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Extreme Beginner Question--Any Good??


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#1 of 8 Rebel Racing

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Posted February 28 2011 - 05:10 AM

Hi Guys,


      Recently bought a 46" Samsung HDTV and will be upgrading to HD sat. service soon.  Currently it is hooked up through our old Kenwood receiver with a pair of Sound Dynamics tower speakers and a sub.  The room is our living room and it measures 12'x20'.  Back 12 yr ago these cost around $1200 so they were not low end (for the time).  Now, here's where the lack of experience comes into play--I thought our set up sounded pretty good (for what it was).  I'm in Walmart the other day and listened to a $300 LG 5.1 theater system and I have to admit that it sounded better than what we have.  Now that has me thinking that if an ultra low end system sounds better to me, then what about a $500 set up from Samsung.  Am I totally tone deaf or has sound improved that much in 12 yr or so??  We watch mainly tv with a lot of auto sports and an occasional movie--maybe a couple a month and no gaming at all.  I realize that sound is a personal thing but would I be wasting our $$ for a 5.1 system with a blu ray player int the $4-$500 range??  Any and all avice is really appreciated.


Thanks!! 


#2 of 8 winniw

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Posted February 28 2011 - 06:40 PM

This just sounds very odd to me.  Do you have any audiophile type friends who could check out your system?  It is possible that something in your system has aged and degraded the sound.  It could be corroded speaker wire, a failing receiver or rotting speakers.  It could be an old surge suppressor or power strip that you have everything plugged in to.  It could be just something like loose connection.  Is your Kenwood twelve years old too?


Small, inexpensive audio systems can have some decent sound but I don't think that it should be out-classing your system.  I would check out your current system before doing anything else, unless you just want a new toy, and in that case I say -- go get it!


Nick



#3 of 8 Rebel Racing

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Posted March 01 2011 - 04:10 AM

Hi Nick,


     The Wife has a pretty good ear for this kind of thing as she is constantly adjusting it for different music we listen to with the stereo--she hasn't complained about it.  To me, the music always sounds great--although the Kenwood receiver (VR-206 bought used 6 yr ago--not sure of real age) doesn't deliver the bass like my old Pioneer SX-3700 did with the same speakers.  So, I would say that everything is working fine in the set up.  I agree with you that a new system (at a fraction of the price) should not be able to outperform what we have though--I was wondering if technology has improved that much with sould over the years.  I suppose the only real way to know for sure is to get something new with a good return policy.


Thanks!!



#4 of 8 CB750

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Posted March 01 2011 - 04:25 AM

I agree with Nick. While something can be said about the extra channels found in a 5.1 system which allows even a cheep HTib produce an decent sound. However, I find it hard to believe that a Wal-Mart store would have one set up in a manner that would allow you listen to as a 5.1 system. What were the qualities that impressed you about that unit? The two drawbacks to many HTib is the quality of the speakers that come with the unit as many are 4 ohm or less and the quality of the receiver which often lack the necessary connects you will need modern connections of your components to your receiver. One of the HTib we like are those who are made by Onkyo. As they have real receivers and the speakers can be upgraded in the future. If your thinking of going to a 5.1 HTib I would look at the 5300 which sells for under $400 on amazon. Nick raises a good question about something wrong with your current components. When I upgraded from a stereo with a roomful of quality speakers to a new receiver and 5.1 speakers I had to spend in excess of $1,200 on a 5.1 speaker system to find something that out performed what I had.

#5 of 8 Martino

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Posted March 01 2011 - 04:25 AM

Might want to try a different rout...you have a stereo setup, and liked the surround sound heard from a "cheap" system...


It is your $$$ - but I'm not sure you want to throw out a pair of $1,200 tower speakers...



Perhaps get a matching center and some surrounds for your existing system - and perhaps a new receiver as well...then you can reuse your towers and sub.....


You may find a used pair of the same towers for the rear match....not sure of the model # (didn't show above) - but I looked up "Sound Dynamics tower speakers" and found a bunch of used models available...these were $250.00...


http://www.usedottaw...RTS-9B_13370852


If you buy a 500 HTIB and listen to it in stereo only mode - you will probally hear a difference, and I would suspect that your towers would deliver the goods...perhaps get a used pair of the same speakers for the rears - and find whatever matching center would be for that system...


Usually HTIB skimp on the speakers.....



#6 of 8 Rebel Racing

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Posted March 01 2011 - 05:07 AM

[quote name="CB750" url="/forum/thread/309226/extreme-beginner-question-any-good#post_3786262"] What were the qualities that impressed you about that unit? [/quote]  Admittly, I was only 6' fromthe source, but the bass was realy good and they only had the speakers either side of the set with the sub in behind.

 [/quote]  One of the HTib we like are those who are made by Onkyo. As they have real receivers and the speakers can be upgraded in the future. If your thinking of going to a 5.1 HTib I would look at the 5300 which sells for under $400 on amazon. Nick raises a good question about something wrong with your current components. When I upgraded from a stereo with a roomful of quality speakers to a new receiver and 5.1 speakers I had to spend in excess of $1,200 on a 5.1 speaker system to find something that out performed what I had. [/quote] Maybe I should look at all the connections on the back of the receiver and see if there are ports that I did not connect propperly before I go spending $$ unnecisarily.



#7 of 8 Rebel Racing

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Posted March 01 2011 - 05:27 AM



Originally Posted by CB750 

What were the qualities that impressed you about that unit?

 If your thinking of going to a 5.1 HTib I would look at the 5300 which sells for under $400 on amazon.

Nick raises a good question about something wrong with your current components. When I upgraded from a stereo with a roomful of quality speakers to a new receiver and 5.1 speakers I had to spend in excess of $1,200 on a 5.1 speaker system to find something that out performed what I had.


I was amazed at the bass responce for such a cheap unit--admittly I was only 6' or so from it though.  It all makes sence that what we already have should be at least equal to the cheaper ones ou ther though.



#8 of 8 Rebel Racing

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Posted March 01 2011 - 05:29 AM



Originally Posted by Martino 

Might want to try a different rout...you have a stereo setup, and liked the surround sound heard from a "cheap" system...


It is your $$$ - but I'm not sure you want to throw out a pair of $1,200 tower speakers...



Perhaps get a matching center and some surrounds for your existing system - and perhaps a new receiver as well...then you can reuse your towers and sub.....


You may find a used pair of the same towers for the rear match....not sure of the model # (didn't show above) - but I looked up "Sound Dynamics tower speakers" and found a bunch of used models available...these were $250.00...


http://www.usedottaw...RTS-9B_13370852


If you buy a 500 HTIB and listen to it in stereo only mode - you will probally hear a difference, and I would suspect that your towers would deliver the goods...perhaps get a used pair of the same speakers for the rears - and find whatever matching center would be for that system...


Usually HTIB skimp on the speakers.....



I was originally thinking of going the HTIB route for the tv and keep the crrent speakers for the stereo but perhaps adding to what we have might be a better option--we;ll talk it over. Thanks!!







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