Upgrade bug! What first?

B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
Current 5.2 system

Denon AVR-S760Hreceiver (75wpc)
LCR: B&W 707's and HTM72
Surrounds: Micca in-wall 6.5
Subs: (1) SVS PB-1000 and (1) RSL Speedwoofer 10s

Room: 17x25x8 and open to the kitchen. Listening position is a large sectional sofa ~9' from the screen with the room open behind.

Issues and options:
BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS are not 'big' enough to fill the space. They are also low sensitivity and only come alive sound when power is supplied. Consider replacing with a compact floor stander. This room is our main living space, so must pass the WAF. Currently under consideration are new Q Acoustics 5040's or Concept 50's.

RECEIVER: Could be upgraded for quality and power to compensate for current speakers and room size. I will not go beyond 7.2.2 and as such would prefer quality and power over extra channels etc. Dirac is highly desirable.

SURROUNDS: Looking to move to 7.2.2 with addition of small stand-mounted rears and moving the miccas to the sides of the MLP. B&W M1's under consideration.

Budget is modest but flexible, and would use proceeds from sale of current items to off-set costs of upgrades.

Thanks in advance!
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
Speakers are always the first in line for a Sound Quality upgrade. Nothing else will do that for you. So look towards getting your Front 3 upgraded first.
After that, I would argue looking at an updated AVR would be in order, especially if it will also improve other aspects of your experience.

You can move your B&Ws to surround or Rear duty to save some coin on buying more Speakers... Focus on getting the quality you want up front for delivering your SPL and SQ goals.

Subwoofage can be improved, but I would focus on the front soundstage first. ;) When it comes time for doing the Subs, you'll have plenty of time to consider what steps you may want to take to improve that based on your usage.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
Definitely more power and displacement, if not for anything but the sake of headroom alone.

Unless you entertain guests all the time and need a model home, the idea of WAF is best suited to a counselor or therapist. Some people in relationships need to be reminded who the other half of the living space belongs to. This WAF trend has caused more problems than it should by inundating people with underpowered/sized speakers and amps. From there they end up trying to compensate for this with gobs of EQ and other compensations.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
I concur that more power wouldn’t be a bad thing to have on tap. Many of the newer AVRs have higher power ratings, or shopping smart for an AVR that allows for an external amp may be a good solution. That will depend much, however, on the needs of the Speakers.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Spartan
If you decide to look for well priced twin woofer towers that have a high sensitivity, let me suggest the JBL 590's which are being offered by the manufacturer at 60% discount: $399.99 rather than $999.99 each. These are well rated and at the asking price, they are a real bargain. They can be matched with the A135C center speaker which is also discounted.
With those speakers which have a sensitivity of 92 dB, you won't need to replace your AVR which will easily drive them.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
Let's focus on new front speakers. Let any decision about a receiver wait until you choose front speakers.

Why Q Acoustics? I get that they have a small foot print. But there are plenty of other floor standing speakers that have a similar foot print.

They're a UK brand. Are you in the UK, the USA, or elsewhere? Did you hear them at a dealer? If you did listen to them, what about them appealed to you?

I'm not at all familiar with them, but I haven't shopped for new speakers for a while. Here's what Q Acoustics says about the 5040 (unknown price) and Concept 50 models (retail price $3,000 per pair). I read them over quickly, but didn't see anything in particular that make them stand out.
https://www.qacoustics.com/collections/5000-series/products/5040-floorstanding-speaker
https://www.qacoustics.com/collections/floorstanding-speakers/products/concept-50

I did find a Stereophile review of the Concept 50, with measurements
https://www.stereophile.com/content/q-acoustics-concept-50-loudspeaker-measurements
At first glance, I see nothing unusually good or particularly bad about them. There are some issues I have with the frequency response and impedance curves. In particular, there is a highly visible blip in the impedance curve (figures 1 & 2) at 162 Hz. It should be smooth in that range. That blip shouldn't be there, and suggests audible issues.
1688575879406.png


In figure 4, there is something at 162 Hz. It shouldn't be there at all. But I can't say whether it's audible and objectionable. The rest of the mid-range looks OK. But the tweeter's response looks ragged. For that price, $3,000 a pair, there are other speakers that deliver better performance.
1688576005038.png
 
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B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
Thoughts on Martin Logan Motion 40i's. Saw them recently at BB, steeply discounted, open box.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Spartan
Thoughts on Martin Logan Motion 40i's. Saw them recently at BB, steeply discounted, open box.
This speaker has an impedance curve that digs down below 4 ohms at 53 Hz. Your AVR doesn't have the adequate power supply to drive it. The JBL 590 which I suggested in one of the above listed posts would be a much better match.
 
B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
My AVR is rated at 4ohms, and the Martin Logan spec sheet says their compatible with 4, 6, and 8 ohm receivers. No good?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Spartan
My AVR is rated at 4ohms, and the Martin Logan spec sheet says their compatible with 4, 6, and 8 ohm receivers. No good?
My apologies. A lot of AVRs are not designed to drive 4 ohm speakers, but yours can.

Did you have the opportunity to listen to the Martin Logans? If not, then can you return them if you're not satisfied? Several stores offer that possibility and IMO, that's very important as you are probably going to live with them for awhile.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Spartan
My AVR is rated at 4ohms, and the Martin Logan spec sheet says their compatible with 4, 6, and 8 ohm receivers. No good?
Here are measurements of the M L 40 by the Sound & Vision magazine:

The Motion 40’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +2.25/–4.34 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 48 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 40 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 3.48 ohms at 111 Hz and a phase angle of –44.04 degrees at 69 Hz.

The impedance dips to 3.48 ohms and the phase angle gets rather hard on amplifiers. If you're not to be sitting very far from the speakers, and you don't listen at high levels, your AVR may be able to drive them. Otherwise, you would have to get a new AVR having pre-outs for external amplification, as yours doesn't seem to have any maybe except for a subwoofer. By the way, you would need a decent subwoofer to complement your Martin Logans. Does the S760H have a sub pre-out?
 
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B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
My apologies. A lot of AVRs are not designed to drive 4 ohm speakers, but yours can.

Did you have the opportunity to listen to the Martin Logans? If not, then can you return them if you're not satisfied? Several stores offer that possibility and IMO, that's very important as you are probably going to live with them for awhile.
Yes, 15 day returns! I'm not committed to them but I see that the new model has been rolled out and the Motion 40i's are marked down way down, with the open box marked down even further. Getting a speaker that originally retailed for $1299 for ~$300 seems like a decent deal.
 
B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
Thanks for the measurements. Sitting 9ft from the speakers, listening volume is low to moderate the vast majority of the time. If the receiver burns out I'll have an excuse to upgrade;). just hope it doesn't happen TOO soon!
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Thoughts on Martin Logan Motion 40i's. Saw them recently at BB, steeply discounted, open box.
They all say that as the lie through their teeth, so they don't loose sales.
 
B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
They all say that as the lie through their teeth, so they don't loose sales.
I'm not following. They all say what? I was at the store and they were sitting there, perfect condition. I told them the steeply discounted online price and the sales guy said, no, that's too low. I showed him the online price, he said that must be for other speakers. i said, these are the only ones in the store! Apparently BestBuy will discount things without informing the sales team. For $300-350 each I think it's a decent deal.
 
Bobby Bass

Bobby Bass

Senior Audioholic
I'm not following. They all say what? I was at the store and they were sitting there, perfect condition. I told them the steeply discounted online price and the sales guy said, no, that's too low. I showed him the online price, he said that must be for other speakers. i said, these are the only ones in the store! Apparently BestBuy will discount things without informing the sales team. For $300-350 each I think it's a decent deal.
bstan in my experience that’s the way it works at Best Buy. Have had the same issue with online deals. You’re doing the right thing by getting the best price you can find online and then getting at Best Buy (as long as it’s in stock). They can ship to you for free too and with their 15 day return policy You can return it to the store And not pay for the return shipping. If it’s a Magnolia item you need to return the item to a store with a Magnolia setup. All the information should be available online so you know the rules before you buy and try. Good luck on your new musical journey!
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Slumlord
Dear Bstan, would you mind reading a short personal story that might help you re-valuate your goals:
When I was shopping for an upgraded espresso machine from my back then, a simple cheap one, which I quickly outgrew and developed a severe upgrade itch, I am not rich, far from it. At best, somewhat upper middle class, all self-earned, with few decent investments and long-time savings.
My budget for a new espresso machine was around 1k. I know even that number seems absurdly high for most outsiders. But after long and tedious market research, I realized several things:
a) I don't want to compromise on a few important features; this is my last espresso machine.
b) I want to be well-engineered, build, and as a result, hopefully, be reliable with minimal maintenance required.
c) I want not to have regrets later on and missing some important features
d) and finally, I would want to be able to repair it in 20 years if necessary, so commonly used off-the-shelf parts are preferred over the custom, small-run parts are.
I ended up spending nearly $2.5k.
This was almost 8 years ago, and so far, a,b, and c hold 100% true.
That doesn't mean more expensive is always better, but better products often cost more.

So, If you apply similar logic to your upgrade of your HT, I recommend rethinking your budget and going with speakers, which are not just 5 out 5 performance-wise, but also 5 out 5 on value for your money-wise.
More specifically, these:
But these, like your current B&W speaker, love more power, so upgraded AVR with pre-outs (this should be must )
should be your next purchase.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Samurai
Dear Bstan, would you mind reading a short personal story that might help you re-valuate your goals:
When I was shopping for an upgraded espresso machine from my back then, a simple cheap one, which I quickly outgrew and developed a severe upgrade itch, I am not rich, far from it. At best, somewhat upper middle class, all self-earned, with few decent investments and long-time savings.
My budget for a new espresso machine was around 1k. I know even that number seems absurdly high for most outsiders. But after long and tedious market research, I realized several things:
a) I don't want to compromise on a few important features; this is my last espresso machine.
b) I want to be well-engineered, build, and as a result, hopefully, be reliable with minimal maintenance required.
c) I want not to have regrets later on and missing some important features
d) and finally, I would want to be able to repair it in 20 years if necessary, so commonly used off-the-shelf parts are preferred over the custom, small-run parts are.
I ended up spending nearly $2.5k.
This was almost 8 years ago, and so far, a,b, and c hold 100% true.
That doesn't mean more expensive is always better, but better products often cost more.

So, If you apply similar logic to your upgrade of your HT, I recommend rethinking your budget and going with speakers, which are not just 5 out 5 performance-wise, but also 5 out 5 on value for your money-wise.
More specifically, these:
But these, like your current B&W speaker, love more power, so upgraded AVR with pre-outs (this should be must )
should be your next purchase.
Without reiterating everything you just said, I am also a firm believer in buying value over low price. I have found for things that matter to me (not everything matters) I often forget price as soon as I get the item at home. But the value lasts for a long time. I am willing to pay a premium for great value : a match between what I expect and what I get for a product. Lots of woes on the AH exist because people want to upgrade on the cheap. What happens? They buy lateral products or products that really aren't any substantial increase in capability. The cheap or price comparison shopper often just doesn't get anywhere in this hobby. A real upgrade takes some research and far more often than not, a layout of more cash than one would expect.

Your story was very good. Apt. Thx.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Spartan
Current 5.2 system

Denon AVR-S760Hreceiver (75wpc)
LCR: B&W 707's and HTM72
Surrounds: Micca in-wall 6.5
Subs: (1) SVS PB-1000 and (1) RSL Speedwoofer 10s

Room: 17x25x8 and open to the kitchen. Listening position is a large sectional sofa ~9' from the screen with the room open behind.

Issues and options:
BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS are not 'big' enough to fill the space. They are also low sensitivity and only come alive sound when power is supplied. Consider replacing with a compact floor stander. This room is our main living space, so must pass the WAF. Currently under consideration are new Q Acoustics 5040's or Concept 50's.

RECEIVER: Could be upgraded for quality and power to compensate for current speakers and room size. I will not go beyond 7.2.2 and as such would prefer quality and power over extra channels etc. Dirac is highly desirable.

SURROUNDS: Looking to move to 7.2.2 with addition of small stand-mounted rears and moving the miccas to the sides of the MLP. B&W M1's under consideration.

Budget is modest but flexible, and would use proceeds from sale of current items to off-set costs of upgrades.

Thanks in advance!
If you like your speakers, subs are your gaping hole. I've made my feelings clear about all B&W speakers below the 800 series being a PIA. YMMV
 
B

bstan

Audioholic Intern
Dear Bstan, would you mind reading a short personal story that might help you re-valuate your goals:
When I was shopping for an upgraded espresso machine from my back then, a simple cheap one, which I quickly outgrew and developed a severe upgrade itch, I am not rich, far from it. At best, somewhat upper middle class, all self-earned, with few decent investments and long-time savings.
My budget for a new espresso machine was around 1k. I know even that number seems absurdly high for most outsiders. But after long and tedious market research, I realized several things:
a) I don't want to compromise on a few important features; this is my last espresso machine.
b) I want to be well-engineered, build, and as a result, hopefully, be reliable with minimal maintenance required.
c) I want not to have regrets later on and missing some important features
d) and finally, I would want to be able to repair it in 20 years if necessary, so commonly used off-the-shelf parts are preferred over the custom, small-run parts are.
I ended up spending nearly $2.5k.
This was almost 8 years ago, and so far, a,b, and c hold 100% true.
That doesn't mean more expensive is always better, but better products often cost more.

So, If you apply similar logic to your upgrade of your HT, I recommend rethinking your budget and going with speakers, which are not just 5 out 5 performance-wise, but also 5 out 5 on value for your money-wise.
More specifically, these:
But these, like your current B&W speaker, love more power, so upgraded AVR with pre-outs (this should be must )
should be your next purchase.
Interesting story, and I agree, it's usually best to buy ONCE. Not to get too philosophical about it, but when you've got more pressing financial obligations and priorities, investing in 'expensive' audio seems selfish and indulgent. I need to get over that I guess.

The audio samples for those BMR's are very impressive. Wow! I'll have to consider them, but according to the specs i'll def need to upgrade to the amplification. Thanks for the feedback
 

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