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Is the Onkyo HTS 758 a good setup? I need help!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am looking for a reasonably priced but decent HTB. Fry's has this one on sale for $899.

I purchased a Sony but it has proprietary rear speaker wires that I would have to fish under the carpet and we already have speaker wires run under it so this will not work. We'd have to cut and splice them into the wires we already have and I am concerned that would decrease the sound quality.

I am not an audiophile but do want good, if not top quality.

I have heard that wireless speakers interfere with wireless internet. Is that a concern?

If anyone's familiar with this and can give me some insight, pro and/or con, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am a total neophyte here and look to the experienced members for guidance.

Thanks,

Nanci
post #2 of 19
It's fine if you want to get it all in one shot. However, if you're willing to put in a little bit of extra effort you can get something that will sound nicer.

The specs say the following is included:
1 RM 7 Center Channel and 6 RM7 Satellites
PSW110- 10" Powered Subwoofer
Onkyo TXSR506 Receiver
Onkyo DVSP406 DVD Player

A quick search and you can find these individually for a total of $438 shipped:
PSW110- 10" Powered Subwoofer ($115 shipped)
Onkyo TXSR506 Receiver ($213 shipped)
Onkyo DVSP406 DVD Player ($110 shipped)

The little Polk speakers have 2.5" woofers and will sound thin and anemic. A speaker that is more substantial will give you a richer, full sound.
The Infinity Theater pack
-or-
Energy C-50
Energy C-C50

The drivers on these are bigger but they are still small speakers and won't overwhelm your room (I assume that's the reason you like the small Polk speakers) and they are attractive. I would suggest a 5.1 setup rather than 7.1 to keep the clutter to a minimum, but you can add individual speakers for 7.1 and still stay under budget.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for that input.

I actually have surround speakers that I bought in 1996 but figured they're probably outdated.

They are made by B & W and were pretty good speakers at the time, plus I have the subwoofer.

There was something weird about them and my friend had to make a special board so I could use the receiver I bought at the time with them. Something about the ohms. Sorry to be such a techno-ninny.

I am amazed at how cheap the individual components are. Now it doesn't look like that Onkyo is such a good deal at all.

I guess I have to start from scratch with this whole concept but don't really know what to do.

Thanks.

Nanci
post #4 of 19
Well, the price isn't too out of wack once you figure in the price of 7 Polk speakers - but you're really paying for the convenience of having everything sent to you with one click. What matters most is what you think of them. Pick up the set at Fry's if it's something you think that suits you. I'm just trying to give you a few suggestions for some speakers that might do a little bit better.

It's interesting that you have some B&W speakers; they are generally excellent quality. Speakers, especially from a quality manufacturer like B&W, last a long time and they probably aren't outdated. It sounds like your receiver may have been too weak for the B&Ws but I couldn't say what your friend did to make them work, is this board on the outside or inside of the speaker? Are there any markings to identify the model number of the B&W speakers or can you describe them? Maybe you can still use them, what kind of physical condition are they in? Would you like to use the B&Ws if you could?

I'm thinking you might have something pretty cool going on if they work out.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
They are in perfect condition and I have the info at home. I'll try to remember to bring it in and let you know.

I thought the problem was with the speakers but maybe the receiver was inferior. It was a Technics. Does that tell you how old it was ;-)

The board was on the outside of the unit. Kind of a jerry rigged thing with a bunch of solders and wires.

Thanks,

Nanci
post #6 of 19
Oh, I think Technics went away in the 90's. Electronics obsolete much faster than speakers so it probably had something to do with the receiver. A speaker is essentially a simple thing.

When you get home, confirm that the speaker itself isn't tampered with and that it can be separated easily from the board and the wires. Also write down all the information you see on the subwoofer.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, here's what I have. I'll describe them as best I can.

DM 302 2-way, 4th order vented box system. =6dB at 60HZ - 22ktlz frequency range. 72hz-20kHz+/- 3db on reference axis.

8 ohm impedance

recommended ampified power: 25-100W continuous into 8 ohms on unclipped programme. I think these are the rear speakers.

DM610BK speakers. I couldn't find the manual for these for the specs.

2000IFS 2 way center channel. Is that the same as the sub-woofer?

Does this give you any idea of what I have and if it's worth keeping?

The Sony HTB that I bought has tiny speakers and I like the size of them but can definitely tell they're not as full as the B & W's. They're about the size of Bose satellite speakers. Maybe a little larger.

If I do keep the B & W's, how would I ever decide on a receiver and blue-ray player of the millions that are out there?

Thanks,

NAnci
post #8 of 19
Wow, you have a varied mix of B&W speakers from different model lines. I was hoping that you were going to come up with some B&W Silver Signatures but that's the way it goes. The pictures below are what you have, right?

The DM610 speakers are from the original 600 series and were made around 1992. The MSRP at the time was $500 a pair. They have large 8 woofers and are hard to drive at 4 ohms - these are the speakers that had the board and wires cobbled together by your friend, right?



The 2000IFS center speaker is from the 2000 series and was made around 1994. It has two 6.5 woofers and is intended as a center speaker. By the way, it is not a subwoofer.



The DM302 speakers are from the 300 series and were made around 1996. The MSRP was $250 a pair at the time. They have a 5 woofer.



The spec sheets from the B&W archive are here:
DM610
2000IFS
DM302

With this setup, I imagine a surround system would look like the DM610 for the front left and right, the 2000IFS as the center speaker, and the DM302 as the surround speakers.

To be completely honest, these seem kind of tough to work with because they are so mismatched and the DM610 are so big and you don't seem to want that. The front three speakers should be from the same series to make a sonic match. Imagine watching a movie and a car moves from left side of the screen to right. The audio will match the picture and the sound of the car will move from the left speaker - to the center - to the right speaker. If the speakers are too different the transition will sound strange, maybe even distracting. That's what you have going on if you put the DM610 in front with the 2000IFS center speaker. It's almost impossible to find matching speakers for these now.

I think you got your money's worth out of these but it may be time to move on. What do you think?

Since you realize that the tiny Sony speakers aren't as full as the B&W, you might want to consider something other than the tiny Polk speakers you were originally looking at. You can find some speakers that will sound better.

I can run a few past you (maybe using the DM302 as surrounds, maybe not) but I'd need to know a little bit more about what you really want.
-What percent do you watch movies/TV/music? (for example 40/40/20%)
-How big is your room?
-What kind of components do you have? (LCD TV, cable box, DVD player, etc)
-What's your budget and for what? You started with an Onkyo system that included a regular DVD player but later you said that you wanted a Blu-ray player.

Regards
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for taking all that time to look into my set up. Yes, those are all the speakers that I have.

I am unhappy to know that the salesperson at Ken Cranes, an electronics store in the LA area, sold me speakers that were not compatible to each other or the receiver. I had no idea and either he didn't either or he wanted to sell them to me for some reason other than my benefit. Are the 8" woofers too big for the way they made those speakers? That would be weird. Yes, those are the ones my friend made the board for.

I have no problem getting something new. Maybe I can sell these somewhere for a few bucks. Any suggestions on that? They're in perfect shape.

I have a decent sized living room. If I had to guess, I'd say 15' square, give or take.

I have a 60" Sony HD LCD projection TV. I'm sure it's not 1080p as I've had it since 2003 but it has a very good picture. I presume it's 1080i but don't know for sure.

I have DISH satellite but hate it and am just waiting for Verizon Fios to come to our area, at which time we'll switch.

I have a Sony 5 disc DVD player but have moved that to another room and bought a Sony Blu-Ray single disc player as part of the HTB that I bought at Costco which I am thinking of returning because of the wire issues.

I watch TV 80% of the time, movies 15% and music 5% but I definitely want it to sound good when I listen to CD's as well as for video.

I would be willing to spend around $800-$900 for the whole shebang so I know we're not talking audiophile quality but I want it to sound good.

I didn't realize the Onkyo setup was not BluRay. I thought it was.

Thanks again for taking so much time to help me.

Nanci
post #10 of 19
I'm sorry, I think I may have misunderstood something. I kind of thought you had collected these speakers separately over time and kept them in storage. Are you saying that you bought them all at the same time and had them set up in a 5 speaker configuration with your receiver?

If so, how do they sound to you?

Yes the center speaker is from a different B&W series and isn't a perfect match, but I can't say how different they sound or if the difference is actually distracting. Maybe you have used all of these together and they sound good to you. The DM610 and 2000IFS could still be very nice sounding speakers.

So, if you like the sound of the B&Ws then you would only need:
-A receiver that can handle the B&Ws properly ($400-$600)
-Blu-ray player ($200-$300)
-A subwoofer ($ varies)
...and you could get better components.

$900 for a receiver, blu-ray player, subwoofer and speakers would be a step down from the B&Ws if you were never unhappy with the sound or the look of them. Sorry to confuse you by suggesting that you get rid of them and now suggest you use them, but it's difficult to gauge another person in these forums. Just want to make sure you're doing the right thing.

And 5.1 is definitely enough for a 15x15 room - 7.1 would be overkill.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
The salesperson sold them to me as a group for surround sound back in 1996. For some reason, I didn't use them much for surround. I just don't think the rear ones sounded that good but it's been so long I don't remember. I like the big speakers for music very much but wouldn't mind something smaller now.

I had read in Consumer Reports, not the best source for AV stuff I'm sure, that you get a better deal if you buy everything together which is why I started this in the first place. It seems that it's better to hand pick things now.

I'm still not clear if the big speakers are good or if there's something wrong with the way they made them. You said something about the large woofers being too much for 4 ohms or something like that. Are these speakers incompatible with most receivers? Or were you thinking the receiver was too weak to drive the big woofers?

Another issue is the remote control(s). It would take me forever to figure out what goes with what. I bought a Sony universal remote commander several years ago but never was able to completely program it so it handled everything.

I guess I have to bring all the speakers back upstairs and hook them up again to see how they sound, then decide where to go from there.

I'm wondering if the Sony receiver in the package that I bought is strong enough to handle the big speakers. If so, would I not be able to use them in the front and the small ones that came with the grouping in the rear? I presume the power needed to drive the little speakers is much less but don't know how it all works.

Thanks again for all your input. This is a really tough decision as I don't know what's good and what's not, and the salespeople are not necessarily trustworthy.

Thanks,

Nanci
post #12 of 19
There's probably nothing wrong with the big B&Ws and I have no doubt you like them for music. When I was searching for a picture a few posts back I found a few people who still have them and talk about how much they enjoy them. However, you do need a reasonable receiver to drive them - I think that's why your friend had to do something (I have no idea what) to make them work with your Technic. Ohms is kind of a rating for the power required to drive speakers and 8 ohms are typical with most speakers, the lower the ohms the more power necessary. There are a lot of other factors and that 4 ohm number isn't necessarily something to be worried about, but I'm uncertain because I know your friend had to make it work somehow. I wish someone who is more knowledgeable with speaker specifications could chime in and give their opinion. However, I am almost certain a Sony receiver from a HTiB doesn't have enough power to make them work.

Consumer Reports is correct about getting a deal because you can get a lot of stuff included for cheap, but it's not really better. The main issue is that they usually come with little tiny 2" and 3" speakers...and you said that you like to listen to music. It's basic physics, little speakers just don't have enough surface area to push enough air to make a pleasing sound - that's why you like listening to music with the big B&Ws. When you listen to CDs it's mainly in stereo, or two speakers, and you need (in my opinion) at least a 5" woofer for a pair to sound good. Home theater is different in that it's maximized for 5 or 7 channel audio and all of the sound is sent to the individual speakers to create a surround effect. In most movies, people are talking and there usually isn't a lot of sound for the speakers to resolve - or at least the sounds that small speakers can't resolve go unnoticed because you're paying attention to the picture and the story. You can listen to stereo music through all 5 or 7 speakers, and it will sound better than through two, but in my experience it gets very annoying real quick.

I'd like to see someone who loves music get something to enjoy so lets keep this discussion going. By the way, I've been to Ken Cranes on Pico Blvd. and they seemed kind of smarmy - as soon as the salesman realized he wasn't going to make the sale that day, he completely blew me off. In any case, you have some choices to make.

One more thing, the Logitech Harmony remote controls work very well once you get them programmed.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey, glad to see you're local. What area do you live in? I'm in Redondo Beach.

I didn't know that the smaller the ohms, the more power they need. Would that mean they're less efficient if they're 4 vs. 8 ohms?

It really bugs me to know that someone sold me such a mismatched group of speakers but that's water under the bridge at this point.

I haven't listened to music on the Sony speakers and suspect I won't like it. I'll check them out over the weekend and that may determine my next step.

Thanks for the recommendation on the Logitech. It's too bad the Sony was so difficult to set up. It was about $200 quite a few years ago. Oh, well...

Thanks.

Nanci
post #14 of 19
I'm over on the Westside, just up the 405 from you.

I was kind of speaking about ohms in a overly simple way. It's actually a measure of impedance and that's a complex subject by itself. There are a lot of different things at work with loudspeaker design and I barely have a basic understanding. Have a look at wikipedia for a better explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudspeaker

Since you're over in Redondo Beach stop by the Home Theater Doctor this weekend or when you get a chance. They're nice people but I think you have to call ahead. You could just drop in but there might not be someone there all the time as they also do home installations - I think they also like to space out customers to give them more individual attention.

There are a few good budget speakers they carry that you might be interested in: KEF, PSB, and Energy. The last time I was there they didn't have Energy, but maybe they started carrying them since. This would give you a chance to also listen rather than buy over the internet because someone recommended them.

If they have them, check out the PSB B1 Alpha and the C1 center.

Also see if they have the Energy C-series and specifically the Energy C-100. These are on clearance and they might have some for a good price.

Those two are nice budget speakers. If your budget is tight, I'm thinking that you could just get the front three (left, right, and center) and use the B&W DM302 for surround speakers because they don't have to match. Not a lot of sound comes out of the surround speakers when you're watching movies anyway - it's mainly ambient music, a cricket chirping, a door closing, etc... It's nice to match the surrounds but unless you listen to SACD or DVD-A or want a specific design for your room it's not absolutely necessary.

The other one to look at in their store is the KEF IQ5 floorstanding speaker and IQ2 center if they still have some.
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...kef-iq5-walnut
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ef-iq2c-walnut
I hate to tell you to not support your local audio shop by listening there and buying online but these are on clearance at Vanns for such a great price. KEF discontinued this IQ series and replaced them with another. $460 shipped with no tax is a steal and you could still buy a decent receiver and budget subwoofer. However, walnut is the only color left for these and you'd have to buy a blu-ray player later.

They also carry Usher Audio S-520: http://www.usheraudiousa.com/product...s-520-shielded
but this might break your budget too much.

But get down there and talk to the guys. You might also print out the specs on your B&Ws (I linked to them below the pictures) and ask them what they think. They're much more knowledgeable.

Good luck!
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I thouht I found speakers that I like. They are Definitive Technology ProCinema 1000's.

I called System Design Group in Redondo Beach and now am thoroughly confused!

After listening to a rapid-fire dissertation by the very nice salesman, I am wondering if my B & W's might still be the way to go if I get a new receiver and Blu-ray.

He said that B & W is better quality than Def Tech and that if the B & W's are still in good shape, they could be better than new Def Tech's.

If that's true maybe I will keep them.

Opinions are appreciated.

Thanks,

Nanci
post #16 of 19
But was he aware of which B&W speakers, exactly, you have? I can't answer which is better but I think they both probably sound good. The Def Tech 1000 set will certainly be more compact/slick and you can get everything you need in one shot. It's looks like a nice set that will do well with both music and home theater.

You'll get far more opinions if you ask this question in the speaker section - I'd encourage you to make a new thread over there.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
He is aware of the model numbers and thinks they're pretty good. I know they're not top of the line but wasn't aware that they were as good as I'm hearing from others that the appear to be. I'll post to the speaker forum.

I had an interesting conversation last night with the Yamaha rep I met at a store.

He told me they have just come out with some new receivers that have many of the bells and whistles that the upper lever units have at a much lower price point.

One is the RX-V465 which sells for roughly $350 and there's the RX-V565 with a tag of about $425. He said that one or both of them (I have to re-check) has DTS-HD and upconverts as well as a bunch of other cool things that you normally have to pay a lot more for.

I don't know if he was just selling his line but will definitely look into those.

If you have a few minutes to check those out and let me know what you think, I would really appreciate it. Since I know so little this is all foreign to me. Maybe another manufacturer has something better for the same price or less. Or maybe I don't need all those functions.

Ideally I could keep the B & W's, get a new receiver and Blu-ray and possibly get a new sub-woofer if I need to.

It seems that every time I start a purchase of a big ticket item, I always end up spending lots more than I initially allocated. But as I educate myself to the differences, I realize the importance of spending more to get something good.

I've had my current speakers and receiver for 13 years so I'm willing to put more into it.

If the Def Techs are a lot better, I will probably pop for those and a new receiver and Blu-ray, although in that case I think I'm looking at over $2K now.

I guess there's no free lunch... :-))

Thanks,

Nanci
post #18 of 19
Great! I'm glad you're getting some useful feedback on the B&Ws you have. You're going to need a new receiver anyway, so it's not a bad idea to get that first and see how the B&Ws work out for you. You can always buy other speakers later if you ever feel like it.

I could be wrong about the Yamaha V465 and V565, but they look like they only have superficial features that are popular right now at the expense of connectivity and perhaps amplification (the most important). Receiver specs can be deceiving so I'd urge you to be careful and make sure you get one with at least enough power to drive those B&Ws - you don't want to end up with another wonky rig to make it work. Something like the V663, or similar from another manufacturer, may be more appropriate and not cost much more. Make another post in the "receiver" section or even follow up with those questions in the "speaker" section and you'll get a lot more input there.

In any case, give the B&Ws a try with a new receiver. Good luck to you!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
The Yamaha guy told me the receivers were able to drive anything from 2 to 8 ohms without any problems. I told him about the weird set up that Ken Crane's guy sold me and he said it would be fine. I hope that's the case.

Regarding amplification, if you're referring to loud volume, I don't listen to things at a high volume. Does amplification also relate to clarity at normal or low volumes?

Thanks
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