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Advice on 5.1 speakers and receiver for AU$3500

 

New member
Username: Pkh

Perth, WA Australia

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
Hey all,

This is my first post to this forum. I'm based in Western Australia.

I wish to get a 5.1 sound system for my living room, with a slightly flexible budget of about AU$3500.

We will be using it for both music and movies, but I guess music quality is more important to me than movies... We will be listening to a broad range of music, from dance/electronic to classical. I currently have a 107cm Samsung widescreen rear-projection TV and a new (cheap) Sony DVD player.

The room is about 6m deep by 8m wide, with normal height ceilings. Due to stairs behind the TV position, the room is a slight L-shape. It has carpetted floors, and two big windows on left which are covered with heavy curtains.

Having done a bit of reading (but no listening), I am interested in the KEF KHT2005.2 speaker package (5 sats + sub), which has received really good reviews. However this is just a starting point... Any similarly priced suggestions are welcome.

Here in Australia, A/V hardware seems to be very expensive! Here are the retail prices of some items...

KEF KHT2005.2 $2300
stands for KHT2005.2 $399
Denon 1804 $1199
Denon 2805 $1699
Marantz SR5400 $1399
Marantz SR5500 $1399
Marantz SR7300 $1699
Yamaha RX-V1500 $1999
Pioneer VSX-AX3S $1999
Pioneer VSX-AX5i $2999

I've found a decent audio shop here in Perth that recommended the KEF 2005.2s with a Marantz SR-5400 receiver. Hopefully I will get to listen to this combination this week (albeit in 2.1 form).

Do you think that the SR-5400 is a good match for the KEF 2005.2s? I can get it for $949. What other receivers should I consider?

I've also found the Marantz SR-7300 for $1200. Would the extra power be worth it?

I've found the Pioneer VSX-AX3s for $1300 (retail is $1999). I believe the AX3S is the equivalent to one of the Pioneer Elite models. See the Pioneer Australia website:
http://www.pioneeraus.com.au/home_entertainment/receivers/index.html
I am quite interested in this receiver, but am unable to find one to actually listen to. Would it be worth paying a bit extra for this receiver? It (and its bigger brother the AX5) seem to get good reviews. Based on specs, it has more power and more features (such as auto calibration) than the Marantz receivers.

If anyone has listened to both the Marantz and Pioneer series of receivers your input would be appreciated. Or if you have any suggestions (Denon etc).

Thanks for your time!

- Phil
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