Satellite 5.1: MASS vs. B&W MT-50 vs. SA Saxo - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-15-2013, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

First off, I'm a Dane, so many of the prices/links are converted or in Danish, sorry about that! I've tried to find english links where possible.

I am currently in the process of looking at a receiver and satellite / bookshelf speakers for my living room. I live in a 76 m2 3-room apartment and I want to put the system into my TV room. The TV room is less than 20 m2, I am guessing about 16 m2 only, so I don't have a lot of wiggle room, and the wall on which I plan to mount the TV can barely fit a 46" TV I expect.
I am mostly looking at satellites, but if bookshelf speakers makes more sense/has much better bang for the buck in a small enough package, I am open for that as well.

I am currently in the "what would it make sense to try out in shops" phase, so my suggestions so far are pretty diverse, and I would like input on whether I have missed obvious candidates.

Budget and requirements:
I am in principle not limited by a budget, only by common sense and "what do I need". I would like to pay as little as possible for something that plays really well, and does not take up a lot of space. Those are conflicting requirements, I know, so I am looking far and wide for options. Preferably the 5.1 speakers/sub are less than £1.700 and no more than £400 for the receiver.

For receivers I am looking at Onkyo TX NR414 (£230)/515 (£330) or Sony STR-DN1030 (£440) or Yamaha RX-V673 (approx. £360) - (suggestions welcome). I am looking for something "good" and which does the basics, it does not have to be top of the line or future "proof". 5.1 and Spotify/DLNA needs to be supported.

For speakers I am looking in two categories, the satellites and the bookshelfs.

Satellites:
Monitor Audio MASS 5.1
- a set is £850 at TapeConnection: Tape Connection - Stereo, Surround, Højttalere, Hjemmebio + a MASS W200 sub
Only available in black. They are pretty petite and should play rather well considering their size: Monitor Audio MASS review from the experts at whathifi.com

Focal Dome 5.1 - They're neat/pretty/good, but they are more than £1400 at TapeConnection: Tape Connection - Stereo, Surround, Højttalere, Hjemmebio
I've found them at £900 also, but only in read smile.gif I want white if possible. They should have great sound, and I like the look: Focal Dôme 5.1 review from the experts at whathifi.com

B&W M1 5.1
- price £1300 at HiFi Klubben: B&W M-1 5.1 hjttalersystem | Hi-Fi Klubben. Not particularly pretty, but come in white, and should rival the MASS, and maybe even best them (they are pricier, so they should wink.gif): B&W MT-50 review from the experts at whathifi.com

Monitor Audio Radius 90 HD setup (£1200) - I found this review: Monitor Audio R90 HD10 review from the experts at whathifi.com and I found a dealer with an almost identical set: Monitor Audio Radius 5.1 Surroundsæt 1, AV-Connection A/S - it has 360HD instead of 370HD, but the price difference is £120, so it comes out to about £1200 after upgrading the sub.

I also looked at "KEF T305 5.1" priced at £1700 (KEF - T305 5.1 - KT Radio). They look too big for my liking, even if the shallow depth is very appealing. However, the sound should be compromised due to their size, and the bass is slightly lacking: KEF T105 review from the experts at whathifi.com
Since the budget in *principle* has no limit, I was also looking at Monitor Audio Apex 5.1, priced at £2600: Monitor Audio Apex 5.1 surround system, AV-Connection A/S. They are rated as awesome, having grat sound, and I really like the look. They should be able to last me a long time, and there are few drawbacks, besides the price smile.gif

Bookshelf:

System Audio Saxo 5.1 - £1050 (Saxo 10 sub upgrade included) - They can be mixed and matched as you like but I am looking at the biggest set with bookshelf speakers, this one: System Audio Saxo 5.1 Surround system C - Til f.eks. Unnu eller frislev møbel, AV-Connection A/S
They look pretty, should have very good sound, and they are not pricey.

I also looked at Dali Zensor 5 priced at £940 + £450 for a Dali E-12F sub, so the total is £1400: DALI ZENSOR 5 hjttalersystem | Hi-Fi Klubben
The set is super well put together, and has great sound (DALI Zensor 5 5.1 review from the experts at whathifi.com), but the stands and the center speaker are much bigger than I like. One thing that is a big pro is that it can be used when I later move into something bigger. I could swap the Zensor 5's for 1's for now, and later upgrade, if neede.

Conclusion so far:
I am currently liking the MASS 5.1 the most. It's cheap and potentially really good. and should be more than enough for filling 20 m2 with great sound. When I later on move and need a bigger setup, it's only a £850 system I need to sell, and not something +£1000, and it's quite new (pro due to new/better tech?)
On a shared first place is the B&W MT-50 - all reviews indicates that they are super, and they are also pretty compact. The con is the price.
Second place goes to the SA Saxo set and MA Radius 90. Radius 90 is more compact (HxWxD: 198 x125x140 mm) than SA Saxo 10 (HxWxD: 380x130x200mm) - but I expect the Saxo to play better for it. Saxo is slightly cheaper than MA, about £150, once you upgrade both the subs.

I would really like input on whether I have missed anything in my search for speakers.
My next step is to go to shops and start listening to the speakers I mentioned.

Last comment: I don't expect to buy anything until mid-March, so if something new is about to come out (I can see Onkyo introduced their receivers in Feb 2012, so maybe something new will come out in a month?) I have time to wait.

I appreciate the input!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-15-2013, 09:02 PM
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Hi,

My personal opinion is to get the Monitor Audio Apex Speakers - they will blow away most things in that very respectable list - they are just wonderful - if you liked the MA MASS, you will just be blown away by the Apex Series.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-16-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I have seen that the Dali Lektor speakers are smaller than I thought - might give those a look also.

The Apex are very nice, but I can't help but think you're paying a premium for the size/performance, more than I would like. And the MASS looks pretty good at their price point.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-16-2013, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenithDK View Post

I have seen that the Dali Lektor speakers are smaller than I thought - might give those a look also.

The Apex are very nice, but I can't help but think you're paying a premium for the size/performance, more than I would like. And the MASS looks pretty good at their price point.

Hi,

The Apex are certainly not style over substance - if you hear them, you will appreciate why but it might be best to get demos of each option you are looking at. As you say, you might feel the need top upgrade later by buying a £800 system & that is much more unlikely with the Apex. Dali Fazons get good reviews but are also expensive. Other good options but smaller would be the Paradigm MileniaOnes & Cambridge Audio Min21's. I would go with an ID Subwoofer like SVS, BK Electric or XTZ since you are in Europe & put the money saved towards better speakers.

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post #5 of 8 Old 01-16-2013, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Would it make sense to get the Apex's as a 2.1 setup initially for that small TV room, and then tack on the A40 and 2x A10's later on if and when needed?

That would save me about £1000 I guess - and I can save that for later.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-17-2013, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenithDK View Post

Would it make sense to get the Apex's as a 2.1 setup initially for that small TV room, and then tack on the A40 and 2x A10's later on if and when needed?

That would save me about £1000 I guess - and I can save that for later.

Hi,

Personally, I would much rather do just that - you will suffer no losses & get much better speakers that you will keep for the longer run. If you buy cheaper, you will not only sell them at a loss but will need then to spend more later on 5 better speakers!

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-18-2013, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking at something similar now, just with different speakers:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/dali-mentor-menuet_Surround-Sound-System_review

Two of those, and then a Denon CEOL as a stereo network receiver. It should be decent, especially at the price.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-20-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I see they just dropped the price of the CEOL with £100, so it's only £249 for the N5 (no CD) and £349 for the N8.
The speakers will be around £750, so a total of about £1100 with the N8 - and then a sub on top.

I heard the N8 + Menuet in a shop and I was blown away, really impressed by the sound considering their size - the Mentor 5 are of course even better, but larger and more expensive.
Alternatively I could try out the Mentor 1's and see if that can save me the subwoofer for now. The 1's are about £120 ekstra per speaker, so still money saved.
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