$1000... what to do??!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by david spin, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. david spin

    david spin Auditioning

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    Hi there!

    A few years ago I came to this site when I heard my friends system. I asked for advice on speakers and ended up buying the Energy Take5 system with the 8'' powered sub. Great speakers for a low price and super advice.

    Another year goes by and it's time to do some upgrading. Out went the old crappy tv and in comes the WEGA KV-36FV26 (Even got it isf'd). Upgraded the receiver also to the Yamaha RX-V800. Again, purchased these items on the AWESOME advice of people here... thanks again!

    Well, I'm back and I've got a grand burning a hole in my pocket. I'm thinking that it may be time to upgrade the speakers. I am flirting with replacing the fronts (Mains and Center) with larger speakers. I really really like the idea of floor standing but the center will still have to be on top of the wega. I was thinking of keeping the Take5 surrounds since they are small and I have them mounted up higher (ie. wife doesn't want bigger speakers up on the wall). Should I upgrade the mains and center and if so, what would you recommend?

    I do a lot of night time low volume watcing and it seems like the energy speakers just don't have the presence that a larger speaker has. I would think that if I upgraded my mains and center to larger speakers the presence would be larger and the sound would be better at lower volumes. Am I crazy?

    So to sum up this ridiculously long email for advice...

    1) I don't watch movies very loud (can't wake the baby)

    2) The energy speakers just sound small an tinny ESPECIALLY at low volume

    3) I *think* that larger floorstanding mains and larger center would fix that.

    4) Need advice on speakers.

    Thanks!

    Dave

    PS - I also *could* put the money away for the dream hdtv in a couple of years but where is the fun in that??!!
     
  2. Bob Christensen

    Bob Christensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave, I would first concentrate on the center channel, since that (the dialog) is probably what you precieve as "weak". That alone may make enough of a change to forgo the mains for a while. You will have to listen to a few systems to find what YOU like. Just make sure that the salesman sets you up with a system similar to yours, and does not crank it up louder than you normally do in your home. Many speaks sound AWESOME when cranked, but not so good when playing at low volumes. Others are just the opposite.
     
  3. david spin

    david spin Auditioning

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    The top of the WEGA is pretty narrow. Do you, or anybody else, have any recommendations on a center that fits?

    I could always put the center under the tv but then I would have to find another place for the receiver / dvd player... ie. Have to buy a rack... yuck.

    Dave
     
  4. Terry Flink

    Terry Flink Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Sony Wega and a nOhr 4.0 center speaker and use 8x10 board to support the feet. Very unobtrusive and no wife to worry about approval....
     
  5. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    I am going to have to disagree slightly. Don't upgrade the center without also upgrading the mains. It is essential that you have a proper match between the center and mains. Replacing just the center will likely NOT be much of an overall improvement. Replacing the entire front soundstage could be an awesome improvement. Although 70% of the sound goes to the center, much is duplicated in the mains, and the mains are always active except when you hear dialogue only. Overall, the mains determine more of the width of your front soundstage than does the center. I think upgrading the center alone, even where you maintain the proper match, is overrated and you might be disappointed.

    The improvement in replacing the front soundstage will be noticeable even at low volumes, but to be honest, all speaker upgrades will be MORE noticeable on those ocassions when you are permitted to run it at higher volumes.

    Paradigm is the line I am most familiar with. However, if you want towers in that line you must go up to the Monitor line, and that center is too large for your purposes. You might consider that bookshelf sized speakers will give a much wider soundstage than micro speakers like the Take 5's. A pair of Titans for mains, and a cc-170 center would be a nice upgrade. (Cost: $400 total)

    Also consider the Swan Diva series which I will recommend based on reputation, price and looks. You can get a very nice pair of towers (4.1 or 6.1) and I think that center is reasonably small, but I could be wrong. (Cost: $900-$1100).

    Good luck with the baby! We are thinking of having one ourselves. If we move into a new house, I am going to insist that the baby's room be on the opposite end from the TV room.
     
  6. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    In your case I would recommend the 4.1 Divas with the C3 center. Seems to be the best available option. Though marble 4.0s with the marble center would be awfully tempting. [​IMG] Just would have to get sand/lead shot fillable stands for them.
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    1) Get a real subwoofer. The Paradigm PW2200 will probably take more than half your $1000.

    2)Save the rest till you have enough to replace your mains. It is amazing what a good sub can do for tinny speakers. Remember though, hearing at low frequencies is much poorer than at higher frequencies, so you will have to turn the sub up enough to get the effect you want. It might be very difficult to get a good low end if you can't turn the sub up enough to hear it.
     
  8. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    no no no, mains and center first. Then sub. Do you think you are ready for DIY speakers? If so, then I would recommend going into the DIY and Advanced HT room for advice on a good front speaker set up. I just recomended GR-Research AV1 kits to another guy. DIY will give you performance of a $2000 retail speaker set-up for about 1/4 the price, maybe even 1/10 the price. DIY will offer the best performance/cost ratio you will find anywhere.

    If you're not ready for DIY, I would suggest Paradigm Minimonitors and CC-370 for the front, then an Adire Audio Rava for sub. Should be right around $1000. You will be happy with these.

    If you go with DIY, I can guarentee that you will never buy another retail speaker again.

    Also, if you want the value and performance of DIY but lack the tools or skills, there are people that can do the work for you. One guy Brian Bunge is staring to offer his services for people who want premade cabinets and kits. Do a search for his name and look on his website. He could get you going with a great DIY kit.
     
  9. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    I'm really bad! I have two CV 715's for the mains and a JBL s312 for the center. My surrounds are some awesome 400 watt Sansui's. And wimpy JBL 28's for the rear. I had the 28's for the center until I bought some more hogs. But it does fill up your living space. A more practical approach may be to get a 15" earthquake sub and cross over at 80HTZ. Then upgrade the fronts and center. Move your present mains to the back. I went super size at McDonald's. You may not want to do that.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    My impression is that since he has an infant and cannot listen at high levels, upgrading the sub may actually be ill advised.

    My order of priority in terms of how much sonic impact I notice from upgrading is as follows:

    1. Mains

    2. Sub

    3. Center

    4. Surrounds

    But since you need to upgrade the center with the mains usually, that is the way to go. Do that, then the sub.
     
  11. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Eric, as you said, not waking baby or mother is prime. From my experience you can fill out the bottom more easily with a sub than you can with full range speakers. With full range mains at very low volume you would have to turn up the bass control on the receiver to get fullness. That raises frequencies up to 500 HZ or more. With a sub he can deal with the 25HZ to 100HZ range without raising the upper bass-lower midrange. I would recommend buying the Paradigm PW2200 from a store that will let him return it if it wakes the child. Same with mains. If he buys new mains, same deal, return privileges if they wake the child. Lows may vibrate the house a bit without necessarily being loud. Upper bass and lower midrange can be heard at much lower db levels than bass. Put it this way. What is more likely to wake the child, minor vibrations in the house or much more highly audible sounds in the 500-1,000 HZ range?

    Negotiate those return privileges also take a look at the Fletcher-Munson Curve. "For example for a 100HZ tone to sound as loud as a 1,000HZ tone, the amplitude of the 100HZ tone must be boosted by 40 db" (Dodge 1985). Put another way, a 1000HZ tone is 40 db louder than 100HZ tone at low listening levels.

    Make it even simpler on yourself. Go to a hifi store and have em add a sub to a pair or mini mains. Play with the volume of the sub and see if you can get an overall low volume sound that is satisfying. Try the same thing with full range mains and the receiever bass control.
     

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