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Discussion Starter #1
A lot of us HT'ers are in constant "upgrade research" mode.
But I am hoping to pick up some Ascend speakers (3 340SEs and 2 170SEs for surround duty) and a HSU VTF-3 Mk2 sub in the next month or so. I can't wait, especially because I'm into music so much. This will replace a set of 10yo low-level Infinity speakers and the great budget sub Acoustech H100. I'm not dissatisfied with the H100 (it's a great performer for the money), don't get me wrong, but if I'm going to upgrade my speakers to something that won't need to be upgraded for at least another 10 years, I want to get a sub that will keep up with them. I may also add a BFD into the mix, depending on how flat I can get the sub to sound with placement tweaking.

I'll be keeping my HK AVR330 receiver for a while, definitely, until next-gen receivers (to match HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) come out. But I think I might also upgrade my CD player from a Toshiba DVD changer to something with better DACs and that can read SACDs and other formats.

Anyone else looking/hoping to (or fantasizing about) upgrading their speakers soon?
 

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I don't know if you can call this an upgrade really..but going from a sealed Rythmik Servo to a ported Rythmik servo is currently high on the list of things to do. More of a sideways upgrade than anything, but fun and exciting. Oh and BTW, if you can keep us informed about your experiences with the HSU that would be great. I always wanted an HSU but never could afford the models I wanted...
 

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I just went from PSB Images to VMPS RM30's across the front and VMPS Surrounds in the back. It was a fantasy that became reality. I'm actually about to get my replacement RM30's with the MLS cabinets and CDWG's real soon I hope.

Why have you chosen the HSU subs, or what influenced you?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sonnie said:
Why have you chosen the HSU subs, or what influenced you?

Quality, they seem very musical according to reviews, the VTF-3 is good into the mid-teens for a good price, and I have seen stuff with HSU and other brands that makes me want to support HSU.

Very similar with the Ascends. They seem very flat and very accurate, musical, nice soundstage -- all from reviews of the 170s, and the 340s just up the ante on that. I was actually looking at getting Energy C-3s for a while, supposedly very similar to the 170s according to the reviews on Good Sound. They have (had?) them on audioadvisor for $250, but I think they are out of the Energy center channel. But I keep coming back to the Ascends for their musicality, clarity and accuracy (of course, based on FR charts and reviews by other people, as I have yet to have the pleasure of hearing them).
 

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Would you say you are more of a music listener than a movie watcher? Or trying to find that balance between the two?

Well you know how it is when there's a gazillion speakers to choose from out there. There's bound to be several good ones. I've heard good things about HSU and good things about Ascends.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there an audition period with the ascends as well as the Hsu subs? This gives you a chance to demo them and even see if they sound good to YOUR ears. The most important ones :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I watch a lot of movies on DVD and stuff on TV, but I also listen to a lot of music - try to have it on whenever I can. Even though I watch a lot of TV/movies, I have the music on a lot, so the percentage is probably 60/40 (music/movies) or 65/35, with overall total of usage is probably higher than a lot of people.
 

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Yeah overall I find that listening to music is what I do most. Which is weird because my system favors HT the way I have things set up :yikes:
 
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Hey cyberbri, good to see you here. I knew you had been thinking about upgrading. I know you have definately done your research and I think you came to a great decision. I have heard the Ascends and after that audition, they are also at the top of my list. I may just bite the bullet here shortly as I do have the funds right now, but I don't watch as many movies during the summer months as I do in the winter. I made it through last year with what I have now, the mighty little Velodyne CHT Front rows in a 7.1 system. I will be getting the 340's up front and 2 pair of 170's to fill out the surrounds. The only potential wild card is the upcoming SVS Plus series speaker system. They may be out by next fall, which is more than likely when I will make the leap. If they test as well as their first entry level speakers did, they might end up in my living room. Hard to beat the insanely-good-for-the-money Ascends though. As far as down the road upgrades--I have a whole list. I would love to go to the drool worthy Rotel 1068 avr to upgrade my Denon, or perhaps even some seperates. I have heard and played with some arcam pieces that I like. Probably want to do the same with the DVD player. New sceen, better projector, another sub, tactiles etc...on and on but not unlike most of us I have a budget and some sense of practicality to contend with. Not to mention the question of "how good is good enough?" Also, I have a few other hobbies that take up a bunch of expendable income this time of year.

As far as music to movies? I am definately much more of movie guy. Most of the time I have music on it is mainly for background, not critical listening at all. I do that from time to time but maybe only 3-4 times a year. My ratio is probably 95%/5% if not higher.
 
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Just thought I would chime in....my cousin has that same exact setup and it sounds AMAZING. I'm sure you'll be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My stuff arrived a few days ago. We're settling into a new house right now, but I hooked it all up the first night it was here (I had the TV/equipment all hooked up, speaker wires run the night before), and re-did the wall mounts last night.

I ran some sweeps with Avia and found a good spot for the sub (out from the front right corner, along the wall on the right side sort of in front of the front right speaker. I then re-did the calibration and got everything tuned real well. It helped to have done so much playing around with my H100 at my previous residence. I will probably end up tweaking some more, but with the Avia sweep tones, the sub plays pretty flat (at least it's much flatter than it was when placed in the front right corner).

It sounds amazing. I haven't done any big-bass stuff yet, but music sounds absolutely amazing, and the bass is tight and very musical (Bright Eyes, The Shins, Norah Jones, etc.). A few movie scenes I tried (House of Flying Daggers, a few others) even sounded a little different, more detailed and clear, more defined bass and more detail in the mids/highs. We watched last week's 24 and this week's finale last night. I noticed a bunch of sounds during scenes in the CTU office I had never noticed before. I had to pause it because it sounded like people outside or somewhere talking/murmuring. And this is at the same volume level I used to listen on the previous system.

The soundstage is great. I haven't done a lot of critical listening, but with my rectangular room (18.5deep x 14.5wide x 8.75high, plus 4' or so extra deep for a step-up path from front door to dining), the soundstage in 2.1 stereo goes beyond left/right past the speakers (sometimes sounds like it's coming from behind me) - may be partly due to room acoustics, reverb, but it still sounds great even at high volumes (much higher than I could take my old low-end line Infinitys). Voices are crystal clear and instruments are very detailed.

I can't wait to listen to more music and watch more movies on this!
 
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