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AV Receiver and Speakers For Audio Newb

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I'm new to the whole home audio scene. I do, however, want to have a great sounding system in my home for movies, games, HTPC, and such. I know nothing about AV or speakers other than face value. I have never used any other sound system for my TV other than an old boom box with 2 speakers that push sound from my cable box. This system doesn't have to be the best of the best or top of the line, but I don't want complete garbage So, what I am looking for:

- Preferably a black AV receiver and black speakers
- Looking for something that isn't necessarily "easy" to set up but not looking for something that requires a degree to set up either
- Something under $400 total (for AV receiver and speakers)
- Something worth the money
-Quality product from a quality company
- Something that's going to last

I have found something like this ---> http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0077V88V8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384998967&sr=8-1&keywords=Onkyo+HT-S3505+5.1+Channel+Home+Cinema+Receiver%2FSpeaker+Package but I have heard that the all-in-one systems are not worth the money. Any truth to this?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions. thumb.gif
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post #2 of 8
The onkyo HTIB's in that class actually aren't bad if they meet the connectivity needs of the system. They include a receiver with industry standard decoding capabilities for surround sound, and a functional set of speakers that can make some noise. These systems are best suited to smaller listening areas that are limited to HDMI devices only, (except, perhaps a game console that is going to be directly connected to the TV to avoid latency anyway). They sound "fine" provided you are not expecting an ultra hifi "flat" response and extended lows (don't expect much below 50hz from a reflex box that small).

If you have any legacy devices (pre-HDMI) that need to be plugged into the system, then you probably want a receiver with analog-to-digital video up-conversion to simplify the use of the system. Receivers with this feature don't often come in HTIB's, and start around $250-600 depending on brand, market pricing etc. Furthermore, a receiver with an automatic response correction system (EQ based on measurement) makes a big difference in sound quality when dealing with less than impressive speakers. Entry measurement/correction systems show up in receivers in this same price range.

Refurbished receivers from years past often pack a lot of value: http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXNR609/Onkyo-TX-NR609-7.2-Channel-3-D-Ready-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html#!specifications
That one offers Analog up-conversion to HDMI out (but not from component-in) and a response correction system. Not bad for under $300. Some creative buying could probably manage a 5.1 speaker system to match this to for a couple hundred dollars.
Edited by mdocod - 11/21/13 at 9:09pm
     
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post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebacanezer View Post

Ok, so I'm new to the whole home audio scene. I do, however, want to have a great sounding system in my home for movies, games, HTPC, and such. I know nothing about AV or speakers other than face value. I have never used any other sound system for my TV other than an old boom box with 2 speakers that push sound from my cable box. This system doesn't have to be the best of the best or top of the line, but I don't want complete garbage So, what I am looking for:

- Preferably a black AV receiver and black speakers
- Looking for something that isn't necessarily "easy" to set up but not looking for something that requires a degree to set up either
- Something under $400 total (for AV receiver and speakers)
- Something worth the money
-Quality product from a quality company
- Something that's going to last

I have found something like this ---> http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0077V88V8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384998967&sr=8-1&keywords=Onkyo+HT-S3505+5.1+Channel+Home+Cinema+Receiver%2FSpeaker+Package but I have heard that the all-in-one systems are not worth the money. Any truth to this?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions. thumb.gif

I wouldn't waste my money on those all in ones. The little speakers are hardely ever worth it and after a while you'll just want something better thus wasting the money. Do what I did, gradually build your system up and you'll be miles happier.

Start with a receiver and a couple speakers speakers for 2 channel. Then buy a couple more for rears, then buy a center channel and a sub. Or whatever you wanna do. You'll be much happier with full range speakers than you are those little sats. I did it once and I ended up replacing them a few months later.

I started off with Polk Audio R150s (these are out of date now)


Then I bought two more for the rears and a center channel.
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your input and suggestions. I do really appreciate it as I am venturing into uncharted territory. I do have my eye on some of the receivers over at accessories4less.com and have a few that I really like. I think what I will do is buy my system piece by piece and just assemble it as I have the money instead of buying an all-in-one system.

One question, are the stand speakers better than the bookshelf speakers?
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebacanezer View Post

Thank you both for your input and suggestions. I do really appreciate it as I am venturing into uncharted territory. I do have my eye on some of the receivers over at accessories4less.com and have a few that I really like. I think what I will do is buy my system piece by piece and just assemble it as I have the money instead of buying an all-in-one system.

One question, are the stand speakers better than the bookshelf speakers?

It's debatable, depends on the model.
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post #6 of 8
I just picked this Onkyo TX-NR616 7.2 up for 300 it seems like a good starting point for all the features and thx certification and way more HDMI hookups than i have at the moment, but you know what they say " rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR616-Channel-Certified-Receiver/dp/B0077V88W2
post #7 of 8
THX certification doesn't really mean what it used to anymore. Back then they used to beat on audio equipment to make sure it could handle the certification. Thus why Bose has never once been certified. Now days, from what I've read from a lot of people is they hand it out like candy.

But all that aside...it's a great starting point. Once you get it hooked up, the need for a better one probably won't arise unless you get some beefy speakers.

I'm currently using an Yamaha RX467 with these beasts ^__^

They stand about 5 feet tall and rattle the house. Music and video games both sound amazing as hell.
5898089


If you want to hook your computer up to it using HDMI, I wrote a guide here:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1028415/how-to-computer-hdmi-sound-to-receiver-ati-hdmi/0_100
Edited by SpykeZ - 12/2/13 at 3:27pm
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post #8 of 8
The by far best bang for buck receiver is the Yamaha RX-V375. It is "only" 5.1, but honestly who really needs 7.1? It also lacks the wireless/networking features, but who needs that anyways since TV's and set-top boxes and every other device under the sun does some form of streaming. I would get that ($220 on Amazon right now) and the Monoprice 10565 5.1 speaker setup for $200. That will get you a good start, and you won't feel bad eventually upgrading the speakers since they only cost $200. But they do have great reviews for the price.
   
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