Speaker Recommendations! - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which would be best for a long term upgrade?
Best 5 new speakers and sub I could afford 3 12.00%
Best 3 new speakers and sub I could afford 22 88.00%
Best Center channel and sub I could afford 0 0%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 88 Old 10-19-2013, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright guys, here's to hoping this thread is actually productive! wink.gif

I would like to upgrade my setup. I have no idea what would be a good idea to buy. If you could help me understand what it is to look for in a speaker, and why, and what the best sound for your buck is!

1)My budget would be around 5k.

2)The speakers would be paired with a Marantz SR6007, and Oppo BDP-105.

3)Right now, my speaker setup is a 7.1 Atlantic Technology 2200 series, with a L,C,R, and 4 surround. Subwoofer is a BIC Acoustech PL-200.

Things I'm contemplating,
A) Whether to get 5 new speakers and sub. (and just forget about 7.1 in order to get higher quality speakers)

B) To just get 3 new front speakers and sub, and keep the surrounds. (again, in case it would be better to spend more money on the front speakers)

C) To just buy a kick butt center channel and sub. But I think I've heard that tonal balance or something like that between the front L,C,R is important, so I'm not sure if that's recommended.

In your opinion, for 5k, could I experience a significant difference in overall pleasure of sound? biggrin.gif

Thank you! Let's keep it productive!
smile.gif

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Soon to be: Reaction Audio PS215X
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post #2 of 88 Old 10-19-2013, 05:06 PM
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"B" is the obvious answer based on your current system.

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post #3 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 01:08 AM
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+1 "B"

For that budget you could have a big boost in sq by upgrading your front LCR and sub. Re 7.1 using the AT 2200 speakers you currently have ... LR mains as your new side-surrounds, pair of current surrounds as back-surrounds.

How big is your room (and how far away is the seating from the front speakers)? If the room is on the large side you might consider two subs. (Dual subs aren't for "louder" bass but to smooth/even-out the bass across the room and through the crossover.)

Couple other typical questions ...
- Ratio of stereo music listening to HT/surround listening?
- Any notable size or placement restrictions for the front LCR speakers?
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post #4 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

+1 "B"

For that budget you could have a big boost in sq by upgrading your front LCR and sub. Re 7.1 using the AT 2200 speakers you currently have ... LR mains as your new side-surrounds, pair of current surrounds as back-surrounds.

How big is your room (and how far away is the seating from the front speakers)? If the room is on the large side you might consider two subs. (Dual subs aren't for "louder" bass but to smooth/even-out the bass across the room and through the crossover.)

Couple other typical questions ...
- Ratio of stereo music listening to HT/surround listening?
- Any notable size or placement restrictions for the front LCR speakers?

What's the benefit of using the LR mains as side surrounds??

My room is only about 14x10

I'm about 8-8.5ft from the LR and Center from my seating position.
And no notable size or placement restrictions for the LCR speakers. just that I can only place them about a max of 1ft out from the rear wall.

Music listening is 100% surround. Anytime I use CD's, I use DTS Neo or Dolby for simulated surround. Never with just the LR. Stereo sources however, are about 20%.

And yes, I plan on getting a sub or two from either PSA or SVS.

Any speaker recommendations guys for LCR? Just good value, neutral, accurate speakers with my budget? smile.gif I know it's subjective, but I'm just looking for recommendations to check out myself.

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post #5 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post



Any speaker recommendations guys for LCR? Just good value, neutral, accurate speakers with my budget? smile.gif I know it's subjective, but I'm just looking for recommendations to check out myself.

Have you taken a look at PolkAudio? I have the RTiA series; LCR= RTiA9 and CSiA6. These are pretty great for both H.T. but the newer LSiM series is even better.
http://www.polkaudio.com/products/home-theater/floorstanding

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post #6 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post

Any speaker recommendations guys for LCR? Just good value, neutral, accurate speakers with my budget? smile.gif I know it's subjective, but I'm just looking for recommendations to check out myself.

Look at:

Salk Sound
http://www.salksound.com/songsurround%20overview%20-%20pricing.htm

Ascend
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1/srm1.html

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1C/srm1c.html

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post #7 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 06:28 PM
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+1 Salk

Hear good things about Ascend but not heard them. Spent lots of time with several Salk's at GTG here (and then bought some I loved them so much) and highly recommend the brand.
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post #8 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff4RFC View Post

Have you taken a look at PolkAudio? I have the RTiA series; LCR= RTiA9 and CSiA6. These are pretty great for both H.T. but the newer LSiM series is even better.
http://www.polkaudio.com/products/home-theater/floorstanding

Love Polk Audio. Always been a fan. Wow, those LSiM series are quite good looking too! Any idea how much a difference there would be between the LSiM705 and LSiM707? Have you heard these speakers?
What are your thoughts on your RTiA9's and CSiA6, any particular likes/dislikes?

Wow, I don't wanna totally disregard the Ascend's but those Salk SongTower's are Be-U-tiful! Wow, they've won some serious rewards for them too. Are they $2000 each or per pair? I couldn't tell. rolleyes.gif

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post #9 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Player3 View Post

Love Polk Audio. Always been a fan. Wow, those LSiM series are quite good looking too! Any idea how much a difference there would be between the LSiM705 and LSiM707? Have you heard these speakers?
What are your thoughts on your RTiA9's and CSiA6, any particular likes/dislikes?

I haven't heard the LSiM's yet. My plan is to get a pair of 703's for 2ch.

I love my A9's and center. They love lots of power, the A9's are rated up to 500w. I have two pairs of A9's and feeding the mains with 300w and the rears with 200w. The center is also getting 200w, my AVR feeds the surrounds (FXiA6).

I haven't found any dislikes. I really enjoy my set up. The A9's by them selves are capable of putting out some pretty serious bass, of course I have a pair of Epik Empires, so no comparison there but, the A9's alone can shake things around pretty good.

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post #10 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff4RFC View Post

I haven't heard the LSiM's yet. My plan is to get a pair of 703's for 2ch.

I love my A9's and center. They love lots of power, the A9's are rated up to 500w. I have two pairs of A9's and feeding the mains with 300w and the rears with 200w. The center is also getting 200w, my AVR feeds the surrounds (FXiA6).

I haven't found any dislikes. I really enjoy my set up. The A9's by them selves are capable of putting out some pretty serious bass, of course I have a pair of Epik Empires, so no comparison there but, the A9's alone can shake things around pretty good.

Wow, that's quite a lot of power! Does my Marantz have enough oomph?

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post #11 of 88 Old 10-20-2013, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post

What's the benefit of using the LR mains as side surrounds?? ...

The side surrounds typically carry more than the back surrounds in HT. But if you're doing a lot of surround music listening this might not apply. (My music listening is mostly stereo so I don't have much experience with surround music listening.)
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... My room is only about 14x10 ... And yes, I plan on getting a sub or two from either PSA or SVS.

In a room that size one, very good sub would likely be enough. Both PSA and SVS make excellent subs, esp. in the $600+ range wink.gif
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post #12 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 04:22 AM
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I would go take a look a look at the Ascend Sierra-1 with NRT tweeter, fantastic bookshelf and would be a great upgrade. Three across the front for your LCR, and then add a pair of subs like the Rythmik LV12R.

Another option would be the SVS Ultra speakers, I believe there is a good review of them on www.audioholics.com and they have a no risk 45 day in home trial with free shipping both ways. A pair of bookshelves and the center, matched with a pair of SVS PB12-NSD subs would be great.

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post #13 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post


I would like to upgrade my setup. I have no idea what would be a good idea to buy. If you could help me understand what it is to look for in a speaker, and why, and what the best sound for your buck is!

Whichever sounds great to you.

But the first thing I would do is to get dual subs - like dual Rythmik, HSU, SVS, PSA, Funk, etc.

Then after you get dual subs, run Audyssey again and try out Audyssey vs. Flat. Use Dynamic EQ. Experiment with Dynamic Volume. May also experiment with increasing the subwoofer levels - may increase by +3dB if that makes the bass better for you.

Whichever makes the sound great.

I would not worry too much about the amp.

Just do one thing at a time. You will need high quality subs no matter which speakers you end up with.

If that significantly improves from sound, then don't waste any money on buying anymore speakers. If not, then we can continue with suggesting new speakers. biggrin.gif
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post #14 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 07:15 AM
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If you use subs, the speakers will require A LOT LESS power.

As an experiment, I sit 12ft or 3.66m from my speakers. I listen to some pop/rock songs and the max SPL is 108dBC. With all subs turn off, the max SPL is now 87dBC. So in this experiment, the subs add up to 21dBC. biggrin.gif

This means that for ONE speaker w/ a SEN of 90dB/2.83v/m and distance of 3.66m (12ft), it would take the amp only 7 watts. TWO speakers would increase SPL by 3dB. Two speakers each playing 84dB would produce a total volume of 87dB. So for each speaker to produce 84dB, it would only take 3 watts each.
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post #15 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 07:55 AM
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Polk LSI707 + LSI center + LSI surrounds + nice subwoofer.
And that Marantz is okay for surrounds/(may be center) but not for fronts.
Use is as pre-amp.
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post #16 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post

Wow, I don't wanna totally disregard the Ascend's but those Salk SongTower's are Be-U-tiful! Wow, they've won some serious rewards for them too. Are they $2000 each or per pair? I couldn't tell. rolleyes.gif

They are per pair

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post #17 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I would go take a look a look at the Ascend Sierra-1 with NRT tweeter, fantastic bookshelf and would be a great upgrade. Three across the front for your LCR, and then add a pair of subs like the Rythmik LV12R.

Another option would be the SVS Ultra speakers, I believe there is a good review of them on www.audioholics.com and they have a no risk 45 day in home trial with free shipping both ways. A pair of bookshelves and the center, matched with a pair of SVS PB12-NSD subs would be great.

Yes, I've emailed SVS and really love the 45 day in home trial. That may be the selling point for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

The side surrounds typically carry more than the back surrounds in HT. But if you're doing a lot of surround music listening this might not apply. (My music listening is mostly stereo so I don't have much experience with surround music listening.)
In a room that size one, very good sub would likely be enough. Both PSA and SVS make excellent subs, esp. in the $600+ range wink.gif

The SVS tech said his all time choice for a single sub would be an SB13 Ultra. And he thought that way I could get great sound quality, it even add another one down the line for duals.
PSA recommended dual XS15's or an XS30. And I may or may not have asked about the Triax... rolleyes.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Whichever sounds great to you.

But the first thing I would do is to get dual subs - like dual Rythmik, HSU, SVS, PSA, Funk, etc.

Then after you get dual subs, run Audyssey again and try out Audyssey vs. Flat. Use Dynamic EQ. Experiment with Dynamic Volume. May also experiment with increasing the subwoofer levels - may increase by +3dB if that makes the bass better for you.

Whichever makes the sound great.

I would not worry too much about the amp.

Just do one thing at a time. You will need high quality subs no matter which speakers you end up with.

If that significantly improves from sound, then don't waste any money on buying anymore speakers. If not, then we can continue with suggesting new speakers. biggrin.gif

Already been emailing Rythmik, HSU, SVS, and PSA. I was most interested in SVS, HSU and PSA. I love the customer service from them, they've been very responsive and helpful. I'm certainly going to upgrade my subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

If you use subs, the speakers will require A LOT LESS power.

As an experiment, I sit 12ft or 3.66m from my speakers. I listen to some pop/rock songs and the max SPL is 108dBC. With all subs turn off, the max SPL is now 87dBC. So in this experiment, the subs add up to 21dBC. biggrin.gif

This means that for ONE speaker w/ a SEN of 90dB/2.83v/m and distance of 3.66m (12ft), it would take the amp only 7 watts. TWO speakers would increase SPL by 3dB. Two speakers each playing 84dB would produce a total volume of 87dB. So for each speaker to produce 84dB, it would only take 3 watts each.

Interesting stuff. That's about the maximum volume I ever get. My speakers have a rated sensitivity of 90dB, so is it really only requiring like 50 watts?! And yes, I run one sub right now, which like I mentioned, I plan on upgrading! biggrin.gif
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Originally Posted by mystery123 View Post

Polk LSI707 + LSI center + LSI surrounds + nice subwoofer.
And that Marantz is okay for surrounds/(may be center) but not for fronts.
Use is as pre-amp.

So you recommend Polk as well? Have you had much experience with Polk Audio? And alright, so you think I *do* need an amplifier to power the LSiM's and Center?
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

They are per pair

Now that would be doable. I'm highly interested. I'm gonna research those some more as well. Thanks for the recommendation! smile.gif

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post #18 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 12:25 PM
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So you recommend Polk as well? Have you had much experience with Polk Audio? And alright, so you think I *do* need an amplifier to power the LSiM's and Center?
Yes, that receiver definitely will not do justice to LSI's.
There are a lot of choices at that price range and I don't have much experience on other brands.
Sonus Faber, Usher etc... could be better alternatives.
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post #19 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 12:31 PM
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The LSiMs would be a good choice, but as others have mentioned they are not easy to drive and you will need discrete amplification. One option is to go with something like a Denon X4000 which has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (the best consumer grade version) and SubEQ HT, and use that as your processor. Then pickup a 3 channel amp from Emotiva for example to power your front sound stage. At your budget, you really can't pick a bad sub, they are all pretty comparable, and if a single sub is something you would prefer I would take a look a look at the Rythmik FV15HP. A Triax would be killer, perhaps quite literally biggrin.gif.

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post #20 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

The LSiMs would be a good choice, but as others have mentioned they are not easy to drive and you will need discrete amplification. One option is to go with something like a Denon X4000 which has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (the best consumer grade version) and SubEQ HT, and use that as your processor. Then pickup a 3 channel amp from Emotiva for example to power your front sound stage. At your budget, you really can't pick a bad sub, they are all pretty comparable, and if a single sub is something you would prefer I would take a look a look at the Rythmik FV15HP. A Triax would be killer, perhaps quite literally biggrin.gif.

Hehehehe that Triax... eek.gif

I don't think I'm really interested in swapping my Marantz SR6007 for a Denon X4000.
Right, I checked out Emotiva, now I saw a 3-channel amplifier with 200w each, would that be enough to satisfy their hunger do you think? (right now mine is 110w I believe)

And yes, I have looked at Rythmik, what's killer for me, is that 45 day trial and free shipping back SVS offers. And they have SUCH good user reviews on their site.

Have any of you heard of Zu Audio? Or Seaton Sound? Any thoughts on Paradigm either? (their speakers just look gorgeous to me)

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post #21 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 06:39 PM
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If you are gonna go 5.1 for HT I highly recommend going with KEF LS-50 all around. check the KEF LS-50 thread. I posted a link where they are selling a pair for $1,150 brand new shipped to door. (usually $1,500 without shipping). Then get a Rythmic sub. Better than HSU and SVS IMO.
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post #22 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player3 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

The LSiMs would be a good choice, but as others have mentioned they are not easy to drive and you will need discrete amplification. One option is to go with something like a Denon X4000 which has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (the best consumer grade version) and SubEQ HT, and use that as your processor. Then pickup a 3 channel amp from Emotiva for example to power your front sound stage. At your budget, you really can't pick a bad sub, they are all pretty comparable, and if a single sub is something you would prefer I would take a look a look at the Rythmik FV15HP. A Triax would be killer, perhaps quite literally biggrin.gif.

Hehehehe that Triax... eek.gif

I don't think I'm really interested in swapping my Marantz SR6007 for a Denon X4000.
Right, I checked out Emotiva, now I saw a 3-channel amplifier with 200w each, would that be enough to satisfy their hunger do you think? (right now mine is 110w I believe)

And yes, I have looked at Rythmik, what's killer for me, is that 45 day trial and free shipping back SVS offers. And they have SUCH good user reviews on their site.

Have any of you heard of Zu Audio? Or Seaton Sound? Any thoughts on Paradigm either? (their speakers just look gorgeous to me)

Player3, is your budget still "around $5K" for the LCR and sub? If so, here's my somewhat against-the-grain recommendation:

3 X JTR Single 8HT + JTR Captivator S1 = $4655 (incl. 5% discount) (excl. shipping)

In your room, this system will deliver thundering performance simply hooked up to your current Marantz. Because of the high sensitivity (95dBSPL/W/m; conservative), an AVR upgrade or separate amp is not required.

Later on, suitable good value surrounds would be the JBL 8320 at $500/pair shipped.

There's a bit more discussion in this recent post if you're interested.

If your budget has increased beyond $5K, I would step up to the horn loaded JTR Noesis 228HT for the LCR for ~$800 total more.

Otherwise, let us know what your figure is and I'll give you another recommendation that spends right up to it! biggrin.gif

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post #23 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
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Player3, is your budget still "around $5K" for the LCR and sub? If so, here's my somewhat against-the-grain recommendation:

3 X JTR Single 8HT + JTR Captivator S1 = $4655 (incl. 5% discount) (excl. shipping)

In your room, this system will deliver thundering performance simply hooked up to your current Marantz. Because of the high sensitivity (95dBSPL/W/m; conservative), an AVR upgrade or separate amp is not required.
The biggest problem I see there is: Only one sub.

I agree with the recommendation to run at least 2 to deal with room modes and standing waves.
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post #24 of 88 Old 10-21-2013, 11:51 PM
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I can vouch for the Polk LSIM series. Even with my non-ideal family room layout the 703 bookshelf and 704c center have sounded outstanding along with two Hsu subs and a Denon AVR X4000. I added two Axiom QS8 quadpolar surrounds due to family room size and color aesthetic requirements. This is the only Axiom speaker I would consider. They mix extraordinarily well with the LSIM series, to my ears.
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post #25 of 88 Old 10-22-2013, 04:08 AM
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Hehehehe that Triax... eek.gif

I don't think I'm really interested in swapping my Marantz SR6007 for a Denon X4000.
Right, I checked out Emotiva, now I saw a 3-channel amplifier with 200w each, would that be enough to satisfy their hunger do you think? (right now mine is 110w I believe)

And yes, I have looked at Rythmik, what's killer for me, is that 45 day trial and free shipping back SVS offers. And they have SUCH good user reviews on their site.

Have any of you heard of Zu Audio? Or Seaton Sound? Any thoughts on Paradigm either? (their speakers just look gorgeous to me)

Ah I didn't see you already had the Marantz. Yes that Emotiva would work well, it's rated for 4-ohm speakers and is no slouch. SVS makes fantastic subs, can't go wrong there.

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post #26 of 88 Old 10-22-2013, 06:51 AM
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Go with a pair of good subs. Calibrate system and listen to it again. Then decide if you want to upgrade the front three speakers. Personally I would do both, but maybe not at the same time. I think a pair of subs would make the most impact. If you would like to discuss, give us a call.

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post #27 of 88 Old 10-22-2013, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

Player3, is your budget still "around $5K" for the LCR and sub? If so, here's my somewhat against-the-grain recommendation:

3 X JTR Single 8HT + JTR Captivator S1 = $4655 (incl. 5% discount) (excl. shipping)

In your room, this system will deliver thundering performance simply hooked up to your current Marantz. Because of the high sensitivity (95dBSPL/W/m; conservative), an AVR upgrade or separate amp is not required.
The biggest problem I see there is: Only one sub.

I agree with the recommendation to run at least 2 to deal with room modes and standing waves.

Yes, but what a sub! biggrin.gif



I am aware of the benefits dual subs can offer. However, I disagree that it has to be a mandatory recommendation to go for duals from the outset in all situations.

Player3 has indicated a willingness to adopt an upgrade path and can elect to address modal problems (if any) with a second sub at some later stage.
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post #28 of 88 Old 10-22-2013, 08:26 AM
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Even if you eventually change your entire system, it's good to do it one step at a time.

I also think your Marantz is fine. I would not change it unless it has issues driving your speakers, which I doubt.

The Marantz 6007 can output 153WPC x 2Ch into 8 ohms, 196WPC x 2Ch into 4 ohms, and 92WPC x 5Ch into 8 ohms.

It is similar to the Denon 3312/3313/X4000. I have used the Denon 3312 to power a pair of B&W 802D2, KEF 201/2, ATC SCM7, Focal 826v, Dynaudio X32, Philharmonic 3. No power problems at all. So I would not worry.

So just get high quality dual subs first. Then next step would be the speakers if you feel the upgrade fever.

For speakers, in most rooms, don't even worry about high efficiency (HE) vs. low efficiency. For extremely large rooms, HE speakers makes sense. But most of us have rooms not larger than 20' x 20', so no big deal. HE doesn't hurt, but just not an important factor.

Then you have the speaker measurements, particularly the on-axis frequency response and off-axis frequency response. Some double-blinded studies (Floyd, Olive, Harman) show that "most" people (not all people) prefer speakers with flat on-axis and smooth off-axis. BTW, this is also a requirement for THX Ultra2 certification of speakers - flat on-axis, smooth off-axis. THX also requires the speakers to be able to play to THX reference SPL volume, but for most rooms under 20' x 20', this won't be a problem for most speakers.

Obviously, theory and measurement is one thing. But how the speakers actually sound to you in your room is the most important thing.

And then you have other factors like aesthetic, price, pro review, peer review. Is peer review important to you? Do you buy speakers based on a few people's approval?

So you can do research and then ask yourself what is important to you. Is speaker measurement important to you? If it is, then don't buy speakers with poor measurement or no measurement at all.

Let's say it came down to 2 speakers - A & B. Both sound equally great to YOUR EARS, both are the same price and equally in every way except one. Speaker A has perfect speaker measurement, while speaker B has poor speaker measurement or no measurement at all.

Which speaker would you buy?

And realize that many of us have upgraded our systems many times over. So take your time and do a lot of research. Then do some more research unless you want to be like us and feel like upgrading again next year. biggrin.gif
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post #29 of 88 Old 10-22-2013, 08:39 AM
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Interesting stuff. That's about the maximum volume I ever get. My speakers have a rated sensitivity of 90dB, so is it really only requiring like 50 watts?
In my case (speaker sensitivity 85dB), my amps don't even require more than 25 watts max. So your Marantz has more than enough power.

Do us all a favor and try something. Use a digital SPL meter w/ Max Volume feature (like the $60 Galaxy SPL meter) and measure the max volume with your speakers + sub from where you sit. The Max volume that YOU are comfortable with. Then simply shut off your sub. Then measure the Max Volume again to see the SPL coming from just your speakers. This is the load your amp is required to drive. We will see how much power your amp needs.

http://www.amazon.com/Galaxy-CM130-Sound-Level-Meter/dp/B0002GWFG4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382456941&sr=8-1&keywords=galaxy+spl+meter
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post #30 of 88 Old 10-22-2013, 03:10 PM
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Room size = doesn't matter. If it did, nothing would work outdoors.

Listening distance = matter.
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