L/C/R speaker for trifield listening


Sly Fox


I'm considering to trade in my Cyrus AV5 for a Meridian 568.2 processor. My plan is to have a L/C/R speaker configuration. The Meridian 568.2 processor can reproduce stereo music in trifield mode meaning that you have no phantom image in the center. My concern is the speaker choice and setup. I have two solutions in mind but have a hard time deciding. I could get a Meridian DSP 5000C for the center speaker, keep my current poweramps and L/R speakers or get three new activ speakers, for example the Genelec 1030/HT506.

My feeling tells me that it would be wiser to go for three aktiv Genelecs rather than buying a center speaker. First of all the music would be homogene with no coloration differences. Secondly all speakers would be setup at about same height and in upright position. I could never achieve a homogene sound and an ideal physical setup with my current speakers combined with a Meridian DSP5000C.

I have very little knowledge on audio physics, etc. and would be very happy to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Important info's:

Setup conditions: Room size is 3.5 x 5.5 meters, one solid brick wall, three gypsum walls filled with damping material and a heavy poetical wooden floor with carpet.

Current gear: Meridian DVD 596, Cyrus AV5 processor, 2x Cyrus SmartPower (Bi-Amping, 60W each) and Mission 753 speakers.

Some history:

I had a pair of Meridian DSP5000 speakers for demo at home and attached the DSP5000's directly to the DVD 596. The resulting sound was rather disappointing so I started to configure the speakers to get the best out of them.

Boundry; by setting this option took away the boomy bass to an exceptional value.

Tilt; raising tilt by +2.5 gives a brighter sound taking away the dull and dampening part for most.

Bass; reducing bass by notch underlines the boundry setting.

A/B comparison: Dave's True Story/Unautherized (Chesky Records) sounded equally well on both setups. I could not find anything which I could say this sounded better on that then this. Frank Sinatra/His Greatest Hits showed that his voice was a tid more forward on my current setup and kind of layed back on the DSP5000's. Kylie/Can't get you out of my mind showed most differences. While her voice sounded bright and forward on my current setup it again sounded layed back and dampened/dull on the DSP5000's.

Now, I really can't tell which setup is "correct" and which one's "wrong". I was expecting far more from the DSP5000's. I am not used to the sound of the DSP5000's and so it's very hard to tell which is superior. My finding is that the midrange/voice region is different on both setups. Sometimes I think the DSP5000's sound normal and my speakers are a bit bright and too forward, and next moment it is the other way round. My relatives say the DSP5000's sound smoother but something's missing there as noted before. One big point for the DSP5000's; they can be driven very loud with 3x75Watts per speaker. My Cyrus amplifiers can only deliver 2x60 Watts (Bi-Amping) per speaker but that is enough for my room size.

After a good nights sleep I turned on the DSP5000's, listened to Dave's True Story and just followed my daily routine. It sounded wonderful! Then I changed to my current setup and found the sound rather bright. Changing back to the DSP5000's showed that they still where a tid too dampened for my taste. I then gave tilt a half a dB more, voila, I had found the settings I really could enjoy. Again I listened to other CD's and made an A/B comparison. The difference is so subtle that you wouldn't hear the difference when not doing the A/B comparison all the time. It's disappointing that the DSP5000's couldn't beat my current setup :(

I brought the speakers back to my dealer in the afternoon and had a long talk to him about my findings. He explained that my current setup was choose very carefully and optimized for my room. If I wanted to trade in my current setup (Cyrus AV5 and Smart Power amps) for a pair of DSP5000's I would loose alot of money which is not justified.

Link's: Cyrus, Meridian, Genelec

Matt F

Active Member
I recently went through a similar exercise i.e. obtaining three identical front speakers although, in my case, this was as part of a 5 channel/speaker set up. I looked at the Genelec option (1030, HT206 etc) but the only dealer I could find was not willing to lend them out for a home demo so I crossed them off the list – it might be worth listening to them yourself, however, if you can. It may also be worth looking at other active speakers – Dynaudio, ATC spring to mind.

I discussed the Genelec option at some length with dealer (and respected forum member) Uncle Eric and he was at that time considering becoming a Genelec dealer. I know that he spent some time reviewing the 1030’s but came to the conclusion that they were not in the same league as the M&K pro monitors that he uses, even though, unlike the Genelecs, the majority of the M&K monitors are passive.

I ended up going for three of the M&K MPS1510 monitors for my front soundstage and I couldn’t be happier with them – very detailed but not at all bright – and that, IMO, is the sign of a great loudspeaker. There are two things to note about them however – 1, they only drop to 80Hz so it is essential to use a subwoofer with them and 2, they do not come with grilles.

I would recommend that you give the M&K MPS 1510’s serious consideration – yes they are passive but you could get a third Cyrus Smartpower, bridge each amp into mono and this would give you 120 watts into each 1510 (they are 4 ohms). They are not bi-wirable but they certainly benefit from plenty of power – a bridged Smartpower driving each one would be just the ticket.

A further benefit is that tripole versions of the 1510’s are available should you want to add matching rear speakers.

Hope this helps a bit.


Eric's speakers sound the bomb! (MPS2510P's)

However, Matt didn't tell you that they are about £1400.00 each
where the Genelec 1030's are approx £940.00 per pair.
So, i'm not overly shocked that Eric found the big M&K's better.

Matt's MPS1510's are nearer the Genelec price, and by all accounts, these sound splendid for music & dvd's

As a Meridian owner, i have never really been 100% convinced by their speakers (including digital active), although their processors, dvd players & amps rock big time.

Recently, i was hell bent on going active, with the Quested F11's high on my shopping list, but due to my job situation, i've had to hang back a bit.
That was a bonus in disguise, as i have been having a tinker with a pro studio 2 channel power amp, which knocks the stuffing out of my considerably expensive Parasound HCA-2205.

It's nothing flash, looks drab, & is typically 'pro amp' looking.
However, it has injected nitro into my system & my Dynaudio studio monitors are ripping it big time on CD's & DVD's.

It has balanced XLR inputs (handy as the 568.2 has balanced XLR outs on front channels) & speakon outputs. A selective, mono, stereo, bridged mode, anti clip & speaker protection amongst other stuff.

This thing hardly breaks sweat & i have disconnected the internal fan, as the unit never, ever gets warm.

Donot rule out using pro audio amps or monitors...

Monitors: M&K, Dynaudio, Quested, Mackie, Genelec, Adam etc

Amps: Matrix, Samson, Quested, Mackie etc.etc...

My Meridian 500 series front end oversees the whole operation & is quite possible (along with HGS-18) the greatest spending i've done!



I am using a 568.2 in 7.0 mode with M60's on all channels and M60C. I would have to agree with Adzman in that the Meridian speakers are sometimes less than convincing. However, the M60 series does offer an excellent tonal match across the front soundstage ( and were within my budget!). Regarding the digital speakers - its perhaps important to remember that the DSP5000's are the low end of the range ( basically M60's with DAC's) and many meridian devotees are not that keen on them - preferring the 5500, 6000 and 7000 ranges or indeed passive speakers. Have a look on the meridian forum (http://www.softronix.com/cgi-bin/) you may find some alternatives there.


Sly Fox

Matt, the M&K MPS1510 powered by three Cyrus SmartPowers would be a great alternative. But I have the feeling that the MPS1510 would be a bit small for my room size. Maybe the MPS1610 is a better choice?

Adzman, there is no way I'm going turn away from my Meridian DVD596 and my future 568.2 processor :D I will have a closer look at your suggestions.

Paul, the Meridian speakers don't convince me either. Not only that, they use alot of space which I don't really want to waste and they are very costly.


I have one major problem; I cannot find a M&K or Quested dealer here in Switzerland. But I can demo following speakers not far away from where I live:

Genelec 1030, £810.- per pair
Mackie HR624, £750.- per pair


My main concern is that studio monitors are intended for near field listening. How do they perform at greater distances? My room size is 3.5 x 5.5 meters (11.5 x 18 ft) and my listening distance would be slightly more than 3 meters (10 ft). How big are your rooms so that I can get a feeling what speaker size I'd have to look at?

Matt F

Active Member
Sly Fox - my room is around 16 x 13 feet so, assuming we both have ceiling heights of around 8 feet, that gives a cubic footage of around 1600. M&K wise, the 1510's are recommended for 1500 cubic feet rooms, and the 1610's for 2000 cubic feet rooms.

The 1510's fill my room with ease (and it's pretty dead acoustically - concrete floors etc) - mind you, they do have a Velodyne HGS15 filling in the lower octaves. As for listening distances, I'm not sure I necessarily buy all this "nearfield monitors" business - basically, they are a great pair of small stand mount speakers, the imaging is spot on and they throw open a wide soundstage - I probably sit 10 feet or so away from them.

The 1610's are fine speakers too mind.

Adzman - Eric wasn't comparing the Genelecs directly with his costly M&K powered monitors - he thought the cheapest M&K pros (plus a good power amp) would see them off. He may wish to elaborate but the basic problem he found with the Genelecs concerned the tweeter which he felt was "dancing to a different tune" to the rest of the speaker (regardless of the various switching options on the rear of the Genelec).


Sly Fox

Matt, I read that some nearfield monitors are focused so tight that moving around slightly would change soundstage. I have no clue if this is true.

I have tried to figure out why studio monitors are called "nearfield". Basically you sit up near to the monitor to catch details without being distructed by reflections, etc.

Maybe someone can explain the different definitions.

Sly Fox

Good news, I have a pair of Mackie's HR624 at home for trial over the weekend.

My first impression was very mixed. The music came over so clear, clean and very precise that I thought it sounded clinical. I did a few A/B comparisons with my Cyrus amps and Mission speakers using different music. My old setup sounds more forward as if the music is right in front of me, in some cases as if I'm surrounded by the soundstage. Voices jump right at you in some cases. The Mackie's give a clear soundstage that is always in front of me, you never get the feeling of being inside the soundstage. The center is well defined and spot on. You get a very good sweet spot that isn't too narrow so you have enough space to move around without major disadvantage. Going back to the old setup gives a feeling as if music is more rounded off but with a slight loss of detail. I cannot explain this, maybe the "details" melt into each other giving a smoother impression?

Sorry, it's very difficult for me to articulate my impressions. I'll do some more serious listening tomorrow.

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