Upgrading from Entry Level (Speakers)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RayHiga, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. RayHiga

    RayHiga Auditioning

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    Hello,
    I bought my very first home theater around this time last year, I bought the Kenwood HTB 503 and I have been very pleased.
    Since then, I first upgraded the subwoofer to a Sony WMSA40, which in my generally large room still overpowers the room with bass. I am happy with the sub.
    Now with one year passing from my first theater package, I am looking to upgrade the 5 speakers, receiver, DVD player etc....
    I have a modest budget right now, and it is very important that I stay within these price range.
    I am looking for a step up from the HTB 503 and not a speaker package (only if highly recommended), something where I could really tell the difference from the new set-up to my previous one, without digging too much into my wallet.
    Obviously the center and mains would have to match, so roughly I would give around
    - $ 500.00 - $ 700.00 for the mains and center.
    - $ 200.00 - Surrounds
    - $ 500.00 - 750.00 for the receiver.
    Any help, information or comments are greatly appreciated.
    The size of the room differs, as I will be moving frequently within the next few months. But most likely the room will be the size of the average apartment style living room.
    Thanks for your time,
    Ray
     
  2. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Here's my suggestion, take it or leave it as they say.
    [​IMG]
    Keep the receiver and speakers for a spell and wait (all the while saving up a little more in the budget) for the Outlaw Audio Model 950 pre-amp with DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 surround and Dolby Digital EX compatibility, and Dolby ProLogic II, plus flexible bass management, 24 bit/192 kHz DACs, and very possibly software upgradeability. $899
    Then get a capable 2 channel amplifier for the front left/right speakers. Parasound, Sherbourn, ATI, etc.
    Buy a pair of PSB, Paradigm, Tannoy, Acoustic Energy, Mission, Mirage, NHT, Definitive Tech., etc. full range, floor standing speakers as the front left/rights.
    Use the hold over speakers (for now) for the 2 pairs of surrounds and the center.
    Use the 5.1 channel analog bypass input for the Outlaw Audio Model 950 pre-amp so the receiver powers the center, left/right side, and left/right rear channel speakers. The 2 channel amp powers the front left/rights.
    Then later on you can move up to adding more matching amplification and matching speakers (to your front mains) for the rest of the outfit. Sell your receiver.
    Boom! At the end you've moved up to a 7.1 surround separates outfit without moving laterally into another receiver and fairly cheap speakers.
    Dan
     
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    You might get more replies if you post this in the Hardware section.
    Dan
     
  4. RayHiga

    RayHiga Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply Dan.
    Quote : "Keep the receiver and speakers for a spell and wait (all the while saving up a little more in the budget) for the Outlaw Audio Model 950 pre-amp with DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 surround and Dolby Digital EX compatibility, and Dolby ProLogic II, plus flexible bass management, 24 bit/192 kHz DACs, and very possibly software upgradeability. $899"
    I went to the outlaw audio web-site, and I found two models,
    The 750 Amplifier ( Which I believe is the one you referred) and the 1050 6.1 receiver.
    IF it is the 750 amplifier, it seems to be a great product.
    And others have told me to hold onto the kenwood receiver. Thanks for this information.
    "Then get a capable 2 channel amplifier for the front left/right speakers. Parasound, Sherbourn, ATI, etc. "
    Any specific suggestions that would fit a modest price range? Considering the speakers and receiver/amps I would be using.
    "Buy a pair of PSB, Paradigm, Tannoy, Acoustic Energy, Mission, Mirage, NHT, Definitive Tech., etc. full range, floor standing speakers as the front left/rights.
    Use the hold over speakers (for now) for the 2 pairs of surrounds and the center. "
    I will probaly buy a good pair of Paradigms.
    So I would move my current rear speakers to the sides, and my current front set-up to the rear and rear center?
    "Boom! At the end you've moved up to a 7.1 surround separates outfit without moving laterally into another receiver and fairly cheap speakers. "
    Thanks for the information and suggestions.
    " You might get more replies if you post this in the Hardware section."
    About to do it right now,
    Thanks again
    Ray
     
  5. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Actually Ray, the Outlaw component that I was refering to was their upcoming pre-amp, the Model 950. It would do all the processing and decoding of the surround sound from the DVD player (and have bypassing capabilities for DVD-Audio or multichannel SACD discs)-- even up to 7.1 surround!
    As for the 2 channel amp:
    The ATI AT1502 is $795 retail and is rated at 150 watts per channel (at 8 ohms). ATI makes some very solid amps for the money (I have the ATI 1505 and really love it). They lean a little towards the bright side if you use speakers that emphasize the high frequency range. With more neutral speakers ATI's have a very open and fairly spacious sound. www.ati-amp.com
    Parasound's HCA-1500A (a bit warmer sounding than the ATI with slightly rounded high frequencies and an emphasis towards the mid range). 205 watts per channel. $799 retail. Also a very good amp for the money. www.parasound.com
    The power range would work fine since this 2 channel amp would only be driving the new front left and right speakers. Once you move up to better, matching speakers for the rest of the surround channels (and center) you can match with perhaps a 5 channel model from the same manufacturer to get your full 7 channels of matching amplification.
    If you go for Paradigm floor standing speakers, try their Monitor 9's (great for the price range). The Parasound amp would work a lot better with these speakers than the ATI since Paradigm speakers tend to be a little more bright. The warmer sound of the Parasound matched to the slightly brigher Paradigms should make for a pleasing combination.
    You'd keep your center speaker where it is and move the front speakers to the side surround location and the current surround speakers to the center back surround locations. This would be, of course, a temporary setup.
    Your current receiver would only be used to power the center, side surrounds, and rear surround speakers until such time as you could match up another Parasound amp.
    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail.
    Dan
     

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