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Help me make a decision - up to £800 speakers

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Rainbow6, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    I'm trying to build a new home cinema system from scratch - well, have a TV and a Tosh 220e DVD player. I've been encouraged on this forum to choose speakers first, then an amp/receiver to run them. My requirements: Size matters, and I'm looking for good speakers to play music good/better and film good too. I've been pointed towards the Mordaunt Short Premier (£299-400) and Premier Plus (£500) packages, the JMLabs Sib and Cubs (£600-650), and the KEF 2005.2 eggs (£799). Will spend up to £800. I'm looking to get something whose looks will last for a good while (may rule the eggs out, dunno???), sound great, take up relatively little space, and be great value for money. Of these, can anyone comment on which they'd go for? I suppose I'd prefer to pay less, but if the eggs are that good musically AND film wise, then . . .

    I'm held back by the fact that none of the shops near me here in Northern Ireland carry or demo the Premier Plus pack, or the Sib and Cubs (that I know of). I can demo the eggs, but I'm wondering just how much is gained by moving up the price ladder - i.e., is it worth it to jump up to KEF eggs at £799? (Richer Sounds will order the Prem Plus pack - will take 7-10 days; we'd prefer the black surround on the Sib and Cubs - they're not in Creative Audio for another week or so . . .)

    Or maybe you have a different solution. I've seen the Mission M30's on their website - look cute, but I can't tell what the grill would be like on front (colour) - that would be important to my wife. Does anyone do a package on these? If so, how would they compare to the above, and to the M3s package - which I see is not based on the M30's.

    Or, to really mix it up, I've heard that the Aego5's are great (I know they work differently than other speakers, and are perhaps less upgradeable). What do you think?

    In your answer, perhaps you could suggest an amp/receiver to go with your suggestion (up to £400). I'm told the MS Premiers are hard to drive, but don't know what this means amp/receiver wise.

    Thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Too many options? OK, let me rule out the Sib and Cubs. May sound great, but I can't figure out what to do about the centre channel speaker - awefully big for on top the TV (standing upright - HiFibitz seems to think there's no other way but upright for these babies) and my wife isn't keen to start attaching speakers to walls with wires trailing everywhere (I'm not a handyman for tracking in walls, etc.). I'm also ruling out the Missions, as I hear from HiFiBitz that they are a bit hard to come by at the minute, and I've been led to believe that the bigger speakers don't offer all that much extra soundwise over the Premiers???

    So, what do you think of the Premier or Premier Plus options (pricewise sound nice), the KEF eggs, or the B&W VM1's?
    Are the B&W Sat's magnetically shielded? And I overheard Ian J say elsewhere about switching out the sub. Is the sub that bad, for a £850-900 package? That would be my absolute upper limit, and I'd really want to be sure it's worth it to stretch my budget that far compared to the other packages.
    Thanks.
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The VM1 is magnetically shielded and all the reports that I have read indicate that the sub is a bit weedy and if possible should be swapped for the next sub up in the range
     
  4. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Thanks for that, Ian. When you say, 'weedy', what do you mean - thin or weak? Anyone know how much swapping out the sub would cost for the whole package?

    And, as the price goes up, can anyone help me to know whether it's worth it? - And which of these speaker packs could be best value for money for my requirements? I've heard the VM1's connected to a Yamaha AX640SE, and was impressed enough with music playback. My only concern was about the centre channel at one stage for a vocal spot on film playback. Seemed a bit harsh or something in Mel Gibson's Conspiracy Theory, at the beginning for the dialogue in the Cab.

    I would like to have whatever set up I get for a good while, so I'm hoping to get something that will last for the foreseeable future. And yet not be too expensive (holding my breath) . . . Again, if I didn't mention it before, good/better for music, good for film. Room size: 12x13 feet.

    Jim
     
  5. yant

    yant
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    > Again, if I didn't mention it before, good/better for music, good for film.

    If you are thinking of music first and film second and do not need the microscopic size of the Kef Eggs or VM1, I would forget about these sub-sat system and go for a pair of quality bookshelves for the front pair, a matching centre and some cheap and chearful rears. If the rears are not sufficients, you can easily upgrade them later. So something like dividing your budget as roughly £400 for the front pair, £200 for the centre and what's left for the rear.

    This way you are in range of some very decent musical speakers. Mix and match, you could go for Dynaudio 42s, Quad 11L for front and matching centre and find a £100-£200 pair for the rear. If you want to stick with one make, you could listen to Monitor Audio Silver (S1 or S2) for the front and use a pair of Bronze B1 as rear or two B&W 602s3 with 600s3 as rear. Or you can afford 5 Kef Q1 (or 4 and a Q9c) for your money. They are very good with music and will beat the Eggs in that regard but are not as good as the more expensive front pairs above.


    Yannick
     
  6. Rainbow6

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    Thanks for the reply. Do you know if any of the speakers you mention, especially the Monitor Audio or whatever are magnetically shielded? Size is important, and they would probably end up pretty close to the TV. I think my wife is concerned that the speakers don't take over our 12x13 room, which is already full with a suite of furnature, etc.
    Thanks.
    Jim
     
  7. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    OK, I think I've narrowed down my choices. The speakers need to be magnetically shielded for proximity to TV.

    I'm now considering:
    -Monitor Audio Bronze (which are shielded, I've discovered): B1 or B2 fronts, B1 rears, Bronze centre and the sub to match (unless someone has something different to say about the sub)
    -KEF 2005.2
    or
    -Mordaunt Short Premier Plus
    Of these, the MS pack is the only I've heard - yet.

    Questions:
    -For a 12x13 room (or bigger if we move), would I miss the B2's as fronts if I went for the Monitor Audios? - I've read they're good.
    -Can anyone comment on how much is gained by moving up from the Premier Plus pack to the Monitor Audios (£100 or so price difference)
    -Would all of these packs handle music in multichannel (not necessarily worried about stereo) mode reasonably well - would one or two of them shine more than another?
    -Would all do well with film?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    Jim
     
  8. Stevie S

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    To my ears, the new KEF eggs were fine with movies, OK with multichannel music, fairly limited with stereo music. When I compared them to what the dealer suggested as a step up - dynaudio 42s, dynaudio centre 122, etc. - I realised how limited they were all round, really.

    Stevie
     
  9. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Thanks for that. But, what kind of price tag would you be talking about for that gear? I've got to stick to the £800 figure or below, preferably lower.
    Cheers,
    Jim
     
  10. Stevie S

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    Sorry, I guess the dynaudios would be taking it out of your price bracket, since the 4 dynaudio 42s would be almost £800, without a sub or centre.

    I do think, though, that you can probably get better sound from some bookshelf type speakers, cheaper than the dynaudios - KEF Q1s? - which would be a better basis for a system than the eggs. But there are wiser and more experienced ears around here than mine

    Stevie
     
  11. NewBeetle

    NewBeetle
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    Please don't dismiss the JM Labs sib&cub set up. They look and sound absolutely fantastic. I am using mine with a Pioneer VSX-AX3 and it all works great together.

    As for the positioning of the centre speaker, I have mine under the screen sat right in fron of my Sony KP-44PS2 (RP) with the cable going under the TV well out of site. The stands on the speaker are adjustable so its angled upwards. This placement works great as long as you are a decent distance from the speaker so you don;t have to have the angle too severe.

    These speakers look and sound easily as good as KEF 2005.2 and to my ears better!
     
  12. Apocalypse

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    Paradigm Paradigm Paradigm from Richer Sounds, just as the Servo 15 wows people with it's bang for the buck so does the reference range from Paradigm at Richer Sounds. Although afaik I'm the only owner on this forum :D
     
  13. Howard0000

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    Just thought I'd quickly mention that I own the Bronze B2s and using them as fronts, and they sound superb with both music and movies. And they're incredibly good value. Consider them!! :)
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I haven't heard them yet but What Hifi speak very highly of them and awarded them a Best Buy in the 2003 awards this month
     
  15. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    If this had been a subwoofer thread that would have been another classic Ian J sarcasm line :D
     
  16. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Not at all as I buy and read What Hifi every month and don't have any vested interest in trying to constantly rubbish them.
     
  17. Howard0000

    Howard0000
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    Yeah I picked up a copy of the Awards 2003 issue and was pleased to see they reward them as best budget speakers, etc :)
     
  18. Rainbow6

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    NewBeetle,
    Thanks for that. I like the look of these babies too, especially the onese with the black surround. I think my problem (possibly with this set up for me is, that yes, I could possibly put the speaker under the TV on our shelf currently holding our DVD, VCR and Cable boxes. But these would have to be shoved to one side, and the centre speaker placed at the other side (not centred under the TV). The line up of boxes I've mentioned would have to sit directly side by side with the centre speaker (don't know if that's a problem in itself).
    -So, I suppose my question is, would this adversely affect the imaging of the centre speaker (as it would be off-centre)?
    Thanks.
    Jim
    -Oh, and the other thing with these babies, is that we'd want to put the rears on stands, but the Sib stands cost £100 each - not per pair!!!!! Yikes!
    -The stands do look rather sexy though.
     
  19. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Howard:
    I am considering these, as I've mentioned. I'm just trying to figure out how I'll justify the relative size difference to my wife - who rather likes the thought of small, small, small (is there an echo in here?).
    Her comment to me last night when discussing these was: 'I thought technology was going smaller with speakers.' Hmmm.
    The B1's are almost exactly the size of our present micro system's speakers (but again she was hoping to go smaller). And they are, perhaps, not as discreet as we'd like for rears in our size room. But I'll have to give this more thought, and see if I can convince her - and me - on those as rears. I'm sure they sound great, though. I'm hoping to hear them for myself in the next week or so. Richer Sounds Belfast is waiting for a shipment . . .
     
  20. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Definately
     
  21. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Thanks, Ian.
    I guess that knocks the Sib and Cubs out of the running for me, for now. [Edit: unless anyone knows if they can be turned on their side (for centre duty), and if the foot detaches for aesthetics - which HiFiBitz says they can't.]
    Jim

    Back to the three I'd narrowed it down to then. . .

    BTW - Has anyone heard the Mordaunt Shorts in action, and have anything to say bout them?
    Cheers.
     
  22. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    OK, sorry for the fuss. The Monitor Bronze speakers are out for me now. Unfortunately they are too big for my wife's tastes. :thumbsdow (She's proberbly right, given our space). :rolleyes:

    Which means, that it's down to (unless anyone has anything else of the compact variety to add, of course):

    -KEF eggs, and
    -MS Premier/Plus pack

    Anyone know how good the centre channel works for the KEF pack? Anyone want to comment on the Premier or Premier plus comparitively?

    Also, anyone know how the Aego5 speaker pack compares to these? - I know it's a different beast altogether, the way it hooks up and all. But I've heard encouraging things on it. Anyone actually heard it hooked up to a regular amp/receiver (not it's own processor).

    Thanks again.
     
  23. Gizmo 76

    Gizmo 76
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    Oh here you are!!;)

    Out of these speakers i've only audtioned the Kef 2005.2 Package and i must admit i was fairly impressed. They were being run by a Yamaha 640 amp, and the sub was very poorly setup(full volume so you knew it was there:nono: ).

    But you could hear the potential, one of my brother's are more than likely going to invest in these. I like the look of them as well, although the price does add up after you've brought the stands as well.

    I would be interested in knowing how they perform with stereo and 5.1 music material??

    You also won't have any of your positioniing problems with this setup as well;)

    Good luck with your search Rainbow 6 and the WAF strikes again:rolleyes:

    Giz.
     
  24. NewBeetle

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    Yes the integrated stand/feet can be removed very easily, infact you remove it and turn it through 180 degrees for wall mounting duties. Really don't understand why hifi bitz told you this?

    Creative told me that a lot of customers used it on its side , allthough not symetrical , it acutally looks it from the front. If this is going on a CRT TV I can't see a problem in mounting on the top of the TV set, the only reason my centre is on the floor in the middle of the TV is the top of the RP is so damn thin.
     
  25. ditton15

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    The sat/sub combination I went for was very fashionable here once, and sold as part of a Powerbuy - and I've enjoyed it since. It's the Anthony Gallo Nucleus Micro balls with a Gallo A'Diva as centre, supported by Velodyne VX-10 subwoofer. Check it out on the web for details. The combo not only has very high WAF, it also sounds great.
     
  26. Rainbow6

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    Gizmo,
    Thanks for finding me on this thread, and your help. Tell me, was the Yamaha the RXV640 or the AX640SE, and what did you think of that combo - I'm looking at that myself. I'm wondering if there is any difference in sound quality between the two, seeing that the amp version is 'SE' and presumably tweaked in some way for music or sound or something . . . If for music and better sound, and it really is better, I'd be interested to know.
    Cheers,
    Jim
     
  27. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Thanks, NewBeetle. No, I'm not sure why HiFiBitz told me that either. They actually said I'd have to break off the foot using force to take it off. But that's not the case, eh? Hmmm. So you can actually take it off so that, although it's assymetrical in the back, the bottom of it bears no marks of it's being missing?

    Thanks for your reply, and for any further clarification. Maybe it's Creative Audio that I need to be talking to next. - Oh, did you get yours from there? Did you get the bundled wires with it? Just wondering if they're any good.

    Oh - and does it lie flat on it's side, or does it rock a bit due to curved side?

    The one thing that would hold me back a bit would be the price of those stands - £100 each (not per pair!). Ouch.

    Cheers,
    Jim
     
  28. Rainbow6

    Rainbow6
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    Cheers ditton,
    How much could I expect to pay for that, do you know? And where might I find it on the web? Does it sound good both for film and music, multichannel?
    Jim
     
  29. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Forum sponsors AV-Sales are authorized dealers for both Gallo and Velodyne and will quote you a very competitive price if you send a PM to forum member Liam McLaughlin.

    It will be above your quoted budget though and closer to £1,000 than £800
     
  30. Rainbow6

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    Thanks Ian.
    Not sure I can justify that price hike to my wife. The Gallos would have to be REALLY special. And I'd proberbly have to save a bit longer. Booo! ;)
    Jim
     

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