Ok.. it's upgrade time.. what should I do first!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Carr, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys.... ok please don't laugh at my current system.. I'm just now getting into this HT and loving it! I used to be obsessed with car audio/video (about 10k in mods to my car) until I bought a house.. now I'm totally obsessed with HT.
    My current 'system' (I hesitate to call it that) is shoddy at best.. but it's a major improvement from the SONY box surround sound I started with.
    Anyway.. here is my system.. what should I do next? Biggest bang for my buck.. I'm in no way rich so please don't suggest 2500 speakers! [​IMG] I'm looking for great quality for a good price. Here goes
    Onkyo TX DS575x receiver
    Sony DVP-S360 CD/DVD player
    Polk Audio RM6600 surrond speakers (center, bookshelf, rear, and subs)
    Some crappy 36" Panasonic TV
    Some crappy Panasonic VCR (who watches tapes anyway [​IMG] )
    Better cables for all my audio/video cables
    Kimber Kable 4pr running all speakers (I know it's overkill for my system but I got a great price on it so I bought it)
    I also have Direct TV with a good digital output receiver.
    Ok... no with my bonus this year I'm going to get the Sony KV-40XBR700 40 HDTV-ready flat screen ( I did alot of research and I think it's the biggest HDTV I can fit in there... (45 x 37 is the room I have for the tV)
    My question is.. with this modest system... what can I do to make some drastic improvements? What should I do first? What order would you make improvements? Not that I'm unhappy with my system... I am happy.. but I know it could be so much better.
    Anyway.. thanks for all your help!
    Jim
     
  2. DavidMich

    DavidMich Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, Jim, I think a great subwoofer is paricularly important in a HT.

    Get that first.
     
  3. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    What is your spending limit?
     
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks David, any suggestions.. I see SVS all over the site?

    As for my spending limit... I don't have a limit set really.. and that is probably pretty dangerous! LOL

    If I could improve my HT drastically by spending under 750 I would be very happy. Just for arguments sakes, lets say 1000 I have to spend to make immidiate improvements, not including the TV and Progrssive DVD which I'm definetly getting. 1000 for receiver and / or speakers... what would you guys suggest to make good improvements?

    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone?

    thanks!
     
  6. DavidMich

    DavidMich Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, SVS is a great choice. However, with the budget you've outlined, it may prove to be difficult to do.

    As far as a budget sub, the Sony SA-WM40 is only $200 (or less) and performs as well as subs costing twice that amount. I am sure if you do a search, you can find may accolades as to it's performance.

    I agree with you in that a larger TV is needed. But bear in mind that for many people, the sound can be more "immersive" than the vision.
     
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    David, thanks again. I have a Polk Audio PW-250 that is relatively new. Is it worth my money to scrap that and get the other Sub? Will it make that much of a difference or is my money better spent on speakers?

    Any speaker suggestions.. what is the first I should get, center, or fronts?

    Sorry for all the questions.. thanks for all the help!

    Jim
     
  8. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    How in love are you with the Polk system?
    Consider that the weak link, unless your rec. is not the bestest newest. IMHO, as I don't get to listen to your system before I yap about it.
    My biggest upgrade has been the 20-39CS SVS. Then a move from Sony DE-series to an H/K. Then a move from Polk to NHT. All ups were noticeable, the sub the biggest/best/most obvious, then the mains. $2000 in 5 months. Woop-de-doo!![​IMG]
     
  9. DavidMich

    DavidMich Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not familiar with that sub, but if it is new and you are happy with it, than I would say keep it.
     
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not in LOVE with the Polks really. I think it's a great speaker for the price (i got them cheap) and they are bookshelf which is cool.. but obviously I made all my choices for the wrong reasons [​IMG]
    I'm going to look into the SVS subs and maybe I can dump my PW250 on ebay and cut my losses.. thanks to all for the advice!
     
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok I'm sold on the SVS, what should I replace first.. my center speaker or my bookshelfs (fronts) ? Any suggestions... do I need to be wary of 'mixing' speakers?

    thanks!

    Jim
     
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Anybody?

    Should I replace my center channel, mains, or surrounds first, I can't replace all becuase I just don't have the money right now to do all of them. Under 1000 bucks.. what should I change first?

    Or should I get the Onkyo 797 I've been eyeballing?

    thanks!

    Jim
     
  13. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I see the sub you have is an 8 incher, -3 db at 40Hz. Any SV sub would amaze you, and I'd suggest the 25-31 non-powered (based on budget), and find some amp / old rec. somewhere to juice it. I ran my 20-39 off of an old 40 or 50 wpc rec. and it was fine until I got into the 90 - 95 db range. Later I went out and found an NHT SA-2 dedicated sub amp and I'm good to go. If you can spend the cash, get the powered, but if you want to keep the one time spending down and do it over time, go the way I did.

    The only reason I don't suggest the other SV's is that below 25hz everything is nearly inaudible. It's just for fun at that point, and the 25'er will play louder with less power, yada yada yada....

    The Onk you have looks nice, I would be happy with it. If you like it, keep it, IMO.

    Mains are next. What are the Polk's like? 5.25 + 1"? Do you need something for the eyes or the ears?

    Go for it!!!
     
  14. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Jim,
    Assuming you go with the SVS (which is an excellent choice, BTW), then you will want to wait to upgrade your speakers. The SVS will run you close to $800 for the 20-39PC. If not:
    Adire Audio Rava - $400
    nOrh 4.0 package - $850
    That is a tremendous bang for the buck package. If you had been able to buy on the 26th, I would have recommend the wood nOrh 4.0 fronts (LCR - $475) with 3.0 surrounds ($150) and the Rava and that would have run you $1,025. Oh well. [​IMG]
    Good luck!
     
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the help Colin.. I definetly have my eyes set on a SVS sub for sure. As far as the Onk.. it's nice.. but it doesn't have Pro Logic II which I would really like.. I watch alot of 2/0 digital TV etc.

    the polks are small.. 5.25 I think.. yes. I'm not looking for 'looks' it's all about the sounds!! :0 I would like to stay with bookshelves if possible though.. space is limited in my entertainment center. Any good suggestions?

    Do I need to keep the brands the same of center, mains and surrounds?

    thanks!
     
  16. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    The Norh package is no longer available at that price? damn what rotten timing!

    thanks for the info though!

    Jim
     
  17. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    check out the Paradigm MiniMonitors and Paradigm Refernce 20's. Both Excellent bookshelf speakers. Also take a look at NHT and PSB speakers both good also(I prefer the Paradigm's). You will want to match your center to the front R/L speakers so keep that in mind. I have the MiniMonitors and matching CC370 and they are great!

    Nick L
     
  18. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I vote NHT.

    SuperOnes in front, Zeros out back.

    Ones go for $225 shipped on Ebay...

    Zero's for a bit less...

    Centers go for $235.

    All are sealed, and the Rava sub is sealed, so you could have that going for you...Tight baby!

    I wish I had more speaker experience, but Ive had Infinity and Polk before the NHT's, and I'm done swapping for a long time.

    How big is your room? Are the speakers on stands or on a shelf in the Ent Ctr?
     
  19. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I know it. But the regular price of the package (4.0s all around with a shielded center) is $850. Now you could get 4.0 mains (either wood or ceramic) and 3.0 center and surrounds and that would run you $625 or $650 now.
     
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Colin.. the room is about mid sized... I'd say 12x16 or so. I put the main bookshelves IN the entertainment center.. no stands and have my surrounds mounted on the wall beside the main couch and my lazy boy! [​IMG]
    Bryan.. thanks for all the advice. I'm going to goto the local high end audio/video shop down the street and try to hear all these speakers.. I have a print out of everything suggested [​IMG] My buddy owns a car audio/video store and gets dealer prices so I'll see what he can get me too.. that will also influence my decision. But thanks to everyone for all your help!
    When I move in 5 years or so and have my next home built.. I'll be back with a post similiar to this.. "Need HT suggestions, Money no object! "
    haha.. wouldn't that be great! [​IMG]
    thanks again,
    Jim
     

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