Upgrade Path - Replace JBL's w/Paradigm or Receiver(Pre/Pro) with RX-V1400???

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Nick.Y, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Nick.Y

    Nick.Y Auditioning

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    I want to get your opinions on the best upgrade path for my current system which consists of:

    Pioneer VSX-811s (Acting as Pre/Pro)
    Parasound HCA-855a (External Amp)
    JBL N26II (Fronts)
    JBL N24II (Surrounds)
    JBL NCenterII
    Sony WM40 Modified
    AudioQuest Sidewinders for Interconnects

    I added the Parasound about 5 months ago and it definitely enhanced the original set-up. Recently added the AudioQuest Interconnects and I notice a slight enhancement. I'm at a point now were I want to add additional depth and clarity to the system and perhaps open it up more, particularly for Home Theater.

    My thoughts are to replace the 811s with something like the new Yamaha RX-V1400. I no this is not a dedicated Pre/Pro but my budget is limited and with the YPAO feature I think it would be a definite enhancement over the Pioneer. I would even consider a dedicated Pre/Pro from Outlaw, but would the Outlaw be that much better than the Yamaha?

    or

    Replace the JBL's with another manufacturer. Paradigm's? I've been looking at the Moniter series. Will the Paradigm's be a vast improvement over the JBL's? Without updating the Pre/Pro.

    Right now, I'm leaning toward trying out the new Yamaha? My gut tells me this is where I will notice the most improvement. Right now, I'm around 70/30 HT/Music.

    I want to keep the upgrade to under $1000.00 if possible.

    Any insight/opinions from others will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.

    Nick
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Your speakers will influence the sound much more than the processor, though both should be of relatively balanced quality. Since you already have adequate amplification, I would say you will benefit much more from upgrading your speakers. I would recommend upgrading the 811 eventually as well though.

    With Audioquest, I did not really hear a big difference until I moved into the solid/balanced/welded ICs, which are the Diamondback and above. The Diamondback (which I use) is good, but I think the Coral is the best value (also used to own), though the Viper and up are better (a bit pricey). I picked up a Viper new at a huge discount now that they have been discontinued. Their coaxial digital cables are excellent as well.

    I have some Monitors in the for sale area. However, if you are looking in that price range new, I would suggest you take a look at Axiom
     
  3. Nick.Y

    Nick.Y Auditioning

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    So, updgrading the JBL's to Paradigm will be a noticeable improvement?

    Even considering that I have a Parasound Amp driving the JBL's? My thought was that the high subwoofer crossover, (100) on the 811 was limiting the JBL's a bit.

    I believe the Yamaha RX-V1400 can go as low as 40 if I'm not mistaken.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. John-Tompkins

    John-Tompkins Second Unit

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    Im not familar with your jbls's so I cant comment if the paradigms would be a big upgrade. But I agree with John Garcia, that speakers are the most important and effect the sound more then anything..

    I will go a step further and say that the front three speakers will effect sound the most. So if it were me I would take the bulk of the money and get the best three front speakers that I could buy...You could continue to use your jbls for the rear speakers and also your Pioneer reciever for now. Then down the road upgrade them as money becomes available.

    Recievers/pre-pro's come and go, but good speakers and amplification have great staying power.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Monitors would be a step up from the N-series, but Axioms would be a bigger step up in clarity, IMO.

    A 100Hz x-over should not limit the 26s very much, though they might be a bit happier with 80hz. I would not upgrade your receiver with this as a significant factor.
     
  6. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Nick, if your close to the Canadian border I would make a trip across and pickup some Paradigms. Of all the parts of my HT that I've upgraded lately, they made the most difference. Paradigms offer and excellent sound at a reasonable price. If you can put yourself into the Studio line, you should. Vast, Vast improvement over the Monitor series.

    Kevin
     
  7. Nick.Y

    Nick.Y Auditioning

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    Your responses have been great thus far. It looks like speakers should be first in the upgrade path.

    I would have never thought that speakers could provide such an improvement.

    I did some research over at AudioAsylum last night in some guys there really support Speaker Kits. They say for the price, you get some pretty good bang for your buck.

    A couple of sites I've heard of are:

    Madisound
    North Creek
    GR Research
    E-Speakers

    Anyone have experience with DIY Speaker Kits? How does that sound stand up to the Paradigms or Axioms? Just looking for the most bang for the buck.
     

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