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JBL 305 HT equivalent or Polk Monitor 70 upgrade?

saaif88

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Jan 29, 2024
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Hi everyone,

I am not much of a seasoned audiophile, but I am a musician and electrical engineer, so I have some experience in the world of sound, amplification, and speakers. I am looking to upgrade my home theatre with a heavy emphasis on the front speakers.

My reference to "good" speakers are my JBL LSR 305s, the original 305p MKII, but I assume they are very similar. I love the way these sound, they are clear, have ridiculously good imaging, massive soundstage, great tight bass, and are just overall amazing especially considering how tiny they are. I would make a home theatre out of these if I could, but even though they are amazing at low volumes in the near field, they just cannot handle a larger room with a further seating position.

Up until this point in my living room I have been using an Onkyo TX-NR575 (80wpc) to drive some very old Sony ss-u421av speakers from the 80s(?). Believe it or not, I had not upgraded because they genuinely sounded great, they image well, they have a nice soundstage, and they have great bass. They are also driven very nicely with this receiver, which is to say that I don't feel they are missing anything. The only problem is that they have pretty much disintegrated and fallen apart now, so I can't use them anymore.

I found a good deal on a pair of Polk Monitor 70s, CS2 Center, M10 Rears, and PSW10 subwoofer for $300 CAD, so I grabbed it. The centre channel is ginormous, but actually sounds great, fantastic actually. the M10s are whatever since they are just going to be on surround duty. The PSW10 also sounds pretty great.

The problem is the Monitor 70s... They sound... Terrible. I have read that they really need a LOT of power, power which I currently do not have, to actually sound good. Right now they sound so thin, have barely any soundstage, have almost no imaging, and they have bass, but the bass is so mediocre. They sound better than the M10s, but they sound quite a bit worse in comparison to the JBLs.

So here is the question: Do I invest in a power amplifier for these Monitor 70s? Will they sound anywhere near as good as the JBLs? Or should I just sell them and pick something up that has a closer sound signature to the JBLs? Maybe the Stage A130s?

Any help would be much appreciated from you guys who are way smarter than me!
 

Ellebob

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Nov 21, 2020
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If you really love the JBLs I would look at using their big brother 308 for the front three in your system. Going by your current system your volume requirements are not that loud. You would have to upgrade the receiver with something that had pre-outs but on the used market you can probably find everything you need for a good price.
 
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