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  1. #1

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    Default best upgrade to system

    Hi,
    I have been happy with my audio system for sometime, but am trying to figure out what might be the best upgrade or improvement I can do... I have RT800's purchased in 1999, a PSW350 sub, and a Harman/Kardon AVR65. My thought is external amp as the AVR65 does have Preamp outputs. With kids in college I have little $ to invest, but have also considered upgrading to the RTIA9's or upgrading the AV Receiver. Any thoughts as to what you would do to upgrade? Thanks for your input.

  2. #2

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    What's your main source component?

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  3. #3

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    It really depends--typically speaker upgrades give the most significant result, but if you like your current setup, why change?

    -Do you need more output? (seperate power amp)
    -Are you not happy with your sources' performance? (new source)
    -Are you wanting a change in tonal character? (speakers)

    This much I can say, to appreciably upgrade any of your existing components (pending source info), you'll need anywhere from $500-$1000 or more.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 11-09-2010 at 03:39 PM.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  4. #4

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    LG 43" DLP TV
    I am also using a Panasonic HD DVD player (bought very inexpensively).
    LG 43" DLP
    Main: RT800's
    Sub: PSW350
    Center: CS1

  5. #5

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    Well, using your Panny as a CD player is on par with the level of the rest of your equipment, so what are you wanting to change? Most important, what's your budget?

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

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    BTW welcome to Club Polk.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

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    What lead me to start considering a change was a question in the back of my mind as to whether or not I am getting the most out of what I have... Budget would be $1000 at max. I read just enough a/v info to make me dangerous. I have been reading some about power amplifiers and bi-amping trying to determine if that would increase the quality of sound with the system I have.
    LG 43" DLP
    Main: RT800's
    Sub: PSW350
    Center: CS1

  8. #8

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    In your case, I'd recommend the speaker upgrade. There's some Rtia9's in the flea market---heck of a price, too. $700/pr

    Bi-amping with anything less than top-shelf stuff is a waste of time, IMO, and possibly a waste of time WITH top shelf stuff..

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  9. #9

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    Depends on the purpose.

    Given your budget, for stereo listening, I would probably look at a 2 channel amp that puts out a little more juice, not for bi-amp, but just for good clean power with serious headroom. Your HK is only rated ~75wpc stereo, but you can use it as a pre-amp. A nice used 2 channel Adcom, NAD, or the like, will set you back ~$3-600, and you can continue to use that amp on future stereo upgrades.

    For movies, the number of channels is far more important, so get yourself a center and some surrounds. Get a beefy center, because 70-80% of the movie track will be piped through it, including most dialog.

    I also think bi-amp is generally wasteful.
    The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously. - Nietzche

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    I would say Receiver first, then subwoofer, then speakers.

  11. #11

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    Speakers and amp. Then save for a dedicated CDP.
    System
    ModWright SWL 9.0SE Signature Preamp | Aragon 8008 Mk II Amplifier
    Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeakers
    Squeezebox Touch |Rega DAC
    | Jolida JD-100A CDP | Sansui TU-717 Tuner (Joseph Chow Mods)

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetmaker737 View Post
    Speakers and amp. Then save for a dedicated CDP.
    I would have to agree.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvwad View Post
    What lead me to start considering a change was a question in the back of my mind as to whether or not I am getting the most out of what I have... Budget would be $1000 at max. I read just enough a/v info to make me dangerous. I have been reading some about power amplifiers and bi-amping trying to determine if that would increase the quality of sound with the system I have.
    Man, how many of us on this forum have had that ever nagging question "considering a change was a question in the back of my mind as to whether or not I am getting the most out of what I have... " Some here are completely happy with what they have but most of us are always looking at upgrades and how this or that would improve our system. It can be a obssesion and It can take a heavy toll on the pocket book.
    But I totaly agree with Speakers, amp and dedicated CDP. that is the route I went and purchased all used to make the upgrade and am very happy.

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