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Recommend me a cheap 5.1 setup

by rattboi Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:37 pm

I just finally got moved into a place after sleeping on couches and shit for too long to talk about. I hooked up my entertainment center and got to use my new component cables for the xbox and ps2, and s-vid for the ps1, dc, and saturn. I still gotta get the component for GC, since I have the digital port on mine, and I got the best video (excluding VGA) for all my consoles. Now that that's taken care of, I'm wanting to get into audio, but still keeping it relatively cheap. I only need it to support the above consoles, and perhaps anything 360 or Wii supports. Can someone gimme some ideas of something that doesn't suck and isn't gonna kill my wallet? I'm guessing I basically just need DTS, Pro Logic II, and Dolby Surround, but if anyone has comments, I wanna hear.
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by lordofduct Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:22 pm

First off the only systems to support Dolby Digital is PS2, Xbox and Xbox360 at this time. Wii only supports Pro Logic 2, which is stereo with certain sounds played only at certain wavelengths so that the sound processor places it in different channels... but basically is crap. All stereo outputs support Pro Logic 2 though and your receiver will fake a surround feeling with any stereo input... if you want it... I don't advise it for some material, i.e. music.

DTS Neo 6 surround (DTS equivalent to DD's prologic 2) sound better IF you want a surround sound feel... i.e. movies only in stereo and the sort. Again music tends to sound like crap when these are applied, but that is personal preference.

Almost all standalone receivers support DTS ES, DD, and Prologic 2... not all have Neo 6 surround. As for your all in one packages (come with speakers) they usually always decode DD... but not DTS. Though of course there are all in one bundles that do decode DTS. DTS though isn't used in video games... I have yet to see one... but if you use any console for DVD playback have DTS around as its surround sound feel is much more robust in those titles that support it (majority of titles don't, and those that do also have DD... so it again is personal preference).

I personally advise going with a standalone receiver and buying your speakers seperate. It is more expensive though. But WELL worth the investment.

A question for you... what is your price range... sound systems can range from a couple hundred dollars up to a couple hundred thousand dollars... the majority landing in the 1 to 4 thousand range.

The all in one bundles are you only option if you want to only pay like 150 - 200 bucks. They suck though, I advise not purchasing one as the sound quality is mediocre and they break very easily.

Not to say I expect you to pay what I pay for my sound equipment... it's just all in ones are more a rip off then anything.

If you aren't ready or financially stable enough to invest in a sound system... then my advice is try out a all in one box. It may suit your taste.

Sound systems are subjectable to those who use them... if you plan on playing your music loud or what crisp pretty sound this isn't the way to go. But if your a casual audio listener and don't mind shelf stereo systems or playing your games through your TV. Then a all in one might do.

Might I suggest this one: ... 8083309444

It is a Yamaha with a decent amount of power and decodes everything you want. It only offers 2 optical input (most all in ones usually only have 1 or 2) and 1 coaxial digital input. Just don't crank the volume or expect a long life time out of it.
Last edited by lordofduct on Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total. - check out my blog

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by marurun Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:26 pm

Really, the cheapest way to go is to get one of those home theater in a box sets that includes DVD player and speakers. Unless you already have a metric crap ton of speakers, in which case a receiver alone would be the best deal. Go to a local library and hit up some back issues of consumer reports. Every year they have a breakdown on this kinda stuff.
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by metaleggman Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:55 pm

I'd go with Onkyo if you are going to go cheap. Their A/V+Speaker sets are usually the best for the price range. ... B000NZ6JE8
Seems quite nice for the price.
If you can't go that far this might be better: ... prod.txt.1

I'd take into consideration how big the room is. You don't need major wattage per channel if you're in a small 6ftx8ft room. Now, for my living room, the next home theator receiver and speakers we buy (we have a crappy HTIB, yuckums), I'll definately choose a powerful receiver, considering how large and expansive the room is. Add 4 doorways to the equation and you don't have the ideal room for a home theator experience. My room on the other hand is like 8 by 13 or something like that, so I don't need crazy power in a receiver. Think about that.
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by rattboi Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:26 pm

Yeah, my friend recommended Onkyo to me too. 2 optical in's should be plenty, I think. I don't need heavenly sound. I use this $50 set of Altec Lansing computer speakers now on my TV, and I'm pretty happy with that, except I want the surround sound functionality for games. Also, this will be in my room, so not a huge room.
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