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What gives me the best performance increase with $2500 to spend?

  • JL Fathom F112

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  • Do nothing & save for speakers (e.g. Paradigm S2 pair)

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  • None of the above and something else (post)

    Votes: 4 66.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have $2500 to spend on my audio setup. The options have been priced out and fall within the budget range.


Currently have the following:

3x Athena Technologies WS-60 on wall speakers
http://www.athenaspeakers.com/products/ws-60-specifications/


2x Athena Technologies Bi-pole AS-R1.2
http://www.athenaspeakers.com/products/as-r1-2-specifications/


~15 years old Cerwin Vega 15" Ported Subwoofer

~13 years old Definitive Tech 15 Sealed Subwoofer


Pioneer Elite VSX-23TXH AVR
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Elite+Receivers/VSX-23TXH


See poll for options. Thanks!
 

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Since nobody really knows where your system is lacking and I'm not sure why you would trust complete strangers on telling you how to spend $2500 of your hard earned money but here it goes anyways.....


2 of these and call it a day http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/xs30
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Management  /t/1469968/options-to-increase-quality#post_23245718


I have $2500 to spend on my audio setup. The options have been priced out and fall within the budget range.


Currently have the following:

3x Athena Technologies WS-60 on wall speakers
http://www.athenaspeakers.com/products/ws-60-specifications/


2x Athena Technologies Bi-pole AS-R1.2
http://www.athenaspeakers.com/products/as-r1-2-specifications/


~15 years old Cerwin Vega 15" Ported Subwoofer

~13 years old Definitive Tech 15 Sealed Subwoofer


Pioneer Elite VSX-23TXH AVR
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Elite+Receivers/VSX-23TXH


See poll for options. Thanks!

Two words: Room acoustics.


The AVR is vulnerable because it does not support modern formats and appears to lacks good system optimization facilities.


The subs are vulnerable because of what they are - old tech.
 

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Like Arnold said it's unclear what your issue is.

No room layout given, open space or dedicated space, etc.


Reading between the lines in your poll, you desire "more bass", "better bass", "flat bass" across multiple seats/rows?


IMO :


a) $1k for (2) 18" subs in 4 cu ft sealed box via DIY flat packs and PE Dayton 18" driver, EP4000 amp to drive them with MiniDSP to EQ them

thread here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1379949/more-flat-pack-kits-coming

flat packs here http://www.diysoundgroup.com/subwoofer-flatpacks-2.html

PE Dayton driver here http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472

b) $100 - 200 for acoustic measurement gear

c) $500 -ish for broadband bass traps, corners/wall/ceiling interface locations


That's about $1.7k and change to do more.

Heck, you could even go full multi-sub 4 of them with 15" drivers in 3 cu ft sealed box and basically solve all your LFE issues, besides some modal ringing which still need bass traps.


Don't be afraid the DIY route, many people in that forum will help you.
 

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There are no in-wall speakers or on-wall "lifestyle" speakers that perform as well as speakers with well-designed enclosures. The few on-wall or in-wall speakers that are halfway decent are very expensive. You can mount small sturdy shelves on the wall to use for bookshelf/monitor speakers.


IMO Cambridge Audio and Harman-Kardon are the only companies that design their receivers and power supplies to adequately power 5 or 7 channels of audio at home theater sound levels.


Any Yamaha or Pioneer or Sony is totally inadequate because of basic design flaws IMO. Even their best models have poor power supplies and amplifier performance that is marginal with most speakers.


Given your budget requirements, I would suggest the following:


A Harman-Kardon 3650 receiver (around $700).


Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers (four of them)- $700.


One Wharfedale Diamond 10CS center speaker- $249


One NHT B12D subwoofer- $700.


That is a system that will make your old one sound like a broken cheap clock radio by comparison. Those Athena speakers, with their ridiculously small 3-inch drivers, are pathetic. The entire design of those speakers is enough to make a competent speaker designer ill, and their specs are pure fiction.


There is no need for a separate amplifier with the 3650 receiver. It has balls (unlike your current one).


I am sure that you can get some money by selling the stuff you have now; that should help a bit in the long run.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1469968/options-to-increase-quality/0_100#post_23252061


There are no in-wall speakers or on-wall "lifestyle" speakers that perform as well as speakers with well-designed enclosures. The few on-wall or in-wall speakers that are halfway decent are very expensive. You can mount small sturdy shelves on the wall to use for bookshelf/monitor speakers.....
I trust you are commenting on the quality of most commercial wall mount solutions, as in-wall is the best possible way to mount a speaker if you want flat, smooth response with added sensitivity to boot.

- it must be a no BSC crossover design

- it must be mounted flush with the wall

- it must have the appropriate driver enclosures behind or encased in the wall.


Ryan pulled some charts from Toole's book that show all but the proper installation... all have full BSC, so the flush wall mount has rising response below 1KHz. This can be fixed in XO design. Especially note the sharp dips that result if you were to "mount small sturdy shelves on the wall to use for bookshelf/monitor speakers." This can't be fixed without moving the speakers off the wall... and your Athena's have these surface mount artifacts as well.
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php?28655-A-Guide-to-HTguide-com-Completed-Speaker-Designs


Here's a gent who's done many a speaker design, and what he did for his HT... flush mount LCR voiced with AT screen in place. How do you go "up" from here? Maybe flush mount the baffle...
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php?32111-CJD-In-Khan-Neatos-In-On-Wall-RS180-RS150-RS28-3-Way


Here's one with co-ax WTMWs... granted, I'd drop the LR and raise the CC, but nothing's perfect. (and I'm assuming the right XO design and boxes in the wall). Looks very expensive...
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=theater+speaker+installations&FORM=HDRSC2&&id=573866A33C240855798C862CC662A4E219746E0C&selectedIndex=232#view=detail&id=573866A33C240855798C862CC662A4E219746E0C&selectedIndex=0


Conversely, if you can place free-standing speakers an appropriate distance from the walls, you get equally good sound quality with a lot more transportability, the real advantage of free-standing speakers.


Have fun,

Frank, who's a speaker DIYer and so has no commercial speaker recommendations.
 
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