Putting together a 2.1 Home AUDIO setup...

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by ClarkeMagnum, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. ClarkeMagnum

    ClarkeMagnum Auditioning

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    First post here....have done some reading for the past week and decided to jump on into the mix.

    For quite some time I have been curious about a home audio setup. I'm quite knowledgable in car audio as I help in representation and distributorship among an internet company. So I have an ear, and I know the basics...in general at least...

    I talked to my buddy Nick and his father..whom have enjoyed a set of ML's and have a good friend with a pair of Magnepan MGIIIa's and Tympani 1D's. They immediately suggested I start with planars. So I went down to a dealer here in town and listened to a $3k ML setup......loved the way they sounded...thought midrange was a little lacking...

    Here's the thing....I have a small room..12x10 to be exact...walls aren't paper thin..but I'm not sure how WAF will be...I have heard that as you increase your room size, it's obviously reasonable to assume you need a taller planar. I was looking into the MMG, MG12, or even perhaps the 1.6Qr's on the used market (I never buy speakers new), but I'm not sure which would be most appropriate for such a room. I plan on using either NAD or Adcom gear for preamp and amp and attacking the low end with a DIY Blueprint 1203 and 800w on tap. Also...what kind of power would you recommend in a room this size for a pair of planars?

    If not planars, can someone suggest alternate floorstanding/monitor setups yielding the same performance in the $700-1k range...used is OK...
     
  2. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I'd be concerned about your room size with planars. They need a lot of space. Your best resource would be Planar Asylum.
     
  3. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    In that size of room, you might also want to look at Ohm Acoustics' MKII 100/200 and forget the sub all together.

    Mort
     
  4. ClarkeMagnum

    ClarkeMagnum Auditioning

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    Keep the suggestions coming....I'm at school right now...will be back later tonight to check out your thoughts...
     
  5. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Just today I called Magnepan to have them fire off a pair of these MMGs. I literally spent hours reading professional reviews from ecoustics (not just on the MMGs, but Maggies in general) and especailly audioreview.com (you have to do a search for Magneplanar....they don't have them listed under the company name of Magnepan, for whatever reason....). Anyway, I've been trying to find SOME reason to say, "nah, these can't be for me....no point in even bothering". I've been very happy with the Paradigm line for a few years, so I have a natural aversion to a speaker technology that could make me feel I wasn't getting the best music reproduction out of box speakers. Anyway, if you go on audioreview, you see people that have either owned or auditioned speakers like Joseph Audio, Thiels, Paradigm Studios, B&W, etc......and they are saying these $550 MMGs actually gave them MORE in terms of music reproduction. I loved my Paradigms for HT.....but I have to admit, even with the studio 20s, which I absolutely love, there still seems to be a need to keep searching for something more with music. Maybe the Maggies are that....I dunno.....cause they'll have to be able to give a good HT experience, too. So, the point of my post was that 1) Im more than happy to report back about what I think of the Maggies if that would be of interest to you (they should be here Friday), and 2) maybe check out this deal for yourself, too....audio gear sounds much different in your home than it does at a stereo shop, and this is a great way to hear the planar sound and play around with them for two whole months. I can't wait [​IMG]
     
  6. ClarkeMagnum

    ClarkeMagnum Auditioning

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    Alan...Please give me your thoughts on your setup once it has been established...

    Can you give me some details about your room and your HT setup...I would only be using a pair of MMG's and a sub...just for music purposes..let me know...
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Clarke: Glad to help.....

    My room right now is about 15x25 with the speakers on one of the short walls. Ceiling is 9' I think. If you picture a rectangle standing on its end (like the shape of a milk carton.....not sure why that comes to mind lol).....the speakers are at the bottom.....the long wall on the left side in that mental pic sort of "collapses" into the rectangle about half way up....and cuts in about 1/3 of the way into the room. So, basically the short wall on top of the image is shorter than the one on bottom.

    Anyway, for electronics I have Outlaw M200 monoblock amps (300w into 4ohms), an Outlaw 950 pre/pro, and a Denon 2900 for a source. Sitting in the middle is a 51" Hitachi RPTV. These MMG things are going to have to fly solo in full signal cause I sold my SVS PB2-ISD in anticipation of picking up one of their even more obscene models. So when I get them on Friday, I'll be able to evaluate them by themselves with no bottom end. I'm told they are very needy when it comes to break-in, so I can even kind of update you as I go.....but I plan on using them quite a lot in the next two months so I can figure out if this sort of technology is for me. I tell you what, though, I just sold a pair of Paradigm studio 100s that I considered my dream speaker.....they just were too congested in this room, and so I parted with them.....I don't expect these Maggies to compete with them in the low end, but I'm having a really hard time to believe that a $550 speaker is going to blow away my former 100s. I have read over and over that if you are into audio for the explosions and loud special effects, then these speakers aren't for you. Well, I'm into detail and overall sound quality......so I'm game for the comparison between these two spekers....but if I can acutally upgrade the sound quality of my system for a little over 1/4 the cost of my 100s? I'll be one happy customer.....but I'll believe it when I hear it [​IMG]
     
  8. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    Alan, glad to see you listened to the maggie lovers on this forum!! I love mine!!

    Remember, break-in will take 50-100 hours and all the time and trouble to get them properly positioned will pay many dividends!!

    Enjoy!!
     
  9. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Alan:
    I simply couldn't resist! lol......The things people were saying about these MMGs were unlike most of the positive comments you usually hear about a particular speaker.....Having had mostly Paradigm gear, I'm accustomed to feeling like I owned speakers that were great value for the money. But reviewer after reviewer (prof and consumer) was saying that they were giving them more than some of the better regarded speakers around - not just the ones in the same price class.

    My biggest concern is going to be the surrounds, assuming I really like the Maggies. The Martin Logan line seems to have the perfect solution with one or two of their surround models....the only thing I see from the Magnepan line is the CC3 used in back, but those are nearly 1k per. I can't justify that for surrounds.....maybe 1k per PAIR, but certainly not per speaker. My room dictates that I need to place surrounds in the top half of the side and back walls, preferably with a horizontal configuration with a bracket that I can adjust. I just can't see how I could make something like the MC1 work. But, the most important thing is the sound, so I'm sure I'll find a way to make the surrounds work if I like what I hear from the front end.

    I just checked my email and Magnepan followed through with their promise.....tracking number was sent, and they are expected here on Friday. I'll have those puppies burned in in no time, you can believe that [​IMG]
     
  10. ClarkeMagnum

    ClarkeMagnum Auditioning

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    I have looked into the MMG's and the MG12's....the MG12's would probably be more future proof for me if/when I ever go to a larger room...

    I demo'd some B&W's...thought they stunk in the highs....the Def tech's were better....but I'd like to integrate my own sub..I didn't care for the lower 3 octaves it had...not subtle enough...prolly needed some adjustments..

    I've been looking into the Axioms/Swans/Paradigms/Ascends.

    Can anyone comment on these as I have not heard any of them...nor will be able to...
     
  11. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Clarke:
    I can help out with the Paradigms.....they are my favorite speaker manufacturer [​IMG] I've owned Micros, Atoms, Mini-Monitors, Monitor 5s, Monitor 11s, Studio 20s, and Studio 100s. I've also had a PDR-10 sub, but thankfully I came across SVS via this forum and that saved me from ever having to wonder where the best bang for the sub buck can be found. Anyway, for a small room like yours, I'd definitely say give the studio/20s a shot. I actually just sold my v.2 20s (they came out with the v.3 last year), but I absolutely loved them. Paradigm also has a new line out that is receiving rave reviews (including from me) called the Signatures. These are outside of the price range you listed above, but thought I'm throw them out there anyway. But as far as Paradigm goes, and given your budget and room size, I'd say check for a pair of studio/20s, preferably v.3. You can find them on both Ebay and audiogon from time to time.
     
  12. ClarkeMagnum

    ClarkeMagnum Auditioning

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    If I were to go with something larger...would I be doing more harm than good?...
     
  13. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    If you mean with the Paradigms, I'd have to say possibly yes. I first went with my studio 100s in the room I'm in now, which is 15x25 and essentially closed off, with the 20s still pulling surround duty. The 100s sounded much better when I had them in a 20x20 living room with cathedral ceilings and other wide openings into other rooms, including a foyer with 18 ft ceilings. What I actually found was after I sold my 100s and moved the 20s up front, I thought the 20s sounded better than the 100s. Now, overall, the 100 is a superior speaker.....but taking the room environment into account, it could go either way. In this case, the 20s disappeared and the soundstage was very large. The 100s, on the other hand, had a very tough time disappearing....they seemed to be very congested. On top of that, I use a phantom center, and the 20s did just as good of a job with that in the smaller room than the 100s did in the larger one. I absolutely loved both pairs of speakers, but there is no way I'd bring something that big back into this size room.
     

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