What 5.1 speakers to go for - £300ish budget

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by billym, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. billym

    billym
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    Hi; I'm really struggling here - too many choices and no local dealers to try out the ones I am really interested in.

    I'm looking for a decent home theatre set-up and have assigned approx £300 for a set of 5.1 speakers. Up to that level, the ones that seem to come up with decent reviews are the Mordaunt Short Avant Premiere, KEF KHT1005 and the Tannoy EFX5.1.

    Needs to be good for both music and movies and have the ability to wall mount easily. Views and advice would be appreciated. Liked the sound from the Denon DHT-550SD set-up - had ordered that however they don't manufacture the speakers for that set anymore so need a re-think.
     
  2. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    at that price you are going to be limited if you need wall mounted speakers only.....the market tends to be full of crappo HTinabox from Dixons type setups.....

    the KEFs are not bad for the money, i havnt heard the other two you mention tho....

    at the price you are going to surrender some of the musical ability, however they will be fairly capable with movies.......tbh though you would be better assigning more money to the speakers, if you can double the money you can easily best the quality by the same......especially in the sub department.....also in the treble control, cheaper speakers tend to suffer most from treble problems i find....

    if u cant tho, one thing worth asking, you want them wall mounted, do they HAVE to be wall mounted? and if they do, how heavy a load could your walls take?

    if you can mount bookshelf speakers, either on a bracket or even make a small shelf for each one, then pop to somewhere like Richer Sounds and get 3 pairs of Mission or Gale bookshelf speakers (usually around £50-60 a pair), that gets you front stereo, rear left and right, front centre and if you want it a rear centre (assuming your amp will do 6.1, most do now)......and it leaves you around £150 for a sub, now to be honest you wont get a lot of sub for that money, my advice would be to add another £100 at least if you can now, or save the money and buy a good sub in the new year sales for around £300-350 if you can.....the bookshelf speakers wont go amazingly low, but for a few months you can manage, the sub for movies really does help integrate the system so much better, if you get a cheap one you are soooooo missing out...heh

    anyways, hope i've been useful, if not feel free to use this post as tissue paper for a papier mache aeroplane :)
     
  3. billym

    billym
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    Thanks for the advice - would prefer to stick at the £300 mark however could use floorstands at a push and really want to get something sorted out fairly soon.
     
  4. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    if you can use floorstanding speakers, its worth getting a pair of those plus a matching centre and rear standmounted speakers (or wall mountable bipolars).....the floorstanders will count as a semi-reasonable fill in for a sub untill you can afford an actual sub.........good makes to try and find are Gale, Mission and Wharfedale, altho i think Wharfedale now dont come as cheap as they used too....but check out places like super-fi and richer sounds for good deals......dont go too cheap tho, there is a point where it really ruins the sound...lol......best thing is pay around £150-200 for the floorstanders, £75 for the matching centre if u can get it (worth doing, helps the sound), then the remainder for the rears and cable :)
     
  5. GW43

    GW43
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    Are you looking at the £300 being the total to be spent, or the first installment of a series of upgrades?

    If it's the latter, then it might be better to go with a pair of £300 stereo speakers in the first instance, and then add to them later when funds allow, rather than compromising and going for 5.1 all at once.

    You might be pleasantly surprised at how good decent 2-channel stuff can be for movies.
     
  6. jessmith

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    Last suggestion on stereo is good with 1 proviso, you need to make sure that you get a centre to match, as can sound odd if you have unmatched. (not an issue with rear where you can pretty much bolt on any decent pair to any system) Matched is a difficult thing to quantify, you can get a good match from different ranges, but probably best to go for same manufacturer.
    For £300 you can get the Kef floorstandas at Richer sounds, the matching centre is £100.
     
  7. GW43

    GW43
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    Re Jessmith's comment on the centre speaker. Having only ever known 2-channel, but with a HiFi amp rather than an AV amp, I've never noticed a problem with sounds that should be in the centre, presumably dialogue. My stereo set-up presents an excellent soundstage, and to my mind presents a wide and deep sounds stage where it is easy to hear dialogue, and notice the transition from left to right or vice-versa of effects.

    However, there are no rear effects - but whilst watching a film recently (can't remember which, but it might have been that Tom Cruise one where he plays a hit-man) there was a scene in a garage where a mechanic was using a hydraulic thingy to get a wheel off a car, and both me and Mrs GW43 thought the sound had come from behind and above us - we thought it was the kids upstairs - spooky!

    I suppose it's easy to do the maths - divide your budget by 5.1 channels and see how much you are paying per channel. Divide the same budget by two and it stands to reason you are going to be listening to higher quality components - all other things being equal.
     
  8. jessmith

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    Hi there,

    My earlier comment on centre speaker refers to if you add one as part of a 5.1 setup, then you need to match it with front speakers. Agree, if your not going 5.1, then 2 stero speakers will give you a full front sound stage
     

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