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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on a tight budget. DD 5.1 system doesn't have to be earth shaking or high spec. I'm no audiophile. Heck, right now I'm using an old Cambridge Soundworks 4.1 surround system (actually intended for PC's) and it sounds awesome to me. The only reason I need to upgrade is because of connectivity issues and the inability to remote control volume on the Soundworks speakers.


The Soundworks are designed to plug into line-level audio input, not amplified input, so they'd be fried if I plugged them into a receiver. Therefore, it seems I'll need new speaker system as well. So might as well take advantage of my XP30's optical SPDIF output and get a 5.1 system.


But I don't want to spend more than $400 total. Any suggestions?


thanks!
 

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Oh you mean 400 dollars for a Home Theater In a Box... sorry man... for that budget.. just go to a Circuit CIty or Best Buy and get the package that fits within your budget..


if could try stretching your money out a bit more.. by fnding out about an 'electronics discounter' store near your place...


that's all the help pretty much everyone here can give. All HTiBs (Home Theater In a Box) are pretty much the same.


Where do you live, anyway?
 

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Here's something to consider:


If you like your speakers, just get a Dolby Digital receiver with full preamp outputs. You can probably pick up a Pioneer 811 for $350 or less.


You can then run your current speakers from the preamp outputs for now. But, you have the built-in amplifiers when you get the itch to upgrade your speakers.


Lots of upgrade options if you go that route.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by GreatBop
All HTiBs (Home Theater In a Box) are pretty much the same.
Absolutely not true. I used to own a Sony HTiB (740). Replaced it with the Onkyo HT-S650. The difference is TREMENDOUS...


That system can be had for $500. I recommend it.
 

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I second the recommendation of the Onkyo HT-S650. I have one and it sounds great. I listened to Sony, Kenwood, Yamaha, Polk, Velodyne HTIB at the same price range and found the Onkyo sounded best to my ear. Try and audition all of them and choose the one that sounded best to you.
 

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I have to fourth the recommendation for the Onkyo. I listened to quite a few HTIBs and the Onkyo is head and shoulders above anything I heard in that price range. I firmly believe if you have $500 to spend on a receiver, sub, and 5 speakers, then you cannot go wrong with the Onkyo system.


patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seems like everybody really likes the Onkyo HT-S650. Lots of good reviews on the web, too. $500 is a bit more than I was wanting to spend, however.


Since Onkyo is obviously a highly regarded brand, what do you guys think of their Digital FX Theater (Model ONK GXW51). It sells for $200 and seems to get good reviews on the web.
 

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If I remember it right, for a self powered computer speaker package, the amplifier section is usually located in the subwoofer. So the usual setup is from the soundcard to the subwoofer, then from the subwoofer to the individual speakers.


If this is the case, you can potentially bypass the subwoofer connection to the speakers, and plug the speakers directly in to the speaker level output on a receiver.
 

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Everything gets good reviews on the web.


I bought the Onkyo HT-650 system, and here are my thoughts:


Receiver is nice, comparable to a good 250 dollar receiver.

The subwoofer is nice ... plenty of boom power.

The rest of the speakers are nice looking, but pretty horrible sounding, much worse sounding than even you your cheapest Energys, JBLs or infinitys.


I bought my Onkyo as a system to build on, I used cheap Infinitys and BAs speakers instead of the Onkyo speakers and it started to sound real good.
 

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OK, $250 for the receiver and lets say $100 for the sub. That leaves $150 for 5 speakers. This makes them cost $30 each. Does Energy, JBL, or Infinity even have a $30 speaker? Just asking, not really trying defend my purchase of the Onkyo system.


patrick
 

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instead of getting everything at once get a smaller system you can build on to later on. For example, get a reciever and 2 speakers. When you have extra cash get a center channel, then later the surrounds and then a sub. That was the road I took and am very happy with it.
 

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I second EricD's opinion. I was planning to upgrade my old Yamaha 2 channel amp to a multichannel receiver, and get some nice new speakers along the way. However, I got ahead of myself, got 2 NHT 1.5s for the mains, a Yamaha sub, and 2 NHT SB1s for the rears.


Now I ran out of funds in my haste to purchase everything. So now I am stuck with my old 2 channel amp in a 2 channel stereo setup. The two NHT SB1s are just sitting on the side doing nothing. I don't think I'll have the money to upgrade to a 5.1 system for a very long time.
 

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Would everyone recommend the ONKYO system over BOSE Acoustimass 600 or Series 10 and an OK receiver??? I would like some HONEST recommendations on this.


I can pickup the ONKYO for about $325 refurbished and the BOSE Acoustimass 600 for $350 NEW and the Acoustimass 10 for $450 or so.


All are in my price range.


No BOSE haters! I would like to hear from someone who has compared these side by side...


Thanks :)
 

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I just read the HT-S650 comes with a 5:1 subwoofer channel bug. If you buy one, buyy refurbished from ONKYO because it contains a software fix for the bug. This is posted many places, maybe here too. Just thought Id add that in here.
 

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I confess, I am a Bose hater :)


But seriously, those Bose satellites are just too darn small to give you anything approaching good sound. If I had my way, and budget would be no constraint, I would go with all towers in a 5.1 setup.
 

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I heard BOSE plays a genius trick with their speakers: I cant remember the exact details but it goes something like this: they boost the audio output between 1.5khz and 3k, which is what Dr. Bose determined was a very pleasing range for the human ear. So when you hear bose, the sound is immediately pleasing, and you most people dont notice that the sound is completely unbalanced ....


That said, those 5 Onkyo speakers are horrible (i owned them briefly), you would do much better buying two or 3 decent low end speakers (Infinity or JBL maybe?), that you choose based on how they sound, and hooking them up to a cheap receiver ( Like the Onkyo).


Forget the surrounds for now, just get decent sound up front :)


Also, I don't remember any channel bug with the Onkyo, which I used for several months, its a good receiver. As far as features, its better than what I have now, but the amp section is not exceptional. It has the same problem that all receivers have in that price range: a weak transformer. But its nice as a low end unit ;)
 
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