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upgrading PC sound system - thought oh JBL Studio 5xx series

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi all, im going a bit nutty and havent upgraded my audio gear in a while, so figured i will do so ! even though my current room setup/layout is pretty poor ... i dont care!

Room Size
my room size is 5m x 5m (16ft x 16ft) so this setup is probably a bit excessive for this .. excessive??? no such thing!!!!

Current Amp :
Im currently using a Yamaha RX-V1400 which i thoroughly enjoy, i was looking at the Aventage series, but all they seem to offer is HDMI audio, which isnt worth the $$ as im not using my setup to watch from a blu-ray device or anything of the sort .

Source
my sound source is from my PC via SPDIF Optical, ranging from game output, to playing a blu-ray through my pc bluray drive, to streaming music from various sources, ranging from 128kbit audio to FLAC / audio cds

Speakers
Currently im using the speakers from the Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 Ultra (just the 5 satellites) - Specs can be found here - http://www.klipsch.com/promedia-ultra-5-1-computer-speaker-system

Subwoofer
Im using a Yamaha YST-SW315, which i will be keeping, i love this subwoofer! it fires nice and tight.

What im looking to upgrade to is the following

Fronts : JBL Studio 580
Centre : JBL Studio 520
Rears : JBL Studio 530

What im going to listen to in terms of importance.
1) Music - FLAC to 128kbit youtube videos
2) Gaming - 5.1 DTS encoded usually
3) Documentaries - National Geographic
4) TV / Movies - i do not watch movies at home i do not have the attention span for this and i generally find TV very boring, im an interactve kinda guy!

1) I am guessing these JBL's are going to blow me away in comparison to the baby klipsch speakers i have, which to be honest i do love.

2) because my pc is at the front of my room, and i will put these speakers in the front corners of my room, i will realistically be sitting quite close to the fronts (3f / 1metre) .. will this change how i hear the sound ? i imagine tuning with the YPAO mic will help a lot with this, but do the speakers require 'room' in front of them to develop the sound? room.jpg 86k .jpg file
http://iforce.co.nz/i/juwj1wtr.p5d.jpg

3) Now because i live in New Zealand our range selection is pretty limited and ive been offered a good package deal on the JBL's.. im going to hear them this weekend. the other option are some Energy cf-70's for cheaper, with their equivalent centre/rears.

I havent been able to find out a lot regarding reviews on these, wondering if anyone has any input?

Thanks in advance :-)

Daryl
Edited by ReaperZ - 6/3/13 at 5:52pm
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
bump <3
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Demo'd the speakers and really was not impressed with the way they sounded, however this was through a harmon avr370. I did not find the treble to be very clear. midrange was excellent however but i am getting the impression these are more of a 'loudspeaker' than a quality hifi speaker.

Hopefully this thread helps someone as there is no input from anyone else here, but thought i would pop an update in here for people searching in future :-)

the hunt continues!
post #4 of 28
Well your room is pretty crowded and it will be hard to make a 5.1 system sound good. You need to figure out which area you want the speakers for, be it your TV or computer. If you want you could wall mount speakers in the corners above the TV and computer, and just provide sound for the room. Otherwise I would probably just get a good 2.1 setup for your computer if you are there the most.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply :-)

honestly its 50/50 if im listening to music from the PC position and gaming from there, or gaming from my racing pod setup. i do prefer the 5.1 as having a centre channel is great for voice, and the surround is great for gaming scenario in terms of hearing people coming from various directions so i dont see 2.1 as a suitable alternative unfortunately.

Ideally i do need a bigger room, and im so addicted to my hardware i dont want to put my expensive stuff into the lounge where my friend who i live with will just sit there and watch movies all day, boring!!!! also i like to be heavily immersed when playing games.

I may be looking at moving houses in the next few months, so perhaps i am better off waiting until then. however i am not a patient man, especially when i have money to play with! devilish stuff.
post #6 of 28
Well if that is the case, you could upgrade your computer now, and then use that as the basis for your 5.1 when you have a more ideal space. Right now you aren't going to have good sound for both listening positions, so that's why I mentioned starting with the computer for now. What is your budget for all of this?
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
budget is ~$2500-3000 USD .. however i live in new zealand and costs are heavily inflated here, and choices are limited.

so you reccomend buying a good 2.1 (happy with my subwoofer) so a pair of good fronts, and look at the rest of the system later ? is a 3.1 possible/suitable/stupid? with running a centre speaker with the fronts. would this help me achieve anything?
post #8 of 28
Yeah if you feel like you can fit it there, but right now it will be difficult to make a 5.1 work well in that room. Unless you mount your TV near the computer and try to centralize your two viewing areas, then maybe it would be easier.
post #9 of 28
I'm a fellow kiwi who is quite the jbl fan. Having said this I'm not a massive fan of those particular jbls. With your budget I would look at getting the best three front speakers I could for the money and would add surrounds when there is more room for them. Paul Money in Auckland have a pretty good range available to them. I would listen to the Wharfedale Jade range and the Polk LsiM range there. Just get the best ones you can afford. I would try to get the centre at the same time cos matching your three front speakers is critical where matching surrounds is less critical (same brand but different series is often not too much of an issue for surrounds). Harvey Norman also have the jades if you are trying to get good prices. Also - dont count out a decent three way bookshelf speaker if you are using a sub on the low end.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avgass View Post

I'm a fellow kiwi who is quite the jbl fan. Having said this I'm not a massive fan of those particular jbls. With your budget I would look at getting the best three front speakers I could for the money and would add surrounds when there is more room for them. Paul Money in Auckland have a pretty good range available to them. I would listen to the Wharfedale Jade range and the Polk LsiM range there. Just get the best ones you can afford. I would try to get the centre at the same time cos matching your three front speakers is critical where matching surrounds is less critical (same brand but different series is often not too much of an issue for surrounds). Harvey Norman also have the jades if you are trying to get good prices. Also - dont count out a decent three way bookshelf speaker if you are using a sub on the low end.

Nice to see another kiwi here !

I spoke to Mark at Paul Money and he reccomended two lots of speakers

First was the Polk a5 at $1699NZD, and suggested the Polk A4 centre.
Second was the dynaudio DM3/7 at $3700NZD, and the Polk A4 centre. - they would do this for 4k.

Im going to assume the dynaudio speaker is considerably better. its unfortunate im in wellington and they are in auckland so ill have no way to listen to the speakers without flying to auckland for the day.. an option i guess if i found cheap flights.

I then talked to another company in Christchurch who suggested Energy V-6.3 for $2499
they also suggested Paradigm Studio 60$ 3,699.00

bearing in mind majority of my music is electronic drum'n'bass / dubstep, which is going to appeal to me more?

has anyone heard / can comment on these speakers?

Thanks :-)biggrin.gif
Edited by ReaperZ - 6/9/13 at 9:50pm
post #11 of 28
The energy speakers are typically more warm sounding. The treble will still be clear but not as present as with many others. The paradigms have a more present treble. May I ask why you want the towers if you have a sub you like? I would look at nice bookshelf speakers such as the Paradigm S2. They are their signature series bookshelf speaker. In the US they are around 2200, similar to the studio which are around $2000. The signature series uses a Beryllium Tweeter which is something that needs to be experienced.
post #12 of 28
It is nice to share and i am really impress.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petden View Post

The energy speakers are typically more warm sounding. The treble will still be clear but not as present as with many others. The paradigms have a more present treble. May I ask why you want the towers if you have a sub you like? I would look at nice bookshelf speakers such as the Paradigm S2. They are their signature series bookshelf speaker. In the US they are around 2200, similar to the studio which are around $2000. The signature series uses a Beryllium Tweeter which is something that needs to be experienced.

I am going to towers as i am under the impression i will get a 'fuller' sound with them. i have not experienced a good set of bookshelf speakers, only the Energy Encore which my dad owns.. they are ok but nothing impressive, however im sure they are not on the same level as those s2.. unfortunately i checked their price here and they are $4499NZD, ~$4000USD...also they "may" get moved into a lounge(larger room) at some point in the near future .. i may claim the lounge as my bedroom in the next property!!! and i expect the towers to provide larger sound / more volume if required.

http://www.listeningpost.co.nz/test-Shop/Speakers/Speakers-__I.55559__C.27273 this company has a good selection in NZ and they seem to have the best prices .. if you might suggest something from there max price $3500nzd, would be greatly appreciated :-)

i see the Paradigm Signature S1 has the Beryllium tweeter, im going to do some reading on them now... also its bang on in my price range, how are they compared to the s2? they are 50% more in price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobpitt View Post

It is nice to share and i am really impress.

I love online communities when people are helpful, it really makes you appreciate the time and help people offer you:) this forum has always been professional and very helpful and i hope one day i can repay the favour!
Edited by ReaperZ - 6/10/13 at 2:32am
post #14 of 28
I would second Petden's comments on decent bookshelves although I prefer the three way variety. If it means you can move up to a higher series by going for a bookshelf rather than a floorstander then that can be advantageous. Having said this, your music tastes would suggest that some speakers that go LOUD might be in order (reasonably high sensitivity and high power handling) which can mean floorstanders are a good idea. Also- you will want to upgrade your sub as soon as you move into a bigger room.

Those Energy Veritas speakers are a phenomenal steal at that price and not all that "warm" in my opinion. The only downside with these is that The Listening Post (I assume this is the store you are referring to in Chch) does not carry a matching centre speaker. Furthermore - you can't get a three way centre in the Energy Veritas range. For issues with two way centres just google MTM and lobing. With your budget you shouldn't need to look into two way centre speakers.

The advice you received from Mark at Paul Money is full of fail. Suggesting you match Dynaudio fronts with the Polk A4 centre speaker is plain idiotic especially when they carry Dynaudio centre speakers. Do not listen to anything this guy tells you. At best he is just ignorant, at worst he knows what he is suggesting is terrible and is just trying to shift stock items that aren't selling. I actually like the RTiA series of speakers but not the A5 or either of the centre speakers. The A7 and A9 are much better but you can't get a three way centre in the RTiA range. One of my best mates has the RTi-A9 and I think they would make your sub superfluous.

Of the speakers you posted I think the Paradigm Studio 60 is the best option. There is a very good matching centre and they are very well reviewed (http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/paradigm_reference_studio_60_v5_loudspeaker).

They should be able to do a reasonable deal on whatever you buy. Don't accept anything near retail price.

My 2c
Phil
Edited by Avgass - 6/10/13 at 3:36am
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks ! Wow the RTi-A9 drops to 18hz, ridiculous! i had never heard of the word superfluous before and chuckled when i saw the meaning.. i dont see a driver that size satisfying my need for bass, especially with me only driving them with 110w amp.. i love bass more than food itself.!!!!!!!!!!

how do they compare musically to the Studio 60s? i would rather sacrifice a bit of power for quality, however i do think the high sensitivity/power handling of the towers will win over the bookshelfs .. its midnight here so im heading to bed and will read reviews when i wake up on the way into work tomorrow.

For the matching centre im assuming you mean Paradigm Studio CC-490 .. RRP $1299. . with the Studio 60's being $3799 do you think $4000 is pushing it in terms of haggling? i would be flying to their store to demo them, surely thats worth something right ? :P
post #16 of 28
I havent heard the s1's so im not sure how they sound in comparison however using the same components means it should be very similar. The biggest issue is bass locatability which may become noticeable with the higher crossover you would need with those bookshelves. From reviews it looks like the S1's barley extend to 80hz so a 100hz crossover might be best.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperZ View Post

Thanks ! Wow the RTi-A9 drops to 18hz, ridiculous! i had never heard of the word superfluous before and chuckled when i saw the meaning.. i dont see a driver that size satisfying my need for bass, especially with me only driving them with 110w amp.. i love bass more than food itself.!!!!!!!!!!

how do they compare musically to the Studio 60s? i would rather sacrifice a bit of power for quality, however i do think the high sensitivity/power handling of the towers will win over the bookshelfs .. its midnight here so im heading to bed and will read reviews when i wake up on the way into work tomorrow.

For the matching centre im assuming you mean Paradigm Studio CC-490 .. RRP $1299. . with the Studio 60's being $3799 do you think $4000 is pushing it in terms of haggling? i would be flying to their store to demo them, surely thats worth something right ? :P

Yea, sensitivity differences can have a much greater effect on acoustical output than power/wattage. As such, a pair of RTi A9s with six 7" drivers and 110w/channel (total 220w) will likely put out noticeably more bass than your subwoofer. I have a custom built Rythmik F15 and would be perfectly happy listening to most music on my mate's RTi-A9s without a sub for casual listening although a big dedicated sub is always a bit better. The 18Hz spec for the Polks is a joke as is the 20Hz spec for your sub but the A9s do go amazingly deep for a full range speaker. Neither product has meaningful output at the deepest of frequencies though.

I haven't heard the Paradigm Studio 60s but the consensus here would probably be that they are a step up from the Polk RTiA series for sound quality. Hopefully someone who has heard them can chime in on this. Yes the CC-490 is the matching centre for the Paradigm Studio 60s. $4,500 would be an OK deal for the fronts+centre. $4,000 or less would be a good deal.

I don't think the S1s while very nice speakers (or even the S2s) would satisfy your intended future usage. If they were always going to service a very small room they could be very nice.

It's a pity Wellington doesn't have many decent audio shops. I though it was bad living in Auckland. You should at least go to Harvey Norman and have a listen to whatever they are peddling.

Cheers,
Phil
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi Phil,

I talked to the Listening Post in Christchurch who have the Paradigm Studio CC-490 .. RRP $1299. . with the Studio 60's being $3799, they said they would do it for $5000, minus a couple of hundred, so im guessing $4800NZD. quite a lot, especially since it will cost me approx $200 to fly down there and back, and $100 freight i imagine..

HOWEVER, i just found out that Sound Expression in Wellington have a pair of the Paradigm Studio 60s and a CC-490 in stock, i have booked to listen to them on Saturday at midday !

Ive had a few dealings with sound expression in the past.. so might be able to waggle some cash in front of them and see what they can do for me price wise.

EXCITING!!!
Edited by ReaperZ - 6/10/13 at 5:58pm
post #19 of 28
Good luck mate. Don't forget to sample some other speakers too if you can.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks :-) im getting really excited!!!!!!!!!

now i need to find a wide range of high quality audio files to demo these babies out. might ask my producer friends for some stuff.
post #21 of 28
I find it's best to take well recorded stuff that you are very familiar with. If you have producer friends try listening to their setups (I'm guessing decent studio monitors) as this might give you a good idea of what things should sound like i.e. an excellent starting point of reference.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
agreed, i will take a lot of music im familiar with, and you are correct they use monitor speakers, most of them are running ROKITs, either the 8s or RP10-3.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Im going to get them to setup the Paradigm Signature S1's as well .. the S2's are too expensive unfortunately .. time to research and see if there is a lot of performance difference between the two.

Im guessing the cc-490 centre wont match as well, so would need to look at something like the Paradigm Signature C3 v1.. this is more expensive than the cc-490, however since the S1's are cheaper than the Studio 60's, the price is roughly the same.

Bookshelf speakers would be nice as they would take up less room, however i will have to get stands so they are at the same height, my current speakers , well one is just sitting on my PC desk and the other sits on a shelf on the TV stand, which is approx 2feet lower . .. Also, the bookshelf speakers will 'image' better the sales rep was saying, after doing some research i found this quote which seems accurate .. is it ?

"The term imaging refers to the ability of the speakers to position individual sounds within the soundstage. When you close your eyes, can you tell where each musician was standing when the recording was made? Or do the vocals and instruments come from vague, fuzzy areas? With speakers that image well, the position of the voices and instruments should be easily identifiable at specific locations and shouldn't seem to move with variations in frequency. "

1) the s1`'s are still excellent speakers, no?
2) my terminology of imaging is correct and the s1's would image better than the studio 60s?


Unfortunately it is stuck in my head that a floorstand is going to sound better as its a 'bigger speaker', when in reality the s1's coupled with my subwoofer should be able to cover just as much sound as the Studio 60s ... i think ...i have a lot to learn. listening will be key!
Edited by ReaperZ - 6/12/13 at 5:03pm
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
well after listening to the studio 60s with the cc-490 centre and the s1's with the c3 centre I opted for the studios. both sets were demod with a 10" jbl subwoofer. I found the studios to be more fulfilling with my electronic music.. it was close but the option of more power also enticed me.


I did end up buying the signature c3 centre to go with the studio 60s though as I felt it was a better centre speaker overall. hopefully I haven't made a dumb decision but to me it sounded more like what I wanted, and I guess that is what counts.


I do have one question though. as they are bi wire speakers does that mean I could run channel a and b into the speakers for 2x the power? my yamaha amp is 110w per channel and the studio 60s can certainly handle that.


thanks!! I'm still yet to wire them up
post #25 of 28
So the place you were at demoing all this....nothing was said about matching the CC to your L/R speakers? Different series, tweeters and size of drivers does not a timbre match make. wink.gif

As far as bi-wiring goes, I'm only gonna say try it and see if there is a difference....but I think you're talking about bi-amping really.
post #26 of 28
I don't think passive biamping does much at all. Biwiring is pointless. Those are very nice speakers. I would personally prefer to have a matching centre speaker. Did you listen to any multichannel material that panned from one side to the other? That's one good way to see if the fronts are timbre matched. Their construction suggests that they might sound a bit different.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperZ View Post


I do have one question though. as they are bi wire speakers does that mean I could run channel a and b into the speakers for 2x the power?

Not a chance. You won't even get 1% more power as long as the cable is reasonably thick (12-14 gauge).

Here's the problem. The power delivered to the speaker by the amp is dependent on the voltage coming out of the amplifier, which is the same whether it comes from one amplifier or two or 10, given that the amps have the same power rating.

Furthermore, most people don't use the full rated power of their AVR, anyway. It takes about 50 wpc to drive most speakers in most listening rooms to peak reference power (105-110 db).
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avgass View Post

I don't think passive biamping does much at all. Biwiring is pointless. Those are very nice speakers. I would personally prefer to have a matching centre speaker. Did you listen to any multichannel material that panned from one side to the other? That's one good way to see if the fronts are timbre matched. Their construction suggests that they might sound a bit different.

Thanks, yes demo'd a few scenes from Avatar on blu-ray and transformers and found that i liked how the c3 sounded in comparison to the cc-490 .. perhaps i am a little odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

So the place you were at demoing all this....nothing was said about matching the CC to your L/R speakers? Different series, tweeters and size of drivers does not a timbre match make. wink.gif

As far as bi-wiring goes, I'm only gonna say try it and see if there is a difference....but I think you're talking about bi-amping really.

The place i was demoing actually reccomended i go with the c3 even though i didn't buy it from them as another store had it significantly cheaper. i felt the sound was sharper with the c3 and demo'd the systems for close to an hour with 2 other listeners (my girlfriend and a good friend of mine), we all agreed this sounded better.

in regards to bi-wiring / bi-amping, i dont understand anything about it so i will do reading on this tonight ! my thought process was that since my amplifier has an A/B which i can enable both for front channel .. i could run cables to both A and B, enable both, and feed both of these to the speakers, as the speakers have 4 inputs

** Edit, after doing some reading , yes what im referring to is bi-wiring, so i just need to combine them at the amplifier end, and split them at the speaker end? i couldn't see much explaining how to wire them at the amplifier end, only the speaker end.

Seems i do just put both in the same connector at amplifier end, and bi-wire at the speaker end. i got some decent monster cable (i forget model) that is bi-wire at both ends.



Thank you :-)
Edited by ReaperZ - 6/17/13 at 5:11pm
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