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Another "Upgrade Advice" post....

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by MrJubbly, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Hi,

    I hope this posy is okay. The PC threw a wobbler with the last one I tried to post :( !

    I am about to upgrade all speakers in my current 5.1 set-up, which currently is:

    Fronts - Jamo Cornet 65's
    Centre - Jamo Cenrtre 200
    Rears - Kenwoods 7ES (from my very first set-up).
    Sub - Celeston CSW

    The Amp is a Denon AVR-3802. My budget is £1600.

    In terms of the room, this is 18 foot by 12, with TV centred on the one of the longer walls and listening/viewing position directly opposite (sofa flush against wall)

    For the fronts I am looking to move to floorstanders and had in mind the following (with appropriated matched centre and possibly rears and sub):

    B&W 603 S3
    KEF Q5
    Mission V63
    Wharfedale Pacific Evo 30's

    So, off I went at the weekend to demo as many of the above as I could.

    In the end I managed to listen to all but the Wharfedales. Now I am no expert at this (in fact it was the first time I'd demo'ed a set of speakers), but to me all three seemed a great improvement on my current set of speakers. Furthermore, I thought that that the B&W's and the KEFs were the better of the three with, perhaps, the B&W's having the edge. Having said that the KEFs do look a lovely speaker.

    After speaking to the dealer for further advice, he sort of steered me in the direction of the B&W's, stating that for Home Cinema (which is what I tend to use my system mostly for at the moment) they were better suited. I'm not sure how true this is so I'm still open to persuasion.

    Anyway, to help me along with the decision-making process I have the following varied questions about my potential new set up:

    Centres: For the B&W's will the LCR60 balance with the S3's or would I need the (very big) LCR600? Likewise would I get away with the Q6c over the Q9c with the Q5's?

    Surrounds: Bipole, Dipole or one directional? What is the best for a 5.1 arrangement? If B/Dipoles are the better option, could anyone recommend any? I like the look of the KEF Q2DS's, but these seem expensive. Are the Mission M5DS's worth considering?

    Sub: I'm considering the ASW600/PSW2500 or ASW650/PSW3000 (though the 650 may be too large). I would love to consider the ASW675, but for this I would need to curb my spending elsewhere in the set-up. What I'd be interested to know is, for my size of room and size of potential front speakers, will any of the others be ground shakingly adequate? Are there any other subs I could also consider?

    Spikes: Do the B&Ws and KEFs come with spikes or will I need to buy these.

    Biwiring: Initially I will not be bi-wiring the main speakers. Will this considerably degrade the sound quality or harm the speakers?

    I realise that these sort of questions get asked quite a lot, and at the end of the day a lot of what I'm asking will come down to personal preference. However I really would be interested to hear peoples views (if I haven't bored you to death by the time you reached this point :D ).

    Cheers,

    Jubbly
     
  2. aliflack

    aliflack
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    lack of biwiring isn't going to hurt your speakers!

    people often say that the 603's are too basy, so you might want to be aware of that. LR60 is from the same range I thought? If so, will match just fine.
     
  3. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Hi jubbly - I’m planning a new system and am heading towards the Kef Q series. I thought about the B&W’s but IMO the Kef’s look nicer - the wife preferred them too! I’m planning on going for the Q4’s as fronts, although they lack some base I’m not too bothered – that’s what sub’s are for!

    I’m thinking of the Q6c as a centre and Q-compacts for surround duties. I’ll also be getting the PSW 2500 sub. I’m getting a very good deal - all of the above for £810! I was initially going for the MS Genies but then I came across the above package which IMO is better musically and will integrate with our room better than the satellites. It also works out cheaper than the Genies for me, as I would have had to fork out 2 pairs of stands @ £70 each.

    Afaik the Kef’s do come with spikes and a 5-year guarantee (1 year on sub!)

    I auditioned the B&W’s but felt they will dominate our room (our lounge has very similar dimensions to yours – 20 foot by 13 foot) and probably be too bassy (the fronts would have to be relatively close to the wall).

    Anyway, I’d be interested to hear what you decide!

    Tej
     
  4. Kazman

    Kazman
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    If I were you, I would also try to listen to the Quad L series of speakers. The 21L should at least be a match if not outperform your selction. I'll let the B&W experts answer the questions regarding that range as I am not an expert on them, although my sound preference fell firmly with the Quads.

    I would also recommend either the SVS PB10 ISD or the BKXLS200 subwoofers, if space is an issue, then the BK XLS200 would be a great buy, it should keep pace with the ASW600 and PSW2500, and is very compact.

    Spikes: I should imagine they should all come with spikes, I know the Quads do, and they even provide little feet to protect laminate/wood surfaces :D

    Biwiring: I found that the sound improved a lot when I bi-wired my previous Mordaunt Shorts, so much so, that I just bi-wired the Quads straight out of the box. You won't get 'bad' sound or damage your speakers if you do not bi-wire, but I found voice seperation and clarity improved when I did.
     
  5. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Aliflack, B&W do both the LCR60 and LCR600. B&W recommend the 600 with the 603's and 4's, but owing to its size I was wondering whether its smaller brother would still be adequate. Of course it is also cheaper.

    Regards,

    Jubbly
     
  6. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Tej,

    Thanks for the reply.

    When I listened to all the speakers they were out from the wall, so that may be why I never noticed the B&Ws sounding overly basey.

    If I go for the KEFs I'll probably go with the Q5s and probably the Q9c center. My dilema then is the surrounds and sub. Still not sure with B/Dipoles are better for 5.1. As for the sub I want to try and keep a fair bit of the budget for this (hence my thinking the £300 - £400 may be a bit too much for the surrounds).

    Out of interest where are you getting your good deal from.

    Regards,

    Jubbly
     
  7. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Kazman,

    I'll look into the Quads.

    I don't really want to go down the SVS route but the XLS200 does sound good (I'll investigate further). Ideally though I'd like to spend more on the sub than that of the PSW2500 and ASW600 (hence my mention of the ASW675), but this depends on the outcome on the rest of the speaker selection.

    Thanks,

    Jubbly
     
  8. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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  9. Pat Marcus

    Pat Marcus
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    I dont reccomend an LCR60 with big B&W floorstanders. Having heard both, I can confidently tell you that the 600 sounds much better. Never underestimate how important the centre channel is in movies - it carries much much more than just dialogue.
     
  10. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Pat, I appreciate how important the centre speaker is. However I don't always trust the manufacturers 'glossies', and I didn't want to go for the huge 600 if the 60 itself was already a quality speaker. I've read of others that have gone down to 60 road owing to the size of the 600, but not much about the difference in sound quality. Obviously you have heard the difference, so I will take your advice on board.

    Thanks

    Jubbly
     
  11. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Hi All,

    I think I'm going to go with the KEFs now. I'm just happen to be heading down to Essex next week, and I'll pass very close to St Albans. Which is nice 'cos that means I can drop into HiSpek and take advantage of their brilliant prices. ;)

    I was going to go for the Q5's but given the prices I may now up to the Q7's. For the centre I'll go for the Q9C regardless.

    As for the surrounds I'm still not sure. From what I've read bipoles should be the better option for a 5.1 arrangement. However I am concerned about placement. Firstly would I be right in saying that these types of speakers should be placed to the side of the listening position? Secondly, can they be placed close into a corner? If I go for the the Q2DS then the I have no options than to place them in the corners at the side of the listening position. If this is not practical, the other two options would be to either go for another type of bipoles (any one got any recommendations - e.g Misson M5DS, MS 903S, Wharfedale DFS18, MA Bronze BFX?), or dop the bipoles and to go for the Q1's.

    Finally, baring in mind all the above I reckon I'll now have about £600 to spend on the Sub. Any suggestions? I'll post something over to the sub forum anyway, but I'd appreciate any view here also

    Thanks

    Jubbly
     
  12. MrJubbly

    MrJubbly
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    Just the thought I'd let you know that I did go with KEFs. Got the Q7's, Q9C and Q compacts (all in Maple) from Hi-spek. I ordered them on the Tuesday before Christmas and they arrived on the Thursday. However I only managed to get them set up on the Tuesday just gone! I must say though that I am truly happy them :D . A vast improvement on my previous set-up.

    Now I just need to set my sub up. I went for the MJ Acoustic Reference 200 in the end (in Maple).

    After that I'll be upgrading my cables, but that's a few months off yet when we come to redecorate the lounge.

    Regards

    Jubbly
     

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