cream puffs quest for the cure for upgradeitis. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-22-2012, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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started off with a modest polk audio setup (monitor), harmon/kardon entry level receiver and some old old soundstage towers for surrounds.

some of you may remember the old setup (who can forget the casino carpet)

on boxing day (canadian black friday), i decided to upgrade my speakers, finally add some room treatments(paintings stuffed with insulation), new carpets and a few other things.

there is only 1 more thing on my 'want' list and that would be a new power amp as my old carver is starting to show some signs of age, ill either get it re-fit with new caps, or pick up something like an emotiva xpa 3 or something along those lines.

anyways ended up with a full set of KEF Q series speakers, which brings my av setup to the following.

Marantz sr5005
Carver M500t
Sharp Aquos LED TV
Optoma HD 20 projector
120 inch drop down screen
WD TV Live hub
WD 3 TB external HD
Samsung Bluray player
Motorola HD PVR
Xbox 360
MonoPrice HDMI Matrix (marantz only has 1 HDMI out)
Dlink ethernet HUB.
Monster HTS-2600 series II
Polk Audio PSW505
Harmony1100
Kef Q900 (2)
Kef Q600c
Kef Q300 (2)

custom built i7 PC in the bottom pic, connected to the WD TV live via wi-fi and directly connected to the Marantz via HDMI for gaming from the couch

don't mind my fat dog sunning himself in front of the space heater lol.





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post #2 of 28 Old 02-22-2012, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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and my favourite random new purchase is that 'book' on the coffee table, its actually a box, which now houses all my remotes and xbox controllers except the harmony, so they are in hand if needed.
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post #3 of 28 Old 02-22-2012, 07:47 PM
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Great job. Really looks classy.
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-23-2012, 08:13 AM
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Very nice setup cream puff, bet its great to get the screen down and crank it up! Like the tv/dropdown screen setup!

My HT Setup
My Blu-Rays
PSN Id:blitz500

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post #5 of 28 Old 02-23-2012, 08:41 AM
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Nice! Where'd you pick the book up at? That's a great idea!
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-23-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Witchboard View Post

Nice! Where'd you pick the book up at? That's a great idea!



the book i got at home sense, id never seen something like that in a regular store around here, for 12 bucks you can't go wrong
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-01-2012, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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say hello to my little friend




also added 3 curtains behind the tv and one to cover a doorway on the left wall.

finally done, no more upgrades..............
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-01-2012, 03:16 PM
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Congrats, is it a new XPA-5 ?
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-01-2012, 03:18 PM
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Congrats - Did you notice any difference in sound quality? High volume/low volume? I'm curious since I am still waiting for 3 more interconnect cables to arrive (received my emotiva short power cord today) to hook it up properly.

thanks
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-01-2012, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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yea its an xpa 5 in all of its 80 lb glory, damn near pooped picking up the box

it has a ton more 'balls' than my previous amp (which was rated at 275x2) which is what i expected from an amp where the capacitors are starting to age.


a fair bit more low end, mid/high sound about the same as the carver.. overall a fuller sound, which i assume i would have gotten by recapping the carver as well.

to give an idea of the power, my previous audessy settings were +1 and + 1.5 db for the mains, now they are -7 and -6.5 without moving anything else.
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-01-2012, 06:29 PM
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Cool - thanks. Hope you enjoy it for a long time.
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks.. its working great so far, runs super cool and keeps some of the strain off my marantz which now runs cooler as well since its not driving any speakers anymore..

going to try and take some better pictures, but that huge fluorescent light makes a lot of noise in the photo

might have to borrow a proper camera instead of trying to use the iPhone
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post #13 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 04:37 PM
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What difference in sound are you noticing going from the polk monitors to these KEFs?
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post #14 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

What difference in sound are you noticing going from the polk monitors to these KEFs?


night and day difference in the details.. the polk audio were good for what they are, loud and cheap.. but in my opinion they were very muffled.. the highs, mids and lows all kind of bled together.

with the polk audio's i found that if you closed your eyes you would still hear all the sound coming from 2 distinct speakers (speaking for 2 ch music).


the kef on the other hand, the highs are very detailed, if you close your eyes you can pick out individual notes, instruments and they all sound like they are coming from a specific area, it sounds like there is a stage in front of you.. the sound stage is much improved.

the bass is tighter and a lot more detailed, albeit maybe not quite as loud as the polks but the kef's don't sound boomy like the polks did.

female vocals also sound MUCH better on these, has a very lifelike quality that sounds like you have someone in the room with you sitting at a piano singing unlike listening to your iPod which is what i relate the polks too (albeit louder obviously).. so until i can convince joss stone to move in with me and sing to me.. i guess this will have to do
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 10:22 PM
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You get 6.5 out of 10 for the hardware - but the room is a fail. Your gear can't overpower the acoustics of the room...too many flat surfaces that reflect rather than absorb...including the walls, the ceiling, and no backstop...unless the fridge has magical acoustic propYerties like an audio unicorn that craps rainbows. Here's what you do to fix it: lay a sub-floor with about half a ton of sand under foot, cover every exposed surface with egg carton shaped foam, hang a wall between the sound room and the fridge. - the dog is your best clue for beating that room. The Polks and Kefs are marginal at best..suggest WEMs, Warphdales and a Neve pre-amp. As it is, your system, as good as it sounds to you, is in reality like pissing in the wind.
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-12-2012, 12:33 AM
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Well you failed...upgraditis can't be cured....


On the otherhand room looks good! What kind of seating are you using?? As for the pc, what softwares?

Edit: I see your using the wdtv to play files off your comp?

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-12-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Well you failed...upgraditis can't be cured....


On the otherhand room looks good! What kind of seating are you using?? As for the pc, what softwares?

Edit: I see your using the wdtv to play files off your comp?

lol yea I'm sure ill end up with something new eventually.

the furniture is just basic leather couches, i refuse to have my house look like a recording studio, despite the amount of stereo equipment i still want it to look like a house.

just using windows and general software nothing fancy on the pc, the macbook is a mac so its running max osx.. i have the WD TV live that has a 1 TB internal HD, and its connected directly to a western digital external HD that contains all my media. so i can access that media through my home network on the pc/laptop as well as through the WD TV live.
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-29-2012, 12:35 PM
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Nice setup. I have one of those XPA-5s, too. One of the LEDs burned out, though, so it's not as pretty as yours. I also have one of those border collies! Always a nice addition to any room. Enjoy!
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-29-2012, 02:53 PM
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Looks like a great setup. Can't beat big towers for HT impact. How do you like the Kefs?

I went with the older IQ line and have been impressed thus far.
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-29-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james greene View Post

You get 6.5 out of 10 for the hardware - but the room is a fail. Your gear can't overpower the acoustics of the room...too many flat surfaces that reflect rather than absorb...including the walls, the ceiling, and no backstop...unless the fridge has magical acoustic propYerties like an audio unicorn that craps rainbows. Here's what you do to fix it: lay a sub-floor with about half a ton of sand under foot, cover every exposed surface with egg carton shaped foam, hang a wall between the sound room and the fridge. - the dog is your best clue for beating that room. The Polks and Kefs are marginal at best..suggest WEMs, Warphdales and a Neve pre-amp. As it is, your system, as good as it sounds to you, is in reality like pissing in the wind.

Sorry but it has to be said. What a dick.

Nice system. Hope you enjoy it.
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post #21 of 28 Old 03-30-2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james greene View Post

You get 6.5 out of 10 for the hardware - but the room is a fail. Your gear can't overpower the acoustics of the room...too many flat surfaces that reflect rather than absorb...including the walls, the ceiling, and no backstop...unless the fridge has magical acoustic propYerties like an audio unicorn that craps rainbows. Here's what you do to fix it: lay a sub-floor with about half a ton of sand under foot, cover every exposed surface with egg carton shaped foam, hang a wall between the sound room and the fridge. - the dog is your best clue for beating that room. The Polks and Kefs are marginal at best..suggest WEMs, Warphdales and a Neve pre-amp. As it is, your system, as good as it sounds to you, is in reality like pissing in the wind.

Hmmm....that's an interesting comment. I often wonder if people read their comments before hitting the submit button?? Maybe I missed the sarcasm. Is the magical audio unicorn going to put up egg cartons and half ton sub floors in your condo too?

Anywho, the room looks good. I'm sure your happy with it. The speaker upgrade was well done......Q900's are excellent speakers. As for the upgraditis.....it never goes away!! That's just how it goes.
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post #22 of 28 Old 03-30-2012, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks guys, love the kef's I'm sure they will be with me for many years, drewTT from what I've heard the iQ and Q series sound similar the new Q series just have a little more bass due to the larger cabinet and drivers.

I have added heavy curtains behind the mains as well as on the left wall, to be honest I have heard no difference, maybe the room measures slightly better now but whatever, still looks like a living room and it will continue that way..

after looking at our haters setup after his post, I've decided not to bother wasting breath replying since its not exactly a recording studio either lol.
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post #23 of 28 Old 03-31-2012, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james greene View Post

You get 6.5 out of 10 for the hardware - but the room is a fail. Your gear can't overpower the acoustics of the room...too many flat surfaces that reflect rather than absorb...including the walls, the ceiling, and no backstop...unless the fridge has magical acoustic propYerties like an audio unicorn that craps rainbows. Here's what you do to fix it: lay a sub-floor with about half a ton of sand under foot, cover every exposed surface with egg carton shaped foam, hang a wall between the sound room and the fridge. - the dog is your best clue for beating that room. The Polks and Kefs are marginal at best..suggest WEMs, Warphdales and a Neve pre-amp. As it is, your system, as good as it sounds to you, is in reality like pissing in the wind.

lol, ok there captain super dooper audio king. What the heck is Warphdales? is it your special secret hideout when you play World of Warcraft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cream puff View Post

thanks guys, love the kef's I'm sure they will be with me for many years, drewTT from what I've heard the iQ and Q series sound similar the new Q series just have a little more bass due to the larger cabinet and drivers.

I have added heavy curtains behind the mains as well as on the left wall, to be honest I have heard no difference, maybe the room measures slightly better now but whatever, still looks like a living room and it will continue that way..

after looking at our haters setup after his post, I've decided not to bother wasting breath replying since its not exactly a recording studio either lol.

Enough with the dou**e above. Your setup is really nice and the equipment is a 9/10 for me sitting at my keyboard but I bet it would change to 10 sitting in your room. Those KEF looks like they mean business.

congrats,

cheers
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post #24 of 28 Old 03-31-2012, 11:34 AM
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It's Wharfedale. They are a very good brand. Just not as mainstream as they used to be in US.
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post #25 of 28 Old 03-31-2012, 07:24 PM
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It's Wharfedale. They are a very good brand. Just not as mainstream as they used to be in US.

lol, I know that, I was just pointing out to Mr./Mrs. audio overlord, that if he/she is going to bash somebody's setup, the least he/she can do, is spell the brand names that he/she read about in a magazines correctly. Maybe he/she would be taken more seriously.

Cheers
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post #26 of 28 Old 03-31-2012, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cream puff View Post

yea its an xpa 5 in all of its 80 lb glory, damn near pooped picking up the box

Funny story.....when my XPA-5 was being delivered, UPS knocked on the door to make sure I was home. I opened the door, and this petite little lady was staring up at me, telling me she had a package for me. I told her "Hey, it's a heavy amplifier--I better come get it out of the truck for you (she looked to small, I didn't want her to hurt herself), but she said "no, it's ok...I got it." This tiny lady yanked that XPA-5 out of the truck and carried it with ease to my door-step. I couldn't believe it. She saw the shock on my face, and she said "weren't expecting that, huh?" I just said "n-n-no ma'am." lol...she chuckled and left after I signed for it.

I just wanted to share that with you, since you are as familiar as I am with the weight of that monster!!!

BTW, I love your gear--those KEF's are well received by the Audio press and I"m sure they sound superb with the XPA-5 powering them!!
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post #27 of 28 Old 03-31-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james greene View Post

You get 6.5 out of 10 for the hardware - but the room is a fail. Your gear can't overpower the acoustics of the room...too many flat surfaces that reflect rather than absorb...including the walls, the ceiling, and no backstop...unless the fridge has magical acoustic propYerties like an audio unicorn that craps rainbows. Here's what you do to fix it: lay a sub-floor with about half a ton of sand under foot, cover every exposed surface with egg carton shaped foam, hang a wall between the sound room and the fridge. - the dog is your best clue for beating that room. The Polks and Kefs are marginal at best..suggest WEMs, Warphdales and a Neve pre-amp. As it is, your system, as good as it sounds to you, is in reality like pissing in the wind.

I'm going to be very frank here--Creampuff's setup AND room are better than yours.
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post #28 of 28 Old 04-01-2012, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Funny story.....when my XPA-5 was being delivered, UPS knocked on the door to make sure I was home. I opened the door, and this petite little lady was staring up at me, telling me she had a package for me. I told her "Hey, it's a heavy amplifier--I better come get it out of the truck for you (she looked to small, I didn't want her to hurt herself), but she said "no, it's ok...I got it." This tiny lady yanked that XPA-5 out of the truck and carried it with ease to my door-step. I couldn't believe it. She saw the shock on my face, and she said "weren't expecting that, huh?" I just said "n-n-no ma'am." lol...she chuckled and left after I signed for it.

I just wanted to share that with you, since you are as familiar as I am with the weight of that monster!!!

BTW, I love your gear--those KEF's are well received by the Audio press and I"m sure they sound superb with the XPA-5 powering them!!

lol fantastic, my fed ex guy is a little probably 130 lb dude that has delivered several ungodly heavy things here and never struggles too bad lol.. with the xpa 5 he commented on how heavy it was and asked what it was, i said and amplifier and he looked at me like it was hilarious lol.

and thanks, I'm definitely a fan myself


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lol, ok there captain super dooper audio king. What the heck is Warphdales? is it your special secret hideout when you play World of Warcraft?



Enough with the dou**e above. Your setup is really nice and the equipment is a 9/10 for me sitting at my keyboard but I bet it would change to 10 sitting in your room. Those KEF looks like they mean business.

congrats,

cheers

yea as shallow as it is, i love the big towers with multiple drivers look too, looks like you might be blown out of your seat sitting too close haha
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