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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're looking for speakers for our "secondary" system which is in a moderate sized room that has a pool table smack in the middle. We'll being doing some TV viewing/PS3 playing out there but primarily listening to music. The decision seems to have come down to the Martin Logan Source or Purity vs. the Vienna Acoustics Bach or Mozart (still not sure whether we want to spend the dollars on the higher end options) I'd be very interested to hear any comments as to how folks feel these speakers stack up head to head.


Thanks!
 

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have you heard the speakers side by side? Do you have a guess as to how you will be setting up the listening position and speaker position within the room?


What are the dimensions of your room?

Is the room open to other rooms?

Where do you intend to put the listening position within the room?

Where do you intend to put the speakers within the room?

Do you intend to buy a subwoofer?

What do you intend to power the speakers with?

Is this for casual listening?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The room is 17'x25, it's a cabana in the backyard with a pool table. I expect that folks will normally be walking about playing pool etc etc vs just sitting in one spot. I'll be placing the speakers against a wall on either side of a 52" LCD hanging on the wall. They'll be used primarily for listening to music and casual TV viewing. Haven't decided on a sub yet, I'm not big into "pumping bass" but am open to getting one if needed. I also just had a conversation with Jim Salk, and am very intrigued now by the Song Tower, which I've read great things about and Mr Salk was very informative and easy to talk to. So again, I'm open to any comments anyone would have.
 

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As much as I love the Martin Logan's, they really aren't suited for what you are looking for. The Sources/Purities have a VERY limited dispersion, and they sound their best in a very limited sweet spot. As such, if you are walking around, sound quality will be noticeably different then if you were sitting. The same goes for moving to the left and right. That said, in the sweet spot, the ML's will provide a sound that is fantastic for the price, and will work very well for both HT and music.


As such, the Vienna's will likely work better in this situation. I have a pair of the Mozart's, and I strongly recommend moving up to the Mozart's over the Bach's. You likely will not change these speakers for at least ten years, and the additional cash is well worth it for the quality increase. Keep in mind that the VA's are extremely power hungry. I'd highly recommend using a separate amplifier and pre-amp. Based on your choices, I assume you are shopping at a Magnolia HT store. I'd get a receiver from them, and then grab a amp elsewhere, either online (Outlaw, Emotiva, etc.) or from a high-end dealer (Rotel, Anthem, Krell, etc.). The VA's do require power to make them sound as good as they can. I'm running them off of a Pioneer Elite VSX-91TXH, but I did try them on some Primare separates, and the quality difference is very noticeable.


It really depends on what you're looking to do here. If you think you'll spend a lot of the time sitting down and listening to music, I do strongly recommend the ML's. The VA's will be superior for classical music, but I do feel that for all other genres, the ML's, when in the sweet spot, are hard to beat. However, based on what you've said, sounds like the dispersion of the ML's won't work out very well.


If you do decide to do the ML's, I STRONGLY recommend the Purity's over the Source's. The extra $1000 gets you two 200W class D amplifiers built-in, really alleviating the need for a very high-end receiver. I've found that I recommend Source's to customers that have existing high-end amplification. ML's do dip down to low ohms, and do require good, clean power, which would be tough to get without spending quite a bit more then $1K.
 

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If you will be up and about, and walking around, I would not suggest getting the VA Mozart. According to the Stereophile review, the speaker develops a large suckout in the crossover region of the tweeter and midrange unit that can only be solved by sitting below the tweeter axis. What does this mean for normal listening while standing up? Basically, a portion of the lower treble will be way down in level. Not sure if this problem has been fixed, as this review is pretty old:

http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...na/index5.html


Anyone know if VA has fixed this? In any case, I think there are better values to be had in that price range anyway. I find Vienna Acoustic speakers to be a bit warm. Just go with your ear and what sounds best to you...everyone has their own preference. You might also try offerings from Monitor Audio, PSB, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback! I'm actually going to be running them off of a VSX-91TXH also. (yep, been looking at Magnolia). I don't know that I want to get an additional amp as this is really supposed to be a "simpler" system vs. the one in my house. I'm also still intrigued by the Salk's as I read more and more about them. They seem to have some of that Martin Logan clarity without the directional issues.....if the reviews are accurate.
 

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you wont need something that is extremely excellent sound quality, but you will need something with good dispersion so that the music sounds similar throughout a wide arc within the room. Unfortunately, I do not believe the Martin Logan nor the Vienna Acoustics are particularly good at that.


If you had an unlimited budget, I would check out some line-source arrays. Something like the AV123 Line source. Unfortunately, the availability is unknown? (I have personally heard the Dali Megaline 3)


Other, more traditional speaker, may be able to do that, but I haven't encountered one that did with so little effort as a line-source.


Many traditional speakers have poor vertical dispersion above the tweeter axis. This can either be solved by mounting the speakers higher than normal (centered on a person standing up) or with a speaker that has some interesting dispersion assistant (like the Revel Ultima2 for example).



Edit: I have never heard any Salks, so I cannot offer comment on them.


Another option would to go with some larger In-wall speakers mounted to flank the TV on both sides. Something like the Triad gold or platinum.


Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the speaker that had the most uniform soundstaging when standing AND sitting, and moving around the room was a line source in my experience :/


Unless there are some sweet other "normal" speakers out there, you will have to compromise on one more more of these aspects.
 
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