my quest for two different set of speakers this month

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by felix_suwarno, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    okay this is going to be long.

    first, i need a set of stereo system for my showroom. one division in my company produces wedding videoclips, and i want our work to be shown on a plasma, paired with a nice looking but cheap stereo speakers. the audience will be average joes and janes...so i think people discuss in this forum would sound better than any boom boxes these average people are used to hear.

    so, my criteria for this system would be :
    - looks good, complimenting the interior design of the showroom nicely.
    - cheap enough.
    - sounds decent.

    my 30th birthday was on jan 12th. so i spent my time in the only shopping mall in town which has a dozen or more hifi shops. a very nice way to avoid my colleagues...ya know... they were going to ask me for a small party in a nice restaurant to celebrate my birthday...

    well.

    i auditioned small speakers between 100-300 dollar per pair. i brought my cds with me. emi fujita's camomile blend, spirited away soundtrack, dido, bon jovi, jet set radio sound track.

    my current system is boston vr-m50s with svs pb10isd, yamaha rxv730.

    and i am not sure if these speakers were 100 percent new or not. i think they needed to be broken in first before i listen to them, but what can i do?

    shop number 1.

    nht sb2, i didnt like it. the highs were sooo there. no midbass.

    paradigm atom. less highs, a certain thickness in the middle. i didnt like it either.

    shop 2

    kef q1, i hated it. no treble at all. but the bass was really powerful. i thought the shopkeeper used a nearby subwoofer, but he didnt. the kef was all about mids.

    wharfedale diamond 9.0 and 9.1. i didnt like them as well. i dont know how to describe them, its just that they were not special. no special strenght in everything, even though as a whole, they were quite decent.

    shop 3
    epos m3. i like this one. clear highs, clear mids, decent bass. no airiness though. no crispiness as well. but this one was really something, in my opinion.

    mordaunt short, forgot the type. the size of the cabinet didnt match my decor. but it sounded similar to the epos... dunno, i didnt spend more than a few minutes on this one.

    shop 4
    monitor audio bronze b1. one of the cheapest. i was torn between this and the epos, but this one is cheaper and the color of the cabinet matches the decor. the shop was using bk s2 125.2. i cannot say the sound quality surpasses the epos though. epos was a tad nicer overall in that area.

    i chose the monitor audio, paired with a subwoofer from the same brand ( the smallest one ), with cambridge audio a500.

    at this price i didnt expect it to surpass my vr-m50s. none of those speakers exhibit airiness, nor smoothness at the higher frequency. but then again, i am not an audiophile.

    a few days later...i tested monitor audio gold and silver....DAMN i think i like that silver rs1. if my budget were bigger i would just get that silver!!! beautiful finish, very nice sound....

    i have been looking for a gold reference. last november they released gold signature!

    for my second set of speaker, i will be using them in my private room at the top floor of my office building. this one is personal, so sound quality is number one, looks second.

    the dealer didnt have gold signature yet, so they let me tried gold reference 60 and 10. dammit did they sound surreal. everything i like about my bostons, plus bigger sound stage, and midbass crispiness. that crispiness, the only one missing from my current system. i quickly noticed that the shop had a pair of primare cd player and receiver. no amplifier used at all.

    he said i could get 2 pairs of gold signature 10 and gold signature LCR for around 2300 dollar if i preordered them now. so i did.

    almost went with GS20 ( the tower ).

    but if i had a thread about tower vs bookshelves...well, based from my audition, between gr10 and gr60, the difference is minimal, i think. the tower has more bass, and thats it. my room will be quite small, no need for a set of speaker that could scream really loud. so i went with bookshelf speaker. another division in my company can custom build a nice speaker stand to my design, so i have no problem with choosing the bookshelf speaker at all. not to mention that they are also cheaper.

    my plan is to import a pb12 ultra sometime later, but that will be another story. my room is not even finished yet, far from it. i wasnt ready to purchase a set of speaker yet, but the price on those gold signature was hard to miss.

    btw, the dealer had acoustic energy mkiii ( bookshelf ). smaller driver compared to the golds, but bigger and heavier cabinet. didnt sound nice, it turned out that it was defective.

    phew. i hope that contribute something to this very nice forum.
     
  2. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info. I haven't heard the Epos. I hope to tun across a pair to hear one day.

    Sounds like you chose well! The benefits of listening to as many different brands when looking for speakers is hard to describe. You really can't rely on what someone else says since the "right" speaker is such a personal choice.

    Enjoy your Monitor speakers.

    I'm not knocking your choice because you did a lot of research and chose the one you liked best. I wasn't that thrilled with the Monitor Gold series. They were a little laid back for my taste. However, they are highly regarded speakers with a lot of fans for good reasons.
     
  3. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    mackie, do you remember that i mentioned lumley lampros in the receiver section?

    the last time i heard speakers like the monitor gold was the moment i heard the lampros. and the lampros was at least 25 percent more expensive ( compared to GR60 ).

    "I wasn't that thrilled with the Monitor Gold series. They were a little laid back for my taste. "

    i have seen a review thread here about gr10 by someone, lost the link, sorry. too lazy to do a search. he said the gr10 was on the borderline of bright, but never made his ears bleed ( or something to that effect ). now you said they are a little laid back, and i realized...yea, people's ears are not the same, i guess. 2300 dollar total for 1 gs lcr, and 4 gs10. msrp for gs20 alone was around 2300 dolllar...

    i need to mention the primare combo. perhaps it was them who made the golds sounded good? what if the golds were powered by something else? would they sound different? the primare receiver alone was priced at 2600 dollar. more expensive than my 5 piece of gold signatures.
     
  4. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, people do hear differently, and I like well defined but not harsh highs. Some people say Paradigm Studio series are a bright speaker even though I don't feel they are especially the v.3 models.

    I should probably be more specific when I talk about my impressions of the Monitor Golds. Smooth sound, but I found the bass to be a little loose and not enough detail in the treble. It was powered by a B&K separates combination, and the listening room had some acoustic treatments but not too much. I do recognize they are a great speaker and a perfect choice for someone that likes the sound.

    My thoughts on receivers and pre-pros are they should not fundamentally change the sound of a speaker. If it does, than I feel it isn't functioning correctly or isn't a good match for the speaker. I receiver shouldn't make a speaker sound bright or laid back. One way a receiver can make a speaker sound bright is that it doesn't have enough power so the amps start clipping. Additionally, if an amp doesn't have enough power the bass can sound muddy and undefined. I won't even start on what the room can do to sound. The receiver or prepro will sound different, but it really shouldn't change the tonal characteristics of a speaker that much if it's a good match. I would never hook up a pair of Martin Logans or Theils to a $500 Denon receiver. But a top of the line parasound separates isn't necessary to get the best sound from a pair of Paradgim Studio 20s either. I would hope that the sound coming from my Studio 20s wouldn't drastically sound different depending on whether I used a $800 Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo receiver. It might if I used a $200 RCA or Audiovox receiver.

    That's why I feel it's important to listen and audition as many different speakers as possible. After choosing a speaker then look at electronics. I know it doesn't always work this way, but ideally this is how I would do it.
     
  5. AlbertD

    AlbertD Stunt Coordinator

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    mackie:

    I really like your comment: That's why I feel it's important to listen and audition as many different speakers as possible. After choosing a speaker then look at electronics. I know it doesn't always work this way, but ideally this is how I would do it.

    Took me years to figure this out. In my lifelong attempt to get the "perfect sound" I have been through receivers by B&K, Yamaha, NAD, and now Denon and that's not to mention the seperates that I had, all in a vain attempt to get better sound. But, in fact, regardless of the electronic source (provided that it was a high quality source that delivered enough power) the only significant changes I ever experienced in any of my systems, was when I switched speakers or modified the room's acoustics. It didn't matter if the speakers were JBL, Infinity, Dunlavy, or now Triangles, the receiver or amp never really changed their sound. Once I figured that out, it was easy. Demo speaker brands until I found what was pleasing to my ears and then buy any high quality receiver to power them. That's how I ended up with Triangle (French speakers) and Denon's 3806. A great under $1,000 receiver for my room size. But the emotional side of me still wishes I had never sold off that Sherbourn 7/2100 amp!
     
  6. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Albert

    Truth be told, I would like to have a nice set of separates one day.

    Today's midrange and above receivers are really very good sounding and have good power supplies. It's hard to go wrong with them. They keep getting more powerful, have higher performance DACs and have a dizzing array of features. I especially like the room setup/eq trend.

    Do you feel the 3806 eq function is a useful feature?
     
  7. AlbertD

    AlbertD Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I have an analog SPL meter and tripod and always make sure that my speakers are calibrated as exact as I can get. Additionally, when I had my B&K receiver, and Ref 50, both had notch filters that allowed me to adjust for areas of my room that were too boomy on bass. I always thought that with my room treatments I had a pretty good media room. When I first calibrated with the Audissey setting with the Denon receiver, I wasn't sure that I liked it. But I gave it time and I have to say that now I can't listen without it. The sound is crisp, clear, fast, and perfectly in sync with my room acoustics. I thought that I had good bass management before, but now it is punchy, and sharp. Still rattles my pants, but doesn't sound anywhere near as "boomy" as it was, and I thought it was great the way it was. All a question of degrees, but I really think that the EQ function of the Denon is stellar. In fact a good friend that is in the business of doing custom installs around the world said this of the EQ function of the Denon, and I quote: " I am saying that the room correction on the Denon is as good (but done differently) than the $13K Lexicon MC-12 EQ."

    Pretty strong words, but I find them to be accurate.
     
  8. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Great info - thanks.

    Did you ever use any type of EQ on your sub before the Denon?

    How many filters did the B&K have?
     

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