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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that you guys get a lot of requests for speaker advice, but I could sure use some. I need to replace my speaker system entirely, and would really appreciate suggestions since I have some unusual specifics in mind.


My living room (carpeted) is about 20 ft x 12 ft. We tend to use mostly the center of the room with home theater (HT) on one side and our main sofa 12 ft (a little less) on the other side. The ceilings are 9'ft high, but the side and back are open to a midsized atrium and large kitchen, respectively. The living room area is sunken by 2 feet.


There is wiring in the ceiling for ceiling speakers, but my impression is that these don't provide the best audio possible for the money (correct me if I'm wrong).


The system needs to serve both my home theater and classical music enjoyment needs. If I had to choose, I'd take Beethoven and Wagner over Bruckheimer and Spielberg. But I'd like a system that handles both very well. I currently have an Onkyo TX-SR806 amp (115 watts/channel).


What I'd really like to do is build up a very nice $2-$3K speaker system eventually. However, I can only invest $1.5K now. My thinking is to get two very good LR speakers, and then other decent components that I can get by with until I can eventually afford to upgrade them. I'm also just looking for a 5.1 system rather than 7.1.


I don't need anything capable of damaging the foundation (or blow women's clothing off), but I'd like enough power to be able to annoy my neighbor when necessary.


My wife is pretty reasonable about speakers, so size isn't an issue (although I'll take smaller over larger if I can get the same quality sound).


Hope that gives you enough to work with - thanks in advance for the advice.


-Paul
 

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I noticed in your other thread about the cubes that you are replacing panel speakers. If you do, in fact, prefer the sound of panels, Magnepan would be a good place to start. If you don't care about panels, there's a virtually limitless selection of good inexpensive speakers in your price range. Is there anyplace local to you for auditioning anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightvet /forum/post/18162092


Is there anyplace local to you for auditioning anything?

I'm not stuck on panel technology. I did like the sound of the M-cube system, but would only get something similar if it didn't require a nearly irreplacabe unique subwoofer. Thanks for the suggestion of Magnepan. It does indeed look like a potentially great speaker, but it looks like it would have to be at least 3 feet from walls, which would not work for what I need. Thanks though - fun reading just the same.


As for auditioning, I've been looking and it seems like there aren't many (if any) quality audio stores where I live. I may just have to go to (not-exactly-the-)BestBuy to listen.


Thanks for the questions.



Paul
 

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Magnepan does make a line intended for wall mounting which they sell factory direct - the MMG W and MMG C. If there isn't anyplace to audition speakers near you other than Best Buy, you're going to have to gamble with something available online. I'm not familiar with many of the online only brands. PSB and Energy are two available online that I'd probably recommend you consider if you cannot listen to any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The magnepan speakers you are suggesting do look pretty interesting. Do you have a feeling for whether my Onkyo TX-SR806 could power them? It is THX certified, meaning it can handle 4 ohm speakers, and has 115 watts/channel.



Paul
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulForster /forum/post/18173733


The magnepan speakers you are suggesting do look pretty interesting. Do you have a feeling for whether my Onkyo TX-SR806 could power them? It is THX certified, meaning it can handle 4 ohm speakers, and has 115 watts/channel.

Paul

FYI: Receiver power ratings are usually for 2 channels driven; meaning a max of 115W will be delivered but only if 2 channels are running. Nearly all receiver manufacturers do this. Its there only in the fine print. When all 5 channels are running, the rating will in all probability not cross 50W/ch.

So if you get some good speakers you might want to consider a separate amp to power them.
 

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You would be fine. The Onkyo is rated for a 4 ohm load.

I am running Maggie 1.5s front, CC1 center, and MMGs in the back. Before I got my Sunfire separates, I used a Yamaha RX-V795 and never had any problems. If you have a need to induce bleeding ears, you might need to move up to a separate amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info.


I'm guessing that the 1.5's are an older version of the 1.7's currently available. Ditto for CC1. From the reviews I've read, Magnepan doesn't make huge changes, just incremental improvements in their new models. Correct me if I'm wrong.


I've got a few questions about that setup. How do you like it for home theater? Thats a pretty important use of this setup for me, although I want it to handle music extremely well.


How well would it sound outside of the living room? I have a dining area that would be in back of the sunken living room (in back of all 5 speakers, in other words).


I understand that the 1.5's are designed to be placed about 3 feet from a wall. How important is this? Would they sound almost as good at 1-2 feet? They would be in the way in my current living room arrangement.


How damage-resistant are the 1.5's (and 1.7's by inference)? If we have children or a pet, how easy would it be for either to put their fingers/nose/paws or other implements of destrustion where it doesn't belong and degrade the speaker's performance?


Do you run a powered subwoofer with your system?


Could I run two 1.7's with lesser surround speakers while I save up for a CC3 and MMGs? Or, could I get a decent system based around 1.7's with all the other speakers being cone-based?


Could I get by with a less expensive Maggie if I had a better woofer? It sounds like the base requires the most expensive parts of the speaker.


Sorry for firing so many questions at you, but I'm interested. An audition won't be easy since I live 6 hours from any Magnepan dealers.


Thanks!



Paul
 

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Yes, previous versions. I love the set up for theater and music. I've always felt that if you can do music well, you've got theater covered.

Regarding placement, I once saw a review that summed it up best. They'll sound very good just dropped in the room. They sound great when placed optimally. I'd think that they will sound like they are in another room when they are in another room.

I don't know how damage resistant they really are. My cat has left them alone for 14 years.

I run a Sunfire True Sub Jr. Only makes a difference for LFE tracks and the very bottom end (such as the opening organ in Also Sprach Zarathustra). The Maggies manage reasonable bass extension on their own.

I think I would recommend just not using other speakers while you save up. The Maggie's will do a very nice job with a phantom center. Though surrounds might not be as important, if you like the openness of the Maggies, why ruin it with box speakers in the system?

If you are concerned about an audition, consider Maggie's MMG offer. You get a 60 day trial period. I think they still offer a trade in program, too. You can get full value for the MMGs towards 1.7s within 1 year. Of course, that might not matter since you want to keep them for the surrounds.

Don't worry about all of the questions. I hope the information is useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your info is VERY useful and appreciated - Thanks!!! Just a few more questions.


What sort of music do you like them for?


If I were to get a pair of MMG's (which seem pretty reasonably priced), what kind of an idea would I get about how the 1.7's would sound? That might be a decent way to figure out whether this type of speaker is for me without investing 2K into the 1.7's. I could then demote the MMGs to rear speaker status when the 1.7's arrive.


Also, does anyone have any thoughts on the MMG vs. MMG W that can be wall mounted?


Thanks again!



Paul
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent /forum/post/18173920


FYI: Receiver power ratings are usually for 2 channels driven; meaning a max of 115W will be delivered but only if 2 channels are running. Nearly all receiver manufacturers do this. Its there only in the fine print. When all 5 channels are running, the rating will in all probability not cross 50W/ch.

So if you get some good speakers you might want to consider a separate amp to power them.

Holy Smitz!


So you divide your AVR power rating by 2 in a 5-channel system.


Would I be accurate to say it's even less in a 7-channel system?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheels1 /forum/post/18174707


Holy Smitz!


So you divide your AVR power rating by 2 in a 5-channel system.


Would I be accurate to say it's even less in a 7-channel system?

Not an exact figure; but yeah as a ballpark number.

Most manufacturers neglect to even mention this. Onkyo is one of the few who state it in their manuals. In fact Onkyo even lists the max. dynamic power with 1 channel driven.
Here's the specs for the 806 being discussed by OP.

Look at specs of most manufacturers and they list their power rating for 2 speakers at a time; Front L/R, Surround L/R etc. They will never be listed in the same line.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent /forum/post/18174764


Not an exact figure; but yeah as a ballpark number.

Most manufacturers neglect to even mention this. Onkyo is one of the few who state it in their manuals. In fact Onkyo even lists the max. dynamic power with 1 channel driven.
Here's the specs for the 806 being discussed by OP.

Look at specs of most manufacturers and they list their power rating for 2 speakers at a time; Front L/R, Surround L/R etc. They will never be listed in the same line.

Good to know -- thanks.
 

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You'll get a pretty good feel for how the 1.7s sound with the MMG. The biggest difference will be in the low end - the bigger panel has much better bass response. The changes made in the 1.7s probably mean there will be some other differences in the high end, as well, but Maggies tend to have a similar sound through the whole lineup.

I listen to a wide variety of music - metal, jazz, classical. I don't find the Maggies lacking for any of it.

I haven't heard the wall mount versions. They get some good reviews, but they are an even smaller panel so they NEED a subwoofer.
 
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