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Speaker/Amp budget allocation

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Just a quick question, which I have not managed to find the answer to in the forums from a quick search.

When I was last looking for a 5.1 set up and amp I remember reading about the general consensus of how much of your budget to allocate to the amp and how much to the speakers, but i cant remember what the rough figure was.
I know there is no absolute rule, but would I be stupid to say buy an amp for £400 (Denon 1908/Onkyo 605) and spend £350 (Canton Movie Cd102 or Movie 150QX) on speakers? Would I need to spend more on the speakers to get the most out of the amp?

I am also now limited to satellite speakers.
I dont neccessarily have a fixed budget, but I dont really want to spend any more than £1000 for both.
I was also looking at the Kef 3005 (non SE version) which can be had for £599.

Also how do the power ratings compare, should the speakers be rated at more than the per channel rating on the amp or vice versa?

Thanks
 

happhhitachi

Established Member
I have a sideways suggestion and a couple of comments..

"would I be stupid to say buy an amp for "£400 (Denon 1908/Onkyo 605) and spend £350 (Canton Movie Cd102 or Movie 150QX) on speakers?"

Why dont you look at a second user Amp? The for sale section here has some fab buys. I got a second user Yamaha DSP-A2 couple of years ago for £160. I suspect that you could now get one of these for rather less. It lacks the more recent facilities, auto set up, scaling and such but it does deliver on sound. Now several years old but new they cost £1k. A bit more would get a DSP-A1 (£1.7k new) or even more recent a DSP-AX1. Even further up the food chain (OK at the top and possibly out of budget) second user DSP-Z9's go for £700-£800. 30Kg :eek: of flagship Amp that cost the original buyer £3.3k

Power ratings

Dont worry if the Amp puts out more then the rated max of the speakers, this is unlikly to be a problem. My current MS302's are rated for amps of 15-80W. My DSP-A2 pushed out 100W (RMS @8Ohm - all channels driven). Absolutel no problem here. In fact more speakers are damaged by underpowered Amps. Drive too hard a transistor Amp will start to 'clip' at which point your speakers will not be happy! Bottom line - dont buy over rated sperakers in the belief that they can 'handle more' so you wont blow them.

Where next

Think about what will get added/upgraded next - have at least an outline plan .

hope then helps, just mu 2p

have fun.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'm going to take a slightly different approach.

For the most part, you want to find an adequate amp that meets your needs. For the average user buying a 5.1/7.1 surround sound A/V amp, an A/V receiver with 70 to 100 watts per channel is enough.

A very popular amp right now is the Onkyo 605 A/V Reciever with about 100 watts per channel. It has all the digital options you need and it is about £350. That leaves you about £650 which will buy you a pretty nice 5.1 surround system.

http://www.eu.onkyo.com/products/product_en_5710611.html

There are other brand sof amp in the same range as the Onkyo that are just as good for roughly the same money. Sony, Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon, NAD, Marantz, etc...

Which set of 5.1 speakers you choose will depend on how much room you have and how big you are willing to let your speakers get. If because of space and personal preference, you want very small compact speakers then you can certainly get any one of several nice systems in the £300 to £600 price range, and have an additional £50 or more for accessories like wire. Remember it takes a lot of wire to wire up 6 speakers.

Many sellers have put together system packages with additional discounts.

For example: Richer Sound has a package that includes Onkyo DVD player 405, Onkyo A/V Receiver 605, and a Kef very compact 5.1 surround package 1005 for £699.95. Personally, would be willing to spend a little more and get better speakers, but if most of you listening it TV and Movies the system as configured would be nice for that purpose.

http://www.richersounds.com/information.php?cda=static&cst=homecinemasystems

Here are some samples of individual components -

Onkyo 508E 5.1 A/V Receiver 75 watts/ch @ £199.00
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/3490

Onkyo HRTTXSR505E 5.1/7.1 A/V Receiver 75 watt/ch @ £249.00
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/3350

Onkyo TXSR605E 5.1/7.1 A/V Receiver 90 watts/ch @ £399.00
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/3368

Though I'm sure I've seen the 605 for £350.00 somewhere.

Any one of these amps or similar amp in other brands would work fine for your need.

For speaker systems, here is a cross section -


Q ACOUSTICS 1010 5.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE (BEECH) @ £299.00
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/2893


WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM @ £329.95
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/2210


MISSION CINEMA M33i HOME CINEMA SPEAKER PACKAGE (M33i + M3C2i + M30i) @ £379.95
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/2752


WHARFEDALE EVO2-AV SPEAKER PACKAGE @ £499.95
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/3397

QUAD L-ITE 5.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM @ £599.00
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/2479

There are several combinations here that will keep you well under budget, and iI'm sure will satisfy you completely.

I provide links to SuperFi as a matter of convenience and because they have a reasonable selection and they have stores around the UK. I'm not specifically endorsing them. Look around at several internet seller for similar systems. It pays to shop around. Recently I posted a link to a £500 speaker system that someone else found for only £250, so it pays to shop around.

One additional point -

"Also how do the power ratings compare, should the speakers be rated at more than the per channel rating on the amp or vice versa?"

This depends a lot on how you use your amps and speakers. If you are throwing a lot of outdoor parties and are cranking you amp up to 80% or 90% turn on the Volume Control, then nothing will save you. However, if you are a normal person who considers 'loud' to be about a 40% to 60% turn of the Volume Control, then you are probably never going to have problems.

Ideally, you want your speakers to be rated higher than your amp; so, 70 watt amp with 100 watt speakers. If you use your system sanely, then 100 watt amp with 100 watt speaker is still safe. Taking it one step farther, again assuming common sense and sanity, you can have 100 watt speakers on a 120w to 150w amp. As Happhhitachi points out, many people do it and never have a problem. If you reach the level of 100 watt speakers on a 200 watt amp, then you are pushing your luck.

Most people don't realize that every time you turn the volume control up and hear a noticeable change in the perceived sound level, you have DOUBLED the average power. So with a very over-powered amp, one nudge of the Volume Control can be enough to push it over the level that your speakers can handle.

Generally, the speaker can and should be higher than you amp. If the amp is no more than 20% more than your speakers, you are usually not going to have to worry about it. More than 20% and you do have to be careful. Remember what I said about power, just one tiny nudge upward of the volume control at already high levels is enough to push your speaker beyond their ability. As a general rule, if you always stay below 60% turn of the volume control you are not going to have any problems.

Steve/BlueWizard
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Thanks to both of you for your replies. I seemed to recall that it was ok for the amp to be more powerful than the speakers but not the other way around, but when discussing with a colleague at work, I couldnt for the life of me remember why, which then got me doubting myself.

As for the amp, I am pretty set on which one to get, although have narrowed it down to two (Denon 1908 or Onkyo 605 - and FYI its AV Sales that have it for £350 :) ).
I've done a lot of reading up on amps and remember a lot from when i was looking at my last set up (Pioneer VSX916 with AE Aegis Evo 5.0 and Mission Sub). That has all now been sold due to space constraints, but my next setup will definitely be along the lines of one of the amps above and a satellite 5.1 system which will 50% be used for movies, 40% for Xbox 360 and 10% for music.

I'm edging towards the Cantons simply because of the praise they receive on the forums and from my point of view, they definitely tick all the right boxes for aesthetics. Although I do like the Kef 3005's.
I wont be getting the system for at least a month or two (when I move into the new place) so am trying to do as much research as possible, as I dont want to sell this system for quite some time (lost a fair amount of money on the last setup).

Thanks again for your help and recommendations! :)
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
My only concerns with buying the Onkyo (and that would be for the HDMI) is that HDMI seems to change fairly often (we are now up to 1.3 aren't we) and just a little concerned that this will become outdated before too long.
Ive had Denon's amps before and I love them - in fact not entirely sure why I went for the Pio last time, but the looks of the Denon are also a lot more pleasing to the eye than the Onkyo, and that is important to me.
 
X

xxGBHxx

Guest
My only concerns with buying the Onkyo (and that would be for the HDMI) is that HDMI seems to change fairly often (we are now up to 1.3 aren't we) and just a little concerned that this will become outdated before too long.
Ive had Denon's amps before and I love them - in fact not entirely sure why I went for the Pio last time, but the looks of the Denon are also a lot more pleasing to the eye than the Onkyo, and that is important to me.

I wouldn't say never but HDMI v1 is still more than good enough and it's been around for about 5 years. 1.3 adds a few bits like deep colour and the ability to stream the HD audio formats but I doubt that 1.3 will be superseded until the next HD technology comes along and needs more bandwidth. Thats likely to be many many years in the future. I REALLY wouldn't worry at all about it going out of date and my 605 looks very nice indeed. In the eye of the beholder though of course. If and when 1.3 is so out of date it doesn't allow you to do what you want you're more than likely going to be FAR past the need to upgrade the amp anyway. Buy an Onkyo and enjoy, I know my 605 is a great amp.

G
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't say never but HDMI v1 is still more than good enough and it's been around for about 5 years. 1.3 adds a few bits like deep colour and the ability to stream the HD audio formats but I doubt that 1.3 will be superseded until the next HD technology comes along and needs more bandwidth. Thats likely to be many many years in the future. I REALLY wouldn't worry at all about it going out of date and my 605 looks very nice indeed. In the eye of the beholder though of course. If and when 1.3 is so out of date it doesn't allow you to do what you want you're more than likely going to be FAR past the need to upgrade the amp anyway. Buy an Onkyo and enjoy, I know my 605 is a great amp.

G

I recently read about a software upgrade for the Onkyo 605, to what extent can this HDMI problem be fixed by reprogramming the ROMs.

Just curious.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
Kyle

How do? See you got rid of the Mission monster sub then.
Have you considered these speakers?
Unbelievably good sound for their size and as wife/girlfriend friendly as it's possible to get.
Check out some of the pictures on the site, they look amazing wall mounted.
I believe they're designed by someone who used to work for Anthony Gallo and are very similar to Gallo speakers but much cheaper. The current favourable £/$ exchange rate makes them even better value.
They can also be upgraded in the future to Mod2s or even Mod4s as funds allow.
I wouldn't buy their sub though because of the shipping costs, I'd get something from BK electronics.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't say never but HDMI v1 is still more than good enough and it's been around for about 5 years. 1.3 adds a few bits like deep colour and the ability to stream the HD audio formats but I doubt that 1.3 will be superseded until the next HD technology comes along and needs more bandwidth. Thats likely to be many many years in the future. I REALLY wouldn't worry at all about it going out of date and my 605 looks very nice indeed. In the eye of the beholder though of course. If and when 1.3 is so out of date it doesn't allow you to do what you want you're more than likely going to be FAR past the need to upgrade the amp anyway. Buy an Onkyo and enjoy, I know my 605 is a great amp.

G

Ah ok, I've not really been following the whole HDMI malarkey as although I have a 42" plasma, its not got HDMI so it hasnt really concerned me, and I was using my amp as a component switch which was working a treat. Maybe I should read a little more into it.

Thanks for the info!
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Kyle

How do? See you got rid of the Mission monster sub then.
Have you considered these speakers?
Unbelievably good sound for their size and as wife/girlfriend friendly as it's possible to get.
Check out some of the pictures on the site, they look amazing wall mounted.
I believe they're designed by someone who used to work for Anthony Gallo and are very similar to Gallo speakers but much cheaper. The current favourable £/$ exchange rate makes them even better value.
They can also be upgraded in the future to Mod2s or even Mod4s as funds allow.
I wouldn't buy their sub though because of the shipping costs, I'd get something from BK electronics.

Hello mate,

Yes I reluctantly sold that sub. I loved it, and for the money ;) it was superb, but it was just too big, and I'm having to downgrade my whole system (size wise) for my new place, so thought it was probably best to start from scratch as most sat systems come with a nice compact sub.
However, I had not read about those Orb speakers and I am very interested! They defo have the WAF (or GAF in my case), and I'm also very keen on good looking speakers. Personally I loved Evo 3's, especially without the grills on, but they were too big. I also need to make sure I get a top notch system next time as I dont want to have to change for quite some time (not the speakers anyway) and I took a fairly big hit on selling my speakers.

Do you know how easy they are to get into the UK? I'm liking the idea of Mod1's FL, FR, RL, RR and Mod2 for centre, then maybe an XLS200DF for the sub. Would be a nice tidy little package.
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
Hello mate,
Do you know how easy they are to get into the UK? I'm liking the idea of Mod1's FL, FR, RL, RR and Mod2 for centre, then maybe an XLS200DF for the sub. Would be a nice tidy little package.

Dead easy. Have a good look on their website, I seem to remember it gives you an idea of the shipping cost to the UK which isn't bad if you don't get their sub. May have to allow for a bit of import duty too. If you have any queries drop them an email - they're one of the most helpful and friendly companies I've ever dealt with.
I think they're an absolute bargain - compare the cost of these to Anthony Gallo's - and the ability to upgrade them as funds permit is a real bonus.
You're buying direct from the manufacturer as with BK and the resultant cost savings are tremendous.
I only use them as rears, but if I'd heard these before I'd invested so much in my Quads I'd have had these. They don't sound as good but there's nowhere near the difference you'd expect considering the difference in size and cost.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Oh my god, i wish you had not shown me that link, I want them now! I wasnt planning on getting any speakers until I got in to my new place, but i'm getting itchy fingers, that are trying to get to my credit card!

I think I would go for the Peoples Choice HT pack which has 3 Mod2's and 2 Mod1's for £798 in gloss black.

The only concern would be the import duty as this is 30%! (isnt it?)
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
I believe import duty on speakers is 4.5% but there's also VAT at 17.5%.
It's calculated on the cost of the goods and the shipping like this
$798 + $65 shipping = $863
+4.5% Duty = $901.84
+17.5% VAT = $1059.66

At an exchange rate of $2 to the pound thats about 525 quid.

Or if you go for all Mod1s it only works out at about £360 and you can upgrade later.

Even with the import costs I reckon it's still a bargain.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Hmm...yeah it could be, but I still have to budget the amp and the sub as well.
Import duty sucks! I dont see why I should pay the government £80 for them doing absolutely nothing!

I think I would have to go all out and get the Mod2's originally cos then I would have spare Mod1's and have to fork out for Mod2's which are expensive.
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
I think I would have to go all out and get the Mod2's originally cos then I would have spare Mod1's and have to fork out for Mod2's which are expensive.
No you wouldn't. A Mod2 is actually 2 Mod1s connected together.
You upgrade a Mod1 to a Mod2 by buying another Mod1 and connecting the two together with a COZY bracket that costs $3.50.
Take a look here
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
You are wise o great one! Thanks.
I havent had a chance to have a good look at that site yet as I am at work, but that sounds like a plan.
If you already know, how do the connectors on the back work? I.e each mod1 will have L+R for the speaker cable, but with two connected together, they will be 2xL and 2xR.
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
If you already know, how do the connectors on the back work? I.e each mod1 will have L+R for the speaker cable, but with two connected together, they will be 2xL and 2xR.

You run the speaker wires from your amp to one of the MOd1s as usual and the bracket comes with another pair of wires that connects the two speakers together.
Like in the attached image.
 

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KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Stop tempting me! He he!
Wow they really have thought of everything. I might have to give the guys a bell and have a chat with them.
Are there subs no good, or is it just cos the postage is so high?
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
Are there subs no good, or is it just cos the postage is so high?
I think the subs are supposed to be good. It's just that with postage and import duty etc it's gonna cost about £250 more than the satellites alone and that's more than a BK Gemini and too close to XLS200 territory!:suicide:
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Good point. I'm not keen on paying import duty as it is, and I've always liked the look of the XLS200. It's looking more and more likely by the second! :)
 

Cynar

Prominent Member
Another really good option for a similar price is a Quad Lite system. They were nearly a grand and were very favourably reviewed at that price.
They're now discounted to about £525 (I believe as a new model is imminent)
Thats for 5 satellites and a stonking sub.
A fair bit bigger than Orbs as they're conventional box speakers but still very small, and wife friendly due to the gorgeous finish.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
They may well be good, but they are no where near as good looking as the Orbs, or even the Kef 3005's and again the Cantons.
I think I'm definitely going to go for a satellite system, but it has to be up to par. :)
 

Robsk1

Established Member
They may well be good, but they are no where near as good looking as the Orbs, or even the Kef 3005's and again the Cantons.I think I'm definitely going to go for a satellite system, but it has to be up to par. :)

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

Get Bose then!!!
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Why do you laugh at that? Aesthetics is very important to me in my HT setup, so getting something that performs well and looks good is definitely something I will factor into my next purchase. Bose are undoubtedly good looking speakers, but I have heard mixed reviews about their performance. If these Orb's are on par with Gallo's then they not only meet the WAF/GAF but they will also be very competent speakers.
 

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