HiFi vs AV reciever vs Dock? (<£500)

kalniel

Standard Member
Hi all,

I'm struggling a bit with reviews as they are (rightly) always comparing like with like, so when someone awards 5 stars to a product and extols the sound virtues I understand this is compared to the product's peers. What I don't have is a sense of the difference in performance between different categories - I accept that a stereo hi-fi is likely to be better quality for stereo sound than a 7.1 reciever at the same price, but I don't know how much better - are they in the same league?

My dilemma is a <£500 all in setup that will be used for music (choral, symphonic, string quartet, and rock pop & dance to a lesser extend), radio, stereo TV and movie playback (sourced by existing TV/DVD player etc.). Sound quality is important obviously, but so are ease of use, integration and compact nature.

My initial thoughts were with something like a Denon M38 + MA BX2 speakers - this gives a lot of music playing capability (CD/ipod etc.) but has the most hassle with connections.

An AV reciever was another option, a cheap onkyo + suitable stereo speakers perhaps. This would perhaps make connectivity a little easier, though I think it might stretch the budget if we go for a model with wireless network connectivity.

Finally my oddball thought was trying something like an Arcam rCube. This would be the most wife-acceptable solution in terms of aesthetics and ease of operation, but would the sound be even close to the other options?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts or other solutions,

kalniel
 

peritus

Banned
What about the likes of the Marantz M-CR603 with stereo speakers and a sub to fill out the bass and then it's a 2.1 for music and movie playback

The likes of the Monitor Audio BX2's or B&W 685 speakers with a REL T5 or BK XLS200 sub would be superb IMO

Getting 5.1 with that budget is possible 2nd hand but you're never going to get the quality stereo sound you'd be after IMO unless you go for a cheaper AV receiver and then look to add a 2nd hand stereo power amp to manage the front speakers
 

kalniel

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply
What about the likes of the Marantz M-CR603 with stereo speakers and a sub to fill out the bass and then it's a 2.1 for music and movie playback

The likes of the Monitor Audio BX2's or B&W 685 speakers with a REL T5 or BK XLS200 sub would be superb IMO
All for under £500? Where?!

Getting 5.1 with that budget is possible 2nd hand but you're never going to get the quality stereo sound you'd be after IMO unless you go for a cheaper AV receiver and then look to add a 2nd hand stereo power amp to manage the front speakers
5.1 isn't an option, or particularly desired from a sound point of view either - would rather have good sound out of two speakers.
 

samini

Novice Member
Richer Sounds are doing the M-CR603 for around £350 (thats what I paid two days ago!). Its a brilliant peice of kit and comes highly reccommended from my part...! I also have the Monitor Audio BX2's - But they are £250 so just over your budget.

Its the little things which start to add up, like cabling, stands etc... so make sure you set enough a side for those.
 

kalniel

Standard Member
Richer Sounds are doing the M-CR603 for around £350 (thats what I paid two days ago!). Its a brilliant peice of kit and comes highly reccommended from my part...! I also have the Monitor Audio BX2's - But they are £250 so just over your budget.

Its the little things which start to add up, like cabling, stands etc... so make sure you set enough a side for those.
Thanks, and yes - I need to have enough for cables and stands. Certainly couldn't fit a sub in there as well.
 

peritus

Banned
The B&W 602 S2's or S3's would work very well with the Marantz as would the Monitor Audio BR2's. You could also consider some Acoustic Energy AE109's second hand as well if you wanted floorstanders ; easier then as stands aren't needed etc...

Cable can be sorted cheaply enough again 2nd hand

The Marantz is a stunning piece of kit and well reviewed/recommended and would work well for your requirements IMO
 

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