Next Step Towards Great Stereo Sound - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-19-2013, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I've had an ok HT 6.1 setup in the basement for a few years. I'd like to now turn it more into a listening room with great stereo sound, and want to do this piece by piece over the next few years.

What would be the few next best items (budget might be up to $1000 every 6 months) to buy to either replace or add to what I have currently so I get significantly improved music.

My musical tastes are mainly all kinds of rock, but I would like the system to be fairly well-rounded.

My current HT setup (related to audio):
Marantz SR7002 Receiver
Paradigm Monitor 7 v4 floors
SVS PB10-NSD 10" Subwoofer
(I also have the center, surrounds and one center rear)

My room is about 32x20 (open concept basement).

I don't need it to be super-loud, just significantly better than what I have at mid volumes.

Thought about a quality pair of headphones, but thought I'd get more out of upgrading stereo.
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-21-2013, 09:47 AM
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Well, any upgrade for value, should be rooted in the two most important elements; loudspeakers and acoustics.

That said, optimizing what you already have is first and foremost. Also, the path toward superb bass playback and reproduction is via a multiple subwoofer system that's fully integrated and optimized to both the mains and the room's acoustic. Some simple measuring equipment, and basic understanding of room measurements will be needed.

Any pics of the room?
How far do you sit from mains? Relative to room's boundaries?
What's the first upgrade item you want to focus on?

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(3)Seaton Cat12C up front, (4)QSC K8 sides/rears
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-21-2013, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've heard that adding a good DAC is the best place to start. Not sure, but really want biggest bang for my $ for improving stereo music sound.

Here are two panaramic shots of the room. It's essentially my open concept basement. You can see the Paradigms on either side of the projector screen. My sub is behind the couch.

photo (6).JPG 287k .JPG file

photo (5).JPG 30k .JPG file

I sit about 13 feet from the mains. Along couch is main listening room seating.

Any suggestions would be great.
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File Type: jpg photo (6).JPG (286.7 KB, 15 views)
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sittler27 View Post

I've had an ok HT 6.1 setup in the basement for a few years. I'd like to now turn it more into a listening room with great stereo sound, and want to do this piece by piece over the next few years.

What would be the few next best items (budget might be up to $1000 every 6 months) to buy to either replace or add to what I have currently so I get significantly improved music.

My musical tastes are mainly all kinds of rock, but I would like the system to be fairly well-rounded.

My current HT setup (related to audio):
Marantz SR7002 Receiver
Paradigm Monitor 7 v4 floors
SVS PB10-NSD 10" Subwoofer
(I also have the center, surrounds and one center rear)

My room is about 32x20 (open concept basement).

I don't need it to be super-loud, just significantly better than what I have at mid volumes.

You seem to have a subcompact subwoofer mixed with some luxury car L&R speakers.

Your room seems to be heavily padded, to the extent that it may sound kinda lifeless.

Here's something to read and think about: http://gikacoustics.com/how-diffusion-works/
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sittler27 View Post

I've heard that adding a good DAC is the best place to start. Not sure, but really want biggest bang for my $ for improving stereo music sound.
Given that your AVR already has a really good DAC in it, take note of the person who suggested that you get another one, and run the other way. ;-)
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You seem to have a subcompact subwoofer mixed with some luxury car L&R speakers.

Your room seems to be heavily padded, to the extent that it may sound kinda lifeless.

Here's something to read and think about: http://gikacoustics.com/how-diffusion-works/

Hmmm. Not sure about that. And, are you sure my sub is a "sub-compact". The thing is huge!

Also, what do you mean by luxury car speakers? I guess it's all relative, but I would think the Monitors are better than your average speaker? Just maybe low-end for audiophile?
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Given that your AVR already has a really good DAC in it, take note of the person who suggested that you get another one, and run the other way. ;-)

AGain, everything relative as they are suggesting a Benchmark, Emotiva or PSAudio DAC so I think those would be signfiicantly better than the Marantz. Are you saying they are not worth it relative to upgrading some other component I have?

I was looking at first likely to just get a Sonos Connect unit so I have a way to easily play my FLAC music stored on my NAS. Then I read an Arcam rSeries Sonlink DAC is made to go with it so was wondering if getting the Connect and Arcam is the way to go first? but don't want to get the Arcam if the DAC in the Marantz is already better. Thoughts?
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 07:20 AM
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Ditto on what arnyk said, your Marantz has very good DAC's.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post

Ditto on what arnyk said, your Marantz has very good DAC's.

Ok, good to know. So maybe I should just focus on getting a Sonos connect so that I take care of my first issue which is a nice seamless way to actually play my music collection.

Then, I can save up a bit and focus on my L/R speaker upgrade as next best upgrade? Does this sound like a good plan?
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 07:57 AM
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I agree,focus on upgrading the left/right speakers...maybe some
Paradigm Studios??
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 08:21 AM
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AGain, everything relative as they are suggesting a Benchmark, Emotiva or PSAudio DAC so I think those would be signfiicantly better than the Marantz.
On a technical (i.e., measurement) level, perhaps. Will they really sound better? Most likely not.
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Then, I can save up a bit and focus on my L/R speaker upgrade as next best upgrade? Does this sound like a good plan?
I think Arny's point about subcompacts and luxury cars is that it's your sub, not your mains, that is your weak point. It may be a huge box, but it's only a 10" driver. Also, you might want to play around some with subwoofer placement.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #12 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post

I agree,focus on upgrading the left/right speakers...maybe some
Paradigm Studios??

Could I swap my monitors for studios and not mess up the timbre matching with the rest of my surround sound HT system?

I have CC-370 centre and ADP-??? (can't recall) surrounds with 6th centre rear surround in ceiling speaker

Could the studio 60s be seamlessly swapped in?
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-22-2013, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sittler27 View Post

Could I swap my monitors for studios and not mess up the timbre matching with the rest of my surround sound HT system?

I have CC-370 centre and ADP-??? (can't recall) surrounds with 6th centre rear surround in ceiling speaker

Could the studio 60s be seamlessly swapped in?

for me a monitor center was a noticeable mismatch with studio left and right, and I replaced the center ASAP. Not the end of the world for an interim setup. I don't have a problem with monitor surrounds and a studios front stage. seems to work fine.

But that's just one guy. YMMV, etc.
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