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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I am a newbie in the HT, yet I appreciate good sound. My current HT setup consists of:


Denon 2113

Polk Monitor 40s (F/L)

Polk CS1 center

Polk Monitor 30s (surrounds)

SVS PB-1000 subwoofer


This setup is for movies and music in a condo living room which is generally pretty small 16.5 x 13 x 8.5 feet. I do not listen at reference levels ever... the most I turn up the volume on the AVR is 55-60 trying to be mindful of the neighbors. I am pretty happy with the setup and have had it only for a year. Now, I do not know if I am getting bored, or simply need to stop reading the forums and speaker reviews, but I have gotten into my head that I want to upgrade my fronts with ones which are 1) bookshelf with 61/2 woofer 2) front ported 3) neutral sounding



I am generally after the most transparent, neutral sound. But the more I read, the more I find that this would be impossible due to coloration on speakers, receivers, room gain. E.g. I read that a denon receiver is warmer (less forward) as opposed to a yamaha. This would Imply that I would have to have slightly brighter speakers to get to the neutral sound
Would not Audissey MultiEQ help if a speaker is bright or does not have enough bass?


So, could you guys convince me I need to upgrade if I am missing a lot with the 40s or stick with what I have? Upgrades I am considering are Polk RTiA3s, or Monitor Audio BX2 (although those are British so more dull sounding?) -- their price is the price range that I am shooting for.
 

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I think the sound quality of your Denon is pretty good; better than Yamaha, Pioneer, Onkyo, etc. IMO.


For a substantial upgrade in sound quality there, you would need to go to a NAD T758 or Cambridge 551R.


My recommendation would be to spend the money on better speakers first, and stick with the receiver you have for now.


I would recommend a pair of KEF Q300 or C3 speakers (front-ported) and a KEF C6LCR for the center.


It really isn't a question of "bright" vs "neutral". It's a question of tonal ACCURACY and lack of subtle distortions and cabinet resonances.


Many people hear distortion in the midrange and treble and classify that as "brightness'.... It is certainly undesirable.


Monitor Audio speakers are by no means dull, nor are British speakers in general. They tend to be tonally accurate.


The KEF speakers will give you much better sound quality than the Polks IMO, and so would Monitor Audio speakers.


That will be a major sonic upgrade; cost around $650-900 (KEF Direct).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, so you are saying I would benefit from an upgrade..however Polk RTiA3 will not be much of an upgrade? I have never heard the KEFs but a friend told me that they tend to invest in a lot of innovation. The q300 seem a bit pricey though. I am eyeballing a pair of the Monitor Audio BX2 on ebay and local craigslist type of site.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24328646


I think the sound quality of your Denon is pretty good; better than Yamaha, Pioneer, Onkyo, etc. IMO.

Nonsense. There isn't any sonic difference between any of them.
Quote:
For a substantial upgrade in sound quality there, you would need to go to a NAD T758 or Cambridge 551R.

Nonsense again.
Quote:
My recommendation would be to spend the money on better speakers first, and stick with the receiver you have for now

Correct.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24330575


Nonsense. There isn't any sonic difference between any of them.

Nonsense again.

Correct.

+1,000,000,000
 

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Agree...the sq from all those brands of AVRs will be similar! Feature and room correction software will vary...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I get the point on the AVR, I was not thinking of upgrading it guys
I only mentioned it if it mattered because I was looking more to upgrade the front speakers. What would be the next step up in sq from the speakers?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtCocain  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24330887


I get the point on the AVR, I was not thinking of upgrading it guys
I only mentioned it if it mattered because I was looking more to upgrade the front speakers. What would be the next step up in sq from the speakers?
Depends on your max budget - also, so-called British speakers are not dull.

Monitor Audio makes nice stuff.


For me the RTi series was an upgrade - however, not enough for me.


This would be my recommendation - the Studio 530
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-530-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B00622STI0
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtCocain  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24328364


OK I am a newbie in the HT, yet I appreciate good sound. My current HT setup consists of:


Denon 2113

Polk Monitor 40s (F/L)

Polk CS1 center

Polk Monitor 30s (surrounds)

SVS PB-1000 subwoofer


This setup is for movies and music in a condo living room which is generally pretty small 16.5 x 13 x 8.5 feet. I do not listen at reference levels ever... the most I turn up the volume on the AVR is 55-60 trying to be mindful of the neighbors. I am pretty happy with the setup and have had it only for a year. Now, I do not know if I am getting bored, or simply need to stop reading the forums and speaker reviews, but I have gotten into my head that I want to upgrade my fronts with ones which are 1) bookshelf with 61/2 woofer 2) front ported 3) neutral sounding



I am generally after the most transparent, neutral sound. But the more I read, the more I find that this would be impossible due to coloration on speakers, receivers, room gain. E.g. I read that a denon receiver is warmer (less forward) as opposed to a yamaha. This would Imply that I would have to have slightly brighter speakers to get to the neutral sound
Would not Audissey MultiEQ help if a speaker is bright or does not have enough bass?


So, could you guys convince me I need to upgrade if I am missing a lot with the 40s or stick with what I have? Upgrades I am considering are Polk RTiA3s, or Monitor Audio BX2 (although those are British so more dull sounding?) -- their price is the price range that I am shooting for.

Two words: room acosutics
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtCocain  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24332181


Those get some nice reviews. However, they are drop dead ugly, rear ported, only 5 1/4 woofers, and sensitivity of 86 dB. I was not picturing that as an upgrade. Don't get me wrong though, SQ is the number one priority.
The sound quality is way above - clearly above the Polk Monitors. Also, that 5-1/4"

woofer, will beat a lot of 6 inch woofers. >>> It does not come down to just the

woofer size, for performance - the bass is deep, tight and strong.


I have owned many, many speakers - and the 530 is one of the better ones,

that I have owned. Also, they can get Loud.


I missed the part about your desire for front ports - and yes, for some people

the looks may be a turn off. However, even an ugly duck can swim!


Your call
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24332768


I have owned many, many speakers - and the 530 is one of the better ones, that I have owned.
Zieg, you need to get off the upgrade treadmill and just get the final speakers. Just take out a loan and get some JBL Monitor M2 s already. Think about it this way, its worth it because of all the time you would have spent listening to less than perfect speakers otherwise by gradually upgrading to that point. Your extra kidney that might be worth something if you aren't a heavy drinker, there's an idea to finance those puppies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24332860



Zieg, you need to get off the upgrade treadmill and just get the final speakers. Just take out a loan and get some JBL Monitor M2 s already. Think about it this way, its worth it because of all the time you would have spent listening to less than perfect speakers otherwise by gradually upgrading to that point. Your extra kidney that might be worth something if you aren't a heavy drinker, there's an idea to finance those puppies.
They are only $10,000 each on Newegg.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb903369  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24332934


They are only $10,000 each on Newegg.
Yeah, see, that's not too bad. Nothing a second mortgage loan wouldn't cover.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtCocain  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24328364


OK I am a newbie in the HT, yet I appreciate good sound. My current HT setup consists of:


Denon 2113

Polk Monitor 40s (F/L)

Polk CS1 center

Polk Monitor 30s (surrounds)

SVS PB-1000 subwoofer


This setup is for movies and music in a condo living room which is generally pretty small 16.5 x 13 x 8.5 feet. I do not listen at reference levels ever... the most I turn up the volume on the AVR is 55-60 trying to be mindful of the neighbors. I am pretty happy with the setup and have had it only for a year. Now, I do not know if I am getting bored, or simply need to stop reading the forums and speaker reviews, but I have gotten into my head that I want to upgrade my fronts with ones which are 1) bookshelf with 61/2 woofer 2) front ported 3) neutral sounding



I am generally after the most transparent, neutral sound. But the more I read, the more I find that this would be impossible due to coloration on speakers, receivers, room gain. E.g. I read that a denon receiver is warmer (less forward) as opposed to a yamaha. This would Imply that I would have to have slightly brighter speakers to get to the neutral sound
Would not Audissey MultiEQ help if a speaker is bright or does not have enough bass?


So, could you guys convince me I need to upgrade if I am missing a lot with the 40s or stick with what I have? Upgrades I am considering are Polk RTiA3s, or Monitor Audio BX2 (although those are British so more dull sounding?) -- their price is the price range that I am shooting for.
 

You don't mention the room. The room is one of the most influential factors in good sound and can add considerable distortions which prevent you from getting the best out of what you already have.

 

Generally speaking, the differences between modern electronics are negligible in terms of the impact they have on the sound you hear. Almost all good quality (the type found in mainstream AVRs) amplifiers have ruler flat frequency responses for example, whereas the (untreated) room can contribute peaks and dips of 10-20dB commonly. It seems pointless to chase minute differences of distortion in electronics while simultaneously ignoring huge distortions caused by the room.

 

It is also true that the best speakers in the world will not sound very good in a poor room. Conversely, relatively inexpensive good speakers can sound fabulous in a well-designed room.

 

A similar consideration is speaker and subwoofer placement. Get these right, working with the room instead of against it, and again, you may find that the equipment you have is all you need.

 

You can find out about acoustic treatments on the GIK or Realtraps websites, which have tons of information and help. Nothing will give you a bigger bang for your buck, nor improve your sound more, than room treatments.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1516641/do-i-need-an-upgrade#post_24332860


Zieg, you need to get off the upgrade treadmill and just get the final speakers. Just take out a loan and get some JBL Monitor M2 s already. Think about it this way, its worth it because of all the time you would have spent listening to less than perfect speakers otherwise by gradually upgrading to that point. Your extra kidney that might be worth something if you aren't a heavy drinker, there's an idea to finance those puppies.

They look nice for sure - and I do not drink.



However, just a little over budget - well, maybe more than a little.
 

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Bill, Arny & Keith have given you some good info to think about. If you are renting, treatments may be more of a problem. Something else you might be aware of is the dislike many on the forum have for Polk. The only brand you could mention & get more animosity would be Bose. Notice they are both 4 letter words?



Speakers are very subjective. If you are going to feed the upgrade bug. I would recommend auditioning as many as possible. There are many sites on the web that will let you return speakers after a 30 day or so trial.


Good luck.
 
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