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  1. #1

    Default Should I upgrade my Receiver, my Blu-Ray player or my speakers?


    Ok, so I have been wanting to buy myself a XMAS present early and have gotten so tired of digging for answers all over the web that I finally decided to just come to my trusted group of friends here in the HDD Forums.

    I have been looking at a NEW receiver for myself, but then recently I also have gotten sucked into thinking I want to maximize my Blu-Ray image on screen as well. Here is what I have and what I was thinking of adding. From there, please feel free to give feedback on anything you see that needs work. BTW, I also would love new speakers, but when I do those I want to do them right and I feel right now the Receiver and Blu are still my first choice to replace. If you feel otherwise, please convince me. Thank you.

    Current Set up

    TV - Pioneer KURO Elite PRO 151 60"
    Receiver - Onkyo SR705
    BLU RAY - Panasonic DMP 35
    Sub - Boston XB2
    Front Speaker - Klipsch RSX-4
    Center - Klipsch RCX-4
    Rears for 7.1 setup - Mirage Nanosat Prestige

    Was considering

    Receiver - Pioneer Elite SC-25 or SC-27 or a Marantz (5004/6004) or Denon AVR3310CI or anything else in this class ($2000 or less)

    Blu Ray - Oppo BDP-83 (also looking at other Panasonics, LG, Pioneer Elite, etc but wanted to stay $500 or less, unless someone tells me it is really worth it to go above that.

    I'm ready! Bring on the feedback...Thanks!
    Last edited by accamando; 12-09-2009 at 05:53 PM.
  2. #2
    Do you watch many DVD's still? If you do, the Oppo might make sense but if you don't watch many DVD's and mostly watch Blu-Ray movies, I don't think you will see that much of an upgrade with the Oppo vs the Panasonic. The Oppo will load and play movies faster and will have more PQ/AQ calibration tools and tweaks.

    In my honest opinion, your receiver is just fine when I look at your list of speakers. I would personally start there (speakers) first. Perhaps with your subwoofer. You can get a solid Internet Direct sub for $400-600 but it really depends on your room size and what you are trying to accomplish. I know when I upgraded my sub, it added a whole new dimension to watching movies that I was missing. According to the specs I have read regarding your sub, you are really missing out on some lower frequency bass. A $350 Elemental Designs A2-300 sub would be like a revelation

    As for speakers, do you like your Klipsch speakers? You could easily step into some RB-61's or 81's along with a good matching Klipsch center channel and should be able to keep you cost around $1K for all three. That would be a big upgrade IMHO. Your rears are the last thing I would upgrade.
  3. #3
    You'll get more for your money by first upgrading the subwoofer. eD audio, HSU, SVS, and many other companies online have some great options that I'm sure you'll be hearing about. After you've put a decent sub in there, I'd go next with the speakers. Nothing affects your sound more than the speakers you're using. Upgrading the receiver might have some perceivable increase in audio quality, but the speakers (especially the subwoofer) are your limiting factor, not the receiver. Upgrading the blu-ray player might get you faster load times, but the BD image quality might not be any different. That's my thoughts on the matter.
  4. #4
    I am understanding little better from what you are saying. I think I was getting sucked into nice internet reviews and thought that receiver changes would help speakers sound better. I had a feeling the Sub was one of my problems but I guess I didn't want to think that, since it was the last piece I purchased for the setup. I had been eye balling the Boston Acous VS Series for new fronts/center but thats about $1700 for 3 speakers and the sub would still be a problem.
    So I am open to more opinions on where I do and if speakers really are first, then the more advice I get would be better to help me make sure I go the right route there.

    PS...I own about 500 movies from 250 are Blu-Ray and I keep upgrading the standards as they are available. So playing Standard Def rarely happens in my house. So maybe going OPPO was a bad thought and I should keep with the Pana BD35. I already get streaming media from my XBOX so I didn't need that feature in my Blu Player.

    Thank you.
  5. #5
    -What would your budget be for 3 main speakers and a new sub?
    -What are the dimensions of your room (length, width, height)?
    -Is this mostly for home theater, or do you listen to lots of music too?

    Don't feel bad about the sub. I bought several Polk subs over the years until I started doing research and educated myself. You can probably sell that sub and get some of your money back, or keep it for another room.
  6. #6
    -Budget...I am open to budget depending on what it is for. I don't want to limit quality right now, but I am also not an audiophile and require the BEST.
    -Room Size - About 20' L x 15' W x 15' H
    -Movies only, rarely listen to music through LAST.FM thru XBOX
  7. #7
    Specific budget is important to know how far you're willing to go. One could spend $200-$2000 on a sub alone...
  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by accamando View Post
    -Budget...I am open to budget depending on what it is for. I don't want to limit quality right now, but I am also not an audiophile and require the BEST.
    As TheGreenDude stated, you gotta give us something to work with here I think there are several setups for under $2K that would work, but if your budget is more than that or less than that, it is really hard to give you options.

    -Room Size - About 20' L x 15' W x 15' H
    That is a good size room and quite a bit of space to fill for sound. I would recommend buying speakers that are higher in sensitivity (90db+) and a sub that can fill a room. 12" driver would most likely be the smallest size I would recommend, but ti really depends on the make and model.

    -Movies only, rarely listen to music through LAST.FM thru XBOX
    That helps
  9. #9
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    I agree with everyone else. Upgrading either the receiver or the Blu-ray player at this point isn't going to give you any appreciable upgrade in viewing experience. However, swapping out the sub will. And it will make a HUGE difference. That's where I'd start. You can quite likely buy a sub that you will own forever, so I would get the best you possibly can. And best doesn't always mean the most expensive.
    Quote Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
    You don't keep friends who use low resolutions.
    Quote Originally Posted by miDnIghtEr View Post
    Sometimes I don't speak right. But still I know what I'm talking about...
    Intel i7 4770k (@4.5Ghz) + CrossFire Gigabyte R9 290x's w/ 4GB video RAM! + 16GB DDR3 RAM (STEAM/Origin: Nealon_Greene)
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    Optoma HD20 with 123" fixed screen for movies
  10. #10
    Ok, I would like to Spend $2000 total on Fronts, Center & Sub. If that is unrealistic to REALLY enjoy my movies, then tell me what $3000 looks like for all 3. Like I mentioned above, I had read in I think Home Theater Mag that those Boston VS series were REALLY good and those total $1700 for Fronts and Center. Then I would need a sub. I don't have room for Floor Standing speakers, so I need a strong bookshelf style. The Bostons I looked at were the VS240BB and VS325CBB and I also looked at their sub($1700 alone) VPS210BB.

    So, let me here what you think??? $2000 total preferred, but what direction up to $3000

    Thanks
  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by accamando View Post
    Ok, I would like to Spend $2000 total on Fronts, Center & Sub. If that is unrealistic to REALLY enjoy my movies, then tell me what $3000 looks like for all 3. Like I mentioned above, I had read in I think Home Theater Mag that those Boston VS series were REALLY good and those total $1700 for Fronts and Center. Then I would need a sub. I don't have room for Floor Standing speakers, so I need a strong bookshelf style. The Bostons I looked at were the VS240BB and VS325CBB and I also looked at their sub($1700 alone) VPS210BB.

    So, let me here what you think??? $2000 total preferred, but what direction up to $3000

    Thanks
    If it was my $2K:
    This for left and right mains:
    http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...m/cmt340m.html ($498 shipped for the pair)

    This for the center:
    http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...c/cmt340c.html ($318 shipped)

    This for a subwoofer:
    http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-newpb12plus.cfm

    Or this for a sub but it is a big beast :
    http://www.edesignaudio.com/product_...roducts_id=746 ($1200 shipped)

    Should come to right around $2K shipped.

    Some other options would be these for fronts:
    http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sts01.cfm ($798 for the pair plus shipping)
    This for the center:
    http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-scs01.cfm ($175 plus shipping)

    And the SVS PB12+ mentioned above for the sub (SVS will give you a 5% discount on the sub if you buy their speakers). Right around $2K.

    Either of these setups would be a major step up over what you have now and would really get you to the next level. The subwoofer alone would be a huge upgrade.

    I own a SVS mains and I swear by them. Great speakers for home theater and just read some of the pro audio reviews out there on there STS, SCS, and SBS lineup.

    Another option would be to stick with Klipsch for your mains and pair it with an SVS, HSU, or eD sub. Keep in mind that Klipsch uses a horn loaded tweeter vs the other brands I mentioned. The Klipsch speakers will be more sensitive and will play louder but not everyone prefers a horn tweeter since it can sound a little harsher depening on your preference. But for home theater the Klipsch should be considered. I would look at the RB-81 for the fronts and the RC-62 for the center. You should be able to get the all three and a very good sub for SVS, HSU, eD, etc for right around $2K.

    I am sure other folks here will give you some recommendations too, but the Ascends sound amazing. I would rate them slightly higher than SVS. Internet Direct speaker companies like SVS, HSU, Ascend, etc will give you the best bang for the buck IMHO.




    I would readup at the AVS speaker/subwoofer forums. All of those speakers I mentioned get talked about quite a bit.
  12. #12
    Any thoughts on this option? I just noticed this on HTM site. Seems like a really good review was given and it falls into my wheelhouse on pricing. I may even add in the rears from them as well. Thoughts?

    Atlantic Technology System 4400 Speaker System

    Atlantic Technology’s System 4400 lends itself to superlatives. The price/performance ratio couldn’t be more favorable: This package is a stellar performer as well as a pretty unbeatable value. I feel guilty for writing such bland sentences because the experience of listening to these speakers was quite the reverse. I remember flinching at the horror movie, nodding my head to the rhythm of the jazz record, and being nailed to the couch by the 5.1-channel drama of the SACD. You could have a lot of fun with these speakers. You might even be moved.
  13. #13
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    I never like to tell people how to spend their money, but I do have a heirarchical method of buying home theater stuff. I purchase in this order, almost always:

    1) Replacement gear if something breaks. These purchases stink because, like car repairs, they are money spent just to have things the way they were before.
    2) Wow factor. These are the best purchases. This is NOT the incrimental step in home theater improvement. This is like going from the 32" CRT to a 120" projector, or a HTIB to a dedicated system.
    3) Incrimental upgrade. This is when you have money burning a hole in your pocket and want to buy something. This type of upgrade will only usually be noticed by you and you alone. Its not like having TV speakers one day and then going to a full-fledged 5.1 system the next day. Fullfils the OCD factor and keeps you on the cutting edge, that's about it.
    4) New tech. Often goes hand-in-hand with the "wow factor" like the jump from DVD to Blu-ray. But its also good to sit out for a bit to let the kinks work themselves out.

    I try to follow these 4 rules and it works out pretty good. So now, how that applies to your situation. You want to maximize your “wow factor”. You have “X” amount of money to spend and there is ZERO sense in getting more expensive equipment that will basically do the same thing your existing equipment is already doing. That money is better spent on content to play on said system.

    So with $2K to spend, and if it were me, I would set aside this $$ in this order. $1000 for a new sub, $500 for a center, and $250 each for the front L& R speakers. The surrounds and rear surrounds can be filled using your existing speakers for now and possibly replaced later or they may just sound fine and leave them as is.

    A $1000 sub gives you a LOT of options and once you consider WAF, location, music to movie ratio, then you’ll get a better idea of what to consider. Also, often 2 $500 subs will outperform a single $1000 sub and flatten any hot resonances in your home theater. Something to think about.

    As for your front soundstage, I’d start with the center of your choice and work back from there. The center in a 5.1 or 7.1 setup takes so much of the work you simply can’t skimp on it. Once that’s figured out, the L & R fronts are basically chosen for you and that’s it!

    $2000 can buy a LOT of home theater. Its amazing actually. The increase to $3000 will not be that big of a jump. $1000 is better spent elsewhere like room treatments or content…..
    Quote Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
    You don't keep friends who use low resolutions.
    Quote Originally Posted by miDnIghtEr View Post
    Sometimes I don't speak right. But still I know what I'm talking about...
    Intel i7 4770k (@4.5Ghz) + CrossFire Gigabyte R9 290x's w/ 4GB video RAM! + 16GB DDR3 RAM (STEAM/Origin: Nealon_Greene)
    Elitist >> mindless peon
    Yamaha 6260 - 7.1 Polks - 2 LLT subs powered by 1000W
    Optoma HD20 with 123" fixed screen for movies
  14. #14
    Favelle,

    That is a terrific post. Well put. I think you truly understand the members here.

    kdigit0l
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdigit0l View Post
    Favelle,

    That is a terrific post. Well put. I think you truly understand the members here.

    Thanks dude! I just hate to see people spending gobs of money for no appreciable increase in viewing experience. Me included!! We all get those times when we're flush and itchin' to buy something. Retail therapy, LOL! Well this hobby is too expensive for that kind of loose cash!

    Cheers man.
    Quote Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
    You don't keep friends who use low resolutions.
    Quote Originally Posted by miDnIghtEr View Post
    Sometimes I don't speak right. But still I know what I'm talking about...
    Intel i7 4770k (@4.5Ghz) + CrossFire Gigabyte R9 290x's w/ 4GB video RAM! + 16GB DDR3 RAM (STEAM/Origin: Nealon_Greene)
    Elitist >> mindless peon
    Yamaha 6260 - 7.1 Polks - 2 LLT subs powered by 1000W
    Optoma HD20 with 123" fixed screen for movies

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