Help with speaker choice (Monitor Audio Mass 5.1 Gen2 v Q Acoustics 7000i Plus v Monitor Audio Radius)

dmmeys

Standard Member
Hi All. I'm replacing my ageing Sony STR-KS1100 all in one system with something new. The living room is now 6mx6m and c. 2.8m high. TV centred on one wall and sofa directly in front in the centre of the room. Whilst I know I don't have the ideal set-up just now I have placed all of my satellite speakers in the corners of the room at ceiling level pointing towards the sofa with the centre channel below the TV and the sub in the corner. All of those locations have been wired and I really don't want to be moving stuff about if I can avoid it.

The vast majority of what we need is for watching movies with some music and a nice turntable attached. I have opted to go with the Denon AVR-X2600H over the Sony STRDN1080 receiver for no other reason than the Denon looks to be more connected/ future proofed AND it has a dedicated phono input to allow me to tidy up some cabling. I'm totally stumped with speaker choice however. Having looked through a lot of websites/ reviews and forum posts I'm still undecided and potentially even more confused between the Monitor Audio Mass 5.1 Gen 2, the Q Acoustics 7000i Plus or a self-build Radius system suggested by Richer Sounds last week.

I'll start off by saying that I haven't listened to any of the options I'm about to discuss below as my local retailers do not have them set up for demo. I was initially settled on the Monitor Audio Mass 5.1 Gen 2. I could simply place them all where I have pre-wired my current set up. I have considered purchasing another pair of satellites and placing them at the same level as the centre channel to act as left/ right and then using the pair at high level in front as the Atmos pair but I have no idea whether you think that is a sensible compromise. The alternative to that is the Q Acoustics 7000i Plus set-up. Slightly more expensive but I cannot determine whether that is justified from the reviews I've read. I'm not after an audiophile experience and my other half will kill ANY attempt to put large speakers anywhere. It's not the money that concerns me (although I don't really want to spend silly amounts) but I would like something discrete. I assume you'll tell me anything I'm going to put in will be night and day from my current set up but this is going to last me 10 years or more so I'll happily stretch if it's the right thing to do.

I was speaking with Richer Sounds in Edinburgh and they suggested the 7.1 setup I refer to above. With the budget suggestion above they went on to suggest maybe building my own system using the Q Acoustics Radius range with a Tannoy TS2.8 sub (initially). 225 centre channel below the TV with a pair of 90's left and right at the same level. I could then use 2 pairs of the 45's at ceiling level opting to utilise the front high levels as the Atmos channel. They were quite up front that it was a significant step up from both options I had been looking at but in their opinion it would offer the best movie and music set up for my needs AND future proof me like the receiver would.

Monitor Audio Mass 5.1 Gen 2 plus additional satellites £799
Q Acoustics 7000i Plus plus additional satellites £920
Monitor Audio Radius £1300

All the prices above are before any bundled deal of which there are a few just now (for the first 2 options at least). Can any of you offer insights? Is scaling up to the radius sensible for what I need? As a novice I presume picking separates offers the best quality v best price from bundled systems? Apologies if I've missed any essential information. I can add more if needed..
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yes you can use those high wired positions (corner) for atmos height channels (not ideal for LCR), even if they are not on top of main l/r, as long as you can angle speakers towards MLP. It won´t be from textbook, but then again it has worked fine for many people.

You should put extra emphasis on front LCR positioning. Main l/r speakers in correct height, tweeter would be at seated ear height and often people put them too close to each other while sitting quite bit far away. It´s always tricky when wall mounting if you want them looking good often means placed close to tv. You might prefer them wider apart.
Center channel position is another tricky with tv`s and non at-screens, you don´t want wall mount it too low shooting your knees as center channel is one of the most active speakers and you might have tougher time understanding speech etc. The point of all this is you can get poor results with good speakers if you don´t put some effort where to place them.

You have room which is on the larger side and assuming you sit around 3-4meters from tv i would look something bit larger than those two first mentioned. Radius could work great as you need to have compact size and wife pleasing finish on them. That is of course if you like the sound they produce.

Radius 45s can`t be used as atmos front height because they have rear firing tweeters. But Radius 90 with MASM (wall bracket) is fine, although more expensive option. Another smaller option is Mass Gen 2s or CA Minx Min12, no personal experience but they seem to work fine for members in typical lounge.

You can ask receiver + speaker bundle deal without subwoofer as Radius 380/390 is bit overpriced for what it offers, especially in your larger room. Personally i would swap it for SVS SB1000 which is now available -10% off from list price. That model keeps the size small while offering better performance for similar price. But this is fully up to you.
 

dmmeys

Standard Member
Many thanks Gasp3621. I'm finally going to get around to wall mounting the TV so the LCR set up will be at listening height. Glad to hear that I can use the front LR speakers I have at height as a pseudo Atmos set-up. I guess it won't be optimal but then everything is a compromise unless I want to start knocking holes in walls and ceiling. I have no doubt it will sound great compared to what I currently have once it's all been calibrated. I'll read up and play about with LCR separation until I get to something optimal. The wall is pretty clear so I can have a spread of anything up to 3m either side of the centre channel.
 

squirrito

Novice Member
@dmmeys do please let me know which speakers you go for and how satisfied you are. i have similar constraints , and have been considering both the qacoustics 7000i and mass gen 2. cant see them on display either :sadly
 

dmmeys

Standard Member
So @squirrito in the end I have gone with the Denon AVR-X2600H matched with the Q Acoustics 7000i Plus (Slim Sub).

Ended up purchasing from Peter Tyson in Carlisle who I have to say they were great to deal with and delivered next day as promised.

Receiver developed a very odd standby fault after a couple of days. New receiver swapped out almost immediately. I'm a little astonished at the performance so far. Its the first time it all just kind of works. I've always had a bit of an issue with the number of remotes we had so added a Harmony Elite remote which works great if not perfectly. All other remotes in the drawer. Only occasionally need to pull up the apple remote on our phones for specific operations I can't seem to get the remote to do but other than that the set up works seamlessly and the audio is superb.

The deal with Tyson at the time offered a free third pair of satellites so I now have a 7.1 system set up using the third as Atmos height speakers. Very impressed. Speakers are clean and discrete and with the integrated stands doubling as wall mounting brackets that saved a further £100 in not having to buy brackets which I would have had with all Monitor Audio options.

I took @Gasp3621's advice and installed a set of the satellites at proper ear level so I now have ear level front LCR with high level satellites front and rear left and right. What a difference it makes to the clarity and overall surround effect. Good advice (thanks @Gasp3621). I'm delighted.

I'm sure there are lots of things I still need to learn to get the most from the system but simply pressing the 'Watch Apple TV' activity on the Harmony remote now automatically turns everything on that I need, switches to the correct inputs and off I go. The receiver then automatically plays everything in the audio format intended.

We watched the last episode of Messiah on Netflix last night.
At points there were journalists taking photographs. The 7 different speakers firing off camera shutter noises around us was bizarre to say the least... Maybe my last set up was never optimised or powerful enough but I'm truly delighted. As is my other half who was not that keen and didn't see the need for change.

Ironically their biggest bugbear (that I didn't even know about) has been resolved. We have individually increased the sound level on the centre speaker so we can now listen to stuff clearly without having to turn the volume up too load (maybe we're getting old!!).

Have added a few photos so you can see set up in context. For comparison you can see the receiver beside the X Box One S and the centre speaker sitting below a 55" TV. Speakers mounted: centre, low and high level.
 

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squirrito

Novice Member
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I appreciate it, especially the photographs. A couple of questions. Firstly, is it possible to remove the centre speaker from its mount and simply lay it on a flat surface? How high would it be in this orientation (I'm assuming it is a couple of centimetres lower without the mount)?
 

dmmeys

Standard Member
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I appreciate it, especially the photographs. A couple of questions. Firstly, is it possible to remove the centre speaker from its mount and simply lay it on a flat surface? How high would it be in this orientation (I'm assuming it is a couple of centimetres lower without the mount)?
My apologies @squirrito. The mounts cannot be removed but they simply swivel around to either form a horizontal foot for putting on top of a surface or a vertical foot for putting on a wall. Cabling is integrated. Very clever design which removes the need for separate mounting brackets (and cost thereof).
 

Crownshi

Active Member
I use a pair of the 7000i's for my rear speakers in a 5.1 set up and they work very well for me. I have no desire to match the rears with the Focal front speakers. They are excellent.
 

mrben2475

Well-known Member
cost more than the selection you’ve listed but Monitor Audio Apex are most definitely worth considering. In my opinion you can’t get better speakers for the price and size/footprint.
I have Apex A30 for LCR and A10’s as rears with an SVS sub. You wouldn’t believe the sound these speakers can produce for their size. The white is quite decor friendly too
 

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