MIcca MB 42 bookshelf speaker, is this any good? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-11-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I was recently shopping Amazon and came across a pair of bookshelf speakers by Micca called the MB42. I was wondering if they were any good because I was going to buy these for a home theater setup. They looked nice to me but I'm kind of a novice when it comes to home theater.

Heres a link for anyone that can help out

http://www.amazon.com/Micca-MB42-Bookshelf-Speakers-Tweeter/dp/B009IUIV4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363050547&sr=1-1&keywords=micca+mb42
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-15-2013, 07:12 AM
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I was also researching this speaker and google search sent me here. I found these reviews here:

http://www.noaudiophile.com/Micca_MB42/

Looks like the guy that runs that site had a couple of his friends review the MB42 as well and seems to be overall very positive. This along with the other reviews on Amazon is going to be enough for me to order. I'll post a short review here when I get them. I have already tried the Dayton b652 and quickly returned them after a day or so. I don't know what people hears in these speakers, they are horrible.

For home theater, I don't know if the Micca will have enough volume. You will almost certainly need a sub to get good bass.
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post #3 of 27 Old 03-17-2013, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtengineer View Post

I was also researching this speaker and google search sent me here. I found these reviews here:

http://www.noaudiophile.com/Micca_MB42/

Looks like the guy that runs that site had a couple of his friends review the MB42 as well and seems to be overall very positive. This along with the other reviews on Amazon is going to be enough for me to order. I'll post a short review here when I get them. I have already tried the Dayton b652 and quickly returned them after a day or so. I don't know what people hears in these speakers, they are horrible.

For home theater, I don't know if the Micca will have enough volume. You will almost certainly need a sub to get good bass.

When you get them report back, I'd love to hear what you think of them. I may pick up a pair just to see if they fit my needs. May just use them as desktop speakers if they don't work for my home theater,
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-19-2013, 12:37 PM
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I got the mb42 in last night and so far it's been very encouraging. First of all, they look very neat, with the carbon fiber woofer and the dome tweeter. This is pretty high in terms of driver bragging-rights. I chose to leave the grill off. They are not all that heavy given the small woofer and relatively thin cabinet walls. I don't have the b652 any more but I would guess this is probably 2/3rd the size of that speaker. These fit great on the shelf in my office, though I wouldn't put too many books around them since they are rear ported. I am powering them with an old NAD BEE 40x2 integrated amp, which is plenty of power for these speakers.

The sound is decent over all, but downright amazing for the cost. The little woofer is punchy and goes deeper than I expected. I'd say solid in-room output of 50-60Hz. Midrange is okay, but upper midrange is a bit shallow, so vocals are somewhat dark and veiled. It's not something that screams out at you, but comparing it against a speaker with good midrange output such as the Genelect 6010a monitors I have makes this apparent. Detail is decent, there's plenty of room for improvement but again nothing seriously out of place. Over all, I would guess that most general consumers would like the sound of these speakers since it has good bass output in a small size, and is reasonably clean and smooth. But I gotta say, audiophiles might get a bigger kick out of these for tinkering and for showing it to their friends.

I'll do more listening in the next few days before deciding to keep them or not. But my initial gut feeling is that they'll stay. I doubt I'll be able to find something better for this wife-friendly budget.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-19-2013, 12:40 PM
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I just bought a set off amazon, along with a Lepai 2020A+. I'll report back when I get it all smile.gif
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post #6 of 27 Old 03-20-2013, 07:33 AM
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Did some more listening last night, tried it with the grill on and off. The top end seems a touch more airy with the grill off, so maybe a 1-2dB "veil" with the grill on. I'll have to confirm this with some more listening. I am fighting the urge to dig out my measurement mic to take a reading with Room EQ Wizard.

Some additional thoughts on the sound: big and warm. Over all a "colorful" speaker rather than an "accurate" speaker. This is not right or wrong, just depends on what the buyer is looking for. The warmness in the midrange and upper bass makes makes the speaker relaxing to listen to. I am still kind of shocked at how much bass comes out of the little 4" woofers. Not only that, but as I dial up the volume, the output just keeps growing, rather than significantly compressing or driver bottoming out. These appear to be able to take a lot of full spectrum power and fill a small to moderate sized room with a lot of sound. My wife knocked on my office door and gave me a "what the heck" look when I had Katie Perry on full blast. The driver travel doesn't appear to be extraordinary so there must be some very effective driver suspension design and enclosure tuning going on. There's an impressive amount of air moving in and out of the port on the back.
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-22-2013, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtengineer View Post

Did some more listening last night, tried it with the grill on and off. The top end seems a touch more airy with the grill off, so maybe a 1-2dB "veil" with the grill on. I'll have to confirm this with some more listening. I am fighting the urge to dig out my measurement mic to take a reading with Room EQ Wizard.

Some additional thoughts on the sound: big and warm. Over all a "colorful" speaker rather than an "accurate" speaker. This is not right or wrong, just depends on what the buyer is looking for. The warmness in the midrange and upper bass makes makes the speaker relaxing to listen to. I am still kind of shocked at how much bass comes out of the little 4" woofers. Not only that, but as I dial up the volume, the output just keeps growing, rather than significantly compressing or driver bottoming out. These appear to be able to take a lot of full spectrum power and fill a small to moderate sized room with a lot of sound. My wife knocked on my office door and gave me a "what the heck" look when I had Katie Perry on full blast. The driver travel doesn't appear to be extraordinary so there must be some very effective driver suspension design and enclosure tuning going on. There's an impressive amount of air moving in and out of the port on the back.

Dude that's awesome! I'm probably gonna pick up a pair, I love warmer sounding speakers because, to me at least, they are more enjoyable to listen to. I really liked the carbon fiber look and always wondered why companies never used the material before, so hearing about the performance of these is great. Thanks for the input man!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-29-2013, 06:54 AM
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Glad I was able to provide some feedback. I also found some discussions of this speaker over at Reddit. Still enjoying my pair. I was looking for some foam pads to put them at an angle so I can try them on the desk. I have a set of Auralex monitor foam pads but I found these that are the nearly the same thing but cost less:

http://www.usafoam.com/acousticfoam/accessories.html

I bought the 8 pack and am waiting for them to show up. If they are anything like the Auralex pads, these are a bargain and I won't fee bad about cutting them down to fit.

With regards to carbon fiber - there are quite a few speakers out there that use this material for the woofers. However, carbon fiber, like kevlar, sometimes gets shunned in the audiophile world for being gimmicky. It seems that kevlar and carbon fiber cones are difficult to do correctly; I think it has something to do with cone break-up modes that are in the audible range and must be properly controlled via careful driver design - meaning inexpensive kevlar or carbon fiber woofers typically didn't provide any benefit other than looking cool. Metal woofer cones have the same concern. More recently, I'm seeing many more carbon fiber and kevlar cones in studio monitors, even relatively inexpensive ones that are well reviewed, like the Audioengine 5+. On the whole, however, the speaker market is still dominated by paper and poly cone woofers since these materials have been in use for a long time and are well understood.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-06-2013, 12:44 PM
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I'm a short and sweet guy. To give you a reference I own Paradigms, M&K's and some old Mission 771 (which are fantastic).

Well, I've been listening to these for a few days now. For $50 bucks...maybe they are worth it. F&F is good at their price point. But the mids are punchy, and the highs are bright, even eq'd. I really couldn't the sound I was looking for. Tested them on my comp 2.1 setup with an Audioengine N22 and Polk sub. Honestly, I was excited to unhook them and go back to my normals.

I just did a small 2.1 computer setup for a friend with a N22, a Polk PSW10 and some Misson MV-2's. What a sweet little system. The MV-2's for $50 more, are so much better than the Miccas. More open, natural sound, very peasant to listen to. And the build is superior as well. He listens to mainly dubstep and indie-stuffs. It kills it, seriously. I'd grab the Missions over the Miccas.

I think I'll use the Miccas for nice little garage build with crappy tripath amp. They get what they deserve lol.
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-06-2013, 07:35 PM
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Hey,

That's a good reality check. These things are good for the price, but they are far from perfect. In my case, I don't mind the forward/big/warm mids so much, but the highs I feel could be a lot more refined and cleaner. I did some experimenting over the past few days and discovered that the woofer has significant output into the lower to mid treble region. I'd say it provides quite a bit of output well into the 7k to 10kHz region. My fear is that the output in this region from the woofer contains cone breakup modes, which is peaky and distortion-rich. The woofer output is so significant that adding in the tweeter only seem to provide a bit of extra air and extension. The woofer simply dominates the overall tone of this speaker.

I feel like tinkering so I am going to take some driver measurements and do a proper crossover.
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-06-2013, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtengineer View Post

Hey,

That's a good reality check. These things are good for the price, but they are far from perfect. In my case, I don't mind the forward/big/warm mids so much, but the highs I feel could be a lot more refined and cleaner. I did some experimenting over the past few days and discovered that the woofer has significant output into the lower to mid treble region. I'd say it provides quite a bit of output well into the 7k to 10kHz region. My fear is that the output in this region from the woofer contains cone breakup modes, which is peaky and distortion-rich. The woofer output is so significant that adding in the tweeter only seem to provide a bit of extra air and extension. The woofer simply dominates the overall tone of this speaker.

I feel like tinkering so I am going to take some driver measurements and do a proper crossover.

+1 Totally agree.
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post #12 of 27 Old 09-12-2013, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by gtengineer View Post

I feel like tinkering so I am going to take some driver measurements and do a proper crossover.

Sorry for reviving an old thread, by quoting myself no less. But the MB42 remains popular on Amazon from what I've seen so I figure the discussion may be interesting to some.

I never got around to doing any measurements or constructing a crossover for the MB42 but it looks like not only is Micca coming out with a version of the MB42 with a crossover, named appropriately enough MB42X, they are selling the crossovers as an upgrade to the MB42:

http://www.miccastore.com/crossover-upgrade-for-micca-mb42-bookshelf-speakers-p-114.html

The MB42X looks like won't be available until October, and based on the unit prices of the MB42 now at $60, and the crossover selling at $30, one can derive that the MB42X may be at about $90 all told and done. Micca's website has no actual photos of the crossover, just one extremely blurry, dark, and grainy black and white photo, and it's not even the whole crossover, just a corner of it.

Now I'm curious to see the design that the manufacturer has decided on and the degree of improvement realized. I would love to take some before and after measurements, and see if any possible further optimizations are possible. That would make for a fun weekend afternoon. I have no life.

It's also refreshing to see a manufacturer attempt something like this. We've all seen cheap speakers before, such as the Dayton B652 for example. The MB42 was already a bit of a bright spot in terms of features/performance for the money, but I don't think I've ever seen a crossover design as complex as what's claimed on Micca's website for a speaker that sells for less than $100. So from that perspective, I'd be really interested to see just how much improvement these crossovers bring.

My order for the crossover is placed. Will report back of my findings.
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post #13 of 27 Old 09-15-2013, 11:22 AM
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Thanks for the heads up! I just found this over at reddit.
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post #14 of 27 Old 09-17-2013, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for the link. It was kind of a spoiler as I had the urge to let my ears make the first impression of the xover. But I read through the findings in that thread and having had the xover I for a night of listening, I have to agree it's a pretty good upgrade for this speaker. I am really impressed by the overall improvement, which is not subtle at all. We've all acknowledged that while good, the MB42 had its faults. The xover layers on quite a bit of refinement to the sound, making it a much more clean and neutral speaker; where as it mostly described as "big and warm" and colorful before. I got my MB42 back when it was $49.99 so all in it has cost me $80 for these speakers, I truly have not heard anything else at this price that is as good sounding as this. The danger lies in when trying to compare this to more expensive speakers. I don't doubt that there are other affordable gems out there, like the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. I would say it is a good idea for anyone looking for entry level bookshelves $200 or less to consider the MB42 with the xover upgrade based on performance merits alone.

I am going to do some more listening and perhaps a more detailed write-up later of my impressions.
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post #15 of 27 Old 09-17-2013, 02:17 PM
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So, if comparing the Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers with the Pioneer SP-BS21-LR Bookshelf Loudspeakers, only on sound quality, which would you prefer? I was going to get the SP-BS21 until I saw this thread.

I would be using the pair by themselves, not part of a system.

Thanks!
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post #16 of 27 Old 09-18-2013, 05:22 PM
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I don't have any experience with the BS21. If you are interested in the BS21 you should probably stretch the extra $10 or so and get the BS22 that's on sale now for $90 at Amazon. I have the BS22 and I dare say that the tonal balance on the Micca is more neutral than the Pioneer. The BS22 is a laid back speaker. The BS22 does provide more bass output - which I guess is not surprising since it's a much larger speaker than the MB42. I believe there is also a tad bit more distortion on the MB42, but I would say it's only audible at very high volumes. Overall, I would pick the MB42 since tonal accuracy is far more important to me.

Edit to add: I am comparing the MB42 with crossover to the BS22. And to add, the BS22 has better build quality as well.
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post #17 of 27 Old 09-19-2013, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtengineer View Post

I don't have any experience with the BS21. If you are interested in the BS21 you should probably stretch the extra $10 or so and get the BS22 that's on sale now for $90 at Amazon. I have the BS22 and I dare say that the tonal balance on the Micca is more neutral than the Pioneer. The BS22 is a laid back speaker. The BS22 does provide more bass output - which I guess is not surprising since it's a much larger speaker than the MB42. I believe there is also a tad bit more distortion on the MB42, but I would say it's only audible at very high volumes. Overall, I would pick the MB42 since tonal accuracy is far more important to me.

Edit to add: I am comparing the MB42 with crossover to the BS22. And to add, the BS22 has better build quality as well.

great. thank you for sharing that info.
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post #18 of 27 Old 10-22-2013, 06:33 PM
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Keeping my eye out for the newer version.

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post #19 of 27 Old 10-23-2013, 01:25 PM
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post #20 of 27 Old 10-23-2013, 01:28 PM
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OK, now go ahead and order it.smile.gif

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post #21 of 27 Old 10-24-2013, 11:18 AM
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Just got wind of the availability via Reddit. That new MB42X has a couple of extra surprises, I see. New matte finish instead of wood grain vinyl, and magnet grills. Makes me want to swap just for the magnet grills - can't get over how clean it looks without the grills now, without the four grill peg holes. Price is also good, $10 less than the MB42 plus $30 crossover upgrade. A couple of reviews already:

http://noaudiophile.com/Micca_MB42x_Bookshelf_Speakers/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCCNXl4I5U4

A/B comparison with the MB42:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vxJm1uZTSg

This last video is somewhat interesting. At first I thought while it's probably easy to tell that there is a difference over a youtube video, it would be tough to tell which is "better". But listening to the youtube video, it's quite clear that vocals sound more natural when he has it on the MB42x.

Another interesting point raised by the video is that he questioned why we all liked the original MB42 in the first place since it's so bad now in comparison, to the extent that he says Micca should just stop selling the MB42s. I had a similar moment when I first got the crossover upgrades for my MB42, where I thought "oh wow how could it be this different" when switching between the before and after. But then I remembered that this pretty much happens with every speaker upgrade I've ever gone though. Speakers often sound dramatically different, so in a direct comparison we are able to tell which one is superior in some specific way or overall. But when we are not doing a direct comparison, our brains try to make the best of available information and adapt to the sound. After some time, we get used to the sound of a pair of speakers fairly quickly, as quickly as within minutes. Of course this effect has its limits, which differs between people. Below this limit, bad speakers just sound like bad speakers. But above this limit, speakers with even obvious flaws can sound "pretty darned good". With this in mind, it's not that the old speakers we upgrade from are so horrible, but that the new speakers we upgrade to are so much better in comparison.
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post #22 of 27 Old 10-25-2013, 02:47 PM
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Would you use these for home theater and if so what sub and center would you put them with?

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post #23 of 27 Old 10-26-2013, 08:28 AM
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Can these be powered sufficiently with the Lepai 2020?

Onkyo TXSR607, Mythos 8 Center, Studio Monitor 350's, Klipsch S-10 surrounds, Bic F12 sub

Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector
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post #24 of 27 Old 10-26-2013, 08:32 AM
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They should work fine for home theater use. You could use one of them stand-alone as the center channel. It's actually the ideal configuration if you have the room to do this as it keeps the three front speakers the same. To keep cost low, you could get one of the good BIC subwoofers that are well recommended in the $200 to $300 range. For home theater use, I feel it's really important to dig down into the 20Hz range in room. I have a setup in my family room, not the main theater, where I am using two Ascend 170's, no center channel. But I have a SVS hidding in the room. Because of the sub, I can still get a pretty good effect going that shocks the guests. So for home theater use, I would recommend spending as much as you can afford to on the sub.
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post #25 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 02:26 PM
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Hi gtengineer - I'm kind of researching budget speakers to (maybe) replace my Logitech Z-5500 system. I'm confused, do you have either the older or newer "X" version of these? I am wondering if they would be good as budget rear surrounds in a system using better fronts like the Pioneer SF-52 floor standing models.

The Z-5500 is a 5.1 kit and all the satellite speakers are essentially the same... I've been pretty satisfied with it, but I really have nothing to compare it to. So I don't know if a set of "mis-matched" better speakers would be "better" than an inferior set of matched speakers (like a HTIB kit).

Thoughts?

How DARE you question my ignorance!?!
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post #26 of 27 Old 11-05-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_Likes_Games View Post

Hi gtengineer - I'm kind of researching budget speakers to (maybe) replace my Logitech Z-5500 system. I'm confused, do you have either the older or newer "X" version of these? I am wondering if they would be good as budget rear surrounds in a system using better fronts like the Pioneer SF-52 floor standing models.

I have the old MB42s but upgraded with the crossover. The sound should be the same based on reviews that I've read. The MB42X also has a different vinyl covering and has magnetic grills. That's all the differences I am aware of. Using them as rear surrounds is certainly fine though I might be worried about timbre matching with the Pioneer.
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The Z-5500 is a 5.1 kit and all the satellite speakers are essentially the same... I've been pretty satisfied with it, but I really have nothing to compare it to. So I don't know if a set of "mis-matched" better speakers would be "better" than an inferior set of matched speakers (like a HTIB kit).

Thoughts?
Yes absolutely, the general improvements in sound quality and dynamics alone would be very significant. Though timbre matching is important, it is a secondary consideration behind overall quality. So I would not be too concerned about it. It's more important to get the timbre matching correctly across the three front speakers anyway.
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post #27 of 27 Old 11-05-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtengineer View Post

Yes absolutely, the general improvements in sound quality and dynamics alone would be very significant. Though timbre matching is important, it is a secondary consideration behind overall quality. So I would not be too concerned about it. It's more important to get the timbre matching correctly across the three front speakers anyway.

That's the general impression I have. I like quality, but not at a high price. For as little as I'll use the rear surrounds, I think I wouldn't mind them being the "weak link" in the system. I've really enjoyed the Z-5500. It was a decent performer with good features at a low price. I've just ordered my first AVR ever, so now I'm exploring speakers. I've got some great vintage speakers that I might try to use as fronts, but then *nothing* will be "timbre matching"! I'm not sure what I'll do yet but I suspect that the speaker quality is much more important than matching brands.

In fact, these Micca speakers might be too good for my use. Also considering the Bic DV-32 for the rears at $50 for the pair - hopefully as good or better than the Z-5500 satellites.

How DARE you question my ignorance!?!
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Dayton B652 6 1 2 2 Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair
Gear in this thread - B652 by PriceGrabber.com

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