Answered Q Acoustics 3050 or Monitor Audio Bronze 5 ?

RichieBB

Novice Member
I am looking for new floor standing speakers to connect my Marantz NR1605. At first I had narrowed things down to Q Acoustics 2050i and Monitor Audio Bronze BX5 and decided to order the BX5's. Then I realised that both brands have new versions out. Even though the old line up are marked down about 20% I'd rather pay premium to get the latest and greatest. So now I'm back and torn between Q Acoustics 3050 and Monitor Audio Bronze 5. Both are similarly priced. Unfortunately I cannot listen to them in a store until next year, and I really want to do the upgrade now.

My living room is about 7x7m and is used for both AV (movies/games) and music. I intend to get 4 floor standing speakers, one set as fronts and one set as rears. Satellites on stands just don't do it for me aesthetically and I usually play music in "Multi-channel stereo" that uses all 5.1 speakers. I already have a Yamaha YST-300 that I am still happy with (might upgrade it later though). Because of a height limitation in my audio cabinet I'm buying a PSB Image C4 as centre.

What Hifi seems to really like the 3050's but are also raving about the B5 AV pack that includes the Bronze 5 floor stands. Does anyone have any advice on which to choose?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
You really want the front 3 speakers to be the same make and model. In fact I would prefer to have no centre than a mismatched one.
How much space will you have from rears to the seated location? Problem with floorstanders as rears is they will be too low. Rears should be around 30cm above head height. Since you have a sub the general advice is to have all speakers set to small so will not get the full benefit of floorstanders either.
Speaker technology has not moved much so a new version is not really going to sound any better than the previous one. I would have no hesitation saving money on the outgoing model as will not be losing anything but costs less. Would then give money left to upgrade the sub which is not that great to be honest.
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
Thanks for the advise. All good points. I considered getting PSB Image T6 floorstanders, and move the (low end, I know) sub to the bedroom. Or will I still need a sub for the low frequency movie SFX?

Listening position is about 4m from the fronts and 2,5m from the rears. My ears are at 1m when sitting, so the rears should be at 1,3m? Are stands usually that high? I have no bookshelves at that side of the room and would like to avoid wall mounts.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
A centre is also not going to sound its best in a cabinet as the sound will interact with it reducing sound quality. For movies a sub is a real benefit. A sub will go lower and with more authority than a floorstander. Also by taking some of the load off them you will clear up the mid range too.
My rears are on stands which see more than high enough so you can buy tall enough stands.
 

s2driveruk

Novice Member
Just plugged in a set of 3050s this afternoon paired with my marantz Sr. 7007 and I have to say with zero burn in they sounds very very good. I'm trialling then as a potential replacement for my mission 752's which sound great with the 7007 but as the q acoustics continue to be very well reviewed I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I'll report back when they've been run for a few days and whether they have won me over...
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
Great, thanks!

I involved the Mrs in the decision and she has a distinct preference for looks of the Q Acoustics 3050. Even though I find this to be the least important part of buying new speakers, I must say I agree with her. Just for fun I tried to argue the £ 400 Tannoy Revolution DC6T SE but she invoked her veto. Looks are important for living room speakers I suppose.

@PSM1 the 3050 manual says:
If you are stand mounting, a simple guide is that the treble unit should be at ear level to a seated listener. Wall mounted speakers may be mounted slighter higher with the speaker angled down. Stand mounted speakers should be treated as floorstanding speakers except that the speaker may be placed a little closer to the back wall.
With a height of 1m the 3050's are near perfect for my lazy chair. ;)
 
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s2driveruk

Novice Member
They are easy on the eye for sure...and quite a bit bigger than the 752s, both taller and deeper. I've bunged them to tame the bass a tad and its focuses the sound even more...I think you'll be impressed with them :)
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The treble at ear level is for the fronts. The rears should be 30cm above ear level which I doubt the 3050 will be if used as surround speakers.
 

Member 729553

Active Member
Well we'd unreservedly recommend the 3050 - but then we are a teeny but biased! They are brilliant though! :))

BTW - the 3050 is distinctly better than the older 2050i; but probably similar value, given the special prices the 2050i can now be bought for these days.

best regards
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
I just installed my 4x 3050's and 3090C. Wow. They are a tad bigger than I expected (mostly depth). I am upgrading my Samsung HT-P1200 speaker set (upgraded the amplified to a Marantz NR-1605 in the spring) and those were a lot slimmer.

At first the sound of the new setup didn't really impress me, except the bass. Then I realised I turned on various enhancements in the amp. Things like M-DAX and Dynamic EQ needed to make the old speakers sound acceptable are no longer required. In fact, they made the highs too excessive and the bass was just ridiculous. Switching them all off brought back normality and a very clear sound stage. Still a lot of bass though (which I like). With the 3050's at least 20cm away from the walls (like the manual says) I am not using the foam bungs. This way I do not need a sub when listening music in Multi Channel Stereo. I will still use the sub for the LFE in movies.

I think the 3050's blend in very nicely with the rest of the room. The Mrs still has to get used to them though. I'm looking forward to give them some good breaking in. It's a good excuse to listing to some excellent music with the volume a little louder than usual. :)

speakers.jpg
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Your centre is not very well positioned as it will never sound its best on the unit. It would help if you bought it to the front of the unit and used a sound isolation foam pad. Better still would be to raise the tv slightly and wall mount the centre.
For a multi channel system the advice would be to set all speakers to small and something like 80hz crossover but could be lower. With the sub set correctly this should give you a balanced bass and clearer mids since you take the load off the other speakers.
 

Member 729553

Active Member
Hello RichieBB,

Firstly, many thanks for choosing Q Acoustics!

Secondly; not for the first time, we're in broad agreement with PSM1.

Regarding the centre channel. You shouldn't need an isolating foam pad if you've fitted the small plastic feet which come with the speaker. However, it will certainly sound more open and accurate if you can bring it forward to the front edge of the furniture. (this prevents the sound reflecting off the surface of the furniture, which 'colours' the sound).

Regarding the 3050. The spikes are very important to the sound quality. If you haven't done it already, please take some time to get the spikes in perfect contact with the floor and ensure they're tight and locked. Please don't use the protective spike covers. If you need to protect the floor, please put small metal discs beneath the spikes (small coins are perfect for this job). Shifting the left hand speaker a few inches to the right may also help (so it's not quite so symmetrical with the corner).

Please listen to the speakers with or without the port bungs to determine which you prefer - this applies to the 3090c centre channel as well.

We're very confident you're going to enjoy the speakers for many years to come. :thumbsup:

Best regards
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
Thanks a lot for all the advise! I fitted the port bungs in the center, as it is rather close to the wall. I'll fit them in the 3050's to test but I love the bass level right now. I'll take off the spike covers!

I understand about the center sound reflection. Moving it more to the front of the furniture permanently is not really an option (looks pretty bad). I did purchase the wall mount, and I think I can fit it without moving the TV up. Will that work as well?

@PSM1 instead of using the sub all the time I think I will bi-amp the front 3050's. Audyssey set the crossover at 40 Hz but at normal music volume the sub will not turn on (auto sense feature) which is fine by me. The sub does turn on when watching movies with LFE. If/when I get a better sub I will use it for music as well.

One silly thing is that now that I have better speakers, the Multi Channel Stereo mode of the NR-1605 sounds rather compressed. Like it blends the highs with the mids and mids with the lows. I now prefer the Pure / Pure Direct modes. This means I will not be using the rear 3050's all that much. Oh well, I still like them better than 3020's on stands.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Biamping on an avr does not really help with the load issue since same power supply for all channels. Also still have same issue with the same drivers trying to play both mids and bass.
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
Understood. I'm not sure there is an actual load issue but I follow the reasoning that if a sub picks up the real lows the 3050's can direct more power to the mids.

While we're talking subs: is the 3070S any good now that the initial issues have been resolved?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Not heard it but I think a BK Electronics sub would have been better value for money.
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
I did not buy a sub upgrade just yet. The BK XXLS400-FF looks pretty tempting though, thanks!

I tried out the port bugs, and the difference is really subtle to my ears. Only the attack of the kick drum is a little more subtle. Bass guitar seem not affected.

Does using the bugs allow me to move the speakers closes to the wall? That surely will please the Mrs (which is always a good thing to do).
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
I removed the spike protectors, installed the bungs, connected the fronts as bi-amp and moved them a little closer to the wall. I also installed the rubber feet on the 3090C, and moved it a little (not all the way) to the front.

Audyssey now reports the 3050's as "full range" and the centre crossover at 60 Hz. I'm still unsure if I want to use Audyssey MultEQ for music though. I like the Audyssey Dynamic EQ concept as I usually play at modest volume, but I can't enable it without MultEQ. I don't need Dynamic Volume because all my tracks are levelled using replay gain.

The more I listen to these speakers, the better they sound. There are more details in the highs and mids are more defined. I never knew breaking in could make such a difference. I'm very pleased with this setup!
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
You may want to try the fronts set to small as well with a similar crossover to the centre.
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
I set all speakers to small. This really helps the total sound image. After that, changing the crossover does not make much difference anymore. Only above 120 Hz I find some lows go missing (sub is rated as 20 - 140Hz). I guess changing the speakers from large to small also sets a crossover somewhere around 80 Hz.

I also set the subwoofer mode to LFE only (was LEF+main). Otherwise the lows will get copied from the fronts/rears to the sub. This results in too much base in some situations (mostly with the speakers set to large though). In LFE mode the sub gets the LFE SFX (duh) plus everything below the crossover settings.
 

RichieBB

Novice Member
One thing I'm wondering about: I picked the 3050's based on their full range performance. The lows are quite impressive when used in a 2.0 or 5.0 setup. Now that I have configured them as small I essentially will use them for the mids and highs only, since the sub handles the lows. Wouldn't I get the same results with 4x 3020's?

I did some more testing and it seems that my Marantz NR-1605 only cuts off the speakers at the set crossover point when they are configured as "small". Speakers configured as "large" will get all frequencies regardless of the configured crossover. The fact that I can't hear the difference between the crossover points just means that my sub is pretty effective in taking over the lows. It did take some tweaking the subwoofer level though. Audyssey set the sub level at -2 dB but I need it to be at 2 dB to cover for the 3050's. Still need to test this setting with movies, but I can lower the LFE separately if needed.
 
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PSM1

Distinguished Member
You are probably correct in the fact that 4 3020s would probably have given you the same overall result in sound which is why floorstanders are not always recommended for AV setups and especially not for surrounds. That said the crossover point on an AVR is not a hard one but more the point that the frequencies start to roll off from the speakers. Hence there will be frequencies below the crossover point getting to the speakers but at ever decreasing levels.
 

airbedman

Active Member
I'm curious how you're finding the NR-1605, I'm moving house shortly and am looking to reduce the size of my system, I currently have Mission 752's a Yamaha DSP-A2 (which is huge!) and a REL Q100E sub. I'm thinking of minimising down to the Marantz to save space, modernise (HDMI, wahay!) and look nicer :)

I was also thinking of the 3010s/20s for fronts, I'd be right in thinking I'd need to stand mount them? I'd probably keep my REL, and my Mission 77DS, they're old but I like that I can mount them on the wall. So is it recommended I get a third 3010/20 as a centre or go for a 3090C? Can I even buy a single 3010/20?
 

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