I didn't like the Pioneer despite it being a 5-star product. It was a tad bright & clinical for my taste. I preferred the Yamaha. I would have ended up with a wrong purchase if I had not demoed the products first, as I was getting an excellent deal on Pioneer TV + blu ray player + AV receiver at the Sound & Vision show in Manchester in 2009.
My Home Cinema Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90
Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H
Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router
In the right system Pioneer's sound fantastic! I love the sound, it is perfect in my system, I can push up the volume and it just sounds better. I think it all comes down to matches.
Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV, Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad 4 & iPhone 4S.
BTW - Sevenoaks sale ends Saturday on the website if you are thinking of doing anything now. The Pioneer amps will not last forever at this price. They are great value at the moment.
Think the posts from gel & BB just highlight the importance of giving yourself the opportunity to try out a couple of amps before buying. I've had both Yamaha and pioneer amps (as well as denon) and they each have their own distinctive sound, so we could all tell you what we chose, based on what we liked, but that doesn't mean you'll like it. There isn't a 'wrong' or 'right' choice when it comes to deciding between pioneer or yahama, it really does come down to your own personal preference.
You do need a sub though! (Sorry SoSJ).
Lounge: Panasonic TX-P60ZT65B (calibrated), Pioneer SC-LX75, Denon DPB-2012, Sky-HD1TB, PS4, Xbox 360, Apple-TV, Atacama Equinox AV stand, Monitor Audio Silver RX8, RXC, RX-FX, RXW-12. Kitchen: Pioneer XC-HM81, Monitor Audio Bronze BX2. Bedroom: Samsung UE37D6510, Samsung BD-C5900, Sky-HD, Pioneer N-50, Rotel RC-03 (pre-amp), Rotel RB-9708X (power-amp), Mordaunt-Short MS914
Yup, you need a good sub. A sub makes the biggest difference to your home cinema experience, followed by the centre speaker.
That's why you keep stressing the importance of demos!
Click here to read about my system
Oh, I do realise that I'm in a minority, probably a minority of one!
Just to be clear, I'm not advocating not using a subwoofer, if money is no object. I'm saying that IF money is tight, and also IF your front speakers are big enough, you can get by without a subwoofer, temporarily, until you can afford to add a subwoofer later. It won't be as good as with a subwoofer, but can be surprisingly effective. (Remember though, that you have to tell the surround-sound receiver that you are not using a subwoofer, so that it sends the Low Frequency Effect stuff to the Large front speakers instead of to the absent subwoofer.) Don't compromise on getting good 5.0 or 7.0 speakers in order to squeeze in the cost of a subwoofer, which will be at least £300. This is true of both my parlour and kitchen systems, but then my kitchen front speakers have side-firing 8" woofer drivers, and my parlour front speakers each have two 10" bass drivers. So doing without the subwoofer, temporarily, would be possible for me.
Maybe one day I'll get the chance to demonstrate this to a doubting forumite, if they visit Edinburgh!
You're kitchen setup is better than most people's main setup I have to ask tho you said you live in a flat and others may live in terraced or semi detached houses ,these systems must output some noise ,was watching iron man 3 on Monday and the couch was shaking and that was with the wired sub from the yamaha I can't imagine the power some of these systems must have.do you guys have your rooms treated for sound proofing,I'm lucky I'm at the back of the house with 3 stone walls with nothing behind them.
I'm getting in an electrician to install my lifx lights when ever they bloody arrive from Australia I could have walked them here faster,with all this talk of 5.1 7.1 anyone got speakers above them.
I think Dolby atmos (dont think any titles have been released for home use yet)was used in cinemas for the first time for Star Trek into darkness ,I saw a few amps able to handle 11.2 could I throw a couple of speakers in the ceiling???
Panasonic TX-P60ZT65 (limited edition - calibrated),Panasonic TX-P50GT50 (calibrated),Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player,Yamaha YSP 2200 Soundbar,Apple iPad 4,iPad mini,iPad Air,IMac i7 27 inch(custom built),Apple TV,iPod Touch 5th Generation,iPhone 5s,Playstation 3(fat),Playstation 4,PS Vita, Xbox360 Elite,Xbox One,Nintendo Wii U,Virgin TiVo box,Ruark R1 ,Ruark R4i,Ruark MR1 Speakers,Bowers & Wilkins P7 Headphones,Lifx Light System.Audioquest Chocolate & Carbon HDMI Cables.
I would recommend investing in a good 5.1 system first, and then adding speakers. Going for more speakers straightaway will reduce your budget per speaker, compromising on the overall quality. Dolby Atmos is many many years away for home cinema use. You can always add speakers later.
The vast majority of BluRay soundtracks are still in 5.1, and as BB says the best 5.1 set-up you can afford will give better results than opting for cheaper speakers in order to get 7.1 or more.
Have you put any thought yet into whether you're going for a satellite/sub set-up, or full sized speakers?
If you go for full sized front speakers then it will be worth experimenting with using two of the "unused" channels in your amp to bi-amp the front speakers (you could possibly Bi-amp the centre as well but I don't think the results are as notable as the centre speaker only really carries dialogue most of the time).
My head is spinning,I've read 50 reviews on speakers big and small ,cheap amps expensive amps even speaker wire and banana plugs,I'm just gonna take it slow with this one ,I also have Steve withers coming up in October so I will get his opinion aswell with the space I have.like I said before just because I can afford some of the best gear (within reason) doesn't mean I should buy it .i liked the pioneer amp but others swayed me towards the Yamaha range.
I understand most blu rays are 5.1 but the avengers,Prometheus and the hunger games I think are all 7.1 ,it may be overkill with the space I have but I have this vision of being surrounded by a wall of sound .to be honest choosing the amp seems like the easier part its the bloody speakers ,the range and price of quality speakers just goes on and on,going from normal tv sound last feb to the ysp2200 from October to now which to be honest is doing me proud iron man 3 on Monday cranked up was very very good,I'm looking forward to some demos at James morrow .
After I get this sorted tho that will be me for at least 3 years,lets face it its not a cheap hobby .it can be but if I told my mates I'd spent 4grand on a tv they would beat me to death with my own shoes!
Banana plugs - yes, definitely; make life much less hassle if you ever want to disconnect your kit for any reason.
Speaker wire - IMO its probably not worth spending much more than £5 per metre so don't get sucked into paying a fortune. However, if you do decide to bi-amp your front speakers you'll want bi-wire cable (basically 4 strands in the cable, rather than two).
7.1 - if your hearts set on it and you can afford it then go do it, just don't compromise on your preferred choice of speakers in order to get it (you could just lay the cable now and add the speakers later).
Pioneer amp - I've been extremely happy with my LX-75 ever since I've got it so would be a great choice, just honestly think you should check out the Yamaha as well before making a final decision (you don't want to drop £1-£1.4k in an amp and then hear a different one 3 months later and find you prefer the sound!).
Taking time - yep, smart move, your spending a lot of cash here and will hopefully spend many hours listening to the results, so no sense rushing this one!
This really is one of the first and most important questions to answer, on which a lot will depend.
In my kitchen I have front height or presence speakers, but I use them in the Bi-amp configuration. However, let's start with the basic 5.1 (or 5.0, as I keep saying, IF your front speakers are full size) speaker set up.
Oh, just a thought. Starting with 5.1, you can always add one or two more pairs of speakers. However, that assumes that your surround-sound receiver will be able to drive these extra speakers. With expansion in mind, you have to buy a surround-sound receiver that will drive at least nine speakers, that will save replacing a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver later on. And, if you have visions of 11.2, currently only two receivers do that, I believe - Denon 4520 and the Yamaha 3020, and both need an external stereo amplifier.. Both cost about two grand. As you said, it's an expensive hobby. However, I can say that if I use my parlour system in straight 5.1 mode, and then switch to the 11.1 mode using my second-had ebay Sony amplifier for the front wide speakers, there is a noticeable improvement.
If your head spins any more it will fall off your shoulders!
Eh yes my head is now hanging by a thread
11.1 is never going to happen ,this no sub setup could be a whole thread of its own my friend
I think i will stick to a 5.1 to begin with ,see how that sounds then quickly move up to 7.1 depending on price.
I think i might even buy all the gear down to the speaker wire then leave them in the box until i get an audio calibration done that way i know its set up right.a lot of the audio tech and talk is going over my head at the moment.
I just want to buy equipment that is going to do me for quite a while hence the reason i bought the oppo103 and the zt65.
Sensible plan, except.... Once you buy your equipment, set it up. No point in leaving them in boxes & risking not being able to return easily in case of a fault if past the returns period. Get a professional AV installer to set it up for you. They normally charge £35-40 per hour.
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