Upgrading existing HT system piece by piece [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-13-2004, 01:51 PM
I'm considering upgrading my current speaker system and am curious about the effects of piece by piece upgrading on the overall sound of the system.

I currently have the Energy Take 5 system with ES-10 sub connected to a Denon AVR-2700. Cabinet size was a major consideration for the speakers initially, due to my better half. The take 5s have been exceptional considering their size, but I think I've sold my wife a little on slightly larger speakers.

I'm considering various models, including the Energy C-1, Axiom M2i or M3ti and Paradigm Titans.

My main concern is whether the overall sound will suffer if I just upgrade the front left & right speakers for a few months and then do the same with the center and surrounds over the next several months.

Any input regarding brand/model selection is welcome as well.

EDIT: I listen to a mix of HT and music. Probably 60% HT and 40% music.

12-13-2004, 02:20 PM
The way things change in this field, I'd try to get the (matching) center at the same time as you get the front R/L speakers. Once they discontinue a speaker line, finding a timbre matched center may post a challange.

dunno if they have 'em near you but Best Buy (yes, THAT Best Buy) has Athena Audition AS-F1's on sale for about $200/pair or half their original price. These are well served by the matching AC-C1 center speaker and would do a fine job in your system. Just a little something to think about.

12-13-2004, 02:34 PM
markw's right in that you should think of upgrading the front three speakers together. If your budget only allows for two speakers, then it's quite likely that you'll get better performance by going temporarily with a four speaker set (no center speaker). It's not quite as vital to match the surrounds to the mains, as it is to match the center to the mains, so you can get by with mismatched surrounds. Obviously, it's preferable to timbre match all the way around, but given the way that most movie soundtracks are mixed, it's easier to get away with mismatched surrounds. However, with multichannel music and an increasing number of newer movie soundtracks that aggressively use the surround channels and share a lot of sounds between the main and surround speakers, the importance of matching surrounds is much greater.

If the existing Take 5 center speaker poorly matches whatever new mains you choose, then it's fine and even preferable to go without a center speaker until you round up enough funds to add the matching center speaker. I would max out the budget for the best possible pair of main speakers you can find, and hopefully you'll be able to save up enough to get the matching center speaker soon.

12-13-2004, 04:41 PM
ALthough it is easy to convince oneself to upgrade...and half the fun is contemplation, etc...for your needs...I dont think any of the mentioned brands/models would be a signficant gain over which you already have...especially for primarly ht needs..the take 5 system has received enthusiatic reviews across the board...

12-14-2004, 05:30 AM
Thanks for the input guys. If I do decide to upgrade, I think you've convinced me to get all three fronts at the same time.

Markw, though I want to go a bit larger, the AS-F1s are a little too large. Thanks though :)

Cone, interesting post. I got the upgrade bug some time back when this forum was abuz about the Athena surround box set (Point 5 series I believe) at Best Buy for cheap. I went out and picked it up. All the speakers were a bit larger than the Take 5s and with the reviews here, I was hopefull. After swapping them out several times, I was dissapointed. They sounded flat and lifeless compared to the Take 5s. Nothing against Athena by any means, this particular set just wasn't as good to my ears as the Take 5s.

Which brings me back to your point. I do want a nice improvement in sound over my current setup, otherwise, I can't justify spending the money.

Has anyone directly compared the Take 5s to any of the speakers listed above? The Energy C-1 and Axiom M3ti are about twice the volumn of the Take 5s. It's hard for me to believe the Take 5s can come close to their mid base response or overall sound.

12-23-2004, 08:04 PM
You could get a pair of BW DM-303 and center channel LCR3. They are really
good. Canadian speakers like Energy, Axiom, PSB ... don't give you good & clear
sound (just waste of money)

The importance is tweeter of center channel should match with the ones from front L & R speakers. This give you same sound quality, otherwise, sound may not match properly ...

12-23-2004, 08:36 PM
[QUOTE=SAPSEC]You could get a pair of BW DM-303 and center channel LCR3. They are really
good. Canadian speakers like Energy, Axiom, PSB ... don't give you good & clear
sound (just waste of money)

Did you ever listen to these Canadian speaker? I have Energy speaker and Axiom speaker and they sound great! I also have Paradigm and Dahlquist speaker and yes they are also Canadian built and sound great also ! Pat.P :mad:

12-23-2004, 08:57 PM
Thats exactly what i did cpl mos back.I originally upgrade my receiver to a rotel then upgrade my L&R then added the center.I still haven't done the surrounds yet.Word of warnig i had planned just to upgrade the L&R first then wait a cpl mos for the center but just could'nt do it,got desperate and got the center 3wks later.Now i'm desperate for the surrounds.I also have the take 5 in another room w/ a yammie it sounds good but does'nt compare.Just so you know i originally had a def.tech procinema 100 setup which were great and alot better than the take 5 in my opinion. The def tech can be bought individually if needed.Thought i'd mention the def.tech to you since they are great speakers for their size..

12-23-2004, 09:57 PM
I just installed a comparable HT system from Onix. It's difficult to compare since they aren't in stores but they do have a 30 day money back guarantee. The size may work for you and the real veneer finish will outstrip anything short of Boston Acoustic monitors which are a grand a pair. I am still tweaking my setup but I am impressed with the early sound (they need more breakin..a bit bright on some items). They are paired with a Denon 2105 which should have a similar warm, full sound to your unit.

12-23-2004, 10:01 PM
also, for SAPSEC...it is quite impossible to lump all those Canadian brands under one blanket. I have owned Mirage, Paradigm and I know people who currently own Energy. These brands are consistently well reviewed by respected audio magazines and I humbly request you consider cleaning your ears prior to listening.

I considered PSB for my current theater but I got such a good deal on the Rockets ( I have a small room ) I couldn't pass it up