Help me get the best out of my entry level reciever! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Help me get the best out of my entry level reciever!

I currently have a set of Yamaha NS-P40BL speakers and they're quite blah in my opinion, I like the powered sub because it creates enough of a boom for where I live lol

My receiver is a sony str-dh540 which powers a cable box, xbox one, xbox 360, and goes all to my Sony HW40ES, at the time I thought this receiver would be enough and it was but like always, I want more!

It's all wired with crap stock 16 gauge wire that came with it, I have a ton of 12 gauge wire waiting to be used for my next set of speakers

SO MY QUESTION IS, can I really get a better sound with this receiver, new wires, and new speakers(which you guys will help me choose of course) or is this the best I will get out of this receiver and I should save for another one?
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlg View Post
I currently have a set of Yamaha NS-P40BL speakers and they're quite blah in my opinion, I like the powered sub because it creates enough of a boom for where I live lol

My receiver is a sony str-dh540 which powers a cable box, xbox one, xbox 360, and goes all to my Sony HW40ES, at the time I thought this receiver would be enough and it was but like always, I want more!

It's all wired with crap stock 16 gauge wire that came with it, I have a ton of 12 gauge wire waiting to be used for my next set of speakers

SO MY QUESTION IS, can I really get a better sound with this receiver, new wires, and new speakers(which you guys will help me choose of course) or is this the best I will get out of this receiver and I should save for another one?
I think you nailed the issue when you said the speakers sound blah. Speakers are the most important component and if they are not of good quality, it doesn't really matter what is driving them. My suggestion to you is to find the local audio stores in the area and go listen. The longer you look, the more speakers you listen to, the better the choice you will make. When you do find something you like and can afford, buy a pair and take them home. If they sound good with the Sony, then you are home free. If not, come back for more advice.

Take a look at the latest Pioneer bookshelf (NS-22?) speakers. They are the current "best bang for a cheap buck". They periodically go on sale for 1/2 price!

Subwoofers ... to get something good is a minimum of $500-600 (SVS, HSU, Rhythmic are good choices) There are some adequate subs at lower cost, but that is still a $300 investment (look around the sub forum for recommendations, BIC, etc ... ).

I would suggest you find and invest in a nice pair of speakers for now, with the idea of saving to fill out the set as more funds become available. Invest in a center channel next, one that is specifically designed to match the front pair. If you want, you can use the Yamaha sub and a pair of the speakers for surrounds until you are able to replace those, but don't use the Yamaha center channel (it'll interfere with the new speakers), just run the new speakers in "no center channel" mode on the receiver until you can get the matching center.

I'm sure others will have further suggestions .. but there is no substitute for actually listening to the speakers before you buy ... in my experience the happiness of the buyer with his new speakers is directly related to the effort made in selecting them.

The usual questions that will be asked are:

What is your budget?
What size is the room (including any adjoining open spaces)?
What are your listening habits (How much HT, how much music and what type, how loud, bass-head)?
How do you have the speakers set up in the room and where do you sit relative to them (positioning often makes a big difference and pics of the room would help)?
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Last edited by RayGuy; 06-29-2014 at 03:56 PM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 05:18 PM
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I definately agree, speakers are what matters. You can have the nicest receiver in the world and if you have crappy speakers, they will still sound bad. Decent speakers however, will still sound good on a lower end receiver. Your receiver doesn't really look that bad either. Its not real high end, but it should still do the job. Also as a side note, when it comes to wire, the material matters. If the 16 gauge is copper and the 12 gauge is not, then the 16 gauge would be better. Your speakers have an 83db. sensitivity. To be blunt, thats about as bad as it can get. Sensitivity is a measure of how efficient a speaker is. Do some research and you will find the difference between decent surrounds (somewhere in the 89db plus range, opinions on what is decent vary) is huge. A general rule is that to add 3db you must double the power. This means that you would see a four fold increase in actual sound output with decent speakers. These speakers also are 1 way. That means that they don't really do low and high frequencies very well, leading to the blah sound you describe.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
I think you nailed the issue when you said the speakers sound blah. Speakers are the most important component and if they are not of good quality, it doesn't really matter what is driving them. My suggestion to you is to find the local audio stores in the area and go listen. The longer you look, the more speakers you listen to, the better the choice you will make. When you do find something you like and can afford, buy a pair and take them home. If they sound good with the Sony, then you are home free. If not, come back for more advice.

Take a look at the latest Pioneer bookshelf (NS-22?) speakers. They are the current "best bang for a cheap buck". They periodically go on sale for 1/2 price!

Subwoofers ... to get something good is a minimum of $500-600 (SVS, HSU, Rhythmic are good choices) There are some adequate subs at lower cost, but that is still a $300 investment (look around the sub forum for recommendations, BIC, etc ... ).

I would suggest you find and invest in a nice pair of speakers for now, with the idea of saving to fill out the set as more funds become available. Invest in a center channel next, one that is specifically designed to match the front pair. If you want, you can use the Yamaha sub and a pair of the speakers for surrounds until you are able to replace those, but don't use the Yamaha center channel (it'll interfere with the new speakers), just run the new speakers in "no center channel" mode on the receiver until you can get the matching center.

I'm sure others will have further suggestions .. but there is no substitute for actually listening to the speakers before you buy ... in my experience the happiness of the buyer with his new speakers is directly related to the effort made in selecting them.

The usual questions that will be asked are:

What is your budget?
What size is the room (including any adjoining open spaces)?
What are your listening habits (How much HT, how much music and what type, how loud, bass-head)?
How do you have the speakers set up in the room and where do you sit relative to them (positioning often makes a big difference and pics of the room would help)?
Thank you so much for such a great starting post and taking your time to reply, I appreciate it

Onto the pioneer you recommended, what center channel would go best with the speakers you suggested? What about the cables, does the gauge matter?

Questions wise:

What is your budget?
- I really don't have a budget, I just want an upgrade with something that will "harmonize" with my receiver! But hopefully no more than $700ish for the 5 speakers excluding sub. My main concern are the center and the fronts.

What size is the room (including any adjoining open spaces)?
-the room is about 1515, it is an open floor plan so the kitchen and everything is to the right.

What are your listening habits (How much HT, how much music and what type, how loud, bass-head)?
-I game about 30% of the time, the other 50% would be blu-ray films, and the other 20% would be casual cable. I don't like to blast the system because my neighbors suck, no need to be a bass-head that's where my car comes into play and shakes everything nearby.

How do you have the speakers set up in the room and where do you sit relative to them (positioning often makes a big difference and pics of the room would help)?
-I have the speakers ALL in front of me at the moment sadly because I want to upgrade before setting it all up, but the way they will be set up is I sit in front of the screen, the center channel under the screen the the fronts to the left and right side respectively, then the surrounds on the wall which is my seating position so to the left and right of my "ears"
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpotier16 View Post
I definately agree, speakers are what matters. You can have the nicest receiver in the world and if you have crappy speakers, they will still sound bad. Decent speakers however, will still sound good on a lower end receiver. Your receiver doesn't really look that bad either. Its not real high end, but it should still do the job. Also as a side note, when it comes to wire, the material matters. If the 16 gauge is copper and the 12 gauge is not, then the 16 gauge would be better. Your speakers have an 83db. sensitivity. To be blunt, thats about as bad as it can get. Sensitivity is a measure of how efficient a speaker is. Do some research and you will find the difference between decent surrounds (somewhere in the 89db plus range, opinions on what is decent vary) is huge. A general rule is that to add 3db you must double the power. This means that you would see a four fold increase in actual sound output with decent speakers. These speakers also are 1 way. That means that they don't really do low and high frequencies very well, leading to the blah sound you describe.
I think it's funny how I have a bit of knowledge when it comes to car audio, but where I'm at zero. I knew about the copper vs. non-copper wires and I do have copper 12 gauge thank god! haha, onto my receiver, yeah I got it on sale for $199 at best buy, it seemed to fit my needs with 3D and 1080p as well as many outputs but didn't think to look at watts and all that good stuff

Well the other poster suggested the pioneer speakers and I think I found them, how do you feel about these?

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

and if those are the set (which I already love while doing a bit of research) what center channel would fit it well?

Last edited by kevinlg; 06-29-2014 at 05:54 PM.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 10:53 AM
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I have never actually heard those, but many people on these forums are pleased with them for the price. They will be a massive improvement over your current speakers. As I said I haven't ever heard them, but this seems to be the matching center. To me, they are a little small, but since you have the neighbor issue to deal with they should work well for your purposes.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...peakers/SP-C22

I also agree on buying an svs sub or something else not from pioneer. To me, an 8 inch is really small and won't give you really good low end response (in general, larger speakers can reproduce lower frequencies than smaller speakers, keep in mind this is a generalization). I would say you should get a nice 12 inch.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlg View Post
- I really don't have a budget, I just want an upgrade with something that will "harmonize" with my receiver! But hopefully no more than $700ish for the 5 speakers excluding sub. My main concern are the center and the fronts.
I like the New Sony Core speakers at Best Buy - I even prefer them over the Pioneer ones

Bookshelf
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-cor...&skuId=5721014

The Center
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-cor...&skuId=5720006

The NXG subwoofer can work fine for your needs
http://www.amazon.com/NXG-Technology...=nxg+ba500+sub

The NXG Pro 4.1 sats - can make some nice surrounds - sold each
http://www.amazon.com/Nxg-Satellite-...ds=nxg+pro+4.1

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kpotier16 View Post
I have never actually heard those, but many people on these forums are pleased with them for the price. They will be a massive improvement over your current speakers. As I said I haven't ever heard them, but this seems to be the matching center. To me, they are a little small, but since you have the neighbor issue to deal with they should work well for your purposes.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...peakers/SP-C22

I also agree on buying an svs sub or something else not from pioneer. To me, an 8 inch is really small and won't give you really good low end response (in general, larger speakers can reproduce lower frequencies than smaller speakers, keep in mind this is a generalization). I would say you should get a nice 12 inch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I like the New Sony Core speakers at Best Buy - I even prefer them over the Pioneer ones

Bookshelf
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-cor...&skuId=5721014

The Center
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-cor...&skuId=5720006

The NXG subwoofer can work fine for your needs
http://www.amazon.com/NXG-Technology...=nxg+ba500+sub

The NXG Pro 4.1 sats - can make some nice surrounds - sold each
http://www.amazon.com/Nxg-Satellite-...ds=nxg+pro+4.1
I'll have to do some researching now to see if I want to go pioneer or go ALL Sony(receiver, projector, etc)

Those NXG are so cheap wow, I have some amazon gift cards so I may just jump the gun on those already.
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There's no reason to go all Pioneer or all Sony.

1. Get the receiver you like best
2. Get the speakers you like best.

If the speakers and receiver happen to be from the same manufacturer then great, if not that's fine too.

I don't think Pioneer makes projectors at all.

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Last edited by afrogt; 06-30-2014 at 11:28 AM.
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I like the New Sony Core speakers at Best Buy - I even prefer them over the Pioneer ones

Bookshelf
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-cor...&skuId=5721014
So you've had a chance to listen to them? In store or at home?
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 03:06 PM
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So you've had a chance to listen to them? In store or at home?
Only in the store so far - however I heard enough to know, that they are nice.

They are more open and have better detail and definition, compared to the Pioneer speakers.
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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
There's no reason to go all Pioneer or all Sony.

1. Get the receiver you like best
2. Get the speakers you like best.

If the speakers and receiver happen to be from the same manufacturer then great, if not that's fine too.

I don't think Pioneer makes projectors at all.
I didn't mean it in the way you thought I meant it, I just said ALL sony since I already have a Sony HW40ES projector and a Sony receiver. I have no issue with going pioneer, or any other brand for that matter.

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post #13 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, can't I just use any "bookshelf" speaker as a satellite or surround speaker? I see the whole pioneer package for $499.99 on amazon and that's a good deal in my opinion, I'm sure I could sell my set for $200 give or take including the powered sub.
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Just two weeks ago Amazon had the FS52 for $65 ea, BS22 for $65/pr and C22 for $50. That's $245 for the 5.0 set. So $499 for a 5.1 package with the 8" sub isn't all that great of a deal.

http://slickdeals.net/f/6982792-pion...-free-shipping

Afro GT
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlg View Post
Also, can't I just use any "bookshelf" speaker as a satellite or surround speaker? I see the whole pioneer package for $499.99 on amazon and that's a good deal in my opinion, I'm sure I could sell my set for $200 give or take including the powered sub.
The front 3 channels need to timbre (tone color) match - however, you can use
a different brand/series for surrounds - and you can use a different subwoofer.

Pioneer is your call

__________________________________________
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 PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-01-2014, 05:54 AM
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Sub

If you want a decent sub at a VERY reasonable price consider this:

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...m_campaign=pla

Bought this at suggestion of an AVS member and it's amazing for the price.
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-01-2014, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
Just two weeks ago Amazon had the FS52 for $65 ea, BS22 for $65/pr and C22 for $50. That's $245 for the 5.0 set. So $499 for a 5.1 package with the 8" sub isn't all that great of a deal.

http://slickdeals.net/f/6982792-pion...-free-shipping
I frequent that site often, can't believe I didn't see that! I just meant for "retail" that it was a good price. I like to shop around for deals anyways!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
The front 3 channels need to timbre (tone color) match - however, you can use
a different brand/series for surrounds - and you can use a different subwoofer.

Pioneer is your call
Yep pioneer is calling my name!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan James View Post
If you want a decent sub at a VERY reasonable price consider this:

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...m_campaign=pla

Bought this at suggestion of an AVS member and it's amazing for the price.
Oh wow it is, I'll research on all of this some more for sure.

Thank you so much, guys!
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-05-2014, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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So I went ahead and ordered the two pioneer floor standing speakers, the bookshelf for surrounds, the center, and the sub. The center and sub are already here, the rest comes wednesday, I'm excited and the first movie I'll be watching will be after Earth
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