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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checked out some Linn Espek speakers today as well as some B&W N803 and N804s


I'm looking to upgrade the 5 B&W CDM SE1's that I currently use for home theater and music. Ideally I'd like to keep two CDM's as back channels. I'll be driving them with a Rotel 5x110w amp and will buy a new pre/pro possibly a B&K ref 50 a Rotel 1098 or 1066 or an Anthem AVM 20 if I stretch.


Are Linn speakers worth the money? Are there better values out there with the same characteristics? I'd like to keep it around $5K for the mains and center.


Anyone recommend other speakers I should audition?


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion, look like a good deal. My personal preference is for non sub intrgrated speakers though.


As an update, I pulled teh trigger on a B&K Ref 50 today, so that's what I'll be using as pre/pro.


Also very interested in ACI Panorama and Onix Ref 2. Anybody been able to compare these speakers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Curtis,


My taste leans toward B&W, since I already own 10 of their speakers. Can you describe how the ACIs Panorama perform compared to Nautilus signature 805s? They seem to get such good reviews all around that I may just have to order a pair and bring them to my B&W dealer to compare....but the Onix refs seem to be a good buy too!
 

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epiney,


I have not spent any time with 805s, but I am told that they are "brighter" speakers. And I have not heard the Onix Ref1's since April, and did not hear them with the same material.


That said, I think the Panarama is extremely well balanced from top to bottom. I would love to A/B them with other speakers. In that price range, I think you should find a pair to listen to and judge for yourself.


Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Curtis,


Unfortunately I don't live in CA where I believe many members demo. I live in Northern. VA and couldn't find any Onix ref owners close to me on audioenvy. I will call ACI and discuss with them their speakers. I may just have to risk the shipping charges to send them back.


As an alternative, I may try to find some Paradigm Ref 40s to listen to for comparison. It seems that people generally prefer the Panoramas from what I could gather from the forums. It may give me a reference. Speaking of Paradigm, I still have an old pair of 7se's in great shape unused for years in storage..I just keep buying speakers, hopefully with this next upgrade I'll stop for a long time.
 

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Have you given any thought to calling the guys at AV123. I know that there are some owners of Ref's in the VA area that they might me able to connect you with. I would give Sean or Steve a call to see if they have any owners in the area that would be willing to give you an audition.


I haven't heard the Panoramas, but I have heard both the Sapphires and Emeralds. I have been impressed with ACI as a whole.


Good luck with your decision!:cool:
 

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IMO, the Studio 40's will be outclassed by the Ref1 and Panorama. Even my Ascend CBM-170 is a good match up with the Studio 40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hectic 1,


I just called ********** and they offered to e-mail to ask if you would mind sharing your opinions since they know you demo a lot of speakers!!! Steve and Sean were both on the phone though, and I will have to call back.


Maybe....I'll just blow the bank account and try some VMPS RM40s. After all I'm saving on the HD2 DLP projector I'm buying and got a good deal on the B&k Ref 50 :eek: Strange logic, but it seems to work for me. So far WAF holding, helps that she loves the results, but hates the shopping at audio stores.


BTW...just got a PM from a member offering to demo his Ref 2s. Will definitely take him up on offer:D :D
 

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I e-mailed that guy in VA for you for the demo...glad he was willing to help out a fellow enthusiast!


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by epiney
...Also very interested in ACI Panorama and Onix Ref 2. Anybody been able to compare these speakers?
if tbhugh is up for it, i'd love to compare the Ref 1s w/ the Panoramas in the same room. either my home or his is fine with me although i'd prefer mine, since i'm familiar w/ my room and my gear. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by epiney
...Can you describe how the ACIs Panorama perform compared to Nautilus signature 805s?
epiney,


i brought the Ref 1s to a B&W dealer to compare w/ the Signature 805s driven off the same setup and my wife and i preferred the Ref 1 sound. highs were smoother, mids were fuller, and bass was tighter and more extended. to my ears, there was nothing that the Sig 805s did that the Ref1s couldn't do better and for a lot less money. and i did feel that the Sig 805 is a VERY nice speaker. however, i did feel that the Sig 805 finish was nicer by a slight margin though.


i believe Sa-dono is a former Sig 805 owner as well and he now owns the Ref1s as well.


of course this is just our take based on our preferences...


your best bet is to listen to them both and decide for yourself. good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by epiney
hectic 1,


I just called ********** and they offered to e-mail to ask if you would mind sharing your opinions since they know you demo a lot of speakers!!! Steve and Sean were both on the phone though, and I will have to call back.


Maybe....I'll just blow the bank account and try some VMPS RM40s. After all I'm saving on the HD2 DLP projector I'm buying and got a good deal on the B&k Ref 50 :eek: Strange logic, but it seems to work for me. So far WAF holding, helps that she loves the results, but hates the shopping at audio stores.


BTW...just got a PM from a member offering to demo his Ref 2s. Will definitely take him up on offer:D :D
Epiney, It sounds like you have everything in order with the speakers! I would be more than happy to offer up my opinions on the different speakers that I have heard. Let me know if you want to chat offline and I would be more than happy to give you a call! Happy listening! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rexx was kind enough to let me demo his Onix Ref2 and Ref1 set-up. He has Ref2s as mains, 4 Ref1s as surrounds and the Ref 100 center. He has a Lexicon MC-8 (very nice) and a Shelbourn 7/2100 all in a nice room. He even let me bring my B&W CDMSE1s to compare.


I'm driving a couple of hours next week to check out some ACI Sapphires as a comparison. I'll try to post some thoughts of the Refs and Sapphires after the demo.


Thanks to all for their input.
 

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Epiney,


I auditioned the Nautilus series (803, 804, 805 & HTM1 & 2) prior to getting the Panoramas. I liked them quite a bit, in my opinion they are absolutely gorgeous speakers, but I found them a little too "detailed" for my tastes.


If you check here you can read my long winded saga of auditions and comparisons:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=294537


Mad Dog,


Would love to hear the Refs but to tell you the truth I really don't want to lug 100lbs plus around. You and the Refs are welcome to visit however ;-).
 

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Quote:
Maybe....I'll just blow the bank account and try some VMPS RM40s.
As an RM40 owner (and dealer) I couldn't agree more. If you have reasonable space, it is a great speaker.


And I might add that you "could" get the RM40s and the Large Ribbon Center and be well below your $5000 figure (if you go through a dealer), so you wouldn't have to "blow the bank account" and have money left over (maybe for the FST option)
 
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