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Most over-rated speakers.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Arcangel, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. Arcangel

    Arcangel
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    I went for a demo the other day of a couple of makes of speakers, first up were the M&K 750 THX Select and secondly the Kef THX package. After reading great reviews of both these speaker packages I was really looking forward to hearing them.

    To be honest they really didnt impress me that much, lacking in dynamics, both seemed very bright & harsh to me as well. I know THX packages are not know for their musicality but my current Kef Q15´s & model 100 centre & Rel Strata sub sound much better for music and the equal for movies. I´m not sure if they were setup badly or if I just happen to have mine setup particulary well. My amp is a Denon 3801 and in the shop they were running a Denon 3802. Maybe the 3802 was struggling to run them. All in all I was a bit disappointed.

    Anyone else had this experience with these speakers or indeed any others or is it a case of them being overrated in the 1st place??.
     
  2. Jase

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    I can vouch for the Kef THX package and they certainly are´nt lacking in dynamics, they´re not best suited to music though I´ll admit that. Indeed at times, certain dvds, they can be bright/harsh sounding but normally engaging the THX mode on my amp sorts that out. Sounds quite possible that they either werent set up properly or indeed your system happens to be well tuned!! (lucky guy!!) For movies the Kef THX package should sound amazing, its certainly better than my last Kef RDM1/Model 100 setup (which was pretty damn good!!)

    Dont know much about the M&K´s so someone else will have to comment.
     
  3. Guest

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    Artangel,
    There are certain makes that pertain to be supreme (with prices to match) but are really crappy.
    Bose is the obvious choice followed by B&O.

    What is not so obvious (thanks to certain supporters of these products in the industry) is the poor quality of Martin Logan and Mirage omnipolar speakers.

    Martin Logans electrostatic speakers are (in the price range) the poorest sounding I've ever heard. They sound week weedy have a very tizzy high end and struggle with everything else. They are a mess.
    Another speaker that is overated is the Mirage's (OM range). The high frequencies of this speaker, simply overpowers the entire range of the speaker itself. Also, the overly warm mid range is loose and inaccurate by definition and I would bet my bottom dollar there are speakers out there at half the price that are a better than either the ML's or Mirage.

    I've not heard the M&K 750's myself so can't comment but I know one or two of the industry guys around here that don't like them at all. I'll do a search and find out more .

    In private, every knowledgable guy I talk to feels the same. In public, most of the reviews glow. Why is that. I'll let you decide.
     
  4. Guest

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    Had a listen to that Sony DAV stuff the other day at our local Sony Centre. For 800 quid, I'm sure I could do much better.
    What a load of crud.

    Turkish
     
  5. garylloyd

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    I could not agree more about the 750THX,I found they had a real edge to them.They were partnered to a A1SE so the 3802 is not to blame.Using THX post processing helped a lot.
    Gary
     
  6. stranger

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    if, which i believe, subs that are good for music are good for movies too, surely it is the same for speakers?
     
  7. Jeff

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    It depends what people look for, I always look for audio equipment that sounds good for music even though I don't listen to music very often. With movies I look for refined sound with very good clarity rather than crash bang whallop. However sometimes musical bias is used as an excuse for a complete lack of guts, the Arcam AVR100 springs to mind.
     
  8. Guest

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    The M&K 750THX always cause a few whispers.
    I have them, and i think they're very good.
    They do have their knockers though.
    I've always enjoyed their performance with the Denon amp i used to own...(ampless @ the moment.....waiting for upgrade)

    I can see why certain people might not like their approach.

    Adzman
     
  9. sweetmate

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    I would say that the 3802 is not really a good enough amp for either of those speaker setups, and they must have been very badly setup.

    I have a Denon A10SE and POA T-10 amp setup and have just upgraded from KEF Q35's + Q95c to KEF THX and the difference is AMAZING. If you took the amp up to the kind of levels it's capable of with the Q35s, the sound would become very stressed, but with the THX setup it stays totally controlled, full of punch and startling dynamics. It also doesn’t sound bright at all.

    I've also listened to the M&K THX ULTRA speaker system running on a Meridian processor and a HUGE Meridian power amp and that was absolutely unbelievable, it delivers the kind of sound that actually hurts your chest with its dynamic range and power. The M&K did sound quite bright to me (more so than the KEFs) but as someone else said, that’s where the old THX equalisation button comes in.

    These kinds of speakers need decent power amplification to sound good, for either of these kits an honest 200W per channel is a minimum.
     
  10. Rigid

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    Where did you have your demo, Arcangel? Unbelievably, even decent hi fi shops will unpack a brand new set of speakers and set them up in their demo room half an hour before the punter arrives to hear them. Even great speakers will sound pretty awful (weak and lacking in dynamics, for starters) without a decent run-in. After this happened to me before Christmas when I went with a friend to hear the Kef Eggs I made a mental note to always ask how many playing hours the speakers had had. You just cannot judge speakers fresh out of the box. Apparently What Hi Fi? request that manufacturers run their review speakers for at least 70 hours before sending them in. I wonder how many hi fi stores do the same?
     
  11. stranger

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    speakers wifh knockers! what next?
     
  12. garmtz

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    It's a pity that you trash these speakers, telling me that I should not push my opinions in another thread... Pleazzz...

    I think MartinLogan speakers are the best HT-speakers you can buy at ANY price, but this is strictly my opinion (and of some friends I must add). Never have I heard a better integration between speakers and the feeling of the speakers "disappearing" in the sound field. Also, they are probably one of the fastest and most detailed speakers around. They WILL sound "week weedy have a very tizzy high end and struggle with everything else" with a budget amp though... Choose the ancillaries carefully, place them accurately, make sure you have a room of decent size and it's bliss.

    For those interested, here are some reviews: http://www.martinlogan.com/reviews_awards.html
     
  13. Steve.EX

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    I feel compelled to second Garmtz' previous post, Martin Logans rubbish?????? next you'll be saying Krell's are somewhat under-powered etc etc.

    Steve.
     
  14. Matt F

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    Maybe with some speakers but not with THX speakers. I remember a group test a few years back in What HiFi where the Celestion A series package came up against the KEF THX package. They said that the Celestion A1's "imaged" almost too well for movies i.e. they didn't work too well as part of a front three (along with the A4C) but in stereo they were outstanding. Conversely, the KEFs were brilliant for movies with three (almost) identical front speakers, but they couldn't produce a good stereo image with 2 channel music - not surprising as they are not designed to do this.

    I guess this proves that you can't have the BEST of both worlds - you can get some pretty good compromises e.g the Dynaudio Audience package is great with music and pretty good for movies (but not as good with movies as M&K, KEF THX etc), whereas the M&K 750s are brilliant with movies and pretty good with music (but not as good as, say, the Dynaudios).

    As for the M&K 750s, I used to own these and they were brilliant with movies, not too bright (to my ears - and I hate bright speakers) but very detailed. They do need a lot of power though (not sure a Denon 3802 is quite enough) and they take a fair bit of running in. I powered them with a Rotel RB985MKII THX power amp and they sounded great. Get them new out of the box, however, and wire them up to a cheap amp and they will sound awful.

    So, if they were that good why did I sell them? For me, it was their inability to produce a great stereo image, not that they should be criticised for this. I changed them for KEF Ref 2-2s and a 100C centre and the 2-2s in stereo are amazing (as they should be at £1750 a pair). For movies they are not quite as good as the 750s but still very good indeed and, for me, definitely a price worth paying for their outstanding 2 channel performance.

    Matt.
     
  15. garmtz

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  16. sweetmate

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    garmtz you beat me to it, I was just about to say the same thing!
     
  17. Jeff

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    Yes but what about multi channel music? Modern speakers have to be good for music and movies.
     
  18. stranger

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    thanks for that matt, i love music at least as good as i like h/c so think i'got a good compromise, dynaudio audience 42s and 42c at front 3x mission 77ds r and rs. i have a paradigm pdr 10 on each 42-2 and aservo 15 for lfe. love this setup for now.
     
  19. sweetmate

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    They don't have to be, if they are intended for one and not the other.

    I have no requirement for music from my Home Theatre setup as I never listen to music on it. Just doesnt seem right to sit in front of my screen stare at nothing and listen to music. Therefore I am totally happy with my film-oriented THX speaker setup as it does exactly what I need it to, and does it well.
     
  20. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Thats the excuse people used for Yamaha receivers, where are Yamaha now? Denon have shown the way.
     
  21. sweetmate

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    ???

    I have a Denon amp and have always disliked Yamaha amps, because I felt they sounded like crap with music or movies!!!!

    Seeing as there are different goals in music reproduction and film soundtrack reproduction, there will never be a home theatre speaker system and amp/processor combination that sounds as good as a music only amp and music speakers for the same budget unless you start spending enourmous amounts of money.

    B&W Nautilus 801s with some insanely esoteric power amps and Lexicon MC-12 style processors will sound brilliant no matter what you play on them.

    The original poster felt that the KEF THX package was "over-rated" and that his Kef Q15s sounded just as good. I was merely arguing that a) the demonstration must have been set up awfully, and b) the amp was not good enough to drive these speakers properly. I also argued that these speakers are designed for a single purpose, to present film soundtracks well. This is not an "excuse" for them not sounding good with music.

    I personally would never listen to multi-channel music from my Home Cinema setup. I would listen to it on a dedicated music system, ie a good cd player (dvd players just dont cut it for musicality in my opinion, again this rule only applies if you don't have insane amounts of money to spend), a stereo music amp, and a single pair of musical speakers. Call me a purist but I'm just not sold on dvd-audio to be honest, as I think music sounds just fine in stereo.

    Would you sit in the Empire Leicester Square and listen to a Beatles cd?
     
  22. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Sweetmate,

    I have nothing against your Kef speakers, I just don't buy the "you can't have both" argument. It is possible to assemble a balanced setup that can do music and movies equally well. My problem with speakers that are weak with music is that is shows a weakness that would also affect movie sound tracks since more often than not music plays a big part in them.
     
  23. stranger

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    since most films use music as a very important constituent of the whole emotional impact etc. what's the point of a setup that can't reproduce music to a high quality.
     
  24. sweetmate

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    The dispersion characteristics required to present a film sound track are totally different to musical recordings. They are also mixed in totally different ways. Music within a film will sound completely different to a cd recording of the same music, even on the same speakers.

    A THX home speaker system will not sound like normal stereo speakers in that the imaging will be lot wider and more dispersed. Stereo imaging will be far more pinpoint and localised with standard speakers. I have heard a Lexicon MC-12 processor with a full set of the new Kef Reference (model 207s all round and 204c centre) and although it sounds phenomenal (it should do at the price of those speakers and that processor!) it doesn’t sound as cinematic as a THX Ultra system to me. Sound effects are far too localised and it can be quite distracting. Then again to another persons ears, the Kef Reference may sound better.

    I think THX Home cinema speakers do a brilliant job of recreating the sound characteristics of a good Cinema especially considering the price of a complete KEF THX speaker system. The M&Ks are somewhat dearer (damn rip-off Britain) and if I had that amount of money to spend on a HT setup I would probably also consider a similarly priced system made up of say the KEF Reference.

    Basically I'm not saying you can't have both music and movies from the same speakers, I'm just saying that the luxury will cost alot.
     
  25. Guest

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    Garmz,
    With respect, how do you expect to be taken seriously with comments like the above.
    You seem to think that these are the best speakers in the world, a ridiculous statement if ever there was one, while I have a far more conservative view which is that they are overhyped and below par for their price.

    I have a sneeking suspician that my statement is more realistic.
     
  26. garmtz

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    Well, I guess we both have our own opinions, as I said:
    as opposed to:
    I am not so sure you are giving an opinion here, you are just stating "how poor they are" as if it were a fact.

    I think this is in fact more ridiculous.
     
  27. Guest

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    Are you any relation to Chompy?
    As I've said, its obvious who's statement is more realistic. I'll let the experts decide. I hope Charly Whitehorse or Nik Roads have a look at this and make some comments.


    Respectfully,
     
  28. stranger

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    points taken but music is music and if it does not sound right from thx speakers is there not something fundamentally wrong? i'm not trying to be argumentative but i don't get it, maybe i'm just thick.
     
  29. Jeff

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    Chip no name calling please, lets try to keep this friendly.

    Jeff
     
  30. Guest

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    Stranger,
    Great post. Don't know the answer to that one though. Lets hope someone knowledgable comes along to give us some answers.
     

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