All new speakers or partial upgrade from HTIB? - AVS Forum
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Question All new speakers or partial upgrade from HTIB?

I've been using the speakers from the Onkyo HT-S9100THX for a few years (long since had to replace the receiver), and I'm now hearing distortion in the left front channel. I'm considering either just replacing the front pair, or possibly replacing the entire set.

My setup is a little unique as I have a loft with tall ceilings. The living room where the system lives has 18' ceilings at the front and back walls, vaulting to 20' high in the center of the room. The room is 12' deep from front to back wall, and 16' wide, but is also open on the right side to the kitchen on the lower floor and the loft bedroom above. There's a 16' tall x 5' wide window on the left wall. The surround L/R channels are mounted at 10' high, 8' to either side of the listening position, 4 inches in front of the back wall, and instead of back surrounds I have front height channels (Sony STR-DN1040 7.2 receiver).

I would appreciate some help in understanding where the speakers I have stack up in comparison to others. Specifically:

1. Are the surrounds and the sub worth holding on to and if so what new fronts would you recommend to go with them?

2. If I looked at all-new speakers, what would be similar to what I have now, and what would be an upgrade?

3. I am intrigued by Orb Audio, and they already have wife approval, but I have no idea whether those would even be better than what I have now. Would they even be a possibility in my space? OK to pair them with the existing sub?

Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:07 PM
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It all depends upon your pocket book (or billfold, in your case). It also depends upon how happy you were with the Onkyo speakers (it appears that you were pretty satisfied). And no matter what you buy, that's a large volume to fill for any system. You might take a look to see if all you need is for the speaker to be repaired or replaced (I doubt it needs re-edging since I don't believe it's that old).

Normally HTIBs aren't very good, but your Onkyo system has gotten pretty good reviews, so take solace in that. If it were me, I'd start out fresh with new mains and center channel (perhaps use the Onkyo speakers as surrounds, or sell your system to help pay for new equipment). I'd certainly take a look at a quality sub from one of the I.D companies. Again, it all depends upon what you are willing to spend (you probably need to be in the 2k range and up) and what you want to achieve from your system.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My budget is entry level, probably under $1K. I've been looking at the Orbs as mentioned, as well as the Pioneer Andrew Jones FS52 or BS22.

I have generally been happy with the Onkyo speakers in previous (smaller) rooms, but when we moved into the current place two months ago I noticed a lack of clarity. Presumably due partially to this speaker, probably damaged in the move, and partially to the large room.

Last edited by eaglej; 07-14-2014 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:18 PM
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Pioneers won't be much of an improvement over the Onkyo's

Orbs will be a downgrade. (I have found anything that a girlfriend/wife visually approve of has poor sound) Mainly its do to female liking unobtrusive smaller speakers. All which create a small sound.

Spend your money on the Front 3 speakers.

If you are looking to beef up your audio clarity take a look at Polks or Klipsch speakers.

Off the top of my head Polk RTi8's with CSi5 Center channel can be had for $634 from Polk Audio's official ebay store.

Also you could look at companies like HTD or Ascend Acoustics
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post
Orbs will be a downgrade. (I have found anything that a girlfriend/wife visually approve of has poor sound) Mainly its do to female liking unobtrusive smaller speakers. All which create a small sound.
So true. LOL

I agree with crazyrob. I think you should start with your front soundstage and then the sub as that will give you the maximum benefit.

The other problem is that in a room that size, you really need a powerful sub. Subs see the whole volume of the room.

If you could swing it (a little over your budget with shipping), I'd say go with the HSU Hybrid 2 3.1 package. But even that sub would be a little challenged by that size room: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html

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Old 07-15-2014, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Let's say just for argument's sake that I were to open up the budget a bit (this sounds like a slippery slope) - any other recommendations on a good 3.1 setup for my space? One thing - high volume is definitely not a priority for me. I'm in a condo and both the front and back walls are shared with neighbors, though reasonably well insulated, so I don't want to shake the whole building. Clarity and presence at lower volumes are much more important.

Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:53 AM
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That HSU package is really good because you get a discount on the sub, and their subs are excellent values. HSU, SVS Audio, Rythmik, Outlaw Audio, Power Sound Audio, and Reaction Audio are generally considered the premier sub manufacturers on AVS. They are Internet direct, and so provide better values than traditional speaker company subs that are regularly sold in stores.

Another option would the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE, CMT-340 SE center, and Rythmik LV12R. Buying all from Ascend Acoustics gives you a bit of a discount. $1140 plus shipping.

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Old 07-15-2014, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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What about the Magnepan MMGW + MMGC?
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglej View Post
What about the Magnepan MMGW + MMGC?
I would put the JBL Studio 530 on a short list.
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-530...jbl+studio+530

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-520.../dp/B00622SUHK

And here is a subjective list, of some of the speakers where the JBL was chosen/preferred >>
Aperion Intimus 5B, Ascend Acoustics Sierra, Audioengine P4, Axiom Audio M22, B&W 683 & 685,
Dali Mentor & Icon, Dynaudio Contour & Focus, Epos Epic 1, GoldenEar Triton & Aon, Linn, NHT Classic 3,
Magnepan MMG & 1.6, Monitor Audio Silver RS6 & RX1, RSL CG4, Revel F12, and Tekton Design Model 4.5.

Another good option - would be the MB Quart Alexxa B1
http://shop.mbquart.com/p/as-b1pb-pair?pp=24

A subjective review
http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/spe...28/286262.html

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; 07-15-2014 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglej View Post
What about the Magnepan MMGW + MMGC?
The wall-mount Maggies are interesting, if not a bit confusing. Dipole speakers require several feet from the rear wall, while these (along with their bigger brother, the MC1) are mounted on the wall and hinge inward. Like standard bookshelf speakers, these Maggies require a subwoofer because they don't go below 100 Hz (nor higher than 16 kHz). While the bass and treble shy MMG Ws doesn't bode well for overall fantastic sound, I suspect their midrange is outstanding and the sound stage is superior, as all Maggies are. They will certainly become a conversation piece, and are unique. Add a sub and they will give you what a lot of standard bookshelf speakers in that price range simply can't (I have heard them and was pleasantly surprised). But I would find a Magnepan dealer and audition them.

BTW, I own the Maggie 3.6.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:16 PM
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The first thing you need to do is determine the cause of the distortion in the front left channel. Is it the speaker or the receiver? Switch the left and right front speakers, does the distortion move and follow the speaker? If it does it is the speaker if not it is either your receiver and speakers.

I've owned a ONKYO HTIB for about 6 years. They come with good receivers, OK front channel speakers, decent subwoofers and very cheap surround speakers.

I'd start by upgrading your front 3 speakers Right/Center/Left. Then take two of the working front channels (on mine all 3 were identical) and replace your surround speakers with those Onkyo speakers. The fronts are much better than the existing surrounds. My Onkyo just had very cheap 2" full range drivers in the surrounds.

As far as what to look for for 3X front channels under $1000. There are lots of good options for a little bit more you could get into some Focal 700 series (larger).

If you are interested in Orb your are probably looking for some smaller speakers. Wharfdale Diamond 10.0, AudioEnigine P4, Cambridge Audio S30, NHT Absolute Zero and Super Zero all would be great speakers in that price range and are on the smaller side. Axiom Audio also makes some very nice on-wall speakers that would sound much better than the Orbs and look better too.
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