Upgrade Home Cinema System for £2k

burty39

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Jul 24, 2007
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My current system is as follows;

Panasonic 42" Viera HD Plasma, Sky HD, Denon AVR 2803, Pioneer DV 575A. Speaker system is a bit of a mix and is 10 years old, MK bookshelfs 75 x 4 and centre 75 x 1, mission 73S surrounds x 2 and back x 2 and a Yamaha YST-SW80 sub - the room is 5m x 5m

The system sounds ok but can be a bit disjointed, lacking in clarity and harsh especially when playing CDs although the primary use is for movies.

My first dilemna is a speaker package, would the Monitor Audio Radius R90 be a better all round package than what I have got or would I be better investing elsewhere? Is the Monitor Radius RS270 the same package but with stands?

I don't want to spend too much upgrading the DVD player in light of HD/BluRay but was thinking of the Denon 1930, what is this player like for music CDs?

As for the amp I was thinking of the two Sonys, 1200ES or 5200ES, would the latter be too much for my set up?

Any advice would be much appreciated
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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I reckon the amp is the first thing to change - Sony's STR-DA3200ES or 5200ES, or the Onkyo TX-SR605, would be my main choices.

I'd stick with the speakers for now, as I don't think they're the major part of the problem, and with you point about HD DVD/Blu-ray taken on board, I'd be more inclined to buy a better CD player if you play a lot of music. The Pioneer is no great shakes as a CD player, and neither are the current HD DVD/Blu-ray machines, and I reckon not much money on CD player, either new or used, would pay dividends.

Think in terms of a used Marantz CD63KI or CD6000 OSE, or the likes of an Arcam CD73, also used, and I'm confident things will improve.
 

burty39

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Many thanks Andrew.

From what you are saying then my current speaker mixed package is as good or better than a new package in the £1k - £1.5k range?

Would I see much improvement from upgrading the sub, if so any suggestions?
 

burty39

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Andrew,

Re your suggestion of upgrading the amp first. I listened to the Sony 5200 yesterday and was mightily impressed

However, I have just read the review on the Onkyo TX-SR875 which on paper looks a better buy than the Sony ( £200 dearer ) as it is future proof for now offering HD sound

Would this be a better option as I will be upgrading to a HD DVD player at some point
 

Andrew Everard

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Well, the Sony will accept LPCM from HD players over HDMI - sorry, let me start again, just realised that sounded like total geekbabble...

The Sony will accept high definition sound from Blu-ray or HD DVD players in the form of four two-channel streams of Linear PCM digital data, delivered over the HDMI cable. So the player decodes the new high-definition sound formats - the various versions of DTS HD and Dolby HD - and outputs them in a form the Sony can work on.

The Onkyo will do the same, but will also accept those new Dolby and DTS formats in their original form, doing the decoding itself. So in a way it sounds more futureproofed, but then again all these HD players can output the Linear PCM datastreams, so it's not that huge an advantage.

However, I have been running an Onkyo 875 at home for a few weeks now, and it's a bit of a stormer. Very impressed with the sound, and the upscaled picture looks very good, too.
 

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