Looking for upgrade advice - aren't we all? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-10-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Could post on many subforums because the bottom line is that my whole system needs an upgrade. If anyone wants to take on recommendations as a whole, not gonna lie, I'd appreciate it.

But on the speaker forum, my question revolves around my ancient, hand-me-down infinity kappa 7.1s. Lots of good reviews on these speakers, probably 15 -20 years old and not bad.

Problem is, I really like loud music and these, or else my current amp (Yamaha DSP-A1), can't handle 100db without significant distortion.

On a 2000-3000 budget, how can I get speakers to add significant power to my system? I plan to add an emotiva amp either to the DSP-A1 or else to a cheaper new amp to gain HDMI etc. I also plan to drop 1-2K on one or two subs (maybe dual HSU 15s) so I don't need my floor speakers to perform that great on the low end. Just need very loud and pure sound in mids and treble.

Thanks for any thoughts.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-10-2012, 04:00 PM
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how big is the room that this system will be in

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Due to open floorplan with a kitchen / main room combo with 12' ceilings, quite large overall.

>7000 cubic feet.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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A great deal right now are the Monitor Audio M6 speakers, which have three 6.5 drivers and are rated for 200 watts (114 dbA) output; they should give you all the clean sound you want, and are currently on sale for only $199 each (were $350). The MCenter is $139.

These are way better speakers than anything even close to their price; very good sound quality and lots of clean power. For much of a step up you would need to go to something at $1000 per pair, like the PSB Image T5.

The Kappas were excellent speakers when they were new, but 100 dbA is probably all they were ever designed to put out, and the cones and surrounds on the main driver are a long way from new. They were designed for good sound quality, but not for high output power. It's hard to say what they can do now.

I would suggest getting a couple of Rythmic FV12 subs for $499 each, a new receiver, and a power amp for the front. If it was me, I would do those upgrades and try the Kappas with the new gear and see what they will do. You can always get new speakers then if needed.

The Onkyo 709 has full 7.2 preamp outputs for maximum flexibility and tons of great features at $530, and the Emotiva XPA-3 amplifier will give you 200 watts each for the front 3 channels for only $699.

The Yamaha was cool as hell in 1985, but it is a dinosaur now; time for putting it out to pasture. Its amplifiers were also not happy when pushed hard, and are probably responsible for most of the distortion you are hearing.





Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Could post on many subforums because the bottom line is that my whole system needs an upgrade. If anyone wants to take on recommendations as a whole, not gonna lie, I'd appreciate it.

But on the speaker forum, my question revolves around my ancient, hand-me-down infinity kappa 7.1s. Lots of good reviews on these speakers, probably 15 -20 years old and not bad.

Problem is, I really like loud music and these, or else my current amp (Yamaha DSP-A1), can't handle 100db without significant distortion.

On a 2000-3000 budget, how can I get speakers to add significant power to my system? I plan to add an emotiva amp either to the DSP-A1 or else to a cheaper new amp to gain HDMI etc. I also plan to drop 1-2K on one or two subs (maybe dual HSU 15s) so I don't need my floor speakers to perform that great on the low end. Just need very loud and pure sound in mids and treble.

Thanks for any thoughts.

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post #5 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Problem is, I really like loud music and these, or else my current amp (Yamaha DSP-A1), can't handle 100db without significant distortion.
I don't need my floor speakers to perform that great on the low end. Just need very loud and pure sound in mids and treble.
Thanks for any thoughts.

I would still look at floor speakers
KEF
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

Bookshelf - Focal
http://www.spearitsound.com/Main_Lef...orus_807v.html

If you want to really go loud - Chase
http://www.chasehometheater.com/inde...art&Itemid=142

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 11:46 AM
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just a suggestion

a pair of tekton designs pendragons for $2500 i gaurantee these will fill your space with LOUD sound. at 98db and a freq. range of 20hz-30khz you really don't need any power at all to get these loud. 50 watts would get you near concert levels in a large room.and all you would need is something like a harman kardon hk3490 reciever under $300 to push them . the reciever has every thing you need for 2 channel system from great sound ,power,phono pre amp, to built in dac and including 2 sub outputs.just my 2 cents

edit** you can skip my recommandation due to my assumption that this was for 2 channel set up.sorry about that. the chase home theater speakers would be imo best option in your price range

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I would still look at floor speakers
KEF
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

The KEF Q700 got a pretty bad review in WhatHiFi: http://www.whathifi.com/review/kef-q700
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 01:05 PM
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3 of either one of these across the front or for all 5
http://www.chasehometheater.com/inde...k=1&Itemid=102
Also mentioned in a previous post
Or some of these
http://www.edesignaudio.com/index.php?cPath=2_141

Either the ED or CHT will blow the MA speakers out of the water EASILY if output is your main goal.

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Def Tech SC8000
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 04:38 PM
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KEF q900 are what i use, have received superb reviews from everywhere I've seen review them..

they are an outstanding speaker, i couldn't be happier with them
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

The KEF Q700 got a pretty bad review in WhatHiFi: http://www.whathifi.com/review/kef-q700

that is the only bad review I've seen on any speaker in the Q lineup, including other reviews of the q700s.. id put money on they had something set up incorrectly or maybe an unfavourable listening environment.

the common thing I've heard about the Q series, is that they are VERY accurate to the point of being a bit unforgiving to any sub par component that may be hooked to them, if you don't have a good quality amp/source etc you'll definitely hear it with these, and i can vouch for that personally with my previous setup i didn't hear a big difference in quality between sources (say flac to mp3 for example) with the Q series, there is a very significant difference.. i would expect that is the case here.

heres a review of the q900s from stereophile..

http://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-q900-loudspeaker


Quote:


But the most important thing—or, for the true audiophile, the only thing—to consider is the Q900's sound. That sound is wide-range, balanced, and spacious, and seems to neither favor nor disfavor any genre of music. I have been sampling small floorstanders in the under-$2000 range for a number of years now, and there is no other speaker in that range that I prefer to the KEF Q900.

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post #11 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 09:04 AM
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The Q700 is not nearly as good as the Q900, which is a truly outstanding speaker.

When I shopped about a year ago for speakers for a new home, I narrowed it down to the Q900 and the PSB Image T6. I went 3 times to listen to each one of them , and finally decided that the overall sound quality of the T6 was better, but it was a very close call. Anyway, I bought the Image T6 speakers, and I am sure glad I did. They are excellent, and a bargain for the money.

Any way you look at it, they are probably the two best speakers in the $1200 to $2000 price range, so far as I could tell from my listening. I also was interested in the Dynaudio Excite X32 speakers, but couldn't find a dealer any closer than San Francisco that had them.

In any case, if I were you, I would assume that your main problem is the Yamaha amplifier. I am 98% certain that is the case.

I would get an Onkyo 709 and an Emotiva XPA-3 amplifier and see what those Kappa speakers will do with some decent electronics. They may surprise you.


BTW- In the early 1980s I bought a Yamaha 125-watt integrated amp for $800. It had problems with breaking up badly when pushed hard. I replaced it with a NAD 3020, which cost me $200 and sounded much much better and would play very loud with my 4 ohm speakers; much better in every respect than the Yamaha.

Garbage in, garbage out. That applies to almost any speaker.







Quote:
Originally Posted by cream puff View Post

that is the only bad review I've seen on any speaker in the Q lineup, including other reviews of the q700s.. id put money on they had something set up incorrectly or maybe an unfavourable listening environment.

the common thing I've heard about the Q series, is that they are VERY accurate to the point of being a bit unforgiving to any sub par component that may be hooked to them, if you don't have a good quality amp/source etc you'll definitely hear it with these, and i can vouch for that personally with my previous setup i didn't hear a big difference in quality between sources (say flac to mp3 for example) with the Q series, there is a very significant difference.. i would expect that is the case here.

heres a review of the q900s from stereophile..

http://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-q900-loudspeaker

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post #12 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

The KEF Q700 got a pretty bad review in WhatHiFi: http://www.whathifi.com/review/kef-q700

I am taking that review with a few grains of salt. The majority of
opinions, do not agree with that review. If budget permitted, the
Q900 is the better option.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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