Question What difference will a speaker upgrade make to me?

kosymodo

Active Member
I recently upgraded from a Sony BDV-E370 blu-ray system, to a Pioneer VSX-330 AVR. I used the speakers currently in place, with a view to upgrading these in due course.

Since upgrading, I've noticed that the actual sound being produced by the speakers isn't as good (volume or clarity) using the new AVR. Therefore I'm looking to hasten the speaker upgrade. However, I'm not sure what difference I'll see from speakers I've seen advertised.

The current centre speaker is a Sony SS-CTB101...
  • Full range acoustic suspension
  • Magnetically Shielded
  • 30 mm × 60 mm cone type
  • Rated impedance 3 ohms
The current surround speakers are Sony SS-TSB101...
  • Full range Bass reflex
  • 55 mm × 80 mm cone type
  • Rated impedance 3 ohms
The BDV-E370 amplifier specs included...
  • POWER OUTPUT (rated) FL/FR: 108 W + 108 W (at 3 ohms, 1 kHz, 1% THD)
  • POWER OUTPUT (reference) FL/FR/Centre/SL/SR: 142 W (per channel at 3 ohms, 1 kHz)
I've seen a couple of sets of speakers, as follows...

Denon SYS2020 (all 5 speakers are the same spec)
  • Full-range 1-speaker Closed box
  • 8 cm cone full range x 1
  • Input impedance 6 ohms
  • Max. input 100 W (IEC)
  • 200 W (PEAK)
  • Frequency range 100 Hz – 20 kHz
Pioneer S-HS100

Surround
  • 7.7cm cone type (full range)
  • Closed enclosure
  • Impedance: 6 Ohm
  • Frequency Range: 100 - 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 82 dB
  • Maximum Power: 150 Watt
  • Magnetically Shielded: yes (front) / no (rear)
Centre
  • 7.7cm cone type (full range)
  • Closed enclosure
  • Impedance: 6 Ohm
  • Frequency Range: 90 - 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 83 dB
  • Maximum Power: 150 Watt
The VSX-330 specs include...
  • Rated power output Front, Centre, Surround 105 W per channel (1 kHz, 6 Ohm, 1 %), 100 W per channel (1 kHz, 6 Ohm, 0.7 %)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion 0.06 % (20 Hz to 20 kHz, 8 Ohm, 50 W/ch)
  • Guaranteed speaker impedance 6 Ohm to 16 Ohm

So, essentially I have 2 questions...
  1. Will a speaker upgrade likely improve my listening experience? (i.e. are the current speakers inadequate? Is the inadequacy due to using 3 ohm speakers with an AVR which is expecting 6 ohm speakers?)
  2. Which of the 2 options of Denon v Pioneer would be my best choice?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Pioneer is not designed to be used with such low impedence speakers and is recommended to run at 8 ohm. You are probably damaging the receiver and this is reflected in the poor sound quality. Most modern receivers can go down as low as 4 ohm, but even then your current 3 ohm speakers will damage potentially damage it.

You need to look at a 5.1 package that performs at 6 or 8 ohms, forget power handling it's mostly manufacturers' BS.
 

kosymodo

Active Member
The Pioneer is not designed to be used with such low impedence speakers and is recommended to run at 8 ohm. You are probably damaging the receiver and this is reflected in the poor sound quality. Most modern receivers can go down as low as 4 ohm, but even then your current 3 ohm speakers will damage potentially damage it.

You need to look at a 5.1 package that performs at 6 or 8 ohms, forget power handling it's mostly manufacturers' BS.

Thanks @gibbsy - much appreciated! Therefore either the Pioneer or Denon speakers would be suitable? Any preference over which to buy?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Pioneer.
 

kosymodo

Active Member

Any reason?

I must admit that I've been swaying towards the Pioneers because the centre speaker is a proper rectangle, rather than a cube with the Denons. I'm hoping for a more technical reason!
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
Any reason?

I must admit that I've been swaying towards the Pioneers because the centre speaker is a proper rectangle, rather than a cube with the Denons. I'm hoping for a more technical reason!
I've been in a similar position to you very recently. I had a sony all in one DVD 5.1 system which boasted power handling stats of 1000w. Actually, to my ears, it did go pretty loud and sound pretty good but there was no digital inputs so I could not attach a BR player or SKY HD to it to get anything more than pro logic. Not ideal obviously.

So I bought Yamaha's entry level AVR from Richer sounds and, despite people on this forum advising me otherwise, went and bought the Denon SYS020 speaker package.

The Denon's are pretty cheap for a reason and that's because they don't sound very good. If we assume the subwoofer alone is worth about £50 then the other 5 speakers are worth £20 each. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you'd be much better off slowly adding speakers as and when you can afford it.

Since I bought the Denons I have replaced the front 3 speakers with Mordaunt short MS902i's and matching centre that I bought 2nd hand from eBay for a total of less than £100.
My rear speakers are now a pair of old Gale Silver Monitors which I used to have wired up to an old hi-fi. The only thing I've yet to replace is the subwoofer and tbh I can barely tell the difference whether its on or off.

So to recap, I would advise against buying the Denon's and probably the Pioneers too, and instead suggest you buy two decent front speakers and add the others as and when you can afford to.

Oh, and stop using the 3ohm speakers, for the reasons that gibbsy referred to.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Pioneer have more experience of speaker manufacture than Denon. Personally I would look at specific speaker manufacturers such as Tannoy or QA among others but always with a third party sub as bundled subs invariably tend to be the weakest link.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Couple things;

Size and layout. what typr of speakers can you accommodate?
Budget?

Also, what will you be using it for? just movies or a mix of movies and music

There are so many options that it's literally a minefield.
 

kosymodo

Active Member
I've been in a similar position to you very recently. I had a sony all in one DVD 5.1 system which boasted power handling stats of 1000w. Actually, to my ears, it did go pretty loud and sound pretty good but there was no digital inputs so I could not attach a BR player or SKY HD to it to get anything more than pro logic. Not ideal obviously.

So I bought Yamaha's entry level AVR from Richer sounds and, despite people on this forum advising me otherwise, went and bought the Denon SYS020 speaker package.

The Denon's are pretty cheap for a reason and that's because they don't sound very good. If we assume the subwoofer alone is worth about £50 then the other 5 speakers are worth £20 each. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you'd be much better off slowly adding speakers as and when you can afford it.

Since I bought the Denons I have replaced the front 3 speakers with Mordaunt short MS902i's and matching centre that I bought 2nd hand from eBay for a total of less than £100.
My rear speakers are now a pair of old Gale Silver Monitors which I used to have wired up to an old hi-fi. The only thing I've yet to replace is the subwoofer and tbh I can barely tell the difference whether its on or off.

So to recap, I would advise against buying the Denon's and probably the Pioneers too, and instead suggest you buy two decent front speakers and add the others as and when you can afford to.

Oh, and stop using the 3ohm speakers, for the reasons that gibbsy referred to.

Cheers @BigStu1972 - all very helpful info! I will take some time to inwardly digest it, and have a look for some other options
 

kosymodo

Active Member
Pioneer have more experience of speaker manufacture than Denon. Personally I would look at specific speaker manufacturers such as Tannoy or QA among others but always with a third party sub as bundled subs invariably tend to be the weakest link.

OK, fair enough. I know absolutely nothing about speakers, though that's no doubt perfectly obvious from my previous posts! Will see if I can find anything else in Richer Sounds. I was attracted to the speaker packages, rather than buying individually, as I know nothing about them.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What is your budget?
 

kosymodo

Active Member
Couple things;

Size and layout. what typr of speakers can you accommodate?
Budget?

Also, what will you be using it for? just movies or a mix of movies and music

There are so many options that it's literally a minefield.

At work at the mo, but will get some measurements done this evening.

Speakers should be smallish, preferably stand-mountable.

Budget is probably £150 max, for now. Whether that will get me a speaker package like the Pioneer/Denon mentioned above, or just concentrate on front speakers first, is something I need guidance on.

They'll only be used for 'TV' - so Sky Q, TV, Xbox One S (games and uhd blu-rays)
 

dollag

Well-known Member
I would defo go for the fronts 1st and maybe try and pick up second hand.

Q Acoustics Speakers Per Pair
A great little speaker that would be a large upgrade from your sony system sound quality wise and is a bargain at £79 a pair. 2 pairs of these and a centre speaker and sub is all that's needed.

I found this on ebay and whilst not a perfect match, should keep the tonal signature from your front right, left and centre speakers.
Q Acoustics 1000ci Centre Speaker - Great Sound - Never Used | eBay

Total £190 for a 5.0 system.

you will need a subwoofer to complete this but system and can pick up a decent second hand sub for decent money. the brand does not need to match the rest of your speaker system.

BK electronics do some great subs for decent money but are out of your price range. I have seen them pop up in the classifieds for approx £150
 

kosymodo

Active Member
I would defo go for the fronts 1st and maybe try and pick up second hand.

Q Acoustics Speakers Per Pair
A great little speaker that would be a large upgrade from your sony system sound quality wise and is a bargain at £79 a pair. 2 pairs of these and a centre speaker and sub is all that's needed.

I found this on ebay and whilst not a perfect match, should keep the tonal signature from your front right, left and centre speakers.
Q Acoustics 1000ci Centre Speaker - Great Sound - Never Used | eBay

Total £190 for a 5.0 system.

you will need a subwoofer to complete this but system and can pick up a decent second hand sub for decent money. the brand does not need to match the rest of your speaker system.

BK electronics do some great subs for decent money but are out of your price range. I have seen them pop up in the classifieds for approx £150

You sir are a scholar and a gentleman! Thanks for looking in so much detail [emoji106]

I’ll have a look at what you’ve suggested and see what I can do about getting some bits ordered
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
You sir are a scholar and a gentleman! Thanks for looking in so much detail [emoji106]

I’ll have a look at what you’ve suggested and see what I can do about getting some bits ordered
Report back with what you find on eBay or elsewhere as its likely someone on here will have experience of the speakers and be able to offer their advice.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
As your budget is limited I would suggest spending it on a front pair, or if possible the front three from the same model range. You can get some bargains on the second hand market. Even just a front pair of good, if old, speakers will enhance your sound then build from there. A good buy for you is if you could track down something like KEF 3005 Eggs, they are so easy to integrate and expand on with other KEF speakers.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
As @gibbsy said the Kef 3005 are a great speaker I am currently still using the for my rears due to size constraints.

Are they better than the Q acoustics? probably not as they are a satellite speaker rather than a small book shelf; however they look better imo and are pretty small so can be wall mounted with ease.

A black pair here;
2 x KEF KHT3005SE HTS-3001SE Home Cinema Surround Sound Speakers Gloss Black | eBay

Another here;
Kef KHT3005 SURROUND SOUND SPEAKERS INCLUDING FLOOR STANDS 637203024214 | eBay

Another here;
KEF HTS-3001SE Home Cinema Satelite or Stereo Speakers x 2! Gloss Black! 637203200052 | eBay

A centre here;
KEF KHT3001SE Home Cinema Centre Speakers Gloss Black | eBay

Remeber you would need a sub with these as satellite speaker generaly focus on the higher frequencies and rely on a sub for lower ones.

A full set here ;
KEF 3005 SE home cinema package | eBay

This was a £1000 5.1 system when released.
 

kosymodo

Active Member
Thanks all for your input thus far...I’ll have a lot more chance at the weekend to do some more research.

In the meantime...thoughts on Tannoy HTS-101?
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Thanks all for your input thus far...I’ll have a lot more chance at the weekend to do some more research.

In the meantime...thoughts on Tannoy HTS-101?

A detailed thread here regarding a forum member testing the tannoys. They were up against the MA mass 5.1 which is more comparable to the KEf 3005 Eggs
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Tannoys are very well reviewed. If however you buy used then compared to the KEFs the KEFs are far superior in build quality which is something to take into consideration.
 

Meyrick Man

Well-known Member
I'd try the 2nd hand route for q acoustics 1000/2000/2010 series and a centre speaker maybe for upto £150 as for subwoofer I use Yamaha YSTFSW050 which can be had for £50ish and is a great budget sub IMO. I use mine for a mixture of gaming/Films and music and it sounds superb for peanuts really.
 

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