Very basic amplifier and speakers question

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Burnley_Lad, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Burnley_Lad

    Burnley_Lad
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    I'm extremely new to the world of home cinema set up, and have what I feel will be a very basic question to a lot of people!

    I have a Sony 40" LCD Full HD television, with Sky HD and a Pioneer DV600-AV DVD player.

    I want to add surround speakers to my set up - what should I be looking for?

    I am right in thinking I need an amplifier with speakers? Where does the amplifier plug into?

    Also, do I buy an amplifier and speakers separate, or do they normally come as a package?

    Sorry for all the questions!
     
  2. happhhitachi

    happhhitachi
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    1)Whatever you buy I always think its worth having half an eye on what you will upgrade next. Basicly dont box yourself into a corner and limit the options. Sorry its not possible to be more specific but you dont offer any indication as to budget.

    2) Yes. The ideal entry point is a 5.1 speaker system. The 5 is the front effect speakers: Centre speaker and rear effects speakers. The .1 is a subwoofer.

    Some Amps will offer video switching and upscaling but the most basic level is to just connect the audio. Normally this is done via either an optical cable (sometimes refered to as a Toshlink) or by digital Coax. The easy option is the optical cable. Others may disagree but just buy a cheap optical cable, a £5 one should be fine. Coax is another story...

    The speakers then connect directly to the Amp - if budget is tight go to RS and get the cheap Gale cable at 69p/m. For a Sub you will need a phono to phono cable. If budget allows and you have short runs to the 3xfront speakers get the batter Gale cable, Gale 400 is £2/m. The fronts do almost all the work.

    3) You can get all in sets but if at all posible go the seperates route.This will alow max flexability for future upgrades. Most of us only get there a bit a at a time.

    Let us know what you get, enjoy.
     
  3. rich m

    rich m
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    Yes, you will need an amplifier. The audio outs from your equipment (sky box, dvd player etc) connect to the amplifier. I would say that most people on here buy their amps and speakers separately, but they can be bought in packages (usually at the cheaper end of the market). Buying sperately may allow you more flexibility and make things easier to upgrade in the future, but will also probably cost you more.
     
  4. miker

    miker
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    Hi
    You can opt for a all-in-one DVD Amp and 5speakers + a subwoofer setup for £200 upwards BUT this would be consider very cheap and naff - he results would only be suitable for the smallest of rooms and the sound quality would be fair but not great.
    Most people here would opt for a Separate system. Consisting on A digital (Optical or Coaxial) lead from your dvd player and from your Sky box to a Integrated Cinema Reciever (Which is a 7 channel Amp with a tuner and dobly decoding) then you would need 5 speakers and a Powered Subwoofer.
    The cost will range from £300 upwards for the speakers, £300 upwards for the Sub and £300 upwards for the Amp.
    thats it.

    Makes to stick with:- Medium range
    Amps:
    Denon
    Pioneer
    Yamaha
    Speakers:
    B&W
    Kef
    Monitor Audio
    Subs:
    B&W
    M&K
    Velodyne


    regards
    Mike
     
  5. mackem1966

    mackem1966
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    thanks everyone for this information as i too am new to this !
    could i ask for one more piece of advice if thats ok.
    on the 5.1 home theatre kits ive looked at the subwoofer has 7 or more sets of red and white inputs and other sockets too.
    if an amplifier is where everything is plugged into what are all these sockets for? is it a cheap way of replacing the need for an amplifier ?
    thanks for any help
    Darren
     
  6. Alex P

    Alex P
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    (By the way, this is my first post. AV Forums rock and the podcasts have given me endless pleasure!)

    Mackem,
    Sounds like you might be describing what is known as a "home cinema in a box" set-up or even a PC-orientated system.

    May I suggest that if you're serious about enjoying your home cinema, (and you've already got some decent components with plenty of potential there, so it's worth making the most of them) that you go to a professional hi-fi dealer. I would suggest going somewhere with a proper demo room, where you can compare the sound from various pieces of equipment and decide how much of your hard-earned cash you're prepared to invest. Then you can decide whether you feel it is worth paying the difference between say a £300 "home cinema in a box" and a £2000 surround amp and separates speakers package. Many dealers will come and set it all up for you too (for a small fee - say £40) so at least you know it's set up ok and you can stop worrying.

    You can find a list of local dealers in magazines like What hi-fi or ask on the AV Forums. Many people find these places intimidating, but if you don't feel they are taking you seriously or talking down to you, then vote with your feet and go somewhere else! A good dealer should be a good consultant, advise you in plain english, set you up with a sensible start-up system, and then you can go back to them once you're bitten with the AV bug!

    Dealers will often give you a discount, or throw in some decent cables for free, so try your luck, and go by your ears. You will be living with this system every day!

    Remember, you can go potty trying to decide by reading forums such as this and hifi mags, looking for "the best" (I certainly do, but then that's part of the fun!). But at this stage, start with something you can afford and feel comfortable listening to, enjoy your system, then see where your hifi journey takes you!

    I chose a Denon receiver and Monitor Audio speakers (worth £1500+), connected to a 8-year old 32" CRT TV, PS2, 10-yr old Marantz CD player, Sky+ and a £40 DVD player, but when I watch films, TV, play games or listen to music and the sound fills the living room (bless my lovely tolerant neighbours) I'm glad I focused my cash on a smooth, detailed, immersive sound, as it is the hub of all your home entertainment, and adds quality to everything else you own, and doesn't tire you out with tinny, harsh sound.

    Good luck!
     

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