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post #11 of 17 Old 09-28-07, 04:45 AM
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Re: Upgrading

I will chip in my two cents worth.

Upgrading can make a huge difference and you do not have to spend masses more than your current speakers. Speakers in a similar price range do sound different and IMO it is a matter of personal taste, technically if you buy new speakers they may not be 'better' but if they sound more pleasing to you that is what matters in the end.

I had JBL XTi80 floorstanders for a couple of years and I really liked them. I however got a bit bored with them, had a bit of money and just wanted something new. I went to several stores and listened to various speakers, some were a lot cheaper than the JBLs and some were five times the price, I listened to some $500 bookshelf speakers and to my ear they sounded better than another brands $1400 bookshelf speakers. I bought neither in the end but ended up buying bookshelf speakers from another store that cost roughly 50% more than the JBL speakers, not a horrendous amount financially but to ME a very good and worthwhile upgrade. (Just my opinion, when comparing floorstanders and bookshelf speakers in a similar price range the bookshelf speakers do tend to sound better if you do not mind giving up some of the bass.) I bought Amphion Argon2's and the difference to me was immense, music had a lot more detail, small things like a finger running up the neck of a guitar could be heard clearly whereas with the JBLs that sound just was not there. I had a lot of fun listening to most of my music and just picking up small nuances that now came through clearly.

Are my new speakers that much better than the old ones? Realistically, probably not, but they do sound different and I prefer the sound and thus the upgrade was very much worth it for me.

Some people may prefer a bright speaker, others a more subdued sound, it does not really matter. In the end you are the one buying the speakers, also the person who is going to listen to them and so it comes back to being a matter of personal taste. I am also not that sure that buying a very accurate speaker is all that important, now before I get shot down for that almost blasphemous comment let me explain why: As I understand it a lot of music is not all that well produced and mixed, obviously it depends on your taste in music. Lets assume that you have a very good ear, do you really want to hear or have a poor recording exposed by very accurate speakers, IMO it will just diminish the listening experience making it less enjoyable, you would however be able to say to friends look how good my speakers are, they make this song sound bad! Case in question, I really like the Johnny Cash version of Hurt, on the JBLs it sounded great, even at quite high listening levels, listening to the same song with no other equipment upgrades with the Argon2's it sounds pretty terrible at higher volume. I actually thought that there was something wrong with the speakers until I read an article in the local HIFI magazine that mentioned that Hurt is a good track to use to test if your speakers are accurate as there is a lot of distortion added to the song on purpose. A great song no longer sounds so good but I believe I am hearing a more accurate reproduction, in this case I have not gained anything.

My advice to you would be to audition as many speakers as you can with material that you are very familiar with, preferably at home. An upgrade need not be huge in financial terms and quite possibly may not even be better sonically, but again if the sound is more pleasing to YOU then the upgrade can be substantial and worth the effort.

To second JCD, treating your room will also make a huge difference, once the room is treated you should be able to get the best performance out of your current speaers and may well be so impressed by the improvement in sound that there will be no need to 'upgrade', at least unti the itch comes around again.

Hope this ramble helps. These are just my opinions and are not the gospel truth.


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post #12 of 17 Old 09-28-07, 08:35 AM
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Re: Upgrading

Bob_99 wrote: View Post
Would I have to do a quantum leap upgrade to notice a worthwhile difference, especially considering that I don't have a dedicated HT room?
Bob...This is the age old question with everything in our hobby. Many people have talked about many speakers here in this thread from regular drivers to planar's. Each speaker has their plus and minues, and while this may sound very cliche, it is up to you to listen and decide. You need to set a budget, and go out and listen to as many speakers as you can with your music. Try to bring some speakers home for audition if you can so you can hear them in your room on your electronics. You may find out after a bit, that your budget may be too low, or too high for the speakers you end up liking.

For myself, I am one of those ML owners that Sonnie mentions liking. I am a planar fan but I have also heard some very good non-planar speakers.

Remember it all comes down to what you like and what you can afford not what others recommend. Make some time, get some tunes together and go out and enjoy listening to some music. Also do not hesitate to take some road trips further away to get out to as many places as you can.

post #13 of 17 Old 10-24-07, 01:05 PM
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Re: Upgrading

While you may not be able to "borrow" a few sets of speakers to listen to , there is another option. Almost everyone today has a 30 day no questions asked return policy. Now let me make this REALLY clear. No dealer wants you making a stack of demos he has to sell at or below cost, so be up front in your quest. Pick out what you like and ask if there is a demo pair that you could purchase with the stipulation that if you love them and decide to keep them that you are able to swap them out for a new pair or keep the demos at a substantial discount. Many dealers will appreciate your honesty in this way and most will accomodate you if they can. Bear in mind that not all dealers will have all speakers with a demo pair, but you may even be able to "borrow" through the previously mentioned purchase plan their demo floor pair for a night or two. Hope this helps...and by the way you don't have to have a dedicated room to sound good, just a room that you have paid attention to and corrected. MY main system is in my living room as it is my life's hobby (and my wife's thank goodness), but it sounds better than many dedicated rooms because I paid a lot of attention to decor that sounded good (drapes, carpeting, furniture)...if that makes sense to you. Go listen, you may be surprised at how little money may be iinvolved in what you may hear as a major upgrade, but as far as equipment, I'd definitely start with speakers as long as you have the power to drive them properly. Best of luck.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-24-07, 01:19 PM
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Re: Upgrading

First of all it really depends on what your using now. There are plenty of speakers that were made twenty years ago that sound just as good as what are available today. If you only have bookshelf speakers then in most cases an upgrade to tower speakers would most likely make a noticeable difference. There are bookshelf speakers today that wont break the bank that will give some tower speaker a run for there money.
Generally speakers in the $1000 range will sound noticeably better than something in the $400 or less category for obvious reasons. But In my opinion there tends to be little difference from the $1600 to $2500 range, more so looks than anything else again what you like may not be what I like for sound in a speaker.
As has been mentioned before Listen, Listen, Listen and find what you like not what a sales person tells you to like.

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post #15 of 17 Old 10-25-07, 06:13 PM
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Re: Upgrading

The LSis are a pretty nice, for the money, music and HT line. They take more current (4 ohm) than many competing lines, but they are by far the best current Polk line. If you walked into the purchase without having firm preferences to what you wanted in a speaker set...I think you did pretty darned good. I'm sensitive to the age issue myself...I keep telling myself bands don't sound as good as they used to...am I right or my hearing gone...don't want to know, so the bands don't sound as good

If you're not giving them separate amplification now, then that's where I'd start. 2-300 watts at 4ohms will wake them up. If your system is up to it already, then start auditioning, there's alot out there.
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-26-07, 02:22 PM
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Re: Upgrading

Hehe Ron, us "old timers" seem to gather the same response and I agree with you...bands just don't sound as good as they used to...except of course the "old" bands! Get the newest Pink Floyd or especially David Gilmour's and I think you'll agree those old boys can still play and play VERY VERY well!
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-26-07, 02:44 PM
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Re: Upgrading

I agree about PF and DG...saw Genesis earlier this month here in SJ. I hadn't seen them since the early 80s, IIRC. They used to be one of the most pristine performance bands around. That night the bass was overamped and distorted, muddy midrange and Phil Collins vocals were in and out. I was really disappointed...great to see them again, but what happened. Maybe it was the venue or maybe this is what you get in an 18-20K arena. Couldn't possibly be my ears

Enough of a derail..............

Last edited by Ron Temple; 10-26-07 at 02:46 PM. Reason: sp
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