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Old March 21, 2011, 08:52 AM
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Default Anything better than the following setup for the same budget?

So I'm planning to set up a home theater system for my PC, as it looks to be the only way to get better sound quality than the Z-5500's (don't like how much bass that thing puts out). So far, here's what I found:

Sony STR-DH500
: ~200 w/ taxes and shipping
Dayton HTP-2 Speaker set: ~300 w/ taxes and shipping

Total: 500-ish

Is there anything else out there that can give out better sound for that price? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Hacksaw907; March 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Adding links
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Old March 21, 2011, 02:38 PM
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I've never heard anything good about Sony's consumer receivers. I'd strongly recommend looking for a decent sale on Yamaha, Onyko, Pioneer or Denon.

Maybe one of these?
Denon 650-Watt 5.1-Channel 3D Home Theatre Receiver (DHT-391XP) : Receiver-Based All-In-One Systems - Best Buy Canada
Onyko 680-Watt 5.1-Channel Receiver Home Theatre System (HT-S3300) : Receiver-Based All-In-One Systems - Best Buy Canada
Yamaha 600-Watt 5.1-Channel Receiver Home Theatre System (YHT3045HD) : Receiver-Based All-In-One Systems - Best Buy Canada
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Old March 21, 2011, 02:48 PM
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uh
turn the bass down
who doesnt like bass?
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Old March 21, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coleo View Post
uh
turn the bass down
who doesnt like bass?
It's not that I don't like bass, but rather I don't like how the Z-5500 reacts with bass. With the tweaking I did with my friend's system, I found that the bass was the main, if not the only, focus that the system was built around, as everything else wasn't as clear as I would like it no matter how much I tweaked the settings. Same goes with my X-540's as well, as the speakers don't have that level of clarity I'd prefer.
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Old March 21, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Hm... Those don't look too bad, actually, especially that Denon set. I'm not really up to getting that Onkyo as it uses a passive subwoofer, and I'm not interested in the Yamaha as the previous Yamaha set I bought had a faulty subwoofer and receiver.

Would it really be better to get that system over the speaker and receiver set that I picked? It is cheaper, that's for sure, but I was under the impression that only a basic receiver is needed, and the sound quality depends largely on the speakers that you get (well, given that the receiver meets their requirements).
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Old March 21, 2011, 04:41 PM
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I always suggest harmon Kardon Amps. you can always get a last years model for a great price.
Harmon Kardon = High Current amp
I have a 5.1 Polk Audio speaker system set up with a HK amp for my HTPC it sounds great, (the sub needs to be replaced) I paid about 500 all in.
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Old March 21, 2011, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hacksaw907 View Post
Hm... Those don't look too bad, actually, especially that Denon set. I'm not really up to getting that Onkyo as it uses a passive subwoofer, and I'm not interested in the Yamaha as the previous Yamaha set I bought had a faulty subwoofer and receiver.

Would it really be better to get that system over the speaker and receiver set that I picked? It is cheaper, that's for sure, but I was under the impression that only a basic receiver is needed, and the sound quality depends largely on the speakers that you get (well, given that the receiver meets their requirements).
I had considered a Sony reciever for my living room (I too stick to pretty minimal budgets) but I found too many bad threads on them. I think most were with overheating and thus failure. Possibly some HDMI issues too. Maybe the current stuff is better as this was about 2 years ago, but I ended up a Yamaha one (I believe it was $250 on Boxing Day).

And I do agree, that Yamaha set isn't the greatest. I had bought that on this Boxing Day only to have a DOA receiver. I exchanged it a few days later for the 3028 model which worked perfectly yet only had different satellites (larger and made of wood rather than plastic). However my 3028 sounds pretty decent for $400.

There's also this, though it's a bit more money: Home Audio: Home Theatre Package Systems (HTIB): Harman/Kardon 5.1 Audio/Video (AVR154HTIB) | Visions Electronics

It's totally up to you though. I'd say Future Shop/Best Buy return policies are much more beneficial if you get it home and you end up not liking how it sounds. Shipping speakers back to the USA and paying restocking at CC would make you pretty much stuck with what you bought.
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Old March 21, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Lol wow, that is waaaay over my budget, especially considering I was thinking $350 before I got advice about this

I'll have to think about that Denon though. I was hoping I could buy the receiver and speakers one at a time so that the extra money from my summer work can help ease the damage, but it's looking like I'm gonna have to do this in one fell swoop.
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Old March 21, 2011, 10:44 PM
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What are you going to need in a receiver exactly? What connections are you using? If you don't need to use HDMI for audio and can use optical/coax then I'd suggest looking into a used reciever. Lots of good deals on quality units since a lot of people are off loading to get HDMI capable units. My HK was like $700-$800 when new, got it used for <$300 and it has really nice sound. Second, no way you're getting hi end sound (as your description suggests you have an ear for clarity and balance) within that budget. TBH I've heard good things about the z-5500's, I've heard the sub is reasonable and the satelites use 2.5" tangbands AFAIK. Nothing high end really but passable. Did you try putting the sub in a different loacation in the room when trying to tune your system? Location within a room (especially when only using a single sub) can have a greater effect on it's sound then the quality of the sub itself within reason. Another thing - I don't know anything about the quality or construction of the z-5500 sub so this is just speculation - but cheaper speaker manufacturers port their boxes and tune them so you get a big peak in the response so it makes it sound like you're getting a crap load of bass out of a small box. If the z-5500 sub is built like that and it happens to line up with a room node then that one bass note is about the only thing you're going to hear, bloated and boomy. Try stuffing the port with a rolled up sock or a squishy stress ball to seal it up and see if it tames the bass response.
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Old March 22, 2011, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biff View Post
What are you going to need in a receiver exactly? What connections are you using? If you don't need to use HDMI for audio and can use optical/coax then I'd suggest looking into a used reciever. Lots of good deals on quality units since a lot of people are off loading to get HDMI capable units. My HK was like $700-$800 when new, got it used for <$300 and it has really nice sound. Second, no way you're getting hi end sound (as your description suggests you have an ear for clarity and balance) within that budget. TBH I've heard good things about the z-5500's, I've heard the sub is reasonable and the satelites use 2.5" tangbands AFAIK. Nothing high end really but passable. Did you try putting the sub in a different loacation in the room when trying to tune your system? Location within a room (especially when only using a single sub) can have a greater effect on it's sound then the quality of the sub itself within reason. Another thing - I don't know anything about the quality or construction of the z-5500 sub so this is just speculation - but cheaper speaker manufacturers port their boxes and tune them so you get a big peak in the response so it makes it sound like you're getting a crap load of bass out of a small box. If the z-5500 sub is built like that and it happens to line up with a room node then that one bass note is about the only thing you're going to hear, bloated and boomy. Try stuffing the port with a rolled up sock or a squishy stress ball to seal it up and see if it tames the bass response.
Yeah, I was thinking on taking the used receiver route. I wouldn't be needing HDMI as I'm using a digital optical out from my Xonar DX.

I was just looking at several options I can take, and that Sony receiver caught my eye due to it being the lowest price I've seen so far for a 5.1 receiver. But now that I found out Sony's receivers are crap, I guess I'll continue waiting until I figure out how far my budget can really go once I start working.

I will try that stuffed sock method though on my friend's Z-5500 when I get the chance, and see how it works out.
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