Upgrade Kenwood HTB-503

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Quinn, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    I have owned a Kenwood HTB-503 for a few years now and would like to upgrade slowly so I don not have to shell out my life savings immediately! Anyhow, what do you suggest to be the #1 thing to do while slowly upgrading? The receiver seems more than adequate at the moment, so do I begin by looking at subs? I would like much more power out of my sub but do not know a suitable replacement when paired with this receiver. Please keep in mind I would like to upgrade receivers in about a year.

    Any help and advice is appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Quinn
     
  2. Alex_P

    Alex_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Quinn,

    What is your budget? For music/movie? Room size? I would look for the 2 front speakers first. If the system is for movies, I would look for good center speaker. If it is me, I would look for 2 mains first, then receiver, then center, then sub. It's all up to you. Just make sure to do some search be4 you buy anything. Some speakers do match real well w/ certain receiver. Peace... happy hunting...

    Alex,
     
  3. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    The speakers would be the first thing to upgrade. My neighbor started with the 503 system, and the receiver and sub seemed to be the best part of the package. For the money, the 503 system was great.

    The speakers are really pretty poor- pretty much a single driver in a cheap box. Any PSB, Paradigm, etc., small speaker will easily blow away the stock Kenwood speakers in every way. My neighbor started by upgrading the fronts, the center, and finally the sub. The receiver is still going- maybe not the best sounding for music, but more than adequate for Home Theater.
     
  4. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    Parts express has the dayton sub 10" for 99 bucks. Grab one while you can. then get a set of fluance speakers, for 199 or 249 which includes 2 towers, 2 rears and a center channel....you will be happy you did. they are a great setup for not much money. and for the sub. do a search on these items you will see that for the price that this is a great buy. With your kenwood reciver you will have a pretty good setup for not alot of money...then later on, you can upgrade your reciver with a sherwood receiver for a totally kick ass budget system! great great sound, for not moucho denero!
     
  5. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks. I am using it for movies only. My room is approx 20 ft by 20 ft with 12ft (or so) vaulted ceiling. I have my 61 in Mitsu display diagnol in 1 corner with my bar (yeah!) diagnol in another. A third corner has lamp/table and there is no 4th corner as the entry is there. The two open walls are taken by sofa's. This has really hurt the subs impact from my old apartment since I cannot find a corner for it. Is it possible to put the sub behind the tv or will the sound be blocked?

    Anyone have any input on those recommended speakers?
     
  6. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I'd also agree with speakers first... then reciever, then the sub... as stated before, the sub for the kenwood is quite good already. The reciever is half decent (i actually have the reciever from the 503 i believe, or close to it.. the VR-407 in my HT)

    For very, very cheap, but good bang for the buck, the fluance seems to be the way to go. But thats only if you're really desperate for new speaker system but dont have much to spend. Otherwise, check out paradigm and others as suggested earlier.

    As for it being behind the TV... the TV wont block the sound due to the nature of low frequency waves, but there may be problems with magnetic interference with the TV.
     
  7. Alex_P

    Alex_P Stunt Coordinator

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    What is your budget? The room is quite large for dayton 10". Consider a sub w/ bigger driver and stronger amp.
     
  8. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    Budget depends. Eventually I would like a very nice setup, but for now I would be willing to drop $500 or so on speakers. Possibly a touch more if the product really warrants it.

    The main problem isn't so much my budget, it what my wife lets me get away with! Perhaps if I agree to hold off on the HD DirecTivo for a year...
     
  9. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    ha ha! I dont' have that problem fortunatly!

    the fluance sx system will suit your needs, they will be a big big improvemnt in sound quality over the kenwood speakers, paradigm here are way way pricy so Im not sure what they are like in your neck of the woods.

    I think the dayton may do it. I have an 8" psb alpha sub that rocks my 14 x 16 room....very good. and from what I hear the dayton will smoke that sub.

    If, in your position, I would go with fluance sx-HTB and dayton 10. that is the best bang for the buck by far!....the fluance speakers tend to be tight for the first little while then they loosen up and warm up to a very very nice sound.

    other than that....check, axiom, rocket, and swan speakers for awsome speakers that outperform many other way pricer speakers.
     
  10. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    Quinn my friend.. you sounded a whole lot like me last fall. I had a Kenwood HTB-504 which had the Kenwood VR-507 receiver. I'm assuming that your receiver is a similar model. If you're looking in the neighborhood of $500, might I suggest a look at Paradigm. Indeed you can get some great Paradigm speakers (as long as the dealer is willing to give you a 15% - 18% discount which he should) from their Performance series for what you're looking at spending. The Kenwood subs are actually of pretty high quality (IMO) for HTIB subs, though I'm thinking at replacing my soon. But certainly the weakest link in your HT are those Kenwood noisemakers they call speakers. [​IMG] This January I headed to my friendly neighborhood Paradigm dealer (fortunately within 10 minutes of my home) and walked out the door with two Paradigm Titan's for mains

    http://www.paradigm.ca/Website/SiteP...w/SR_Titan.pdf


    two Paradigm Atoms for surrounds.

    http://www.paradigm.ca/Website/SiteP...phile_Atom.pdf


    and a Paradigm CC-170 center

    http://www.paradigm.ca/Website/SiteP...CC170_PDR8.pdf


    all for just a smidgen under $550 including taxes. And I absolutely love 'em. After going and listening to lots of other bookshelf offerings (Polk, Infinity, Boston, Athena) they were certainly my favorites. I'm sure you can get some great speakers online as well for similar money, but I think there's something to certainly be said for having a person down the road you can go see if trouble develops, or if you have any additional questions. My VR-507 Kenwood AVR has absolutely no problem driving these speakers, thought I'm sure they'd open up some more with a better receiver. Go check 'em out.
     
  11. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    Does Fluance retail their product in stores? I would like to have a listen before making the jump.
     
  12. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    No, they don't sell online. For some people that's an advantage, and it certainly takes some of the overhead out of the cost. Unfortunately, that means you have to go to the hassle of ordering online, and risking not liking them and having to ship them back. I was incredibly curious about that Fluance setup before I bought my new Paradigms, and tried to no avail to find somebody, anybody, or any type of review comparing the Fluance to some of the more budget oriented offerings from companies like Paradigm, PSB, Boston, and the like. Unfortunately, it can't be found. My concern about Fluance, is that most people say they are great sounding speakers "for the money." I'm not exactly sure what that means, except that they seem to exceed the expected performance of speakers at that price. The paradigms I could hear for myself, and they did the same thing. Granted they cost more, but in some respects it was worth the peace of mind for me. And teh ability to have a dealer nearby if/when I decide to upgrade. There was also a nasty little rumor floating around (do a web search and you'll find it) and some discussions on boards such as this that Goldsky is the company that manufactures Fluance speakers. Goldsky is also the company that manufactures many of the "white van" speakers. That was the final straw for me. But again, most of the people who own these speakesr really do like them.
     
  13. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    no, they are not built by the same people that build white van speakers. I have talked to people that own fluance speakers....they all say the same thing. they are a little flat when new after a few hrs of useage they get very very warm sounding. The "for the money" statement is directed at the fact they sound as good as or better than alot of speakers costing more. I have talked to people with jbl's, and other that have purchased fluance for the "fun" of it. only to find out they sound better than the jbl's....and other brands as well....all hooked up to the same equipment.

    So, As far as Im concerned, the Fluance speaker set is a steal "for the money". they well smoke pretty well any speaker set in that price range, and many more above this price range.
     
  14. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Hi Quinn,

    I started out with the 504 and decided to go a different rout than what many are suggesting to you. There is no right or wrong answer here. It comes down to what is your first priority in transforming your 503 Kenwood over. I went on a sub quest first myself and finally landed on SVS after many other sub purchases which included Velodyne and a AV-15. I also swapped out my speakers a few times during this process.

    You will notice a big difference with each decision you make. My surrounds were last on my list. But I noticed just as much of a difference with that decision than what I noticed with swapping out the receiver, sub or mains and center. I was a little surprised in that.

    My suggestion would be to find what you like and have a plan in mind. Take your time and systematically do the best you can afford. It will save you $$ in the long run.

    Good luck and I hope you come up with just what your looking for..[​IMG]
     

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