Entry level recommendations or advice

I must admit, the appeal of the sale on Jamo S803 5.0 package has caught my eye, and has me thinking about getting together what I may need to get up and going on a home theater set up.

A sub would be added once I was better aware of what kinda space for a living room I would be working with.
Now then, what I am looking for is more recommendations for the best way to pull off a good entry level home theater set up. Use would be TV/movies/music.
Again, keeping this theoretical, but a realistic smaller budget would be appreciated.

Pretty simply:
Speakers -> speaker cables -> Surround Receiver (min. 5.1) -> source cables -> TV + sources.
Some power cables and power.

Would always recommend for Marantz / Denon for amp’s.
Rest is pretty much up to remaining budget and what do you want to use.

Marantz and Denon for a Receiver then. What is typically the best quality way to connect between the TV and sources? My initial guess is optical. Something like this has caught my eye:

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I would guestimate $1600 max (I would guess account for ~$200 max $300 for a sub), preferably a bit lower if possible. (Would say ~55 inch TV, smart TV not needed)

Don’t know is best quality but since usually AVR’s are used to transport video and audio from source -> screen. HDMI has never failed me.
Except that one time (user error) cause new cable was not full passive… but active. Signal did not go all the way to TV…for probably coding issues?

Optical also has distance and surround limitations. No problem if the AVR and TV are close and only 5.1 needed.
Smart TV’s & HDMI ARC usually works both ways with TV remote etc.
Usability is way better with app’s, players etc.

That’s a great HT amp.

I’d use HDMI to get support for all the surround codecs, and it also reduces the amount of cables you need since it carries both video and audio signals.

If you buy a recent model 4k TV that has video streaming apps, try to find one that support eARC so it can send the most recent surround codecs back to the receiver, the receiver that you linked supports eARC.

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i have mine set up with hdmi. it really is the best for most uses. game consoles you have to use optical.

Is there a reason?
I have always used HDMI and even currently have 3 consoles in HDMI use, 0 issues with image / sound.

Nm I’m idiot at times lol. Ignore that statement.

For HT use, if your system supports it (all recent HT gear will), HDMI is the way to go.

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I know.

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Yeah, my phone scrolled on me and I hit the wrong reply button. Just reinforcing your point.


That’s a good receiver to start out with and w/ the Jamo kit you posted should be a good entry level HT kit. Also adding a sub if the budget allows will make a huge difference.

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I would be thinking of looking at ~$200-300 for a sub. Since one this will be implemented, it will be in the living room of an apartment. Im thinking I will probably need no more then a 12 inch. Probably a 10.

Dayton subwoofers offer great HT rumble for the dollar, IMO. Depending on model, they can be not too shabby for music, either.


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Am I missing something, or are the Dayton subs here sealed? On another note, how are BIC and Yamaha subwoofers?

I have the Dayton 10" sub and the port is down firing. I’ve been impressed by it for the money.

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Most on that page are sealed, I believe.

In my HT I have an assembled Dayton sealed 15" sub. It originally came with the box, driver, and a 240 watt amp. I thought the cabinet was light on damping material so I added some. The 240 watt amp also died after 2-3 years so I put a 300W BASH amp in it. Wow. It’s a pretty damn good sub for both music and movies now, IMO.

The combination of quarantine boredom and generally liking to deal hunt for friends looking to build A/V systems got me down a rabit hole. Here’s what I came up with in 30 minutes of looking for a pretty kickass 5.1 HT starter system for a small apartment LR from the ground up.

Speakers: the Jamo 5.0 system you linked to at beginning - $200
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V385 - currently $250 on Amazon
Subwoofer: BIC Formula F-12 - $225 from Parts Express
TV: TCL 50S425 - currently $270 on both Amazon and Best Buy
Disc Player (optional): Sony UBP-X700 - used starting at $158 on Amazon

That’s a total of $945 for the TV and audio system, $1103 if you add the disc player. The TV has most of the popular streaming apps built in and HDMI ARC, so a separate streamer isn’t needed and you have access to lots of video content right away. I still like spinning silver discs. Best quality still. That’s why I threw in a disc player. Throw in 2 HDMI cables (or 1 if you skip disc player), speaker cabling, and possibly get clever with speaker stands and you’re looking at a ~$1300 starter 5.1, small room HT system.

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