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choosing a cheap sound system

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by wheateater, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. wheateater

    wheateater Member

    I'm thinking about getting a receiver and speakers to both simplify my mess of cables as well as boost my audio capabilities. I really don't have room/need for a surround system, I really just want to get a decent pair of bookshelf speakers primarily for music. Does anyone have experience with this and have any suggestions on what brands are good or what to look out for? After browsing for a bit online the options are almost dizzying, and I'm far from an expert. I really don't want to spend more than $400-$450 for the receiver and speakers combined. Thanks.
  2. Bad Guy Zero

    Bad Guy Zero Active Member

    You can get a basic Sony stereo [non-surround sound] receiver [STR-DE197] for around $125.00. Pair that with a solid pair of bookshelf speakers [which you can easily find for under $100.00] and you've got a decent basic system. You can find surround sound receivers for fairly cheap nowadays [around $150.00 and less] since there are a ton of new in the box still around from the pre-HDMI days.
  3. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    If you're willing to spend a little bit more, something along the lines of a Polk Audio I-Sonic would serve you well. If you end up going the receiver/speakers route, don't rule out used receivers. A lot of people are upgrading, which means plenty of good used equipment is available. You want to spend your money on speakers -- generally, you want to spend as much as you can afford to on the speakers and skimp on electronics -- and spending less on the electronics will help you with that.
  4. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I spent about $250 at Costco last year and got a Panasonic five-speaker surround setup with five CD/DVD changer, tuner, MP3 jack, the works. And it sounds great. I know it cut a hell of a lot of cables out of my life. You can definitely meet your needs with that budget.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Sony stereo receiver [STR-DE197] for around $125.00.
    Bose 201 speakers for $218. For $110 more, the Bose 301's - with much better bass - can be had.
  6. wheateater

    wheateater Member

    Will a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver still work with a pair of bookshelves, or will I only be getting half of the sound? After looking around, it seems that you get far more value with a surround sound receiver, but I still don't want/need surround sound. However, I guess it would be nice to be able to upgrade at some point without buying a new receiver. Any thoughts?
  7. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    A 5.1/6.1/7.1 receiver is a MUCH better value. With the ability to program the receivers, it shouldn't be a problem at all to use one with bookshelf speakers.

    As a matter of fact, I have a 7.1 attached to a pair of 301s and a Bose center channel. The component modes allow me to use just the 301s for CDs, while I can include the center channel in DVD mode.

    I have a pair of 901s, and plan to upgrade those at some point and turn my room into surround sound. It will be complete overkill, of course, but the effect is usually worth it come time for a good film, whether or not on DVD.
  8. Bad Guy Zero

    Bad Guy Zero Active Member

    You can use bookshelf speakers with a surround sound receiver. You'll want to make sure that the speakers can handle the output of the receiver though. As long as you stick with hooking up audio sources via the "L" and "R" RCA inputs you won't be missing anything soundwise.
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