Upgrading 5.1 system questions. Quad, QAcoustics, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by putagana, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. putagana

    putagana
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    Hi guys, I'm seeking some advice on upgrading my system.

    I currently have a Yamaha RXV350 receiver with NSP100 5.1 yamaha speakers. Yes, I know it's crappy but at the time I spent the money on the plasma screen...

    Although I'm not an audiophile or expert, it's been obvious from the start that these speakers are very weak for music.
    So it's finally upgrade time :)

    First of all, is the RXV350 good enough to receive decent speakers? If possible I'd like to upgrade the speakers only at this time. It accepts 6 ohm or more speakers, in humanly understandable form, what is the difference in connecting 6 or 8 ohm speakers to this amp (if any)?

    I'm looking for a bookshelf style system, but with small(ish) rear speakers due to space restrictions. The fronts can be bigger, although it would be better if they aren't too deep.
    Price-wise, I'm looking at something in the €500-1000 (£340-680) range (preferably on the lower side of course :)

    So, the options I considered until now:

    Quad L-ite: these look great, and the reviews are promising, but I haven't found them in local shops, so I really don't have an idea of their price tag. From what I've read here I think they are probably out of my range.

    Q Acoustics 1000 series: thought about 1020 fronts and 1010 rears, with the matching center and sub. This goes for about €800 (£550) around here. My gripe with them is their excessive depth (more problematic for the rears).

    Monitor Audio: Looked at the Radius range, and was surprised to see that it's more expensive than the Bronze series, is that normal?
    The R225/R250 look awesome, and aren't deep which would be great for me, but they are very expensive. So, between R90/R180 or BR1/BR2 I think the bronzes are better, am I right?
    A system with BR2 fronts, bronze center and sub + R45 rears, looks good. Although the R45's look weak to me (but they're expensive, so maybe they're actually good?...), their size is great for me space-wise. The fronts are a bit bulky, but it's manageable. This goes for about €1000 (£680) which is my limit, if possible I'd like to lower this.

    Wharfedale Diamond 9: currently this seems to be the more balanced choice. With 9.2 fronts, 9.SR rears (which are not very small, but aren't deep), and matching center+sub, it goes for about €650 (£450), which seems great value for money.

    Also looked at the KEF eggs, but I'm not a big fan of that design... how do they compare to the previous options?

    Advice is much appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. Alski H

    Alski H
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    Hi there
    I am in a similar situation to you - I was looking at buying 2nd hand MA radius speakers, but heard a couple of days ago that Quad have reduced the price of the 5.1 l-ite av package to £599 - I have this morning confirmed this with my local retailer (AUDIO T - he had to ring Quad but they confirmed the price) just got to find out which finish will be most agreeable with my other half and then I'm going to place an order.
    Regards
    Alski:thumbsup:
     
  3. malcolmh

    malcolmh
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    I was in a similar situation, but having done some research managed to talk myself into a bigger budget range. The Monitor Audio Radius 270s/250/180s for rear should arrive Saturday, all being well, together with a nice new Onkyo 875 to drive it :thumbsup:

    At least I managed to refrain for going for the RS6AV package, which sounds great but at nearly two grand would have been a kick in the wallet! :eek: Happily the centre speaker was far too big to fit under my plasma, so saving me a painful decision. The Radius range certainly looks smart, and so many speaker sets look horribly ugly, at least until you get up to utterly unreasonable prices.

    I can't wait to get it all set up. I'll post when they are.

    Incidentally, OP thinks the system he's upgrading from is rubbish. MY system was a Videologic Digitheatre (combined amp and speakers), which back in the day I thought was the business. So I'm looking forward to hearing what a real system sounds like. :D
     
  4. putagana

    putagana
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    That's good news on the Quad L-ite price. I'll have to check with local stores, they're hard to find around here.
    Even so, for the same price (and lower), it seems to me that I'll get better performance out of a system with bigger fronts, like the MA Bronze BR2, or Wharfedale Diamond 9.2 (am I right? :confused:)

    Yes, the bigger MA Radius speakers sure look great, but going over that budget is not an option :)
     
  5. russraff

    russraff
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    Why do you think this is the case? Simply because a speaker is smaller, doesn't mean its less impressive; A Honda S2000 is "just" a 2 litre engine car, but still makes 240bhp, much more than most 3 litre engines! Similarly, a speaker's performance depends on the quality of the drivers used and the solidity of the cabinet (forgetting about the listener's room for the moment). As it happens, the cabinet is generally the most expensive part of a speaker, so a smaller cabinet can reduce costs leaving a smaller satellite performing exceptionally well against a bigger speaker (with pricing about the same). Smaller enclosures are easier to brace, too. It maybe that the Radius range can perform better than the Bronze because of these points. Indeed, the smaller footprint of the Radius' can even help reduce the effect your room has on the sound they make, as positioning will be far more flexible than the Bronze range. Clearly bass response will suffer, but if you have a sub, and get sats that go down to ~80Hz, then you should be okay.

    I have listened to the Quad system and find it to be very good, if a bit relaxed. I would like to hear a system with three centres across the front and the two little sats to the back. They were better, to my ears, than the MT30 and KEF 300x speakers I demoed, too, so at £600 they're a steal!

    Russell
     
  6. matt78

    matt78
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    The MA Bronze are superb speakers for stereo music and as fronts in a surround set-up, although usually you would use BR5 floorstanders at the front and BR1s or BR2s at the rear.

    Another alternative would be to audition the Sony SAVE835ED Pascal speaker system. Its a very detailed and crisp sound with lots of low-end extension from the 200 watt powered sub. I don't think its as refined as the Monitor Audio set-up, but it comes in cheaper and takes up less space.

    Also have a look at Mordaunt-Short's Premiere and Avant ranges. I'm using the Premieres for my HT set-up and they sound really good.
     
  7. ab1385

    ab1385
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    I'm in the same situation, I'm almost certainly set on the Quad l-ites. I was looking originally at £1k speaker packages, and I thought, "hell, for £600, if they're not good enough for music I have £400 left over to buy a pair of 11L2s and have a lush 7.1 setup!"

    Still, from what I've heard from others, the l-ites are perfectly good enough on their own. If they sound anything like as nice as the 11Ls then I'll be happy!

    Oh, and I believe the Monitor Audio Radius range are more expensive than the Bronze series as they use the Silver series drivers. At least, that's waht the guy in the shop told me when I went to listen to the bronze series (which, tho be honest, I didn't like that much).
     
  8. putagana

    putagana
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    Currently I'm biased towards the Wharfedales. For the price I can get them at (9.1 or 9.2 fronts + 9.0 rears + 9.cc center + sw150 sub = €605 ~ £420) they seem unbeatable. Will try to have a listen to them soon.

    There's great reviews of the 9.1 speakers everywhere, but pretty much nothing about the 9.2's... will they be just a 9.1 with more bass? I can get the 9.2's for almost the same price as the 9.1's, so it seems stupid not to get the bigger ones... (sorry if this is dumb, but I'm really new to all this...)
     
  9. russraff

    russraff
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    Just to add a bit more info, I have just changed my old speakers for some MA Radius ones as my room isn't so big. For only the second time I took a gamble and bought blind as Newcastle Sevenoaks is closing down and they had too good a deal to pass up (3x250's and 2x90's for £550 - the 250's hadn't even been out of the box!).

    My first thoughts are these are clinical speakers not unlike M&K with a dry bass and slightly bright treble (even considering their size). Compared with the Quads the MA are more AV orientated with music sounding more "listenable" on the Quad set. However, the Quads aren't as quick as the MA's with Dialogue sounding, from what I remember, more clear on the MA's. In both cases I would rate them higher than KEF 3000's or B&W's sub/sat package. One thing I will say is that the cabinet finish of the MA's are superb - certainly better than the M&K K15 package I was looking at.

    As for how the MA's compare with bigger speakers, I would prefer the radius to the Bronze range, but the silver range does offer a more complete sound - albeit in a much larger size.

    Hope this helps?

    Russell
     
  10. dazza74

    dazza74
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    Have you considered the AE Aego T's?. got mine up including delivery for £529
     
  11. christhedon

    christhedon
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    qacoustic 1010i are out now according to what hifi and they have given them a very good review...
     

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