Help me find the right on-wall speakers for me - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 83 Old 06-20-2008, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been skimming lots of threads here. I thought I'd pose my particular question/goal to you speaker gurus and see what I can learn.

I am getting a new Pioneer 151. I am thinking of replacing my Signet bookshelves with on-wall speakers for a couple of reasons. It would allow me to mount the tv closer to eye level and give me more LR separation. It would also clean up a cluttered part of the room.

The speakers would have to be mounted above ear level (see picture below). So I need something that will do okay in that situation. I'll be buying a L-C-R and using my signet surrounds for now. I'd like to stay under $1000. If I find a truly magic set of speakers, I'd go as high as $2000 - but that's a stretch for me.

I'll be listening to as many as I can this weekend. Things I'll be trying to check out include:
BG 17i
Totem
Paradigm Millenia
Monitors

When I've listened to speakers before, they've all started to run together for me. The speakers that made me stop in my tracks and imprinted themselves in my memory were Martin Logan electrostats. They're impossible for my situation - but I'm hoping there's some on-walls out there that hit me that way. (They're definitely not the ML on-walls)

The speakers I'm most excited about listening to are the BGs - but it's hard to find much info on them. Anybody here ever heard them? Any opinions?

Any suggestions?

Added note: My room is as challenging as it gets for audio. (see picture below) My floors are wood with no rugs (roommate's allergies), the room has inlets and outlets, and perhaps worst of all, the speakers are 15' away from my main listening position but only 3-4' apart. Placing them on the walls will give me 6' of separation.

Here's the picture of the wall the plasma will be on. I would put the left speaker on that beam and the right speaker near the window.

Thanks in advance for all help!
LL
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post #2 of 83 Old 06-20-2008, 11:49 PM
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I am on the same boat as you listening to on-walls for new condo and I have listened at the following speakers:

Martin Logan Fresco I
Dali Mentor LCR
Paradigm Millenia
Triad Bronze, Silver, and Gold

I wanted to get some speakers that would have matching in-ceiling ones for the rears but the one I liked the best, which were the Triad Golds were just too expensive. I had budgeted around $1000 per speaker but they are still more than that. Hopefully next weekend I can get to audition the Magnepan MMGW and MMGC which I was told were very good and cheaper than most. The dealer that sells them told me that Mirage Omnicans would match well with the Maggies so we shall see. I would have to get an external amp to power the maggies but that shouldn't be a problem.
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post #3 of 83 Old 06-21-2008, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Any other takers?
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post #4 of 83 Old 06-21-2008, 09:19 AM
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Hello Vashti

I went to a gentleman's home to pick up some stands a few years ago, and he had gone through some changes to his system as he explained to me...More of a down grade, from separates to AVR, small monitors from floor standing ones. He had a version of these B&W http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/displa...fid=1480&sc=ht . I'm not sure what are the difference but look similar, well the center seemed longer with two mid drivers...

Well my whole point is with an Arcam AVR, and these B&W speakers I was very impress.
The sound coming out of these tiny monitor was as I remember lush, none harsh, and it filled the room which was not that small in NYC standars at River Side Drive in the mid 90's...Well the sub help.

Hope it helps towards a direction.

Good look


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post #5 of 83 Old 06-21-2008, 12:51 PM
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Vash, great deal on these RBH. http://www.rbhsound.com/wm30.shtml

They make great stuff and are closing out their silver onwalls. MSRP was $600 each. Emptek has them for 80% off brand new etc..

It could leave you with about $500 to put towards a sub or room treatments which will have a much bigger impact on the sound of your system.
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post #6 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, y'all. Djoel, that link seems to be dead. Bruins, I"m going to try to find those rbhs to audition - though sadly, the silver won't work for me. I will be mounting them next to a piano black plasma.

I did some good auditioning yesterday. I used Audra McDonald's album Happy Songs (See What I Wanna See), Janice Ian's Breaking Silence (All Roads To The River, His Hands, Walking on Sacred Ground), and Wynton Marsalis' Live In Swing City (Happy Go Lucky Local and Bli Blip) For Home Theater, I used chapter 4 in The House of Flying Daggers. I certainly do love the speakers with ribbon tweeters, though they're a bit pricey. I listened to the BG 17is and loved them immediately. Sadly, their MSRP has been raised from $500 to $750 each. I'm waiting to see if I can find a deal. But they're very sweet. The dealer had me AB them with a set of Monitor towers. There were some things that the towers could do that the 17is couldn't. It was a clearer sound with more bass. But then again, I won't be mounting towers next to my plasma. But the 17is just had this incredibly vibrant sound that was great, especially on vocals. (I listen mostly to vocal jazz.)

Then I went to another dealer where I auditioned the Kef 6000s, Monitor on-walls, Gallo, and Dali. I wanted to love the Monitor because the price point was fabulous, but I didn't. The Kef definitely blew them away. I loved the Dali best of all. He didn't have on-walls hooked up so I listened to bookshelf speakers. The dealer said that the sound was very similar to the on-wall plus a sub-woofer (which I have). Is that likely to be true? I LOVED the Dalis. But they turned out to be way out of my price range ($1100/speaker = $3300). I guess I'm learning that I like the ribbon tweeter. That's useful info. What I liked best about the Kefs is that they seemed the most forgiving of room set-up. They sounded good everywhere in the room. They did AMAZING things with the scene from House of Flying Daggers. These may be a good choice for my odd shaped room with speakers mounted above ear level.

Today, I'm off to listen to Totem and B&W. I'll be looking for those RBHs as well. I know B & H carries them. I'll see if they have them on their floor.

Any and all advice from you guys is much appreciated! Thanks.
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post #7 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 09:01 AM
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Link seems to be ok. You could powder coat the RBHs for cheaps. I have a friend that may be doing it. What is your sub? What are the characteristics of your room?

Keep in mind that auditioning speakers at dealers is not foolproof. If the room is different than yours (which it is) its going to sound different when you get it home. The only real audition is in your room with your gear. Anything else has way too many variables. But it sounds like you are off to a good start.
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post #8 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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How does one powder coat speakers?

My sub is a Paradigm 14.

My room is an acoustic nightmare. It is long but unevenly shaped. You can see the picture attached to my first post of the wall that plasma and speakers will be connected to. It's only 73" wide (or 85" if I use that beam) The room is 16.8' long. The main seating area will be 15' back from the TV and speakers. The width is in three chunks. In the first 40% of the room, it is open to a tiny kitchen, making the entire width 15' in that area. Then there is a small bit of room that is only 9' wide, and then it opens back up to 12' wide. The floors are hardwood and we can't have rugs due to roommate's allergies. There are two halls off the room (entry and back to rest of apt) Accoustically, it's pretty challenging.

If it's helpful, I can post a few pics. Let me know, and I will. I'm gonna run now. Gotta go listen.
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post #9 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 09:45 AM
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Well, you can paint them fairly easily. Powder coating is having them done professionally. Its not expensive.

I think the room needs a lot more help. Regardless of what you like the sound of I think its not going to make a big difference considering you are listening to stuff in much different settings and whatever you get is going to get killed by your room. Save your money.

No way to have rugs at all?
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post #10 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vashti View Post

Thanks, y'all. Djoel, that link seems to be dead. Bruins, I"m going to try to find those rbhs to audition - though sadly, the silver won't work for me. I will be mounting them next to a piano black plasma.

I did some good auditioning yesterday. I used Audra McDonald's album Happy Songs (See What I Wanna See), Janice Ian's Breaking Silence (All Roads To The River, His Hands, Walking on Sacred Ground), and Wynton Marsalis' Live In Swing City (Happy Go Lucky Local and Bli Blip) For Home Theater, I used chapter 4 in The House of Flying Daggers. I certainly do love the speakers with ribbon tweeters, though they're a bit pricey. I listened to the BG 17is and loved them immediately. Sadly, their MSRP has been raised from $500 to $750 each. I'm waiting to see if I can find a deal. But they're very sweet. The dealer had me AB them with a set of Monitor towers. There were some things that the towers could do that the 17is couldn't. It was a clearer sound with more bass. But then again, I won't be mounting towers next to my plasma. But the 17is just had this incredibly vibrant sound that was great, especially on vocals. (I listen mostly to vocal jazz.)

Then I went to another dealer where I auditioned the Kef 6000s, Monitor on-walls, Gallo, and Dali. I wanted to love the Monitor because the price point was fabulous, but I didn't. The Kef definitely blew them away. I loved the Dali best of all. He didn't have on-walls hooked up so I listened to bookshelf speakers. The dealer said that the sound was very similar to the on-wall plus a sub-woofer (which I have). Is that likely to be true? I LOVED the Dalis. But they turned out to be way out of my price range ($1100/speaker = $3300). I guess I'm learning that I like the ribbon tweeter. That's useful info. What I liked best about the Kefs is that they seemed the most forgiving of room set-up. They sounded good everywhere in the room. They did AMAZING things with the scene from House of Flying Daggers. These may be a good choice for my odd shaped room with speakers mounted above ear level.

Today, I'm off to listen to Totem and B&W. I'll be looking for those RBHs as well. I know B & H carries them. I'll see if they have them on their floor.

Any and all advice from you guys is much appreciated! Thanks.


Sorry about the dead link, I try it again

Nice read, I'm enjoying this for some strange reason I wish more people would get involved in the purchase of speakers as you are...Strangely enough I was down in Soho yesterday looking at some linestages/Pre's I hear the Totem for the first time, and I was really impress by their agility to convey sound, despite their diminutive size.

Also they where auditioning the some B&W monitors which where small in size, but packed a punch..I was more impress by the Totem that where being push by some integrated tube system that was dirt cheap and beautiful sounding think it was call the DECO? not sure but that thing would make a nice office system..Oh and it had USB connection a big plus these days.
All this was as Stereo Exchange I love that place..I boughht my first Infinity Monitors about 20 years ago..Wow

Yes I'm also a big fan of Ribbon tweeter's, and the airy clean highs that's why I own me some Dali's

They're always some great deals on Audiogon if you don't mind buying gently used speakers.

Good luck Mimi you'll find your perfect on wall speakers.


Daniel
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post #11 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 10:44 AM
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Ribbons are sweet no doubt. Just keep in mind Vash that the sweet spot with ribbon tweets tends to be smaller.
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post #12 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 12:56 PM
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Klipsch Icon XL-23 is very very impressive.

"Did you make 'em fine-ass-soundin' speakers over there what would sound gooder than hell comin' out of the back of my truck-boat-truck?"

-Early Cuyler. Poet Liquoreate
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post #13 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 02:57 PM
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Vashti, what didn't you like about the ML on walls? I have one, also electrostats, as well as conventional dynamic speakers. FYI, BG makes the ATF drivers in ML on walls. Some good pricing can be found if you are ok with used. Here's a pre-owned pair from tsto (Philly, IIRC) for $1.1k
http://www.tsto.com/cgi-bin/TSTO.sto...duct/View/2908

some individual ones at the gon too.

setup is tough there. How many windows do you have in that room? Its really a whole nuther can of worms, but you could do a pull down screen on top of the window for a PJ system, with speakers flanking the window. (Yea, maybe too much, but something to consider).

Or you can do like this AVS moderator, and just cover the window!
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...0&d=1214161207

GL, hope auditions went well.

 

 

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post #14 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruins29 View Post

Vash, great deal on these RBH.

They make great stuff and are closing out their silver onwalls. MSRP was $600 each. Emptek has them for 80% off brand new etc..

It could leave you with about $500 to put towards a sub or room treatments which will have a much bigger impact on the sound of your system.

Thanks for the tip, bruins. Like the OP, I wanted some wall-mounts to go with a plasma. Unlike the OP, I am sadly not going to have time to audition everything under the sun -- much less in my own space. So I just went and picked up three of those RBH WM-30s for $350. Even the shipping is free.

Now I need 80% off a good sub... got any more tips? ;-D
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post #15 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 07:05 PM
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Eagle, I think those RBH on walls are an absolute steal. One call has a $1000 infinity CSW10 for $400 on clearance. Its 600 Watts. Might want to jump on that.
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post #16 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruins29 View Post

Eagle, I think those RBH on walls are an absolute steal. One call has a $1000 infinity CSW10 for $400 on clearance. Its 600 Watts. Might want to jump on that.

I saw that earlier this evening! I thought about it, but:

a) couldn't find any reviews of the sub; and

b) figured if I wait until we move out of state in a few weeks, something else will be on sale, and I won't have to move it.

Anyway, thanks again!

Edit: Whoops, just found the reviews... now I'm tempted again...
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post #17 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruins29 View Post

I think the room needs a lot more help. Regardless of what you like the sound of I think its not going to make a big difference considering you are listening to stuff in much different settings and whatever you get is going to get killed by your room. Save your money.

No way to have rugs at all?

Well, that's pretty much my biggest fear!
Well, right there under global warming.

I couldn't find those RBHs. They weren't at B & H, where I thought they'd be. Can you tell me anything else about what they sound like?

Oh, and no to the rugs. My roommate has allergies. So it's all wood for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Also they where auditioning the some B&W monitors which where small in size, but packed a punch..I was more impress by the Totem that where being push by some integrated tube system that was dirt cheap and beautiful sounding think it was call the DECO? not sure but that thing would make a nice office system..Oh and it had USB connection a big plus these days.
All this was as Stereo Exchange I love that place..I boughht my first Infinity Monitors about 20 years ago..Wow

Yes I'm also a big fan of Ribbon tweeter's, and the airy clean highs that's why I own me some Dali's

They're always some great deals on Audiogon if you don't mind buying gently used speakers.

Good luck Mimi you'll find your perfect on wall speakers.


Daniel

Today, I listened to the Totem Tribes at Stereo Exchange. They were gorgeous. I really loved them - they sounded clear and airy. Vocal jazz was beautiful. They couldn't hook it up to surround, so I could listen to theater only in stereo - but it sounded damn good. I would totally consider them if they weren't $800/pop. Stereo Exchange isn't easy to do business with. They said they can't discount them at all, as their margins are too low and they are the only dealers in the city. They also won't let you audition them at home or return them if you don't like them. The only way I could imagine using these is if I set up two speakers that would create a decent phantom center. But I think I should probably come back to earth and look at things I can "afford."

I have no objection to audiogon at all. I looked today and couldn't find Totem Tribes or the Kef 6000s. They don't have a category of on-wall speakers, which makes it impossible to browse. Any tips?




Quote:
Originally Posted by jostenmeat View Post

Vashti, what didn't you like about the ML on walls? I have one, also electrostats, as well as conventional dynamic speakers. FYI, BG makes the ATF drivers in ML on walls. Some good pricing can be found if you are ok with used.

I'll give them another listen. Thanks!
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post #18 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 09:45 PM
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The speakers that made the most memorable impression during my shopping fever days was the Totem 1. I'm not sure how they sound nowadays but they should be given a serious consideration.
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post #19 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

The speakers that made the most memorable impression during my shopping fever days was the Totem 1. I'm not sure how they sound nowadays but they should be given a serious consideration.

If you are referring to the Model 1 they are a very big stand mount speaker. The OP needs on-walls.
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post #20 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Or perhaps Veda is talking about the Totem Tribe 1. That is the only one I could imagine being within reach. Though rated for a 40 -46" TV, I see no reason it couldn't be paired with a 60" TV, as long as I have a sub.

Any NYers out there have recommendations of places to listen? I've been to BB Magnolia, Cosmophonic Sound, Park Ave. Audio, and Stereo Exchange. There are lots of things I'd like to listen to that I just can't find.
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post #21 of 83 Old 06-22-2008, 11:24 PM
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Sorry, yes I was referring to the Model 1, not The One. It's a small monitor but should be small enough if she wants it on-wall. Darn... now I want to get a Totem again...
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post #22 of 83 Old 06-23-2008, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vashti View Post

Any NYers out there have recommendations of places to listen? I've been to BB Magnolia, Cosmophonic Sound, Park Ave. Audio, and Stereo Exchange. There are lots of things I'd like to listen to that I just can't find.



Try J&R, I doubt they have any fancy stuff but you can never know what might interest you. I know there is another place around Delancy, borderline ChinaTown ? It has some generic name like Video & Audio???, They are Anthem authorized so they are legit outfit. I need to check the Anthem website for an exact name of the place.

Vashtis did you get to hear the B&W? If so what did you think...


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post #23 of 83 Old 06-25-2008, 07:57 PM
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Sound by Singer has Gallo, Era, Leon and James which make on-walls - though I personally think you should keep your bookshelves. Please forgive me for being loquacious in your other post.

Purchasing used (and locally) through Audiogon would also save you probably another 30% after any dealer discount.

Where did you hear the Dalis in Manhattan. I've been thinking about those for a secondary setup?

Happy hunting...
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post #24 of 83 Old 06-26-2008, 06:57 AM
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You can get a listen to Dali speakers at Park Ave. Audio


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post #25 of 83 Old 06-26-2008, 07:37 AM
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Own an ERA D4...amazing low end coming from a small speaker. Well built if i may add, but they're not on walls.

Checked out Leon and they look good looking at the pics but it's kinda pricey
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post #26 of 83 Old 06-26-2008, 08:25 AM
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Era has the flat panel series on walls
http://www.signalpathint.com/index.p...-Panel-Series/
The D3/4/5 get all of the reviews and glory. I haven't seen a review of the PL24/28.

Has anyone mention the PSB's Visionsounds. I could have sworn that they're being discontinued. Maybe they can be found on closeout???

Thanks for the heads up on Park Ave Audio.
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post #27 of 83 Old 06-26-2008, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vashti View Post

Or perhaps Veda is talking about the Totem Tribe 1. That is the only one I could imagine being within reach. Though rated for a 40 -46" TV, I see no reason it couldn't be paired with a 60" TV, as long as I have a sub.

Any NYers out there have recommendations of places to listen? I've been to BB Magnolia, Cosmophonic Sound, Park Ave. Audio, and Stereo Exchange. There are lots of things I'd like to listen to that I just can't find.

Try Lyric HiFi on the upper east side

Manhattan
1221 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10028
Phone: 212-439-1900

http://www.lyricusa.com/equipment/index.htm
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post #28 of 83 Old 06-27-2008, 10:14 AM
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I was thinking about this a little and I had a couple of thoughts:

Only being able to have the stereo speakers ~6' apart ~15' from the listening position, there really isn't much need for a center channel. The spacing isn't wide enough that there would be much need to try to fix the center image to one spot. Going phantom will work just as well, and save more money for better quality speakers.

Typically, many people want wide dispersion, so that the sound coverage is even across a wide listening area. However, in your room (with the 9ft constriction, the close placement to the walls, reflective furnature, 15' of ground to cover before reaching the listening position, etc.), wide dispersion will just create a ton of room reflections- killing imaging. A speaker with 30 (+/- 15) degree dispersion (~8ft of coverage area at 15 feet) with toe in would work better than a speaker with 120 degree dispersion, where the majority of the sound will be reflected. The narrow dispersion (in addition to helping with the room) will also drop off in volume slower over distance than wide dispersion- allowing you to hear it at the listening position without having it blasting (and disturbing the neighbors).

The BG Neo3 tweeter does have fairly narrow dispersion, with the non-PDR version having even narrower horizontal dispersion than the version used in the Z1.

http://www.stereophile.com/standloud...bg/index3.html

I know that it is below your price point and may not have the aesthetics you are looking for.... But maybe take a look at Acculine (made by BG) which have a slightly more directional tweeter than the 17i's you liked. They A1's are tuned to be used close to boundaries- as long as you leave a few inches behind them not to block the port. A number of standard wall mounts should work. An A2 might also work well. Given the price, you could afford to buy a matching surround set up.

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/produ...d4361559a57a08

No speaker in a typical stereo store listening room will sound the same in your room. I would try to get auditions at home (either through ID with return policy or stereo store that offers in-home trials). Going high end with that room set up might be somewhat counter-productive, as the room is obviously the weakest link...
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post #29 of 83 Old 06-29-2008, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, I've been off line for the week, on the road. I'm looking forward to reading all this feedback and will be starting to audition again the end of this week. Next will be Paradigms. Thanks!
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post #30 of 83 Old 07-04-2008, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry guys. I've been out of town and then catching up with work. It seems like bad form to ask a question and disappear. But I do really appreciate all the help. Here are some additional thoughts and answers:

I did a little more auditioning today at BB/Magnolia. I listened to the Def Tech Mythos, Klipsch Icon XB-10 and the Vienna Waltz. I'd listened to the Mythos once before and didn't like them at all. But I thought I should give them a second chance since I already own one (don't ask; it's a long story) My opinion hasn't changed. I really don't like these speakers at all. To my ears, the little Klipsch speakers, at half the price, blew the Mythos away. I liked the Waltzes a lot. Sadly, I could only audition music as I forgot my DVD. The manager who was helping me said he liked the VA a lot for music, but not so much for home theater. I'll go back with my movie and see how they all do with that. I wanted to audition the Martin Logan Frescos and Vignettes, but they weren't hooked up. Just as well. The Frescos are crazy expensive for me.

Next, I'll listen to the Paradigms and whatever else I can easily find. My current frontrunner is the Kef. Of the speakers I've liked, it's the most affordable ($450/speaker for demos) and seems to do well wherever I move in the room - which I think means it's likely to be more forgiving of my little audio hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruins29 View Post

No way to have rugs at all?

Actually, this may be shifting. I've always thought rugs were an absolute no because of roommate's allergies. But she said she'd be willing to try and that she thinks there may be rugs that trap dust mites less. It would have to be a small one, but I guess every little bit helps. (I wish my cats were the same color. Whatever color rug I get, the black hair or the white hair or both will show.)

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Originally Posted by Bruins29 View Post

Ribbons are sweet no doubt. Just keep in mind Vash that the sweet spot with ribbon tweets tends to be smaller.

Interesting. I noticed when I listened to the BGs, they seemed pretty good everywhere in the room - certainly more than my Signet bookshelves. But the kefs did that much better. So does that mean that the ribbon tweeters would be less forgiving of my terrible room?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrandt View Post

Sound by Singer has Gallo, Era, Leon and James which make on-walls - though I personally think you should keep your bookshelves. Please forgive me for being loquacious in your other post.

Purchasing used (and locally) through Audiogon would also save you probably another 30% after any dealer discount.

Thanks. I'm planning a swing by SbyS soon. I tried the other day and caught them as they were closing. But I have to say they have the worst set -up I've ever seen. All of their on-walls are placed in the back in what is basically a wide hallway. You can't get more than a few feet from them. That can't be good.

I'm totally open to Audiogon, but the few times I've tried, they haven't had any of the speakers I've been interested in. It doesn't help that they don't have an on-wall category. I'm not sure which category to look in for these.

Thanks - and to all of you in the US, happy 4th!
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