Recommend me a compact 5.1 system

dsw

Active Member
After much persuasion swmbo has agreed we can have a combi living/ home cinema upgrade!. The plan is to rip out the fireplace along the parting wall of our semi detached house build a fake wall sink the Tv in and either put speaker cables in the walls or under new coving round the ceiling.

The upgrade process has begun as so far consists of downstairs - Panasonic 47et5, VM v+ box, ps3, wdtv smp. This is all connected at the minute to a Sony ht-as5 5.1 with built in amp in the sub with 3 hdmi in and one out, supports 3d pass through and dts- hdma and Dolby true hd through lpcm decoded by the ps3 for blu ray and just true hd streamed from my 6tb raided nas through the wdtv smp. This was my first foray into home cinema but now I want something that looks and sounds better and can handle all hd audio. I think if I go down the separate amp and speaker route because I am limited for space everywhere I have decided the amp I would choose would be the pioneer vsx s 300 which is the right type of size and price I would like to pay for an amp at the minute and it seems to fit all my requirements.
Now here lies my problem which speakers to pair with it. I have a short list which consists of tannoy sfx 5.1, Boston acoustics soundware xs 5.1, Cambridge audio minx 5.1 and the onkyo ht-hdx 5.1 system again all the right type of size look and cost but which ones are best? I may even look at second hand versions of these if pristine etc as budget will be tight.


So far I have only demoed the Cambridge audio minx at richer sounds and was left a little underwhelmed by them for their price ( the top end of my budget) and didn't really think they were any better then my existing speakers even in a fully calibrated demo room. The guy they're then threw a massive curveball by sitting me down and playing me another system with the same demo (behind enemy lines bd) . This system blew me way in comparison to the minx. Imagine my surprise when the light was put back on and projector raised it was actually the Yamaha ysp 2200 7.1 soundbar. I couldn't believe that what I had just heard hadn't come from 5 speakers. Now don't get me wrong it's a little expensive at £640 but not far off some of the amp and speaker combos I'm considering at they're shop prices. Swmbo was also just as impressed (which is rare when it comes to all things gadgety) so obviously the soundbar option is her favourite as it sounded better than our existing setup and keeps with the minimalistic look she so badly desires!!. I'm torn as to whether I would get the soundbar sounding as good at home with open stairs to the left of where it would be placed and the main window to the right. I've read the instructuctions to the Yamaha so understand how the intellibeam system works and my room seems to fall within the requirements (distances etc) and mentions setting two modes in the memory for curtains open and curtains closed so sounds promising but I'm just not sure, could really do with a home demo of the soundbar but living where I do it doesn't seem possible.

Any thoughts, recommendations and advice on the items I am considering and maybe even ones I'm not most welcome! Thanks in advance.
 
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logiciel

Moderator
How did a "onkyo ht-hdx 5.1 system" come into the consideration of speakers to go with the Pioneer AVR, and which HT model is that referring to?
 

dsw

Active Member
logiciel said:
How did a "onkyo ht-hdx 5.1 system" come into the consideration of speakers to go with the Pioneer AVR, and which HT model is that referring to?

Sorry reading my post back it wasn't the clearest. With my space limitations hence looking for a slimline receiver I've considered the onkyo into the list as the receiver is built into the sub and therefore obviously the pioneer wouldn't be needed as its a similar set up to my Sony only better? Can be bought as a 2.1 with the additional speakers (rears and centre) available from richer sounds for £89.95. The onkyo has been added the maybe list as I have a couple of friends with this brand and they both sound great albeit bigger versions of what I'm considering due to my size limitations for speakers having not heard the ht hdx22 I'm in no position to say whether they would sound infinitely better than my current all in one box solution and worth the upgrade.

This one btw

http://m.richersounds.com/product/speaker-packages/onkyo/htx22hdx/onky-htx22hdx-blk

With these

http://m.richersounds.com/product/speaker-packages/onkyo/sks22x/onky-sks22x-blk
 
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logiciel

Moderator
My preference is always for an AVR and at least 5:1 speakers bought separately, but HT systems have their supporters including the 2:1 types.
My two Onkyos have been excellent, and that system with the extra speakers looks like good value, so maybe an HT system would be the right choice for you.
 

dsw

Active Member
I think I want to try and get away from a ht in a box solution and go up the quality ladder as much as I can within my requirements and budget. The only reason the onkyo is in the equation really is down to the quality of the brand and the only solution to my needs they make. I'm open to any of the ones I've listed and more if anyone can give me their opinions if they have tried any of the options I'm considering.
 

logiciel

Moderator
The pioneer vsx s 300 that you posted at first has a smaller than average form factor and could be right for you.
From experience I can recommend only Onkyo but they're all bulkier.
 

dsw

Active Member
Thanks for your advice logiciel little bump for anyone else's input..


Help!
 
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logiciel

Moderator
You'd probably be better in the amplifier forum. Let me know if you want to go there.
 

dsw

Active Member
Well after another demo of the Yamaha today I bit the bullet and won one off that well known auction site locally for sub £400 which I go over tomorrow and demo before collecting. Came with everything inc a year left of warrantee and looks and is stated as excellent condition.
 

logiciel

Moderator
At J L's full price of £750 that's one extremely expensive soundbar:eek: and it would be interesting to know why.
You've been lucky to get the big reduction though.:thumbsup:
 

dsw

Active Member
Well if you read my opening of the thread It was the most impressive surround sound I have heard not from a surround sound!, that also seems to be the general consensus too. The sound was totally immersive a big improvement from my current Sony ht-as5 and seems to be the best soundbar on the market and also fitted all my requirements (space, passing the swmbo test etc). I also figured at the price I've paid I'm not gonna lose that much if I can't replicate the sound I've heard in two demos ( i had to go back to convince myself it was as good as I first thought) and decide to sell it on.
 

logiciel

Moderator
A reduction of almost half on any price can't be bad, so you have done well.:thumbsup:
 

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