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Tips on getting that new HT system - info, suggested brands and advice

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Old 13-05-2009, 11:16 PM   #61
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Try here:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=48382.0

And in particular read the "systems" thread and since you are keen on satellite setups:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=45847.0

Hi Folks,

I have been looking around a lot on Home Cinema Theater Systems for my living room but still have no clues in which systems should i buy.

Below are some of the brands that I am looking currently:
-Jamo
-Morel
-Yamaha
-Onkyo

The more I see, the more i blur. My budget is around 2k, I can stretch to 3k If i really like the system. I prefer satelite white speakers. Not really into gaming, more for music and movies.

Any bros care to share their experience and recommendations?

Many thanks!
« Last Edit: Today at 12:
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Old 14-11-2009, 09:48 PM   #62
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Brilliant article if you wish to recreate a multi-sub systems:

In order to take advantage of the information in this article, you will need the following items:

SPL meter
RTA or FFT analyzer with at least 1/12th octave resolution
Patience and perseverance

This is NOT for those looking for a one button solution and have no patience in setting up or don't wish to spend time.

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/ge...-calibration-1

4 subs:


2 subs:


THX Subwoofer Calibration Recommendations
When discussing this article with THX, they suggested the following guidelines to follow for proper subwoofer placement and setup in which apply most closely to rectangular shaped rooms. Odd shaped rooms will have to experiment a bit more to find the best positions.

There are a few variations for subwoofer placement, depending on how many subwoofers you have in your room. Small rooms generally mess up the bass with "room modes." The five things that you can do to control it are:

Choose a room with dimensions so that the modal frequencies do not overlap
Place the seats where you are not at a modal peak or dip
Place the subs so they help control the amplitude of the modes
Use low frequency absorbers to knock off the peaks of the bass
Equalize (as a last step when everything else has been optimized)

In general for rectangular rooms; if you have four subs, THX recommends starting with one in each corner, if you have two, put them in opposite mid-wall positions, if you have one place it in one of the corners along the front wall. Next listen to the seat to seat variation and move the subs along the walls until you achieve the smoothest bass coverage. Being able to move a separate subwoofer around the room to find the best location many times outweighs the benefits of a "built-in" sub. Follow subwoofer positioning recommendations, perform the proper measurements and always trust your ears. When determining the best subwoofer placement, you should always move your subs around the room to determine how the room affects bass quality.
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Last edited by petetherock; 05-05-2010 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 21-11-2009, 04:07 PM   #63
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Personal tips on buying a system

Just some personal opinions on shopping for a new setup.
The steps are simple:
- decide on a budget - no sense gazing at setups which cost a lot more or less, as the lust factor may set in and when you assemble something that costs a lot less, it may sound so different from that dream system that it is all a let down...

Be realistic - 500$ is small change in the HT world. But even a mini-compo is fine if thats all you can afford. But for those posts asking for "great bass", "good sound quality" etc etc for a few hundred dollars, if you do not get many replies, well the straight blunt truth is you are not being realistic.


- WAF == don't underestimate this. Life is compromise. If we could have miles of cabling sprawled all over plus a brace of SVS subs in our living room, thats nice, but for the sake of matrimonial harmony, we have to decide if satellites and cutesy speakers can placate the wife instead of mean big black boxes.

- HT, music or both. Yearing for both will cost you.

HT is about ambience, the surround effect, room treatment and speaker placement. Don't underestimate the importance of room treatment. So if you your lair is also your living room, understand the limitations of getting the right surround effect.

As for music, know that good stands for bookshelve speakers and many other audiophile tweaks do help. If you want a good musical experience from that budget HT setup and want a "musical system", then you are not being realistic. Expect a good stereo amp to do the job or understand that a AV amp is probably only as good as a stereo amp which is 1/4 the cost.

Finally hard work - it takes time and effort. It has been written many times that no amount of money spent on fancy equipment will replace elbow grease and you should expect to spend time placing your setup and moving furniture to ahcieve an ideal HT experience. With that, you can spend less and yet get a dcent effect. Or wonder why it sounds so different compared to the homes you auditioned.

Final words - a bit of advice, you can audition a few homes, but each owner has a difference emphasis and taste. Get one or two closest to your taste and budget, then build things up from there.
After you buy, sit back and enjoy!
Cheers
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Old 23-01-2010, 11:22 AM   #64
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The key to any purchase is catering to your budget and your music tastes. This has been mentioned here before.

Bookshelf speakers and a modest AV amp in a HDB unit are fine. The subwoofer takes away heavy power requirements allowing you to make do with a weaker amp.

In a 5.1 system the stress on the power supply is also not that tough compared to a 7.1 system.

Cheers.
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:57 AM   #65
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Budget of 2-3k

This seems to be the sweet spot for many new entrants to HT and it is time to update this price range.

If you don't mind 2nd hand, 2k can stretch further and get you much better stuff, esp for AV amps. Some owners will post high selling prices for their precious previously owned items, but eventually the prices gets realistic and there are bargains to be had for 2008 or even 2008 models. Wait for the xtreme kings to upgrade their stuff.

You can look up the sales section in xtremeplace.com for deals. HWZ is mainly a PC place and there are less people into HT systems.

Recently Denon + Marantz have made a killing with their amp + speaker packages and the Denon xx10 + Boston Acoustics system for < 1.2k is a good starting point, allowing Hi Def to get a foothold in your home.

You can add a Blu Ray player for < 300 and kick off to a good start.

However it is not hard to outgrow this system since the weakness lies in the speaker system. It will not do much justice to music and even voice reproduction. And bass is acceptable at best.

So I offer this suggestion:

The centre speaker + subwoofer are the lynchpins of HT.
So keep that $300 BR player.
If you insist on a new AV amp, spend around 1k on a model that has pre-out, and a decent video chip – right now the 2310 seems to check most boxes on this, but I don’t want to simple endorse 1 brand despite my own bias.

That leaves you $700 or so for a new 5.1 system, which is what I would pay for a decent subwoofer. The likes of SVS, Velodyne etc are fine. Spend that 700 on the subwoofer.

So reach into your pockets a little, and see if you can come up with another $500-$800 for the 5 channels sans subwoofer.
This amount can get you 3 front speakers of a matching genre which are decent and the remaining amount you can make do with lower end speakers to give you that ambience. The Wharfedale WH 2 is a decent example of a surround.

Remember the word is ‘decent’ not great, that costs more…

I always leave room for the itchy hands. I have mentioned before, spend as much upfront as you can, instead of trying to ‘upgrade’ and fix the sound when you realised it is not to your liking. That actually costs more.
So if this 2-2.5k system fills you with regret after a week, then you can upsize the sub, the 3 front speakers or get the Oppo BD 80 instead as upgrades.

This might put you into the 4k range, but hey, welcome to the poison….

Cheers.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:50 AM   #66
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How low can you go to enjoy Hi Def?

Being realistic: bottom of the barrel budget for High Definition in your home

Hi Def is now more accessible to the masses.

But there is still a bare minimum you need to pay to enjoy a decent Home Theatre experience.

NOTE: This post is a suggestion for HT, for good music, it will cost you more. Also if you are willing to go 2nd hand prices are better and help to stretch out the budget.

SOURCE:

A decent Blu Ray player is now within reach, and if you don’t mind a slow loading time, or half decent video scaling, then Philips, LG, Sony etc all offer players under 300 and in some cases <200.

AMP:

There are amps with internal decoding, HDMI switching etc which cost <$500. What you need:
- lossless decoding of TruHD and DTS-MA
- I suggest paying for an auto-setup and Audyssey is the current leader in technology, and paying for Multi EQ XT is worth it IMO
- at least 3 HDMI inputs
- 5 channels is ok, but 7 is nice but not needed
- pre-outs are nice

Budget 5-800
Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz etc all have offerings in this range.

SPEAKERS:

This is where you should spend the most you can, especially on the subwoofer and centre. Get things from the same range for equal voicing, but you can scrimp on the rears and get something cheaper or re-cycle old stuff you have at home.

The cheap and small stuff will make you regret that purchase, so see how much you can stretch. There are other threads on satellites vs bookshelves, subwoofers etc and these threads will give you and idea on how much and what is out there.

IMO, I would set aside 5-800 for the front 3. Another 1k or so for the subwoofer and leave 2-400 on the rears.
Wharfedale, Mission, Morduant Short, Monitor Audio, Energy, even KEF and possibly B/W etc etc will have something in that range.

This is the kind of money you set aside and these speakers will last a few upgrades or if you are satisfied, stay with you and last 10 years.

Then leave aside 100-200 for cables and the like.

That means a High Definition system will cost, after adding things up, around 3-4k for something you won’t take back to the shop or regret after 6 months.

If your budget falls short of this, don’t fret, it ok, what are your options:
- use a 2 channel system first
- as mentioned, get 2nd hand
- lower your expectations, listen and use DVDs instead
- HITBs are pretty ok and can provide some HT experience too and they can be had for <1k
- spend a lot of time in a friend’s home with a nice HT system 


If you don’t intend to upgrade for years, get the best stuff you can afford, so you don’t end up with something you regret and need to sell off in a couple of months.


Good luck!

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Old 24-01-2011, 06:22 PM   #67
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I have a budget of 2k, to set up my HT system, but i have a few question to ask:

1. Does High Def affect the choice of HT system we choose? I always tot high def is related to image only. Or r we refering to blue-ray? So again, does blue-ray affect the sound system in anyway?

Hi Def is a video format - but it is often accompanied by lossless sound. A better HT system will give you a more realistic and enjoyable experience. Partnering Hi Def with a tiny HITB will not do it justice.

2. I saw Aldephi being mentioned a few times, any shop that is to good to go? Like for godo and honest bargain. Most probably i will just get what the shop recommend, cos i wont be doing much reseach to assemble my own system.

There are many shops in Adelphi + SLS. Walk around. Do some legwork.

3. Is sim-lim a good place to go get HT also? I saw a few shops there selling.
See above.

4. ANybody can give me a suggested list of HT system for my budget of 2k?

thanks a lot.
Most shops offer some kind of package. Since you did not indicate what your 2k covers, you should tell that to the shop. Models & brands will change.

Be realistic, 2k won't buy you a lot, esp if it is meant to cover the amp / BR player as well.

As for opinions on how it sounds, your Own Ears will be the judge.

You can see the how to buy and audition thread for more info.
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Old 24-02-2011, 08:56 AM   #68
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Was thinking of getting a home theather set. Have buget of 6k. What should I get, friend told me to get B&W
Depending on what your 6k is supposed to buy, it is a fairly decent budget.

You should audition a few system in Adelphi to give yourself an idea of what 6k will buy.

You need to be specific to get more help! 6k for what items???

B & W is fine for music And HT, but in Adelphi you will find a big variety of brands, do yourself a favor and try them out.

Have a look at this thread:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=43618.0
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Old 29-07-2011, 11:11 PM   #69
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is HDMI upscaling an important feature for receiver? Do i need this feature if my blueray player already support upscale?

THanks
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Old 30-07-2011, 01:32 AM   #70
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is HDMI upscaling an important feature for receiver? Do i need this feature if my blueray player already support upscale?

THanks
it depends does the tv, avr or the bluray player does a better job in upscaling. usually reviews, and the chipset used may indicate the quality.
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:54 AM   #71
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is HDMI upscaling an important feature for receiver? Do i need this feature if my blueray player already support upscale?

THanks
If your blu-ray supports upscaling, you need not AVR to do upscaling.

But you also do consider what are your sources too. For instance Standard Definition sources are like DVDs, Set-Top box, etc. These guys can be upscale from Component or Composite. Do get a HD Set-Top Box so you can avoid Upscaling and focus on the audio quality and other features.

Also upscaling may or may not be big difference depends on models.

Cheers!
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:48 AM   #72
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is HDMI upscaling an important feature for receiver? Do i need this feature if my blueray player already support upscale?

THanks
See this post in the sticky of displays:
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/sh...08&postcount=9
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #73
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Good day,

I have originally intended to build a 2.1 surround sound system utilising PS3 for playback, Cambridge Dacmagic DAC for converting signals and aktimate mini as active speakers. As advised by 1 of the forum guy in my other posting, this will achieve only stereo system for music.
So how should I build a 2.1 for surround? From what I gather in the net, I might need a 2 channel AVR such as Harman Kardon HK3490 with Dolby virtual speaker technology. If the AVR is required for the virtual surround, should I ditch the DAC and the akimate mini and op for passive speakers such as Mordant short Aviano 1XR??
Any advise or suggestion on how I should go abt it to achieve the best audiophile quality that I can get with 2.1 surround with budget ard 2.5k?? Many thks in advance for u guys valuable input.
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Old 16-08-2011, 11:18 PM   #74
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You have to decide if stereo performance or HT is important. 2.5k will get a decent stereo based system with a 2 channel amp, speakers and a source like a CD player.
Go to Adelphi and have a look, audition some of the suggested system (see the adjacent thread on how to buy).

If virtual surround is your interest, then an AV amp plus a source and a basic 2.1 system is possible. There is a <2k AV thread around. Take the budget for 5.1 channels, then use it to buy your 2.1 channels. You can get better speakers since you only need 2 speakers and a sub.

Be realistic and know what you want. Read around first and do some homework.
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Old 20-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #75
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A nice article on how to audition speakers - yes AUDITION and Not Audit...
How to Audition Loudspeakers in a Retail Store &mdash; Reviews and News from Audioholics
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