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I have a Bose Lifestyle 12 system that is about 4 years old. It does not process DTS, or THX. What I am wondering is how I can upgrade to be able to enjoy the higher quality sound standards now available. Can I simply purchase a new receiver and subwoofer, and use my existing Bose speakers? Or will I need an entirely new system?
 

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To risk sounding rude, I'd get an entirely new system. For under a grand you can get a HSU Ventriloquist speaker set, a STF-2 sub, and drive it with something like a Pioneer VSX-D912k receiver and have a MUCH improved setup in every way.


If you can swing bigger than micro-satellites, there are dozens and dozens of setups that will work great from many other manufacturers. Give a budget and you'll get a lot of help.


Sorny
 

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I don't know Bose specifically, but I would guess that the unit is not upgradeable to support newer surround sound formats. Some higher-end units can do this through firmware upgrdades (whether the manufacturer actually ever releases an upgrade is another issue), but as Bose is marketed more towards the consumer market, vs. the "prosumer" market, I would be surprised if they would put such a feature in their products. If I were Bose, I wouldn't be convinced that there were enough people in my target market would understand what a "firmware upgrade" was and be able to apply one to justify the development costs. Not slamming Bose at all--just my frank conjecture.


On another note, THX is not a surround sound format. THX is a specification that sets standards for various theater-related issues. For example, a THX-certified movie theater can only have a certain maximum horizontal viewing angle to the screen from the furthest-side seats, a certain maximum vertical viewing angle to the screen from the closest seats, reverb must be below a certain point, etc... THX certified stereo equipment is designed to meet certain minimum power, signal-to-noise, etc... standards. It is also sonically designed so that THX-certified equipment from different vendors is supposed to be sonically "compatible". Either your Bose is THX-certified or it isn't, but a firmware upgrade isn't going to take it from one to the other.
 

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I would sell the Bose system and look at all the incredible HT bargans available these days. For example you can get an outstanding system using Ascend Acoustic speakers and a Hsu Research Sub (VTF-2) package for about $1,100 that will rival systems costing several times that. For a receiver I recommend H/K, but Denon, Onkyo, Kenwood and Sherwood make pretty good receivers also. A particular bargain at the moment is the top level H/K AVR7200 that originally listed for $1,999 selling for $900 at J&R Music. It is a discontinued model but its new and you get a 2 year warranty.


Dsmith
 

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Without having seen it, I would give you a pretty good chance of being able to upgrade your setup. You can buy a decent receiver for under $300 if you are lucky in Circuit City/Best Buy and hook up your existing speakers with it. The receiver will decode DTS/DD for you giving you the benefits of newer formats.


Do consider upgrading the speakers though. Bose is not known to make the best sounding speakers.
 
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