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Legacy, RBH, OR Monitor Audio 5.1 set-up? Huge $$$ decison that I do not want to regret. - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Too bad you don't live close to Oklahoma because my RBH dealer has a T2/P system demo he is selling at a tremendous savings. biggrin.gif
These were once flagship speakers that retailed around $8K/pr. Full factory warranty since they are demo.
I listened to these speakers and they sounded amazing.

Acu, based on my likings and description in the 1st post, which one out of the three systems would you select? Have you heard all of these speakers in person? I have watched your videos, and you have quite the collection of speakers. Are you a dealer or is this a hobby for you?biggrin.gif
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by addictaudio View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_alpha View Post

Addict - I have a 5.1 GX set-up, but with a GXC-150 center and GX-50 surrounds. I agree with you about the 300's highs - I think the GX ribbon tweeters are very special. I'm just driving the whole set up with an AVR as well (Pioneer SC-57). I've had the system for 6 months now and I've not yet heard anything from it that was disappointing. Seems to handle both home theater and music very well. I recently got a 5.1 blu-ray audio copy of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and was blown away! The cabinetry work and overall fit and finish of the MA stuff is second to none, IMO. Everything down to the smallest detail, like packging and screw covers, etc., was top-notch.
That being said, I've never heard any Legacy speakers, or know much about the brand.
I'd find it difficult to believe anyone would be disappointed in, or regret buying, a GX system.
Hope this helps,
JD

Thanks JD. What subwoofer(s) are you running with the system? Do you have the 300's set to large, LFE plus mains?

I'm using the GXW-15 sub, which I know is considred kind of heretical here on AVS. My reasons for going with it rather than an internet direct brand included getting to hear it before buyin it, getting a great deal on it, and it having on-board calibration (the MCACC room correction on my AVR doesn't calibrate subs). I've been satisfied with its performance so far, even with bottom heavy, action movie type HT viewing. But I'm in no way a bass junkie, and others may really need the incremental bottom octave performance gains of an internet direct brand.

I stick to the usual recommendation of running the 300s set to small, especially for HT. I've seen very few posters actually prefer a "plus" type set-up. When listening to music, I'll sometimes switch to the "pure direct" mode on my AVR to stop the sub output. However, it does sound to me like a really "quick"/"musical" sub, so I often do leave it on for music.

- JD
post #33 of 56
I have owned and listened to many of the RBH speakers. Very well built and nice sounding speakers. Their lite weight aluminum drivers do not ring. They are hard to audition, but worth the effort.
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post #34 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for the additional input. Mike, I received your PM sir. I am surprised not to hear many people here posting thoughts or opinions regarding the Legacy speakers. They appear to be great and custom built. They do appear to be in the same league as Salk, Philarmonic, and Triad, correct?
post #35 of 56
I have worked on all of these products in the past.

I would not recommend RBH. I have seen them miss wired internally several times such that phase was inconsistent between drivers. This is not a brand I would ever buy.

Monitor Audio and Legacy both make generally good speakers for the money. They are not products that I find to have big issues.

With this class of products I would look at adding Salk to the mix. I find their products to be generally outstanding at the price. Many used speakers can be had that are great at these prices as well. Generally no company is great at surrounds, mains, center and subwoofer. I would mix brands for various speakers to get the best overall performance for the money. What would work the best in your situation will depend on the seating and room layout.

Crystal clear high frequencies reads ribbon tweeter or air motion transformer to me. Eficion makes some great product in this category along with Salk and Aerial.

Room acoustics and system setup are every bit as important as the speakers and need to be addressed as well.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by addictaudio View Post

Acu, based on my likings and description in the 1st post, which one out of the three systems would you select? Have you heard all of these speakers in person? I have watched your videos, and you have quite the collection of speakers. Are you a dealer or is this a hobby for you?biggrin.gif

Just a hobby. biggrin.gif

I have not heard Legacy or MA. But the RBH T2 speakers were about as good as any speakers I've heard.

I would look for the T2 dealer demo speakers around the country (online, phone). I mean if I could get the T2 for $3K/pr dealer demo w/ full warranty when original msrp is $8K, it would be worth the $100+ shipping. biggrin.gif
post #37 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umr View Post

I have worked on all of these products in the past.
I would not recommend RBH. I have seen them miss wired internally several times such that phase was inconsistent between drivers. This is not a brand I would ever buy.
Monitor Audio and Legacy both make generally good speakers for the money. They are not products that I find to have big issues.
With this class of products I would look at adding Salk to the mix. I find their products to be generally outstanding at the price. Many used speakers can be had that are great at these prices as well. Generally no company is great at surrounds, mains, center and subwoofer. I would mix brands for various speakers to get the best overall performance for the money. What would work the best in your situation will depend on the seating and room layout.
Crystal clear high frequencies reads ribbon tweeter or air motion transformer to me. Eficion makes some great product in this category along with Salk and Aerial.
Room acoustics and system setup are every bit as important as the speakers and need to be addressed as well.

Thanks for the opinion. Please see the two attached pictures in the first post from the set-up as of now, minus the speakers of course. I already have a SVS PB12 Plus 2 subwoofer that is pictured, which I will use. I wanted to sure the five speakers from the same brand, in order to obtain a perfect and seemless sonic blend from all speakers.
Edited by addictaudio - 11/15/12 at 10:44am
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by addictaudio View Post

Thanks for the opinion. Please see the two attached pictures in the first post from the set-up as of now, minus the speakers of course. I already have a SVS PB12 Plus 2 suboower that is pictured, which I will use. I wanted to sure the five speakers from the sam brand, in order to obtain a perfect and seemless sonic blend from all speakers.

You will not get a perfect and seamless blend by using speakers from the same manufacturer unless they are identical types. Once you switch to surround speakers and centers the design differs along with the sound. Surrounds in particular are frequently poorly done and the dispersion characteristics are every bit as important as the timbre. Location also effects timbre and the timbre effects need to be equalized out.

I would only go with Legacy if you are going to stick with a single brand. Their surround Phantom HD surround speaker design is much better than anything Monitor audio makes. They also offer ribbon tweeters which are superior to those found in Monitor audio products.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by umr View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by addictaudio View Post

Thanks for the opinion. Please see the two attached pictures in the first post from the set-up as of now, minus the speakers of course. I already have a SVS PB12 Plus 2 suboower that is pictured, which I will use. I wanted to sure the five speakers from the sam brand, in order to obtain a perfect and seemless sonic blend from all speakers.

You will not get a perfect and seamless blend by using speakers from the same manufacturer unless they are identical types. Once you switch to surround speakers and centers the design differs along with the sound. Surrounds in particular are frequently poorly done and the dispersion characteristics are every bit as important as the timbre. Location also effects timbre and the timbre effects need to be equalized out.

I would only go with Legacy if you are going to stick with a single brand. Their surround Phantom HD surround speaker design is much better than anything Monitor audio makes. They also offer ribbon tweeters which are superior to those found in Monitor audio products.

Hey Addict - I can't/won't comment on Legacy vs. MA surrounds, since I haven't heard the Legacy speakers, but I'd ask umr to clarify the last statement in the post above. If it was meant to say "both Legacy and MA surrounds have ribbon tweeters, but the Legacy ribbons are better," then fine, that might very well be the case. However, if the intention was to imply that no MA surrounds are available with ribbon tweeters, that obviously isn't the case.

Again, I'm no expert, but I'd expect a surround system from one of the better manufacturers - like MA's GX line - would match up better than mixing together different brands. After all, it's partially characteristics that impact the sound (driver types, design, materials, etc.) that contribute to the individual brand identity. Between-brand differences will likely be larger than within-brand differences, so staying with the same brand should offer the best chance of a good blend.

It sucks to hear about the potential issues with RBH speakers. I'm not familiar with the brand, but I'm assuming it would be in the same segment/price range in the market as the other speakers discussed, and I'd hate to spend that kind of money on a faulty product.

Cheers,
JD
post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umr View Post

You will not get a perfect and seamless blend by using speakers from the same manufacturer unless they are identical types. Once you switch to surround speakers and centers the design differs along with the sound. Surrounds in particular are frequently poorly done and the dispersion characteristics are every bit as important as the timbre. Location also effects timbre and the timbre effects need to be equalized out.
I would only go with Legacy if you are going to stick with a single brand. Their surround Phantom HD surround speaker design is much better than anything Monitor audio makes. They also offer ribbon tweeters which are superior to those found in Monitor audio products.

HI Jeff, feel free to PM me details, if you wish. Your assistance is greately appreciated. It is a shame to hear about your experience with the RBH, as they came highly recommended by a trusted source. The Monitor Audio Gold GX series have all ribbon tweeters. They line was redesigned last year, and is vastly superior to their previous GS line. Please visit MA's website to study the specifications of the new series. I am looking into the GX300 towers, GX350 center, and GXFX monopole/dipole surround. All of the ribbon tweeters match in this series, and go up to the same frequency response in the upper range (60K). If going Legacy, I am looking into the Classic HD towers, Silverscreen center, and Deco as side surrounds. The only issue is that Deco is direct firing with one tweeter, so it is monopole, versus being bipole/dipole. The Phatom's just add one additional driver to each side, but no additinonal tweeters, so I am not sure if Legacy's surround designs provide that diffused surround effect when watching movies. Additionally, the upper range frequency respone varies from 25 - 30K for the afformentioned Legacy's. Another consideration, is the 4 ohm rating for the legacies with a higher sensitivity when compared to the 8 ohm rating for the MA GW with a lower sensitivity. Which ones will be easier for my Denon 4311 to drive? Legacy came out with a redesigned Air Motion Ribbon tweeter, but they will not make in into the Classic HD series, at least this is what I am told for now.
post #41 of 56
Surround speakers are as much a function of the angle the drivers are mounted as the drivers used. If the speakers are too parallel to the wall the sound does not tend to disperse well. If the surround fires too far forward the surround effect is reduced by the amount of sound reflected from the front wall back to the listening position. The best surrounds have the speakers angled like the Klipsch THX Ultra design. A surround product with poor dispersion characteristics relative to the walls will impact the surround sound field greatly.
Edited by umr - 11/15/12 at 11:58am
post #42 of 56
Thread Starter 
UMR, when you have a moment, please post or PM me your impressions regarding my post # 40. Thank you sir.
post #43 of 56


In my experience a design like the GXFX and the Deco are definitely not ones I would recommend or use in my own theater. As I said in my previous post quality surrounds angle the speaker like those found in the Klipsch THX Ultra design shown above.

Manufacturer specifications for impedance and efficiency can be off. I would lean toward more efficient and higher impedance all else being equal.
post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 
I see. The MA RXFX is designed with the dual baffles (bipole) like you mentioned the Klipsch's are. The Phantom that you mentioned from Legacy has the dual driver's on the side, but still only one front firing tweeter in the monopole configuration. Regarding impedance and efficiency, the Legacy's are more efficient, but at a lower impedance. The MA's are less efficient, but have a higher impedance.
post #45 of 56
The important factor I am talking about is the angle the speakers are mounted. The RXFX is still too parallel to the wall in my opinion, but it is better than the GXFX. I would focus on this first with surrounds and other factors second.

The Klipsch is actually a proprietary design that is not a dipole.
post #46 of 56
Here is a product from Atlantic Technology that is well executed. Note the similarity to the angles used in the Klipsch design. These are two of the best surround speakers that I have heard.

post #47 of 56
Thread Starter 
^^^ Yes, I believe those are a Bipole design, with both tweeters and drivers firing simultaneously. I am just not too fond of mixing different speaker brands and designs within one system. Your recommendation is interesting, as most have steered me into staying with one brand and even mostly within the same model range. For instance, if I get three MA's or three Legacy's for the front stage, and the two surround sounds above from Atlantic Technology, wouldn't there be a noticeable sonic mismatch, due to different tweeter designs, etc...? Especially when listening to 5.1 musical blue Ray's?
post #48 of 56
In general I believe that we do not hear sound that well where surrounds should be located compared to the main and center speakers. Sonic quality from surrounds in my experience is much less important than location and dispersion character. I work on many systems with speakers up to $250K a pair to very modest systems that are less expensive than you are looking at. I have also been in major studio screening rooms and am helping a major studio with the design of one of their screening rooms currently.

The seating layout and use of the system also will determine the relative impact of these decisions. The more seats the more important the location. Direct radiating speakers will work better than the Monitor audio surrounds if you have limited seating locations and can locate them in good locations relative to those seats.

Speaker quality is a big deal in my experience with mains, center and subwoofers. Room acoustics is also huge along with how the system is adjusted including equalization, levels, distances, phasing and crossovers. When it comes to surrounds I find the designs you are considering are a failure compared to those I am suggesting no matter who makes them or what level of system they are used in.

I do not think I can help you further on this forum than to suggest these things.
post #49 of 56
Thread Starter 
^^ Thanks Jeff. On my first post, I listed the size of the room along with two pictures with descriptions, and the supporting equippment. Did you get a chance to look at both pictures and read their descriptions? This will alow you to know the exact size and layout of the room. I will be adding an indoor rug in front of the couch and leather ottoman. I also bought an Auralex Great Gramma to put the SVS on. I will move the subwoofer next to the audio rack, the the tower will be placed on the outer portion. Please check that information out along with the pictures. Seating is a leather couch with room for three. The surrounds will be placed and mounted on the wall as in the picture that I posted, which is directly to the side of the couch 2- 3 feet above ear level. Towers and center will be around 7 feet away from the main listening position.
post #50 of 56
Those photos do not show much, but it appears you will be too live acoustically. I would fix this before investing much in the audio equipment realm.

Your speaker locations seem reasonable. I would avoid the MA surrounds for the reasons I stated above.

The subwoofer location may be a problem. It needs to be kept away from people if possible and the relative distance to the seating should not vary dramatically. That appears to be a very small space for such a large box making it hard to locate. A compact and powerful sub like a JL Audio would be a better fit closer to the gear.
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
^^^^ Thanks again. yes, this is considered a "bright" room, as the floors are also tile and marble (no carpeting). There is around 3-feet behind most of the couch, which leads to a french door that I keep closed when using the room. Yes, it is a large subwoofer, but as of now, I have to use and keep what I have. To dampen the room a bit, as mentioned, I will add a rug, ottoman, Auralex Great Gramma for the sub, and will also place a drape over the window to one side of the couch.
post #52 of 56
If the room is really way too live spending more money on main, center and surrounds is a waste of money. I would focus on the subwoofer and system adjustments if you are not going to bring the room reverb into a reasonable range. More benefits are likely in that area when room acoustics are poor.

The other thing you would find is when you sit that close to the front speakers the sound quality tends to be degraded at the secondary seats more than when you are further back.

I would calculate the critical distance to see where you are in that room. http://www.mcsquared.com/ssdesign.htm
post #53 of 56
Thread Starter 
^^^ Thanks Jeff. The speakers in those photos are all gone (except for the subwoofer), so I am speakerless, and need to purchase new ones regardless. The "brightness" of the room does not bother me that much, as I like more lively brighter speakers with the ribbon tweeter, but will incorporate the addition of sound damping artifacts, as mentioned in post number 51. These should tame down the "brightness" a bit, short of a full professional Auralex or like wall and ceiling treatments.
post #54 of 56
Ribbons will help the bright room situation because they contain the sound in a narrower range vertically. However, this does make their positioning more critical and a poor choice for surround speakers.

An acoustically bright room will degrade the precision that better speakers bring to the situation. One of the main things better speakers add is lower distortion. A room that is too reverberant will smear the sound like a white room smears the picture on a front projection system. Ribbon tweeters are like adding some gain to the screen, but it will not help with the lower frequencies. You will never hear what the speakers are really doing until you do the equivalent of painting the walls a dark color by adding enough and the right kind of absorption material to the room.
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
Well folks, as an update, I was able to audition both the Legacy Classic HD and Signature SE speakers, but only in a two channel set-up, as they did not have the surrounds or center channel speaker. In comparison with the MA GX300's, I felt that the Classic HD's did not measure up as well, especially in the upper higher end frequency. Now the Signature SE's compared more favorably, and they did not have the new style Air Motion Tweeter, but still had the previous similar design. I still felt that the MA GX300 was a little more detailed and life-like sounding, especially in the upper frequency range, but the MA's were audioned in another location, with different amplification, etc... I am more confused than ever now. RBH is out of the question, because I cannot audition them, or return them if I do not like them.
post #56 of 56
Thread Starter 
Looking more any more final opinions and feedback. Thanks.
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