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Denon AVR-888 killed my old Infinitys -- best Sony 7.1 speakers to replace them with?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I've been using Infinity speakers in a 2.0 arrangement for the past 15 years or so. They've been great, but recently I started hearing a large amount of distortion from them in the low end. I popped off the front grill and found that the foam around the outer rims of the woofers had become shredded and was falling away.

Dunno why this happened all of a sudden -- the speakers had held up great until now, surviving periodic loud music playing, acting as monitor speakers for my analog synth playing, etc. I can only guess that my new Denon AVR-888 puts out more bass than my previous Sony and Pioneer receivers, and that the (aged) Infinity woofers couldn't cope?

I've been meaning to move to 5.1 or 7.1 for a long time anyhow, so I guess the time is now. Money is tight for me currently since I'm trying to save for a house, but I have a little over $1,000 worth of Sony Card rewards points that I can cash in for free Sony gear.

Therefore I'm trying to figure out what the best sounding option is going to be for a Sony 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup for $1,000 or under. In my current apartment, there's not really room for a 7.1 setup (though 6.1 using a single back center speaker would be fairly doable), so I will probably go with 5.1, but I'd like to get two more matched surrounds so that when I hopefully move into that house in a couple of years I'll be able to move to 7.1 without having to buy all new speakers.

Sony is not making my choice easy as they don't seem to sell any 5.1 / 7.1 speaker bundles that don't include a DVD player or receiver. I am very well set up in both of those categories, so I don't like the fact that a good chunk of my money that I would want to be going to speaker quality is going to redundant components. There was the SA-FT7ED 5.1 speaker bundle, but it's been discontinued and doesn't seem to be available for sale anywhere new (and I have to buy from an authorized Sony dealer for my Sony rewards points to work) except for directly from Sony for $2,000.

It's also very unfortunate that the SA-FT7ED was the only bundle that Sony seems to sell additional surround speakers for (the SS-FRF7ED). I'm hoping that you can at least buy additional surround speakers for their HTIB systems as special-order parts...??

Besides getting one of their HTIB systems and selling the extra component, I guess my other option would be to put together my own set of speakers from their component speaker line? Looks like I could get 6 SS-F7000 floor-standing speakers, an SA-W3800 powered sub, and a SS-CN5000 center channel for under $1,000 (though I haven't confirmed that those prices are definitely from authorized Sony dealers). Would that make for audio goodness? Or would it sound weird to use full-range stereo speakers as front, side, and rear satellites?

I'm having a lot of trouble finding knowledgeable reviews of Sony speakers, so any guidance you guys can provide would be extremely appreciated. If the answer turns out to be that all Sony speakers suck and I should put my free $1,000 towards a Sony HD videocamera (something I'll be wanting down the road, though I'm fine with my Sony standard-def camera for now) instead, I can deal with that, though I would certainly like to avoid having to put out a large amount of money for another manufacturer's speakers right now.

__________________
Dan Harkless
http://harkless.org/dan/
post #2 of 4
First of all.... your Denon didn't fry your woofers. The surrounds on the cones dry-rotted away. It just happens on speakers that old. You can buy new surrounds and recone them yourself or, send the drivers in and have them reconed. http://www.speakerrepair.com/ Once the woofs are reconed, they will be as good as new.

As for not being able to find any credible reviews on Sony speakers.... Sony is renowned for electronics, but they don't seem to give a D*** about their speakers. They really aren't very good at all. Save your Sony rewards for something else and have the drivers in your old Infinity's reconed. You'll be MUCH happer if you do.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls View Post

First of all.... your Denon didn't fry your woofers. The surrounds on the cones dry-rotted away. It just happens on speakers that old. You can buy new surrounds and recone them yourself or, send the drivers in and have them reconed. http://www.speakerrepair.com/ Once the woofs are reconed, they will be as good as new.

Cool, thanks -- didn't know the cones could be replaced independently of the rest of the driver.

Quote:


As for not being able to find any credible reviews on Sony speakers.... Sony is renowned for electronics, but they don't seem to give a D*** about their speakers. They really aren't very good at all. Save your Sony rewards for something else and have the drivers in your old Infinity's reconed. You'll be MUCH happer if you do.

Fair enough, but I guess I shouldn't give the wrong impression -- my Infinitys are low-end ones: SM102s. So my bar isn't set that high, although I do fancy myself something of an audiophile when I can manage it.

I am still kind of interested in pursuing the 5.1 / 7.1 thing, and it seems like trying to get speakers that would be properly matched to the sonic characteristics of my old Infinitys would be, well, not very possible...
post #4 of 4
Quote:


Cool, thanks -- didn't know the cones could be replaced independently of the rest of the driver.

Yeah.... I lot of people don't realize that this can be done and just trash their old speakers. This is from the OCSR web site....

Foam deterioration is the most common problem with hi-fi and home stereo speakers. The foam edge (or foam surround) wears out and deteriorates after 10-15 years. Orange County Speaker can replace this foam piece and make your speakers sound just like new! This process is called "Re-Edging" (or "Re-Foaming"). The price for Re-Edging is a fraction of what it costs to buy new speakers. We recommend you send your speakers to Orange County Speaker to have this process done, but for you "do-it-yourselfers" we also sell Re-Edge Kits.



List of procedures Orange County Speaker completes when Re-Edging your speakers:
  • Strip and clean all old surround material from cone and speaker frame
  • Remove dust cap (dome) and inspect voice coil for damage
  • Measure voice coil for proper impedance
  • Test voice coil for proper travel and movement
  • Clean voice coil and magnetic gap
  • Re-center voice coil, cone and spider
  • Properly align and attach new foam surround to cone and frame
  • Replace gaskets (if applicable)
  • Replace dust cap
  • Run complete frequency sweep and test
  • All speakers serviced by Orange County Speaker come with a full 1 year warranty
  • 1 Year Warranty includes all workmanship and materials on defective parts replaced by Orange County Speaker
Quote:


I am still kind of interested in pursuing the 5.1 / 7.1 thing, and it seems like trying to get speakers that would be properly matched to the sonic characteristics of my old Infinitys would be, well, not very possible...

Probably not, but this is a whole different can of worms. I STILL wouldn't recommend Sony speakers whether they were freebies or not. Well.... MAYBE.... but IMHO, you would probably soon tire of them and want to upgrade. Don't cut your old Infinity's short. I'd wager dollars to doughnuts they were probably better than anything Sony offers today.

But, what's better to ME and my ears, may be diabolically opposite of what you think sounds good. And, that after all is what's most important. If you are absolutely set on the Sony's (or ANY speaker for that matter), I highly recommend you only purchase the front R/L mains (making sure there is some kind of return policy even if it means a re-stock), and audition them in your home on your gear for a couple of weeks to get an idea if they are going to work for you. Then fill out the rest of your system only when you are sure that they are.

I'd also suggest you get out and audition as many different speakers as you can. Both in your budget range as well as a little above and a little below. You will start to get a good feel for the type of sound that you prefer and about what to expect with regard to what you will have pay to get it.

Good luck!
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