Thoughts on old PSBs? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-25-2020, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Worth keeping old PSBs?

I have a pretty old PSB Surround setup of 400 / 100C / Alpha. Used only for home theater, I am wondering if they are still decent in the scope of speakers or if upgrading might be a worth it. Been having a desire for some floor standing speakers and maybe even adding Atmos.

I NEED a new receiver, so now is the time to make a plan. I'd only willing to spend about $1k to replace those 5 speakers.



Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions with a novice.

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-25-2020, 04:29 PM
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They are not bad, but design and engineering have improved ... I would aim to change the front 3 channels, and use what you have for surrounds .... Do you have a good subwoofer

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-25-2020, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
They are not bad, but design and engineering have improved ... I would aim to change the front 3 channels, and use what you have for surrounds .... Do you have a good subwoofer
Great idea! I know the sound of surrounds arent too critical but would the front 3 still need to match the 400's tone?
As for the sub, its an HSU STF-2. I might replace it, but its not high on the priority list. Finding a deal on a receiver is first and then deciding on the speakers.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-26-2020, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tmanXX View Post
Great idea! I know the sound of surrounds arent too critical but would the front 3 still need to match the 400's tone?
As for the sub, its an HSU STF-2. I might replace it, but its not high on the priority list. Finding a deal on a receiver is first and then deciding on the speakers.
For mainly movies, the surrounds can be different from the front channels .... and the HSU sub is decent/nice

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-26-2020, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmanXX View Post
I have a pretty old PSB Surround setup of 400 / 100C / Alpha. Used only for home theater, I am wondering if they are still decent in the scope of speakers or if upgrading might be a worth it. Been having a desire for some floor standing speakers and maybe even adding Atmos.

I NEED a new receiver, so now is the time to make a plan. I'd only willing to spend about $1k to replace those 5 speakers.
Denon X2500 --- google it, less than half of MSRP since it's last year's model. Don't spend much more, the receiver makes little difference compared to the LCR.

I'd repurpose your 400s for surround duty and start with a new center speaker (the center does 70-80% of the output and 98% of the dialogue).

Here are some proven-performer horizontal centers in the $250-300 range, which most people are quite happy with:
* Emotiva C1 or (if space and budget permit) C2
* Chane A2.4
* Ascend 340SE

You MAY be fine keeping your 400s for L/R with any of the above 3 centers, though...try that first, and if your ears object or if your eyes desire visual uniformity, then add the "matching" bookshelves for L/R.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-26-2020, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
For mainly movies, the surrounds can be different from the front channels .... and the HSU sub is decent/nice
If moving the 400s to surround, were there a front 3 you'd recommend?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Denon X2500 --- google it, less than half of MSRP since it's last year's model. Don't spend much more, the receiver makes little difference compared to the LCR.

I'd repurpose your 400s for surround duty and start with a new center speaker (the center does 70-80% of the output and 98% of the dialogue).

Here are some proven-performer horizontal centers in the $250-300 range, which most people are quite happy with:
* Emotiva C1 or (if space and budget permit) C2
* Chane A2.4
* Ascend 340SE

You MAY be fine keeping your 400s for L/R with any of the above 3 centers, though...try that first, and if your ears object or if your eyes desire visual uniformity, then add the "matching" bookshelves for L/R.
Thanks for the recommendations. My reasoning on the ideal of X3600H was to get Audyssey MultiEQ XT32, 11 channel possibility, & Atmos Height Virt. The X2500H, still a great receiver, I'd lose all 3 of those.
I mean, my AVR-891 still does great work, just fed up not having 4k capability. If Frys was still doing their receiver deals, I'd already have it. $600 is the ceiling for a receiver.

As for the speakers, you think I could POSSIBLY mix in a new center and keep the 400s? Thought the tone or timbre of all the fronts needed to match. I doubt anything still available today would match those 400s.
I was also kind of looking to get larger, floorstanding speakers, mostly for aesthetics. A few 5" or 6" drivers was my thought. Then finding a center to match. If the center is really the most crucial for HT, then maybe finding the better one there and then finding matching floorstanders might be better. Even if keeping the 400s as surround, I'm still OK with spending $1k up front.


Thank you again!!
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-26-2020, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tmanXX View Post
Thanks for the recommendations. My reasoning on the ideal of X3600H was to get Audyssey MultiEQ XT32, 11 channel possibility, & Atmos Height Virt. The X2500H, still a great receiver, I'd lose all 3 of those.
I mean, my AVR-891 still does great work, just fed up not having 4k capability. If Frys was still doing their receiver deals, I'd already have it. $600 is the ceiling for a receiver.

As for the speakers, you think I could POSSIBLY mix in a new center and keep the 400s? Thought the tone or timbre of all the fronts needed to match. I doubt anything still available today would match those 400s.
I was also kind of looking to get larger, floorstanding speakers, mostly for aesthetics. A few 5" or 6" drivers was my thought. Then finding a center to match. If the center is really the most crucial for HT, then maybe finding the better one there and then finding matching floorstanders might be better. Even if keeping the 400s as surround, I'm still OK with spending $1k up front.
The importance of "timbre matching" IMO is hugely overrated and is just another one of those popular audiophile myths. (I can go into a lot more detail about why if you're interested.)

However, if you are a true believer then best bang for your buck would be a pair of Emotiva T-Zeros (mini-towers at a jaw-dropping $400/pr) with either the C1 ($250) or C2 center ($400). If you are patient, in another month or so you may be able to find Infinity and JBL marking down their speakers (Reference and Studio series, respectively) over 50% off MSRP as they do every few months...both brands give you free return shipping, nice for extra peace of mind.

I've never seen an 11 channel receiver go for $600...they are usually well above $1K. So make sure that you REALLY need/want all 11 channels. Personally I think Audyssey is overrated, and would much rather put the extra cost into better front 3 and possibly a new sub or two. The x2500 can be had for $350 if you google.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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