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Need a Home Theater system that won't, y'know, nuke my wallet. - Page 6

post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Rocker View Post
You are bashing the Z-5500's yet you have the most poor sound card ever.

I bet you havn't even been in a room with some properly set up Z-5500's.

Do you even know what THX certification means?

And how loud they go?
Hahah good point--alas, I am ordering a new sound card now! (or "audio processing unit" as some dweebs like to call it). THX (as stated by Chipp below) has never been something in which I was terribly interested, but I have been familiar with the "standard" and that it is not something that's by any means necessary in selecting audio equipment. I think that the Onkyo has much more potential as a versatile system, and you get SO much more functionality for the price. I must say, I really do like the Logitech mounts/stands, though--nice feature.

And I'll have you know that this sound card has done pretty well for an OEM Dell P.O.S. Produces very acceptable audio quality when using decent headphones, and is considerably adjustable. However, the time to replace it has long since come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipp View Post
Yes - THX is a certification for home theater gear that was originally developed by some folks from LucasFilm to ensure that theaters playing Star Wars would be able to reproduce the audio with suitable quality. THX certified gear is generally quite good - however, the certification costs money and the standard is additional advertisement, so generally THX certified stuff has higher markup than normal.
Excellently posted. Never heard it so neatly summed up.
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post #52 of 73
Save money and don't buy a cheap home theater system instead just save up more money so you can get the best you can afford. I mean if you're gonna go ahead and spend money why don't you do it right the first time and get quality speakers.

Z-5500 are good but not great having their older model Z-560 4.1 system. I was rather blown away with 2.0 speakers because of the accuracy, tightness, & clean sound although there isn't as much low end as my Z-560 but still it sounds a whole lot better.
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post #53 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by S2kphile View Post
Save money and don't buy a cheap home theater system instead just save up more money so you can get the best you can afford. I mean if you're gonna go ahead and spend money why don't you do it right the first time and get quality speakers.

Z-5500 are good but not great having their older model Z-560 4.1 system. I was rather blown away with 2.0 speakers because of the accuracy, tightness, & clean sound although there isn't as much low end as my Z-560 but still it sounds a whole lot better.
What's wrong with the Onkyo? Poor speaker quality?
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post #54 of 73
Onkyo make speakers?

Never knew that.
post #55 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka View Post
Onkyo make speakers?

Never knew that.
I'm 99% sure they are OEMed from someone else.
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post #56 of 73
From Newegg reviews on this Onkyo model:
Quote:
Pros: Pretty good sound overall, I gave the rating a 5 because of cost to quality ratio. The receiver is very good, but could use HDMI switching... I originally was going to buy an Onkyo SP-904, but after going to the store to see those system the sub was about the size of my mini-fridge, and the center speaker was 2-3 feet wide. So i went back and checked out this system, the sound quality is still very good and the difference between a 2.1 system with a 6" sub to a 5.1 system with an 8" sub... is just awesome. Also these speakers are 700W.. you don't need them to be any louder unless you are in college.

Cons: No HDMI on receiver. Speaker wires are something you'll want to replace.

Other Thoughts: Great price for what you get, only thing i'd like is HDMI and better speaker wires.
There are other somewhat respectable reviews, but not many out of the 12 reviews total. It really doesn't seem like a bad starter kit, folks.
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post #57 of 73
There needent be any bashing of anyone regarding the z-5500. They have digital inputs and if you are using them then the sound card becomes pretty much irrelevant.

That said, the z-5500 are alright. They sound good compared to most computer speakers, and fine for what you pay. You would be hard pressed to get better for the same money, especially since you can find them for well under $300 now. But they will never be able to compete with real speakers. Also, for the OP's situation they are not the best as they were designed for near-field listening and to be placed around a computer. The cables aren't long enough to set them up in a room so that will add extra cost and you'll have to turn them up louder than you really should compromising some of their sound.


I wouldn't buy an Onkyo HTIB (home theater in a box) most of the lower priced ones are junk. They make some pretty good receivers and amps, but they don't put the good ones in cheap boxes and the speakers are mostly rubbish.


With the OP's price limitations I highly suggest a pair of small bookshelf speakers/monitors on stands for now. Get a nice receiver. You can get a refurb Onkyo 506 from shop onkyo for $199. Then as you get more funds you can add a center channel, surrounds and a sub. There are some b-stock elt525m's for $179 right now.
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post #58 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
With the OP's price limitations I highly suggest a pair of small bookshelf speakers/monitors on stands for now. Get a nice receiver. You can get a refurb Onkyo 506 from shop onkyo for $199. Then as you get more funds you can add a center channel, surrounds and a sub. There are some b-stock elt525m's for $179 right now.
This route, albeit more expensive- is your best solution regarding sound quality. I took this road about 5 months ago, and i have not looked back.
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post #59 of 73
If I may please, I also want to buy a sound system and would like to participate here with some worthwhile questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noname View Post
[On purchasing a good receiver and expanding upon it from there:]
This route, albeit more expensive- is your best solution regarding sound quality. I took this road about 5 months ago, and i have not looked back.
It seems to be true. Though the features of the Onkyo receiver (link) are alluring, I'm not sure of the receiver's capabilities, and I srsly doubt its speakers' worth. I have to say that the price seems phenomenal, but again; it may be an illusion. I'm still taking the following quote (from SilkRoad) into account:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
for the use of computer gaming. You will be more than happy with the 5500's.
Compared to the z-5500's, the Onkyo set linked above seems that it would have superior audio quality and speaker range*. It is also obvious that the sheer A/V switching power of the Onkyo receiver in that set is very useful, though not the focus of our goal here. The z-5500 system is attractive only because it is compact. Its capabilities are undoubtedly limited by its size, yet gamers rave about them. Personally, I'd like a little more audio capability (out of my PC and out of my impending purchase) than the z-5500 seems to offer, so I won't focus on the z-5500.

Questions:
  • The Onkyo receiver has 180 W (3 ohms), 140 W (4 ohms), and/or 95 W (8 ohms). Um, wut? How many watts per channel should a decent receiver have so that it may eventually power 5.1 or 7.1 channels with decent* speakers? (Let's say I'd want to start with 2 decent "bookshelf" speakers and eventually add to other channels.)

  • Games (movies, and music too) have theater quality sound output nowadays, and so should my equipment (eventually). I can find speakers on my own, but I want the best bang:buck* in a receiver. (The one I have is old. It would probably catch fire while playing a Eazy-E album at 50% volume thru 8 Ohm speakers. j/k, but it's not good enuf.) Is Onkyo a good example of good bang:buck? Regardless, at what other brands should I look?

  • Maybe I'll add more, later, but I have to leave work now.

*range = distance from listener, not necessarily freq. range/response
*decent = decent speakers, meaning speakers that have enough quality that most wouldn't want to replace them for years. Good enuf?
*bang:buck = quality-to-price ratio. LoL orly?
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post #60 of 73
first of all get a receiver separate from a box HT solution.

Power needed depends on the speakers mostly and the size of the room/sound level desired second.

For most situations a good solid 20-30watts is all you need.
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