Recommendations for a Music & Movie 5.1 Setup for £5-6k?

AndreC

Novice Member
Recommendations for a Music & Movie 5.1 Setup for £5-6k?

Hi all. I’m posting for the first time on here as I’d really appreciate some advice from all you knowledgeable folks to build out a kit list to overhaul my living room 5.1 setup and I have a decent budget for the project - around £5-6k.

Whilst I want this to sound great for film viewing, I’m really after something that sounds great for music listening too (my bigger priority). So it’s a best of both world’s setup I’m after.

My room is roughly 4.4m long and 3.3m wide and due to a large sofa, fireplace and other furniture, I need to position the rear speakers fairly close to the walls and the two front speakers pretty close too. Plus my TV will sit on my Atacama equipment rack in a slight alcove pointing out roughly diagonally from a corner of the room with a small sub woofer positioned behind it. So we’re not talking a nice standard square or rectangular room here.

AV RECEIVER
My research and calls to dealers are leading me towards the Yamaha RX-A4A AV Receiver (£1300) as I believe it delivers pretty well on the music front and I like the MusicCast multi room streaming options it gives me too. But I’m keen to hear from others who have found a great music and cinema amp all rounder. I currently own a pretty old Denon which has served me well but doesn’t offer 4K so I’ve just been routing audio through it up to now.

SPEAKERS
This is my biggest dilemma. I’m replacing current satellite speakers so I’m looking for small form factor bookshelf speakers on stands and I don’t really want to have to accommodate a large Center speaker if possible.

I hear good things about the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 (£2K for four) and their size (H280mm x W165mm x D260mm) is ideal for what I have in mind. But should I consider stretching the budget to Dynaudio Evoke 10s at £300 more for each speaker? The KEF LS50 Meta also seem to be highly rated but they are probably beyond the size limits of what I’m looking for. I’m certainly keen to hear about other great small form factor options in this rough price range too. Perhaps Monitor Audio, Q Acoustics, Fyne Audio or Dali?

The Center speaker I choose may be dictated by the bookshelf speakers I choose to achieve sound uniformity so I’m currently thinking the B&W HTM72 S2 (£749) if I choose the B&W 707 S2 speakers. But if anyone has any recommendations for a quality smaller option, I‘d love to know.

SUB WOOFER
I’m looking for something fairly small as it will need to sit close to the corner of the room behind my TV & equipment rack, plus I have neighbours the other side of the wall and below me. I’m therefore favouring the REL Acoustics Tzero MkIII (£450). The REL T5x is probably that bit to big to give it room to breath in the install location.

4K PLAYER
Whilst I’ll be streaming most of my content from Netflix, Apple TV 4K and SKY Q, I’m also trying to talk myself up to the Panasonic UDP-9000 (£900) as I believe it delivers leading sound quality which I plan to use as a CD player in this setup too. Will this be worth it? Or does anyone have other recommendations for a great 4K player with high quality CD playback too?

I’d love to hear from anyone who has been on a similar buying journey and what you’d recommend for this desired multi purpose system. I really don’t want to end up compromising on both music and movie fronts by seeking a dual hitter system if one doesn’t really exist at this price range. Any thoughts would be very welcome. Thank you.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Can I ask about the alcove and where you expect to place the speakers?

This really is a healthy budget, but I feel the room and maybe placement of the speakers may never enable you to fully appreciate the room

If I can also ask about the genre of music you are looking to place?

Ideally if you can either take a few snaps of the room to show what you have to play with or do a floorplan and places where you would like the speakers to be situated compared to the main listening position (MLP), then everyone might be better able to assist you.

I feel maybe looking down a sub (bookshelfs/wall-mounted)-sat (freestanding) system allowing you to maximise the space available without filling the room full of large speakers. As music is also important, using the correct type of woofer which can piggy back on the main fronts to create a seamless transition from mid-range to woofer using something like a high-level connection.

As music is important, maybe look towards Arcam as these do deliver fantastic levels of musical playback whilst still delivering great filmic sound stages

Once you have given the info, myself and others should be able to steer you in the right direction

Cheers, Shane
 
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Hoku

Active Member
A couple of suggestions for you, at least before looking at your room photos.

I too have a strong musical bias in my system, and I’ve been very very happy with my DALI Rubicon 2’s. These might be over budget and a little too large, so either consider the DALI Opticon 1’s or DALI Menuet (perhaps with an Opticon Vokal centre?). In many ways the Menuet is effectively a Rubicon 1: they just don’t badge it that way. The Opticon 1’s or Menuets would probably work better closer to boundaries anyway compared to the larger Opticon 2’s.

The thing that works well for music & movies with the DALI’s is the dispersion of the treble. The sweet spot is vast, the vertical dispersion is at least room height, so they somehow manage to enliven the whole room in a giant sound field, rather than localising too much. DALI don’t recommend toe-in of any kind: they just fire straight ahead.

They’re great when watching BBC iPlayer content too: with a stereo feed, their sound is so expansive, you don’t feel too short-changed.

Plus the fact that DALI stand mounts in particular have a certain fun factor that makes music exciting and infectious.

And multi-channel music, like Hans Zimmer Live in Prague, is just phenomenal.

Considering that your speaker locations in the room are limiting, the Menuets can be wall mounted.

The only caveat with DALI is that they’re not the most sensitive speakers around, so do need strong amplification; you may even consider adding a power amp or separate integrated with AV bypass to give your front L&R speakers the quality they deserve.

But overall for music and movies, my DALI Rubicon / BK sub combo is very pleasing indeed: it’s the sheer scale of the sound field they produce that’s really special.
 
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AndreC

Novice Member
First of all, thank you @ShanePJ and @Hoku for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate your input.

I have included a few photos of my room. It is a rental property so I don’t want to make my buying decisions too focussed on my current house, and instead I want a speaker setup that could potentially last several decades. Obviously, I accept I would be updating my AV receiver and panel every 5-10 years based on new tech advancements.

I have also marked where I anticipate placing the new speaker stands and as you can see, things will be asymmetrical. I’m hoping initial setup mic activity will help me balance out input levels to compensate for this.

05E5FF65-8D0A-4D52-A705-EB3E4A0CB7ED.jpeg



49A76ACD-80FE-4017-B79E-6A1A6D9F3458.jpeg


The more I research this upgrade project, the more I keep upping my budget to try to achieve as close to future proofed perfection with regards to the speaker setup (without going into crazy audiophile range).

I really like the look of the Dynaudio Evoke range and I have a friend who recently purchased a couple of Special 40’s and raves about them. So my new thought is potentially buying the following, subject to a demo, doing further research and taking input on here:

2 x Dynaudio Evoke 20 for the front left and right speakers.
The Dynaudio Evoke 25 Center speaker and sacrificing keeping components on my upper level of my Atacama stand to house this. I’ve measured and they will all fit on the lower level.
2 x Dynaudio Evoke 10 for the rear speakers.
REL Acoustics Tzero MkIII - as I will be space constrained behind the TV stand and this is the only place I can put it.

I made some calls to a Dynaudio dealer today to get their input on whether the Yamaha RX-A4A AV Receiver will be sufficient to give me good performance from the Evoke setup. His thoughts were that the Yamaha could be a bit bright and fatiguing for music playback and lacks a bit of power for the Evokes so he suggested I look at an Anthem alternative. I have to draw the line at what I’ll stretch my budget to, so I would only consider the Anthem MRX540 entry level AV Receiver in their range if I was going to take that route. From some initial research it appears their Mic setup calibration is excellent so that could help with my less than perfect room configuration and speaker placement. However I sacrifice in built music streaming (like Yamaha’s MusicCast) and a DAB radio, which I’m sure I can overcome with a separate streamer later down the line.

Musically, my tastes are eclectic but predominantly rare groove, disco, boogie, funk, soul, jazz and deeper house/electronic vibes. One key thing is that I want this setup to still sound great at lower volume levels so I don’t incur the wrath of my neighbours!

Shane - thanks for the Arcam suggestion. I will add that to my list of things to read up on.

Hoku - I was rather taken with the look of the Dali Menuet/SEs and it’s great to hear that their sound field and treble dispersion is excellent. They certainly are winning the small form factor race at the moment. Also, my landlord doesn’t want me wall mounting things like speakers so I’m set on having to use stands. The BK subs look very nice but I think a small size is the key for me, so the REL Tzero MkIII is still the front runner. I also think that perhaps by going with Evoke 20’s for my front speakers, I should have a bit more bass in the setup than previously thought.

Final thought at this stage, I live alone so I don’t mind this front room being an audio paradise with bookshelf speakers on stands. My fear with sticking to a satellite speaker setup is I sacrifice too much on audio quality and that decision would be largely dictated by this rental property, as opposed to buying a bookshelf/stand setup to last me for decades to come.

Thanks again for your help.
 
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DavidT

Well-known Member
Could you rearrange the room so the tv isn't in the alcove next to the fireplace?
 

Hoku

Active Member
Fair enough.

Being an Anthem owner myself, I can heartily recommend it for dual music / movie work. Unless you go into uber-high-end territory, it’s probably the among the best 3 manufacturers for genuinely music capable AVR’s; Anthem, Arcam and NAD.

I previously owned a Pioneer AVR, and while it was excellent for movies, it didn’t cut it for music. The Anthem is much more driven, controlled and fast: it can cope with more complex music without becoming a mess, and with anything like funk or Stevie Wonder’s tunes, there’s real energy and vitality to the music.

I’ve not heard Dynaudios, so can’t comment on their synergy with Anthem, but I can say that DALI and Anthem synergise very well: both are fast, so one doesn’t end up cancelling out the positive qualities of the other. And tonally they match beautifully across the frequency range.

The Anthem’s ARC room correction is excellent but it’s not as “plug and play” as other AVR’s that have their room correction software built in. You need to download ARC to a laptop. Plug in the supplied calibrated microphone, run ARC’s test tones, then download the results to the receiver.

The thing I like with Anthem’s software, especially when you’re as concerned about 2 channel as multi-channel, is that you can set 2.0 and 5.1 calibrations (sans sub or with sub) for each input.

So I can always quickly change the input on the fly for the best output.

For example I have an Amazon Fire TV. So I have two designated inputs: Fire 2.0 & Fire 5.1. When I’m playing BBC content on iPlayer that’s just in stereo, I use the Fire 2.0 input, that plays full range, unadulterated through my main L&R speakers. Then if I play Disney Plus content through the Fire, that has 5.1 mixes, I can just flip the input to Fire 5.1, which crosses over at 60hz and engages the sub.

You can set all your inputs this way.

It can also be handy if you’re suddenly playing music that’s a bit overcooked in the bass: you can flip the input to 5.1, engage the sub, and have much more control over the lower frequencies: all on the fly with the remote, or with the app.

So with the Anthem, I find it takes a little longer to set up, but once it is, it’s much more simple and flexible to use day to day. It’s a very logical UI.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Can I ask what your thoughts are with your existing Bose setup. The reason behind this is if you really like the sound setup, then you could move down an alternative route and look at just creating a sensational stereo solution and leave the two systems separate

This will mean you can happily keep the focus around the TV for cinema whilst using the (main) setup for playing music. That means you can ensure you have the stereo separation required

Can I also ask about where your music will be coming from?

The dual system in one room might not be what you may have wanted, but with the Bose system, it’s compact and just does what it says on the tin. You can get more out of other systems for the same price, but as you have already have then, I thought I’d put the suggestion forward

You see, placing speakers at such close proximity to each other for a stereo solution really narrows the stereo effect and reading the genre of music, some of that music comes from a well recorded era meaning you will miss the stereo side to side effect that you get on some of the material as they did like to pan it from side to side with a little exuberance

The other for mentioning this is I’m guessing as the house is rented, your not wanting to add many speakers to the walls and would prefer freestanding solution, but as mentioned, this will have complications with the stereo experience

Now, if you are happy to rearrange the room a little, then with your budget, you really can create a nice system that will double up for both requirements

Have a read about HT-BYPASS to and this could be something you may not have heard of. This gives one system with an integrated stereo amplifier and partnered with an AV receiver meaning you actually get the best of both worlds as the certain integrated amplifiers act as a power amp for the cinema side and then for music, you use it as it ought to be

I know thee is a lot to digress here, but have a read about what I have mentioned and come back to us as this option really is the one for keen music lovers

To find out about HT-BYPASS amplifiers, just do a simple search on these forums

Cheers, Shane
 

AndreC

Novice Member
Thanks again for the input folks. Much appreciated.

Firstly @DavidT unfortunately I don’t have much, if any scope for room rearrangement due to the doorway, fireplace and large sofa. I can’t add new furniture to this upgrade too 🤣

@Hoku it’s great to hear that you are an Anthem owner and validate what I heard earlier from the Dynaudio dealer that they really deliver on the music front. I also read about the initial calibration process and I’m fine with that. The 2.0 and 5.1 switching also sounds very handy for on the fly changes and the web based control interface does look really neat too so this is becoming a strong candidate. Does the receiver also offer some form of DSP to turn 2.0 signals into a 5.1 emulation but you just choose not to use for iPlayer scenario to be faithful to the source material?

And do the wireless aerials have to be positioned in the vertical position or can I have them angled a bit to fit the unit on the bottom shelf of my equipment rack? I will be connecting via ethernet but I’ll also want to take advantage of AirPlay and Bluetooth capabilities too. This will be positioned close to my wireless router too.

I’m also going to add the DALI Menuets to my demo request too based on your recommendation. Thanks for that.

@ShanePJ Thanks for your suggestion of an HT Bypass system but I’m definitely ready to move on from my Bose. That system is about 15 years old was my first dip into surround sound. It is long overdue a refresh plus I’m keen to move away from satellites to a consolidated AV Receiver and bookshelf speaker array setup, accepting the trade offs that brings for the time being.

I will be playing music from a few sources. I’m looking at the Panasonic UB-9000 for UHD Blu-Ray playback and planning to use this for CD playback too, as well as playing WAV files via its USB connection. I also have an Apple TV 4K to use for an Apple Music subscription and the in built Airplay of this or the Anthem AV receiver for streaming from my phone, iPad, MacBook Pro etc.

I hear you on the classic era of wide soundstage and panned recordings and my plan is that this new setup will eventually come into it’s own in a future property I move to. For the time being I will go with the initial mic calibration process, then tweak to my preferences. If that doesn’t go according to plan I may get some help from a professional audio calibrator to see if they can rescue things. Failing that I might just have to move house!

I’m also going to request a demo of the Arcam AVR5 based on your recommendation and my (increasing) budget.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, certainly given me plenty of options to think about.
 
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Hoku

Active Member
@Hoku it’s great to hear that you are an Anthem owner and validate what I heard earlier from the Dynaudio dealer that they really deliver on the music front. I also read about the initial calibration process and I’m fine with that. The 2.0 and 5.1 switching also sounds very handy for on the fly changes and the web based control interface does look really neat too so this is becoming a strong candidate. Does the receiver also offer some form of DSP to turn 2.0 signals into a 5.1 emulation but you just choose not to use for iPlayer scenario to be faithful to the source material?

It does offer a number of sound modes that you can change on the fly that do that: AnthemLogic Music, AnthemLogic Movie and All Channel Stereo. When I tried them in the past I didn’t find it too convincing. But I might give it another try later. I actually found my Pioneer AVR better for that because you could weight the all channel stereo to the front speakers. If the rear speakers are as loud as the fronts it sounds unnatural. You could manually adjust the channel levels, but that’s a bit of a faff each time.

But I think that the Anthem does such a good job in stereo that I tend to stick to that. But I do flip to 2.1 at times if I feel the need. I was watching Death in Paradise for example which has some very bass heavy reggae as interludes between scenes and it was too much in stereo, so I tended to watch that in 2.1. My 400w sub could handle that level of bass better, and I can adjust the bass if necessary. It’s nice having that flexibility to get the best out of whichever source you’re using.

But yes, most of the time I play the sources straight: 2.0 channel sources in stereo only, multi-channel in 5.1.

And do the wireless aerials have to be positioned in the vertical position or can I have them angled a bit to fit the unit on the bottom shelf of my equipment rack? I will be connecting via ethernet but I’ll also want to take advantage of AirPlay and Bluetooth capabilities too. This will be positioned close to my wireless router too.

Not sure about this. I have the previous generation Anthem that didn’t include streaming, so I use an Audio Pro Link 1 to stream music from Tidal.

Maybe check on the Anthem thread…
Anthem MRX540/740/1140

I’ve not heard great reviews about DTS PlayFi streaming, so I’d stick to your Apple TV and/or Airplay for streaming music.

I’m also going to add the DALI Menuets to my demo request too based on your recommendation. Thanks for that.

Just bear in mind that technically there’s no Menuet centre speaker. But the Opticon Vokal Mark 2 centre should match tonally very well.

Also, the Menuets are actually designed to work close to boundaries to help reinforce the bass, and remember they don’t have any toe in.

Here’s a review of the SE version of the Menuets…

Soundstage Network DALI Menuet SE review

Just bear in mind that the Menuets are significantly smaller than the Dynaudio Evoke 20. A more fair comparison with those would be DALI Rubicon 2’s or Opticon 2’s.

And this is a seemingly minor point but crucial to the overall effect though: I crossover the Rubicon 2’s at 60hz, rather than the standard 80hz. The Rubicon 2’s excel in the midrange and lower midrange. Crossing over at 80hz strangles them in my opinion, and the scale, drama and sheer impact improved significantly by crossing over that bit lower, at 60hz. So bear that in mind with any demos of the DALI’s. The Menuets don’t go as low as my Rubicon 2’s, but they bottom out at 59hz, so if you were looking closely at the Menuets, I’d experiment with 60hz and 80hz crossover.

But your idea to demo is a worthy one. Sound is so heavily weighted by personal taste, so you must make up your own mind.
 
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AndreC

Novice Member
Thanks a lot for the additional insight @Hoku

I’ve come to the decision on my room layout last night. I’m going to flip all my furniture 180 degrees in the room and sacrifice the use of the fireplace which is almost never used anyway. This will allow me to position the TV and equipment rack centrally against the wall where my sofa is now and allow me to position speakers for a balanced 5.1 setup. I should be able to position all speakers away from the walls a bit too, particularly the rear speakers taking advantage of the alcoves either side of the fireplace. I should have done this years ago.

Now I don’t have to worry about compensating for the asymmetric speaker layout and just focus on choosing the new components I want and get the best out of them when they arrive.

Roll on equipment demos in a couple of weeks once I heal up after recent knee surgery.
 

Hoku

Active Member
Let us know how you get on. Your findings can be useful for others making similar decisions.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
Thanks a lot for the additional insight @Hoku

I’ve come to the decision on my room layout last night. I’m going to flip all my furniture 180 degrees in the room and sacrifice the use of the fireplace which is almost never used anyway. This will allow me to position the TV and equipment rack centrally against the wall where my sofa is now and allow me to position speakers for a balanced 5.1 setup. I should be able to position all speakers away from the walls a bit too, particularly the rear speakers taking advantage of the alcoves either side of the fireplace. I should have done this years ago.

Now I don’t have to worry about compensating for the asymmetric speaker layout and just focus on choosing the new components I want and get the best out of them when they arrive.

Roll on equipment demos in a couple of weeks once I heal up after recent knee surgery.
I just felt that a 5-6k spend was going to be disappointing with the room arranged how it was.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I'm glad to hear you are going to audition the av receviers as over the years, I've heard so many people say the either love or hate one brand compared to another persons perception.

What I will add is if you are going for the larger AVR's be sure to take some material you are really familiar with as you will be surpised how good some music will sound compared to some old recordings from the 80's

As for the HT-BYPASS, this is really a different question to you keeping the Bose system as it would mean you had to keep the speakers which isn't what I meant. This was just a question regarding a second system setup which would have meant you keeping the bose speakers

With HT-BYPASS, you can use an AVR and a Stereo amp together from one main set of speaker. for the surrounds, you will connect these to the AVR and use the stereo amp for power (HT-BYPASS stereo amps have a fixed input meaning the AVR controls the volume levels of it). When you want to use ir for stereo, you simple switch the source from the fixed input on the stereo amp and you will have a stereo system which should have far more drive and dynamics than an avr

For simplisity, I've added some simple products for illustration.

You could use something like the Marantz NR1711 which has pre-outs fronts (a requirement for using the HT-BYPASS system), then you can use the AudioLab 8300 which has the correct HT-BYPASS input. These two basic products together will create the HT-BYPASS connection creating you a dual cinema/stereo system using two power sorces

For the speakers, using something like the Q Acoustics Concept 50, 5.0 Speaker Package (plus stands) will create you a very dynamic surround sound experience with the AudioLab taking control of the floorstands giving the rhythmic drive that they need. You would need a woofer (SVS SB1000 or SVS SB1000 Pro) to bolster they system as as you are coming from a very focused boomy system, this will be where you will hear things very different as you will infact hear far more mid-range than you are used to without the Bass encroching


Now this system isn't what I'm saying to purchase, but more of an illustration of what you can do when partnering the HT-BYPASS system as the tiny Marantz on it's own really is out of its depth the with Concept floorstands whereas the AudioLab delivering the power will present no issues allowing you to hear more musical abilty than you might realise

So. In really, this system may cost less than the Arcam or Anthem, but musically both will struggle and this type of system for stereo. Where they will better is for cinema where you'd if you wanted to match them on that front, then you will have to spend more on the AVR taking you closer to the price of both the Arcam and Anthem when combined together

As I've said, though its just an illustration of where you can go with a HT-BYPASS system compared to a one-box avr
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I made some calls to a Dynaudio dealer today to get their input on whether the Yamaha RX-A4A AV Receiver will be sufficient to give me good performance from the Evoke setup. His thoughts were that the Yamaha could be a bit bright and fatiguing for music playback and lacks a bit of power for the Evokes so he suggested I look at an Anthem alternative. I have to draw the line at what I’ll stretch my budget to, so I would only consider the Anthem MRX540 entry level AV Receiver in their range if I was going to take that route. From some initial research it appears their Mic setup calibration is excellent so that could help with my less than perfect room configuration and speaker placement. However I sacrifice in built music streaming (like Yamaha’s MusicCast) and a DAB radio, which I’m sure I can overcome with a separate streamer later down the line.

Bright and fatiguing, lacks power... 🙄 This dealer probably sensed you have lot of money to spend and saw chance to make better bonuses by pushing more expensive brand. I can tell for fact that Yamaha A4A is actually more powerfull than the Anthem you are looking plus it has cleaner amp side. A4A won´t be lacking power especially with the apartment listening levels you are using with Dynaudio or Dali speakers!! Most noticeable thing speaking for 540 is the ARC Genesis room eq, but otherwise the good stuff starts on MRX740 w/ Anthem and with Arcam the model AVR20 suppose to be step in right direction after the rather poor AVR10. Notice the AVR5 is even cheaper version of this AVR10 model and i`m afraid where they have done saving cause the 10 model was let down already. You get Dirac Live room eq, but otherwise you pay high price and get performance that doesn´t meet with the price tag. People think premium brand name guarantees something these days. The company has to add ton of new features, new connections, pay many license fees to different companies. Then they have to sell the product at competetive price. You can bet there is compromises made while the catalog promises god knows what. If going with premium brand i would at least look AVR20, MRX740, T778. But i see these are over your budget.

By all means listen all those models you spoke with the speakers you are going to buy. Set all receivers in Pure Direct mode and tell us afterwards did Yamaha sound bright, powerless and fatiguing cause you rarely hear such claims by people who has actually heard them. If you compare them side by side make sure the dealer isn´t playing the more expensive unit louder. Salesmen knows the tricks. I didn´t read all posts in the thread, but i saw the HT-Bypass mentioned. One popular route is to pick A4A / Denon X3700H / Marantz SR6015 and later (?) add high quality integrated amp (with HT-Bypass as mentioned by Shane) for stereo listening if required.

The last thing i want to comment is the subwoofer choice. Well most folks here wouldn´t really call that T-Zero a real subwoofer cause it has 6,5" driver which is found in many bookshelf speakers. It´s going to be very underwhelming for certain type movies cause it´s very limited what it can do so this is big compromise for the theater side of things. I really hope you have more options/space now that you change the order of room. Depending which route you go with the speaker and receiver perhaps there is higher budget for the subwoofer. From REL at least the T5x should be considered, it´s more of hifi sub still. With movies in mind SVS SB1000 Pro mentioned by Shane is great pick with very compact size (34x33x37cm with grille). It will be tough to beat it for the size/price, big step up for movies against the T5x even at aparment listening levels. I can promise you that! One thing to keep in mind with woofers is the placement can make dramatic difference so you need to make the decision with that in mind as in placing the subwoofer where it sounds best, not where it fits/looks best.

 

Deaf Audiophile

Active Member
Recommendations for a Music & Movie 5.1 Setup for £5-6k?

Hi all. I’m posting for the first time on here as I’d really appreciate some advice from all you knowledgeable folks to build out a kit list to overhaul my living room 5.1 setup and I have a decent budget for the project - around £5-6k.

Whilst I want this to sound great for film viewing, I’m really after something that sounds great for music listening too (my bigger priority). So it’s a best of both world’s setup I’m after.

My room is roughly 4.4m long and 3.3m wide and due to a large sofa, fireplace and other furniture, I need to position the rear speakers fairly close to the walls and the two front speakers pretty close too. Plus my TV will sit on my Atacama equipment rack in a slight alcove pointing out roughly diagonally from a corner of the room with a small sub woofer positioned behind it. So we’re not talking a nice standard square or rectangular room here.

AV RECEIVER
My research and calls to dealers are leading me towards the Yamaha RX-A4A AV Receiver (£1300) as I believe it delivers pretty well on the music front and I like the MusicCast multi room streaming options it gives me too. But I’m keen to hear from others who have found a great music and cinema amp all rounder. I currently own a pretty old Denon which has served me well but doesn’t offer 4K so I’ve just been routing audio through it up to now.

SPEAKERS
This is my biggest dilemma. I’m replacing current satellite speakers so I’m looking for small form factor bookshelf speakers on stands and I don’t really want to have to accommodate a large Center speaker if possible.

I hear good things about the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 (£2K for four) and their size (H280mm x W165mm x D260mm) is ideal for what I have in mind. But should I consider stretching the budget to Dynaudio Evoke 10s at £300 more for each speaker? The KEF LS50 Meta also seem to be highly rated but they are probably beyond the size limits of what I’m looking for. I’m certainly keen to hear about other great small form factor options in this rough price range too. Perhaps Monitor Audio, Q Acoustics, Fyne Audio or Dali?

The Center speaker I choose may be dictated by the bookshelf speakers I choose to achieve sound uniformity so I’m currently thinking the B&W HTM72 S2 (£749) if I choose the B&W 707 S2 speakers. But if anyone has any recommendations for a quality smaller option, I‘d love to know.

SUB WOOFER
I’m looking for something fairly small as it will need to sit close to the corner of the room behind my TV & equipment rack, plus I have neighbours the other side of the wall and below me. I’m therefore favouring the REL Acoustics Tzero MkIII (£450). The REL T5x is probably that bit to big to give it room to breath in the install location.

4K PLAYER
Whilst I’ll be streaming most of my content from Netflix, Apple TV 4K and SKY Q, I’m also trying to talk myself up to the Panasonic UDP-9000 (£900) as I believe it delivers leading sound quality which I plan to use as a CD player in this setup too. Will this be worth it? Or does anyone have other recommendations for a great 4K player with high quality CD playback too?

I’d love to hear from anyone who has been on a similar buying journey and what you’d recommend for this desired multi purpose system. I really don’t want to end up compromising on both music and movie fronts by seeking a dual hitter system if one doesn’t really exist at this price range. Any thoughts would be very welcome. Thank you.
 

Deaf Audiophile

Active Member
Seems your struggling in such a small room. I had it all & soon got bored as it wasn't getting that cinema feeling I got when going to a proper cinema & my music suffered in such a clogged up lived in room setting. I don't believe any standard size home is suitable for all the gear you need. Save your money for a decent music setup & the money you save will buy plenty of real cinema tickets.
 

password1

Suspended
You should shortlist the improved Mission QX1 mark 2 along with the matching centre. That will leave you with the option of going for the svs 3000 micro within budget.
 

AndreC

Novice Member
@ShanePJ @Gasp3621 @Deaf Audiophile @password1

Thanks a lot for the input here. It is much appreciated. I’ve been dealing with some health issues at the moment so I’ve had to put the upgrade plans on hold for the time being. I should be back in the market in the next couple of months. Thanks again for your help.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Aye, hope you're on the mend soon, It's no fun having health issues, I've been dealing with my own since 2016 :smashin:
 

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