Help me choose a good set of speakers...

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by buddy13, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. buddy13

    buddy13
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    Ok I am a newbie here so please

    I am a 27 year old Engineer from Malta (yes that small island somewhere in the EU :laugh:...) and have been a fan of AV systems from when I was small. I have never owned a decent setup yet cos my watch collecting hobby drains all the funds normally :mad:...

    My 'best' setup so far has been a 5.1 Panasonic home cinema which of course for you guys here it leaves a lot to be desired, especially in music mode :thumbsdow...I have decided I need a decent system for a budget of 1500 Euros max (slightly less is better).

    I am very impulsive normally but really want to get this one right. So these last 3 weeks I have been getting in all the prices, info, specs and reviews I could get hold of and have narrowed my choice to the below:

    A/V receiver:

    - Onkyo TXNR509
    - Yamaha RXV671
    - Onkyo TXNR609

    I will be hooking it up to a set of speakers from the below list (I have still to decide :confused:). My room measures approx. 4m by 3m and space is somewhat limited (so no overly large speakers). I will use it 70% movies and 30% music (easy rock, jazz, generic). I don't want anything crazy in terms of sound output, I just want an honest reproduction that is clear with minimal distortion at medium output levels.

    5 Channel Speaker systems:

    - Wharfedale diamond - 10.6x2 (floorstands), 10.1x2 (rear), 10CSV
    - Jamo S608 HCS3 system
    - Q Acoustics 2000I
    - Tannoy Mercury V4 AV


    I have audtioned the Jamo & Wharfedale speakers with the Yamaha & Onkyo 509 receivers respectively. ALL are a BIG step up from my current setup. I like 'natural' sounding systems best and cooler in favour of warmer (bass over mid and treble, must say the Wharfys 10.6 were the warmest from my auditions)...

    So which speakers would you reccomend? Would you have any better candidates in the 600-800 GBP price range?

    Thanks for any help in advance :hiya:!

    PS: Could you recommend a good online store where I could buy the whole package and have it shipped to Malta (EU)?
     
  2. helder

    helder

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    The Yamaha receiver you've mentioned paired with the Monitor Audio BX5 AV 5.1 package would be perfect for you seen that you favour a more natural sound over a warm and laid back. They sound (in my opinion) better than the Wharfs and Tannoys. And they look great too unlike the photos might suggest. They don't photograph very well in my opinion but look very nice in flesh and are very sturdy, well built/finished speakers.

    Sure you wouldn't regret the purchase ;)
     
  3. buddy13

    buddy13
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    Thanks for reply...so does the Yamaha sound more natural than the Onkyos?

    Also I like the feeling of NOT being able to locate the sperate speakers during a movie (like in a cinema). Would the Yamaha be better in this respect?

    Also any good online dealers that can ship the BX5 to me should I decide to go for them?
     
  4. helder

    helder

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    Speakers from a particular brand and range are built with good integration in mind. They possess tonal characteristics that allows them to blend seamlessly when used together. Some ranges like for example the Wharfedale Diamond have a wider number of options though and some particular models suit each other the best especially when it comes to picking the best centre to match the fronts. If you plan to build a system around the 10.7 floorstanders it doesn't make sense getting the weakest centre to go with it.

    In that sense, the Bronze range is a bit more simple as there's only one centre speaker which suits any fronts within the same range.

    Also receivers are not exactly responsible for the good integration between speakers from different positions across the setup. What they do is counterbalancing the tonality of a particular range. The Yamaha are known for being warm sounding amps which tames the brightness from the BX range quite well without making them sound as warm and laid back as the Diamonds while avoiding extreme brightness and harsh treble that would be most probably noticeable by partnering them with an Onkyo receiver. For that reason Yamaha receivers are a very popular choice among the Monitor Audio Bronze owners.

    Tomorrow I'll get back to you with some deals that can be had on the MA BX speakers. Just watch this space ;)
     
  5. helder

    helder

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    Hi,

    I've found a dealer in Malta that stocks Monitor Audio speakers. Before considering buying from a UK based retailer you should see what they've got to offer. Even if you can't afford the whole setup at once you could buy the receiver, BX5 and BC centre for now and add the BX FX rears later on as funds allow. If I was you I would definitely stick with the Monitor Audio as not only they produce the kind of sound you seem to be looking for, but also their speakers tend to punch well above their weight and tend to sound cleaner, more detailed and less boxy than offers within the same price range from other brands.

    To give you an idea I upgraded from small satellites to the Monitor Audio and even with all the extra cabinets on the BX5 I didn't notice any loss in clarity and colouration and instead I noticed clear gains in agility and punch. Also bigger soundstage and a more open sound altogether.
    Add a good sub when you can and you'll be laughing :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  6. buddy13

    buddy13
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    Nearly bought (without audition) the monitor audio bronze following some good advice/reviews...

    But I just bought a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.6 Fronts and a 10CS Center as I got a good deal on new speakers. Paid 500 Euros for the fronts and center which I felt was too good a deal to pass up :smashin:...

    I wanted to add either a 10.0 or 10.1 as surround rears but where out of stock.

    I also auditioned the Jamo 608 HCS3. They were really detailed and sharp, however I found that the center channel was working a bit too hard for my liking and at mid to high volumes it started to lost composure and 'shrivel'. I think the 10CS will handle power much better.

    Also for some unknown reason I found the smaller 10.6's to be a tad better built than the very nicely finished 608 fronts...hard to explain and it might just be in my mind but that is how I felt...

    I also just bought an Onkyo TX-NR609 receiver online for what I consider a good price (430 Euros) to power my wharfys :clap:...

    I listened to the Onkyo 509 coupled to a Panasonic 5.1 cinema package and seemed really punchy, detailed and sharp. Shop didn't have the 609 rigged up.

    Heard the 10.6s playing one of my fave's CDs powered by a Wharfedale stereo amp. Must say they sounded too warm for my liking at first, but after switching between them and the 10.5 for multiple times I decided that though not as sharp or detailed, they sounded more relaxed and firm at a wider range of volumes :thumbsup:...I also thought they should tame the sharp Onkyo609 a bit..

    So what do you think of my setup and how would you advice I should wire them please?

    I saw on the 609's rear end. I figured that if you are not using 7 channels you could use the surround outputs as 'highs' (so bi-amp them). Is that right? Else should I just bi-wire them? Which method would be best? Fronts are only around 1.5m from receiver so I am not worried about cable costs ;)...

    Sincere thanks in advance for any advice :smashin:!

    PS: The amount of stuff I learned just by hanging out on this forum this last week or so is just scary :rotfl:...
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  7. buddy13

    buddy13
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    I really thank you for your kind help and advice. It really is much appreciated.

    I tried to get hold of the monitor audio retailer in Malta but no luck. It seems that he stopped importing them or at least he would only import them on order. I have no way of auditioning them but I most honestly believe your advice (and online reviews) and was going to go for them...

    However I found that the local wharfy dealer has some really good prices. Instead I just bought a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.6 Fronts and a 10CS Center. Paid 500 Euros for the fronts and center which I felt was too good a deal to pass up :smashin:...

    I wanted to add either a 10.0 or 10.1 as surround rears but where out of stock. He quoted the 10.0 at 80 euros and the 10.1 at 115 euros. I think the 10.1 would be a better match to the strong fronts. What do you think?

    I also just bought an Onkyo TX-NR609 receiver online for what I consider a good price (430 Euros) :clap:...

    I listened to the Onkyo 509 coupled to a Panasonic 5.1 cinema package and seemed really punchy, detailed and sharp. Shop didn't have the 609 rigged up.

    Heard the 10.6s playing one of my fave's CDs powered by a Wharfedale stereo amp. Must say they sounded too warm for my liking at first, but after switching between them and the 10.5 for multiple times I decided that though not as sharp or detailed, they sounded more relaxed and firm at a wider range of volumes :thumbsup:...I also thought they should tame the sharp Onkyo609 a bit..

    So what do you think of my setup and how would you advice I should wire them please?

    I saw on the 609's rear end. I figured that if you are not using 7 channels you could use the surround outputs as 'highs' (so bi-amp them). Is that right? Else should I just bi-wire them? Which method would be best? Fronts are only around 1.5m from receiver so I am not worried about cable costs ;)...

    Sincere thanks in advance for any advice :smashin:!
     
  8. helder

    helder

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    Hi,

    your setup seems fine. Wharfedale and Onkyo form a good partnership. I do believe Monitor Audio makes better speakers though and would have suited your tastes better but also understand that it was probably more convenient to you buying the Diamonds due to your geographical location.

    Bi wiring would be pointless in my opinion and I'd as well be surprised if you gain something considerable by bi amping them. Especially using a single receiver. I wouldn't do it myself but if you're feeling adventurous I guess you can try.

    Most of all, enjoy your setup! (until the next upgrade :D )
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  9. buddy13

    buddy13
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    Thanks for kind reply!

    I had just bought the Onkyo 609 AV receiver online. I heard the 509 and liked it though to be true it did sound a bit too agressive for my liking...but then I knew the 10.6s where on the warm side so I thought the Onkyo sharpness must be somewhat 'dampened'

    I went to buy some banana plugs and the store had the Yam 671 in stock. I auditioned a CD with it and a pair of Jamo 608 floorstands and REALLY liked the warm, relaxed nature of it. I just had to have it...

    To cut a long story short I ended up buying the Yammy instead :D! What do you think of Yam + Wharfy? I must say I really love it (from the 2 hours I listened to it yesterday). I watched the movie 300 with volume limited at -15db (to run in speakers). The bass is strong, treble is sharp and the midrange is still very clear given the laid back nature of the componenets (must be cos I bi-amped them...hehe).

    I really like how they sound together :smashin:....

    PS: If I were to upgrade in the future would the Yam or Wharf need to go first in your opinion? Can't believe I'm actually asking this question ;-)...
     

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