Your current subwoofer? You mean NO SUBWOOFER is the weakest link in your system. (Or your current subwoofer gathering dust)
To be clear, on or off, my current subwoofer is the weakest link in my system.
Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)
Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112
A subwoofer can be just as articulate as speakers if its setup right....
Indeed, I'm not questioning a subwoofer's value; I'm merely noting that I can't use one in my flat. Well, at least not without making life more unpleasant for everyone nearby.
So what's your current speaker short list strapped?
Lounge: Panasonic TX-P60ZT65B (calibrated), Pioneer SC-LX75, Denon DPB-2012, Sky-HD1TB, PS4, Xbox 360, Apple-TV, Atacama Equinox AV stand, Monitor Audio Silver RX8, RXC, RX-FX, RXW-12, Anti-Mode 8033c Sub EQ. Kitchen: Pioneer XC-HM81, Monitor Audio Bronze BX2. Bedroom: Samsung UE37D6510, Samsung BD-C5900, Sky-HD, Pioneer N-50, Rotel RC-03 (pre-amp), Rotel RB-9708X (power-amp), Mordaunt-Short MS914
At the moment, taking all factors into consideration, I've got Acoustic Energy 3 series and Tannoy Revolutions listed, and that's it.
The centre speaker maximum width issue makes compiling a shortlist difficult, which is one of the reasons I started this thread -- the shortlist is very short indeed.
Let me know what you think of the tannoy's if you try them - had a 5.1 set of Revolutions for about 13 years before I switched to MA. Very smooth, 'musical' speakers and will definitely be a change from B&W, my only worry would be that you might find them lacking a little punch compared to the B&W's (though the tannoy's have probably come on a long way from when I brought mine all that time ago).
Will do. though I possibly won't get to audition any speakers for a while.
I'm sure there are speakers I haven't considered yet; and I'd like to identify a few more potential purchases before setting up auditions.
My Home Cinema Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90
Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H
Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router
I don't like b&w speakers for the same reasons you say you are bored with them: 'a little too harsh at the top end and a little too flabby in the bass'. Your requirements are also for cleaner bass but not necessarily deeper bass, which can be filled in with a sub when you move.
Matching these requirements I would therefore recommend you consider ATC SCM7s and an ATC C1C. The centre is 45cm wide. After a recent price rise the combination comes in a little over budget, but not by a great deal and there's always room for negotiation. Also, as you're somewhere in the East Midlands I would recommend a trip to Musicraft to hear these. I think acoustic energy are also stocked and you'll get expert, no pressure advice IME.
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
Very much appreciated. These look like contenders.
Have you heard the ATCs, either as a stereo pair or in a larger multichannel setup? If so, how do they sound? I know we're getting into woolly descriptive territory here, but that's all I can go on until I get to audition.
There's an ex-display model here.
I still want to audition, so I'll try to free up some time as soon as I can.
If you went with this you would basically have a step down version of my front three. (Actually of my rears as well as I have q acoustics q7000 rears and I think you have an earlier model.) So I have some fairly full thoughts in the av link in my sig. My experience of all of ATC's range, right up to massive active 100s, is that they are tonally very consistent, so you would get a very similar (identical) sound to mine, you would just be slightly lighter on bass depth and dynamics. The 7s are excellent though. You would also have the big advantage of my setup, which is shared drivers across the front three. Short of having three matching speakers, which most people won't be able to fit into a traditional av rack, this is the best way to guarantee tonal consistency across the front sound field.
One word to sum up the ATC sound would be clean. They're neutral and undistorted with a relatively flat frequency response. The bass is clean and tuneful - it can and I imagine will take some getting used to after b&w. They are sealed boxes so there is no port buzz. They don't go artificially low, but they roll off slowly and the lack of a port reduces timing difficulties, thus allowing for a more accurate sound field.
The ATCs appeal, based on your description.
Actually, it'd be great to use three identical speakers. My AV rack has a removable cloth grille. My centre speaker is sited vertically behind. In many ways this would be the ideal solution and would allow me to choose from a wider selection of speakers and manufacturers. Unfortunately I don't think it's remotely possible to buy three speakers, unless someone wants to share a pair. (This seems profoundly unlikely!)
In any case, my shortlist is now a little longer and that's progress, I think.
You should have no problem buying 3 ATCs, I know of people who have, at least with larger models. I'm guessing the SCM7 wouldn't fit upright though and I'm not sure how it would affect dispersion if you had it on its side. I actually think the c1c or c3c is ideal because it has the extra driver, handy given the amount of information coming through the centre.
Upright, the SCM7 would have loads of spare room. The housing measures 48x33cm. You're probably right about the benefit of twin drivers, though.
I thought about the three identical front speakers solution when looking at other manufacturers' products. In many examples three of the same would fit nicely.
If it's a good enough speaker, the extra driver may not be necessary. The tweeter would sit higher and be better aligned with L&R speakers, too. That makes sense according to my (probably skewed) logic, as lower frequencies are less directional. Of course if the tweeter is sited in the middle of the driver (as with many KEF and Tannoy speakers) that logic falls apart completely.
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