How Often and When to Upgrade... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I am curious as to how and when those who are regular participants in this forum decide to upgrade...

I was [and perhaps still am] in the camp that when something new comes out I would upgrade but I am beginning to rethink this approach because it is become ever more costly due to i) the decreasing prices of used electronics and ii) the increasing rate of change [i.e. projectors are upgraded on a near yearly basis]...

It is one thing -- and I do not want to leave either a bad or the wrong impression here -- to upgrade a $2,500 receiver every year but a very different thing to upgrade a $20,000+ audio processor, projector, etc. every year [note: kudos to Lumagen for keeping my RadianceXE current].

There are a number of different approaches / strategies that come to mind which include:

1. Upgrade whenever something new a new / upgraded model comes out. This has the benefits of always being current and getting the most for used gear but the downside of being costly.

2. Upgrade whenever a material improvement becomes available which could be a while given that it this forum we are talking state-of-the-art technology which, in practical terms, means that I would like next upgrade my projector when 4k became common place with 4k native material.

3. Upgrade at defined / fixed time intervals [i.e. every 3 years]. This has the benefits not being obsessed with the latest and greatest and [likely] being reasonable from a cost perspective [i.e. balance between cost of new equipment and value of used equipment] but the downside of being "somewhat" dated.

To keep things simple I am focusing on equipment and not the larger -- and obviously more complicated -- issue of redoing a room.

Very much looking forward to your responses...

Thanks...

Joel
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc View Post

I am curious as to how and when those who are regular participants in this forum decide to upgrade...

I was [and perhaps still am] in the camp that when something new comes out I would upgrade but I am beginning to rethink this approach because it is become ever more costly due to i) the decreasing prices of used electronics and ii) the increasing rate of change [i.e. projectors are upgraded on a near yearly basis]...

It is one thing -- and I do not want to leave either a bad or the wrong impression here -- to upgrade a $2,500 receiver every year but a very different thing to upgrade a $20,000+ audio processor, projector, etc. every year [note: kudos to Lumagen for keeping my RadianceXE current].

There are a number of different approaches / strategies that come to mind which include:

1. Upgrade whenever something new a new / upgraded model comes out. This has the benefits of always being current and getting the most for used gear but the downside of being costly.

2. Upgrade whenever a material improvement becomes available which could be a while given that it this forum we are talking state-of-the-art technology which, in practical terms, means that I would like next upgrade my projector when 4k became common place with 4k native material.

3. Upgrade at defined / fixed time intervals [i.e. every 3 years]. This has the benefits not being obsessed with the latest and greatest and [likely] being reasonable from a cost perspective [i.e. balance between cost of new equipment and value of used equipment] but the downside of being "somewhat" dated.

To keep things simple I am focusing on equipment and not the larger -- and obviously more complicated -- issue of redoing a room.

Very much looking forward to your responses...

Thanks...

Probably not relevant for the "lucky few", but my upgrade strategy is based on the amount of discretionary funds I allocate to non-essential toys. I take those funds, and look for the upgrade that I think will give me the most bang for the buck given the weakest link in my system, and the (used) price of electronics available to address the "deficiency".

Of course, occasionally something new comes out I just want to have (e.g. PS Audio P5 conditioners, Bridge and MKII upgrade), and I just write a check.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 09:19 AM
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I vote for #2 -- "Upgrade whenever a material improvement becomes available."
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 09:26 AM
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I have had my SIM Lumis HOST projector since May of 2009, and I can't see any reason to upgrade until an LED projector comes out that can equal or exceed it picture wise ( and brightness wise - without stacking two projectors ).

I'm not interested in paying a lot of money for a tiny improvement anymore. I'd rather buy more Blu Rays and just enjoy having movie nights ( like tonite ). So, I would be going with #2 on your list of upgrade paths personally.

I'm just really happy with my current theater I suppose.

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 11:21 AM
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I will not upgrade again until 4K is standard and there is actual content and probably second gen content at that!

I can wait for 3d until then.

David

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post #6 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 01:13 PM
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#2 is as close to what I do as the choices allow, when I see that an upgrade will give an advantage that is on my care list .I've found that large upgrades have come every four years or so since '97 but this is likely just a coincidence but could be the point at which the increment of change becomes irresistible.

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 03:34 PM
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What Art said.

Although availability of funds is not an issue, paying for small incremental improvements is something I try to avoid, but I'm not sure why. As a hobbiest, I'm always looking for any improvement in my HT experience. I've ordered the Sony 4K, but mostly because of it's relatively inexpensive price point versus the competition. Just curious about it it's performance in 2D versus my Sim2 HT5KE. I'll see shortly.


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post #8 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Keep the answers coming though it does seem that most here are leaning towards upgrading when a material improvement is available...

This makes sense to me and will likely be the route that I will follow though as Art points out there is likely a "point of convergence" between option 2 [material improvement] and and option 3 [fixed period of time] as the rate technological advances accelerate...

Thanks for the feedback as it is appreciated..

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post #9 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 04:01 PM
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Hey Joel,

Ditto for me for the most part on what has already been said. If money is not an object then upgrading is rather an easy task. It also depends on the persons individual set up and how happy you are with it. Some items like amps and speakers stay some what consistent over time as compared to projectors and pre-amps / receivers. It is kind of like photography, the lens stay more on par then the camera bodies which are updated every one to two years.

I just upgraded my amps from B&K to McIntosh. Two years ago I upgraded my preamp from B&K Ref 50 to an Anthem D2V. A big selling point on the D2V is you can upgrade it to the new technology with out having to buy a brand new one. On projectors I am very happy with the Panny AE-4000, and at that price point it is a lot easier pill to swollow when I sell it for around half or slightly less and only lose say a grand to get the next latest thing in projector technology...

I guess it is a matter of how much money you want to throw at it, what kind of return / enjoyment do you get from purchasing it , and how long will it last before it will need to be changed out... I personally throw more money at things that I know I will keep longer. Of course if cash was growing off the tree in the back yard then the sky is the limit...

Jim

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post #10 of 19 Old 01-31-2012, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Hey Joel,

Ditto for me for the most part on what has already been said. If money is not an object then upgrading is rather an easy task. It also depends on the persons individual set up and how happy you are with it. Some items like amps and speakers stay some what consistent over time as compared to projectors and pre-amps / receivers. It is kind of like photography, the lens stay more on par then the camera bodies which are updated every one to two years.

I just upgraded my amps from B&K to McIntosh. Two years ago I upgraded my preamp from B&K Ref 50 to an Anthem D2V. A big selling point on the D2V is you can upgrade it to the new technology with out having to buy a brand new one. On projectors I am very happy with the Panny AE-4000, and at that price point it is a lot easier pill to swollow when I sell it for around half or slightly less and only lose say a grand to get the next latest thing in projector technology...

I guess it is a matter of how much money you want to throw at it, what kind of return / enjoyment do you get from purchasing it , and how long will it last before it will need to be changed out... I personally throw more money at things that I know I will keep longer. Of course if cash was growing off the tree in the back yard then the sky is the limit...

Jim

I am trying to come at this from a common sense perspective...

I recognize that in the event one has an unlimited amount of money then the discussion is likely moot and one just goes out and buys whatever they want whenever they want...

Though I do not want this thread to turn into a "how much do you make thread" I do believe that there is a point where it is hard to justify a never end string of upgrades as soon as something new comes out because the cost / benefit / aggravation [i.e. ripping a rack apart, working with the Crestron template designer, etc.] just cannot be justified because the performance is incremental at best [because we are talking fairly high to start with]...thus, I am trying to find that point...

With the responses to date it appears to be meaningful -- as opposed to incremental -- changes that determine when upgrades occur [i.e. Craig noted an LED on par with his LUMIS, others (including me) noted 4K with native material, etc.]...

Thanks for your input...

Joel
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-01-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

I have had my SIM Lumis HOST projector since May of 2009, and I can't see any reason to upgrade until an LED projector comes out that can equal or exceed it picture wise ( and brightness wise - without stacking two projectors ).

I'm not interested in paying a lot of money for a tiny improvement anymore. I'd rather buy more Blu Rays and just enjoy having movie nights ( like tonite ). So, I would be going with #2 on your list of upgrade paths personally.

I'm just really happy with my current theater I suppose.

The new Mico 150 is 'only' 1000 lumens, so...
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-02-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:


Quote:
Quote:


Originally Posted by Craig Peer
I have had my SIM Lumis HOST projector since May of 2009, and I can't see any reason to upgrade until an LED projector comes out that can equal or exceed it picture wise ( and brightness wise - without stacking two projectors ).

I'm not interested in paying a lot of money for a tiny improvement anymore. I'd rather buy more Blu Rays and just enjoy having movie nights ( like tonite ). So, I would be going with #2 on your list of upgrade paths personally.

I'm just really happy with my current theater I suppose.

The new Mico 150 is 'only' 1000 lumens, so...

I betting that overall it doesn't equal or exceed my current 3 chip DLP. I was told by someone who knows better than me that the Vango did not equal the Lumis's picture quality overall. Is the Mico 150 that much better than the Vango ?

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post #13 of 19 Old 02-02-2012, 01:44 PM
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Note that the poor economy has affected manufactures as well. Upgraded products are far less common these days.

In some ways a good thing. Allows us to get some decent service life out of these expensive components without being pressured to "keep up with the Jones's".

#2 is the most logical reason. That's how most industries do it.

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post #14 of 19 Old 02-02-2012, 08:50 PM
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The new M-150 is supposed to use the lumis light path for improved PQ. No I have not seen one. I have seen the Mico 40, 50 DP LED and all the Runco LEDs though.

I hope the M-150 is better. The 40/50 at least when I saw it suffered from incomplete firmware. I know this has been fixed, but I have not seen one since.

David

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post #15 of 19 Old 02-04-2012, 03:40 PM
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I upgrade when something major changes and technology is revolutionary not evolutionary

- Video: 4K when native 4K start being produced (Five years from now!)

- 100" OELED Screen I can't wait Go LG, Samsung....Sony seams to have vanished

- For Sound, I sometime think remodeling the room with proper acoustic engineers. To create a room like a recording studio makes more sense than continually buying new equipment (if done once well there is no need to do it again) That is next on my list when I move house.

A room like this with 3 B&W 800Di in the front and 4 802Di in the back with 4 JL-F113 subs, one at each corner of the room http://www.rivesaudio.com/examples/frame.html

Good read http://www.aes.org/e-lib/download.cf...&name=harman\\

And more on the subject http://www.wghwoodworking.com/audio/multsubs.pdf

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post #16 of 19 Old 02-05-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

I upgrade when something major changes and technology is revolutionary not evolutionary

- Video: 4K when native 4K start being produced (Five years from now!)

- 100" OELED Screen I can't wait Go LG, Samsung....Sony seams to have vanished

- For Sound, I sometime think remodeling the room with proper acoustic engineers. To create a room like a recording studio makes more sense than continually buying new equipment (if done once well there is no need to do it again) That is next on my list when I move house.

A room like this with 3 B&W 800Di in the front and 4 802Di in the back with 4 JL-F113 subs, one at each corner of the room http://www.rivesaudio.com/examples/frame.html

Good read http://www.aes.org/e-lib/download.cf...&name=harman\\

And more on the subject http://www.wghwoodworking.com/audio/multsubs.pdf

I agree...I am fortunate in that I have an Erskine designed and tuned room and love it...

Joel
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-05-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc View Post

I agree...I am fortunate in that I have an Erskine designed and tuned room and love it...

"Erskine designed and tuned room" pictures please

Who is Erskine

By the way I chose the pool and the home theater rather than an expensive car, Toyota 1997

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post #18 of 19 Old 02-05-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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"Erskine designed and tuned room" pictures please

Please see this thread for pictures http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1235898

Also, I agree the quote is old as I too have both a pool and a hone theatre though I really dislike the pool....short season and a huge expense....

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post #19 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 09:41 AM
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When we were shopping for a home.. the realtor showed us a home with a pool. My wife and I looked at each other and the realtor said " You can always fill it with dirt and bury it". Pool problem solved.

Back to the OP, I have a Sim2 c3ex and have been toying with the idea of upgrading for sometime. After much thought, I decided to wait for the 4k projector & media to become widely available. On a side note, I have invested my money to "finally" finishing my basement and have speakers coming-- saying goodbye to my Aerials. Guess who is really happy about that...yes my wife. It took 5 years of procrastination.
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