Originally Posted by Management
Shouldn't one spend a lot on their electronics or is it better to pour money into the speakers? I asked this because I see Craig with a Supernova MKV-15 that I think costs like $2k or more. I don't know if I would ever pay so much for a sub. But really, which should get the most money? I thought the electronics usually get most of the money.
My feeling is that the "sweet spot" is to get the best *bookshelf* speakers one can afford, then take the money saved, (over floorstanders) and apply that money to the sub. Hence my selection of the RB-75's, (the bookshelf "equivalent" of the RF-7) and the Earthquake sub. Then I use Bass Management to set the speakers to "Small" and an 80 Hz crossover. This re-directs the lowest bass to the subwoofer, which is the best speaker to reproduce it. Why pay for extra LF extension in the mains, when you can use the sub to reproduce it anyway.
There are several other advantages to this philosophy. First, you can place the sub independant of the speakers. The best placement of your mains for imaging is almost never the best placement for bass response. Re-direct it to the sub, place your mains where they image the best and then optimize the sub placement.
Second, by re-directing the bass to the sub, you remove it from the main *amps* as well as the speakers. Bass is the most power hungry portion of the signal. Removing it from the main amps increases their "headroom" and allows the entire system to play louder and more cleanly.
Third, any bass sent to the mains that is below their LF extension is LOST
! If the speakers can't reproduce it, you never hear it. If you re-direct the lowest bass to the sub, your have a much better chance of capturing and reproducing it.
These are the reasons I allocate my $$$ to the best sub I can afford, while "compromising" on the mains, (although my RB-75's are *not* a compromise; they are just as good as the RF-7 from about 60 Hz on up.)
Instead of spending large $$$ on electronic upgrades, I also feel that money can be more wisely spent on acoustical room treatments. These will do far more to improve the SQ of your system than a boatload of $$$ on electronics. Remember that, after your speakers, the item which has the biggest impact on the sound you hear is your room. If it's full of reflections and resonances, you'll hear *it* far more than the sound of the electronics.
Just my $0.02.