Help with my first AMP and speakers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by vhizy, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. vhizy

    vhizy
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    Hi,

    I am new to all this.

    Can someone help me in choosing which AMP and 5.1 speakers to buy for a budget of £1500.

    Also a good FM/AM tuner for £500.

    Do I need a receiver, Power amplifier and preamp processor? IF I do what should I get?

    I want to connect my Desktop PC, PS3 and LCD TV to the 5.1 speaker.


    Thanks,


    vhizy
     
  2. Andy98765

    Andy98765
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  3. vhizy

    vhizy
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    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the reply!
     
  4. ianjm

    ianjm
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    For the moment -- Receiver/Decoder/Amplifier (which is what these big black boxes really do...!) will do all the amplification you need, especially if you're just starting out.

    Some people like to separate out the decoder logic from the amplification stage, so they buy separate power amplifiers (sometimes one for each speaker, a friend of mine has eight power amps in a rack :rolleyes:, fortunately they were all cheap second-han from eBay ;)), which would plug in to the unamplified outputs of your receiver/decoder/amplifier.

    The advantages of this approach is that each of the speakers gets the full power of the power amplifier -- it's not a total amount of power divided between all 6 or 8 speakers.

    Preamps are needed for sources such as microphone inputs. You probably don't need to worry about this.

    Your budget should be plenty - amp wise, Onkyo, Arcam, Denon, Sony, Marantz are good brands, plus I've missed some!

    You definitely want a receiver that supports HDMI processing and the new HDMI 1.3 specifications. I'd suggest if you're interested in power amps / pre-amps then you should get an amp with unamplified "pre-out" outputs as well as the usual amplified ones.

    Speaker wise, B&W, SVS, Kef, Monitor Audio, Mission, Q Acoustics, all seem to get rave reviews around here. I rather like Mordaunt Short as well, who make great speakers. The best advice here is to get demos down at your local Richer Sounds or specialist hi-fi shop -- and find something _you_ like the sound of. For that money, you could buy a decent 5.1 package, a decent 5.0 package and a decent sub, or mix and match from a range (but I'd stick to the same family from the same manufacturer), such as some floorstanding fronts and some bookshelf satellites, don't worry about the sub -- you can buy a sub from a specialist sub manufacturer (like SVS or Monolith) and put this with whichever other speakers you like.

    For a budget of £1500 I'd spend around £400 on the subwoofer, quite a lot on the centre and fronts, and some on the satellites, either 2 or 4 (depending on whether budget allows -- there isn't much encoded for 7.1 except for some of the new HD or BluRay titles).

    You might also want to spend some money on a decent PC sound card with decent analogue outputs and/or optical/coax SPDIF, a digital connection you can route right in to your amp.
     
  5. vhizy

    vhizy
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I am thinking of going for the Sony STRDG-910 or ONKYO 605 for the AMP

    For the Speakers,

    Q Acoustics 1030i Floor Standing Speakers
    Q Acoustics 1000ci Centre Channel Speakers
    Q Acoustics 1000si Sub
    Q Acoustics 1020i Bookshelf Speakers

    B & W XT4 Series or B & W 684 Series

    Can you please advice which AMP to get the Sony or ONKYO and the Q Acoutics or the B&W.

    Sorry but I don't know much about speakers except that sounds comes out from them :) What do I use as my Rear Speakers if I go for the B&W and which one for the Q-Acoustics?


    Thanks in Advance
     
  6. ianjm

    ianjm
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    They seem nice.

    Both the Q-Acoustics 1030i fronts are bi-wirable, meaning you can run a separate pair of wires for the mid-range driver and the tweeter units in the speakers. This is said to improve sound quality.

    The Sony STRDG-910 does not support bi-wiring, so this may be something to consider, since the Onkyo does (although it re-uses the connections for the surround backs to do this, which rules out 7.1 -- 5.1 is the only option if you bi-wire the fronts)

    Otherwise the amps really do look very comparable and similar feature-wise, so I really don't know!

    Personally I'm very happy with my Onkyo 605 (as are many on this forum), but Sony have a really good name too.
     

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