Help with upgrading my system [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-12-2013, 09:04 AM
So last year i bought my first system and I'm looking to upgrade. I currently have: 2 Cerwin Vega DX-9's, Adcom gta-545 II amp, Adcom gtp-450 pre-amp and a m&k v-3b sub woofer. I like how it sounds but I'm beginning to want more. The kind of music I mostly listen to is rock and electronic music so mostly music with bass but not always. Any recommendations on what I should upgrade first? Thanks for your help as I am fairly new at this.

11-12-2013, 09:29 AM
Speakers would be the first thing that I would upgrade. But what is it that you don't like about your system? Are you looking for more detail, resolution, warmth, etc. And what is your budget and the size of your listening area?

Mr Peabody
11-12-2013, 05:14 PM
Yeah, first thing I thought was speakers. SV's thump but not great on detail. The Adcom is decent gear. I may change my mind on what to upgrade depending on what you are using for source. Do you have a CD player? If using mp3 I wouldn't waste money on upgrading anything. You might even consider better cables to connect between the 450 & 545.

11-13-2013, 06:05 PM
Room size is my bedroom so not too big. And yeah just looking for better imaging/clarity/detail. And my budget would probably be somewhere around $600. And i'm playing 320 kbps mp3's most of the time but i do have really nice cd players

11-13-2013, 09:19 PM
Here are a few speaker recommendations



WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.4 (CHERRY) **DEMO** at Music Direct (

Also take a look at PSB B'6s

I am sure others will chime in.

Mr Peabody
11-13-2013, 09:47 PM
I forgot you had the sub, you might try something like the JBL Studio 530's which is a monitor (bookshelf speaker) which would provide much better clarity and let the sub do the low bass. In a small room the horns would minimize reflections and they sound very good, smooth. In addition, the 530's would be good for the type of music you like.

Another speaker close to your budget, Golden Ear has a monitor but I forgot the model. Since Golden Ear has hit the market the number of good reviews is amazing.

If willing to buy used a set of Dynaudio Audience 52's or similar monitor in your budget would be great.

Your Adcom gear is fine. I believe in the best source possible because if detail isn't there, or lost there, nothing down stream can be done to allow you to hear what is already lost.

11-14-2013, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the recommendations guys. I favor a tower speaker over a bookshelf because it fits better in my room and i don't have stands for the bookshelf speakers. So i'll see what I can find in a wharfedale or the focal tower speaker

Mr Peabody
11-14-2013, 04:52 PM
The Focal and Wharfedale are good choices as well..

Golden Ear has towers and here's a sample of what I was talking about

Hope that link works, if not, just do a search for Tritan 7 reviews

11-15-2013, 09:45 AM
Thanks for the recommendations guys. I favor a tower speaker over a bookshelf because it fits better in my room and i don't have stands for the bookshelf speakers. So i'll see what I can find in a wharfedale or the focal tower speaker

The Whafedales will have deeper bass and be a little more laid back than the Focal's. Those demo models are a great price and both speakers will be a major upgrade.

11-15-2013, 09:53 AM
I've been really looking at the focals and i'm very intrigued. I think i might be making a purchase here soon. I would be devastated if I payed that much and didn't like them though. I realize the CV's are very low end but they offer a certain meaty-ness that i wouldn't want to give up. Can someone re-assure me here? haha

11-15-2013, 10:15 AM
And what exactly do you mean by laid-back?

11-15-2013, 10:17 AM
The Focals will have a more forward sound while the Wharfedales will be a little softer in their presentation which I prefer. Music Direct has a 30 day money back guaranty.

11-15-2013, 10:20 AM
Hmm now you got me thinking about the wharfedales. I'm going to have a hard time deciding now.

11-15-2013, 10:45 AM
Some speakers or systems have a more forward presentation and some people like it and others prefer a softer or more laid back sound. Both speakers will be detailed. Read the reviews of some of the Wharfedales on the Music direct web site.

Mr Peabody
11-15-2013, 01:44 PM
I think the Wharfedale would come closer to what you are used to. The Focal models I've heard sort of remind me of what used to be called the British sound, which is hard to put into words, more emphasis in the mid band opposed to low, or high frequencies.

11-15-2013, 02:02 PM
I've been hearing people talk about the british sound. I feel like maybe the focals are the sound i'm going for. I really want to hear those drums. After all, I have 30 days to decide. And it sounds like either way, either speaker will be a huge upgrade.

11-15-2013, 03:15 PM
Keep us posted on what you buy and how you like the speakers

11-15-2013, 10:56 PM
Will do. I appreciate it guys. I have posted before and you guys both are always quick to respond, thanks.

Glen B
11-16-2013, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the recommendations guys. I favor a tower speaker over a bookshelf because it fits better in my room and i don't have stands for the bookshelf speakers. So i'll see what I can find in a wharfedale or the focal tower speaker
The one problem is that "tower"speakers tend to cost more for a given performance level, and $600 is not going to get you that much in a floorstander. You've received good recommendations here, but if you are deadset on floorstanders, IMO you should keep saving until you can afford better speakers. Next step in the upgrade path could be that preamp.

11-16-2013, 04:17 PM
The Focal 806's will give you better sound than the 714's. You can pick up a nice pair of Sanus NF31 speaker stands for about $90pr. The 806's will be more refined but I can certainly understand wanting a floor stander. Speaker stands can be a pain sometimes.

11-27-2013, 11:59 AM
I couldnt quite find the NF31 stands could you link me? nd i guess i've never used a good quality bookshelf. Can they put out a good punch?

11-27-2013, 12:56 PM
I couldnt quite find the NF31 stands could you link me? nd i guess i've never used a good quality bookshelf. Can they put out a good punch?

Sorry, the stands are the Sanus NF30's, I have a pair in cherry. Sanus Systems NF 30 Natural Foundations (Black): Electronics (

As far as bookshelf's putting out good bass, it all depends upon the speaker, your amp and source. The thing with a bookshelf is that if there is not enough bass you can add a sub later. A cheap pair of tower speakers will put out sloppy unsatisfying bass. I have a pair of PSB B6's and they put out very nice bass. Is it earth shaking no. If you go with a bookshelf make sure it has a 6.5" driver and check its freq. response. The Monitor Audio RX2's use an 8" woofer which is rather large in a bookshelf. Another well rounded and well respected speaker is the NHT Classic 3's. It performs above its price point and I would rate it higher than the PSB B'6s, wharfedale 10.2's. I have not heard the RX2's but I have the version of the Silver Rx series, the S1 which is excellent. Also consider B&W 685's and this Epos epic 2 EPOS - EPIC 2 BLACK (PR): Electronics (

NHT Classic Three loudspeaker | (

There is a member here that has a pair of Focal 806's, maybe he will chime in.

11-27-2013, 01:24 PM
Do the EPOS come with stands?

11-27-2013, 01:53 PM
Do the EPOS come with stands?


The NF30 stand is well built and the cherry looks great. Sanus NF30C Cherry (Pr) 30-inch Speaker Stands: Furniture &
Decor (

If you are on a budget, you can always use a pair of cinder blocks as stands till you can buy some, or if you are handy and have the tools you can make them.

Here is a great deal on the PSB B6's-

PSB Image B6 (

Here is a nice review on them.

If your on a budget the B6's are the way to go. They will perform up to the level of the quality of your amp, CD player etc. They have no harshness and are a very pleasing speaker to listen too. They sounded fantastic when I decided to try them in my reference system.

11-27-2013, 03:44 PM
Do you have to screw into the speakers for the stands? And also do you think my sub would be a good match for the PB 6's or the Epic's?

11-27-2013, 05:35 PM
No, the stand comes with these rubber sticky feet that sticks to the speakers and stand.

The sub should be ok. The mistake that people make with them is that they turn them up to loud. I sub should only be heard on bass heavy music and it should melt seamlessly with the main speaker. I run my velodyne sub set at 50hz with my PSB's.

11-27-2013, 06:16 PM
Sweet. I do really like my sub and i recently turned it down and now i can enjoy it SO much more. But i think i'm either gonna go with the PSB's or the Epic's. Both sounds very intriguing and the reviews for both were astounding.

11-28-2013, 10:00 AM
Looked again at the price of the B6's and went ahead and ordered a pair. Can't wait to break them in! Will order stands next week

11-28-2013, 04:52 PM
Great choice. Give them about 50 hours of break in. Let us know how they sound.

11-28-2013, 07:19 PM
Landy, here are those NF30 speaker stands in cherry for $74pr. Thats a great deal Sanus Systems NF30C Natural Foundations 30 -Inch Speaker Stand, Pair (Cherry): Electronics (

11-28-2013, 07:37 PM
And i wont have to drill into the speakers at all? Sorry i've just never used speaker stands before so i want to make sure. And also, i don't know if 30 inches will be enough. Does the height matter?

11-28-2013, 08:32 PM
30" is plenty of height. And you won't have to drill into your speakers. I have a pair of Monitor Audio S1's on those same stands. I will also be buying a pair for my PSB B6's.
There are better stands but you will pay about $75-100 more per pair.

Argosy Classic Speaker Stands - 36 inch height | (

SF34 | Foundations Steel Series | SANUS (

RF Series (

UF30 | Foundations Ultimate Series | SANUS (

11-28-2013, 09:09 PM
Oh wow I just measured and you're right. I thought it was going to be a lot shorter then that. Cool, ill order a pair soon. I'll probably get the black ones because i got the black speakers.

11-29-2013, 12:22 PM
Can you recommend a good budget turntable?

11-29-2013, 02:04 PM
what is your budget?

12-24-2013, 05:03 PM
I had both of those Adcoms as my first hifi components as well. The first thing I did was change the old Trimpots to multi-turn types($5 at local electronics store and 3 soldier joints). That is the absolute best upgrade for an amp in my opinion. Another must have is a power conditioner. Even a cheap Monster, $30-40, floor unit will make a substantial difference and lower the noise floor. I re-wired my GFA-545ii with a 10 or 12 gauge power cord from the local hardware store and it made a huge difference also. Just get a 10/2 ($8) and a two prong male for the outlet ($3) and re-wire from the transformer.