What will make the biggest difference?

JonnyMan

Active Member
I am after a bit of assistance please....

I upgraded my TV to the Sony A90J and now feel I need to get the sound to a level that does it justice. I have the TV, PS5 and currently 4x B&W speakers. 2x 607 and 2x older CM2 (which still sound great). The receiver I have is older, Onkyo TS-XR608 and will likely be the first thing to go. I am using the A90J as the centre channel and have two speakers and as the front and two as surround.

The question I have is what will make the biggest difference and what should I prioritise?
  • a new receiver with 4k/8k, hdmi 2.1 and all the latest Dolby etc
  • a subwoofer (would probably lean towards B&W ASW608/610)
  • a new centre speaker (the TV is good but surely not as good as a decent speaker). Would probably stick with B&W so HTM6?
  • also keen on atmos speakers but feel like this is the last piece of the jigsaw.

Would love to be able to just but everything all at once but will likely stagger things - so any advice on order / priority would be great. Also any advice on receivers, subs and Atmos speakers would be great!

Hopefully I've posted this in the right place. Thanks!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
New receiver if you require newer 4k connections (hdmi 2.0b / hdcp 2.3). Hdmi 2.1 (8k) mainly for gamers. And if you want Atmos/DTS:X, but you should build 5.1 system first. Your receiver supports the latest HD sound formats Dolby True HD/DTS HD MA and DD+ so i wouldn´t say this is outdated yet. If you could somehow postpone the purchase of receiver till summer when the new models are announced then you will start to see discounts for these outgoing models. Usually summer or the end of it is the best time to get one! You would most likely be looking Denon X2700H level receiver most likely unless you want to go 5.1.4 / 7.1.4 then you need 9.2 receiver. 600-1000£. Of course you could buy used too, but it´s always risky without warranty..

Center channel for sure if you can place it at decent height and your front mains are +2m apart, preferably not inside av-unit shooting knees as we typically see as this channel is most active with movies! Looks like it´s your lucky day. I found one HTM6 in stock for 299£ at Audio-T Manchester so local shop to you. Demo unit in very good condition. It´s still bit too expensive so i would have a talk of further discount. There is always air in the prices, push the guys little..

I would have personally jumped on quality subwoofer first, but seeing there is cheaper center channel you might want to get that. Most b&w speakers used are way overpriced. As for the subwoofer you shouldn´t buy the B&W sub! There is so many options that would be better than the 550£ costing ASW610. There is no requirement for you to buy matching sub to speakers. Rather you will look something from company that specializes in to those so you get better product even for less cost. Ideally you would share your room size (with possible openings) and usage movie/music%, size requirements if any and colour/finish too. Also do you live in detached house/semi or apartment with neighbours.

Atmos speakers last. Overhead speakers in- or on-ceiling, front/rear height channels mounted just below ceiling shooting down or upfiring aka bounce. There is long way to go there so worry about the other things first.
 

JonnyMan

Active Member
New receiver if you require newer 4k connections (hdmi 2.0b / hdcp 2.3). Hdmi 2.1 (8k) mainly for gamers. And if you want Atmos/DTS:X, but you should build 5.1 system first. Your receiver supports the latest HD sound formats Dolby True HD/DTS HD MA and DD+ so i wouldn´t say this is outdated yet. If you could somehow postpone the purchase of receiver till summer when the new models are announced then you will start to see discounts for these outgoing models. Usually summer or the end of it is the best time to get one! You would most likely be looking Denon X2700H level receiver most likely unless you want to go 5.1.4 / 7.1.4 then you need 9.2 receiver. 600-1000£. Of course you could buy used too, but it´s always risky without warranty..

Center channel for sure if you can place it at decent height and your front mains are +2m apart, preferably not inside av-unit shooting knees as we typically see as this channel is most active with movies! Looks like it´s your lucky day. I found one HTM6 in stock for 299£ at Audio-T Manchester so local shop to you. Demo unit in very good condition. It´s still bit too expensive so i would have a talk of further discount. There is always air in the prices, push the guys little..

I would have personally jumped on quality subwoofer first, but seeing there is cheaper center channel you might want to get that. Most b&w speakers used are way overpriced. As for the subwoofer you shouldn´t buy the B&W sub! There is so many options that would be better than the 550£ costing ASW610. There is no requirement for you to buy matching sub to speakers. Rather you will look something from company that specializes in to those so you get better product even for less cost. Ideally you would share your room size (with possible openings) and usage movie/music%, size requirements if any and colour/finish too. Also do you live in detached house/semi or apartment with neighbours.

Atmos speakers last. Overhead speakers in- or on-ceiling, front/rear height channels mounted just below ceiling shooting down or upfiring aka bounce. There is long way to go there so worry about the other things first.
Wow. Thanks for much for the detailed response. Will check out that centre speaker tomorrow then hunt for a sub and wait on the receiver until the later models are released. Really appreciate you taking time to write such a detailed response.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Wow. Thanks for much for the detailed response. Will check out that centre speaker tomorrow then hunt for a sub and wait on the receiver until the later models are released. Really appreciate you taking time to write such a detailed response.

Before you buy or choose any sub make a thread here or bump this thread so you don´t come asking " i just bought sub is this any good". :) Happens sometimes. And tell us those things i asked regarding the room/usage plus budget!
 

JonnyMan

Active Member
Before you buy or choose any sub make a thread here or bump this thread so you don´t come asking " i just bought sub is this any good". :) Happens sometimes. And tell us those things i asked regarding the room/usage plus budget!
Will do, I'll share the additional info you said would help later.
 

JonnyMan

Active Member
New receiver if you require newer 4k connections (hdmi 2.0b / hdcp 2.3). Hdmi 2.1 (8k) mainly for gamers. And if you want Atmos/DTS:X, but you should build 5.1 system first. Your receiver supports the latest HD sound formats Dolby True HD/DTS HD MA and DD+ so i wouldn´t say this is outdated yet. If you could somehow postpone the purchase of receiver till summer when the new models are announced then you will start to see discounts for these outgoing models. Usually summer or the end of it is the best time to get one! You would most likely be looking Denon X2700H level receiver most likely unless you want to go 5.1.4 / 7.1.4 then you need 9.2 receiver. 600-1000£. Of course you could buy used too, but it´s always risky without warranty..

Center channel for sure if you can place it at decent height and your front mains are +2m apart, preferably not inside av-unit shooting knees as we typically see as this channel is most active with movies! Looks like it´s your lucky day. I found one HTM6 in stock for 299£ at Audio-T Manchester so local shop to you. Demo unit in very good condition. It´s still bit too expensive so i would have a talk of further discount. There is always air in the prices, push the guys little..

I would have personally jumped on quality subwoofer first, but seeing there is cheaper center channel you might want to get that. Most b&w speakers used are way overpriced. As for the subwoofer you shouldn´t buy the B&W sub! There is so many options that would be better than the 550£ costing ASW610. There is no requirement for you to buy matching sub to speakers. Rather you will look something from company that specializes in to those so you get better product even for less cost. Ideally you would share your room size (with possible openings) and usage movie/music%, size requirements if any and colour/finish too. Also do you live in detached house/semi or apartment with neighbours.

Atmos speakers last. Overhead speakers in- or on-ceiling, front/rear height channels mounted just below ceiling shooting down or upfiring aka bounce. There is long way to go there so worry about the other things first.
The main use would be movies/TV/gaming. We will live semi detached house, so neighbours next door but I don't think they use the room immediately next to this one. We have a 16 month old kid so don't want a sub that will rattle my whole house and wake her up!

1642143959611.png

Rudimentary markup of the space. Green is TV and red crosses the existing speakers, the front blue area is 3.5m and the distance from front to back wall is 4m. The back wall is about 4.3m. The back wall is pitched as room is on top floor. So wont be able to put any speakers high above sitting position but could potentially get Atmos up firing ones at front and back?

Included a pic as imagine that makes it easier to understand (ignore the mess, wires and guinea pig cage which helps keep daughter away from TV!)
1642144728987.png

It seems like a sensible way of doing things would be to prioritise the sub and centre speaker, then a new receiver later in the year with the latest tech and Atmos speakers to compliment that.

For the sub i had been looking at the B&W ASW 608 as it was on the sale at £350 and seemed to get good reviews, plus was nice and small.

Ideally I would like stuff to work in a bigger room also, as it is likely we will move in the next few years.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
Would be worth posting you thoughts on a subwoofer in the subwoofer section of the forum but IMO the ASW608 is not going to be suitable for what is actually quite a large space overall.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
The main use would be movies/TV/gaming. We will live semi detached house, so neighbours next door but I don't think they use the room immediately next to this one. We have a 16 month old kid so don't want a sub that will rattle my whole house and wake her up!

View attachment 1636144
Rudimentary markup of the space. Green is TV and red crosses the existing speakers, the front blue area is 3.5m and the distance from front to back wall is 4m. The back wall is about 4.3m. The back wall is pitched as room is on top floor. So wont be able to put any speakers high above sitting position but could potentially get Atmos up firing ones at front and back?

Included a pic as imagine that makes it easier to understand (ignore the mess, wires and guinea pig cage which helps keep daughter away from TV!)
View attachment 1636149
It seems like a sensible way of doing things would be to prioritise the sub and centre speaker, then a new receiver later in the year with the latest tech and Atmos speakers to compliment that.

For the sub i had been looking at the B&W ASW 608 as it was on the sale at £350 and seemed to get good reviews, plus was nice and small.

Ideally I would like stuff to work in a bigger room also, as it is likely we will move in the next few years.
I would pull your speakers forward, a) so not so close to the wall, and b) so the sound doesnt reflect of the top of the AV cabinet.

I would agree on the sub and centre first, this will improve the sound far more than the AVR. At least you can plug your ps5 directly to TV to make use of the hdmi 2.1 features.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
wrong thread, sorry
 

JonnyMan

Active Member
I would pull your speakers forward, a) so not so close to the wall, and b) so the sound doesnt reflect of the top of the AV cabinet.

I would agree on the sub and centre first, this will improve the sound far more than the AVR. At least you can plug your ps5 directly to TV to make use of the hdmi 2.1 features.
Thanks for tip. Have done this now! Yes PS5 going directly to TV at the moment and TV going to receiver. Everything seems to run fine but conscious it's been a while since I bought the receiver and I know technology has moved on.
 

JustinT350

Active Member
When I upgraded my subwoofer it made a massive difference.

Atmos upgrade was nice also but not nearly as big a difference as the subwoofer
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
tv as a center is a big no-no, if you have the sub resolved i'd be looking to sort out that center ASAP. certainly those two will have a bigger impact than a new amp or atmos.
 

JonnyMan

Active Member
tv as a center is a big no-no, if you have the sub resolved i'd be looking to sort out that center ASAP. certainly those two will have a bigger impact than a new amp or atmos.
Even if it's the A90J, I thought it was pretty solid?
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
It's not going to be matched to your b&w's , any sound processing in the tv is going to cause it to be out of timing with your mains, and I imagine it is tuned to the sony sound bar. It may be good for a tv, but not as part of an external system, at least for me
 

JonnyMan

Active Member
New receiver if you require newer 4k connections (hdmi 2.0b / hdcp 2.3). Hdmi 2.1 (8k) mainly for gamers. And if you want Atmos/DTS:X, but you should build 5.1 system first. Your receiver supports the latest HD sound formats Dolby True HD/DTS HD MA and DD+ so i wouldn´t say this is outdated yet. If you could somehow postpone the purchase of receiver till summer when the new models are announced then you will start to see discounts for these outgoing models. Usually summer or the end of it is the best time to get one! You would most likely be looking Denon X2700H level receiver most likely unless you want to go 5.1.4 / 7.1.4 then you need 9.2 receiver. 600-1000£. Of course you could buy used too, but it´s always risky without warranty..

Center channel for sure if you can place it at decent height and your front mains are +2m apart, preferably not inside av-unit shooting knees as we typically see as this channel is most active with movies! Looks like it´s your lucky day. I found one HTM6 in stock for 299£ at Audio-T Manchester so local shop to you. Demo unit in very good condition. It´s still bit too expensive so i would have a talk of further discount. There is always air in the prices, push the guys little..

I would have personally jumped on quality subwoofer first, but seeing there is cheaper center channel you might want to get that. Most b&w speakers used are way overpriced. As for the subwoofer you shouldn´t buy the B&W sub! There is so many options that would be better than the 550£ costing ASW610. There is no requirement for you to buy matching sub to speakers. Rather you will look something from company that specializes in to those so you get better product even for less cost. Ideally you would share your room size (with possible openings) and usage movie/music%, size requirements if any and colour/finish too. Also do you live in detached house/semi or apartment with neighbours.

Atmos speakers last. Overhead speakers in- or on-ceiling, front/rear height channels mounted just below ceiling shooting down or upfiring aka bounce. There is long way to go there so worry about the other things first.
I have got them down to £279 for the B&W HTM6. Does that seem a good deal or would anyone recommend a difference centre speaker?
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Thanks for tip. Have done this now! Yes PS5 going directly to TV at the moment and TV going to receiver. Everything seems to run fine but conscious it's been a while since I bought the receiver and I know technology has moved on.
How does it sound with them pulled forward? You will need to rerun any auto calibration / room correction with the speakers in the new position.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
I have got them down to £279 for the B&W HTM6. Does that seem a good deal or would anyone recommend a difference centre speaker?
you want the center to match the main LR as much as possible, id be sticking with B&W
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I have got them down to £279 for the B&W HTM6. Does that seem a good deal or would anyone recommend a difference centre speaker?

Hey mate my mistake you have the CM2 speakers at front of course. So with that in mind you would ideally want the CM center, however the outgoing prices are bit silly for such old speakers so talk with the seller. You have front mains rather close to front walls, but this is likely due to kid if he would go touch them. Ideally they would be brought at the front edge of the unit. They are also too low as the tweeters should at seated ear height. Your tv should be wall mounted so you get the center channel on top of the unit.


The newer CM S2 is very close in price too:

Best option would be third CM2 vertically upright just like your main L/R. That would mean you would find a pair and use one.. Identical front three = best scenario.

Great choice with the subwoofer. No atmos speakers at rear as there is no space. I would consider front heights mounted high up on front wall (white speakers) and then hide the wires with white trunking. Dali Alteco C-1 example.
 
Last edited:

JonnyMan

Active Member
Hey mate my mistake you have the CM2 speakers at front of course. So with that in mind you would ideally want the CM center, however the outgoing prices are bit silly for such old speakers so talk with the seller. You have front mains rather close to front walls, but this is likely due to kid if he would go touch them. Ideally they would be brought at the front edge of the unit. They are also too low as the tweeters should at seated ear height. Your tv should be wall mounted so you get the center channel on top of the unit.


The newer CM S2 is very close in price too:

Best option would be third CM2 vertically upright just like your main L/R. That would mean you would find a pair and use one.. Identical front three = best scenario.

Great choice with the subwoofer. No atmos speakers at rear as there is no space. I would consider front heights mounted high up on front wall (white speakers) and then hide the wires with white trunking. Dali Alteco C-1 example.

Thanks for all the detail. I've moved the speakers forward after someone else made the same comment. I'll likely reduce size of media unit and get the front speakers on stands at ear height. I have the b&w 606 and back and CM2 at front. Can't remember why I did it that way but I can swap them if it would make a difference for the better and pair the 606 with the HTM6 centre.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the detail. I've moved the speakers forward after someone else made the same comment. I'll likely reduce size of media unit and get the front speakers on stands at ear height. I have the b&w 606 and back and CM2 at front. Can't remember why I did it that way but I can swap them if it would make a difference for the better and pair the 606 with the HTM6 centre.

I thought you said 607. Anyway the CM range is step up from 600 serie so it wouldn´t make sense that way.
 

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