AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've lived with a Sony (not ES) receiver from 1998 since, well, 1998.


I'm now looking at upgrading from my 32" tv to a 60", and figure I should upgrade the sound at the same time.


I have tiny Bose speakers attached to my ceiling in the four corners plus the center channel above the tv (which I'm not thrilled with, but the way, as dialogue is 6 feet higher than the image of the person speaking), and I'd prefer not to change them (they are similarly from around 1998, if that matters). I have a cheap Sony sub which I am willing to change.


I don't need big sound - I've got a wife and two young ones around, and don't think the volume has been above 3 anytime in the past 5 years.


What is one getting when one spends $800 instead of $400 on a receiver? What does one get when they spend 2k instead of 1k? 10k instead of 2k?


I'm willing to spend for quality, but can't think of a reason to pay for power.


One more data point: I can envision myself spending around 1k on a receiver, and on my own would likely get one from the Sony ES line only because all my other components are Sony and the new tv will likely be as well.


Any guidence?


Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
You get extra inputs, added features (automatic room EQ), power, etc.


But for those Bose speakers, which are arguably some of the worst out there, I wouldn't spend more than $200 on a receiver to power them. You'd be better off spending $300 on a receiver and $700 on qualtiy speakers/sub, than $1000 on a new receiver to power your Bose (very low quality sound). No matter how good your receiver is, playing through speakers as bad as those, it won't matter if you have a $200 receiver or a $1000 receiver.


And matching component brands doesn't mean anything - unless you are really loyal to the Sony brand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dammit I was afraid you'd say that.


Well, if I've got to look at new speakers, I suppose the budget is up in the air as well. I'd spend 2-3k if is would make a real difference (for movies, I don't listen to music nearly as often).


How about speakers for dummies?


I'm looking for movie sound more than music. If fact rarely any music. But I want a plane crash to scare me, and a light saber fight to take over the room.


Is there a way to have that and still have small speakers from the ceiling?


Does one have to go with larger than tiny ceiling mounted speakers to get the most out of Gladiator?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
Unfortunately, in general principle, the bigger the speaker, the bigger the sound. A small speaker may be able to play loudly, but it will typically only do so with more distortion and also won't be able to reproduce lower frequencies. While sound reproduction may not require the huge monstrosities of speakers that we lived with 30 years ago, decent home theater is gonna take more than a tiny, ceiling mounted speaker. There are a number of solid mid-size bookshelf speakers that will be more than fine for home theater in combination with a decent subwoofer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
A decent subwoofer is the key, especially for the low end of those plane crashes, and the vooms of the lightsabers. I say "decent" because my $250 Acoustech H100 provides plenty enough bass for my room/situation. Then again, some people might say "decent" starts at $600 for a sub.


But are you going to be able to listen loud? You make it sound like you don't normally turn it up very loud. I know with my kids, we don't get to watch movies until they're in bed. But with my setup, turning it up loud enough to have dialog at normal levels fills the whole room with sound/bass when the action/music kicks in. Do you have an extra room/basement, and have you thought about making a dedicated movie/entertainment room separate from your living room/TV? You could even put in a projector and screen for (probably) much less than a 60" TV.


You could always start by upgrading your receiver (you can get good deals on refurbs/remanufactured models of some brands, straight from the manufacturer, or their ebay stores) and subwoofer. Save a little more money and upgrade your main speakers to match the rest of your system down the road (or now of course, if you have the funds). With a subwoofer, the main speakers won't have to produce low bass. But they should still be at least "decent" (there's that term again) bookshelf-size speakers with woofers/mids and tweeters. Your Bose speakers right now are probably something like a 3 1/2" full-range speaker that can't do either mid-bass or treble very well. So anything you do will be an upgrade in sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. No chance at an extra room - my Santa Clara CA home is 1500 sq ft. The Bose speakers were already hanging from the ceiling when we bought the place. Like most other newbies all I thought was "cool!". Huge WAF too.


So I think I'll take your advice cyberbri and do this piecemeal. Maybe get a new receiver (Sony ES line ok or is that misguided as well?) and sub woofer first.


And perhaps a new center channel as well.


Then the next step would be to consider good front speakers, either book shelf or free standing... are better satelites an option?


Where is the ideal place to put a center channel speaker?


Thanks again for the help.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
20,735 Posts
You need to visit some stores. My favorite place to recommend a newbie start is with Paradigm. Besides being very solid bargains and high-performing, they aren't sold in chain stores. Go listen to as many brands as you can, there's tons of ideas in the speakers forum. But go listen, I think that's the best place to get a feel of what good equipment can achieve smartly purchased.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
The center speaker usually goes above/below the TV, angled up/down to the ear level of the listening position.


For at least the front three main speakers (left, center, right), ideally you want to have them "matched". This means that they should have the same timbre - so sounds(voices, etc.) sound the same. This will mean getting the same line from the same brand, preferrably with the same tweeters/woofers/mids used in both the center and left/right.


They do make some higher quality satellite speakers as well, with different designs. That is something can look into. Try to get something that is 2-way (mid + tweeter). If you get bookshelf speakers, you will either need stands to get the the tweeter to ear height (at seating location), or place them on bookshelves, etc. Towers don't need stands, assuming they are tall enough.


As far as the receiver goes, is there a reason you want to stick with Sony ES? They aren't very highly regarded, at least on these forums. There are some brands with models in low- to high-price ranges, and some good budget models (like new very efficient digital amps).


The biggest change you could make to your current system would be a new subwoofer. You can get a decent one from $250 (like my Acoustech H100 -- or as low as $100 for a Dayton from Parts Express), and for around $400-450 you can get a low-end SVS. Do some research and see what you will need for your room size and overall goals, and something that matches your budget.


Unless of course your current receiver doesn't have Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound. If you are missing that, I would say upgrade the receiver first for true surround sound, then get the subwoofer. I have a feeling your receiver may be Dolby Pro Logic only, judging by the year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I agree with Chris...Paradigm are great entry level HT speakers. You get a lot for your money with Paradigm for HT. I would look at the monitor series and go from there.


I would recommend checking out the Mini-monitors and the CC-370 center channel for a good front end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys are awesome - thank you.


Cyberbri my current receiver does DD but not DTS.


I'll look into paradigm.


New plan -


1) new sub

2) new receiver

3) new front (left center front)


And I suppose I can address the rear speakers when I make the decision on #3. Would it be criminal to upgrade the front with say the Paradigm speakers but leave the rear as they are?


Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
You would be smart working in that order.


Sub, rec, and front end.


You can always upgrade your surrounds at a later time when budget allows.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
20,735 Posts
Quote:
Would it be criminal to upgrade the front with say the Paradigm speakers but leave the rear as they are
No. Not ideal, but much better to put together a superior system over time as money allows as a more mediocre system that is complete now, IMO. The surrounds are not nearly as important as the mains.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top