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Upgrade finished, but not quite to the level I wanted.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Phil Hinton, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Endowments are terrible things, I recently cashed one in because it was not performing to well, and thought i would use the cash to upgrade. By my calcalations i was looking at about £3500-4000 back from this so called investment. So i started looking for a new amp and speakers and was taken by the M&K professional 1510 or the big brother the 2510. Expensive but hey I was going to have the money for them. I also lined up a Denon av1se used to add. I then sold my two rel storms and Bostons THX speakers and very nearly my Denon 3801.
    Now this was back i september and i have waited paciently for my bank to get itself sorted, but finally i get the cheque this week for final payout minus the new 30% charge for this and 40% charge for that, and in the end ended up with less than £1100:eek: I was gutted:( I have no other funds to buy equipment with at the moment so I have no choice but to buy something to put in my room and start all over again in time.

    Well feeling rejected I went to see my mate Craig at Sevenoaks Newcastle, a fine chap who really knows his stuff and unlike other Sevenoaks i have been to, has plenty time to spend with people and is very friendly. We got chatting and i explained my circumstances, and we went to the demo room for a sit down and chat, and in the end I ended up with their demo M&K750s and 55tripoles at a price i wont mention in case "GEKKO" are here looking, (but it was not far from my budget).

    {Edited as I jumped in giving praise about these speakers without proper evaluation which i have now done, and you can see what i think below}

    I will give a better review when i have had time to listen for a few days. Very happy so far, and cant wait to get my budget together to find out just how good the bigger brothers are. But as a stop gap these things are mint. Infact they have shown the weakness in my 3801 and a power amp is next anyway.
     
  2. petrolhead

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    Interesting thread THX.

    Its currently a real bummer with anything that is related to share index. I have bonds that I wanted to cash in but was advise to leave well alone. Last year they were worth £6-7K now only £4-5K. :mad:

    You have my sympathy.

    Yes the guys at 7oaks Newcsatle are a good bunch. I bought my screen and speakers from them, nearly the amp but they only had the 3802 in gold and I wanted black (On reflection now would have prefered gold) and ended up getting it from Global. Paul there is canny and is great to bargain with.

    I assume that the M&Ks you got were in the back dem room. I have always loved that room and wish I could have a room similar to that.

    If the M&Ks hadn't been available what would you have gone for?

    The reason I ask is that I am thinking of upgrading my speakers and have 2 thoughts.

    1) In wall. The manager at 7oaks (I asume he is the manager, small stocky guy slightly balding) has them and recons there are good, I think B&Ws

    2) Replacements for my Moniotor Audio Baby Boomers. Possible Silver series but not sure

    I would appreciate you thoughts or views.

    BTW do you know Allan Probin who lives in Aycliffe. I just bougt his rel and my mate, 7thguest and I are down his way saturday to pick up some speakers for him.
     
  3. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    The Monitor silvers are a good buy and are currently on demo in the small demo room at the front of the shop. Go have a listen.

    The B&W's are also good but require a lot of work to fit to walls, and the ds6 dipole is a throw back to the early days of pro logic and are limited bandwith, hopefully B&W will realise they are missing a decent surround speaker and upgrade and reintroduce the ds6.

    The manager is called Neville, the other lads being Craig and chris, brilliant dealers. Global are also very good, and carry a huge amount of stock, but dont do b&w or M&K, but do have the new Jamo ds thx ultra set up, Sevenoaks are installing the Jamo THX Ultra 2 Set in the middle section of the shop,
    Yes the M&K's i bought were the dem set they had in the rear demo room. I heard them through the Acramp8&7 combo, and was blown away, this new processor and amp are fantastic quality with brilliant dynamics, if only i had the £5k asking price:rolleyes:
     
  4. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Ok, I have now had some time to listen to these speakers in a bit more detail after calibrating the whole system. And i hate to say it, but my first comments on these speakers are not entirely acurate. Infact I have just finished listening after a good session with them and I am not a happy bunny to be honest.

    They are very nice dynamic speakers with movies, and the Movie i watched last night was very good, and the soundtrack was certainly brought very much alive with the set up. But tonight I have strictly used them in stereo duties, and to be honest I dont think I have much left of my teeth with all the gritting I was doing. The top end is very very shrill, infact anything with lyrics with S, SH or well you get the idea, is almost spitting at you. And i am not driving these very hard, infact only at -15db(0 being reference). I have been experimenting with damping the room a bit, but thats not the problem, these things spit at you. I thought it might just be the recordings of a few discs, but i have tried every type of music in my vast CD collection, and apart from a couple of tracks, the high end is just to much, to sharp, to teeth grinding for me!:mad: It is a shame because every other part of their sound is lush, and dynamic. They certainly dont sound anywere near as good as they did in the demo room, but then that room is vastly different from mine, and they were using £5k worth of processor and Amplification.

    It is such a let down, when the Movie side of things was very very good, that the music should sound so shrill. I have my thoughts about my Denon 3801 and it's capabilities to drive these speakers to there best, and have my suspicions that the audio chain i use is not helping these speakers perform at their best, but that doesn't really help me out much at the moment. The surround 55's are also brilliant surround speakers which i think are by far the best surround speakers i have had in my system yet.

    I will have to have a word with craig and Neville over the next few days about changing these, as i simply can't live with them, i was getting so frustrated it was unreal.

    So looks like I need another solution to the problem.
     
  5. The Nightfly

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    Phil,

    If you want to bring them round here we can try them on the end of an AVC-A1 in my acoustically treated AV room or in the HiFi room with very different acoustics on the end of my Naim Audio system.

    Allan
     
  6. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Allan,

    Sounds like an interesting idea, but i simply cant afford to up my amplification at the moment, so as an experiment it would be interesting, but as a solution its going to be difficult. I am looking forward to seeing your room when i get some spare time.

    I have contacted Craig and neville and will see what solutions they suggest.

    Many thanks for the offer though.
     
  7. PFM

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    Unlucky THX:(

    Ive often had my doubts about dedicated some HC speakers falling down with good old fashioned stereo.

    My personal opinion is that its hard to cut throught the multitude of speakers at a myriad of budgets to find ones that are adept at both duties. (kind of wood for the trees situation).

    My front three are up for an upgrade in the latter part of next year and I know its going to be a long hard slog of demo, redemo, take home, dislike, redemo before I come up with something I can honestly feel impressed with every time I power up my amps. I believe its one area where sometimes in order to get the right product you'll have to pay the asking price cos of the amount of work your gonna put the dealer through.

    But hey, thats what they're there for (at the risk of being flamed)


    Im sure the lads at 7oaks will be sympathetic in dealing with your requests. I'm sure they'll appreciate you as a long term client.

    Best of luck:cool:
     
  8. Apocalypse

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    THX1138 - Why not try the Paradigm Reference range of speakers, all are timbre matched, they come in centre, main and rear(bipolar) designs and pound for pound will wipe the floor with it's rivals. The catch is you can only get them through RS and they have to be imported but with prices like £299 for the Centre which is quoted as having a low freq extension of 42Hz it's well worth it.

    Having heard a top of the range M&K speaker setup in 7Oaks and then listening to mine I'm even more convinced as to the Paradigm's quality in both movies and music.

    Here is the info on the Reference range http://www.paradigm.ca/Website/SiteReferenceProduct/RModels/StudioSeries/studioseries.html
     
  9. Jase

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    My Kef THX speakers are still for sale.;)
     
  10. Ian J

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    I have M&K and Denon like you but different models and don't find mine shrill but I also have a more heaviliy "decorated" living room. As a matter of interest what type of music were you playing as I think that Eric Clapton & BB King / Riding with The King sounds superb on my setup.

    I could be interested in the surrounds if you want to sell them as I was about to buy Adzman's before he hurled them down the stairs and smashed them.
     
  11. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    I really can't fault Sevenoaks Newcastle, and in particular Craig. He has offered to try and resolve the problem first by coming round on Monday night armed with cables and interconnects, to experiment and try to tame the top end. This is fantastic service and I am convinced Craig will get the system sounding better(he should as he has done the skywalker training amongst other things) and I hope we can get the shrillness sorted because these things perform so well in everyother department, and it would be a shame to kick them in to touch.

    Fingers crossed that we can get it sorted.
     
  12. BadAss

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    The thing is youll get into a dodgy situation where by your using cables as filters. If you tame the dynamics on music youll also do the same to your movies and instead of curing one problem youll create another. But what do I know, hope Im wrong.
     
  13. EvilMudge

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    Apocalypse, have you actually managed to get hold of a set through RS? I spoke to my friendly RS sales assistants in Southampton and their opinion was that these are truly great speakers, but I'd be waiting an age for them to be delivered.
    BTW What M&Ks did you actually compare them with as Uncle Eric will surely leap to their defense if they weren't the Pro series?
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    That's not true. Eric thinks that all M&K speakers from S85 upwards are excellent, it''s just that the Pro versions are even better
     
  15. EvilMudge

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    Apologies to all. Perhaps I could have put that better. What I meant was that if Uncle Eric himself would point the deficiencies of the M&K consumer units compared to the Pro series, but as he has said on this forum before - even those esteemed speakers are not without their caveats - namely that they are too revealing.
     
  16. Mr Pleasant

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    THX, it might be worth following up on that offer to hear your new speakers powered by a different amp. I recently heard a 3802 'doing' stereo and noticed some sybillance, if that's the right term, on the Dido album. Same album, same speakers, better amp (AVC10SE) - no sybillance.
     
  17. Apocalypse

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    Sorry for the delay in replying, I allready have the Paradigm Reference Esprit for front duties and I currently use a Paradigm CC350 for centre duties, I've ordered the Paradigm Reference Studio CC at £299 for centre duties................no word yet on delivery times but it has been ordered.

    The M&K setup I listened to was behind decorative cloth so I've no idea what model they were, I'm assuming they are fairly high end as the demo room cost 30K :eek:

    P.S - When I said my Paradigm's were impressive when compared to the M&K speakers I didn't mean they were as good, the M&Ks have the edge when it comes to tonal match definitely.

    Edit - This is said demo room

    Regards
    Phil
     
  18. EvilMudge

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    Thanks Phil,

    I didn't expect the Paradigms to out-gun the top M&Ks, even in the states they're not in the same price bracket.
    I'm running the same centre as you at the moment matched with the floorstanding equivalents from the monitor series. Just how much better are the Esprits compared to the CC-350?
    How long did they take to arrive, as I was thinking about buying up a complete Reference series set for 7.1 but the delivery factor is disuading me.
    Of course I could always go down the M&K route
    :)
     
  19. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    I got the Esprit speakers about 4 years ago when RS had masses of Paradigm stocks, they were originally in the store at £800 but were reportedly scaring people so RS dropped the price to £599 but still they got no joy. Eventually they wanted to get rid of them and priced them at £499 which is when I got them, at the time they were $1000 in the US so I was pleased.

    The CC350 is an awesome centre speaker but as it's from the non-reference range the drivers are different so it's not a perfect match for my frontstage. The Esprit's tweeter outclasses the CC350 and it's noticeable when for instance a scene in a movie pans across the 3 speakers, dynamically it can go very very loud without distortion and if it wasn't an excellent speaker in it's own right I would of replaced it long ago. I just feel that now my system is getting much better it's time I have a timbre matched front soundstage.

    Paradigm have changed a lot in the last few years, 4 years ago they were making floorstanders with a low freq extension of 14Hz :eek: (probably not that low in the real world of course) but now their floorstanders are in the 30-40Hz range. I noticed that they've now discontinued their active speakers as well, one wonders if the company is in decline :(

    Regards
    Phil
     
  20. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Well Just a quick update on what happened last night.

    I must thank craig loads for the time he spent here trying his best with the 750's.
    I was using Ixos 603 speaker cable on them before Craig arrived and after an hour or so the system was sounding a darn site better. he swapped the cable to Van damme for the speakers and used a few digital interconnects of which the van damme gave the best results. They are still very bright but a lot better than they were to start with, and he even had time to get the CHt15 sounding even better! Can i just say that the difference between the sound i had before Craig arrived, and the quality of it when he left was like night and day!!!(and I am sure his missus won't thank me for the 3 hours it took to achieve (came round mine after a day at work and didn't leave till 9pm, but boy this lad knows his stuff).
    I am still upset at the sybillance on certain tracks in stereo, and Craig has suggested a loan of a power amp to check if it is the Denon at fault in stereo mode, he even said he couldnt believe how bad they sounded at first. I have heard them perform with the new Arcam av8 and p7 before buying and they were sublime, and a good speaker to build my system on. So if I can get the power amp to try them and satisfy myself that it is my audio chain at fault then i will keep them and just upgrade when i get some more cash saved.
    Will let you know how i get on from here, oh and the room is also causing some problems of its own, well demonstrated when the L&R were pulled well away from the Screen wall, so some treatment of the room will not go out of place me thinks.

    A Big thanks you again to Craig, Neville and the guys at Sevenoaks Newcastle, just shows you what lengths a great dealer will go to satisfy the customer.
     
  21. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Dumping stock below cost onto Richer Sounds is normally a bad sign
     
  22. Apocalypse

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    Of all the major hifi shops on the high street I've been most impressed with Sevenoaks, not many places offer you a cuppa while you wait and they beat the best internet price when I got my power amp from them, why can't all shops be this good. I used to use RS all the time and I still respect them for their aggresive pricing policy but they really do have to work on their customer service skills IMO.
     
  23. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    The thing that impresses me the most is Craigs sheer enthusiasm for the hobby. When demoing the speakers it was getting close to closing time and i mentioned i wouldn't keep him cos he must want to get home. His Answer, Nah its alright I would rather stay here and play with the toys.
    :D

    He's also been trained by the best in the business at Skywalker raunch, and it shows in his approach to problems. He has actually made me think a bit more about what lucasfilm have done for audio excellence, instead of the easy licencing put downs you see most come out with.

    And if theres one thing thats made me change my mind.............Cables they do make a big difference even on a budget system, and that showed big style last night!
     
  24. Apone

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    Hi

    I am using the same speakers and will agree that they are excellent for movies which is fine for me as I do not listen to much music, the 'sound' of these is not for all and some people have not liked what they heard.

    M&K speakers love power so try them with a decent power amp/s and then have a listen also, the chances are you will be gagging for more power when you do this so be warned....

    Best Regards

    Mahmood
     
  25. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Well on Tuesday night on his way home from work, craig dropped in with an Arcam P85 and a Rotel 951 Cd Player for me to check the audio chain for the problem.
    After no real improvement i played around a little with the room settings and placed some heavy furnished items around the walls. Wow what a difference, yes these things like power and I can see exactly waht you are saying in your post Mahmood.
    I invited a work collegue down who likes his speakers warm and involving, thinking he would slate these. Well he didn't say much to be honest for the first 30 minutes as we listened to different tracks and musical styles. I must admit that they are growing on me and the fine details they reveal take a little getting used to, and they are still very bright and there is sybillance, but only on certain tracks which i feel are more bad recordings than problems with the speakers or amplification.
    His verdict, "Phil those are the most detailed and focused speakers i have ever heard", praise indeed i feel.
    I agree that their sound can take a little getting used to on stereo, but I honestly like what I am hearing and echo the comments of my collegue (although I have heard better,but not at this price point). All in All A happier bunny now, right I am away to listen some more.

    Craig, do i have to give the arcam and player back?:rolleyes:
     
  26. petrolhead

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    Craig and Neville are great guys.

    I spent some time in the shop the other day looking at replacing my current setup.

    Although Craig was tired from his stint at your place ;) he still spent time with me looking at ctr speakers. In the end I think he dispared a little as I found it hard to see the difference between what I have now and what he was showing me. Neville very kindly loaned me the a ctr for me to check at home.

    Paul at Global has also been very helpful this this and even offered a full set of Kefs (over £1000 worth without payment) for a loan for up to 10 days.

    Even the guys at Superrfi have been very helpfull spending nearly a couple hours messing on in the dem room.

    On the opposite side I went to Windows and they we now way near as good and Windows is one of the oldest HiFi shops in Newcastle :(.

    I think we are very lucky to have not one but 3 good dealers who are helpful and who enthuse about their subject matter.

    Of course they must love people like you and I :D
     
  27. gazzerr

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    THX,

    Do you know which Van Damme speaker cable you are now using?
     
  28. Craig Sowerby

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    Petrolhead,

    Many thanks for the good words, although i may have appeared
    to be tired i have to say thats how i always look.

    Good to hear you're reaching a solution.
     
  29. petrolhead

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    Well, I setup the Kefs.

    Trying q1 f&l, q9 ctr and q2 dipole.

    Front soundstage was very good but the rears were lost. Come to the conclusion that dipole are not for may room due to shape and accustice which is a shame as they looked great on the wall.

    Unfortunatley my girlfriend thinks all the speakers are too large. So you never know, may just throw the towel in and stick with what I have or maybe just get some flippin headphones :( which is a shame coz I thought I was getting somewhere.

    BTW Welcome Craig to the site. Good luck selling your HT300
     
  30. Ian J

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    There is another alternative. From my years on Tyneside I seem to recall that it's much easier to find a girl than a decent home cinema system so maybe you're looking at this problem the wrong way round. :)
     

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