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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am somewhat of a novice when it comes to audio. I under the tech explanations, but do not know enough about the tech in itself. As a result, I have lots of questions



Background:

I am upgrading my Home Theater. But as budget limitations would have it, I am going to piece it together with time. I had a Onkyo HT-S780 with speakers. I never wired the surrounds to go behind the seating area, and am okay with not having surrounds (at least for now). I am thinking of getting rid of all the Onkyo speakers, and upgrading. They are not bad, but somehow I have never been impressed by them.


My goal right now is to upgrade speakers to create a 2.1 system, and may be down the road add the surrounds.


So far - I have ordered pair of KEF iQ9 for front speakers (I had heard them some time back and recently saw them on sale - could not resist the price).


My questions:

Q1. Someone mentioned to me that the the Onkyo Receiver would not do well with the the KEF iQ9 - something to do with not having sufficient power to drive the new speakers. Though the specs for iQ9 put the Amp Requirements as 15-200W and the Onkyo is 110W/Channel. Also something about not being able to exploit the biwirable feature of the iQ9 [any help on understanding what is biwirable would be very helpful to me].


Here's the specs of the Onkyo HT Receiver:


Power Output (8 ohm, 1 kHz, FTC): 110 W/Ch

THD (Rated Power): 0.08 % (all channels)

Frequency Response: 10 Hz-100 kHz (+ 1 dB, - 3 dB)

S/N Ratio: 100 dB (IHF-A)

Tone Control -

Acoustic Control 1: +/- 10 dB at 50 Hz/+/- 10 dB at 20 kHz

Acoustic Control 2 : -


Is this not a good receiver? or just not right for the new speakers? or are there any problems with the matching of the speakers with the receiver? or should I seriously consider selling off the current HT system and get a new A/V receiver?


Any advice, insights, suggestions would be very appreciated.


Q2: From the sound of the iQ9 and looking at the specifications (38Hz - 40Khz), I am inclined to not use a subwoofer. Reading on different threads, it seems it is not essential to have a subwoofer - am I understanding this right? Also, will it pose a problem with the receiver (i.e. if it detects no sub?)



Q3: I want to get a new center channel speaker, but not sure which one to get. I have read and understand why pairing the center with the iQ9 is very important. But how do I even begin to evaluate which center channels would pair well and which would not? Do I have to hear them, or can I use the frequency response range on specifications to narrow down the choices? Do they have to be 8 ohm speakers or does it not matter? Do I just blindly go with KEF center or can I easily do better? Any advice, suggestions?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoviceAVPhile /forum/post/15571031


But as budget limitations would have it, I am going to piece it together with time.

Good path.

Quote:
So far - I have ordered pair of KEF iQ9 for front speakers (I had heard them some time back and recently saw them on sale - could not resist the price).

Great acquisition, an excellent start to your upgrade.

Quote:
Q1. Is this not a good receiver? or just not right for the new speakers? or are there any problems with the matching of the speakers with the receiver? or should I seriously consider selling off the current HT system and get a new A/V receiver?

That receiver is similar to a 503, not great. Probably something you will want to replace soon, but it should work in the interim.

Quote:
Q2: From the sound of the iQ9 and looking at the specifications (38Hz - 40Khz), I am inclined to not use a subwoofer. Reading on different threads, it seems it is not essential to have a subwoofer - am I understanding this right? Also, will it pose a problem with the receiver (i.e. if it detects no sub?)

For HT you will always need a sub. You probably want to upgrade this before the receiver. Look into subs like a SVS PB10-NSD, or competing ones from eD and HSU.

Quote:
Q3: I want to get a new center channel speaker, but not sure which one to get. I have read and understand why pairing the center with the iQ9 is very important. But how do I even begin to evaluate which center channels would pair well and which would not? Do I have to hear them, or can I use the frequency response range on specifications to narrow down the choices? Do they have to be 8 ohm speakers or does it not matter? Do I just blindly go with KEF center or can I easily do better? Any advice, suggestions?

Blindly buy the KEF, and the discontinued iQx series. You want your front 3 speakers to timbre match.


Buy an iQ6 if you can, otherwise an iQ2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Receiver upgrade - suggestions? I have ordered a Philips blu-ray player and thinking of using toslink optical to connect to the receiver.
 

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Optical is the best type of connection you can make to that receiver.


You really do want to make an HDMI connection (in order to get lossless audio from your Blu-ray), but that will require a receiver upgrade (so you may want to do it sooner rather than later).


For now you will have audio via optical to the receiver and video via HDMI to the TV (both from your Blu-ray player). When you upgrade you will have HDMI to the receiver and HDMI to the TV from the receiver.


The sooner you have a receiver and sub upgrade budget the better (but get the KEF centre while the iQ6 and iQ2 are being liquidated).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Central Channel - I can see KEF iQ60, no luck finding iQ6.


iQ60 is very expensive ~ $550


iQ2 - there are some reasonable prices on it. Somehow the specs on it are not very impressive (but then I have never heard them in person)


Whats the opinion on trying to match timbre with non-KEF speakers?

Some that I was considering that are in my budget:

Yamaha NS-C225 (is a 6 ohm impedance speaker - does it pose a problem?)

Yamaha NS-C444

Polk Audio Monitor Series CS2

BIC America DV-62CLRS

Klipsch Synergy SC.5

Polk Audio RM6752

Celestion F35C
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoviceAVPhile /forum/post/15571031


Q1. Someone mentioned to me that the the Onkyo Receiver would not do well with the the KEF iQ9 - something to do with not having sufficient power to drive the new speakers.

Was this someone a guy trying to sell you a new receiver?



The Onkyo is hardly underpowered as far as such receivers go. And at 91dB sensitivity, the KEFs aren't hard to drive at all -- quite the opposite!


Forget the bi-wire/bi-amp stuff. That's high-end talk (and mumbo-jumbo if you ask me), not a concern at your price point.

Quote:
Q3: I want to get a new center channel speaker, but not sure which one to get. I have read and understand why pairing the center with the iQ9 is very important. But how do I even begin to evaluate which center channels would pair well and which would not?

Buy the matching one from KEF -- the iQ6c, or even a third iQ9 if your space allows. (A third possibility: the iQ3, which has the same 6.5" UniQ driver as your iQ9 but in bookshelf form.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoviceAVPhile /forum/post/15572094


Receiver upgrade - suggestions? I have ordered a Philips blu-ray player and thinking of using toslink optical to connect to the receiver.

Ah, now *this* is something you might want to update your receiver for. Blu-Ray offers lossless surround sound, which can only be digitally delivered to your receiver via HDMI. Since your Onkyo is pre-HDMI, that means the only way to get the full information is by having the player decode everything and send it to the receiver via 6/8 analog RCA cables (the DVD multi channel sound input). But most players don't have multi channel outs, and some don't even decode all the lossless codecs...


I don't know about that particular Philips player, but they're not a good Blu-Ray brand -- I think they offer rebranded Funai models that have trouble with some discs. If you can, I would cancel it and buy either a Panasonic BD55, Sony 550, or Samsung P2500 or P2550 ($350 now at Best Buy -- pretty much the only good Blu-Ray deal until Panasonic's next-gen players come out). These will let you get lossless surround through analog.


Or, you could get/stay with a cheaper Blu-Ray player without analog outs, use optical for now (you'll get *some* sound, still better than DVD), and update to a HDMI-capable receiver later.


Edit: Oh yeah, definitely buy a sub. Accessories4less has the iQ6c for $400, btw. Vanns and OneCall may already be out of them (but they do have the iQ3 if you want to go that way).
 
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