What's the weak link in my setup?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by izools, Apr 30, 2018.

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  1. izools

    izools
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    Last year a friend of mine wanted to venture into the home cinema market and tasked me with finding him the best setup for £500 (Receiver / Speakers / Accessories).

    I set about scouring the market and concluded second hand was the best bet.

    We ended up with an Onkyo TX-NR609 and a Q Acoustics 2000i 5.1 Speaker system.

    I visited him last weekend and was absolutely blown away by how good it sounds. It makes my system sound like I'm listening to a soundtrack underwater by comparison.

    My setup comprises:

    Yamaha RX-V379 Receiver
    Tannoy Mercury F3 Custom Fronts
    Tannoy Mercury FC Custom Centre
    Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom Rears
    Tannoy TS10 Subwoofer

    My speakers are knocking on the door of ten years old and my receiver oh probably three years old.

    What's the weak link in my setup? The Amp or the speakers?

    Would I be better finding myself a TX-NR609, or a Q Acoustics 2000i speaker package? (Yes yes I know, both, but gun to the head one or the other what would you go for?)

    For note both mine and his receivers are being fed DTS HD or Dolby True HD audio tracks.
     
  2. citywalker

    citywalker
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    Long shot, but your receiver is cheapest entry level, his is lower midrange.
    Can't you swap the receivers and try out? Room creates different sound too...
     
  3. izools

    izools
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    Sure.

    I purchased the amp at a pinch as my old TX-SR605 died (which I purchased at the same time as the Tannoys) around Christmas '15 and had to budget; WhatHiFi awarded the Yammy five stars so I presumed it was great value for money, but then again the TX-NR609 was their product of the year 2011 hands down highly acclaimed fantastic receiver.

    I can certainly speak to my friend about a possible lend but I feel it's a big ask, we live in different cities.

    It must be said even on my old Onkyo I was never enamored by the Tannoy's top end, it always lacked the openness and sparkle I'd become accustomed to with my previous B&W DM602.5 S3 Stereo setup.

    Damn, they were nice.

    Hmm, my mind is thinking back to 2008 here and I'm thinking I made a grave mistake replacing those beautiful B&W floorstanders.

    I feel a change in the air.
     
  4. citywalker

    citywalker
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    Your Tannoys and previous B&Ws are like night and day. Nothing to compare.
    Change your speakers first. And then of course receiver too.
    Stereo amplifier sounds always better than similar priced receiver. You should spend at least 3x more for receiver to get same sound quality.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  5. miguelbarroso

    miguelbarroso
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    I would say you start with the front speakers, next the receiver, then the subwoofer and finally the rear speakers.

    And if your budget is small, go 2nd hand. I've been doing that and I don't regret.
     
  6. izools

    izools
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    Yes definitely agree with everything that's been said.

    I was hoping to find a good value set of the B&W 685 Theatre second hand but no luck;

    I'm certainly going to squirrel away some cash and treat myself around my birthday in December. It's time; once a decade on speakers I can justify :D

    I'll give myself a £1,500 budget for receiver and speakers. I've been eyeing up the Dali Zensor 1 5.1 system; it seems to have been met with rave reviews; the fit and finish would go perfectly in my lounge too.

    Now, receiver wise, I'm open to suggestion. I've liked the sound of Onkyo in the past, the TX-SR605, and the TX-NR609 pleased my ears greatly.

    Do we think the TX-NR676 is comparable? Or is there something else in the market today I should be considering around the £500-£600 mark?
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    'I've been eyeing up the Dali Zensor 1 5.1 system; it seems to have been met with rave reviews'.

    'I made a grave mistake replacing those beautiful B&W floorstanders.'


    Ensure you go have a listen to Dali and B&W within your price range - 'Reviews' don't always translate to something which 'you' like the sound of.

    Your AVR is the most obvious 'weak' link in the current system - would be good to try your Tannoy speakers with a better quality AVR as a 'first step'.

    Joe

    PS I guess we are all assuming your speakers are placed correctly, your room is not a quirky shape and you don't have a wooden floor, lots of glass and no soft furnishings :)
     
  8. izools

    izools
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    Yeah there are a lot of variables at play.

    The lounge is somewhat quirky in so much as the staircase from downstairs and leading upstairs is at the back of the room as opposed to in a separate hallway, with my sofa and rear speakers up against it.

    As we have a long weekend ahead of us I'm going to be playing with speaker placement, furniture placement, amp configuration, and the such like.

    When it comes time to upgrade - which I feel is in the air around Christmas / new years I'll definitely heed your advice with regards listening before buying. I did with my B&Ws - that's why I ended up pairing them to the NAD C350 over a C320 back in the day; it just had more weight and dynamics to it even at modest listening levels.

    I didn't listen to any of my current setup before buying. Bad Nick.

    The landscape may have changed altogether come December / January anyway; there's some fascinating deals out there.

    Denon AVR-X3400H and the Q Acoustics 3050 5.1 System are looking like a very tantalizing prospect for the budget. I'm just going to enjoy and make the most of what I have until year end for now.

    Thanks for the advice guys :)
     

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