AV Receiver or Speaker Upgrade

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by DigitalD, Apr 16, 2018 at 3:34 PM.

  1. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    Hello there, I am new here and I apologize if this is the incorrect place to post this question. I currently have a Sony STR-DH 750 AV Receiver with Polk Blackstone TL250 speakers on a 5.1 setup. (My very first system) I would like to upgrade my system completely and I am debating between upgrading my speakers first or upgrading my AV Receiver. I’d like to purchase Klipsch RP 260F speakers with a 440 Center. Will my AV Receiver be able to power these speakers along with my current 2 surrounds or will I damage the speakers? Should I buy the AV Receiver first? The AV Receiver I have in mind is the Denon X4400h.
  2. lovinthehd Audioholic Warlord

    lovinthehd
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    While the 4400 is a nice receiver, most of the sound quality is going to be via the speakers, so would recommend concentrating on speakers first. Your Sony shouldn't have any problem with the Klipsch speakers, they're higher sensitivity than your Polks (97dB vs 91dB), even though both specs are likely fudged a bit. Takes a doubling of power to gain 3dB, so by spec you already have 4x the amp power just by changing speakers.

    Was power your only concern in the avr? I'd pick an avr by feature/connectivity primarily, and if power is a concern make sure it has pre-outs so you have the option of external amplification. With high sensitivity speakers the power won't matter a lot, tho.

    Welcome to the forums...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    DigitalD
    Welcome to the AH and hope you have a great experience here.

    I'm with @lovinthehd , the bulk of most system upgrades is found within the speakers. Your speakers are the voice of your system and they have more sway over what you actually hear than any other component. Upgrading your speakers is usually the first place you'll notice the most difference.

    Your Sony is most likely up to the job as a power source.

    What is it about your current system that you'd like to upgrade? Sounds like a foolish question. But, in order to make sure you actually get a real audible upgrade, its important to know what you're aiming at.
    Lots of folks buy new equipment, it doesn't sound appreciably better than their old stuff, so they come here and complain and ask "how come?". Not having a defined problem to solve is the source of a lot of frustration at upgrade time.
  4. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    btw, I have a new Denon x4200w. Awesome AVR. two thumbs up.
  5. Montucky Audioholic

    Montucky
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    Do you have a target budget in mind? Also, what subwoofer are you rocking?
  6. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    Thanks for the feedback. For now, power is my concern since I’m running ARC from my 65B7Oled to my Sony and I can get Dolby TrueHD and DTSMA via my LG BluRayPlayer. The reason I use my TVs HDMIs inputs is because my AV Receiver doesn’t support 4K HDR but I don’t mind this yet. Eventually, I do want to upgrade to Atmos and DTS X, which is another reason I want to upgrade my AVR besides power and features. Right now, my main concern is power since I feel my speakers are under powered or my speakers are not “loud” enough.
  7. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    Hello there and thanks for your feedback. Honestly, I notice that I have to crank the volume up very high when I watch Netflix or 4kBlu-Rays. Dialogue is also noticeably low as well as bass gaps between my sub and main speakers. I set up my auto calibration and adjusted my crossovers to 110 hz. I increased my center channel to about 3dbs higher than my other speakers and still hear issues with dialogue. Any advice?
  8. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    Hey there. Yes I’d like to stay under $2k for a 5.1 setup. Speaker budget excluding AVR.
    Oh I forgot to mention, I have an Infinity PS38 sub.
  9. lovinthehd Audioholic Warlord

    lovinthehd
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    Don't understand the connection for power because you're running ARC nor the use of the lossless codecs, that really doesn't affect power....getting everything routed through your avr might be a better way than the tv for sure. You can't get lossless codecs via ARC at the moment in any case.
  10. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    Sorry I was multitasking. I meant to say that I route everything(Comcast 4k box, 4k BluRay Player) to my tv since my AVR Receiver doesn’t support 4k HDR. My comcast box doesn’t send anything higher than DD+ so ARC is fine. Also, my Blu-ray player has 2HDMI outputs which allows me to send video to my tv for 4k video and sound to my AVR for lossless sound. Basically, I don’t necessarily NEED a new AVR yet besides for power.
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  11. lovinthehd Audioholic Warlord

    lovinthehd
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    I think you're fine with the change of speakers and not avr in that case. I'd upgrade the sub, too.
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  12. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    Thanks for the input. I just wasn’t sure if more power with a newer avr to my current speakers would be better than different speakers with my current avr. It looks like speakers are next in line for my upgrade. Thanks everyone!
  13. snakeeyes Audioholic Intern

    snakeeyes
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    Unless you have noise restrictions it seems like part of your budget will be to get at least a 12in sub so you can do this right. A good ported 12in sub can usually be found in the $550-750 price range from the internet direct companies like Rythmik and HSU and SVS. Likely look at auditioning bookshelf speakers and center with the rest of the budget and possibly even keep the rears if you are near your budget with the front 3 plus sub.
  14. DigitalD Enthusiast

    DigitalD
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    That’s actually what I had in mind. Keep my 2 surrounds and just upgrade my front 3.1 setup for now. Time to save more $.
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  15. PENG Audioholic Overlord

    PENG
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    Hello DigitalD, if you are considering the 4400, you probably should contact @DigitalDawn to see if you can still get the X3400H for $599. The 4400 is a little more powerful but not by much.

    https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/denon-avr-x3400h.110832/

    For speakers, it is not hard to beat those Polk satellites you have, but it is better if you tell us the following first before we can recommend something aside from the Klipsch that you have in mind, unless you already know you like those Klipsch sound.

    - Room dimensions, approx. LXWXH (specify ft or meters)
    - How far do you seat from the L/R speakers.
    PENG,
  16. Montucky Audioholic

    Montucky
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    I agree. An upgrade in the front speakers and sub could make a HUDGE difference. Probably far more than AVR upgrade alone possibly could. That's where I'd start. AVR can easily swapped later on down the road when the newer technologies are more important to you. For now it seems that sound/volume is the #1 issue at hand here for OP, right? If he wants more "oomph", then a better sub is key.
  17. joshk03 Audioholic

    joshk03
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    Your Sony appears to actually be about 34w x 7 RMS. And I think that is plenty.
    In my old house I had four 6"? or 8"? ceiling speakers powered by 15w x 2 RMS Pyle PHA25. I can't believe this is true, but that thing had so much volume I probably could have damaged my speakers. I was just playing audio from my PC's headphone jack and iPhone jack. Your 34w x 7 Sony is twice what I had on each channel. So speakers seem to be your issue.
  18. Montucky Audioholic

    Montucky
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    Good point. And evidently it's 90Watts per channel if 2-channels/6 ohm load. Probably closer to 60-70Watts at 8 ohms, but still, it should be certainly be plenty of power. Gotta remember that it's extremely rare to have all channels driven at full power. It's typically the LCRs that bear the brunt of the volume. Like you said, even 15 watts provided enough power for you. I've driven large towers with a 50Wx2 amp just fine too. Don't get me wrong. I usually err on the side of far more available power than ever necessary, and more powerful amplifier can certainly make an audible difference at higher volumes or larger spaces, BUT in the real world, we typically use far less wattage than we might think.

    In my experience, the order of upgrades that have made the biggest impact for me is subwoofer > speakers > amp. Upgrading both the sub and speakers at the same time should be a very nice improvement for OP. In fact, I've had customers with the EXACT same receiver as OP, and with good quality speakers, it indeed had plenty of power. Last time I used it was paired with a pair of SVS Ultra Books and it sounded awesome. Also seen it paired with a full set of SVS Prime Satellites and that was plenty loud in that situation too (smaller condo).
  19. joshk03 Audioholic

    joshk03
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    Sony isn't very honest in their ratings, but the key number I found was it's "Power Consumption". They don't inflate that! The specs say 240w total. So even at a physics-defying perfect efficiency, 240 divided by 7 is 34w for each channel.
  20. Montucky Audioholic

    Montucky
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    Yeah. The way Sony likes to show everything at 6-ohm loads is annoying too. Gotta watch out for that. Unfortunately most of the budget AVRs like to play the wattage ratings games. Gotta love the classic "100W X 5/7/9"! Lol, yeah right. Fine print be like "*100-Watts @ 1-channel driven, 2 Ohms, 90% THD."

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