When upgrading, what made the biggest difference in sound amp, speakers or processor?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keir H, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    Looking for opinions here to see where I should start first. I often hear that only speaker upgrades really make the most improvements but I also hear that outboard DAC's is all you need to get better sound. What change made the biggest improvement for you guys?? Do you always have to double the amps power (or more) rating to get higher quality sound from you speakers?
     
  2. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

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    Keir, it is not even close, speakers account for most of the sound quality that you hear. After speakers is room acoustics. Everything else is small potatoes compared to the two I just mentioned. Enjoy the music.
    Regards, Nick
     
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Speakers.
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    merc
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    God Bless America!!!
     
  4. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    For the HT setup,
    I would say it's the processor.Or both speakers and processors.
    When the surround sound format developes into another stage,maybe from the present HEXA-surround to...maybe OCTO-surround is possible in the future...
    When there are more channels needed,you will definately need more speakers.The current setup you may have will sound differently in the future,as you will not able to find the compatible speakers that match the tonal quality of the speakers that you have now.Probably the next generation of the speakers from the same manufacturer will not give the same performance as what you have now in your hometheater setup...the future speakers may sound too light...for music only...perhaps...
    The amplifying stage,can remain as stable,if you are still using the same multichannel power amplifier in your future setup.
    For stereo setup,
    The biggest difference in sound quality will depend highly on the DAC in your CD player or integrated amplifier.
    If you change to a new amplifier it affects the sound quality too,from either "rocky" to "orchestral",or "light" to "heavy".
     
  5. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    I think you just want to find a combination which works for you. In other words, try to find amplification which MATCHES well with the speakers, or vice versa.
    For instance, with my speakers (DT) I found a Yamaha DSP-A1 to be much much nicer than a Denon 5600...even though the denon was more expensive.
     
  6. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Speakers, without a doubt. A *FAR* distant 2nd and 3rd is the processor and amp (in that order).
    Sure, you can get some speakers that a 70wpc receiver won't push very well (most flat-panels), but for the most part a great set of speakers will sound very good with just about any kind of consumer receiver/amp pushing them. In contrast, a crappy or mediocre set of speakers are still going to suck no matter what kind of gear you've got behind `em. That's just a fact.
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    September 11, 2001
    "Those who died will always be remembered.
    Those who killed will never be forgotten.
    We who remain will not let it happen again."
    [Edited last by JerryW on November 16, 2001 at 12:53 PM]
     
  7. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    What do you currently have? If you have a Technics receiver with B&W speakers and a Paradigm PW-2200 sub, the biggest difference would come in upgrading the receiver. If you've got a Denon AVR-3801 receiver, Paradigm speakers, and a Klipsch KSW-12 sub, upgrade the sub. If you have an Outlaw receiver, SVS sub, and KLH speakers, upgrade the speakers. The real question for you is what do you currently own? Calibration of your equipment and adjusting the placement of the speakers may make a tremendous difference in your system.
     
  8. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well said Nick, Jerry and others.
    Speakers, room acoustics, then down the hill, electronics and finally down the hill, into the valley and start digging are cables and wires. At least that is what my very limited experience has been.
    Bob
     
  9. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  10. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    To give you guys an idea, I have HK AVP1 (Fosgate 3a) THX prepro (analog only) no upgrade path..HK PA5800 (only 80 watts), Tech AC500D (is this lo-low fi?) and Def Tech BP30's CLR 2000 and BP6b...hmmm my weakest link is????
     
  11. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    I'll let the real experts answer that [​IMG] Honestly, I have no experience with any of your equipment, so I cannot comment.
     
  12. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Speakers. Its all relative though. If your equipment is very poor, then change can make a difference. If its already good, then changing to a bit better might not really be something you hear. Speakers are important, very very important. Remember, once you get good speakers, even lesser receivers and amps sound ok (within reason), but more often, a good receiver or amp will sound like garbage with bad speakers.
    [Edited last by Chris PC on November 16, 2001 at 05:33 PM]
     
  13. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Keir you might want to try some different amp/preamp combos. DT's have impedance curves which can dip low, so they can really use the juice.
    What are you room dimensions? Is there any major placement restrictions for the speakers? What is % HT/music?
    [Edited last by Bob_A on November 16, 2001 at 05:53 PM]
     
  14. Norm Strong

    Norm Strong Stunt Coordinator

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    The position of the speakers and the furnishings in the room usually make the biggest difference.
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    Norm Strong ([email protected])
     
  15. Curt Jett

    Curt Jett Agent

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    Out of all the various tweaks I've tried over the years, nothing ever equaled the two SVS 20-39cs sub-woofers for a constant smile on my face. [​IMG]
     
  16. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Keir - depends what you have already, but in general, speakers are going to make the biggest difference. Great speakers with even a cheap receiver can sound ok, but lame speakers with an awesome receiver or separates is going to sound lame.
    Great speakers are in general a great investment if you like good sound.
     
  17. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    In my situation it was speaker placement, sub placement, sub crossover, and elimination of bass peaks with a Parametric EQ.
    This was all measured and graphed on my notebook PC. I could watch the frequency graphs change as I moved the speakers, adjusted the xover, and adjusted the parametric EQ.
    IMO, optimizing the room/speaker environment is much more dramatic than simply trying to buy an upgrade (except for speakers).
    I have only listened to DT speakers in the showroom, not in my home, so I can't really comment there, except I'm not a real fan of bipolar ambience.
    I have the Technics SH500 and think it does a good job on DD and DTS HT. All 2-channel music is from my stereo preamp.
    BruceD
    [Edited last by BruceD on November 18, 2001 at 02:02 AM]
     
  18. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    For me, speakers made the biggest difference. My theory is that you can find speakers that you like and then work around them
    or buy tons of equipment to make your speakers sound the way you think they should sound.
    Hope that made sense.
    Jon
    [Edited last by Jon_B on November 18, 2001 at 02:35 AM]
     
  19. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    What if you have good speakers. How much of a difference would a better receiver make?
     
  20. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Howard, if you're coming from a pretty cheap receiver (say $500 or less) to a good one (say $1000 or more) you're going to notice the improvement on material you play at more than a very quiet volume. More constant power, less 'muddy', better DACs, it will make a difference. How much? Only your ears can decide.
    For example, I can hear the difference between a cheap Sony receiver and one from their ES line.
     

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