need help deciding - Denon S-301/S-101, Sony DAV-X1, Bose 321 GS
Hi, I need help deciding on a home set-up. I have an old crappy Panasonic DVD and 5-speaker surround sound HTS (it doesn't even have component video output) and want something better. My old trustworthy audio system is just too big for my current space, and my husband *strongly* prefers minimal clutter, so we are looking at three (simulated) surround systems:
Denon S-301 (or the S-101)
Bose 321 GS
I don't like the fact that we have not been able to audition the systems to my satisfaction, so I'm hoping someone out there has some useful input Also, please don't scold me for considering the sim-surrounds, I fully understand the virtues of 5-speaker surround... And, please don't scold me for having a Bose system on the list, I promised my husband I would give it a fair listen (he thinks it sounds great...).
1. The Denon S-301 and S-101 systems are a bit pricey - are they worth it? Is the higher price based on sound quality, or bells and whistles (i.e. iPod and USB connectivity on the front, etc.)?
2. How is the Sony DAV-X1? I haven't been able to hear it in a suitable environment with a decent soundtrack to calibrate by.
3. Can we use a Logietch Harmony 880 Universal Remote to control the Bose 321 GS?
We definitely want good sound without rear speakers (our room isn't amenable to rear speakers on wall or floor, sigh), so that is why we are looking at these L+R+"sub" systems.
Any useful input on these specific systems individually and/or how they compare side-by-side would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Here's a review of the Denon S-101:
Yamaha also has a simulated surround module thingie called YSP Digital Sound Projector. Here's a review:
Lastly, friend don't let friends buy Bose and neither should spouses.
Many thanks for the links! The YSP-1 was originally on my list too, but my husband nixed it on aesthetics. For a guy who doesn't hook up our A/V, perhaps he gets too much input
Originally Posted by paul_pci
Here's a couple of links, with a few suggestions that you may find useful.
In general, I would shy away from any prepackaged system that includes the speakers. In every HTIB I've ever heard, the speakers have been the weak link. They are typically more designed for diminutive size than sound quality. Also, the subwoofers that come with those types of units are not true subwoofers in that they extend well into the lower midrange. This is because the main speakers do not extend anywhere close to the bass range, so the subwoofer has to use a higher crossover point to make up for this deficiency, which results in the subwoofer giving away its location and still creates huge frequency gaps.
You should look to an integrated receiver/DVD player, and shop for your own speakers and subwoofer. That will open up your options and give you far better sound quality in the end. I believe that the Denon is available without the speakers, and JVC and Panasonic also make integrated receivers as well.
And if you don't mind a separate DVD player and receiver, that opens up your options immeasurably. Receivers in the $300 range all include virtual surround functions for two, three, or four speakers, and decent progressive scan DVD players with HDMI outputs will run you less than $100 nowadays. This has the added advantage of allow you the option of adding the center and surround speakers later on if you move your system to a different room with more space. Once you get the receiver/DVD player, then you can shop for a pair of speakers that deliver the kind of sound that you're looking for.
The advantage of using a larger bookshelf speaker is that it will play down into the bass range, and allow you to use a subwoofer only for the lowest frequencies. This results in fuller and deeper sound, with no huge gaps in the overall frequency range. Figure that a good receiver and DVD player will run about $400. With a $300 pair of bookshelf speakers and a $300-$400 subwoofer like the Hsu STF-1 or STF-2, or SVS PB10, you'll have a system that will far outperform any of the two-channel HTIBs out there.
equal (better ?) alternative.
you might also want to consider Niro systems. they have been reviewed pretty highly and require less wiring.
Originally Posted by sugarbaare
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