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edison

Got Upgrade Itis Again

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Please help with my newest HT/Music decision. Trying to decide which will give me more bang for the buck. Should I upgrade my current receiver to a more capable receiver or even a receiver and power amp, or swap my system for an RFII plus RC64II system?

 

Current system:

Onkyo 636

Klipsch RP280 X2

Klipsch R115SW x2

Klipsch R15 (rear/surround) X2

Room 12X26 = 2500 CF (opening to entry hallway, hall to kitchen, and doublewide door to sunroom.)

 

System used as main entertainment system for house so 95% TV/HT 5% music. While my system is okay, I feel I’m missing something. I want to say it’s lacking something in the mid-range, but I’m not sure that’s accurate. It’s music where I’m not hearing what I expect from my speakers. I play mostly CDs and I understand the recordings probably have been compressed and I’m not hearing the artists and music at their best.

 

My Onkyo easily powers my speakers at the levels I listen at, but has no pre-outs for a power amp. I don’t know if more/cleaner power from a separate amp would help my speakers “open” up more, or if I just need more “speaker” to satisfy my cravings. I’m an old guy who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s . I still have a pair of old three-way speakers (12” woofer) from Lafayette Radio in my back room. Haven’t played them for years, but I remember they had a warm sound.

 

Oh, don’t worry about my current system, my son is salivating at the thought of picking up my system. What he'll get will be my R28/R25C in the basement.

Your thoughts, please.

 

You folks on the subwoofer side (Dec 2015) helped me get get my subs straightened out (after I finally followed your advice about proper placement). Now I got upgrade itis again. I'm posting here because most of my listening is on the HT side.

 

edison

 

 

 

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Nothing against the Onkyo 636 because I have been very pleased with every Onkyo/Integra product I own or have owned.  But, I do think the 636 is the kink in your hose if you want to take your system to another level both musically and HT purposes.  What is your budget for a "better" AVR, pre/pro and amp combo, or AVR/amp combo?

 

I don't see in your list where you have a center channel speaker?

 

Describe the characteristics of your room.  Hard surfaces, thick curtains, fluffy sofa, etc.

 

Bill

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Nothing against the Onkyo 636 because I have been very pleased with every Onkyo/Integra product I own or have owned.  But, I do think the 636 is the kink in your hose if you want to take your system to another level both musically and HT purposes.  What is your budget for a "better" AVR, pre/pro and amp combo, or AVR/amp combo?







 







I don't see in your list where you have a center channel speaker?







 







Describe the characteristics of your room.  Hard surfaces, thick curtains, fluffy sofa, etc.







 







Bill



Sorry the center channel info got deleted in all the editing of my opus (RP450C). Room is very soft with heavy curtains on windows and chock full of cloth covered chairs and sofa, berber rug covering floor.

Considering Denon 3300 and Emotiva power amps for at least LR.

Hey, I'm OCD about this stuff. If I decide to go one way or the other it will happen. Speakers will just have to look like existing speakers (WAF).

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I think 2 things.  One you need to adjust your sub distance to max the crossover range.  Alter it up and down a foot at a time you will find where they best crossover sound is.  That may fix part.  Then consider moving fronts around a bit.  Placement is most important...more than how it looks best.  Dont spend more imo I doubt that will fix it.  280s are plenty.  More power would be louder but not better imo.

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1 hour ago, RoboKlipsch said:

I think 2 things.  One you need to adjust your sub distance to max the crossover range.  Alter it up and down a foot at a time you will find where they best crossover sound is.  That may fix part.  Then consider moving fronts around a bit.  Placement is most important...more than how it looks best.  Dont spend more imo I doubt that will fix it.  280s are plenty.  

Good advice.

 

1 hour ago, RoboKlipsch said:

 More power would be louder but not better imo.

Better AVR, pre-pro/amp combo, etc. usually will yield more than just loudness.  Better parts, DACs, processing "should" equal better overall sound, at least from my experience.

 

I do agree though that if you can "fix" what is lacking without spending any $$$ you will be way ahead of the game.

 

Bill

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Post a pic of the room.  Size of the room, upstairs vs basement, size of room, seating distance, etc. will give us a better picture of the current system and possible problems.

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spend your cash on top of the line AVR's from the last 1-5 years. You can either find them on sites such as accessories4less.com or craigslist. You'll still have support for all modern HD audio formats, often times 4k upscaling, 3D, top tier room correction, etc. You'd potentially be lacking in whatever the latest fad in audio service may be, or stuff like Atmos support, but otherwise not missing out on the core technologies that are present in 90% of the available media.

 

You're not going to be keeping this thing forever, but buying TOL older models should keep you relevant until all of the fringe features of today's TOL models actually becomes standard requirements with the source media.

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MORE power will just allow the system to get louder.  Better quality electronics will add clarity, less distortion, and better bass control, but in a small increment.  IF you think you are missing midrange, new main speakers will be the answer.  While you're looking, try to find a pair of Forte IIIs. 

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My system:  Onkyo 717, 7.2, 100 wpc, $500 new.  I run it in 5.2 and 3.2 with Khorns as L/R.  I prefer 3.2 almost always.  

 

Yours is the Onk 646, 95 wpc, a few years more updated than my 2014 model.  Roughly equivalent amp section.

+++

 

I would suggest you upgrade the speakers. 

 

I think your Onk 646 will easily drive the new speakers and sound fantastic.  I do not think a new AVR will sound much different from what you have now, and more power won't help.  If you have a 100 wpc AVR, you need 200 wpc to gain another 3 db.  My Onk 717 does have the pre-outs, but honestly it already plays loud enough that I can't use all the power it has.  I could add an amp, but there is no reason to do so at this time.

 

I think more power would help the sound as you start adding surround speakers.  My system sounds better in 3.1 than 5.1 because of increased dynamic headroom.  Total SPL is not the problem, but I find as I add speakers the sound becomes a little more flat, or dull.  I like the POP! that comes with dynamics.

 

Once you have upgraded the speakers and find you don't like the sound, then you can upgrade the AVR in a year or so. 

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Post a pic of the room.  Size of the room, upstairs vs basement, size of room, seating distance, etc. will give us a better picture of the current system and possible problems.


On a cruise for the next two days. I'll see if I can figure out how to get a photo out of my phone. As for the room it's my first floor living room. My listening position is about 16 feet from the front speakers.

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5 minutes ago, edison said:


On a cruise for the next two days. I'll see if I can figure out how to get a photo out of my phone. As for the room it's my first floor living room.

 

My listening position is about 16 feet from the front speakers.
 

Definitely go for the larger speakers.  You will get a more clean, full sound with less distortion.

+++

 

My understanding is getting internet access on a cruise is outrageously expensive.  Have fun and we'll see you when you get back. 

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On a cruise for the next two days. I'll see if I can figure out how to get a photo out of my phone. As for the room it's my first floor living room. My listening position is about 16 feet from the front speakers.

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http://s42.photobucket.com/user/edison1947/media/IMG_20160712_225128344_zpsgypl0nne.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0
For some reason I couldn't load an image from my phone so I'll try photobucket.

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Better preamp/amplification might(most likely) will produce better sound especially for music.  More punch, detail, imaging, etc.

 

32 minutes ago, John Albright said:

Better quality electronics will add clarity, less distortion, and better bass control

Kind of what I said.;)

 

33 minutes ago, John Albright said:

but in a small increment. 

Maybe or maybe not.  All are not created equal.  I have experienced huge gains and small gains in my time of sifting through around 40 amplifiers and around 15 preamps.

 

13 minutes ago, wvu80 said:

I would suggest you upgrade the speakers. 

Not saying that moving up to an RF7II system won't be an improvement but I really don't think the OP is getting the best out of his very fine set of speakers.

 

Bill

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http://s42.photobucket.com/user/edison1947/media/IMG_20160712_225128344_zpsgypl0nne.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0
For some reason I couldn't load an image from my phone so I'll try photobucket.

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Sorry for all the gyrations. For those who can see the photo. Since that was taken, I moved one sub immediately adjacent to my left front speaker. The other sub sits in the left rear of the room.
Thanks for all the responses.
edison

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Thanks for the photo.  The RF 7'lls wound net some gain but, the speaker look fairly close together for the distance that you sit from the TV.  The goal is to shoot for an equilateral triangle.  If that is not possible, aim them to converge a couple of feet in front or behind the listening position.  Try this before buying different speakers or electronics.:)

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Even though they may not go there try moving each front to its corner.  If u cant get the bass u want or too much possibly there's a more expensive problem.  Its worth moving the chair for a few minutes to see.  A B the same material.  I have no doubt a new amp will help but max out what you've got first.

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Thanks for the photo.  The RF 7'lls wound net some gain but, the speaker look fairly close together for the distance that you sit from the TV.  The goal is to shoot for an equilateral triangle.  If that is not possible, aim them to converge a couple of feet in front or behind the listening position.  Try this before buying different speakers or electronics.

I'll swap the LF with the sub when I get home. Moving the RF outbound will mean moving that chair but that will net me about four more feet separation between my mains. This would also let me move the second sub to the front, or should I let it stay at the rear of the room. My bass seems okay after moving one sub to the front.
I appreciate all the suggestions. Tweaks are a lot less expensive than new equipment, although that option remains open.
edison

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With the picture I can say that you should move the mains, as you've indicated, more towards the corners.  If you get them wide enough you can experiment with some level of toe-in.  Chris A suggested this for my setup and it makes a world of difference.  The 'triangle' as others have suggested will help a ton.  Much better imaging, etc.  Enjoy the cruise!  What ports/destinations are you hitting?  I've been on 3 cruises myself.

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With the picture I can say that you should move the mains, as you've indicated, more towards the corners.  If you get them wide enough you can experiment with some level of toe-in.  Chris A suggested this for my setup and it makes a world of difference.  The 'triangle' as others have suggested will help a ton.  Much better imaging, etc.  Enjoy the cruise!  What ports/destinations are you hitting?  I've been on 3 cruises myself.


Freeport, Bahamas; Key West, FL; New Orleans, LA; Cozumel, Mexico, and Costa Maya, Mexico. We were in New Orleans for three days. Heading back to Miami now.
I can see it's more than just plugging in speakers and expecting good results.
edison

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I can feel your concern. I used to have Onkyo-636. One day I walked around in Frys and I found a unit of Pioneer Elite SC-91 on clearance. I immediately jumped into the deal. The difference in performance is quite distinct. Some say you don't need more powerful receiver since Klipsch is very sensitive, but IMO it does matter.

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