I need help with upgrading my system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I need help with upgrading my system

Hi there,
Several years ago I purchased a HK 254 and a set of JBL Speakers SCS500.5 (5.1). I currently love the sound that I get, but feel I could do better now. I'm running 5.1, but am wanting to go 7.1 now.

I am interested in upgrading my front speakers. If possible, I'm wanting to stick with the HK 254 (50w/channel at 8 ohms), and the satellite speakers.

So, since I have a powered 150-watt amplified 10" woofer, I'm thinking I could get away with getting bookshelf speakers for the front. That is unless there is a reason that some floorstanding units would be much better.

I've looked JBL Studio 530 for bookshelf, and JBL Studio 190 for floorstanding. The floorstanding pair would be a bit cheaper, but I think the bookshelf might be better quality. My budget is around $550, which both of these meet.

Does the fact that I only have 50w/channel affect either of those speakers? I could upgrade my AVR to 100w/channel later, but don't want to suffer right now with subpar sound in the meantime.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

EDIT: I think I lucked into the setup I have, I did some research, and I love it. I by no means know a lot about speakers, their quality, or the specs.

Last edited by Notro; 06-30-2014 at 06:17 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 06:28 AM
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The Studio 530 are very good, and 50 watts/channel is plenty of power for them unless you sit far away. I would however make upgrading your center a priority as well. You need a timbre matched front sound stage to get proper imaging, the surrounds however do not need to match.

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
The Studio 530 are very good, and 50 watts/channel is plenty of power for them unless you sit far away. I would however make upgrading your center a priority as well. You need a timbre matched front sound stage to get proper imaging, the surrounds however do not need to match.
+1

And upgrading from a 50 watt/channel receiver to a 100 watt/channel may not make as much difference as you might think. That's a +3db increase in volume, and it takes approx +10db for their to be a perceived doubling in volume to the listener. Probably your next upgrade is a subwoofer, since 150 watt 10" is a very basic model--I'm certain you could improve on it in a number of ways.

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notro View Post
I currently love the sound that I get, but feel I could do better now.
It never ends, does it?

After you spend $500, you will ask if $1,000 is better. Then $2,000. Then $5,000. Then $10,000. Then $20,000.

You might try some JBL or other speakers from a local store and see if they are truly significantly better than the sound you already love.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 09:15 AM
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Whatever you do you'll need to replace all 3 front speakers because the little JBL center you currently have will not mesh well with a larger bookshelf speaker.

Afro GT

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice.

I guess I'll keep the $550 price point on the speakers, but have to squeeze in the center speaker too.

You gave good feedback on the bookshelf. If I'm not going to be upgrading my Sub in the near future, should I maybe look at the floorstanding speakers to help with the bass?
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 10:07 AM
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The JBL Studio 530 is a good speaker - and I have owned them

The Studio 5 series is part of their Synthesis series - they are in a higher
league over the Studio 1xx series (Greg Timbers does some good work).

They are open clean/clear and smooth, with good detail and definition and have
some good bass. They have held their own and more, against some of the more
expensive popular speakers out there.

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post #8 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notro View Post
Thanks for all the advice.

I guess I'll keep the $550 price point on the speakers, but have to squeeze in the center speaker too.

You gave good feedback on the bookshelf. If I'm not going to be upgrading my Sub in the near future, should I maybe look at the floorstanding speakers to help with the bass?
Floorstanders won't improve your bass in home theater because your receiver sets a crossover and the sub handles the low frequencies. Bookshelves and towers are essentially the same when you have a sub in the mix. You should take a look at the HSU HB-1 MK2 They would be a nice step up and you could get the front three with your budget.

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post #9 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
Floorstanders won't improve your bass in home theater because your receiver sets a crossover and the sub handles the low frequencies. Bookshelves and towers are essentially the same when you have a sub in the mix. You should take a look at the HSU HB-1 MK2 They would be a nice step up and you could get the front three with your budget.
A tower with 20hz FR and a sat with 80hz FR, both set crossover set to 80hz, won't result in the same amount of bass. The tower will still play lower. The crossover isn't a brick wall, it's a slope. With my towers, set to small 70hz, in a smaller room I hardly need to put the sub on, as there is enough bass in there. I have the sub -6dB for music.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 11:55 AM
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JBL ES30 x 2 = $200 (front L/R)
JBL ES25C x 1 = $180 (C)
JBL ES20 x 2 = $130 (Sur L/R)
Total = $510 delivered

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...words=JBL+ES30
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
A tower with 20hz FR and a sat with 80hz FR, both set crossover set to 80hz, won't result in the same amount of bass. The tower will still play lower. The crossover isn't a brick wall, it's a slope. With my towers, set to small 70hz, in a smaller room I hardly need to put the sub on, as there is enough bass in there. I have the sub -6dB for music.
That is an exaggerated comparison, for speakers relevant to the OP, the difference is much less. Most towers in this price range have usable output down to about 40Hz, and bookshelves between 50-60Hz. Sure a crossover is not a wall, but with a sub crossed over at 80Hz, both speakers will easily blend.

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
That is an exaggerated comparison, for speakers relevant to the OP, the difference is much less. Most towers in this price range have usable output down to about 40Hz, and bookshelves between 50-60Hz. Sure a crossover is not a wall, but with a sub crossed over at 80Hz, both speakers will easily blend.
I was using that full range speaker as an example, my mains go down to about 40hz. Yes both will blend, but in pure 2 channel mode, your sub won't receive a signal. I'm not sure I'd use standmounts (with no sub) in 2 channel mode in a large room. But for towers, you have option to do that, for excellent music playback. Or have option of using crossover, 40hz, with sub 40hz

I think generally people have been swayed by home theatre systems- they out sell Hifi, and forgotten what 2 channel is about.

btw my hifi has standmounts, the ht has towers.

I recommending spending a fair bit on towers, you can buy pretty cheap and nasty models

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

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post #13 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 01:25 PM
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It really depends on the budget, for the OP, he can get a nicer bookshelf than he can tower for his money. Since he has a sub the difference will be negligible. Sure if he plans to listen in direct mode with no sub, then a tower is good, but if that isn't a requirement then I think bookshelves get him more bang for his buck.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-30-2014, 04:11 PM
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I like the sound of stand mounted bookshelf speakers better as well - so I'm not going to try to change your mind about the JBL 530 - but keep in mind that its frequency response is rated 45Hz-40kHz (-6dB) which means you probably aren't getting much usable bass with that 5.25" driver below the mid 50Hz range. A sub and proper bass management will keep those speakers from straining to reproduce anything below their usable range and they will sound better in the rest of their range.

Think about a new sub as your next upgrade - I had an old late '90s 120W sub with 10" driver and it wasn't doing anything compared to my new modern 400w / 12" sub - you won't believe the difference.

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box

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post #15 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
Think about a new sub as your next upgrade - I had an old late '90s 120W sub with 10" driver and it wasn't doing anything compared to my new modern 400w / 12" sub - you won't believe the difference.

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box
Alright, I've decided to upgrade my sub too now after your suggestion, and reading some reviews on the svs pb-1000.

So, I'll get:
Front L/R - JBL ES30
Center - JBL ES25CBK
SUB - SVS PB1000

You mentioned a 400w 12" sub, and this is only a 10" 300w... is that still good? The pb2000 is 12" 500w, but $300 more. I think you can upgrade at no loss within a year, so if the 1000 is underwhelming, I could always do that.

After taxes I'll be close to 1k, and I'm hoping to get a great improvement in sound.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm not getting the better 530's, but I think with the sub I'm getting a better setup.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-04-2014, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notro View Post
So, I'll get:
Front L/R - JBL ES30
Center - JBL ES25CBK
SUB - SVS PB1000

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm not getting the better 530's, but I think with the sub I'm getting a better setup.
That is subjective - however, all that matters is that you enjoy it

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