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Your essential system set-ups

BEST BUYS

Home Cinema Systems

BLU-RAY PLAYERS

Budget system

SONY BDP-S5100 ★★★★★ £140

Simply astonishing performance and pictures for less than £150. Smart functionality too: you can’t go wrong…

Mid-range system

SONY BDP-S790 ★★★★★ £200

What a bargain! Not only is this a superb 2D and 3D Blu-ray player, it is also the first to upscale to 4K ultra high definition.

Hi-End system

SONY BDP-S790 ★★★★★ £200

It’s testament to this player’s ability that a deck costing just £200 can also work in a full jazz-hands system like this one.

RECEIVERS

Budget system

ONKYO TX-NR515 ★★★★★ £250

Now available for half its previous asking price, this amp offers truly awesome precision and heft.

Mid-range system

SONY STR-DN1040 ★★★★★ £500

Punch, detail and power combine in this great receiver -and it’s good with stereo music, too.

Hi-End system

YAMAHA RX-A1020 ★★★★★ £1000

Up-to-date spec -with a fine iPhone app for remote control — plus great performance.

SPEAKERS

Budget system

Q ACOUSTICS 2000i 5.1 PACK ★★★★★ £600

Our 2012 Award winner produces sound with impressive scale for movies and music.

Mid-range system

DALI ZENSOR 5 5.1 ★★★★★ £1300

This is a brilliantly realised speaker setup, and cracking value for money. Timing is confident, rhythms natural.

Hi-End system

KEF R100 5.1 ★★★★★ £2750

Best Buy for 2012, the R100 5.1 is simply superb with demanding film soundtracks — and is great in stereo too.

DISPLAYS

Budget system

PANASONIC TX-L32E6B ★★★★★ £400

If you’re after a great all-rounder in both picture quality and smart features, this TV is it. Splendid.

Mid-range system

PANASONIC TX-P42GT60 ★★★★★ £1150

Truly deep blacks, beautiful colours and winning smart features — this TV is a tough act to beat.

Hi-End system

PANASONIC PT-AT6000E ★★★★★ £3000

Superb in 2D, this projector also excels at 3D. Edges are sharp, pictures have depth and stability.

Hi-Fi Systems

CD PLAYERS

Budget system

MARANTZ CD6004 ★★★★★ £310

A sound that makes it one of the most competitively priced budget machines around.

Mid-range system

AUDIOLAB 8200CD ★★★★★ £800

This player, with its stunning sound, great DAC and digital inputs, is a big achievement.

Hi-End system

LEEMA ANTILA IIS ECO ★★★★★ £2995

Natural sound and expert timing turn a five-star player into an even better five-star player.

AMPLIFIERS

Budget system

ROTEL RA-10 ★★★★★ £350

Our stereo amp Product of the Year has a level of control and poise above and beyond what we’d expect at the price.

Mid-range system

ARCAM A19 ★★★★★ £650

A refined amp with full-bodied tonal balance, this is a deeply impressive piece of hi-fi for the money.

Hi-End system

LEEMA TUCANA II ★★★★★ £3425

A robust, powerful yet subtle amplifier, the Leema’s broad spread of talents makes it worth every penny.

SPEAKERS

Budget system

Q ACOUSTICS 2020i ★★★★★ £150

Refined, exciting and detailed — the 2020is deliver an endlessly listenable performance.

Mid-range system

TANNOY DC6 T SE ★★★★★ £1000

Purposeful looks mate with a solid sound to produce a pair of exciting, agile and nuanced floorstanders.

Hi-End system

PMC TWENTY 23 ★★★★★ £2100

They’re petite, but these Best Buys are wonderfully expressive, with firm control and superb detail.

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