Upgrade - receiver vs speakers vs sub

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Shiu, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I am considering the following upgrades to my system:

    DA4ES to AVR3805 (The Adcom GFA555 will still power the front L/R channels)
    Polk Audio RTi38 to RTi10, or Energy C-9, or KEF Q7
    Polk Audio PSW404 to SVS 20-39 PCi

    I can only do it one at a time over a 12 to 18 months time frame. I think the speaker upgrade should give me the best improvement for the money. Any opinions?
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'd get the SVS first, then the other speakers, and the reciever upgrade last.

    The DA4ES is a very respectable reciever, especially with outboard amplification to lighten the load. The 3805 offers auto-calibration which is the only reason to even consider the swap imho. That being said I have a Pioneer 45tx with auto calibration and would not have another reciever without that feature, but the DA4ES has lots of adjustment parameters to play with.

    I recently upgraded from a Klipsch KSW-12 sub to a Hsu STF-2, mainly because it was about $300 cheaper than the SVS you're considering. It's not quite as good as the SVS but is definitely within shouting distance. The much tighter, more accurate, lower and quicker bass is really a revelation and you will get the same or more probably even better improvement with the SVS. I honestly think getting the SVS will make the most initial difference in the sound (and feel!) of your HT system.
     
  3. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Agreed,

    If the receiver is replaced and then the speakers at a later date, the 2005 receivers will be announced - with new features and then you'll feel bad for getting the Denon. Or, the Denon 3805 could drop in price by the time you're ready to buy ... but, along the way, you would have gotten a new sub and new speakers.

    Personally, I don't think I'd be so quick to remove your Sony 4ES. Like Steve indicated, it's a very capable receiver.
     
  4. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    I have yet to read a negative post on an SVS sub. And I have to admit that all the hype has me wanting to buy one even though I've never heard one.
    I was talking this over with my wife the other night and she said, "You already have enough bass to shake the walls and the neighbors walls for that matter."
    To which I replied, "But this is clear, undistorted bass that will shake the neighbors walls 3 houses down."

    As a bass lover, I would go with the SVS upgrade first.
     
  5. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I thought the Energy C9 or the Polk RTi10 would boost the sound quality a little more. I was in fact leaning towards getting the SVS first because it is a smaller investment, unless I go for the 20-39 PC plus. I am not sure if the tunable port feature and a more powerful amplifier warrant $226 more. I do like my 4ES/Adcom set up. I am just curious about the 3805's HDCD & PLIIx, more things to play with......... I will wait for its price to drop in a year or so. Thanks.
     
  6. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    After getting some good advice here, I went ahead with the sub upgrade. The SVS does not do much above 70 hz so I am now feeling the weakness of my tiny surround speakers. The quickiest solution is to replace the L/R surround speakers with the front RTi38 speakers and then I only have to buy a pair of new front speakers, may be the centre one as well. In addition to the Energy C9, Polk LSi15 (I don't think the RTi8 or 10 will sound much better than the 38), and the KEFQ7, I also like the look and sound of the Paradign studio 60. (I still like its sound but not its look any more) There is no way I can do A/B comparisons of these speakers, so once again I am going to rely to certain extent to other's experience. Please help!
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Shiu,

    The Polk RTi10 speakers will be more than capable - when compared to your older RTi38 speakers. I'm quite sure of that. The RTi10s should get you at least down to 40Hz on the bass end. Plus, if you have the crossover set to 80Hz, you won't need a speaker to go much below 80Hz anyway.

    Polk also has a newer (and less expensive line) coming out in July - referred to as the "monitor" series.

    However, since you live in Canada, you should be looking seriously at those Studio 60s that you mentioned.



    [Edit]: Just checked the Polk web site on the RTi38 speakers. Specs are as follows:

    Lower -3dB Limit 49Hz

    I wouldn't be too quick to toss 'em out yet. You'll have plenty of bass coverage between these speakers and the SVS sub.
     
  8. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I remember when I finally got around to up-grading my surrounds. What a difference it truly made. I think you did right by up-grading your sub first though, for what it's worth.

    When I demode Polk I thought they did very well for the $$. If I hadn't tried out the Reference Klipsch line. I would be running the RTi 8s along with the 5 center.
     
  9. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Wayne, I started a 5.1 system with the tiny RM6700 satellites and a PSW404. Then I upgraded the front to RTi38 and the extra satellites became the back L/R surrounds to form a 7.1 system. I don't have problem with the RTi38's bass capability, but with the sub upgrade, I need the RTi38 to replace the L/R surrounds in order to fill the hole (between 75 Hz to 160 Hz because the satellites are rated -3 dB at 130 Hz) left by the SVS. That's why I need a new pair of front speakers. Actually the price of the RTi8 or 10 are quite reasonable at the Future Shop and I am not sure if we get a break in price of the Studio 60 just because they are made in Canada. They are listed at CAN $1700 per pair at a local dealer. With a pair of floor standing front speakers and the RTi38 L/R surround, I should be able to XO at 70 Hz. The SVS PC Ultra does well between 20 to 70 but above 70 Hz it really taper off. I am hoping to hear from some Studio 60, or 40 owners.
     
  10. Dwayne-S

    Dwayne-S Agent

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    Buy Athena AS-F2's first.
    Then the SVS sub,
    Then the receiver.
     
  11. Dwayne-S

    Dwayne-S Agent

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    Here is what one Athena owner says from AudioReview.com about Energy C-9's:

    I was lucky enough to have the following speakers in my home for a side by side comparison. I am using a basic Sony CD player with an Adcom GFA-555 power amp and Kenwood C2 pre-amp.

    Athena Technologies AS-F2 ($400/pr)
    Klipsch Synergy SF-3 ($850/pr)
    Energy C-9 ($1300/pr)

    After 1 month of listening, the Athena was the obvious choice.

    The Klipsch SF-3's seemed to be shouting at you at louder volumes, way too bright. Highs were not detailed and clear. However, very nice punchy bass.

    The Energy's were a nice sounding speaker, however, they were lacking clarity in the high's and upper mid-range. I seemed to always be tweaking up the treble control.

    The Athena's did everything very nice. In my opinion it would be tough to beat the Athena's at any price below $1500, let alone for $400/pr. (Best Buy just reduced the price to $199/each.) The highs very very clear and detailed not exaggerated as on the Klipsch.

    At $400/pr, this is the best speaker choice out there, bar none!
     
  12. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    You might want to look at the refurbished LSi7's that sell for $200-250 a pair on Ebay.
     
  13. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Supporting Actor

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    So, how many death threats did you receive for this
    comment, lol?
     

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