AV Receiver & 5 Speaker "bundles" - are they any good?


Darren W.
I'm considering two different entry-level packages (AV Receiver + 5 speakers):

Denon DHT-683XP

Yamaha YHT-300

Anyone know which is better? I am skeptical of manufacturer "bundles". My gut feeling is that the speakers included with these Receivers are crap and that I would be much better off buying the receiver separately and then getting other 5 speaker packages - can anyone comment?


If you are in the market for those systems you may also want to consider looking into Onkyo's HTS-650.

The simple answer is that you can get much better sound by buying separates than these HTIBs. Of course, I bought an HTIB - the Onkyo HT-S650. Why? Budget, pure and simple. Look around. To get a step up in receiver and speakers (with Subwoofer) as separates, you will probably be looking at $900 and up for your cost. (Some have surfed e-bay and claimed you can get separates for around $600. I'm not an e-bay type and I couldn't audition the components being touted.) I got my system for $458. Sounds great - just listened to Bach's Tacotta and Fugue in D minor last night. Wonderful. So, if you have a $1,000 budget, go separates. If your budget is $500, look at the HTIBs, acknowledging that they won't rival systems costing twice as much. Although someone who claims to have auditioned a Bose system @$1200 claims the Onkyo 650 blew it away. I don't know about that. It did blow away all Kenwoods, Sonys, Yamahas and one Bose (@900) that I could listen to. I don't know if the Yamaha you mention was in that mix. The Denon was not. You have to audition for yourself to see what sounds best to you.

I have the same qualms about home theater kits (HTiB's). However, if you're worried about quality, check out the new Onkyo HT-S755DVC. It retails for $1000 (twice the price of the HT-650) right now (because it's brand new). However, it seems twice as good--it's receiver sports all the latest decoders (DD EX, DTS ES) and has component-switching. The kit even comes with a 5 disk progressive-scan DVD player (something the HT-650 does not have), and a full 6.1 complement of speakers/subwoofer. Not bad for a kit.

Check out CNET's review:

Anyone have experience with the Yamaha YHT-900, or any of the less expense packages in that line?

I'm considering whether to go the one-stop route, or piece it together. If I do the latter, I would get the Yamaha 5560 receiver, probabl6y JBL NSP speakers and a woofer, and some less expensive DVD player than C6480 that comes with the Yamaha package.

I chose the Yamaha because of the quality of the receiver. But, I've also heard good things about Onkyo. Any thoughts?

I have the Dennon 682 xp HTIB. I am extremely happy with it. If you are on a budget and can't afford to piece it together then I would highly recommned the Dennon. The quality of Dennon is first rate.
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