New Speakers or Dedicated Amp? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-29-2020, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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New Speakers or Dedicated Amp?

Hi.

Here's my current 5.2 setup:

Denon X3300W
Polk CSiA6 center
2x Polk RTi10s towers
2x Polk FXi A4 surrounds
2x HSU VTF-3 MK5 subs

I'm trying to coax some "better" sound out of my setup, both for movies and music. If I had to isolate a weak link in my system, I'd be forced to point to the RTI10s. Don't get me wrong, they are wonderful, reliable speakers, particularly for the price I paid many years ago, but I would like to get some more out of them if possible, or look into upgrading. To add some detail, they are fairly clean, always play with zero discernible distortion, and they can get quite loud. On the other hand, they can sound a little shrill and thin at times, and on occasion they have a "distant" quality...like they're playing through a thin barrier of some kind. I know that's a rather vague and probably unhelpful description, but it's difficult to translate into text.

Anyway, at 89dB they aren't the most sensitive speakers around and the Denon is not exactly a beast in terms of power output. Would I be well served by something like a Monolith 3X? Would this "open up" the speakers at all, particularly at high volumes? Or should I look into different towers completely? My concern with changing speakers is that I would then be faced with the possibility of needing a matching center, and I'm really not looking to stretch my budget that much. Whatever I do I'd like to stay under $1500 total.

Also, with the two subs taking up LFE duties, full range towers maybe aren't necessary to begin with. Everything is currently crossed over at 80Hz.

Primary uses are movies (played at or near reference) with a fair amount of 2.2 channel music thrown in.

For reference, the best sounding consumer speakers I've personally heard were 800 series B&Ws - obviously those are dramatically beyond my budget, but that's the overall style of sound I'm after...somewhat warm, yet crisp, very detailed and impactful.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-29-2020, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post
Hi.

Here's my current 5.2 setup:

Denon X3300W
Polk CSiA6 center
2x Polk RTi10s towers
2x Polk FXi A4 surrounds
2x HSU VTF-3 MK5 subs

I'm trying to coax some "better" sound out of my setup, both for movies and music. If I had to isolate a weak link in my system, I'd be forced to point to the RTI10s. Don't get me wrong, they are wonderful, reliable speakers, particularly for the price I paid many years ago, but I would like to get some more out of them if possible, or look into upgrading. To add some detail, they are fairly clean, always play with zero discernible distortion, and they can get quite loud. On the other hand, they can sound a little shrill and thin at times, and on occasion they have a "distant" quality...like they're playing through a thin barrier of some kind. I know that's a rather vague and probably unhelpful description, but it's difficult to translate into text.

Anyway, at 89dB they aren't the most sensitive speakers around and the Denon is not exactly a beast in terms of power output. Would I be well served by something like a Monolith 3X? Would this "open up" the speakers at all, particularly at high volumes? Or should I look into different towers completely? My concern with changing speakers is that I would then be faced with the possibility of needing a matching center, and I'm really not looking to stretch my budget that much. Whatever I do I'd like to stay under $1500 total.

Also, with the two subs taking up LFE duties, full range towers maybe aren't necessary to begin with. Everything is currently crossed over at 80Hz.

Primary uses are movies (played at or near reference) with a fair amount of 2.2 channel music thrown in.

For reference, the best sounding consumer speakers I've personally heard were 800 series B&Ws - obviously those are dramatically beyond my budget, but that's the overall style of sound I'm after...somewhat warm, yet crisp, very detailed and impactful.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Speakers make 1,000 X more difference than electronics. You should read about speaker shoot-outs here on AVS Forum. That should give you some ideas on upgrading your speakers.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-30-2020, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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In that case, what should I be looking for in terms of matching the center? Or is it essentially a foregone conclusion that I'd need to upgrade the center as well?
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-30-2020, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post
In that case, what should I be looking for in terms of matching the center? Or is it essentially a foregone conclusion that I'd need to upgrade the center as well?
The center is most important. you don't need to worry about timbre matching - just get a center that works for you. Start there

the emotiva C1, C2 always are recommended highly.

I just got an Infinity RC263C - and it is amazing. (although currently sold out, at sale prices(<200, it a steal) and at list (499) still a great value and awesome performer)

putting almost all of your budget towards an Ascend Acoustics Sierra Horizon...

at audiosciencereview.com the Revel C52 review is impressive

all those put aside, 3 way is probably better than 2 way... and I am of the belief that a "nested" tweeter - where the tweeter is elevated from teh horizontal axis in a standard MTM configuration, also described as W t/m W is better...

good luck

Main: Sony XBR75900E, Denon AVR-x4400, Denon POA-5200 (L/R(a) Goldenear supersat 60, (b)FW Boston acoustic Bravo 2. C Ascend Acoustics Duo,
SSR DIYSG Volt 6v2. RSS Volt 6, Atmos(.4) Boston acoustics soundware
HSU research ULS -15, Episode ES-IW-Dual 8 / Monitor audio IWA 250 amp 2nd Rm: Visio E55, Denon avr730H, Boston Acoustics CR8, cr400 sub.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-30-2020, 08:48 AM
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A pair of Chane A5.5s should be on your short list. However, if you can be patient, their "soon" to be introduced 700 series would fit your needs perfectly. Either would be a huge upgrade over the current.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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