Newbie AVR300 speaker question

junipers

Active Member
I have a newly acquired AVR300 (thanks to Sevenoaks ex-display) and I am looking for a bit of speakers advice.
I have a pair of Acoustic Energy AE109 floorstanders that I am happy with for stereo, and now want to take my first exploratory steps into surround sound. I should add that apart from it being a bit of an impulse buy, I selected the AVR300 as it has a reputation for being good at stereo and also for surround. As often needs to be the case, I am going to have to work around the requirements of a wife and family, so the solution will have to be as unobtrusive as possible, and not too expensive. If it works, I could always upgrade later.
My current idea is to get the KEF 1005 package, use the AE109s as Fronts, and the KEFs for Centre, Surround Left and Surround Right. I think the bass response of the AE109s is pretty good, so I wasn't planning to use the sub, at least initially. The other 2 KEFs could used for ch 6&7 at a later date, though the room doesn't lend itself to that - the Rear will have to be on stands close to the wall, flanking a 3str sofa (i.e. a real family living room).
Sources:
Sony RDR-HXD860 DVD and Freeview
DENON DCD920 CD (10yrs+ old, £320 new!) (ARCAM CD73 might be my next quest...).

So, is that a really stupid idea?
 

junipers

Active Member
Shameless bounce to the top.
So should I assume that this isn't a stupid thing to do?:lease:
 

webhammer

Active Member
Why not AE for the center and rears? Better balance overall.
 

AIstudio

Standard Member
Hi,
I may not be much help on the particular speakers, but I am in the same sort of situation.
My living room is also not quite big enough to appreciate 7.1 so I will be using 5.1 for now. Although the package may be cheap you may end up buying speakers that will sit in a cupboard and never be used? Just wasted money there really.

I would invest in a higher set of speakers to compliment yours to give a nice 5.1 setup??

Just my opinion though and someone may come along and say different.

I hope this helps

Kev
 

junipers

Active Member
Why not AE for the center and rears? Better balance overall.

Good point, but I am afraid that it is down to aesthetics. To stand any chance of wifely acceptance, the centre and rears are going to have to be unobtrusive, and I think the KHT "eggs" might do it. I love the look of the AE109s, but putting 3 more similar boxes in the room would be pushing it too far.
Life's a compromise... :(
 

junipers

Active Member
Hi,
My living room is also not quite big enough to appreciate 7.1 so I will be using 5.1 for now. Although the package may be cheap you may end up buying speakers that will sit in a cupboard and never be used? Just wasted money there really.

I would invest in a higher set of speakers to compliment yours to give a nice 5.1 setup??

Kev

I accept it may be a bit of a waste (tho' I have an opportunity to get the KEFs not at full price) but if it all works in principle, and the family can see the benefit, then I can always upgrade later. I am just trying to see whether anyone has tried something similar and regretted it.
 

craigd

Active Member
I mixed a set of small 5.1 tannoys with large floorstanding kenwood speakers before and the centre did not work well with the large speakers.

As a general rule people do not mix the front three - what about the KEF's for 5.1 and then a power amp off to the existing speakers for stereo playback - a bit pricier though.
 

junipers

Active Member
I mixed a set of small 5.1 tannoys with large floorstanding kenwood speakers before and the centre did not work well with the large speakers.

As a general rule people do not mix the front three

Thanks for coming off the fence Craig.
Do you mean don't mix brands, or don't mix at all i.e., 3 identical units?

what about the KEF's for 5.1 and then a power amp off to the existing speakers for stereo playback - a bit pricier though.

Well I suppose it is back to my "I selected the AVR300 as it has a reputation for being good at stereo and also for surround"...
And of course having a power amp would mean I would have to sneak another box into the house...
But my £129 KEF KHT 1005s have gone now anyway :(

Here's a thought - if I got a 5.1 packages, could I connect to channels 1 to 5 + sub, and connect the AE109s to channels 6 and 7 as Zone 2 for stereo purposes, or have i misunderstood the whole Zone 2 thing - haven't spent much time with the manual yet, and I am not at home.
 

craigd

Active Member
Thanks for coming off the fence Craig.
Do you mean don't mix brands, or don't mix at all i.e., 3 identical units?

I was never on the fence - I am very opinionated!

Normally people will go for speakers that use the same drivers as they will have a similar sound.

Here's a thought - if I got a 5.1 packages, could I connect to channels 1 to 5 + sub, and connect the AE109s to channels 6 and 7 as Zone 2 for stereo purposes, or have i misunderstood the whole Zone 2 thing - haven't spent much time with the manual yet, and I am not at home.

That would work, although you can only play analogue sources through Zone2. Also, I find the standard remote is a bit of a pain with Zone2 on my AVR350. It seems liek the best value for money option and you can test it with you existing speakers before upgrading to 5.1's to make sure you are happy.
 

proux

Novice Member
How about...

the AE centre as previously suggested, and a single pair of KEF eggs as rears- surely your wife doesnt want 7 speakers! Then use AVR channels 6+7 to biamp fronts which should give better stereo depth and clarity, and think about a sub later.
 

junipers

Active Member
I was never on the fence - I am very opinionated!

Normally people will go for speakers that use the same drivers as they will have a similar sound.

That would work, although you can only play analogue sources through Zone2. Also, I find the standard remote is a bit of a pain with Zone2 on my AVR350. It seems liek the best value for money option and you can test it with you existing speakers before upgrading to 5.1's to make sure you are happy.

Thanks for the opinions Craig :thumbsup:
Yeah, I have been having a look through the manual pdf, and saw the reference to analogue only in ch6&7. And that option would preclude me from biamping the AE109s, which I might also try (I know the 109s have the ability)
I think my perfect theoretical solution has got to be:
  • Keep the AE109s for 5.1 Fronts and Stereo (maybe biamped).
  • Try and find an AE centre with similar drivers to the AE109s.
  • AE rears?
This may be hard since the AE109s were bought a few years ago, and AE have presumably moved on in the meantime. If anyone could comment here, it would be helpful.
The alternative would be to scrap the AE109s and start again. I like them; there's nothing wrong with them I would never get that one past my good lady wife :(
 

junipers

Active Member
How about...

the AE centre as previously suggested, and a single pair of KEF eggs as rears- surely your wife doesnt want 7 speakers! Then use AVR channels 6+7 to biamp fronts which should give better stereo depth and clarity, and think about a sub later.

While I was replying to Craig, I missed yours!

Looks like I was on the same track :thumbsup:

The question is, would any AE centre work, or is it not as simple as that?
 

Druboo

Active Member
Give AE a ring I'm sure they would be the ones in the best position to say which if any centre would be a suitable match :smashin:
 

junipers

Active Member
Give AE a ring I'm sure they would be the ones in the best position to say which if any centre would be a suitable match :smashin:

I had the same thought, and dropped them an email (easier than talking about your AV requirements in an open office, don't you know:) )
I will report back when/if they reply.
 

junipers

Active Member
Acoustic Energy hadn't replied so I gave them a call, and very helpful they were too. The closest current Centre match to my AE109s would be an Aegis Evo which is still available, though discontinued this year. The perfect match would be an AE107 if I could find one. Sounds like that series stopped at least 5 years ago.

So that gives me something to work with. Anyone got an old AE107 in beech finish? (There is a black one on eBay, but I would never get that past my wife).

Another question - if I decide to bi-amp the AVR300 / AE109s, do I have to use the same cable? I currently have Linn K20 (don't remember the rationale). Is it essential to get the same again for the second set? Use the K20 for LF and use something lighter / cheaper for the HF? Thanks.
 

Dankeech

Member
An Aegis Evo Centre will not set you back much. Check out the trading forums here and also a well-known auction site. I'd expect you to pay £50-£80 for a second hand one or £100-£120 for a new one.

Best of luck.

Dan.
 

junipers

Active Member
An Aegis Evo Centre will not set you back much. Check out the trading forums here and also a well-known auction site. I'd expect you to pay £50-£80 for a second hand one or £100-£120 for a new one.

Best of luck.

Dan.
I think the light finish is oak on the Aegis Evo[/QUOTE]

Be warned that the light finish (Light Maple) on the Evo Series is very light, as shown on this page. (My last set of speakers was AE Aegis Evo in light maple)

Acoutic Energy Evo website page in Light maple pics

Here's photo of one of my Evo One's in light maple in natural light to give you an idea of finish etc

Hope that helps.

£75 is a great price brand new for an Evo Centre.

Dan.
 

junipers

Active Member
OK, I now have the Acoustic Energy Aegis Evo Centre new for £75.
I think I am going to get a 2nd set of Linn cable to bi-amp the front AE109s.
I will probably go for 2 of the KEF 1005 "eggs" at the rear. Getting cables to them is going to be a challenge (thinking of QED SILVER MICRO) but I saw this:
http://www.av-sales.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=KEF-WIRELESS-SYSTEM
Now this would be about £350 more than the cable, but would remove the hassle. Does anyone have any experience of using it? Or know where you might be able to get it for a bit less? I would struggle to justify that kind of price... :eek:
 

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