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New Apartment, First set-up, budget 1300-1700 GBP, Advice needed, (E305/Minx 325/MA Radius + which AVR?)

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pizzle's picture
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Joined: 24 Jun 2013
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Hi, thank you for opening this topic!

I'm new to these forums so let me introduce myself a bit. I'm from Holland, 28 years old and about to move to my new apartment. Although it would be wise for me to focus on buying furniture at this point, somehow I'm more interested in getting my audio/video gear in order   >) . I hope that I have come to the right place for some advice, I've been reading reviews for the past few weeks now and I think I'm ready to make some decisions. 

I've already bought myself a new TV; the Samsung ue55f6740 has been sittining in its box waiting for decent audio equipment to accompany her on the wall, I got a good deal with a cashback promotion from samsung and spend an equivalent of 1020 GBP on it.

The budget I've set for myself for my speakers and receiver is 1300 GBP, I'd really like to stay within this budget but like almost any budget it can be stretched a bit if it is necessary, but the upper limit of my budget is 1700 GBP.

As for my usage I think that 60% of the time it wil be movies and series, and 40% of the time I will listen to music. My musical taste varries, but Soul, Hip-Hop and Electronic music (techno/daft punk) will cover 85% of my music listening desires. Also it would be nice to crank up the volume occasionally for a party.

There are 3 area's I would like to hear your thoughts about:

1 - speakers

2 - receiver

3 - speaker placement

 

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SPEAKERS

 

Although I know that bookshelf speakers or the larger floorstanding loudspeakers are generally better sounding I simply don't want too much bulk in my living room, I'm want pretty little wallmountable speakers (sorry!). It's a compromise I'm willing to make but that doesn't mean I don't care about sound quality. Here are the options I'm looking at now.

KEF e305; Although I have only found one review of these speakers (the one in Home Cinema Choice), what I've read about it is very positive. I did research the KHT2005 and KHT3005, and I get the feeling that these sets have been great in their time, only surpassed by the more recent and more expensive style speaker packages. I like the design of these speakers very much and I think they will be sufficient for my needs. The problem is that I can't go for a listening session in my neighberhood. Another plus for this set is the price, I can get these for 722 GBP, but it is a limited time offer only. (Also: if I would upgrade the front and right front speakers to LS50's, with a dedicated stereo amplifier, would that work?)

Cambridge Audio Minx 215; The Minx speaker line are getting raving reviews (also by whathifi) I like the design as well, and I can get these for 658 GBP. I do have my reservations, they might be a bit overpiced for what you get, since I don't really need my speakers to be this small.

Cambridge Audio Minx 325; This set is probably better suited for my needs, and for 1083 GBP it is affordable although a bit on the expensive side. Whathifi reviewed the first version of this set and was impressed with reservations, if the improvements on the second version of the 215's is any indication I think the new version should be very good . But if the If the Kef e305's are better sounding than this, I'd definately take the Kef's.

Monitor Audio R90 HD10; this set is a bit out of my budget but I want to look at it anyway. I've heard (and read) great things about it and I want to know if it's worth the premium over the other sets. This set will cost me 1274, although the rear speakers will not be the 90's but smaller ones from the radius series. The design isn't as nice as the other sets in my opinion.

 

I'm leaning towards the Kef's at this point, purely based on trust in the brand and newness of this product, but that might be ignorance. It's also worth mentioning that there are a couple of KHT3005SE's for sale second hand for around 600 GBP, sadly these are only available in black, while I'd buy the e305's in white.

 

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RECEIVER

 

I haven't done as much research on receivers but I do have a list of things I can't do without:* 2 hdmi video out's (I'll connect my computer to this receiver and should be able to switch between my livingroom and bedroom)* second audio zone, this can be 2.0 but 2.1 would be a welcome addition (I'll connect my computer to this receiver and should be able to switch between my livingroom and bedroom)* left and right front should be pre-amp out, if I ever want to upgrade the stereo audio with a dedicated amplifier it was advised to me to keep this in mind* airplay, I have a lot of apple gear* Audessey multiEQ or an equally good calibration tool, audessey multiEQ XT is preferable* good match with my speakers choicethe receiver that is on my radar at this moment is the Sony STR-DN1040 it has gotten a great review and I think it suits my needs. It is also affortable at 552 GBP (combined with the Kef's it would make 1274 GBP!)  But because it's very difficult to find a good receiver within a budget I'll lean heavily on your advise. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

 

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SPEAKER PLACEMENT

 

This is an image of my living room, I think I will place my speakers at points ACBD and G, but it might be wiser to change C for E and D for E (use the light blue spots for the left speakers. Also, what do you think about the sub placement, it's convenient next to the tv where the receiver is, or would it be better behind the couch?

 

 

(larger image)

 

This is all infomration I have at this point, thank you for reading and I'm looking forward to your advice!!

 

PS; I ALSO HAVE A SIMILAR THREAD AT AVFORUMS