What to choose.....


Standard Member
Aug 30, 2002
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I am thinking about buying a home theatre set-up (receiver, speakers, DVD player) and would appreciate some help in choosing what to get. I already have a decent 2-channel system, which I want to keep separate. The home theatre kit would be basically for movies and TV (incl. music channels).

My budget is around £1000, although I could go a little higher if I put off the DVD player for a month or two. For the receiver, I am thinking of the Yamaha RX-V430RDS, which seems good value and has PL II, but why is it so cheap??? What do the more expensive amps have that this doesn't?

The biggest problem is the speakers. I have been forbidden any more full-size speakers in the living room, so am looking for a good sub/sat combination, with small wall-mountable satellites. The only decent package I know is the Kef "eggs" which seem to be pretty propular. However: (i) I listened to them and wasn't blown away, (ii) they will blow my budget, and (iii) they are a bit ostentatious if you ask me.

Are there any other good quality sub/satellite combos out there, preferably in the £400-600 region but still with good sound?

I haven't got very far thinking about the DVD player yet, but any suggestions would be welcome.

If you dont like the Kefs, there is a new package by B & W which is more lifestyle than their current equipment, cant remember the model number, it hasnt had any reviews yet probably on the B & W website.

Had a quick dealer demo and it sounded pretty good, more mid than the Kefs, so works better with filmscores and voices.

To be honest I have a cheap Yamaha Hitb thingy and its great for the price, the Kefs didnt seem that much better on a dealer demo.

I think if you want great sound you have eventually got to go for full size stand mount speakers. This is the road I will take in the near future, probably something like the 900 pound AE package.

Another possible alternatives are the Bostons with a REL Q150, but that will put you over budget. M8 of mine has these through a Sony Amp, but I think they sound similar to the Kefs, just louder.

DVD player, well I bought the Philips 962SA from Hivizone (numerous threads on this one ) and love it to bits. Got all the right toys Pal prog, NTSC prog multiregion, only minor glitch for you maybe the lack of a SCART ( hate those things ).
You've been forbidden from buying full size speakers! Are you a man or a mouse?

Full size speakers....HAVE IT!
Just had a look at the web site and the B&W are VM1, its a slimline speaker, about 100mm wide by 350mm high its in silver and looks pretty. The sub isnt bad either.
On the subject of amplification, if you already have a music system, you will avoid one of the main compromises of AV amps. Yamaha amps have a reputation of being great for cinema but not so hot for music. In your case, it appears to be an ideal choice. Maybe check out the Pioneer, Denon and Sony rivals too.

Boston speakers are also a good choice of speaker to listen to together with a REL sub
£1000 is a decent starting place and the new Yamaha recievers are decent in stereo... Of course you would disable any type of precessing like PLII when listening to music.

Anyway for the DVD player thats quite easy - Toshiba SD220E at £135 multi-region. A bargin.

Second up the receiver. There is the Marantz SR4200 going for the stupidly low price of £200 right now because a new model is on its way. The SR4200 is still a cracker though and is superb with music. Features - DD, DTS, Pro Logic II, has plenty of inputs and has about 70W per channel I believe which is ample. The other option IMO would be the Denon AVR-1802 at £250 or the Yamaha RXV620RDS but I can't remember if it has PLII...

If you choose any of these three receivers though you won't go far wrong at all.

Speakers... The Acoustic Energy Aego P5's (£600) are highly regarded as the Keff eggs. Don't know why you didn't like the Keffs... Maybe there were incorrectly set up? If you can't have full size speakers (not even bookshelf ones?) then IMO these are the ones to audition and to buy.

So far the total is around £985 if we take on the more expensive receiver - the Denon. You would need to stretch the budget a little to spend on cables however.

IMO any decent £20 coaxial lead for your DVD player will do and then you have to work out how much cable you will require for your speakers. I personally went for the QED Silver Anniversary cable for my AV setup and its superb for the money. The costs are £5/m for the standard cable which is good. Also, try to make your front left and right cable lengths the same as well as the rears.

To recap heres my suggestion -

DVD player - Toshiba SD220E £135
Speakers - Acoustic Energy Aego P5 £600
Receiver - Yamaha RXV620RDS £230 (if it does PLII since I can't remember)
Coaxial cable - £20
Speaker cable - QED Silver Anniversary £5/m

hope that helps ^_^
I bought a set of Mirage AVS 500 for £400 :


And a Mirage Frx 8 sub that was reduced down to £139.

Overall I am really happy with the outcome, the sound is pretty good with a nice range, although the sub can be a little overbearing (most likely due to living a Victorian house with 3 foot stone walls and a small room :) ).

Also got a SONY DB870 amp for 250.

One thing I would definately include in your budget is cabling, I have now ended spending about £200 on cabling and related gunff for SCART splitters/leads, phono's etc.

Total spent in Radfords was 850, with the AV cabling it did total nearly 950-1000.

These are not the best components money can buy and I am sure many will point to websites with better equipment on. However, the sound is really impressive and I was fed up with internet ordering as I have been burnt a couple of times recently. It was nice to be taken round a good AV store for about an hour and shown loads of nice kit and been given advice on how to set it all up with good aftercare.

Also, if you have a Barclaycard you can always exploit the price promise, whereby you can buy all the components at full cost, then get Barclaycard to match to it the web stores.
Sounds like you got some good kit, Sony 870 is a bargain at the mo. If you like the sound then you have succeeded. Good luck with the price promise. I'm doing the same with a 1080, just looking around for a week or so for the cheapest price.

I'm looking to upgrade my Marantz SR4200 whenever Marantz have decided to release the new models... Also (hopefully) in November I'll be buying a Velodyne CHT-15 subwoofer from Uncle Eric ^_^ My sistem needs a bit of low end because I opted for bookshelf speakers. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have but the detail of the B&W speakers is the cleanest I've heard for some time. I just need that ".1" and everything should be complete ^_^

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