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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for an upgrade to the audioengine A5+ speakers. I currently have it paired with the BIC America F12 sub. Trying to keep it under $1,000 but can go over if it really is worth it. Mainly listen to music with movies on occasion. Also, my setup is in a large living room that is open with the kitchen as well so it is very large and open. Any suggestions?
 

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Does this upgrade budget include buying an amp/receiver?
 

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If you are interested in an Internet direct brand, Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1s .


I'd recommend looking into the Kef Q300s. Accessories4less has some factory refurbished ones at a really good price.


And do you have any hifi shops where you can demo speakers? Check out Paradigm and PSB, among others.
 

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Emotiva Airmotiv 6 for $700. Powered monitor at 210 watts each with a ribbon tweeter and 6.5" Mid-range. Visit the Emotiva Pro site for response graphs. The Audioengine A5+ will be no match for these.


Getting an AVR and passive speakers will open a lot more options but will be more complex setup. I usually recommend a decent AVR from Denon, Marantz, or Onkyo and the Definitive Technology SM450 when they go on sale at Newegg for $280-$300 a pair.
 

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One other thought. So your setup is to go with your TV in your living room? Do you have a computer in the house with music on it? Many receivers are now networkable, and you can play the music from your computer over your network on your setup. Some receivers can also be controlled with a smartphone, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
unfortunately no shops where I can go in and listen. Kinda just have to go by reviews and what people have experienced with certain setups. And ya, setup is to go with tv in the room, and just set it up with ipod over auxillary input when listening to music. I will definitely check out what you guys have recommended though. I for sure want a good receiver and / or amp setup though to begin with in case I decide to further down the road upgrade even more, although I do have no intention with a 5.1 or 7.1 setup or anything. I'm completely content with a strong 2.1 setup, and actually prefer it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you think I would also need an amp as well? Also, any thoughts on keeping the BIC America F12 sub or is there anything appreciably better than it that isn't pretty high priced.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwinwNg  /t/1468012/upgrade-to-audioengine-a5#post_23199627


Do you think I would also need an amp as well? Also, any thoughts on keeping the BIC America F12 sub or is there anything appreciably better than it that isn't pretty high priced.

Is this all going to be centered around a personal computer or a receiver?


I guess it wouldn't hurt to keep the BIC sub and incorporate it into your new system. You already have it and it costs you nothing extra unless you find it lacking.


An external amp is going to depend on your speakers. Most receivers will give you ample 2.0 power. It is in the 5.0 and 7.0 department where AVRs crash-n-burn. Getting an AVR with pre-outs will future-proof you a little bit. As an aside, you'll get a receiver with more/better options.


Entry-level AVRs with pre-outs are Denon AVR-3312ci/3313ci, Onkyo TX-NR709/717, or Marantz SR5007. All these should be under $600 at A4L, but I'd try to get as much AVR as you are comfortable with.
 

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I use a denon 3311 in a two channel mode, plenty of power for supercharged songtowers. No need to use the preouts and an external amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's all going to be centered around a receiver. And ya, I don't ever plan on going 5.1 or 7.1. I just want a good solid 2.1 setup so I just wanted to make sure that if i upgrade later on, it will suffice. This may be a stupid question but, does the receiver not play a role in powering the sub, or setting the crossover since the sub itself is powered, and has the crossover knob?
 

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Yes. An AVR will have bass management, which contains both low and high pass filters for setting the crossover point for speakers/sub. A plus. Most subs just have a low pass filter built in, which means you have to set the crossover on the sub to the low frequency roll off of the speakers instead of being able to choose a higher crossover (which can be better depending on a number of factors, including room acoustics).


And no. Most modern subs come with their own built-in amplifiers. Even passive subs that don't have one require a separate amp to power them, not your receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Got it, thanks for the info regarding the sub. I was doing a little more researching and see that some people have a pair of passive speakers plus a sub connected to a stereo amp only. would that be a better setup for my application (since all I want is a 2.1) than going the AVR route?
 

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I run the HK 3390 with Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE using an ODAC connected to my computer and also a Mirage Prestige S10 sub. That works well for me because I'm not running any other devices to it, although I think I might benefit with being able to set my sub crossover a little higher. I also bought the HK 3390 when it was $250, so at that time, it seemed a little bit better unit than the AVRs in the same price range. Now that it's over $300, I'd probably go with a Denon AVR, the 1612 or 1613 (or better) model.


If you will use your setup for watching movies off bluray or connecting to a cable box, then it can be easier to hook up everything through an AVR with HDMI. Plus, Audyssey MultEQ room correction software could be a plus for EQing the speakers and sub.


Also, you said you will hook up your iPod, but it might be nice in the future to get an AVR with networking features in case you eventually want to stream music from a computer or other device.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwinwNg  /t/1468012/upgrade-to-audioengine-a5#post_23206239


Got it, thanks for the info regarding the sub. I was doing a little more researching and see that some people have a pair of passive speakers plus a sub connected to a stereo amp only. would that be a better setup for my application (since all I want is a 2.1) than going the AVR route?

I guess it depends on what you think you will want to connect to it later on. Stereo amps most-likely won't have any digital inputs, like USB or HDMI and will be lower power. Marantz makes some good stereo receivers but they are going to be more expensive than an AVR. Stereo has become a niche market for the big players and there is more value in a multi-channel AVR since they sell a lot more of them these days. You'll still want to stay away from the bottom of the AVR lineups, especially if you want things like AirPlay, decent power, and a good room correction solution. I still think you should get an AVR with amplifier pre-outs just to have that option. I never thought I'd want more power and more speakers than 7, but I still got an AVR with pre-outs. All I needed to do to go with an 11.2 setup was to buy the 4 speakers and an external amp. I didn't have to replace the whole system. The cost is generally only $100 more for that option and usually comes with a bump in power and room correction.


FYI. Newegg has an open box deal on Definitive Technology SM450 for $252.
 
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