Recommendation, ideas for speaker+amp set up, budget 3k??



hey guys

im new to the forum, so hi to all

basically, ive decided to upgrade my current home cinema set up.

my first set up was obvioulsy nothing amazing, just an average sony system that i could enjoy watching 5.1 dvd's on and to listen to a few tunes with..

just moved house, which means that i have an extra living room (really my living room:)) to play with, and just looking for some suggestion for a decent-ish speaker and amp set up..

Budgets about 3k (thats including amp and speakers+sub), and being honest i dont have that many ideas yet... thats why im reaching out for help of the more experienced gurus in this form

any ideas? main requirements were a 7.1 amp, with 5.1 set up, so that should i decide to i can upgrade to 7.1 at a later date. apart from that, about 90% of the systems usage will be based around digital tv and dvd viewing...

something that could potentially be a problem is that i live in dublin, so for the majority of cases, demoing systems is not an option, as as far as im aware there arent too many stores that stock a variety of speakers, etc, that arent in your sony, panasonic range, etc..


(sorry for long post)

Ian J

£3,000 (assuming that you were talking about Sterling) buys you a serious sound system and no doubt you will get many different recommendations.

The current edition of Home Cinema Choice reviews the PMC DB5.1 system which costs a total of £2,600. They rate the speakers but claim that the sub is a bit weedy as well as being overpriced. The speakers without the sub would cost £1,500 and if this was combined with a £600 SVS 20-39 PC Plus would give you the basis of a brilliant system leaving you enough for a decent amp to round it all off.

Others will advise differently but that's the beauty of an independant forum :thumbsup:


Well-known Member

Pioneer AX5i
Denon 3805
H/K 430/ second hand 5550
Yamaha 1400/2400

All come in arround the £700 to £900 range.

Im suprised Ian J isnt trying to flog you M&K stuff lol Hi ideas are good though :D


hey lads thanks for the suggestions, at least i have some food for thought now... i know its really annoying dealing with newbie questions like " i want the best system for my money!" but it is really appreciated..

cheers,and ill no doubt have a few more posts in the near future :)


just another quick question..

is it recommended to mix and match speakers, if you get me? as in get the centre channel and front speakers from say one manufacturer, and the rears and surrounds from another? or is this is just simply asking for trouble? or is it better to stay with the speaker packages that include all channels?

any other recommendations for speakers in this range? im thinking that ill have 2k (sterling) to spend on speakers and a sub once ive bought my amp..
im most likely gonna audition everything in london before i drop my hard earned cash on this system, so now im looking to do all the research i can....

thanks again



Well-known Member
Snowman we are happy to help newbies ( we all noob' s once :D)

Its best that the front 3 speakers are from the same manufacturer. For 100% tonal accuracy its best to get the rears from the same to but its not gonna cause problmes with alternative rears as the rears dont do the most work.

Oh I feel a SVS subwoofer coming on here :smashin:


Active Member
£3k sounds like a lot but try to maximise value from the outset. For example, I wish I had gone 2nd hand on amps, CD & DVD players etc from the beginning. Speakers I prefer to buy new but assuming you can get them from a careful owner, not too hard on these forums, you can get kit worth double what you pay. Of course that depends on you knowing exactly what you want. :) You might want to consider going separtes from the start with a receiver as pre/pro and a power amp.

What is your listening priority, music or movies? If you really care about your films get a good sub (£700 ish, try SVS, B&W, Paradigm). If music is your priority get a good front pair.

Sorry if I'm throwing a lot of stuff at you, much of which you may not understand. It's just that I spent about £3k a little under a year and a half ago, buying everything new and now I'm upgrading, consting me a packet in the process. If I'd known what I know now, I could have done significantly better for my money.

Keep asking questions and reading until you are sure you know what's what, then go out and demo like you are posessed. You NEED to hear this stuff and decide what your tastes are. Also bear in mind that demoing in different shops makes it very hard to compare sound quality so try to compare only what you have heard in the same room.


thanks for the replies lads

daneel, my listening preference would definitely be dominated by movies... so im taking it that a good sub is a must?

when it comes to music, the most im gonna use the system for would be when i hook up my mp3 player (ipod) to it. im not gonnna be expecting a whole lot from the speakers in that sense, but still, it should sound nice :)

im guessing that people are a bit weary of throwing out specific brands of speakers to go for, but seriously, i need somewhere to start! any more suggestions would be really appreciated!



hi. i am also new to the forum. any thoughts on which setup would give a great audio experience at lower volumes , not just wall shaking cinematic ones. i am considering b + w 603 fronts with hk avr5550 . i am wondering about some of the other amps - like pioneer - that have "midnight listening " modes that would allow me to enjoy the system when the kids are in bed.


Well-known Member
Originally posted by hopefulharmon
I am considering b + w 603 fronts

Nice speakers, but not my choice for late night listening. Bit big & bassy for that application I reckon. 603's really come alive when you give them some welly.

You might try some smaller, more delicate bookshelf speakers with a good sub, allowing you to turn down the sub during the evenings. You should be looking for speakers with a very clear midrange and top-end, allowing vocals to be easily heard at moderate volumes.

Dynaudio Audience 52's spring to mind in this instance. :)

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