Modifying setup

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  • 04-04-2006, 03:03 PM
    giofer69
    Modifying setup
    Hi everyone,

    This a part two of a thread I created in the Home Theatre section.

    As mentioned in the other thread, I'm looking at modifying my HT set up. Currently I have a Rec.: RXV-1300(Yamaha) DVD: DVDS700 Fronts: Mirage OM-12
    Centre: Mirage OMC-3 Rears: OMR2s, No sub: Not a fan of bass, the speakers provide enough.

    I took home a RXV-1600 and NAD T563 during the weekend since I listen to music 80%, HT 20%. I like the NAD because I found the audio better than the Yammie even though I've been a Yamaha fan since 98 when I started with HT (RXV-992).

    Kex, gave me a couple of suggestions for receivers but emphasived to look at the speakers first. I've gotten tired of the Mirage, especially with the unique Omnipolar or Omnigude technology. Good for HT, bad for audio but in 98 I concentrated more on HT.

    Anyhow, along with listening to the receivers, I auditionned some speakers.

    Revels (Concerta series) and PSB (image series), there is only 3 excellent audio shops excluding the Best buys. So I'm trying to get some ideas for both speakers and receivers. Examples of speakers available close to home are Revels, PSB, Mirage, Energy, Totem, B&W. Receivers: NAD, Yamaha, Marantz, Rotel, HK. the one being mentioned are in my price range. Price range for receiver: $1000-1500Cdn, Speakers: $2000-$2500. No sub please, I tried them and I'm not a fan of them., Room is 15x12.

    Any opinions would be helpful. Especially from the vets (i.e Kex, Wooch, N. Abs, etc). A lot of members on this forum are very dedicated, so I will take hints to help me.

    Thanks
  • 04-04-2006, 04:51 PM
    audio_dude
    I think he wants a 5 point...ummmm....0?, am I correct?
  • 04-04-2006, 08:12 PM
    giofer69
    Not really a 5.0, just not a huge fan of bass. Still 5.1 but no sub.
  • 04-05-2006, 04:21 AM
    kexodusc
    Some more things to consider....
    $2500 is a good chunk of change for 5 speakers. Normally I'd say in a room 15 X 12 that you could scratch off a lot of big towers right off the bat, saving some funds. You might want to try them out, however since you won't have a sub right away. You'll probably get a lot of bass reinforcement from the room modes (first one is around 37-38 Hz in that room), and smaller speakers can usually deliver into the low 40's these days anyway, but without knowing your bass preferences for music, and knowing you won't have a sub, towers might be more appropriate.

    Since you are selling your existing gear, you might consider upgrading in stages, rather than all at once. Yes, this implies spending more money in the long run, but many people who've done this here will tell you that you'll be happy you did afterwards.

    Start with the front mains. You mentioned that you listen to music 80% of the time, you'll probably want to invest the most in the front mains to match your listening habbits. Rationally, there's not much sense in buying rear speakers and a center channel of comparable performance and cost to your front mains if you only use them 20% of the time. Your salespeople will push the notion of "timbre matching" your 5 speakers. This is good advice, all things equal. But it's not absolutely critical. If you don't listen to any multi-channel audio like SACD's, DVD-A's, or even concert DVD's, then timbre matching surrounds is even less important. Truth is, the apparent "timbre" between speakers in different parts of the room is quite different anyway so "matching" is a lot harder than just buying speakers with similar voicing. You can even get away with a "mis-matched" center channel, but in my experience you're better off buying the appropriate one so it doesn't drive you nuts. Depends how fussy you are. I'm just thinking 80% music listening puts home theater concerns at the bottom of the list.

    Once you decide how much you are willing to spend right now on front L/R speakers, you can start shopping. You might decide you still want it all now and the $2000-$2500 applies. That's fine.

    Next, you should consider whether or not you are up for buying second hand gear. One of the best things the internet has ever contributed is a worldwide market for quality used speakers. Audiogon.com and ebay are the two most common shopping places. You'll find your dollar goes a bit further buying used than buying brand new. It's not unusual to see speakers sell for 40-60% of their "new" price. This might afford you some better options? Most people who buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment tend to take super good care of them, so there's some measure of confidence buying used.

    Another option I always shill here is the DIY approach. If you have a few tools, and some time, you might find buying a speaker kit or building a complete design from scratch offers better value than buying commercial speakers. Proponents of speaker buiding will cite the high performance/low cost aspect as the biggest selling feature, but for me it's just a fun hobby. It's not for everyone though and there are some downsides, most notably not being able to hear the speaker until it's built. That's obviously a risk. Though to be honest, I haven't heard of anyone ever regretting the decision to DIY. Great value there.

    This should give us a better idea of what you're willing to do. Next step will be to list some brand names and get you out listening.

    edit: Just noticed you're in Canada (so am I)...For whatever reason, Canadian built speakers are a lot cheaper relative to their competitors here (but Canadian built cars aren't, go figure). The usual brands are Paradigm, Energy, PSB, and Axiom...The first three you can probably find in your area...Axiom is available only by internet order now, so you'd have to use their 30 day return policy to demo those. They are a surprisingly good value at this price range, you might flag down Geoffcin here, or read his review:
    http://www.audioreview.com/AXIOMINTROcrx.aspx

    Of course, you shouldn't limit your options to those brands...you might not like any of them.

    Whatever you do, just don't get too excited and rush into a purchase...a bit of patience goes a long way when shopping for speakers.
  • 04-05-2006, 08:46 AM
    giofer69
    Hi Kex,

    Thanks for the advice. Actually I went to the dealer last night and he gave me the same advice as you did and I am concentrating on the mains. Like you stated timbre match is critical just yet. I'm devoting $1000-1500 for mains. I've listened to Energy, Paradigm, and PSB (I've always been a fan of Cdn speakers and always will, maybe I'm just biased) in the past. I went from PSB to Mirage in the past because I fell in love with the front firing Mirage M-290. Then when I went to HT, I went with the OM-12. The salesperson warned me about the omnipolar or omniguide system in very unique and that you may get tired of it on the audio side but it's good for HT. He was right, I've been dealing with him for the past 20 years, he's always been straight forward and honest with me. I auditioned PSB (image series), Revel (M12 and F12), Energy (Connisiour (sp?)) , Mirage (New Omnisat Floor Standing) last night. I'm leaning towards the PSBs again. Bang for my buck and provided just enough bass for my liking. The above speakers were hooked to a NAD753, Yahama RXV1600, and Marantz SR???? since I'm looking at receivers.I'm being patient since I don't want to make the same mistake that I did purchasing the OM-12s, wish I kept the M-290s. Mirage doesn't seem to popular on this forum, it gets mentionned once in a while.
  • 04-05-2006, 10:13 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by giofer69
    Hi Kex,

    Thanks for the advice. Actually I went to the dealer last night and he gave me the same advice as you did and I am concentrating on the mains. Like you stated timbre match is critical just yet. I'm devoting $1000-1500 for mains. I've listened to Energy, Paradigm, and PSB (I've always been a fan of Cdn speakers and always will, maybe I'm just biased) in the past. I went from PSB to Mirage in the past because I fell in love with the front firing Mirage M-290. Then when I went to HT, I went with the OM-12. The salesperson warned me about the omnipolar or omniguide system in very unique and that you may get tired of it on the audio side but it's good for HT. He was right, I've been dealing with him for the past 20 years, he's always been straight forward and honest with me. I auditioned PSB (image series), Revel (M12 and F12), Energy (Connisiour (sp?)) , Mirage (New Omnisat Floor Standing) last night. I'm leaning towards the PSBs again. Bang for my buck and provided just enough bass for my liking. The above speakers were hooked to a NAD753, Yahama RXV1600, and Marantz SR???? since I'm looking at receivers.I'm being patient since I don't want to make the same mistake that I did purchasing the OM-12s, wish I kept the M-290s. Mirage doesn't seem to popular on this forum, it gets mentionned once in a while.

    Mirage seems to be dying out except for maybe in Canada still. Mirage is a subsidiary of API, which owns Energy as well as Athena (you'll find those sold at BestBuy/FutureShop).
    I think they've just decided to focus on Energy a bit more than Mirage in recent years. I believe Sound Dynamics was also an API company, but they got repackaged into Athena.

    I think you're on the right track. Nothing wrong with the brands you're looking at (though I think even PSB offers much better speakers than the Image line below $1500). Hopefully you have some other dealers in your town with different brands so you can get a taste for what's out there. Paradigm's Studio 20's are probably the most widely recommended speaker in your price range on this forum, you should at least give those a listen. Magneplanar makes the MMG's and MG-12's which I don't mind either, you might seek those out. Totem makes great speakers for smaller rooms as well, the Rainmaker in particular is something else, you won't believe how much sound those little things can make!!!

    Just a few more ideas for you.
  • 04-05-2006, 03:48 PM
    giofer69
    Audio retailers where I'm located are becoming a dying breed. The Best Buy/Future shop combination are driving the true retailers out of town. Town isn't really that small either. People are convinced that BB/Future Shop are the answer.

    I have 3 shops available:
    #1 offers: Energy, Kef, Mirage
    #2 offers: PSB, Revel
    #3 offers: B&W, Defin. Tech, Paridigm

    That's it.

    For Receivers : all three offer, Marantz, HK, NAD, Yammie, Bryston, Moon, Cambridge, Rotel. Not much.

    I will follow your advise Kex and keep searching. Will be visiting the other retailers this week.

    My search continues.