Best home theater in a box for $350 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-29-2013, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Ive researched until I am just about ready to give up. Can anyone recommend a system that is reliable and works great for under $350 ? Ive really been leaning towards an Onkyo 3500.
Hooking up to an LG55- 6400 3D tv and Directv HR34-700 and a PS3 in a room that is 14x14.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-29-2013, 09:04 AM
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Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon all make decent 5.1 HTiBs in that price range. The speakers aren't the best in the world for either one but they do the job, unless you're an audiophile. In that case, just upgrade the speakers someday.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-29-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Im also looking at the Onkyo HT-S5500 anyone own it and is it reliable ?
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-01-2013, 12:44 AM
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I recently bought the s5500. The only problem I've had is the video well sometimes cutout for a second when there is a thud on my floor (old two story, second floor) I don't know if its something loose inside the receiver. Other than that its fine. I replaced 6 of the speakers with acoustech ht8w's and the subwoofer with the bic acoustech pl-200.
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-03-2013, 08:05 PM
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I have the HT-S5500 and it is a decent sounding system. Speakers are so so but will not upgrade. Biggest "issue" I am having is a noisy system at mid to hi volume with no source volume (ie. DVD on pause, or USB device on pause). Can be heard during soft passages of movies. Started after I ran Audyssey 2EQ and gets fairly clean again after turning the Audyssey and features off. Also not as loud if i cut sub volume. Not sure if This is typical and a product of a budget amp or an individual amp fail.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-03-2013, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrM1862 View Post

I have the HT-S5500 and it is a decent sounding system. Speakers are so so but will not upgrade. Biggest "issue" I am having is a noisy system at mid to hi volume with no source volume (ie. DVD on pause, or USB device on pause). Can be heard during soft passages of movies. Started after I ran Audyssey 2EQ and gets fairly clean again after turning the Audyssey and features off. Also not as loud if i cut sub volume. Not sure if This is typical and a product of a budget amp or an individual amp fail.

I'm not convinced on the usefulness of the Audyssey system on entry level HTiBs with the speakers that come with them. You're better off manually calibrating your system either by ear or with an SPL meter. However, you should not hear any hum or noise, and the fact that it goes away with Audyssey off is not right.
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-04-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I'm not convinced on the usefulness of the Audyssey system on entry level HTiBs with the speakers that come with them. You're better off manually calibrating your system either by ear or with an SPL meter. However, you should not hear any hum or noise, and the fact that it goes away with Audyssey off is not right.
Yeah that is what I thought and figured. Waiting to here from Onkyo support. Really like the RX though
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 PM
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The $350 price is pretty small.

The complete HTIB systems you can get for that amount are SO limited in connectivity and performance that they will frustrate rather than satisfy you. It is also junk that will end up in the trash eventually, and so will be a compete waste of money when you replace it.

I suggest that you get a decent receiver that will serve you for quite a while, and just start with 2 decent speakers.

You can do that for $350, and add a center speaker later, and then add a couple of satellite speakers.

I suggest that you get an Onkyo TX-NR 414 receiver, which is quite good and will last you for a while, for $199 at Amazon.

Then get a pair of Polk R150 speakers, which go for around $120 per pair.

Later, get the Polk CSR center speaker, for $65, and then the Polk RM7 speakers for $90 a pair.

You will end up with a system 200% better than any HTIB system you can get for under $600, and the total end cost will only be a bit over $450 total.
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-05-2013, 12:14 AM
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If you could find a Denon 17XX or 1611 for a good price I'd say get that for a receiver. Audyssey MultiEQ is a lot better than 2EQ since it EQs the sub too!

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #10 of 24 Old 02-05-2013, 09:59 AM
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Probably not a bad option here at A4L: A Denon HTIB for $299
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENDHT1513BA/DENON-DHT-1513BA-Home-Theater-System-w/Boston-Acoustics-Speakers/1.html

A4L also has Denon Receivers for a decent prices ... like the 1612 for $199

And I got the Onkyo HT-s5500 for $249 from the same source. Seems my hum/buzz has turned out to be florescent lights in the next room and possibly a ground loop. My Onkyo is now living up to expectations and all is right in my world. biggrin.gif
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-05-2013, 02:51 PM
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Wow thats a really good deal! im not too sure about Denon but I hear a lot about them when reading these forums. I may look into that system instead of the Bose Cinemate HTIB or the Onkyo ls3100.
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-05-2013, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksick View Post

Wow thats a really good deal! im not too sure about Denon but I hear a lot about them when reading these forums. I may look into that system instead of the Bose Cinemate HTIB or the Onkyo ls3100.
Yes it was that price that caused me to upgrade my choice from the 3400 to the 5500 Onkyo HTiB. They are manufacture referbs but mine came well packed, looks new, and has a 1year warranty. Since some people have had problems with the sub and I saw few complaints about HDMI connections (...but I figure that may have been what the factory referb fixed) ... But at any rate I bought the 3 year extended warranty for another $35 ish. Peace of mind and a decent setup for a great price.
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-05-2013, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I managed to get the HT-S5500 for $349 from HHgregg as they price matched Amazon. I have to say I am very happy with my $350 system and do not see myself upgrading anything anytime soon. I works great and sounds way better than I had imagined for the money spent.Thanks all for your help.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-06-2013, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioviper View Post

Well I managed to get the HT-S5500 for $349 from HHgregg as they price matched Amazon. I have to say I am very happy with my $350 system and do not see myself upgrading anything anytime soon. I works great and sounds way better than I had imagined for the money spent.Thanks all for your help.
Awesome. Yeah I am liking it more and more since I got the noise issue worked out. I finally tracked down the main source of noise to the incoming Satellite Coax connection. If you look at post 7 in this thread you can see my final fix and some great links about noise and ground loops that would be a great read and check for anyone installing a new system. So far I can highly recommend the HP Monster 800g Computer Power center / surge protector. (not the Home Theater version - but see the other thread I linked for links)

Also for system set up I found these really helpful and easy to understand sites:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/guides

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/system-setup-connection/53483-hts-official-how-link-index.html#axzz2Jts4oe9s

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-theater-receivers-processors-amps/53473-how-properly-setup-your-avr.html#axzz2Jts4oe9s
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-06-2013, 04:23 PM
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I know Onkyo make good Receivers but how good are the speakers for this HTIB?
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-07-2013, 06:52 AM
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Lets put it this way. Onkyo is not known for their speakers. That does mean the speakers are bad in the HT-sXXXX series (and the more u spend the better it gets), but with the 5500 ... the speakers sound pretty good, but if you know audio you will not be "Wowed". The first nite I hooked the system up I was listening to a pandora station when my wife came home from work. I said ... It sounds ok ... And she was like, what are u talking about, it sounds great. But I started this addiction 33 years ago with an Onkyo amp and some Bose 301 bookshelves. So it is all kinda relative.

Don't get me wrong, they sound good, and probably about as good as u will get for the money. But if I was paying the retail price for the 5500 of $650 I would probably consider building a system of separates.

But for the referb and/or sale price u get a decent receiver that u can grow with. A 10" powered sub that sounds pretty decent that u will feel in your gut that has about a $75-100 street value with 7 speakers that would probably run somewhere in the $75-150 range.

The Onkyo models in the price range of the 5500 are probably better than anything else in that price for the referb/sale prices floating around. They are probably all the system most people will ever need and sound WAY better than the department store all-in-one Bluray HTiB systems. I picked up the 5500 with a 3 yr extended warranty (piece of mind insurance) and a Panasonic DMP-BDT220 (check the reviews) and I am out a grand total of $429. The 5500 system will keep me smiling for a long time.
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-07-2013, 11:24 AM
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Is http://www.accessories4less.com/ a good online store? The prices seem too good to be true. :O
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-07-2013, 02:16 PM
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Cool.. Thanks for the info. I'm probably going to go with the Onkyo HT-S5500 7.1-Channel Home Theater. HHGregg said they would Price match this system instead of me buying it from Amazon. I will eventually work on getting into better speakers. Only thing is that im not sure how Im going to run speakers to the rear of my Living room. I have wood floors so running under carpet or around baseboards is out. Any Ideas or tips will be greatly appreciated smile.gif

Thanks again for the Info.
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-07-2013, 02:48 PM
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[quote name="Ksick" url="/t/1455095/best-home-theater-in-a-box-for-350/0_20#post_22936700" Only thing is that im not sure how Im going to run speakers to the rear of my Living room. I have wood floors so running under carpet or around baseboards is out. Any Ideas or tips will be greatly appreciated smile.gif[/quote]

Similar situation here. We have a large sliding glass door to the left of our HTS that goes out to the backyard. The room has a cathedral ceiling so running wires in the wall up to the attic, across the room, and down the far wall for the side speakers was not a project that I really wanted to undertake. What I eventually did was run the wires along the baseboard behind the media console and punched a hole in the wall next to the sliding glass door. I ran the wires outside underneath the wooden frame of the sliding glass door and around the side of the room to the back. I punched another hole in the wall behind the couch and ran the wires thru there. I kept the wires tightly bound and used nice wall plates inside and round grommets for the outside. The wires leave the room behind the sub-woofer so you can't see them when sitting on the couch or even walking around the room. Behind the couch, who cares? The speakers are on unobtrusive stands with the wires running up the inside of the telescoping pole so you don't see the wires going to the speakers at all. Not the most elegant approach, and you can see the tight bundle of wiring if you are in the backyard on the patio and looking at the bottom of the sliding glass door frame but it's not bad and they're not in the way at all. Bottom line is that I have my 5.1 system with no unsightly wires running around the room (or at least that you can see).
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-08-2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memo90061 View Post

Is http://www.accessories4less.com/ a good online store? The prices seem too good to be true. :O
They seem to be very first rate. As to prices, their stuff is manufacturer referbs. Many reviews and threads here on AVS and I have not read a bad experience. Somewhere there is even a thread asking this same question about A4L ... And community members here who have been members here for a while with hi post counts speak well of their experiences. Mine came in 2 days, packed perfectly, and was in new condition. They are also an Onkyo Autherized Reseller so that carries weight too. They are also easy to get on the phone and very helpful

I would recommend searching this forum for them. All good.
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-08-2013, 06:45 PM
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Opinions seem to be mixed about referbs in general, but thoughts about A4L are mostly positive.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1453523/accessories4less

And this one links to a re seller rating site FWIW
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1410500/accessories4less-good-or-shady

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1441410/buying-a-refurbished-from-accessories4less-com
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-08-2013, 10:19 PM
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Well I am getting more and more impressed with HT-R591 AVR that came packaged with the HT-s5500. After running Audyssey 2EQ for the third time (last time setting the sub gain to about "11am" to minimize sub clipping - you can and should adjust to taste then on the AVR side) everything sounds pretty decent.

Have Audyssuy set to "movie" and Dynamic EQ on.

The Transporter DVD I have is 5.1 Dolby D, but using Neo 6 activates the 6.1/7.1 rear surrounds very nicely. I think Neo 6 will be my go to process for all 5.1 tracks ... At least for now.

But what has really impressed me here at 1:12am is watch Transporter, using Dynamic Volume set to Heavy and Onkyo's Late Nite set to High... and not waking everyone in the house up. The way these processors work in real time is pretty amazing. Cutting db of loud music without killing dynamic range and still having the dialog very clear. Yet not even waking others. And bass is still fairly active. Pretty amazing. Impressive.
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I am really impressed with this Onkyo. Been running the Neo 6 and movies sound great. 3d is out of this world now with the surround sound .
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post #24 of 24 Old 02-17-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrM1862 View Post

Opinions seem to be mixed about referbs in general, but thoughts about A4L are mostly positive.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1453523/accessories4less

And this one links to a re seller rating site FWIW
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1410500/accessories4less-good-or-shady

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1441410/buying-a-refurbished-from-accessories4less-com

Oooh. Thanks for the reply. biggrin.gif
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