weakest link? what would you upgrade?

My system, speakers B&W 804S front center and rears, have two DM602 for 7.1 don't know if i will stay with seven channel...

pioneer elite 92txh receiver decoding and used for pre outs to...

anthem statement p5 amp.

sub is a paradigm signature 15A

room is 25 by 25 but half is used for home theater.

i love my projector so no worries there.

i run a play station 3 for my blu rays.

so ideas???? and reasons why.


this is a home theater ONLY system, thus my post in hometheater.
You didn't mention what you were using for playing your music.... IMO a nice upgrade would be a Blu-ray/CD player. I have heard many good things about the oppo as a blu-ray player. It also has components ie: DAC; that makes it great for analog audio music listening. While I have no issues with the PS3. I think its a great device, but I think you will get a lot of enjoyment out of a universal player like the Oppo.
I'm not a fan of B&W speakers, but if you like them and plan to keep them, I would start off with a good stereo amp for for your front left and right speakers. There's only so much power that you can get out of your receiver. A good amp will really take control of the speakers. Should make a very big difference.
What are you dissatisfied with in your setup that makes you think of upgrading?

Your sub and amp are more than capable in your setup, so I'm assuming you might have some issues with either the receiver or the main speakers???
Not really dissatisfied, i was just looking for opinions. but then again i don't know what would make a large enough difference to make the change, so i ask the question.
Baranowski, I kind of had the similar experience,
I was using a Marantz avr with B&W 805 center anyway I changed the whole thing
first I did'nt want to doubt the power of a very good AVR like the Arcam avr400 for now if the avr600 upgrades to HDMI 1.4 I might be tempted but the truth is the Arcam avr400 is very powerful at 90X7 wpc not two channels like most avrs companies, as well the Arcam's power is just awsome it will drive and hold most speakers to the wall, right now I have Merlins VSM mme they're sensitive at 89db so works well for me.
good luck finding the missing link.
My opinion, your P5 is an excellent amp, tons of power.
- Rid the PS3 for maybe Oppo 93 to utilize better processing- or wait for new 103 model.
- I think weak link is your pioneer and PS3
- you could still use your Pioneer for Pre- amp but does it have pass through and any room correction?

-----What is your budget for any changes?-----

Regards Bacardi
The pioneer has the Room correction, not sure about the pass through though. i believe so.

If this system is for HT only, why not just get a used or refurbished Integra or Onkyo pre/pro if you are not quite sure about your older Pioneer 92thx. They are outstanding for HT and include most if not all modern bells and whistles like Audyssey MultEQ XT32.



Zd542.... i have an anthem statement separate amp... you suggesting i also get a stereo amp?.....

if i mostly watch blu rays would a different player matter.... there is no decoding or up converting, running a losses signal, would the oppo be any different?
Sounds like you have a great home theater system Bill. With the exception of souce components, I can't think a reason to change the Speakers and Amp. Even the Pioneer acting as a pre-pro is a solid link if you do not need HDMI 1.4 and it sounds like you don't - you're happy with your projector. Further, the Pioneer uses advanced MCACC as do the newer Pioneer Elites so no advantage here either.

So perhaps the only thing is the source. If you like music, upgrade your BluRay/DVD/CD player to get better DAC's for CD playback and utilize the players analog outputs. If you dont care so much for music, don't change a thing as you in very good shape right now.

I think ZD542 did not realize you had the Anthem amp hence the mention of your receiver's power in his post. As mentioned before in this thread and other threads, your P5 is one heck of an amp and it would take quite an upgrade to perform as well as your Anthem.

I kinda figured that he didnt read the OP. But i just wanted to make sure. i love my amp, even thought about getting a p2 if i get some of the older 802N to bi amp them.

any information on my question about the newer or better blu ray player if i just play blu rays... no need for up converting.

i don't use this system for music.. unless it is a blu ray concert.

Sorry. I did overlook your amp. I don't have any direct experiance with Anthem but I highly doubt that it is the weak link in your system. A couple of others mention that you should upgrade upgrade your source. I agree 100%. In your system, it would make the most sense. After that, I would look at a new preamp processor. I know some people may not agree with me on this, but the preamp/processor is a huge factor when it comes to good sound; both in the digital and analog domain. Once again, sorry for my error. I should have been more careful.
Right off the bat, for movies only, you would have to conceed that you are not at the very pinnacle of dynamic realism, range, and power with that system -including modest senstitivity passive music speakers, the receiver pre, and modest power amp. There's some otherwise nice home audio gear in and of itself there, but what does other gear offer that yours doesn't, is what I'd ask myself if you had the bug to explore other options, upgrade performance, etc.
Also, there's no info here about the room, layout and setup..all of which have a huge impact on the performance from your system "parts". Put your loudspeakers in one room setting, and you'll get one results, another room setting, and you get an entirely differen results ...maybe even requiring you go different gear to match the layout!?
Basically, off the top, as much as you may or may not like the very popular B&W passive MUSIC speakers, they are first and foremost designed for just that -home music. So be aware.
What do other types of more dedicated "cinema" application loud speakers do, that maybe a traditional stereo music loudspeaker doesn't? Well, for one, they more often than not tend to offer higher order dynamics and even power handling (sometimes, depending) than typical home stereo gear. They also typically integrate better acoustically into room spaces, allowing less interference from the loudspeakers with the room and boundaries. In short, you hear more from the loudspeaker directly, and less from the reflecting surrounding room!
In your case, the open tweeter over midrange design, will yeild mediocre to poor relative sonic results, if you are not sitting relatively close to those speakers, or if you have low ceiling (untreated) boundaries in relative relation to the seating areas (translation, your also hearing direct reflections off the ceiling right back to the listing seat, simultaneously! - smearing image, obscuring detail, softer soundstage, weaker dynamics through the midrange and trebble, etc.)
All that's not to say you can't get acceptable sound for your applciation from your speakers, it just gets down to setup,integration and application, listening habbits and lifestly, expectations vs other comparative equipment out there, tastes, and so on. Basically, Metalica at concert levels, Transformers, and heavy dynamic content will be more forcefull and effortless dyanmically, vs the B&W's, in my experience (I used to sell the brand at two different retail spaces 10 years ago) For instance, what does a passive B&W stereo speaker offer that a large active theater horn speaker system not offer? Perhaps some refinement and transparancy?? However, garanteed, the highly efficient,sensitive, and focused designed theater loudspeakers (say, IMAX THX Active horn system?) system offers dynamics so powerful they can physically jar you out of your seat, at even low volume levels! Very engaging and thrilling in terms of impactful sonics. You can also get similar results in smaller spaces with active woofer Definitives, Klipsch horns and subs combo's, multi-driver higher sensitivity stuff..I'm just sayin.
The B&W's? Well they're a little more polite and subdued, compared to higher efficiency stuff, all things equal.
Getting active THX M&K's, Genelecs, large multi-driver higher efficiency designs, alot of horn speaker designs, and other speaker types can also move the dynamics needle further towards the ultimate, basically. So, dynamics go up from where you are at with your stuff, is what I'm saying.
I give the B&W's about a 3/5 in ultimate dyamics department. That's like comparing a BMW 525i, with a 6 cyliner engine vs the M5 550hp equivalent!!
Also, getting separates pre/pro will often offer better sonics, dynamics overall, and refinement. But, then what do you expect from your system? Maybe the picture is the most important (it is for me, now-a-days) and, the audio, bellow that in portance.
What would I do if I had your speakers to keep in my system? In a lower 8 foot high ceiling typical living room setup, I'd be having to move the couch just before or after the center line of the living room, in the short wall setup, and or going long wall setup, with the speakers spaced minimalist width, out in the room a couple few feet, and the couch not too far from the speakers, relative to the width and low ceiling! if I had high ceilings, id have more flexibility, and make sure the sidewalls are far away, or treated to break up the reflections. Then, I'd drive em at 80hz, cross to a subwoofer, and drive em with 250-500watts/ch for the mains and center! Performance from your setup is now at 3.75/5 for dyanamics, plus nice clear stereo images, detail, clarity and pretty sound, as any audiophile speaker should offer. Again, however, the system is an entry to midlevel dynamic performer for ultimate cinema! Fun, but not ultimate there, sorrry.
Lots of other things you can uprade for improving the performance and overall experience, including acoustics, lighting control, noise abatement (I have no idea what kind of space youre using), line conditioning, equipment issolation, cabling choices, maximizing seating and speaker locations vs layout and acoustics. And, yes, moving the system more towards what the best cinema theaters use for their equipment won't hurt your movie experience, highly likely.
Bottom line, if you like your stuff, and it makes a smile on your face, others like it, etc, then no problem. If you've heard other systems, that offer what your's doesn't have, then you consider changes.
It's all "stuff", and eveyone has different stuff. Still, some products simply do some things different, and sometimes better than others, in certain departments...better for some applications than others, for differing tastes, lifestyles, scenarios, etc.
What do you think about your system? That's what it gets down to. Just don't think you have the end-all-be-all movie setup, because you spent some cash on some nice cabients and technology. There's always a faster race-car to be had out there.
Avgoround.. that is one heck of a response, thank you. my room is 25' by 25' sheet rock. 8' ceilings. commercial carpet leather furniture and mutipal heavy drapes for window treatments. i use only half for the home theater. the other half is open to the billiard side of the room. as i am sure there are "better" options for speaker choice in a home theater, i can say i am pretty happy with what i have, the idea of a upgraded front sound stage to possible 802's is a real option. it just seems that it would be possible overkill since the crossover is set to 80.

changing out the entire speaker system is not a financial possibility.
The big question is "where does it hurt"? Obviously you are experiencing displeasure or you wouldn't be here looking in to options of change. Does the sound come off hard? You mention leather furniture and commercial carpet.
These combined can create a type of echo for lack of a better word. Maybe room acoustics are a direction to go.
I am shooting in the dark here.

Not really dissatisfied, i was just looking for opinions. but then again i don't know what would make a large enough difference to make the change, so i ask the question.

I understand, as we all seem to want changes in our system from time to time when many would kill to have what we have. You have a good system equipment wise, maybe cables would create a differents sound that brings a fresh and new excitement. From I read I think you are in a "tweeking" mood and just need to decide where to start.
All just my opinion as I am kinda where you are but unable to move due to budget.
If this is a dedicated game/ ht room then you should look into room treatment. Some bass traps and sound diffuser panels or perhaps adding another one or two subs would be great for HT.
Doing the research on the acoustic panels now.... thanks
I don't really understand. You seem to like your current set up. Why change?
Maybe i am missing something and do not know about it, i do not know what changes would make a significant impact. so i was looking for ideas.
I don't really understand. You seem to like your current set up. Why change?
I don't know what percent of people on these forums make changes only when they are not happy with what they have, but I imagine it's pretty low.
I didn't know.how much i would enjoy my new center channel, then i bought it and even the wife said"wow"...
i didn't know how much i would like the separate amp, then i got it.... After that the sound changed....

that is why i was asking the question, i purchased the other two upgrades on advise from this forum... and i am even more pleased with my hometheater....

thank you all for your advise.

After i do my next upgrade i am sure i will ask the question again.... after i use it for a while that is.... and as always i will let people know my experience with my upgrades and thoughts.... that is why i am on this forum so much, you get a great deal of advise from people who have been where you are.

If you are researching on acoustic panel then I would suggest GIK acoustic. They are not too expensive and their staffs are very helpfull.
I was thinking more of a diy.... i just wonder how big to make them and where to place... i have seen a few articles on this but not many for my application as far as my room features..
You may want to check http://www.audiocircle.com . This website has the Acoustic circle and GIK circle - plenty of helpull ideas for diy.
If you are interested in DIY acoustic treatment, I can give you some good info. Most acoustic panels are made from fibreglass. Very simply, all you need to do is buy fibreglass panels (Not the big roll up kind, but the pre-made rectangle panels.), and cover them with fabric that goes with your room. I have friends who swear that these panels are just as good as anything you can buy. I can't say for myself because I never did a comparison.

Instead of giving more details on how to make them, check this website out: http://audioperfectionist.com/. Thats the publication that I got it from. Audio Perfectionist Journal is not produced any more but their website is still up and they let you download a bunch of old issues for free. Not to get off topic, but I would encourage everyone to have a look at this web site, especially if you are new to audio. Its by far the best resource for audio equipment and setup I have ever seen.

If, for some reason, anyone has trouble downloading the Journal, just post. I'm pretty sure I still have a backup somewhere.
Thank you, i will check it out.

Hi Bill - any progress on your DIY acoustical treatments? I have built quite a few and could share my learnings if you were interested. (You can see some of them in my System page or read about them in my blog responses.)

As far as education on what thicknesses to build them and where best to place them, I like Dr Floyd Toole's book and would recommend you start there.

No progress yet.... actually was just revisiting the idea... any input would be great