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Well Matched Components

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by RC, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. RC

    RC
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    I've been ploughing through websites and magazines and have come up a list of equipment to demo (and purchase!). I wanted something that would sound really good with music, that I wouldn't end up wanting to upgrade as soon as I bought it.

    Anyway, here's my list that I intend to go and put in front of my ears - the reason I put it up here is just to see if anyone has any particular insights about other similar stuff I should check out.

    TAG AV32R processor ('nuff said)
    Rotel RMB-1075 (got to keep the cost down after biting the bullet on the TAG) ;)
    Speakers from the B&W range - either the 600S3 set [604S3 fronts/ 602S3 rears/ LCR600S3 centre]
    or a bit more money/ refinement in the CM range [CM4 / fronts/ CM2 rears/ CMC centre]

    I think the CM series might have a little less bass than the 600's, but only my ears will be able to tell me what is enough, and if things are a bit lightweight, then I've got the option to add a sub. If I do that, then I think the B&W2500 or the RELQ201E will be the best bet.

    Does this seem well balanced? Will these components suit each other? Anyone recommend dealers I should speak to? Will I be able to find a Post Office van to rob in time?! :)
     
  2. Lowrider

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    I would go for 4 CDM 1NT + 1 CDM CNT and a REL Strata III...

    Or 4 CM 2 + 1 CM C and a RELQ201E if the former are over your budget...

    I repeat I think you don´t need large front speakers for music, if you add a good subwoofer wich you need anyway for movies...

    My system:

    TV Loewe Vitros
    DVD Arcam DV88
    AV Tag AV32R-ex
    AMPS Rotel RB-1080 + RB-993
    Speakers Sonus Faber:
    Front Electra Amator II
    Center Solo Home
    Surrounds Concerto Home
    SUB 2 REL Strata III

    Lots of cables... :devil:
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    It is a very well balanced system. You have obviuosly done your homework. You will love something like this. Low rider has some good points but these can resolved at a demo stage

    Good luck with the van...:D
     
  4. RC

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    I think your idea of using 4 x CDM1NT's and a matching centre are a great idea, and only a couple of hundred quid beyond what I was looking at. However, I've got to tell you about the WAF* involved.

    I showed her pics of the B&W stuff at their website last night, and I said how much I thought the wood veneer on the CDM NT range looked first class. Her response went along the lines of... "What's that knob thing sticking out the top?".

    "Err, it's a Nautilus tweeter; it produces an amazing high end to the audio"
    I replied. "Yeah well, it's flippin' ugly and I don't want anything looking like that". So that's sorted that then :rolleyes:

    What I would appreciate is some explanation of the difference between a Rel Strata III and a Q201E - they are very similarly priced. Anyway, thanks for the response guys - it is much appreciated. I'm currently in negotiations with Sevenoaks about the amp and processor, and a whole stack of AV Furniture. This job has to look right, as well as sound right, otherwise 'Internal Audit' is going to give me a dead leg :D

    *Wife Acceptance Factor
     
  5. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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  6. Lowrider

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    She is right too... the center speaker looks BAD... the CMs look much better...

    The Strata has a larger box with the driver facing the floor, easier to integrate and deeper sound, and the cat and the kids will have a tough time getting to it... Plus you get wood veneer finish if the wife likes...
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Strata on quality all the way however if you show the wife the pictures and size of the 200/201 there will be no contest and you will have shot yourself in the foot again.:)
     
  8. RC

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    Thanks guys :)

    I'm back in the UK over Christmas so I'll let you know how I get on with my speaker choices. Best wishes.
     
  9. Reiner

    Reiner
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    I guess you are aware that there are enough choices when it comes to speakers.
    The 6 series is IMHO more suitable for budget to mid-price systems so B&W might be out (if the CDM's don't pass the WAF) - though of course you could upgrade them later.

    However, check out ProAc, Dynaudio and Focus Audio, they all do make fine speakers for most budgets.
     
  10. ngsm

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    Buy Sonus Faber speakers, 4 concerto, for example, and you'll have WAF for sure.
    And they're great speakers.
     
  11. Lowrider

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    If you show her the Sonus Faber you will have to buy them, it happened to me... But don´t worry, they sound great too... :devil:
     
  12. RC

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    Well, I've had a listen to the B&W CM's today and I was very impressed with the quality of sound coming out of the CM2's. I guess I've always been biased to floorstanders up until now. The CM4's were pretty good to, but I have to be honest and say that they didn't grab me by the throat and drag me to the sales counter.

    Of course, this could be due to the fairly long run in period they need, or the grotty listening facilities, but they have left me with more question marks than answers. So, I'm thinking about the other options available to me. Perhaps try to persuade the wife that an "ugly knob" might not be such a disaster, or to look at other ranges.
     
  13. Lowrider

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    Now that you realised that bigger doesn´t mean better ;) you should be looking for speakers like the CDM 1NT, Sonus Faber Concerto or similar quality to match your remaining choices, they will sound way better than what you have been listening to, and with the REL sub you won´t miss any bass...

    Do listen to the Sonus Faber Concertos (great WAF) and compare them with the CDM, and of course those Reiner sugested, all speakers sound a little different (if they sound too different there may be a problem), so our cup of tea won´t be yours...

    Keep it simple, two drivers and 1 cubic foot boxes (don´t forget the stands), more than this will mean compromises, at least in this price range. Also metalic tweeters will be brighter and more fatiguing (for many people)...

    Enjoy your auditions...
     
  14. fabryuk

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    Hi, Go for the CDM NT series, if movies is more important to u, buy the CDM SNT rather than using 1NT as rear. Also, if u buy CM series, I don't think it will show the full potential of your amp. Try ProAc studio 125, or S Faber, as mention above. Remember about upgrade potential when buying speaker, ie same model that does surround speaker as well. Unless of course if u are noly interested in DVD audio, then any speaker could be used as rear.

    I know it sounds silly, I have a question to ask. Do u think when buying a sub, does it need to buy same brand/model to ensure tonal match??

    RC BTW, I am actually going for the same reoute as yours, but I don't have the budget yet.


    MY system
    Toshiba 210
    Denon 3802
    Mission 2 pairs 77DS
    Triangle front and centre speaker
     
  15. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Don't forget to tonally match (terms I am not happy with) speakers, the speakers need to be identical. i.e. All KEF Q15s not a mixture of say Q15s and Q35s with a Q95. Using the same drive units will help but the only way to get proper matching is to use the same. This holds true for a sub which (always) uses different amplification and drive units. I would not worry about using a sub from different makes. It is not an issue.
     
  16. RC

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    Well, I've finally bit the bullet and bought my kit. I'll give a list of kit and then the reasoning for getting what I did. I did my shopping in Audio-T in West Hampstead, London, as they had a good range of speakers for me to try out.

    TAG AV32R processor with PLII option
    Primare A30.5 power amp
    PMC TB1 floorstanders
    PMC centre to accompany
    2 KEF eggs for rears
    Nordost interconnects and VDH speaker canle
    REL Q150E sub
    Soundstyle equipment rack for TV and hifi kit

    I set myself a notional budget and managed to exceed it by £300, so I think I did quite well for my money, especially as they have a really good sale on right now - as an example, the processor cost £2022 instead of £2380.

    Anyway, speakers. I listened to the CDM 1NT's and they were more of the same as the CM's. The sound was quite harsh at the top end and the music sounded veiled. Next I listened to som ProAc's which were very good, but had a silk tweeter which gave a fairly laid back top end. Then I tried the PMC's. WOW! :D Sharper top end, deeper bass, fast and responsive, wonderful clarity. I was going to listen to some Dnaudio's next,but the salesperson said they would be much closer to the ProAc's and given my strong and positive reaction to the PMC's, we went for them.

    I had intended to get a Rotel RMB-1075 amp, but the salesperson advised that my speakers and processor were capable of far more sonicaly than the Rotel would be able to feed them and suggested the Primare. I was really uncomfortable with this as it is a huge step up in price, so asked that they play something akin to the Rotel in it's place so I had some kind of comparitive. Lots of trust being used on my part....

    We listened to a high end Arcam stereo unit (can't remember the model) and it was good, but sounded 'watered down' next to the Primare. Time to compromise somewhere as I don't have endless money to throw at this. The PMC's for rears seemed a bit over the top, as music is my main desire rather than movies, so in came the KEF eggs and a big saving. The main problem with the PMC rears is putting them on a stand with two boisterous daughters in my house and I was worried they'd get knoecked over. So I clawed some money back on the KEFs, as with the sub. I'd originally thought about the REL Strata III's, but they are a big box and the PMC's are not weak in this area. So we rounded down to the little Q150E to do some bass fill in work and give a more rounded sound.

    All rounded off by good interconnects and cables (OK, speaker cable to the eggs was cheap, but I am not a cinephile purist and am not overly worried about the effects sounds). And to make the whole lot aesthetically pleasing, matching stands. Can't wait for it to arrive in Belgium. :D :D
     
  17. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Wow, that was quick. Congrats to your system and enjoy!
     
  18. RC

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    I wanted to get everything sorted out while I was here in the UK - there aren't so many hifi dealers in Belgium where I live, and they don't seem to have the range of products that some of the UK dealers do. And my attitude is, when you've heard something that you are happy with, why wait? There may always be something that sounds a bit better, or is it a bit more of a bargain, but you never know when that is going to be.

    Hopefully, when I get my hands on this lot in a couple of weeks time. I will still have the same attitude and not be disappointed ;)

    Best wishes for a New Year to all, and thanks for the help that has been offered on the forum.
     
  19. Reiner

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    >And my attitude is, when you've heard something that you are happy with, why wait?

    Yep, same way I see it. Make your homework, shortlist some equipment, demo it and buy what you think suits your ears and wallet best!


    >Location: Belgium, land of great beer

    Location: Germany, land of the greatest beer ;)


    Happy New Year!
     
  20. RC

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    ....except the last bit ;)

    Still, I think we can agree it's not England. :eek:
     
  21. Lowrider

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    Congratulations on your system, I am sure you will enjoy it very much... :D

    I think you will end up buying the TB1s for the rear too, after you listen to a few DVD concerts... (With the eggs, you will not be able to set the crossover properly, they don´t go down much from 120 hz... and it will sound weird)...

    Get the extra TB1s and set the Tag´s crossover to 50 hz using only the low connection on the REL...
     
  22. RC

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    I'm sure you are right Antonio, and it's always something to bear in mind for the future. But I did a fair amount of budget stretching, especially when I bought the Primare amp over the Rotel - that's a jump of about £1000, so some sacrifices had to be made, and I thought the rears were the best place to do it. That's especially true when I consider the fact that I have never listened to any music in surround mode yet. I'm sure I did the right thing to focus my money on doing the things which are really important to me right now, rather than spreading the money thinly to cover stuff that I might not even be into later on.

    I've got a feeling that the next investment to improve my listening enjoyment will be a new house, rather than new speakers ;) In all honesty, I don't think the size of my living room right now really requires, the extra sound that the PMC rears will offer, and I'd be very worried about my children knocking them over. I can simply move the 'eggs' into and out of position as and when I need them.

    However, right now, at this moment in time, I've got this cosy feeling inside that I'm a very lucky man - 1) to be able to afford this lot, and 2) to have a wife who understands the benefits of doing it.
     
  23. Lowrider

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    Don´t worry with me, I am just being picky... :devil:

    You started much better than I did 6 months ago, I started with the speakers, TV and DVD right, but with a receiver, only to realise that it wouldn´t do justice to the rest of the system, I came a long way from there, and it is also fun to upgrade when things allow...

    You are right that the rear speakers are the less important piece, enjoy your system...

    Happy 2002... :)
     

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