Best and Worst "Upgrades"

K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
I can't recall if I've asked the braintrust this here before. I think a lot of us really enjoy the process of trying out new gear even if, frankly, we have no real need to do so. Now that I have setups I think are perfectly fine, I struggle with the incrementality from here but it doesn't stop me from constantly researching stuff

But I thought I might ask everyone what has been your:

Best Upgrade: Man when I added this, it was a world of difference - For me, probably involves investing in better quality subwoofers. For the living room the M-215 Monolith with my nearfield subs. Same with other rooms. Getting your bass dialed in is really helpful and it's not just the deep stuff.

Worst Upgrade: I spent good money and it really was the same or worse than what i had - I probably made one purchase too many on AMPs when I bought a pair of D-Sonic Monoblocks. I thought at 500WPC they would be incredible for my L/R. I don't think they were bad. It's just the voltage from my AVR was not a good match for them and I wasn't realizing their potential. So I greatly preferred keeping with my existing AMP. I sold them and didn't lose anything but my time.

I wonder if you have any similar experiences and sorry if this has already been posted
 
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davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
Best re positioning my speakers in my room.
Worst maybe trying different speaker and interconnect cables.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
When I change gear I've mostly done it for something specific I wanted with some thought/planning/budgeting....not so much as just a consuming experience of randomly trying different gear. I remember way back (like 30 years ago) when how much was made of changing from a receiver to separates, and when I did even with 3x the amp power it still wasn't as impressive as that was hyped up to be, so that might have been the worst upgrade in a way in that it wasn't particularly significant, but the receiver died after an epic party so needed new gear at the time anyways and the new gear worked great so not a bad thing. Biggest upgrade in gear I suppose was my first good subwoofers as well, went without a long time and endured some weak ones along the way. The attraction of digital audio vs vinyl was a significant upgrade, too.
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic General
Best upgrade for me was getting newer subs SVS pb 1000 pros and getting my carver amps . Worst was trying a multitude of cables threw the years . But I’d say the best recently was a new center channel that’s fits well with my system and room . Most centers are a compromise this one’s just right it’s got enough good to outweigh the usual bad .
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
Best upgrade for me was getting newer subs SVS pb 1000 pros and getting my carver amps . Worst was trying a multitude of cables threw the years . But I’d say the best recently was a new center channel that’s fits well with my system and room . Most centers are a compromise this one’s just right it’s got enough good to outweigh the usual bad .
Come to think of it, even though my center was really cheap, the Infinity RC263 made a real difference for understanding voices. That is up there! I agree with you on that.

I never really invested in expensive cables myself
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic General
Come to think of it, even though my center was really cheap, the Infinity RC263 made a real difference for understanding voices. That is up there! I agree with you on that.

I never really invested in expensive cables myself
Most centers including the one I use now just have terrible dispersion on paper and some I’ve had did sound one dimensional to me this one measures good every where . And sounds good in every seat but we set 13 feet away so that fixes that somewhat narrow horizontal dispersion problem.
Cables I used to buy 20 years ago , now days I make my own . Good lord I blew money on them lol there’s probably a snake skin or two around here somewhere lol !
 
Teetertotter?

Teetertotter?

Full Audioholic
My best upgrade was the center channel to psb Imagine XC, a year ago, and within budget. Dialog at all volumes, is very distinct. The dialog is coming from the screen, with it positioned directly under the 55," at ear level.

For FL and FR, I did try JBL Stage A130's earlier this year, for my small room. That sure was an ERROR!. I reverted back to my Klipsch that were toed in, and repositioned to straight out. What a difference that made for listening, from these R-51M's, both for movies and Mp3. I'm good.......for now.
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
My best upgrade was the center channel to psb Imagine XC, a year ago, and within budget. Dialog at all volumes, is very distinct. The dialog is coming from the screen, with it positioned directly under the 55," at ear level.

For FL and FR, I did try JBL Stage A130's earlier this year, for my small room. That sure was an ERROR!. I reverted back to my Klipsch that were toed in, and repositioned to straight out. What a difference that made for listening, from these R-51M's, both for movies and Mp3. I'm good.......for now.
Yes, it's really great when you have a center where you NEVER have to worry about understanding what they are saying. Sounds like a given but it's not always.

Interesting on the JBL's probably not quite as dynamic as your Klipsch if you are used to those based on sensitivity.
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
Most centers including the one I use now just have terrible dispersion on paper and some I’ve had did sound one dimensional to me this one measures good every where . And sounds good in every seat but we set 13 feet away so that fixes that somewhat narrow horizontal dispersion problem.
Cables I used to buy 20 years ago , now days I make my own . Good lord I blew money on them lol there’s probably a snake skin or two around here somewhere lol !
Yes I'd enjoy hearing that JBL center you got! Looks like a monster.
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
When I change gear I've mostly done it for something specific I wanted with some thought/planning/budgeting....not so much as just a consuming experience of randomly trying different gear. I remember way back (like 30 years ago) when how much was made of changing from a receiver to separates, and when I did even with 3x the amp power it still wasn't as impressive as that was hyped up to be, so that might have been the worst upgrade in a way in that it wasn't particularly significant, but the receiver died after an epic party so needed new gear at the time anyways and the new gear worked great so not a bad thing. Biggest upgrade in gear I suppose was my first good subwoofers as well, went without a long time and endured some weak ones along the way. The attraction of digital audio vs vinyl was a significant upgrade, too.
It's good you have the self control to primarily just buy when something is lacking. I have some of that too which is preventing me from doing much now absent some ridiculously high quality gear at a low price used which doesn't come around much. So I really just NEED to stop looking
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Ninja
without question the best 'upgrade' was learning how to improve and optimize speaker / room interaction. If I had a nickel for every high dollar system I've heard over the years that was set up in a garbage environment .........
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Best upgrade was getting rid of the Onkyo HTIB for my current rig. :p

That's a no-brainer, though.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
It's good you have the self control to primarily just buy when something is lacking. I have some of that too which is preventing me from doing much now absent some ridiculously high quality gear at a low price used which doesn't come around much. So I really just NEED to stop looking
LOL and realized, no that was 40 years ago, not 30. I like looking, actually laying out the cash....not so much. I've also been debt free most of my life, learned that lesson early on....for example, would never buy something like audio gear on credit....I do accumulate stuff, tho and like to put useable things to use....that's why four multich av systems in four rooms....and a 2ch one in a fifth :)
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
When I change gear I've mostly done it for something specific I wanted with some thought/planning/budgeting....not so much as just a consuming experience of randomly trying different gear. I remember way back (like 30 years ago) when how much was made of changing from a receiver to separates, and when I did even with 3x the amp power it still wasn't as impressive as that was hyped up to be, so that might have been the worst upgrade in a way in that it wasn't particularly significant, but the receiver died after an epic party so needed new gear at the time anyways and the new gear worked great so not a bad thing. Biggest upgrade in gear I suppose was my first good subwoofers as well, went without a long time and endured some weak ones along the way. The attraction of digital audio vs vinyl was a significant upgrade, too.
Yeah adding a cd player to my system was a good thing back in the early 80s. And I bought a new deck every 10 years or so to keep a current DAC.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yeah adding a cd player to my system was a good thing back in the early 80s. And I bought a new deck every 10 years or so to keep a current DAC.
Are you still doing the update the dac thing?
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
Not since 2015 when I bought my NAD cd player. It sounds fine so no need to upgrade yet. Plus, my HK 3490 has a built in dac so I can always hook a player into the receiver.
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic General
Yes I'd enjoy hearing that JBL center you got! Looks like a monster.
It is rather large for sure but in a dark room it disappears and sounds good with any format . No matter where you sit the dialogue is locked in the screen . 5.1 sacd or dvd audio is superb with center focused vocals is just so 3 dimensional from it . Glad I sprung for it when I did .
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Not since 2015 when I bought my NAD cd player. It sounds fine so no need to upgrade yet. Plus, my HK 3490 has a built in dac so I can always hook a player into the receiver.
I think you're safe....dac tech has been stable for a while...
 
W

Wardog555

Junior Audioholic
My best upgrades as follows. Lg 4k sdr to Samsung ks9500. Then to lg cx. All at 65 inches. Went from a soundbar to 5.1 then 7.1 then to 5.1.2. And upgraded to svs pb 1000 pro subwoofer. My mother thought there was an earthquake but just my subwoofer rumbling the other rooms :D

Worst upgrade was using a soundbar in the first place!
 

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