We recently held the 2017 Kansas City Home Theater Crawl. > 50 people attended.
The Matching Mackie C200 setup received some nice compliments.
A couple of my favorite, repeat worthy comments, were that the matched Mackie C200 system had the best sound of the crawl from one well known out of state forum member who texted me the message, and another that the matched Mackie system had the best surround sound and Atmos integration of any system he'd ever heard, that comment was publically posted in the crawl thread by beastaudio in post 1180, so I feel fine mentioning his name here.
These comments were at my auditioned SPL levels during the crawl of anywhere between actual reference (0) MLV and -4dB MLV based on the individual demo clip played. (= high end commercial movie theater loudness equivalent)
FWIW, I purposely took my Sherbourn 7-350 amplifier out of the mix because I wanted there to be no question for the greenhorns of "was it because he had a audiophile $4000 amp that the Mackie's sounded good?" No the L/R were driven by a Crown XLS-402, and the center by a bridged Crown XLS-202. I would have used 100% AVR power, if the Denon had enough channels of internal amplification. It does not. It only drives 9 channels, the other channels you have to use external amplification. So I drove everything but L/C/R off the Denon AVR in the 9.1.4 setup to remove the amp question from the demo.
I had recently picked up a Sherbourn 7-350 amplifier again because one of the locals was selling it for a good deal at $800. (I originally had one of the Sherbourn 7-350 from the Emotiva closeout deal for my JTR 228HT, but the senstivity of the JTR was too high and Audyssey pegged speaker levels to -12 in my smaller former home theater room, so I sold it)
Anyway, I hooked it up to the Mackies before the meet, and of course couldn't' tell a difference, so in talking with a friend,
, he questioned why muddy the water with a premium amp attached to value speakers for the attendees who are just learning. Good point. I haven't decided if I will keep the amp or not. I'm tempted to keep it for future proofing purposes -- ie when 9.1.4 AVRs are available for less than house mortgage expense levels, they may not internally power all the channels, like my Denon does not now. In that instance it would be nice to have a single amp to power the extra channels. If I never was going to upgrade anything I'd just resell it since it doesn't make an audible difference with the Mackies. I still can't get a clear answer if 9.1.4 based immersive audio is actually in the pipeline? There is some discussion that we may only get more ceiling channels but the bed channels will remain restricted to 7 channels. I don't need more than 4 ceiling speakers since I only have one row, but I wouldn't mind having 9 bed channels if such were actually available.