Upgrading

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mike>T, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Mike>T

    Mike>T Auditioning

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    Hi all. I'm going to upgrade my main speakers and add two rear speakers to complete my 7.1 surround system. I got an ONKYO TX-SR702 7.1 Receiver. My surrounds are the Cambridge Soundworks SURROUND 5.1 Dipole, bipole and the Center channel is the Cambridge Soundworks CENTERSTAGE. I'm thinking of adding the Cambridge T200 floor speakers as mains & Cambridge S300 Multipole as the rears. I'd like to get some thoughts on these choices of speakers. Good to go or wide open for any suggestions. Any comments on the Cambridge line of speakers?
     
  2. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    It's been a long time since I've owned them, but I actually like the Cambridge stuff. If I were you, I'd check out their store on ebay. It's the same name as their website - hifi.com They have a lot of b-stock and refurbished stuff that comes with full warranty. I picked up one of their clock radios a couple years ago off Ebay for like $99. Their claims that it's better than the Bose Wave radio are totally valid. It's really a great little product with some surprising bass! Anyway ,I think there is better stuff for the money, but I feel the Cambridge gear is decent value.
     
  3. Mike>T

    Mike>T Auditioning

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    Thank's for the input Alan. The reason I'm thinking of going with the Cambridge line is so they'll be pretty much voice matched. The S300 & T200's is what was recommended by Cambridge to match the Center and Surrounds I currently own.
    Do you have some recommendations of your own to throw at me. Price is not an issue.
     
  4. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Mike: I'm sure I could come up with all sorts of recommendations for ya if you say price isn't an issue [​IMG] That sort of makes it hard though cause there are so many ways to go. It all depends on what your goals are. To use myself as an example, I spend most of my time with HT, but the quality of music reproduction is paramount to me. I'd say the breakdown is like 65%/35% movies to music, but when I DO listen to music I want it to be spectacular. So, I basically build my system with that main goal in mind. I'm a proponent of a phantom (i.e. no) center speaker, and I don't like spending lots of money on surrounds. I don't know how new you are to forums such as this one, but you'll find all SORTS of different opinions on how to put a system together. So first and foremost, it would help to know what you want out of it. It's also good to know the size of your room, in addition to budget and any aesthetic issues with regard to the appearance of the equipment.

    If you can help with some of that info, I can guarantee you you'll get all sorts of food for thought....not just from me, but from others (hopefully) as well [​IMG]
     
  5. Mike>T

    Mike>T Auditioning

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    Thanks again Alan. I guess I'm kinda like you in the sense that most of the time is spent for HT. BUT I too got to have the awesome music system (I also have a studio equipped with drums/guitars PA etc as a hobby. Old classic rocker at heart). Thats why I'm leaning toward floor standing as my mains. The room is 20' x 15' (8'ceiling). The rear of the room opens up to the dining area to the right, and the rear wall is a giant window (12' wide). I've got a SONY KDF-70XBR950 70" TV so I think I'm leaning more toward the HD experience. The floor standing mains should satisfy my need for music. As I mentioned before I'm keeping my current center & LR surrounds. (forgot to mention the Yamaha YST-SW150 subwoofer which I'm also keeping). The rear speakers will need to be mounted above the window (no other option). As far as a budget goes I would have to say $2500 for mains & rear surrounds & they would need to be black or close to it. Hope this narrows things down a little. [​IMG]
     
  6. Mike>T

    Mike>T Auditioning

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    Oh, I guess I should have mentioned the receivers rated at 100W
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Okay Mike, first of all....that Sony you have kicks ass! What a great centerpiece for a HT! If you're playing in that league, you definitely need some nice audio to go with it.

    First of all, what are we doing for a sub? For HT, this is a must. If you don't currently have one, I'd allocate $450 to a company called SVS and pick up a PB-10 ISD subwoofer. Secondly, I've had the luxury of owning some very inexpensive speakers over the past year that I have just LOVED. They are from a company called Magnepan, and they have truly enlightened me as to what sort of sound reproduction appeals to me most. Magnepans are very transparent. That is, they are extremely revealing of both the gear you are using, the source (e.g. CD player), and the music itself. Though my recent upgrade decision did not involve Magnepans, if not for them I would have never discovered the type of speaker that I am about to own.

    Mike, there are all sorts of speaker companies, many of which are excellent choices. I'm going to offer you two recommendations that chances are nobody else on this forum will mention. Reason being, my search for the PERFECT speaker for me has been quite exhaustive. I've come across companies and products that I never knew existed. I give a lot of credit to a local high end audio dealer here in Atlanta, who has become a friend of mine, and who has really helped me discover some great stuff....

    Okay, the speakers that I have absolutely fallen in love with are the DeVore Fidelity Super 8s. The reason I mention this is because this same company has a speaker called the Gibbon 8 that has received amazing reviews, and fits right w/in your price range. It is a very transparent, dynamic, smallish 2-way floorstander that would very much appeal to someone like yourself who appreciates the sound of live drums. I know this because the owner and chief designer of the company, John DeVore, is a muscian - a drummer. I dare say that you will have a very, very hard time finding a better speaker than the Gibbon 8 in this price range. Here are two reviews of this speaker that you may find interesting reading:
    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/devore/gibbon8.html
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3078170/

    Okay, another recommendation....Odyssey Audio. There are a few choices here, actually. The Odyssey Lorelei is another floorstanding 2-way speaker that is knocking the door on your price range that very few have heard of. If you go to audioreview.com and type 'lorelei' in the search box, you can read some of the very enthusiastic reviews of some owners. For a professional review, you can go here http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/odyssey/lorelei.html
    Odyssey also makes a couple of smaller floorstanders called the Nightengale and the Circe. The reason I mention these as well is because you'd be able to afford both a pair of either of these speakers, and also the matching 'nemesis' center speaker. All the Odyssey items come with an in-home trial period, so if you don't like 'em, just send 'em back [​IMG] The main website is here: www.odysseyaudio.com

    I feel confident that speakers from either of these two companies would serve you very well. They would absolutely destroy anything from Cambridge Soundworks, they'd offer you amazing performance for both 2-channel music and HT, and on top of that, you'd own a product that is very much off the beaten path of the typical Paradigm, JBL, Monitor Audio, Boston Acoustics, etc, etc products. Those are NOT bad products by any means....don't get me wrong....it's just that sometimes when you take the time to REALLY look hard, you end up being very surprised with what you find [​IMG]

    Phew! Okay, that's it for me....as for main speakers, that's about all the advice I can give you for now. I will be taking delivery on my DeVore Fidelity Super 8s sometime in the next few weeks, and I truly expect that to be my last pair of speakers for quite some time. I hope you will strongly consider that company, as they are really beginning to garner a lot of attention, and they are made right here in the USA [​IMG]

    Good luck!!

    PS. I didn't recommend Magnepans to you because they are very difficult to drive and I'm quite sure that Onkyo would have a hard time with them. On the other hand, the Gibbon 8s are very efficient, and I think the Onkyo could probably also handle the Odyssey stuff quite well, assuming you are not interested in upgrading your receiver at this time.
     

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