Simple set up for 2 speakers for music? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-15-2005, 02:04 PM
I am looking for a simple music set up for 2 ceiling speakers. I don't need all of the surround inputs, just want to play music with 2 speakers. I dont want to spend more than $800, and I don't need bells and whistles, just want good CD and iPod sound (if possible).

After doing much research, I am thinking of getting this set up and wanted to solicit some opinions.

I was deciding between the H/K 3480 and the ONKYO TX-8511 Stereo Receiver I am deciding to go with the Onkyo because I heard it's comparible to the H/K but kicks more bass - which I like

CD Player
I was deciding between the HARMAN KARDON FL8385 and the ONKYO DX-C390
I am leaning torwards the HK because I read about some quality issues on Onkyo CD players. I have also heard some quality issues with the HK but not as many.

I have chosen some Klipsch KHC-6 ceiling speakers


04-15-2005, 02:29 PM
I own an HK3375 receiver and it has given me very good service for almost 2 years. Based on that experience and the fact that the HK3480 has ,IMO, superior connections (sub out, accepts banana plugs) I think I would recommend it over the Onkyo. The Onkyo is still a very good unit though so you will probably be happy either way. My experience with the FL8375 was less positive and I returned it within a week. I didn't like the remote even when it worked and the player stopped reading discs after about 5 days. Of course it worked ok at the store! I don't know anything about the Onkyo cdp but am inclined to think it would be at least as good as the HK. Frankly I would (make that am) consider(ing) a dvd changer with a 24/192 dac. I was seriously considering the Panasonic F87 (I think that's the number). It plays all formats except SACD, has HDCD, and the transport seemed to work smoothly at the store. Haven't made a decision yet though so I don't have any hands on knowledge yet. I did hear some Toshiba players at the AK fest and they seemed ok. I don't have any knowledge of in-wall speakers so I'll just say that it would pay to audition as many as possible before deciding. Hope this helps a little and best of luck.

04-15-2005, 02:52 PM
I bought one of my sons the Onkyo TX8211 for Christmas 2 years ago. It's the 50wpc version. It plays loud and has been durable and reliable. It's not my preference soundwise and without a source playing I can hear a hiss from the speakers, but it's much better than I had at his age.

I'm not sure whether a receiver can kick butt in the bass department is really going to mean much with ceiling speakers. They're not going to go very low anyhow. Are you sure you need ceiling speakers? I know that room requirements and placement can be the controlling factor, but if you don't have to have ceiling speakers then you really should consider something else. While your at BestBuy check out the Athenas. They're supposed to be great bang for the buck speakers.

However, if you really like bass and can use standmount speakers instead of ceiling speakers, check out the Acoustic Energy Aegis Ones on the demos page at The last price I saw for these was $199.99. I bought mine for $250 and they're worth it. They have audible bass down to about 38Hz.

Mr Peabody
04-18-2005, 07:04 PM
Dean beat me to the punch, I was wondering the same thing, why ceiling speakers. If it has to be, I would suggest a subwoofer strategically placed in the room. Wall speakers would be better imaging than ceiling speakers if you had to have them recessed. Another strike against bass is using Klipsch. They play loud but no real bass. I actually compared some entry level cd players from Yamaha, Denon & Onkyo. I thought the Yamaha being the cheaper of the 3 was more listenable. The bass lacked definition like most Yamaha gear but the mids and highs impressed me for a $150.00 machine. The Denon was second. Both Denon and Onkyo had better bass detail but they were a little abrasive in the mids and highs with the Onkyo being the worst of the 3. I also have an older Onkyo 2 channel that is 48 wpc it has held up great except the remote buttons are starting not to work so good. This receiver is about 5 years old though. It has some slam. I turn the treble up a notch and the bass down so maybe paired with an Onkyo receiver which I perceived to be bright might be a good match.

If you didn't want to rattle the windows you may get better sound by pricing a small integrated amp by the likes of Cambridge Audio. You could probably find a used Adcom pre/power amp used for around $400.00 depending on how current the model is and how big the amp.

04-20-2005, 09:14 AM
I've had the TX8511 in house and compared it to the HK3480 and must say that the latter is a much more capable receiver. It has more connectivity options and more power throughout. It is rated at 120W clean out of all four channels. HK also rates their receivers lower than most other companies, so what you are getting is more power than comparably rated units. I have brought very inneficient speakers to their knees with it and Stereophile reviewed it very positively as well. That said, it has a couple of quirks, like a remote that doesn't always respond well. I replaced it with a universal remote and everything works fine now. That is not to say that the Onkyo is a slouch, but IMO the HK is a more powerful unit, and it has front A/V inputs that you can use with your iPod.

On the CD player side, HK is not very reliable. Most of their CD players have a pretty sordid failure rate. Onkyo is also spotty. I also would like to recommend a good unversal DVD player instead of the CD player. You may not need it now, but it's always nice to have. Since both of the receivers you mentioned have video switching, I thought you might be thinking about this for the future. Anyhow, both Samsung and Yamaha make good universal players that are still affordable. You won't be getting SACD/DVA-A in surround sound, but the receiver's high sensitivity and very low THD (both the HK and the Onkyo have good specs) will give you very good sound reproduction.

Ditto for the speakers. Unless you're going to hise a sub somewhere in the room, you won't get much slam out of those speakers.

04-22-2005, 02:57 PM
I bought a used HK HD710 off ebay for $40. Sounds great and performs flawlessly. Add to the fact that there is a lot of metal used in its construction instead of cheesy plastic, it has a digital out, it has a headphone out, and you can turn off the display (nice at night, listening while lying down in a dark room)....I am extremely happy with my purchase. The only thing I wish I had was a remote (seller misplaced it, so it isn't HK's fault, becasue the player came with one).

I just picked up an HK PT2300 off ebay for $80, which I can't wait to hook up to my GFA-545 and see how it sounds (it has dual sub outs, which is kinda cool). It has a remote with lots of functions, so I'm hoping it may control my HK player, with the remote, or throught their linking system in the back....not sure of their compatability.

05-06-2005, 01:06 PM
Those are some good HK buys. I've had good luck on ebay so far, including a marvelous McIntosh preamp that I resold for twice what I bought it for after cleaning it up a bit. There are many other great buys from HK right now, I've noticed, but many of them are missing the remotes. That's always a problem. I also recommend becoming friends with a good engineer or electronics tech-type. It really helps when you buy broken equipment that isn't really DOA.