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What should I buy

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by brainpick, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. brainpick

    brainpick
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    I have a budget of 800-1000 pound for a home theater. What should I buy? I am considering YAMAHA. Size of room is 6x5 meters. How much power is enough? Your advice is highly appreciated.:confused:
     
  2. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    You can never have too much power !!!

    Within your budget, what is it you intend to buy ? Is it just the Amp/Receiver? Does your budget include speakers / sub ?

    Try to be a bit more specific. And do you already have a short list ?

    Kev
     
  3. brainpick

    brainpick
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    Thanks Mozzer. My intension is to put together a complete home theater set (Ampl+DVD player+ 5.1 Speakers). I do not have a specific brand name in mind but I have been advised to consider everything from YAMAHA becuase it is relatively cheaper than other brands and performance is great.
     
  4. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    For that budget, I would suggest a Marantz 5300 (very good for music) as the main piece: the receiver. If you want it better for Movies,then go for the Yamaha 630. If you want a balanced choice between both, think about the Harman-Kardon 2550. And do not buy satellite-sub system, go for full range speakers, you will feel the difference! Ah! The sub is something necessary, though, it is what makes you feel the movies in your guts... This I tell you from my own research made here and in shops, so I guess that most of people here will agree.
    Have fun with the shopping! And one advice, don't think about it anymore once you buy it, just enjoy it without any "but"...
     
  5. Bogside

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    Try this:

    Dvd - Toshiba 220e (£99 multiregion from Richersounds)

    Receiver - Yamaha 630, Sony 1080 or Denon 1803 (all around £350)

    Speakers - Sony Save835 (around £450).

    One grand spent. Sorted;)
     
  6. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Ok, Bogside, it is nothing against you, really. I like the discussion :)
    I would say that a satellite-sub package is good for a low-end system, starting and so on, but with such a budget I think that he/she could go a little bit further and buy full range speakers. My own experience is that the sound is better, and I have also read some impressions of people here about it, one guy who changed the satellite-sub for something bigger and said that he re-discovered the movies (well, maybe I am exaggerating, but it was a kind of this)... Actually, I have all the same speakers for front and surround, only the center speaker is different, but of the same make, so the tonal matching is really good.
    One experience: have you ever heard bullets coming from behind? (in a movie, I mean, my life is not so exciting) There are lots of bass, and I can tell you that it is possible to place them. Actually, I have seen Hannibal last weekend, and the first scene, in the market, with all that guns, was unbelievably real. Some shots came from behind, at a quite low freq, I think (I couldn't check it) that satellites cannot do that, at least so good.
     
  7. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith
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    Hi,
    cribeiro said:
    "I would say that a satellite-sub package is good for a low-end system, starting and so on, but with such a budget I think that he/she could go a little bit further and buy full range speakers."

    I'm sorry to say but I would have to disagree with such a sweeping statement,
    'No generalization is worth a damn, including this one.'

    Paul.

    p.s. I would suggest that brainpick also looks at the 2nd hand market for good bargains (they do happen).
     
  8. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Sorry, but I am a physicist... So I tend to find the general rule ;-)
    Anyway, tell me how can you get low frequencies from a satellite, I mean in order to hear as I said the bullets behind me... I think that if you can hear low freq through it (I think the crossover is always around 70-100 Hz, isn't?) then it is not anymore a satellite... Because you may argue about high-end satellites or something similar, but then they can be not considered as that, isn't? I don't know, it is my opinion and feeling when I listened to it... As you quoted, "I would say..."
     
  9. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    "A scientist should always keep an open mind"...at least that's what my boss tells me! ;)

    I've a system composed of speakers that will run to 50Hz, and one with "sats" with crossovers around 90Hz...and have no trouble hearing bullets behind me on either set up.

    spence
     
  10. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    WOW !!!

    I've learned something new here !!! That the real test of your speakers and system is ' hearing bullets behind you '.
    If i'd have known that.................:D

    I have M&K satellites, and i think they'd give you a run for your money.............;)

    Kev
     
  11. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    No...in a really good system you can tell the ballistics... point 358 with a right hand twist.;)

    spence
     
  12. EvilMudge

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    Sounds like the most powerful handgun in the world.

    Do you feel lucky, punk?

    (Gun nuts - there must be some out there - I'm well aware that it's a .357, and that isn't as powerful as the .44)

    Cool movie trick though - hit the mute button and all the guns get perfect silencers for free!
     
  13. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    :blush: ....errr...well...it sounds like a point 358 on my system...time to bring those Cyrus Powers to the family room!

    Gotta be a .44 might need to crack the odd engine block or two..;)

    Anyway, to Brainpick, i'd try to listen to end of line stuff, that's been well reviewed/received on this forum. I wouldn't be swayed in the direction of either sub/sats or larger speakers with/without a sub...until you've had a chance to hear something.

    spence
     
  14. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Well, if you assure so, then it means I am wrong, which can be... Ooohhh. :)
    Ok, but if I want to match what you say with the fact of the crossovers, I have two possibilities:
    1) the low freqs I checked (and please, don't be so nasty, as I said it was one example, I have more experiences but that was the last one) was not that low.
    2) there is a psycological effect... Yes, I think that it might be. If one sound is composed by many freqs, some that are placed behind, the low ones that you cannot place are associated to these ones by your brain and you also think they come from behind.

    What about that?
    And don't be angry, I am not an expert and as I said it is my opinion.
    Of course, I am sure that some sat-sub system (more than one) sound better than my hi-fi, I am not so well funded.
     
  15. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    I don't think you're wrong, but general rules are tricky...after all even general relativity starts to break down at the quantum level.;)

    My experience/understanding with sat/subs and home theatre is that below around 80Hz bass progressively becomes less locatable and this allows you "get away with" producing the bass from a discrete location. The precise point at which bass becomes omnidirectional, and i'm new to this forum so by no means an expert, seems to be open to much debate. Many support your position that 5/6 speakers reproducing bass down to 30-40Hz with a sub just handing the really low stuff is preferable.

    I have lived with both fullish range speakers and low crossovers, as well as a sub/sat system, of similar budget, and have been happy with both.

    Until i know more about the science, and have had more experience of the various options...i'll be keeping an open mind. ;)

    Apologies if my last response came across as hostile, it wasn't intended that way,

    spence
     
  16. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    No problem!
    I have full range speakers, as I said. They come rated at 22-20000 Hz, except the center speaker, which comes as 36-20000 Hz (as far as I remember). In addition, I have a subwoofer rated to start at 20 Hz, I don't know about the upper limit. Of course, the data on the back is not that reliable, but I have tested the sub against the main speakers (I have another pair like that for the rear) and they seem to give almost all the sounds that the sub gives, except very low freq ones. I am very happy with it, but I know it is not Heaven, it is just the low entry level.
    From your comments, I would rather say that a good sub-sat system must me more expensive than a full range speaker set up, but you said that they were same priced...
    Anyway, I think we are far off the discussion, which by the way was a very common one.
    And, anyway again, it is never late to learn something new. Since I cannot demo many different set up's, I have to rely on some well-founded opinions like yours. I keep on learning!
     
  17. brainpick

    brainpick
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    Thanks people for sharing your experience. I am actually new to this field so a lot of what have been said and discussed sounded like rocket science to me "talking about cross-over". When I went to check out some speakers, the salesperson started talking about impedance, speaker wattage and sensitivity. I could not understand what he was talking about. Could you explain what the salesperson was talking about? Do I need to know all this before buying speakers?:confused:

    Thanks and regards,
    Brainpick
     
  18. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    Firstly, apologies for steering the thread off topic, i'm fairly new to forums so still learning the ropes.

    Anyway to your questions... with the caveat that i too am no expert...

    Wattage is normally quoted to a certain maximum figure, of the speaker handling. Personally i don't worry too much about this figure, as even speakers with relatively low ratings can be driven quite hard, as long as they're being driven well. Similarly, as a youth i blew a 75watt rated B&W610 with my 20watt NAD3020.:blush:

    Impedance, quoted in ohms, gives you a rough idea of how hard a speaker will be to drive. Most amps are ok into 8 Ohms, but as the impedence drops the speaker steadily demands more current, which some amps can deliver more easily than others. The impedance quoted is nominal, but actually varies with frequency, so a speaker rated at 8ohms can still be quite hard to drive if it's impedance drops to say 3ohms at some point in the frequency sweep.

    Sensitivity, normally quoted in dB per watt at a meter. This simply refers to how loud a speaker will sound for a set amount of power supplied, at a set distance. Speakers in the 90dBWm range are generally thought of as sensitive, in that they sound "loud" being fed with relatively little power.

    These days many speakers fit into the high sensitivity 8ohm impedance bracket so i wouldn't worry too much. OTOH, if you see sensitivity down at 85dBwm with an impedance of 4ohms then it might be worth steering clear...unless you have a serious amp budget.;)

    Hope this helps,
    spence
     
  19. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Well, it is important to match the characteristics of your speakers and your amplifier. First of all, the impedance, but also the wattage.
    Impedance is the resistance to the pass of current that the speakers (any electrical device, in general) oppose, as far as I remember from my electronic&electricity lectures. If the speakers have very low impedance, then you may damage the amp, because there will too much current flowing through the system. Usual numbers are 8 ohms, or 6... 4 ohms is low impedance, if you buy such a speakers, take care of the amp you buy, it must work at that impedance.
    The impedance uses to be related to the wattage (less impedance, more watt? Am I right?), which is somehow related to the amount of music filling the room (but the way of rating is not always the same, and in fact some amps are rated low, other high, etc. Look reviews about amps here
    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/testbench/
    and you will find something about that).
    It is important that the rated wattage of the speaker will not be higher than the one of the amp! Usual way of matching is (in rms watts, it is a convention, you can also find din, etc) 1 watt in amp for each 2 in the speaker (everything per channel). If you have very powerful speakers and low power amp, at high volume you will damage the speakers (I have read this, but I don't know the physical reason...). The other way around is not so dramatic, and the speaker will "complain" if you put too much power, complains in form of distortion.
    About sensitivity, everything is said... Recomendation, high sensitivity if you listen to at low sound levels (you get the details).
    I know that part of this was already said, but I was writing at the same time, and then discovered the new post of tyefi... Sorry! Anyway, you have to read it and hear it many times until you get used to it. I have also experienced that, and I am still learning!
     
  20. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    As has more or less been covered already the point about "satellite" speakers is that they can't be used in isolation. They are specifically designed to be used with a subwoofer speaker, and to have the low frequency signals redirected from the satellites to the sub.

    You are much, much more likely to damage speakers by using an amplifier that isn't powerful enough than by using an amp that is too powerful. This happens because the amplifier output "clips" i.e. the signal suddenly goes from a steep slope to absolutely flat as the output saturates. This causes the speaker cone to try and make the transition from moving rapidly to being completely stationary (or vice versa) in absolutely no time at all, and it can't cope with this.

    "Cross-over" is a term that refers to a device which separates out different frequency components of a signal and sending them to different places. A sub/sat speaker system uses some sort of cross-over to ensure that low frequencies are sent to the sub and higher frequencies to the satellites. Nearly all speakers contain more than one driver unit - a woofer and a tweeter - so speakers will also contain an internal cross-over to send lower frequencies to the woofer and higher ones to the tweeter.
     
  21. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Thanks for the answer! Now I know the reason.
    BTW, I will soon check the difference between a sub/sat system and mine, because a friend of mine has the sub/sat and wants to buy a receiver, I told him to bring them home and try mine, so he can buy something similar if he likes it. My speakers are MAgnat, and his also, though I don't know yet if they are in the same price range. I guess I will post my opinions soon!
     

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