$500 budget - what to upgrade? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have currently around $500 budgeted to upgrade my modest home-theater speaker system.

Current components:

Yamaha RX-V373 receiver
Martin Logan MLT2 speakers with default sub

Where should the $500 be used to see the biggest performance in sound quality? I'm not opposed to upgrading more down the line, but that's all the cash I have for now. 50/50 music/movies split with a smallish living room (14x16)

My options are:

1) Upgrade the receiver - which one?
2) Buy a new sub (I'm leaning towards the SVS PB 1000 - is there a better one for $500?)
3) Replace the front 3 sound stage

If you recommend option 3, please suggest a LCR package that would be suitable.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 08:58 AM
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I would work on the front sound-stage

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I would work on the front sound-stage

Any recommendations for $500 or less?
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by goldark View Post

Any recommendations for $500 or less?

Philharmonic Audio (modded pioneer) AAL Monitors
http://philharmonicaudio.com/folio-me/html/Phil%20Pages/AALS.html

Cambridge S30 and S50, front 3 speakers
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/cambridge%20audio/results/1.html

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Philharmonic Audio (modded pioneer) AAL Monitors
http://philharmonicaudio.com/folio-me/html/Phil%20Pages/AALS.html

Cambridge S30 and S50, front 3 speakers
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/cambridge%20audio/results/1.html

I've often seen this recommended as well for a similar price: http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers

How does this compare to the other 2?
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by goldark View Post

I've often seen this recommended as well for a similar price: http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers

How does this compare to the other 2?

This is my preference, from my experience

(1) AAL Monitors

(2) Cambridge (origional) S speakers

(3) HTD Level Three/Two

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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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post #7 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 11:06 AM
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What you should upgrade depends on what, exactly, you are dissatisfied with at present.  For example, if you are unhappy with the deep bass, but otherwise like the sound, then you should buy an SVS PB-1000.  If, however, you are happy with the deep bass, but dissatisfied with the upper frequencies, then you should be looking at new front speakers.

 

As for the receiver, you should upgrade that only when you need some feature it lacks.  A receiver is relatively insignificant for actual sound quality; it is the speakers, including the subwoofer, that make the most difference in what you hear.

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post #8 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

What you should upgrade depends on what, exactly, you are dissatisfied with at present.  For example, if you are unhappy with the deep bass, but otherwise like the sound, then you should buy an SVS PB-1000.  If, however, you are happy with the deep bass, but dissatisfied with the upper frequencies, then you should be looking at new front speakers.

As for the receiver, you should upgrade that only when you need some feature it lacks.  A receiver is relatively insignificant for actual sound quality; it is the speakers, including the subwoofer, that make the most difference in what you hear.

This is good advice, but truth be told, it still all sounds pretty decent to me with both music and movies. I don't have a ton of experience with higher end systems so I'm not even sure what I'd be currently missing. It's just that itch to upgrade wink.gif
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldark View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

What you should upgrade depends on what, exactly, you are dissatisfied with at present.  For example, if you are unhappy with the deep bass, but otherwise like the sound, then you should buy an SVS PB-1000.  If, however, you are happy with the deep bass, but dissatisfied with the upper frequencies, then you should be looking at new front speakers.

As for the receiver, you should upgrade that only when you need some feature it lacks.  A receiver is relatively insignificant for actual sound quality; it is the speakers, including the subwoofer, that make the most difference in what you hear.

This is good advice, but truth be told, it still all sounds pretty decent to me with both music and movies. I don't have a ton of experience with higher end systems so I'm not even sure what I'd be currently missing. It's just that itch to upgrade wink.gif

 

If it is just an "itch," I recommend resisting it entirely.  I think it is better to wait until you have some idea of what you want, rather than buy something now not knowing what it is that it is supposed to do for you that you don't already have.  But it is your money.

 

As for the subwoofer, the SVS PB-1000 is the best at its price point, if depth and flatness of the response is what is most wanted.  If one wanted higher volume, and was willing to trade depth of bass for it, then something else could be "better."

 

The SVS PB-1000 would be a huge upgrade from your current subwoofer.  A -3dB point of 37 Hz (your current Martin Logan MLT-2) is pretty sad for a subwoofer.


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post #10 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldark View Post

I don't have a ton of experience with higher end systems so I'm not even sure what I'd be currently missing. It's just that itch to upgrade wink.gif

You do not know what you are missing, till you hear it.

What you do is up to you.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

You do not know what you are missing, till you hear it.

What you do is up to you.

I agree, that's why I'm asking you guys to what you think I'm missing the most wink.gif

I am leaning towards upgrading my subwoofer. And maybe the front 3 next year when I have some spare cash.
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by goldark View Post

I agree, that's why I'm asking you guys to what you think I'm missing the most wink.gif

I am leaning towards upgrading my subwoofer. And maybe the front 3 next year when I have some spare cash.

For me, it would be getting bigger box speakers to crossover better to a subwoofer, for better
blending and punch.

However, if you are a head-banger/bass-head > then upgrade the sub.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 01:07 PM
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If you want an idea of what you are missing, you should go out into the world and listen to other systems that cost much more than yours.  However, that can be dangerous, as one may then want expensive things that one previously did not feel the need to buy.  The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus warned against getting spoiled and developing expensive tastes, as then it is harder for one to be happy.  So, if you are happy with what you have, you might want to just keep what you have and not listen to anything else and remain happy.  If you want to lust after very expensive gear, go to the best audio store in your area, and listen to their best equipment.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 01:51 PM
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Best bang for the buck with $500...Pioneer SP-BS22's, matching center, and Klipsh sub-12 from Amazon! But if you wanted to put the money towards just one item at a time I would recommend the sub if movies are more important to you now, and the front speakers if music is more important.
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