B&W 602 S2 -> Mirage OS3 FS....Yikes, what have I done! Now what? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently moved and unfortunately my B&W 602's were just a little too big for their location so I decided to get something slimmer to better fit in. They flank a fireplace with the TV above it.

So after lots of online research (mistake number 1), I decided to go with the Mirage OS3 FS speakers and I sold my B&W set the day before I got the OS3's (mistake number 2). The Mirage speakers had lots of good reviews and I am using the Nanosat Prestige ones in the back so I figured it was a good idea. Plus I found them for 50% off so what the hell.

Well last night the OS3's arrived and after getting them set-up and running the audio calibration (Pioneer SC-05), I sat down to listen to them. They certainly looked great, nice and slim and match the tv perfectly, but they sound like crap. Ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but they are NOTICEABLY worse than my 602's.

I'm not an audio guy so I don't know the correct terms to use, but generally they just sound "dead". The spoken voices are quite and not very clear and the mid to low's are also very dead and muted sounding. They are also not loud, I had to crank up the volume and then it just sounded loud and dead. (PS - Don't have a center, use a phantom center) The 602's were crystal clear on speech and pretty much anything I played. The mids and lows were powerful and the sound really felt good! They just sounded alive and encompassing, these just sound muted, dead, and boring!

I tried to watch TV and they sounded almost as bad as the built in tv speakers. So then I put in Gladiator (have this movie memorized) and used the opening scene to test it out. Needless to say that I was VERY disappointed. They worked, but they didn't sound alive or interesting. The 602's make you feel like you are standing in the middle of the field. The OS3's, just kind of make noises.

So basically, can I expect any sort of improvement in the sound after a break in period? How long?

Unless these really open up after break in, looks like these are getting sold and I am either going to Paradigm Studio 60's, B&W CM7's, or B&W 683's. Any thoughts on these three? (And yes this time, I will listen to them before buying)
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 06:18 AM
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Honestly, I doubt the Mirages will sound much better after the "break in". I think your biggest mistake, as you said, was "mistake number 1", which was listening to a lot of people's opinions and "reviews".

No doubt people online are trying to be helpful, but more likely than most, people are just going to recommend what they own and trying to hype up to themselves that they made a good purchase. Simple as that.

While it's good to read other people's opinions, they should really only be used for learning about different speakers for you to check them out. You always need to demo any pair yourself before considering buying them.

As with your case now, you can wait and see if the Mirages improve any over time, but definitely demo the new ones if you are going to make a switch.

With regards to the B&Ws, the CM line is generally more "detailed" and slightly "bright", in my opinion, while the 68X line is "warmer" and more "muscular". The CM line with a good sub is probably "better" for my tastes, but they are also more expensive. The 68X line packs more value, but with the 683s, you are going to have issues with the matching HTM61 center, unless you can use another 683.

If you liked the 602 s2, you might as well consider the 685s instead. Then you won't have to deal with the off-axis dispersion of problems of the HTM61 as the matching center for the 685s is the HTM62 which is fine.

If you're staying with the "phantom center" though, then it's not even an issue. Best, however, is to listen to all these speakers first and buy what you like best at the price you want to pay.
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The way my set-up is, I won't have a center. Honestly, I thought that not having a center would be a major problem, but the 602's did such a good job without it that I never "felt" like I was missing something. I only now realize how much I really liked them, they were fantastic.

While the large bookshelf were fine, this time around I really want the floor standing ones. The 684's are unfortunately deeper so looks like I just need to decided between the 683's or the CM7's, they are the same footprint.

Also want to check out the Studio 60's just to compare.

BTW - These are mostly used for TV, Movies and Wii. We never listen to just music on these, it's a family room.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

I recently moved and unfortunately my B&W 602's were just a little too big for their location so I decided to get something slimmer to better fit in. They flank a fireplace with the TV above it.

So after lots of online research (mistake number 1), I decided to go with the Mirage OS3 FS speakers and I sold my B&W set the day before I got the OS3's (mistake number 2). The Mirage speakers had lots of good reviews and I am using the Nanosat Prestige ones in the back so I figured it was a good idea. Plus I found them for 50% off so what the hell.

Well last night the OS3's arrived and after getting them set-up and running the audio calibration (Pioneer SC-05), I sat down to listen to them. They certainly looked great, nice and slim and match the tv perfectly, but they sound like crap. Ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but they are NOTICEABLY worse than my 602's.

I'm not an audio guy so I don't know the correct terms to use, but generally they just sound "dead". The spoken voices are quite and not very clear and the mid to low's are also very dead and muted sounding. They are also not loud, I had to crank up the volume and then it just sounded loud and dead. (PS - Don't have a center, use a phantom center) The 602's were crystal clear on speech and pretty much anything I played. The mids and lows were powerful and the sound really felt good! They just sounded alive and encompassing, these just sound muted, dead, and boring!

I tried to watch TV and they sounded almost as bad as the built in tv speakers. So then I put in Gladiator (have this movie memorized) and used the opening scene to test it out. Needless to say that I was VERY disappointed. They worked, but they didn't sound alive or interesting. The 602's make you feel like you are standing in the middle of the field. The OS3's, just kind of make noises.

So basically, can I expect any sort of improvement in the sound after a break in period? How long?

Unless these really open up after break in, looks like these are getting sold and I am either going to Paradigm Studio 60's, B&W CM7's, or B&W 683's. Any thoughts on these three? (And yes this time, I will listen to them before buying)

post some pictures, im thinking your in need of some room treatments.
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

post some pictures, im thinking your in need of some room treatments.

To a certain extent you might be right. The room is open on the left and back left corner and the tv and speakers are at the front left corner at a 45 degree angle to the room. The set-up is nowhere near optimal, but it's the best I could do given the room design. I have two smaller windows down the right wall with some cloth curtains, but that's about it.

I don't want to downplay the important for room furnishings, but comparing apples to apples and the 602's had no issues whatsoever in the room.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post


I don't want to downplay the important for room furnishings, but comparing apples to apples and the 602's had no issues whatsoever in the room.

you went form a real speaker to a lifestyle speaker so its a totaly new ball game.
do you have a sub?
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post #7 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

you went form a real speaker to a lifestyle speaker so its a totaly new ball game.
do you have a sub?

Nooooooooooooo! I wanna go back to "real" speakers!!!!
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

Nooooooooooooo! I wanna go back to "real" speakers!!!!

try to demo the studio 60's in piano black. then get back to me
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

try to demo the studio 60's in piano black. then get back to me

I take that as a nod in favor of the 60's?

Back in the day when I was buying the 602's, I demo'd both the B&W's and the Paradigms, but I could not afford the Studio so I went with B&W for the money. Now that I can buy the Studio 60's, I am actually really excited to demo them again and see how they compare.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

I take that as a nod in favor of the 60's?

Back in the day when I was buying the 602's, I demo'd both the B&W's and the Paradigms, but I could not afford the Studio so I went with B&W for the money. Now that I can buy the Studio 60's, I am actually really excited to demo them again and see how they compare.

Just don't do what osofast240sx did and demo the Signature line though.
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post #11 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hehehehe. I have yet to tell the wife that the $600 speakers are being upgraded to $2K ones....the Signature might be a killer for me
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 10:45 AM
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They are not going to get better with break-in. But if they don't sound better a lot better than the TV speakers, then you have seriously messed up the settings and placement. If you want to see what they can actually do, set them up more in the middle of the room, about 8 feet apart, and sit 6-8 feet away from them. That will remove a lot of the room effects.

Then get the sub crossover working right. (You have a sub, right?)

Your mistake wasn't reading other people's reviews. It was the way you read them, and your assumption that those people were coming from the same place you were and wanted the same things you did.

Did you happen to ask here first? I'd have thought people would have discouraged the switch pretty quickly.
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Just got back from a shop nearby after listening to the 684's and CM7's. Both sounded great!!! Just like I am used to hearing from the 602's and better, but hard to tell from a showroom. The sound was just so pleasant and familiar, I really like both of them.

Now to the decision on which one to get between the 684 and CM7. (The 683 is a bit bigger and I need a smaller footprint). I genuinely likes both speakers very much. As I switched between the two, I actually had a pretty hard time noticing the difference. After watching the same scene 5 times, the only thing that could come up with was that the CM7's have a deeper bass and "maybe" just a bit brighter tweeter. But honestly, to me, both sounded maybe 95% the same. Given how the CM7's are practically twice the price, am I missing something or are the 684's just that good a deal?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Then get the sub crossover working right. (You have a sub, right?)

Your mistake wasn't reading other people's reviews. It was the way you read them, and your assumption that those people were coming from the same place you were and wanted the same things you did.

Did you happen to ask here first? I'd have thought people would have discouraged the switch pretty quickly.

Yes I had a sub.

You are probably right, I just went with what looked good and it was a bad decision all around.
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

. After watching the same scene 5 times, the only thing that could come up with was that the CM7's have a deeper bass and "maybe" just a bit brighter tweeter. But honestly, to me, both sounded maybe 95% the same. Given how the CM7's are practically twice the price, am I missing something or are the 684's just that good a deal?

These are both great speakers, I would go with CM5s myself, but from reading your comment it appears you are auditioning with DVDs or something?

IMO, big mistake, speakers should be judged with music.

Ron
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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These will be used for Home Theater and we never use them for music which is why I was using a DVD. It gave me a better test since that's what we'll be using them at home. If I put in music, I won't be able to judge since I am not a music buff.
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

These will be used for Home Theater and we never use them for music which is why I was using a DVD. It gave me a better test since that's what we'll be using them at home. If I put in music, I won't be able to judge since I am not a music buff.

I still disagree, but you have good taste.

Ron
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post #18 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 11:25 AM
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These will be used for Home Theater and we never use them for music which is why I was using a DVD. It gave me a better test since that's what we'll be using them at home. If I put in music, I won't be able to judge since I am not a music buff.

Since this is the how you are going to use the speakers, I would recommend you save your money and go for the 684s. The CM7s are (imo) a much better speaker, especially for music, but since you are not hearing much difference in your auditions I'd advise against needlessly spending the extra money.
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post #19 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I should have just followed my initial impressions and like of B&W and gone that route from the beginning. Ohhh well lesson learned.

I am still going to demo the Studio 60's today, but the dealer almost laughed at me when I told him that I was comparing them to the CM7's. He said it's not even close and that the CM7's are a league above in both quality and fit & finish. So unless I hear something amazing from the Studio 60's, looks like I am going back to B&W.

The decision between the 684 and CM7 has me thinking. While I admit the difference heard from the DVD in the showroom was not great, I did notice a difference nonetheless. Money-wise, I have a hard time justifying the price difference, but when I think about the time that I will own them (>10 years), it makes me want to go for the better CM7's. Aesthetically, I don't really like the full height grill of the 684 (looks cheap) and the black face (I want Wenge color) also doesn't look good. The CM7 on the other hand is fully Wenge and looks amazing with the grill off. Lastly, I got a good price selling my old speakers so I wouldn't even need to add much to get the CM7's.

Are we not allowed to talk prices here? If so, can someone PM me what I should expect to pay for the CM7's? How much off retail is reasonable to get?

Thanks for the help!
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post #20 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

I should have just followed my initial impressions and like of B&W and gone that route from the beginning. Ohhh well lesson learned.

I am still going to demo the Studio 60's today, but the dealer almost laughed at me when I told him that I was comparing them to the CM7's. He said it's not even close and that the CM7's are a league above in both quality and fit & finish. So unless I hear something amazing from the Studio 60's, looks like I am going back to B&W.

The decision between the 684 and CM7 has me thinking. While I admit the difference heard from the DVD in the showroom was not great, I did notice a difference nonetheless. Money-wise, I have a hard time justifying the price difference, but when I think about the time that I will own them (>10 years), it makes me want to go for the better CM7's. Aesthetically, I don't really like the full height grill of the 684 (looks cheap) and the black face (I want Wenge color) also doesn't look good. The CM7 on the other hand is fully Wenge and looks amazing with the grill off. Lastly, I got a good price selling my old speakers so I wouldn't even need to add much to get the CM7's.

Are we not allowed to talk prices here? If so, can someone PM me what I should expect to pay for the CM7's? How much off retail is reasonable to get?

Thanks for the help!

i only recomend the 60's because of space issues. i thought you wanted a smaller foot print? cm7's are nice.
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post #21 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

i only recomend the 60's because of space issues. i thought you wanted a smaller foot print? cm7's are nice.

the CM7's, 684's and 60's all have the exact same footprint. 200mm by 300mm. actually the CM7's are 200x280 which will help a bit. i hate that i am limited by space, but the left speaker is in a weird spot next to the wall.
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post #22 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 12:37 PM
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You are probably right, I just went with what looked good and it was a bad decision all around.

That phrase can be applied both to speakers and marriages...

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aka TRIAD DUDE

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post #23 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 01:24 PM
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That phrase can be applied both to speakers and marriages...

tell me about it
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post #24 of 31 Old 01-21-2010, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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So I went to my local guy to listen to the Studio 60's and I also really liked them. Unfortunately they did not have any B&W's open to do a side by side comparison, but they sounded great. I listened to them for about 15 min and then made the following decision.

I really liked the CM7's and am used to B&W's so I didn't want to make this any more difficult than it has to be. My wife really liked the look of the CM series versus the 684 and I wanted the CM7's anyway. If I was going for the 684's then I would definitely have taken the time with the 60's, but I just feel like the CM7's are a step above and I just liked everything about them. After a two minute conversation about price, the dealer gave me a great price and it was ordered. I went for the Rosenut color.

Now hopefully I get them quick because I can't wait!
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Those Mirages aren't up against the wall are they? Being omnipolar they need to be pulled out away from the walls some.
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post #26 of 31 Old 01-27-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Got my CM7's yesterday...and boy are the nice. I like everything about them! They sound great! They look fantastic! Major WAF! I am keeping the covers off since they are just too pretty to cover up.

Thanks guys!
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-27-2010, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW, as I mentioned before, I don't have space below the TV for a center speaker due to the fireplace. What is the smallest B&W center that I can use above the tv for the center speaker? The CM Center 2 is entirely too big.
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post #28 of 31 Old 11-13-2012, 03:43 PM
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Well that was a huge mistake of yours as well, expecting to get a quality speaker experience with no center channel, eeeek. And That means your using $600 worth of speakers and your not even running Dolby Digital, DTS, ugh my head hurts at the thought.
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post #29 of 31 Old 11-13-2012, 03:50 PM
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BTW these speakers are designed for at least a full 5.1 set up, not a stereo speaker set up, so you won't get a good experience using them as stereo speakers, did you mention whether or not you even had a subwoofer? If you don't well that's a huge problem, if you do, you probably have it all set up so the speakers handle most of the lows instead of the sub which is it's job.

Eeek my head hurts now thinking about this whole set up.
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post #30 of 31 Old 11-13-2012, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpr80 View Post

BTW, as I mentioned before, I don't have space below the TV for a center speaker due to the fireplace. What is the smallest B&W center that I can use above the tv for the center speaker? The CM Center 2 is entirely too big.

In my experience if you have (very) good RL front speakers, particularly ones with good imaging like the CM series, then going with a phantom center is preferable than going with a poor quality or mis-matched center speaker.

In my old HT setup I had a less than optimal center because of space constraints and things improved a lot when I finally disconnected the center and went to a 4.1 setup (RL fronts, surrounds and sub). Of course you need to re-calibrate - Audyssey, etc.- if your receiver has that function. (BTW, I probably wouldn't recommend this for lesser quality front RL speakers.)
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