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5.1 sat+sub set-need your advice

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by arielshiran, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    :lease:
    Hi,
    I am about to purchase a new home theater system. It is about to be in a 30m^2 room and due to physical limitations, I have to stick to a satellite+sub set. I have heard many sets by many manufacturers and read a lot of reviews. However, the problem is that in Israel (where I live) the price differences between differenct brands (due to different distributors) are high and the prices are not like those in Europe. Another problem is that many stores do not work with many distributors and therefore it is impossible to listen to all of the relevant sets one near the other.
    This is where I need your help. I am about to probably buy a receiver of one of these models: Denon 1905/2105, Onkyo 602, Yamaha 550/650, Harman/Kardon 230 and it will push the loudspeakers. The satellites are going to be hung on the walls (maye the center will be positioned on the TV if I'll buy a regular TV and not a plasma/lcd).
    The sets I don't know what to choose from are:
    1) Kef KHT 2005.2 - costs here about 700 pounds.
    2) Monitor Audio Radius (4 90's , one 180 and a 360 sub)-cost here about 900 pounds.
    3) JMLab sib & Cub - costs here about 650 pounds.
    4) Mordaunt Short Genie - costs here about 1000 pounds.
    5) Bose AM15 - costs here about 950 pounds.
    6) Tannoy Arena - costs here about 1100 pounds.
    If all of these sets cost the same price, what would you go for? I will use them 50% of the time for music and 50% for watching movies. The music I listen to may be of any type.
    Are there any other sets you think I should consider (by Energy, Mirage, Morel, Klipsch, Jamo, Canton, Mission, etc.) in this price range.
    Thank you all for a great forum and a great web site.
    Waiting for your feedback.
    A. :lease:
     
  2. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi
    The castle compact cc3 speaker package is a good buy will sound good with both movies and music.Your local dealer for castle is audition music design tele 0097226231464 Address1 oliphant street jerusalem.
    Cheers Gonzo. :)
     
  3. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    :lease: they are kind of a bookshelf speakers. I should stick to a traditional set of satellites-meaning quite small speakers and not bookshelf size.
    Please advice.
    Thanks.
     
  4. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi
    Is there no way that you can fit the castles in as they can be hung on to the wall,most small satellites sound ok with movies but seem to fall short on music and as you listen to music 50% of the time it would be a good purchase.The centre speaker would easily fit on top of your tv secured with blu-tack.If not any of the other packages except the bose would sound good with movies but less so with music.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  5. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    Hi Gonzo,
    the JMLab Sib & Cub is the best of all of these sets because it is much cheaper. Is this correct? Have you listened to all of these sets and you are telling me this based on own experience or based on professional and otehrs' reviews and opinions?
     
  6. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi
    I have heard the eggs,monitor audio radius(which i like) and the genie package,bose, i have heard the bose 45 lifestyle product which for £4500 i thought was cack,The rest i havent listened to but the sib cub is supposed to sound quite good,Only reason i was pushing the castles was for there music performance,I have heard these and for small speakers they sound really good with music i just didnt want you to be unhappy when spending your hard earned imo the castles would be just right given your preferance for music listening.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  7. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    I would be happy to hear other's opinion as well.
    Thank you all.
     
  8. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    I should buy I would be happy to hear as well.
    The models I thought about are:
    1.Denon 1905/2105
    2.Onkyo 602
    3.Yamaha 550/650
    4.Harman Kardon 230
    5.Marantz 5500
    Thanks guys.
     
  9. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    Nobody knows these sets and is willing to help???
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You have asked for opinions on the Kef KHT 2005.2 (Eggs) and Monitor Audio Radius which must be of the two most frequently discussed sub / sat sets on this forum. You have also asked whether there are any other sub / sat sets that you should consider and mentioned Canton amongst others and these are also discussed almost on a daily basis.

    If you take some time to read through recent threads and also use the forum search facility you will find literally hundreds of opinions on the very same subject.
     
  11. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    However,
    Most of them didn't refer to the Radius configuration I am talking about (4X90, 1X180 and a 360 sub) and didn't compare these sets to the other sets whose names were explicitly indicated by me. I wanted to know your opinions about the sets I listed and mainly to the sib&cub set by Focal-JMLab on which I hardly saw threads from the last couple of months. It is not a new set but I am reluctant to know what you think about it compared to the Monitor Audio, KEF and Mordaunt Short sets I mentioned and how is the new Arena set by Tannoy compared to these sets (as it is a new and a very expensive one). Some sellers told me that all of the reviews by magazines are only for the purpose of advertising and their example is: how come that the KEF 2005.2 is a bad set after it was the best one for some years just because Mordaunt Short started selling the Genie.
    Therefore, I wanted to know users' opinions.
    That's all and I'll be happy to hear ya.
    Thanks. :thumbsup:
     
  12. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I've heard all of the packages you have mentioned apart from the tannoys. I agree with Gonzo, the castles are the way to go if music is more important, my next choice would have been the MS Genies.

    As for the amp, I'd go for the Marantz SR5500 as your preference is 50/50. The Yammy 650 is also a good amp, the other amps you mention (except for the Onkyo which I do not have much knowledge on) are not in the same league as those two in my opinion. If it was a movies only setup, the better amp would probably be the Denon 2105, although again, the Onkyo may trounce all of the above in both areas :).
     
  13. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    I've said it before and will again...agree with Gonzo on this..the Castles should be considered. Have you seen them in the flesh so to speak? They are not bookshelf speakers at all, they are quite small:
    Height 200mm (8in.)
    Width 140mm (5.5in.)
    Depth 160mm (6.5in.)

    By comparison the MA Radius R90's are:
    Height 190mm (7.5in)
    Width 123mm (4.75in)
    Depth 140mm (5.5in)

    KEF KHT 200.5
    Height 198mm (7.8in)
    Width 130mm (5.1in)
    Depth 150 mm (5.9in)

    ... so I would say the Castle's were in the sub/sat size range! I have heard the Castles and they are superb IMHO. They are suprising for their size, detailed and warm. I would recommend these. I am going down this route with a Denon 3805 to drive them (unless I change my mind in the next week). I demo'd them with a Denon 2805 and it sounded great, so I'm sure any Denon would be good... I think the Denon's are warmer than the Yammys anyway which would suite the Castles. As for the MA's or Kef's, I don't know.
     
  14. Badboy

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    I have the Bose AM16 setup with Denon 2805. I know the general view here is that the Bose is not up to the standards of other speaker set. IMHO, as a user I love the sound that is generated from my setup, especially when watching a DVD. I blame myself for the music not being as good as it could be, I am still reading through the manual to see how i can improve the Stereo setup for my music. Any advise will be appreciated by the experts on here.
     
  15. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    I've heard a Bose Acoustimass set up and it sounded quite good. If I recall though the sats are all driven from the sub, which is kind of a strange set up to me...correct me if I'm wrong. With something as powerfull as the 2805, you could do with running each sat directly from the AV.... maybe this is limiting the output somewhat but I don't think the Bose speakers would allow you to do this. I've seen quite a few people running the Bose systems from the budget HT AV's you get in the Hi Street Electronics Retailers (Currys, Dixons etc)..but not from something like a 2805... Pop into your nearest Hi Fi shop and see what their thoughts are.
     
  16. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    I have just spoken with the Castle distributor here and he wants more than double the price of the sib & cub and X1.5 of the Monitor Audio Radius set. I have heard the Kefs again and they sound much worse than the Sib & Cub, so the dillema is between the Sib & Cub, the Radius (and maybe the Genie and Arena if their prices will be more reasonable here). Do you think that there is a reason to pay 1000 pounds for a Genie set when I can get a Sib & Cub for ~ 600 pounds and a Radius for ~ 800 pounds? If not, what is a better value for money-the Sib & Cub or the Radius?
    Regarding the receiver issue, I understood Yamaha suffer from a poor stereo quality in their receivers as well as the 1905 and 2105 by Denon and therefore think about the Marantz 5500, Harman Kardon 230 or Onkyo's 602 as the receiver to push this set. What do you think about it? Which of these is the better for my use (they all cost about the same)? :lesson:
     
  17. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Your Castle distributor should not be asking for £1200+ for the Castle Compacts. They are fixed price retail at £999.90. Like B&W all prices are set by the manufacturer. The MA Radius AV Package will set you back about the same £980...£800 seems cheap and could be a bargain (depends what you’re getting for that). 7oaks tend to push MA quite a bit in the <1k sub/sat area. The Sib & Cub are the biggest of the sub/sats you mentioned yet I thought you said you were put off the Castles because they were big! Hi-Fi choice scored the Sib & Cubs low musically and this is an area of focus for you. So, if you’re leaning in the direction of say the Marantz AV for musicality, my money would be on the MA's or Castles. The JML's are very competitively priced as they seem to be in direct competition to the KHT's for styling (never heard any though so really can't say what they sound like).

    I would demo all of the speakers you mention and buy elsewhere if your dealer is marking up the speakers so exorbitantly.
     
  18. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    are different from those in the UK. The prices I can buy these sets are as I wrote and are because of the different distributors policies and gain..
    I have heard JMLab Sib & Cub next to the Kef and to the Genie but Monitor Audio's radius was heard by me in the importer's store which is the only place here where this set is available. Therefore, I have problem comparing these sets. I listened to the same music CD in all of these sets and I think the JMLAB sounds better than the Kef and in the same level as the Genie (although sounds totally different-different gain and resistance) and the Radius. I can buy the JMLAB for about 600 pounds, the Radius for about 800 and the Genie for about 1000 and I really don't know what set is the best value for money for me. This is the problem...
    Therefore, please let me know if in these prices there is a reason for a different buy than the JMLABs.
    P.S. The Castles cost here about 1150 pounds and this is a sum of money I am not willing to pay. :lease:
     
  19. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    My advice is go with what sounds best to you! There's no snobbery here. If the JML's sounded as good as or better than the other sets in your test, then it's a no brainer for the money...... I wouldn't be put off by a £600 price tag if they sounded that good to my ears... in fact, all things being equall, a £600 price tag os a respectable sum of money for a sub/sat system... there are systems out there for a hell of a lot less. Have you read any reviews of the JML's? I'm afraid I haven't demo'd the sets you are testing... but from an outsiders perspective, it sounds like you are concerned that the JML's have some inherent disadvantage to the others because of the lower price tag...for me, the value is in the listening and if they sounded good, well go for them!

    P.S. Shame about the Castles. The Castles are not a 'Popular' Sub/Sat set IMHO...the Kef's get more editorial by far...but if anyone discounts them on their lack of popularity then they're mad... (I know it's a price issue for you however)
     
  20. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    JMLABs and they were concluded with saying that the set is a great value for money. However, one of them indicated that the musical performance of it is not so great (but still concluded that it is a great value for money) while the others did not say such a thing. I saw many reviews that say X and others that said the opposite and therefore I don't know how much value there is in such reviews and if there wasn't any hidden interest behind them. Some reviews can be found here:
    http://www.focal.tm.fr/gb/home/sib-cub/revue.htm
    And I say again, the JMLABs sound great to me but the Radius sound excellent as well (and maybe also the Genie). However, I don't know if the price difference is something which is worth paying. How will a set of Radius (4X90, 1*180 and a sub) sound for music? Does anyone have the What HiFi review of this set and can send it to me or paste here its link?
    Another issue is, will the JMLAB be able to work with a receiver which power specs is like the Marantz 5500 or Denon's 2105? The specs can be seen here:
    http://www.focal.tm.fr/gb/home/sib-cub/sib.htm
    and the sats are just 75W RMS.
    Please comment.
    Thanks again. :thumbsup:
     
  21. Antpink

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    One thing I picked up from an earlier thread seems like a similar problem here in Singapore - stockists don't always have a great range of products to do mix and match compo shopping. You may have heard all the different speakers matched by the dealer to outstanding playback equipment - source and amp, so when you finally throw the money down and roll off to get the best recommended DVD player and AV amp, connect the lot up at home, it may be that we all hear the sound of frustrated screaming all the way back to Europe (or Asia as it happens).....

    It might not be so easy to persuade a dealer to let you take a bundle of speakers home for demo, but perhaps you might consider tapping the enormous fund of personal experience here to help you choose a receiver with the best blend of musical characteristics (mine's a Marantz, by the way, lacking in the feature count, but abundant in the sound delivery areas), drop your money there first, and then turn up at your local dealers for sib/cub/genie/arena/radius etc and ask them to demo using your own equipment and a close match for your player. Of course, the danger here is that you could (a) throw your back out (b) find the speakers in your price range that meet your needs (c) notice at the last minute the dealer talking in rushed whispers down the phone as you leave the store and not understand why until someone mugs you as you load the amp back into the boot of the car, or (d) foolishly audition the Castles just as "check" and realise that the extra might be worth finding for the long term enjoyment....

    May be more hassle, but hey, noone ever said this would be easy..... I still remember the looks I'd get when I'd turn up to various dealers here with a MF X-Ray CD player in hand, asking if I could demo speakers and amps (fortunately a bit lighter to lug around).... most people though I wanted to trade it!
     
  22. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    I have got another two ideas about the set I am willing to buy and I wanted to know what you think about:
    1) Monitor Audio Radius in the following configuration (2X225, 2X90, 1X180, 1X360).
    2) JMLab Sib Cinema package (3XSib XL, 2XSib and the Cub2 sub).
    Will these sets provide any extra performance in any aspect compared to the regular Radius (4X90, 1X180, 1X360) or Sib & Cub sets? Are they worth the extra money paid for them? Which one of these is the better recommended?
     
  23. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    How are the following sets compared to the ones I mentioned:
    1) M&K K5 (5 pieces) and the K10 sub.
    2) Anthony Gallo Nucleus + their sub.
    Are these sets any better than the Radius/Sib?
     
  24. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    You're in a different league financially. I believe at least 1.5K for the M&K (*4 K-5's, *1 K-7 LCR, *1 K9/10). I'm not sure what is used as the centre speaker in the nucleus range, but still you're looking at 1.1K+ for a set.

    From what I have read, I would say that at one end of the spectrum sit the Castles (these are in the Red Zone i.e. Warm) and at the other end of the spectrum (in the Blue Zone i.e. Cold/Bright) sit the M&K's. All others, I would suspect, fall in-between.
     
  25. arielshiran

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    warm and cold? Why are the M&K so expensive in the UK compared to the other sets? Which set of the ones I mentioned will be the best with a receiver like Denon 2105/Marantz 5500/Yamaha 750 for 50% music and 50% movies? Are there any reviews from "known and respected" magazines on any of these sets? I don't know what to do as where I live the Radius, the Gallos and the M&K cost the same and the JMLab cost less. The Genies for example cost more than the M&K here (5 K5+K10)... I am in a dilemma...
    Please let me know what you would choose if you were me...
    Thanks.
     
  26. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The M&K speakers tend to be brighter than your typical hifi speaker but you may not like the sound, especially if you are used to something warmer and listen to a lot of music. As you will see by my signature I like the M&K sound.

    I am not a great lover of the Gallo speakers as I think that the sound they produce is a little on the thin side and they are too variable in sound quality dependant on the partnering amplifier. They appear not to be easy to set up or integrate satellites with subwoofer judging by some of the poor demos that I have heard when supposedly professionally setup.
     
  27. arielshiran

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    working with a receiver in the level I mentioned based on the fact that in the same price I may be able to get:
    1) M&K K5 (5 pieces) and a K10 sub.
    2) Monitor Audio Radius (4X Radius 90, 1X Radius 180 and a Radius 360) and maybe upgrade to a pair of 225 instead of the 90 at front.
    3) JMLab Sib Cinema (3X Sib XL, 2X Sib and a Cub2).
    All sounded to me great with a CD I took with me and seemed to be great choices. However, I have no opportunity to listen to them one near the other. I am listening to all kinds of music and watch movies half of the time. I saw that in the US the Radius set is more expensive than the M&K set so I believe the M&K is so expensive in the UK just because it is an "imported" product and I don't know if the price difference is because of a higher quality. Please let me know what you would buy if you were me and needed to choose between these 3 sets.
    Thanks.
     
  28. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    and can help me decide?
    I have a problem listening to all of these sets in the same place and time... :)
     
  29. j1mmss

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    you may find places offering free home trials i know, (because i just some) Crane Speakers have a home trial. if not then pop to a local store.

    which reciever have you got
     
  30. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    I am about to buy one of: Marantz 5500/Denon 2105/Onkyo 602/Yamaha 750/Harman Kardon 330. Most of the recommendations I got were for the Denon although I think that the Marantz is a very good one as well and I have a dillema on these as well.
     

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