Decent inexpensive 5.1 system

runt

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Although it will mostly be relegated to use with my Roku & Blu-Ray players I will have a Raspberry Pi 3 running RetroPIE hooked up so I figure it fits here. I am looking for an inexpensive but decent 5.1 surround system for my house. Currently we have an old Sony 5 disc DVD 5.1 system we got from my brother-in-law with only an optical audio input. I would really prefer something with a HDMI switch built in and without any sort of Blu-Ray or DVD player built in. So far it seems like most of the lower end ones have one or the other built in which I don't want. I don't need great sound quality since most of the time it will be playing audio for children's shows or older TV shows that didn't offer 5.1 sound when they were new. To be honest, I would love to spend no more then $250 on it so let me know if my requirements and wants are out of touch with that price. I thought of the RCA system Walmart has for $158 but the reviews are really bad so I won't go that way (again, mostly used for children's shows just want 5.1 for movies when the wife and I are able to watch them).
 

Bigbacon

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thank you asking this...I was just about to post a similar thread. My 11 year old sony system is biting the dust and I need to start looking for a replacement system. LOoking for those all in one things (minus a dvd/bl player)
 

Vengance_01

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I guess it was naive to assume straight pass through hdmi is possible on the $150 models or is there a chance?
Slim chance. These might have 1 input and several digital audio but nowhere near the caliber of a traditional receiver
 

joe7dust

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Slim chance. These might have 1 input and several digital audio but nowhere near the caliber of a traditional receiver

1 input? My 1000 watt RCA receiver was less than $150 and has about 10 inputs.

3 hdmi
3 aux
2 optical
Bluetooth
Radio
Co-ax
Line-in

I have no idea if it passes thru 4k however.

My ancient 300 watt jvc still has a bit more punch in the bass and handles Frankenstein-ed extra subs better though.
 

jevans64

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Speakers... Energy Take Classic 5.1 system... around $300 for 5 speakers and a small sub. Good enough for small rooms less than 12' x 12'.
Receiver... I prefer Denon. Since OP only interested in 5-channels then getting a model a couple of years old before object-oriented audio became a feature to have would be OK.

Accessories4less is the go-to place for refurbished gear. They have a Denon AVR-S530BT for $150. A good price for an entry-level Denon that supports 4k. If you don't need 4k, then a 2011 or 2012 model would be fine... like the AVR-2312ci or AVR-3312ci for 2012 models.
 

runt

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Unfortunately for me, my wife shot me down before I could actually finish the sentence. Mostly because the kids room is right under the living room I'm guessing. I "might" be able to talk her into a stereo sound bar so we have better quality sound but that is it :(
 

AlphaQup

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Decent is pretty subjective, but hey, just throwing my setup out there.

I've rocked this same Logitech Z5500 since it debuted (or close enough) back in like 2008 ish, loved it since (as a bang for buck solution).

Few quick cell phone snaps on my living room, hopefully these piece together nicely.

20180126_214744.jpg 20180126_214751.jpg 20180126_214802.jpg

center + home media server + L and R custom stands, then left then right speaker setup (again, custom stands). best sound I've heard for ~300 bucks or so. all photos's taken from the center couch.

EDIT: damn, sorry to hear man :( it'll pass and you'll find funds for some toys, hang in there.
 
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jevans64

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Yamaha makes decent sound bars and there is Z-Vox if you want a sound base... something that the TV can be placed on top of. I have no wife, but I have this... LOL 13 speakers, 3400 watts to speakers, and 3600 watts to subs in the towers. I need to build a bigger room.

NewHT_12crop.jpg NewHT_13crop.jpg
 
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Unfortunately for me, my wife shot me down before I could actually finish the sentence. Mostly because the kids room is right under the living room I'm guessing. I "might" be able to talk her into a stereo sound bar so we have better quality sound but that is it :(

What goes through walls is sound pressure level. A poorly constructed or suboptimal speaker is more likely to have distortion peaks that will drive up the SPL at a particular frequency. I used to live in an apartment back in college and used Logitech PC speakers and got a bunch of complaints about the noise, when I switched to a set of high quality bookshelf speakers the complaints completely disappeared.
 

runt

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What goes through walls is sound pressure level. A poorly constructed or suboptimal speaker is more likely to have distortion peaks that will drive up the SPL at a particular frequency. I used to live in an apartment back in college and used Logitech PC speakers and got a bunch of complaints about the noise, when I switched to a set of high quality bookshelf speakers the complaints completely disappeared.
She's more worried about the base keeping our kids awake, and I can understand and respect that.
 

Criticalhitkoala

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Yamaha makes decent sound bars and there is Z-Vox if you want a sound base... something that the TV can be placed on top of. I have no wife, but I have this... LOL 13 speakers, 3400 watts to speakers, and 3600 watts to subs in the towers. I need to build a bigger room.

View attachment 51815 View attachment 51816

As a person with a wife, I can promise you it's not about having the wife, it's if the wife has you :) Getting married is like embracing Russia...It owns you.

Your system looks wonderful. I really like how clean it looks.
 

jevans64

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As a person with a wife, I can promise you it's not about having the wife, it's if the wife has you :) Getting married is like embracing Russia...It owns you.

Your system looks wonderful. I really like how clean it looks.

LOL. I think I've done a poor job at hiding all of the cables but most folks that have as many speakers connected as I have put their stuff in a dedicated rack in a closet or other hidden space. Denon has a new 13-channel receiver coming, the X8500H at $4000, and Emotiva has a 15-channel processor coming that it is priced very reasonable at $5000. That may seem like a whole lot but the next level for a true 15-channel pre-pro starts at $18,000.
 

joe7dust

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Yamaha makes decent sound bars and there is Z-Vox if you want a sound base... something that the TV can be placed on top of. I have no wife, but I have this... LOL 13 speakers, 3400 watts to speakers, and 3600 watts to subs in the towers. I need to build a bigger room.

View attachment 51815 View attachment 51816
Nice looking setup but how do you make use of it? I thought the highest quality UHD BluRay usually come with 7.2 atmos and there was something 9.4 that I saw. oh iguess 9.4 would be 13 speakers hmmm
 

jevans64

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Nice looking setup but how do you make use of it? I thought the highest quality UHD BluRay usually come with 7.2 atmos and there was something 9.4 that I saw. oh iguess 9.4 would be 13 speakers hmmm

I don't use wide speakers ( which are matrixed from left/right anyway ) so my base layout is 7 speakers. The maximum I can do with my Denon X7200WA is 7.1.4, which is 11 channels. I have 13 installed and plan to install 2 more in the ceiling towards the front of the room. With my current 6 speakers at height ( Front Height, Top Middle, and Rear Height ), I can switch between two of the three pairs depending on the movie. With the new 13 channel Denon I will be able to use all three pairs and do the same switching if I add a 4th pair. Atmos doesn't use discreet wide speakers at all ( but DSU will up-mix to them ) and will probably never will and, right now, only supports 10 height/top speakers. DTS, on the other hand, uses wide speakers. 13-channel Auro-3D will be supported on the new Denon, which, I think, uses a center height speaker placed above the traditional center channel and center back speaker placed between the back surround. Still only one VOG speaker top center of room.

The " bed " layer for Atmos/DTS:X is 7 channels. The rest of the speakers make use of audio "objects" that are placed at locations around the room according to the speaker layout. Atmos supports up to 128 objects but most ATMOS UHD only make use of 2 to 4 objects.
 
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Yamaha makes decent sound bars and there is Z-Vox if you want a sound base... something that the TV can be placed on top of. I have no wife, but I have this... LOL 13 speakers, 3400 watts to speakers, and 3600 watts to subs in the towers. I need to build a bigger room.

View attachment 51815 View attachment 51816

Def Techs?

Are the only subs you have the ones in the towers? That's a bit of a surprise considering all the other speakers/gear.
 

joe7dust

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Def Techs?

Are the only subs you have the ones in the towers? That's a bit of a surprise considering all the other speakers/gear.
I would have a .4 (at least )at the end of any system of this value also. :p

I have 2x receivers that are wired together and to some each others' speakers. It is amazing how the 300 watt system handles the extra load better in the bass range. Is old JVC eq usually better than new RCA stuff?
 

jevans64

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Def Techs?

Are the only subs you have the ones in the towers? That's a bit of a surprise considering all the other speakers/gear.

The size and layout of the room make it hard to place more than one big sub. The only LFE are coming from the towers. I have an SVS SB-16 Ultra but it didn't add much beyond digging deeper than the built-in subs. I'm using the SB16-Ultra with my 2-channel setup. My grand plan is to build a larger dedicated room and move everything to that room. At that time, I'll be looking at a pair of JTR Captivator 2400 or 4000 ULF. For now, the output of the DefTech BP7000SC are enough for me. They are only running at about 40% of their rated output.
 

Vengance_01

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I will note I have a zvox sb500 I got for a super good priced refurbished from Amazon. They are wall mountable and it's sounds pretty damn good for what it is. I will warn you this thing is huge for a sound bar. But it has some decent bass can get really loud and I love the look of it. It has 2 digital inputs and a single rca inputs.
 

Solhokuten

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Onkyo HT-S3800 5.1-Channel Home Theater System
https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3800-Channel-Theater-Package/dp/B01F3ENAOU

Jet and BHVideo also have it as well.

Basic no thrills receiver but its 4K ready. If you want better sound you can always get better speakers down the line.
Got tired of trying to get DD+ out of my Z-5500 and Nvidia Shield TV, so I ordered that setup today. I also needed something that had 4K HDR passthrough. Should have Sunday and I'll be sure to report back.
 

Solhokuten

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Got the Onkyo system yesterday and it was just what the doctor ordered. Works fantastic with the Shield.

Vengance_01 Really appreciate the suggestion man. Got a great sounding system without breaking the bank. Would highly recommend this to anyone. The only con is the lack for Atmos support, but great sounding 5.1 is enough for me.

FYI, I actually ordered the "Very Good" Amazon warehouse pre-owned for $300, and it came in perfect condition. So, if anyone is looking to save $100.
 
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Vengance_01

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Got the Onkyo system yesterday and it was just what the doctor ordered. Works fantastic with the Shield.

Vengance_01 Really appreciate the suggestion man. Got a great sounding system without breaking the bank. Would highly recommend this to anyone. The only con is the lack for Atmos support, but great sounding 5.1 is enough for me.

FYI, I actually ordered the "Very Good" Amazon warehouse pre-owned for $300, and it came in perfect condition. So, if anyone is looking to save $100.
I am glad. I am no expert on this stuff but that system is a great no thrills budget system that has some room to add better speakers down the line.
 

joe7dust

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I will admit that JVC build quality seems better than RCA. But my $150 5.1 RCA system is not bad really, it has 3 hdmi, 2 aux, 2 optical, bluetooth and some other inputs. I will note that although it is a 1000watt system that the 300watt JVC seems to have more punch on the lower bass end of things.
 

joe7dust

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Slim chance. These might have 1 input and several digital audio but nowhere near the caliber of a traditional receiver

Finally got around to testing it, the RCA that I have does indeed pass 4k through no problems. I would not certify it for every video card but works great with my setup, surprisingly.
 

Logan M

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I will admit that JVC build quality seems better than RCA. But my $150 5.1 RCA system is not bad really, it has 3 hdmi, 2 aux, 2 optical, bluetooth and some other inputs. I will note that although it is a 1000watt system that the 300watt JVC seems to have more punch on the lower bass end of things.

Those ratings on wattage are junk from most manufacturers. They use a single speaker at a specific frequency to just pump wattage through it and achieve a total bullshit number. High end stuff rated at 200 watts will often outperform cheap stuff rated at 1000+. Because laypeople usually only look at the numbers.
 
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