Reddit reviews AudioSource AMP-100 Stereo Power Amplifier
We found 54 Reddit comments about AudioSource AMP-100 Stereo Power Amplifier. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Perfect for Computer and Video Games60 watts per channel into 4 ohmsRear Channel Amplifier for Dolby 6.1 and 7.1 systems2 Independent channels ratedDual Auto-Switching inputs
Thanks everyone. I'm glad to join the team and I think I've got a few ideas you will really enjoy. Currently mobile but I will update this post a bit later when I get home.
Time for a celebratory dram.
As requested, my build is below:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU | Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor | $269.99 @ Newegg
CPU Cooler | Corsair Hydro Series H50 Liquid CPU Cooler | $49.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard | ASRock P67 Extreme 4 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard | $180.81 @ NCIX US
Memory | G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory | $56.99 @ Newegg
Memory | G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory | $56.99 @ Newegg
Storage | Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive | $88.86 @ Outlet PC
Storage | Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk | $62.99 @ Microcenter
Storage | Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk | $62.99 @ Microcenter
Storage | Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive | $149.98 @ NCIX US
Video Card | XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card (CrossFire) |-
Video Card | Powercolor Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card (CrossFire) |-
Sound Card | Asus Xonar DG 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card | $19.99 @ Microcenter
Case | Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 ATX Mid Tower Case | $123.84 @ Mac Connection
Power Supply | Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply | $114.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive | Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer | $19.98 @ Outlet PC
Operating System | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) | $130.20 @ Amazon
Mouse | Logitech G500 Wired Laser Mouse | $54.99 @ SuperBiiz
Keyboard | Ducky Shine Blue LED Cherry MX Blacks |-
Monitor| Viewsonic VX2439wm|-
Monitor| Yamakasi Catleap Q270 SE|-
External DAC| Behringer UCA202|-
Bling| LOGISYS Computer CLK12BL 12" Cold Cathode kit|-
Subwoofer| Dayton Sub-1000|-
Amp| AudioSource Amp-100|-
Speakers| Pioneer SP-BS21-LR 80 Watt RMS 2-Way Speakers|-
| | Total
| Prices include shipping and discounts when available. | $1443.58
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-09 20:16 EDT-0400 |
Ducky on the old "desk"
more pics incoming... stay tuned while i find a real camera
Desk top and complete picture
You'll need an amp to power the speaker, so that's something you should keep in mind.
Either that, or try to find some powered monitors for $600.
For example, two KRK Rokit 8's will achieve pretty deep bass at 45 Hz, and are self powered. They also fall within your budget. http://www.amazon.com/KRK-RP8G2-Powered-Studio-Monitor/dp/B001A6IGDG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1376426453&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=rokkit+krk
Or, you could buy the Audiosource AMP-100 50 wpc amp. $100 http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1376426626&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=amplifier
That would leave $500 for a pair of speakers. Since you're looking for party speakers with a lot of sound, you might just want to check out Cerwin Vega. They aren't really audiophile quality, but they should make lots of noise.
Two of these might do the trick for $400 total: http://www.amazon.com/Cerwin-Vega-VE-8-2-Way-Audio-Speaker/dp/B000EHYHJY/ref=sr_1_5?s=aht&amp;srs=2529137011&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1376426810&amp;sr=1-5&amp;keywords=cerwin+vega
A pair of these JBL speakers might also do the trick for $400 for the pair: http://www.amazon.com/JBL-ES80BK-3-Way-Floorstanding-Speaker/dp/B00166ZFXO/ref=sr_1_4?s=aht&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1376426922&amp;sr=1-4
I'm still rocking a 60 gig, gen 2 ipod from back in the day. It holds a charge for a solid 30 min. Just don't forgot to plug it before the battery dies, as it will get stuck in a boot loop on reboot. If that happens, no worries, it'll eventually turn on again for reasons unknown to me.
Here are some pics with a quarter for scale:
Back (60gb) -
But now the true INSANITY of the setup. I rock that ancient artifact with these babies. Standard issue, free at seminar, google IEMs. The replaced my exclusive American Red Cross earbuds. This abominable marriage, accompanied with the most excellent 50gigs of 96kbps mp3s, is my running setup. Sometimes it gets weird.
But seriously now, I think these giveaways are cool. I have pretty decent mid level headphone setup for my nice, quiet, critical listening times. I've been looking to venture out of the headphones into stereo setups a little bit, so it's cool that those monitors are the giveaway for this contest!
As far as next months giveaway, I think an amp like this would be pretty cool. Also, I don't know how anyone else would feel about this, but have you thought about giving away software at all? Maybe a few copies of dBpoweramp would be cool. Shipping would obviously be easy, too.
I don't have one, but it looks like an Audiosource Amp-100, although the power rating is a tad higher. There are reviews around.
Here's one stereo amp
A more expensive option
A really cheap option, won't get super loud due to only having 20wpc
you need a stereo receiver and 4 speakers, thats it.
this will do:
With a budget of 200-300, I'd probably go the used route. You live in the Bay Area, which will have tons of stuff to sort though on Craigslist. Be patient and google any speakers that look good.
I'd start with 2.0 and add a sub as your budget increases. With a budget like yours, most of the effort/money should go to speakers. It will definitely have the biggest impact there. Here's a speaker search string from another thread:
(b&w | "Bowers & Wilkins" | focal | kef | Revel | Martin | paradigm | "definitive technology" | Wharfedale | Klipsch | "boston acoustics" | energy | Meridian | canton | infinity | jbl | Sonus | Olufsen)
For amp, you can very easily find a capable receiver on craigslist for ~$50. Amplifiers are a little more rare, since most people seem to just buy (and subsequently sell) a receiver for their home audio. Good brands to look for: Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Adcom, McIntosh, NAD, Rotel.
If you get a good amplifier, then you'll be able to stick with it for a long time, allowing you to focus on the speakers and other aspects of your setup. If you have a hard time finding something good, you can look at a new Audiosource amp-100 on amazon.
I love buying stuff on craigslist. Don't be afraid to email anyone and everyone. Most prices are negotiable. Just don't be a dick and you'll have a good experience.
No you do not need a pro amp. These speakers are extremely efficient. You could get away with a pretty cheap amp if you want. Nicer ones I might suggest are:
Behringer A500(a metric shitload of power)
Or the most reasonable: Audiosource Amp 100
Any of these amplifiers will do. And any of them can drive those speakers to impressive and damaging levels of sound.
Please be careful of your hearing and beyond that, be mindful of your neighbors. Then enjoy yourself, those speakers will be very capable of hosting parties.
What you are looking for is an AVR or stereo receiver, not just an amp. An amp is simply a power source to drive speakers. If you want to play two sources at the same time, you'll want to find something that has Zone 2 capability.
Normally for a budget AVR, zone 2 will be an unpowered pre-amp out only that will require an analog input source. Then you need a regular 2 channel (or more) amp to actually drive the speakers. In my setup for music I use a chromecast with an HDMI audio extractor (to convert the signal to analog) and an Audiosource AMP 100.
Two of these would be the "best".
This guy would be formidable.
This is all you need to make it hot.
This can run the things but be careful not to blow your speakers with clipping.
Oh, I also have an AudioSource AMP-100 Stereo Power Amplifier that I bought new in January 2012. It's in pristine condition and pushes 60 watts per channel. I had it powering my Sony SS-B3000's. I recently upgraded to a home theater receiver, though, so I no longer need it. I'm hoping to get $65 obo. Photos
I would allocate my resources differently. The speaker is going to have the most impact on your sound and should be where you are spending more money to get better results. Look at emotiva's flex amps to save some cash, or even audiosource. You can get a separate phono preamp with the art DJ Pre II if you need it.
So, that leaves you with $300-$800 for speakers. I would consider (in roughly ascending order of price):
Warfendale Diamond 10.1
Dali Zenzor 1
HTD Level Three Bookshelf speakers
Aperion Intimus 5B
SVS Prime book shelves
PSB Imagine XB
Bowers & Wilkins 685
Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf
Golden Ear Aon 2
If you are open to adding a sub, you could consider a 2.1 package from Hsu: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/value2pkg.html
(or you could go with a cheaper option on this list above and add a SVS SB1000 sub to cover the low end)
Towers: Chane A3rx-c, HTD level Three Towers, or Klipsch RF-62 II (or slightly up or down the Reference II line; you could even consider Klipsch's reference II bookshelf speakers) if you don't mind the brightness (I don't care for Klipsch personally, but some folks love em).
Yes I just upgraded, I will give an update when my audio setup comes in. I'm going with Cerwin Vega VE-5M's, Audiosource Amp 100, Nuforce Headphone amp to go with my M50's and Bose AE2's, and I'll stay classy with a vintage Pioneer SG-505 from 1985. Don't worry, it's being upgraded ;)
If you already have this setup just stick with it. It's a fine starter setup. The Lepai amp is very good for the price. You can jump up to THIS or THIS, which I have and really like. For budget speakers check out THESE or the Miccas are a fine pick.
This setup you listed will play your albums. You can always upgrade down the road but you're on the right track for a budget setup. I would try to save up a little more but you've got all the necessary parts to play albums on a 2.0 setup. Oh you need speaker cables and RCAs but other than that you're good
Definitely search craigslist. I'm thinking more and more that what you really want is a good set of PA speakers. Carpet-lined, metal cornered, power-handling, indestructible PA speakers. In my old house (wasn't a frat, but very similar) we had Yamaha PA speakers run through a heavy-duty amplifier. The things were literally indestructible - I DJ'd on them for parties, and one (cheap old) amp blew before the speakers did.
Amazon will ship similar models to you pretty fast I think - maybe not to Canada, not sure - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=PA+speakers&amp;x=0&amp;y=0 - The Pyle Pro boxes look pretty good, and the 8" model probably isn't very large at all. 4 of those to cover both zones would be killer, I would think, and you could easily hang them from the ceiling if you had good mounting chains (yeah, make sure they don't fall on anyone).
After that, the amp is important. You could go several ways. My first suggestion is check Craigslist for a fairly high-powered Yamaha home theater receiver. I prefer Yamahas in general - they have great amps, very good quality for the price, and they're built to last. Other name brands will do as well, just look for decent features.
After that, you can probably just set them up as A and B speakers on the receiver, and use that to switch between them. I'm guessing you basically want the main room speakers for music, and the TV room for both music and TV, so that should work.
Do you need surround? There are some great stereo receivers that have multi-zone capability built in. Ex: http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX5502-Dual-Zone-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B000RGR50U . Otherwise a lot of 7.1 receivers have the option to run the extra channels as a 2nd stereo zone, that may work as well.
If you find yourself needing more power than a multi-zone receiver can handle, maybe a receiver plus an extra stereo amp for the main room, such as this guy: http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-2-Channel-Bridgeable-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6 or even this one if you want to go overkill: http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-Pro-PTA1000-1000-Amplifier/dp/B0010K6TXQ . In order to hook up a solution like that, ideally you want a receiver with "pre-outs," as you'll hook the stereo front pre-out to the other amp. This also has the added benefit of being able to better control volume in each location.
Overall, just look for the heaviest duty gear you can find. Obviously you're not worried too much about quality, but you probably want it to sound decent - a lot of the DJ speakers will fulfill that requirement for everyone and will be able to bump it loud forever and not die, which is great. Amps can die if you drive them too loud, PA amps are more indestructible, but receivers will give you more control and will be easier to install and use. I'd basically go with PA speakers, a nice multi-zone receiver, and good mounting kits.
Also - Monoprice for all cables and wires, always: http://www.monoprice.com
You likely need an amp of some sort. You probably don’t need a full stereo but the record player most likely has a line out that won’t power speakers directly.
If that’s the case, a simple 2 channel amp should do the job and would be cheaper than a full stereo setup.
I bought one of these cheap amps off Amazon a few years back to power some bookshelf speakers connected to my wife’s record player in her study. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00026BQJ6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_6fNDAb9MNA0PR
You can go for a used stereo amp (you usually want 70's sort of old as those things were monsters) but modern amps can deliver the right power and some features.
I usually recommend this audiosource or this Yamaha for starter 2.0's
alight, I've got two suggestions for you. In both cases we're focused exclusilvely on watts per dollar here, so there's no bells or whistles on these things. You want to play the radio? use your computer. you want to EQ? also use your computer. Both of these systems can be enhanced with a sub and/or pre-amp down the road that will improve your experience. but these should work out of the gate.
Option 1: The amplifier is tried and true and speakers are very well reviewed. This system is upgradable later and should pack plenty of punch for a party.
Audiosource AMP100! $107.00
Polk Audio Monitor 50 $126 per speaker
Option 2: These are little outside of your price range, but I wanted to throw them out there as an option. You can think of these as the most kickass computer speakers ever. Completely self powered, just plug it into the wall and feed it an RCA or 1/4" input and you're ready to go. Since you're currently using a guitar amp I'm assuming that you're something of a musician, these would be great for a small home studio as well as in day to day computer use. They'll also definitely rock the house.
KRK RP8 $249 per speaker
Let me know what you settle on.
Here's what I would do to get a great sound system that will work for your ipod. This is much better than any ipod dock, but is not very portable.
The total is over $300 but will be much better than the bose system. You could find cheaper bookshelf speakers that will work too.
The AudioSource AMP 100 would be a great choice for ~$100.
This is a great company, I have a pair of their older speakers and they sound great.
RCA Cable: $10
Speaker Cable: $10
For Wireless music, Bluetooth receiver, $32
Total Cost: $496.50
Gents, my brother is looking for some decent quality speakers for his turntable and asked for some help. He's got a $200-$300 budget in mind for the speakers. Also, he's got a Audiosource Amp-100 that he's is wondering if is worth upgrading. Thanks!
EDIT: I should mention that size is no issue for him, and that he's willing to spend a little more if the difference is really there.
I'm looking to spend about $300, but am open to spending up to $500. So between $200-500.
I currently have a AudioSource AMP-100, and am looking for a set of speakers to accompany it. I'll use this system for my computer, which I use to listen to music (typically electronic/indie), watch TV/movies, and game.
I would be willing to buy used, but am generally looking to get the best quality sound I can for the price!
If anyone has recommendations, they would be much appreciated. How would you get the most value out of this situation?
I recently Purchased this:
AGPtek® HDMI to HDMI + SPDIF + RCA L / R Audio Extractor Converter (HDMI input,HDMI+ Audio output)
It has worked well but the volume out is a bit low and the AMP I had powering my whole house audio system was at its limits already. Just "cranking it up" to compensate has caused it to overheat too often.
I just bought one of these AMPs to see if it works out better. Also the Audiosource AMP is supposed to power up when it receives signal, I will also see if this works with the Chromecast + Audio Extractor.
AudioSource Power Amplifier Link: http://amzn.com/B00026BQJ6
Just checked for 'em and it does not.
OP, you can go with something like this AudioSource amp.
I got the [Audiosource AMP-100] (http://amzn.to/19s6LzN) to drive four of these Monoprice [6-1/2 Inches In-Wall / In-Ceiling Speakers] (http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=7607). I've got them wired in parallel hooked to channel A for 4 ohm and even at max volume, they're at a comfortable background music level. When I hook them to my receiver, they behave as I'd expect and are much much louder.
I need to test it driving one pair of speakers at 8 ohm each instead of parallel, but I only expect that to be twice as loud. I should also test wiring both pairs to A and B to see how that does, but wiring is simpler w/ the speakers wired series or parallel at the wall.
Could I connect A and B on the amp in parallel and run it to the pairs of speakers that are also wired in parallel? It seems like this is what A+B mode would be because the device says it'll support 4 ohm or 8 ohm speakers, but requires 8 ohm when you use A+B mode.
Or is the Audiosource AMP-100 expecting a stronger signal than my [AVR-3313CI] (http://usa.denon.com/us/product/HomeTheater/AVReceiversHT/AVR3313CI) is putting out?
What's the difference between this and something like this (50 watt) for speakers? I've always heard of these types of amps for headphones, but I always have a hard time understanding them. Are they meant mostly for headphones and the amp I already have is as good for speakers? Thank you!
Just as an FYI that Lepai amp is rated at 10% THD which is pretty bad. You would be much better powering the Overnight Sensations with an Audiosource amp or a Topping T-Amp.
Ultimately I recommend you keep watching Craigslist and be patient. You could also post your CL and we could have a look to see if maybe there is something you are missing. You will get so much more bang for $ with used/vintage gear.
I'd suggest used, but small used speakers are usually either hard to come by or craptastic. If you want to post up your craigs list I'd be happy to take a look.
Of new gear I prefer the OSD AP490's with a good subwoofer over any of the other budget gear out there. They do need a big amp to push them after corrected, but so do the miccas. Either way they will both need to be corrected to provide any kind of accurate response.
$100 Dayton Sub
$60 OSD AP490 speakers
$100 Audiosource AMP100
AP490's would be wired out of phase and the sub would be crossed over around 100Hz for the best results.
I put these speakers + amp in my garage for about $200, running off a PC.
[AudioSource AMP-100 Stereo Power Amplifier](http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6
Polk Audio RC60i In-Ceiling / In-Wall Speakers
Headphone -> RCA cable for connecting the PC to the amp.
This doesn't address the ".1" of your requirement, but it's an affordable start.
This was what I was running before I purchased a receiver: LP2020A+ Amp and Dayton Audio B652
This is only 2.0, but it sounded great and it was less than $100.
You would most likely need something like this if you plan on getting a passive subwoofer, or this if you plan on running a powered subwoofer.
I highly recommend anyone new to home audio head over to /r/zeos and then /r/hometheater
Very impressive solution. I've decided to go with an AudioSource Amp-100. http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6
Should do the trick to power some old assorted home theater in a box speakers.
Hmmmm.. Looks like the Amp-100 doesn't do too well with inputs from PC with a line out that isn't very strong.. Let me know if you have any input.
I wouldn't know where to find used stuff in your area. But I heard good things about this Audio Source amp... I have an old pioneer amp with some old kenwood speakers ;)
Just grab a crown amp or something. They are stupid cheap recently.
I use a yamaha 375 in 2 channel mode mostly and think it sounds fine. But those elacs are quite beastly and will flourish with more clean power. Whether you will notice any difference depends in lots of things. Amps only distort when they get pushed too high so you may be fine in a normal room. If this is your first setup I'm sure you would be satisfied.
But you can certainly afford the audiosource amp 100 and a small dac in this range if you want to go this route.
Well, you'd need a power amp with a volume control. Alternatively, an integrated amp (Basically a "receiver" w/o a tuner. More specifically, a pre-amp and power amp in one unit.) like that Onkyo A-5VL you mentioned would be well suited for your needs.
A power amp like that Audiosource Amp-100 I mentioned earlier or this Dayton Audio DTA-100a would both have 1 line level input, a volume control, and a set of speaker outputs. The Audiosource has 2 pairs of speaker outs. The Dayton only has 1 but also has a headphone out, which the Audiosource lacks.
Either of these could later be paired with a separate pre-amp. I'm having a hard time finding a good example, the Audiosource Pre-One/A used to be the match for the Amp-100. Many other manufacturers make similar products, such components were not uncommon 10-20+ years ago. This would give you much more flexibility in terms of controlling your sound, which you would need with multiple components/a turntable/etc. A laptop alone (or with an external DAC) can basically handle its pre-amp needs on its own.
Pyle makes crappy stuff. Get this instead, not much more
Behringer A500 has volume control. The first power amp I googled has volume control. Most of them seem to have voume control.
I'd take a look at these. Don't know how what the continuous wattage is on the Energy speakers, I'm guessing 175w is a peak figure.
I don't own a typical AVR unit but I do have experience with chromecast audio, so I would suggest the following setup. The biggest issue is making sure your amp can auto detect an audio signal from the chromecast unit (otherwise you will have to turn on your amp everytime which makes for a bad experience). I think you would need 3 of the following units:
1 chromecast audio + 1 amp unit to each speaker pair. This will allow you to play audio in any combination of zones you want and that amp will auto-detect the signal and turn itself on/off as needed.
This is what I would do but there may be a cleaner solution.
I have this and loved it, selling it now actually. This might not be allowed but let me know if you're interested at all. :)
The Pioneers are great speakers. The Lepai is a piece of shit.
I would stretch a bit and look into the AudioSource AMP-100. I have it with my BS22's in my bedroom set-up and it sounds fantastic.
I couldn't find the specs on those speakers easily, so it's hard to say. What is their sensitivity rating?
Anyway, as a place to start, some I see recommended a lot are the Audioscource amp 100 and one of these Dayton amps.
Personally, I'd go the few extra dollars and get this Emotiva Mini-X a100 now on sale for $169. Emotiva is becoming the go-to brand for budget audiophiles.
I don't know your budget but if you can I'd recommend something like the audiosource amp-100. Those small t-amp will introduce a lot of static into your system. They aren't terrible, I started off with an smsl sa50 as my first amp but it doesn't provide clean enough power for my liking. It might be too big for your setup though.
Have you considered 2.0 using ported floorstanding speakers and an amp?
E.g. Two of these (Currently at $199) http://www.amazon.com/MartinLogan-Motion-10-Floorstanding-Speaker/dp/B0035FZ142/
And this: http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6/
The amp has two line inputs (RCA) so you could add a second source to this before having to add a receiver.
You'll need two sets of male-to-male left/right RCA audio cable, one from the turntable to the phono preamp and the other from the phono preamp to the amplifier. You'll also need speaker wire from the speakers to the amp.
hmm, interesting, from what I've been reading to power those sufficiently I'd need something around 200w at 4 ohms to get decent performance. I'm open to hearing some suggestions as the speakers are still available. Would you be referring to something like this? http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6
How would I connect the open wires to an amplifier that has only plug ins like this, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00026BQJ6?tag=papanews-20
I want to buy my first 2.1 home listening setup.
1. What is your budget?
Looking to spend $400 at max.
2. What are you looking for?
I am looking for a 2.1 setup. I was considering getting a pair of Polk bookshelf speakers. I have a friend who works for the Polk corporate office and can get me very good deals, right around cost. But I am totally willing to look at other options in my price range.
This is the sub I was thinking about getting, MartinLogan Dynamo 300 - LINK
This is the amp I was thinking of getting - SMSL SA-50 LINK
Or maybe this amp, AudioSource AMP-100 - LINK
Not sure which amp to get. I am just starting my journey into the world or quality home listening.
3. How will you typically be using the gear?
I will be using this for home listening. Playing almost all music from my computer. I already have an external soundcard and DAC.
4. What gear do you own?
I own an external soundcard and a DAC. Plus a pair of DT 770 headphones.
5. What do you intend on using for a source?
My computer > external soundcard > DAC
6. What material will you be using your gear for?
I will be using my gear to listen to music only. My taste is all over the board. I listen to every genre and do, at times, like a bit of a stronger low end. Other times I like a more neutral low end that doesn't cover anything.
7. Are you willing to buy used?
I am willing to but new but would prefer to buy new.
Most people in here recommending stereo setups over surround are giving you the right advice IMO. Investing in an excellent 2.1 system will give you way more pleasure than a half assed attempt at a full surround system. If you ever decide to add surround, it is easy as putting processing in your chain and adding two new speakers.
So for now I would say you should go for something like this:
Source > preamp > 2 channel amp > front loudspeakers & sub
Or if you decide to go with an integrated amp:
Source > amp/receiver > front loudspeakers & sub
For under 300 I would say go with this:
It is a great power amp and really does not need a preamp. When you have more money you can add another amp for the rears and center and get a preamp.
All the parts (well, almost all) already exist. The outdoor speakers are a nice pair of Polk Atrium 6s and the amplifier is an Auidosource AMP-100. I have a similar setup in another part of the house where I walk up to the Android device and change things directly--I'm looking to do the same but use one Android to contoll the second.
Hmmm.... maybe I should have bypassed the stereo talk to just ask about the remote control aspect of this? But when I put 'remote control' in Google I get apps to replace my TV's remote.
Your best bet is some kind of zone controller with amps for each zone. Living, kitchen, patio.
I would suggest going with something like 2 of these.
Feed whatever source into the input on the first amp. Then cascade the output of that down to the second amp input.
Aaaand its patched
Maybe you need to rethink things. Like I said, this is contingent on you already owning a decent receiver with your living room/home theater stereo. Nearly any component system is going to blow that Harmon Kardon setup out of the water. We're talking about six 1.5" speakers powered by a 2x15w peak amplifier and a 4.5" woofer powered by a 30w peak amplifier.
Something like these would make a night and day difference for about 1/3 the price of the Harmon Kardon setup. That leaves you plenty of money for quality wiring and an Airport Express.
Hell, even if you don't have an amplifier you can pick up this and still save money!