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Looking for 5.1 under $300 // Black Friday Deals

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I understand the limitations of a HTIB, but right now I've got a TV speaker that maxes from the bass in commercials. I plan to DIY in a year or maybe two, but for now, I'd just like something to at least sound decent for my TV/Blu-Ray/streaming music. I don't care if there is a DVD/Blu-Ray in the receiver and would prefer there isn't, but that seems rare. I am unfamiliar with the quality or respect soundbars get, as the last time I bought a home theater system was before their time.

I have 3 HDMI components: DVR, Blu-Ray, Apple TV, and 1 Component, the Wii.

I am not demanding only a Black Friday deal or even something as cheap as these (although cheaper is obviously better), but have listed them below for your criticism/advice/concerns. Feel free to suggest something else!

Samsung HTD4500ZA - $197.99
Panasonic SCXH150 - $129.99
Samsung HTD4500 - $199.99
Sony DAVTZ130 - $99.99
LG LHB306 - $189.99
Panasonic SC-XH50 - $99.99
Panasonic SC-BTT370 - $299.99
Samsung HT-D5300 - $259.99
Samsung HT-D5500 - $349.99
RCA RTD317W - $79.99
Samsung HW-D450/XAA (Soundbar) - $199
Yamaha YHT-S400BL - $TBD
post #2 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundropforever View Post

I understand the limitations of a HTIB, but right now I've got a TV speaker that maxes from the bass in commercials. I plan to DIY in a year or maybe two, but for now, I'd just like something to at least sound decent for my TV/Blu-Ray/streaming music. I don't care if there is a DVD/Blu-Ray in the receiver and would prefer there isn't, but that seems rare. I am unfamiliar with the quality or respect soundbars get, as the last time I bought a home theater system was before their time.

I have 3 HDMI components: DVR, Blu-Ray, Apple TV, and 1 Component, the Wii.

I am not demanding only a Black Friday deal or even something as cheap as these (although cheaper is obviously better), but have listed them below for your criticism/advice/concerns. Feel free to suggest something else!

Samsung HTD4500ZA - $197.99
Panasonic SCXH150 - $129.99
Samsung HTD4500 - $199.99
Sony DAVTZ130 - $99.99
LG LHB306 - $189.99
Panasonic SC-XH50 - $99.99
Panasonic SC-BTT370 - $299.99
Samsung HT-D5300 - $259.99
Samsung HT-D5500 - $349.99
RCA RTD317W - $79.99
Samsung HW-D450/XAA (Soundbar) - $199
Yamaha YHT-S400BL - $TBD

Add the Yamaha YHT-395 to that list of possible candidates.
post #3 of 66
I'm thinking about getting the panasonic BTT-370, but from Amazon. It's $30 cheaper.
post #4 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickoakdl View Post

I'm thinking about getting the panasonic BTT-370, but from Amazon. It's $30 cheaper.

It looks very similar to the Yamaha 395 except that the 395 doesn't have a BD player and the Yamaha has built-in WiFi (no dongle). Also, if you have a built-in BD player that means your sub-woofer is passive (draws its power from the BD player) so you won't get anywhere near as good of bass response. Panasonic does make good products though because I have their BDT-210 BD player and it is a very capable and complete player.
post #5 of 66
Thread Starter 
are the $100-150 HTIBs utter shitpiles that i really should just double the price and get the $280 yamaha?
post #6 of 66
onkyo s3400 5.1 system for 264 on amazon and 279 on newegg
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundropforever View Post

are the $100-150 HTIBs utter shitpiles that i really should just double the price and get the $280 yamaha?

I think you'd be happier with any of them in the $300 range rather than the sub-$200 range. It all depends on your finances, your ear, and what your plans are for future expansion/upgrade. I've very happy with the Yamaha 395 system but Onkyo makes good systems as well (in spite of the recent complaints).
post #8 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I think you'd be happier with any of them in the $300 range rather than the sub-$200 range. It all depends on your finances, your ear, and what your plans are for future expansion/upgrade. I've very happy with the Yamaha 395 system but Onkyo makes good systems as well (in spite of the recent complaints).

it's not break-the-bank if the jump from 100/150 to 250/300 is quite substantial (moreso than, say, the jump from 250/300 to 500/550?)

as for upgrade, i don't think i plan to do 7.1/9.1 as my living room isn't that big (1BR in NYC.) i'd like to have a better sound system DIY-style one day to take more advantage of e.g. blu-ray (i can't imagine it matters that much with AAC/MP3 stuff?)

i assume active subwoofers are relatively rare at this price range? are passive subwoofers as bad as they are pooh-poohed to be in the non-audiophile community?
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundropforever View Post

it's not break-the-bank if the jump from 100/150 to 250/300 is quite substantial (moreso than, say, the jump from 250/300 to 500/550?)

as for upgrade, i don't think i plan to do 7.1/9.1 as my living room isn't that big (1BR in NYC.) i'd like to have a better sound system DIY-style one day to take more advantage of e.g. blu-ray (i can't imagine it matters that much with AAC/MP3 stuff?)

i assume active subwoofers are relatively rare at this price range? are passive subwoofers as bad as they are pooh-poohed to be in the non-audiophile community?

Sorry, I wasn't that clear on upgrades. I was referring to speakers. I really like my Yamaha HTR-3064 receiver because it does all that I want and it has the most current a/v formats. The speakers sound good but better speakers will make any system sound so much better. If you don't get an integrated system (includes the BD player) then the HTiB system will most likely have an active sub-woofer (separately powered by plugging it into a wall outlet or power strip) and you will be much happier with the sound (even MP3's will sound better ). There are HTiB choices, without integrated BD player, in the $300 - $400 range.
post #10 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help. I assume that even a cheapo HTIB in this range is better than a Soundbar? My apt isn't huge (10' by 7' in this room or so) but I can hang 5.1s.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundropforever View Post

Thanks for your help. I assume that even a cheapo HTIB in this range is better than a Soundbar? My apt isn't huge (10' by 7' in this room or so) but I can hang 5.1s.

Some folks are happy with soundbars, knowing full well what they are getting. I'd listen to a few just to be complete in your audio upgrading plans. If you're not too discriminating, and given the size of the room, it may work for you. For me, I just like to persue all options. That way there is no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice for me regardless of what others may say.
post #12 of 66
Master Otto Pylot does speak wisdom and truth. . . .


For the $300 - $400 price range Yamaha has at least two HTIB that have very good features and all the sounds decodes as well as the opportunity to buy better speakers later to make it a full fledged Home Theater sound system. Add a set of Polk or similar speakers and it will be awesome!
post #13 of 66
Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

here ya go.

Pioneer vsx-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82e16882117398

polk rm6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...=polk%20rm6750

better than cheap htib systems.

+1
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.

Very close to what I paid for my system and I don't consider it cheap at all.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.

Pretty much my first system but I have a Sony STR-DH700 avr. It's an amazing system for the money and still surprises me with its performance
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.

what about that amp with the
Martin Logan mlt 2?
$299 on sale??
How does that compare to the Polk??
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.

I know nothing about home audio but am looking for something "nice" at around $400. I like those speakers, but I noticed the Pioneer has been getting just ok reviews. Again, not knowing anything what to look for, would I be fully content with this receiver or is there something a little bit better (and probably more expensive) that I should look at?

I'd say my range is $500 max for sure with $450 still a little out of my comfort zone. If I knew what I was doing I'd be willing to pay more
post #19 of 66
Look at the feature set on the Pioneer and if it's what you want/need. I'm sure Yamaha, Onkyo, and a couple others will have something comparable and then it just comes down to who has the best deal.
post #20 of 66
You can get a refurb Onkyo NR509 for about $165 shipped from ShopOnkyo.com
https://www.shoponkyo.com/products_1...s=1&group_id=1

They have a 20% off sale starting Black Friday. Join Club Onkyo which is free. You get 20% off their current prices and another $10 off as a first time Club Onkyo buyer. And free shipping too!
https://www.shoponkyo.com/index.cfm

The NR509 has an ethernet port so you can stream Pandora, Slacker, etc as well as tune in internet radio stations.

Of course you could also get this Denon 591BA and be done with it!
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...peakers/1.html
post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

You can get a refurb Onkyo NR509 for about $165 shipped from ShopOnkyo.com
https://www.shoponkyo.com/products_1...s=1&group_id=1

They have a 20% off sale starting Black Friday. Join Club Onkyo which is free. You get 20% off their current prices and another $10 off as a first time Club Onkyo buyer. And free shipping too!
https://www.shoponkyo.com/index.cfm

The NR509 has an ethernet port so you can stream Pandora, Slacker, etc as well as tune in internet radio stations.

Of course you could also get this Denon 591BA and be done with it!
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...peakers/1.html

Thank you all so much for the help! One last thing, I like both features of the Denon 591BA system and the Onkyo AVR. Are the Boston Acoustic speakers better than the Polk's listed earlier? I ask because I'm sold on both receivers so not really sure what ones would be better. Toss up?

Thanks!
post #22 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.

thanks! would you consider it better than the Yamaha 395
post #23 of 66
I really don't like the Pioneer VSX-521. Too entry level for my needs.

Same with the Yamaha HTR-3064 receiver in the 395 system either. But you have a limited budget so waddya gonna do?

I'd either go with Onkyo/Polk combo or the Denon 591BA. The Polks are probably slightly better speakers than the Boston in the Denon system.

If you get the Onkyo you get the net radio features.
post #24 of 66
afrogt doesn't like Yamaha. He has a very elitist attitude so take that with a grain of salt. Listen to various systems if you can and do what you feel is best for you, keeping in mind that the speakers will make a difference. Specs are fine but the bottom line is what sounds best to you in your environment, budget, and what you plan to do in the future, upgrade your receiver or speakers (speakers are more important). It doesn't really matter what we say.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Here ya go.

Pioneer VSX-521. $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117398

Polk RM6750 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=Polk%20RM6750

Better than cheap HTIB systems.

Hi there. Just thought I barge in here and ask a question about HTIBs because I want one ATM for a 10 x 10 feet bedroom. Are you recommending that the Pioneer receiver replace the Polk receiver? Or can I use the Polk system by itself?

I'm trying to find something that is comparable to a Logitech Z-5500 or better.
post #26 of 66
There is no Polk receiver in that package. It's the speakers only, and he was pairing it with the Pioneer receiver to power them.
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

There is no Polk receiver in that package. It's the speakers only, and he was pairing it with the Pioneer receiver to power them.

oh.

is there a cheaper same quality receiver w/o 3D or all the bells and whistles? All I need is something that decodes mp3, aac, and compressed ac3 and dts. I'll never use 7.1 or master audio.
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewer View Post

onkyo s3400 5.1 system for 264 on amazon and 279 on newegg

is this good for a small bedroom?

They're worth $249.99 atm btw.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth3si View Post


is there a cheaper same quality receiver w/o 3D or all the bells and whistles? All I need is something that decodes mp3, aac, and compressed ac3 and dts. I'll never use 7.1 or master audio.

It would be really tough to beat the Pioneer receiver at that price.

Most receivers decode DTS, but usually those audio files are decoded by the source. What are you hooking into this receiver?

Or are you just looking for computer speakers?
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

afrogt doesn't like Yamaha. He has a very elitist attitude so take that with a grain of salt. Listen to various systems if you can and do what you feel is best for you, keeping in mind that the speakers will make a difference. Specs are fine but the bottom line is what sounds best to you in your environment, budget, and what you plan to do in the future, upgrade your receiver or speakers (speakers are more important). It doesn't really matter what we say.

Actually you're wrong about my view of Yamaha. I like Yamaha but nothing below the RX-V667. I recommend the 667 and 867 all the time. Those are just mid level receivers, nothing elite about that. The lower level Yamaha's 567/571 and 3xx and 4xx models dont have discrete amp sections, they use integrated circuit chips instead and a 250W power supply. Better receivers will have discrete amp sections. Even the lowest level Denon does too.

Oh, and I also hate cheap spring clips for speaker terminals like the Yamaha RX-V371 and HTR-3064 use.

Will that matter to you? I dunno. But I set a starting point of what I want in my equipment. I have a Denon AVR-591 in my bedroom system, only cost me $199 new earlier this year.

And you are right, speakers make the biggest difference. If you really have little money to spend the best way to go is used speakers. You can find some great bargains on places like Craigslist or ebay. I do it all the time.

Among the standalone receivers that we mentioned I'd go for Onkyo NR509 or Denon 591 first.
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