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View Full Version : Receiver and Speaker opinions ?


jcc183
01-28-01, 12:41 AM
Got a question for you guys into home audio... I'm looking at buying a receiver and a decent set of home theater speakers...

for the receiver i've been eyeballing the Sony DE-945, which would fit in nicely with my sony wega and sony dvd player, and i can get it at a pretty good price ($365 shipped - company discount)... however, i've been reading some other forums that suggest buying a receiver capable of 6.1 at this point... i'm not really sure if i'll be able to find a good one at that price, plus i'm not sure if i'd ever fully appreciate it... to be quite honest, i doubt i'd be able to tell the difference between a medium receiver and high end anyway, so whats the difference to me ? will the newer receivers have that many more features that will make it worth the money in the long run ? i'm not sure if i can beat this receiver for this price...

as for the speakers, i've been looking at the Bose Acoustimass 6 Series II ... i've seen them at best buy for $600, or outpost has them for $600 with free overnight shipping (save on tax) ... i'll probably go down to best buy this week to give them a listen... will these speakers reproduce music well ? i don't need earth shattering sound, but i remember i listened to my friend's set of bose speakers and they didn't sound very full when playing music, but sounded excellent while we watched dvd's on his 53" projection screen... hehe... are there other speakers better than this for around the same price ? i was hoping to go with a package deal since i'm no home theater buff...

this setup will be in a medium sized apartment so its not necessary for it to be the loudest system in the world.. just something that will make the movies come alive and satiate my music listening needs... your advice/opinions are appreciated.... thanks...

-- Jeff

palebluedot
01-28-01, 01:24 AM
First of all the only thing a 6.1 system does is add a rear channel to the surround. This essentially means that what was once your rear surrounds now move to the sides of your listening position. Are you going to have enough space or options for speaker mounting for a 6.1 system. Also it will depend or your movie buying/renting. I would say that only 1% of the 200 movies I own have a 6.1 soundtrack. To me 5.1 suits me just fine.
I am not completely familiar with the sony DE-945 but I do know it is a pretty good bang for the buck receiver and the general satisfaction rate is high(check here for some reviews )http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/AVReceiver/product_66954.shtml). (http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/AVReceiver/product_66954.shtml)
You probably have seen a lot of Bose bashing on review web sites and I'm no different. I do not like the Bose series speakers for many reasons, but the biggest for me is sound quality. I personally feel you would be better off with something like the Energy Take 5s or a Cambridge Soundworks system. With speakers though, always listen to them first with the type of music and movies that YOU listen to and watch and always make sure you can return a purchase because it is going to sound different, when you get it home. You definitly want to buy what sounds good to YOU and if the Bose series meets your requirments, so be it. Just don't limit yourself before sampling what else is out there.

Hope this helps.

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I am the one who calls himself I AM!

[This message has been edited by palebluedot (edited January 27, 2001).]

Gonnosuke
01-28-01, 01:44 AM
I'm sure someone will bash the hell out of Bose because of this thread...

I personally think that if you want to listen to music you should stay away from Bose. There is very little midrange which means most of the music you listen to will sound hollow. I'd recommend the Energy speakers that Palebluedot mentioned as possible candidates. You might want to check out Polk, Boston Acoustics and JBL as well. Best Buy and Circuit City sell those brands and I think you'll be more satisfied with choosing one of those rather than the Bose system.
As for the Sony receiver - for the money you want to spend you can't go wrong. I don't have experience with that particular model but I'm completely satisfied with my ES model.

Just remember, no matter what ANYONE says it's all about what sounds good to you. Demo everything you're considering buying and make sure that you get to hear them playing music as well as in a home theatre.

Good luck! And let us know what you decide to go with.

-Gonnosuke

jcc183
01-28-01, 02:11 AM
thanks for the suggestions guys... i didn't mean to start drama about the bose stuff... like i even said originally, i wasn't that impressed by what my friend's system sounded like (i forget the model he had)... looks like i'll be off to best buy and circuit city this week to give a listen to some stuff in store...

-- jeff

Frank S
01-28-01, 02:43 AM
I would steer clear of the Sony DE models as they have had reliability issues. You should be able to find a Sony DB model for about the same price and you will get MUCH BETTER performance and reliability.

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Weapon X
01-28-01, 03:34 AM
I just got a Sony 845..didn't need the 945...and paid only $297, so I am happy. Sounds GREAT, and blasts my room if I just turn the dial a tiny bit..

Runs hot, but other than that, rules.

As for speakers, I started reading this Forum, and felt I needed a 'respctable' pair...

Listened to Bose, JBL, Cerwin Vega..and down to KLH...

My hearing is *Okay* and I can't hear a weasel fart from the left tweeter at -712.4 decibals or whatever anyway, so I picked up a pair of two Yamaha floorstanders that sound great, and a pair of the $400 Sears Sony speakers..I am deciding right now..can't tell the difference, but will probably keep the Sony set up for timbre issues.

I did like the Paradigm speakers..they had a nice 'even' quality..so that would be my only upgrade that I will consider.

I'd go all-Sony. If you don't like it, you can always return it.
http://talk.dvdtalk.com/ubb/smile.gif

Have fun!

Weapon X
01-28-01, 03:36 AM
Oh, and 6.1..why bother? It isn't perfected yet, and there will be better, cheaper models eventually..probably with 7.1, 8.1`,2001...whatever.

I just moved up to DTS, and can barely find enough DTS titles to keep me happy!

As Chess pointed out, your reciever will probably be replaced before your speakers anyway, so go with a decent 945, and pick the best speakers you can.

JMHO.

Master J
01-28-01, 05:08 PM
If you can afford it, I would recommend going with the Sony DB series. I have the DB 830 from last year and have been highly satisfied. As for speakers, BOSE for the price are not worth it in my opinion. If space is an issue BOSE warrants a look, but I would also take a look at the Energy Take 5 and JBL northridge series (N24 or N26).

Personally I own the JBL Studio series S38s and an S-Center. I have been very impressed with these speakers, and for the money provide one of the better bargains you can get on decent speakers. They are larger in size than the BOSE, but for 600 bucks you should almost be able to afford a whole set-up online if you use northridge series for surrounds.

J

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Don't be a luddy-duddy! Don't be a mooncalf! Don't be a jabbernowl!

WOWZY
01-28-01, 06:14 PM
I've always prefered the High-Current A/V recievers like the HarmanKardon or Carver for their better sound. Let the salesmen at Circuit City give you a complete demo of the High-Current recievers vs. low-current ones.

Just be sure that if you buy a High-Current reciever to give it alot of breating room because these babies get Hot. Just don't sit another component directly on top of it without a shelf between them.

Good luck
<font color=blue>

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Harman Kardon DVD50 DVD Player, AVR510 A/V Reciever.
Infinity Speakers: RS5 Towers, CC3 Center, BU2 Sub, RS3 Rears.
Sony KP-41T25 TV

rmount
01-29-01, 11:21 AM
Reguarding 6.1 receivers. I'm not suggesting you go out and purchase one of these, but their are other features. I recently installed a Denon 5800 and as previously mentioned there are only a few titles out there that take advantage of the extra channels. The feature I find hand is I can use the extra two amplifiers to power a second set of speakers in my living room, and control them with the RF remote. The available 6.1 ES movie tracks do sound amazing.

M i c h a e l
01-29-01, 09:54 PM
http://www.goodsound.com/speakers.html

PoorBoy
01-30-01, 12:41 AM
Don't bother with Sony, their "affordable" receivers aren't worth the money and the ES series receivers are out matched by many other companies (Pioneer Elite, Harman Kardon, Marantz, Denon) in the same price range. If you really want something decent that has 6.1 go for this. www.outlawaudio.com (http://www.outlawaudio.com) <- they sell a matrixed 6.1 channel receiver with DD/DTS and their proprietary EX surround. It's been getting good reviews as well.

As for speakers look towards Energy Take 5, Paradigm, Gallo, B&W, Monitor Audio, Definitive Technology, etc. etc. Everyone out there makes affordable surround sound setups now and just about any of them will beat the tang out of Bose. Give what you can a listen locally and base your decision on that. Hell, you might even prefer the Bose over some of those others (although I doubt it). There are just so many options out there.

Sdallnct
01-30-01, 12:58 AM
I'm new to HT, but can relate from an audio perspective, I recently purchased a Sony STRDE845. Why? Ease of use for family, reasonable priced. No problems so far.

I hooked it up to my KEF speakers. I will 2nd (or is 3rd?) others, I would generally stear clear of of Bose. Never been a Bose fan. While I like KEF, they are not all that popular. If you can't find them try B&W, Celeston, Boston Accoustic, etc.

So how does my Sony sound with my KEF's? Not as good as when they were hooked up to my pure audio system. Lost a lot of warmth, and depth. But the Sony does have the power to drive them. Overall? Pleased with the sound. While I don't find myself just listening to music as often as I use to, I do enjoy the movies.

Weapon X
01-30-01, 09:47 AM
Man, I tested a few H/K's and a Denon, and found them lacking. It really IS "To your own ears". The two that got me were the Yamaha and the Sony. I picked the Sony for all the neat tweaking ability.

I finally got it calibrated last night, and felt nervous during two movies with the swift swirling of clean, non-hissing sounds that seemed to effortlessly pan through the room.

Sadly, I tested an Onkyo today that ran a grand, and had THX, etc...and now I want one.

The worst part is, I KNOW for $500 or so more, there is an even juicier model....

Ah,well..gives me something to work for!
http://talk.dvdtalk.com/ubb/smile.gif

ZenDog
01-30-01, 11:00 AM
JCC183,
Do yourself a favor and simply steer clear of listening to speakers at places like Best Buy and Circuit City. While these stores do carry a few decent lines of speakers they are usually in very poor setups. What I mean is that it is really impossible to compare speakers when the are hooked up to crappy recievers, different recievers, in a poor acoustical environment, etc. If you make a visit to a local HT store they will take you step by step on listening to speakers. Plus you actually get a knowlegeable sales person (no offense intended Best Buy and CC employees). In your price range I would reccommend getting the Energy Take 5 speaker package. It will not be easy to find a place to give these a listen though. Good Luck

BLDN10
01-30-01, 02:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ZenDog:
If you make a visit to a local HT store they will take you step by step on listening to speakers. Plus you actually get a knowlegeable sales person (no offense intended Best Buy and CC employees</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Can't argue w/ that advice - I'd just add that if you take the HT guy's time don't then go to CC or BB or online and buy the speakers he sold you on. These B&M people offer a valuable service and they absolutely will go out of business if we take advantage of them. If you are not willing to pay them a reasonable premium for a legit listening room, etc., then be content w/ what the others offer.

matchpenalty
01-30-01, 07:00 PM
I second the above. I wound up buying my system at a local A/V shop. The service, advice and listening setup were excellent. Even cut a reasonable deal for him to install the system for me.

Barenaked Beagle
01-30-01, 07:06 PM
Spend a little more and go with Paradigms, you won't regret it.

Frank S
01-31-01, 02:02 AM
Anyone who makes a statement that the Sony ES receivers are subpar to other like receivers has either never heard the ES receivers or doesn't have a clue. And if this person is trying to compare the $1200 ES to a $3800 Denon and thinking they are in the same class there again this person doesn't have a clue! Put a ES against any receiver in it's price range and $1000 higher and it will beat most and be equal to the others!

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My Home Theater Equipment (http://members.fortunecity.com/fslove/)

ZenDog
01-31-01, 11:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Frank S:
Anyone who makes a statement that the Sony ES receivers are subpar to other like receivers has either never heard the ES receivers or doesn't have a clue. And if this person is trying to compare the $1200 ES to a $3800 Denon and thinking they are in the same class there again this person doesn't have a clue! Put a ES against any receiver in it's price range and $1000 higher and it will beat most and be equal to the others!

</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have to agree with Frank S about the ignorance of the comment about Sony ES recievers. They are very well built and offer many great features. I own last years Sony 555ES reciever and to me it sounded better with my speakers then many other brands I listened to in the $600 price range(Pioneer Elite, HK, Denon). This reciever has been flawless so far and has been the best investment in my HT. Do not forget that sound is subjective so to each his own Poorboy.

jcc183
01-31-01, 10:33 PM
Thanks for all the info and advice guys. Looks like I'll skip the trip to Circuit City and BB (I was actually already at CC, but didn't bother to check out their speakers more than giving them a once over). I'll probably head into manhattan to give the Energy Take 5's, a set of Paradigm speakers, and some low end JM Lab speakers in the upcoming week. Hopefully, hearing them in a real store with a decent setup will help me make a better choice. Thanks again !

-- Jeff