Looking for great sound rather than volume

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Gilli01, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Gilli01

    Gilli01
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    397
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +30
    Hey folks, recently bought an LG47650T 3D LED tv. Whilst the sound is ok, its not great. Therefore I've decided to splash out a few quid and get an AV receiver and some speakers.

    I've not owned an AV receiver before (but use to own a Richersounds 5.1 system back from 2001 which was pretty good, but had to get rid of as it was too loud) Use to love watching films with this on :D

    Priority has to be sound quality rather than volume (got to consider the neighbours ;)) and satellite speakers.

    Budget is no more than £500 max for both. Had a quick look at a couple of systems in Currys the other day and liked the look of Onkyo TXNR 509 and the Jamo a102's. I'm sure there are better speakers/receivers etc so feel free to make as many suggestions as you like as I'll look at all of them.

    Would like to hear from people who have also recently took the plunge into their first speaker/sound set ups.

    Many thanks

    Gilli
     
  2. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crawley
    Ratings:
    +226
    Depends on your expectations and what you mean by 'Great sound' at low volumes.

    It's not always something that is generally associated with a £500 system for music and film/games/tv. They tend to err more to films at that sort of cost and more towards bombast. The best thing is to arrange a proper demo with a dealer like Richer Sounds and another with someone like Superfi or SevenOaks Sound and vision (ie ring up a few days in advance) to listen to systems in the £500 ball park and then one at say £1000ish taking along some favorite films and favourite music and then listening at max chat and at lower volumes. So then you know the differences at different price levels and what to expect for a given level of kit.

    What you will get for 500 notes is something with plenty of features that will create an immersive multi channel film/tv/game experience that will go boom and bang in all the right places, it'll have plenty of shock and awe and sound effects will zip around like no bodies business making you feel right in the film. Where it might all start to go wrong is music (depending upon your expectations). I'm not saying that it won't work but if you are expecting lots of clarity while still hearing plenty of rythm and drive at low volumes then you might possibly be disappointed and find yourself reaching for the volume control to turn it up.

    Subtley and a room enveloping sound that doesn't get a bit shrieky or start to break away at really high volumes and crucially still lets you hear all the details in music at very low volumes in a toe taping manner tends to cost a bit more. More like minimum 500 for the amp, 700 quid+ is better and often in the region of 800 to 1200 for all 5.1 speakers.

    Satellite speakers by their very nature are a compromise design (more so than normal speakers which still have lots of compromises in them but can at least cover most of the frequency range) as they can not cover the entire frequency range so they must depend upon having a subwoofer (a really good one can cost nearly £200 on its own) and really good satellite/style speakers cost a hell of a lot. So your expectations of what they will do for you will factor in a lot.

    I would not be purchasing any kind of AV system or bits from Curry's or Comet unless I knew exactly what I was after. So getting a demo from a good dealer of a basic £500 system and more average £1000 system who can also answer your questions, consult with you and steer you in the right direction in terms of wiring everything up is I think imperitive. So you don't spend £500 pounds and end up back where you were with your original 5.1 system having to turn the volume up and then needing to chop it in.

    In fact well loved higher spec kit as second hand purchases or end of line/ex demo items are more likely to give you 'great sound' at low volumes, than a brand new £500 budget set up.
     
  3. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crawley
    Ratings:
    +226
    A combination of this would achieve what you want

    Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS & SW150 SUBWOOFER 2.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE

    Sevenoaks Sound and Vision - Denon AVR-1912 <p>AV Receiver <p> (Save £200)

    and sound much better at low volumes however at some point you would need to buy a centre speaker and some rears, but these can be picked up individually.

    The AVR is normally £500 and the 2.1 speaker package would have cost nearly 500 on it's own.

    This is the time of year to get higher end kit on discounts with a bit of canny buying.
     
  4. Gilli01

    Gilli01
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    397
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +30
    Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

    I had a look at the Denon a couple of weeks ago and forgot about it till now!

    Also looking at the BOSTON ACOUSTICS SOUNDWARE XS SE speakers. Takes me slightly over budget but they get good reviews and look great in white :smashin:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  5. PSM1

    PSM1
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    26,230
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +5,404
    The 1912 really deserves better speakers than the BAs to get anywhere near the best from it. The Wharfedale suggestion above would be the better option and get more from the 1912.
     
  6. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crawley
    Ratings:
    +226
    I can see that you've got your heart set on tiny satellites. You must listen to some and also to some 'real' speakers also so you know what you will be getting. As long as the difference is acceptable to you then you've purchased properly informed.

    Satellites won't help so much with the quiet part of your sound quality requirement. Essentially physics is against tiny satellites. The smaller the driver the less capable it is and the harder it has to be worked to get 'room filling' sound and without looking I can tell you that the sensitivity of the XS will be pretty low so they will need more output from the amp to acheive a certain volume level, hence your spl's go up. Bigger is better. Also the speaker cabinet is also used to help get the speaker down to the lower frequencies something a satellite speaker just can not do, hence why a good subwoofer becomes essential.

    Most satellites are bit rubbish in the 80hz to 180hz region so need to have the audio 'filled' in by a sub however above 80hz you can 'locate' audio coming from a sub this is why satellites are a compromise solution unless you cough up the cash for ones that have these limitations accounted for.

    If it has to be small and lifestyle then something like the Cambridge Audio Minx systems would be better as you can buy it in bits and pieces and there are some technological solutions to some of the issues presented by tiny satellite speakers especially in the subwoofers that come as part of the packages.

    Richer Sounds - The UK's Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Flat Panel TV Specialists!

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/1359217-cambridge-audio-minx-first-impressions.html
     
  7. Gilli01

    Gilli01
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    397
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +30
    Headache!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again thanks for the reply.

    Got to keep it as minimal as possible. If it was down to me then sound quality would win over looks every day of the week. However Mrs.G will not go for anything too big. To be honest she won't be happy with a sub but i think she'll take a sub over large speakers If there was compromise I'd take it.

    More research required me thinks before I splash out a lot of cash.
     
  8. mattrees

    mattrees
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ratings:
    +1
    Hi, I'm running a Jamo A102 5.1 set up (have been for two years now) as I needed speakers that I could wall-mount and were non-intrusive in the room. I feel the sound offered on movies is good but their musical performance does leave a lot to be desired, as they need to be driven hard.

    I would probably suggest you look elsewhere for satellites, if you intend on using them for both ( or try to convince the wife to let you have traditional speakers).

    Good luck.
     
  9. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crawley
    Ratings:
    +226
    Take her to the demo with you so she engages in the buying process, take her favorite songs and films. Make sure the more impressive system is last. At least that way you might end up with a compromise you are both happy with rather than something that looks pretty but sounds like a dog poo or something that looks like dog poo and sounds like nirvana.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  10. Gilli01

    Gilli01
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    397
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +30
    So I went to Richersounds today (finally) and had a listen to a few. The floor standing speakers sounded great and whilst I was tempted I just dont think Mrs G would have been happy with them.

    The sales rep seemed to know what he was talking about and even recommended the Cambridge Audio Minx set up with a Yamaha RXV371 receiver.

    Total package comes in at around £870. This is over budget, however if I want small I've got to pay big !!!!! (Might be able to save a few quid by shopping around)
     
  11. PSM1

    PSM1
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    26,230
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +5,404
    The Cambridge Audio speakers are only sold in Richer Sounds so will not be able to shop around for them. I also doubt you will get much lower price for the 371 either. Did you hear the combination together? Did it sound OK for music to you?
     
  12. Gilli01

    Gilli01
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    397
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +30
    To be honest all the speakers sounded good. The problem with the store is that it is on a very busy street with an open door. The display room didnt have the Minx set up. The sound bar was great in there but I dont think it would work in my living room (long and thin)
     
  13. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crawley
    Ratings:
    +226
    You should take Mrs G with and make her part of the shopping process. Going to a dealer like Superfi, SevenOaks or AudioT and prearranging a proper demo with a selection of your music and films would be better. You will get a more um 'boutique' service which will probably allow you to get more of what you want out of the kit.

    Richersounds shops (excluding the Premium HiFi Excellence branchs) are a bit overly techy looking with the small shops and kit racks stacked every which way and thus are less welcoming as a lady friendly shopping experience imho.
     
  14. dante01

    dante01
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    43,770
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +10,135

    but you do get a lollipop :arty:
     
  15. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Crawley
    Ratings:
    +226
    True :love::smashin:
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice