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What's my next upgrade?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Steve Webb, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    I wasn’t sure where best to post this thread so I’ve posted it in a couple of our Audio Electronic sub forums, I hope that’s ok.

    I’m looking for some feedback on what my next upgrade might be so I’m interested to know what you all perceive to be the weakest link in my kit list and what you would upgrade next if you were me.

    A few pointers - I tend to buy used kit in most cases for vfm and my interest is heavily weighted to multi channel movies as opposed to 2 channel hi-fi. I don’t have the luxury of a dedicated batcave so limited in terms of audio or visual room treatment to my lounge although I do have blackout blinds and curtains. I also use MutiAVCHD software for ripped DVD’s and Blu-rays with the Oppo if relevant.

    Here’s my kit list for those of you using the iPhone/iPad app so, for some unexplained reason, unable to see my signature;

    JVC DLA-HD750 l Optoma DE-9106EGA motorised screen l Pioneer 507XD l Onkyo PR-SC5507 l NAD S250 l M&K LCR-650 LCR l M&K SW-85 rears l BK Monolith DF l Chord Odyssey speaker cable l Anti-Mode 8033 l Oppo BDP-83 l PS3 slim l Humax Foxsat HDR l Sky+HD l Pronto Pro TSU9400 & RFX9600

    Any ideas and suggestions welcome

    Cheers
    Steve
  2. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy Moderator

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    Hi,

    It looks a pretty solid system to me!

    What do you personally feel is missing from the system and whats your budget?

    Maybe having the PJ calibrated or adding a few acoustic panels around the room could be something you could look at?
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  3. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    To be honest, I couldn't hand on heart say there was anything missing as such, I'm actually quite happy with the system so I haven't set a budget.
    Just interested in how others feel they would improve things e.g. Upgrading the pre/pro for a 5508 with MultEQ XT32.
    Perhaps, as you suggest, I'd be better tweaking what I have as opposed to replacing kit.
    I could do with finding out a bit more on acoustic panels actually so I'll have a look.
    Thanks for the input.

    Steve
  4. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Member

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    Just to get all the info, How big is your room?
  5. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    It's 17ft long and 13ft wide give or take. The room is carpeted and the main sofa is pulled out from the back wall by 18ins so 15-16 feet from plasma and PJ screen.
    Does that help? What's on your mind?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  6. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Member

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    I was just thinking that there could perhaps be room for improvement on the speaker side of things!

    The M&Ks are relatively small speakers (in size, cone area and probably to some extent output) and in a small room I'm sure the M&Ks would be fine, But if the room is fairly large perhaps there could be some benefit in looking for something with a little more output, at the front at least. ;)

    Also from an original price point of view (if that is important) the speakers are from a slightly cheaper level than a lot of the rest of your system.
    Just an idle thought!
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  7. Member 96948

    Member 96948 Active Member

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    I don't think that's an idle thought.

    I'd have a look at the 950s, across the front - the surrounds are fine. They'll move things on in terms of clarity a bit, but because of the extra cone area, they'll deliver significantly more in terms of upper bass kick - the bit that makes guns FEEL like guns.

    Other than that, some dedicated EQ for the subwoofer might deliver a tighter bass, despite what Audyssey may claim. That will make the system punch harder and feel more taut too.

    Russell
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  8. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    Thanks guys, interesting stuff and like minded it seems.

    A few questions - I had actually considered some used 750s or 850s for the fronts as a future upgrade. Would they be a significant upgrade on my 650s? Are the 950s significantly better than both of those models? The 950s do look nice too but aren't they still current and therefore unlikely to be available on the used market?

    Russell, In terms of dedicated EQ for my sub I use the Anti-Mode 8033 in conjunction with the Audyssey built into the Onkyo and find it's a definite improvement over Audyssey alone. However, what alternative/additional Sub EQ system do you refer to and recommend?

    Cheers
    Steve
  9. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Member

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    If looking primarily on the 2nd hand market for possible M&K upgrades then I would guess a set of front LCR-850's would be a good choice, or some S-125's, perhaps even a set of the sought after S-150's if funds can stretch that far!
    They use the similar matching drivers as your rears and are supposedly timbre matched so should fit in rather nicely :smashin:

    I believe the LCR-950's and LCR-750's use slightly different drivers? and have different recommendations for matching surrounds,
    So having not heard them myself I couldn't say whether that is a good thing or not, personally I like as much consistency as possible among all my speakers.
    Tho if you fancy it does give you a very good excuse to demo them and see for yourself! :)

    As far as it being a significant upgrade on your current 650's, well that is very dependent on your listening levels and how well your speakers cope in your room! a hard thing to guage from a distance.
    But I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn't be a very worthy upgrade!

    Paul.
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  10. jason1wood

    jason1wood Member

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    Not too sure about the order of M&K speakers but there's a cracking set on the classifieds right now if they're classed as upgrades.

    3 (L/R/C) x M&K MP150 wall mount, in dark grey;
    Pair M&K CS29 speakers in black (with stands);
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  11. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    The general consensus on my other thread suggests that my M&K 650 LCR speakers are the weakest link in my kit....http://www.avforums.com/forums/audio-processors-power-amps/1595638-what-s-my-next-upgrade.html

    AngelEyes suggests the XTZ 99.25 LCR as a viable upgrade, see below 'quote'. My concern is that the XTZs are ported but need to sit v close to the screen Wall.

  12. angliaboy

    angliaboy Member

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    as you're happy with your system perhaps you could upgrade mine :D
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  13. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Member

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    Hi,
    Unfortunately the top comparison linked to sells the LCR-850s rather short on the amplification side of things Imo!
    (I didn't get too far in the other link as I took fright at reading 14 pages:eek:)
    My experience with M&Ks is that if you used an all in one reciever you usually got a comparatively lack luster performance as a result,
    Changing over to a good quality standalone power amp really made a noticable difference for the better.

    It's one of the real flaws of the M&Ks really!
    However your own amplification is perfectly fine and I'd wager would get a different result because of it!

    If you generally like the sound you get from your M&Ks and their relatively small size then an upgrade to the models mentioned above should provide a very nice step up, while at the same time keeping the sound well matched with your rears.:)

    Where the Xtz's provide incentive is when bought 2nd hand they do seem to represent good value with some relatively cheap deals cropping up,
    (M&K's with their almost cult following still seem to demand higher prices by comparison).
    So I'd say if you fancy entertaining a change of makes and possibly freeing up some cash in the process then give the Xtz's a bash! Don't let the ports put you off, they can always be bunged if close to the wall & if you don't like the result you can always sell them again and move further along the M&K route.;)

    Paul.
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  14. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    I do like my M&Ks both in terms of sound and aesthetics and feel strangely unfaithful considering XTZs over MK as fronts.
    Im sure the high end MKs such as 150s sound great but IMO they look absolutely awful so not suitable for my lounge. I'd be surprised if 950s came up on the used market for little less than their new price if at all so that probably rules them out for me too.
    In terms of an upgrade, I guess that leaves me with MK 850s or 750s or the XTZ 99.25s.

    Cheers
    Steve
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  15. Ian J

    Ian J New Member

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    Would you consider inwalls - not that they crop up on the second market too often
  16. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Member

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    Fair point about the S-150s, they are rather uncompromising in the looks department!
    Keeping it in the M&K family if it was me I'd probably be looking for either some LCR-850's or some S-125's ideally.:smashin:

    I'm not so sure on the LCR-750's to be honest, the fact that were from a cheaper range and use different woofers keeps me from feeling that they would be a definite upgrade on the sound quality front,
    (I'd always have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I could be doing better).
    But if a good deal pops up there's no harm trying them!

    Brand loyalty is a good thing and to be commended,
    it's always nice to have everything matching and there is usually a lot less risk of disappointment moving about the ranges.
    However having said that....
    from time to time I like to at least try out the alternative competition, it could possibly provide a new avenue to audio nirvana or (as I usually find is the case) re-affirm your confidence in the brand that you have already chosen.
    Both good results really! :)

    Cheers Paul.
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  17. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    It had crossed my mind given that I already use a pair of SW85s as rears. However, the outside wall they would need to fit in won't accommodate in-walls. Besides, I wouldn't be able to tinker with positioning and future upgrading would be restricted.
    Thanks for the suggestion though.
    Cheers
    Steve
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  18. Steve Webb

    Steve Webb Member

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    Thanks for your input Paul.
    Cheers
    Steve

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