B&W vs. Mirage, and appropriate pricing for each?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Chris_D_A, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Chris_D_A

    Chris_D_A Auditioning

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    Hello everyone! I've been reading these forums for a few weeks, reading previous posts, and doing lots and lots of searching so I don't ask stuff already asked a hundred times. [​IMG]

    So if I do ask something already asked, please pardon my ignorance.

    The receivers that have the features I like, are the HK AVR 525, Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX, and Denon AVR-3803. I've selected the Denon because it's got component video up-conversion which will help my console gaming collection maintain quality, and more power than the HK (in terms support, other features, and delivery of great sound, I have found them to be equal). In any event, I am confident with that choice (Denon for $999) and only mention it as background info. Also, I am confident with my choice for the SVS 2039PC+ sub ($825).

    All that remains is... well, a lot remains. The rest of my speakers. I've been looking at B&W, Axiom, Mirage, and Paradigm. Nearby dealers offer the B&Ws and Mirages I am interested in, and they are what I have auditioned. I liked the sound coming from each arrangement!

    The Mirages sounded more "crisp" which I liked. The B&Ws seemed to have more sound in the rears, which I also liked. But there are many variables here -- I watched different movie clips, and the speakers were mounted differently! I'll never be able to audition the speakers in a perfect arrangement, so I've concluded that they both sound "really good".

    My next move is to select "Jim's" deal, from the home theater store, or "John's" from Tweeter. (I'm going for 5.1 audio here, as I will use my denon's other 2 channels for a 2nd zone)

    Jim recommends and offers 2 pair of B&W DM602.5s for $630 / pair. One pair will be the fonts, and one the rears. Using 602s as rears is also a popular config he says, but since the stands are $99 each, that ends up adding up to the same price as the 602.5s, so why not just get another pair of those. He recommends the LCR60 as the center channel, and will sell it for $315.

    So, Jim's deal is 2 pair of 602.5s and the LCR 60 center, and the total comes to $1575

    "John" over at Tweeter recommends Mirage Omni250B Fronts for $700 a pair, and OS1PB as rears at $250 each. He recommends the Omni CB center channel @ $400. I couldn't find it on their website... is it like the Omni CC maybe? Looks similar. In any event, the combo sounds really nice but the rears in the B&W setup sounded better. I suppose that should come as no surprise since they were two 602.5s --floorstading, and larger. Maybe a more appropriate comparison would have been against 2 pairs of the Omni 250Bs. So John's recommendation was a pair of Omni 250Bs, a pair of OS1PBs, and the Omni CC, for a total of $1600, but said Tweeter would pick up the sales tax.

    Well, both systems sounded great. B&W seems to be more talked about on the forum, and most people seem to be pleased. I couldn't find as much on Mirage, but I liked how they sounded. I am apprehensive about buying those little OS1PBs. It's probably foolish of me to assume they are worse because they are physically smaller, but it just seems like they might not pack the same bunch as larger speakers with a full cabinet. Also, the mirage 250Bs had a nifty 360° tweeter that supposedly helps fill the room better.

    Are each of these arrangements cohesive? That is to say, among the two arrangements, are all the speakers a good match for one another? Or is it the case that a particular pair of speakers or center channel are not evenly matched in power?

    Are these speakers a good match for my receiver? By specification, they seem appropriate, but there are surely other variables I have not considered.

    I guess I just wanted to run all this by you all to help me decide which to go with... [​IMG] Any comments or suggestions?

    Thanks to everyone in advance. I don't expect a lot of replies to such a long-winded newbie email, but thanks for reading it all at least [​IMG]

    -Chris
     
  2. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Comment:

    I was in a similar situation as you. I'd auditioned B&Ws (9NT) and then heard the Mirages (OM7s). I went back and forth. I ended up getting the Mirages - I would have been happy with either, tho.

    I have also heard the speakers you're considering. That'd be a touch decision for me because I liked the way the Mirage 250's sounded a bit more than the 602's, but having four 602's is awful tempting - pretty neat.

    If you're into movies I'd say go with the B&Ws.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ahh, see, I'd say the opposite. [​IMG] If you're more into music, get the B&W's, but if you're more into movies, get the Mirages. The B&W's have better imaging that the Mirages, but the Mirages have better spaciousness. There is no Omni CB, and the list price for the CC is $400. $700 for the 250's is not a good price. You should be able to get more like 15% off. (List is $750.)

    What is "OS1PB" ?
     
  4. Chris_D_A

    Chris_D_A Auditioning

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    The OS1PB is the OmniSAT (OS1) and the PB is simply the color code, Platinum Black. So he is recommending OmniSATs over the OmniFX (Mirage's recommended surround for the Omni series), which is a member of the same family of speakers as the Omni 250s.

    Apparently the OmniSATs are sold individually, but are ambiguously defined on Mirage's homepage. They imply that they can be used as anything. The Tweeter sales guy recommends them as rears and even a center channel! In this case, he is recommending the OmniSATs (OS1PBs) as rears.

    I'm not sure whether he really believes they are better, or just wants to make more money [​IMG]

    In any event, they did sound nice [​IMG]

    -Chris
     
  5. Daniel.Han

    Daniel.Han Stunt Coordinator

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    I own and love the sound of the B&W's, but I have to caution, after auditioning the LCR60, it is really lacking compared to the other speakers in the group. I would suggest getting the LCR600, or maybe even move into the CDM line for your center, both are much better sounding.

    my .02
     
  6. michael_mo

    michael_mo Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been listening to the B&W 600 series as well. Personally, I would not do the setup you are thinking of. I wouldnt put $400 into stands.
    An alternative:
    Fronts: 603 for MSRP@ 1000-1100
    Rear: 601s3 for MSRP@ 450
    Center: same

    That way, you get towers for the mains. Save $200 on stands, that you put into the speaker. And save $200 on the rears. I dont think the 602.5 / 602+stand are worth the extra $$ over the 601s3 as rears. Also, if you decide that you want more punch in the rears later, move the 601s to the back as you upgrade to a 6.1 or 7.1 setup and then get the 602.5 for sides.

    If I go with B&W, I may get the LCR 600 s3 for the center, as I think I like the extra punch there for movies.
     
  7. Chris_D_A

    Chris_D_A Auditioning

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    Whoa, I didn't mean to imply I was going to spend $400 on stands. I'm not planning on buying any stands at all. The offer from the home theater store was for 2 pairs of 602.5, and the LCR60 center channel. All speakers are floorstanding.

    So you're recommending front speakers with a little more oomph (603s over the 602.5s), and stepping the rears down a notch (from 602.5s down to 601s)?

    I do like that suggestion because of how you say it's more upgradable.

    So you don't recommend the LCR60 as a center?

    The LCR600 is considerably more expensive :/
     
  8. michael_mo

    michael_mo Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you may have misunderstood me on the center. I am just saying that I may get the 600 (instead of the 60) for my center (pending I choose the B&W speakers.) I thought the LCR 60s3 was fine... my personal speaker preference dictates that I may want to put more $$ into the center.

    I am close to the point you are. My dilemna is the B&W 600 series vs the Paradigm monitor series. I am going to get the same SVS sub as you.

    I listened to the 601s3 alone and with a sub (stereo music), then listened to the 603 alone and 604 alone, with stereo music. The 601s3 with the sub sounded as good/better than the 603 alone. I think the strengh of the B&W 600 series is in the lower end. The 601s3's are a very high quality sound for the price. I prefer them to the Paradigm studio 20s (as a comparable sized bookshelf) and are about $250 less MSRP. The 603 is (IMHO) not as special (for the price) compared to similar priced towers. The 604 was very good alone and would not (necessarily) need a sub for 2 channel audio CDs. But it is quite expensive. Ihave never heard the 602.5.
     
  9. BruceTM

    BruceTM Agent

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    I have heard the 602.5 and didn't like them. There were the weakest of the group. The601's sounded more open and full.
     
  10. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I went with the LCR600 because I thought it to be much more of a speaker. I didn't want to think of upgrading in the near future so I bit the bullet. I really like the slam/punch it caries. I am basically 100% HT but it does do very well with music also. Some describe it as better with music. Whatever:::It sure works for me. It really opens up with about 15-30 hrs playing time.
     

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