Considering an upgrade upfront-all opinions welcome [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Considering an upgrade upfront-all opinions welcome

09-04-2005, 09:14 PM
I have been pretty happy with my main speakers over the years. My Infinity RS5's were the first investment in my system. I bought them when I was only in 8th grade 7 years ago with money I saved from my paper route. They have now been powered by three different receivers, played through three different types of speaker cable, and have amplified sound from countless dvd and cd players. I have been progressively upgrading the rest of the speaker array over the years to the point where I finally have the setup I've always wanted-a full matching set of Infinity Reference speakers (RS5 fronts, CC3 center and RS3 rears). Or at least I thought it was the setup I always wanted.

Two "problems" if you can call them that, have arrisen. The first is that I purchased a new receiver (Pioneer VSX52TX) that has the ability to bi-amp the main speakers, which is very appealing to me, because I listen to mostly 2 channel music. It would be sweet to DOUBLE the power running through my fronts! The RS5's lack the ability to be bi-amped. Also, I bought two 650 watt Infinity CSW10 subs, which are awesome, but having such strong response on the low end is starting to reveal weaknesses in the other areas of sound for which my beloved RS5's are responsible.

Bottom line if you're still reading; I need a good floorstanding speaker that is bi-ampable that i can find for less than $500.

Best I've found are the Infinity Beta 40's (which would compliment my subs nicely). They're bi-ampable, they are right in my price range and they are getting great reviews. The only thing I am concerned about is how much of an improvement they will be over my RS5's. The RS5's retailed for $800, and so do the Beta 40's. I am going to Circuit City tomorrow to give them a listen.

Also in considering new towers, bass response is the least important quality. I have the dual CSW10's to handle everything below 80hz.

09-05-2005, 05:18 AM
A few things to consider:

First, you do realize "doubling" the power to your speakers will only make a very, very small improvement in both loudness and sound quality, if at all. Probably not worth the upgrade from your towers to new ones. If you are using your receivers built in crossover to send bass only to the subs (as you should be), the power requirement from the speakers isn't going to be as much anyway, making bi-amping even less useful to you. Using your receiver to "bi-amp" isn't a great idea. I assume you're using the same power supply but splitting the current draw between 2 more circuits now. In reality, you'll probably do more harm than good.

Second, I'm not sure the new towers would be any better than what you have. Definitely not enough to justify the cost at this point.

Third...Since you've got the 2 subs, why not consider a higher quality bookshelf? Spending the same money on bookshelfs as you would towers should result in siginifcantly better sound in midrange and upper regions. Like you said, you aren't worried about the bass anyway.

09-05-2005, 05:34 AM
You need two separate amps to bi-amp. While that Elite is a nice receiver, all of its channels share the same power supply so you wouldn't gain any increase in power. Also, keep in mind that the tweeters only use a fraction of the amp power compared to the woofers. IOW, bi-amping is mostly hype, at least at this equipment level.

Have you calibrated the system? The sub(s) should blend in with the rest of the speakers and enhance them, not reveal weaknesses of the other speakers.

If you get different mains you'll probably also want the upgrade the other speakers too since you'll no longer have a tonal match.

Just go out and listen, but don't limit yourself to only Infinity (Not bashing Infinity either. In fact I own almost the same speaker set up as you; RS2000.6, CC3, RS2000.3, and PS12)

09-05-2005, 07:24 AM
what about paradigm bookshelfs? I've heard good things about the studio 20. Also, the receiver has amplification for all seven channels, it basiclly gives you the option of directing channels 6 and 7 to the fronts. How is this not "real" bi-amping?

09-05-2005, 07:40 AM
what about paradigm bookshelfs? I've heard good things about the studio 20. Also, the receiver has amplification for all seven channels, it basiclly gives you the option of directing channels 6 and 7 to the fronts. How is this not "real" bi-amping?Because it's still drawing current from the same power supply.

Can't help you with the speaker question. I'm not an audiophile I guess because I've been happy with the same speakers since 1996 (except the sub, which I didn't buy until I owned a house).

09-05-2005, 07:48 AM
It is bi amping. Passive bi amping would be a better term. This is not active bi amping where an electronic active crossver would be used and the real benefits can be heard of bi amping. The fact your sharing the same power supply does not give you the benefits of using to seperate external amps. With two different power supplies.

Bi amping in a home based situation is not necessary and as stated above will equate to little if no improvement in sound. It's more of a gimmick with receivers if you ask me. Just something they can use to put on the featrue list.

Bi amping is used quite often in commercial theatres due to the size of the auditoriums, and where the effciency can be quite benficial.

Keep in mind as well that if you double the amplifier power you are only getting a 3db increase in volume which is not very noticeable.

In this case you are NOT doubling the power to the mains. Doubling the power would be going from what ever your receiver is rated at per channel and doubling that number. You are not doing that in this case. Just using seperate amps to drive different sections of your speakers.

Save your money and invest in better main speakers. But it sounds like youre happy already. Spend the money on the music and movies or save it. The cost vs benefit is not here in this case.

Hope this helps. :)