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Trying to decide between these 2 speaker + amp packs

Old 10-26-06, 09:27 PM
  #1  
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Trying to decide between these 2 speaker + amp packs

Just wanted some opinions on these 2 setups.

Price difference between the 2 is not an issue. For me the main differences are that the Sony has 2 subs (I'm not big on bass sounds though) and it has HDMI switching. But it's only available in Silver.

The Yamaha does not have HDMI switching, but appears to have more powerful front speakers, but the power on the other speakers is not listed. It is however available in a really nice wooden cherry colour. Makes it look like a million bucks. But either colour would suit my apartment.

Does it make a difference that the Yamaha amp has a frequency output that is lower than the speakers? I cannot find frewuency info on the Sony product. Anyone know if it's much different to the Yamaha one? And at this low/mid range price is Yamaha better than Sony or vice versa?


Sony (STRK1500 + SSCRP1500) HTDDW1500

Power
Front Speakers: 140W RMS
Surround Speakers: 140W RMS
Centre Channel: 140W RMS
Subwoofer: 165W x 2 RMS
Connections
Total Connectable Sources: 6
Analogue Audio In/Out: 2/1
Optical Digital In/Out: 2/0
Digital Coaxial In/Out: 1/0
HDMI In/Out: 2/1
Component Video In/Out: 2/1
Composite Video In/Out: 3/2
Multi Channel In/Out: 1 (5.1)/0
Subwoofer Output: 2
Sound Modes
Cinema Studio EX A, B & C: Yes
Virtual Multi Dimension: Yes
Multi Channel Stereo: Yes
2 Channel Stereo: Yes
Dimensions (WxHxDmm)
Main Unit : 430 x 157.5 x 316
Front Speakers: 250 x 950 x 273 each
Surround Speakers: 171 x 216 x 149 each
Centre Channel: 514 x 174 x 219
Subwoofer: 275 x 331 x 374
General
Main Unit : 8.0kgs
Front Speakers: 15.5kgs each
Surround Speakers: 2.2kgs each
Centre Channel: 5.6kgs
Subwoofer: 9.5kgs each

or...


Yamaha YHT-575 Package

HTR-5940S Digital home theatre receiver
6.1-channel, 540W powerful surround sound (90W x 6 RMS, 8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.09% THD)
Compressed Music Enhancer
Front panel mini jack for portable player connection
Selectable 9-subwoofer crossover frequencies / subwoofer phase select
Digital ToP-ART and High Current Amplification
Direct Stereo for high quality 2-channel sound reproduction
192kHz/24-Bit DACs for all channels
HDTV compatible 3 component video inputs
Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS 96/24 compatibility
Night Listening Enhancer (Cinema/Music) and SILENT CINEMA
Quad-Field CINEMA DSP and 14 surround programmes
Audio Delay for adjusting lip-sync (0–160ms)
NS-50F Front speaker system
35Hz - 35kHz
2-way, 3-speaker bass-reflex tallboy speaker system
Dual 16cm cone woofers and 3cm dome tweeter
Magnetic shielding
240W high input power capacity
High sensitivity and wide dynamic range
NS-P70 Centre and satellite speaker package
Centre speaker
2-way acoustic suspension design
Dual 10cm cone woofers and 2.2cm soft dome tweeter with magnetic shielding
70Hz - 30kHz
Satellite speakers
Rear left and right and rear centre speakers
80Hz - 30kHz
2-way acoustic suspension design
10cm cone woofer and 2.2cm soft dome tweeter with magnetic shielding
YST-SW215 Subwoofer
Compact design
QD-Bass (Quatre Dispersion Bass) technology
Advanced YST (Yamaha Active Servo Technology)
High power and efficient power supply
Low (0.8W) standby power consumption
YST-SW215C 120W subwoofer in YHT-575C system, YST-SW216B 100W subwoofer in YHT-575B system
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Old 10-27-06, 07:50 AM
  #2  
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And at this low/mid range price is Yamaha better than Sony or vice versa
Yes.

I would take the Yamaha receiver over that Sony any day.
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Old 10-27-06, 08:10 AM
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I'd stay away from sony as far as speakers & audio equipment go. I've had too many bad experiences with blown circuits & speakers.
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Old 10-27-06, 08:33 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Yes.

I would take the Yamaha receiver over that Sony any day.
Brian speaks the truth. I think that Yamaha is quite underrated in the audio department. I've been very impressed with their receivers, especially in terms of features at their price points. Their speakers are more than respectable as well.
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Old 10-27-06, 11:11 AM
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There is no Sony receiver you could pay me to use. Clearly the Yamaha would be a better choice.

I'm not so sure I agree with Josh that Yamaha is underrated. Maybe in certain circles, but elsewhere they are very highly thought of. They are immensely popular with installers, high-end shops, the professional equipment for studios, etc.
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Old 10-27-06, 12:08 PM
  #6  
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Is there a reason your are looking at these two systems? Is there a reason you are trying for the same brand for speakers and receiver?

I don't in particular have a problem with the yamaha receiver (just say NO to Sony), but I'm not sure I'd ever consider Yamaha speakers.

I would suggest the lower end receivers from H/K, Onkyo and Denon and then match them up with lower/mid end speakers from KEF, NHT, Paradigm, B&W (also listen to Klipsch - I have never been a fan, but I have listened to two systems recently that were pretty darn good). Assuming the links provided represent actual selling prices, I think you could mix match for the same money, but get better sound. Tho I will admit I did not look at features. There maybe features on these systems you feel is more important then better sound quality and that is fine as well.

Spending just a minute or two looking, you might consider:

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...&s=electronics

or

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...&s=electronics

and

http://www.amazon.com/CELESTION-2BXS...&s=electronics

or

http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm

or

http://www.amazon.com/KEF-KHT5005-5-.../dp/B000I07PZ0

or

http://www.amazon.com/KEF-KHT-3005-t...&s=electronics
(tho this one will bust the budget it looks like)
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Old 10-27-06, 12:17 PM
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Pair a Yamaha receiver with Paradigm Titan speakers and a CC for a great lower-end system. It will blow either one of those packaged systems away.

Stay away from Sony, especially the receivers as they over rate their equipment.

Most Sony receivers use a single amp that is "split" into 5, 6 or 7 channels.

Yamahas and many other of the higher end auio companies tend to use multiple amps depending on the application.

I love my Yamaha Receiver but would never buy their speakers.
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Old 10-27-06, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
There is no Sony receiver you could pay me to use. Clearly the Yamaha would be a better choice.

I'm not so sure I agree with Josh that Yamaha is underrated. Maybe in certain circles, but elsewhere they are very highly thought of. They are immensely popular with installers, high-end shops, the professional equipment for studios, etc.
So you are saying they are over-rated?

I will clarify by saying their consumer models don't get the praise they should. IMHO, they are right up there with HK and Onkyo, with my only real complaint being clean volume levels and how much air is actually "pushed".
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Old 10-27-06, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
Stay away from Sony, especially the receivers as they over rate their equipment.

Most Sony receivers use a single amp that is "split" into 5, 6 or 7 channels.

Yamahas and many other of the higher end auio companies tend to use multiple amps depending on the application.
I just have to point out that all the low-end receivers are like this. They use one amp, and they over-rate their power. Sony just uses much worse amps and gives them ratings far more overblown than Yamaha and others.
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Old 10-27-06, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Is there a reason your are looking at these two systems? Is there a reason you are trying for the same brand for speakers and receiver?
Thing is I can get these 2 at a good price from work. The Yamaha especially. If I was to get seperate stuff I would only consider mixing stuff from the followings brands that I have access to:

Pioneer
JBL
DB Dynamics
Yamaha
Sony
Onkyo

I suppose getting an all in one pack would just make the choice easier for me.
I'll will check out Onkyo website now though.
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Old 10-28-06, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fmian
Thing is I can get these 2 at a good price from work. The Yamaha especially. If I was to get seperate stuff I would only consider mixing stuff from the followings brands that I have access to:

Pioneer
JBL
DB Dynamics
Yamaha
Sony
Onkyo

I suppose getting an all in one pack would just make the choice easier for me.
I'll will check out Onkyo website now though.
Oh, makes sense then.

Given those choices, I would probably look at the,

1. Onkyo
1a. Yamaha
2. Pioneer

More or less in that order. Tho there is a model or two of the Pioneer (I believe the all digital amp ones) have huge following. I actually bought one (don't remember the model, but was all the rave at AVS and fatwallet for an excellent low end receiver), but I didn't like it. I thought the sound was harsh, at least with my speakers. But some really like it.

The tough call here is that in general, I recommend getting speakers first and spending the most on speakers. Why? Speakers really haven't changed that much over time. Speakers that sounded good 10 years ago, still sound good today. And good sounding speakers today, will sound good 10 years from now.

Receivers however do change. Tho mainly in the features. While you might not care about HDMI/DVI switching today, you might in two or three years. While two component inputs is enough for today, it might not be in a couple of years. Tho there is ways around these issues, I still think it is more likely you would really want to upgrade a receiver before a good set of speakers. But I know folks that upgrade their speakers regularly, so to each their own.

I would not however put a lot of stock in any of the speakers from these companies. Tho if you enjoy them, that is all that matter. I would probably lean toward getting as nice of receiver as possible and then upgrading speakers in a year or two.

And not to challenge you on just what kind of deal you can get, but my very large company offers a huge "discount program" from a lot of other companies. However on electronics I rarely buy from it as I can do better on my own. Now some things like appliances I do buy from them as it does save a lot. But I would take the time to look on your own on these types of electronics. There is not a lot of mark up and you might be better off doing on your own.
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Old 10-29-06, 03:51 AM
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I don't know about where you live but there is a huge markup on many of these things around here. I can get the Yamaha setup for 50% off retail. The Sony maybe 20-30% off retail.
I do find the Yamaha amp kind of lacking in frequency range, and I won't need HDMI for at least another couple of years. So the Sony is out.
I'll do some more research on what's available from Onkyo and take a music cd to work to test some out.
I won't pretend to be an audiophile but I'm guessing a few songs sung in baritone and some in falsetto should be good to test a system right? I've got a few Jeff Buckley songs in mind that I've heard many times before with some good headphones, so I should be able to pick out any problems with the sound.
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Old 10-29-06, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fmian
I don't know about where you live but there is a huge markup on many of these things around here. I can get the Yamaha setup for 50% off retail. The Sony maybe 20-30% off retail.
Well it sounds like you maybe able to get a decent deal, however for the items you are looking at, do not look at the retail price. It is a meaningless, marked up, throw a dart at it number. None of the items you are looking at really sell at retail (well let me say no one should buy them at retail as they are easily available at much less). If you can save between 20% and 50% off retail for these products, I'd say in "real life" that is probably a savings of between 0% and 25% (which may still save you some money). Also don't forget to include all shipping and taxes in your "savings". We have a huge account with Dell. But if I go thru my employee purchase on Dell I always have to pay tax and shipping and cannot use any other discounts. However, if I wait for a good coupon from the normal Dell site, get free shipping, no tax, it actually comes up better.

Anyway, retail should only be looked at on the highest of end in audio electronics (Krell, B&W, KEF, etc). These are high end expensive items that the retail is a good price and still give value.

Be sure and look around for the products you want to buy. You never know!

Just a couple of quick examples,

The Yamaha RX-N600 is $650 retail, but a quick Froogle shows is sells in the $380-$450 range
The Yamaha RX-V659 is $550 retail, but a quick Froogle shows it sells in the $350-$425 range

The Sony STR-DG100 is $800 retail, but sells for $500-$600
The Sony STR-DG800 is $400 retail, but sells for $280-$300

The Yamaha receiver in your package (HTR-5940) looks to sell for about $300, I couldn't get the Sony receiver to come up,
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Old 10-29-06, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fmian
Thing is I can get these 2 at a good price from work. The Yamaha especially. If I was to get seperate stuff I would only consider mixing stuff from the followings brands that I have access to:

Pioneer
JBL
DB Dynamics
Yamaha
Sony
Onkyo

I suppose getting an all in one pack would just make the choice easier for me.
I'll will check out Onkyo website now though.
How good of a deal are you talking about? A large % discount off of MSRP doesn't mean you are getting a good deal. IMO, a pair of $225 Paradigm Titans will almost always be better than a pair of $400 speakers from CC/Best Buy that have been discounted to $225. My reccomendation is to come up with a number that you are comfortable with and consider all options, not just the brands carried by your employer. From the brands you listed, it sounds like you have some good receivers available (Onkyo and Yamaha). For speakers, I would look elsewhere unless it isn't feasible financially.
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Old 10-29-06, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
How good of a deal are you talking about? A large % discount off of MSRP doesn't mean you are getting a good deal. IMO, a pair of $225 Paradigm Titans will almost always be better than a pair of $400 speakers from CC/Best Buy that have been discounted to $225. My reccomendation is to come up with a number that you are comfortable with and consider all options, not just the brands carried by your employer. From the brands you listed, it sounds like you have some good receivers available (Onkyo and Yamaha). For speakers, I would look elsewhere unless it isn't feasible financially.
I agree. Come up with the budget first, then look at the products, ALL products.
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Old 10-29-06, 10:09 PM
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go with the Yamaha. I've owned 2 Sony receivers that have both crapped out in a short period of time. I ended up replacing the second with a Yamaha product that has outperformed the Sony's by a long shot.
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Old 10-30-06, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
How good of a deal are you talking about? A large % discount off of MSRP doesn't mean you are getting a good deal. IMO, a pair of $225 Paradigm Titans will almost always be better than a pair of $400 speakers from CC/Best Buy that have been discounted to $225. My reccomendation is to come up with a number that you are comfortable with and consider all options, not just the brands carried by your employer. From the brands you listed, it sounds like you have some good receivers available (Onkyo and Yamaha). For speakers, I would look elsewhere unless it isn't feasible financially.
Ok I'm converting from Australian to USD here, and I don't know if these get marked up just for being sold in Australia (like most electronics) but the Yamaha pack will set me back just under USD$680. That's not my budget, I'm willing to spend up to USD$950. If you can find me another 6.1 non-satellite speaker + amp pack for around that price that is better then that would be great.

I looked around at work today and we can also get wharfdale and canton speakers which I believe are good. For the same setup though I'm looking at a lot more money though.

I tested out an Onkyo setup that cost twice as much as the Yamaha but the music was very hissy and scratchy on the high notes. Tested some Canton satellites (double the price of the Yamaha for the speakers alone) and while they were good for the size, they didn't have the warmth of the Yamaha. I'll wait a little longer and see if the boss marks down the pack after stocktake (couple of weeks) and then grab them. And then updgrade the Amp in a few years if needed.

I will check out some Harmon Kardon systems tommorow though and see if we have a supplier for that stuff.
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Old 10-31-06, 10:01 AM
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Regardless of cost, great job on trying some systems out. They will sound different in your home, but listening first will give you a good idea of what you are getting.

Well, I did not realize you were in Australia, so my bad. I assuming ordersing something from the US would add considerable shipping/handling fees?

Assuming I had roughly $1,000 to spend here in the US, I would probably put together something like I listed above. H/K, Onkyo, Denon, receiver with Paradigm, KEF, NHT speakers. I got to tell you, I LOVE my Celestion speakers (linked above) even tho they are not expensive (anymore). I have them up high above my screen and yet I get excellent sound and direction. You should also be able to get real close using some of the basic Paradigm's which have a huge following and I have heard (sound great).


Originally Posted by fmian
Ok I'm converting from Australian to USD here, and I don't know if these get marked up just for being sold in Australia (like most electronics) but the Yamaha pack will set me back just under USD$680. That's not my budget, I'm willing to spend up to USD$950. If you can find me another 6.1 non-satellite speaker + amp pack for around that price that is better then that would be great.

I looked around at work today and we can also get wharfdale and canton speakers which I believe are good. For the same setup though I'm looking at a lot more money though.

I tested out an Onkyo setup that cost twice as much as the Yamaha but the music was very hissy and scratchy on the high notes. Tested some Canton satellites (double the price of the Yamaha for the speakers alone) and while they were good for the size, they didn't have the warmth of the Yamaha. I'll wait a little longer and see if the boss marks down the pack after stocktake (couple of weeks) and then grab them. And then updgrade the Amp in a few years if needed.

I will check out some Harmon Kardon systems tommorow though and see if we have a supplier for that stuff.
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Old 10-31-06, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Regardless of cost, great job on trying some systems out. They will sound different in your home, but listening first will give you a good idea of what you are getting.

Well, I did not realize you were in Australia, so my bad. I assuming ordersing something from the US would add considerable shipping/handling fees?

Assuming I had roughly $1,000 to spend here in the US, I would probably put together something like I listed above. H/K, Onkyo, Denon, receiver with Paradigm, KEF, NHT speakers. I got to tell you, I LOVE my Celestion speakers (linked above) even tho they are not expensive (anymore). I have them up high above my screen and yet I get excellent sound and direction. You should also be able to get real close using some of the basic Paradigm's which have a huge following and I have heard (sound great).
This is good advice
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Old 11-04-06, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
Pair a Yamaha receiver with Paradigm Titan speakers and a CC for a great lower-end system. It will blow either one of those packaged systems away.

Stay away from Sony, especially the receivers as they over rate their equipment.
Originally Posted by BobDole42
IMO, a pair of $225 Paradigm Titans will almost always be better than a pair of $400 speakers from CC/Best Buy that have been discounted to $225.
Originally Posted by Spiky
There is no Sony receiver you could pay me to use. Clearly the Yamaha would be a better choice.
To say the Yamaha receiver is better then the Sony is like saying a Honda Accord is better then a Toyota Camry. If you set up both of these entry level receivers with some quality speakers, I doubt you’ll know the difference. Sony’s audio equipment is average at best but some of their ES line of receivers is on par with some of the best receivers in the market.

Paradigms are good speakers but I bet if you got some Polk Audio,JBL,Athena, or Klipsche in the same price range from Best Buy or Circuit City you’ll get the same performance.
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Old 11-04-06, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Crowbar
To say the Yamaha receiver is better then the Sony is like saying a Honda Accord is better then a Toyota Camry. If you set up both of these entry level receivers with some quality speakers, I doubt you’ll know the difference. Sony’s audio equipment is average at best but some of their ES line of receivers is on par with some of the best receivers in the market.

Paradigms are good speakers but I bet if you got some Polk Audio,JBL,Athena, or Klipsche in the same price range from Best Buy or Circuit City you’ll get the same performance.
Well, it's all opinion generally, and most of us don't share yours on the Paradigms. I own Klipsch in a different price range, but do not like them on the low end.

But in the specific price range of receivers being discussed I think we can move the Yamaha well ahead of the Sony. I would love a list of "below average" if a $300 Sony is considered average. I would consider such a Sony at the very bottom, comparable to a boombox. (ok, 3 boomboxes to get 5.1 channels)

To use your car analogy....if the low-end Yammy is a 2006 Accord, the Sony is a 1981 Nova.
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Old 11-04-06, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Well, it's all opinion generally, and most of us don't share yours on the Paradigms. I own Klipsch in a different price range, but do not like them on the low end.

But in the specific price range of receivers being discussed I think we can move the Yamaha well ahead of the Sony. I would love a list of "below average" if a $300 Sony is considered average. I would consider such a Sony at the very bottom, comparable to a boombox. (ok, 3 boomboxes to get 5.1 channels)

To use your car analogy....if the low-end Yammy is a 2006 Accord, the Sony is a 1981 Nova.
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Old 11-04-06, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Well, it's all opinion generally, and most of us don't share yours on the Paradigms. I own Klipsch in a different price range, but do not like them on the low end.

But in the specific price range of receivers being discussed I think we can move the Yamaha well ahead of the Sony. I would love a list of "below average" if a $300 Sony is considered average. I would consider such a Sony at the very bottom, comparable to a boombox. (ok, 3 boomboxes to get 5.1 channels)

To use your car analogy....if the low-end Yammy is a 2006 Accord, the Sony is a 1981 Nova.
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Old 11-06-06, 03:58 AM
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Put some money down on the Yamaha system and will pick them up when my vouchers come in for the remaining amount.
Thanks for the advice guys. I know I've made the right choice. Might post some photos in a few weeks if you all need closure or something.
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