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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am begining to look around for replacement speakers for my FP based HT. The basement HT room is 13' * 24' * 7'. I currently have five Dynaco A-25's (don't laugh too hard) that sound very decent IMO driven by an Acurus Five 200 power amp (five channels by 200 w per). I also have a Mirage BPS-400 sub which I love in this setup.


My thinking is to ditch the sub and have all the LFE handled by all the surrounds (except the centre) so that I have less nodal problems and more seemless bass for both music and movies. This would also position me "better" in terms of bass management for DVD-A and SACD when I go down that path. On a side note, my long term plan is to almagamate my two ch system with my HT system but first I have to have $ to purchase a pre / pro that has a fantastic analog stage like the Bryston SP1 (which is a BP20) and I guess now SP 1.7.


I've been looking around and there are very few "reasonably" priced "full range" speakers that go sub 25 Hz. I know that in Stereophile for a true Class A rating the speakers must be "full range" and thus cover the 20-20K spectrum but like most of us here - I'm not going to take out a second mortage for these class "A" rated speakers. The two speakers that I have very briefly audtioned are the PMC FB1 and the Gershman Accoustics X-1 / SW-1 sub / satellite combo (very similar in look and design as the Wilson WATT / Puppy). Both of these speakers MSRP for about $3 - 3.6K CDN per pair. So I'd be looking at around 8k - 9k with a centre and taxes. The web links I provided do not state the +/- db at 23 and 20 Hz respectively for each speaker so I do not know how truly low they go.


There have got to be more "full range" speakers out there in the same price range unless I am missing something? I have listened to some of the Paradigm Studio Series, Energy Veritas and the B&W CDM NT series and while these speakers sound excellent and match my personal taste - they don't go low enough for me to ditch the sub. Am I making too much out of nothing in wanting to get rid of the sub? Any feedback is most welcomed.
 

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Hi Eric,


Check out the VMPS RM40 , probably one of the best speakers on the market today and very reasonably priced. Go to Harmonicdiscord. com for further info.

Good luck in your quest!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gladiator and Jose


Thanks for the replies. I remember seeing the various VMPS ads in the various trade mags years ago. I agree with much of what is stated in their website and their philosphy on audio. The RM40's are a tad over my price range as they "list" for $4600 US that would be about $7K CDN (2x for matching rears + a centre yikes + shipping unless I find a local Canadian dealer who will pass on the shipping costs to me anyways :(). I did like the idea of buying the speakers in kits as I'm kind of handy with the soldering iron and will be able to read the x-over schematics (assuming they are unassembled). They also go low - the QSO series (although they don't go as low) and Super Towers do look appealing to me as well. I have booked mark this site and will be calling them about local Canadian Dealers - thanks - it appears that you have uncovered a gem for me.


As for the NHT's, seems like an excellent deal .... if only I didn't have CRT. The dealer that sells the Gershman's here in Toronto also sells NHT and for some reason with the CDN $ exchange taken into account - he could sell them at comparable US prices. I actually heard some of the larger NHT's (can't recall if it was the VC-3) there a few months ago but I didn't like them too much because I found it on the bright side. The treble may have been cranked on the Classe SSP -30 (assuming it has tone controls) or the speakers may not have been broken in yet. Another picky but big turn off for me is the gloss piano finish. Even though these speakers are black - they will reflect light back to the screen which my CRT setup won't like too much. I've seen speakers with gloss finishes with CRT setups and it is noticeable. And lastly, another picky thing on my part is that I would want the exact same speakers for the rear and the fronts so this setup while excellent will lead to many sleepless nights for me :)


Thanks for the replies, I have more info for my new speaker quest.
 

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If you really want to go this way, and there are those who will say you will get better sound from satellites with a single sub, I think you will need to revise your expectations.


There are very few single main speakers that can reach 20Hz with any kind of power. Even WATT/Puppies die in the 30s.


IMHO, you would be better off getting two proper subs, and a pair of satellites of high quality. You can always mount the satellites on the subs.


You could build your own, but a pair of ACI Titan subs ( www.audioc.com ) would fit the bill, as might Hsu or Adire models. Then your choice of satellites depending upon your musical tastes.


Or try used. A pair of NHT 3.3s would fit your budget.


Steve
 

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I wouldn't ditch the sub If I were you.

There are wery few speakers out there,especialy in your range,that could equal the bass quanity and quality of the mirage you have now.The funny thing is,that there are better subs out there for less money too.

Also,you may not get the best bass out of speakers that actualy positioned for the best imaging and soundstaging.The two might not go hand in hand.

The sub[bass fr] is the most affacted by the room,so it's positioning is critical,but when you restricted by the stereo positioning,I think you end up compromising more then,you have "bargained" for.

I personaly would get towers that have good extension down to the mid 30's,and highpass 'em @60hz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thehun, Steve and Westrock. Thanks for the insightful feedback. I wasn't aware of Audio Concepts. I too have booked mark this site and will be doing some more reading later tonight.


I'm in the camp that generally feels that there are very few sat / sub combos that have a very seemless bass transition from sub to satellite. For HT, I'm not that critical but for music, I want that seemlessness. I have yet to hear the Definitive Technology speakers. First, I will disclose my personal bias and say that they seem to spend a lot of money on advertising so I'm wondering how much goes in the product. I know of one DT dealer in Toronto and would prefer not to deal with them. They are probably great speakers but I already have some preconceived prejudices against them.


I will probably take Thehun's advice and keep the sub - maybe my expectations were unrealistic. I will keep my 2 ch setup seperate from my HT setup. In addtion to all your feedback. Here is what assisted me into this decision.....


I was further looking into the VMPS site and their reviews of the RM40. Here is what one reviewer said ...... "Which, when you think about it, makes the RM 40 one of the best loudspeakers one can buy. Quality speakers have crossed this threshold before. My mind goes to the Gallo Reference, the Scientific Fidelity loudspeaker, the Jovian Pillars, and more recently, the Silverline LaFolias and the PBN KAS….excellent speakers each and everyone of them" The review is here I don't want to be quoting without a source.


I own the Scientific Fidelity Tesla's speakers for my 2 ch setup and have always enjoyed them immensely - I didn't realize that they came with this high praise from this reviewer.
 

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Why not simply incorporate your mains into your HT system, and if you feel the need get another sub?



Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Steve,


I have thought of this previously. See this thread from way back when in trying to find a matching centre for the Scientific Fidelity Tesla's (they are out of business for some time and never made HT gear only 2 ch). As I mentioned in the initial post in this thread - I'd need a real decent pre pro that has an excellent analogue stage. IMO the Sonic Frontiers SLF-1 signature preamp would be hard to beat with the anolgue stages of most pre / pros out there. There is a used PMC centre channel at another site for about $400 CDN which happens to use a similar tweeter as the Sci-Fi's. Maybe I'll take the $400 "risk" and give it a shot. The other thing that will kind of bother me is not having matching rears and fronts but I can probably live with this.
 

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Here's another thought for you. Well, two actually.


Firstly do you need a center? Many people perfer a phantom.


Secondly, you could have one made. Just find out the drivers used in your Teslas and then have a custom center and/or surrounds made. You could even get matching cabinets.


You mentioned in your other post that the Tesla uses 'customized' woofers. It is highly unlikely that they are proprietary. If they are customized it is usually fairly minor. I know, I used to have Wilsons with 'customized' drivers and I checked.


The phot was a bit small to see what they might be, but you could always take one out and check for yourself, or email the designer.


Try asking the question at the forum at www.madisound.com, there are people there who can idenify the most obscure drivers, and who also build you something.


Steve
 

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I agree with Steve. I don't understand why you need matching rears and fronts. From everything I've read they state that the center and the fronts must match, but that the side surrounds and the rears can be different. And a good pre-amp/amp (or very good receiver) should be able to seamlessly switch the sound to the sub(s). Plus I just read an article last night (not sure of exact reference), that suggested that you get better overall sound quality if you set the bass-crossover reasonably high - such as 100hz.


If you let the sub do what its does best that leaves your other speakers to do the higher frequencies better and you get better bass all over.


I've listened to the DefTech 2002s and feel they do a pretty good job of bass. In fact, until I got SVS subs, I was strongly leaning towards 4 2002s as my 4 main speakers. I'm glad I didn't. The sound I have with ML AEONs and the SVS subs is immensely superior. And I'm extraordinarily critical about bass quality and instrumental music. (The AEONs are nowhere near top of the line but do a more than adequate reproduction for my hearing). But having the separate subs improves the overall response. And you can't believe what the separate subs do for HT movies. Its awesome.


Myron
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve,


Good thoughts - I could run in Phantom mode sans centre but I do have some off axis seating in my HT so I'm not sure how crisp the dialogue will be. The Sci Fi's image like there is no tomorrow but have a fairly tight sweet spot for seating so it may not be too good for those off axis. I can give this a shot. I'll have disconnect the speakers from one power amp to another but no big deal.


As for making matching speakers - yikes - I'm handy with the soldering iron and somewhat with wood working but I wouldn't know how to design a speaker if a Q or Fs value hit me over the head. I've seen the link to your dipoles but I'm not that handy. The tweeter is the common Vifa tweeter that has a silver dome. Although Sci Fi says they "modified" this. The woofers are custom pretty sure of this. They actually have two voice coils for each woofer so it can be driven as a mid-bass and as a sub according to the literature. If I remember correcly, I did take them apart when I first got the speakers and I think there were two pairs of connections per woofer. More reading tonight - the madison website - when will it stop



Here is a picture of the driver:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by myronwm
I agree with Steve. I don't understand why you need matching rears and fronts. From everything I've read they state that the center and the fronts must match, but that the side surrounds and the rears can be different. And a good pre-amp/amp (or very good receiver) should be able to seamlessly switch the sound to the sub(s). Plus I just read an article last night (not sure of exact reference), that suggested that you get better overall sound quality if you set the bass-crossover reasonably high - such as 100hz. Myron
Myron,


Firstly welcome to the AVS.


The reason why I would want matching rears and fronts (and preferably even centre!) is that I put a lot of credence in what Russ Hershelmann states that the speakers if possible should all be identical as this is how the movies are mixed. I kind of take his advice as gospel. I have been slightly slammed for this viewpoint in another thread but what Russ states makes sense to me. Russ H is one of the founding fathers of Cedia and writes frequently for many trade mags. It is not right or wrong but just a viewpoint that I agree with. Yes, I do agree that there are some sub / sat combo's that do blend very well. The first that I heard was the original Martin Logan CLS mated with Entec subs can't recall which ones (this was in the 80's). I believe there was an active x over involved and the pre was a CAT and the amps were Jadis JP-80s. The sound from the cello and bass was just so "seemless". My expectations have been out of whack ever since.
 

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Eric,


I wasn't suggesting you build them yourselves, but rather you find a custom speaker builder to do them for you. You give them the drivers you want to you, and size and shape of cabinet and they'll do the rest. Would probably be less than buying new or even second hand.


BTW, I used to have CLS and Entecs, though never together. They would sound great though.



Steve
 

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I just finished building a pair of Proac Clones (learned about the design from the Madisound board) and I've been happy with them so far. They went down to around 30hz when I used the Avia sweep on them, but I didn't have my SPL meter handy, so I couldn't see exactly where they rolled off. They also do this without looking overwhelmingly big. They are 42" tall with spikes and about 9"x10" around, wider at the base. My SVS sub is the same height but much wider around.


I've been using them without a sub for music and find the seamless bass very pleasing. I use the sub for HT, since the lfe channel can go pretty low, and I don't want to stress my new babies. I set the xover at 60hz. It sounds pretty good this way. My center is an Audax DIY. I built this about a year ago. It doesn't match the clones but I'm not going to replace it.


My old speakers, Spica TC50, did not go low at all, maybe 90hz, and I used these with the sub (SVS CS20-39) full time. I never liked the sound. There was always a big hole in the combination between 60 and 120 hz, no matter where I set the xover. They didn't blend well. I unfortunately don't have much manuevering room for placement so I couldn't move the sub much. (If it were a cube sub I could do a little more, but the big SVS cylinder wouldn't make it as an end table.)


If you are handy with a soldering iron and woodworking, you could build these yourself. They're actually pretty easy. You could even build a matching center. The real Proac response 2.5 go for $4500 US. The clones cost me about 750 to make. Do they sound the same? I don't know. I've never heard the real thing. The claim though is they do, and even sound better if you use high quality xover components. Couldn't I get a prebuilt speaker for $750? Nothing that sounds this good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by zacster
The real Proac response 2.5 go for $4500 US. The clones cost me about 750 to make. Do they sound the same? I don't know. I've never heard the real thing. The claim though is they do, and even sound better if you use high quality xover components. Couldn't I get a prebuilt speaker for $750? Nothing that sounds this good.
On the VMPS site listed in one the responses - VMPS state pretty clearly how high end speaker prices are way out whack in terms of materials citing many examples. Even with R&D $ taken into consideration, I agree with their views. I have read similar views on other websites - some of them don't even have products to sell. Although the DIY route is time consuming it is a rewarding experience. I built / assembled my D/A convertor (Assembelage DAC) and have assembled speakers from kits before. I wasn't aware that very high quality speaker kits were available. This is another option I will be exploring. Now if only had the time. Maybe I should stop hanging around here less :)
 

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EC,


If you are willing to DIY, then check this site out. IMO, the kit with best drivers used.

www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk.


I especially wish I could afford Prestige, ATC K50/100, or new one on the list. Their midrange unit from ATC is my dream one... Tell me the result if you would try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
jheoaustin,


The stuff looks pretty plain not that looks matter :). I'm sure it sounds good. I'm sure the shipping costs from UK will empty my wallet in a hurry. As I mentioned in a previous post - I just got to find the time for a DIY project.
 
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