Thoughts on speakers...

regarding Cyrus products and other hifi related threads
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BigFatGaz
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Thoughts on speakers...

Postby BigFatGaz » Mon May 14, 2018 5:26 pm

Hi,
I am in the midst of preparing to change my speakers. Could I ask you guys for some of your thoughts on speakers please?

I have a budget of up to £2K. So far I have come up with shortlist of three speakers, two PMC and one KEF.
I have a 5.25m x 4.75m room of modern high insulation, a hard floor, three sofas and four windows covered by drapes and very little else apart from a telly and a log burner. The speakers are likely to be about 4m apart and run in mono. WAF is very very good so design/size/colour no issue. I like music the errs on the side of bass rather than totally neutral and I enjoy the clarity and separation that better gear has brought so far. Having clarity with a touch of bass is what lead me to PMC.

The speakers are the KEF 107's, PMC Twenty.23 & PMC OB1's. I have heard the first two and both sounded great to my ears, hopefully soon I will have a chance to hear the OB1's. My question on your thoughts is towards the age of speakers. I loved the sound of the KEF 107 (Mk1) but they are after all nearly 30 years old! The PMC's much younger but the OB1's are a bit older than the Twenty.23's. There's a little bit of me that says "surely more modern components and development should help produce a better speaker" but then again there are some speakers out there which are timeless in deign albeit old.

Can I ask you please what are your thoughts on which way you would go? Old or young?
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby caine » Mon May 14, 2018 7:35 pm

I agree some speakers built in the past are timeless. But none that you mention imho. That said the OB1 is a very good speaker and would be my preferred speaker out of the three you list. May i recommend Dynaudio as another 2nd hand option and as new either the KEF R700 or the Mission SX5.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby zippy » Tue May 15, 2018 7:26 am

"The speakers are likely to be about 4m apart and run in mono. "

May I ask why you have them in mono ?

I have some big KEF's, and the only problem I have is that for me they're too bass heavy.
Coincidentally my speakers are also 4m apart, close to side walls, though away from the back wall so I know they can give good bass in that sort of location.

I'd suggest looking at some other big KEFs such as the 'Reference' series. I'm not a fan of PMC, I've never heard them sounding anything other than average, and certainly not with the sort of bass you're looking for.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby BigFatGaz » Tue May 15, 2018 9:11 am

zippy wrote:"The speakers are likely to be about 4m apart and run in mono. "

May I ask why you have them in mono ?


In a word: habit. It's where I'm at now and starting from on the next speaker. That's not to say it's staying like that, I'll be trying different configs to see what the results are for sure. I don't really want too much bass either. I like to hear a 'warmer' sound rather than 'bright' sound but recent upgrades to twin X-powers have intorduced me to a clarity I'd never heard before but I'm growing to like.

caine wrote:May i recommend Dynaudio as another 2nd hand option and as new either the KEF R700 or the Mission SX5.
Thanks Caine, I've never experienced Dynaudio before but I notice it crops up on here a bit, I'll have a look. KEF? I already have a soft spot for them.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby angelface » Tue May 15, 2018 11:15 am

Two things I have found that really impact bass

1. Power amps. Have you considered some s/h Mono X?
2. Room insulation. Every time I add a GIK 244 bass absorption panel I get so much more bass. I think it is that without panels bass reflections are cancelling out the bass in my smallish room. I have 3 already and I am planning another three!

For your budget s/h WB Arcs are affordable but I'm guessing they are probably not what you like if you are looking at Kef and PMC. The midrange is breathtaking for the price IMHO.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby zippy » Tue May 15, 2018 12:39 pm

I think it is that without panels bass reflections are cancelling out the bass in my smallish room

Have to be careful with that one - in my room the reflections are amplifying the bass...(too much as above)
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby BigFatGaz » Tue May 15, 2018 2:27 pm

angelface wrote:1. Power amps. Have you considered some s/h Mono X?
2. Room insulation. Every time I add a GIK 244 bass absorption panel I get so much more bass. I think it is that without panels bass reflections are cancelling out the bass in my smallish room. I have 3 already and I am planning another three!


I have but the X powers in mono will have to suffice for the moment due to cost. Sure I'd love to try out the x300 SIgs, maybe if my ears still work properly when I retire perhaps? ;D

I get what you say about the insulation. I need to read up a bit more about that once I have the speakers. Buying S/H means it's not always possible to get the home trial needed to provide the answer. So considering panels like this will help me attenuate the performance of what ever I end up with if my room turns out to be too bare.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby caine » Tue May 15, 2018 11:03 pm

angelface wrote:Two things I have found that really impact bass

1. Power amps. Have you considered some s/h Mono X?
2. Room insulation. Every time I add a GIK 244 bass absorption panel I get so much more bass. I think it is that without panels bass reflections are cancelling out the bass in my smallish room. I have 3 already and I am planning another three!

For your budget s/h WB Arcs are affordable but I'm guessing they are probably not what you like if you are looking at Kef and PMC. The midrange is breathtaking for the price IMHO.


Stephen have a look at GIK Alpha & Impression series; they are absorption panels with scatter panels on front (light diffusors). Keeps the lively nature, otherwise you can solve one problem [bass issues] and create another by sucking the life out of the sound.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby Ives » Wed May 16, 2018 10:17 am

Last year I bought a "basic" package of GIK Acoustics stuff for my listening room.
Basic would be then:
- 4 Tri-traps in the room corners
- 2 244 panels for the first reflection points on de side walls
- 2 244 panels on the front wall behind the speakers
- 2 244 panels on the ceiling between the speakers and listening position for the first reflection on the ceiling
- 2 244 panels with scatter plate to put behind the listening position
Since then I am a big fan of acoustical room treatment as it really makes - as Angelface already stated - a huge difference. And by huge, I mean really big in terms of more pronounced and thighter bass reproduction, scale and positioning.
After measurement (the learning curve is a bit steep but the costs are minimal: EQ Room wizard is free software and you only need a calibrated usb mic of 50-100 EUR) it seems that I could still get massive improvement in more bass management (to be achieved by adding more 244 panels and maybe a bass trap).

As for speakers to stay on topic. Nowadays my listening room is equipped with a pair of (loner) DIY speakers. It is a two and half way speaker, build as a laminated MDF floorstander with Vifa tweeter and domes. In DIY package, they cost only 400 EUR per speaker :o . Combined with my ATC integrated, a chord 2qute and a Cyrus CD Xt sig, they outshine my Bowers & Wilkins 804 D2 with Cyrus Mono X's downstairs in the living room hands down (which sadly have to stand in front of large windows in a modern concrete environment). Which is rather disturbing as the B&W retailed at 7.000 EUR the pair and were bought by yours truly ex demo at 5.000 EUR. I have already bought a full 3 way DIY speaker package to build once I have to return the loners.

My point being: I have experienced that it is very rewarding and worthwhile to consider sperading your budget between decent equipment on the one side and acoustical room improvement on the other side.
The basics there are bass management, bass management and again bass management (which will also take care of the flutter echo's in mid and high).
If your room should become to dull because of the absorption panels, you can add diffusion.
A scatter plate from GIK on their panels has its limits there. Better is a dedicated diffuser.
Sadly they cost a fortune. But there is hope for the handyman. Here you find the link to a very interesting dutch website on acoustics. Very interesting is the download section which includes (also written in English) complete builing plans for diffusers.
https://dngmns.home.xs4all.nl/rs_down.html#

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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby MiniCoupeman » Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 pm

Absolutely agree with previous post. I have a ( now old ) post stating that room Acoustic treatment is the best start to a great system. Most wives won't agree. Mine are ugly. I accept that a dedicated listening room is the answer. That said, Speakers are SO personal. Yes you have listed some excellent speakers. There are others. Lots of others. They all sound different. There is no substitute for trying them in your room, with or without panels.

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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby hifinutt » Thu May 17, 2018 3:59 am

having had about 14 sets of speakers here in past few months its a great choice out there . especially s/h

if you can get along to the next hi fi show that will give you perhaps a small flavour of whats available

don`t forget B&W 700 series as they are rather good and proac too , maybe try the new dt8

http://audioshow.co.uk/
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby BB Wan » Thu May 31, 2018 5:41 pm

Im new to these parts, so not sure on the general consensus round here, and hence this suggestion may raise a few eyebrows, but there is a pair of Monitor Audio PL200 floorstanders on that auction site for £1600 at the moment from a dealer I've bought from before and can recommend. I have a pair myself that have evolved from 8 Power, X Power (stereo), 2x X Power (mono) to 2x Mono X's and the combination really really work well together. If you have preconceived ideas about the house sound of the brand, then forget them...the Platinum range is a different beast all together. The ribbon tweeter is a real stunner and the size should work well in a room your size, with good deep controlled bass. I have a narrower room than you (3m) and they really could do with a little more room to breathe.
I am familiar with the two PMC models you mention and to my ears there's no comparison...but speakers are so subjective! Anyway, just a thought.
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby hifinutt » Thu May 31, 2018 8:44 pm

welcome bb and thanks for those thoughts
1]bc pre 3 vbs
msb s200 power amp
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby BB Wan » Thu May 31, 2018 9:06 pm

hifinutt wrote:welcome bb and thanks for those thoughts


Thanks hifinutt. I remember your username from the Wam and it's nice to be made to feel welcome!
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Re: Thoughts on speakers...

Postby Joe » Thu May 31, 2018 9:43 pm

The Platinum II series are rather good.
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