Sound Projectors/Sound Bars - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-18-2009, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I own a full 7.1 surround sound system and have it in my basement with tower speakers and a projector, etc. It's a great home theater room.

However, I am looking to upgrade my living room TV (Sony Grand Wega III) to a new Panny plasma, but I don't want to get a full surround sound system for the living room (wife doesn't want that). However, I know I won't be happy with the TV speakers alone, so wondering which sound bar is best to get for under $800?

I've been looking at these a bit, wondering if some are better than others:

Samsung HT-BD8200
Yamaha YSP3000B
Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater
Yamaha Sound Projector YSP600B


Also, for any of these, I'm assuming you don't need an A/V reciever, and that you can plug your TV directly into the sound bar?
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Any advice anyone?
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 12:11 PM
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I just got a Sony HT-CT500 and am pretty happy with it. You don't need a receiver. You actually plug all your components into it and sends the audio to your TV and decodes the audio itself. It's got 3 HDMI inputs, opitcal, and 2 component inputs (with upscaling). It's worth a look. Only around $360 at Amazon.
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDan666 View Post

I just got a Sony HT-CT500 and am pretty happy with it. You don't need a receiver. You actually plug all your components into it and sends the audio to your TV and decodes the audio itself. It's got 3 HDMI inputs, opitcal, and 2 component inputs (with upscaling). It's worth a look. Only around $360 at Amazon.

How many speakers does it have?

The Yamaha 3000B has 44 speakers, so it's a simulated surround sound rather than the Samsung that only has 2 speakers, so it's like TV speakers but better.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 01:07 PM
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I have had until recently a Yamaha YSP-800 sound projector/sound bar. Yamaha was supposed to be the best three years ago with its surround processing from a single source, but I was never satisfied with it. The surround sounded like fake surround. Mainly just processed sound. However, the sound was fairly accurate using in straight stereo mode. This way, using it sctrictly as a high fidelity alternative to the built-in speakers, it did what it was supposed to do. The only caveat that I had was a lack of dynamic range.

My son was the recent recipient of the Yamaha and uses it as I did as enhanced sound in place of the built-in speakers from his TV and is happy. He is also not as critical of the surround processing, but mostly leaves it on 2.1 or 3.1 stereo.

Since relinquishing the Yamaha I have tried two different solutions.

1. Sony CT-100 sound bar with sub. Good overall sound. Still lack of dynamic range.

2. Vizio soundbar. This is what I have kept. At $127 approximately 1/7 the cost of the Yamaha and is superior in almost every parameter. Still don't care for the processing of surround or it's quiet mode as both of these are definitely audible. But as a replacement for my new plasma's TV's internal speakers, it works superbly.

The Vizio by itself has decent bass and a more extended and natural high end than the Yamaha. Dynamic range is excellent. This box will get loud but still sound good when listening to quiet material.

Vizio also sells the unit with a wireless sub. On the Vizio thread a number of users have given favorable comments to the soundbar with sub. I kept the Yamaha sub from my original soundbar configuration and am using it wired to the Vizio. All-in-all, a very dynamic, balanced sound.

David Freeman
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

I have had until recently a Yamaha YSP-800 sound projector/sound bar. Yamaha was supposed to be the best three years ago with its surround processing from a single source, but I was never satisfied with it. The surround sounded like fake surround. Mainly just processed sound. However, the sound was fairly accurate using in straight stereo mode. This way, using it sctrictly as a high fidelity alternative to the built-in speakers, it did what it was supposed to do. The only caveat that I had was a lack of dynamic range.

My son was the recent recipient of the Yamaha and uses it as I did as enhanced sound in place of the built-in speakers from his TV and is happy. He is also not as critical of the surround processing, but mostly leaves it on 2.1 or 3.1 stereo.

Since relinquishing the Yamaha I have tried two different solutions.

1. Sony CT-100 sound bar with sub. Good overall sound. Still lack of dynamic range.

2. Vizio soundbar. This is what I have kept. At $127 approximately 1/7 the cost of the Yamaha and is superior in almost every parameter. Still don't care for the processing of surround or it's quiet mode as both of these are definitely audible. But as a replacement for my new plasma's TV's internal speakers, it works superbly.

The Vizio by itself has decent bass and a more extended and natural high end than the Yamaha. Dynamic range is excellent. This box will get loud but still sound good when listening to quiet material.

Vizio also sells the unit with a wireless sub. On the Vizio thread a number of users have given favorable comments to the soundbar with sub. I kept the Yamaha sub from my original soundbar configuration and am using it wired to the Vizio. All-in-all, a very dynamic, balanced sound.

Do you have the model number for the Vizio? Is it the VSB210WS? I wonder if I can get it in Canada.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 04:34 PM
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Joe - as I've stated several times in various posts on this board I'm a fan of the Yamaha YSP series .. in the proper settings these things will make you think you have a 5.1 setup.. no virtual sound with these babies...the sound is actually decoded and projected .. I have the 1100 which is more powerful than the 900 and 800 series.. can be gotten for less than $600.00 .. . to get the most add a subwoofer .. I connect optical cables from my ps3 and cable box directly to this baby ...The 2 or 3 speaker bars may give off room filling sound but NONE will give you the properly decoded surround effects of a YSP
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-19-2009, 07:00 PM
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I agree with Blue Comet. There are many different Sound Bars
and 2 Speaker Virtual systems. The only
ones that really do the surround right and if
they have the walls and are propery set up
and really blow you away are the Yamaha YSPs
( and the soundbar in the Mitsubishi Unisen Lcd televisions, which
use the same technology as the YSPs).
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFigueiredo View Post

Do you have the model number for the Vizio? Is it the VSB210WS? I wonder if I can get it in Canada.

Model number in the US is VSB200 for the sound bar by itself or VSB210WS for the soundbar with wireless sub.

I'm not sure if Wal-Mart is in Canada. If so, their prices are usually quite good for these.

I really can't argue with the other users comments on the Yamaha soundbar. My number one complaint was the lack of dynamic range. Voices and sound overall were quite good. However, the Yamaha models from 2007/2008 definetly used sound processing to create the surround effect. Unless you have motorized drivers (they don't), you have to use phase shift to redirect the sound. This is not exactly the same as artificial surround as used by almost every other soundbar including the Vizio. However, this is still audible.

I'm not sure if any of the other users have used their Yamaha as a straight high fidelity speaker (2.1 or 3.1). When I turn off the surround and listen for a few minutes, it is like a layer of film has been removed from the sound.

Also, not having listened to any of their newer models, any and all of my minor complaints may have now been rectified.

As I stated, I was looking for better sound with the Yamaha, Sony and Vizio. Surround was a minor consideration. I still have my Onkyo receiver connected to a pair of Inifinity speakers and subwoofer. At our old home their were also multiple channels of sound with center and rear speakers. Even after a THX certifed calibration, I usually thought the surround sounded contrived on most content and this was over $10,000 work of equipment. It did not sound like what I heard in a properly calibrated theater.

David Freeman
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 09:35 AM
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Joe - excuse the long windedness of my last reply. I thought that I had gathered from your initial post that you were looking for mainly improved sound over that of your sets built-in speakers.

In my mind, if you start on the low end (especially from a store with a liberal return policy), you have nothing to lose in trying that first before moving up the food chain. If you spend the big bucks first, and some of these items come from vendors with not so liberal return policies, you might be stuck.

I don't feel my Yamaha purchase was a bad one even at $1,000.00 for the soundbar and sub. I am glad that my son and his family are now enjoying. They enjoy a lot of my hand-me-downs.

I tried the Vizio on a lark and was happily surprised. Listened to it and the Yamaha for two weeks before deciding the Vizio positives outweight the positives from the Yamaha.

In Memphis, there was no shops where I could do a decent audition of any of the units I have owned. In-home, in the room where the unit is to be used, and connected correctly to your own components is the best place to make a decision.

Since my ears are so old, my choices and preferences might be wildly different than what they would have been 30 or 40 years ago when I became quite interested in audio. I have never sought the so-called holy grail of sonic excellence, but have been a musician and still hear live music of all types regularly and go to theaters almost weekly to see and hear movies in their preferred environment.

I have friends more well-heeled than I am with dedicated theater rooms and even their megabuck systems, while terrific in their own right, don't match what you see and hear in a good theater.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy whatever your purchase might be.

David Freeman
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-20-2009, 09:49 AM
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I've had the Samsung HT-BD8200 soundbar for a couple of weeks now and I'm pretty happy with it. It's significantly better than TV speakers but then again so is the cardbox that the TV arrived in.

HT-BD8200 pros: built in BD player, lots of features like Netflix, Pandora, iPod attachment.

Cons: you won't get your dolby 5.1 sound. Tried playing music a couple of nights ago and it's no better than an expensive mini hifi system.

All in all, I went for the clean wire-free look and sacrificed some good dB in the process. Which reminds me, another pro is that it looks great (IMHO). If you have a smaller space and don't want clutter, this is the one but I would not recommend it for a home theatre enthusiast.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/iwnz/se...57622701285057

Hope you find what you're looking for.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-03-2010, 04:40 PM
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I'm looking into getting the Samsung BD8200 for ease of use, BD, and Netflix, but have read lots of negative reviews on it (Amazon, CNET). How long have you had yours? and does it hold up over time?

Some of the problems are disks not reading, it turning on/off on it's own (middle of the night). Thanks
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