Upgrade time - roadmap advice

SonnenKinder

Novice Member
Upgrade time - from a Q Acoustics 1010i 5.1 system I bought from RS in 2006!

I know this question gets asked a lot but each request has their own specific parameters so I'd really appreciate any advice offered here...

I am looking to replace the AV equipment in my modest sized lounge (4.5m x 3.5m) as it is getting old – I currently have:
  • Q Acoustics 1010i 5.1 package – the sub has recently faulted & is the catalyst for me to start my upgrade journey
  • KEF Coda 8’s – currently being used as front left & right speakers
  • Denon AVR 2310 - Inputs to amp: Sky Q, Xbox S, PS5, Sonos Connect
  • Panasonic TX-L47E TV
I wish to replace everything (perhaps recycle the KEF Coda’s to rear surrounds?) over the coming months & would appreciate a roadmap from you, the experts, on where to go; as my sub is dead, do I replace this 1st or would a set of floor-stand speakers replacing the KEF’s be a more intelligent 1st step? Approx. 70/30 split between movies & listening to music (house, dance, pop)

Approx. budget: +/- £200 per component
  • Sub - £500
  • Floorstands (Front L/R) - £500
  • Centre - £?
  • Atmos - £?
  • AV Amp - £1,000
  • TV – 55” - £1,500
If considering my room size & expected use of the components would there be a huge noticeable difference if I bought a pair of Dali Oberon 5's or Wharfdale 12.3's?

Do I really need to spend all of my budget or would something more cost effective give almost similar results & an improvement on my old 1010i 5.1 system I used to love?

I had booked a visit to my local RS demo room over the weekend but disappointingly when I got there the room wasn't set up & it didn't seem possible to actually listen to any speakers - I was hoping to have bought something (either a sub or floor standers).

What I was told was that the SVS PB-1000 Pro sub I was interested in wasn't right for me, I should consider a REL T7i instead (although I was only able to look at the REL sub, not listen to it). I am actually considering buying a BK P12-300SB-PR considering the cost saving & great review on here unless somebody can tell me I'm wrong?

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to plough through this wall of text, any advice, pointers or recommendations you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Why they didn`t allow you to listen any speakers if you had demo time booked? I would contact RS store manager with an VERY angry phone call. That is horrible service!! It`s also very annoying to notice that the store dude recommended tiny overpriced Rel for you if you told him that most of usage is movies. If you feel the PB1000 Pro is too large physically as you need to consider the placement carefully, then look for SB1000 Pro. There is however quite noticeable difference in the physical feel of those two if you like to crank out sometimes with blockbuster movies. So if are looking that rumble and creating earthquake in your room then go with the PB1000 Pro, you won`t regret it. Keep in mind that you can run the PB1000 Pro sealed too if it comes to that (music). You will get AVForums member discount example from Cinehome (-10%). One thing to consider at this point is will you add 2nd subwoofer later in future as there is quite clear benefits for it, so could you still fit two larger (PB) boxes or would it need to be smaller SB. Check the dimensions carefully and make cardboard mock up if needed! If however you prefer the wood veneer finish of BK then the P12-PR would be great choice! SVS does perform even better, but there is other aspects which may matter more (looks, size etc). SVS does also have 5year amp warranty, BK has 2years.

You can get the discount contacting Tom and mentioning you are AVF member (phone call/email).



You don´t necessarily need floorstanders as mains, at least for movies there is no requirements. Something like Kef Q350, B&W 606 (on sale ~400£), Monitor Audio Silver 100 should be quite enjoyable with good bass for music listening. However if you really want the towers due to partly of better looks then proceed. But check your local hifi shops is there Audio T, Peter Tyson, AV-Online, Hifix, Exceptional AV etc. some other hifi shop where you can actually listen the speakers!

If i had to guess the Dalis and Wharfedales will sound totally different. We could throw the Monitor Audio Bronze 200 there too as they have always been one of the best picks in this price range. Then you have Q Acoustics 3050i which are bit larger and have stronger bass due to that, but if you are tight on space then the slimmer versions can work better. There is also the new Mission LX range, LX-5 mkII (499£) would be intresting. The main thing is you need to go listen/compare the speakers!


One thing that shines through from your list is the tiny 55" tv. I hope you could consider some other 65" tv! You just can`t get any cinematic feel from such tiny tv. Going from 1080p tv to 4K you should also sit bit closer to see the extra detail. Personally i would go as large as possible, worth every penny!


TV Screen sizeViewing distance range for 4K
40"3.3-5 feet
43"3.6-5.4 feet
50"4.2-6.3 feet
55"4.6-6.9 feet
60"5-7.5 feet
65"5.4-8.1 feet
70"5.8-8.75 feet
75"6.3-9.4 feet
80"6.7-10 feet
85"7.1-10.6 feet
 
As Gasp3621 said on the tv side try and get a 65inch tv if you can the modern oled tvs have only a few mm bezel around the tv and if you can possibly wall mount it it takes up no space at all and will make a hell of a difference when watching movies

 

password1

Well-known Member
If you like the uni Q of the Kef you can also consider the Q150, Q350 or even the Q550.. They don't come with grilles (extra if you want them) and the Q550 can be bought for £600..seems a good price considering some.places are selling them at £800 and the larger but with the same technology Q750 and Q950 are much more money.
 

SonnenKinder

Novice Member
Cheers Dion, I did start thinking about a 65" but then wondered if it was too big for the room, the TV will be mounted in a false chimney I'm building & at the other side of the room ~3.8m away would be my viewing position.

Thanks for such a detailed reply Gasp3621, I was more than a little disappointed with RS especially as I'd booked the demo 2 weeks before by email, the email contained the same information as my original post above but when I arrived the guy I spoke to wasn't aware of my requirements, the store manager was already setting the scene for disappointment letting me know they'd had unexpected building work that morning & it was "all a bit crazy today". My wife was less pleased as I'd dragged her out on a 40 mile round trip for nothing! I've emailed the demo guy that I saw as soon as I got back home on Saturday explaining exactly what help I needed but so far no response so I'm guessing my "local" branch has gone down hill since I last bought from them 🤷‍♂️

After I posted earlier I did start to consider whether floor standers were needed, I'm having a right nightmare trying to fit everything I want into a small space, using SketchUp I've got a 65" TV in the wall, centre speaker under that & an electric fire at the bottom. I want to have either side of the TV with shelves / Ikea Besta type furniture but as you can see from the attached work in progress, it wont work! Perhaps something shelf mounted would be better!?!

I'm pretty sure I'll be upgrading to either the Denon X2700H or X3700H as I'm still impressed with my 2310, its just old without features such as wireless, streaming etc...

Cinehome looks great, shame I live in Saddleworth not closer - I'll have a look around at other local hifi shops, if I'm honest I didn't know there was that many about!

I think I'm convinced about either the BK or SVS sub...
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
As for the Cinehome they give you free shipping for the sub so it doesn`t matter where the shop is. If possible choose the X3700H cause it has much better version of Audussey which will have an effect how your sub and speakers sound in your room! It also has the dual sub eq (individual level/distance set) which can be handy in future. Also preout for poweramp/integrated stereo amp and proven performance for lower impedance loads. It`s kind of the sweet spot for most people in Denons range.

I would say your best bet is to making a bundle deal with speakers and av-receiver. Seeing the Denon costs 1100£ now it`s crazy high as it`s 100£ more than when introduced. Very soon Denon will have competition and either the price drops due to that or there will be X3800H introduced which would automatically mean the price will drop some. Sadly there is no guarantee about new models yet.

You can move the Kefs to surrounds, but how are you going to place them as the picture shows you are very tight on space at rear?! I would consider some wall mounted effect speakers. Monitor Audio has the FX speakers low depth flush against wall with 2 screws. Bipole/Dipole mode to create more diffused soundfield. If you were to stick with 5.1 for longer time i would mount them 2feet higher from ears at the side wall spread apart at least 1feet from side walls inward due to side firing tweeters. If you could move the couch forward from the rear wall then side walls with the same idea that leaving 1feet space to rear walls. This doesn´t mean you have to buy surround speakers right away if you are tight on budget, perhaps for future. We might aswell speak about this now.

124mm in depth, black & white:

To give idea what the bundle deal could mean (you need to take subwoofer out which lowers the price 200-300£). Buying example MA Bronze 200 5.1 package alone would cost 1570£, but when bought as bundle with Denon X3700H it`s 1949£. If you would buy them separate it would be 2570£ so quite a saving!


The same with Dali 2500£ but separate 1700£ + 1100£ = 2800£ so little saving too. And yes PT gives you price if you ask to buy just a 5.0 + receiver combo without the package sub.


Which ever speakers you buy you should pull them little bit closer to tv as they shouldn´t be in corners and also bit forward to leave ~20cm space behind if possible.

Definitely 65" tv, make it happen somehow. I was watching 106" fixed screen at 3meters without issues. With the 4K you want to sit closer.
 

SonnenKinder

Novice Member
Again, thank you for your detailed reply, its very helpful!

I was going to put the KEF's on a small shelf in the rear corners, less than ideal I know but now you mention those slim MA's they are much better, I've always discounted that type of speaker as I thought they'd be tinny / crap!

I didn't realise it was possible to get such great bundle deals, I thought you bought a 5.1 speaker set & that was about it but if I'm reading the deal correctly I can get an MA Bronze 200 speaker kit, maybe change the sub for an SVS & still get massive savings if I buy the amp at the same time?

I think I'll be giving Peter Tyson a call tomorrow!

My lounge at the moment is with the TV on the opposite wall, just on a TV stand with a sofa on the wall on the door side & a sofa on the long wall opposite the TV (where the TV will be relocated).

Its all got to be a compromise as we have to live in the room as well as have AV equipment, this is why I wanted to talk with RS to get a steer what is best.
 

SonnenKinder

Novice Member
For convenience & simplicity I even debated going down the Sonos route but I'm sure that I'd regret it even if it was just that the Sonos sub couldn't possibly shake the room like an SVS could.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
TV = Sony or LG OLED
Subwoofer = BK Monolith Plus
Atmos - skimp on these, get cheapest possible
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Again, thank you for your detailed reply, its very helpful!

I was going to put the KEF's on a small shelf in the rear corners, less than ideal I know but now you mention those slim MA's they are much better, I've always discounted that type of speaker as I thought they'd be tinny / crap!

I didn't realise it was possible to get such great bundle deals, I thought you bought a 5.1 speaker set & that was about it but if I'm reading the deal correctly I can get an MA Bronze 200 speaker kit, maybe change the sub for an SVS & still get massive savings if I buy the amp at the same time?

I think I'll be giving Peter Tyson a call tomorrow!

My lounge at the moment is with the TV on the opposite wall, just on a TV stand with a sofa on the wall on the door side & a sofa on the long wall opposite the TV (where the TV will be relocated).

Its all got to be a compromise as we have to live in the room as well as have AV equipment, this is why I wanted to talk with RS to get a steer what is best.

PT doesn`t sell SVS, but they will take the sub out of the package and price drops little bit. But yeah no need to buy the sub there, get SVS/BK elsewhere. Here is all the X3700H based bundle deals which can be "tweaked" if necessary.
AVC-3700H Based - Denon - Bundle Offers - Home Cinema

I think it`s better to go listen the speakers, not to go asking too much questions as RS is known to sell certain products their salesmen will get good bonuses. I would steer away from that shop completely if it weren`t the low prices and good warranties which PT can compete too. Rather support the smaller companies, but you decide. The situation with your demo was unacceptable! Why they didn`t call you that they have such issue going on?! I would have contacted the RS big boss told what kind of sh*t service you got from there making you drive long distance to find out demo isn`t possible. I would have been very vocal about what happened. The big bosses don`t like to hear this and you would have gotten something for the trouble they caused you.

Forget the Sonos route. You pay more and get less. There is good marketing behind their products, just like with Bose back in the days. Sure they have some decent products for certain situations, but you don´t have to go that route. Many likes the idea of something simple, but then few months - year later they are back here new setup as the sound quality is not what you pay for.

Again check your local hifi shops cause demoing speakers is free and you don´t have to buy anything so can go listen some models to get better idea what you like. Then you can buy them from the shop that gives you the best deal.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Agree, you should also consider supporting your local independent hifi dealer. I have at least 7 hi fi dealers near me and 4 of them are small independent family businesses with very little online presence and certainly don't come up near the top of Google searches.

You should find local and contact them for sny deals, etc.
 

SonnenKinder

Novice Member
Really appreciate you all taking the time to offer advice!

Considering wall mounted effect speakers has got me interested, this should allow the mounting of rear speakers much easier & remove 1 headache of fitting everything in a small space.

The deals offered by PT seem phenomenal, I'm going to give them a call to discuss. I think the closest shop to me is a couple of hours away - I don't mind travelling if I can get to hear what I need.

Time to spend some time using SketchUp again to redesign my lounge!!!!
 

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