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Should I upgrade speakers? (1 Viewer)

AnandS

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Hello All,

I have recently wired up my home theatre and this is what I have:

[*]The room is about 15' x13'
[*]Yamaha 673 receiver
[*]Vizio 60" TV ( I like the images I see on there)
[*]Ran 14 guage Monoprice speaker cable.
[*]Using older Onkyo skf200 speakers for fronts and center (they were part of my first htib Onkyo R510).
[*]For the rears, I bought in-wall Polk RC65i
[*]My subwoofer is from the same Onkyo HTIB.
[/list]

I have read online in multiple places that we should focus on getting a great center speaker and matching fronts. The question is...will getting new speakers really help over the Onkyos I am using right now?

I much rather not spend the money if the difference is going to be minimal. I have heard the B&W 600 series and really like it, but not sure if they are much better than Onkyos that I have now? (Noooob....I know)

We mainly watch HD TV and Blu-ray movies. Everything is connected via HDMI 1.4 cables.

2nd question..there used to be DVD we could buy to test our system for video and audio..forgot what it was called (Video Essentials?)....is there such a thing to test out 5.1?

Btw, this is a 5.1 system and I can make it 7.1 if needed to in future. Wiring is in ceiling already.

Thx for the help.
 

schan1269

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The greatest improvement another speaker will offer is greater efficiency. Pre-package speakers systems(like this was)...the speakers are the weak link. Only you will know if the expense is worth it.

I had a client recently set up a tube amp home theater with Zu Audio(16ohm speakers). With roughly 15 watts per channe(15 watt tube is a freak of nature).

His outlay? $95,000. 2/3 was the 7 tubes.
 

Type A

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What are you prepared to spend? Since youre looking at B&W I suspect you have a reasonable budget however I wouldnt be looking at B&W myself. No, realistically you need to upgrade everything but especially your sub. Since you already have inwall Polk for surrounds I would seek Polk for your front stage. Couldnt tell you what Polk offers that is considered timber-matched to those inwalls but I think Polk has a good online community that might help, in case you dont get any feedback here. At a minimum upgrade your sub; Hsu, Outlaw, SVS, all reasonably priced and great performers.
 

AnandS

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Subs make that much of a difference?

My budget (if I need to upgrade) would be $450 (for fronts + Center).
 

schan1269

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Where are you to see if you have a worthwhile used market.

Even Polk TSi run over that budget if you choose towers. Bookshelves fit.

This would be an improvement...
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Bookshelf-Speakers-Channel/dp/B00E0KUAXS/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1388710820&sr=8-6&keywords=polk+tsi

Even bigger improvement...(but over budget)
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Bookshelf-Speakers-Cherry/dp/B000V2UBSI/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1388710820&sr=8-9&keywords=polk+tsi (with the CSiA1...if I got the model number right)
 

AnandS

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I am in SoCal....

one of the things that I liked about the B&W is the feeling of this enveloping sound. I felt like I was right there at the recording of the music that I was listening to (tested at BestBuy).

I would like that feeling...is that why "timber" matching is important? I have to test my Onkyos to see if I get that.
 

schan1269

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AnandS said:
$95K? Yikes

Yep. Each amp "started out" as 65 watt amps. When they were optimized for 16ohm, it almost doubled the cost.

Starting out, $2795 per amp...times 7.
The 16 ohm tweak was $1400 per amp.

The pre-amp was this monstrosity. The entire system is analog. The pre-amp has 5 MCH inputs. There is a DAC that can take 5.1 off a satellite box and convert it to 7.1 analog.
 

Type A

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AnandS said:
I am in SoCal....one of the things that I liked about the B&W is the feeling of this enveloping sound. I felt like I was right there at the recording of the music that I was listening to (tested at BestBuy). I would like that feeling...is that why "timber" matching is important? I have to test my Onkyos to see if I get that.
Timber matching means all the speakers sound the same. A good surround sound system creates a sound field where if you close your eyes you cant identify where the speakers are or which ones are creating sound. Timber matching helps with the smooth transition from one speaker to the next and helps make all the speakers acoustically disappear and work more as a team rather than as individual speakers. Mismatched speakers, because they sound different, breaks down that sound field and makes each speaker easy to locate.
 

schan1269

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SoCal,,,,which part?

You could seach Craigslist for Polk RTi and LSi. LSi give the "found at Best Buy" B&W a run. Now if you went to a "mom and pop" and found B&W there, different story.
 

schan1269

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This guy might separate out the RTi8 and CS5.

He might even take $450.

http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/ele/4241673976.html (the more I look at this...if I had any reason to have any of it...if it were any closer than way too far away...I'd buy it. Tell you how good this is. He's asking less for the ENTIRE THING than just the AVR he has sold for new 5 years ago)

You might even get Gene to bite on the rest. LOL

Sorry Gene...hide this one from Gene...
 

AnandS

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So the consensus is that other speakers would sound better than the current Onkyo setup I have...right?

Well, in that case, I have to start searching...I like the floor standing ones, but my SO may not be so happy. She likes the in-wall thing, but I have convinced her that at least the bookshelf speakers are necessary for good audio. :P If I get floor standing, I think I would end up standing outside the home! :P

Question on the sub...how can a sub make that much difference? Its sub afterall...producing not so exciting sound. :P
 

AnandS

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schan1269 said:
SoCal,,,,which part?

You could seach Craigslist for Polk RTi and LSi. LSi give the "found at Best Buy" B&W a run. Now if you went to a "mom and pop" and found B&W there, different story.
What is the difference of B&W at BestBuy vs "mom and pop" store?
 

schan1269

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AnandS said:
Question on the sub...how can a sub make that much difference? Its sub afterall...producing not so exciting sound. :P
Want your can of whoopass now, or later?(kidding)

Until you have a real sub(starting with the BIC F12)...you have no idea what you've missed. Seriously though. You should consider those LSi15. At $850, you won't need a sub...unless you want to knock stuff off your walls.

Put it this way. I'd rather have the LSi15 for $850(wait on the center upgrade) than spend $850* "now" on the RTi8/CSi5 and "some sub".

*That is assuming the other guy would take $450 for the RTi8/CSi5.
 

schan1269

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AnandS said:
What is the difference of B&W at BestBuy vs "mom and pop" store?
If you bought 7(for kicks here) B&W floor standers(whatever it is BB has...as in exact model number), you'd spend about $7000.

B&W makes the Diamond that are $15,000 a pair. Those are not at Best Buy.

Edit:

Didn't realize BB sold the CM10. $2000/piece...or $14,000(I assume you can buy the CM10 in odd numbers)

And yes, there are those people out there that would buy 7 B&W CM10 for their theatre...
 

gene c

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$850 is a bit steep for LSi15's IMO. Polk was selling refurbed 15's for $850/pr shipped on their ebay store last year. $600-$650 is more like it. I got my LSi25's and an LSiC for $750. The LSi9's are going for $450-$500. I'm actually thinking about selling the LSi's and going with some older Paradigm Studio 20's or 40's. Maybe 60's,V1's or V2's.

I upgraded my Onkyo htib (HT-500) to RTi8's, 6's and a CSi5 several years ago (2003?) but thought the RTi series was just to bright, harsh even, for my liking when listenning to music. For movies/tv a brighter speaker is an advantage. Again, IMO. Swapped them out for Swan Diva's.

I also had an Elite 94-txh in the past. A pretty good receiver in it's day. The top-of-the-line before they went to digital amps.

Thanks for the thought Sam but I'm still trying to clear things out. I really, really don't need any more stuff :wacko: . I'll be listing two complete Marantz systems on CL later this month. A well travelled SR8002-BD8002-VC6001 combo and a nice SR7005-BD7006-CC4003. Maybe a new pair of Revel iW80 8" two-way in-walls?

For comparison, I sold some Infinity Beta 40's, 20's and a C250 on CL last year for $475. About what they were worth but a great buy to someone (very nice couple, actually). Used speakers can be a great value.

Want new? it's still tough to beat the Infinity Primus 363 floorstanders at Frys when on sale for $234/pr. With carefull shopping you can get a matching center and small bookshelfs for surrounds for around your $450 budget. And yes, a really good subwoofer can make a huge difference, especially with movies/games/tv. I should know 'cause I don't have a really good sub. Definently missing out.
 

AnandS

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Since I can't have floor standing, many of the options are out. Bookshelf or in-wall are what I have to focus on.

How are these Yamaha speakers? Would those be an upgrade from my current Onkyos?

The alternative is the Polk mentioned earlier.

And I am seriously considering the BIC sub..but the 10inch version - any good?
 

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