Diminishing Returns and Matching Quality of Components - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-31-2013, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Relatively new to hi-fi, particularly so with sound, and have been waffling about my next upgrade/first foray into the world of hi-fi audio. I have a Klipsch RW12D sub already along with an older set of Harmon Kardon satellites and an Onyko TXSR705 receiver. After sampling some towers at my local MHT, I couldn't believe the night and day difference I was hearing between little satellites mounted on my wall versus any of the towers and the disease has set in --- I must upgrade. My original plan has me waiting a bit and go all in on a SVS Ultra setup including the ultra sub so right at $5700 which I still plan on doing later this spring. My conundrum now is that I want to go ahead and do a front sound stage with my existing hardware, something that compliments the existing sub quite well but doesn't break the bank, I will just move this setup to the bedroom as the Zone 2 system once I go with the SVS setup. So what would you do?

Option 1: Polk TSi500 + CS20 front sound stage upgrade now ~ $900, re-use rest of existing equipment.

Option 2: SVS Front Sound Stage ~ $2700 do the rest later --- will the RW12D be able to keep up? Or is this gross quality mismatch just going to be awful?


How diminishing, in general, are the returns as you up in price/quality? Will there be a HUGE difference between Option 1 and 2?


Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-31-2013, 06:30 PM
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Speakers are the most important piece of gear in the system (assuming everything else is at least competent). Speakers have far worse faults than amplifiers and music players. The trick is to find out what kind of speakers you can live with most happily.

Some love the impact, clarity and brightness of Klipsch speakers. Some find them too bright and in-your-face. If you find you like Klipsch, read up on pi Speakers and Gedlee speakers.

Others love the smoothness and "inner detail" of Focal type speakers. Klipsch owners may find them unexciting.

Still others prefer the sound of large planar speakers like Martin-Logan or Magnepan.

My advice would be to go listen to some really expensive and highly regarded speakers. Figure out what type of speaker you prefer. Then go shopping in your price range, and try to find something that has a similar character to what your ideal speaker has. Choose a brand that is well regarded and of known high quality, in case you tire of the speakers and want to sell them later.

Good luck with this.
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PS -- Really, really good speakers are horribly expensive, and usually large.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-31-2013, 07:57 PM
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Really good speakers are not "horribly expensive" There are plenty of excellent speakers out there that won't break the bank. There are also quite a few ridiculously expensive speakers that are absolute shyte.

If I were the OP, I would save up your money and get the SVS system. Great sound at a great value.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-01-2013, 10:27 AM
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The SVS setup would be really nice, and you have a trial with free return shipping so it's pretty much risk free

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-03-2013, 07:39 PM
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There are basically really good systems at basically every price point as long as your expectations are in check. You cant expect perfect resolution and amazing bass from a speaker thats small. These EMPteks seem to get great reviews and many people here recommend them as some of the best under $2000/pair speakers.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-03-2013, 07:42 PM
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For $900, you could better than that Polk setup. Get some HSU or Ascend Acoustic speakers.

The RW12 may be able to keep up with your setup (depends on your room size), but I certainly wouldn't put in in the same class as those SVS speakers. Did you look at SVS subs?

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-03-2013, 08:50 PM
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Best advice I've ever heard?

Buy the best speakers you can comfortably afford, new or used, and then never ever listen to anything better. If you do, you'll wind up like the rest of us. Forever chasing that point of diminishing return. Right into divorce court and bancruptcy.
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