bottle neck in system?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew lewis, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    Hey, I'm looking into upgrading my theatre in the new future. Me and my cousin have started a fund strictly for upgrades..and we are wondering what exactly should be upgraded first?

    Here is my setup:
    55" Mitsubishi HDTV
    Yamaha RX-V630 Reciever
    Denon DVD900
    Monster Power HTS900 Power Center

    Speaker wise we are running:
    4 Energy XL-150 bookshelf speakers for our surrounds
    Energy XL-C100 front center channel
    Mirage AVS 100B rear center channel
    Energy S8.2 subwoofer

    We also have:
    Magnavox 4head Hi-Fi VCR
    Replay TV 80 hour unit
    Playstation 2
    Game Cube
    XBox
    Jensen HDTV antenna

    We are running Monster Cable wiring for everything.

    Do you see a bottle neck in our set-up? I know you theatre is only as good as your weakest link...so what is the weakest link?

    Can I run an amp with the reciever? I'd like to give the speakers a little more power than the 75 watts each are currently getting.

    Next year we will be moving into a house...and will be getting satelite through direct TV. So the Jensen antenna will no longer be needed..since we can get HDTV through the satelite.

    I'd like to upgrade the speakers...but for our apartment...they are more than great.

    any info/help would be great. Thanks

    andrew
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    It looks like you've put together a great system, especially for an apartment. I don't see any huge "bottleneck" in your system, but if you're looking for upgrade paths there are a few you could take. The easiest and cheapest would be to replace your rear center with one that matches the rest of your system. Since the rear center is pretty much the least important speaker in your system this upgrade probably won't make a noticeable difference, especially considering the small amount of ES and EX software out there.

    The second option, and probably the one that will add the most noticeable increase in performance, is to upgrade your subwoofer. A true SUB woofer that can truly extend down below 30hz and on toward 20hz will add a very noticeably amount of impact to your system. Depending on how much $$$ you want to spend, there are great options such as the Adire Rava for around $400, HSU VTF-2 for $500, and the powered SVS subs start at $600.

    The third option is to upgrade your receiver. For a truly noticeably upgrade you'd be looking at spending somewhere from $400 and up. If you wanted to spend under $400, I would look at the Kenwood 6070. It has one of the strongest amp sections in any receiver in the price range, putting out a full 92 watts per channel with all channels driven at full range. The Sony 2ES can be found for around $450 online and the 4ES for around $600 online. Any of these receivers would most likely be a step up in processing and amplification.

    That said, a receiver upgrade still won't add the impact that a subwoofer upgrade will. If you're wanting to upgrade something, I would definitely say the subwoofer is the way to go. The 3 that i mentioned would be great candidates, and if you decide that's the direction you want to go, everyone over in the Speakers and Subwoofers section of the forum will give you some great advice.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    thanks for the insight. The mirage speaker I picked up 5 days ago for a VERY low price. Mirage is basically the same company as Energy anyways...and for the amount that I paid...i couldnt ask for more.

    The reciever I own is a GREAT reciever...I wouldnt buy a Sony reciever over a yamaha. Maybe there are recievers that have more output...but thats fine and dandy. Yamaha makes great stuff...and its basically brand new "september2002".

    Sub is fine with me...as of right now. When we move into a house I wanna get a really nice sub. for the apartment...its great...but for a house....Im gonna need more power!

    Does anyone know if I can add an amp to my reciever?
     
  4. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    If your receiver has pre-outs then yes.

    If you can do this, you might want to hook up your front speakers to the amp, and let your receiver handle the rear speakers. If you do it this way, you won't have to worry about getting a 6 channel amp.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    It's funny how people ask for your advice then tell you how wrong you are.

    I said there were no true bottlenecks in your system, i.e. there's no major flaw in your equipment choices or any one item holding you back. I did however mention the areas that would offer the most noticeable improvements if you absolutely felt the need to upgrade, which evidently you do.

    If you ask for advice and then tell the person giving it how wrong they are, don't expect to get it again.
     
  6. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    I didn't tell you, you were wrong. Simply put...I purchased all of these components within the past 6 months...and I am somewhat reluctant to go replace them this soon. I do 100% agree with you on the sub issue though. I will also be adding a pre-amp to my set-up in the near future.

    thanks again.
     
  7. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Andrew, another thing you may want to add to get better responses is how much you and your cousin are willing to spend. This will help people determine what would be appropriate to suggest.
    As for adding an amp to your system, the answer is yes, you can. Your receiver has pre-outs for all channels so depending on what you want to spend, you can get a 2,3,5 or 6 channel amp. Any of these would be a nice improvement. Just decide on what you want to spend, go audition some amps and then buy one. Just don't forget to budget in the interconnects that you will need to go between your receiver and the new amp.
     
  8. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    Thanks Richard. We are working on starting a fund strictly for upgrades on our theatre. This way we know just how much we have to spend, and it makes it easier to budget.

    I haven't really looked into pre-amps...but I'm hoping to get something that will power the front channels + 1 sub....then run the reciever for the rears, and the 2nd sub "when and if we get one".

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Great advice Stephen.
    If you are asking where your "weak link" is I would say your sub. Personally, I dont think an 8 inch driver would satisfy my bass "needs"
    Your speakers are only rated to 100 watts. Why do you want to amplify them?

    $0.02
     
  10. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    Checked on Energy's webpage...and you are right. 100watt max. Hmmm well would adding a pre-amp even be necessary now? Wouldn't it add clarity? The sub has a 400watt max. Would the sub need to be given more power "150rms"?

    We will probably be getting a better sub for next year, when we move into a house. We are both college students...and a definite budget as of not. Thanks for the info.
     
  11. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

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    Andrew you keep mentioning pre-amp but I think you just mean amp. Your receiver would be used as the pre-amp. I think there would be nothing wrong with adding an amp, but then you will probaly want to upgrade you speakers to take advantage of it.

    If you purchased the equipment within the past six months and don't want to replace any of it why ask for upgrade advice.

    Do you have an SPL meter and a calibration disk? if not that would be a good purchase to make. Otherwise I agree with the others that the sub is the week point.

    Your sub amp can put out 100wstts RMS, 400 peak, there is nothing you can do about making it put out 150 watts RMS instead.
     
  12. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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    With a setup like that the fact you live in an apartment is the bottleneck. [​IMG]
     
  13. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    Ya I know our living room is terrible for home theatre design, the ceiling is un-even, there back of the room is open, there are windows and doors everywhere. But being college students, it is somewhat hard to afford a house. Next year we will be moving into a house, and plan on looking specifically for a place with a nice, closed room.

    I appreciate everyone's insight and opinion. Sometimes I may be ignorant and stubborn towards people's suggestions, but I am a 20 year old male...what do you expect?
     
  14. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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    I'd still say go with a new sub. I live in an apartment, have a SVS 25-31CS powered with a 100watt amp. I would hardly say it puts out too much bass. It puts out "quality" bass, not the "boomy bass" that I was so used to with my Sony. There is a huge difference.
    I also liked the suggestion of a SPL meter & calibration disc....
     

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