B&W vs Martin Logan Floor and Center Channel Speaker .. sub too Advice needed. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-18-2013, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Well can use come help here

Bought a Panasonic 65ZT60 (65" Plasma) that was delivered Friday. Best Buy Geek squad came out later same day and did their assessment and gave me several proposals that I received yesterday. The previous day I had 34" high 65" wide storage cabinet delivered to house a blue ray DVD player, cable box, and turntable (composite). It was part of a large entertainment center with 2 towers and then a bridge purchased at Gallery Furniture in Houston. I did not buy the bridge or end pieces (just the center console) as I am going to have the TV Mounted on the wall and wanted to see if the TV would fit within the confines of the side pieces with the overhead bridge shelf. Will sit whatever center channel I buy in the middle of the credenza just below the hung TV. There is 39 inches from the credenza table top to the lower part of the bridge connecting the towers and since the TV I bought is 35" tall without stand and 38 5/8" tall with stand it means I would have to leave the TV on the stand on top of the TV giving me less than an inch clearance on the top or would only allow me less than 4" above the credenza top to the bottom edge of TV to hang on wall which would result in not enough space for a regular 6 or 7" center channel if placed in the center of the credenza top. So leaning against that as that does not allow flexibility if I decide to go bigger to say a 75" in a few years when OLED 4K etc prices come down and more content is available.

Does that make sense?

Anyway I digressed. Im somewhat settled in on the Receiver (Pioneer Elite VX 70 7.2) and looking for advice regarding speaker selections. The downstaris living room is 15' 4" Wide (TV wall) and 18' long with the main viewing couch being around 13' from TV if mounted on wall. Due to the way the joists are directed in downstairs living/TV room (Parallel to TV wall in ceiling) setting up rear speakers and up high and behind the couch for surround sound is a sheetrock.and baseboard tear up and repair headache so Im going to stick with 2 floor speakers, a center channel, and one subwoofer.

It is my understanding after reading some posts this forum that I should stick with the same brand/line for the center and floor speakers but the sub does not necessarily have to be the same. Is that correct?

Best Buy recommended a Pioneer Elite VSX-70 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver in both proposals. While I dont anticipate a need having two subs (is that what the 2 is in 7.2?) I may eventually decide to add the rear speakers for surround sound for either the house I am in now (unless cost prohibitive) or if we move so that gives me some flexibility to add in the future. It has the Airplay feature allowing music to be played wirelessly from Iphone. While I don't have an iPhone I will in September when new Iphone models are released.

In Proposal # 1 BB recommended their low end priced Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) 684B Floor speakers, a B&W (HTM 62B) 2 way center channel speaker, and a B&W (ASW69STB) 200 watt powered 8" subwoofer .

BB's proposal # 2 was based on the fact I have a pair of old Definitive BP-8 speakers that are between 12-15 years old that could be moved downstairs and hooked up to the new TV . In that proposal BB recommended the same Pioneer Elite VSX 700 Receiver with a Definitive (CS-8040HD) 4'1/2 inch Center Channel loudspeaker and a Definitive Technology (PROSUB800BL A) PROSUB 800 *" 300 Watt subwoofer.

On a random stop at a Modia store here inHouston the salesman said he had an old Definitive Center channel Model CLR 1000 that matched with the old BP-8s (12-15 years old) still in an opened box. Even so those speakers would be between 12-15 years old. The BP-8s are bipolar speakers, sound great, and are in great condition but Im think probably better off going with something new and keep those two BP-8 speakers hooked up to a stereo in bedroom upstairs in Master Bedroom even if it is not used very much

I went back to BB last night to measure sizes and listen to the speakers again and of course came away more confused than before. I listened to some Martin Logan Motion 40 floor speakers along with the complementary Motion 8 Center Channel speaker and compared them to the 3 different B&W floor speakers ranging from $550 to $1500 each alternating between two different B&W Center channels
(a C MCCG(or 6?)B and HTM61B) (Both Centers were same price but the 61B model was 8" tall and 21' wide vs HTM 61b 6 1/'12 tall and 19" wide. Unfortunately the center channel recommended by BB Geek Squad (HTM 62B) was not hooked up so I could not hear it. I don't particularly like the looks of the black ash finish in the mid and lower price ranged B&W speakers. The high end $1500 apiece B&Ws have a beautiful glossy finish The center channel recommended by BB was a couple hundred less than the other two center channels, but like the larger of the more expensive 2 B&W Center channels, it had that dull black ash finish. The smaller $649 6'1/2" B&W center channel had the same kind of glossy finish as the $1500 B&W floor speaker. They are visually more appealing but the speakers in the larger 8" height center are bigger and sound a bit better. Not much but there is some difference

Then when I compare to the Martin and Logan Motion 40s (attractive glossy speakers) which are priced between the mid level range and high end BB B&@ floor speakers the sound better than the mid level B& W but not as good as the high end B&W speakers.

I dont want to spend $1500 per speaker for the high end B&Ws but am willing to go up price and quality wise from what BB gave me in their proposal which included low end B&Ws speaker for both floor and center channel. Since you get a free Motion 8 Center channel with the Motion 40 Martin Logans at Best Buy the total price for the 2 floor and Center Martin Logans is a little less ($250) as compared to going with the mid price ranged B&W (683B) and either one of their higher end (at BB) center channels ($2150 total). I like the looks of the glossy finish of Martin Logans and put their sound quality on par or higher slightly higher than the $ &750 per speaker mid priced 683B B&Ws but not as good at he high end B&Ws (nor should they based on price) . I dont want to get caught up in looks over substance/quality of sound but that does factor in at some minimal level

Any advice regarding what I should go with in regards to the Martin Logans or B&Ws? And any recommendations about a complementary sub and whether I should go with 8" or 10" based on the floor and center channel speakers I go with.

Sorry again for the long write/read. I got carried away
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-18-2013, 02:51 PM
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I have the 684's, and I like them. I run them in a 3.1, with the htm62 center, and Klipsch RW-12D sub.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-18-2013, 09:41 PM
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In that space you could get by with the CM5 book shelf speakers. Add the CMC2 center channel and the Klipsch RW-12D sub and you would be set. The B&W subwoofers have decent SQ but they are way over-priced. Their output and frequency range is fine for music but not necessarily for HT. For additional subwoofer suggestions check out the subwoofers forum here on AVS.

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-19-2013, 11:27 AM
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Get the MartinLogan ESL's for $2,200 a pair I believe. I bought the B&W CM9's in December, upgraded to the MarrtinLogan Theos five months later. Now the CM9's are used for surrounds and I just got an older model but new Stage center for $1,499 and love the setup.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-19-2013, 03:29 PM
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If this is for HT more than music, get a pair of good bookshelf speakers with matching center and 1 or 2 good subs.

No need to get everything from BB either. There a quite few ID (internet direct) and Crutchfield that give 30 -60 day in trials some include shipping both ways too.

Among the many choices I would take a hard look at some of these (whichever fits your budget)

https://www.svsound.com/speakers/ultra-series

And one or two of their subs. Customer service is second to none as well.

A slightly less expensive option

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/

Again, there are many more choices with ID. Check out the respective forums, owners' groups, etc...

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post #6 of 15 Old 08-19-2013, 07:29 PM
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Sure, those are great options if the OP is open to it. wink.gif

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post #7 of 15 Old 08-20-2013, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks but I just dont like the looks of the MartinLogan ESL speakers.. Yes they sound great but thats just a preference
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-20-2013, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
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The Crutchfield prices are the same as BB for the MartinLogan Motion 40s . Shipping is free and I suppose there is no sales tax which would add around $ 160.00 to a pair of
speakers costing $1900. The Best buy deal includes a "Free" Motion 8 center channel (Same as Crutchfield) . I think I want to get a motion 30 for the Center but would that be overkill?? Unfortunately you cant just pay the $300 difference between the "free" Motion 8 Center and Motion 30 nor can you get the "free" Motion 8 Center Speaker if you prefer the Martin Logan cheery wood finish that costs $ 50 more per floor speaker over the piano laquer like finish.

TV and credenza are now delivered. old 65" Mitsubishi Diamond sadly hauled off, as of 8/17/13 and I just brought home Pioneer Elite VSX70 Home Theater Receiver and plus Im testing some expensive ($300) Audioquest 10" Carbon HDMI cables (5% Silver Plated) and will compare them to $130 Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cables (1.25% Silver Plated LGC Conductors). I will test the picture quality (and see if any noticible difference) and test by alternating the 2 different HDMI from my blue ray player directly to Panasonic ZT TV and bypass the Pioneer Eltie since I haven't decided which front speakers I will go with yet.

Im told that once everything is hooked up through Pioneer elite is no need to have high end HDMI cables for the Comcast Cable TV.

Audioquest also carries a Chocoate 2.5% Silver VODKA and Coffee line of 10% Silver HDMIs. Like everything else there is always something higher quality and more expensive DOOHickey but you get to a point of diminishing returns and cant imagine paying $ 500-$700+ for a 10' HDMI cable

The 65" Panasonic ZT TV is going to be wall mounted over t base unit credenza of a Entertainment Center so whatever HDMI cable I select after comparing tomorrow will be run behind the wall and be connected from the TV into the Pioneer VSX70). I was going to use Cinnamon 6" cables to connect the Comcast cable box to the Pioneer on shelves within the credenza. If I do see a noticeable difference between the Carbon and Cinnamon HDMI then I will get a shorter Carbon and run that from the Samsung Blue Ray player to the Pioneer. IF I don't see any noticeable difference then I will return the Carbon HDMO 10% silver and use Cinnamon HDMI for all HDMI connections.

Is this a valid thought process or am I wasting money on more expensive HDMI cables? Ive heard in the forum some say they make no difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

If this is for HT more than music, get a pair of good bookshelf speakers with matching center and 1 or 2 good subs.

No need to get everything from BB either. There a quite few ID (internet direct) and Crutchfield that give 30 -60 day in trials some include shipping both ways too.

Among the many choices I would take a hard look at some of these (whichever fits your budget)

https://www.svsound.com/speakers/ultra-series

And one or two of their subs. Customer service is second to none as well.

A slightly less expensive option

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/

Again, there are many more choices with ID. Check out the respective forums, owners' groups, etc...
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-20-2013, 09:49 PM
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I would save money and go with some cheaper HDMI cables from Monoprice or Blue Jeans Cable. Expensive cables are not worth it.

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post #10 of 15 Old 08-20-2013, 10:06 PM
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Expensive HDMI cables make no difference. The only thing you might need to be concerned about is build quality. I have purchased cheap $5 HDMI cables and had the heads separate from the cable before. I used to work for Monster Cable, who are well-known for boosting the price of their cables and ripping customers off ($100+ for HDMI cable...I think not!) and with my discount, I got some of their "high end" HDMI cables for $20 and I think they were worth that price because the build quality is rock solid.

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post #11 of 15 Old 08-20-2013, 11:29 PM
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+1 monoprice or amazon for hdmi cables. Everything else is a waste of money.

Samsung UN60ES8000, MartinLogan Theos & Stage, B&M CM9 surrounds, Denon 3313, Roku 3, AppleTV, Chromecast, PS4 (SubSolar), Xbox One (SubSolar0)
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-21-2013, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post

Thanks but I just dont like the looks of the MartinLogan ESL speakers.. Yes they sound great but thats just a preference

Since it's still freshly ingrained in my head, I'll say this regarding the martin logan motion 40s: i simply don't like the sound. Too boxy, confined. They simply sounded "cheap." The glossy black is aesthetically nice. Getting a free center channel was definitely tempting, but the sound simply wasn't there. Saving money is a good thing but if it meant getting an inferior sounding product (in my opinion, to my ears), I'd say no. I'll spend a bit more to get the "right" product. Let there be no regrets.

If it was me, I'd get the B&W cm9/cm10 over the motion 40s. I'd even grab the 600 series from B&W before considering the motions. But I won't because I simply don't like the ash black for the 600 series. Even the B&W m1 satellites sounded better than the motions, which is unfortunate considering they are quite aesthetically pleasing.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-21-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Got a call from Crutchfield who said they can upgrade the Martin Logan Motion 8s to a Motion 30 for the Center channel speaker in addition to getting the cherry finish which I found aesthetically more attractive. I would pay the 300 difference between the Motion 8s and 30s and then another $ 50 per speaker including Motion 30 Center for the Cherry finish. No sales tax as they are shipped out of Virginia. Best Buy told me you have to go with the free Motion 8 with the Motion 40 floors and will not allow you to pay the $300 difference in price ($399 to $ 699 between Motion 8s if purchased separately and Motion 30s) nor will BB allow you the "free" Center channel if you want the Motion 40s in a Cherry Finish even if you are willing to pay the extra $ 50 per speaker (100 bucks) so that you can have the Motion 40 floor in Cherry and a Motion 8 (in black as the 8s don't come in Cherry finish)

I agree about the B&Ws 600s. I just do not like that Ash black finish. They have some B&W CM-8s for around 1100 per speaker but I dont want to pay $1500 per for Cm-9s with another $ 650 for matching Center speaker

Its a lot of money for me to spend on speakers. I was actually quite surprised the Panasonic Plasma TV speakers didn't sound nearly as bad as people said they would but I am going forward with a 3 speaker and a subwoofer speaker plan.

Will take a couple Blue Ray DVDs and Pink Floyd Dark Side of Moon, Dire Straits Brother in Arms and perhaps a Rickie Lee Jones CD in today an compare the B&W CM8s with the Martin Logan Motion 40s and make my final choice. Not going to get sub yet and will decide on that this weekend as I understand it is not necessary that the sub be of the same model line or manufacturer.

Anyone else have any CD recommendation to test the audio quality? Thanks for your comments here..
Quote:
Originally Posted by strawberryyogurt View Post

Since it's still freshly ingrained in my head, I'll say this regarding the martin logan motion 40s: i simply don't like the sound. Too boxy, confined. They simply sounded "cheap." The glossy black is aesthetically nice. Getting a free center channel was definitely tempting, but the sound simply wasn't there. Saving money is a good thing but if it meant getting an inferior sounding product (in my opinion, to my ears), I'd say no. I'll spend a bit more to get the "right" product. Let there be no regrets.

If it was me, I'd get the B&W cm9/cm10 over the motion 40s. I'd even grab the 600 series from B&W before considering the motions. But I won't because I simply don't like the ash black for the 600 series. Even the B&W m1 satellites sounded better than the motions, which is unfortunate considering they are quite aesthetically pleasing.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-21-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togatx View Post

Got a call from Crutchfield who said they can upgrade the Martin Logan Motion 8s to a Motion 30 for the Center channel speaker in addition to getting the cherry finish which I found aesthetically more attractive.. I would pay the 300 difference between the Motion 8s and 30s and then another $ 50 per speaker including Motion 30 Center for the Cherry finish. No sales tax as they are shipped out of Virginia. Best Buy told me you have to go with the free Motion 8 with the Motion 40 floors and will not allow you to pay the $300 difference in price ($399 to $ 699 between Motion 8s if purchased separately and Motion 30s) nor will BB allow you the "free" Center channel if you want the Motion 40s in a Cherry Finish even if you are willing to pay the extra $ 50 per speaker (100 bucks) so that you can have the Motion 40 floor in Cherry and a Motion 8 (in black as the 8s don't come in Cherry finish)

I agree about the B&Ws 600s. I just do not like that Ash black finish. They have some CM-8s for around 1100 per speaker but I dont want to pay $1500 per for Cm-9s with another $ 650 for matchgin Center

Its a lot of money for me to spend on speakers. I was actually quite surprised the Panasonic TV speaker ditn sound anywhere as bad as people said they would but I am going forward with a 3 speaker and a sub speaker plan.

Will take a couple Blue Ray DVDs and Pink Floyd Dark Side of Moon, Dire Straits Brother in Arms and perhaps a Rickie Lee Jones CD in today an compare the CM8s with the Martin Logan Motion 40s and make my final choice. Not going to get sub yet and will decide on that this weekend as I understand it is not necessary that the sub be of the same model line or manufacturer.

Anyone else have any CD recommendation to test the audio quality? Thanks for your comments here..

Maybe it's just me but my color of preference for electronics has always been black.

You probably know this already. The matching center for the cm9 ($1500/each) is the cm2 ($1250); cm8's matching center cm1 is $650. People have said even if you were to grab a set of cm8, getting the cm2 would be better than the cm1 regardless because the cm2 is simply a better speaker. Most of your spoken dialogue will be coming from the center channel. Critical for movies.

No real recommendation on a CD, but one great suggestion that I came across was to record the voices of people extremely close to you, your immediate family members and use that as a demo CD. You're most familiar with how your family sounds. You can knowingly record them having them read a paragraph in a book, or a playful conversation at a table. Tell them a joke, and capture their laughter. As far as recording device I'm not sure.

Edit: plus, depending on your best buy magnolia, you could also ask for some type of discount when buying a package deal.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-21-2013, 08:51 PM
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I would just bring the music you like to listen to. Also, bring a lot of different genres (classical, rock, hip-hop etc).

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