Having trouble deciding, almost time to pull the trigger: Monitor 11 or 683 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-26-2013, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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So given a lot of my recent purchases (new tv, entertainment stand, reciever etc etc) I was going to wait awhile before buying new speakers. My wife gave me the go ahead to use some of the money from tax returns to speed up the process as she also wants some nice floor standing speakers.

For the time being I am just looking for the front 3.

I am pretty much set on a few brands as I've decided I will not buy speakers that I cannot audition and unfortunately the speakers I can audition are somewhat slim. From what I've heard I'm set on 2 speakers lines, though I was still maybe considering KEF Q700, after listening to it side by side the B&W 683 I just think it doesn't sound all that great.

I am stuck between the Paradigm Monitor 11's with the Center 3 and the B&W 683 and the HTM61 Center speaker.

I unfortunately have no way to hear the speakers side by side as the dealers are 30 minutes apart. I feel that the paradigms and the B&W's have a very similar sound, though I do feel the bass on the 683's is a bit better (not so much of a factor as the crossover and the subwoofer I have) and I feel that the 683 handles really high highs much better than the Paradigm MOnitors

Theres a song called 3'Oclock by Eric Clapton and BB King, among a few others, but this one I listened to a lot on both speakers, its a very demanding song IMO with BB Kings voice and the guitar plucks and the incredible highs from the high notes on teh guitar.

I felt that on the B&W's it did not break a sweat, not once did I ever feel like my ears were being pierced on a couple of particular high notes, where as the Paradigms a couple of times seemed a tad bit harsh. Granted these are also on two very dissimilar setups, though the paradigms were being pushed by a high end Integra Reciever and the B&W's were being pushed by a 50watt stereo marrants cd player/amp.

My issue inlies with the center speaker. I feel that the paradigm center is much better, and I am unable to hear the HTM61 in a more proper enviroment, and I know it gets a lot of flack because of its driver design. I do listen to more movies/tv than anything else, and I feel like im going to end up having to pick the lesser of two evils but im praying someone has a bit more experience with these speakers than me and can give me some solid advice.

Unable to really test it myself due to its setup at the local AV shop, is the off axis sound really that bad on the B&W's center? The couch sits about 10 feet back from the front channel speakers, its with the "center" area of the tv and the front speakers but my wife usually sits to the right and I to the left and sometimes I'm to the left and shes to the right, very seldom am I ever directly in the sweet spot, and I want to make sure that its going to sound great from either side.

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-28-2013, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Anybody have good experience with either of these and can give me some good opinions?

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-28-2013, 04:34 PM
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I have no experience with the B&W's that you mentioned, but can tell you from personal experience that the Paradigm Monitor Series 7 are pure garbage. I had the 11's, Center 3, and Surround 3. They have horrible quality control issues. The sound was average, and not spectacular. I think that you can do much better in this prie range. Look at the Aperion Grand Verus towers and center, SVS Ultra's, Monitor Audio RX8, etc...
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-28-2013, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a couple of problems with that.

1. I'm kind of hooked on a 3-way center. The amount of range in dialogue etc was just amazing compared to some higher end 2 way center i've heard.

2. It's pretty much a must that I need to audition anything before I buy them, I refuse to play the buy and wait game and not being able to compare speakers side by side. It get quite expsensive for myself and for any company that has any trial period if I sit and purchase, return and maybe even re-purchase if I decide I like them.

The SVS's are intriguing but seem just out of what I want to spend.. plus I'm not a huge fan of Piano Black but they do seem nice and seem to have some good things said about them. I can get the Monitor Series 7 and B&W 683 setups for around ~2000 cash

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-28-2013, 07:47 PM
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I really like the 683s. However, the 600 series centers leave quite a bit to be desired. Really, a 685 makes the best center. A CMC2 would be the next best choice but much more expensive ($1250) and is a 3-way center channel.

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-29-2013, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

I really like the 683s. However, the 600 series centers leave quite a bit to be desired. Really, a 685 makes the best center. A CMC2 would be the next best choice but much more expensive ($1250) and is a 3-way center channel.

Yeah I was looking at the CMC2..

My problem is I would not be able to stand up the 685 Vertical, it would have to be laid on its side. I'm somewhat leaning towards asking if I leave a deposit if they will let me take the HTM61 home so i can just move around and see if the difference is really that noticeable to me in my enviroment. I'm hardly an audio professional so im thinking maybe I won't pick up on what some of these guys seem to.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-29-2013, 06:39 AM
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I have a pair of the Monitor 7 towers (version 7) and the Center 1 for a 5.1 setup.

All in all I am very happy with them. I think the QC issues are dependent on whether or not you have a good, reputable dealer. Because nearly every manufacturer out there gets "B Stock" or blemished items out of the factory where someone was probably sleeping on the job. I'm wondering if some dealers decide to pick up these blems at discounts and pass them on as a new product. When in theory, they are new, but still messed up.

Anyway,
I've been pleased with the Monitor 7's and Center 1. The front 3 speakers blend seamlessly together with movies and the center disappears.
When I first got my Monitor 7 towers, I still had an older JBL EC35 center channel. I was hesitant to get a new center at the time, because I liked the JBL so much. But things just felt off with movies. Once I got the matching center, everything worked itself out. I didn't think it would make that big of a difference, but it did.
Now, I'm not big into listening to music at home, but I am not disappointed with the Monitor 7's. But you have to keep in mind just how sensitive these speakers can be to EQ changes. Even the slightest +/-0.5 in any frequency can make a big difference. You'll have a heck of a time trying to get them dialed in to your perfect sound.
Out of the box everything was very harsh. Give them 20 hours to open up. The sound will warm up and even out. (that is if you happen to go with the Paradigms)

My previous speakers were all JBL Northridge. E60 and EC35, and the Paradigms are a big step up in overall quality and sound.
When I first started to shop for replacements, I actually purchased a set of HTD's level Two towers and the matching center channel. I felt that the HTD were a very well made and good quality product, but they didn't quite reach the overall expectations I had for them. I demoed the Paradigms at a local dealer and could just not leave there without them. Had to send the HTD's back (as good as they were) to get the Paradigms.

By the way, I am pushing them with simply a Pioneer VSX-919ah-k receiver.

I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-29-2013, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalow View Post

I have a pair of the Monitor 7 towers (version 7) and the Center 1 for a 5.1 setup.

All in all I am very happy with them. I think the QC issues are dependent on whether or not you have a good, reputable dealer. Because nearly every manufacturer out there gets "B Stock" or blemished items out of the factory where someone was probably sleeping on the job. I'm wondering if some dealers decide to pick up these blems at discounts and pass them on as a new product. When in theory, they are new, but still messed up.

Anyway,
I've been pleased with the Monitor 7's and Center 1. The front 3 speakers blend seamlessly together with movies and the center disappears.
When I first got my Monitor 7 towers, I still had an older JBL EC35 center channel. I was hesitant to get a new center at the time, because I liked the JBL so much. But things just felt off with movies. Once I got the matching center, everything worked itself out. I didn't think it would make that big of a difference, but it did.
Now, I'm not big into listening to music at home, but I am not disappointed with the Monitor 7's. But you have to keep in mind just how sensitive these speakers can be to EQ changes. Even the slightest +/-0.5 in any frequency can make a big difference. You'll have a heck of a time trying to get them dialed in to your perfect sound.
Out of the box everything was very harsh. Give them 20 hours to open up. The sound will warm up and even out. (that is if you happen to go with the Paradigms)

My previous speakers were all JBL Northridge. E60 and EC35, and the Paradigms are a big step up in overall quality and sound.
When I first started to shop for replacements, I actually purchased a set of HTD's level Two towers and the matching center channel. I felt that the HTD were a very well made and good quality product, but they didn't quite reach the overall expectations I had for them. I demoed the Paradigms at a local dealer and could just not leave there without them. Had to send the HTD's back (as good as they were) to get the Paradigms.

By the way, I am pushing them with simply a Pioneer VSX-919ah-k receiver.

I also have an HTD Level Two system and feel the same, they are great for the money just a bit lacking to me.

I really do like the sound of the Paradigms myself, but im just having a hard time, im very indecisive and often second guess myself, even after spending tons of money will go out shop around again, and I don't want to do that here.

I hoenstly feel like the 683's have a slight edge but im not convinced on that center, I think I need to go back and see if somehow they will just let me put it into one of their theater rooms or leave a deposit and take it home to try it.

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post #9 of 17 Old 01-29-2013, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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How do people feel about Aperion? I was looking at MAYBE trying out the Verus Forte Towers and center as the center is 3 way. I know some recommend the Grands but I think the Forte's would fit the bill, if i think my HTD Level two bookshelf's fill up the room more than enough. I just want something with awesome mid range and highs that never break a sweat. Everything I've heard with Aluminum/Titanium tweeters seem to have highs that are much stronger and don't break up as much, the Aperion uses silk. Hardly an expert so I don't know if its material or more so the design. Where these HTD's break up bigtime these Paradigms/B&W/KEF's ive heard never seem too.

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 07:37 AM
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If you're into large, 3-way centers then look into EMP

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post #11 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shady195 View Post

How do people feel about Aperion? I was looking at MAYBE trying out the Verus Forte Towers and center as the center is 3 way. I know some recommend the Grands but I think the Forte's would fit the bill, if i think my HTD Level two bookshelf's fill up the room more than enough. I just want something with awesome mid range and highs that never break a sweat. Everything I've heard with Aluminum/Titanium tweeters seem to have highs that are much stronger and don't break up as much, the Aperion uses silk. Hardly an expert so I don't know if its material or more so the design. Where these HTD's break up bigtime these Paradigms/B&W/KEF's ive heard never seem too.

Whether the tweeter breaks up or not really doesn't depend on material. I've heard silk dome tweeters that sound harsh and forward and i've heard metal domes that are somewhat restrained. The Arx A5 planar tweeter doesn't breakup and has much less distortion than any dome tweeter in its price range and it doesn't have that forward sound to it. Its all in the crossover design, some like Paradigm, Axiom and others go for a more forward sizzle in the treble, while others like Arx, EMP, Aperion go for more of a natural restrained treble (easier to listen to for longer periods) I grew very tired of the Axioms top end and found I didn't listen to my system as much as I did in the beginning. Speakers with a brigher treble seem great at first but for extended listening they become annoying and fatiquing.

I doubt your HTD's are breaking up. They just have a different sound than what you want in the Paradigms. Your also comparing two different speakers one is a $500 tower and the Paradigms are $1k plus. I demo'd a set of Paradigm 11s against my Arx A5 towers and the Paradigm definity had a forward sizzle in the treble. I've been down that road before, thinking a forward speaker sounds great only to become more and more disappointed as the months/years went on.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

Whether the tweeter breaks up or not really doesn't depend on material. I've heard silk dome tweeters that sound harsh and forward and i've heard metal domes that are somewhat restrained. The Arx A5 planar tweeter doesn't breakup and has much less distortion than any dome tweeter in its price range and it doesn't have that forward sound to it. Its all in the crossover design, some like Paradigm, Axiom and others go for a more forward sizzle in the treble, while others like Arx, EMP, Aperion go for more of a natural restrained treble (easier to listen to for longer periods) I grew very tired of the Axioms top end and found I didn't listen to my system as much as I did in the beginning. Speakers with a brigher treble seem great at first but for extended listening they become annoying and fatiquing.

I doubt your HTD's are breaking up. They just have a different sound than what you want in the Paradigms. Your also comparing two different speakers one is a $500 tower and the Paradigms are $1k plus. I demo'd a set of Paradigm 11s against my Arx A5 towers and the Paradigm definity had a forward sizzle in the treble. I've been down that road before, thinking a forward speaker sounds great only to become more and more disappointed as the months/years went on.

I agree.
If I listened to more music, I probably would have kept the HTD's over the Paradigms, because they didn't fatigue my ears after listening to an entire album. The Paradigms will do that after a while (not saying they don't still sound great though). But since I'm 85% - 90% movies with my system, I much prefer the brighter sound of the Paradigms. I appreciate the dynamic and open sound they give. Really helped movies come alive.

I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 09:58 AM
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A good speaker should be able to play either without adding or taking away from anything

I guess I don't understand how something can be fatiguing during music, but not movies. There's nothing different.....

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post #14 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at EMP, but that center is huge! I was hoping to keep the center under 22" (so it fits in the bottom space, I almost forgot about EMPtek, might have to look and do some research on them as well.

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post #15 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

A good speaker should be able to play either without adding or taking away from anything

I guess I don't understand how something can be fatiguing during music, but not movies. There's nothing different.....

Yep I agree, movies became fatiguing when I had my Axioms. The Arx speakers I have now have been described by some to sound restrained and not that impressive at first but after listening for awhile you appreciate a relaxed sounding speaker that doesn't try and force something on you like very forward treble or strained sounding midrange. Best of both worlds in my opinion, great sound, dynamics, impact, clarity and output without the forcing of treble.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-31-2013, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I really don't want to have to deal with buying speaker direct, returning, trying others, returning and maybe re-buying as I can be extremely indecisive.

A lot of people say good things about speakers like EMP Tek, Axiom etc..

Really looking at the EMPTEK E55Ti and the E65Ci large center, anyone here heard them vs say the paradigm monitors?

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post #17 of 17 Old 02-01-2013, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shady195 View Post

So, I really don't want to have to deal with buying speaker direct, returning, trying others, returning and maybe re-buying as I can be extremely indecisive.

A lot of people say good things about speakers like EMP Tek, Axiom etc..

Really looking at the EMPTEK E55Ti and the E65Ci large center, anyone here heard them vs say the paradigm monitors?

Being able to purchase and return (sometimes worry free...aka no return fee) is perfect for the indecisive buyer. Companies like EMP, Aperion and HTD are the ones that pop into my mind that do this. I know HTD does not return towers for free though, but everything else they sell I believe is on a 30-day risk free trail like EMP and Aperion. Not saying you should choose from just those either as there are plenty of good companies out there, but you'll have to pay for return if you end up not liking them.

I've never heard Axiom, but it seems they're not too liked around here (or any place really it seems). I've seen countless people saying they're extremely overpriced for what you get (driver quality, cabinet quality, etc), but again just what I've seen.

I have the e55ti's, e56ci and e5bi setup. I heard the Monitors one time in a store, but it wasn't an ideal setting and it was for about 10 minutes so I won't judge based on that. I will say that one guy on another forum like this has e55ti's (along with various other speakers) and he thought the e55ti's stacked up pretty darn close to the Studio 100's. He had auditioned 10+ $2,000+ speakers and wrote up his opinion on each. That's one of the few reviews that sold me on EMP. That..and the fact I could return them worry free if I didn't like them.

I still have them. biggrin.gif

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