Originally Posted by miatame
Right now my front end is a pair of Snell E.5 floor standers. I've had these since new (~1997) and I've heard them sound bad, and I've heard them sound amazing. Right now my setup has them in between, so I know there is improvement to be made. They are feed by a pair of bi-wire Monster 2.4 wires, connected to a Rotel 970BX amp (60x2), from an X10-D (tube thingy), from either a Lexicon DC-1 or a Rotel RSP-1068, and the source is a Denon 580 5-disc CD player.
High end and really nice stuff in the day, but dreadfully out of date.
I'm not happy with the overal tone of the sound. I like WARM, very warm. I feel like the upper octaves, while not bright are very pronounced.
The traditional audiophile knee-jerk response is to embark on an expensive equipment replacement project, but that is so 1990's.
There are several more productive ways to go of which these are the two extremes:
(1) Obtain a modern equalizer and audio measurement set up, learn how to use it, and diagnose both the system and the room and apply equalization and room treatments as required.
(2) Obtain a higher end AVR with Audyssey XT32, set aside all components but the speakers and the disc player, and take advantage of the automated system tuning features of the AVR.
I guess the real question is how much time you want to put into this project? if you've got the time then path(1) is the way to go. If you want something better next week, then (2) is the way to go.
While we are on the topic, the Snell E5s are nearly legendary as older school higher end floor-standers. However, they are sorely limited on the bottom end if true high end sound is your goal. Here are the results of running the 8 inch woofer through my optimistic model for bass response with low distortion:
Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB
I would say that these Snells and their 8 inch woofer are only capable of they high end performance down to 90 Hz. As mid fi they are good down to 50 Hz. Thing is no matter what kind of music you listen to, you really want response down to no higher than 30 Hz. Clean loud (110 dB SPL) 20 Hz is required for true high end performance.
If you get an AVR with good bass management, adding a higher end sub (something big from Hsu or SCS for example) could make a big difference.