Looking for Decent 5.1 Home Cinema Speakers

Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by fussygit, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. fussygit

    fussygit
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    I’m in need of a new sub as my current sub Yamaha YST-SW205 no longer produces any sound. It turns on but no sound comes out of it. I have tried different sub input on the amp and tried different RCA cables, I guess over a decades use its dead.

    I am going to use this opportunity to perhaps upgrade my 5.1 setup.

    My current set up consists of;

    Yamaha RXV 667 AV amp (bought a few years ago and not looking to upgrade)

    Wharfedale Modus Seven Floorstanders

    Wharfedale Valdus Centre

    Wharfedale Modus Cube Rears (it’s the 2 cube tower design) on a swivel bracket

    My room size is approximately 12ft x 12ft.

    The Wharfedale speakers are over 18 years old, they were my very first home cinema speakers back when I was living with my parents. They still work fine but would like to upgrade as I’m sure new speakers will improve the sound quality.

    I will be using it for movies 90% of the time and perhaps 10% music.

    My budget for speakers and sub is approximately £600 - £800 all in black.

    I need advice on what speakers and sub to get. I know from reading previous threads that the front 3 need to be from the same model and series but does this also apply to the rears/surrounds?

    Should I consider the bipolar speakers for surrounds? Are they better than bookshelf speakers?

    I’ve found a Wharfedale SW150 sub for £139 from Superfi – Is this a good buy?

    I’m considering the Wharfedale diamond 230 floorstanders but I’m worried about something I read somewhere here about the grill interfering with the tweeters sound. Does this model suffer from this?

    Other models I’m considering;

    Monitor Audio Bronze BX5 AV 5.1 (cannot get any longer as it’s discontinued, all I can find is ex demo)

    Monitor Audio MR4 AV Black Oak 5.1 @£699 (these are all 6ohms not sure if that is a minus)

    Monitor Audio Bronze 5 (a little over my budget but maybe I can just get the fronts and centre and buy the sub from different manufacturer)

    Wharfedale Diamond 155 Walnut Pearl 5.1 Speaker Package (these are well within budget except not in black and concerned about the poor finish and quality control)

    Wharfedale Diamond 200 Series Black 5.1 Floorstanding Speaker Package @£1047.95 (slightly over buget not sure If I should get the DFS Bipolar surrounds audio visual sell £120 instead and get the Wharfedale SW150 sub from Superfi to save money)

    I am totally confused not sure what to get. Please advise ……. Thanks!
     
  2. fussygit

    fussygit
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    Any advice or guidance PLEASE, it would be highly appreciated.
     
  3. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Speaker technology has not moved on much over the last 20 years or so hence even though your speakers are old they are still going to stack up well against similar level speakers now. Hence I do not think your budget really represents an upgrade in terms of speakers. Since your sub is broken I would replace that for now with something like a BK Electronics XXLS400 or Monolith. This will give you a good upgrade in the sub department. Then save for a bit to get a proper upgrade of say the front 3 speakers. Something like the Monitor Audio RX or Silver range would be a good start with your current AVR.
     
  4. fussygit

    fussygit
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    Thank you very much for your response, I'm still thinking what to do. Do you not think the wharfedale SW150 is a good sub especially as it can be had for £140?
     
  5. PSM1

    PSM1
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    For the price the wharfdale is good. My brother in law has one and not bad. However you can get better albeit for a higher price. Since a sub can easily last 10 yrs+ I would pay more and get a good one that I would not feel the need to change if or when I upgrade speakers or avr.
     
  6. fussygit

    fussygit
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    Thank you, I will look at the sub manufacturers you mentioned.
     
  7. Bosee

    Bosee
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    The Minx x500 sub is a great choice if you can find one...
     
  8. fussygit

    fussygit
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    Update: After some research and a few quotes later I got a very good deal on the Monitor Audio Bronze 5 5.1 AV package from Exceptional AV, which consists of:

    Monitor Audio Bronze 5 fronts

    Monitor Audio Bronze Centre

    Monitor Audio Bronze FX Rears

    Monitor Audio W10 Sub

    I’ve had these speakers for over a week now. I’m very happy how they sound when playing blurays, watching sky or streaming movies via Netflix.

    I found when playing 2 channel music the front speakers lack bass. After some research on the internet and a lot of tweaking I found that I have to turn the extra bass option on in the amps settings - only then does the music sound good.

    I’ve got the bass crossover set to 80hz in the amp and the frequency dial set to full and the volume is half way on the sub.

    Over the weekend, I tested the Bronze 5s along with my previous Wharfedale modus 7s (which I still have, waiting for my brother to collect). The Wharfedales sound way more deeper with a lot of bass with the extra bass option turned off. The same music track on the bronze 5 lacks bass - I have to push the volume up a little up and turn the extra bass option on for it to sound the same.

    Now the dilemma here is I can’t decide whether I should listen to music with the sub on and keep the Bronze 5s or ask for an exchange with the Bronze 6s.

    As I’ve only changed from my last set of speakers after 18 years I’m thinking I will be keeping these equally as long if not longer, hence want to make sure that I’ve got the right set of speakers.

    I know the Bronze 6s are bigger, but would they be too big for my room which is 12ft by 12ft (see attached photos), the width and depth is similar to the Wharfedales, it’s just a little taller? Would I benefit from the extra bass drive unit?

    Please let me know your thoughts, I would be very grateful.
     

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  9. PSM1

    PSM1
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    In a multi channel setup with sub you will gain very little if anything with larger floorstanders up front. You will gain more by taking your centre out of the unit and mounting it properly since on a shelf is far from ideal
     
  10. fussygit

    fussygit
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    As you can see from the photo, I have no where to mount the centre speaker. Behind the tv is a big window. To me its sounds fine where it is as there is nothing I could do about it.

    Now with regards to larger floorstanders I want to be able to use them as standalones for music only without the use of a sub as I have done previously with the Wharfedales.
     
  11. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Give the 5s some time to bed in. You often find the bass improves with a good few hours use. Not sure the 6s will give you that much more to be honest.
    I moved my centre out of my cabinet and the improvement was quite marked.
     
  12. fussygit

    fussygit
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    I really don't know what to do. Been reading old threads regarding the monitor audio bx5 and bx6 to work out what to do. Wish I could demo them somewhere or see them in the flesh. No one near me has them.
     
  13. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    You should not use extra bass as that is LFE + main, so your L/R are also reproducing what your subwoofer is, usually it becomes boomy.

    Perhaps you're used to Modus boomy bass, I heard them once and they're pretty bloaty on the bass.

    You should get sufficient bass from those floorstanders, with the subwoofer inactive and your AVR in pure direct mode, for 2 channel music.

    I disagree with not having larger mains up front, even for multi-channel, but it involves higher cost, higher end speakers, and you have option to run pure direct for 2 channel, plus the crossover isn't a brick wall. In small 80hz, I don't need the subwoofer to be on.

    If you buy larger L/R you may find the center to be the weak link, as MTM design doesn't match that well with huge L/R. These are mine :)
     

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  14. fussygit

    fussygit
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    Thank you stephenbarnes for your response I appreciate it very much. Perhaps you're right about me being used to the Modus bass, maybe it could be considered a little boomy. I listened to some more music this weekend and the sound seems to be improving, I think the bass is improving too (with the extra bass off). I tried "pure direct" mode but I didn't like it, sounded a little flat and bright.

    The retailer Exceptional Av have agreed to let me demo the Bronze 6 at home. Just waiting to arrange this, at least then I'll know for sure which is the right speaker for me and I can put this chapter behind me.

    I have attached some photos of the Wharfedale Modus 7 so you can see what they look like ..... in case anyone was wondering.
     

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  15. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Yup I remember those, I heard them going once. Almost put me off the brand I thought pretty bad sounding, very brash.

    Did you demo a few speakers, not just Monitor Audio?
     
  16. fussygit

    fussygit
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    I'm afraid to say that I just listened to the Monitor Audio BX range in a 5.1 setup (not stand alone music), as I was considering the previous model due to the saving. But could not locate a full set without some cosmetic damage, as they were either ex demo or ex repair.

    I feel a little stupid .... should have tried some other brands.

    I initially contacted Superfi and asked about the Wharfedale Diamond 230, but they steered me towards the Monitor Audio, they said it was a better quality speaker. As I don't know much about speakers I felt compelled to go along with their suggestion. And weeks later .... here I am.
     

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