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Newb upgrading POS as I go...what would be best to do next? (1 Viewer)

Farley1324

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schan1269 said:
You don't have to buy a new one. Since you don't have 3D, you can go as old as Onkyo X05 and Denon XX09/X89. Such as Onkyo 705/805. Denon 1909/989. Denon model numbers get fuzzy once you are back that far. But any 4 digit starting 19 or 3 digit starting 7 is a safe bet. Easy to find Denon... 790/890/791/1911/1910
Nothing that costs any amount of money (like, >$50) is an option for awhile.

As I set up what is about to arrive, maybe play with settings and placement a little bit, read some more, and enjoy it, I'll be working out what I want to do in the future.

Right now I figure the next steps would be

1. Better AVR
2. Rear speakers for actual 5.1 instead of glorified stereo/3.1
3. Maybe a second F12. (maybe swap this and #2, depending, as rear speakers really would be a pain here)


That would pretty much be a complete and well rounded basic/budget setup?


Whenever I get to that point the next step would be having a basement in a new house which would pretty much have me starting over from square 1. Which sounds quite fun. Some day...



So this is what I'm looking at for now:


Sony STR-DG520 (had this since about 2006)
Pioneer SP-C22
Pioneer SP-FS52LR (two)
BIC America F12
 

Farley1324

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All speakers arrived today. I cleaned/organized in the garage, and inside, and set it all up. Everything is working as expected, garage and family room, although I only just barely had the opportunity to use either yet. (it got kinda late by the time I had it all set up, and 14 month old daughter's bedroom is just behind the wall where all of this is set up, darnit)

-----
Initial setup...does it all sound correct? In the receiver I set the sub to -5dB with 80hz crossover, the center/front speakers to small, and the surround speakers to no. On the F12 I put the crossover dial wide open (with the switch on Dolby pro logic), and set the volume to 4 out of 10.

The floor speakers are currently (initial setup) 8 feet apart, two feet out from the wall (TV is mounted on wall) and angled slightly inward. The sub is on the front wall just to the left of the TV stand, with its back about a foot away from the wall. Center is sitting on top of the TV stand/table, towards the back of it (closer to the TV screen and the wall this way, but behind the plane of the floorspeakers)...stand is a couple feet off the ground. Listening position is about 12-13 feet back from that wall.

I used 14 AWG stranded copper cable for the speakers and a nice mediabridge ultra series sub cable, and also did my best to keep A/C cables and audio cables separate, with necessary crosses done at 90 degree angles.
-----

First (brief!) impression: This BIC F12 really does kick the crap out of the Polk PSW10. I shouldn't be surprised. Triple the continuous output, nearly 5x the peak output, 12" vs 10", and the F12 sports a frequency response down to 25 hz whereas the PSW10 is listed down to a mere 35 hz.

In a lot of reading I've done I came across people referring to a sub as "punchy", and I think I understand exactly what that means now. I need to do a lot more watching/listening, but comparing the Polk to the F12, I'm pretty sure the PSW10 was FAR more punchy.

I think I'm going to really enjoy this F12.


But now I just want something that'll go down to or below 20 hz with awesome authority. lol. I have to be careful, hobbies and interests have a way of sucking you in like that...next house, in the basement...it's gonna be on like Donkey Kong.


The subs side by side. This F12 takes up some real estate, that's for sure

azfbyd.jpg
 

schan1269

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Speaker levels are room specific. I try to get the AVR trim(the -5 you have) inside +/- 3. The closer to zero you can that, the better(it may take a few days. The F12 Will need around 50hrs to truly liven up...where it is now...leave it. Try again in April).But yeah, big improvement.
 

Farley1324

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So I have another question/dilemma. I actually ordered the previous model Pioneers, the SP-FS51-LR (Pio AJ towers) and the SP-C21 (Pio AJ center), but then cancelled the order and went with the newest models (52 and 22) after deciding it was worth the added expense. I thought I cancelled the first order in time, but I was wrong. So the two floorspeakers and one center speaker showed up today.

I can return them but I'd have to pay to ship them back, which is pretty expensive, especially for the towers, so maybe I'll just keep them...

The towers for reference: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004H1M4NO/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My best current use would be to use them as rear/surround speakers in the same living room setup.

Anyway, the question: Is this a workable location for the towers as rear speakers? I don't have much to work with back here.


I would just test it but I only have the two floorspeakers I am using up front unless and until I decide to keep the others, and open the box.
 

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Farley1324

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The sound is indeed much improved. I went ahead and opened the Pioneer (Andrew Jones) FS51 towers and set them up as rear/surrounds, even though their placement is far from optimal.

Annnnd I'm ready to spend more money. I sold some stuff from a different interest to get the funds.

I should be able to get around $1,500 to play with, give or take.

I'm just looking to bounce ideas around, think out loud, whatever.

What would you upgrade given my situation? Best bang for the buck, assuming, for real this time (lol), that no additional upgrades are done for a long time after this.

I currently have:
Samsung 46" LCD HDTV (from 2008, nothing special)
Sony STR-DG520 (had this since 2008)
Pioneer SP-C22 (AJ center)
Pioneer SP-FS52LR (two, AJ towers up front)
BIC America F12
Pioneer SP-FS51LR (two, AJ towers, old model, rear/surround)
Old 'fatty' PS3 (BD player, I no longer game)
Primary uses are television and movies, minimal music. This is in a huge 5,500+ cubic foot room, not even counting what it opens into (12' ceilings and it's open concept) where we primarily sit 12-13 feet from the television. We have a 14 month old daughter, and her room is on the other side of the 'home theater' setup, so LOUD audio at night is basically never possible.
There are basically three things I really want to spend money on:

1. A new TV. That 46" TV is starting to look really small from 13 feet away. I have my eye on a Samsung PN60F5300, which is a 60" entry level plasma that seems to get great reviews as far as less expensive TVs go, currently priced at $900. I wasn't even considering a new TV, but with how far prices have fallen in the 6 years since we bought this TV, what can I say...a decent (it's not Panasonic I am sure) 60" plasma for $900 just seems, well, awesome. This would also have to be mounted to the wall, which we would pay Geek Squad to do. They mounted the one we have now, at my wife's insistence, so that there is no chance our daughter finds a way to have it fall on her. She insists they do it, and not me, and I'm not going to argue this one, so there is an added expense here in paying for them to do that.
2. A new AVR. Most likely a Denon X1000 which retails for $450, though I may be able to get it for a little less. Audyssey MultiEQ XT, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, audio decoding from HDMI (my sony only passes image through, it cannot accept audio via HDMI), all of the connectivity abilities, etc, would kick the crap out of my current AVR.
3. A truly sweet subwoofer. It seems as though ~$800 is where you start to get truly legitimate performers. I realize in my large room a single $800 sub is not going to be anything truly special, but compared to a single BIC F12...it's gotta be pretty badass of an upgrade, right? A couple front runners include a PSA SV15 or an SVS PB2000. Or maybe I could go balls out and get an SVS PC12-Plus.

Basically my dilemma is that I can't afford a new TV and a sweet sub. So do I do TV + AVR...or sub + AVR?
I'm thinking the TV makes most sense because, with minimal music listening, the TV is going to be a focal point pretty much all the time. The audio, however, and especially the bass, often will not be, because when our daughter is asleep (Nap or at night) I can't be shaking her walls and waking her up. But....bass!!
Any thoughts or personal preferences from anybody are welcome. Just brainstorming here.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Hi Farley - I can't really comment on the different stereo and speaker setups, but I can offer my two cents about whether it's worth upgrading your TV. I have a similar living situation in that while I don't have a baby in the house, at the moment I'm limited in the amount of volume I can get away with, particularly at night when I'm doing all of my viewing. So with that in mind, wanting more from my home entertainment but limited by space/money/being considerate to other people trying to sleep, I took the plunge and upgraded from a 40" TV to a 50" - still smaller than I'd like in a perfect world, actually quite nice especially for close viewing. Anyway, when I hit "buy" on Amazon, at first I had that feeling of "what have I done?" and then once it got here - I've never looked back. One day I will be able to have a nice spiffy surround system again, but the larger TV has been a great stopgap until then. Honestly, if I had the speaker setup I wanted… I'd never to get to truly take advantage of what it could do based on volume constraints. The larger TV, on the other hand, doesn't wake anyone else up… but it makes me very happy.

So I absolutely would agree with your thinking that going for the bigger TV makes the most sense at the moment. And the beauty of the thing is, you can still get a better sub later on when you'll have more opportunities to use it :)
 

Farley1324

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Thanks for joining in.

The more I think about it, even though a kickass sub sounds like such a fun thing to have, I see the practicality of the new TV since I could enjoy its benefits full time. I think I'm going to have to go with a TV. And then perhaps sell the current one so that the total upgrade cost is even more reasonable.

I'm going to start stretching every penny to see if I can find a way to swing all three, but I do have a feeling that when I get a 60" or so size TV in here the WOW factor of the size upgrade will hold me over.
 

schan1269

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I didn't know that was a pass-through AVR(didn't mention that it was).Even the Onkyo 313 will outperform that one. If you need a stop-gap AVR.
 

Farley1324

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AVR order placed. :)

Denon X1000

I kind of figured I'd be getting an AVR either way, it doesn't seem right to get all of those new Pioneer speakers + the F12...and possibly even upgrading the F12 right way...while sticking with that 6 year old bare bones Sony piece.

I think maybe I'll be hitting up Best Buy for the TV here pretty soon, and then scraping cash together to see how long it will be until I can get a sub. If all else fails I have a birthday in September lol
 

Farley1324

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schan1269 said:
Well, you're set for a coupe of years...
lol

The current plan, ideally, is get what I have set up and optimized (mounting the TV to the wall tomorrow, AVR comes on Thursday) and then work towards getting a new subwoofer. Then maybe works towards getting a friend for it (or identical twin if you will).

We'd like to move in "a couple or few years", depending on how things go, and ideally when we do that this new TV will go upstairs, the old 46" will stay in the bedroom, and we'll get a new and even better TV to put in the main HT area in the basement. This TV is not intended to be the go-to for 5-6 years like the last one was, although I do intend to keep using it for a long time, obviously, in one room or another.

I paid $425 shipped for the Denon X1000 and then when I went back to the Magnolia room of Best Buy this evening...they had a stack of brand new X1000's for $349.99. Ugh
 

schan1269

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True story:Part of my income is derived from buying/ selling used AV equipment and the occasional appliance and "souvenir" (live rural so John Deere/Formally related). I attend tons of auctions (prefer estate).Anyway, ran across some McIntosh amps once. They were dead, so I got them for a song. Fixed them, found a third in cosmetic distress. Fixed it with a new cabinet. Unbeknownst to my gf at the time, I slid them into the theatre. About 9 months later she decides to do "spring cleaning".She'd heard these amps, but of course...never paid attention. Went to move one. Realized that..."these aren't garden variety".Googled them. I get a phone call that raised the cobwebs from the phone lines.Needless to say, their sale paid for 10 days in the Bahamas...
 

Farley1324

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schan1269 said:
True story: Part of my income is derived from buying/ selling used AV equipment and the occasional appliance and "souvenir" (live rural so John Deere/Formally related). I attend tons of auctions (prefer estate). Anyway, ran across some McIntosh amps once. They were dead, so I got them for a song. Fixed them, found a third in cosmetic distress. Fixed it with a new cabinet. Unbeknownst to my gf at the time, I slid them into the theatre. About 9 months later she decides to do "spring cleaning". She'd heard these amps, but of course...never paid attention. Went to move one. Realized that..."these aren't garden variety". Googled them. I get a phone call that raised the cobwebs from the phone lines. Needless to say, their sale paid for 10 days in the Bahamas...
lol

I may not tell my wife what the PB2000 cost. I put it on my credit card, and when I break the news I will emphasize that I got money off due to the little dent. Though of course if she hits Google she will surely realize it's not like I got 60% off or anything.

I just hope its performance is clearly and unquestionably superior to my BIC F12.

Now...do I put the F12 in the garage for when I workout or do I cram it in the bedroom, between my side of the bed/the wall/my night stand, and hope I don't trip on it while I get out of bed (PSW10 would certainly fit in the bedroom better)

Decisions decisions.
 

Farley1324

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The Denon AVR-X1000 arrived today.

I am very happy to have made that upgrade. Going from the old crappy speakers I had to the Pioneer Andrew Jones setup was a big improvement and about what I expected...but going from the old Sony AVR to this Denon was more of an improvement than I hoped for, let alone what I expected.

I'm sure it's a combination of factors, most notably having calibration software (Audyssey) and being able to decode audio via HDMI. Everything just sounds so much more...I don't know...alive. It feels/sounds more like a well integrated system and less like a collection of individual speakers.

TV is so much more immersive and the quick movie scenes I tried (the new Star Trek) were, what do I call it....vibrant and deep...love it.



And FedEx says my SVS PB-2000 arrives Monday. :)

I'm hoping the SVS can pull off what the Denon just did and exceed my expectations. It's bar is a bit higher though.

2cymgp4.jpg
 

Farley1324

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Evolution of sub.

Polk PSW10...BIC F12...SVS PB-2000.

105 pound dog included in image for size reference.

10er22b.jpg


Even though I put the PB-2000 mid-wall in a huge room (5,400 cubic feet + it opens to other rooms) it's output is pretty damn impressive. I had high expectations and it delivers. I just watched some of the new Star Trek and then some Cloverfield. It sounds phenomenal. It is a few leagues above the BIC F12 in performance. Not only does it demolish the F12 in output but the sound quality is not even comparable, it's just that much better.

My wife was sure to point out that it rattles the wall behind the entertainment center, as that is our daughter's bedroom wall, if you stand in her room you can hear all of hte pictures and the mirror on the wall rattling, and see your image in the mirror distorting as it bounces around.

Now, I wonder how a PC12-Plus would sound...or maybe a pair of PB-2000's....hehehehe
 

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