New Processor or New Front Speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey I am thinking about getting new front speakers or replacing my receiver with a processor for my HT, but I am on the fence as to which will yield the biggest benefit. I am currently running a B&K AVR 507 as a pre-out instead of a reciever, it is running through 3 Emotiva XPA3 amps. My front speakers are Polk RTi8s. Its been a very solid system for me over the past 5-7years and I would like a similar long term setup. I would look to replace the receiver with a true processor in the Integra DHC 80.3 and the speakers with JBL pro level 3722s.

The issue that led me to this question is that I find my sound to be limited or quieter than it should be given the power I have and I cannot decode the latest sound formats, I also have no auto room correction on the receiver. I am running my audio on dvds through optical and hdmi is going straight to the projector, I would probably keep this the same and let the PJ continue to do the scaling. This will be used 80% for movies and 20% for music (very loud hip-hop)

Please help, suggest different products if you think they would work better as I have heard issues with the Integra.
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 07:55 AM
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I would probably buy the Marantz AV7005 to use with those amplifiers. That should give you a major improvement in the sound quality, and give you all sorts of features and options you lack now.

Those speakers you have now are not exactly very powerful speakers, but the monster 3722 JBLs you are looking at will blow the doors off for sure. The 127 dbA SPL rating will also do a great job of producing permanent hearing damage, so you want to be careful! Seriously!

Those 3722 speakers are so powerful and so sensitive that you can easily reach that full sound level with your amplifiers, and that really is dangerous to your hearing (and even more dangerous to any children). They are not home speakers and the sound quality is mediocre.

They are mainly intended for outdoor concert and commercial theater use. Using them indoors in a home is like buying a heavy machine gun or a bazooka for home protection...lol.

The JBL ES90 is a speaker that will give you all the sound you can handle indoors, and the sound quality will be much better for home theater than that big horn speaker.

Those big horns do not sound very good unless you are at least 20 feet away, and even then it ain't really hi-fi. Lots of quantity, but the quality more or less sucks.




I can't understand why people always say "issues" these days when they obviously mean PROBLEMS.
Has the word "problems" been designated as an obscenity by some political correctness group or something?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dstr212 View Post

Hey I am thinking about getting new front speakers or replacing my receiver with a processor for my HT, but I am on the fence as to which will yield the biggest benefit. I am currently running a B&K AVR 507 as a pre-out instead of a reciever, it is running through 3 Emotiva XPA3 amps. My front speakers are Polk RTi8s. Its been a very solid system for me over the past 5-7years and I would like a similar long term setup. I would look to replace the receiver with a true processor in the Integra DHC 80.3 and the speakers with JBL pro level 3722s.

The issue that led me to this question is that I find my sound to be limited or quieter than it should be given the power I have and I cannot decode the latest sound formats, I also have no auto room correction on the receiver. I am running my audio on dvds through optical and hdmi is going straight to the projector, I would probably keep this the same and let the PJ continue to do the scaling. This will be used 80% for movies and 20% for music (very loud hip-hop)

Please help, suggest different products if you think they would work better as I have heard issues with the Integra.

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstr212 View Post

Hey I am thinking about getting new front speakers or replacing my receiver with a processor for my HT, but I am on the fence as to which will yield the biggest benefit. I am currently running a B&K AVR 507 as a pre-out instead of a reciever, it is running through 3 Emotiva XPA3 amps. My front speakers are Polk RTi8s. Its been a very solid system for me over the past 5-7years and I would like a similar long term setup. I would look to replace the receiver with a true processor in the Integra DHC 80.3 and the speakers with JBL pro level 3722s.

The issue that led me to this question is that I find my sound to be limited or quieter than it should be given the power I have and I cannot decode the latest sound formats, I also have no auto room correction on the receiver. I am running my audio on dvds through optical and hdmi is going straight to the projector, I would probably keep this the same and let the PJ continue to do the scaling. This will be used 80% for movies and 20% for music (very loud hip-hop)

Please help, suggest different products if you think they would work better as I have heard issues with the Integra.

The 80.3 is an excellent unit and the Audyssey xt32 on it is incredible. The xpa3 should be able to power almost any speaker.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there anything in particular that makes you pick the Marantz over the Integra? Thanks for the insight on the speaker selection and lastly if you had to get one or the other processor or speakers which would you get?
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 09:15 AM
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I have the AV7005 connected to an amp (Primare) and powering T+A speakers and am quite happy with it. Some will say XT32 will be a big improvement over Audyssey XT found on the AV7005. This is likely true depending on how much EQ correction your room needs. I am running a 5.1 system with my seating area (for only 1 or 2 people) in the optimum location. My room is also fairly open in layout and lacks serious reflection and standing wave problems. I carefully ran XT and got excellent results with minor EQ corrections.

If you are going to have 2 subs or think you have a difficult room to equalize, then XT32 would likely yield improvements over XT. However, if you are in similar situation as I, then AV7005 with XT is an excellent value (can be bought new for much less than retail) and I like the dedicated preamp assembly.

Here are some comments from the dealer where I purchased my AV7005 listing some of the features of it:

 All-discrete, balanced preamplifier outputs
 Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules (HDAM) on the preamp board.
 Ultra-Quiet, Linear Power Supply
 Copper Shielded EI Core Power Transformer
 Pure Direct / Source Direct (Same)

Additionally, there is more real estate inside of the chassis which is helpful to reduce coupling (by moving key boards away from one another).

The preamp section of the AV7005 has the symmetrical HDAM layout, gold plated (lower noise) audiophile relays on the regulated power supply board. Marantz calls this there "Dedicated Preamp Assembly".

To my ears, it is to the next level over the Onkyo Integra. I will be having a shootout in MN between the SR and AV, the denon 4311 and Onkyo (I sell them all) and the AV8003.

You can email Steve at sales@soundvideo.com to discuss further and also pricing. He is a nice guy.

Undoubtedly, you will likely get another reply recommending the Denon AVR-4311. It is currently very popular and is likely an excellent unit (I had a Denon before I purchased the AV7005). However, it is a receiver and contains amps which you can turn off to run as a dedicated preamp. It also has Audyssey XT32. Steve at soundvideo prefers the sound quality of the AV7005 and I prefer the design and engineering behind a dedicated preamp with the main features described above.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb11 View Post

I have the AV7005 connected to an amp (Primare) and powering T+A speakers and am quite happy with it. Some will say XT32 will be a big improvement over Audyssey XT found on the AV7005. This is likely true depending on how much EQ correction your room needs. I am running a 5.1 system with my seating area (for only 1 or 2 people) in the optimum location. My room is also fairly open in layout and lacks serious reflection and standing wave problems. I carefully ran XT and got excellent results with minor EQ corrections.

If you are going to have 2 subs or think you have a difficult room to equalize, then XT32 would likely yield improvements over XT. However, if you are in similar situation as I, then AV7005 with XT is an excellent value (can be bought new for much less than retail) and I like the dedicated preamp assembly.

Here are some comments from the dealer where I purchased my AV7005 listing some of the features of it:

 All-discrete, balanced preamplifier outputs
 Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules (HDAM) on the preamp board.
 Ultra-Quiet, Linear Power Supply
 Copper Shielded EI Core Power Transformer
 Pure Direct / Source Direct (Same)

Additionally, there is more real estate inside of the chassis which is helpful to reduce coupling (by moving key boards away from one another).

The preamp section of the AV7005 has the symmetrical HDAM layout, gold plated (lower noise) audiophile relays on the regulated power supply board. Marantz calls this there "Dedicated Preamp Assembly".

To my ears, it is to the next level over the Onkyo Integra. I will be having a shootout in MN between the SR and AV, the denon 4311 and Onkyo (I sell them all) and the AV8003.

You can email Steve at sales@soundvideo.com to discuss further and also pricing. He is a nice guy.

Undoubtedly, you will likely get another reply recommending the Denon AVR-4311. It is currently very popular and is likely an excellent unit (I had a Denon before I purchased the AV7005). However, it is a receiver and contains amps which you can turn off to run as a dedicated preamp. It also has Audyssey XT32. Steve at soundvideo prefers the sound quality of the AV7005 and I prefer the design and engineering behind a dedicated preamp with the main features described above.

It sounds like you would pick the processor over the speakers for my situation,is that right?
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 02:06 PM
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I purchased these from full compass. They are substantially smaller than the 3722, these are the jbl 3677. I have 3 of these and for movies they do great imo and my first row is about 15 feet away. They are also very efficient so amp friendly. Ymmv



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post #8 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpmbc View Post

I purchased these from full compass. They are substantially smaller than the 3722, these are the jbl 3677. I have 3 of these and for movies they do great imo and my first row is about 15 feet away. They are also very efficient so amp friendly. Ymmv



Attachment 235609

My seating is about 11ft away, would that change your choice?
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 02:37 PM
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I would get the processor first, because you might decide that you are OK with your present speakers once you get that installed and things sorted out.

Also, with the AV7005 you have balanced outputs on all channels, which will give you the opportunity to locate two of your amps at the rear area near the speakers; with balanced connections you can have better signal quality and run as much as 40 feet of low-cost noise-free cable between processor and amplifier (or more). I believe you do have balanced inputs on your amplifiers, and that is a big plus in my book. That will also shorten your speaker cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dstr212 View Post

Is there anything in particular that makes you pick the Marantz over the Integra? Thanks for the insight on the speaker selection and lastly if you had to get one or the other processor or speakers which would you get?

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post #10 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
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My seating is about 11ft away, would that change your choice?

I'll have to take a listen 4 feet closer than normal and give you an honest answer.
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 03:07 PM
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Off the top of my head though, I would say you get away with a smaller but still dynamic speaker and should be floating along. 11 feet is pretty close. What are the room dimensions?
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gpmbc View Post

Off the top of my head though, I would say you get away with a smaller but still dynamic speaker and should be floating along. 11 feet is pretty close. What are the room dimensions?

The total room is 17 x 23 with a banister and couch separating around 13ft. To be honest part of the reason I have recently looked into an upgrade is the sound sort of ge ts trapped in the 1st roomaand its a bit annoying to have tons of power but cant fill both areas.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-28-2012, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dstr212 View Post

It sounds like you would pick the processor over the speakers for my situation,is that right?

Well, it depends on how much you like your current speakers.

I haven't heard Polks, and anyway, speaker preference is very subjective so if you are happy with them then a processor upgrade would be worthwhile, especially as room equalization might make your current speakers sound even better.
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-29-2012, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb11 View Post

Well, it depends on how much you like your current speakers.

I haven't heard Polks, and anyway, speaker preference is very subjective so if you are happy with them then a processor upgrade would be worthwhile, especially as room equalization might make your current speakers sound even better.

So I went and purchased some new speakers and to tell you the truth they didnt sound much better compared to what I had so I am going to grab one of processors reccomended here and see if I get the gains I wanted.
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-29-2012, 08:38 AM
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What speakers did you get for comparison?
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-29-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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What speakers did you get for comparison?

I got the B&W 683b they were the right price point and I wanted something to try last night.
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-29-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstr212 View Post

So I went and purchased some new speakers and to tell you the truth they didnt sound much better compared to what I had so I am going to grab one of processors reccomended here and see if I get the gains I wanted.

I would recommend contacting Steve at soundvideo for an opinion and pricing on the processors - he is authorized to sell Marantz, Onkyo (Integra), Denon, and others.

Also, for future reference, I would recommend shopping for speakers on audiogon.com. I have bought most of my equipment (including speakers) either as dealer demos or dealer trades from audiogon (or videogon). You can often times get components that retail well above your price point this way and if purchased from an authorized dealer, they will come with a warranty. In the case of dealer demos, normally the full manufacturers warranty.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-29-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb11 View Post

I would recommend contacting Steve at soundvideo for an opinion and pricing on the processors - he is authorized to sell Marantz, Onkyo (Integra), Denon, and others.

Also, for future reference, I would recommend shopping for speakers on audiogon.com. I have bought most of my equipment (including speakers) either as dealer demos or dealer trades from audiogon (or videogon). You can often times get components that retail well above your price point this way and if purchased from an authorized dealer, they will come with a warranty. In the case of dealer demos, normally the full manufacturers warranty.

I went out and got them with the thought of being able to return them if necessary, so I will look on audiogon tonight to see what I can find.
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-30-2012, 09:08 AM
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A new processor can make a world of difference, especially one on the level of the 80.3 so in the long run I think both should be on your list. With speakers, the b & w's you tried have a sensitivity of 90. Once you dabble with speakers that are high efficiency, less demands are placed on your amplifiers and dynamic range improves greatly.
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-30-2012, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpmbc View Post

A new processor can make a world of difference, especially one on the level of the 80.3 so in the long run I think both should be on your list. With speakers, the b & w's you tried have a sensitivity of 90. Once you dabble with speakers that are high efficiency, less demands are placed on your amplifiers and dynamic range improves greatly.

Would you say 90 is high or average? I was actually thinking of returning the speakers because I am not sure they are giving me that much better sound. Also I think my old speakers had the same efficiency, that said, I am able to run the new speakers in full mode where the old ones I had to run as small speakers.
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