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Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

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Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Old 01-30-14, 04:38 PM
  #1  
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Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

I'm looking for a physically small surround receiver. Something very basic w/5.1. Only need a couple inputs (at most), and while HDMI would be nice, not required.

I've decided I want to upgrade the clock radio I use for music in my bar. I have a 32" LED TV (not a great on, but for a bar, it works). So I figured, I might as well go surround sound. I can hook a dock or something onto the receiver for my iPhone/iPad.

But in order to keep running wires to a minimum, it would be nice if it was as small as possible.

Suggestions? Ideas?
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Old 02-01-14, 08:15 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

I know you'll like this brand:
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-.../dp/B0055FF0DW

About 2" narrower than normal components, only 10" deep. Also comes bundled with various speaker setups, 5.1, 2.1. USB input for iPod.

Not cheap, though.
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Old 02-01-14, 09:08 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Damn...that is pretty slick....would love that....BD bonus!

But realized I wasn't being realistic. I wanted to put it in the cabinet of the sink of my bar. But it is a vanity cabinet, and I don't think even 10" deep would work.

I actually dug out my H/K and put it in my cabinet under my popcorn popper. I'll have to run cords a bit more. And probably run some base board or something to cover. I'm having to stand the H/K on end to fit. And order some long cables from Monoprice. Hiding speaker wire now.

I'm not thrilled with the solution. But cheap, and should sound good. BTW, I got the Monoprice 5.1 speaker set up when they were like $70 or something. Haven't listened yet, but seem good build for $70.
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Old 02-02-14, 02:07 AM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Sounds nice. Receiver should be fine on its side as long as there is airflow where it needs to be. And upgrades for free are perfect! Finally just did my little one that was months or years overdue. Ran a wire to have my amp triggered by my receiver to turn on automatically. And updated a bunch of buttons and macros on the remote. Much better, a lot of functions were half-assed before.
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Old 02-02-14, 06:34 AM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Aired low should not be an issue. It is a very tall cabinet, just not wide.

Well, I need to turn my attention to theater room. I really need to upgrade sub. Pull out dead PS3 and decide what to replace it with. When it went out, I got a cheap $70 BD player. I'm not sure ill get a PS4. 90% of the time we used it for Bluray or Netflix.

And now that I've replace all but a handful of discs, probably time to retire HD player....lol
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Old 02-02-14, 12:22 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

I just helped a friend set up his new sub. Tweaked out a nasty peak and turned it into a monster. Of course, it already was a monster, SVS Ultra.
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Old 02-03-14, 09:59 AM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

I've always wanted a SVS cylinder sub. Love the idea. Now that they only make higher end ones round, overkill for my set up.
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Old 02-03-14, 12:23 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Well, they make all three sizes of their normal sub lineup in cylinders, still. (or maybe it's 'again') But they command a higher price than they did 10 years ago. For a long time there was a $5xx model, now it's $750. And the current $500 one is a Sunfire-like tiny sealed cube, which has no translation to an open cylinder design.
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Old 02-03-14, 09:16 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

SVS cylindar subs are amazing. I've had one for years and it rocks the neighborhood.
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Old 02-04-14, 05:48 AM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Actually been looking at some of the HSU subs....but one thing at a time....need to finish bar and then move to theater room.
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Old 02-06-14, 12:05 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

I wish monoprice was a little quicker on shipping, but sure like the prices on their stuff. I got a 20' optical cable and 15' sub cable for like $17 and $5-$6 of that was shipping.

I got a black sub cable cause the only thing I had long enough was a white RF cable that I had RCA plugs screwed in. The black will be easier to hide...
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Old 02-07-14, 09:20 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Got it all hooked up just in time for the Olympic opening....LOVE IT! Good move!

I also got in a blutooth adapter and stuck that on the receiver. Works even with the cabinet closed! So I can stream music from my iPhone and iPad to it.

I only put up the front, CC and sub. Figured 3.1 would be enough....but love so much I'm going to put up the surrounds. I'll have to get more speaker wire....but it is all the difference in the world.

As for sound quality, meh...they are fine for bar, small 2nd/bedroom room. But not that great. They are very good for the $72 and change shipped. But they are not a main system quality by any means.
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Old 02-08-14, 03:00 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Nice. For my LR last year I didn't even bother, just stereo. Small upgrades can be wonderful, too.
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Old 02-14-14, 05:52 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

OK, so I'm loving streaming audio to my to my receiver, what about video? What are my options?

Something like the Apple thing hooked in to the receiver for both audio and video?

I'm about to make the jump back to cable internet (30-50mbps) and dump my DSL (3mbps). So I want to do more streaming of youtube, etc.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:38 AM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

AppleTV, Roku, Playstation, Xbox, etc. Lots of choices these days.

Is that the fastest DSL you can get? DSL is more consistent than cable. It always depends on exactly where you are, but there are all kinds of stories of 50Mb cable giving actual speeds far slower. Here's my 40Mb DSL tonight:

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Old 02-15-14, 08:55 AM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
AppleTV, Roku, Playstation, Xbox, etc. Lots of choices these days.

Is that the fastest DSL you can get? DSL is more consistent than cable. It always depends on exactly where you are, but there are all kinds of stories of 50Mb cable giving actual speeds far slower. Here's my 40Mb DSL tonight:

Yes, 3 is the fastest. And that is the "up to speed". It is always slower than that and all but comes to a standstill around 5:30p when neighbors get home. 3 is fastest as it is w/ATT and they are not supporting anymore. They want us to go to optical. Problem is it is very expensive unless I agree to TV as well. And I don't want that.

Sooo that pretty much leaves Time Warner Cable. I anticipate it being slower than rated. but even if I get the 30mbps (which is less expensive than my DSL) and I only get a third that speed, that is still 3x faster than I currently have at its best. The 50mbps version is same price as I'm paying now, and they have a 75 and 100mbps versions as well.

I'm just so tired of the crappy DSL...I've even thought of going a 4g set up. I mean when home, I turn off wifi on my iPhone as 4g is so much faster. But the cable net is cheaper.

This is my speed at 8am Saturday,


Last edited by Sdallnct; 02-15-14 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-15-14, 10:24 AM
  #17  
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Looks like the AppleTV does not have component out. My poor old HK has no HDMI. I'll have to look at some of the other options.
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Old 02-16-14, 08:51 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Well, that's a no-brainer on internet, then. I have to keep reminding myself that the 40Mb is fast enough, so I don't upgrade to 105 from Comcast. I know it's not fair, but CenturyLink has actually increased my speed to 50Mb. They only advertise 40, but my modem claims 50 in the connection, and so does that speedtest above. (DSL only ever claims to give 80% of advert speed)

I don't know if any have component out. Maybe a Wii? Not sure its interface is great. Can you go direct to the TV with HDMI, audio to receiver?

The ATV is the king of the interface, they say. (it's about the one Apple product I've never owned) And has optical out so you could split the audio/video. The Roku 3 also has a good interface, better than the lesser Rokus, but it doesn't have an audio output. (except in the remote!?) We have the 3 and it is great, but my audio setup is different.
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Old 02-20-14, 07:00 PM
  #19  
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Is there a HDMI to component/stereo adapter?

This should work?

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity®-Comp...ponent+adaptor
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Old 02-21-14, 12:40 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Well, you say HDMI to component, but that link is component to HDMI. They won't go both ways, you need to get the right one. The products exist, I haven't used any myself to know how well they work.
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Old 02-22-14, 10:33 AM
  #21  
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

You know, looks like I can get a HDMI receiver for less than $200. OR....ha! Maybe I'll upgrade the receiver in my theater room. The Onkyo I have in there now is a simple, refurbished unit. Works fine, but doesn't have the sound of my HK for example. That would make a perfect bar receiver. And go back to a HK for the theater room.

Probably be good. The cabinet I put my HK in, in the bar, has plenty of room. But if I shut the door it does get hot. You know HK, good sound and can fry an egg on them!!

Got my cable net up and running. WOW...what a difference. I started with the 30Mbps (I can go up to 50). The DSL is rated at 3 Mbps, but not once since having it I have ever measured it that fast. But the cable, I have already measured at 32-33! Yes, I tested it right at 5:30pm as people go home last night and it dropped to about 18Mbps...but that is still night and day faster.

I haven't tried Netflix in HD yet, but was watching some youTube in HD with no problems.

I'm traveling again this week. So I leave the DSL up as well just in case there is an issue. And have it shut off when I get back.

Edit, Heck...I get get a HK for $200,

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...round+receiver

And for $300 I can get a network connected one. Though as their new "green" line, it is not getting the acclaim of the old one's.

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...round+receiver

Last edited by Sdallnct; 02-22-14 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 02-22-14, 11:35 AM
  #22  
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

Opted for a Roku 3 over an Aaple TV last year and love it. It's so fast and can natively handle more formats. Only down side for you is that it just supports HDMI.

See if you can find a deal on last year's receivers or wait until spring/summer for next refresh. I got a fantastic deal on a closeout Marantz. I'll probably try and do the same for an amp, but those have less turnover.
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Old 03-27-14, 10:45 AM
  #23  
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

So, on a whim, I just go this in. I ordered when Amazon had it for like $194 and free shipping.nI figured for $200 it would be perfect for the bar. But the more I read, it might be better in my theater room and move my Onkyo to the bar. Will have to play around....

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-27-14, 12:56 PM
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

I was waiting get a Yamaha RX-V475 (about 300 bucks now) but I might pick up that Denon if it drops to 200 again. I mainly just want 4-5 HDMI inputs and AirPlay in a 5.1 receiver.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:03 PM
  #25  
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Re: Any inexpensive, compact surround receivers? Or alternatives?

OK, so this has turned into a project....

In my bar, my TV is mounted on a swing out arm, near ceiling height in a corner. I mounted a power strip behind the TV along with the dish box (small "hopper" thing).

The receiver is in a cabinet under the bar. This was all fine for FM radio, or streaming my iPhone/iPad music. But if I'm doing video as well, along with AppleTV seems I have some work to do.

My plan was to put the AppleTV behind the TV. But what that means is I'll have to run three long (20-25ft) HDMI's to the HT receiver. One each for AppleTV and Dish box, and one for the TV.

Conversely, I could move the dish box and put it and the AppleTV in the cabinet w/the receiver. That's going to make working the remote odd, but I don't think I have a choice. It's already odd, for the receiver. But I thought it would be minimized as the receiver does have pass thru. So if I just wanted to watch tv without all the other stuff....maybe I'll do that. Leave the dish box at the TV and put the Apple TV w/the receiver.
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