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291 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 282814 15-Dec-2009 17:33
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To be honest, I found that adding a subwoofer to a pair of fronts made a huge difference (before adding centre and surrounds).
I think these days it probably makes the most sense to get 5.1 speakers to start with, of at least reasonable quality, budget permitting.

As you get more money available, you can upgrade elements, like say the surround speakers, and re-use the displaced elements into, say, a second av setup in a bedroom.
I have full HT setup in both the living room, and the master bedroom. The living room has my best stuff, and living room has the older/smaller/cheaper stuff.

What amazes me most about my av setup over the years is how some stuff has lasted for 10+ years and performed really well, and a few things have not lasted well. Problem is it is hard to tell at the outset just what will last.
Good, high quality, long lasting brands of stuff I have personally used include:
Yamaha av amps; B&W speakers (big ones, and so-called Flat panel ones) Energy in-wall speakers, Yamaha sub woofers;
Things that haven't lasted well: 120" motorised screen - the mechanism failed shortly after installation. had to use almost manually; Some DVD players - started skipping badly after a couple of years use.

There is no end to it, and the joy of listening to a movie with a powerful soundtrack well reproduced in your home av setup is easily better than what you can experience at the movies. :)




kind regards Andrew TD

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  Reply # 282915 15-Dec-2009 20:58
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genesis: Hi all,


I'm looking for some advice on a home theater system. I don't have a system at the moment and am basically starting from scratch. I have been seriously looking at the Panasonic SC-BT207GN9K and hooking it up to my old 25" Sony Triniton (i plan to upgrade this too, to a full HD projector when the budget allows). The price is around $1799.00 which is in my budget of $1800 - just!. One of the main reasons it appeals is that it is a package and seems to do everything i want. On the other hand, what would i get for the same budget out of a component system? Is that a better way to go? I guess one of my biggest concerns is the quality of the speakers and the sound they will produce. I would be interested to hear what people think. Thanks in advance.


By what you have written, I would say go for the HTIB route for now. The cost of a new Full HD projector is still fairly expensive for anything of quality - then to compliment it truely you are going to have to spend lots more on a receiver and speaker setup, which means start saving hard. If you have $1800 to spend now, you won't get the home theatre experience with a receiver and two front speakers. Spend $399 for the budget Panasonic HT package maybe and spend the balance ( if you bargain hard ) a bit more towards a 42 inch Panasonic Full HD Plasma, we have the same setup in our lounge and it sounds mighty fine and is how we started - our gamesroom is where the serious stuff is now. Then save your pennys for the real deal later -IMO.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 282929 15-Dec-2009 21:14
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The spec of the Onkyo TX-SR706 reciever seem to fit the bill. Admitedly, Onkyo are the first brand i have looked into so far. It is appealing because of the ability to upscale signal from legacy equipment. Would be interested to hear from anyone who has one about what speakers they have paired with and it's limitations.

A question though - If plug a PS3 into it, does it screw up the signals, due to upscaling or would it recognise the output as HDMI and pass the signal through untouched?

Righto, off to explore Pioneer and Yamaha options!!

Thanks again to all who have contributed.





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  Reply # 282934 15-Dec-2009 21:28
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i have a onkyo tx-sr702 amp.  no hdmi or dts/truehd but the sound is pretty decent.  its teamed up with a kef 'egg' 2005 series surround speakers.  at full RRP its probably about $4000 worth, but probably more like $2800 to get the current equiv at negiotiated prices

kef kht 2005.3 speakers http://www.easternhifi.co.nz/default,1426.sm




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  Reply # 282944 15-Dec-2009 22:02
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Yeah, they certainly will get the WAF tick! I was actually considering the cheaper ones (JB hifi) at $799. Of course i would go into the store and listen to them first, with my favourite music.

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  Reply # 282951 15-Dec-2009 22:21
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Deev8:
ilovemusic: Forget all the crap about the centre speaker being the most important, it ain't.

I'm not sure that point of view has enough detail to convince anyone.


It's all in the choice of equipment and setup.

Wink

Particularly speaker setup, an area where most people get a big, fat F for FAIL.

Just looking through the picture galleries o home theatre websites and in magazines is enough to make an enthusiast weep !

I've listened to plenty of high end home theatre systems where the phantom image from a good pair of stereo speakers equals and sometimes even surpasses a hard centre speaker setup.

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  Reply # 282959 15-Dec-2009 22:55
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ilovemusic:
I've listened to plenty of high end home theatre systems where the phantom image from a good pair of stereo speakers equals and sometimes even surpasses a hard centre speaker setup.


i agree. i've given up on my center speaker - it;s about 80% of what i want it to be after spending more than its fair share. problem is, i like my center LOUD. with phantom the dialogue can be a bit soft OR the sound effects blowing my ears off.

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  Reply # 283049 16-Dec-2009 10:02
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genesis: I'm looking for some advice on a home theater system.

You've mentioned a PS3, which means you already have a source/player component.  I'd personally get a receiver that can handle the new HD audio soundtracks and couple this with what ever speaker package suits your needs.  This will be based on your room type and what you/partner think looks good as well.  It's for you after all, no one else.

This setup will allow you to utilise all the latest audio formats as well as allowing you to replace certain components in the future if you so desire.  (with individual components you'll have to pay for the interconnect cables and speaker wire too)

I can't believe in this day and age of Bluray where every single discrete channel is provided to the end user completely uncompressed that people will still allow a receiver processor to make up the sound by mashing the centre channel into the front left and right speakers.  It's a different story for music where the source material is 2 channel only, but even then the source CD's are 20 years old and compressed as well. 

If you want music to sound good then you should opt for some better front speakers, I think most will agree on that.  The wharfedale type speaker packages do this by giving you their 9.5 range as the front two.

Clevedon has a good point too though.  For your budget you could get a basic surround sound package and a 42" plasma as well.  It's all up to you and what you want genesis.

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  Reply # 283078 16-Dec-2009 11:56
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Jaxson:

I can't believe in this day and age of Bluray where every single discrete channel is provided to the end user completely uncompressed that people will still allow a receiver processor to make up the sound by mashing the centre channel into the front left and right speakers.  It's a different story for music where the source material is 2 channel only, but even then the source CD's are 20 years old and compressed as well. 




Because in the right circumstances a phantom centre can sound better.

Most centre speakers simply don't sound very good and most users don't know how to set them up properly, physically and electrically.

BTW Redbook CD's aren't considered to be compressed.

Wink

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  Reply # 283084 16-Dec-2009 12:26
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ilovemusic:
Because in the right circumstances a phantom centre can sound better.

Redbook CD's aren't considered to be compressed.

Wink

I stand corrected on the CD audio, thanks.

Re the speakers, I agree the phantom can sound good in some circumtances (predominantly 2 channel to multi channel approximations IMO).  IMO a good quality centre speaker should give better, more reliable results in more situations than a phantom receiver based approximation.

Over to the buyers to test this out for themselves though I would think.  Different strokes for different installs and folks.



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  Reply # 283251 16-Dec-2009 21:52
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No, I don't have a PS3 at the moment but was seriously looking at one to provide the blu-ray media source.

I have looked further into receivers am looking at both the Onkyo 706 and the Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K. The Yamaha's are out of my price range.

My only concern with the Onkyo 706 is that it doesn't feature the Audyssey dynamic volume control. I have a lot of mp3's and an ipod and it annoys the heck out of me when the volume increases and decreases as I listen to different tracks. Are there ways around this? I have looked at the TX-SR507 but from what I can see it doesn't do the upscaling and I am not ready to purchase the PS3 and a FreeviewHD receiver just yet. Other than that it seems to be pretty good.

The Pioneer on the other hand is a bit dearer and from what I have read can be a real hassle to setup. That is big concern to me.

Are there any other brands / models that will be worth considering?

On the speaker front, I have had a chance to listen to range of speakers and am favouring the Wharfedale Diamond's (9.5) and will be checking out the 10's in the new couple of days. 


So much for the budget of $1800! I think $2500 is more realistic now. hmmm... can of worms comes to mind (but in a good way!)

Cheers


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