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post #1 of 19 Old 01-09-2012, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,
First post here, I wish I found this forum a few months ago. I am in the process of replacing my center / LR and sub speakers.

On boxing day, I replaced the center speaker with a Klipsch RC-62 (it was about half price). Also, my ultra-cheap Polk sub is being replaced with an SVS-SB12. To complete the current 5.1 setup, I have a couple of Monoprice Kevlar in-wall speakers for the back channel.

Next under the chopping block are the L/R speakers (Infinity IL-10). I always thought these speakers were a very good value, but I think that they are now the weakest link in the chain. They might get re-utilized as side speakers if I ever move to a 7.1 configuration.

Our LR is about 15ft wide x 16ft long, standard 8ft ceiling. We sit ~10 ft from the tv. Receiver is a Pioneer VSX-1015TX. The budget is around $1500-2000 for both L/R speakers.

I am in Canada, so I have easy access to the usual suspects such as Klipsch, Energy, Polk, KEF and, more recently, Martin Logan, via the big box stores. Fancier brands are not a long drive drive away.

I am definitely looking for quality over quantity. Something that would be balanced with the components I have now, with the possible exception of the receiver, which might get upgraded as well. We listen to about 50% music, and 50% between movies and tv shows.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-09-2012, 06:40 PM
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Since you just bought a new Klipsch center channel, you need to stick with the Klipsch L/R speakers that match. It's important for the front three speakers to timber match to have a smooth front sound stage.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Since you just bought a new Klipsch center channel, you need to stick with the Klipsch L/R speakers that match. It's important for the front three speakers to timber match to have a smooth front sound stage.

Thanks for replying. How hard and fast a rule is that all front speakers should be from the same manufacturer / class. I am honestly curious... I can understand matching efficiency, though i thought mcacc would help even with that aspect.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaDelGato View Post

Thanks for replying. How hard and fast a rule is that all front speakers should be from the same manufacturer / class. I am honestly curious... I can understand matching efficiency, though i thought mcacc would help even with that aspect.

IMO (and through experience) the front matching is not a hard and fast rule, rather a soft suggestion. While understanding timbre matching, etc., it is more than reasonable to achieve excellent results with non-matched center speakers to the L/R speakers. Adding a more dynamic center speaker (like Klipsch, Paradigm and others) to existing L/R speakers that are maybe less dynamic but more "musical" is often a very good option.

A receiver's (processor's) room correction will help balance the output and then tweaking the set-up manually may even improve.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaDelGato View Post

Thanks for replying. How hard and fast a rule is that all front speakers should be from the same manufacturer / class. I am honestly curious... I can understand matching efficiency, though i thought mcacc would help even with that aspect.

IMO I would never mix speaker brands or model lines of the front 3 speakers. Speakers from the same brand and model line "should" be timbre matched. Basically this means if a sound pans from Left to Center to Right it should sound seemless. Exactly the same across the front sound stage just at different directions.

When you mix speakers there are several things that can "ruin" the sound: non-timbre matching, different efficiencies, different driver sizes and materials, different crossovers, etc..........

Shawn
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

IMO (and through experience) the front matching is not a hard and fast rule, rather a soft suggestion. While understanding timbre matching, etc., it is more than reasonable to achieve excellent results with non-matched center speakers to the L/R speakers. Adding a more dynamic center speaker (like Klipsch, Paradigm and others) to existing L/R speakers that are maybe less dynamic but more "musical" is often a very good option.

A receiver's (processor's) room correction will help balance the output and then tweaking the set-up manually may even improve.

Thanks for your comments, which sum up what was my thinking as well. We used a different center speaker in our setup for years, and never drove us crazy, except that the central speaker quality was so poor it made speech a bit hard to understand at times.

I was looking at the Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL, as I always loved electrostatic speakers, since first listening to some Quad speakers, about 30 years ago...

I must find a place where I can listen to them. A big box store has started carrying ML here in Canada, but they do not seem to have the EM ESL in any of the locations I visited; though they are available online.

Would you recommend looking at any other speakers, given my situation?

Sorry if this is not strictly a speaker question, but would the Pioneer 1015tx be way of its league once I complete the speaker upgrade?
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 05:34 PM
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I also like electrostatic speakers and the ML EM ESL are very nice. Two things with electrostatics; 1. Placement is critical and 2. Usually require more powerful amplifiers.

The 1015TX would be challenged driving the EM ESL.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaDelGato View Post

Thanks for your comments, which sum up what was my thinking as well. We used a different center speaker in our setup for years, and never drove us crazy, except that the central speaker quality was so poor it made speech a bit hard to understand at times.

You'd be surprised, though. I've been there, and done that. Started like you with a completely mismatched L/R & C, and then ended up with a somewhat matching center in the same line as the L/R, and finally the match designed to go with the front L/R. Each step was a significant improvement for HT usage. It would be worth your time and effort to demo the matching speakers if you can buy them locally and return them if you don't like them.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You'd be surprised, though. I've been there, and done that. Started like you with a completely mismatched L/R & C, and then ended up with a somewhat matching center in the same line as the L/R, and finally the match designed to go with the front L/R. Each step was a significant improvement for HT usage. It would be worth your time and effort to demo the matching speakers if you can buy them locally and return them if you don't like them.

I will definitely try an all-Klipsch solution as well before taking a decision. I guess the RF-62 would be the natural complement for the RC-62. Now that I think about it, I could actually still return the RC-62 if it ever comes to that. Have to confess I not as fussy about things like stage, timbre when watching movies. I care a great deal more when I listen to music, in which case I'd rather have the best L/R speakers I can.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-10-2012, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

I also like electrostatic speakers and the ML EM ESL are very nice. Two things with electrostatics; 1. Placement is critical and 2. Usually require more powerful amplifiers.

The 1015TX would be challenged driving the EM ESL.

That's what I thought... Gives me an excuse to upgrade the amplifier I guess.
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-11-2012, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post


IMO (and through experience) the front matching is not a hard and fast rule, rather a soft suggestion. While understanding timbre matching, etc., it is more than reasonable to achieve excellent results with non-matched center speakers to the L/R speakers. Adding a more dynamic center speaker (like Klipsch, Paradigm and others) to existing L/R speakers that are maybe less dynamic but more "musical" is often a very good option.

A receiver's (processor's) room correction will help balance the output and then tweaking the set-up manually may even improve.

First time, ever, I've heard this rule be called a soft suggestion.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-11-2012, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaDelGato View Post

To complete the current 5.1 setup, I have a couple of Monoprice Kevlar in-wall speakers for the back channel.

Do you mean the surround channels? These should be positioned to the sides of the listeners, or slightly behind.
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-11-2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaDelGato View Post

I will definitely try an all-Klipsch solution as well before taking a decision. I guess the RF-62 would be the natural complement for the RC-62. Now that I think about it, I could actually still return the RC-62 if it ever comes to that. Have to confess I not as fussy about things like stage, timbre when watching movies. I care a great deal more when I listen to music, in which case I'd rather have the best L/R speakers I can.

In that case, I'd also recommend auditioning a couple of good Canadian speaker lines, Paradigm and PSB. While there, listen to the matching center, before your return runs out on the Klipsch. Both of them carry speakers in your price range that should be a big improvement over the Infinity IL-10s. And you might as well buy Canadian if you can

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-11-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

In that case, I'd also recommend auditioning a couple of good Canadian speaker lines, Paradigm and PSB. While there, listen to the matching center, before your return runs out on the Klipsch. Both of them carry speakers in your price range that should be a big improvement over the Infinity IL-10s. And you might as well buy Canadian if you can

Thanks for your suggestions. I have not really followed the progress with speakers for about 15 years. This is quite a learning curve.

Added Paradigm and PSB to my list... Just looking at brochures / specs, I see most (all?) of these new speakers are bass reflex. Is anyone still using a sealed enclosure design?

Could I get away with good quality bookshelfs, for instance Paradigm Studio 20, or should I stick with my original thought and go with floor standing?

Upon reflection, the Martin Logan EM ESL look far too... fragile for our energetic 7 year old boy. I need something that can take a bump or two. Too bad.

@Eyleron: yes, I meant the surround channels
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-13-2012, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a little update. I listened to the Klipsch RF-62 / RC-62, and decided returned the Klipsch RC-62 centre channel while I could. Meanwhile, the SVS SB12 sub arrived, and is every bit what I was hoping for. It sounds great, and the glossy black finish is perfect. One componenent that will not be changed anytime soon, if ever.

I finally got to drive around and listen to some speakers, but this time I'm shopping for all three front speakers. I had forgotten how much fun this hobby is.

Tried a PSB Image T5 first (it was only model in stock), and I was not super impressed. Next day I tried both the Image T6 and Imagine T. The Imagine was my favorite of the two, but no love at first sight.

Moved to a different store, and I listened to 2 different Paradigm towers ($1000-1500 range, don't remember the exact model) and 2 Monitor Audio towers (silver RX6 and RX8), with their respective centre channels.

Of the two brands, I liked MA a lot better, the Paradigm seemed a little too bright, and not as precise. If it comes to RX6 vs RX8, it's not going to be such an easy choice, but I probably like the RX6 a little better overall.

Today I was going back to listen to some more rx6 vs rx8 to make up my mind, but they happened to have two gx200 with the gx150 centre connected. I made the mistake to start listening while the guy was setting up the rx6.

Holy crap, those gx200 sounded amazing, though they are over twice the budget I had originally in mind. Now I am stuck again...
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 07:19 PM
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I just did a similar test. I will agree the PSB's sounded bright, especially the T5.

But then we added a sub, and the sound was way different. I concluded the brightness and somewhat harsh sound was due to the total lack of bass.

I can't speak to why the RX-8's I listened to by themselves sounded fine, but they are quite a bit more money, so I wasn't totally surprised.

Did you end up making a decision?
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onyx00 View Post

I just did a similar test. I will agree the PSB's sounded bright, especially the T5.

But then we added a sub, and the sound was way different. I concluded the brightness and somewhat harsh sound was due to the total lack of bass.

I can't speak to why the RX-8's I listened to by themselves sounded fine, but they are quite a bit more money, so I wasn't totally surprised.

Did you end up making a decision?

I listened to the PSB with and without a sub. The sound honestly did not impress me, and that was after reading some great reviews about those PSB speakers. One thing I can say in their defense, is that in both cases the speakers were setup in a large floor, certainly not the best conditions.

I ended up buying the gx200 L/R and gx150 centre. I always thought that the best way to judge SQ is that feeling of forgetting that you are listening to speakers, amps, etc; but just start enjoying the music, your mind wondering... Also the level of detail, hearing little bits in well-known recordings that you never heard as clearly before, if at all.

On both counts, the Monitor Audio gold had that effect on me, in a way it was a no brainer. The MA RX6 were also extremely good, just not quite as good as the gx. IMHO, I'd pick the rx6 against anything else I listened to, in that price range.

The problem is that the gx are showing me that my old receiver is not quite up to par, so now I'm looking to upgrade that as well.
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-13-2012, 07:35 PM
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Found this post after you posted in the "Please join and post..." thread. I was in a similar situation, i was looking at a center channel and liked the MA Silver center, but happen to let the words "let me hear the gold for sh!ts and giggles" slip out of my mouth. I'd just like to seem some better pics of your speakers for me to lust over. it will be a while before i can put the extra scrath together for the golds :P


haha i happen to check back at the same thread and you had posted more pics!
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-13-2012, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Detach50 View Post

Found this post after you posted in the "Please join and post..." thread. I was in a similar situation, i was looking at a center channel and liked the MA Silver center, but happen to let the words "let me hear the gold for sh!ts and giggles" slip out of my mouth. I'd just like to seem some better pics of your speakers for me to lust over. it will be a while before i can put the extra scrath together for the golds :P


haha i happen to check back at the same thread and you had posted more pics!

Hehe I just happened to update my post linking a few more shots I took. The shots are a bit noisy (ISO was forgot set too high). I know exactly what you mean by the "let me hear the gold"... I walked right into that trap myself.
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