Out with the old...in with the new? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-27-2004, 08:18 PM
Ok..we have a set of components that are about 20+ years old..and work ok. However, we bought a 200 cd changer last year, we have a nice dvd player, we don't use the turntalbe or cassette player at all, we have 2 nice bookshelf Bose speakers, we play some of the 35" tv thru the system and we just bought XM for home & car.

So...should we upgrade our equipment and if so where do we begin? Honestly I haven;t a clue. Ask me about computers and we'll talk but the audio/stereo/integration stuff and I'm lost.

Appreciate any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc., that anyone may have.

Dick & Barbara
Belmont, CA

12-27-2004, 09:20 PM
Exisitn components are:
Kenwood Integrated AMP KA-127
Kenwood Synth Tuner KT-57
Kenwood Disk Player (200 cd's) CD-423M
JVC DVD Player RM-SV-511U
Bose Series 301 Spkrs (2) connected with Monster Cable

We also added an XM unit for satellite channels
We are using a Hitachi 35" TV (tube)

12-27-2004, 09:26 PM
What are you trying to achieve? Are your priorities music or movies? How big is the room? The more information you give us, the better the responses will be.

plextor guy
12-28-2004, 05:25 AM
About the only thing I'd do is get a modern home theater receiver and a decent speaker system.

Speakers: HSU Research Ventriloquist Speaker system. If your room is large, consider one of HSU's larger subs. These wouldn't be my first choice for a lot of two channel playback but for hometheater use they're hard to beat for the price. HSU has a good return policy if you're not satisfied.

Receiver: Denon AVR485. More than enough clean power for modest speaker systems. Most notably, it has component video switching, something unheard of a year or two ago at this price point.

Your existing dvd player should be fine if it's of recent vintage. If you want to step this up and spend some dough, post back. The sky is the limit.

12-28-2004, 07:21 AM
Agree with plextor, you need a home theater reciever. This will work nicely if you want to play some 2 channel (stereo) cd playback for listening to music, or if you want to watch TV/movies on your DVD player in surround sound.

The Bose 301s are actually one of their better models and I think they're actually pretty decent speakers. What you can do is continue to use them in the fronts and get a center channel (definately not the Bose center channel as it's absolutely terrible) to match, or move the 301s to surround duty and get three new front speakers.

Also, you should add a powered sub to really give you some excellent deep bass. You'll be suprised how much quality (not LOUD, don't confuse the two) bass you're currently missing.

Either way, you can have an excellent sounding system by getting the reciever and some speakers.

12-28-2004, 08:52 AM
What are you trying to achieve? Are your priorities music or movies? How big is the room? The more information you give us, the better the responses will be.

The current room is about 10x12. However, we do plan on moving in the next year or so and the new room may be larger. We enjoy playing music (CD's and MP3's we rip); we have a nice selection of DVD movies.

Other information needed?

Mr Peabody
12-28-2004, 10:18 PM
The thing you have to ask yourself is if you are going to go home theater. If not. you don't have to really change anything. Do you have satelite or digital cable? Both provide music stations similar to XM and you should be going from the box to your amp instead of TV to amp for best sound quality. Generally TV preamp are of poor quality. Newer models are offering digital outs now though but that is something you wouldn't be able to use without a newer receiver or amp. I personally recommend video sources going directly to your TV though. Today's receivers give new meaning to "multi-tasking" so I don't trust most to be able to properly transfer High Definition signals. From a purist stand point why interject another component into the path anyway and the whole shortest distance is a straight line thing. From a budget stand point, one or more less cables you will need.

To enhance your cd sound you could get an external digital to analog converter. Your only going to get so good using MP3's and ripped discs though. Some argue there's no difference between burned cd's and originals but I can hear the difference and I think most people can who have the equipment discerning enough to reflect it.

The advantages of getting a new HT receiver is you would have 5 channel surround sound for watching your DVD's and a built in D/A converter would allow you to connect your cd player, cable/satelite and other sources via digital inputs. I wouldn't expect a big improvement, if any, in 2 channel playback sound quality. I'm not familiar with your model of integrated. Some of the Kenwood's were not much better than their receivers and they made some that were quite exceptional. Another thing to look for in a new receiver is some brands are embracing the downloading and storage of music with features and even storage provided.

If you like the sound of the Bose then stick with them, you're not alone. I feel you will hear more detail and a wider response from other brands in the same price range. You seem like you shop the chain stores so maybe give a listen to some Polk. Athena is good for the money. I think Paradigm and B&W may also have speakers that could be in your price range.

You might try some stereo website retailers like www.crutchfield.com to see what types of equipment is out there and get a feel for features offered. I think Topspeed was looking for more why you want to upgrade, do you want better sound, surround sound, is there something you want your system to do that it doesn't now.

12-29-2004, 11:22 AM
...So...should we upgrade our equipment and if so where do we begin? Honestly I haven;t a clue. Ask me about computers and we'll talk but the audio/stereo/integration stuff and I'm lost. ...
By the sound of it what you really want is a home theater system which, of course, can also play music well.

That being the case, you need to start with at decent AV receiver. There are many, many choices, here of course. Many people in this forum (and others) like the Panasonic SA-XR digital amplifier series. Personally I own the SA-XR25. The successor model is the SA-XR30 which a huge bargain at under US$250.00. It will go well with any speakers that aren't too bright or forward sounding.

Speaker-wise you've got to loose the Bose; (Bose has a very, very bad rep among audiophiles!). There are many options for 5.1 multi-channel speakers too. In the modest to low-middle price range, I would check out Energy models certainly, but PSP, Polk, and perhaps Paradigm should be considered also.