Looking to get started in Home Cinema, what would I need?

DrPips

Standard Member
Hi,
I'm finally thinking about making the plunge into home cinema, price and wife depending!
I already have a good TV, Samsung HD, can't remember the model number, but I'm really happy with it.
I also have a NAD stereo amp and CD player and a decent pair of Monitor Audio speakers.
What I need to know is what else will I need for 5.1 audio? I presume my hi fi speakers will be ok for front speakers?
Will I need a new AV amp rather than my hifi one? If so can you recommend a fairly cheap one?
What additional speakers would I need? Is wireless a possibility to keep the wife happy?
Would I be able to use the AV amp for my CD player as well, so I could keep them amp to use in my conservatory and have a second hi fi?
If I said a total budget of £300 would you laugh, or it that doable. Might be able to stretch a little more, but not much.
Thanks,
Dom
 

DrPips

Standard Member
Thought I'd better let you know the model numbers for the TV and stereo speakers in case it makes a difference to what you recommend.

TV is Samsung LE37C580

Speakers are Monitor Audio Bronze BX1s

Thanks,

Dom
 

bravogolf

Active Member
Have a look at the Monitor Audio site for the remaining speakers in the Bronze range, they'd be purchases you could make to complete the speaker system. A decent second amp would suffice, not sure what to recommend though but you can get a feel for price by checking out the classifieds.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
£300 is nto really going to be enough to get a 5.1 system while still using your current speakers as fronts (if getting matchin MA speakers). A decent sub is going to cost around £200, the BX centre is going to be over £100 as would matching MA speakers as rears. The cheapest reciever I would then look at would be at least £250 as well.
An AV reciever could be used with music but at the budget you have it is not going to be anywhere as near as your current system. As a general guide you need to spend around 3 to 4 times the price of your stereo amp on an AV receiver to get similar musical ability.
What you could do is use the £300 to get an AV receiver now and then get the other speakers as funds allow.
 

DrPips

Standard Member
£300 is nto really going to be enough to get a 5.1 system while still using your current speakers as fronts (if getting matchin MA speakers). A decent sub is going to cost around £200, the BX centre is going to be over £100 as would matching MA speakers as rears. The cheapest reciever I would then look at would be at least £250 as well.
An AV reciever could be used with music but at the budget you have it is not going to be anywhere as near as your current system. As a general guide you need to spend around 3 to 4 times the price of your stereo amp on an AV receiver to get similar musical ability.
What you could do is use the £300 to get an AV receiver now and then get the other speakers as funds allow.

That seems sensible. Will I notice a difference in my TV and Movies, just by getting an AV amp without the extra speakers?

What order should I get things in? AV receiver first, then what?

Dom
 

mentm

Well-known Member
Getting a £300 receiver might actually sound worse, though there is no reason why you couldn't do this. Next steps after reciever would be a centre a sub IMO.

Another option may be just to buy a sub with high level inputs for now and buy a receiver when you have more money.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Use your BX1 speakers as surrounds and invest in a pair of BX5 speakers for the front. These go pretty low and will remove the pressure on you to get a sub. You will need a sub eventually, but the BX5 speakers will make it a less imperative purchase. You can also survive without a centre speaker until you've the funds to buy one. Again, the centre speaker isn't imperative.

I've just totally blown your budget! :blush::hiya:

In my mind, your priorities are the front speakers plus an amp.
 

DrPips

Standard Member
Another option may be just to buy a sub with high level inputs for now and buy a receiver when you have more money.

Wouldn't I need an AV receiver to run a sub?

invest in a pair of BX5 speakers for the front

No way I can afford these!!

Would I be better of scrapping the Monitor Audios? Would it make it easier if I said I could do without them?

Dom
 

DrPips

Standard Member
How about one of the soundbars that act as the front 2 and centre speakers. Could I then use my BX1 as rear speakers and just get a sub.

Dom
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
How about one of the soundbars that act as the front 2 and centre speakers. Could I then use my BX1 as rear speakers and just get a sub.

Dom

Soundbars are an alternative to conventional surround sound and not a suppliment. A soundbar will have no external speaker terminals or any onboard amplification for external speakers. A soundbar creates a virtual surround effect via its own onboard speakers.
 

DrPips

Standard Member
How about one of these packs? Denon or Onkyo

Does anyone have any experience of either of these? If I got this as a starter package, could I upgrade the individual components as time goes on, or am I stuck with the whole package? Could I use my BX 1s as front speakers or are they not matched up correctly?

Sorry for all the questions, stereo sound is so much more simple!!

Dom
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
How about one of these packs? Denon or Onkyo

Does anyone have any experience of either of these? If I got this as a starter package, could I upgrade the individual components as time goes on, or am I stuck with the whole package? Could I use my BX 1s as front speakers or are they not matched up correctly?

Sorry for all the questions, stereo sound is so much more simple!!

Dom

Either of those two packages are better equiped to accept upgrades than say a soundbar or all-in-one setup. The Denon package includes the AVR-1312 AV amp and you can replace the supplied speakers with speakers of your own as well and includes a pre out for an active sub. The Onkyo is the TX-SR309 AV receiver.

Note that neither amp has auto calibration or a calibration mic.
 
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DrPips

Standard Member
Ok, so these look like the way forward. Both sold by superfi as well which is good as it's the only hi fi shop near where I live. Before I go and audition them both, is there any obvious advantage of one over another?

Dom
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Ok, so these look like the way forward. Both sold by superfi as well which is good as it's the only hi fi shop near where I live. Before I go and audition them both, is there any obvious advantage of one over another?

Dom

I'd opt for the Denon which has a better heritage in terms of SQ.
 

DrPips

Standard Member
I'll see if I can arrange an audition tomorrow. Thanks very much for the advice, much appreciated.

Dom
 

mentm

Well-known Member
The onkyo or denon package may well be a good option for you, I would keep your existing setup for stereo though.
 

DrPips

Standard Member
Yeh, I'm going to use the spare room and set up my stereo in there. I have a pair of Kef Q15 that I wasn't allowed to have in the living room after we decorated. They're much better than the Monitor Audios, so they can stay as the fronts.

Dom
 

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