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What should my next upgrade be?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by greggor, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    I have a dedicated theater room with a 120" fixed screen with hidden components. I upgrade different components almost yearly to keep things current but I have a few items that are older and have been considering "upgrading". Here's what I have, looking for suggestions.

    Receiver:
    Pioneer SC67
    Projector:
    Epson 5030
    DVD Player:
    Sony BDP 350 Bluray player.

    Muisic:
    Denon DVD 2900 I have this connected to my system via quality composite cables for listening to CD''s only.

    DirecTV: Genie

    Speakers:
    Front Paradigm Studio 60's V2
    Sides Paradigm Studio ADP V2
    Rear surrounds Paradigm Studio 20's V2
    CC Paradigm Studio CC V2
    Subwoofer is a 12" SVS not sure of the model number but it was bought new in 2006.

    My speakers are definitely the oldest equipment I have (purchased new back in 2000) but they sound good and have been very well taken care of and have no signs of wear. How much would I have to spend to replace all of them in my 7.1 set up to hear an improvement?

    Is my receiver the weakest link?

    My projector is just a few years old and I'm not sure if I'm sold on the benefits of a true 4k projector

    I just added a harmony Elite which replaced an old URC 700.

    I'm leaning towards buying a 4K DVD player but in the absence of a 4K projector I'm not sure it's worth it. If this was your theater what would you change?

    Regards,
    Greg
     
  2. DigitalDawn

    DigitalDawn Extra

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    Hi Greg,

    I wouldn't bother upgrading your DVD player until you have a 4K display. That leaves the speakers themselves.

    We generally specify speakers based on several factors, the most important of which is room size. With that in mind, if you could answer the questions below I will be able to help you with some suggesitons.

    Please tell me your full room size (WxDxH)
    Seating Distance from the front speakers?
    How far the outside seats are from your side walls?
    How far is the last row from your back wall?
    Music/Movies listening -- percentage of each?

    Regards,
    Dawn
     
  3. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for your response and questions.

    I was also considering new speakers speakers. The room is about 17 feet from the screen to the last row (second row). Ceilings are 8' and the first row of seating are 8' back from the screen. The center channel is sitting on top of a small stage area built in front of the screen and the two fronts are to the side of the 120" screen. I'm using ADP speakers for two side channels. The left side speaker is mounted to a beam that is sheetrocked and runs the length of the room. The right side speaker is mounted to the wall above a window. Both side speakers are higher than I would like and I was actually considering going with in ceiling speakers for the sides and the rears. Rear speakers are mounted in the corners at the same height as the side speakers. Music is as important to me as music and I have different MCACC settings for both that I switch back and forth between. I prefer a warm sound to a bright/forward sound which has always been a challenge with my Paradigm Studio speakers. They can be a little bright at times and are probably right on the edge of what I would consider acceptable. I'll try and post a diagram showing the room dimensions and layout as it's sort of a unique space...
     
  4. Message #4 of 17 Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    John Dirk

    John Dirk Screenwriter
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    As the saying goes, "a picture is worth 1000 words." It would definitely help to see your room and speaker layout.

    This is not recommended. Speakers need to be positioned correctly for the sound stage to properly mimic the content onscreen. It may work acceptably well for two channel music but multi-channel soundtracks will definitely suffer. Ideally ALL speakers should be ear-level unless they are height speakers intended for use with properly encoded Dolby Atmos, DTS:X or Auro 3D sources.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The Epson 5030 is a 3D-capable projector, and a pretty great one at that. However, your BDP-350 (if memory serves) is only capable of playing 2D discs. You could upgrade to a 3D-capable Blu-ray player for not a lot of money. The Epson 5030 does come with two pairs of 3D glasses, and you can purchase additional Epson sets for about $100 each, or ones from different manufacturers for closer to $20 each.

    Utilizing the 3D capability that your system already has is a great way to get some extra bang for your buck, and 3D home projection can be quite an impressive thing to show off to friends and neighbors.
     
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  6. DigitalDawn

    DigitalDawn Extra

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    That's a good start. I think you forgot the room width though. Also, please do post a diagram.

    One last question. What is your speaker budget?
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’ll be the contrarian and suggest that instead of spending money on unnecessary upgrades year after year, plan for the big 4K upgrade. Upgrading all the sub-components (Blu-ray, dvd, AVR, screen, projector) are pointless until you’re able to display 4K.

    You’ve got fantastic speakers. Upgrading to a new full 7.1 speaker ensemble to outdo your Paradigm Studios is going to be $3000+. So, why? When you haven’t gone 4K HDR yet?
     
  8. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Yes, I know which is why I'm looking at going with in ceiling speakers. Unfortunately, my speaker placement is limited by my room. I know ceiling speakers also aren't ideal but at least the sound will be directed towards the seating area.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  9. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Thanks Dave and I agree. Speakers will be an expensive upgrade but then again so will a new projector and 4k DVD player. I think it's important to note that I am also leaning towards just replacing my side and back surrounds with very good quality in ceiling speakers. I know paradigm used to make some studio reference line in ceiling speakers so I am looking. I just need to make sure they'll be better than what I already have as far as I know my placement isn't optimal due to the type of room I have and where the walls are located. My speakers are old but they do sound good and I'm not sure what brands are going to provide noticeable enough improvement to justify the expense.

    if anyone knows what model speakers for the paradigm in ceiling speakers i want to look at please advise.
     
  10. Message #10 of 17 Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
    greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    I hate budgets so i don't have one. I'm comfortable spending what I need too and wouldn't want to replace all of my current speakers with a lesser brand. That said we need to be reasonable. I'll work on that diagram as soon as I can. The media portion of the room is about 11" wide. I should add that the room is split in half with the HT side on one side and a bar on the other. Components are built into a wall on the bar side so they are out of view while watching movies. It's not strictly just a dedicated HT room.
     
  11. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    I had the model number wrong. My sony Bluray player is 3D capable and we own quite a few 3D titles which all look great. 4K is enticing but my projector isn't very old and I've been very pleased with its performance.
     
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  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The 5030 is a fantastic projector; I have the same unit and because it's so good, I'm in no rush to upgrade to UHD.
     
  13. DigitalDawn

    DigitalDawn Extra

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    If you are looking for really great In-Ceiling speakers take a look at Triad. We've installed tons of them and when properly set up, the sound appears to come directly from the TV.

    Triad hand builds their speakers in Portland Oregon, and they have speakers at many different price points. They will even paint match their speakers to match your wall or ceiling.

    Take a look at the IC Bronze/8 LCRs: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/home-cinema/ic-bronze8-lcr/

    If you like, I would be happy to run the necessary calculations to see if these speakers will work in your room.
     
  14. John Dirk

    John Dirk Screenwriter
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    We're going to get along just fine! :)
     
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  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’ve been to one home theater with ceiling surrounds. It was very high-end, probably $125k+ , no joke. And the surround was not good because it was also ceiling speakers.

    So, my gut from very little experiment is to not go to ceiling for sides and surrounds. Your room isn’t perfect, so I don’t know what your trade offs are.
     
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  16. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    I'll try and get some pictures of the room up with some exact measurements this weekend.

    I like my HT a lot and it's probably better than most but things can always be improved or upgraded to maximize the experience. Thanks for all the advice.
     
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  17. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    They look interesting, I'm just not sure how well those would timber match with Paradigms. I really need to consider in ceiling speakers before making a final decision.
     

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