I'm about 30-45 days from upgrading my Home Entertainment setup. some of this stuff is 20+ years old now... some of its in bad shape, and some was never great to begin with (lol)
Problem is, I have very little 'inside' info on whats actually going to serve my needs, and I think the entire industry seems to pray on the fact that very VERY few people actually know the difference between significant quality and overwhelming hype.
My CURRENT setup is:
Sony STR-DE998 - Receiver
Pioneer CLD-D604 - Laser Disc (w/ Pioneer RFD-1 Demodulator)
Magnavox NB500MGX - Blu-Ray
Toshiba HD-A3 - HD-DVD
Panasonic Omnivision 4 Head Hi-Fi - VHS
Akai X-200D - Reel to Reel Deck
Thorens TD 126 MK III - Turntable
JVC TD-W103 - Double Cassette Deck
Sanyo Vizon DP37649 - LCD HD-TV (recently upgraded from a 20 y/o Sony 27" SD flat Trinitron CRT)
2x JBL Model L 150 Floor Standing Studio Monitors - 3 way Front Drivers (WELL over 100lbs each)
1x Dynamics Eclips ECC-442 - 2 way Center Speaker
1x NHT SW-2P - Sub w/ separate amp
2x Pioneer CS-VX110 - 2 way Side Surrounds
2x Realistic Minimus 7 - 2 way Rear Surrounds
Obviously, my Surrounds are terribly weak in both clarity AND bass, having very little power capacity. My Front Drivers are actually still very nice.. I inherited them from my Grandfather. unfortunately the Crossovers in each speaker occasionally need to be fiddled with and might be failing, and the foam surrounds on the woofers themselves are starting to disintegrate. The weight alone makes shipping them in to the factory for repair/refurbish insanely unrealistic. Also, the grills have been broken and repaired so many times they look more like victims then survivors. My Sub works great, and only crackles & pops if I turn it ridiculously loud.
What I'm thinking about for upgrades:
Onkyo TX-NR1007 - This looks fantastic... and since Sony pissed me off by removing S-Video inputs and not implementing THX, I've decided against the STR-DA6400ES
Sony SS-F7000 - to replace my front speakers.. any ideas for alternatives? My current Fronts are still amazing, and better then probably anything on the market that's reasonably priced. I might just look for new foam surrounds and replace the crossovers, but I'm not having much luck finding all the parts I need, and nobody has the grills
Additionally, I need new Surrounds. The Onkyo has outputs for 3 sets, so not only am I replacing both my currents, I need to add a set. Unfortunately, I am no where near anyplace that has units out for display and testing/comparisons. I was considering simply going with 3 sets of BOSE 201 or even 161... but I can't seem to find any kind of spec listing for the speakers abilities. All I found was lots of craptastic hype about how they diffuse sound so you hear everything from any point in the room. Problem is, I WANT directional sound.. what's the point in having specific surround speakers if they bleed that sound across the entire room? I also read about how their speakers are made in Mexico with a per unit cost of something like $3. I'm worried that they simply wouldn't sound good when compared to something with genuine capacity to reproduce what's asked of them. Might try to E-Pray some Klipsch S-2's... Need help with these PLEASE..
Need an additional sub, since the Onkyo supports 2. I'm not terribly sure what's good or not though, as I haven't been into a showroom in close to 20 years. Suggestions?
In any case, I look forward to hearing from you folks.. thanks in advance!