I did a fairly complete overhaul of my system, thought I?d share the info since I use some fairly common equipment that I see people asking questions about. (not sure which forum to put it in so I?ll go with Speakers). Also ? this is just my experience, not making any claims that others would have the same?
I started out with this: Monitor 60?s (F), CS2 (C), Monitor 40?s (S) PSW12 sub, PS3 for music and movies & an Onkyo 503.
I replaced in this order;
1. PSW12 was replaced with a SVS PB10-NSD
2. Onkyo 503 was replaced with the Onkyo 807
3. CS2 was replaced with a CSi A6
4. Monitor 60?s were replaced with RTi A9?s (M60?s went to surround duty)
5. An XPA-3 amp was added for center and A9?s
6. I added an Oppo BDP-93, but kept the PS3 as well
Best ?bang for buck? in order;
1. PB10-NSD ? huge improvement over the PSW12, made me smile...
2. Onkyo 807 ? has Audyssey & more power ? big improvement for movies (with the 503 the dialogue was quiet & special effects were loud ? always had to adjust sound). With the 503 I was always checking to see if the rear speakers were on, with the 807 it?s not an issue.
3. RTi A9?s ? bigger, better, but harder for me to describe differences other then more bass.
4. CSi A6 ? to be honest I didn?t really notice much of a difference.
5. XPA-3 ? I couldn?t hear any difference when I added it.
* - not ranked, but the Oppo is very nice, added the ability to play SACD (bought WYWH ? sounds incredible)
Things I learned;
1. Wait (more) patiently for good deals ? I bought everything on sale, but if I had waited on the Onkyo I could have bought the 3007 for only a few hundred more (big deal here in Canada). I could have got the A9?s a lot cheaper and the ?old? LSi line is now close out priced.
2. I don?t have a ?good? ear ? there were quite a few changes I made that were very hard for me to notice. Fixing issues has had more effect then trying to upgrade.
3. Caution ? I bought the CSi A6 on impulse, and then figured out it was too big to fit over my TV where the CS2 was. I ended up having to buy a new entertainment center to house it under the TV. I then felt the need to replace the M60?s because they did not match the A6, although I did not notice any timbre matching issue.
Things that confused me:
1. Speaker changes were not very dramatic to me ? maybe my ears or maybe I should have gone higher up the food chain.
2. The whole ?do I need an amp? thing ? maybe a different amp, maybe the 807 has enough power for the 9?s, maybe my ears or listening area?
Things I want to try next:
1. Room treatments.
Was it worth it?
Not sure, it was fun to start with the sub and the 807, but went downhill a bit after that. The A6 fiasco with the new entertainment unit was stressful, the A9?s had to be bought online and the first pair was defective, had to be shipped back. The XPA-3 was kind of a non event.
If I had it to do over I think I would have done the sub and the receiver for HT and then bought a separate setup for music?.