No idea where to begin - need better sound

aliasojo

Novice Member
I kinda feel like I shouldn't even stick my head into these threads as most of them go over the top of my head...but I'd be really greatful if someone could offer me a decent starting point please?

We've only ever had the old usual tv/video set up and that's been it but we've got a decent tv now (Sony 32D3000 - soon to be replaced with the 40" version) and a DVD Recorder (Sony RDRHXD970) along with Sky HD, (and not forgetting the xbox360 & Wii) and we'd like some sort of speaker set up to go with it all.

As far as I can make out, home cinema systems come with dvd players? We dont need the dvd player so we're looking at speakers and an amp. Is that right?

We're looking at middle of the road kind of quality/price but really have no idea what.

I'd really welcome any guidance. I'm just not sure what I should be looking at. :confused:
 

Badger0-0

Member
What's your total maximum budget?

What you call mid range could be anything :)
 

Firehawk1

Standard Member
I'm gonna put in my question here also since the topic's already made, don't mean to hijack it or anything but I think it'd just be better than starting an exact same thread. I have about $800 CDN to spend, looking for a 5.1 system without dvd player with receiver and speakers. Are the sales on the things at future shop ever any good? I'm skeptical about buying audio systems from there.
 

Badger0-0

Member
Welcome to the forums :thumbsup:

Unfortunately, this is a british forum.

I'd suggest you try the AVSforum at www.avsforum.com.

It's not that we don't want you on here (we do :smashin:), it's just that, that forum is American, so they are bound to have better local knowledge :)
 

Badger0-0

Member
Hey, no worries, it's an easy mistake.

Don't forget you're still welcome for any general questions :thumbsup:
 

aliasojo

Novice Member
What's your total maximum budget?

What you call mid range could be anything :)
Tbh, I haven't really set a hard and fast figure but I take your point about how mid range could be anything. (Especially as I'm not very up on what's good or bad so maybe what I call mid range is really only entry level. :rolleyes:).

At this point I don't know what we would need to spend so I haven't got a budget as such. All I know right now is that I dont want the most basic entry level type speakers/amp etc. Not much help, I realise.

Does 5 or 6 hundred quid sound like an amount we could get something half decent with....or am i well off the mark? I've seen speakers alone costing hundreds but I think spending loads on fantastic systems would be wasted on us but we definately need an improvement over just the tv speaker.
 
Tbh, I haven't really set a hard and fast figure but I take your point about how mid range could be anything. (Especially as I'm not very up on what's good or bad so maybe what I call mid range is really only entry level. :rolleyes:).

At this point I don't know what we would need to spend so I haven't got a budget as such. All I know right now is that I dont want the most basic entry level type speakers/amp etc. Not much help, I realise.

Does 5 or 6 hundred quid sound like an amount we could get something half decent with....or am i well off the mark? I've seen speakers alone costing hundreds but I think spending loads on fantastic systems would be wasted on us but we definately need an improvement over just the tv speaker.
If you're looking at brand new gear, id say around £500 for a 5.1 system, and £300 for an AV Receiver would get you something decidedly quality, for the money, maybe not great for music though unfortunately, but definitely better than your usual Argos package.

Acoustic Energy Aego T
Mission M-Cube
Tannoy Arena
Mordaunt Short Genie
Kef 1005 / 2005
SVS (check the Powerbuys in the speakers section)

Onkyo SR605
Sony have some cracking low-mid end HDMI receivers too, but unsure of the models unfortunately.

Have a look at those for starters maybe :thumbsup:

Try http://www.creative-audio.co.uk/hotsystemsAMP_ONK605.htm , www.superfi.co.uk , www.petertyson.co.uk , www.richersounds.co.uk , www.avsales.co.uk and www.hifibitz.co.uk
 

aliasojo

Novice Member
Cheers jellybeard. Appreciate the pointers. I'll check out your suggestions. Thanks v much for the links too, those are really helpful to me. :thumbsup:

Anyone else got any other thoughts or suggestions?
 

lazymatt

Novice Member
Also look at the Mordaunt Short Premier Plus and Alumni packages (about £450 and £600 respectively).

As for amps anything by Denon, Sony, Yamaha around the £300/£400 mark will be good. As well as the Onkyo recommended above. Also have a look at Cambridge Audio.

In fact if you have a look here:

http://www.richersounds.com/productlist.php?cda=productlist&sgroup=AVRECEIVERS

You've got:

Sony STRDA 1200 at £299
Yammy DSPAX759SE at £249
Onkyo TXSR605 at £399
Cambridge Audio AZUR 540R V2 at £269

And there's not a bad one amongst them. Just depends on the features you need. The Onkyo is the newest, and offers sound over HDMI. The others are outgoing models, hence the prices (the Yammy was £550 when it came out) so don't offer as many up to date features.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
If its your first time going for this sort of thing, get yourself to some of the dealers names you see thrown about on here and listen to some stuff....whilst a demo in the shop wont necessarily equate to exactly how it will sound in your own home, it does at least give you an idea of the kind of power and quality a system has potentially......and whilst buying from a dealer can be more expensive than some of the stuff you can get through online ordering, as its your first time its always nice to get a little extra help from the dealer in respect to how to set it up the moment you get it home, how much cabling you might need etc (although dont pay much for the cabling, £20 at the most for interconnects and £3-5/m for speaker cabling for a system the kind of price you are proposing)...also if anything goes wrong and help on here doesnt, er, help, then having a dealer in a shop you can go back to pays dividends compared to an online retailer who may or may not wash their hands of you the moment the credit card is ok'd....

nice peoples to go to are Sevenoaks, Richer Sounds, Audio-T and a few others......get in there, have a look at the speakers in their physical all, book a demo maybe for a few models, sounds daft but speakers can vary wildly in how they sound and some folks really dont like the way some sound, other people dont really mind too much what they sound like.....

the MA Bronze range is a nice setup, or the Radius by MA......B&W, KEF, Quad and Mission are also all good manufacturers to consider.....there are quite a few more but best not to confuse yourself with too many options quite often, have a looksy at ones you can live with physically (especially important if the missus has a say) and then go and listen to a few.....as for amps, well for AV i wouldnt stress too much, avoid obvious combinations of bright amps with bright speakers (meaning they emphasis the treble) or warm lazy amps with warm full sounding speakers (because it will sound like someones hit the slow-mo button...heh)......but with home cinema any setup you buy around £800-1,000 all in should impress quite happily compared to an old TV or midi hifi ;)

If you can get to Kent, its also worth checking out AV-Sales as they sell the SVS 5.1 pack of speakers that they also sell via the forums here, whilst that will be a bit more expensive once you add on a receiver, its apparently a very good movie package, the sub will certainly impress (i own its bigger bigger brother...heh) and the bookshelf size satellites are apparently very good too.....whilst there though im sure they can hook up a few more conventional names to compare to....

one VERY important thing....dont rush, take your time, a hifi is often for life not just Xmas :D and dont let a dealer bully you in to taking something....if they make you an all in offer of some kind and your not sure if its genuinely worthwhile, tell them you need to think about it and you'll call them back then come on here and let us know so we can suggest if its a good deal or you are just paying what most of us would expect to see...
 

aliasojo

Novice Member
If its your first time going for this sort of thing, get yourself to some of the dealers names you see thrown about on here and listen to some stuff.......
Unfortunately that's one of my problems.....we live in the Highlands of Scotland and whilst we're not exactly in a field full of sheep, nor do we have any of the decent stores or dealers mentioned. We struggle for a High Street at all where we are, lol.

That's why I ask on here for info so I can order something online and be sure it will be recommended at least.

Thanks to all for your input, it all helps. :thumbsup:
 

Badger0-0

Member
The SVS setup is almost always bought blind, as there is only one retailer in the UK. It invariably gets positive feedback.
Search for yourself on these forums and you won't find a negative comment.

Well over budget, when coupled with a good sub, but you can cut back a bit on the amp, IMO, seeing as music isn't the priority.

That'd probably run out at around a grand :(

Otherwise, have a look at Mordaunt short stuff.
The 9xx series are excellent for the dough and the 309 sub is a peach, as is the 905C centre speaker, IMO.

Still over budget, when coupled with an amp, but very good and worth paying for, if you can do it.

As for amps, look for end of line stuff.
The Yamaha 757 halved in price in less than a year :eek:
 

lazymatt

Novice Member
The 9xx series are excellent for the dough and the 309 sub is a peach, as is the 905C centre speaker, IMO.
Funnily enough I was watching 'Sunshine' last night, and my 309 scared the crap out of me. I forgot how much kick it has. It really is a suprisingly good sub for the money.
 

petetherock

Member
I suggest visiting at least one shop to asses what you need, you may find that either your budget is too small or what you are looking for is totally different.
After that you can still mail order blind, eg the SVS or from Richer Sounds
 

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