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Thread: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

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    Default Advice needed for speaker upgrade


    Hi guys, my current system comprises of the following:

    - Denon 3806
    - Infinity Primus 250 L/R
    - Infinity Primus center
    - Infinity sub
    - Infinity Primus bookshelves for surround

    I am planning to upgrade my receiver to the Denon 3312 (any advice on this? It is either Denon or Onkyo 809) and am thinking of upgrading the speakers down the line, maybe in a few months of saving up. I am considering the Kef iQ50 or iQ70 or maybe even iQ90 (which one is better suited for the receiver?) for front L/R channels and compatible Kef speakers for center and surrounds (no room for more than a 5.1 system). Can anyone confirm this will be a good combination? I know how it is important to listen for yourself but in my country that is not really an option. It is either Kef or Focal which are a bit out of my budget, or even Klipsch if I save enough. These speakers are readily available with a local distributor.

    I also need advice on a good compatible sub for this same system.

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    R.I.P. Loves2Watch ev666il's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Hi darrko,

    what's the primary use of your theater: movies or music? Is there anything you specifically dislike in your Infinity speakers, or any characteristic you wouldn't want your new speakers to have? Conversely, is there something you especially like your current speakers, which you'd want the new ones to also exhibit? Is design gonna be a factor at all?

    As for the sub, bass is adirectional and doesn't need to be timber-matched, so any subwoofer will work well with anything you purchase. For movies, it's vital to get deep bass even at the cost of speed; for music it's advisable to favor speed over extension. Having both is obviously a best case scenario. Check out the offerings from companies like Epik, HSU, SVS, JL Audio, Velodyne, Sunfire, et cetera. They all make good products for pretty much every price range.

    Last but not least, as I always suggest, check out the second-hand market: it will often get you a lot more value for your money compared to buying new stuff ;-)

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Evill nailed it on the head. What model number is your sub?? This is important because Infinity makes some terrific subs, and you might have to spend $700 plus to see a REAL improvement. Evill also has a good question about the speakers, do you dis like them? or do you just feel the need to upgrade??? The speakers you have are damn good speakers, unless they have characteristics that you don't care for. I will say KEF and Infinity make very different sounding speakers. To answer your question about the Kef's, yes they are fantastic speakers. Have you auditioned any of the above speakers?? that would be the best thing for you to do.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Thanks for the replies fellas.

    There isn't really anything wrong with the way my speakers sound, I just feel that it may be time to upgrade to something better. I bought these at the time I got the Denon 3806 and I bought the speakers that were most economical. I liked how they sounded but now that I am upgrading the receiver I would like to consider changing the speakers as well. I read here how the receiver has a very minor role in the resultant sound, the speakers do most of the work and I don't want to get the latest receiver and yet be tied down because of my speakers.

    I agree that the best thing would be the audition the speakers, but from people like yourselves who know much more about these things than I do, which of the Kef speakers mentioned would you say are better matched with the 3312, as in not too over the top and not too subdued? I am prepared to upgrade just the front 3 channel speakers for now, am I correct in assuming that upgrading surround speakers is not really necessary because its just ambient sound?

    My main purpose remains movie watching. My sub is the PS410 if I recall correctly, I will confirm when I get back home later.

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    And yes, design IS a factor....as is size. My room is not too big (around 16' x 18' unfortunately the viewing is on the 16' side) and the Primus I have are quite slim so I would prefer the slim side of speakers as the broad floor-standing ones may look too daunting. The max distance between the seat and the speakers is not going to be more than 11'.

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    R.I.P. Loves2Watch ev666il's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    11 feet is enough of a distance between you and your speakers. I wouldn't brand the receiver's role as "minimal" but it is undeniably true that speakers are the component with the most influence on sound, so it's important to get what you like from the start. Once speakers are to your liking and suit your listening environment, they'll hardly ever require upgrading (unless of course you heard something you liked better, but that's how things go) - a better receiver can always be bought farther down the road.

    Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the sound of Infinity speakers, so I can't really say whether any of the following brands sound like them. Nevertheless, have a look at Heco and B&W: they both have slim floorstanders in their catalog and may be worth looking into. They sound quite different from one another, though, so beware: Heco is smoother and more neutral, whereas B&W is typically English-sounding (very warm and laid back). Klipsch have a peculiar signature sound for which I'd advise against a blind-buy: either you can audition them, or don't risk it. They're the love-or-hate kind, so better make sure you're not a hater before you get them.

    caliberconst. should be able to cast more light on a few other brands ;-)

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    AVRs should not influence the sound enough to worry about, unless you are using some type of DSP. At that, they all can change the overall sound. Some have better auto calibration, more EQing available, or more power. Denon using Audessey, and I believe the model you listed has a very decent calibration. Room treatment is the second biggest sound issue beyond speakers.
    I would also say that you would not be gaining much by upgrading your current speakers. They are very capable, and unless your trying to get something more specific by upgrading, I would hold off. Just my opinion.
    Something' amiss.

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member trent.memphis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Lots of good companies are making slim floorstanders these days, for the very reason that so many HT buyers are looking for them.

    I don't know Heco at all, but in addition to B&W and KEF, you could look at Paradigm and Definitive Technology, who both have several lines of slender floorstanders and timbre-matched surrounds, in various price ranges. Like you said, Focals are great, but spendy. I bought mine about 13 years ago. They weren't cheap then, but the Utopia line hadn't come along and launched the prices into the stratosphere. PSB is another Canadian brand that's very highly regarded in terms of bang for the buck, who make some nifty slim towers.

    Some of the towers from those makers have their own built-in powered subs (usually side-firing) that reach very low. With a pair of those, you very likely wouldn't need a standalone sub.

    Not being able to audition the speakers with your equipment in your room is going to make any of these kind of a shot in the dark. But Denon has a know, slightly warmish sound, and all the speakers above would be a good match for them. Like evil666 said, the Brits tend to make their speakers rather polite sounding, so Denon gear driving B&Ws or KEFs might be a touch more rolled off on top than you'd like. (OTOH, if you have a bright-sounding room, it might be the perfect combo.)
    Last edited by trent.memphis; 09-22-2011 at 08:51 PM. Reason: clarifying
    Display: Samsung 60" F8500
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR1007
    Blu-Ray: Sony BDP-S6200
    Speakers: DefTech Mythos 6, 9, 6; BP1.2X; SuperCube III
    Vinyl: Michell GyroDec SE, Ortofon Red, Parasound 2100, Acurus A150

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by trent.memphis View Post
    Lots of good companies are making slim floorstanders these days, for the very reason that so many HT buyers are looking for them.

    I don't know Heco at all, but in addition to B&W and KEF, you could look at Paradigm and Definitive Technology, who both have several lines of slender floorstanders and timbre-matched surrounds, in various price ranges. Like you said, Focals are great, but spendy. I bought mine about 13 years ago. They weren't cheap then, but the Utopia line hadn't come along and launched the prices into the stratosphere. PSB is another Canadian brand that's very highly regarded in terms of bang for the buck, who make some nifty slim towers.

    Some of the towers from those makers have their own built-in powered subs (usually side-firing) that reach very low. With a pair of those, you very likely wouldn't need a standalone sub.

    Not being able to audition the speakers with your equipment in your room is going to make any of these kind of a shot in the dark. But Denon has a know, slightly warmish sound, and all the speakers above would be a good match for them. Like evil666 said, the Brits tend to make their speakers rather polite sounding, so Denon gear driving B&Ws or KEFs might be a touch more rolled off on top than you'd like. (OTOH, if you have a bright-sounding room, it might be the perfect combo.)
    Agreed!! I will also mention Mirage makes a stellar sounding set of slim towers. All of that being said I love the OP's choice with the Kef IQ 70's, and 90's these are both outstanding choices and are sure to put a smile on his face. To answer the question of which set is best between the 50 70 and 90, go with the 70's or 90's they are more efficient and, and will give you just a bit more head room, along with less distortion. If you can swing it go for the IQ 90's they are stunning!!! I hate to sound like a broken record but definitely check out some paradigm monitor 7 v.6's they are slender and efficient, the biggest reason I am mentioning these is because store's are clearing out stock to make room for the v.7's so there are great deals to be had. When using just an AVR efficient speakers will be your friend, they are just easier to drive.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Thanks again guys, lots of food for thought for me. I am going to be traveling to Dubai in 2 weeks so I should be able to audition some of the brands mentioned here and get familiar with their sound.

    A bit off-topic, but how do you guys feel about the Denon 3312? I have access to Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer and Denon receivers here. I had the 3806 and I liked it, but to be honest that was my first receiver EVER so I really don't know how much better the other receivers can be. Do you think I could do better than the 3312? I can get it for around $1,500 here. I should also add that the primary reason I am upgrading the receiver is because I have run out of HDMI inputs, plus I intend to purchase the 65VT30 so I need a 3D capable receiver. I already got the Oppo 93 and its lying tucked into its box until I get the TV and receiver. Yeah, I kinda plan ahead because Oppo isn't available here and I had to get a friend to carry it for me from the US. I really want the best.

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by darrko View Post
    I intend to purchase the 65VT30 so I need a 3D capable receiver. I already got the Oppo 93 and its lying tucked into its box until I get the TV and receiver.
    Hi darrko,

    if you own a BDP-93, you don't need a 3D-capable receiver. The OPPO has two HDMI outs so you can use the main HDMI out to feed the video stream directly to your plasma, and the secondary HDMI out to carry audio to your existing receiver.

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    Default Re: Advice needed for speaker upgrade


    You raise a very valid point and I was aware of the dual HDMI outs on the 93 but the 3806 has only 2 HDMI inputs which is far less than I need.
    I need to connect the following devices, at least:

    1. PS3
    2. XBox
    3. Media streamer
    4. Oppo 93

    The 3312 has 7 inputs IIRC which leaves room for future devices as well.

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