ADVICE: New Amp and speakers....

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Hi everyone,

after many years, I’m returning to considering a new amp and surround speakers, instead of a soundbar. The Mrs notices that the soundbar doesn’t have that enveloping sound she remembered, so.... help please.

our room is a very symmetrical rectangular lounge ( maybe 20 feet by 15 at a guess) with bookshelves in front and behind us. The ceiling is high ( Victorian home). I expect to have a 85-85 inch tv sat in front elevated to our seating position so that our heads are at the level of the tv feet. Our sofa sits about 10 feet from screen.

which Atmos receiver and bookshelf speakers would you recommend? Let’s say a budget of £4K... for surrounds with atmos speakers. That’s may be 5.1.2 if I’ve understood the terms.
Thanks
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Can I ask what speakers you owned previously so we all have an idea of sound you are after. A few photos always speak a thousand words to.

Looking at what you mentioned, you wish to place the speakers within bookshelves, (what size are these?) Sometimes you can create a box within a box sound to which can alter the sound of many speakers to create a more muffled experience.

Where are you looking to place the centre (will this be a wall mounted option)

The first produce based on your comments that comes to mind is the Apex solution which you can mount the centre on the wall, the rest of the speakers are small enough to mount in confined spaces (with limitations of course)

List
Apex A10 *4
Apex A40 *1
Marantz SR6015 *1 or Denon AVR-X4700H *1
SVS PB2000 *1

Would be my starting suggestion based on your budget. If £4k is just for the speakers alone, then you can look at M&K (a brand that helped spawned surround sound as we know it)

As for the Atmos Speakers, are you looking at in-ceiling or wall mounted speakers?
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Hi, we used Dynaudio audience 50s in the past. The centre was a kef left over from our previous keg q35 set up on an earlier set up. I have to say we do love dynaudio sound but maybe because we haven’t auditioned enough. We had a Rel subwoofer but the only things we now have are 4 dynaudios.
We can sell them and have an all new set up with floorstanders at the front as the Mrs has allowed this change.

i was thinking on wall for atmos but don’t know

my intended TV sits on a purpose built cabinet and the centre could sit below it depending on how the tv stand is for allowing a speaker to sit beneath it

thanks
 
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ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I've never used Dynaudio, but many love then on these Forums so maybe you should look to that brand to start with as its a sound you enjoyed

As for the Apex, have a read in the Apex thread to get an idea what these speakers can look like as quite a few proud Apex owners have shown just how nice they look (whats more if they do have the performance to back the looks up to). I've rated them for many years and they have been around since the Gold GS series which is where the tweeter came from. So they are a few pegs up compared to the Kef you owned

The M&K's are another speaker if you are serious about performance as they will deliver big, but in my opinion are not as nice to look at, so if you had a dedicated room, then they are a must on your radar, if not, see what you think about the looks as they are one of the best you can purchase

Monitor Audio do offer an Atmos on wall solution in the Bronze AMS which should be all you need in reality.

As a solution, the Apex and the Bronze AMS will work perfectly (in fact if you see another Atmos speaker you like the look of, don't be afraid of mixing as its completely normal with Atmos speakers)

If you can move to floorstands, then this is for music listening as many of the bookshelf solution with a good woofer can once the room eq has been run do an amazing job.

What's the model of Dynaudio speakers?
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
@ShanePJ which M&K would I look at please? I might have to reconsider my budget. I note from your link that they have some tripole, and other speakers so how do these work in a home cinema?
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
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UpgradingAgain

Active Member
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UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Guys, ignore the mess of having work done in a few rooms so this room is packed!!! But it shows my TV ( 75 9405) and the cabinetry for AV. Beside the tv you can just see my dynaudios sat on each side but not connected. The image of sizes shows length, width and viewing distance from sofa. Ceiling is 2 metres from the base of the tv. If one assumes front speakers would finish around that height of on stands.

I wonder if you guys can advise on speakers etc based on this view. A centre speaker would require any new tv to be raised to allow it underneath or a stand in front of cabinets.

ALSO, I love the image of this TV so not sure if A90J OLED or the best LCD should replace it?
 
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Tom @ Cinehome

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
A class-leading option would be the MK LCR950's for the front array and depending upon if you wanted 7.1.2 or 5.1.2 to go for one or two pairs of MK SUR95T or S55T tripoles for the surround backs and sides. Add a single, or ideally pair, of MK V10s or V12s and some MK IC95's for atmos and you have a fantastic system. A Denon 4700H would drive these very well.

The LCR950's should be placed near / on the leading edge of the cabinetry to minimise any reflections from the cabinets, or you could mount them on stands if preferred? Same goes for surround backs on the cabinetry and usefully it looks like the worktops extend beyond the shelving by enough of a margin to allow this.

Re TV, the upcoming A90J would be an excellent choice. Looks to be a stunning TV.



Hope this helps? Best, Tom
 
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Hoku

Active Member
What tend to be your main sources? What is the split of music vs TV vs movies? If you want a system to be capable with music too, that may help direct our suggestions.

I used to own Monitor Audio Apex. They were fine for movies, but didn’t cut it for music IMO. Their surround abilities were fine, but lacked midrange heft that a standmounted speaker with a larger driver or floorstander would produce.

But for a system where space and mounting options are limited they’re excellent. Although I actually preferred a previous set up I had using Monitor Audio Radius with R270 floorstanders at the front. The tonal balance was just more exciting than the Apex. Although the A40 centre speaker is superior to the Radius centre.

Sticking with Monitor Audio for a moment, their Silver range is excellent with a good host of options. I have their Silver FX bipole/dipole speakers for my tears and they work very well. They’re punchy, snappy, exciting and have a very good midrange for comparatively small wall mounted speakers.

Looking at your picture though, I think the biggest issue you need to start with is your centre speaker. That’s an important part of your system and your limitations there may end up dictating what you’re able to use elsewhere to go with it.

For example, if you considered the MA Silvers, would either of their centre speakers fit for where you intend? I’m not sure whether their C150 is wall mountable, so you could look at MA’s many on-wall/in-wall options for that, and your ceiling speakers.

On balance, your room looks a reasonable size, so I’d try and get away with the largest drivers you can accommodate - a sub/sat system could lose itself in your room.

Finally, if you still have 4 Dynaudios and you like them, why not add a centre speaker and ceiling speakers to match? You’d likely lose money selling them to buy new speakers, so any money you saved could go towards a better AV receiver.
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Thanks both for your comments and advice. I agree with the fact that my centre speaker needs consideration. I have 4 options...
1) centre speaker on a stand in front of tv
2) on the cabinet and raise the tv by placing it on some risers to avoid the speaker covering the screen base
3) place speaker in cabinet under TV but it will be on one side so symmetrical.
4) mount speaker pointed down a little bit, above the TV.

I also agree that using my existing speakers would help IF a modern centre can match with them?

In terms of music vs movies, it’s like this. I have Naim amps with Harbeth speakers and use my Spotify through them. Clearly the sound is compromised by my compressed audio so I’m starting with a negative; but it’s easier for me than trying to get full fat music to stream.

I would love my movie speakers to be musical enough to enjoy using them without having to chop and change between music and movie kit. We watch Prime Video and Netflix as well as Disney plus all via streaming. Sport is big for me and I use Now Tv stick as well as BT sport but only when they have the sport I want. Not regularly. We were Sky customers and will maybe go back one day. I have a Panny 4K Blu-ray player and will get a PS5 although I hardly get time to play it!

I think an initial 5.1 system with good receiver is a must. Atmos can be added now or later depending on how I do it and if wires would show if not placed already.
 
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Hoku

Active Member
That’s useful to know.

OK, bearing in mind your criteria, this is what I would do. Please bear in mind this is only my opinion and other opinions may vary wildly on this forum, and you must make the final decision. It’s your money after all.

If you want the simplicity of one system there are usually three AV receiver manufacturers referred to as being capable musically (other than ultra high end stuff way beyond both our budgets here): Anthem, Arcam and NAD.

Personally I would be nervous about both Arcam and NAD based on niggles and issues that I’ve read on forums about their receivers. And I make no apologies for being a total Anthem fanboy. My own criteria for my system were not dissimilar. I love my music, both stereo and multichannel, but I didn’t want the additional fuss of swapping between two systems for each purpose, and once I’d heard the Anthem I knew I would be happy.

So if it was me, I would go this route:

AV receiver: Anthem MRX740. As this is quite a new product you may find some dealers willing to budge on price on the outgoing MRX720. It’s not as pretty but is just as capable in the amp department. Just check if the added features and codecs offered by the ‘740 are important to you or not.

I would keep your Dynaudios for the rear 2 speakers (or 4) in a 5.1 (or 7.1) system, adding Atmos later. I would suggest that the length of your room makes 7.1 an ideal starting point before adding Atmos later, and seeing you have the speakers already, the only budget impact from 5.1 to 7.1is minimal.

Then purchase the best front three speakers you can afford with the budget you have left over from the AV receiver. Your main criteria for these speakers needs to be how they tonally match the amp for your taste and how they match your room size-wise.

I would definitely place the centre speaker on a dedicated stand. I’ve had both situations myself: I did have my previous centre on a cabinet, and although I placed it on Auralex Mopads to try and isolate it, it’s no where near as good as my centre is now, on a stand, in free space.

If you are struggling with your centre placement though, there is always the option of a ghost centre. So in your AVR set up you tell it there is no centre speaker, and the AVR does the rest, mixing the centre channel information with your main left and right speakers, so that’s another option for you.

I set out what I would do above because when you want a musical AVR, you need to maximise your budget on the front three speakers and the AVR itself. Having the front three speakers voice matched is more important than front to rear matching IMO. I have had speaker systems in the past with identical drivers all round, and that is preferable, but I currently use one make for my front three and another make for my rear speakers and they match very well indeed.

If you decided to go this route, then IMO your biggest challenge is getting the tonal balance right with your front three speakers and AVR. This is often overlooked in discussions about home theatre, and yet in all stereo applications it’s one of the most important criteria, and as you clearly have some decent stereo kit that you like, I think this is important for you too as you may have a discerning fussy ear! So I would recommend purchasing from a reputable dealer with a solid returns policy.

In my recent experience, some dealers (Richer Sounds in my case) have been very accommodating in light of COVID’s impact on the ability to demo in store. So check what they can offer in that respect before you hand over your hard-earned.

So in summary, keep your Dynaudios for rear speakers, add a musical AVR (Anthem) and purchase matching front 3 speakers that tonally match the AVR and size wise, suit your room. Then add a subwoofer and ceiling speakers as budget allows later. You could even consider looking on Ebay for a decent used subwoofer, maybe from REL: they are known to be on the musical side.

One PS, I have heard some people reporting issues with the Anthem’s ARC Genesis software on the new models that have just been released. All I can say is that the same software has worked faultlessly on my older Anthem, and as it’s Anthem’s principal room correction system, I would imagine if there are any issues that solving them will be a top priority for them. But it’s something worth asking your dealer about.

Sorry, one more postscript. I ought to mention that one feature the Anthem has which is ideal when you use a lot of sources that may have 2.0 or 5.1 mixes, is that for one source, you can create two inputs each with their own setting. So on my Sky box, some programmes are broadcast in stereo and some in multichannel. Although my Sky box is just plugged into one HDMI on the back of the AVR, I have created two inputs for it. One called Sky 2.0 (using only my main left and right speakers full range) and another called Sky 5.1, which then engages the subwoofer and crossover. So if the broadcast changes, I can just flip over to the other input to maximise the sound quality for that signal. So it’s a really flexible system when music is important to you.
 
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UpgradingAgain

Active Member
That’s useful to know.

OK, bearing in mind your criteria, this is what I would do. Please bear in mind this is only my opinion and other opinions may vary wildly on this forum, and you must make the final decision. It’s your money after all.

If you want the simplicity of one system there are usually three AV receiver manufacturers referred to as being capable musically (other than ultra high end stuff way beyond both our budgets here): Anthem, Arcam and NAD.

Personally I would be nervous about both Arcam and NAD based on niggles and issues that I’ve read on forums about their receivers. And I make no apologies for being a total Anthem fanboy. My own criteria for my system were not dissimilar. I love my music, both stereo and multichannel, but I didn’t want the additional fuss of swapping between two systems for each purpose, and once I’d heard the Anthem I knew I would be happy.

So if it was me, I would go this route:

AV receiver: Anthem MRX740. As this is quite a new product you may find some dealers willing to budge on price on the outgoing MRX720. It’s not as pretty but is just as capable in the amp department. Just check if the added features and codecs offered by the ‘740 are important to you or not.

I would keep your Dynaudios for the rear 2 speakers (or 4) in a 5.1 (or 7.1) system, adding Atmos later. I would suggest that the length of your room makes 7.1 an ideal starting point before adding Atmos later, and seeing you have the speakers already, the only budget impact from 5.1 to 7.1is minimal.

Then purchase the best front three speakers you can afford with the budget you have left over from the AV receiver. Your main criteria for these speakers needs to be how they tonally match the amp for your taste and how they match your room size-wise.

I would definitely place the centre speaker on a dedicated stand. I’ve had both situations myself: I did have my previous centre on a cabinet, and although I placed it on Auralex Mopads to try and isolate it, it’s no where near as good as my centre is now, on a stand, in free space.

If you are struggling with your centre placement though, there is always the option of a ghost centre. So in your AVR set up you tell it there is no centre speaker, and the AVR does the rest, mixing the centre channel information with your main left and right speakers, so that’s another option for you.

I set out what I would do above because when you want a musical AVR, you need to maximise your budget on the front three speakers and the AVR itself. Having the front three speakers voice matched is more important than front to rear matching IMO. I have had speaker systems in the past with identical drivers all round, and that is preferable, but I currently use one make for my front three and another make for my rear speakers and they match very well indeed.

If you decided to go this route, then IMO your biggest challenge is getting the tonal balance right with your front three speakers and AVR. This is often overlooked in discussions about home theatre, and yet in all stereo applications it’s one of the most important criteria, and as you clearly have some decent stereo kit that you like, I think this is important for you too as you may have a discerning fussy ear! So I would recommend purchasing from a reputable dealer with a solid returns policy.

In my recent experience, some dealers (Richer Sounds in my case) have been very accommodating in light of COVID’s impact on the ability to demo in store. So check what they can offer in that respect before you hand over your hard-earned.

So in summary, keep your Dynaudios for rear speakers, add a musical AVR (Anthem) and purchase matching front 3 speakers that tonally match the AVR and size wise, suit your room. Then add a subwoofer and ceiling speakers as budget allows later. You could even consider looking on Ebay for a decent used subwoofer, maybe from REL: they are known to be on the musical side.

One PS, I have heard some people reporting issues with the Anthem’s ARC Genesis software on the new models that have just been released. All I can say is that the same software has worked faultlessly on my older Anthem, and as it’s Anthem’s principal room correction system, I would imagine if there are any issues that solving them will be a top priority for them. But it’s something worth asking your dealer about.

Sorry, one more postscript. I ought to mention that one feature the Anthem has which is ideal when you use a lot of sources that may have 2.0 or 5.1 mixes, is that for one source, you can create two inputs each with their own setting. So on my Sky box, some programmes are broadcast in stereo and some in multichannel. Although my Sky box is just plugged into one HDMI on the back of the AVR, I have created two inputs for it. One called Sky 2.0 (using only my main left and right speakers full range) and another called Sky 5.1, which then engages the subwoofer and crossover. So if the broadcast changes, I can just flip over to the other input to maximise the sound quality for that signal. So it’s a really flexible system when music is important to you.
I can’t thank you enough for such a very useful and well described reply. I’ve learnt a few things! I am considering the buchardt s400 or A500 speakers and they don’t have a centre. But being able to ‘ ghost’ centre may remove that problem if it does ‘fill’ my forward soundstage enough.
I will certainly look at Anthem (not a make I’m familiar with aside from having heard the name).

I hope ( fingers crossed) that the two forward s400s would play nicely with the 4 rear dynaudios. I would certainly save some money if that worked.

has anyone had experience of using active speakers in home theatre? I like their a500s but don’t know how one would fit those in this scheme?

another issue, can you mix speakers that are different Ohms on one receiver? If one says 8ohms and another says 5, does it matter or will it not? Sorry if that’s a stupid question.

thanks for all your responses. They really are helpful given the money involved in AV
 

Hoku

Active Member
another issue, can you mix speakers that are different Ohms on one receiver? If one says 8ohms and another says 5, does it matter or will it not? Sorry if that’s a stupid question.
No it’s a sensible question and one I had to deal with myself recently. It will be no problem, although you may find it just takes a little more tweaking to get the levels right in each speaker, but that’s easily adjusted so it should be fine.

I did have 8 ohm speakers all round before, but I recently replaced my front 3 to 4 ohm speakers, retaining the 8 ohm speakers at the back. Initially the rear speakers played at too high a level, but they’re perfectly matched now.

Another thing worth mentioning that may limit your speaker choices a little. You will generally get a better deal if you purchase speakers and AVR at the same time: many dealers are prepared to offer a healthy discount when you do so, and I think at present especially, dealers are champing at the bit for custom.

Of course if you found a really good discount already on the outgoing model, the MRX720, that may increase / limit your choices.

In normal times, the thing I would recommend most is to listen to as many different systems as you can before purchasing. Buying blind can lead to expensive mistakes and serious buyer regret. But these are certainly not normal times! On the one hand I do think dealers are more willing to negotiate price than normal, but obviously it does mean getting a good number of demos of different systems is not possible until lockdown eases.

But it does mean I would be very cautious about taking reviews you see online as gospel. One man’s meat is very much another man’s poison in AV, and I’ve heard many systems over the years that people coo over in reviews only to think that the same system is making my ears bleed and I discount within a minute of listening to it.

All I can say is that the Anthem has truly excellent dynamics and timing with music and movies, and tonally is just a smidge forward of neutral to my ears. I would call it exciting, others may say it’s a little grating, but then I would disagree! So I would pair the Anthem with neutral to warm speakers and would avoid anything too bright. Bright plus slightly bright = ear grating.

My own Anthem / DALI Rubicon 2 combo I’m very pleased with musically: there is a certain musical magic sauce that the system seems to exert on anything I play through it. I treated myself recently to the Bluray Stevie Wonder Live at Last, a live concert in DTS-MA 5.1. It sounded absolutely fantastic. It’s a cliché to say it was like being there...but IT WAS!!! Strangely I played DALI Rubicon 5 floorstanders through the same amp and that magic, especially in the midrange and midbass was entirely lacking and flat. The bass was just superior in every way from the standmounted Rubicon 2’s.

The other significant strength of the DALI’s is the vast soundstage. I was watching one of the recent Star Trek movies recently and the Enterprise zoomed from front to rear. It’s difficult to convey in words the vastness of the effect. The sound didn’t feel like it was coming from my speakers, but from the entire front wall. And as the Enterprise shot from front to back soundstage, it sounded like it was doing a flyby through my house! Certainly the sheer height of the soundstage the Rubicon 2’s create is astonishing, although it should be remembered that I have a fairly small 3.5m x 4m room which may increase that effect.

I wouldn’t call it true hi-fi because it isn’t 100% neutral, it does have a flavour. But it can just make 90% of what I listen to sound absolutely amazing: it can turn bland documentaries into something that brings a smile to your face. 2-channel BBC streams like Death in Paradise sound awesome, and movies like Le Mans 66 will blow your boots off.
There is a little catch though: it‘s not a forgiving system and it will make any brightly / poorly mastered stuff sound pretty awful. But for me the trade-off is worth it.

You could have a more forgiving partnership, but you would lose that magic sauce it delivers with everything else.

Your question about actives: technically if your actives have RCA inputs, then it’s possible to blend the two using the pre-outs of the AVR, but the Anthem is such a capable and musical amp sonically, and its power delivery and timing and control of the bass is a significant element of that, that it seems a shame not to use its internal power.

Finally, if you were less concerned about music, and just interested in that multi-channel surround effect, then your best options may be quite different, certainly more plentiful. You would probably spend less on the AVR and more on the speakers, and the number of AVR’s that perform very nearly as well as the Anthem for surround sound are plenty from the usual suspects of Denon, Marantz and Yamaha. But for two channel, IMO, the Anthem is streets ahead.

But I stress these are only my opinions. I would welcome other suggestions from other forum users who’ve taken different routes to skin this particular cat. There’s a wealth of experience on this forum and many have systems of a much higher league than mine. So don’t limit your choices just yet.

I’d take a look at the threads of forum members who have posted details of their own systems. You can get a wealth of ideas from the hard-earned experiences of others...

Members DIY Home Cinema Showcases

and not to be overlooked is the advice of a good dealer. Phone a dealer or two. Tell them what you’re trying to achieve overall and let them come up with suggestions for your budget. Try not to limit their suggestions by saying you want specific components, not initially anyway. You’ll get more free thinking ideas that way. They might come up with ideas that are quite different to mine and may steer you in another direction. So take your time and put their experience to good use.
 
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ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Apologies for not getting back to you, but I've had a week off. I'm just going to run through some bits as I've a few bits to catch up with and then I shall get back to you
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
It seems like you have been given some good advice. If music is going to be important to you, you can utilise a connection named HT Bypass and as you have a Naim unit, some of them can utilise this feature, So I'd have a look in the manual to see if the option "AV fixed volume" as this is Naims naming version of HT Bypass

This would mean that you can if you wish bring your Hi-Fi system into the mix and with your Dynaudio speakers create a 7.1 system with a phantom centre as has been mentioned plus the inclusion off a woofer. You will need a reasonable AV receiver and woofer to bring the best out of a largish room

For the woofers look at SVS and maybe a pair with the size of the room. For audio, look towards Anthem, Arcam and Denon as they will all give you good quality cinema. The Anthem should balance the speakers best in the room as their room correction software is only bettered by Lyngdorf's in my opinion. When you revert back to music, you would just use your Naim as normal. One area where you could improve the streaming is with something from this section of electronics. I would also look at replacing Spotify with a hi-res platform like Tidal. This should enable you to hear your Naim and Harbeth components as they ought to be heard
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
It seems like you have been given some good advice. If music is going to be important to you, you can utilise a connection named HT Bypass and as you have a Naim unit, some of them can utilise this feature, So I'd have a look in the manual to see if the option "AV fixed volume" as this is Naims naming version of HT Bypass

This would mean that you can if you wish bring your Hi-Fi system into the mix and with your Dynaudio speakers create a 7.1 system with a phantom centre as has been mentioned plus the inclusion off a woofer. You will need a reasonable AV receiver and woofer to bring the best out of a largish room

For the woofers look at SVS and maybe a pair with the size of the room. For audio, look towards Anthem, Arcam and Denon as they will all give you good quality cinema. The Anthem should balance the speakers best in the room as their room correction software is only bettered by Lyngdorf's in my opinion. When you revert back to music, you would just use your Naim as normal. One area where you could improve the streaming is with something from this section of electronics. I would also look at replacing Spotify with a hi-res platform like Tidal. This should enable you to hear your Naim and Harbeth components as they ought to be heard
Hi,

thanks. Since my last chats here. I’ve been looking at Kef LS50 Meta perhaps with Anthem AV. I also am considering B&W 706s/ Dalis as I want to balance this music vs movies in the best ‘ compromise’. I do like the idea of using my Naim as a pre out and I think that seems the best solution.

Any other suggestions of speakers?
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you can use the Naim in the solution I mentioned, then you are really only looking for surrounds and although I do like the Kef LS50's I'm not sure what I think of them as surrounds.

Can I ask what model the Harbeth speakers are? This will give everyone an idea where the surrounds need to be pitched. It might be that you require a neutral speaker like the M&K's for surrounds so they can be blended better with your Hi-Fi system. Maybe the M&K MP950's, but I'm concerted about the budget to and maybe dropping down to the M70's or even the M50's (budget dependent) will enable you to get the toys which will deliver everything you want.

Anthem, M&K Surrounds, SVS Subwoofer/s plus your Naim and Harbeth speakers. That should be quite the killer system in my option
 

Hoku

Active Member
I personally found B&W a bit to shouty in the treble. This was in a demo at the Bristol show - I'm pretty sure it was the 700 series we heard. It was quite a lengthy demo with standmount and floorstanders. They were impressive playing electronica, but for real instruments they were too much for my ears.

Not heard the KEF Metas though.
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
I can’t recall my Harbeth model but it’s smaller than the dynaudios. In terms of budget, I recognise that £4000 is very little now for decent kit. How would your advice change if I went to around £8000? That’s for amp and speakers.
 

Hoku

Active Member
TBH same recommendation as before but just including the subs, and if you wanted to go the whole hog, the additional overhead speakers.

So,
Anthem MRX740
Speaker package for your taste
Ideally 2 subwoofers- maybe SVS PC2000 Pro or REL HT/1205.

So again it comes down to your chosen speaker package really. With the budget rising, the need for a demo really is paramount, even if you have to wait until things open up to allow it.

When you demo, because you’re as interested in music as movies, I’d concentrate on 2-channel music in the demo. By all means make sure you listen to a movie demo too, but IMO if the music’s right running the main two speakers, then the matching surround speakers’ performance should fairly easily fall into place, especially with the Anthem’s room correction.

If the system can get music right, then movies should be great, but there are systems that can get movies right that are less impressive when they’re just running in stereo.

So if I were you, I’d locate the nearest couple of dealers to you who would stock the Anthem, then allow their stock / speaker brands / recommendations to guide your speaker shortlist.

My money would be on Dali Rubicon 2 (again the Rubicon 2’s are the sweet spot of the range IMO) with matching surrounds - they do on-walls and in-walls for ceiling speakers I believe) or Monitor Audio Silver range as a starting point - or indeed the M&K recommended in this thread. FWIW, try not to pay list for the Rubicons. There are definitely deals to be had there.

MA Silvers are a really adaptable range because they have varying sized standmounts, floorstanders, two sized centres, bi-pole/di-pole and in-walls. So it’s easy to put a harmonious system together in most room situations.

Another brand that on paper would tone really well with the Anthem is PMC. But their prices have risen dramatically in recent years and I think their cost is getting harder to justify.

But others may have more experience with how other speaker brands blend with the Anthem.
 

Hoku

Active Member
One other thought. If you do pull the trigger, do seek thoughts on the forum about set-up.

An Anthem dealer in particular should help you with set-up. Running ARC’s not quite as easy as some of the built-in systems like I had on my previous Pioneer AVR’s room correction. And I’d really take your time experimenting with crossovers too.

Typical advice as a starting point is to crossover at 80hz, but with my speakers it cut the legs off the best part of the Rubicons, so I run them almost full range, crossing over at 50hz. Then I get the LFE going fairly high - up to 120hz. It seems to open up the soundstage even further that way.

So that is the only think with AVR’s, multichannel and room correction compared to a vanilla 2-channel stereo system: you can make one system sound very different based on the way you set it up.
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Thanks for your very detailed replies. I appreciate all your advice on this thread. Now there’s a road map to having the UK open again I think I will try and get somewhere for demos. Any advice on where in NW? Is Richer Sounds ok? Or Audio T? Sevenoaks?
 

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