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post #1 of 6 Old 08-15-2014, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Time to upgrade

Hi, I am looking to start replacing my budget Infinity Primus line.

I use an Onkyo 818 with a Marantz MM7055 amp.

I will be listening to GoldenEar Triton 7s, PSB T6 and Monitor Audio Bronze BX5s. The salesperson states those are available for listening, but Monitor Audio RX8 and PSB XT2s he only mentioned having in stock, with "priced to move" incentives on the Monitor RX8s and PSBs (he didn't specify which models). I will also be wanting to listen to Klipsch RF-62/82s at another store. I've never heard a horn speaker before, so I wanted to include the Klipsch's in my research, but for some reason I still feel like I'd want to upgrade fairly quickly if I went with them.

My budget for this purchase is about $1500, though I'm hoping to pick up a matching center, I'm not optimistic.

Does anyone else have any other recommendations to add to this list? I would consider an ID co. but dislike blind purchasing, even if I am generally allowed a 30 day return period. I am also pretty partial to towers. While I do have a SVS SB-1000 to assist with the low end if I used a bookshelf model, I somehow disregard smaller speakers.

EDIT: Forgot to include room size. Roughly 1400 cu. ft.
EDIT2: Forgot usage breakdown. 70% music/30% movies

Sometimes our circuits get shorted by external interference,
Signals get crossed and the balance distorted by internal incoherence.

Last edited by RPGMasta; 08-15-2014 at 06:00 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-16-2014, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I made my stop-in to the dealer with Monitors, PSB and GoldenEar, and stopped at another on the way back that has some Martin Logan 40s.

I can only compare to what I hear from my Infinity set-up here at home.
My sample CDs for the PSB, GoldenEar and Monitor Audios were:
Rush - Signals
The Eagles - Hotel California

For the Martin Logan 40s:
Hotel California
Signals
Rush - Hemispheres

The PSB T6s started off slow, I almost didn't make it out of the first track. As I continued to listen, I felt I was hearing them better, alone in the room with the doors closed. I believe the speakers were too far apart for how close the seating was. I did not hear a unified soundstage, instead I was hearing vocals, guitar and snares from the Left channel, with cymbals crashing on the Right channel. I took the volume to -10dB peak, but generally listened between -20dB and -15dB. At home I usually stop at -24dB, depending on the time of day. The T6s did have a bit more bass than my Primus P363 towers, but the mids and highs did not seem any better. I listened to most of the Signals CD before moving on to the GoldenEars.

Changing rooms, the associate took the Triton 7s off of the platform and spaced them roughly 8' apart with a mild toe in to the center seat on the couch. There were very well away from a side or back wall. I really don't know how to put this experience into words. There was no TV/screen in this second room, so I could not tell the volume setting, the NAD receiver/amp, had a volume dial and no display itself.

As I loaded Signals into the CD player, I could instantly tell these were far better than the PSBs. The ribbon tweeter brought cymbal crashes alive like I'd never heard before. I decided it was time for a change, even if I do love Rush. In Hotel California went, and it was amazing. The vocals were smooth and detailed, the smokey guitars of Walsh and Felder were oozing with body and fullness like a fine scotch, while the tom tom and bass drum thumped with authority and accuracy. I started to wonder if I'd even use my SVS SB-1000 with these, as they already are rated down to 29Hz without the active subs their big brothers have. As I progressed to Life in the Fast Lane and Victim of Love, I could feel myself falling in love with these speakers.

The volume dial ended up about 1/3, or somewhere between 9 and 12 on the clock. I think I could have given it more, but already thought I was very loud.

Next up, the Monitor Audio BX5s, and I must say, I wasn't impressed right off the bat since they are so tiny. Unfortunately, something was wrong with that room. The Sony Blu-ray player continued to show Neo cinema setting, even though we changed the NAD receiver to Direct. The sound would flutter in and out (akin to a subwoofer that has a low signal issue), with an extreme boominess as the bass guitar made a sound. There were two smaller subs in the front of the room, that we guaranteed were not playing, but in the back of the room appeared to be a giant subwoofer that I did not notice until I was leaving the room. While the vocals sounded pretty marvelous at times, I can't really judge these speakers properly because of the technical difficulties.

On to the next shop. After discussing the GoldenEars with the owner, I asked if he has anything similar. This store is predominantly KEF and Martin Logan, but he had no KEF Q900s, so I was bummed. I'd heard other Martin Logan's, especially the electrostats, but he had the CLX, Montis and Ethos. He offered to move the 40s into the smaller room from the outside showroom once I mentioned how I adored the Triton's ribbon tweeter. Apparently the same manufacturer makes ribbons for both GoldenEar and Martin Logan.

He left me alone in the room, alone with my CD case and his iPad in case I wanted to pull anything up on Sonos. I elected to start with Hotel California, and while the 40s had significant bass response and the cymbals were crashing nicely, I felt these were a bit too warm for me, especially at $1900/pr., well over my budget. Moving on to Signals and then Hemispheres, I felt as if the vocals were reserved, no opening up and pulling me in. These speakers left me feeling like they should have sounded better, whereas the Triton 7s blew my socks off. This may have something to do with level matching, as the Parasound processor was the "other" volume setting, the one I'm not familiar with. I did not go over the 70 setting, and I don't know how close that is to reference without looking it up.

In summary, I can't stop gushing about the Triton 7s. I know that's not very good technical analysis, but that's all I can put together at this time.

Sometimes our circuits get shorted by external interference,
Signals get crossed and the balance distorted by internal incoherence.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-16-2014, 06:31 PM
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So, there were no Monitor Audio Silver RX-8 speakers to listen to?

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; 08-16-2014 at 06:35 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-16-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
So, there were no Monitor Audio Silver RX-8 speakers to listen to?
Correct, they had them for purchase, but not set-up to audition.

Sometimes our circuits get shorted by external interference,
Signals get crossed and the balance distorted by internal incoherence.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-16-2014, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGMasta View Post
Correct, they had them for purchase, but not set-up to audition.
The Silver series is on a higher level, above the Bronz series

Also on the PSB, they may have had one of the speaker wires connected wrong, on one speaker.
They may have cross connected a positive and negative at one end, PSB Image series do handle
imaging and sound staging, better than what you heard.

Continue to enjoy the adventure.
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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-23-2014, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I took a few minutes to stop in at Modia. They did not have the Klipsch RF62 or 82s in the showroom, but told the guy my budget. He took to a small room with four sets of B&Ws. The 683s are what he showed me. He let me pop my Hotel California CD into the Rotel CD player. Immediately I was wondering why B&W is such a big name. He never left the room, so I didn't take my time like I had at previous retailers, but I wouldn't have even if the salesman allowed me to. I felt this guy had no knowledge of music whatsoever. When I told him that I couldn't hear the cymbals crashing, that it sounded recessed, he told me that he didn't know what I meant, but that you shouldn't hear the cymbals so much, the drummer is in the back. I knew I'd never buy anything from this guy right then and there.

Sometimes our circuits get shorted by external interference,
Signals get crossed and the balance distorted by internal incoherence.
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