Should I upgrade my Paradigms monitor 9 v2 (5.1) setup? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I bought these nearly 15 years ago. They've been bounced around across the country more times I can count on my hands. They are not sounding as good as I remember but they've been in storage for years now and I have an equally old receiver (Harmon Kardon AVR65).
  • Monitor 9 v2 towers
  • CC 330 Center
  • Mini Monitor rears
  • Paradigm PS-1200 Sub

I just bought a 60" Panasonic Plasma and I'm trying to figure out if I can make do or if I should upgrade. I'm planning on buying an Onkyo 818 pretty soon btw.

Really appreciate the feedback here,

Jason
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 09:21 PM
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you might find that a new receiver will give them life again and you will rediscover them all over.

Only you can decide if its time for an upgrade. however a speaker thats taken care of wont have to be replaced as often as other components.

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 09:43 PM
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Don't buy new speakers before you get your new receiver. The Onkyo 818 has Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 that will EQ your speakers after taking room measurements. Will definitely improve how they sound; just a question of if it's enough for you. Might as well wait and see smile.gif

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason370 View Post

I bought these nearly 15 years ago. They've been bounced around across the country more times I can count on my hands. They are not sounding as good as I remember but they've been in storage for years now and I have an equally old receiver (Harmon Kardon AVR65).
  • Monitor 9 v2 towers
  • CC 330 Center
  • Mini Monitor rears
  • Paradigm PS-1200 Sub
I just bought a 60" Panasonic Plasma and I'm trying to figure out if I can make do or if I should upgrade. I'm planning on buying an Onkyo 818 pretty soon btw.
Really appreciate the feedback here,
Jason[/quote

I have pretty much your same setup. Except I have an LCR350 and ADP150 surrounds. Question, are your M-9's silver when the cover's off? I also just upgraded my PS1200 sub to a Rythmik FV15. The difference is night and day with movies and music compared to the PS1200!! My Integra DTR 40.2 breathed new life into my speakers. But the receiver first and try Audyssey and see if it makes a difference.

Jeff
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah i know the onkyo 818 will definitely improve the sound, especially with audessy. Im just trying to get a baseline on how good or bad this setup is and if there are any easy and relatively cheap upgrades i can make. ive been reading reviews on the cc 350 center channel and they are all rave reviews but from ten+ years ago.

i know good speakers can go a long way, but if it is important to pair timber of centers to fronts, then im not sure if i would replace the center, the fronts or all the above. i dont even have the rears set up yet as that will take some thought as to how to run the wiring and if i want to wall , ceiling or stand mount them.

i was under the impression the ps1200 was a good sub. why did you upgrade it and what was the difference?

my first purchase is the avr, im just trying to think ahead to what the next logical step would be.

thanks!
jason
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 06:59 PM
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Well as someone who owned that series of speakers for many years. I had Mon 7's , 9's, CC350, Mini's I used as rears for over decade, until just days ago. That is a very fine setup , you did great buying it back then.

I think yes it is important to match ALL speakers to same drivers and tweeters, basically staying in the same line. I have studio 100's, 570 and studio 20's all v3. When I just days ago changed the rears from mini monitors to Studio 20's. I noticed a difference instantly. The mini didn't sound bad at all to me, but now with the 20's I can hear the setup sing back and forth as things pan around , it matches so so clearly now. I think in some ways maybe Audyssey has a lot to do with it now. Back in the day I did some testing myself and thought it was fine. But I think maybe now that lossless 5.1 the rears have gotten more powerful and have much more going on in them perhaps so combine that with Audyssey and you can now really tell if they're not matched. That's my thoughts after upgrading several times over 15 years. I've had studio series for last 8 years and had monitor series for 8 too basically.

Now also is the studio series better than the monitor series. Well yea it is, I think that much is clear. But with current prices I think you'd REALLY really have to care about getting quality out of your setup to spend the kind of money the new studio line would cost. Monitors are good setup for almost anyone. Only someone really really wanting to take it to the next level would I tell them to spend the money to upgrade. They are much more expensive than when I bought mine. I brand new got studio 100's for $1800, they now cost what $3000 a pair...ouch. Partly inflation maybe, partly the US dollar has tanked and now unlike then the Canadian dollar is worth more slightly so that effects what they need to charge because of exchange rate.

So well hope this helps some and I do LOVE my studio setup. I'd love to have sig setup but I'm not sure I'd ever spend the money to go there.

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post #7 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason370 View Post

yeah i know the onkyo 818 will definitely improve the sound, especially with audessy. Im just trying to get a baseline on how good or bad this setup is and if there are any easy and relatively cheap upgrades i can make. ive been reading reviews on the cc 350 center channel and they are all rave reviews but from ten+ years ago.
i know good speakers can go a long way, but if it is important to pair timber of centers to fronts, then im not sure if i would replace the center, the fronts or all the above. i dont even have the rears set up yet as that will take some thought as to how to run the wiring and if i want to wall , ceiling or stand mount them.
i was under the impression the ps1200 was a good sub. why did you upgrade it and what was the difference?
my first purchase is the avr, im just trying to think ahead to what the next logical step would be.
thanks!
jason

In it's time the PS1200 WAS a good sub. My new Rythmik? Pretty much a different Universe! I was missing many things in movies and music. Movies that improved drasticaly, Saving Private Ryan, the explosions are not only heard but felt! Das Boot, pretty much the same as SPR, the depth charge explosions were awesome! War Of The Worlds (Tom Cruse), the Pod emergence scene was felt and heard like never before. Inception, well EVERYTHING improved with the new sub! And in music I heard notes I haven't heard before. If you upgrade your sub you will know what I mean!

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post #8 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 09:42 PM
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Yea no wonder it shakes the room more, it has a 15 in it. But I bet real money it's not as accurate as the 2200 musically. That's why the 2200 was so great. It could pull off movies yet still have great sound for music. You should be comparing your FV15 to a servo 15 or whatever it was back then , a 2200 is no where near a direct comparison.

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post #9 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hdtv00 View Post

Well as someone who owned that series of speakers for many years. I had Mon 7's , 9's, CC350, Mini's I used as rears for over decade, until just days ago. That is a very fine setup , you did great buying it back then.
I think yes it is important to match ALL speakers to same drivers and tweeters, basically staying in the same line. I have studio 100's, 570 and studio 20's all v3. When I just days ago changed the rears from mini monitors to Studio 20's. I noticed a difference instantly. The mini didn't sound bad at all to me, but now with the 20's I can hear the setup sing back and forth as things pan around , it matches so so clearly now. I think in some ways maybe Audyssey has a lot to do with it now. Back in the day I did some testing myself and thought it was fine. But I think maybe now that lossless 5.1 the rears have gotten more powerful and have much more going on in them perhaps so combine that with Audyssey and you can now really tell if they're not matched. That's my thoughts after upgrading several times over 15 years. I've had studio series for last 8 years and had monitor series for 8 too basically.
Now also is the studio series better than the monitor series. Well yea it is, I think that much is clear. But with current prices I think you'd REALLY really have to care about getting quality out of your setup to spend the kind of money the new studio line would cost. Monitors are good setup for almost anyone. Only someone really really wanting to take it to the next level would I tell them to spend the money to upgrade. They are much more expensive than when I bought mine. I brand new got studio 100's for $1800, they now cost what $3000 a pair...ouch. Partly inflation maybe, partly the US dollar has tanked and now unlike then the Canadian dollar is worth more slightly so that effects what they need to charge because of exchange rate.
So well hope this helps some and I do LOVE my studio setup. I'd love to have sig setup but I'm not sure I'd ever spend the money to go there.

I could not have asked for a better response. This is exactly what I was hoping and expecting to hear. Thank you good sir. After searching a good amount, I've concluded I would have to spend a lot (3500+, I don't think I could do it for under 3k and see massive differences) of money to achieve significantly better sound quality above my current (speaker) set up. Upgrading a Harmon Kardon avr-65 to an Onkyo nr-818 should make the biggest splash, so that's my first and quite possible only change. I'm not sold on the sub-woofer upgrade as of yet but I'll continue my research in that regard. Currently I don't even have my rears set up due to wiring logistics, which I've been a bit lazy to work out (just need to run the wires all the way around my walls and couch, probably 35 feet each, and then either buy speaker stands , wall mounts or mount them in the ceiling).

Thanks again!
Jason
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 11:47 AM
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If I were to do it all today. I'd buy Studio series used(if I still owned monitor series). That will save you tons of money and yet still get you into the studio line. But yea it wouldn't be totally cheap. Say 4 studio 20's and a center $900-1000 for two pair of 20's and $400 for a center to match it. And continue to use your 1200 sub, which is a great sub still. It's just not a super power house. But it's better for music than some huge 15 inch powerhouse, it's more accurate. So anyway see it can be done even on budget that's what $1500 give or take. Now remember you can then sell your monitor series speakers and look what they would take off your upgrade cost...lots. For your fronts alone thats one free pair of studio 20's almost. So now we're talking what $800 for an upgrade to studio quality 20's all around with a very nice sub. Gee sounds like a no brainer now doesn't it...but once you get done you'll be in heaven.

Also my earlier comments on sub I was thinking he had my sub a 2200, not the smaller 1200. It's still a decent one, but yea probably have better impact upgrading but they'd be plenty of time for that later. Either way for certain I'd do what I outlined here. There is nice studio 20 pair on audiogon right now for fair price, that's a start.

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post #11 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hdtv00 View Post

If I were to do it all today. I'd buy Studio series used(if I still owned monitor series). That will save you tons of money and yet still get you into the studio line. But yea it wouldn't be totally cheap. Say 4 studio 20's and a center $900-1000 for two pair of 20's and $400 for a center to match it. And continue to use your 1200 sub, which is a great sub still. It's just not a super power house. But it's better for music than some huge 15 inch powerhouse, it's more accurate. So anyway see it can be done even on budget that's what $1500 give or take. Now remember you can then sell your monitor series speakers and look what they would take off your upgrade cost...lots. For your fronts alone thats one free pair of studio 20's almost. So now we're talking what $800 for an upgrade to studio quality 20's all around with a very nice sub. Gee sounds like a no brainer now doesn't it...but once you get done you'll be in heaven.
Also my earlier comments on sub I was thinking he had my sub a 2200, not the smaller 1200. It's still a decent one, but yea probably have better impact upgrading but they'd be plenty of time for that later. Either way for certain I'd do what I outlined here. There is nice studio 20 pair on audiogon right now for fair price, that's a start.

awesome advice, thanks. i'm one of those people who just cannot buy anything used though. cars, clothes, appliances, av...can't do it. while 95% of the time you sacrifice very little quality and save a ton, if that 5% ever hits (where the wear and tear on the item was just too much, but i couldn't know until months later) it would eat me alive. I just like knowing i have something factory new, and deal directly with the manufacturer in the event of a malfunction (i have experienced very little of this in my lifetime).

I loaned out my 2005 jeep wrangler limited to my cousin last year on maybe ten occasions. its a manual transmission with 22k miles on it (i live in manhattan and almost never drive). he doesnt drive stick very well. now when i drive the car, the clutch is clearly compromised and i have to work much harder than i used to to get into gear; ill have to replace it sooner than not. had i never let him drive, i could have easily gone 40-50k miles before this was even a consideration BUT i cant be entirely sure BECAUSE i have not driven every mile on teh car anymore. i like knowing every mile driven so i can properly understand the root of issues , when they occur. im sure you can make the connection here...

thank you very much for weighing in. i appreciate how much you like the studios and im very sold on paradigm. ill probably upgrade and spend the money for a new set up in the next couple years.

jason
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 01:22 PM
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Yea I agree but not when it comes to speakers, they can last a lifetime. If they are stated as being in good condition I think it's a no brainer to buy used. Speakers do one thing, and if they work they work. Unlike most electronic stuff if it was taken care of it will last your forever. Plus people who tend to buy this level of product really love home theater and the like and take very good care of their speakers. If it was high rated seller and product was described in very good condition I wouldn't have any reservations in buying used. I'm not even sure paradigm even deals directly with people. Anyway each his own. Good luck on your journey for audio perfection, I'm finally closing in on mine.

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post #13 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea I agree but not when it comes to speakers, they can last a lifetime. If they are stated as being in good condition I think it's a no brainer to buy used. Speakers do one thing, and if they work they work. Unlike most electronic stuff if it was taken care of it will last your forever. Plus people who tend to buy this level of product really love home theater and the like and take very good care of their speakers. If it was high rated seller and product was described in very good condition I wouldn't have any reservations in buying used. I'm not even sure paradigm even deals directly with people. Anyway each his own. Good luck on your journey for audio perfection, I'm finally closing in on mine.

well said, i will consider that. on a side note, how are you liking that Onkyo 809? i'm on the one yard line on pulling the trigger on an 818 (which is essentially the same exact unit except i liked the reviews on the video processing a bit more for the 818).

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post #14 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 02:39 PM
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Yea it's fine I miss direct DSD for SACD's from my old 876. But hey least this one hasn't burned up with a hdmi board issue every other onkyo unit seems to have had. This unit is far far cooler running than any other onkyo I've seen for years. Audyssey 32xt or whatever its called on the unit would probably be sweet. I think it really makes a difference. So I'd love to hear what it would do in my setup.

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post #15 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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here's another thought...

should I add two more rears to create a 7.2 system? if so, what should i add and how would that pair up with the mini monitors? i've always felt the mini monitors were the weak link in the chain here and while i think they are perfectly fine to be part of a 7.2 setup, perhaps an upgrade on the rears would add something here.also, can i pull it off as a 7.1; is the second sub-woofer necessary or is that just gravy? contrary to what some think, i find the ps1200 to be quite powerful, and excellent in almost every mode.

thoughts?

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post #16 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 01:30 PM
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How big is the room. That's what decides if you need two subs or can go 7.2 vs 6.1. Me my room isn't big enough really for 7.1 I could do it if I wanted to but there is little point. And remember the back centers are the same signal there isn't any real reason to have both unless you have a big enough room and you need two of them to fill the space. 6.1 if fine otherwise.

If you added rears I'd just ad tow more mini monitors. Yea you'll have to find used, because you want to match the versions. Not v1 with v6's. I'd work on getting used mini monitors and the 818 if I were you. Then decide and go from there. But remember not to mix and match versions. I just learned that lesson myself. Had front studio series and had mini's on rear. It sounds fine I thought, and well it did. But within minutes of adding the studio 20's there instead. BAM whole new ballgame, I noticed it right off the bat. I should've done it right long ago and I missed out these last 8 years because of it.

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post #17 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I just pulled the trigger on an 818 and I'll get it Saturday. Very interested to see how much of a difference I can detect. Judging my all accounts, It should be significant.
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post #18 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 05:10 PM
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Yea Audyssey is very strange thing. It's a difference yet it's subtle. But it clearly is better from my view. I could play it for several people and I think over half wouldn't notice. But I think I can hear clearly a difference but its subtle but great. Anyway awesome maybe I'll upgrade mine to that and sell my 809 to my sister who desperately needs an upgrade.

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post #19 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason370 View Post

is the second sub-woofer necessary or is that just gravy? contrary to what some think, i find the ps1200 to be quite powerful, and excellent in almost every mode.
thoughts?

It sounds like the ps1200 may not be a very good performer below 30hz: http://forums.audioreview.com/337858-post10.html

If that's the case, the 12" ported subs from SVS, Outlaw Audio, and HSU will provide an improvement on your HT experience because of their ability to produce solid output down to 20hz. Subwoofers have improved in the last 10-15 years smile.gif

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post #20 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 09:42 PM
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It sounds like the ps1200 may not be a very good performer below 30hz: http://forums.audioreview.com/337858-post10.html
If that's the case, the 12" ported subs from SVS, Outlaw Audio, and HSU will provide an improvement on your HT experience because of their ability to produce solid output down t
o 20hz. Subwoofers have improved in the last 10-15 years smile.gif

This is correct in regards with the PS1200. It just can't handle the LFE under 30hz which on the DVE Blu Ray Buzz and Rattle test confirms this. You can do better, plus save money in the long run with the SVS or HSU and Outlaw to.

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