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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

OK, I am a bit of a novice but have had some AV equipment in the past.  The more I try and figure this out, the more confused I am getting!

 

Current setup:

Yamaha 675 AVR

2 x iq5 KEF floor standing speakers.

CA x300 SW

2 x CA Minx 21s as rears

Either 1 CA minx 21 as centre OR Alumni 5 centre speaker

 

I am looking for an accomplished, (futureproof if possible) setup mainly for TV and movies but also for music.  Ideally comparable / better than the bose systems (sorry for swearing)

Needs to be discrete especially with the centre speaker as the TV is going to be wall mounted and there is no shelf under it.

Room size is 20x13 feet (6x4m) and unfortunately, the layout would make a sweet spot difficult to find

 

I am trying to decide between the Alumni 5 centre or a minx 21 as a centre 

 

 

Using Skyfall bluray as a test for speech and action I have been swapping these speakers round as a centre (disconnected the rears for now)

For action, the 21 seems to be more pleasant to listen with a kind of openness and range of pitches - but the voices can sound a little one dimensional and tinny. The Alumni, certainly sounds a little more boomy, but for voice, perhaps lacks the richness and clarity/agility of the 21. Seems less willing to produce the higher pitched 'ping' of bullets flying round!

I have also been playing round with the Yamaha 625 manual setup features which includes Parametric EQ. With this, I am able to increase the db of the higher frequencies of the Alumni speaker, so that it sounds less boom overall. However, switching to the 21, it seems less easy to 'enhance' with the PEQ 

Should I persevere with this strategy of tweaking the EQ or do you think I am on a hiding to nothing? 

For the SW, I have the crossover set to 120Hz and set an option of extra bass - which as I understand it, allows the Kefs to run their normal bass. (have had to turn the vol of the SW down a little and reduced the level from +10 to +8)

 

Are there any other tips.  

 

Experience and advice definitely appreciated!

 

Dil
 

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You need your center channel speaker to match your L/R speakers- same

Brand and model...

So having three minx speakers up front makes sense in that respect,however those speakers will force you to cross over at 120 or even above, which isn't ideal. Can you find/ buy the matching center for the kefs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

I  am hearing the message about the centre matching the L/R quite  bit and do understand this.  But would like the centre to have a small footprint in term of size.  Of the CA Minx 21 and the Alumni 5, which one is most likely to match the KEFs best?  Although CA speaker is smaller, it does have BMR(?) which I have only read good things about, but obviously I want coherence as much as possible.   I WANT EVERYTHING ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

...sorry, just another question.  If matching the L/R so really important, should`I be considering replacing the KEFs for an all CA minx system?  Would this produce better sound than a hybrid system involving the Minx, KEF and a small same or other centre?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

I have looked on lone for KEF centre - based in the UK - there is nothing!!!.  I presume this is often an issue whereby manufactures bring out new ranges and discontinue older ranges, making it difficult to match up.

 

Are there any other solutions that would be possible?  Although bigger than I would ideally like, nearby shop  suggested Monitor Audio BX centre but currently they are out of stock.  Shop have been very helpful in getting me this far, but I need to end up comfortable with what I have .  

 

Thanks for any ideas...
 

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Go to UK avforums, I'm sure you'll find a matching center in classfied section


As for EQ, leave it alone if you don't know what you're doing. Don't use extra bass. If your yamaha calibration sets the sub to +10 then you have the subwoofer dial too low. Increase it a bit and re-run calibration. You want the Yamaha sub channel close to 0.


As for crossover 120hz could be too high for your Kef's - sound a bit tinny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Thanks for your reply - does that mean that I should lower the crossover on the Amp?  I had set extra bass to on as I thought this would allow the KEFs to produce their normal bass.   With the SW kicking in also at frequencies below 120Hz (requiring the SW vol to be turned down a little).  I will try the suggestion of no extra bass and try lowering the frequency on the SW (though this would mean losing frequencies from the Cambridge Audio Minx speakers which start at 120Hz.  

 

Still unsure what to do about the actual speakers themselves though.  Ideally I would like to keep the KEFs - everyone says they are good speakers.  but also want to limit size of other boxes if possible (however, overall sound quality for both films and music is important to me - no gaming).  The centre speaker seems to be the most important to get right, hence my dilemmas.

 

Tried the Cambridge Audio Minx 21 as centre with normal tv and it did sound too tinny (may as well have the inbuilt TV speaker on - I didn't feel I was gaining anything), though the Alumni 5 centre - seemed too muffled and less 'open' and not as clear.  I haven't heard any comments in favour or against the Alumni speaker. Don't know if the CA would sound better if part of an all CA system though, with the SW set at the recommended 120Hz?
 

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Extra bass sounds like it duplicates bass to your mains, not good. I'd set the Kef's to small.


I don't think the Yamaha supports different crossovers per speakers. My Lexicon allows you to set subwoofer and speaker crossovers, but my Yamaha 671 just has a crossover which I think is universal, so set it to 80hz.


You could look for a Kef iQ6c, this would be a better match for your floorstander mains, as iQ2c is a bit weedy There's a iQ6c on ebay now
 

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^^

Dilth,


This maybe be a hard question for you to answer, but have you considered the basics of what you want in terms of sound reproduction? In that there are physical limitations that small size speakers have to sound reproduction - the smaller the speaker / driver, the greater the difficulty in delivering the low frequencies that you crave? You must have a set idea on what you want in terms of sound reproduction, then make decisions on compromises, start adding up the costs and it can get very expensive going forward. Then revisit your original set ideas to see if it's still valid. Remember that every individual and his/her listening room is unique.


Don't forget about your listening room. It plays an important part to sound reproduction. Where you sit, commonly referred to as the Main Listening Position (MLP), where the speakers are placed at and room dimensions have significant impact to sound. This is especially true for low frequencies in the bass region. You gave just room area, how about height to determine volume? Sound is 3D. How far away are the speakers from the MLP? A sketch /drawing of your room layout would help.


In your post, the words "future proof" came up. That's very difficult to do if the basics are not sorted out. The audio journey starts with yourself and what you want. There are many here in AVS that help you in the journey, but the most important thing is - know thy self.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your post. You are right - not an easy question


A few years ago I wanted something more than my old basic hifi for listening to music and that was ok with connecting to tv as well. I bought an onkyo amp and my iq5s which were the best fit for my room. I always thought I would add to this in years to come - gradually as many people do.


We have recent moved house and I have a bigger room. But things move on... I now stream mostly in high quality from spotify with occasional use if CDs. We watch films on Netflix and DVDs/blue ray and Apple TV. We also watch normal tv.


I thought I could keep my front floor standing kefs and simply add some good but small surrounds and a centre and sub woofer and I thought that with the kefs at the front I would end up with a really nice system that did justice to music and films/tv. Views on streamed music vary but at least lets have good speakers to optimise the experience


So I went to richer sounds came away with a new amp and CA MINX 21s and x300. However I have not been happy with the sound coming from this hybrid system. From reading and learning from this forum. Clearly, my plans were too simple!


I could spend out on bose but I know I can get cheaper and much better. I wonder whether I am better leaving the kefs out if the equation and going for a 5.1 kit and accepting the compromise. I guess a kit is all integrated to work together. I don't want big surrounds and centre speakers which I know would be the way to go to match up my iq5 kefs.


I am now wondering about the minx 325 system or whether kefs e range, q acoustics 7000i b&w mt-50 would be better choice. I cannot audition the other systems.


Height of my room is 2m 35cm. Another compromise is the seating arrangement as our lounge is general purpose. The Tv will go on the long wall opposite the fireplace (which you can see) - where the sofa is now. There will be sofa and chairs a third and 2/3 into the room so that people can face tv, fire or each other


Sorry for long post but I thought a background piece of info would make clearer what I am after

 

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Hi Dilth,


Thanks for the additional information, it helps.


When you mentioned the word "..we watch.." it implies that the room is shared with the significant other? Or is the room dedicated for you and you've got a lot of freedom to move things around, put equipment where the best sound quality is at? Or do you need to get "buy in" from the other half on where the furniture has to go and consider the decor/aesthetics to make it look nice? I ask these questions so that expectations can be set on what can be done to the room that wont cause domestic issues.


You've got the Yamaha 675 AVR. It's got some form of room correction that ensures sound arrives at the right time to the Main Listening Position (MLP) and at the right Sound Pressure Level (SPL). Here is an experiment that you can do (I did something similar) for your KEF and CA speakers to help you make a simple decision of keeping them or doing something else. You'll need an SPL meter for checking sound levels.


With your 675 receiver, just wire up the front left, center and front right speakers in the following combination. Choose the MLP where you can do some critical listening. Note the distance from the MLP to the front left, center and front right.


Set-up (A)

(i) Set up the KEF iQ5 as front left and front right.

(ii) Set up the CA Min21 as center.

(iii) Ensure the Yamaha 675 is set at it's default configuration set by the factory. Run the room correction on the Yamaha to get the distance and levels to the MLP - it should take you about 15 minutes.

(iv) Set the desired volume you like to listen at and play pink noise through each speaker to check with the SPL meter reading is about the same (+/- 3dB), this should take you about 5 minutes.

(v) Switch the sound mode to Dolby Pro Logic II mode (this will have output to all three speakers).

(vi) At the MLP, play some of your favorite tunes. Take some notes on what sounded good and not so good.


Set-up (B)

(1) Set up CA Min 21 as front left and front right

(2) Set up KEF iQ5 as center.

(3) Repeat the room correction as in (iii)

(4) Repeat volume setting in (iv)

(5) Repeat sound mode in (v)

(6) Repeat listening test in (vi)


If you've got an additional Min21 speaker do the following.

Set-up (C)

(a) Set up CA Min 21 as front left and front right

(b) Set up CA Min 21 as center

(c) Repeat the room correction as in (iii)

(d) Repeat volume setting in (iv)

(e) Repeat sound mode in (v)

(f) Repeat listening test in (vi)


Since you have the Alumni 5, you can repeat the listening tests and call them A1/B1/C1. Out of the listening tests, which set-up sounded better?


Speaker choice is very personal. Going through your listening notes, a decision can be made on what to keep and what to get rid of. Once you've made the decision on speakers, the next step is look at the bass response of your room with your sub.
 
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