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New Setup


Standard Member
Evening All,

I am completely lost with the Audio side of my setup, but its the last thing i am looking to upgrade - was after some advice!

I Currently have:

Samsung 52" ME87
PAL Xbox 360 Via HDMI
NTSB Xbox 360 Via Component

Logitech Z5500 (with a 3way splitter with optical sounds connected to HTPC,PS3 and Pal 360)

I am looking to replace the Z5500 with something a lot more powerful, in terms of volume and the ability to utilise PCM(i think thats right) volume. I realise i am best to get an Amp and Speakers seperately, and my budget is around £5-600


Support high sound quality via HDMI for PS3/HTPC/360 to get most from BluRay/HDDVD
Good for music, possibly with a ipod addon.

Any help is appreciated,

Thanks :)


Established Member
Because of your requirements, you would be better to consider a second hand av amp/receiver to help push your budget further. Have a look in the classifieds section of this forum or on Ebay. However, it does depend on what you mean by 'loud' and 'good for music'. New budget models (such as the Onkyo SR576 with its 3 hdmi inputs or Sony STR-DG820 with its 4 both around £250) don't tend to be that great with the music sources but it depends on your expectations really. Likewise in terms of their actual power output, the paper specifications don't tend to tell the full story - it could be that with whatever speakers you ally them with (providing they're sufficiently sensitive) that they'll go more than loud enough but that does depend on the size/shape of your room as well. It's not simply about volume of course as you don't want to push the level so the sound becomes harsh or rattley, for example. Because of your budget you're probably going to have to accept some compromises (- for example you might want to start with a 2.0/2.1 speaker setup first and add the additional speakers later). Otherwise as a package you could consider the likes of the Maudant Short Premiere 5.1 surrounds, for example ~ £260.

I should add that it isn't necessary for you to find an av amp/reciever with in-built hd decoding since your PS3 would do it in your set-up and therefore open up some additional higher quality soundtracks with blu ray movies for example. Just look for a model that accepts LPCM surround over hdmi ideally - with one of your Xbox 360's connected directly to your television via hdmi (leaving surround handled by the optical digital connection into the av amp/receiver) it would open up budget models like the Yamaha DSP-AX861se ~ £240. It has above average power and sound quality (when you take its cost into acount), with a decent range of features apart from the somewhat stingy two direct hdmi inputs. Ipods can be incorporated easily and inexpensively into any av amp/receiver if it's just for music playback (via the headphone socket); however, if you require additional features like charging and/or video playback then you'll probably want to consider a dedicated docking station. In that case make sure its compatible with the particular Ipod that you own (as not all are, especially the video output).

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