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Gazzem's picture
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What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Hello all. Being a novice in the world of purchasing separates home cinema systems, I've been looking at the WHF best buy system recommendations on the website frontpage. Can anybody tell me if the Yamaha 363 / Q Accoustics is still the best recommendation at the budget level. I've seen this for about £650 - 670 on a few sites, excluding cables. What would be the best speaker cable to go with this? I would need about 30m. I'm also wondering the same thing about the mid range Yamah 367/ Dali Zensor 5 system, although I'd be pushing the boat out on that one. I've seen it for about £1400 excluding cables. One site is offering 30m QED Silver Anniversary XT speaker cable with airloc plugs for an additional £170. Would this be the best sort of cable at this level. Big questions, but any opinions would be appreciated because I'm somewhat lost in the supermarket. Thanks.

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Yes, they're both still cracking systems. As for speaker cable, the QED Silver Anniversary XT is very good, but you might also want to consider the Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 at £6/m:

http://www.whathifi.com/review/audioquest-flx-slip-144

 

Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision and whathifi.com

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Or save some money and get 79-strand speaker cable.... Dirol

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

I recommend the Van Den Hul Cleartrack Bi-wire cable.  This way you can separate the 4 strands into 2 for rear and use the same for your fronts for bi-amping and Bi-wire etc.  Nice silver plated cable too, good sound, very impressive at its price point. 

Also this cable is flat and can be bent around corners without worrying about breakage. 

http://www.futureshop.co.uk/speaker-cables-van-den-hul-c-95_248.html#.UWhpHbXvvLd

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

pioneer7 wrote:

Or save some money and get 79-strand speaker cable.... Dirol

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/qed-79-strand-speaker-cable .... as good as the rest     Smile

 

IF speaker cables .... cheap  speaker cables deliver the same sound quality, then folk HAVE TO STOP advocating the more expensive ones as THAT is akin to extracting the urine ?

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Thanks all for the responses. I think I'm going with the budget  373 / 2000i system.

With regards to the speaker cable I've seen a 'QED XT Home cinema pack' which is basically a 30m reel of cable with banana plugs, in a box, for about £95. Does anyone have any view on this cable. Is it comparable to the Silver Anniversary XT. If so, then it would appear to be a bit of a bargain.

Also, if I upgrade the front Q Acoustics in the package to 2020i, would this be okay for the 'balance' of the system. I want to also play music through it and wonder if this might be useful. Any opinions? 

    

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Gazzem wrote:

Thanks all for the responses. I think I'm going with the budget  373 / 2000i system.

With regards to the speaker cable I've seen a 'QED XT Home cinema pack' which is basically a 30m reel of cable with banana plugs, in a box, for about £95. Does anyone have any view on this cable. Is it comparable to the Silver Anniversary XT. If so, then it would appear to be a bit of a bargain.

Also, if I upgrade the front Q Acoustics in the package to 2020i, would this be okay for the 'balance' of the system. I want to also play music through it and wonder if this might be useful. Any opinions? 

 

I think that's the best system to start with and a great budget system. I started with a Q Acoustics speaker package myself (1010i 5.1) and found it really good so i'm sure you won't be disappointed with them or the amp and for the price I can't see you getting better performance elsewhere unless you were to inject alot more money into your budget. Don't forget that in the future you can just upgrade one component at a time if you feel the need or want extra performance, the 2020i option as fronts would work really well too as they will have the same tone and characteristics so if you have the budget go for it as I upgraded the fronts when I had my Q Acoustics and it sounded great.

 

Now for speaker cables...as you may have gathered this is a real talking point on most forums with people being split right down the middle, one train of thought is that speaker cable makes no difference to the sound no matter how much you spend where as the other camp beleive that speaker cable makes a real difference to any sysytem. All I can say is that in my experience when I went from basic speaker cable to my QED Silver Anniversary XT I noticed an immediate difference to the sound so from my point of view it's worth investing in appropriate speaker cable for your system as it's the most cost effective upgrade in my opinion, others will beg to differ.

 

Either the QED or Audioquest options will be more than good enough for the system you are getting and would offer the opportunity in the future to upgrade components without needing to change the speaker cable again. I've seen the QED bundle you refer to myself and it's a very good cost effective solution so might be worth considering, if you go by the rule of allowing about 10-20% of your budget for cables then it's right on the money where as the other two are going to cost you more.

 

I would go for the QED Silver Anniversary or Adioquest option if that was me and be done with it, at least you know you have a good quality cable but the choice is yours.

Hope that helps.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Film & Music Production Studios (The ones that make the music & films you listen to) use 2.5mm sq. OFC cable, so no need to go for expensive cable as there will be no difference in the sound.

It’s always worth trying though just too see if you feel the same, just make sure it is a blind test so that you do not know which cable is in use (Or indeed if it was changed) as that way you will not have any preconceived ideas.

NOTE: No one yet has ever been able to tell the difference in quality cable when done in a proper blind test.

Hope this helps

Bill

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Hello again. Further to the above, I've now noticed in the magazine version of WHF that the latest best buy budget receiver is the Onkyo TX-NR515 (with the Q 2000i), which obviously has more features than the Yamaha 373. 

Further questions:

1. Have the faults/shortcomings with the HDMI inputs on this Onkyo unit now been rectified?

2. Is this really the most suitable receiver to go with the Q2000i package, or is it merely because its a lot of amp for the price? I've seen the two bundled together for £700.   

3. Any further thoughts on the speaker cable for this Q / Onkyo set up, given the price for the bundle.

I really want to buy at this level / price,  and was fairly set on the Yamaha until I noticed the Onkyo recommendation. Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated.

 

 

 

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Surly weather you go for onkyo or yamaha is down to personal choice, is it not possible to listen to them yourself & then decide, i don't think it's right that you are asking other people to make the decision for you, at the end of the day the decision should be yours. 

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RE: What Hi Fi best buys Home Cinema

Have to agree with simonlewis on this one, both are cracking amps for the money but have different flavours of sound so getting a demo of both would be a good idea if possible but of course this isn't always viable as I can vouch for as I'm buying a Yamaha RX-A2020 blind as I can't demo one anywhere near me so I've simply had to do a hell of alot of research instead.

The Onkyo 515 is a more burly receiver and will major on powerful, dynamic sound much like my Onkyo 609 where as the Yamaha majors on detail and surround processing and tends to be more musical if that's something that appeals. It's a difficult decision and perhaps would be better looked at from a different point of view...which amp best matches the characteristis of the speakers (system matching)?

Looking at it from that point of view (and if memory serves me correctly) then in the February edition of WHF they matched the Yamaha  with the Q Acoustics as the best budget system available and I would have to agree, for the money it's a no brainer.

Of course that is a purely personal opinion from hearing the Yamaha 373 for myself and as it's your first set up I would strongly recommend you seek out a dealer where you can demo all of the contenders for yourself as you may well prefer the Onkyo 515...either is a great first purchase so it comes down to your particular taste.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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