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In need of a new AV setup

Discussion in 'DHCH Archive' started by tom, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. tom

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 6, 2002

    Posts: 6,931

    Hiya,

    Our living room is in the process of being re-decorated, and the old TV/Hi-fi etc are going to go, about time too. :p

    At the moment, we've got an old Mitsubishi 24" TV, and an Aiwa hi-fi. :p

    So we're looking into upgrading the setup, to something more up-to-date and capable of what we (I :p) use it for.

    It is mainly me that uses this, so i'm looking for a 28" widescreen (don't really have the space to go any bigger :(), and a decent component Hi-fi setup.

    Now, ideally I would like the TV connected through the hi-fi so that when i'm playing on XBOX etc, the sounds comes through this. We have this set up at the moment.

    I want the Hi-fi to be able be the best within the budget really, obviously good sound quality is a must, and must handle bass well.

    I'm not really that up on what's good at the moment, hence i'm looking for some help regarding suggestions and recommendations.

    The budget for the lot will be about £1000.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    //Tom
     
  2. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 23, 2002

    Posts: 8,853

    Location: London

    My first reaction to this kind of thread is usually "do you want it mainly for music, or mainly for AV".
    Chances are that you're going to say "can I have it do both".

    So, let me get this out of the way first. If you want a system to do both well, you'll end up with a compromise, and neither will be quite as good.
    If you want to focus on stereo, it'll be pretty damn good for £1000, but clearly won't have surround sound. If you want it for AV, then it'll be fairly average to not very good at stereo.

    So, having got that out of the way, I'm guessing you'll take the AV route. This would be my recommendation:

    DVD player - either a Tosh 330 (£80). You could consider getting a universal DVD/SACD player for £200, but frankly I'm dubious of the benefits on a fairly cheap system and you'd probably be better off spending the cash you save elsewhere.

    AV Amp - Marantz 4300 (£200). This is a good all round AV that should meet all of your key requirements. As AV amps go, Marantz are amongst the better, along with Denon and Yamaha. Frankly there's not much in it between the three different manufacturers, so don't get too stressed about it.

    Sub - You specifically asked about one. You have the option of buying a complete speaker kit, or specifying a seperate one. Personally I'd recommend going seperate with something like the MJ Acoustics 50 (£350).

    Speakers - After the above, you'd be left with about £350 for speakers. For new stuff, I'd suggest you try to find the following:
    Centre - Linn Centrik (£120). Don't know if these are still available, but if it is, complete bargain for the cash
    Front stereo and rear stereo - x2 pairs of Kef Cresta 3s (£100/pair). These are floorstanders originally priced at £250, at which price point they were very good. For £100 they're a complete steal, BUY SOME NOW.

    The above will come in at just under £1000, and I would happily challenge anyone on this forum to recommend a better sounding system for AV for the cash.

    One other key option would be to go second hand. I'd advise against it for the DVD player and AV amp, but for speakers it would be OK if you get a good enough deal. If you don't know much about it though, can be something of a minefield, so stick with new.
     
  3. tom

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 6, 2002

    Posts: 6,931

    Absolutely fantastic post- thank you very much. :)

    That was very informative, and has definately set me on the right track.

    Anybody got any ideas for which 28" widescreen TV to go for?

    //Tom
     
  4. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    ok another option on the speakers front

    I personally wouldn't bother spending £350 out of a £1000 budget on a sub, in fact I didnt when I bought my setup lol

    currently have

    Tosh 330
    Marantz 4200
    Wharfedale Diamond cinema

    notice no sub I did back then over 18months ago intened to purchase a sub but TBh I haven't felt the need as this kit whacks out enough bass for me anyway.

    so onto my recommendations, basically the same as Mr Sukebe's but I would opt for these speakers instead

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/1309

    coming in at £580 they do cost a fair whack but they are good speakers and would probably withstand a Amp upgrade later on.

    Taking this route would cost you around £870 in total leaving easily enough for a decent Coaxial Digital cable,, Scart Lead and Speaker Cable.
     
  5. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    oh, and depending on available space etc these would be an excellent option as well, dont worry about the small size of these bad boys they are literally the mutt's nuts.

    go and read any review about them you want, have been superseeded by a newer version now so can be had for up to £300 off there original price

    KEF KHT2005 HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/700


    £500 Bargain.

    Leaving more money for cables or to be put towards better TV etc etc.
     
  6. tom

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 6, 2002

    Posts: 6,931

    Excellent!

    Many thanks for those links- much appreciated. :D

    Sub isn't really a necessity, so those speakers you recommended in your first post would be awesome i'm sure.

    What are your opinions on Monster cables, as I can get these fairly cheap from work?

    //Tom
     
  7. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 19, 2003

    Posts: 17,401

    Location: Bristol, UK

    LOL, I would say fairly cheap ;)

    Anyway, does your £1000 budget also include the TV? If it does then it's the same as mine.

    Seems as if people have been budgeting for a £1k Audio setup. :confused:

    I made a thread here (Here it is! ) and it was aboout a £400-£500 audio setup.

    My budget is also £1000

    I'm getting the TV i showed you on MSN, Panasonic Tx-28PS12C.

    That leaves me with £550 for the audio stuff including a DVD player (toshiba SD330)

    So about £480 for the actual speakers, amp and wires.

    Mr_sukebe was very helpful and recommended to me 3 pairs of Mission M7i's, the same marantz amp as mentioned above. Then that leaves me with around £100 for wires and connectors. Of which i am unsure on. Same boat as Tom, are the monsters any good?

    \\Chris
     
  8. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    ok guys cables

    PROFIGOLD PGD481 COAXIAL DIGITAL LEAD £20

    for connecting DVD Player to amp

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/922

    Speaker Cable

    QED Silver Anniversary £5.50p per metre

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/346

    now I would use this cable and buy 4* 3m 2*1.5m depending obviously on how far away from the amp yer gonna have yer speakers but 3m is quite a way, this would allow you to Bi Wire yer Fronts and Centre at a cost of £82.50p

    then either go for the same cable for rears but only one length to each or if theat would stretch the budget a bit much then go for

    QED Original £2.75p per metre

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/365

    for the rears.

    as for banana plugs they do make things alot easier when connecting up etc etc however really they are a bit of a luxury so just save up and buy them as and when.
     
  9. Slackworth

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 10,013

    Location: Stoke

    Cobra, Don't know if you would be interested but Sevenoaks have got a load of Loewe Ex-Demo's with between £100-£300 off and in brand new condition. Still boxed and full 2 years warranty. We just had our 32" Loewe Aventos from them. Should have been £1500 new. Got it for £1000. The reason for them being sold off is they don't have room to stock the Loewe's any more but they will still be available to order apparantly.

    Go to www.sevenoakssoundandvision.co.uk

    Look for Ex-Demo stuff. It's around somewhere. Quite a few of the Loewe's also come with a Surround system too.
     
  10. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

  11. tom

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 6, 2002

    Posts: 6,931

    Thanks very much for that adwhitworth, very helpful. Found the special offers and they're fantastic for the money, that looks as though what i'll go for TV-wise. :)

    Also, thanks memphisto for the information on cables, I was about to mention bi-wiring but you covered it already. :p

    //Tom
     
  12. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 19, 2003

    Posts: 17,401

    Location: Bristol, UK

    I need a lot of cabling. I will measure up in the morning but as an estimate i think i will need about 30m in total for a 5 speaker set up. How much is this going to cost? How much are the bananas?

    My room doesnt allow me to have a floorstander at the front.
    When blueyonder is fixed i will post a pic explaining. There maybe a work around you can come up with.

    Also, what is bi-wiring? (apologies for n00bness)

    Sorry for the kind of hijack but we are in the exact same boat.

    Cheers

    \\Chris
     
  13. tom

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 6, 2002

    Posts: 6,931

    Where each speaker is wired twice, e.g. two sets of speaker cable per speaker. :)

    //Tom
     
  14. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    ok mate from the top

    if you cant have floorstandign fronts then from the same site superfi, you can get the mission M72i's which are a bit bigger and better than the M71i's you mentioned, I would get them or fronts.


    Dont worry about bananas they are basically a plug that you put yer cable into and then into the back of the amp. These are not necessary though as you can just feed yer wires straight into yer amp. can cost anything from £2 a pair to £10 a pair and more.

    A|s for cable cost, thats up to you. It depends on what quality cable you want to use, the higher the quality te better the sound. For 30m there will be quite a compromise but I would suggest trying to spend at least £2-3 per metre.

    onto Bi Wiring.

    Speakers come normally with two drivers and Treble and a Bass / Midrange cone. Now on some speakers each of these two drivers can be fed the signal from the amp separately due to having a a sepearate pair of terminals for each.

    Out of the box these terminals are normally bridged allowing you to use only one run of speaker wire to them.

    To Biwire generally increases the sound quality at the extra cost of more speaker wire.
     
  15. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 19, 2003

    Posts: 17,401

    Location: Bristol, UK

    I can spend about £100 on wire in total. I was hoping to get a decent scart lead and the optical cable out of this though.

    I dont want to get pretty decent gear and ruin it with crappy cable though so i will have to get decent cable.

    I will measure up how much cable i think i need more accurately.

    On second thoughts i may be able to have floorstanding fronts. How large are they, width wise.

    How do i break the bridges?

    Cheers,

    \\Chris

    EDIT - Just put this package together on Superfi. I really wanted everything in Beech as that is what ALL my bedroom furniture is. I don't mind it being all black if i can get the TV i want in black which i doubt i will be able to. When i come closer to ordering i will have to give them a call and see if they can get all of this in beech.

    [​IMG]

    WITHOUT speaker cable its £80 over my budget. :(
    Speaker cable is going to be the best part of £150.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2003
  16. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    ok mate first lets see if we can save you some money

    Marantz SR4400 newer version than the 4300 for £260

    http://www.richersounds.com/index.php?f=itemdetl.php&p=301738

    theres £40 saved the 4300 will probably be available at richers for around £200 give the store nearest you a ring, or alternatively phone the web orderline and ask.

    Tesla you have quoted the price for the Mission M72i for rears, in order to save a bit of cash the M71i would in my view be more than ample.

    available in beech for £59.95

    http://www.richersounds.com/index.php?f=itemdetl.php&p=301131


    That saves you an extra £20

    Whooaaaa Just found that centre for only £50 !!

    http://www.richersounds.com/index.php?f=itemdetl.php&p=301622

    that saves you another fifty quid.

    all together a saving of £110

    putting you back under your budget. :p however like you sais it is going to cost a fair amount for cabling. Measure up roughylu and get back on here and we will see what to reccomend.

    also Things like a good scart cost £20-30 and would make an ideal chrimbo present ;) for someone to get you lol

    that leaves just the digital interconnect and speaker wire.
     
  17. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    oh and one more thing, to unbridge is simple the speakers will be supplied with a simple metal crossover, you simply loosen the speaker terminals and remove takes about 3 seconds.
     
  18. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 19, 2003

    Posts: 17,401

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Just measure my room. I will need about 23M of cable if i get floorstanders for the front.

    I think i can get 4 core wire so i can bi wire all the speakers. And will only need to use one physical wire (if you know what i mean)

    Thanks for refining my setuo memphisto. I expect i will go with that. I know that centre exists in silver which would match the TV, if i can get the other speakers in beech that would be great.

    Is it ok to put the speaker on top of the tv? My uncle has done this and i have noticed the tv flickers at the top. Or should i put it on the shelf on the tv stand?

    \\Chris
     
  19. memphisto

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 12,907

    I have mine under the Tv on the stand but really its personal preference I think as to where you put it.

    for Speaker wire how much do you need for the fronts and centre in length ? I'm guessin about 4 metres for each front and maybe 1.5 metres for the centre leaving about 7 metres a piece for the rears ?

    if so then you can get this cable in bi wire form from Richers

    Cabletalk 3.1

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/358

    it is an oldish cable but has won numerous awards over the years. that would set you back about £50 for the fronts and the centre.

    For the rears I would save a bit of money and not bi wire. this would come to another £60 meaning a toal of £110 for speaker wire, chuck in £20 for yyer digi cable and the toatal wire cost = £130

    add this onto the rest and you get

    £610

    however you can buy all of this stuff from richers so when you go in barter they will probably give you at least 10% off maybe more if you buy it all at the same time

    the Mission M73i's are also available at richers for £109 so if you buy everything from there drive a hard bargain !
     
  20. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 19, 2003

    Posts: 17,401

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Thanks for the reply memphisto.

    One rear needs 9m the other 8m of cable. Total of the fronts if i get floorstanders therefore is 6m of cable.

    If i get floorstanders will i be able to place them next to the TV or will it create interference? How much better are floorstanders?

    I think getting all my stuff at richer sounds is a good idea bargaining wise. There is one in Bristol which is only 30mins away.
    Are they likely to knock 10% off though? Even knock anything off?

    Cheers,

    \\Chris

    EDIT - At RS i added up the following:

    Mission M73i
    Mission M71i
    Mission M7CI
    Marantz 4300 (Assuming its £200)

    Total: £419

    Speaker Cable: 6m Bi-Wire - approx. £50
    Speaker Cable: 17m - approx. £60
    Coaxial Lead: £20
    Decent Scart Lead - £30

    Total: £160

    Panasonic TX-28PS12C - £474
    Toshiba SD330e - £70

    Grand Total: £1123
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2003