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post #1 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaker Recommendation / Advice

Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 03:47 PM
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If you want to buy new speakers, I'd like to recommend Polk lsim line. It's on sale now. I think they're really good for your use.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
For new speakers? Most likely no. Adding a sub will make more of a difference.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
For new speakers? Most likely no. Adding a sub will make more of a difference.
I have a sub already, Polk PSW10.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 05:31 PM
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I have a sub already, Polk PSW10.
Maybe I should say "by adding a GOOD sub". The PSW10 isn't really a sub as it doesn't even cover the lowest notes on the piano or bass guitar.

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post #6 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 07:15 PM
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Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts?
I've owned both. The Denton has better drivers, cabinet, and overall build quality along with superior fit and finish (real wood veneer.) Prices are about same with sometimes the Denton being cheaper at $400 and sometimes the 225 cheaper at $350.

The Denton is a little more upper mid forward with a more detailed tweeter. The 225 is very much on the warm/neutral side. I really like both, actually.

The 225 is probably a better all-arounder since it has very few "faults." The 225 goes a little deeper in the bass but the Denton has excellent punch and impact. It will have better bass definition too.

Those are two excellent choices and you can't go wrong with either.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
What don't you like about the RS4's or would like improved?

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post #8 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience?
Frankly I doubt it. You may well buy a DIFFERENT experience, but IIRC those RS4s were pretty good.

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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts?
I personally would not change from fairly good-sized towers to small bookshelf speakers. The bass won't go nearly as low (Google "Hoffman's Iron Law") and, because small speakers tend to be tuned with a bit of a mid bass bump to make up for a lack of the lowest bass, maybe not as nice sounding either. Now if you can get some Reva 3s, or particularly the Reva 4s, those 4s I heard extensively at Audio Element in Pasadena and they were super great. They sounded nice too, ha ha, overshadowed by the not-a-boring-box shape and the gorgeous not-some-lousy-vinyl finish.

As for the subwoofer, some significantly better towers and you'll not be using that PSW10; my buddy stepped up to some Focal 936s and has now ditched his 15" sub. The Polk is good for the price I think but as noted by @Kini62 does not go super low nor due to limited power go super loud. It's a good match for less expensive bookshelf speakers or such but if I were you I'd try and step up the towers a lot. Actually just now on this very site they liked JBL A190s https://www.avsforum.com/jbl-stage-a...eakers-review/

Whatever you buy, if you can't hear them, be sure they are returnable. Speakers are SO idiosyncratic, that in your particular room for your particular ears you may hate even "great" speakers.
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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[/quote]
What don't you like about the RS4's or would like improved?[/QUOTE]

There isn't anything in particular that I don't like, but I've had them for 18 years and was thinking something new could be an improvement. Just not sure what price I have to pay to be a noticeable improvement.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 08:36 AM
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if i could make a reasonably affordable tower suggestion.. the emotiva t1 is a good tower at an unbelievable close out price of $499 a pair from the factory ..

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #11 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 08:45 AM
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What don't you like about the RS4's or would like improved?[/QUOTE]

There isn't anything in particular that I don't like, but I've had them for 18 years and was thinking something new could be an improvement. Just not sure what price I have to pay to be a noticeable improvement.[/QUOTE]

New isn't always better. As others have mentioned what you like in "sound" is VERY subjective, some like warm speakers, like you mentioned you do, some like bright, some like neutral speakers. I'm not sure where you are located, I didn't look before I replied lol. But if you have a Best Buy Magnolia store or another home theater or audio video store in your area you really should go have a listen to some different speakers. Nothing trumps hearing them in your room in your setup, however you CAN get a feel for which speakers sound best to you. Then if your buying from somewhere with a generous return policy like best buy, buy them take them home give them a listen over a couple days, and if you like them keep them, if not return them. There are plenty of ID companies as well with reasonable return policies, that you could try as well.
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post #12 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by head_unit View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience?
Frankly I doubt it. You may well buy a DIFFERENT experience, but IIRC those RS4s were pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts?
I personally would not change from fairly good-sized towers to small bookshelf speakers. The bass won't go nearly as low (Google "Hoffman's Iron Law") and, because small speakers tend to be tuned with a bit of a mid bass bump to make up for a lack of the lowest bass, maybe not as nice sounding either. Now if you can get some Reva 3s, or particularly the Reva 4s, those 4s I heard extensively at Audio Element in Pasadena and they were super great. They sounded nice too, ha ha, overshadowed by the not-a-boring-box shape and the gorgeous not-some-lousy-vinyl finish.

As for the subwoofer, some significantly better towers and you'll not be using that PSW10; my buddy stepped up to some Focal 936s and has now ditched his 15" sub. The Polk is good for the price I think but as noted by @Kini62 does not go super low nor due to limited power go super loud. It's a good match for less expensive bookshelf speakers or such but if I were you I'd try and step up the towers a lot. Actually just now on this very site they liked JBL A190s https://www.avsforum.com/jbl-stage-a...eakers-review/

Whatever you buy, if you can't hear them, be sure they are returnable. Speakers are SO idiosyncratic, that in your particular room for your particular ears you may hate even "great" speakers.
Thanks for the info. I had other people suggest that a $500 bookshelf speaker would be better than a $500 set of towers which is why I looked at those.

I'll go to an audio store and take a listen to some options. Appreciate the help.
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post #13 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 11:25 AM
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If you want to buy new speakers, I'd like to recommend Polk lsim line. It's on sale now. I think they're really good for your use.

LSiM 705's from Adorama at about 600 a piece would do nicely, but not sure if that is in line with what you are looking to spend budget wise. You will get great sound though.
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
I'd be quite surprised if the Wharfedales sound "better" but they may so be sure to buy from somewhere with easy/inexpensive returns.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #15 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
I agree with most. Keep your speakers and get a "real" sub. You should still have some basic Bass management with your Denon 2801 AVR so a Rythmik L12 might be a God-Send.
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post #16 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Need some advice as I'm new to the game. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS4 towers that I've been using since 2001.

Looking to upgrade, finally. Speakers will be used in a 2.1 setup in a medium sized room, mostly for audio with some TV.

They are powered from a Denon 2801 AVR, also from 2001.

Will spending $400-500 greatly increase the listening experience? I haven't heard new good speakers so I have no idea what to expect. Or will I need to increase my budget to hear an appreciable improvement?

Looking at Wharfedale Denton or Diamond 225. Any thoughts? I listen to mostly rock and like a warm sound. Also found a pair of Wharfedale Riva 2 on sale for similar price.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
I agree with most. Keep your speakers and get a "real" sub. You should still have some basic Bass management with your Denon 2801 AVR so a Rythmik L12 might be a God-Send.
Kind of surprised on the sub love for music. I always thought it only useful for movies.

https://pitchfork.com/features/oped/...st-subwoofers/

https://www.cnet.com/news/the-case-a...ers-for-music/
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 09:34 PM
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Kind of surprised on the sub love for music. I always thought it only useful for movies.
I think it really depends on
- How capable the main speakers are, and if they ARE capable, how lucky you are that their room placement actually gives good bass
- How good the subwoofer is
- How lucky you get integrating the subwoofers to the mains.
- Your expectation of exactly how loud and how low you want to play.
My friends now-subless setup with Focal 936s will play quite low and quite loud, but you are not going to recreate Iron Maiden's Powerslave tour in your living room (especially since I measured 126 dB peaks out of their Turbosound PA!!). And I'm pretty certain if I played the depth charge scenes in Das Boot his setup would not have the visceral impact of dual 18s etc. But for anything more sane, no subwoofer needed.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sjandray View Post
Kind of surprised on the sub love for music. I always thought it only useful for movies.

https://pitchfork.com/features/oped/...st-subwoofers/

https://www.cnet.com/news/the-case-a...ers-for-music/
I can attest to how bad the OP’s sub is because I also have one. It was the my first sub and just so cheap. A coup,e of years ago I finally purchased a ‘real’ sub (HSU VTF-3 mk5) and it is like night and day. The polk gives out a vibrating hum of bass, while the HSU pumps out deep, controlled bass. It’s like adding another dimension to the music. Sometimes you almost feel it ,ore than you hear it....and not in a shake down the house kind of way. Its also nice when you actually hear a series of bass notes instead of one continuous vibration.

I definitely agree a better sub would make a big difference.
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-05-2019, 09:41 PM
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I had other people suggest that a $500 bookshelf speaker would be better than a $500 set of towers
At that price point I think there is a LOT of variability. Some bookshelf speakers *might* have a more precise sound if they sink more money into better drivers and crossover instead of bigger cabinets and more woofers. The flip side is that if you took that bookshelf and extended the cabinet to floor-like your RS4s-you get more extended bass for not much more cabinet cost, and avoid the cost and general unattractiveness of stands. Also, many bookshelves are ported and due to physical constraints the tuning is high up, so they can have a tubby/midbass prominent sound.

Anyway, I have to riff again on what I said before-I do NOT believe at that price you'll really improve your sound as opposed to changing it. Maybe $1200-$2k. So perhaps $500 is better spent on a good, truly deep-digging subwoofer. (A different experiment would be to add a 2nd PSW10 for $57 used at Adorama...)

Have you run the Audyssey in your Denon?
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-06-2019, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I had other people suggest that a $500 bookshelf speaker would be better than a $500 set of towers
At that price point I think there is a LOT of variability. Some bookshelf speakers *might* have a more precise sound if they sink more money into better drivers and crossover instead of bigger cabinets and more woofers. The flip side is that if you took that bookshelf and extended the cabinet to floor-like your RS4s-you get more extended bass for not much more cabinet cost, and avoid the cost and general unattractiveness of stands. Also, many bookshelves are ported and due to physical constraints the tuning is high up, so they can have a tubby/midbass prominent sound.

Anyway, I have to riff again on what I said before-I do NOT believe at that price you'll really improve your sound as opposed to changing it. Maybe $1200-$2k. So perhaps $500 is better spent on a good, truly deep-digging subwoofer. (A different experiment would be to add a 2nd PSW10 for $57 used at Adorama...)

Have you run the Audyssey in your Denon?
My Denon receiver is 18 years old and doesn't have Audyssey.

I appreciate all the info everyone is sharing. Always happy to learn more and become more knowledgeable.
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