Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Audio/home cinema nerds
  • Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    So, I have a fairly ancient home cinema audio setup from about 20 years ago, but I like it. It consists of an old yamaha 5.1 dolby digital/dts amp, and some kef q55 huge floor standing front left/right speakers, plus a kef centre speaker, plus enormous yamaha sub (similar vintage to the rest), and a couple of smaller rear speakers.

    I need to get a new amp because mine does not have any hdmi inputs/outputs. But generally I’m happy with the sound from the speakers, so was just going to keep hold of them. However they are rather large, and the wife has complained for years about them.

    Is there a set of speakers that would give as good sound or better, but would be less imposing in size?

    I’m no audiphile, so not looking to spend a fortune on replacing them,but don’t want a downgrade in sound quality.

    I know very little about current home cinema speakers…..

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Not a lot of substitute for box volume. The sub will be doing a lot of lifting and proper cinema needs one. Smaller speakers with a decent sub will provide a nice balanced sound too and you can probably go to bookshelf sized speakers, but if you can’t place them on a shelf or wall mount, then there will be little additional space saving. For receivers, I have an Onkyo, but Pioneer make a nice small one for 5.1. duties.

    Otherwise, if it’s just for home cinema, there is always Sonos sound bar and a couple of rear 1’s with a sub. Domestically acceptable. but you’ll miss the Kefs.

    Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    but you’ll miss the Kefs.

    Ta, that was my fear.

    As in the internal combustion engine world, there’s no replacement for displacement, but was kind of wondering whether someone had come up with the brushless motor equivalent in the loud speaker World.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    there’s no replacement for displacement.

    I have a REL Stentor with an 18″ driver for sub duties. For HiFi, it’s subtle and adds just enough colour (fronts are Sonus Faber stand mounts). For cinema it can move the walls!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I have a very similar setup and a very similar problem.

    My Yamaha amp does have HDMI but it’s only 1.4 (I think) so useless if I ever want a 4k telly. Big daft Yamaha sub also, though the speakers are Paradigm Mini-Monitors. For similar partner reasons and plus the room doesn’t really lend itself to a 5.1 setup, after moving house six months ago they’ve sat in a pile in the living room ever since. They were great in a shitty terrace with a deaf neighbour, here I’ve got cottage-esque stonework and wooden beams and they’d be a carbuncle. Plus I have an old boy next door who is almost certainly the type to come knocking on the door halfway through a film.

    IF you care about modern surround then front / back / centre ideally should all be the same speaker, the “smaller rears” approach (which again is what I have also) is a Pro-Logic era configuration. (So, obvs, you need two more KEFs…)

    As much as I love it I think maybe this ship has sailed for me. If I were to do over I’d probably be looking either at a decent soundbar or a speaker pack of ‘pods’ with a sub doing the heavy lifting. I have a 5.1 system for my PC, it’s made by Creative (remember them, of SoundBlaster fame?) They’re just unassuming ‘PC speakers’ maybe 100mm across and a sub maybe a foot high, but due to space constraints I’ve only ever used them as a simple stereo pair to go ‘ding’ when I screw something up. Since moving and getting a bigger desk I’ve added the sub and a centre to the mix. On a whim I stuck some music on one day and I was astonished how good they were. They’re not my Paradigms of course, but for a home office they’re more than sufficient.

    But, anyway. Watching this thread with interest. If I can replace the Paradigms with something half-decent which doesn’t look like huge culture clash and ideally doesn’t involve me running cables everywhere I’ll be all over it. (Surely wireless speakers must be a thing by now? I’ve no shortage of power sockets, the previous owner was obsessed, there’s like 12 in the back yard and it’s not a large yard).

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    Brother in law has a posh 4k tv & Bose Dolby atoms soundbar and sub, (wasn’t cheap), we recently watched incredibles 2 with the kids and , it was amazing- I realised that my Sony tv/audio setup is outdated and that decent soundbars are now really, really good and compare to separates – with young kids id resigned myself to compromise of a soundbase and put my big wired speaker set in the loft.
    If youre willing to spend the money I expect sonos/bose etc top of the range soundbars will be ace

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Does sir mean “Atmos”? (Autocorrect?)

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    Thats the one !

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    Used to have Kef Q5 floorstanders but as with OP the Mrs complained about lack of living room real estate. I swapped to a Harman Kardon 5.1 package and a Yamaha AV receiver and at normal listening volumes I’d say it’s perfect for the job it does. Loses clarity if you go super loud but honestly when do you ever need to do that?
    Speakers & sub was about £400 direct from Harman Kardon website iirc.

    Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    The Mrs keeps asking me why do we have those enormous speakers when everyone else has a nice discrete soundbar.

    I think I might have to bow to the pressure and get a sound bar.

    Premier Icon jonnyrockymountain
    Full Member

    Last year I went from similar Yamaha 5.1 amp, mission fronts/rear/sub to Full Sonos Arc/Sub and ones as rears and it’s not as good sound but very nearly, but everything else is just way better, so easy to set up minimal cables small neat and tidy looks good, I’m really impressed with it and I picked it all up for £1650-00 so bargain

    Premier Icon GlennQuagmire
    Free Member

    Watching this thread with interest as I’m in the market to replace a faulty Sony AV amp (STR-DN1040). The amp still works but I think the HDMI board has gone faulty as no sound/audio is possible over HDMI. The optical channel still works though.

    There doesn’t seem to be much choice in AV amps now – looks like the focus is on sound bars.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Why not just use the TV output to drive the amp? Yes signal switching and such is nice but does it really matter where the switch happens? Some true believer will be along to say something about sound synchronisation or some guff but the reality is it makes no difference.

    Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    Why not just use the TV output to drive the amp?

    That’s how mine is currently set up, I have an optical out from the tv going into the old amp, and it works surprisingly well,

    I had to get an hdmi switch box because the TV doesn’t have enough hdmi 2.1 inputs for the Xbox One x, Ps5, and TV streaming box, but it does mostly work.

    I think I am seeing an occasional issue with the sound doing wierd things though, which I am putting down to the old amp not liking the newer sound encoding formats, but maybe it’s not that?

    On one hand I’m tempted to bin the lot and get a simple sound bar, and then when I look into it a bit more I think I should just get a modern av receiver and keep the (really quite decent) 20 year old speakers and sub. I expect that would deliver most bang for buck, but wouldn’t pass the wife test.

    I like the look of the denon avr x2700h av receiver

    Premier Icon GlennQuagmire
    Free Member

    Why not just use the TV output to drive the amp?

    That’s how it’s working at the moment. The problem is I can’t get the TV to pass through the audio signal untouched i.e. it gets converted to stereo.

    So it still works and to be fair I might just live with it like that.

    Premier Icon binman
    Full Member

    Same issues for me with an ancient Yamaha 7.1 receiver and Mordaunt Short speakers (guessing mid 90s) on a RS sale.

    I upgraded during lockdown with a new (end of line) Denon Receiver and end of line OLED (RS sale) with built in soundbar (as my OH was having trouble with dialogue on the TV and we had an old Sat dish we wanted to make use of)  but the speakers were not quite clear enough. I bought some  SH B&W M1 speakers and they are great (not such a great deal as arms cracked and can’t get them repaired). Ended upgrading the SW too.

    Problem is that the ladies of the house seem to have first dibs on lounge, so I set myself up in the v small playroom with the bits I had spare, renamed it Dad’s Den, unearthed my NAD turntable from the loft and that’s where I go when thinks like masked dancer are on. Bought more SH B&W wall speakers that arrived dented but working for rear duties.

    The old Yamaha receiver dues not process the new digital signals or have any HDMI, so am looking for a 5.1 amp  which can accommodate HDMI and play my digital music.

    Would be nice to get another Yamaha for posterity, SH or new.

    Premier Icon binman
    Full Member

    I like the look of the denon avr x2700h av receiver

    I think that is similar to the one I bought (a 3600) which works well, the surround sound is great for both streamed stuff and BD DVD. The ARC may get befuddled occasionally when I have used the Chromecast plugged i to the back of it and switch to TV, but a quick on / off sorts it out

    Premier Icon binman
    Full Member

    That’s how it’s working at the moment. The problem is I can’t get the TV to pass through the audio signal untouched i.e. it gets converted to stereo.

    So it still works and to be fair I might just live with it like that.

    I have the same with my old Yamaha, but the problem is I have experienced what it can be like with the main room set-up and know there is a huge difference.

    Premier Icon GlennQuagmire
    Free Member

    I have the same with my old Yamaha, but the problem is I have experienced what it can be like with the main room set-up and know there is a huge difference.

    Yep, same with me. Most things I watch don’t really need anything more than stereo, but my fave concert on Blu-ray (The Eagles) sounds fantastic via DTS-HD Master Audio. Not quite the same via Stereo.

    Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    Ordered that denon avr 2700h av amp.

    Will see if there’s any sound quality improvement vs a 1999 vintage yamaha av amp.

    You’d like to think there would be, surely?

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    I think to need to get some where that does Demos. We had a rubbish 5.1 system with sub. The new Sound bar with no sub isn’t that gear left right and not much depth. But in every way it is better. Just seems to defy the laws of physics. Although the bar isn’t actually that small. I can believe that a modern bar, sub and rears could do it all really well.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    What’s happened to Onkyo? Last time I looked they were good quality and value.
    Now they’ve disappeared.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    Just seems to defy the laws of physics.

    Yup my BILs bose soundbar had me checking to see where the hidden speakers were

    Even the new Echo works out what shape the room is and adjusts its output

    Its like the modern phone cameras taking better pictures than an SLR, with a tiny lens https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/compact-handheld-camera-to-replace-iphone/

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Having already got a couple of Sonos speakers, when I moved into the new house recently I bought the Sonos Beam and 2 of their IKEA collaboration speakers for the rears. Suited my needs perfectly as I absolutely didn’t want wires trailing round skirting boards and it integrated with my existing stuff. The sound quality is fantastic. At £399 for the beam and the Symfonik speakers at £80 each, it’s a great setup for that outlay and I may add a sub in a few months

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