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Is an upgrade from an RF-3 fronts to the RF-5 worth it?-


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I pondered the same question until I went and listened to both the 5s and the 7s. The 5s were not significantly better than my 3s were, while the 7s are in a league of their own. I waited two extra months to accumulate the extra $$ and went for 7 series all around. I'll never regret that decision. Be aware that the acquisition of 7 series could spark an entire round of upgrades. When I started I had nearly the identical system to yours. The only difference being I had the Denon 3801, the predicessor to yours but nearly identical. Once I got the 7s I felt that they deserved a better juice diet so I moved from the Denon to Rotel separates. What an amazing difference! Then my sub (SVS 2039pci) seemed to be the weak link, so I upgraded it to an SVS PB2+. Now I have a system that can stand tall with the best, all at the cost of about the first year's depreciation on an average car.

By the way I was able to sell off my three year old 3 series at really good prices. I probably recouped 80% of what I had paid for them originally.

Jerry Rappaport

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  • 2 weeks later...

As an extra opinion, I've owned all 3 pairs: rf-3, rf-5, and rf-7. I think each upgrade is worth making. When I demoed in stores, the rf-3 and rf-5 sounded almost the same, with the exception of the rf-5 having a slightly more in-your-face sound than the 3's (which sounded a little bit more cymbal happy) and the specs seemed to be really close so I assumed they were more or less the same. When I got the 3's home I was satisfied...until my roomate came home with 5's two weeks later. In home, they were completely different and there was no question where the extra money you invest in 5's comes from. Sure they share the same 8" drivers, but they don't share the sound at all. The 5's played tons deeper, had more impact, had a much larger soundstage, and carried a MUCH sweeter vocal than the 3's. I immediately got rid of my rf-3's and bought rf-5's after I heard them in my own home.

As far as incrementation goes, for me, each upgrade has represented an equal jump in sonic improvement. I'd never own 3's after owning 5's. However, I would still own 5's after owning 7's. I consider rf-5 and rf-7 to be where the real deal starts.

In conclusion, I think you should make the upgrade you can afford to make. If I hadn't owned both the 3's and 5's and went on store demo's only, I would never have known the huge difference. If you can afford 7's quickly, there seem to be no complaints with those, certainly none here. However, if you can afford to upgrade to 5's now but not to the 7's for another year, I wouldn't tolerate the RF-3's any longer than you had to.

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