Before spending money, did you try the automatic calibration? For that model, it's called DCAC, described on page 33 of the manual. Do you still have the calibration microphone?
If not, see if getting one isn't too hard. Not replacing the AVR of course leaves you more money for speakers.
If you're using the apps in the TV for watching, it doesn't seem that it has a way to pass uncompressed sound out, even to an AVR with eARC. If that's true, you're potential for best sound is limited, but it wouldn't be a change from before.
The only way to really solve that is to not use the TV as the player, but to use another device to the AVR. Very few streaming devices pass uncompressed sound from their apps. The NVidia Shield TV is the only one that comes to mind.
With that said, the speakers c/w/should get an upgrade. If your problem is lack of clear dialog, focus on the center. The Pioneer is known to be weak for dialog. There are lots of threads with suggestions.
FWIW, the JBL Arena 125C seems to be available as a refurb at the moment.
After that, get some L/R speakers with performance in the same ballpark. Don't worry about matching brands/families. It shouldn't be hard to surpass the HTIB speakers.
Get stands (unless you decide on towers), and get some separation between the speakers.
If the Sony receiver is dying, most modern AVRs would be a more than suitable. You'll have to decide if refurbished units can work for you, but it's a way to hold the budget down. With that said, the Onkyo TX-SR494 seems to be a budget priced AVR available new.
Originally Posted by Petro62
I need some help because I have had it with my old Frankenstein system.
I have never gotten this system balanced. Even with the sub off for the most part I feel like it has always been bass heavy and dialogue has been very difficult to hear. Being in an apartment (especially one that is mostly concrete) I can’t crank the volume all the way to hear clear dialogue without having a ton of bass and upsetting my neighbors. I tried a sound bar once and absolutely hated the sound of it. I mostly use my TV to watch twitch, YouTube, Netflix and Prime. I used to have full surround but I didn’t want to run the wires in the new apartment and due to orientation I didn’t feel they really provided much anyway. The Sony receiver seems to be showing its age as certain thing cut in and out at times.
Help me with a system that meets the needs of clear dialogue balanced bass/sound and maybe leaves room for future expansion. I have no idea what budget for a system like this should be but let’s just say I would like to keep lower than $1000. $500 would be great but I would be willing to go to go up to $1000.
Sorry if this isn’t the right place or I missed something.