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Old 02-12-09, 11:09 AM   #1
mustang1
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Hi-fi question, some products have been recommended

I'm looking for TV/DVD/Amp/Speakers and was recommended the following:

PIONEER STUFF (tv/amp/cd):
KRP500A
PXPB3260
SCLX71
BDP51FD

MORDAUNT SHORT STUFF (loudspeakers):
MEZZO-5-LGT
MEZZO-6-LGT
MEZZO-1-LGT

MISC:
various hdmi and speaker cables etc

QUESTIONS:
Would you guys recommend anything else (prefer cheaper)? The TV is a 50" model but today I read Pioneer will no longer be making TVs so not sure of their long term warranty standing.

Salesguy said Amp is something like 150W RMS per channel which I find completely hard to beleive (and in a previous post of mine, someone mentioned this isn't producing 150W to all channels at the same time, or something to that effect), it certainly didn't seem much heavier than my 70W RMS per channel stereo amp.

There's a button on the amp marked "Direct". Sales guy said this bypasses the bass/treble controls and goes directly to the speakers. While that is believable, it actually made the sound more bassy (in a good way) so I thoguht that might be a "Loudness" button. Was the salesguy right?

In your recommendations, the units have to be nice looking, and the loudspeakers should preferably be available in oak. I want the front speakers to be tallish and slim but I wouldn't mind larger speakers if that gives me extra oomph.

I dont mind just going for 2 or 3 front speakers, so if you know of any good stereo amps, maybe tell me about that too.

Budget? Cheaper than the list above. That came to 6500. I think 3k-5k (but dont worry too much about that, US prices are always different to UK prices).

I guess a 5 speaker system is what I'm after or a 5+1 bass box system. I'm guessing if the two front main speakers are good enough (like on a normal stereo hifi system) then I wont need a bass box?
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Old 02-12-09, 11:25 AM   #2
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How big is the room, and what materials is it made of. Do you have neighbor issues if you get a big sub?

Ideally, you should be in the middle of a circle. Each speaker should be the same distance away, and it ought to be several feet.

I don't think a lot of rooms are big enough for surround sound. IMHO, most would be better off spending more money to get 2 or 3 speakers and a decent sub.

Subs are the cinderella of the home theater world. They do the dirty work and get no respect. But treat her right, and it's a whole other story.
Not sure who is the king of budget subs where you are.

A lot of small speakers have extra bass to compensate for the small size. This is not a good thing in a home theater. You want home theater speakers. If they have that extra bass, they're not HT...

I had 5.1 and ditched it all and just use big stereo speakers. I would like a sub, but I traded the sub so I could get a Concept 2 rowing machine in the house. Marriage....

But you really want a sub unless your speakers can get to 20hz. Mine can, but there isn't all that much power down that low.

I went to a home theater dealer about 10 years ago. Their showroom had a great theater with the best subs I have ever seen. When the dinosaur roared in Jurassic Park, the hairs on my arm and neck stood up. The power was such that it literally pushed my innards around, my gut felt like a small boat in a stormy ocean and I could feel myself losing sphincter control.

You won't get that. But that's the holy grail, a sub that can make you believe
right down to your toes.
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Old 02-12-09, 12:17 PM   #3
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here's a good forum for research and opinions:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/index.php

for that kind of money you should have plenty of options. If you're in the UK, check out Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) speakers (not sure if they'd be cheaper there since they're a UK company).
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Old 02-12-09, 12:30 PM   #4
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I can't say enough good thing about panasonic plasma TV's. The blacks are awesome and IMO motion and action on a plasma is WORLDS above LCDS in a comparable price range.

As for speakers, I'm partial to Polk, but it is such a personal thing I'd just go to a bunch of stores and listen and pick.
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Old 02-12-09, 01:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by late View Post
A lot of small speakers have extra bass to compensate for the small size. This is not a good thing in a home theater. You want home theater speakers. If they have that extra bass, they're not HT...

Doesn't matter how much "extra bass" the speakers have; if the surround processor has comprehensive Bass Management those speakers will be HT whether they like it or not!
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Old 02-12-09, 01:34 PM   #6
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Another vote for B&W. You really can't go wrong with them.

For subs though I would recommend either SVS or HSU subs. For the price, they blow anything else out of the water. I have one of the lower end HSUs and I really have absolutely no complaints about it. I can't imagine what their flagship feels like. I also have a friend that has a comparably specd SVS and I like that sub just as much as my HSU. Either one would dominate over any Polk sub that costs twice as much.

Receivers, I am partial to Marantz, Harmon Kardon, and Onkyo. The Harman Kardon 354 has HDMI 1.3 and only has 75 watts per channel. That's because Harman Kardon is one of the few companies that doesn't inflate their watts per channel to make it seem better. I guarantee that you not only don't need more than 75 watts per channel but if you were to ever get the Pioneer up to that level you would have some crazy distortion. I have a Harman Kardon that puts out about 45 watts per channel and in my home theater room(when I had one) I would turn it up maybe 1/3 and it sounded plenty loud and the quality was great. If I turned it more than half up it was too painful to listen to. Trust me when I say that 75 watts per channel is plenty.

Oh, and don't get fooled by Monster Cable etc. You don't need any of that BS. <http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp> is all that you need for a great price. I am not sure if they ship overseas though.
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Old 02-12-09, 02:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Doesn't matter how much "extra bass" the speakers have; if the surround processor has comprehensive Bass Management those speakers will be HT whether they like it or not!
Stereo speakers do a number of things home theater speakers don't do. And some people try to sell stereo speakers for home theater. SO... I was trying to give him a simple way out of the maze.
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Old 02-12-09, 02:14 PM   #8
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Another vote for B&W. You really can't go wrong with them.

For subs though I would recommend either SVS or HSU subs. For the price, they blow anything else out of the water. I have one of the lower end HSUs and I really have absolutely no complaints about it. I can't imagine what their flagship feels like. I also have a friend that has a comparably specd SVS and I like that sub just as much as my HSU. Either one would dominate over any Polk sub that costs twice as much.

Receivers, I am partial to Marantz, Harmon Kardon, and Onkyo. The Harman Kardon 354 has HDMI 1.3 and only has 75 watts per channel. That's because Harman Kardon is one of the few companies that doesn't inflate their watts per channel to make it seem better. I guarantee that you not only don't need more than 75 watts per channel but if you were to ever get the Pioneer up to that level you would have some crazy distortion. I have a Harman Kardon that puts out about 45 watts per channel and in my home theater room(when I had one) I would turn it up maybe 1/3 and it sounded plenty loud and the quality was great. If I turned it more than half up it was too painful to listen to. Trust me when I say that 75 watts per channel is plenty.

Oh, and don't get fooled by Monster Cable etc. You don't need any of that BS. <http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp> is all that you need for a great price. I am not sure if they ship overseas though.
I am quite fond of B&W.



The problem is that the poster would have to ship the subs abroad. Sounds expensive. He can probably do better with a locally available brand. There must
be a good bang for the buck sub where he is.
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Old 02-12-09, 05:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kabir424 View Post
Oh, and don't get fooled by Monster Cable etc. You don't need any of that BS. <http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp> is all that you need for a great price. I am not sure if they ship overseas though.
Monster's not that good to begin with .

But for HDMI, cable quality doesn't really matter - its a digital signal, it either transmits or it doesn't, there's no loss. Speaker wire, RCAs, etc - analog carriers - quality does matter, but I'm assuming you know this. Monoprice is a great place . I'm running one of their coloured HDMI cables for my xbox that ran less than $5 shipped (I had to pay sales tax on it too).
For the analog cabling, there are some nice internet only companies that make quality cable for not very expensive. Bunch of recommendations on AVSForums

B&W are nice, but I prefer Klipsch. Those Mordaunts look nice, but they don't seem to have much of a network in the US so most of us can't help too much on them.
Hitatchi make very nice TVs, as does Mitsubishi (but I haven't seen a LCD/Plasma Mitsu yet).
Marantz are nice, McIntosh are, IMHO, very nice.
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Old 02-12-09, 05:29 PM   #10
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I personally use yamaha components with klipsch speakers fro my surround sound. I have a tuner that is 15 years old and never had a problem. TV's, better talk to someone else. I bought a sony and am pretty pissed about it right now...
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Old 02-12-09, 08:26 PM   #11
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I love my Onkyo equipment, as do some other people I know. I hear nothing but good things about Panasonic plasmas and SVS subs (though I have neither myself). I've had a pair of Polk R20 speakers in the past, and now have a set of JBL Northridge (E80 towers, EC35 center, and E30 surrounds). Not especially high-end, but I like 'em.

Monoprice is the bee's knees. I bought new cables for every item in my stereo system for about $70. Just wired all five speakers (about 150 feet of 12ga) for... $50 or so? Excellent quality and a great selection.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:25 AM   #12
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Room size is 6m x 5m (18' x 15'). Brick walls, plastered. Chimney plus fireplace on one side. A couple of sofas. Maybe a small pool table and pole (for the pole dancers, if the wife agrees). The sofas will be pretty close to the wall opposite the TV, that's why I'm thinking just getting two front speakers plus one middle/voice speaker. Perhaps one sub if the front two speakers aren't low-response enough. Alternatively, can I get away with smaller front speakers if I use sub and will this config be good enough to listen to just music? Oh, and no problem with the neighbours.

I dont think it matters too much that I'm in UK, I think American brands sell worldwide anyway. I doubt the British brands are cheaper on home turf.

Another requirement is, I want the equipment to be nice looking. It wont be hidden behind cabinet doors and I also prefer the DVD and amp (most things that would sit on a TV cabinet) to be of the same make as I wont the appearance of all components to be the same, black or silver.

@Kabir424: You wrote:
Stereo speakers do a number of things home theater speakers don't do. And some people try to sell stereo speakers for home theater. SO... I was trying to give him a simple way out of the maze.

Can you explain this a little more?

Thanks for the tip on AVSForums.
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Old 02-13-09, 10:40 PM   #13
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Another requirement is, I want the equipment to be nice looking. It wont be hidden behind cabinet doors and I also prefer the DVD and amp (most things that would sit on a TV cabinet) to be of the same make as I wont the appearance of all components to be the same, black or silver.
I'm sure it's the case for a lot of makes, but the Onkyo stuff I have works together very well. I have a receiver and a DVD changer, and if you turn the latter on, it automatically turns the receiver on and sets it to the DVD program. Also, if you dim the display on one, the other matches the dim setting. Very nice.

Last I checked, Onkyo sells most of their equipment in either black or silver, though the silver seems to be a bit tougher to find.
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Old 02-14-09, 06:46 AM   #14
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Room size is 6m x 5m (18' x 15'). Brick walls, plastered. Chimney plus fireplace on one side. A couple of sofas. Maybe a small pool table and pole (for the pole dancers, if the wife agrees). The sofas will be pretty close to the wall opposite the TV, that's why I'm thinking just getting two front speakers plus one middle/voice speaker. Perhaps one sub if the front two speakers aren't low-response enough. Alternatively, can I get away with smaller front speakers if I use sub and will this config be good enough to listen to just music? Oh, and no problem with the neighbours.

I dont think it matters too much that I'm in UK, I think American brands sell worldwide anyway. I doubt the British brands are cheaper on home turf.

Another requirement is, I want the equipment to be nice looking. It wont be hidden behind cabinet doors and I also prefer the DVD and amp (most things that would sit on a TV cabinet) to be of the same make as I wont the appearance of all components to be the same, black or silver.

@Kabir424: You wrote:
Stereo speakers do a number of things home theater speakers don't do. And some people try to sell stereo speakers for home theater. SO... I was trying to give him a simple way out of the maze.

Can you explain this a little more?

Thanks for the tip on AVSForums.
You are going to get some acoustic problems from having a hard surface right behind your head. I'd worry more about acoustics and acoustic treatments than
surround speakers. Hard surfaces hold in the sound and help overload the room.
I got my sister to make some acoustic pillows for my sidewalls and I made some bass traps. With their unyielding surfaces, Brit homes can be a real handful
dealing with the acoustics. Find out what the resonance modes of the room are, and start looking for DIY websites or companies that do acoustic treatment.


Your choices will all work. I use 2 speakers, it's a satisfying experience, but certainly nothing special.

3 speakers and a sub has some advantages over 2. But you're buying 4 boxes instead of 2. If the surrounds are decent, stereo should still be enjoyable.

I really like Oppo dvd players and I don't see the point of insisting on it all being the same.
http://www.oppodigital.com/

Home theater speakers are supposed to have a flat freq response. That isn't true of stereo. Typically, they do all sorts of things to create the stereo effect and
make music sound better. Some stereo speakers aren't bad, it's what I use, but a friend has speakers that cost 1/3 as much and they have more of a 'you are there' feeling. You will quickly find home theater land is the land of endless compromises.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/
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Old 03-01-09, 12:44 PM   #15
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Always listern to Hi fi properly before buying, (preferably with a single paired speaker demo) and make up your own mind about the mertis. If they cant provide a lengthly relaxed demo on a 6500 system go else where that can.
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Old 03-01-09, 02:25 PM   #16
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If you're after BIG sound you need to push air and need Big speakers - if you're after "live" sound you may well end up with smaller acceptable speakers. I like both; Apogee, Krell still do it for me... but bought it all second hand!
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