Speaker Upgrade Help - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-27-2011, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rolfeskj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am looking into the possibilities of upgrading my current system. I would be selling my current system listed below to finance the start of a new system. I would like to start with two towers and a sub. I have seen some very good deals on Energy speakers (SF-30 for $100 each) and (Martin Logan Motion 10 for $200 each). I am also very interested in the Definitive Technology BP-8040ST. My system works fine it is close to 15 years old now and just feels like its just getting old compared to the newer stuff out there. Now for the questions:

1. How much can I realistically sell my old speakers for?

2. With what I sell them for can I really make a noticeable improvement on what I already have with putting minimal cash out of pocket? (I plan to put all the money from the sale into just fronts and a sub)

3. If I went with the Def Tech BP-8040ST speaks do they put out enough low end sound to not need a subwoofer?

4. Any speaker recommendations or thoughts?



Current system (powered by a 10+ year old Denon 5.1 reciever

Klipsch KSF 10.5 (new $800)

Klipsch KSF-C5(new $250)

Kilpsch KSF-S5 (new $350)

Definitive Technology Powerfield 1500 Sub (new $900)
rolfeskj is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-28-2011, 12:07 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eyleron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Minot, ND
Posts: 1,892
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Speaker purchases depend on usage and taste. What will you be doing with the speakers, who will be listening, to what, and how loud?

You want to be able to make the bass frequencies come out of a speaker (a subwoofer) that's optimally placed in the room. That might be in the front of the room, in a corner, to the left, near your couch, or even behind you.

You don't have that flexibility when the bass is coming out of two tower speakers.

For most applications, crossing over the speakers at 80hz with the speakers set to small, and using a sub (or two) is the best setup for most people, with the front speakers are tiny cubes, bookshelf monitors with six inch woofers, or floorstanding towers.

A floorstander is fine for the extra midbass punch at high volumes, or if you like the aesthetics. But don't pay more for them versus bookshelves if it means sacrificing in the subwoofer department. (but again that depends on tastes...maybe you're listening only to music that goes down to 35hz, and no movies).

For used prices of your current gear, look in eBay at what those speakers sold for historically (not what they're listed at now).
Eyleron is online now  
Old 08-28-2011, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rolfeskj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am looking for a more balanced speaker system. I find my Klipsch speakers are good for movies but only okay in music. I also find my 15" sub is good for movies but to slow / boomy for music. I still will use this system 80% HT but I was just looking to improve.

I guess part of my question is on advances in speakers. My sub was $900 12 years ago. Does it still compare to a $900 sub today or in the past decade has speaker advances made a $400 sub now comparable.
rolfeskj is offline  
Old 08-28-2011, 06:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eyleron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Minot, ND
Posts: 1,892
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Yes, there have been big advances in what you get for $900.
The brick-and-mortar manufacturers who sell through dealer networks got caught falling way behind the curve, with their price/performance ratio half what you could get from the respected internet-direct companies.

And every couple years the internet-direct companies themselves are providing deeper bass at higher volumes with less distortion. Which is good, because the movie soundtracks are becoming more demanding than they were in the 90s.

This post talks about people upgrading your sub, and they relegated the DefTech to another room, or they used it near-field as a mid-bass module (which also helped smooth out response). People found a huge improvement with SVS or Hsu subs, gaining much more below 25 Hz, less boomy, more even response.

If you're replacing the Klipsch, you may want speakers that are still fairly sensitive, and hopefully more sensitive in the bass than just higher up, but with less pronounced treble. I hear the newest Klipsch reference line is more mellow. And speakers like CHT Pro-10 or JTR are crazy efficient and have the woofer to get you the midbass that might be missing from Klipsch.
Eyleron is online now  
Old 08-28-2011, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rolfeskj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What brands do you suggest I start looking at?

Back in the day when I was more knowlegable the way to go for subs was Velodyne or Definitive Technology. For speakers it was Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, B&W, and NHT were the hot ones.

I have heard a lot about SVS subs, Energy speakers, and KEF but I am not very familiar with these brands.

As an example newegg has the Polk Audio Monitor60 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker for about $220 for a pair shipped. Something like this is very tempting but I am not sure if they are better than my Klipsch KSF-10.5s or if it is more of a lateral move.

A place to start looking would be great. I think I would want to spend less than $1,000 or even $800 on a pair of fronts and a sub. I have no problem waiting for sales/clearance. Thanks.
rolfeskj is offline  
Old 08-28-2011, 09:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
stevensctt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,360
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolfeskj View Post

What brands do you suggest I start looking at?

Back in the day when I was more knowlegable the way to go for subs was Velodyne or Definitive Technology. For speakers it was Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, B&W, and NHT were the hot ones.

I have heard a lot about SVS subs, Energy speakers, and KEF but I am not very familiar with these brands.

As an example newegg has the Polk Audio Monitor60 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker for about $220 for a pair shipped. Something like this is very tempting but I am not sure if they are better than my Klipsch KSF-10.5s or if it is more of a lateral move.

A place to start looking would be great. I think I would want to spend less than $1,000 or even $800 on a pair of fronts and a sub. I have no problem waiting for sales/clearance. Thanks.

The speakers you are looking at are arguably not an upgrade from your current Klipsch speakers. I may even suggest they are downgrades. $1000, IMO, will not upgrade your system unless you find a good deal in the used market, a real possibility.

The place for you to look is Craigslist.

You could maybe net $3-500 selling your five speakers and sub.
stevensctt is offline  
Old 08-28-2011, 10:33 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eyleron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Minot, ND
Posts: 1,892
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 42
I'm sure you'll read about subs from eD, Hsu, CHT, Rythmik, SVS, etc.

You could try auditioning speakers from hifi shops in your area, to see if you feel you're missing something in the dynamics, using audio tracks you're accustomed to now...music and movies.

Maybe you've enjoyed the Klipsch Synergy line for movies, but you'd be equally happy with something else. You still didn't say how much you turn it up. I think playing at 90db peaks is like comparing cars at driving on residential roads. Or two trucks each towing a jet ski. You can make some comparison, but the vehicle is not being stressed, and their performance limits are not reached.

Which is fine if you don't listen at volumes you'd get at a concert, or in a good commercial theater.

If you want those dynamic peaks at louder volumes, if you want the midbass in your chest slam, then you either need speakers that don't compress at high volume and have okay sensitivity, but can take a lot of watts, and you have to buy amps to power them. Or you need speakers that are more sensitive, and can output loud without compression and maintain an even frequency response.

Another thing your horns were doing was limiting reflections off your walls. Dome tweeter speakers will interact with the room differently...but maybe this is not an issue because you have room treatment, or you would add it in the future.

I read Klipsch has made great strides in mitigating the "horn sound" with its newer reference line, so you should audition that. You might be able to find new, or new on sale, or used that would give you what you want for music and movies.

If not...you need to specify how you are listening, or want to listen, beyond "balanced," which I interpret to mean you want the speakers to sound better for music. There are a number of ways to achieve that, but they depend on your goals and tastes.
Eyleron is online now  
Old 08-29-2011, 06:44 AM
 
mjg100's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
For HT compression driver speakers are a good choice. For music most people find that they like soft dome tweeters and ribbon tweeters. There are a few compression driver speakers that are also good with music, but they are expensive. If music is important to you then I would look at speakers with soft domes, but you will be giving up some sensitivity and power handling in your price range. The Atlantic Technology line is very good with music and does a good job for HT.
mjg100 is offline  
Old 08-29-2011, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rolfeskj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
"If you want those dynamic peaks at louder volumes, if you want the midbass in your chest slam, then you either need speakers that don't compress at high volume and have okay sensitivity, but can take a lot of watts, and you have to buy amps to power them. Or you need speakers that are more sensitive, and can output loud without compression and maintain an even frequency response. "

This is where I need a little more help. I feel like my Klipsch KSF-10.5s have very little bass even though the towers have 2 8" woofers each and say they have a 36 Hz-20 kHz±3 dB response.

I am currently using a Denon AVR-1800 which seems to doing a decent job even if it is getting dated.

I think the Denon I am using puts out a strong 75 watts but I am not sure how powerful that is to push which speakers. It powers my klipsch fairly loud but like I said they have no punch. If I need more power I guess I can always buy a separate amp and just hook it up to the preouts. Or get a new reciever down the road like the Onkyo TX-SR707 which I found for $389 reconditioned (100watts per channel).



I want to play the speakers at moderate levels with the possibility of playing some movies on the louder side. I want to feel the bass in my chest and a have a rumble but I don't need to blow out the windows. Currently I feel like I just have a loud mess with that 15" subwoofer.

Looking on the web I found either a pair Definitive Technology C/L/R2002 ($480) or a pair of Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 450s ($400). I have heard the 450s a few years back and I was pretty impressed. I might a pair it with a HSU VTF-1 or HSU VTF-2 depending on what I can afford. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for all the help, I am just looking for a good direction to start in.
rolfeskj is offline  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:29 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Eyleron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Minot, ND
Posts: 1,892
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 42
There's a lot that goes on in a room besides the speaker and especially the amp. To a large extent, the sound you're getting is dependent on the room, and what you're doing with the room (speaker locations, listening position, acoustic properties of the wall surfaces).

People who've become adept at picking out which frequency ranges are doing what (boomy, low or high in level, etc.) can tune their system more by ear, by playing tracks they know well and have a good reference from some other system.

I am not such a person, so I've tried test tones and graphing the response from sound level meter ($40) in Excel.

You learn a lot from such an exercise: playing the front three speakers by themselves without a sub, without a crossover, one speaker at a time, etc. You might see large peaks or dips in the response, and if you know what the speakers are supposed to do anechoic, you can see what the room is doing to the sound.

You can see the response graph change as you move speakers around, closer to walls, farther, in or out of room mode positions, etc.

So, your lack of bass may be due to the sub (50-60hz) or the front speakers (80-120hz). Or, maybe ANY speakers and subs placed into those locations would have the same problems, because they're yielding dips in the response at those locations. Only through changing the positions of speakers and/or listeners would this get resolved. Also, what about the movie soundtracks sending bass to the center channel? If your center speaker isn't up to the task (and this is the first or second most speaker (the other is the sub) in home theater), then maybe you're missing bass here too.

It's tough to judge speakers' capability when pushed hard (louder) by a frequency range spec (-3db 36Hz to 20kHz), because maybe its woofer cannot produce that 36Hz to 400hz at high volumes. If the tweeter has no problems, then what you get is more treble at high volumes, with less bass, and distorted bass, or your amp clipping creating more distortion and grating harshness.

It's also tough to judge sensitivity. When Klipsch says their speaker is 97db efficient, they don't tell you at what frequency. Does one watt produce 97db at 36hz (which will tax the woofers)? Or just the 1,000Hz they happened to test and report at? And just because it can produce 97db with one watt of power from one meter away, will that scale properly up to 75 watts to yield 116db?

Although I'm suspicious of Klipsch's claims of efficiency for the non-horn-loaded woofers, it does seem like two 8" woofers would be up to the task. Then again, there's a reason why JTR makes the Triple 8 speaker.

Personally, if I knew there was a lack of response at, say, 80Hz, I'd see if moving the crossover down helps, so that the front speakers are handling that range more. Or move it up, so that the sub is handling those frequencies.

Also, your sub could be in a bad spot, and moving it a few inches or feet, or to an entirely different location in the room, will make a huge difference.

While you could play around with how it sounds when you move it around, and do the sub "crawl test," it's so much easier to measure and see the response in the graph.

I know it's incredibly alluring to most guys to throw more watts at the problem. It's a shiny black box with lights. And surely 110 is better than 75. But in reality, that increase in wattage gives you only two more decibels of output!

If you're playing music in stereo mode, and the Klipsch even without the sub are not giving you chest slam, I'd first look to placement, and then if that doesn't work, only THEN look to an external amp. But first upgrade that sub for home theater!

Next step: find out what the problem is (where are you missing what frequencies). And it looks like you need a sub upgrade regardless (less boomy, and get a good response down to 18Hz or so).
Eyleron is online now  
Old 08-30-2011, 12:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Dan Hitchman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 9,250
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1061 Post(s)
Liked: 539
Please believe me... you aren't going to get a heck of a lot of improvement in sonic quality unless you are willing to make a slightly larger investment.

Take a look at PSB Image speakers, Paradigm Monitor speakers, B&W 600 series speakers, Energy speakers, Revel Concerta speakers, Axiom speakers, Triad Bronze speakers, etc. SVS and HSU are good online sub companies, for example.

Klipsch and Polk are not my favs. They're okay for movies, but some (like me) find them bright and brash with not a good deal of imaging and depth as all around speakers. Their build quality is not as good as they once were either.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
Dan Hitchman is offline  
Old 08-30-2011, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rolfeskj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You may be correct about the placement. I remembered my speaker setup being much louder in past locations. Currently they are in a finished 3rd floor room (20X12X8) with angled ceilings. I felt like I could play at -25db and it was loud and now in the 3rd floor they don't seem to get until -15db.

One last question... I saw someone post that a dual woofer speaker will "generally" play louder than a single woofer speaker because they can share the sound output. Is there any truth to this?

Dan, I did almost buy a set of B&W 602's ten years ago when I got my klipsch. I loved them but when I went to buy them the store that carried them went out of business. the Klipsch is the best I found for me after I could not get the B&Ws. How do the old 602s compare to the new 685s?
rolfeskj is offline  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eyleron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Minot, ND
Posts: 1,892
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolfeskj View Post

You may be correct about the placement. I remembered my speaker setup being much louder in past locations. Currently they are in a finished 3rd floor room (20X12X8) with angled ceilings. I felt like I could play at -25db and it was loud and now in the 3rd floor they don't seem to get until -15db.

A similar thing happened to me when I added acoustic panels to the side walls of my basement theater. Acoustically, the space became "bigger," because there was not as much energy reflecting off the walls and bouncing around to my ears.

An analogy would be how much light do you get in the room with mirrored walls, white walls, gray, and black paint on the walls. The mirror is like a hard acoustically reflective surface. Black paint is a super absorbtive walls that don't allow sound to reflect. The black walls yield a darker room, and absorbtion yields a quiet room. A larger room, which is your case, allows the sound to attenuate between each reflection and your ears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rolfeskj View Post

One last question... I saw someone post that a dual woofer speaker will "generally" play louder than a single woofer speaker because they can share the sound output. Is there any truth to this?

Either because its output is greater with a given wattage, and/or it will be louder before the limits of the woofer is reached at high volumes.

Note, that it's not so much that people want everything at high volume...it's that when there's a big instantaneous peak in volume, your speakers and amps have to be able to handle that.
Eyleron is online now  
Old 09-01-2011, 04:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Dan Hitchman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 9,250
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1061 Post(s)
Liked: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolfeskj View Post

You may be correct about the placement. I remembered my speaker setup being much louder in past locations. Currently they are in a finished 3rd floor room (20X12X8) with angled ceilings. I felt like I could play at -25db and it was loud and now in the 3rd floor they don't seem to get until -15db.

One last question... I saw someone post that a dual woofer speaker will "generally" play louder than a single woofer speaker because they can share the sound output. Is there any truth to this?

Dan, I did almost buy a set of B&W 602's ten years ago when I got my klipsch. I loved them but when I went to buy them the store that carried them went out of business. the Klipsch is the best I found for me after I could not get the B&Ws. How do the old 602s compare to the new 685s?

To me they seem a bit more "open" sounding in the depth department than their older version. They're pretty mellow speakers... that classic "British" sound.

I did end up going with Paradigm Studio speakers as they had a more over all natural sound for classical music for my tastes... an absolute blast on acoustic piano and guitar (and they weren't bright or brassy or "honky"... fatiguing... like Klipsch's). I splurged on the 100 towers and giant CC-690 center for the fronts, however, but they may be out of your price range. Their lower Monitor speakers are pretty good too.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
Dan Hitchman is offline  
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off