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#333257 - 01/02/11 09:49 PM Currently at 2.0. What next?
Henry66 Offline

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
I have a grand total of two speakers, a pair of M80s. I am indescribably happy with the way they sound and how they have brought me back in touch with my music collection.

But, of course, I am planning to upgrade to 5.1 eventually. I am thinking of doing it in steps for budget reasons.

My first instinct for the next step is to go to 4.0 with a pair of QS8 surrounds.

My neighbour, a movie nut with his own rather expensive dedicated home theater, disagrees and says I should get the best center money can buy. I think my M80s produce a pretty darn good phantom center.

An "audiophile" co-worker says I should get a subwoofer next. He has PSB Imagine T's and two REL subwoofers (I forget the model). I think my M80s produce superb bass down to at least 30 Hz, so I am not sure that a subwoofer will give me much extra for the money.

Looking forward to plenty of awesome and conflicting advice from everyone here too. smile
Axiom M80s + QS8s + VP180 <-- Pioneer VSX-1120-K <-- Squeezebox Touch / XBox360 / Oppo BDP-93

#333259 - 01/02/11 09:57 PM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: Henry66]
ClubNeon Offline

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I'd say go with your instincts. The addition that will add the largest change to your current experience, will be some surround speakers.

If you, singularly, are the primary listener, then a phantom center will serve you well. So I'd go with a sub after the surrounds, and take the center as your final upgrade step. (Unless you want to go to 7.1, then I'd add the rears after the center.)
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs

#333261 - 01/02/11 10:02 PM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: Henry66]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10644
Henry, in my view your "first instinct" is absolutely right. Go with the QS8s for a 4.0 setup as the next step. Although a sub would be desirable, the M80s have good enough bass so that it isn't a crucial matter at this point. As you've learned, although a separate center speaker has certain advantages, a "phantom" center can be quite satisfactory, and doesn't need an immediate change.

On the other hand, there's no substitute for surround speakers and without them you don't really have a home theater. Both 2-channel(using a mode such as DPLII)and 5-channel source material benefit greatly from the surrounds and make the listening experience more enjoyable.

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.

#333262 - 01/02/11 10:10 PM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: JohnK]
grunt Offline

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Go with the QS8s first. They will make the most difference from what you have now.
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

#333276 - 01/03/11 01:30 AM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#333277 - 01/03/11 02:54 AM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: Henry66]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10644
Okay, Henry; so there you have it: a very diverse selection of opinions. Although it'll be tough, it's now up to you to sort them out.

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.

#333282 - 01/03/11 06:59 AM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: JohnK]
Philippe Offline

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 282
Nad C356 DAC & C515
Axiom M3v3
Grant Fidelity RPF-120 MKII
Analysis Plus Black Oval 12&10
JRiver 19

#333287 - 01/03/11 08:41 AM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: Henry66]
alan Offline


Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3268
Loc: Toronto/New York/parry Sound
QS8s, then center, then subwoofer.

Your co-worker says "subwoofer" first because the PSB Imagine Ts don't have as extended bass output as the M80s.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)

#333296 - 01/03/11 12:21 PM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: alan]
sam3274 Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 37
I echo the recommendation of Alan: Qs8s, then center, then sub.
I'll warn you, you'll want to travel that route really fast, perhaps all the way to 7.1 if your receiver accommodates the config.

In my case, I am re-deiscovering the sweetness of 2-channel sound since I switched to Axiom speakers, although I also have the 7.1 setup.

M80v3 VP180v3 QS8v3 QS4v3 SVS PB-Ultra 13
Yamaha DSP-Z7 Oppo 83SE

#333305 - 01/03/11 01:55 PM Re: Currently at 2.0. What next? [Re: sam3274]
fredk Offline

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
If you are happy with the phantom center, take that off the list.

If you watch mostly action movies and love rumble, go for a good sub.

Personally I would go with the QS8 as it adds something none of the other speakers can. The first time people walked overhead during a scene was soooo cool!

Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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