Looking for a TV & stereo setup

pandero

Standard Member
I am in a market of a TV and stereo speaker set up, that will predominantly be used for TV, occasional movies/YouTube and music.

There’s no set budget, but perhaps a conversation about distributing the budget would help - I am not sure whether it'd be better to upgrade TV to an OLED or better to spend more on speakers/receiver.

I have more experience with headphones rather than speakers - I have tried out AKG K702s, Hifiman Sundara and Audeze LCD-2C, which I preferred out of three (with Schiit Modi & Magni 3).

As I don’t really know what I need, my requirements aren't best defined either:
TV:
  • 40” and 4K
  • Some smart features: All 4, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Apple TV/Music would be great
  • Simple UI
  • Strictly no ads from the manufacturer or other evil
Speakers:
  • Preferably relaxed and not overly harsh - mainly to contrast Klipsch R41s I have at the desk
  • Need to fill in 18'2" x 10'4" room (or 5.54m x 3.15m)
Receiver:
  • Stereo
  • AirPlay 2 & Bluetooth
  • I was hoping to have HDMI eArc input to control volume with one controller, but not sure about it
  • No idea what’s the rest!
My shortlist is currently Marantz NR1200 with Kef Q550 (~£1069 as a bundle) and LG 43NANO756PR (£399) that seem to tick all the boxes. Is that a bad combination? Shall I look at Sony KD43X80JU or KD43X89JU (both £649, not sure what's the difference between two or LG apart from 100/120Hz?).

Any recommendations or guidance would be very appreciated!
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

I'll cover the points that I'm able and that the speaker side of things. You certainly don't need Q550s in your room. The room will stifle them, they are too big for it. You would be better off with quality standmounts supplemented, if required, with a subwoofer. The Q350s would be a better fit for the room even though, with a stand, they will have the same footprint.

The Marantz would give you a pre-out for a subwoofer. I don't think it was a 'Record Out' for a headphone amp connection as it has it's own headphone jack which, to be honest is no comparison for a standalone headphone amp. That may be a consideration for you unless you are going to run a separate headphone set up.

As for the TV you'd be better off asking that in the appropriate section, or reading the posts on any particular model.
 

pandero

Standard Member
Welcome to the Forum.

I'll cover the points that I'm able and that the speaker side of things. You certainly don't need Q550s in your room. The room will stifle them, they are too big for it. You would be better off with quality standmounts supplemented, if required, with a subwoofer. The Q350s would be a better fit for the room even though, with a stand, they will have the same footprint.

The Marantz would give you a pre-out for a subwoofer. I don't think it was a 'Record Out' for a headphone amp connection as it has it's own headphone jack which, to be honest is no comparison for a standalone headphone amp. That may be a consideration for you unless you are going to run a separate headphone set up.

As for the TV you'd be better off asking that in the appropriate section, or reading the posts on any particular model.
Thanks for the welcome and the advice.

I was kind of set for Q550s as I have no space for a subwoofer. I have Klipsch R41PMs on speaker stands just now where the speakers would be and they just sit awkwardly between two doors, so towers might help with aesthetics. While the living room is not massive, we have a conservatory and kitchen that are often open - although not prime listening positions by any means.

Also, Q350s are £379 and Q550s are £549 - so the price difference between two is not massive once I add in the stands. However, I'd rather not sacrifice on sound quality if the room is just too small. I had them quite loud the other day as we were doing some socially distanced yoga and they felt underpowered as I had to crank them up quite a bit.

I'm not bothered by no pre-out for Marantz as I have a dedicated DAC/AMP but I don't think I will be using headphones with a TV anyway!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It's positioning with floorstanding speakers. They have big cabinets and need to be away from walls to counteract any resonance and boundary issues, especially with bass. For the money the Q550s are a good speaker, much improved over the old Q Series, they will pair well with the Marantz signature wise.

Plenty of dealers that sell both makes and it would be pretty easy for you to audition both together, which is essential.
 

pandero

Standard Member
Thanks, I will try and audition them.

I just saw a typo in the original post if that changes anything - the room is 18'2" x 10'4" (or 5.54m x 3.15m).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks, I will try and audition them.

I just saw a typo in the original post if that changes anything - the room is 18'2" x 10'4" (or 5.54m x 3.15m).
Certainly does and makes the Q550s more of a contender.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you are only going to run with stereo, you can also use any stereo amp which has an optical input but if you are wanting one with HDMI, then you maybe spending more than you need as most TV's have optical outputs and the difference with the signal will be how the TV can output a signal via this connection. Yes, HDMI enables the HDCP side, but in reality, when using it for just stereo, I don't think you will really hear a difference.

Now, if you are wanting to use you the HDMI connections as a switch from the likes of Blu-ray player, Sky/Virgin/etc... then utilise the arc feature for streaming via the TV, then I can completely understand that side as it should be a lot easier than hooking everything up to the TV as is enables you to keep everything in one place whilst only using one HDMI cable to the TV

I see @gibbsy has confirmed the Marantz NR1200 which is already on your shortlist will be a good partnership, but if you want to go to the opposite end, you have the Arcam SA30 (which is a little overkill for the Kef Q550 speakers plus it only have one HDMI connection (which is arc certified)), but will require everything else plugging into the TV just like Optical. Now you can use any avr, but so if you are looking at a slimline avr, then NR1711 is where you are looking which is another Marantz. For Optical usage, look at the PM6007 or the AudioLab 6000A which I think will help really applicate the Kef's
 

pandero

Standard Member
Thanks for all the advice! So I went to two shops in Glasgow, one indy and one chain. Unfortunately, not been able to audition then live.

The indy shop was (surprisingly) nicer and was fitting a budget better. The recommendation was a Bluesound Power Node gen3 with Dali Oberon 5 - not sure how either compare to Marantz/Kef, but will be reading up on them. I think Bluesound might fit neater in the space, which would be a bonus.

The chain shop dismissed NR1200 with Q550 as they are “both treble heavy and if paired up together, will peel the paint off in the room” (their words!). They said they’d be brighter than Klipsch’es I’ve got at the moment, which is not what I’ve been reading up so far. They went over the budget “with a generous discount” (CA CXN with CXA61) but it felt too pushy - I get two separates would be better but it felt like an agenda. Dali Oberon 5s was their recommendation too. That’s £2250 with cables, but without a TV.

Shop assistant nearby was trying to sell a fibre optic HDMI cable to an elderly, which I wasn’t sure the old man really needed. Got me worried a bit and it brought me back to talking to car dealers.

I’ll see if there’s another shop in Glasgow. Not being able to listen to speakers was a bit disappointing.
 

Marshall Mike

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the advice! So I went to two shops in Glasgow, one indy and one chain. Unfortunately, not been able to audition then live.

The indy shop was (surprisingly) nicer and was fitting a budget better. The recommendation was a Bluesound Power Node gen3 with Dali Oberon 5 - not sure how either compare to Marantz/Kef, but will be reading up on them. I think Bluesound might fit neater in the space, which would be a bonus.

The chain shop dismissed NR1200 with Q550 as they are “both treble heavy and if paired up together, will peel the paint off in the room” (their words!). They said they’d be brighter than Klipsch’es I’ve got at the moment, which is not what I’ve been reading up so far. They went over the budget “with a generous discount” (CA CXN with CXA61) but it felt too pushy - I get two separates would be better but it felt like an agenda. Dali Oberon 5s was their recommendation too. That’s £2250 with cables, but without a TV.

Shop assistant nearby was trying to sell a fibre optic HDMI cable to an elderly, which I wasn’t sure the old man really needed. Got me worried a bit and it brought me back to talking to car dealers.

I’ll see if there’s another shop in Glasgow. Not being able to listen to speakers was a bit disappointing.
Sounds suspiciously like RicherSounds Glasgow then! What was the independent shop? Loud and Clear?
 

pandero

Standard Member
Sounds suspiciously like RicherSounds Glasgow then! What was the independent shop? Loud and Clear?
Yup not that difficult to guess eh. Given I was looking for consumer level equipment I thought they wouldn’t be a bad visit.

The Indy I went to was Glasgow Audio and they were nice!

Been to Loud & Clear too. Once I mentioned £1500 budget for a receiver and speakers, the guy said their set ups start at £10-12k. He said they don’t stock receivers and the best they’d advise is Sonos. That was a quick in and out.
 

Marshall Mike

Well-known Member
I’ve never visited Glasgow Audio before, only been in L&C once. I’ve had a couple of purchases from RS, they are good when you know exactly what you want as they will price match no problem and offer good warranty.

Normally I use The Sound Counsel in Edinburgh though.

I’ve always found it a bit of a pain finding somewhere to demo speakers up here. Did GA or RS not offer a time for you to come back and listen to the Dalis?
 

pandero

Standard Member
I’ve always found it a bit of a pain finding somewhere to demo speakers up here. Did GA or RS not offer a time for you to come back and listen to the Dalis?
I kind of wanted just to leave Richer Sounds as I wasn’t keen on their selling tactics! They were actually trying to sell me Oberon 7s.

I’ve been offered to book a demo slot for Glasgow Audio and most likely will go with them. I would like to compare Bluesound Powernode vs Marantz NR1200 and Kef Q550 vs Oberon 5s. I’ll see if they can do that and if so, likely to go with them as I liked their service the best.
 

pandero

Standard Member
I’ve ended up with my original plan - Marantz NR1200 seemed like a more traditional receiver than a Bluesound and with higher price +£50 for the remote as an extra, I was pushing to find a reason why I should get it. Kefs sound great to my ears and have been approved by SO. Happy days!

Richer Sound got in touch with me and gave me a voucher as an apology for bad experience in the store. Hope things improve there. Still, they were more expensive than Peter Tyson who were brilliant overall and I have nothing but good words to say about Peter Tyson.
 

password1

Suspended
Its not a deal breaker but with Richersounds you get an extra year warranty on the speakers. 6 years, not that you'll need it. So not too bad. They also have VIP club giving extra discount on certain products and other goodies, such as free mug. I must have had at least 20 or 30 mugs and free umbrella when it rained back in the day. Yep Ive been a RS customer for over 2 decades..RS imo offer excellent customer service and aftersales service, well, all my local branches anyway. I like to support independents too as long as they dont recommend 1 brand of speaker.
 
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