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Discussion Starter #1
I have read many of the threads here and have not come across one that seems to specifically address some of the thoughts and concerns. If there are threads that address my needs (even partially) links would be awesome. I am looking for advise (not only on brands and models, but things to consider that I have not thought of and things that I may not be looking at "correctly"), opinions (preferrably with reasons/explainations), and (especially) links to detailed specs and reviews. So, here it goes:


Background: I currently have an old Denon AVR-1803 (80W/ch). I was going to upgrade to an Onkyo 875 or 905, but given the issues that they have I think I will wait until the next line-ups are released and re-evaluate. I figure by waiting, that the top brands will work out some cliches, perhaps upgrade video processors, and include HD Radio at lower price points or at a lower price premium. I was leaning toward the upper Onkyo's because I wanted very good 1080p upscaling and all the other big names in the same price region only had the DCDi deinterlacers (480p max output) from what I could tell.


The current sub is a Def Tech Super Cube Reference. Some day I may upgrade to or add an Epik Conquest or something similar. I am happy with my SC reference, but after reading the craigsub rankings and other materials I am confident that better performing (less advertised/mainstream) subs exist at similar or lower price points. So knowing that I could have gotten more sub for the money when I took the plung for an expensive sub, I just want to make sure I get the "best" speakers I can for the money this time around. I'd prefer not to stay below $5,500 for 5 channels, but could go higher for the "right speakers". The room is fairly small at 13 x 19 x 8, but the back and left side are 50% open to other rooms, so effective size is probably much larger. 90% movie use and I don't normally stay in the room when playing music.


Desired speaker sizes and shape: I would like floor-standing mains (nothing too massive/wide though), the center can be almost any size or shape (including the same as the surrounds), and the surrounds (2 for now, 4 down the road) should be low profile and wall mountable (long and narrow is much preferred to boxy). Due to the amount of art on the walls I would like to mount the surrounds near the ceiling pointing down toward the seats. I was going to buy Def Tech Mythos STs and three Mythos Tens (C, LR, RR) based on all the rave reviews, but then got nervous that there was just too much hype about them. Paradigm seems to have some similar shaped speakers, but I have not been able to find any detailed reviews of them that included on and off axis frequency response. Specifically I was looking at the Millenia 300 & 30 speakers and also the Cinema 330 although I don't know what would be a good floor-stander to use as mains.


Desired speaker characteristics: I theorize that the more similar the components between all the channels, the more unified and consistent the sound will be (a strength of the Mythos ST & Ten line-up). I like the idea of well matched efficiency, frequency response (FR), dynamic range and characteristics, voicing, etc.. I would prefer fairly efficient speakers as I would prefer to stick with a mainstream AVR. With the room equalization feature of my *future* AVR I figure that ultra flat on-axis FR is not as important as having the best possible (similar to the front) off-axis FR to maximize the sound quality at each seat. I have concerns about the Mythos' off-axis performance.


I know I should audition the speakers, and I will try, but I don't think I have the patience or time to audition a bunch of brands and I'm not convinced I have the ear (yet?) to notice everything that I should to make it a really meaningful part of my decision process. Plus it seems unlikely that they will sound the same in store as in house and I don't care to be buying and returning a bunch of stuff. Heck, I don't *notice* any significant shortcoming in my current Sonys (SS-AV44 fronts, SS-CN305 center, and SS-SR305 surrounds). However I know new speakers will be far better and will probably teach me a lot about what good speakers sound like and can do. I did audition subs, but the tactile and perhaps easy to perceive nature of low frequency sound, I think, made that easy - my first real sub was an M&K V-76 - because I could perceive the power and detail.
 

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Where to begin... Ah yes... With receivers the market is chock full of units with essentially the same features. Some perform better than others so it pretty much depends on what features you really need and will properly utilize. NAD makes some pretty hefty, excellent sounding receivers. However they were a little slow on picking up with the new mainstream features such as HiDef surround processing and Video upscaling. But their audio output quality relative to the price point is pretty much unrivalled. I would highly recommend NAD over Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, etc. any day of the week.


For a room the size that you described I would say that the PMC GB1i for your mains would work wonderfully. They are a slender little floorstander, that upon first glance will likely be underestimated. These speakers sing and have well defined low end even at low volume. Their design allows for the sublteties of whatever amp that is powering them to really shine through, Which is why I recommend an NAD. This speaker is the floorstanding version of the DB1i which is a Wall mountable speaker that is capable of what most floorstanders are, and would be the perfect surround compliment to your mains. The design is long and narrow just how you wanted. There is also a center channel matched for these speakers called the DB1M-Ci. All of these speakers are bi-wire-able or bi-amp-able. DB freq. rang is 50hz-25k, and the GB is 29hz-25k. With music these speakers are plenty capable, but I personally think that it is with cinema that they really pack their wallop and their efficiency is truly heard. Aside from their sonic beauty their aesthetic is really pleasing... If you have a wife or lady friend of some sort, they fall in love with them. It's funny because women are totally objective and unbiased about speakers, because they don't know and really don't care, but they can tell pretty easily thoug what sounds good and what doesn't.... Needless to say women love PMC, but that shouldn't ever be the deciding factor but more the fact that they unanimously approved of by anyone who listens


With uncompressed formats coming to the forefront you really need something that can handle the dynamics. For the over 5k$ under 8k$ market these cannot be beat. You can demo all you want, time permitting that is, but most people do want not to deal with the hassle. But time after time, AB test after test, these cannot be matched. You will find yourself thinking about listening to these speakers when you are away from them.


You really don't have to have "the ear" to know just how amazing these little guys are. Sound is personal and people can go on and on about the little things, but what really matters is what sound really turns you on. So I would say the you would doing your self and your cinematic experience a great disservice by not going with PMC. They are all handbuilt and tested with proprietary components in England.... not some factory in China where who knows what's going on, like pretty much any other speaker company.

http://www.pmc-speakers.com/31.html
http://www.pmc-speakers.com/119.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagthragarthoth /forum/post/12990770


Where to begin... Ah yes... With receivers the market is chock full of units with essentially the same features. Some perform better than others so it pretty much depends on what features you really need and will properly utilize. NAD makes some pretty hefty, excellent sounding receivers. However they were a little slow on picking up with the new mainstream features such as HiDef surround processing and Video upscaling. But their audio output quality relative to the price point is pretty much unrivalled. I would highly recommend NAD over Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, etc. any day of the week.


For a room the size that you described I would say that the PMC GB1i for your mains would work wonderfully. They are a slender little floorstander, that upon first glance will likely be underestimated. These speakers sing and have well defined low end even at low volume. Their design allows for the sublteties of whatever amp that is powering them to really shine through, Which is why I recommend an NAD. This speaker is the floorstanding version of the DB1i which is a Wall mountable speaker that is capable of what most floorstanders are, and would be the perfect surround compliment to your mains. The design is long and narrow just how you wanted. There is also a center channel matched for these speakers called the DB1M-Ci. All of these speakers are bi-wire-able or bi-amp-able. DB freq. rang is 50hz-25k, and the GB is 29hz-25k. With music these speakers are plenty capable, but I personally think that it is with cinema that they really pack their wallop and their efficiency is truly heard. Aside from their sonic beauty their aesthetic is really pleasing... If you have a wife or lady friend of some sort, they fall in love with them. It's funny because women are totally objective and unbiased about speakers, because they don't know and really don't care, but they can tell pretty easily thoug what sounds good and what doesn't.... Needless to say women love PMC, but that shouldn't ever be the deciding factor but more the fact that they unanimously approved of by anyone who listens


With uncompressed formats coming to the forefront you really need something that can handle the dynamics. For the over 5k$ under 8k$ market these cannot be beat. You can demo all you want, time permitting that is, but most people do want not to deal with the hassle. But time after time, AB test after test, these cannot be matched. You will find yourself thinking about listening to these speakers when you are away from them.

You really don't have to have "the ear" to know just how amazing these little guys are. Sound is personal and people can go on and on about the little things, but what really matters is what sound really turns you on. So I would say the you would doing your self and your cinematic experience a great disservice by not going with PMC. They are all handbuilt and tested with proprietary components in England.... not some factory in China where who knows what's going on, like pretty much any other speaker company.

http://www.pmc-speakers.com/31.html
http://www.pmc-speakers.com/119.html

Apparently you work for PMC, as in every thread you have posted all you say is that there is nothing better, but based on what???? Sound is subjective, and some people have more sensitive ears than others, so what I like might not be what someone else likes, that is why over 200 speaker companies exist. You are not doing any service to the OP with your biased comments.
 

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If you are looking for floorstanding mains and wall mount surrounds that have identical drivers, check out the JBL Studio L series. The L880 floorstanding and L820 mirror imaged surrounds.

The L880s(6" dual woofers) are smaller than the L890s(8" dual woofers), which would be a good fit for your room.

Both the L880 and the L820 have two tweeters, 4" midrange and 6" bass. You'll get very good sound thoughout the entire range and very good bass, even w/o a sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nagthragarthoth:

I only found one of the speakers you recommended and its efficiency was much lower than what I would like. I found the website poorly laid out and generally uninformative - I have dial up so navigating a poorly designed website is frustrating. I could not find any reviews, detailed stats, frequency response curves, etc. for the brand. On the amp front, when I upgrade amps I will definitely want the latest sound formats and quality video processing, and I prefer to be as integrated as possible. The NADs stats look nice, other than component video bandwidth.


PR Audio:

Over 200 speaker makers.awww man, and I was overwhelmed guessing that maybe there were a few score of makers. Dang dialup makes it hard to do a lot of good research. I saw in another thread, that you said that you liked the Paradigm Cinema 330s over the Millenia 30s - anything in particular? On the surface the the poorer off axis response numbers and lower power handling area a turn-off. I have not been able to find reviews and FR charts for the 330s.


4DHD:

Thank you very much for the JBL idea. I'm glad I checked the JBLs out. The Studio L series has good efficiency, the reviews found were pretty favorable, the freq response curves (including off-axis) looked okay. Unfortunately once they got my hopes up and I actually went and measured, I confirmed that they won't fit in the space I have since I have only 8.5 inches from the top of my pictures to the ceiling. The dimensions of the Paradigm Millenia 30s or Def Tech Mythos Tens would work well for me. If I had been able to fit the Studio L series I would have liked to demo two L890s and three LC2s.


How is that a speaker with a tweeter and an ultra tweeter still manages to have the typical 16+ kHz valley? Couldn't they have crossed the ultra tweeter a bit lower to flatten the response from 16-20 kHz?


-------------------

Additional research, partially the JBL research, has me pondering the wisdom of my placing so high a value on matched voicing. Yes, matched voicing sounds like it would be good for HT, but is it worth compromising much on the fronts and center to achieve? Is it safe to assume that differences in voice are more noticeable the higher the frequency becomes, similar to directionality? Am I likely to still get great voice matching if the tweeters and hopefully mid-range drivers are the same for all speakers, but the bass drivers differ a little?


Are there any general drawbacks to extra crossovers (3-way vs. 4-way)?


Are there any other respected speaker lines that have the long, narrow, somewhat shallow (and rounded would seem to make mounting more versatile and easy) design like Millenia and Mythos?
 

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I've owned Axiom Audio speakers for many years now, and would recommend them highly for your consideration. There Qs8 surrounds are one of the best in the industry. Also, if your looking for more of an inwall/onwall design, their latest Architecture series speakers are very popular. Good Luck
 

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Quote:
4DHD:

Thank you very much for the JBL idea. I'm glad I checked the JBLs out. The Studio L series has good efficiency, the reviews found were pretty favorable, the freq response curves (including off-axis) looked okay. Unfortunately once they got my hopes up and I actually went and measured, I confirmed that they won't fit in the space I have since I have only 8.5 inches from the top of my pictures to the ceiling. The dimensions of the Paradigm Millenia 30s or Def Tech Mythos Tens would work well for me. If I had been able to fit the Studio L series I would have liked to demo two L890s and three LC2s.

Why three LC2? You don't need 3 center channels. Were you thinking of using them for surrounds?

The LC1 is only 7.5" tall but needs to be on a stand or shelf, as it has a rear port.

I don't know about any dip at 16K, what I do know is the Studio L series is a superb system, and would have to spend a lot more to get better.

Quote:
Additional research, partially the JBL research, has me pondering the wisdom of my placing so high a value on matched voicing. Yes, matched voicing sounds like it would be good for HT, but is it worth compromising much on the fronts and center to achieve? Is it safe to assume that differences in voice are more noticeable the higher the frequency becomes, similar to directionality? Am I likely to still get great voice matching if the tweeters and hopefully mid-range drivers are the same for all speakers, but the bass drivers differ a little?


Are there any general drawbacks to extra crossovers (3-way vs. 4-way)?

3-way vs 4-way, no

Using identical speakers is best (I use 5 JBL Performance Series PT800), for both movies and multi-channel music. But having different size woofers wouldn't really be noticable.


But with the Studio L Series all tweeters and mids are the same, except the L810, L830, LC1, which don't have mids. And some prefer them to the LC2, L820. Those last two, along with the L880 have identical drivers throughout.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexthem /forum/post/13013094


PR Audio:

Over 200 speaker makers.awww man, and I was overwhelmed guessing that maybe there were a few score of makers. Dang dialup makes it hard to do a lot of good research. I saw in another thread, that you said that you liked the Paradigm Cinema 330s over the Millenia 30s - anything in particular? On the surface the the poorer off axis response numbers and lower power handling area a turn-off. I have not been able to find reviews and FR charts for the 330s.

Because there are over 200 that is why I keep my recommendations to maybe 5 or 6 popular ones.


When I auditioned the 330's and Millenias I was not impressed at all by Millenias. The 330's for half the price do the same job, and to me sounded better. Forget the numbers, and go out to audition them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I went with JBL, I would prefer the LC2 over the LC1 for surrounds because it is half the depth (5" vs. 10") and the 6" drivers have a little more bass and would be a slightly better match for the 8" mains and exact matches to the center (of course). I didn't realize that they had a rear port, but if I end up going this route, the port should not be a problem as I would intend to mount them on an angle pointing down toward the listening position. I would be concerned that the LC1 would look weird jutting out over the pictures (and perhaps shadowing the pictures). If I end up relaxing my desire (and perhaps misguided obsession) for highly matched voicing, I will certainly revisit these; they are my third favorite conceptually so far.


Review:
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/jbl_l890.htm

Charts:
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...ents/jbl_l890/


The JBL treble drop off (actually starts arond 14 kHz) is certainly not unusual and seems to be less off axis than most speakers. As a matter of fact looking back at the Def Techs, they have a valley at 7k, recover and start falling off again at 11 kHz, more steeply after 15k. I was just wondering what was so difficult or undesireable about 15-20 kHz sound.
 

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Part of the problem is that the higher the frequency the more directional the radiating the pattern becomes.

As for using center speakers for the surrounds, I'd advise against that. Centers are designed for a particular use.

If you're going to mount surrounds with some kind of swivel mount, so they're angled down, then you gain some elevation to be able to use proper surrounds, hopefully.

My personal preference is to have surrounds at 6 ft above the floor. But one has to work with what ones got, as far as available wall space.


As far as FR curves go, I take more stock in how speakers sound, to my own ears. And having had a pair of L890s, I say they're good to go.
 
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