Bought a new TV, should I upgrade my sound system?

CBPodge

Standard Member
I am a pretty heavy gamer and have just upgraded my 14 year old Samsung TV for an LG C1 and a PS5. And now I'm thinking maybe it's time to also upgrade my 12 year old surround sound system to go with the new TV.

My current system is an Onkyo TX-SR507 amp and a set of Tannoy SFX 5.1 speakers. They were never the greatest speakers, but then I'm not an audiophile - I just want the extra immersion and punch when playing games and watching films that surround sound gives over just the bad TV sound.

So my first question: will I easily notice a difference if I upgrade this relic system to a modern system? 3D audio, Dolby Atmos, all that stuff. Will I hear the difference? And if I will, are there any recommendations for good systems, particularly for gaming? Preferably towards the budget range - I'd like to spend less than £1k, preferably more like £500!

I don't want a soundbar - the room it will be in has a steel beam that runs through the middle of it and I suspect that will mess with the sound from them.

I'm not that fussed if it's a bit fiddly to setup. This system has been with me through 11 house moves but we're now in what is hopefully the forever home. Obviously easier is better though. I'm planning to get some of those D-Line cable tidies to hide the wires if needs be.

Thanks very much. This forum came through with recommendations for my old TV and sound system, so if you could just recommend another system that would be able to get into secondary school, that would be great!
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
£500 won't get you much, and not at all if you want a 9.4.6 system lol.

Best to save up or simply get less speakers, at £500 I'd go with stereo. You can spend £500 on a sub alone and tbh that's really minimum for a decent one where movies are concerned.

There's this for speaker system that would be minimum I'd go for, but ideally I'd get better sub..also lacks a avr
 
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CBPodge

Standard Member
You're going to have to explain what a 9.4.6 setup would look like! 9 speakers, 4 subs, 6 high speakers? I feel like my wife would kill me if she came home and I'd covered all the walls with speakers!

I feel like a 9 speaker setup is a bit much at the mo - but is more than 5 speakers necessary to really unlock modern audio? And I assume I could buy 5 now and then add to it over time?
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
7 is the floor channels
1 is the subwoofer
4 is the height channels

There is vast amount of flexibility it's not just 5.1 ad 7.1 anymore

To get Atmos you'll need at least two height speakers ideally four. There is option to have upfirer, ceiling, or angled height speakers

I'm using a 7.2.4 system but there are many more options than that.

On a set budget it's better to have fewer speakers.

For example with a £2000 budget I'd rather have a 5.1 system than a 9.4.6 system.

You can buy later but depends on how much later if you leave it too long them that range could be obselete and updated

Read up modern Atmos / DTS /auro3d systems. Then decide on speaker manufacturer and range.
 
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Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
My current system is an Onkyo TX-SR507 amp and a set of Tannoy SFX 5.1 speakers. They were never the greatest speakers, but then I'm not an audiophile - I just want the extra immersion and punch when playing games and watching films that surround sound gives over just the bad TV sound.

So my first question: will I easily notice a difference if I upgrade this relic system to a modern system? 3D audio, Dolby Atmos, all that stuff. Will I hear the difference? And if I will, are there any recommendations for good systems, particularly for gaming? Preferably towards the budget range - I'd like to spend less than £1k, preferably more like £500!
With that budget I would totally forget about Atmos. The problem with your current system is not its age, it's simply that it's not very good. There are amazing sounding systems out there that are older than yours. Sound quality has not really advanced very much in the past 15 years.

If I were in your shoes, with up to £1,000 on hand, I'd be building a basic 5.1 (or possibly 6.1, or 7.1) system from quality second hand components of a similar vintage as your current ones.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
You could start off with a 5.1 or 7.1 system so you're aware of what those are and get the remaining Atmos speakers later

However depending on avr choice it may cause problem because not all have right number of channels you may need a poweramp or you could buy the wrong amp ( going high enough up a range which solve this say Denon 6700)

They have different speaker packages



Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 HCP Walnut 7.1.2 Speaker Package w/ D300 3D at AV.com

Decide which speaker number/layout you want. As I previously said Atmos will require one or two pairs of these speakers

Wharfedale D300 3D Black Surround Speakers (Pair) at AV.com

You don't need trapezoid shaped speakers, there's ceiling, upfiring also. Or you can use regular speakers as heights but they won't look as neat as those angled speakers

I'm using q acoustic 3010i X two pair as heights. These worked for me since I can angle them down and to the left and right, and for rears down and forward. The issue with Atmos speakers is they're expensive, inefficient, and limited frequency response. Ie compared Dali alteco c1 vesus spektor, they're the same basic components but the alteco is 2x the price.

To get 7 speakers plus four Atmos and a sub plus a avr for £500 is impossible not unless it falls off back of truck.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Get a nice pair of stereo speakers with a centre channel and enjoy it for a year or so. Then upgrade later on to surround.

You might fall in love with audio or you might not be bothered by it. No point going all-in, if you're not even sure how much u value audio.

I ended up falling in love. However a few of my family members honestly dont care that much.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I feel the general consensus is that you should maybe look at upgrading the the speakers as the first option. Atmos can come later as you will need to upgrade the AV Receiver

I feel the best option will be for you to upgrade the three fronts plus the subwoofer. We have this nearly new SVS subwoofer which will increase the dynamics of your system no end. As for the speakers You could look at using two pairs of Q Acoustics Concept 20's (whilst there still available) plus the matching Concept 20 centre to complete your system

It will push your budget just above your max, but in reality, I think for the money, you will struggle to find a more accomplished 5.1 speaker package

Once you've saved up for a new AV Receiver which can work with Atmos, then you can partner any Atmos speakers with them, but that will be for another day
 
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CBPodge

Standard Member
The problem with your current system is not its age, it's simply that it's not very good.
My poor system - right in the heart! :) But you're right, I bought it essentially as a starter system to see whether it was actually worth having surround sound.

Thank you everyone for the advice. It sounds like Atmos is essentially an add-on that I can just not worry about for the time being. I like the idea of replacing the speakers/sub now and then replacing the receiver and adding additional speakers in a little while. That'll help with the cashflow situation and I hadn't thought that was an option.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
My poor system - right in the heart! :) But you're right, I bought it essentially as a starter system to see whether it was actually worth having surround sound.

Thank you everyone for the advice. It sounds like Atmos is essentially an add-on that I can just not worry about for the time being. I like the idea of replacing the speakers/sub now and then replacing the receiver and adding additional speakers in a little while. That'll help with the cashflow situation and I hadn't thought that was an option.

I went many years with a 7.1 AV pre system, without Atmos and it was superb, you'd probably poo yourself watching a war movie with how it sounds, and I'd take my 7.1 system over a cheaper Atmos system anyday. Only recently have I replaced with a more moden AV pre, then added two pair of Q Acoustics 3010i (about £140 a pair) so those didn't cost that much. And I already had the powerampsand RCA cables. So it was just speakers, speaker brackets, bananas and reel of speaker cable, about £400 or thereabouts. It adds a little bit extra but I'd say but that money into a better sub, amp etc. I'd be perfectly happy with the 7.1 system (old av pre or new)

So get a better quality lesser speaker number home theatre. The home cinema market wants to flount Atmos as the next coming, like with TV speakers with atmos (hahaha) or soundbars, the next feature you must have that makes a 7.1 system rubbish. It doesn't.
 

password1

Suspended
You could start off with a 5.1 or 7.1 system so you're aware of what those are and get the remaining Atmos speakers later

However depending on avr choice it may cause problem because not all have right number of channels you may need a poweramp or you could buy the wrong amp ( going high enough up a range which solve this say Denon 6700)

They have different speaker packages



Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 HCP Walnut 7.1.2 Speaker Package w/ D300 3D at AV.com

Decide which speaker number/layout you want. As I previously said Atmos will require one or two pairs of these speakers

Wharfedale D300 3D Black Surround Speakers (Pair) at AV.com

You don't need trapezoid shaped speakers, there's ceiling, upfiring also. Or you can use regular speakers as heights but they won't look as neat as those angled speakers

I'm using q acoustic 3010i X two pair as heights. These worked for me since I can angle them down and to the left and right, and for rears down and forward. The issue with Atmos speakers is they're expensive, inefficient, and limited frequency response. Ie compared Dali alteco c1 vesus spektor, they're the same basic components but the alteco is 2x the price.

To get 7 speakers plus four Atmos and a sub plus a avr for £500 is impossible not unless it falls off back of truck.
I doubt those Wharfedale sub-satelite packages will be a big upgrade to the Tannoy sfx.

I would look at upgrading the 5 speakers first then a sub later.

Something like a pair of Mission LX1 mark 2, matching centre and a pair of Mission LX 3D/surrounds for £500-600 new. Then later pick up a used BK xls200 or xxls400 for £200-£300
 

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