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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums and have been searching through the threads for information on upgrading my Home Theater system. I am definitely on a budget, and looking through the threads, I've determined that upgrading my speakers first will get me the most "bang for my buck"... I also searched for similar threads on my receiver, but the last ones were posted almost 2 years ago... I wanted to get the latest info... If in reading this you find I'd be better upgrading my receiver first, please feel free to correct me... I've kind of lost touch with my inner-audiophile over the last few years...



I bought an Onkyo HTIB in 2004. The receiver is the Onkyo HT-R510... It's a 6.1 system with the following specs:


6-channel amplifier

100 watts per channel min. RMS at 8Ω, 2 channels driven

from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with no more than 0.08% total harmonic

distortion


I still have the Onkyo brand speakers that came with it... SKF-200F's in the front, SKM-200S in the rear and Onkyo Sub. My Living room is carpeted and is 18' x 15' x 8'. My seating area is center of the room against the wall looking across the 18' way of the room, I'm about 15' from the TV. The center channel sits on the shelf under the TV, the fronts are on each corner of the room on stands that are even with my ears while seated. Rear left/right are on the same height stands about even with the front part of the couch facing us. The rear center is mounted directly on the wall behind us by the ceiling. I also used 10 Gauge Monster cable for all the runs... I always see questions asked without providing detail, so I hope I was thorough enough...



All my audio connections are Optical, as HDMI isn't an option on my receiver, and my PS3 is my primary movie player (I'm also REALLY into gaming). I don't have plans on upgrading to a 3D TV any time soon, so that is my reasoning for choosing speakers to upgrade first. I would like to do the speakers in segments, as I don't have a ton of money to drop all at once, but after all is said and done, I would like to keep the speaker budget around $1,000.


I guess my questions would be:


1. Do you agree that speakers are the right thing to upgrade, or should I go receiver first?

2. In what order should I go about upgrading? (Center/Sub/Front, Front/Center/Sub, etc.)

3. What are some good bookshelf speaker brands and models that would fit in to this price range that I can look for? I understand I'd have to listen to them to see which I prefer, but a nudge in the right direction is what I really need.


Well, I've managed to write a book for my first post, so I'll thank everyone for even taking the time to read it, let alone respond... Thanks for listening!
 

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I would do fronts first left, right and then center (they must be matching up front). This will give you an instant upgrade as Onkyo makes junky speakers. I am a big fan of the used market to get speakers half price or lower. A good speaker 5 years ago is still a good speaker today (my last set of stereo speakers were still kicking like new after nearly 15 years). I wanted the in your face, high sensitivity Klipsch reference series for theater room and found two rf35, rc35, two rs25 for $600 on craigslist (audiogon great also) and couldn't pass up after a demo. You need to find what kind of sound you like so I suggest listening to as many speakers as possible and report back on what you like and what you dislike. That way the experts on this forum can give you a handfull of similar speakers to keep your eye out for (new or used). Next you want to get the baddest ID subwoofer you can get (see subwoofer forum). You can continue to use onkyo for rears for time being and replace them when possible. I would either do a new receiver (I am a fan of b-stock or refurbished) or replace surrounds last (don't have to be an exact match as fronts). Hope this was of some help.
 

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Get new speakers first - A new receiver will not help the Onkyo speakers.

I agree with Luke Kamp - find out what type of sound you like. Go to some

stores and just start listening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I really appreciate it... I used to have family that worked in an electronics store, so we used to bring speaker sets home to test them in our own homes... I miss having that option... I know I'll be watching movies and playing games 90% of the time on it, but I really want to find that good balance between thunderous bass and hearing spoken dialogue properly... Right now, the bass is booming, but bleeds into everything and makes the voices sound like their speaking in a tunnel...
 
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