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post #1 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all, I have been surfing this forum for awhile now and have found tons of great information from you all. I have however not been able to find solid answers to a handful of questions. For the sake of it all i will try and separate my post questions instead of 1 long post.

Background, long time listener however I am new to the science behind my music. I finally got the wife on board to allow me a little free reign with the sound system that doubles as a HT and a music system so i am looking to take the next step.

Equipment, I have 2 polk r20 book shelf speakers and a polk cs300 for a center powered by a onkyo tx sr502

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/r20

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/cs300

http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?class=Receiver&m=TX-SR502

I am happy with them for what they are however i feel like they could be a little more. I have heard of people upgrading speakers, specifically the crossovers but some times the HF as well. The system sounds good but i feel like it is all kind of muddled. a lack of detail separation i guess. I know everything has a limit and buying new (higher end models) would be an answer but i have an attachment to my current system and would like to see it live to its full potential before i go replacing speakers (the AVR on the other hand is on thie list for an upgrade, another post on that later). I have found a couple options on parts express as for just simply buying a new crossover and wiring it in but is that right way to go? should i build crossovers, buy a crossover, change the HF, Foam the inside of the box, Add filling, etc..... so many options and no idea what would truley clean up my sound and give me results. I like to feel my music three rooms over and i like solid sound (lots of mids). I listen to all types of music from classical to techno, I just cant get a clear readying on which direction to go and love to hear what you more experienced DIYer's could offer.

Thx
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 02:19 PM
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DON'T waste your time and money change/upgrading/messing with the cross over. Perhaps it can be improved, but without lots of time, experience, knowledge, and a measurement system you stand a far greater chance of making it worse. Sorry.

Not sure what to even suggest. Improving a commercial speaker is a little akward.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 02:34 PM
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Your #1 best return on investment will come from messing with their position. Speaker stands are the #1 thing I'd suggest, which are quite easy to DIY. After that, I'd go looking for a decent subwoofer - something this forum could help you with. Nothing will allow your bookshelf speakers to shine quite like turning them into sub-satellites. Finally, stick to using your center channel for movies and use 2-channel audio for music.

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post #4 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecnik View Post

I am happy with them for what they are however i feel like they could be a little more. I have heard of people upgrading speakers, specifically the crossovers but some times the HF as well. The system sounds good but i feel like it is all kind of muddled. a lack of detail separation i guess. I know everything has a limit and buying new (higher end models) would be an answer but i have an attachment to my current system and would like to see it live to its full potential before i go replacing speakers (the AVR on the other hand is on thie list for an upgrade, another post on that later). I have found a couple options on parts express as for just simply buying a new crossover and wiring it in but is that right way to go? should i build crossovers, buy a crossover, change the HF, Foam the inside of the box, Add filling, etc..... so many options and no idea what would truley clean up my sound and give me results. I like to feel my music three rooms over and i like solid sound (lots of mids). I listen to all types of music from classical to techno, I just cant get a clear readying on which direction to go and love to hear what you more experienced DIYer's could offer.
Thx

You wouldn't want to just "upgrade" your crossovers with something store bought. They would have a very high likelihood of sounding worse than they do now. If you get a new receiver with Audyssey, or something similar, that would give you better results. I wouldn't really recommend changing anything with your current speakers. Polk spent a lot of time and money engineering those speakers to sound the way that they do and anything you change with the cabinets or drivers or crossovers would likely not be a good improvement.

Maybe you have just outgrown those speakers and you need something bigger and/or more capable. You say that you're happy with them but feel that they could be better. Beyond Auddyssey, room improvements, placement improvements you might end up right back in the same spot----needing more capable speakers and better processing capabilities.

I would personally start with a good receiver that includes Audyssey or some other form of room correction. If you already have an Audyssey equipped receiver then spend the money to upgrade your speakers. You can get a ton of speaker for your money if you DIY. Do you have any building skills whatsoever?
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses,

I believe i might have out grown my speakers as you suggest but i am unwilling (and unable at this time) to replace them. I have played with the placement quiet a bit and have found my best results thus far to flip the speakers over and put the HF on the bottom more in line with my listening position. I am still learning about the whole axis thing and i don't completely understand why that worked (maybe someone could help with that explanation) but it did help. I am also unable to add stands to the equation due to the shelving i have all across the entire wall.

question: what is it about speaker stands that make a difference? other than position of the speakers, maybe i can add some characteristics to the shelving.

I intend to upgrade the system from the weakest point up and i do believe that will be the AVR (which i will save another post) is the weakest link here. I will be adding the sub woofer prior to that as the next addition to the program. It will be my first full speaker build.

question: i understand the basics of timbre matching for surrounds but how importance is that when it comes to a single sub in this system? and if so, what would you recommend for a sealed enclosure front firing sub? I also could use some direction to understand how i "tune" a box. I am more interested in clean tight bass for quality rather than then boom boom.

The upgrade speakers for my L/R will be my second speaker builds. I am currently still trying to research this plan. I have been going around and around with the ideas of full range single driver vs 2 ways. either way i intend to have a sub (or 2) and i will have to experiment with the phantom center for a bit before i plan a center.

P.S. I do have all physical skills required for the tasks at hand and where i lack (mostly knowledge based) we will chalk up as experience smile.gif
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 05:30 PM
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If you want better sound then the speakers cannot be up against the wall on a shelf, that is especially true for spacial imaging. Stands would allow you to 'enjoy' your speakers, even if you put them back on the shelf after a listening session. Yes, better speakers will help,... but the shelf is getting in the way. I guess if you must find a way to make it work, see what happens if you put a pillow on each side of each speaker while it is on the shelf, to absorb early reflections. If that works, you might consider something more permanent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tecnik View Post

Thank you all for your responses,
I believe i might have out grown my speakers as you suggest but i am unwilling (and unable at this time) to replace them. I have played with the placement quiet a bit and have found my best results thus far to flip the speakers over and put the HF on the bottom more in line with my listening position. I am still learning about the whole axis thing and i don't completely understand why that worked (maybe someone could help with that explanation) but it did help. I am also unable to add stands to the equation due to the shelving i have all across the entire wall.
question: what is it about speaker stands that make a difference? other than position of the speakers, maybe i can add some characteristics to the shelving.
I intend to upgrade the system from the weakest point up and i do believe that will be the AVR (which i will save another post) is the weakest link here. I will be adding the sub woofer prior to that as the next addition to the program. It will be my first full speaker build.
question: i understand the basics of timbre matching for surrounds but how importance is that when it comes to a single sub in this system? and if so, what would you recommend for a sealed enclosure front firing sub? I also could use some direction to understand how i "tune" a box. I am more interested in clean tight bass for quality rather than then boom boom.
The upgrade speakers for my L/R will be my second speaker builds. I am currently still trying to research this plan. I have been going around and around with the ideas of full range single driver vs 2 ways. either way i intend to have a sub (or 2) and i will have to experiment with the phantom center for a bit before i plan a center.
P.S. I do have all physical skills required for the tasks at hand and where i lack (mostly knowledge based) we will chalk up as experience smile.gif

Find out more about Mark Henninger at www.imagicdigital.com
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-29-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting idea... I will experiment with the shelf they sit in and see what i come up with. Thanks so much.
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