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Which part of my system would you upgrade first? (long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean_B, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. Sean_B

    Sean_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm really wanting to upgrade my components. I just upgraded my mains and surrounds but something is still lacking. I really want a widescreen television but the only RPTV that looks that good to me is the Pioneer Elite's which I don't know If I want to spend over $5000 on a television when their are still controversies in HDTV land. I liked the elite series because they look better for NTSC signal.
    So, I am wondering where I would benefit most in the chain. Please make recommendations on what you would change first.
    Speakers:
    Paradigm Studio 40's are my mains. I have Studio 20's for the rears. My center channel is the LCR-450 which has the same drivers as the Studio CC-450.
    I'm happy with the speakers besides I don't have the room environment for floorstanding studio 100's or the amp to drive them.
    Amp:
    I have a Yamaha rxv-995. Retailed for $1000 a couple years ago. It was one of the best receivers out at the time, well for the Yamaha/Denon/Onkyo/Pioneer type. When I first got it the amp and paradigm combo seemed bright. But now after a couple of years I've either gotten accustomed to the sound or like it. I don't know which. Probably a little bit of both. I would like to have Pro-Logic II. I think it would help out regular tv broadcasts and video games. Overall however I'm pretty satisfied with the DTS/DD 5.1 sound I am receiving from movies.
    I have been doing some critical 2 ch. music listening over the past couple days. Definitely has improved since I got it but I think my speakers would sound even better with a better amp. The overall sound is kind of just boring so to speak. I'm no audiophile but consider myself an enthusiast. Sometimes it almost seems like there is a blanket over the speakers. I don't know if this is the amp or if it is a poor recording on the compact disc. Some CD's do sound better than others.
    Was considering adding an external 5 ch. amp to yamaha or upgrading the receiver to a Denon 4802. I'm hearing the 4802 isn't quite up to par with the 5800 in terms of sound quality. But with the 5800 their is no pro-logic II and their promised upgrade doesn't seems like a falsity.
    DVD/CD player:
    I am using a Pioneer DV-333 as my DVD player and CD player. DVD quality is excellent. Not wanting to upgrade here. But I'm beginning to realize that a DVD player isn't serving as a CD player very well. I am looking at upgrading to one of the new SACD's such as the 222/333/555 ES's from SONY. Would be a better CD player than what I have?
    Speaker Wire:
    Using Monster cable. Was considering Audioquest Type 4. Is this even worth my time and money?
    Thanks for any input on this. Would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    As long as your speaker wire is a heavy gauge(like 12 gauge) that wouldn't be my first choice.
    It sounds like you have a nice setup, so I'm going to recommend a widescreen TV.
    Check out the Philips(or it might be Panasonic) High Definition directview widescreen at Best Buy(you don't have to buy it there but you can get a feel for it there) I'm sorry I don't know the model number but it's the only one of it's kind(last time I was at Best Buy anyway).
    It's like maybe 42" wide with glass screen. Worth a look.
    I think it has an awesome picture, in my situation(size of HT room,etc.) I would go with this one. And I believe it was around $2500.
    This is my favorite by far out of all the TV's because of the great picture quality, I just didn't bother to get a model number because right now it's out of my league.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
     
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    People could just recommend upgrades for your equipment, that is certainly possible - there is always something better out there. However, for any meaningful advice, you need to specify a few more things:
    * What is it that you don't like about your current sound? What is it that you do like? When you upgrade, you should be sure that you're addressing the weaknesses, and also, not losing the strengths in the process. It's possible that you won't really be able to describe this until you go out and listen to a few more systems. Basically, you need a frame of reference to be able to describe things, and if all you've really listened to is your current system, then you don't have much of a frame of reference. Listening to other systems will give you a much better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your system.
    * What's your budget? The best use for $500 would be different from the best use for $5000.
    Edit: Oops, I was typing that out at the same time as you, Sean. No offense intended.
    [Edited last by Saurav on October 21, 2001 at 11:54 PM]
     
  4. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    No offense taken Saurav, I was just basically telling him I would go for the TV(because I would love it).
    But you are the MAN when it comes to technical analysis and breakdown! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
     
  5. Sean_B

    Sean_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean: New television HAS to be a pioneer elite which I don't have the money for it. If I buy a 42" widescreen I'll want a bigger one later and I'll end up spending more in the process. A new television would be THE GREATEST and MOST SATISFYING edition to my setup but if I buy one I want it to be at least a 57" or better. Toshiba makes a nice one but I don't think it does NTSC well.
    Saurav: I thought I pretty much stated in my post what I didn't like. I stated that, "2 ch. music listening was boring and sounded like there was a blanket over it". I have a feeling this is the amp's fault but the cd player and the quality of the compact disc are probably at fault as well. My question is which component would give me greater satisfaction? The amp or the transport?
    I also mentioned what I did like about my system. I felt it does DD/DTS for movies quite well so I'm happy there. I'm in no need of 6.1 or 7.1 as I don't have the room for it. So it basically comes down to 2ch. music is not satisfying enough for me. I don't want another room dedicated to it either.
    Money is an object. I would not be willing to spend more than $1800 on an amp/receiver. And I wouldn't be willing to spend more than $500 on an SACD/CD player.
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Sean Conklin: Thanks.
    Sean_B: Some more questions...
    * Are you sure your speakers are optimally placed to work with your room's acoustics?
    * How low do your speakers go? Do you have your subwoofer playing when listening to 2-channel sources? I didn't notice you mentioning what sub you have, maybe I missed that.
    * What do you mean when you say "sounded like there was a blanket over it"? Does it sound rolled-off in the higher frequencies which makes it sound muffled, or do you mean that it sounds congested and confused? Also, can you tell us of a system you've heard that does not sound like it has a blanket over it? The thing is, what may be muffled to you may be pleasant to someone else, so it's important to get some idea of where you're coming from.
    * When I asked you what you liked about your system, I meant in reference to 2-channel sources. Are there any aspects of 2-channel playback that you are satisfied with? Soundstage and imaging? Dynamics? Frequency response?
    Edit: If you find your music boring, I would seriously recommend buying a good turntable and getting into vinyl. That has made the biggest difference to the amount of time I spend in front of my system. I don't think I've turned on my CD player in several months.
    [Edited last by Saurav on October 22, 2001 at 01:21 PM]
     

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