new equipment or speakers first? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-15-2013, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm upgrading/completely overhauling my whole setup.
I'm running some klipsch synergy speakers, onkyo amp and Cerwin Vega sub.
I upgraded my sub to a svs sb13 ultra may buy a 2nd one soon.

I want to know your opinions on whether I should upgrade my amps and source first or some new speakers.

I want to run a separates system. Pre amp, 2 mono blocks, towers with at least 3-4 woofers, 8", and my sub(s).
I was looking at parasound halo line (pretty expensive though) and for speakers I was looking at paradigm, focal, canton, monitor audio.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-15-2013, 09:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lunxbox View Post

I want to know your opinions on whether I should upgrade my amps and source first or some new speakers.

SPEAKERS! ... and by a long shot.

You have started off well by heading towards dual high performance subs.

Having done that, a speaker upgrade has far and away the greatest potential to improve the performance of your system. The next "upgrade" is free: pay careful attention to proper positioning of the speakers in the room and integration with the subs.

What is your "onkyo amp"? Unless it's unable to cleanly drive your speakers of choice to your preferred maximum volume levels, expensive pre-pro* and monobloc "separates" will make no real improvement to the sound quality of your system. This is particularly the case when competent subs are taking care of the power hungry bottom octaves.

* The only caveat here is the quality of the on-board "room correction" routine in your current system. With dual subs pending, an upgrade to an Audyssey MultEQ XT32 + SubEQ HT enabled AVR offers the potential for improved integration of speakers and dual subs in the room.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 04:45 AM
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Speakers and room correction are almost all there is to affecting sound quality. The rest of the stuff doesn't really matter all that much. Things like monoblocks are a waste of money for most home audio systems. Subwoofers, as noted above, can do a lot for overall sound quality.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunxbox View Post

I'm upgrading/completely overhauling my whole setup.
I'm running some klipsch synergy speakers, onkyo amp and Cerwin Vega sub.
I upgraded my sub to a svs sb13 ultra may buy a 2nd one soon.

I want to know your opinions on whether I should upgrade my amps and source first or some new speakers.

I want to run a separates system. Pre amp, 2 mono blocks, towers with at least 3-4 woofers, 8", and my sub(s).
I was looking at parasound halo line (pretty expensive though) and for speakers I was looking at paradigm, focal, canton, monitor audio.

You seem to be looking at spending some money and have an interest in sound quality, but you haven't mentioned room acoustics. Bzzzt!

As others have pointed out, the most significant advance lately that relates to sound quality is automated system optimization which means something like Audyssey, MCACC or YPAO.

If you had a modern Onkyo AVR you would have that option. Can't tell where you are by that measure. Parasound seems to be nowhere when it comes to this kind of highly useful feature.

Don't know too much about CV subwoofers, don't see them mentioned much by audiophiles.

I'll bet the SVS SB13 was a big upgrade. Moving on to an AVR with Audysey Multieq XT32 could help futher exploiting it.

If you have a good subwoofer, investing big in heavy duty towers is a waste of cash. On the best day of their lives they can't surpass or even substantaially assist a good subwoofer like the one you have. If uniformity of bass in the room is a problem, then room acoustics treatments and/or s second sub could be a good idea.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
I upgraded my sub to a svs sb13 ultra may buy a 2nd one soon.
Good move.
Quote:
I want to know your opinions on whether I should upgrade my amps and source first or some new speakers.
Speakers first. Always.
Quote:
I want to run a separates system. Pre amp, 2 mono blocks,
Bad move. You will get better sound quality from a modern, top-of-the-line AVR. Why? Because you will get good bass management for those subs and room correction for the whole system. No old-school separates will give you that.
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towers with at least 3-4 woofers, 8"
Odd move. Why put your money into speakers that go so deep to run along with a pair of subs? I'm not saying settle for a couple of minimonitors, but in your case a smooth midrange should be a higher priority than bass extension.

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

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Bad move. You will get better sound quality from a modern, top-of-the-line AVR. Why? Because you will get good bass management for those subs and room correction for the whole system. No old-school separates will give you that.

How about new school separates? Preamps designed for more than old school 2 channel are often called pre/pros (preamp/processors) and most often have a flavor of room correction. I have an Onkyo PR-SC5508 (I think 5509 is the current model) that offers all of the functionality of it's sister AVR, the 5008 with some additions. Runs with external amps only. You can also use most decent AVR's to feed external amps (the 5008 does this as do many others). The advantage here is you can use the preamp outputs to power monos for your L/R or L/R/C speakers and use the AVR's internal amps to power rears, surrounds, and other zones without having to have more external amps.

Only you can decide if it's worth it for the added expense and required space for a pair of monos external to your preamp or pre/pro. If you have very demanding speakers, very large room, or listen at extreme volumes, you may benefit from the added reserves of dedicated external amps. If not, an AVR internals will be sufficient. If you would like to experiment with different amps, venture into tube amps, etc., separates gives you that flexibility. If you like the electronics display with monoblocs on stands on either side of your main equipment, it might be worth it. You will get additional channel separation which can help imaging and soundstage, though you might not be able to hear the difference in that regard. The added quality and cost of the separates may reduce the noise floor slightly but, again, you might not be able to hear the difference.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunxbox View Post

towers with at least 3-4 woofers, 8"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Odd move. Why put your money into speakers that go so deep to run along with a pair of subs? I'm not saying settle for a couple of minimonitors, but in your case a smooth midrange should be a higher priority than bass extension.

Not too terribly odd, it really depends on his situation. In his case, already having proper subwoofage in place, larger mains are not about extension, but dynamic capability in the mid-bass, from 80 to 150 or so. Mains such as the OP desires may help respect the dynamic range in that area better than other choices, particularly as room size and listening distances increase. Lunchbox has to be somewhat spoiled by the Klipsch dynamics already, so he would probably notice deficiencies in that specific area. Taking that all into account, I think something like the EMP E55 towers would be a good budget suggestion for his wants/needs, with many other choices going up in price from there. Those EMPs are smoother than his Klipsch in the upper registers, and amply capable in the mid-bass.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-04-2013, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for late reply.
I've read all the comments, thanks for your answers.
I think I'll go with speakers first.
Definitely looking at some focals.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-05-2013, 09:54 AM
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Post a picture of your room and set up.

Why have you not considered spending some time and effort into understanding your room acoustics?

Then, based on objective measurements improving that before you get on the gear upgrade itis path.


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