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jgill1976
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Question About Upgrades

Hi all. I'm new to this forum, but not new to the world of audio. I've got a question about my next upgrade. First, I should probably tell you what is in my system. Even though I prefer 2 channel, my system is built for both 2 and 5.1. Here's the system

Rotel RSP-1068 PreAmp
Rotel RMB-1095 Amp
Rotel RCD-1072 CD Player
Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD Player
Pioneer BDP-94HD BluRay Player
B&W XT4 Fronts
B&W XTC Center
Martin Logan Depth Sub
Transparent Musicwave Plus interconnects and speaker wire
Richard Gray Power Company

Unfortunately, I do not have the room on my front wall to get a big speaker, because I was thinking of some 803D's by B&W. So, I was thinking about upgrading my Amp and PreAmp. What do you all think about Parasound's halo line? Or if you were me, where would you consider upgrading? Unfortunately, I don't have 10's of thousands to spend, so I'd like to limit my upgrade to between 5 and 7 thousand. Any advice is very welcomed.

Thank You

bifcake
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Re: Question About Upgrades

I think your system is fine the way it is. I think that unless you're willing to upgrade your speakers, there is no point in upgrading your electronics. Either invest the 7k into a set of really good speakers or just sit back and enjoy your music.

jgill1976
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Re: Question About Upgrades

I'd love to be able to upgrade my speakers. Problem is, I don't have room for anything on my front wall that is wider than 8 or 9 inches. Speakers need room and shouldn't be crammed in. I am drooling for a pair of 803d's right now.

bifcake
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Re: Question About Upgrades

If you don't have the room, then just keep what you have. Else, you'll wind up spending an awful lot of money for very marginal upgrades.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Question About Upgrades

Jimmy G - I think the first question to you is "What do you feel your system is lacking that you feel you need an upgrade?" Do you really feel something is missing from your system, or do you just have the upgrade bug? In at least one table tennis forum I check out, players refer to themselves as EJs (which I assume stands for Equipment Junkies), when they constantly buy stuff before getting used to what they have. Some people here might have some suggestions if they knew what you were trying to achieve. It's possible you might gain more by getting room treatments. Tell us more.

jgill1976
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Re: Question About Upgrades

Ok, my living room, dining room, breakfast room, and kitchen are basically all one big room. I don't know how familiar you guys are with the B&W XT4's, but they have a 5" mid and two 5" bass drivers. My highs are great, my mids are good, but that frequency range below the mids and before the sub kicks in is severely lacking. (I hope that made sense.) As far as the upgrade bug is concerned, that always has me. I'm always looking for the next step. Then again, once you get into this "hobby", who isn't?

bifcake
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Re: Question About Upgrades

Upgrading your electronics will not do much for your bass. That's a speaker upgrade. You can get a sub since you can't fit bigger speakers in your living space. Perhaps that's a better approach.

Monty
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Re: Question About Upgrades

That very well could be a room/speaker positioning type of problem.

Whenever you have speakers improperly placed in a room, you can create peaks and nulls in the frequency response. Peaks will almost always have corresponding nulls. Room treatments can help, but the first step would be making sure you have your speakers placed as well as your room will allow.

You could also have a problem with your speakers' crossover not seamlessly passing the signal between the drivers, but I'd start with positioning them well before I spent any money. I'd also experiment with the sub placement and crossover point. It just might be that a 40 hz crossover will have a more seamless integration when you consider the room loading that your mains are creating.

jgill1976
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Re: Question About Upgrades

ok, about speaker placement. Both my left and right fronts are about a foot away from the wall. That's about as far away as I can get them without putting them in the middle of the walk way. They are pointed towards the main listening point. The left towards my left ear, the right towards my right ear. The sub is about 4 feet to the left of the front left. My sub is a Martin Logan depth, which my audio dealer boasts is the second best sub to the Martin Logan Descent.

As for room treatments. I had a major echo problem when I first moved in. The guys at my audio dealer said to buy some thick rugs and it will cure that problem. It did, but when I put the rugs in, it totally threw my sound off. All of a sudden my highs are too much and my lows have been minimized. I retuned the system, and same thing. I experimented with increasing the volume both on the back of the sub and through my preamps settings, and my deep bass is fine, but I'm lacking the upper bass. At least I call it upper bass. In other words the bass that's below the mids and before the lows. Example, when listening to a rock song, the drums get lost and the guitar is too loud. However, the kick drum or deeper bass is fine.

I spoke to my dealer about getting a set of 804's because the 803's are too big, and he said that would be a side step and a waste of money. According to him the amount of improvement from and XT4 to an 804 is little to none. While I appreciate his honesty, he can not give me an answer to my problem. He says try more expensive speaker wire, because when you move up the line in transparents cables, it supposedly gives you tighter bass. While I'm not debating that more expensive wire would improve things, I do not think that is the cure to my problem.

Now for a couple of stupid statements. This is just my ranting and venting frustration. I'm beginning to wonder if B&W is all it is supposed to be. Did I make a mistake by going with B&W and not going with Focal JMLabs or Paradigm? When I first got into this world, I went with B&W over Paradigm because the highs on Paradigm just sounded muffled to me. I did not know who Focal was until recently, but I must say I fell in love with them when I heard them. Sometimes I'd like to go back to the old days with my old Sherwood Newcastle receiver and Energy speakers. No, I really wouldn't but it's just me venting aggravation.

Monty
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Re: Question About Upgrades

My best guess is that you are getting too much 50hz and lower and it's killing your 100hz frequencies due to the speakers being too close to the wall. I don't think that's a speaker or electronics issue so much as a speaker placement issue.

Speakers placed that close to walls will reenforce some frequencies at the expense of creating big suckouts in the upper bass/lower mids.

You could invest a small amount in a test meter to confirm the peaks and nulls and begin working on reducing them. Once you begin reducing these placement problems, all sorts of good things start happening. The stage expands, focus is improved and depth is created. I really do think new speakers placed in the same spot won't be much of an improvement...unless you opt for speakers designed for near boundary placement and they can have issues of their own.

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