Advice needed for main speakers: Monitor Audio, Paradigm, etc. (long, sorry)

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by vasia, May 15, 2004.

  1. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi guys,
    I am looking for some comments regarding my choice of main speakers. Over the last few weaks I have auditioned a bunch of speakers that I selected based on the info I got on the forums/local availability. Those included Paradigm Studio 60 V3, B&W 603 and 604, Rocket RS750, Monitor Audio S6, Triangle Zerius, Boston Acoustics. I am hoping to listen to Axiom's M60 tomorrow, so I'll add impressions. Couple of extra points, the room will be on the medium/small side 13X18 and I'll hook the speakers to Marantz SR8300. I am primarily interested in music and much less HT. I am looking for the speakers in the up to 1200$ range.
    Thus far, the clear winners were Paradigm Studio 60s driven by Rotel RSX-1056 and Monitor S6 driven by NAD S320 integrated amp.
    RS750 sounded excellent as well (thanks Ron!), but I feel that they really shine when played loud, which would rarely be an option for me. In addition, I would prefer somewhat brighter speakers.
    Studio 60s sounded just about right. Nice sound from bass to high notes, good soundstage, about as bright as I would like, etc.
    Monitor S6s struck me with the clarity and detail, which is expected. However, they sounded a bit too bright. However, the amp was not thebest and I was only 6 feet from the speakers.
    Triangles sounded nice, but way too bright.
    Here are my questions:
    1) How would the sound change when Moitor's or Paradigm's get hooked up to Marantz? Based on warmer sound of Marantz, Monitors presumably would sound really great (less bright).
    2) How are S8 different from S6? The dealer said S8 have much more bass, is that true?
    3) Any general comments on Monitor S8 versus Studio 60 (version 3)?
    4) Any other speakers (new or used) in this range similar, but better sounding?
    5) I would not be able to place speakers further than 1 foot from the wall, which may be a problem with rear ported S8. I can plug ports, but I am not sure what effect that would have on sound or how this placement should affect my choice.

    Thanks for any comments. Unfortunately, I absolutely would not be able to compare speakers side-by-side, listen to S8 before buying (dealer can only special order them) and test anything at home (I am moving in a month), so comments from the people with hand-on experience are extremely valuable for me.
     
  2. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    I personally like the Marantz / Monitor Audio pairing for music... can't comment on the other specific combinations.

    But all of the speakers you listed will sound somewhat different connected to your Marantz, and moreso in your specific listening environment... it's not possible for anyone here to predict sonic attributes of any setup in your room, so it is advisable to negotiate a return policy with your retailer, if you are particular about speaker sound quality.

    On paper, the M8's produce more bass, but you'd still have to do a side-by-side with M6's - especially in your room - to determine the difference... in any event, your system should include a subwoofer, in which case the M6's strike me as sufficient for that size room... MA makes excellent subs, but similar-quality, less-expensive subs can be had at the 'big 3' online manufacturers: SVS, Adire, Hsu.
     
  3. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    GregD:
    Thanks for the comments. Did you notice any other signifcant difference between S6 and S8 other than bass, if you compared them? I think S6 will provide plenty for my size room, but maybe S8 sounds a bit different overall? I can probably negotiate some sort of return policy, but I am not sure whether going after S8 is a way to go.
     
  4. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    After auditioning Axiom M60, I am currently gearing towards S8. I really like extra clarity of S6/S8 and I realized that I much prefer bigger speakers with lower bass extension rather than smaller speakers plus sub. I'll get a sub for HT later. Please comment on the choice of S8 versus S6 and S8 versus Paradigm Studio 60. Also, what other speakers, I am overlooking, are similar in terms of price/sound characteristics?
     
  5. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Sorry, I've not done an S6 / S8 comparison directly, have only heard each in different environments... I have compared previous MA lines ('Silver', 'Studio"), and they did maintain their respective sonic attributes from model to model, with the difference being amount of bass... of course this is no guarantee that's the case with the current line.

    I still recommend getting a sub sooner rather than later.

    Again, take care to ensure your retailer is receptive to exchanges or returns if it is critical to you.
     
  6. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    gregD,
    Thabks a lot for the reply. I think S8 will probably fit my needs best based on all the auditionings and comments. I'll have to sleep on this for a while, but hopefully I have found what I was looking for.
     
  7. Barry H

    Barry H Auditioning

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    Hi Vasia,

    I just bought the S6's (with the Silver center and surrounds and an MA sub). I'm just getting them set up and I'm still playing with position and configuration. They are paired with a H/K AVR525.

    I was able to listen to the 6's and the 8's side by side at the dealer and, although I could hear some difference in sound (mostly in the mid-range), it wasn't enough to me to get me to spring for the higher cost of the 8's.

    I have only run the 6's for a few hours, but I am amazed at the bass from these speakers for music. My room is similar in size to yours and the bass is very low and strong, even with the sub turned off. I actually plugged both ports to tone it down just a bit - I think plugging helped smooth things out a bit, but it didn't seem to change the sound all that much. And, as I said, I'm still playing [​IMG]

    I am very happy with the 6's. I replaced a pretty crummy sat/sub speaker set-up, so I think I'm really just getting used to hearing real bass. I don't think you can go wrong with either the 6's or the 8's. Oh, and I'm not sure what dealer you are looking at, but you should be able to get them at a discount from MSRP.

    Good luck!

    Barry
     
  8. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I've listened to S8's today (had to drive couple of hours to do so) and they sounded great. The bass was better than what I recall from S6 and not bright at all. So, I am planning to get them. Again, its tough to compare, since S6 were set up pretty poorly when I auditioned them in a different place, but I really liked S8's, so they seem like a right choice to me.
     

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