Is an Upgrade Worth It? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-17-2017, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Is an Upgrade Worth It?

I purchased a house a few years ago that already had a theater setup that consisted of an Optoma HD20, Polk TSI2000 book shelve speakers, Polk CS20 center speaker, and an Energy XLS8 subwoofer. I have aOnkyo SR806 Receiver.

I just upgraded the projector to a SonyVPLHW45ES, i'm also considering upgrading audio. With what i've listed above, would I notice a big difference getting a new amp and changing out my speakers to something from Klipsch or Revel? I don't want to blow a bunch of money if there won't be a significant quality difference. My speakers sit behind my projector screen so I can't get tower speakers, they have to be bookshelf speakers.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-17-2017, 11:57 AM
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Yes, especially the center speaker and the subwoofer.

First, figure out your total maximum budget.

I'd start at $400-600 for the sub, and $200-300 for the center. If you want to do the mains, add $200-400 for the pair. The receiver is fine as is.

You can spend more of course, but you don't really NEED to, especially if HT not music is your main usage.

You most certainly DON'T need to spend Revel money to get a huge improvement!

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-17-2017, 12:37 PM
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Yes, You can get a noticeable improvement over your current setup. A good sub (HSU,Emotiva,SVS) alone would be a huge upgrade. You don't need to spend $5000 to do it either. You can always built in stages if necessary But you can get a good setup (5 speakers +sub) for about $1000-1500.

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post #4 of 17 Old 08-18-2017, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
I purchased a house a few years ago that already had a theater setup that consisted of an Optoma HD20, Polk TSI2000 book shelve speakers, Polk CS20 center speaker, and an Energy XLS8 subwoofer. I have aOnkyo SR806 Receiver.

I just upgraded the projector to a SonyVPLHW45ES, i'm also considering upgrading audio. With what i've listed above, would I notice a big difference getting a new amp and changing out my speakers to something from Klipsch or Revel? I don't want to blow a bunch of money if there won't be a significant quality difference. My speakers sit behind my projector screen so I can't get tower speakers, they have to be bookshelf speakers.
Rear surrounds and a subwoofer that plays well below the 29hz claimed for your subwoofer would likely make the most difference assuming your current speakers play loud and clear enough, especially the center, with clear dialog.

This $604 subwoofer will make you laugh with how much better it is than what you have now.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk5.html

This one is almost as good and, best of all, free returns if it isn't "that much better" to your ears. $476.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/...-1000-outlet-1
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Rear surrounds and a subwoofer that plays well below the 29hz claimed for your subwoofer would likely make the most difference assuming your current speakers play loud and clear enough, especially the center, with clear dialog.

This $604 subwoofer will make you laugh with how much better it is than what you have now.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk5.html

This one is almost as good and, best of all, free returns if it isn't "that much better" to your ears. $476.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/...-1000-outlet-1
So the HT company I'm using came today with their recommendations.

Revel Concerta M16 Bookshelves
Revel C25 Center
Paradigm Seismic 110 Sub
Yamaha RX-A770 receiver

These are all pretty expensive options, especially the subwoofer. I assume this system would blow my current system out of the water, but is it overkill? This is mostly used for TV and Movies and some music. I've also looked at some Klipsch speakers which look much more affordable. Would the Revel's sound way better than the Klipsch's? Other recommendations?
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
These are all pretty expensive options, especially the subwoofer.
I would shop the speakers and subs separately; two different purchases, IMO. And you might want to ask about subs directly in the subwoofer sub-forum.

Regarding the sub, do you have size or aesthetic restrictions for the sub? Two or more subs are generally better than one. And you generally pay a steep price and performance premium for smaller, aesthetically pleasing subs. If you want or need small, sealed and aesthetically pleasing, I'd stick with JL Audio subs. They are spendy, but they rule the wasteland in this category, IMO.

If you don't mind a bigger box, I am confident you can get a sub or subs for the same or much less money as the one they suggested that will completely crush that little paradigm. If you list a sub budget and indicate size and form-factor restrictions, the forum can point you in the right subwoofer direction.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
So the HT company I'm using came today with their recommendations.

Revel Concerta M16 Bookshelves
Revel C25 Center
Paradigm Seismic 110 Sub
Yamaha RX-A770 receiver

These are all pretty expensive options, especially the subwoofer. I assume this system would blow my current system out of the water, but is it overkill? This is mostly used for TV and Movies and some music. I've also looked at some Klipsch speakers which look much more affordable. Would the Revel's sound way better than the Klipsch's? Other recommendations?
I've heard the Revel M16s and IMO they beat out speakers that cost considerably more, they're not as cheap as some of the speakers that get a lot of love here, but I'd consider them a good value at their price.

The Paradigm sub, on the other hand, seems pretty pricey for what it is. I love Paradigm speakers, and I'm sure their subs are excellent when it comes to performance, but you can get a lot more for your money going with something from Hsu, SVS, PSA, or JTR (or even building a DIY kit yourself).

Subwoofers are comparatively easy to design compared to the main speakers.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
My speakers sit behind my projector screen so I can't get tower speakers, they have to be bookshelf speakers.
If the speakers need to pierce through an AT screen, you should consider a high-efficiency speaker with a wave guide and a compression driver. Three of these speakers behind the screen would be fantastic, paired with hard-hitting subs:

https://www.powersoundaudio.com/coll...roducts/mt-110

If your budget allows, JTR uses very high quality components and are also very efficient speakers that are designed to play behind AT screens:

http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio.html

All that said, Harmon (JBL and Revel) make excellent speakers. I am sure the M16s measure well and sound great, but for behind an AT screen, I would personally want more efficient speakers.

Last edited by jjackkrash; 08-22-2017 at 09:35 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
Revel Concerta M16 Bookshelves
Revel C25 Center
Paradigm Seismic 110 Sub
Yamaha RX-A770 receiver

These are all pretty expensive options, especially the subwoofer. I assume this system would blow my current system out of the water, but is it overkill? This is mostly used for TV and Movies and some music. I've also looked at some Klipsch speakers which look much more affordable. Would the Revel's sound way better than the Klipsch's? Other recommendations?
As others have said, scratch off the Paradigm sub and go with a Hsu that will cost half as much and sound twice as good.

I would not buy Revel speakers unless critical music listening is a substantial part of your usage. For HT use yes they are overkill and a waste of money, to be frank.

For HT, I'd go with 3 identical MTM speakers up front like the Ascend 340SE or Chane A2.4. If you sit far away from the screen (say, 15 ft away) AND like to listen at extremely high volumes, the PSA MT-110 might be worth the money, though I'd still try the Ascend or Chane first.

If you are not comfortable buying internet-direct then the Klipsch Reference Premier series are sold at Best Buy and would be worth a look, specifically the RP150/160 with RP450 center. You can easily return them to the store for a refund if you don't like them.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-23-2017, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
So the HT company I'm using came today with their recommendations.

Revel Concerta M16 Bookshelves
Revel C25 Center
Paradigm Seismic 110 Sub
Yamaha RX-A770 receiver

These are all pretty expensive options, especially the subwoofer. I assume this system would blow my current system out of the water, but is it overkill? This is mostly used for TV and Movies and some music. I've also looked at some Klipsch speakers which look much more affordable. Would the Revel's sound way better than the Klipsch's? Other recommendations?
JBL Studio 230
https://www.worldwidestereo.com/prod...saArNzEALw_wcB

JBL Studio 235
https://www.worldwidestereo.com/prod...430b7cef000138

Or buy a second pair of the 230 and use one as a center -- worth it at the price to have a spare speaker -- and 3 of the same across the front is worth it.

HSU VTF-2
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk5.html

Yamaha would be a good receiver

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post #11 of 17 Old 08-23-2017, 06:54 AM
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Yeah if budget allows, the PSA speakers are what I would go with behind a screen.

Sight and Sound
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-23-2017, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
So the HT company I'm using came today with their recommendations.

Revel Concerta M16 Bookshelves
Revel C25 Center
Paradigm Seismic 110 Sub
Yamaha RX-A770 receiver

These are all pretty expensive options, especially the subwoofer. I assume this system would blow my current system out of the water, but is it overkill? This is mostly used for TV and Movies and some music. I've also looked at some Klipsch speakers which look much more affordable. Would the Revel's sound way better than the Klipsch's? Other recommendations?
The JBLs and Ascends plus HSU sub already recommended would be more than adequate with your "don't want to blow a lot of money, don't listen to a lot of music" needs.

What IS your total budget and are you located in the US?

Geoff A. J., California
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I was looking in the $5k range for amp and speakers and install.
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
I was looking in the $5k range for amp and speakers and install.
Are you in the US?

Yes, Klipsch RP160s and an RP center, (there are several), would be a huge noticeable upgrade.

RP 240 or 250S would be a great choice for rears.

If music is a big part of the mix then the Revels might be worth it.

Two new subs would also make a huge difference.

The Klipsch Reference R 115SW is a great sub if you can get it discounted in a bundled price with the other Klipsch speakers.

If not, in the US, there are tremendous subwoofers that are a bit less expensive but every bit as good from Rhythmik, SVS and HSU.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 02:56 PM
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I was looking in the $5k range for amp and speakers and install.
You really don't need to pay someone to "install" your speakers since they're free standing. That's money much better spent on the equipment.

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post #16 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 03:11 PM
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IMO if no music involved and straight HT based on what ppl above recommended Id have a short list

Chane's A2.4 (great value)

JBL 230s ( good in HT, so-so in music, loses composure in higher volumes)

I have Chane's A2.4 they have outperformed many speakers that I have tested them against. I tested them vs. a pair of speakers 3x as much, and they performed admirably. The 3x greater cost speaker outperformed them by just a little bit. I have yet to have anybody come forward with a better speaker for the money. Nobody has on these boards yet!!

Receiver: Integra DTR 50.3 , 7.2 ch, 135 Watt
AMP: Outlaw 5000
Subs: (2) HSU VTF2 MK5
Speakers LRC: Chane's A2.4
Rears: Chane's A1.4 Surrounds: Phil AAs
Outdoor Speakers: Definitive Technology AW 6500
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-25-2017, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mpk1970 View Post
IMO if no music involved and straight HT based on what ppl above recommended Id have a short list

Chane's A2.4 (great value)

JBL 230s ( good in HT, so-so in music, loses composure in higher volumes)

I have Chane's A2.4 they have outperformed many speakers that I have tested them against. I tested them vs. a pair of speakers 3x as much, and they performed admirably. The 3x greater cost speaker outperformed them by just a little bit. I have yet to have anybody come forward with a better speaker for the money. Nobody has on these boards yet!!
I have to believe the easy to test and return at Best Buy RP150 would compare favorably to the A1.4, but they are $90 more per pair.

Same for the RP250c center vs the A2.4 but, again, $90 more each.

That's $180 more which almost buys you a BasX S8!

But nobody has done an RP/Chane comparo that I'm aware of.

Geoff A. J., California
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