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What to save for next?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
So I very new to audio but I've always been a fan of great sounding audio. Right now I have a Denon 1312BA with Boston Acoustics MCS160s and a Klipsch RW-12D. I am looking to piece together an entirely new HT system. For now, this sub should be plenty for me (since I really liked my MCS160 woofer). But I am trying to figure out if I should upgrade speakers or receiver first.

So my questions are: can you mix and match speakers? Could I just replace my rears and still use the MCS160s up front, or vice versa (replace FL and FR and leave rears)? Because if so, I think I would like a better rear setup before anything else (assuming my receiver isn't a bottleneck for them).

Excuse my ignorance but the amount of information and possibilities are just so overwhelming. All this audio talk has me looking in circles. So I'm spending most of my time researching what it all means!
post #2 of 26
You really do not want to mix and match speakers. Try very hard to stay in the same manufacturer's model line for the best sonic matching. The subwoofer, however, can come from any manufacturer.

How large is your room? H x W x D Is it open or a dedicated space? Mainly for movies or a mix of movies and music? This can help determine the best speakers, amplifier power needed, amount and type of subs required to fill the space properly, etc.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
LxWxH is 14x14x9.5. That is the "listening area" or "sitting area" if you will. The entire rooms LxWxH is 38x14x9.5. It's a dining room/living room area. It's kind of partitioned with VERY SMALL 24" sections (partial walls) but other than that, it's a pretty wide open area. It's an extra 10 feet one way and an extra 14 feet another way (from the listening/sitting area).

This is definitely setup more for gaming/movies. Barely any music is played through these speakers (although at some point, I am sure it will change and be a music player, but priority is definitely games/movies).

I really like my MCS 160s as of right now... and it makes me tingle knowing they are much better things out there. I would have to piece it together slowly since I can't afford anything high end in one shot. But I don't mind getting speakers and letting them sit until I collect everything I need. But that's the thing... I have no idea what is even considered "high end" price wise. Not elitist $6500 Dynaudio stuff.
post #4 of 26
You really have to consider the entire room dimensions when choosing your components and that's a pretty large area.

You could try an HSU Research bookshelf monitor and subwoofer package for a better than HTiB performance. The speakers are horn loaded (though not like Klipsch, which can sound brittle) and can play pretty loudly and fill up a largish space without too much congestion.

The Hybrid 15 package is about $1,800 for 5 speakers and a highly regarded 15 inch sub (that will give you some oomph with that large room... you could use the Klipsch sub too for even more output until you can replace it), but you can start with just the front three and the sub and add more later.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html
post #5 of 26
If you like Boston Acoustics you can stay with them and gradually upgrade your satellites to A25s or A26s and the center to the A225c.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm not looking to fill up the entire room (unless it's required in order to have best sound). Just the 14x14 space is my concern. I am not brand loyal at all. I like the Boston Acoustics but have no issue switching brands.
post #7 of 26
To get the best sound you are going to need bigger drivers than the 3" drivers in your current speakers. Changing the speakers will have a much greater impact on sound quality than changing the receiver. What kind of budget are you planning for?
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, since I noticed that some speakers can be purchased in sections... I would probably head into the realm of $1500 for 5 satellites. I know that's not a HUGE budget but I know it'll be a sure upgrade from what I am currently using. And there is a chance I might pick up a Denon AVR-4308CI for $700. So the speakers might have to wait a bit,
post #9 of 26
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

I might be able to pick up a Denon AVR-4308CI for $700 or even a little less ($500 maybe). Just not sure if I want to go with such old technology at this point (5-6 years old already, no?). I am not brand loyal so staying with Boston Acoustics isn't preferred unless it's the right choice. But I do appreciate the links and options and will absolutely look into them! :-)
post #11 of 26
The 4308 was an animal of a receiver. It still has HDMI connections, plenty of power and is sure to impress. Something that caught my eye though is the Denon website lists the 4308 using Audyessy XT and not XT32. This was interesting. I would want others to comment on this but if you havent ever tweaked a system before it might be worthwhile considering something with XT32 room correction as it will probably have a more significant impact on audio quality than anything else offered by the avr.

4308 website
http://www.denon.co.uk/uk/Product/Pages/Product-Detail.aspx?CatId=hometheatre&SubId=avreceivers&ProductId=AVR4308
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
I've never tweaked a system like a professional would but I love spending time adjusting and looking into what sounds the best. I probably wouldn't even use the auto calibrator.

I am wondering now if it's worth spending $700 on the 4308CI or take that money and buy a brandy new receiver
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisUlrich View Post

I am wondering now if it's worth spending $700 on the 4308CI or take that money and buy a brandy new receiver

I wouldn't recommend either. The receiver you have already is just fine. If you buy a new receiver you are going to get ZERO difference in sound quality. The limiting factor on the sound quality in your current setup is the speakers not the receiver.
post #14 of 26
Stay with your current receiver for the time being and then upgrade later (the 4308 is a little long in the tooth). Do check out the HSU Research package I mentioned. Remember, sound waves do not care about how much or little of your room you use. They "see" the entire space, so take the entire room volume into consideration, since it's not a dedicated, closed in room.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
So you really think speakers before receiver? I actually prefer that way... glad to hear you say that. :-) I will look into the speakers you suggested!
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisUlrich View Post

So you really think speakers before receiver?

Absolutely! Changing receivers is not going to improve your sound quality. No how. No way. Not even with a $1500 receiver.

Even if there were a sonic difference in the receivers (which I would argue would only be imagined), the difference would be so subtle that you would never hear it on a $300 set of speakers.
post #17 of 26
To reinforce what everyone is saying. I was sure that purchasing a $1300 would make my speakers sound better and it didn't! Replacing my speakers did...I went from kef q70s to Focal 836v...learn from my mistake and everyone's advice, speakers first:thumbup::thumbup:

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
post #18 of 26
$1300 receiver...

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crussader View Post

Absolutely! Changing receivers is not going to improve your sound quality. No how. No way. Not even with a $1500 receiver.

Even if there were a sonic difference in the receivers (which I would argue would only be imagined), the difference would be so subtle that you would never hear it on a $300 set of speakers.

That's simply not true. Going from no room correction to Audyssey MultiEQ to Audyssey XT32 makes a huge difference in sound quality if you set it up correctly. Probably not as much of a difference as a significant speaker upgrade but, that would depend on the room and the speakers being upgraded. Poor speakers are going to sound poor regardless of receiver and a poor, uncorrected room is going to sound poor no matter how good the speakers.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisUlrich View Post

I'm not looking to fill up the entire room (unless it's required in order to have best sound). Just the 14x14 space is my concern. I am not brand loyal at all. I like the Boston Acoustics but have no issue switching brands.

However, in that kind of big open space, your sub does see the entire room. You will eventually want to either get another RW-12d, or go with something more powerful all together with better SQ. It will make a difference for movies and gaming.

Your BA speakers have small tiny 3" drivers. If you upgrade to good bookshelves that have larger drivers, say 6", you will notice a lot of improvement. Look into Internet direct vendors HSU, Ascend Acoustics, and Arx. Their speakers would give you a significant upgrade for movies and gaming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisUlrich View Post

I am wondering now if it's worth spending $700 on the 4308CI or take that money and buy a brandy new receiver

Do the speakers and sub first, and put most of your money towards that. And then a $400 Denon receiver with Audyssey MultEQ or MultEQ XT would be a good upgrade over what you have. But you won't notice much difference right now with the speakers you have. As Dan and others told you, save the receiver upgrade until last.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsdms View Post

... a poor, uncorrected room is going to sound poor no matter how good the speakers.

A room corrected $300 set of speakers won't sound as good as an uncorrected $1000 set of speakers.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crussader View Post

A room corrected $300 set of speakers won't sound as good as an uncorrected $1000 set of speakers.

That's probably true, yes. I mostly just wanted to correct the notion that upgrading a receiver will have no effect on sound quality. Room correction software can make a very big difference in sound quality.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crussader View Post

A room corrected $300 set of speakers won't sound as good as an uncorrected $1000 set of speakers.

That is a pretty broad generalization. I certainly wouldn't agree with that on the face of it.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

That is a pretty broad generalization. I certainly wouldn't agree with that on the face of it.

Depends on how bad the untreated room is.

Not only should you calibrate the system, you should acoustically treat the room (if possible... you may have to gain approval from your better half, if you have one). Both are necessary, but the latter is rarely done except in a dedicated room.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Depends on how bad the untreated room is.

Not only should you calibrate the system, you should acoustically treat the room (if possible... you may have to gain approval from your better half, if you have one). Both are necessary, but the latter is rarely done except in a dedicated room.

Yes, there are too many left out factors for that statement to make sense, such as treatments. Also placement and speaker type. If you place a $1k speaker next to a wall, it is going to need equalization badly.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
I can't believe how difficult it is to pick out a speaker! I had no idea how involved this is. I got my first glimpse of it yesterday when I realized my woofer is noticeably louder/better sounding 10 feet in the OPPOSITE direction of my sitting area. It's gotta be the couches soaking up sound because that's the only difference. But man, what a difference that distance makes!
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