Musical HT ON a Budget


New Member
Aug 21, 2008
I am looking for a HT system (Minus the TV as I have decided on Sony KLV 32W400) which is good at playing music and OK with movies. I am on a budget (30-50 K) and would ideally be interested in an All In One System, but am not averse to a component system if unavoidable.

The Requirements in Order of Priority:
1. Good Stereo Sound for Music. Tight punchy bass. Listen to Rock, Hip Hop, Slow Rock, Country,
2. FM Tuner Must with acceptable reception.
3. Acceptable Movie Sound quality.
4. Acceptable Picture quality.
5. Fewer the speakers the better but no Sound Bars.
6. Can do without a sub if the speakers are floor standers and produce good bass. Biased towards bigger speakers (Laws of Physics)
7. Additional features welcome.
8. Reliability.

After a bit of research I have short listed a few systems/components in mind but nothing is final and I am open to all suggestions. The alternatives I have in mind are as given below:-

Option I

Onkyo LS-V501 . An all in one System (DVD Player, FM Tuner, 2.1 Ch Amp, 2.1 speakers, Virtual Surround sound, HDMI connection). Auditioned this one, did not like the sound. What Hi-Fi gave 4 stars to the AV receiver unit DR 501 which is let down by the speakers. Cost 41 k with speakers.
Pros- All in One, Saves Space, Looks, Meets all specifications.
Cons- Average Sound quality, probably because of speakers.
**Any suggestions for another 2.1 speaker system with this receiver Unit??

Option II

PS 3 as a player and DVR. ( Not sure whether it can record programmes from Tata Sky)
Onkyo AV receiver SR 506 ?? 7.1 sound, FM tuner HDMI (cost approx 25 k)
Speaker Set Up ?? Open To suggestions.

Pros- PS3 good as a package. In which case willing to shell out another 25 K for speakers.
Cons- Please advise if any.
** Have no idea about musical abilities of PS3 as a CD player and Onkyo reviever??s musical capabilities.
** Please advise on speakers for Onkyo receivers if this is OK.

Option III
Player- Samsung DVD HD780- Not sure about its musical abilities??
AV Reciver from Denon/Yamaha- Suggestions welcome.
Speakers ?? Suggestions Welcome.

As you can see I am totally in dark and highly confused. So gurus please help.
The audiophiles might beat me up for this, but here goes

For the sound E-zone has a package deal, Onkyo TX-SR304 (bare basic 5.1 AVR 65 [or was it 75?] W per channel) and the Jamo 406 HCS package comprising a pair of floorstanding fronts, bookshelf rears and a center, all for 30,000.....I've heard this at a friend's place and it souded very good for the money, and for the requirements that you set out this would be a perfect fit. The Onkyo is not the most musical of receivers but does a competent job, and in this combo, the value offerred is something else.

Since you've said your budget can go up to 50k....and you've invested in a Full HD television.....spend the remaining 20k on a nice DVD player.....with a budget like that you have many options, including Cambridge Audio's DVD99 (i've seen it for 14k) which has 1080p upscaling and plays CDs well. You can also consider Denon's DVD players but they'd probably give you slightly superior video at the cost of slightly inferior audio. (THere's also the DVD89 for 10k)

So Onkyo 304 + Jamo 406 + DVD99 = 44,000
or Onkyo 304 + Jamo 406 + DVD89 = 40,000

About the options you've set out:

Option I

The Onkyo-Jamo combo i've mentioned above is probably a better bet than the LS-V501...especiall since you don't seem to have liked it much. If it doesn't appeal to you, don't go for it, irrespective of how much "sense" it makes.

Option II

PS3 is a great device if you love gaming, and it's supposed to be a very competent Blu-Ray player, but then that doesn't leave much of your budget for AVR and speakers, and for the requirements you set out, you'd be better off spending the money elsewhere I think

Option III

Why go for the Samsung? It only upscales to 1080i and it probably plays audio CDs only as well as your next garden-variety consumer DVD player....your budget would permit you to go for a more expensive model. Even if you don't want to spend too much, do consider the Cambridge Audio DVD89, only upscales to 1080i but (a) it shouldn't make too much of a difference on your 32 incher and (b) it plays CDs really well, and I've seen it for 10k.
More specific and detailed replies would be welcome especially commenting on the musical capabilities of the components as the usage pattern would be 70% Music and 30% Movies/TV
I have a very similar requirement and the budget is $20-$30K. What I'm looking for is a 5.1 system to primarily provide 2.1 music in our master bedroom and provide 5.1 surround sound for movies when required. The TV is 32" LCD so I am not looking for a receiver with all audio and video bells and whistles. Here is a listing of requirements:

1. The room has already been prewired for all 5 speakers to be placed near the ceiling (space does not allow bookshelf speakers at all).
2. Receiver has to play Dolby PLII and DTS. Not looking for latest and greatest decoding capabilities (no need for Blu-ray audio formats)
3. Receiver need not have HDMI audio or switching. Component is fine.
4. System has to play more music better than movies.

This system is primarily going to be for my parents use, mostly for ghazals and classical and soft music. So I don't need lots of base, just clarity and detail in the mid and treble.

From this list, I was looking at the Sonodyne Genie1 package with the AVR300 receiver. I don't know if this will come under 30K. What about the Genie2 package? I've also seen systems from LG and Samsung which sell for 15-18K and offer small speakers and the works. However, I do not know how musical they will be. (Yes, I know asking for musicality at this price is a bit much but humour me...).

I have not considered in-ceiling speakers at all since I have no experience with their sound. Anyone on this list have recommendations for good (and within my budget) in-ceilings?

My primary question is whether there is any music system out there that makes a huge sonic difference between going for a 15K Samsung/LG system at this level vrs. going for something in the 25-30K range. Any suggestions will be most helpful.
Sorry if this sounds like a repost but I couldn't find any other post with my specific requirements for a simple, ceiling- based 5.1 system.
Dammit....make that Rs. 20-30K, not $20-30K...Damn keyboards...when are computers going to recognise human voices for input?
Thanks Psychotropic,
I will start looking at e zone options you listed. In the meantime others can continue with their suggestions.:)
yyvivek, the e-zone offer setup is very good for music, for the price. It probably won't uncover the extra level of detail that more expensive kit will, but it's solid. My friend who has it uses it mainly FOR MUSIC :) , he has it hooked up to a cambridge audio DVD89 for CD playback!! (found it to be a cheaper option that the dedicated Cambridge Audio Azur 340C, and almost as good). So he ended up spending a total of 40k, and he has the ingredients of a good home cinema + good music player. All he needs to do is junk that 21" CRT of his and get a proper TV :)
Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers in Walnut finish at a Special Offer Price. BUY now before the price increase.