Receiver/speakers advice please - AVS Forum
Home Theater In A Box > Receiver/speakers advice please
bahmo's Avatar bahmo 11:11 AM 02-23-2012
Perhaps I should have jumped into the $300 HTIB thread, but I have a few specific concerns before I go replace the Sony HTIB I've had for 6 years.

I have a 42" LG in a living room. The room was pre-wired for surround sound, so I run speaker wires from he current htib to the wall plate I installed. We have the Comcast HD/DVR box, an Xbox 360, and a Wii connected to the TV, and we will be adding a blu-ray player. The idea is to spend less than $500, and I am assuming $100 is going to the DVD player. My assumption is that everything will go hdmi in to the receiver (can't remember if the wii is hdmi, component, or composite) with one hdmi out to the tv.

So, that leaves the receiver and speakers. The simple choice would appear to be the Yamaha YHT-395BL (sorry, but newbs are not allowed to post url's), which I can get from Newegg for $339 (it's $10 cheaper to buy the combo pack with speaker wire and an hdmi cable than just buying the 395BL on its own). I am a little wary of refurbs, but there is also the $349 Denon 591 package mentioned in the other thread (is that an older model?).

However, most people appear to prefer buying the receiver and speakers separate. So, that leads me to something like the Pioneer VSK-821 ($199 at Newegg, Costco, Amazon and elsewhere) or the Onkyo TX-NR509 ($219 at Newegg) combined with the Onkyo SKS-HT690 speakers ($179 at Newegg) or the Polk Audio RM6750 ($199 at Newegg).

From what I have been reading, I think most would point to the Onkyo receiver and Polk speakers, but I would like to know why. In other words, what do I get for the extra $40 if I buy the Pioneer/Onkyo combo over the Yamaha htib, and then what do I get for the extra $20 each for the Onkyo receiver or Polk Audio speakers? I load up the side-by-side comparisons, but I really don't know what I am looking for. For the weekly family movie and regular music playing, will we know the difference? I use surround sound headphones for the xbox so that I don't wake the kids up at night, so we are not talking about satisfying a bunch of audiophiles here. My kids can hear the difference between the clock radio and the speaker showroom at the local store, but will they hear something different between the Onkyos and the Polk Audios? Will I hear the difference?

Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.

Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 12:30 PM 02-23-2012
Purchasing separates is always the way to go. If you are firm on that price point then your choices will be limited somewhat. I have the Yamaha 395 and it sounds really good in our environment and plays quite nicely with the LG LCD. If you want to go with separates, from your list above, Onkyo receiver and Polk speakers would be a good choice. FWIW, the Yamaha receiver that comes with the 395 HtiB is the Yamaha RX-V371.
bahmo's Avatar bahmo 12:42 PM 02-23-2012
Thanks for the reply and for the Yamaha receiver info. I suspected it was that one or one very similar and had a comparison of the three receivers open at newegg while I was posting my questions. I keep reading and reading, but only so much sinks in.

Perhaps I should ask a couple specifics. First, is internet radio and audyssey worth $20 (from what I have read, it sounds like it is)? Second, are any of the receivers going to give me a problem if the source enters the AVR via component or composite? In other words, can I bring everything into the AVR however I want and then funnel it to the TV via a single hdmi cable, or will I need to have multiple connections between the AVR and TV depending on how many different types of inputs I use?
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 02:13 PM 02-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by bahmo View Post


Perhaps I should ask a couple specifics. First, is internet radio and audyssey worth $20 (from what I have read, it sounds like it is)? Second, are any of the receivers going to give me a problem if the source enters the AVR via component or composite? In other words, can I bring everything into the AVR however I want and then funnel it to the TV via a single hdmi cable, or will I need to have multiple connections between the AVR and TV depending on how many different types of inputs I use?

The Yamaha system doesn't have Audyssey audio calibration. It does have a rudimentary calibration system for setting loudness based on distance etc. I don't have any experience with the mic-based audio cal systems but I've heard that they are more hype than anything else but I'm sure the folks who have/use Audyssey would disagree vocally. That's something that is totally up to you and definitely a "research" item. By internet radio if you're referring to something like Pandora, yeah, it's kinda cool and for only $20, why not? I don't use component/composite connections to my AVR because I don't need too. My setup is really simple. No cable/sat, OTA only, so optical out from the tv to the AVR and I'm good to go for DD5.1 tv. All other components are connected via HDMI to the AVR for audio and a single HDMI going to the tv for video.
khankewycz's Avatar khankewycz 12:53 PM 02-24-2012
Wii is component in it's factory state. You can change it to composite or hdmi with adapters though. If you truely want to send everything to your receiver and then with 1 hdmi to your display then you need something that upconverts to hdmi. I don't think neither the pioneer nor the onkyo does that. Don't think the yamaha does either. But if you're just using it for a tv, or buy the hdmi upconverter for your wii I'm not sure it's an issue. A 42" tv isn't big enough that I'd probably worry about sending the wii at 480i to it anyways. Is it an extra cable or set of cables to run? yes but for most people who have everything in one place in the room I'm not sure I'd worry about it.

Audessey is worth the extra coin. Pioneer has it's own audio calibration built in. Internet radio I'm not sure I'd personally have to have but if it's there then it's nice to have just because.

Will you notice a difference between your htib or satallite speakers and full size speakers? yes. Will your home theater experiance be absolutely crap with htib? probably not. Will they sound like a clock radio? No. Will your home theater sound like a clock radio compared to full size speakers? Ehh.. It's iffy. But obviously a satallite speaker setup will never sound as full as having full size speakers there. In no way do I think your satallite speakers will suck totally, but they may leave you longing for full size speakers later. People who buy satalite speakers usually understand this though and are buying them simply because that's what their budget allows.


When people are suggesting buying speakers and receiver seperate most are talking about buying full size seperate speakers and a receiver. Buying a speaker pack and a receiver is basically htib except it may be a little higher as you got to pick your brand of speakers and you may actually get better speakers that way.

I think receiver wise it's up to you and the features you like. Speakers if you insist on buying a set go with the polks I think(speakers tend to be better from manufacturers that focus their sole energy on making speakers and nothing else) or head over to parts express and get the dayton 5.1 kit with the 12" sub for $199.99 which should also be decent and I like simply because of the sub.

If you really want a nice setup then buy a receiver and start peicing full size speakers together. Newegg constantly runs sales on polk full size speakers at least once a month and you could start with a nice 2.1 or so setup and buy speakers as you go til 5.1. It would be a step up from satallite speakers on anything mentioned. But not everyone cares to get into that.
bahmo's Avatar bahmo 04:09 PM 02-26-2012
Thanks. I have to decide tonight (or wait for the next deals). I was all set to go Onkyo-Polk (need to go look at the Daytons too), but then I saw the Yamaha 395 for $290 with a $75 gift card. I really want to plug the system into the home network, but I don't know if it is worth $200 to me. Decisions, decisions.
Splicer010's Avatar Splicer010 04:36 PM 02-26-2012
I wouldn't hesitate for the Yamaha over the Onkyo/Polk deal if it were me...and I like Onkyo.
bahmo's Avatar bahmo 05:06 PM 02-26-2012
Thanks. That's where I am leaning. I have to agree with khankewycz that I really don't gain a ton by buying a basic 5.1 speaker kit over the one that comes with the htib. So, I save $130 with the Yamaha, and I have a $75 gift card to use towards good speakers if I get the urge to upgrade. I lose the audyssey and networking, but I just can't justify an extra $205 for them.
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