Home Theatre for < £500

SafeRat

Active Member
Hi all,

I've recently purchased a new Philips HDTV, and I'm now in search of a home theatre system.

The maximum budget is £500, and this includes both the amp and the speakers. Obviously if any less could be spent then that's a bonus, as money is a little tight nowadays.

I'll be using the sound system almost entirely with the PS3, so ideally I want a LPCM-capable amp to get the most out of it. I've heard some good things about the Sony STR-DG820, though I'm still very much open to any other suggestions, along with a matching speaker system.

I have been looking at the Sony HTSF1300 for around £300, though thought I'd have a look at what some of you have to say about going the seperates route on not a particulalrly high budget. If it's any help, I'm looking for some speakers that can be wallmounted like the TV, though I'm not against having some relatively large ones mounted, just so long as they look modern with the TV.

Thanks in advance for any responces,

SafeRat
 

X DSP

Active Member
Hello SafeRat,
yep trying to find the right combination is a right pain.. As long as you've checked the amp's specs and you are happy then I can say you can't go wrong with a Sony one, they, along with Denon and Onkyo etc. all make great amps so as long as it has the right connections for your kit then I'd give you the thumbs up.

Speakers I'm not so sure. Haven't seen/heard much on those you've linked, but perhaps someone else can help you out there? :thumbsup:

Hope this helped, Dave.
 

ARNOLD AKIEN

Well-known Member
Hi SafeRat and Welcome to the forums,

Don't be too disappointed if you don't receive an immediate flood of advice in response to your post .. Forums can be a fiddly and crankily odd system sometimes and just to prove this my reply has just vanished in preview .. ah well lets see if I can reconstruct it from memory.


First ; it is tough to buy within a really tight budget and regardless of the financial situation the old rule of, 'You get what you pay for ' is still Iron clad. Still you can get something that is perfectly respectable at your budget level. This, following, is just as an example and not from my immediate experience since very few amateurs would have a truly extensive personnel experience of such systems and my experience at this price level is born from Shopping Around for someone in your Home Cinema price bracket.

Begin by looking at this page on the Superfi site ....

ONKYO TXSR506 & TANNOY SFX5.1/7.1 HOME CINEMA SYSTEM SIZZLER - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4312 for details


which should be the ...

" ONKYO TXSR506 & TANNOY SFX5.1/7.1 HOME CINEMA SYSTEM SIZZLER " ...... at £399.00 delivered ... but don't forget you will need to allow for speaker cabling and maybe interconnects depending on what you intend to plug into the receiver and what the Dealer throws into your deal.

From there go to the Richer Sounds site since Richers do price beat and may have a shop near you and you really should listen to this stuff if it is at all possible. So here is the receiver ...


ONKYO TXSR506-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.


at £249.95 and the speaker kit ....

TANNOY FX5.1-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.


" "The verdict? Superb. The FX5.1 punch well above their weight with a solid, assured reproduction of movie soundtracks...overall, we're mightily impressed." - What Video Magazine. "

Somewhat more expensive than Superfi - who do deliver free of charge - But Richers will price beat and may be persuaded to throw in some cheapish speaker cabling.

Both the ONKYO and the Tannoys will be hard to beat at this price point but do use the same principle of browsing the Superfi site and than going for price beat with Richers .. not because they are bribing me for recommendations :devil: but because I do reckon that they are the market leaders at this kind of low budget but respectable quality AV system.

Happy hunting.


Arnold.
 

X DSP

Active Member
Hey Arnold, there's some good kit mentioned there mate nice one. :thumbsup:

But uh I don't think he's new to the forums, his post count is over two hundred... Maybe you mistook it for mine? Never mind that anyway because I'm after a 5.1 myself and those Tannoys look good 'n fit the bill! :smashin:
 

McPhee

Well-known Member
The Superfi deal is even better, it's the SFX speakers, not the FX :)
 

ARNOLD AKIEN

Well-known Member
Hey Arnold, there's some good kit mentioned there mate nice one. :thumbsup:

But uh I don't think he's new to the forums, his post count is over two hundred... Maybe you mistook it for mine? Never mind that anyway because I'm after a 5.1 myself and those Tannoys look good 'n fit the bill! :smashin:

Oops ... thats what comes of being in a hurry! And also of getting tangled up in a posting glitch. Inadequate editing on my part the second time around:D

Arnold.
 
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SafeRat

Active Member
Hi SafeRat and Welcome to the forums,

Don't be too disappointed if you don't receive an immediate flood of advice in response to your post .. Forums can be a fiddly and crankily odd system sometimes and just to prove this my reply has just vanished in preview .. ah well lets see if I can reconstruct it from memory.


First ; it is tough to buy within a really tight budget and regardless of the financial situation the old rule of, 'You get what you pay for ' is still Iron clad. Still you can get something that is perfectly respectable at your budget level. This, following, is just as an example and not from my immediate experience since very few amateurs would have a truly extensive personnel experience of such systems and my experience at this price level is born from Shopping Around for someone in your Home Cinema price bracket.

Begin by looking at this page on the Superfi site ....

ONKYO TXSR506 & TANNOY SFX5.1/7.1 HOME CINEMA SYSTEM SIZZLER - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4312 for details


which should be the ...

" ONKYO TXSR506 & TANNOY SFX5.1/7.1 HOME CINEMA SYSTEM SIZZLER " ...... at £399.00 delivered ... but don't forget you will need to allow for speaker cabling and maybe interconnects depending on what you intend to plug into the receiver and what the Dealer throws into your deal.

From there go to the Richer Sounds site since Richers do price beat and may have a shop near you and you really should listen to this stuff if it is at all possible. So here is the receiver ...


ONKYO TXSR506-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.


at £249.95 and the speaker kit ....

TANNOY FX5.1-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.


" "The verdict? Superb. The FX5.1 punch well above their weight with a solid, assured reproduction of movie soundtracks...overall, we're mightily impressed." - What Video Magazine. "

Somewhat more expensive than Superfi - who do deliver free of charge - But Richers will price beat and may be persuaded to throw in some cheapish speaker cabling.

Both the ONKYO and the Tannoys will be hard to beat at this price point but do use the same principle of browsing the Superfi site and than going for price beat with Richers .. not because they are bribing me for recommendations :devil: but because I do reckon that they are the market leaders at this kind of low budget but respectable quality AV system.

Happy hunting.


Arnold.

Thanks Arnold, has put me in the right direction now. A couple of questions just to clarify a few things though:

1) As stated previously, the Superfi package speakers are the TANNOY SFX5, whereas the ones you lined to at Richer Sounds is the TANNOY FX5 version. What difference is there between these two, and which one is the better of the two. Not only out of curiosity, but because I wouldn't be able to price match if they're different models.

2) Is that Onkyo amp capable of recieving the LPCM from the PS3?

3) It's probably just me, but can you really get a half-decent sound from speakers so small? In the other room we have a Sony all-in-one (DAV-830W) with tall speakers, and so the jump from those down to the tiny-in-comparison TANNOYs, to me at least, gives the sense that they won't be able to match the Sonys, even though they were around £300 with the amp and built-in DVD player included. Just have some kind of reassurance that in this case at least, size doesn't matter (or at least isn't the primary feature to look for), and that these more expensive but smaller speakers are infact better.

4) I've heard some good things about the Jamo A102 HCS 5, so just wanted to throw that into the mix for your opinions on these, compared to the TANNOYs.

5) It seems as though you can opt in for a 7.1 speaker set for £80 more - in your opinion, do you think this would be worth it? Bearing in mind the use would be almost entirely for the PS3, and tbh I'm not too clued-up on how many games (if any) support this feature.

Thanks again for your previous helpful response, and I hope you can answer some of these other questions too :)
 
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ARNOLD AKIEN

Well-known Member
Thanks Arnold, has put me in the right direction now. A couple of questions just to clarify a few things though:

1) As stated previously, the Superfi package speakers are the TANNOY SFX5, whereas the ones you lined to at Richer Sounds is the TANNOY FX5 version. What difference is there between these two, and which one is the better of the two. Not only out of curiosity, but because I wouldn't be able to price match if they're different models.

2) Is that Onkyo amp capable of recieving the LPCM from the PS3?

3) It's probably just me, but can you really get a half-decent sound from speakers so small? In the other room we have a Sony all-in-one (DAV-830W) with tall speakers, and so the jump from those down to the tiny-in-comparison TANNOYs, to me at least, gives the sense that they won't be able to match the Sonys, even though they were around £300 with the amp and built-in DVD player included. Just have some kind of reassurance that in this case at least, size doesn't matter (or at least isn't the primary feature to look for), and that these more expensive but smaller speakers are infact better.

4) I've heard some good things about the Jamo A102 HCS 5, so just wanted to throw that into the mix for your opinions on these, compared to the TANNOYs.

5) It seems as though you can opt in for a 7.1 speaker set for £80 more - in your opinion, do you think this would be worth it? Bearing in mind the use would be almost entirely for the PS3, and tbh I'm not too clued-up on how many games (if any) support this feature.

Thanks again for your previous helpful response, and I hope you can answer some of these other questions too :)

Well .. some of them perhaps. :D I really did mean it when I said that " This, following, is just as an example and not from my immediate experience since very few amateurs would have a truly extensive personnel experience of such systems and my experience at this price level is born from Shopping Around for someone in your Home Cinema price bracket. "

The Jamo A102 HCS 5 I don't know at all.

I'm afraid that my speaker kit is rather more in line with the Size Matters Fraternity since it consists of B and W 700 series floor standers, the largest B and W 600 series center speaker that would fit on my TVs equipment stand and a couple of 'Bookcase ' B and Ws that need the fairly substantial bookcases that they sit upon plus a BK sub ..... and that system set me back about £2000 and it replaced a similar but old and tired Castle system that was equally expensive in its day.

Mind you an all it one system with Tall speakers can be outmatched by the likes of the Tannoy system which uses the sub to provide the bass frequencies and is primarily intended for use with Home Cinema Surround Sound.You did say ' I'm looking for some speakers that can be wall mounted like the TV ' and larger speakers that match that description would be likely to be outside of your price bracket.

Wall mounted 'Tall ' Speakers are available but not at £300 for a system and in any case I think of them as being a Style Option. See here ....

View the VM6 at Bowers & Wilkins - The World's leading Home Theatre Brand


Not sure of their price range, and if you have to ask you probably can't afford them as it were. :devil:

You are not going to get big speaker performance from a small speaker system at this price level but you will get reasonable surround sound results as a 5.1 system. Now on the upgrade to 7.1 with this system I do have my doubts. My experience of 7.1 systems is limited and that limited to large rooms. A great deal depends on the size of of your room the placement of doors and windows and the nature of its furnishings. A £300 system in a large difficult room would present problems that you wouldn't have in a small/medium sized room that isn't awkwardly shaped.

Tannoy does have a good rep and that modestly priced system is worthy of audition but it may well be that you will want to consider other possibilities and the kind of kit that is on the market can vary a hell of a lot from day to day as old ranges are replaced.

If you wanted to go for a balance of larger Floor Standing front Left and Right Speakers then you do lose the simplicity of the kind of package that the Tannoys represent ... as well as the wall mounting of course.

If you abandon wall mounting and go for Front L and R Floor standers then you do open up the options but you might have to either raise your budget for speakers or settle for buying the system a piece at a time ... this is a neat system ....

MISSION CINEMA M33i HOME CINEMA SPEAKER PACKAGE (M33i + M3C2i + M30i) - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/2752 for details

but its £379.95 and doesn't include a sub. Thats the problem really ... Money. Isn't it always?

This sort of forum can only hope to give you a rough guide of what is available and it cant be emphasized too much that you really have to Audition this Stuff and form an opinion of what it will sound like in your own home.

The I D number on the Richer V the Superfi Tannoys probably represent an improvement on an earlier system so the comparison should be, if I get the links right this time :rolleyes: ...


TANNOY SFX5.1-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.

and ...

TANNOY SFX 5.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/3804 for details


And the Superfi deal is better especially as a package with the ONKYO but I would still ask Richer if they could price beat for the package IF they have a branch near to your home. They aren't going to beat you about the ears with a tall thin speaker for asking.

As for the PS3 and its compatibility with the ONKYO I just don't have any direct experience of the PS 3 so I'd be reduced to reading the manuals and it is getting a bit late. :rolleyes: Maybe a passing PS 3 owner will contribute but the ONKYO AV receiver range is very capable and I'd be surprised if it wasn't compatible.


Arnold.
 
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SafeRat

Active Member
Well .. some of them perhaps. :D I really did mean it when I said that " This, following, is just as an example and not from my immediate experience since very few amateurs would have a truly extensive personnel experience of such systems and my experience at this price level is born from Shopping Around for someone in your Home Cinema price bracket. "

The Jamo A102 HCS 5 I don't know at all.

I'm afraid that my speaker kit is rather more in line with the Size Matters Fraternity since it consists of B and W 700 series floor standers, the largest B and W 600 series center speaker that would fit on my TVs equipment stand and a couple of 'Bookcase ' B and Ws that need the fairly substantial bookcases that they sit upon plus a BK sub ..... and that system set me back about £2000 and it replaced a similar but old and tired Castle system that was equally expensive in its day.

Mind you an all it one system with Tall speakers can be outmatched by the likes of the Tannoy system which uses the sub to provide the bass frequencies and is primarily intended for use with Home Cinema Surround Sound.You did say ' I'm looking for some speakers that can be wall mounted like the TV ' and larger speakers that match that description would be likely to be outside of your price bracket.

Wall mounted 'Tall ' Speakers are available but not at £300 for a system and in any case I think of them as being a Style Option. See here ....

View the VM6 at Bowers & Wilkins - The World's leading Home Theatre Brand


Not sure of their price range, and if you have to ask you probably can't afford them as it were. :devil:

You are not going to get big speaker performance from a small speaker system at this price level but you will get reasonable surround sound results as a 5.1 system. Now on the upgrade to 7.1 with this system I do have my doubts. My experience of 7.1 systems is limited and that limited to large rooms. A great deal depends on the size of of your room the placement of doors and windows and the nature of its furnishings. A £300 system in a large difficult room would present problems that you wouldn't have in a small/medium sized room that isn't awkwardly shaped.

Tannoy does have a good rep and that modestly priced system is worthy of audition but it may well be that you will want to consider other possibilities and the kind of kit that is on the market can vary a hell of a lot from day to day as old ranges are replaced.

If you wanted to go for a balance of larger Floor Standing front Left and Right Speakers then you do lose the simplicity of the kind of package that the Tannoys represent ... as well as the wall mounting of course.

If you abandon wall mounting and go for Front L and R Floor standers then you do open up the options but you might have to either raise your budget for speakers or settle for buying the system a piece at a time ... this is a neat system ....

MISSION CINEMA M33i HOME CINEMA SPEAKER PACKAGE (M33i + M3C2i + M30i) - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/2752 for details

but its £379.95 and doesn't include a sub. Thats the problem really ... Money. Isn't it always?

This sort of forum can only hope to give you a rough guide of what is available and it cant be emphasized too much that you really have to Audition this Stuff and form an opinion of what it will sound like in your own home.

The I D number on the Richer V the Superfi Tannoys probably represent an improvement on an earlier system so the comparison should be, if I get the links right this time :rolleyes: ...


TANNOY SFX5.1-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.

and ...

TANNOY SFX 5.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/3804 for details


And the Superfi deal is better especially as a package with the ONKYO but I would still ask Richer if they could price beat for the package IF they have a branch near to your home. They aren't going to beat you about the ears with a tall thin speaker for asking.

As for the PS3 and its compatibility with the ONKYO I just don't have any direct experience of the PS 3 so I'd be reduced to reading the manuals and it is getting a bit late. :rolleyes: Maybe a passing PS 3 owner will contribute but the ONKYO AV receiver range is very capable and I'd be surprised if it wasn't compatible.


Arnold.

Thanks again Arnold for taking the time to help me out. I've chosen myself a few options here, all of which are very much open to discussion for anyone with any info or opinions on what I should do.

Firstly, for £50 less than the ONKYO TXSR506 & TANNOY SFX5.1/7.1 pacakge, I could get the ONKYO HTS5105 HOME CINEMA PACKAGE (http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4622). Which of these would be the better system?

Secondly, does anyone have any further info on whether the PS3 can send the LPCM HD audio to the ONKYO TXSR506 amp? If it can then chances are I'll go for the £399.00 bundle with the Tannoy's, as it seems a cracking deal. If it doesn't, then what do you reckon the chances are of Superfi swaping out the Onkyo amp and changing it for the Sony DG820 (http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4448 - same price amp from their site), which I know will accept the input from the PS3?

Finally, does anyone have any thoughts on the Jamo Jamo A102HCS5 for £183.34 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jamo-A102HC...m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1M66S5HDXHCM92B0GKAN) that I mentioned earlier, in comparison to the Tannoys. Of course, I'm still very open to other suggestions.

Thanks again, seem to be getting a little closer every day now,

SafeRat
 
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SafeRat

Active Member
Just realised, the title should be 'Home Theatre for < £500'

:rolleyes:

Anyone else have any opinions to give then?
 

superal

Active Member
I am in a similar position so I am thinking of going for the STR-820G (£250) with the Tannoy Efx6.1 system from CPC (£116) although I may substitute the amp for a Denon 1908 if I can find one in stock as its been discontinued!! The 4 hdmi inputs on the sony is very appealing though!!

Another contender for me is the Onkyo TX-SR576

I find choosing the amplifier the hardest part!!
 
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iqofafish

Active Member
I am in a similar position so I am thinking of going for the STR-820G (£250) with the Tannoy Efx6.1 system from CPC (£116) although I may substitute the amp for a Denon 1908 if I can find one in stock as its been discontinued!! The 4 hdmi inputs on the sony is very appealing though!!

Another contender for me is the Onkyo TX-SR576

I find choosing the amplifier the hardest part!!

That's exactly what I've done - 820 with efx 6.1. Amp arrived today, hopefully speakers tomorrow. I'm hoping to have it all in place by the weekend and as I've currently got a Bose Lifestyle 12 v1 I have something to compare it too. Have to admit to being somewhat excited, if a little nervous.
 

Andrew K

Banned

SafeRat

Active Member
Ok, so I've had a look around, and found I can get the Onkyo TX-SR576 for £259.99, the Jamo A102HCS5 for £194.20, and the Tannoy SFX 5.1 for £229.90.

I'll find out about which amp I should go for (currently out of the Onkyo mentioned, or the Sony DG820) on the Amps forum. Still, if anyone here has any vierws on which one's the better buy, then please feel free to post here instead.

The main choice for the speakers now is choosing either the Jamo or the Tannoy package. Visually I find the Jamo's a little more appealing, though if the Tannoys would produce the better sound, then for the sake of £30 or so I'd go for them.

Any help is very much appreciated, and thanks again to those who've already posted :smashin:
 
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shaun1208

Active Member
Always remember though that there is a deal to be had. Just because that is the price that is listed doesn't mean that that is the final selling price. maybe look at a combined price of £600 then mention to them that your budget it £400 and then get them to meet you in the middle at £500 :)
 

Trune

Active Member
Jamo A102HCS5 for £194.20

where did you find them for that price? is that delivered?
im currently waiting for amazon to deliver mine....
 

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