LCR in a 5.1 setup

vm1451

Active Member
My question is how important is it to match the front three? i.e. is it imperative to have speakers from the same manufacturer?

The reason I ask is I am considering an upgrade but am unsure of the direction to take. All of my speakers are in good order and work but having spent the last lock down setting up the system, (first time I've done it!), I'm sure it could all be better but I'm unsure as to where I could improve.

My gut feeling is a center speaker change would make a marked improvement for movies, and I've been looking at an MA Silver C350 or maybe KEF Q650C. I would prefer to stick to a British company and more so a British company that manufactures here too, (my understanding is B&W now manufacture abroad?).

My L&Rs are B&W DM601s and I've had them from new, but I'm a little concerned what effects may, (or may not), occur with a completely different center.

I guess the only real answer is to get one and find out, but that's an expensive experiment! I could get hold of a UMIK-1 and run REW but not entirely sure this would help?

Anyway I've rambled on enough for now, look forward to the replies!
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
As a rule, ideally you should use the same speaker level across the front three speakers for balance, but if you feel you are lacking something, then choosing the next model up in which should keep a similar balance whilst adding more clarity and depth.

Changing to another manufacturer will make it harder to match as many room eq system remove parts of the speakers sound to bring it into alignment and even the best ones still remove some parts (trust me, I was able to tell the difference where I always heard a clap which turned into a foot tap and this only happened when the eq was enabled (this was another EQ system to ARC)

And when it comes to using differing manufacturers speakers, I use Epos, Kef and Tannoy in my system and the differences between the Epos and Kef's is closer, the the Epos and Tannoy are further which are what I use across the front end. But I'm happy with my compromise as my system is more focused on stereo ability than cinema. Now the only avr I've ever tried at home to balance my system was an Anthem ARC EQ system for cinema (do note the above comments about changes in all speaker sounds to bring balance)

So, if you feel you are lacking clarity, my advice would be to use the next centre channel above yours from the B&W range to keep things simple and easier for your avr to balance
 

AmericanAudio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
As you suspect, it is best to keep to keep at least all three across the front from the same brand and ideally the same range.

Although sometimes it is hard to achieve because of room limitations.

I think, without going slightly specialist, you will struggle to find a UK Manufactured range in your products budget. Maybe UK Assembled, but can't think of any off the top of my head.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
My question is how important is it to match the front three? i.e. is it imperative to have speakers from the same manufacturer?

The reason I ask is I am considering an upgrade but am unsure of the direction to take. All of my speakers are in good order and work but having spent the last lock down setting up the system, (first time I've done it!), I'm sure it could all be better but I'm unsure as to where I could improve.

My gut feeling is a center speaker change would make a marked improvement for movies, and I've been looking at an MA Silver C350 or maybe KEF Q650C. I would prefer to stick to a British company and more so a British company that manufactures here too, (my understanding is B&W now manufacture abroad?).

My L&Rs are B&W DM601s and I've had them from new, but I'm a little concerned what effects may, (or may not), occur with a completely different center.

I guess the only real answer is to get one and find out, but that's an expensive experiment! I could get hold of a UMIK-1 and run REW but not entirely sure this would help?

Anyway I've rambled on enough for now, look forward to the replies!

Most brands these days are assembled in China factory, perhaps designed in UK some. It should be more important how they sound though. Things have changed, time to move on and be open minded. The quality control is high with big brands.

You should consider upgrading the front mains too! You have 3k£ costing THX Ultra2 rated powerhouse Denon which was quite special back in the days, they don´t make these anymore (170w 2ch 0,05% 20hz-20kHz). Whopping 29kg / 63lbs weight! The latest flagship Denon weights 51lbs with 13channels.

The "issue" i see is you have very good expensive amp, but cheap budget range speakers which doesn´t really make much sense at least for the LCR. Ideally you would be looking the new 700 range from B&W as minium (706 S2 & HTM 71 S2), but if you are tight on budget then Q350+Q650c or MA Silver 100 + C350 are good choices. You need to go listen them first as they are going to sound very different to 20year old B&Ws! Keep in mind that you can mix the speakers for the time being as in buy center channel first example if you feel the CC6 is poor which i have seen mentioned. Then upgrade the front mains when funds allow. The finish alone is from different world with the new ones. MA Silver has real wood veneer cabs, B&W 700 range aswell.
 

vm1451

Active Member
Thanks fella's. Your confirming what I already knew but needed to hear!

The Kef Q range of mains have what appear to be passive radiators and I definitely don't want to go that route. I am absolutely not going to buy anything without listening first but I'm then going to find an issue with finding places that have a shortlist of speakers and then not being able to listen to them using my amp. Twenty first century problems eh? Like there isn't enough of those already!!

I've looked at Monitor Audio Silver 300 & 500 and Kef Q range, (although now dismissed those as stated above). Will probably move away from B&W too. Would also like to move away from black and maybe toward a walnut finish although that isn't a deal breaker.

The room is 3m x 5.5m but is not a dedicated HT room, it is a living room as the Mrs. is only to quick to remind me!

This system is used for music as well but to be honest I'm not sure I get the music/movies difference as it's all sound right?

So budget would be in the area of 2K for an LCR set up, draw me up a short, (ish!), list of what I could/should be looking at if I become more "open mminded" :D :thumbsup:
 

Mr Andy

Active Member
Not a specific recommendation but I've had two centres from the same range, I've now got speakers with matching size drivers. If I was starting from scratch I would probably get 3 identical speakers across the front.
 

vm1451

Active Member
Not a specific recommendation but I've had two centres from the same range, I've now got speakers with matching size drivers. If I was starting from scratch I would probably get 3 identical speakers across the front.
That's not really an option for me, as I said, it's not a dedicated HT room and I have to stay mindful of this. Would prefer to keep the L&R as floor standers as I like the look, but not sure what I need to look at. For example, what frequency responses? Seems a bit strange that some speakers go up to 30kHz or so when, (in my limited understanding!), only dogs will hear this. :laugh: Am I missing something here?

My existing speakers are rated at 47Hz-20kHz +/-3dB for the mains and 78Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB for the center.

At the moment I've got the XO in the amp set to 100Hz as well as an Antimode inline to the sub.

Shane mentions in his post about the EQ being enabled, but if he's referring to something like Audessy, (SP?), then the Denon pre-dates that, (and HDMI!).
 

Mr Andy

Active Member
Sorry if it was confusing. I didn't mean to suggest that you should get three identical speakers. It was to highlight in some ranges the centre might not be a great match.

As for going up to frequencies we'll above the range humans actually hear. It's to ensure they aren't struggling at rangers we can hear.
 

vm1451

Active Member
Well finding speakers not made in China, who know that would be so difficult? :facepalm: The world really has sleep walked into handing China the upper hand eh?

So what's available that isn't made by the PRC? Moved on from solely wanting British to anything that isn't manufactured by the Chinese.

Klipsch? Not to keen on the look but have yet to see them for real. ( And I'm not entirely sure these arn't made in the PRC!)
Dali?
Any others?

I know nothing about any of the above by the way!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Dali Opticon would be then good option! The mk1 range is now on heavy sale so i will link the few ones still available. They have dual tweeter (Satin dome & ribbon tweeter). The Opticon 6 and Opticon Vokal uses identical drivers. :)

As with the original OPTICON series, an important element of the OPTICON MK2 is that it remains fully Danish in manufacture; built at our factory in Denmark from components either produced in-house, or sourced from the best specialist manufacturers locally and further afield.


 

vm1451

Active Member
I was looking at :-


Which blows the budget and then some, but hey, you only live once right? LOL

The Opticon range is not available in walnut only Tobacco Oak and I really don't like the look of the center speaker. I know looks are subjective and shouldn't be the No.1 issue when choosing a speaker but as I say, it is in a living room so I have to take this into account.

I also note the impedance on both the Rubicon and the Opticon are 4 ohms, is this going to prove an issue? Denon recommend 6-8 ohms.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
No it won´t be issue for that receiver! Rubicons look lovely in walnut! Any chance you could demo?
 

vm1451

Active Member
No idea to be honest, will have to take a look and see. :D

No idea if anyone is doing a home demo because that would prove to be the better option, at least I can try them in my room with my kit to get a really good idea.

Do you know of anyone giving that option?
 

Topmetom 2

Distinguished Member
The rubicon is even better than the opticon tbh i had on wall, absolutely brilliant they was…with alteco heights…..

er i dont know why i sold them tbh
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
No idea to be honest, will have to take a look and see. :D

No idea if anyone is doing a home demo because that would prove to be the better option, at least I can try them in my room with my kit to get a really good idea.

Do you know of anyone giving that option?

Audio-T gives home demos for products so you might want to call them as they carry Dali!

Forum advertiser AVO has one walnut pair in stock both 5 and 6 model, plus center channel. Oh man that is so gorgeous! I wonder is there as noticeable difference with the 5 and 6 as it was with Opticon. Few members have heard both and the Opticon 6 was much better. Sadly these models will blow your budget. 😅

 

vm1451

Active Member
The 6 goes to a lower frequency, not sure I need them due to having a sub, I think the 5 would be enough..........

Was looking at AV Online and had forgotten they provided the service, wonder if I can cut a decent deal...... :D

Those three units will over double what I was thinking of spending, Christ I need to find some cheaper hobbies!!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
The 6 goes to a lower frequency, not sure I need them due to having a sub, I think the 5 would be enough..........

Was looking at AV Online and had forgotten they provided the service, wonder if I can cut a decent deal...... :D

Those three units will over double what I was thinking of spending, Christ I need to find some cheaper hobbies!!

Haha, yeah it can get expensive. If you could live with the fact that the lower series are designed in Denmark, but made in their China factory then you could consider the Oberon range in dark walnut if you don´t fancy to pay those crazy prices like Rubicons..




Klipsch isn´t cheap in UK, but available in walnut and there must be something cause people in US like them so much in movie systems.




Monitor Audio legendary British brand too has China factory i believe. The Silver range would give you real wood veneer walnut finish, the others will have cheaper vinyl wrap (minus Rubicon). Probably one of the few in this price class. These are the "sweet spot" 3-way models:




MA Gold would compete directly with Rubicons. Ebony finish gives high end feel.


 

vm1451

Active Member
Had looked at the MA Silver 500 & Gold C250 and quite like the look of them but I'm just a little tired of "everything" being made in China and was trying to keep a purchase somewhat closer to home. I'm not suggesting that any of the stuff suggested is crap because it is made in the PRC, (I know for a fact that this is not the case), but just on a bit of a crusade I guess!

Would also add that on reflection I'm not sure I need the 500's, the 300's might be a better option and cheaper to boot.

Might drop AV Online a message and see if there is a deal to be had with the Rubicons nothing ventured nothing gained! However I'm really not sure I want to spend that kind of money. Maybe if I hear them I might change my mind!

The MA Golds are a no go, they are even more money and Ebony won't fit in with the rest of the room. I appreciate the suggestion though, it's always fun helping others to spend their hard earned right? :rotfl: :rotfl: :thumbsup:
 

vm1451

Active Member
Update.

Got into RS this afternoon and unbelievably, (Southampton branch is not a big shop), they had some Rubicon 5's on display in walnut.

First impression was that the walnut won't work, its to light in colour.

Second impression was sound. Never ideal to listen in shop using a completely different set up to mine but honestly? I wasn't blown away by them. Not sure what I was expecting except to say for the money I was probably expecting an obvious, (better!), sound improvement to what I have, and bottom line is that it wasn't there.

I was offered the display items to take away, (if I paid for them!), and try at home, and maybe I will take them up on the offer, but I would prefer to do that with the entire front three set up and this won't be possible. The Vokal's are an order only item.

Negotiated a good, (ish), deal but I won't be taking it up without a home trial that's for sure.

Maybe I need to re-assess the PRC thing, even though that hurts! :rotfl: :rotfl:
 
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