THX receiver

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  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 12:31:50 10,547 posts
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    Hi all,

    I think I need to replace my aging sony av receiver. It's a Sony STRDG910S and has served me well over the years, but it's creaking a tad now.

    What I'd like to do is invest in a thx certified one. I'll have to spend a lot of time calibrating and faffing with the existing equipment etc, but I'll obviously need to upgrade it

    2 questions really

    1) What's a good entry level THX receiver? The ones I'm seeing are things like the Onkyo 6xx range, at about 500. Do I need to spend this much for a I/S certified THX Reciever? Or can I get it cheaper (I definitely can't afford select or ultra rank and haven't the room space anyway)

    2) I've been reading up on the speakers, and thx go on about placement more than anything else. So is it just a case of making sure the speakers and the receiver are happy with each other?

    it'll need to be a 7.1 or 7.2 onwards amp, not 5.1

    Thanks!

    Edited by quadfather at 12:33:23 24-10-2012

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 13:39:30 8,746 posts
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    I really wouldn't bother my arse wih THX certification, what's your budget?
    What speakers do you have?
    What are your sources?

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  • beastmaster 24 Oct 2012 13:45:53 10,176 posts
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    One of my mates had THX. He said compared to what he's got now (I'm not sure what it is though), THX ain't all that. Just because Lucasfilm gives something a certificate of approval doesn't mean it's going to be any good.

    That said, the E.T. THX certified BR is awesome on even a basic setup.

    The Resident Evil films. I'm one of the reasons they keep making them.

  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 13:46:49 10,547 posts
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    Budget is up to 400 (if you can get them for this - negotiable if not)
    RBL Monitor 1's for front, the rest, including centre and sub are some satellite yamaha's
    sources are blu-ray player and some consoles

    If those speakers aren't up to a thx receiver, then there's a good chance the whole idea will have to wait, as I'll have to upgrade them when I get some more cash

    Thanks for the reply

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 13:48:55 10,547 posts
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    @beastmaster - interesting to know, cheers

    It seems to me that the ultra and select are fancy dan systems for cinema's and especially large setups. I'm more intrigued by the lower end certifications

    I'm interested in what you'd class as a basic setup?

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • neilka 24 Oct 2012 13:54:46 14,942 posts
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    brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 14:02:50 8,746 posts
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    I'd look at something like the bargain.

    Seriously, don't bother about THX certification, it's not important and pretty meaningless with the sort of speakers you're using.

    Get a good receiver within your budget then save and get better speakers, your centre and front should really match.

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  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 14:05:02 10,547 posts
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    Thanks for the links. Nice kit.

    And thanks for the info. What speaker setup and make would you recommend?

    Edit - that yamaha looks bloody nice actually

    Edited by quadfather at 14:06:40 24-10-2012

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Buztafen 24 Oct 2012 14:14:06 15,957 posts
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    Forget about THX cert as everyone else has said and go for the best receiver your budget can get. If it comes with THX select consider it a nice bonus, though ive owned a Pioneer THX reciever for almost 10 years and i can honestly say that if i spent 400 on a new non THX replacement the difference in sound (if any) would not be down to the certification.

    That Pioneer linked above will do great, if it's as well built as my ancient VSX-AX3 it'll be stonkin!

    Remember your setup is only as good as its weakest components. Get the receiver then upgrade those speakers! :)
  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 14:15:34 10,547 posts
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    maybe I should upgrade the speakers first?

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • 1Dgaf 24 Oct 2012 14:20:09 3,775 posts
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    Do you have a good enough room for it? I don't know how good THX is, but I assume to get the best from it, it should go in a dedicated, purposefully designed, room.

    www.hatchetjob.com - more than games. "Seemingly trivial, surprisingly deep"

  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 14:25:06 10,547 posts
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    It's probably the best room I can muster - it's a converted attic room, perfectly square. Display is near a wall centrally on one side of the room, and the seating area is 3/4's of the way back, leaving plenty of room for 7.1 spread around and in the right location and the right height.

    It's just that they're pretty shit speakers and the amp is ancient :)

    Edited by quadfather at 14:25:44 24-10-2012

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • neilka 24 Oct 2012 14:25:33 14,942 posts
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    Ideally the room should be at least 30 foot underwater and lined with George's beard hair.
  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 14:28:25 8,746 posts
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    quadfather wrote:
    Thanks for the links. Nice kit.

    And thanks for the info. What speaker setup and make would you recommend?

    Edit - that yamaha looks bloody nice actually
    I would save up and audition some speaker packages, more than any other component speaker quality is very subjective.

    Maybe something like this would be uitable?

    How big is your room btw?
    If your old receiver handles all your input requirements ok I'd get new speakers first, you'll notice a bigger improvemnt in quality.

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  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 14:31:37 8,746 posts
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    Good wee speaker package

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  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 14:32:53 10,547 posts
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    I was just talking to a bloke at work and I was thinking the same - about upgrading the speakers first. Nice set of speakers on that link, plus I could use the 2 monitor 1's as the surround back's.

    The room is about 7 metres by 6 at a guess. it's an attic room, so I have some of the eave space to use as well

    And yes, everything is still working at the moment on the old amp - and I'd like to get a better surround stage with speakers first if possible.

    Sounds like this might be a better way

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 14:34:44 10,547 posts
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    They look nice too :)

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 14:42:09 10,547 posts
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    Someone told me the centre speaker is the most important, and that it should be the same make as the fronts.

    Is that right, or bollocks?

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Buztafen 24 Oct 2012 15:05:20 15,957 posts
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    Having them all the same make/power rating can make it easier to set them at the correct volumes for balance but it's not absolutely essential. Course if your buying new speakers you may aswell buy a set of style you like so it looks nice in your cinema room. :)

    Depending on the type of film the centre speaker can handle most of the sound in an average film, followed by the front pair. Action heavy soundtracks skew the usage towards the front pairs favour.

    Going for a strong set of speakers for the front sound stage (centre, left, right) would be the best bet.

    Edited by Buztafen at 15:06:20 24-10-2012
  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 15:10:19 10,547 posts
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    Right. Cheers.

    5.1 matched set, then use the monitor 1's for surround back then. They'll be out the way anyway, so the style won't matter that much.

    I've got some symphony 6.2's knocking about too, but I'm not entirely sure if they'd even fit. Plus I would't be able to match them to the centre

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 15:18:39 8,746 posts
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    quadfather wrote:
    Someone told me the centre speaker is the most important, and that it should be the same make as the fronts.

    Is that right, or bollocks?
    That's pretty much right tbh.

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  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 15:20:52 10,547 posts
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    Fair do's.

    It looks like pretty much everything is pointing to getting a new 5.1 set of speakers and lobbing in the monitor 1's as the surround back.

    Very tempted by those tannoy's thinking about it

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Chopsen 24 Oct 2012 15:37:47 15,161 posts
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    Talking of speakers, I got a set of cambridge audio minx speakers to make a 5.1 set-up in a tiny room with a projector in it. Fuck me they sound amazing. I was quite dubious about these "dinky satellite and a sub" type kits and I've had 5.1 set-ups based on big floor-standing fronts in the past, but these are brilliant and I was astounded tbh.

    Edited by Chopsen at 15:38:01 24-10-2012
  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 15:38:35 8,746 posts
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    More decent speakers

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  • billythekid 24 Oct 2012 15:43:20 10,803 posts
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    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    More decent speakers
    I've got these, can't really fault them at all.
    I have them connected to an Onkyo 608 and it provides more than enough volume, bass, surround effects, everything really.
    I'd like to upgrade the front two to the floorstanders at some point in the distant future.
  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 15:50:07 10,547 posts
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    @Armoured_Bear - Spooky - I was on the same site, looking at exactly the same speakers as these! I was just about to post a link. Centre speaker is very good too according to reviews

    extremely tempted now :)

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 15:50:41 10,547 posts
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    @billythekid - thanks for the info - it's appreciated when I'm about to splash out some cash!

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • gamingdave 24 Oct 2012 17:04:28 4,121 posts
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    From experience in a well balanced home cinema system you should be looking at spending at least as much on your speakers as your amp, if not more.

    7.1 IMO isn't worth it. The extra money required for the extra 2 speakers would be better spent on the other 5 as the increase in sound stage is minimal (and a lot/most disks don't have a 7.1 track anyway).

    Likewise, THX is not a guarantee of anything in your own setup really. I've had 2 top end Yamaha amps which have kicked lesser THX amps in to touch (to my ears at least).

    One thing to consider is a proper sub unit. I added a Monolith to my system last year and compared to my ageing AE sub the difference is staggering. The rumble can be felt across the house (no late night viewing when the wife's in bed for me), but it never sounds distorted or forced. It's not just blockbusters that shine, the added dimension is noticeable on nearly everything I watch.

    That Yamaha amp linked above is a steal at that price. Onkyo make some very price competitive kit (I nearly got one last time I upgraded), though they tend not to have quite the quality of some of the others. A quality amp will last a very long time. I only upgraded from my Yamaha DSPA2 when it was ten years old and that was as I wanted some HDMI switching and HD audio. It still sounds amazing though and hasn't faulted once.
  • quadfather 24 Oct 2012 17:12:07 10,547 posts
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    @gamingdave - cheers for the info, much appreciated.

    I don't necessarily need 7.1, it's just that I have it at the moment. That's it really.

    And I'm definitely leaning towards a 5.1 set of speakers before the amp.

    But that yamaha amp is a blinder at that price! I'm going to shop around for more stuff (need to save a bit more cash anyway), but I think I'll go for the speakers first and get that all sorted and take it from there.

    Talking of subs, I used to have a B&O one, so big that you could actually sit on it (it had a curved top, so you could put a cushion 'in it' and site on it. If you're into that kind of thing of course! Anyway, the sub bass on it was amazing.

    Never could remember where that bloody went. That monolith sub looks a bit monstrous :)

    I have to say, my sony is still working - it's just that I'm having to turn the volume up more and more over the years to get the same level of noise.

    Or I'm going deaf.

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Armoured_Bear 24 Oct 2012 17:20:17 8,746 posts
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    quadfather wrote:
    @gamingdave - cheers for the info, much appreciated.

    I don't necessarily need 7.1, it's just that I have it at the moment. That's it really.

    And I'm definitely leaning towards a 5.1 set of speakers before the amp.

    But that yamaha amp is a blinder at that price! I'm going to shop around for more stuff (need to save a bit more cash anyway), but I think I'll go for the speakers first and get that all sorted and take it from there.

    Talking of subs, I used to have a B&O one, so big that you could actually sit on it (it had a curved top, so you could put a cushion 'in it' and site on it. If you're into that kind of thing of course! Anyway, the sub bass on it was amazing.

    Never could remember where that bloody went. That monolith sub looks a bit monstrous :)

    I have to say, my sony is still working - it's just that I'm having to turn the volume up more and more over the years to get the same level of noise.

    Or I'm going deaf.
    There's only one of those Yamaha Amps left :-)

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