Stereo TV Audio

Otekki

Novice Member
Hey

I have a cheap 5.1 system, it’s years old, missing the calibration mic and it’s internal fan is making a loud noise. I have a denon 355uk upstairs not being used and I was thinking about ditching the 5.1 and get some £100 ish speakers for the denon. How is stereo for movies and games? Any advice? Should I get a new amp? What speakers are good? Get a AV amp? I don’t want to spend more than £300 AV route and £150 deposit n speakers
 

Otekki

Novice Member
I also listen to a lot of music, mainly vinyl. The denon has phono built in but currently use an external phono to connect to Sony surround sound
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Well, you will miss the sub and the surround system, as a stereo setup can't replicate that.

What's the best you can do budget wise?
 

Otekki

Novice Member
Well, you will miss the sub and the surround system, as a stereo setup can't replicate that.

What's the best you can do budget wise?
I would say £300, I was looking at this from richer sounds Yamaha 5.1 Package System inc Speakers excluding DVD Player

I currently have a Sony DZ260 DAV-DZ260 Specifications | Sony UK

It just doesn't really cut it when it comes to music. It's only as I have recently found the denon and its not being used I've started to think about what to change to
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
To connect a TV to a Stereo you need a DAC (digital to analog converter). Though on rare occasion, your TV might have Analog Audio Out either in the form of a Headphone Out, or in the form of Red/White RCA connectors. In that case, a direct connect between the TV and the Amp is enough.

Now DACs can run from £20 up to many thousands of Pounds, so how far do you want to take it?

Though there are many others, the FIIO D3 24b/192k DAC (£21) is pretty good for a modest amount of money.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Analog-Audio-Converter-Optical-black/dp/B0068IPE40

Taking it up a notch -

Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - £169 -

Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - Black

Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - Silver

And upward in price from there.

For a £21 investment, the FIIO D3 is a pretty fair price to have your system up and running. You can always upgrade at a later date.

As to speakers, we need some sense of the size of speaker you can accept.

The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 are 5" speakers that are very highly rated, and priced at a modest £100/pr -

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers & SW150 Subwoofer 2.1 Speaker Package - Superfi

The Sub in the Diamond 9.1/SW150 bundle have High Level inputs, so you could connect them directly to the Speaker terminals.

Even the newer Wharfedale Diamond 220 (5", 130mm. £200/pr (£150/pr in Rosewood)) are not that expensive -

Wharfedale Diamond 220 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Though I use substantially bigger speakers, many of us here have no interest in Surround Sound, and are very happy to listen to movies in STEREO.

A few other suggestions but with rising prices -

Q Acoustics 3020 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Dali Zensor 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers - Superfi

The Tannoy Mercury 7.2 are a bit expensive, but they are larger 6" (152mm, 42hz) speakers with deeper bass.

If you really want to go Maximum speaker for Minimum Cost, the consider -

Yamaha NSF51 Floorstanding - 2x6.5" - £199/pr -


Yamaha NS-F51 Floorstanding Speakers - HiFi & Pairs - Speakers

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yamaha-NSF51-Floorstanding-Speakers-Black/dp/B00X3BQZ70/

NS-F51 - Overview - Speaker Systems - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

These are available on Amazon-UK and you can read reviews there.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Otekki

Novice Member
To connect a TV to a Stereo you need a DAC (digital to analog converter). Though on rare occasion, your TV might have Analog Audio Out either in the form of a Headphone Out, or in the form of Red/White RCA connectors. In that case, a direct connect between the TV and the Amp is enough.

Now DACs can run from £20 up to many thousands of Pounds, so how far do you want to take it?

Though there are many others, the FIIO D3 24b/192k DAC (£21) is pretty good for a modest amount of money.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Analog-Audio-Converter-Optical-black/dp/B0068IPE40

Taking it up a notch -

Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - £169 -

Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - Black

Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - Silver

And upward in price from there.

For a £21 investment, the FIIO D3 is a pretty fair price to have your system up and running. You can always upgrade at a later date.

As to speakers, we need some sense of the size of speaker you can accept.

The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 are 5" speakers that are very highly rated, and priced at a modest £100/pr -

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers & SW150 Subwoofer 2.1 Speaker Package - Superfi

The Sub in the Diamond 9.1/SW150 bundle have High Level inputs, so you could connect them directly to the Speaker terminals.

Even the newer Wharfedale Diamond 220 (5", 130mm. £200/pr (£150/pr in Rosewood)) are not that expensive -

Wharfedale Diamond 220 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Though I use substantially bigger speakers, many of us here have no interest in Surround Sound, and are very happy to listen to movies in STEREO.

A few other suggestions but with rising prices -

Q Acoustics 3020 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Dali Zensor 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers - Superfi

The Tannoy Mercury 7.2 are a bit expensive, but they are larger 6" (152mm, 42hz) speakers with deeper bass.

If you really want to go Maximum speaker for Minimum Cost, the consider -

Yamaha NSF51 Floorstanding - 2x6.5" - £199/pr -


Yamaha NS-F51 Floorstanding Speakers - HiFi & Pairs - Speakers

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yamaha-NSF51-Floorstanding-Speakers-Black/dp/B00X3BQZ70/

NS-F51 - Overview - Speaker Systems - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

These are available on Amazon-UK and you can read reviews there.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
wow thanks for all the advice! I'm pretty sure my TV has the Red/White outputs as well as a headphone out so I'm right in thinking theres no need for a DAC? just connect up to one of the inputs on the amp. I know the Denon is really old but it works, do you think I am better of buying a new one?

Many thanks again @BlueWizard
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If your amp works, what more do you need? For my research it seems the amp has a solid 50w/ch that should be fine.

And if by chance you decide you want the DAC ... it's £21, that's not going to break the bank.

Most TVs that have Analog Audio out, have an option in the menus to set that output to VARIABLE or FIXED. Variable means the output will change with the TV Volume Control. Fixed means the output will be a FIXED Line Level out, which is what you would use if you have an external amp that has a Remote Volume Control.

The Remote Volume Control is pretty important. If you don't have the FIXED/VARIABLE option, then likely it will default to FIXED meaning the TV Volume Control will have no effect on the volume you hear.

So, if the Denon 355 has a Remote Control you are set for any situation.

Steve/bluewizard
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
The Sony dav260 is not or was not a cheap system, and compared to other competitors it does have a sacd player...if you are prepared to get the very good discs. What it is missing is decent sized speakers, so if you were to get two warfendales and go into a direct stereo mode.... If you have lost the manual lookup on line, and you may be surprised.
 

Otekki

Novice Member
The Sony dav260 is not or was not a cheap system, and compared to other competitors it does have a sacd player...if you are prepared to get the very good discs. What it is missing is decent sized speakers, so if you were to get two warfendales and go into a direct stereo mode.... If you have lost the manual lookup on line, and you may be surprised.
@dannnielll you replied on my other post, many thanks! Are you suggesting just buying a pair of the warfendales and replacing the R and L fronts? Annoyingly i dont have the calibration mic so I have never been able to calibrate the system, the surrounds have always sounded pretty quiet
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Yes. You don't really need to calibrate a system for stereo. It's more important ,apparently for multiple speakers like the 5.1 . I'm pretty sure that my one is now uncalibrated... I did it once upon a time and since then we have rebuilt the house and the lounge has completely different dimensions.
The only problem I see with the Sony id that the speakers are physically very small and of course the woofer is unpowered. However I find it gives very good effects with good films. As a stereo amplifier if you bypass the matrix used for the surround sound it should sound cleaner and if it doesn't well you are half way there with your Denon.
The point about SACDs is real, I have only two or three but they are clearer. If you were a classical music fan, they can be purchased at half the price of Vinyl
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'How is stereo for movies and games?' - like any system it will depend on your room and room layout. Like Steve (BlueWizard) I use a stereo system daily for TV, Movies and Music and don't feel I am 'losing' anything.

I would stick with the PMA-355 and look for suitable Loudspeakers to suit your Room/Room placement (and budget).

If required you can add a Sub at a later date. Where your Amp lacks a Sub (LFE) Output you would select a Sub with 'High Level' (speaker level) Inputs and Outputs and the Sub then lives 'inline' with your Speakers (see BK Electronics for a budget Sub).

Joe
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Denon PMA-355UK seems to be a pretty straight forward 50w/ch stereo amp. I see no reason why that would not serve you nicely -

https://www.hifix.co.uk/denon-pma355uk-black-amplifer

The only thing lacking, that might be found in a modern amp is a DAC. But we have established that a DAC, if it is indeed necessary, can be had for a very modest amount of money.

So, absolutely start with the Denon PMA-355. Then take if from there.

Your TV might have Red/White RCA connectors, but they could be Inputs, not outputs. But if it does have RCA Analog Outputs, so much the better.

Really, in my view, you just need to decide on the speakers you want.

Though the Yamaha NSF51 are cheap, if you read the reviews on Amazon, they have generally 4 and 5 Star reviews. I think at Amazon-UK, there were 56 reviews all generally positive.

The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 and the Wharfedale SW150 Sub are a bargain, both selling for considerably less than their suggest retail price because they are both long discontinued models.

The Diamond 9.1 have a rated bass of 50hz, that should make it very easy to blend with a Subwoofer, and while £250 is a bit more than your budget, that would be a very impressive system when set up correctly.

Keep in mind, being older models, the supply on both the Diamond 9.1 and the SW150 is limited to available stock.

Even if you just start with the Diamond 9.1, that is about the most speaker you can get for the least price. Spend more, you can get more, but you can't get more for a modest £100/pr.

Also note, should the Diamond 9.1 not be available, the newer Diamond 220 are available for a still modest £150/pr in the right finish.

I did find a place that has the Q Acoustic 3020 for a very low £150/pr -

Q Acoustics 3020 Bookshelf Speakers - HiFi & Pairs - Speakers



Though the bass is only rated down to 65hz, they are very sweet great sounding speakers, and an exceptional bargain for that money.

Richer Sounds usually has some nice bargains available -

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 (6") - £150/pr -

https://www.richersounds.com/tannoy-mercury-7-2-light-oak.html

Wharfedale Diamond 220 (5"/130mm) - £120/pr -

https://www.richersounds.com/wharfedale-diamond-220-blk.html

At the Richer Sounds price, you should definitely go for the Diamond 220 over the Diamond 9.1.

Cambridge Audio SX60 (6.5") - £140/pr -


https://www.richersounds.com/hi-fi/standmount-speakers/cambridge-sx60-dk-wal.html

Richer Sounds also has good prices on the Q Acoustic 3020 - £150/pr -

https://www.richersounds.com/hi-fi/standmount-speakers/q-acoustics-q3020-matte-graphite.html

If you can come up with some serious cash, then consider -

Cambridge Audio SX80 Floorstanding (2x6.5") - £299/pr -

https://www.richersounds.com/hi-fi/floorstanding-speakers/cambridge-sx80-walnut-sos.html

At the price, the Q Acoustic 3020 are outstanding speakers, and would very easily be able to mate with a Sub in a Stereo system.

On the Subject of Subwoofer, while you can find cheaper Subs, you can't find better value than the BK Electronics Subs.

https://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers.htm

Even the modest BK Gemini-II would do a good job -

http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/Gemini.htm

Steve/bluewizard
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I bought a cheap second hand av receiver that has pre outs. I then sent a cable from tv to the av receiver and set it in stereo, added a set of studio monitors. The receiver cost me 40 pounds off a member here. At the time the monitors cost something like 240 euro which is approx 220 pounds, they are Mackie Mr6 mk3s, but there's loads of choice.

JBL lsr305s go for about 90 pounds a piece. You'll likely not want or miss the sub if you went this way
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Any you think these will do fine for movies and gaming as well as music with the denon amp? I worry i will miss out on the sub or the rear speakers.. but as i said my current system isnt that great
5.1 channel vs. Stereo: As Joe said in post#13, there's a few points to consider here. The main difference between 5.1 and Stereo is all about the way sound is presented rather than audio accuracy/quality and no-one can tell you what's best for you on that score. Should you purchase a motorbike or a bicycle? There are many considerations but no absolute correct answer. The right answer is: whatever suits you.

Personally, I choose to employ conventional stereo for both TV and music - because it suits me.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
Any you think these will do fine for movies and gaming as well as music with the denon amp? I worry i will miss out on the sub or the rear speakers.. but as i said my current system isnt that great
Entirely up to you - some people don't care much for surround sound and some cant live without it for AV sound. That is a choice only you can make. Personally I have long got used to at least 5.1 and would not want to be without it. Stereo music sound also matters a lot to me as well and indeed is by far the most important to me as far as sound quality goes.

Personally I can live with AV sound that is immersive and impactful, but not necessarily great sound quality (as I am more focussed on the story and visual, but still want to be immersed), however for stereo music I really do want the quality because then I may be actively listening to the music detail with no visuals to distract.

The compromise I make as a result is a cheaper AVR (with at least front pre-outs) and cheaper surround/center and atmos speakers and focus the cost on decent sounding large front speakers and a separate hifi amp to drive them.

Also what someone find acceptable for music can vary a lot with their music preferences. For eg, I find a lot of electronic music can work well on smaller stereo speaker with a sub at a crossover of 60-80hz (or even higher), a lot of rock and pop (and even classical and acoustic) work better without the sub as well (because of how it is mixed) so long as the mains go down to 50-60Hz whereas a lot of jazz/soul etc (or anything with a natural deep bass groove) I find needs larger full range speakers that are good down to at 40Hz and maybe only using a sub from 40Hz downwards just because I prefer the better bass coherence of larger speakers rather than smaller speakers+sub. These are personal choices for me and they may not apply to everyone and all music.
 
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rhino2k

Well-known Member
I’ve got 2.1 and 5.1 via the same speakers but a different amp.
There is not much in it really, and I now use 2.1 95% of the time. I do have quite decent speakers, which I think makes a lot of difference.
 

jonathantafler

Novice Member
Hey
I have just done what you are thinking of. Moved house and , expecting to do work, didn’t bother to set up my 5.1. For a quick fix I plumbed the tv through my stereo and I am not going to bother to go back. The faff of 5 speakers and a subwoofer and a proliferation of boxes is not worth it for the thrill of “ooh that helicopterappeared from behind me”. I feel anyway that unless you have a projector the sound can feel out of scale to the picture. Many stereo amps can drive a subwoofer, don’t know about yours. It would be fair to say I have a pretty good stereo set up though, but mostly bought second hand on ebay, and I would look there for your speakers.


I have a cheap 5.1 system, it’s years old, missing the calibration mic and it’s internal fan is making a loud noise. I have a denon 355uk upstairs not being used and I was thinking about ditching the 5.1 and get some £100 ish speakers for the denon. How is stereo for movies and games? Any advice? Should I get a new amp? What speakers are good? Get a AV amp? I don’t want to spend more than £300 AV route and £150 deposit n speakers
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
I’ve got 2.1 and 5.1 via the same speakers but a different amp.
There is not much in it really, and I now use 2.1 95% of the time. I do have quite decent speakers, which I think makes a lot of difference.
Strange - assuming 5.1/DA content I find there is usually a huge difference in content that makes proper use of the surround and center channels. If there isn't, then I wonder if something wrong with the setup - level/distance/position on surrounds way off?
 

rhino2k

Well-known Member
Strange - assuming 5.1/DA content I find there is usually a huge difference in content that makes proper use of the surround and center channels. If there isn't, then I wonder if something wrong with the setup - level/distance/position on surrounds way off?
Setup is correct, it’s just not a massive difference. Of course you lose the surround but I just don’t find I miss it that much!
Bear in mind a lot depends on your kit, I’ve had other setups where the 2.1 would not have been great.
 

Samsun

Active Member
I have a 2.0 setup for TV and it's great .I've been toying with the idea of a decent soundbar instead but I think I'll end up disappointed.

A friend of mine had DALI Zensor 1s for his TV and they were excellent, very natural with voices. I think there is someone in the classifieds selling a couple of pairs for 120 each which would be worth considering
 

Ecanorun1975

Novice Member
I have a 2.0 setup for TV and it's great .I've been toying with the idea of a decent soundbar instead but I think I'll end up disappointed.

A friend of mine had DALI Zensor 1s for his TV and they were excellent, very natural with voices. I think there is someone in the classifieds selling a couple of pairs for 120 each which would be worth considering
I use Dali Zensor 1s with an Onkyo A9010 and hook my laptop up when I am watching Sky Go in the other room. It sounds great. I normally listen in 7.1 or simulated 7.1 but really enjoy listening in stereo.
 
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