Opinions on Conversation Held about HT

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ben_Caoile, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Ben_Caoile

    Ben_Caoile Agent

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    This is generally what I told the guy I had (in another forum). DVD player is a Sony DVP-NS300 connected to my Panasonic 32” TV via Monster Cable Components, and runs to my Sony STR-K502 (5x100w) amp via a Monster Toslink Optical Cable. As for my center channel I have a JBL S-Center II, my front stage is set by Polk RT25i’s and my rears are 4 Sony satellites that I wired in series for each channel. All speakers are connected using 12 gauge high performance OFC speaker cable. My sub is an ample 50w Sony unit. My system is tuned optimally, imaging is great, and it’s plenty loud, minus bass impact (sigh). In the future I want to get JBL S36 II's for my rear surrounds, JBL S412P II's for the front, and possibly a Yamaha, Onkyo, or Denon receiver. If bass is still lacking I want an SVS Sub. Visually I want to upgrade to a widescreen TV and a Pioneer Elite DVD player.

    This is how he responds.

    "No offense guy but there is no reason to spend money on speakers with that receiver. your not gunna hear any difference. i would save the money and upgrade the amp first. Something in the 6.1-7.1 range. 5.1 is good, and most of the movies are decoded in 5.1 but soon enought 6.1 and 7.1 coded movies will be out. I could write 15 pages on the "perfect theater" but your on the right track. I build home theaters for a living. Anywhere from $300 home-theater-in-a-box to $1.5 millon dollar full theater rooms."

    So being a little peeved I respond like this.

    I'm not gonna hear any difference? It was a substantial difference when I upgraded to the Polks. A negative experience when I gotta Bose VCS-10 and an extremely dynamic difference when I upgraded to my JBL Center. I love the way my amp performs currently and 6.1 and 7.1 gets downmixed for 5.1 amps anyway. Besides I don't have a room big enough to substantiate the cost for a 7.1 amp.

    He responds.

    "u think you hear a difference. you havent heard enought systems to understand what im saying. the amp, wire, speakers all play a role. I could spend 100 bucks on a amp but blow 1000 bucks on cable and speakers and it still gonna sound like shit. Placement and whats in the room play the biggest part. I could spend 32k on a set of RBH speakers and 4000 on a Elite amp and it could sound like garbage. Its not so much the equipment its your placement of the speakers and what in the room is the sound bouncing off."

    I respond like this.

    Your right!! About the part where I haven't heard enough systems, i have not even auditioned a reference quality system...but that's not to say my set up is not good, I know what my ears tell me. Sound quality is a very subjective issue. And I do appreciate you telling me I'm on the right track. To be honest, I have never auditioned a 6.1 or a 7.1 home theater system. I do not have a background either in in your occupation (if that is your career), but I know my system intimately enough to know that it rivals that of Guams 2 main movie theaters in terms of soundstage, imagiing, and sound quality. Where those commercial theaters excell in is, sheer volume (dB) and bass. (don't take this as hostility) But I do think your wrong telling me, "there is no reason to spend money on speakers with that receiver. your not gunna hear any difference." I have to disagree with you there as far as the equipment, and that's all I'm going to say about that. But I will agree about speaker placement as being an integral part of a HT system. As for this thread, it's going slightly off track. I don't want to turn it into a battle. Just wanted to see if people share my same passion and what equipment their using, and plans for future upgrades.

    Conversation has ended here and may resume again. Opinions???
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The guy is basically saying the receiver is the weak spot in your current system.

    He is also saying that the Polk->JBL change is a lateral move in sound quality.

    You have said that you heard a dramatic difference when you switched from some-un-named speaker to the Polks. Implied is that you expect a dramatic difference with the Polk->JBL change.

    So this is the crux of the disagreement:

    His opinion is that the receiver/amp upgrade will makes a bigger difference in your system than switching from Polk RT25's to JBL S412.

    He may be right.

    Look, the general opinion is that Speakers make a bigger difference than the amp.

    But it's a general rule, not absolute.

    Since he states that he installs HT systems for a living, you might want to listen to his experience. He's trying to get you the best upgrade for your dollars.
     
  3. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    I would have to agree w/ him on the receiver aspect. Those Sony NON-ES receivers are usually really pathetic in performance. It might state that it's 5x100W but in reality it might be more like 5x30W. And the wattage aspect is usually the most overrated part about receiver ratings. The processor also has a large impact on the sound quality in your system.

    Your RTis are definitely fine and I would agree that a move to JBLs in that same class category would be a lateral.

    You should probably upgrade the receiver first and then maybe the sub then a partial or full speaker swap.
     
  4. JasenJ

    JasenJ Agent

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    I'm not familiar with that particular receiver nor all the other components you mentioned, but I can offer a little general feedback.

    Sony is not noted for having very good receivers. H/K, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, NAD, etc. all make powerful clean receivers that are better performing than your Sony. But that's not surprising. Spend more $$$ for higher quality stuff and it will sound better. No, really?

    However, there is a point where some component of your system becomes the lowest quality piece and it is best to upgrade that component first before spending more money elsewhere in your system. Sounds like the person you had this conversation with thinks you should upgrade your receiver before upgrading anything else. Probably not a bad choice.

    As for 6.1 vs 7.1 vs 5.1. I don't agree at all. You can buy a very expensive, high quality, 5.1 receiver that will crush a cheap 7.1 receiver. The important part is quality of amps, not number of channels. Maybe his point was to compare a "good" 7.1 receiver to your current setup.

    Being in the business, this person probably does know what sounds better. But if you're happy with your system, and like the way it sounds, then good for you. You may be used to your receiver and find some "better" receiver to sound bad to your ears - or you may think, "OMG that sounds AWESOME!" Without the opportunity to listen to "good" systems, you're stuck using your own system as your reference.

    - Jasen.
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Its a circle where there will always be something that's holding back your system's potential. Surprisingly to most people its not the speakers or amps but the room. Unfortunalty fixing the room often isn't easy esp. without some sort of measurement tools (SPL meter at a min.) to find out what the problems are.

    As for your speakes vs receiver upgrading to all the same brand be it polk or JBL's will help improve the sound cohesiveness as would a more powerful amp. Personally though I'd rather listen to $1000 speakers on a $100 reciever then vise versa.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    From my other post:

     
  7. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    Hey - what are some good ways to treat walls cheaply? I mean, you always can put a floor carpet over hardwood floors but what would you guys do to walls to "fix" the room?
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I would have to say the other fellow sounds like an idiot.

    To me anyway. The speakers are the most important part of the system. Upgrading amp/receiver can help for sure, but clearly speakers always have a much more significant impact, unless you're doing something really ridiculous like powering 10K speakers off a clock radio or something.

    I don't know that I'd listen to his "look i know everything there is to know because I install all kinds of systems and you are just wrong" attitude. He either is full of crap and doesn't install such systems, or is REALLY bad at it.

    I do think it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade your receiver, and your sub, but his answers weren't very helpful at all.
     
  9. Ben_Caoile

    Ben_Caoile Agent

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    Sorry about multiple posts, I wasn't sure where it was relevant to post it. :b As for the receiver not being a true 100x5, I kinda figured that, being from a HTIB, Any recommedations for a good receiver for $300-400 that produces 100x5(or more)@8ohms. I know my speakers are far from being timbre matched, but if you 1st emerse yourself into the home theater world with just knowledge from a Crutchfield catalog you make some decisions that don't seem quite rational after gaining experience from a board such as HTF. I do plan on getting a new reciever, and of this time, I do not plan on getting one till I have reached my goal of getting my proposed full JBL speaker setup. How true is it about what was said on, "I could spend 32k on a set of RBH speakers and 4000 on a Elite amp and it could sound like garbage." in a room about 12'x26' listening area being 12'x18'?
     
  10. Jason_A

    Jason_A Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't understand that guys point and what an A$$. People should keep their opinions to themselves. Many are arrogant and egotistical.

    As for his arguments he is wrong Speakers make the system about as same as the Receiver. Get a Denon receiver then 20-watt radioshack speakers and tell me speakers don't matter.

    As for upgrading use your ears to find your way.

    Jason [​IMG]
     
  11. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Part of the fun of HT for me is enjoying the gear I've got, at whatever price/performance threshold it happens to occupy. Having some loudmouth, know it all jerk rag on me does not factor into that equation.

    Every system could probably be improved in probably several or more ways, and everyone's perception of what constitutes good performance at a fair price varies. That's why I don't understand why some "experts" feel the need to pontificate at length upon the "mistakes" others have made as though they have the answer to everything.

    Enjoy what you've got. If you see a chance to improve it and make your system better at a price you think is fair, go for it. Don't sweat what idiots who seek only to inflate their own egos at others' expense think of your choices.
     
  12. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Guess I'll chime in and be as polite as possible:

    For sure speakers and room are the biggest impact on sound. But if the weak link in the chain is your receiver then by all means it is the weakest link.

    I for one agree 100% with his comments (however rude they were). Let's put it this way...even even my humble denon 3802 doesn't have the goods when it comes to power/clarity when compared to my 2 channel system. there is something to be said about ample power/processing.
     
  13. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'll bet such a setup would sound absolutely stunning. Would it be a smart purchase? no. I would spend much more on the electronics to do the speakers justice, but I STRONGLY disagree with the "weakest link" bs in audio. Everything contributes to the sound. If you improve any one part, things will improve, and how important that part is (the room or speakers, for very big improvements e.g) will affect how much an improvement you will get. I'd say it's much more like a weighted average. Better speakers will sound better be they on a radio shack amp, or a mark levinson. If your receiver is EXTREMELY bad, and you have decent speakers, it is probably a better move to upgrade your receiver first, but your receiver seems marginally decent enough, IMO.

    The guy was a prick, and he's wrong. Perhaps his statements were out of context, but it's not like there is some brick wall "weakest link" going on. That's bs.

    IMO, the speakers are probably the much harder limit on performance, along with the room if it's really bad.

    Again, if this was some 10wpc jensen al-in-one boombox that you've attached speakers too, then perhaps his comments would be justified. But you have an entry-level, marginally decent receiver.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    There is always a weakest link in any system...[​IMG] At least, something can always be improved on with more money. The guy was not wrong, he just didn't know how to make use of constructive criticism. "If I were you, I might consider looking into a more powerful receiver first". The system did seem a bit unballanced, but by no means was there "no point" to a speaker upgrade. IMo, if speaker AND receiver were upgraded to a more comparable level, it would sound just that much better. [​IMG]
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, there's always a weakest component, but in terms of the "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link" metaphor, it is wrong in dealing with HT stuff. If you want a better stupid metaphor, it's more like a rope. Every extra strand helps, adding great thick big ropes helps even more. Or something like that.

    :b

    You can see what I'm gettin at.
     

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