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Looking to Upgrade (Speakers)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I recently received a hefty raise at work and am looking to upgrade my system, which currently includes:

Mitsubishi WD-60735 60-Inch 1080p DLP HDTV
Sony STR‑DN1030 AV network receiver
Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System

Now, I see the Pioneer SP-FS52 5.25" Andrew Jones Designed Floorstanding Speakers are on sale at a store next to where I work, so I'm wondering if these with the Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Designed Center Channel Speaker from Amazon would be a good deal to upgrade my speakers. If not, what would be?

There are two caveats to this question, so I apologize if it is not a simple answer. The first is I am not sure how to connect my right rear speaker, as there is no wall at that spot, so currently I have it on a speaker stand which is still not in the correct location but close, so maybe there is a better speaker or better way to accomplish that. The second issue is I recently purchased the Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver, as it was a great price on BF. So, should I swap out the receivers, and if so, does this affect the speaker choice? On a side note, I am not sure I want to go from 5.1 to 7.2 quite yet, primarily because, as I mentioned, I don't have great locations for the speakers with only 2 walls (behind TV and to the left) with which to work, so I don't know if that affects speaker choice.

Hope this isn't too confusing for the wise minds here. Appreciate any help. smile.gif
post #2 of 19
AVR choice makes no difference.
Spend as much as I can on a good sub. It will have a greater affect on your sound than a speaker upgrade will.
post #3 of 19
The receivers are about equal, and I've owned the STR-DN1030, it is a great-sounding unit. Keep it.

The Energy take series is very well regarded, unless you are stressing your speakers already, there is little need to upgrade. That said, I use the AJ Pioneer towers and I love them. Whether it's an upgrade or a sidegrade depends on your personal preferences—the Pioneers sound laid-back in a high-end audiophile sort of way. Buttery and smooth, never crass.

I have to agree with Kini62, get as good a sub as you can afford (or two)—that's what's going to have the biggest impact in your system at this point.
post #4 of 19
What is your real starting upgrade budget ( the max for now)?
I would stick with 5.1 for now.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
To be honest, there is no real budget as I am contemplating upgrading TV as well so there's a lot of factors in play here. I suppose for total upgrade cost (TV, speakers, etc.) then around 3k. I don't mind spending money on quality equipment, I just like to get deals on things I do buy. The reason I asked about the Pioneer's is when I originally was deciding whether to go with Energy or another, one poster on here told me that floorstanding speakers always beat bookshelves, which is why when I saw the sale today it seemed like a good upgrade, especially with the center on sale at amazon. So, if I did pull the trigger and try the 2 Fronts and the center, should I leave the rears for now?

Also, that all being said, what would be a good sub upgrade? Or should I stick with the sub I have and buy a second?
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman33 View Post

To be honest, there is no real budget as I am contemplating upgrading TV as well so there's a lot of factors in play here. I suppose for total upgrade cost (TV, speakers, etc.) then around 3k. I don't mind spending money on quality equipment, I just like to get deals on things I do buy. The reason I asked about the Pioneer's is when I originally was deciding whether to go with Energy or another, one poster on here told me that floorstanding speakers always beat bookshelves, which is why when I saw the sale today it seemed like a good upgrade, especially with the center on sale at amazon. So, if I did pull the trigger and try the 2 Fronts and the center, should I leave the rears for now?

Also, that all being said, what would be a good sub upgrade? Or should I stick with the sub I have and buy a second?
Why not, buy the surrounds.

Do not put all your eggs in one basket - the debate about bookshelves and towers will continue till the end of the world.

Subs from the likes of SVS, HSU, Outlaw Audio, and the likes of Power Sound Audio, are good options.

For $500 the SVS PB-1000 is a good choice
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/PB-1000.html#.Up96bMRDspY
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ah, well thank you. I am trying to learn as much as I can and I had assumed (incorrectly) that that was a given. Didn't realize it was up for debate. Then, how can I tell what speakers are better than others? Solely based on reviews in cases where I can't physically listen to them? Or is there some other metric which is used, such as impedance?

Also, thank you for the link, I will check those out. Is it best to add a sub on or replace the one I have?

Purchased the two floorstanding ones and the center, will test and decide if it's a sound upgrade or not.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman33 View Post

Ah, well thank you. I am trying to learn as much as I can and I had assumed (incorrectly) that that was a given. Didn't realize it was up for debate. Then, how can I tell what speakers are better than others? Solely based on reviews in cases where I can't physically listen to them? Or is there some other metric which is used, such as impedance?

Also, thank you for the link, I will check those out. Is it best to add a sub on or replace the one I have?

Purchased the two floorstanding ones and the center, will test and decide if it's a sound upgrade or not.

Speakers really come down to listener preference. Everyone has a different set if ears and a different listening space.

As for subs. The only way to make use of your existing sub is to get another one just like it. Putting a much better performing sub with a lesser sub does not do anything other than bring down the better sub.

IMO it's better to have one really good sub than two poor subs.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman33 View Post

Ah, well thank you. I am trying to learn as much as I can and I had assumed (incorrectly) that that was a given. Didn't realize it was up for debate. Then, how can I tell what speakers are better than others? Solely based on reviews in cases where I can't physically listen to them? Or is there some other metric which is used, such as impedance?

Also, thank you for the link, I will check those out. Is it best to add a sub on or replace the one I have?

Purchased the two floorstanding ones and the center, will test and decide if it's a sound upgrade or not.

I would replace that Energy sub. Depending on room size - look at the SVS - one option the PB-1000
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/PB-1000.html#.Up-OdcRDspY

I do not put a lot of weight in published speaker specs - however, you need to look out for the 4 ohm rated ones,
as there are some receivers that can not handle 4 ohms. Also speakers with higher sensitivities will play louder,
and will help in bigger rooms - however, they also tend to get optimistic about that (miss the mark). In general
receivers today will handle 6 and 8 ohms - and a few can handle 4 ohms.

The best way to tell if speakers are better than others, is to audition them > also in general, for a good balance
between a sub and speakers (like bookshelves) > most of us prefer that the bookshelves go down to 80 hz or
lower, for a good blend with a good subwoofer - placement of a sub will play a part in this. A lot of people who
use towers still cross their speakers at 80 hz, and let the sub handle the lower bass. Some cheap towers are
poorly built, and can not really compete with some booksheves at the same price. Some of them towers, have
cheap cabinets, little bracing and small dampening inside - and having extra woofers does not make up for this.

However, there are those who still like sub/sat (little satellite speakers) systems, where the sub needs to cross
higher. Then you have to deal with sub localization, and then some voices coming through the sub. Some can
sound OK, it comes down to preference, taste and compromises. >> Some sats sound nice - yet the sound is
still small.

If you hang around the forum - you will begin to learn and trust some people, about some good sounding speakers.
I do use magazine reviews to get an idea about some speakers > I still eat the fish and spit out the bones.

I do not really get caught up in debates - life on earth is short.smile.gif.
Edited by zieglj01 - 12/4/13 at 12:22pm
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thank you guys so much, you have all been very helpful! I think the only other question I have would be about placement. Would it be alright if I took some photos of my current setup to ensure I have placed everything appropriately? I don't know if this is the right place for that so I can post somewhere else if needed. I'm just not quite sure where to place my right rear speaker and if the PB-1000 you mentioned above is best for my setup.

But again thanks, I will keep my receiver, sub out the three front speakers, and replace my sub with a better one. Thumbs up, all around!
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman33 View Post

Awesome, thank you guys so much, you have all been very helpful! I think the only other question I have would be about placement. Would it be alright if I took some photos of my current setup to ensure I have placed everything appropriately? I don't know if this is the right place for that so I can post somewhere else if needed. I'm just not quite sure where to place my right rear speaker and if the PB-1000 you mentioned above is best for my setup.

But again thanks, I will keep my receiver, sub out the three front speakers, and replace my sub with a better one. Thumbs up, all around!

Posting pictures can help

Also, look at this
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-oq2DIyWhCBa/learn/learningcenter/home/speaker_placement.html
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here are four pics of my current setup. In terms of TV area, you can think of the room being like an L shape, with the wall behind and to the left of the TV.

The first is the TV stand straight on:


The second is the TV stand from the right side:


The third is the rear view, still from the right side:


The final is from the rear, looking towards the TV stand:


Hopefully, it can be seen how the right rear speaker is currently on a stand as there is not a lot of options for placing it in a better location. I haven't mounted the left rear yet as I just set this up. Also, based on this setup, would that PB-1000 sub work for me? Based on the link above, I think it will, just wanting to confirm.

Thanks for the link about room setup, unfortunately, other than general locations, I don't see a setup that will covers my room layout.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman33 View Post

Here are four pics of my current setup. In terms of TV area, you can think of the room being like an L shape, with the wall behind and to the left of the TV.

Hopefully, it can be seen how the right rear speaker is currently on a stand as there is not a lot of options for placing it in a better location. I haven't mounted the left rear yet as I just set this up. Also, based on this setup, would that PB-1000 sub work for me? Based on the link above, I think it will, just wanting to confirm.

Thanks for the link about room setup, unfortunately, other than general locations, I don't see a setup that will covers my room layout.

Now, this is interesting - where do you plan to put your tower speakers? > I think you should think
about re-arranging something.

With your present room set-up > I think I would go 3.1, and forget about surrounds

The SVS sub will be way better than your current sub.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
I currently spend the majority of my time on the black couch, and while it is not easily seen from the pics, there is room to the left of the TV stand, so I was thinking I would place the left tower directly next to the stand, the center channel on the right side of the stand, and then the right tower equidistant from the center channel, to the right of the sub. The link for speaker placement says the left and right fronts should be equidistant from the center in an arc, which is what this would be. Wouldn't that work?

I will look into buying that sub, thanks. I really like surround sound so I don't really want to give up on 5.1, but I will consider it, thanks for your input.
post #15 of 19
You really need to move the tv onto the wall that currently has the black sofa. Then rearrange the furniture to suit the new location.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

You really need to move the tv onto the wall that currently has the black sofa. Then rearrange the furniture to suit the new location.

+1

Also, your front speaker towers need some room to breathe - to help control reflections off
of boundary areas - and to help with imaging and sound-stage presentation.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes, that is how I had the setup, however then there is no room for speakers at all. I had only the front three energy all crammed on the stand like they are now. This new setup allowed me to move things around better to actually be able to fit the different things in there. I appreciate the comments, but it is not a possibility to go back to that way.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman33 View Post

Yes, that is how I had the setup, however then there is no room for speakers at all. I had only the front three energy all crammed on the stand like they are now. This new setup allowed me to move things around better to actually be able to fit the different things in there. I appreciate the comments, but it is not a possibility to go back to that way.
I don't see that. But I guess u would know better.
What u are wanting to do now will result in a poor sounding setup. Especially when sitting on the black sofa.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I would be interested in hearing why you think this. As a frame of reference, I had the setup with the TV along the far wall, the couches on either side and the coffee table in the middle for 2 years. Other than being incredibly crowded as there was about a foot of space around everything, the speaker setup was less than ideal, as I mentioned. Now, I have had this new setup for almost 2 weeks and the sound sounds as good or maybe a hair better since there is a lot more space.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, however the reason I moved to this setup was specifically to upgrade sound and add more space as I was told more space usually equals better sound. Now it sounds like you are saying more space is going to result in worse sound which has not been my experience thus far. If that is what you are saying, I can certainly consider moving some things to increase the sound quality, its just that the TV against that one wall has been done and won't work.
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