Opinions on MA replacements ?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by atr1981, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. atr1981

    atr1981
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    Hi Guys,

    I currently have the Monitor Audio RS1's, RSLCR and BR1's for the rears in my system.

    They are ok but I have started to notice the fact that they are a bit bright for stereo. I'm going to have to live with them for now as I'm posted overseas with the military.

    Could anyone comment on my choices please ?

    1. Acoustic Energy AELite 1's all round with AElite centre
    2. Acoustic Energy AELite 2's for front and AElite 1's for rears.
    3. KEF IQ3's all round with IQ6c centre
    4. Wharfedale Diamond

    Now, I know your all going to say demo the speakers and I will once I return to the UK in October but can you give opinions as there is nowhere here to demo.

    Ideally a comparision between my selections and the Monitor Audios for stereo but they will be used for 5.1 too.

    Would it be an idea to think about the amp instead ? I know a 5.1 amp won't be as good as stereo but can't afford both.
     
  2. atr1981

    atr1981
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  3. MysticKatDaddy

    MysticKatDaddy
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    Back in 200 I bought a setup consisting of Acoustic Energy original Aegis 3's for the fronts, Aegis Center, Aegis 1's for the rear, and the Aegis Sub. I have only good things to say about them for both music and movies. I turn everything off but the 3's for music and most general tv watching. The later generation speakers like the AELites are supposed to be even better. I decided to go with Acoustic Energy after accidently hearing some Jazz played on Aegis one's in a local shop. Everything sounded very natural and even when loud the trebel didn't make my ears hurt as a lot of speakers do.
     
  4. Cynar

    Cynar
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    You really do need to have a proper demo before you buy.
    I think the Wharfedales may be a bit too much of a step down in quality from your MAs though.
    I'd also have a listen to Quad speakers if I were you - I find they have a very smooth and non-fatiguing sound for stereo.
     
  5. kidloco46

    kidloco46
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    Have you thought about maybe changing your cables, theres plenty out there that can tame a slightly thin top end. It might save you a whole heap of money, the RS1 as great speakers set up properly and well system matched.
     
  6. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    Just what I was about to say. If your using silver cable, that will increase the brightness of the speakers. Copper is the way to go. The speakers you have are of better quality then all the speakers you have mentioned.
     
  7. xxGBHxx

    xxGBHxx
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    :rolleyes:

    *mutter* cables don't make a difference to brightness *mutter*

    I'm not going to go into this again. Theres plenty of good information from reputable sources explaining why it is just not true. I suggest you do the research, understand how sound is created, measured and propogated and then you'll understand why changing the cables will have zero measureable effect.

    What WILL affect the brightness is the location and orientation of the speakers, the soft furnishings you have in the room and your source material.

    Orientation - facing them slightly off centre to your listening location, moving them nearer to the walls to give it a little more bass balance or just shifting your listening location.

    Soft furnishings - can be as simple as putting down a rug if you have a hard floor, putting a table cloth on any tables, thickening your curtain material and/or putting up nets on the windows.

    Source material - Nothing much can be done with this. Some material is just badly mastered. If you have a habit of listening to brightly mastered material a lot then the MA's are probably not the right speaker for you.

    There are a number of threads of MA owners making some very basic changes (like laying down a rug) and finding the sound impoved beyond recognition. Rememebr the MA's do not naturally tend towards brightness, they are in fact, generally very flat and natural. This however works against you if your recordings are bright.

    G
     
  8. craigd

    craigd
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    I second that - going from silver to copper cables will not help you.
     
  9. Member 96948

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    I would heartily agree that speaker placement and orientation make a far larger difference than cabling and for free.

    MAs aren't my cup of tea, but toeing them in to cross in front of the listening position, will have a double whammy.

    One will be placing you off the direct axis of the tweeter, thus rolling the treble response off as frequency increases. Two, will be reducing the high frequencies reflected from the side walls. As the reflection is effectively a delayed signal (it travels further), thus can make matters worse by smearing the sound, thus introducing a harshness to the sound.

    Don't forget that a hard wood floor, which you can't really point the speakers away from has a similar effect and a strategically placed rug can go a long way to sorting things out. Leather chairs are similar and a well placed throw can help too.

    In each case, imagine where you would have to place a mirror to see a reflection on the speakers drivers - if there's a hard surface there, then soften it if you can. If you can't, that's life.

    Another option is a deeper more capable sub. Fill out the lower octaves and the higher ones will seem less exposed.

    Russell
     
  10. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    So hows your 19p a metre doorbell cable doing then or have you got something better?

    In your opinion of course
     
  11. OneDesi

    OneDesi
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    I would say the amp and CD player are the places to start for stereo. I know the MA's arent everyones cup of tea but they are good speakers and can be a bit harsh with the wrong kit but they do do a lot right (soundstage, bass etc.).

    The Denon is the entry level AV receiver but if your willing to play with amps and the Denon has preouts then I would get a dedicated 2 -channel amp and connect the denon preouts to it (maybe an Arcam or something).

    If the Samsung is your CD source then once again I'd love at reviewing that first and maybe adding a CD player.

    When you get back scour the classifieds - some good bargains there!
     
  12. atr1981

    atr1981
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    Thanks for all the advice. Started this one a while ago.

    I have now bought a dedicated Marantz CD player and admit that it does sound good with some tracks. I think it must be down to the recordings listened too as much as anything.

    Next purchase will be a dedicated stereo amp, I was thingking maybe Rotel or something along those lines.
     
  13. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    I'm going to disagree about cables and say that Silver/Copper sound a bit different to me - Silver slightly brighter, but it's not a night & day difference.

    I notice you've got a fairly low in the range denon AVR. I found a friend's Sony STR-DG910 which is in the same price range doesn't have the ability to provide that smooth a treble at any volume without sounding harsh on MA RS Series. I normally associate the Denon sound kind of in line with the Sony sound on the lower end of their AVRs. Arcam AVR250 for example is lovely and laid back and provides none of the harshness I found pairing same MA speakers with his lower end AVR. Perhaps this is where the problem lies.

    I also suspect the Aelites would be a great choice to sort out your brightness issues, either option being a good one to resolve the problem.

    Dan.
     
  14. OneDesi

    OneDesi
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    If your budget is in the £2-£300 then maybe look at the matching Marantz amp. If 2nd hand then look to £4-500 RRp amp.

    The Cambridge Audio amps are quite good and do check whether your denon has preouts before you get the 2-channel as you may well need to upgrade that as well.
     

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