Newb Needing Buying Advice [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-06-2007, 01:32 PM
Hi all,

I hope you don't mind me dropping into your forum for advice. I've searched around here for quite a while and haven't been able to find answers to my questions as of yet.

I haven't bought equipment since the late 70s early 80s, and back then I used a solid reciever, CD Player and 2 speakers etc. I used to buy middle of the road gear, Denon, Onkyo, HK that kind of thing for about $2500.00 (back then).

Over the years my interest in audio has waned, but I still like good sound. I live in apartments mostly so I don't need a great deal of volume. I am in need of a system for a meditation/yoga room. The room is 12x14, and mostly empty. 8 foot ceilings. I like to listen to ambient music, stuff like Brian Eno.

I am completely out of touch with what is out there. I am interested in the home theatre setups primarily because I can mount the little sattelite speakers in each corner of the room and have them all mounted at ear level. I wonder though if one can get good sound with these systems? I would like to keep the cost down to about $1500.00 if possible, but willing to spend more if it would make a big difference in what I get.

I'm also not sure whether I should buy an all in one unit or separate components. I definitely lean towards separate components so that if part of the system craps out, I can just replace that part.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dusty Chalk
03-06-2007, 01:51 PM
Sure you can. Look at Gallo or Focal (their Sib & Cub line, perhaps?) or avs123's onix xl-s or Radiient Europa (I'm sure other options will be suggested) for the speaker units, and there's nothing wrong with any of the brands you mentioned (Denon, Onkyo, HK) for the receiver (I would also add Pioneer and Yamaha to that list, but I'm sure others will pipe in with alternate opinions).

Your best price/performance ratio will be: speakers, sub, receiver and player (and cables and power conditioner and room treatments &c.).

03-06-2007, 01:54 PM
For $1500 you can get good sound with a HT set up. You still should go with Yamaha, Onkyo and Denon AV receivers in the $3-400 range. And then a small sub like a Mirage Omnisat 8 for about $300 which would leave you $8-900 for some decent speakers.
Or you can check out Axiom's HT systems. I havent heard them but I've heard good things about axiom. Look for their advertisement on this web site.

03-06-2007, 02:21 PM
You guys rock, thank you. I just bought a Yamaha RX-V659 receiver online because you both recommended Yamaha and I found this post after looking more through the forum. Some guy suggested this low priced system:

HSU Performance 2 Package (Ventriloquist VT-12 speakers + HSU STF-2 Sub), $518
Oppo 970 DVD Player, $149
Yamaha RX-V659 Receiver, $350

These HSU systems seem to get great reviews, any comments? Also, does the CD player really matter, or are they all basically the same nowadays, providing one stays in a reasonable price range?

03-06-2007, 05:46 PM
I've never heard the HSU, but their subs are very highly regarded. For a mediation room, I think you'd really like the diffuse soundfield of Blackraven's suggestion, the Omnisats. They are small, inconspicuous, and will work well with the type of music you're planning on listening to. Another suggestion would be Cambridge Soundworks (, a company founded by the late, great Henry Kloss (Advent, AR, KLH) which offers tremendous bang for the buck.

Are cd players all the same? Well, no. However, differences between cd players in the same price bracket are difficult to discern. At low to moderate volume with a nice forgiving speaker like the Omnisats, I doubt you'd hear the difference anyway. The Oppo is getting great press these days. You might also consider Cambridge Audio (no relation to Cambridge Soundworks) which makes highly regarded cd players. has a 340c for $270, a very good price.

Hope this helps.

Dusty Chalk
03-06-2007, 08:30 PM
These HSU systems seem to get great reviews, any comments?They certainly make great subs -- don't know about the speakers, though, but if it's returnable, I'd think they'd be worth taking a chance on.

And "what he said" about CD players. The Oppo is supposed to be an excellent universal player, and if you get more money later on, you can get it modded by outfits like Reference Audio Mods to get the best you can out of it.

Mr Peabody
03-07-2007, 09:45 AM
If your system is only going to be for music, I'd forget the HT stuff and go with a typical stereo setup. Music in surround doesn't appeal to me and you won't get sound from all the speakers unless you use something like "party" mode, where sound is coming out of all speaker and then you lose any soundstage. Music in surround puts most of the sound in the center channel and some accompaniment in the fronts, possibly an occasional ambient noise from the back. Unless you are going to use SACD or DVD-A, music isn't recorded for surround sound.

You can get better than average sound from integrated amps like Creek, Arcam or Cambridge.

I'd also recommend, if you have the room to use a full range speaker. It is difficult to get a sub to blend with satelites, especially in the type of set up you are talking about.

You could easily hook up 2 sets of speakers to an amp or receiver with A/B speaker inputs, if you are definitely wanting front and rear sound.