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[SOUND ON!] Full blown setups vs. something like Logitech z-5500

BTPBTP Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Games and Technology
I'm trying to educate myself regarding audio setups, and I figure there's enough knowledge here to help me out on the subject.

This is meant for TV setups, so what would be hooked up would be cable/satellite, DVD player, and game consoles. Fairly standard stuff, I'm sure.

I've seen plenty of threads showing off their setups of massive HDTV's and speakers and god knows what underneath the HDTV that are connected to the speakers. Knowing my way around stores like Future Shop it seems like sound setups of that nature can run you upwards of $2000 if you go completely all out with it like you're some kind of an obsessive audiophile.
I kid and envy with that last part, as that's all I can do.

But I've also seen plenty of people within those threads using Logitech Z-5500's, which I've seen from many threads in the past being practically universially praised, with some saying something like "you'll never need more than 25% of its power", which makes me go "Whoa." And being 500 bucks or less certainly helps sway things toward it in my view. Oh, and I'm not an obsessive audiophile. (But I guess that's obvious by making this thread.) Oh, and I do not look at the Logitech system in the same way as a Home Theatre in a Box. HTIB is NOT what I'm looking for.

Anyway, just help me out with some research. It seems with the Logitech speakers, it's simply hook up and go. I wouldn't need to worry about a receiver like you would with the full blown setup. Am I wrong?
But if I were to go with a full blown setup, what components would you recommend for receivers/speakers and why? Between brands like Sony, JVC, Harmon Kardon, Onkyo, etc., I'm just really looking for as much value for the price being asked and hopefully the price doesn't make me go D:. That, and I don't want to be impressed with features that sound cool but end up being something I don't really use all that much.

Other than that, general tips about anything audio would be cool as well.

Thanks.

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Posts

  • BTPBTP Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Bumping to see if I get more replies closer to 12pm than I did near 12am. And saving this post if for some reason I need to edit stuff into it.

    BTP on
    Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection & DS High Scores Thread
    I WILL NOT BE DOING 3DS FOR NWC THREAD. SOMEONE ELSE WILL HAVE TO TAKE OVER.
    Spoiler contains Friend Codes. Won't you be my friend?
    My Friend Codes!

    More Friend Codes!
    Mario Kart Wii: 3136-6982-0286 Tetris Party: 2364 1569 4310
    Guitar Hero: Metallica: 1032 7229 7191
    TATSUNOKO VS CAPCOM: 1935-2070-9123

    Nintendo DS:
    Worms: Open Warfare 2: 1418-7870-1606 Space Bust-a-Move: 017398 403043
    Scribblenauts: 1290-7509-5558
  • Rotting MeatRotting Meat Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    After 3 years of lurking I finally registered for this post...

    I can't speak to full blown surround sound systems; I stare at them in envy, but the money was too much of an issue. And actually, there was too much choice. I was overwhelmed and constantly worried that if I was spending THAT much money, I needed to get the best for what I wanted and the best for my ears. Too much pressure for something that I'm supposed to be enjoying. Instead, I decided to go with the Z-5500 (which if you get on sale, is very reasonably priced; mine was $250 CDN OTD).

    Spoiler'd for general review of Z-5500 for TL DR crowd:
    The speakers are absolutely fantastic value. Great sound, great volume, and great size for a COMPUTER ROOM. In my setup I had built a projector (www.lumenlab.com) throwing a 10' image. Room was likely 15'x20'. And for most DVDs and AVIs we had the system at full max volume, and it was loud enough. It wasn't the 'blast you into your seat' that you would hope for from a full home theatre setup. In many movies we wished we could turn it maybe 1/4 louder (to 11, as it were). With that said, running it at full volume we never had any problems. The speakers didn't sound strained or at risk of blowing, and the sub is insanely powerful for the size (although it's not tiny by any means). If this was for a computer setup, I would likely only be using 1/10 volume, and 1/4 would likely hurt the ears if the speakers were under 5' away.

    For movies I would fully recommend the Z-5500; the sound is great. But for music it's not quite as great; the mid's are very lacking. I'm not an audiophile, I have trouble telling apart a lot of the awesome equipment from the good equipment, but I definitely noticed the mids being underrepresented. The sub is also not very articulate. It's loud and powerful, and great for explosions, but music not so much.

    For setup: the Z-5500 is STUPID. They made very very retarded decisions with the build of the satelites and distances of cables. This is something that I never read in online reviews of the speakers, and may be a big consideration for your setup, so pay attention. The newer versions of the speakers come with standard speaker wire to connect the satelites to the sub (which is good). The included runs are I believe 20', which are a little short for a full size room. All speaker wires are fed into the back of the sub. The head unit is a control panel that is connected to the sub via a 3' (I think?) cable. It is a standard RGB cable, but is not extendable; signal quality breaks up considerably if you do. On the back of the head unit is where your inputs go (including Toslink, S/PDif, and Phono, so you do have a few inputs for devices).

    Now the problems with the setup: the sub needs to be at least 4' away from magnetic storage devices. Very important; I nuked an mp3 player I accidently tossed on top of the sub. A toslink cable comes in a maximum of 2.5' run (I think). So if you're using optical audio, the computer/360/whatever can only be a maximum of 5.5' from the sub, and thats in a straight line. Working around a tv hutch makes for cables strung through midair and an unappealing setup that is always at full tension.

    The other problem is the satelite speakers. The stands are NOT removable, which you'll learn in any review. they have holes in the feet for hanging the speaker, but they only have two holes in the front; if you hang it from the two holes provided the weight of the speaker will pull down the back and always keep it parallel to the ground; you cannot angle it down. Very bad. And the most frustrating part; the stands only swivel one way. The speaker can be straight, or it can aim counterclockwise up to 90 degrees. If you are to hang the speakers, they need to be turned part way so they can later be aimed in either direction for finetuning. As well, the vertical angle changes when they are turned, making ceiling mounted setups practically impossible. We went with the ceiling mount and just ended up saying eff it, and dealing with the not perfectly aimed speakers that we had.

    TL DR

    All you need is the Z-5500. It has built in decorders for DTS and DD5.1 so it can read those directly from your DVD source. It comes with all the wires you need (aka speaker wires), aside from feeding your inputs into it. If you have a computer room or bedroom, I would absolutely recommend the Z-5500. I LOVED mine, and they were even passable for the theatre setup; just occasionally wanted for more. Honestly, I would be willing to pay about $800 for the quality of the Z-5500, and they are far far cheaper then that. And if you do ever replace them, you have a sweet setup for another room.

    (in case you are wondering why they are no longer with me; I moved across the country and did not have the room to take them)

    Hope that helped.

    Rotting Meat on
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Now the problems with the setup: the sub needs to be at least 4' away from magnetic storage devices. Very important; I nuked an mp3 player I accidently tossed on top of the sub. A toslink cable comes in a maximum of 2.5' run (I think). So if you're using optical audio, the computer/360/whatever can only be a maximum of 5.5' from the sub, and thats in a straight line. Working around a tv hutch makes for cables strung through midair and an unappealing setup that is always at full tension.

    Ruh-roh.

    How serious is this problem? I've kept two external hard drives sitting on top of my Z-5500 sub for a while now. Over a year, in one case. And the sub is maybe 18" away from my computer. I haven't noticed my system crashing and burning over the course of the past year, which is... good? I hope?

    Orogogus on
  • SymtexSymtex Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    You will never get the same level of quality with a Logitech set compare to a Full Blow sound system. I have to admit that I didn't even know what I was missing until I purchase my Pioneer Elite VSX-82TX receiver and my paradigm speakers. I thought my Onkyo HT-S770 was a good setup (around 500$). The only advice that I can give is never listen to speakers/receiver you can't afford or you are going to be stuck like me and spend way more then you expected.

    Symtex on
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  • Rotting MeatRotting Meat Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    @ Orogogus

    No idea really; it was my roomates Ipod. It was left there for maybe a month, and a few albums worth of music were corrupted and not playable, and weren't happy about being deleted after. I wouldn't recommend it, but if you haven't noticed any problems then I guess it's working for you.

    Rotting Meat on
  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Can I hook up a 360 to the z-5500?

    Klyka on
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