


Don Dadda

Distinguished Member


Distinguished Member
Interesting.Thought they discontinued those as a friend called Hughes ( some time ago) ...

Well, if you can get them brand new for £149, they are speakers to be seriously considered

They were out of stock at Hughes for quite a while, but the seem to have searched the world and found some more inventory somewhere.

But, yes, these are long discontinued speakers that originally cost about £450/pr, so they are an outstanding bargain. But, there is not an infinite supply of them. Once Hughes runs out, I doubt if we will ever see a new pair available again.

The Infinity were also about £400/pr when new. Again a discontinued speaker at a very sweet price. Infinity in general is a highly rated USA maker of speakers.

The suggested amp, with 80w/ch, typically sells for £450, making it an outstanding bargain. You can search far and wide, and you will never find a system the equal of that suggested for £500. In reality, we are looking at a system valued at £850 to £900.


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