Buy all new speakers at once, or piecemeal approach?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Josh~H, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just bought a new 6.1 receiver: Yamaha HTR-5660 (same as RX-V640 I think). Unfortunately it doesn't sound much better than my old Aiwa 5.1 unit -- though it seems to be able to drive my crappy speakers better without distortion.

    Speaking of my speakers, that's what this thread is about. I guess the reason the Yammy hasn't blown me away is that my speakers are rather poor. I have some old Sony full towers (200w SS-U542AV) for mains, and a tiny little Sony SS-CN15 center along with Sony SS-SR15 surrounds. I really don't know much about the quality of the mains, and all I know about the center speaker is that it doesn't sound very good, and it must be terribly matched with the large mains.

    I think I probably need to replace all the speakers in order to fully enjoy my favorite DVDs. The new speakers must perform very well for HT duty, but need not be outstanding for music. I'm constrained by a budget of about $1,000-$1,500 at the moment.

    My question is, should I just buy a complete matched 6.1 set -- the best I can get in my current budget? Or should I start replacing the speakers one (or a few) at a time, carefully matching each new purchase with the existing speakers in the system? The latter approach potentially allows me to spend more money in the long run, and theoretically I'd end up with a better set of speakers overall. But I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy my Yammy and all my favorite DVDs until I've assembled the complete system...this could take 6 months or more.

    For those of you who think a very capable 6.1 can be had for $1,000-$1,500 (including sub), what do you recommend? I've been intrigued by the Aperion Intimus and Paradigm Cinema, but I'm open to any suggestions within my budget.

    For those of you who think I can get good HT sound by upgrading piecemeal, what speakers should come first? My mains are clearly the strongest of my current set, so would getting a new "3.1" system (like the Aperion Intimus 3.1 -- 2 surrounds, center, and 10" sub for ~ $1,000) be a good start? Then I could replace my mains with 2 matching speakers later, and finally add a rear center when I get around to it (not a huge priority for me). If I put the system together bit by bit, over several months, I'm comfortable spending about $2,000 on speakers.

    I know you all can only offer your opinions, but hopefully they will be opinions informed by expertise and experience in such matters.

    By the way, my room is about 16' long x 13' wide.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would check out Paradigms.

    Recommend Paradigm setups

    There are many options that are available to you on your budget and they are some of the best speakers I've heard for the price.

    I have
    Paradigm Atoms(mains)
    Paradigm CC-170(center)
    and I'll be adding another set of Atoms for my surrounds,
    I have these paired with the Sony WM40 sub(pollyfill mod) and the Kenwood 6070 receiver.

    They sound great!!

    I would concentrate on putting together a NICE 5.1 setup and then worry about the 6th channel. Thats what I'm doing and my new 5.1 setup blows away my old mismatched 6.1 setup.

    Tf you don't want to spend alot there are many options for you. There's a company called Fluance that makes good speakers and are pretty cheap and Onkyo has a decent 6.1 speaker setup that you can get for around $300 that includes a sub.
     
  3. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin -

    I'm not really interested in a cheap (sub $500) 5.1 setup -- I'm assuming that I can purchase better sound with an additional $500-$1000.

     
  4. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jsoh,

    In your room size, the advantage of 6.1 over 5.1 is debatable.

    I have heard Aperions and Paradigms, and I highly suggest you audition a setup from Ascend Acoustics. Extremely high value.

    You can get an excellent 5.1 system for under $1400 delivered. And that includes a highly regarded Hsu VTF-2 sub.
     
  5. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try running a phantom center to see if it the main fronts are noticably better than the center. You may be surprised and find only the center needs replacing for now (you could always stick it at the back for the center rear).
     
  7. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  8. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that the answer the piecemeal or piece by piece approach depends on how you envision your final state. For $2,000 you can get a very fine 5.1 system, including a sub.

    For an all-in-one approach, I would highly recommend looking at some of the internet-direct offerings. Curtis has already suggested Ascends + a VTF-2 from Hsu, both internet companies and both making fine products. To that list I would add Axiom and the Onix Rockets.

    For example you could get the Onix Rocket
    package # 3 for $1,800 and take advantage of the pre-order special and pick up their UFW-10 sub for $200.

    This 5.1 system has the 550 floor standing speakers as fronts, the 200 as the center and the 300s as surrounds. I am very familiar with this configuration and can say that it would be very hard to match at this price point. At $200, the UFW-10 is almost a giveaway—I have not done extensive listening to the sub, but I did hear it in Dallas and it is very fine indeed.

    Plus, if you like the rosewood look, you will love this system.
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more thing Josh—if you like the piece by piece approach, I would replace in the following order:

    1.Center, because this is the most important speaker for HT and you will see the biggest benefit here. The only problem is that your system will not be timbre-matched across the front, which is a desirable characteristic.
    2.Main front speakers next to get the timbre matching. Move your current fronts to surround duty if it fits in with your floor plan. Move a surround to the rear center.
    3.Sub
    4.Surrounds (side)—move one of the old Sony fronts (now surrounds) to the rear center.
    5.Rear Center.

    Last suggestion—if you wind up lusting after one of the Rocket packages that is just a bit outside your budget, call AV123 and see if they will do a phased approach deal on a package.
     
  11. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice and options, everyone. Here's another wrinkle:

    I called up the local Paradigm dealer ("Audio Video Solutions" -- is this a chain or something?). Anyways, they don't offer in-home auditions, per se. They have a 3-day no-questions-asked return policy (sounds weak), a 14-day exchange (weak), and a 1-year trade-in. The only part of this I like the sound of is the 1-year trade-in policy. Up until 1 year of ownership, I can trade in (any of) my speakers for 100% of their original purchase price applied to anything there costing at least 50% more. So if I got the entry-level Paradigm system for ~ $1,000, I could shell out $500 (or more) next year to bump things up a couple of notches.

    The person I talked to on the phone was pleasant, but denied that the Paradigms are known as a "bright" sounding speaker -- this contradicts some of the reports I've heard on this forum. He specifically said that the Yamaha HTR-5660 I have would be fine with the Paradigms, but that they don't recommend using the Yammy's with Klipsch because the bright Yam + bright Klipsch = too bright in a room with a lot of reflection like mine.

    Realizing I'm a newbie at all this, and don't know audiophile-level perfection from my elbow, would you guys recommend I go ahead and get, say, Paradigm Atoms L/R, C-170 center, PDR-12 sub, ADP-70 surround L/R for about $1,100 right now? Theoretically I can enjoy them now, and if I feel like it, get something better next year when my budget allows. This assumes, of course, that I like the way it all sounds when I audition the Paradigms.

    I'm eager to buy soon...don't lead me astray! [​IMG]
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    See if you can’t do better than a 3-day return deal. You are right—this is pretty weak.

    Opinions on receivers vary, but I for one, would not apply the term ‘bright’ to any receiver. This sounds as though you are being steered away from Klipsch and towards Paradigm. If it were me and I still liked the Paradigms, I’d probably go ahead and buy them, but I’d remain skeptical about any technical information from this salesperson.
     
  13. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
     

Share This Page