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First-Timer: Speaker Upgrade Quandry

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by chebenski, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. chebenski

    chebenski
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    Hi everybody

    I've been surfing these forums for a few weeks now but this is my first post. I know this is similar to (but not the same as) a few other posts, but as I'm a first-timer maybe this could become a general reference point for, um, less experienced members!

    Basically I'm doing a first upgrade of my home cinema stuff - TV, DVD, Speakers and AVR. I have a very modest budget but I'm determined to get the best that I can out of it. To that end I'm looking at a Tosh 36" CRT Picture Frame and a Smasung HD945 for picture.

    For sound I'm less sure. I currently have an entry level Yammy AVR (forget which one) and the NSP speakers. My centre speaker is awful - crackly, indistinct dialogue, so I began by thinking that I would upgrade just this one, but then you think, why do one when you could do 'em all...!

    I was thinking of a budget for a centre speaker alone of around £150, but now I think maybe I should set aside around £500 for a full 5.1 set. But equqally I like the look of the Denon AVR 2105. But I can't afford to get all these.

    So my question is, not only what centre speaker / speaker set or AVR would you recommend, but also what do you think my priorities should be? Centre only? Centre and AVR? Or new complete speaker package? I should say - I'm not too worried about the big action move crash bang wallop noises as, to my ears, loud is loud, I want a set up that gives good clear dialogue.

    Sorry - that's a long one, but any replies will be appreciated...
     
  2. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Having tonally matched centre and fronts is very important the easiest way is to do it is to buy fronts and centres from the same range.

    Whilst it would be possible to just upgrade your centre I would only consider doing this if you intend to buy the matching fronts in the very near future.

    A system is (predominately) only as good at its weakest link - if you upgrade the speakers or the AVR without the other then you will not be getting the best out of the upgrade. I wouldnt say there is any particular priority of one over the other unless you feel is one particularly causing loss of quality.
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    yamaha NSP are nothing special, the canton CD1 for £240 and a CD50 for centre for an extra £88 is ideal move CD20 centre to rear for 6.1
     
  4. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Hi Chebenski, and welcome.

    From reading your post, I would suggest you consider a simple stereo amp and speakers combination.

    As a starting point the Rotel RA-01 and B&W DM602 S3 sound like they might be within your budget.
     
  5. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    It's not just about "crash, bang"... Listen to the rain falling in the initial scene in Hero....

    I've got a Tosh PQ and it's got a great picture. As to speaker, you'll get as many (different) recommendations as there are members ;)

    The fronts are center should be the same brand/ range. Go through lots of the speaker posts and you'll see what I mean. Quad, Canton, Mordaunt Short: each have their own "camp". e.g. MS902 fronts & rears, MS905 center would cost you about £360 all in - would be a bit light on bass so a sub would be a good idea (try Ebay or the classifieds here for a bargain).

    And then there's the av amp and dvd player :)
     
  6. Steve N

    Steve N
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    These comments are just my suggestions and reflect what I would have done with hindsight.
    I would definitely buy good quality used rather than new.
    I would concentrate on your front three speakers first.
    you are right to place the centre as a priority as you can upgrade your two fronts later and use them as rears as budget allows.
    As others have said, brands are very subjective. I like Kefs, so this is what I would do in your position.
    Centre Kef Ref 100c A brilliant centre approx £100 used price (can use with Reference range fronts quite happily later)
    Fronts Kef Q35s, Q55s or any of the more recent Q range floorstanders, Q35s can be got for less than £100 per pair (I sold some on here a couple of weeks ago)
    It is not crucial to match rears, so you could make do anything short term.
    As for the Amp. Someone was trying to sell a Denon 3300 on here not long ago for about £100 (may still be for sale). I had one of these and they were fantastic (cost £800 new) only 5.1 but at that price who cares, in other words if budget is tight you will definitely get better value looking for a decent used Amp.
    I am sure other members will have suggestions.
    The other advantage of used is you tend to get your money back (more or less) when you upgrade. I bought my Kef 100c for £100 and sold it for £120 when I decided I wanted the 200c. On new you can lose 50% when you walk out of the shop.
    I hope this has been useful.
     
  7. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    There are some KEF Q's in the "for sale" section. I have a Marantz SR5300 available (£142 inc delivery) 6.1 in champagne, if you're interested?
     
  8. chebenski

    chebenski
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    Thanks for the recommendations and advice everyone.

    Buying quality used gear is something I'd considered, although maybe not as strongly as I should have.

    I'm definitely going to focus on centre speaker first, with an upgraded AVR, then think about other fronts.

    Will keep exploring the forum!
     
  9. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Another option maybe to upgrade the amp, upgrade the front left & right with no centre. (ie run the centre in phantim mode). Get the centre later when funds allow. Or if your current amp allows it, do the speakers first.
     
  10. Dbfrei

    Dbfrei
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    Solution for indistinct TV SOUND (at least for me).
    I tend to be skeptical of all high priced audio equipment since an old Stereo Review article years ago compared a $200 receiver to $1000 and up. Most testers could not tell the difference on a blinded test. I have an older JVC 5.1 receiver , RX-D411 and Energy brand 5.1 speakers. They are excellent for music.

    I upgraded my TV to a new Samsung 6300 55" tv about 6 months ago. This seemed to exacerbate my tv sound problems. Voices were uninterpretable, worse than before. Thought I and wife were just losing our hearing. Using my AV system was just as bad.

    I recently found out a 5.1 signal puts most of the voice signal to the center channel. I turned the Center channel up to +10db on the receiver. I Put left and right Fronts to -3db and we can suddenly understand TV voices as well as streaming movies and DVD). Overall still sounds good. I and anyone else trying this will want to see if they can get the same effect with less radical settings, increase fronts and rears and decrease center speaker.
     
  11. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer
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    You've chosen rather an old thread to comment on but your views are welcome, as are you welcome to AVForums as well!
     
  12. Cyprio

    Cyprio
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    Whoah! 9 years lol, a good thing that spyder viewer was first to respond:laugh:

    Welcome to the forum Dbfrie :D
     

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