Surround Sound for Gypsies



Sorry in advance for the length of this post.
Right, I have been trying to get into this Home Cinema malarkey for a little while now but every time I had saved the money something else would raise its ugly fat head, my cinema funds would be depleted and I would be left with no surround sound. Well I have been getting a little fed up with the whole affair and again this month the purchase was getting close to hand and hey-presto another of the fat ugly heads rears itself and no home cinema, so I have done exactly what I have been recommended not to do, namely I have bought a receiver and speaker package for the grand total of £160, 40 of which went towards cables.
I bought the Sony STRDE495 receiver for £99 and the Celestion AVP5 Speaker package for £20 from RS. Her-Indoors was far from pleased as the two boxes were dragged through the front door of our little flat and her face was a picture when she saw these green fronted speakers, ‘Where the bloody hell are you going to put those things’ became the chorus for the evening. Anyway I removed the big black monolith of my separates system from below the TV and set up my new system, partially expecting to have to take the whole lot back due to poor quality, so cables were everywhere. Once everything is plugged in we rush through the setup, much easier than I was expecting, then decide what disk to test. I won and in went Episode two, the asteroid chase scene (what else), and up went the volume. Now I was expecting to be a little disappointed and was all prepared to have to tell Her-Indoors that every thing needs to be run in and things will improve over a good few hours of use, I was surprised. Now we only have a small flat with the lounge laid out in such a way that our viewing area/sound stage is pretty damn small but this gypsy kit set up was fantastic. A huge smile appeared on my face as Jango makes the best use of the surround sound, I was impressed. Next up Her-Indoors decides she wants to watch The Bourne Identity, again I was very impressed, and even she manages a smile, I know I am beginning to win as she states that the speakers aren’t that bad and WE have made a great purchase. This was two weeks ago, and things are even better now, films have a little more about them, dialogue is clearer, action scenes are bigger and I am no longer having to adjust the volume as previously.
Music wise, this system is not a patch on my old separates, I feel that the lack of sub is far more evident here, although some CDs are a lot better than others. This system, although a step down, is still far better than some music centres I have had the misfortune of listening to.
Anyway the long and the short of this is, if like me something keeps getting in the way, you have a small sound stage and/or you just can not be arsed to wait any longer this is a very good system. Compared to the majority of systems talked about here I am sure there is a Grand Canyon of a gulf in quality, but compared to what I was getting by on before this is a huge step forward and the first steps climbed of a very long and fun looking ladder.


Active Member
What a nice, positive and refreshing post.

Welcome to the club that I've only just joined myself. We don't all have the money to spend on high-end systems; there are many here that wouldn't consider spending any less on cable than what you've just spent on your entire system.

I also fully understand the 'pressure' you were under (see my sig below) and am glad that 'her indoors' is impressed.

Well done.


Active Member
great post jediwenger - I'm glad everything worked out for you. Hope that these ugly heads dont keep rearing themselves too! :D


Distinguished Member
Just how green are those avp5's ? It's just the grilles, right ? Everything else is sort-of white ?



Standard Member
When I read the title I thought you wanted a setup for a caravan. :laugh:
Glad you have managed to buy something nice, rather than an "ugly head". Good luck for the future as well.


Thank you all for the positive feedback, I was a little apprehensive due to the cheapness of my system and fully expected a big dose of mocking.
Flimber, yep it is just the grills that are green the body is more of a cream, pictures of these little buggers really don’t give a great representation of their true greenness.
Hopefully in the not too distant future I will be able to partake in discussions regards the better quality equipment, just need an excuse now for Her-Indoors as too why we need to spend more money just after getting a new system.


I saw those Celestions, my other half said no too...

For improvements, you can use your 'stack' system speakers for a little more bass or one of Richer's nice subs if you havent already.

happy listening!:smashin:


Well-known Member
Im really glad you are happy with your purchases :) I only hope your other half has the cure for 'up-gradeitis':rolleyes: a very virulent disease amongst h/c owners.
Hi, many thanks to jediwenger for this post. I'm considering buying a first home cinema and was thinking along the lines of got to get something worthwhile and so looked at receivers costing about £200-300 and thinking i have other things I can buy. Now I'll consider a cheaper receiver and probably get a nicer one when I win the lottery :)

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