Originally Posted by mtn-tech
With a company like Sonus Faber, you are paying a LOT for things like reputation, presentation, company status, etc. I would not recommend buying anything like this without hearing it for yourself - even better hearing it in your room. Since there is no dealer for these near you I'm not sure how you are going to get them - most high end speaker manufacturers don't allow internet / mail order sales. Paradigm doesn't either.
Going in a completely different direction, why not try an internet direct company that will ship a 5.1 speaker setup to you and allow for 30 - 90 day in home audition and return policy - some even pay for shipping one way.
The one that comes to mind is SVS - great subs and a new line high performance HT speakers, in home 45 day audition, and free shipping both ways - five speaker package pricing:
Originally Posted by mtn-tech
This is actually a very well known issue with most center channel speakers. This Mid-Tweeter-Mid design is a two way speaker that requires the crossover frequency to be very high - so the tweeter doesn't get any low frequencies (that part isn't very important) which puts most human voices (movie dialog) going to the two mid-range drivers (speaker cones) on the sides of the tweeter (that is the problem). The reason this is bad - sound is nothing more than waves of pressure - forward then backward, when your head is EXACTLY in the middle of those two mid-range drivers the waves of sound hit your ears at the exact same time and it sounds great. Problem is when you move 3" to the side, the pressure wave of sound from one driver arrives sooner than the other which is going backward at that time - and it actually causes some of the sound to cancel making it sound hollow - now you cannot understand the movie dialog.
When the tweeter-mid are vertically stacked, it doesn't matter where you move side to side - the sound never cancels. The two woofers on the side can now be designed to be true woofers giving you excellent mid-bass from the center speaker and it sounds even more full and loud - not hollow.
Whether you understand that or not, I will tell you that I will NEVER buy another center speaker with a M-T-M configuration - they are poor designs being sold because companies don't want to re-engineer their center channel speakers correctly - especially at that price there is no excuse for it. All the new center designs - the most important speaker in your room - now have a vertical stack of tweeter - mid.
Yes, the Paradigm Monitor series are also very good speakers - if you have the money for a Paradigm system you can't go wrong. Even the center channel speakers from the Monitor series have a vertical mid-tweeter design and will allow you to better hear movie dialog. People (like me) keep these things for 10+ years.
But if I can get reputation, presentation, AND performance all in one package, why not?
I don't think the 5.1 setup approach really suits what I'm going for, given I already have a 5.1 I intend to downcycle as I get piece. Well, I guess the center channel would just be done though.
Speaking of, I think the center I currently have is M-T-M actually..so by that logic, a new higher end M-T-M would still sound better at least. The better question is, if it's such an obviously flawed design, why is it prolific exactly? Surely there are well received center channels that have that design out there? Also, is there perhaps an upside (just as there is a possible downside to the vertically stacked ones?)?
I actually AM having second thoughts about the Sonus Faber Venere center at least. Even fans of the setup cite it as a weak link. Of course that would pose a problem of getting a center channel that would go well (I'm looking into that though).
Anyway, given that I'd like some nice, good performing, not too budget, but not too overpriced, good looking, good sounding fronts (preferably tower, although a very good pre-done bookshelf with a tower attached like the 2.0's would also probably work well), I'd rather not just go ahead and do an ID 5.1 system instead. Not to mention I just aren't grabbed by SVS. I actually passed them up when I was going sub shopping (the PB12 actually died of an apparently widespread issue that affected a lot of them, oh well) in favor of the Sunfire I have.
In the end, unless someone is just going to gift me speakers for free, I am going to be spending some money on whatever I'm getting, so I feel like it's kind of important whether I focus on these Sonus Fabers, or something more affordable than those, so I figure might as well spend the money on something I feel will really be worth it. I do agree hearing them (not that I always know exactly what to look for) in person or in my place would be nice, but I also feel like across the board glowing reviews saying exactly what I want to hear can't be chopped liver, room and ear variables aside. But yes, comparing it to anything else or making an informed decision nonetheless has been a little difficult.
But as you said about the Paradigms, if I cannot go wrong getting those without hearing them, given that many of the reviews I read about the SF Veneres compared to and favored them over said Paradigms, kind of implies one could then say the same about the SF Veneres too
. Not sure but I think the Paradigms actually would cost more in the end (if you factor on the pricier center/s).