Approx $2500 to spend, receiver and speakers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-16-2005, 06:26 PM
What would you buy? I'm looking for a surround sound system that is nice for music also.

03-16-2005, 07:13 PM
What would you buy? I'm looking for a surround sound system that is nice for music also.

Please let the regulars here refrain from killing me but I recommend you go to You can get an excellent sounding system for under $1200 including their recommended JVC DVD receiver. I play 80% CD's & 20% DVD's on my system as well as listen to TV from the receiver.. Caveat emptor so I don't sound like a total hypocrite, although I am very happy with my sound, I am also greedy and but am convinced with a more high end receiver & DVD player, I'll get even better DVD and CD sound and I'm constantly looking, buying, checking out and then returning what I bought and sticking tomy JVC DVD RX-31SL 500 watts receiver. I just bought a Denon 3801 receiver & a Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player online and I'm hoping the sound will be even better but I've learned not to get my hopes up. I'd see if someone on this board who knows their stuff lives near you and maybe you can check out their system for ideas.

03-17-2005, 05:31 AM
I don't care what you get, but for your budget I'd recommend spending $300-$500 on the receiver and the rest on speakers...a receiver in this price range will drive most speakers in you'll be able to afford without problem, have plenty of features, and all the latest gizmo's and gadgets. What's more important, you'll be spending the rest of your money on the one part of your system that makes the biggest impact on sound quality: speakers!!! You'll stretch your money a lot further on ebay or audiogon buying used, too. Do you need any fancy video connections on the receiver? How many speakers are you looking at buying?

(shamless plug:) Depending on your needs, my personal favorite "best-value receiver" is the Yamaha HTR-5760 or RX-V650 can find these as low as $330...hard to beat for the money (Onkyo's got a nice cheap model that escapes me that's nice too), and it leaves a good chunk left over to buy better speakers. Denon and Harman Kardon make good receivers too! Probably a good place for you to start.

Alternatively, you could buy your system in stages. Spend your $2500 now, and when you save up more, finish the rest. This would allow you to buy some pretty terrific sounding gear now, say a higher-end amp/receiver and a pair of speakers and a center channel (which might be more important to you if you listen to more music than you watch movies).

Best advice I can give is to demo as many different models as you can with DVD's/CD's you are familiar with...if possible, in your home (Best Buy and Circuit City are rarely good places to demo, and even boutique stores will sound different than your room).

03-17-2005, 01:26 PM
What would you buy? I'm looking for a surround sound system that is nice for music also.

There are a lot of options in this budget. How big is your room? Do you want 5.1 or 6.1? What are your musical tastes?

I like to keep things in balance. There is no magical formula, but if you buy nice speakers don't get a cheap amp/receiver. For receivers, I just bought a NAD T-743. I haven't even listened to it in my room yet, but will post some thoughts soon. However I did listen to it versus a Yamaha receiver, and felt that it is a better receiver for music than the Yamaha. Both do well for HT. The yamaha's have good reliability, and the NAD had some problems in the past, but that is behind them I believe. They have less bells and whistles, but you will never miss them. I had an integrated amp before this that didn't even have tone controls and I did not miss them at all.

I would budget $500-$700 for the receiver. Maybe close to 1/3 your budget.

For speakers, there are a lot out there. If you want bookshelf design/monitor, the popular ones suggested here are the B&W 601 S3 or 602 S3, matching center speaker too. Also good ones are the PSB Image series, the B25 or 15, I have the Energy C-3 monitors that are still being made and are quite good for the $, Paradigm also makes some popular models but I haven't heard them recently. Less expensive but well reviewed are the Athena line of speakers. Online stores are selling them very inexpensively.

I think the rule of thumb is that if a speaker sounds good with your music, it will be fine for HT. Not necessarily the other way around. A good sub will also help fill out everything, and it doesn't need to match the brand of the other speakers. Try and make the front speakers and the center to match if possible.

There are other brands out there, try and listen to them, and then report back about your findings. If you buy multiple products from 1 store, you might get a price break too. Good luck.

03-17-2005, 05:53 PM
I was going to recommend the Mod2 system from Orb Audio, too, perhaps teamed with a Yamaha 1500. They are great for music and HT. And, no middlemen means you won't have to spend the full $2500 to get $2500 of performance. You can get the Mod2 for $1,099 and the receiver for $500 range. You won't be disappointed.