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Question What's the best package for this space?

cockroach

Member
Hello All,

I would like some advice. I'm looking to upgrade my speaker setup after 10 years with a £350 Pioneer 5.1 package.

As you can see from the pictures, my TV unit does not allow for floor standers. In addition, there is only 13-14cm gap under the TV for the centre, limiting its height. (Left & right of the TV there is ~17cm).

I think getting a 5.1 package would be the easiest option but I'm open to suggestions. Happy to go up to £2,000 - £3,000 if necessary.

For reference I have a 65" TV with a Denon AVR-X1400H and will mostly be watching Netflix, Sky, AppleTV (no Blu-ray, limited gaming).

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living room floor plan.png
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Lovely looking units but they have compromised the positioning of speakers. Something like the KEF T Series would look very good at the side of the TV and would, aesthetically, suit the lines of the unit. How good they would sound, harder to establish.
 

cockroach

Member
Thanks, I'll have a look at this one - it has decent reviews.

What is the compromise on speaker positions? Distance apart?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You will have to put them between the TV and the units, maybe a tad too close but certainly will be better than a soundbar if you're going to go for 5.1. I've mentioned another member who can certainly help @ShanePJ.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Thanks @gibbsy,

Having looked at the room, this one will certainly be a tough one as @gibbsy have mentioned the T-Series is just a fit and its going to be a squeeze around the TV as they're 140mm wide for the left and right plus 140mm for the bottom which is all you have. Now with these you can use white speakers to blend them into the wall, certainly a better option so the cabinet and TV still take pride of place otherwise its going to look really cluttered.

This could cause issues though with reflections off the side of the cabinet though which will have to be part of the compromise if you choose a 5.1 system over a soundbar (which in its self will be a compromise if you choose a soundbar)

Can I ask what it is that your are really looking for regarding style around the room for speakers to give me a little more to go with to, can you get away with deeper speakers or are you wanting very compact speakers which sit high into the room corners?

One other thing, I also see that you have the amp within a cabinet, could I ask you to measure its enclosure to see what could possibly fit within that space, It seems it has a glass shelf too, can this be adjusted?
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
One thing that might be something to look at would be the M&K MP9 Soundbar with the M&K S55T Rears plus Rel T5i Woofer. Now I would recommend using your old electronics as trade-in against everything to save you pennies against these items. I cannot say its expensive (because it is), but quality of this nature always is (It's the type of system where you keep the speakers for many years with only an occasional upgrade on the amp). As for the Amp, once I have the measurements of the cabinet inner space (width, depth, height), I shall be able to recommend one for you :)
 

cockroach

Member
Hi @ShanePJ, thanks for your recommendation.

I'm not sure how well white will blend into the wall as it's Soft Truffle. I was thinking black speakers would be fine.

Reflection off the cabinet is something I am concerned about. I don't know how much of a problem that is given the viewing (listening) position allows for direct line of sight. If you think it makes a noticeable difference, I would have said it's feasible to position the speakers at the front of the glass top. Hence deeper speakers should be fine if that gives me one less compromise.

The shelf can be moved, and I can measure the enclosure if you want, but I was really expecting to avoid upgrading the amp as it's less than 2 years old. Would you not have said the Denon AVR-X1400H is up to the job?

Looking at packages (that fit), I thought the Monitor Audio Apex could be a good option. Not sure if that compromises on the fronts more than I need to - what are your thoughts on that range?

I can potentially shift the TV up a centimetre or two if that opens more doors for the centre.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
The X1400 really is the entry of entry AV Receivers and although it was fine for your last system, you will notice a difference with getting a better amp. You don't need to go daft either as those speakers will work well with many amps. Ordinarily I'd say spend a little more on the amp, but I'd wait until you next wish to upgrade and spend big on the amp to give you a massive difference whilst keeping the same speakers.

The Apex A40 across the front with a pair of Apex A10 for rear duties will be fine, but I'd say you'd have to spend a little more on the amp to make them work as well as the M&K speakers.

As for space within the cabinet. See if you can fit something like the Marantz SR6013 (it will push your budget though), minimum Marantz NR1710. The larger amp will work well with the Apex speakers too if you don't wish to go down the M&K soundbar route plus I've got nothing bad to say about the Apex speakers.

If you go down the M&K or Kef options then the smaller amp is viable and as mentioned, on your next upgrade look at a proper amp (especially if you go with the M&K's)

With reflection, there is not a lot you can do because of the cabinet, so the amp will have to work around the difficulties and this is where a little bit more money makes the difference with the amp. This is why I feel the Soundbar (passive version) option would work very well in your particular situation and as they are designed to sit on a self or close to one, this side will have already been thought of by the manufacturer.

The Kef's are still an option and although not up to the same standard as the M&K or Apex speakers, they would look neat as they are very thin plus they are extremely capable (if you go for the larger option T-205 with two T-301 and a single T-301c speaker at the front)

Some of this is really reliant on you being able to fit that large amp in as the depth and height could be your biggest issue, plus don't forget to add at least 50mm to the depth for cables and 40mm for heat dispersion as you certainly don't wish to fry the amp. Ventilation is the most important thing and without it, it will break
 

cockroach

Member
Let me see if I've got this right:
  • Kef T-205: Best aesthetic choice, OK with my amp, fine with a "small" amp
  • M&K sound bar + S55T: Better with a smaller amp than the Apex A40 would be
  • MA Apex A40 + A10: Best if I can fit a "proper" amp
I have to say while the M&K sounds like a good option for me, it seems counter-intuitive to be spending more (and plus stands) on the rears than the front (three). You've also paired it with the cheapest sub (not to say it's better or worse than the M&K / Apex).

How would, say, MA SB-4 + A10 + AW12 fair compared with the M&K setup? And how much would the SB-4 lose compared to 3 x A40?

The cabinet depth is 385mm and I can probably gain another 25mm for cables if I cut out the back (which is a good idea for ventilation anyway). If this doesn't fit a "proper" amp (at a later date) does this rule out the Apex (or similar)?
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
As a rule, you’ll always get better perform levels from a manufacturer who produces subwoofers and as I was keeping an eye on your budget, the logical sub was the one mentioned

If you have the ability to jump to the M&K one, you will have an excellent system and one that will keep you happy for many years to come

The beauty of M&K is how they design their speakers and unlike many others, their speakers always drop away allowing to you bring the woofer inline with them to create virtually seemless sound.

Even the likes of Monitor Audio who’s speakers are very good are no match to M&K in this arena. So as to how much will be lost will be more about the cabinet hence why I added the M&K / Rel system

Hope that answers your question

As for the depth of your cabinet. I would say no, it’ll just mean a little more hard work when choosing the right type of amp. There is always an option if you look hard enough like the M&K solution
 

cockroach

Member
You're talking about going to a M&K sub (e.g. V8) to match manufacturer? That's not a great deal more expensive vs REL T5i.

Is there anything I can do to compromise on the rears (even omit it for now and use the currents, or would that not work at all) to bring budget to front/sub?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The surround channels do not carry as much information and the front three. If you are happy with the audio you're getting at the moment from the surrounds then you can most certainly keep them in the short term. It will always be better to spend any initial budget on the fronts. It's how I've always gone down the upgrade path.
 

cockroach

Member
@gibbsy I definitely wouldn't say I'm happy with the surrounds however I don't believe I watch much content that benefits hugely from having them. Hence the desire to focus more on the fronts & sub.

@ShanePJ The M&K site lists a couple of models that might have worked for me (MP7, M5) but you show them as no longer available. What's the deal with those?
 

Gasp3621

Well-known Member
The M&K site lists a couple of models that might have worked for me (MP7, M5) but you show them as no longer available. What's the deal with those?
M&K has new models coming soon from those, click on the picture below! M70 (MP7), M50 (M5), M40T (slim tripole surrounds).

Shane forgot to mention REL has HT serie subwoofers which AVO sells too and the price is similar to T serie with better performance for movies. One AVF member had HT/1205 on M&K IW950 system. AVF and HCC reviews for whole serie can be founded if you google.

SVS SB1000 should be mentioned, one of the smallest sealed cab with 12" driver, long amp warranty with superb SVS customer service. Black ash and gloss black finish.

Plenty to choose from..
 

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cockroach

Member
Thanks for the additional info, @Gasp3621. There certainly is plenty to choose from but that also makes the process more difficult x)

I’m a bit confused as to what the available M&K line-up is now.
 

Gasp3621

Well-known Member
Thanks for the additional info, @Gasp3621. There certainly is plenty to choose from but that also makes the process more difficult x)

I’m a bit confused as to what the available M&K line-up is now.
@Rob Sinden probably has first hand information about the new M-serie when they are shipped to dealers (UK) and is there any news about price jump vs. old models? M70 replaces MP7, M50 replaces M5 etc. M&K is already sharing pictures and specifications so it shouldn`t be long now.
 

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