Originally Posted by cxg331
Have had some form of a stereo/5.0 set-up for 14 years or so. Recently, I've been in the process of upgrading components. Samsung LN40D630, Samsung BD, and, most recently, Denon 1712.
My 5.0 speaker set-up is old (8-14 years old). For $1000-1200, can I upgrade it significantly? What would be the recommendations? I have somewhat of an awkward set-up in a smaller room of an apartment. With that said, I'm not looking specifically for this room, but also something that we can move into a house (and, presumably a bigger room/better set-up) within a few years.
Right now, I have:
Fronts: JBL TLX171s
Center: Bose VCS-10
Rears: Bose doubles cubes
A couple of notes:
1) I certainly open to adding a sub. Just never have up this point.
2) We mostly watch TV and movies, with a little bit of music
3) I am open to replacing any or all pieces (or, adding, as is the case with a sub), as long it is within the $1000-1200 budget and I'll get an upgrade.
4) I'm not entirely unhappy with the system, but I did notice a significant upgrade when I replaced my old Sony Receiver with the Denon. I'm wondering if I can get the same type of upgrade replacing some/all of the speakers. Also, the rep at Electronics Expo did indicate that my speaker combo presented some challenges that the Denon should help to smooth out. I, also, seem to remember reading on the forums here that Bose speakers tended not to play that nice outside of their native set-ups.
Thanks in advance!
Hi, your fronts are capable, but a bit dated. They have good sensitivity and are three way speakers able to reach down to 35 Hz. How well they do that, I don't know, but they are good speakers.
The Bose cubes are not a good match for your existing speakers, I would think the center itself may be interfering with your overall system, since it doesn't match well with your fronts and may suffer from the known gaps in frequency response in Bose's later speakers. I don't know this center, though, so I would say that just the lack of tonal match with the two fronts would get a better response from some new speakers.
Right now you have no sub, and the low end is being handled by your fronts. They are efficient, but they are being asked to handle the low area usually owned by a sub, so freeing them from that responsibility may make the sound that they can deliver improve.
Since you're in an apartment, devoting your whole budget to the sub may be counterproductive, since you may not be able to use it to its full capacity yet. I'd get a good mid range (about $600) sub like the Hsu VTF3-MK4, which can provide what you need without buying more than you can use now. If and when you move to a larger area without neighbors (house), you can get a second, more powerful sub, since subs are not dependent on matching manufacturers, brands or models.
If you want to upgrade the speakers, then you have about $600 for a front three upgrade. If you have the room, you could move the JBL's to surround duty, and buy a front three as a matched set. As an example only, since I'm an Energy guy and as an alternative to the good suggestions you've already gotten, you could get: 2 Energy RC-10's at $299 (Vanns), a matched RC-LCR center at $249 (Vanns) and sell the Bose speakers. Bose has done a great job at marketing these, so you may get a good price for them.
That drops you into about 1200 for a very good apartment setup. The JBLs should perform well as surrounds, or sell them - you may get better value by holding on to them for now. Cross over the sub at 80 Hz, and you should be good.