Modest Home Audio Setup

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by robertgd, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. robertgd

    robertgd Member

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    Wanting to upgrade from the budget Sony soundbar we have. Just after some recommendations on Recievers and Speakers. My focus is on music quality but I do need an AV reciever to control all of my equipment.

    I'd like to get 4K to future proof, even though I don't have any 4K source or display, yet. I think most quality AV Recievers are 4K now anyway. My only other requirements are HDMI-CEC and AirPlay would be nice but would rather my $$ go into sound quality instead, and I have an Airport Express for that anyway.

    I'm thinking a Yamaha RXV481 but am open to better suggestions. Seems like a decent unit for the money with a good feature set. I'm even thinking the RXV381 which is priced even better but doesn't have WiFi, again, not crucial.

    For speakers, I'm thinking some good quality stereo monitors. I'm reading good things about the ELAC Debut B5. I don't want surround sound at the moment, just good quality stereo for music. My only concern here is whether the sub bass will be sufficient enough. Can I tack on an active Subwoofer at a later stage without consideration?

    I'll be hooking up an Apple TV (4th gen), Xbox One and Pro-Ject II Turntable to the unit and want to be able to control volume with my ATV remote via HDMI-CEC. That's a must.

    If anybody has some good recommendations for a simple stereo setup with an emphasis on music quality, that would be great. I'd look at stereo amps but it absolutely has to be AV. I know for pure music fidelity a dedicated stereo amp is the way to go but I'm sure an AV Reciever can give me just as good quality sound.

    I am on a budget, hoping $1000-1200 for both reciever and speakers.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  2. Radley

    Radley Member

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  3. OP
    OP
    robertgd

    robertgd Member

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    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately neither of the options you suggested include AV Receivers. I'll take a look at their website.

    My suggested ELAC Debut B5 and Yamaha RXV481 come in at $1200 so I figured I wasn't limiting myself too much. Maybe I greatly underestimated the term modest when it comes to home audio :)
     
  4. Radley

    Radley Member

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    My bad! I read it but then ignored it haha. I reckon you should go to a store and have a look and see for yourself. Digital Cinema isn't too far away from you going by your postcode.
     
  5. OP
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    robertgd

    robertgd Member

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    I actually ended up biting the bullet and bought a Yamaha RXV381 for a great price. eBay had their 20% sale on so I couldn't resist, and couldn't justify the price of the Yamaha RXV481 given I didn't need the added features.

    I had a look at the NAD T748 as well, and while it seemed like the better performer, it lacked 4K passthrough (1080p only) and was a bit more expensive.

    Based on everything I've read, the RXV381 is a fantastic no frills performer, and that's what I needed.

    Now, I'm just hunting around for speakers, which is really where I don't want to make the wrong decision. I'm wondering if I should get a floor standing unit, or bookshelf. Everything I'm reading basically says for the money, bookshelf speakers will give you better sound with a sacrifice to low end, so a subwoofer is recommended. I'm okay with that in mind, now to hunt around for a good deal.
     
  6. Steak Face

    Steak Face Member

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    Personally if you have the space and are on a budget I'd go floorstanders as you generally can get away without a sub.

    In saying that, I just bought bookshelf and a sub as I have no room for floorstanders, plus the room is small. If you like music (my main reason for my set-up) you need to be pretty picky with the sub.

    I trialled a 8" B&W ASW608 with my B&W 686S2's and I took the sub back, it sounded terrible with music for some reason, boomy, slow muddy etc. I swapped it for a Velodyne SPL800 and it's awesome but retails for $1,299 as opposed to the B&W's $799 - but it is sooooo much better. I guess what I'm getting at is a good bookshelf and sub combo will cost more than a decent set of floorstanders.
     
  7. skipppy

    skipppy Member

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  8. syahrr01

    syahrr01 Member

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    Not a fan of the sound quality of low/mid range AVRs. For music, I would've recommend standalone DAC and amp..

    Get second hand hifi speakers and sub instead. Certain used models of krix, kef, usher, paradigm, q-acoustics, nht might fit your budget. There's also popular bang for buck speakers like the Andrew Jones' Pioneer SP BS22, Usher s520. Then there's DIY kits like Adelaide Speaker, loudspeakerkit.
     
  9. Radley

    Radley Member

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    I was looking at the 682's for my study but after listening to my Q300's I can't help but think you need a sub to match bookshelves to get the best out of them.
     
  10. Steak Face

    Steak Face Member

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    Definitely, a sub is near essential.

    I switched the sub off last night while listening to music and the difference was huge, the SPL800 just puts out so much sound, and blends in so well it's perfect my tastes. I have it set so it's like you don't know it's there (plus it's hidden) but when you turn it off you definitely know it was there.

    All the sound appears to come from the 686's, they blend really well together.
     
  11. Steak Face

    Steak Face Member

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    I agree with this. I just switched from a mid level Yamaha AVR to a Rotel A12 - a huge difference (given the price diff it want to be).

    The Yamaha will go ok, so it's a reasonable starting point especially if you need HDMI inputs etc. Just run it in stereo mode for music.
     
  12. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I bought the RX-V473 back in 2013 as a replacement to a higher end RX-V863 I had before that. The only reason was that the old unit didn't do 3D and gave a blank (or srambled?? I don't recall) screen. Stepping down provided no real noticeable difference to my ears.

    As for speakers, in the early days I had re-used my Sony mini system speakers before upgrading as I could afford it. I stepped up to Aaron HiFi SS120 Bookshelfs, CC120 centre and Kilpsch Quintet rears with a view that I would upgrade to floorstanding Aaron speakers when the budget would allow.... that was eight years ago now :O

    The sub was a Yamaha I think, but the amp packed it in at some point (4+ years ago) and being on a tight budget at the time I picked up a Jaycar Audioline 12" sub to replace it for something like $150 to tide me over.... yep still running that one too.

    I know I'm no audiophile, but it all sounds good to me and while I'd still love some floor standing speakers for the front, the current setup is neatly installed and changing anything different would require moving things about (which I don't really have room for).
     
  13. Zee

    Zee Member

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    Go second hand - save a boatload, and Yamaha has a 4 year warranty (as do a few others).

    Z...
     
  14. sanjeevlives

    sanjeevlives Member

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  15. KoNpHuSeD

    KoNpHuSeD Member

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    I'm not trying to put sanjeevlives suggestion down, but I would only go with those speakers if you are space limited.

    For music it makes a big difference getting better bigger speakers.

    My biggest advice is to go to a few audio stores and compare speakers using the same song on CD. No research can replace actually listening to them.

    Best value is had with a bookshelf, subwoofer combination. Though remember you might need to put your bookshelf on something like a stand so take that into account.

     
  16. Radley

    Radley Member

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    Good suggestion.
    I meant to say B&W 685 in my previous post. They are a fantastic musical speaker, but I'm not sure if they require a sub.
    I went into a store near my today (Coffs Coast Audio) and they have an amazing dedicated home theater setup with B&W 7.2.2 setup and my god it's good. Retail is around $15k with the amps they used, but it really shows how you need to set up the room properly or else the speakers will sound shite.
     
  17. Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    Second hand speakers can be awesome, amps and receivers, especially beyond 5 years old, not so much.

    Also, only the more pricey Yamaha RX-A Aventage range has a 4 year warranty - all the RX-V range is a 2 year warranty.
     
  18. OP
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    robertgd

    robertgd Member

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    Thanks for all of the advice. I've gotten my Yamaha amp, and I'm just hunting around for a good pair of second-hand bookshelf speakers and possibly a sub.

    A lot of unfamiliar brands out there, so I'm a bit overwhelmed. I won't be looking to spend more than $500 for a used set. The cheaper the better. I'm not an audiophile, just someone who can appreciate good quality sound that doesn't break the bank.

    For reference, my audio setup for the study is an AudioEngine D1 + AKG K702 and I'm happy with that (but I love low end response from a sub, so will incorporate one into the stereo setup eventually).
     
  19. sanjeevlives

    sanjeevlives Member

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  20. Smoke87

    Smoke87 Member

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    You'll get many times ROI building a pre-designed kit over buying something if you want bookshelf format.
     

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