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taylode

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Hello,

I’m new here and I’m looking to completely replace my current system. After listening to many speakers I’ve settled on ML’s; however, I don’t trust most of the young kids working at the stereo shops so I’m looking to you folks for guidance.

I want a complete surround sound system and I have a budget of around $12K. Obviously, I want to achieve the best sound possible and hopefully you folks can help me make the best purchasing decisions. My room listening room is two stories tall and is 18’9”x20’4” but the speaker placement area is 10’11” x 20’4”. My listening tastes range from AC/DC to U2 to Buddy Guy to Tangerine Dream.

Given those dimensions and the requirement to perform for both music and movies does anyone have any suggestions on which speakers and what amp/receiver/DVD/CD equipment would best fit the bill

I’m sure there will be lots of opinions and I value you all of them. If your suggestions take me out of my $12K budget please explain what makes that worth while.

Again, thanks for your help!

Dennis
 

Joey_V

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I would say try to build around the new Summits. However, it may go beyond the 12k mark. That or build around the new Vantage that is coming out later this 4th quarter.

That's just me though.

Regarding amps and the rest of the electronics - I'll let the others chime it. I like how the Rotel sounds with my MLs, but we're dealing with another level here so I may not be the best to give recommendations.

BTW, what's wrong with us young-uns? Heheheheh :D
 

Reverb

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taylode said:
Hello,

I’m new here and I’m looking to completely replace my current system. After listening to many speakers I’ve settled on ML’s; however, I don’t trust most of the young kids working at the stereo shops so I’m looking to you folks for guidance.

I want a complete surround sound system and I have a budget of around $12K. Obviously, I want to achieve the best sound possible and hopefully you folks can help me make the best purchasing decisions. My room listening room is two stories tall and is 18’9”x20’4” but the speaker placement area is 10’11” x 20’4”. My listening tastes range from AC/DC to U2 to Buddy Guy to Tangerine Dream.

Given those dimensions and the requirement to perform for both music and movies does anyone have any suggestions on which speakers and what amp/receiver/DVD/CD equipment would best fit the bill

I’m sure there will be lots of opinions and I value you all of them. If your suggestions take me out of my $12K budget please explain what makes that worth while.

Again, thanks for your help!

Dennis
If I had a dedicated room to do any way I wanted I would think about using Martin Logan’s new in wall speakers. More specifically 7 voyage in wall speakers and a ML Descent subwoofer with lexicon separates the MC-8 pre-amp with LX-7 amp, match those with a lexicon DVD player or Denon’s DVD-5910 or budget minded 3910 DVD player and you would have one hell of a system.

I think I broke your budget but what a kick a$$ system that would be. D
 
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jjcarr

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taylode said:
Hello,
I want a complete surround sound system and I have a budget of around $12K. Obviously, I want to achieve the best sound possible and hopefully you folks can help me make the best purchasing decisions. My room listening room is two stories tall and is 18’9”x20’4” but the speaker placement area is 10’11” x 20’4”. My listening tastes range from AC/DC to U2 to Buddy Guy to Tangerine Dream.

Given those dimensions and the requirement to perform for both music and movies does anyone have any suggestions on which speakers and what amp/receiver/DVD/CD equipment would best fit the bill
I always recomend to buy used, as you can get a $25k system for $10k.

Given the size of your room, I probably wouldn't go bigger than Ascents, and any larger Logan would dominate the room too much. Used Ascents can be had for about $2500-$3000. If you really want to rock out a pair of used ReQuests are hard to beat. They can be found for $2k used, and are comparable to the current offerings from ML. However they might be a little big for your room. I had ReQuests in a 25'x30' room and they had no problem filling it.

If you can afford it, get separates instead of a reciever. Sunfire and Rotel make some nice receivers, but they just aren't as good as separates.

If you can live with the ergonomics, the Meridian preamps are about the best you can get for combined music and movies. Look at the Meridian 568. If you can't live with the ergonomics and limited inputs of the Meridian then an Anthem AVM-20 or Sunfire Theater Grand III would work well. All of these run in the $2k range.

I just love the sound of my Bel Canto EVO amp, but what amp you run will depend on your tastes. Usually it's a good rule of thumb to match the preamp to the amp, not that it's a big deal, it just makes things easier. There's a Bel Canto EVO6, 6-channel amp on Audiogon for about $2500. Also a Sunfire cinema grand for about $2k.

I'll differ to others on the DVD source, I love my Cambridge Audio, partially because it's region free, Arcam also makes wonderfull units, and you can't go wrong with a Pioneer Elite 47i. These will range in price from $300-800.

Subwoofer, up to you, the ML subs are nice, the Sunfire's are nice, lots of people make nice subs. Assume $1-1.5k for a good used sub.

Throw in a ML center channel and surrounds, those would add about $3k to the price used.

So, you're looking at about $12k for a system that would cost you $25k new, and if you shop carefully you won't be able to tell anything from new.

Obviously there are other suggestions that are just as good, this is just one take on it.

James
 

taylode

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Joey_V said:
I would say try to build around the new Summits. However, it may go beyond the 12k mark. That or build around the new Vantage that is coming out later this 4th quarter.

That's just me though.

Regarding amps and the rest of the electronics - I'll let the others chime it. I like how the Rotel sounds with my MLs, but we're dealing with another level here so I may not be the best to give recommendations.

BTW, what's wrong with us young-uns? Heheheheh :D
What are Summits and where do they fit within the ML family? I didn't see them on ML's website.

Nothing against young-uns. :D Just most of the ones in the stereo shops I've visted have little or no experience. What I want are recommendations from folks that aren't restricted by what the shop they work at carries.
 

taylode

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taylode said:
What are Summits and where do they fit within the ML family? I didn't see them on ML's website.

Nothing against young-uns. :D Just most of the ones in the stereo shops I've visted have little or no experience. What I want are recommendations from folks that aren't restricted by what the shop they work at carries.
Opps just saw the Summits on ML's site. I was going by their brochure, which doesn't list the Summits.

Sorry!

Dennis
 

Joey_V

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taylode said:
Opps just saw the Summits on ML's site. I was going by their brochure, which doesn't list the Summits.

Sorry!

Dennis
I always say go big or go home.. lol.

Seriously, I'm sure an ascent would do and you can build your system around that. However, if you build upon something like the Summits, you allow yourself room to grow into it even more. Plus, it stops any upgraditis you may have at a later date. Sometimes, spending more initially saves money in the long run.

This is all IMO, YMMV.
 
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LyleFan

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"... Tangerine Dream... ". Oh, you must be a huge fan of the subway scene in Risky Business!
 

taylode

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Wow, it's been so long I don't remember the subway seen. I'm going to have to go rent the movie now!

Dennis
 

Reverb

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Joey_V said:
I always say go big or go home.. lol.
It's too bad that going big is going to coast him 95% of his budget on front speakers alone. The $12,000 budget was for the whole smash components and all.
 
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Joey_V

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Zip3kx07 said:
It's too bad that going big is going to coast him 95% of his budget on front speakers alone. The $12,000 budget was for the whole smash components and all.
Yeah... that's the problem as I mentioned in my first post. He would have to up the budget but like I said, spending more money initially fends off upgraditis and may end up saving cash in the end.

If the budget is rock solid, then obviously the Summits would not be preferable. Perhaps the Ascents then? Or the new replacements - Vantage?

Of course, OP must trust his ears and audition.
 
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DavidG

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jjcarr said:
I always recomend to buy used, as you can get a $25k system for $10k.

. . .

If you can live with the ergonomics, the Meridian preamps are about the best you can get for combined music and movies. Look at the Meridian 568. If you can't live with the ergonomics and limited inputs of the Meridian then an Anthem AVM-20 or Sunfire Theater Grand III would work well. All of these run in the $2k range.

I just love the sound of my Bel Canto EVO amp, but what amp you run will depend on your tastes. Usually it's a good rule of thumb to match the preamp to the amp, not that it's a big deal, it just makes things easier. There's a Bel Canto EVO6, 6-channel amp on Audiogon for about $2500. Also a Sunfire cinema grand for about $2k.

James
(Edited quote to make this smaller!)

I'd have to second the choice of Meridian as a processor. If you can find a 568.2 (only available 2nd hand now) you won't go far wrong. It's one of the best processors ever made, but note that you should really look for the '.2' version, it's a huge step forward from the original. For the ultimate combination, pair this processor with a 596 or 598 DVD / CD unit and you'll be well on the way to a top rate system. The 596 / 598 is one of the very few DVD players that actually produces excellent CD replay, so is well worth a look.

For amps, I'd also second the choice of Bel Canto eVo series. I recently auditioned the eVo 2 with Ascent i speakers and can honestly say that this is one fabulous combination. Trouble is, it's hard to find Bel Canto eVo amps 2nd hand, and they're not exactly cheap to buy new. Alternatively, look around for a used Meridian 558 (5 channel) power amp to go with the pre / pro and DVD - but avoid the new Meridian G55 power amp 'cause it doesn't have the muscle of the older 558!!

With all used Meridian gear, you'll have just about enough budget left for some used Ascents!!

Cheers,

David

PS - IMHO there's nothing wrong with Meridian ergonomics, they're just a little odd until you get used to them!

:)
 

Jeff Zaret

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Taylode,
Welcome

I think the same as others here and maybe used will be the best way to go to get an outstanding system within your budget limits. Trust me it can be done. The only new piece of ML I purchased was my Depth subwoofer. The other pairs of speakers were used and still amazing. :D

Electronics are difficult to decide which one is the "perfect" match. Again, all the suggestions are great and will work. For you personally, you need to look at what YOU WANT, the price, asthetics, and WAF if applicable.

Be honest with yourself and see if there is something that can wait or can be changed to full fill your needs.

I am definitly sure that will all of our advice you will not be making a wrong or uninformed decision. :D:D

As a ton of questions, look everywhere and as the "famous" Roberto always says, 'trust your ears"

Good Luck!!

Jeff :cool:
 

kach22i

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taylode said:
I’ve settled on ML’s;..............I want a complete surround sound system and I have a budget of around $12K. .................My listening tastes range from AC/DC to U2 to Buddy Guy to Tangerine Dream.
Sounds like you spin some vinyl records, do you?

I would go with two seperate sytems, one for H.T. (Home Theater) and one for two channel (stereo).

Have you considered using any used componets to stretch your budget?

Which M/L's sold you on M/L sound character? This might be where you start.
 
L

leaderc

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I just redid my system almost entirely. Using a mix of new and used, I put together:
ML Ascent i's
Cinema i center
(existing) B&W surrounds
Krell Showcase pre/pro
VTL ST-150 main amp
Sunfire Cinema Grand 200x5 (surround and center amp)
Paradigm Seismic 12 sub

All told my budget barely exceeded yours and I feel that I put together a very nice system. Audiogon is a great resource for used equipment once you know what you want. As always, your ears are you final guide as to what sounds best to you and fits your budget. For me personally, a tube amp paired to ML is incredible.

Charles
 

asindc

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All the suggestions made so far are really good, especially about buying used. In case you're not aware, ML is offering close-out prices on the Ascent-i right now. I just bought a pair new for less than they are going on the used market.

I would not invest a lot in a DVD player at this point until the industry settles the hi def DVD format issues (which probably won't be for another two years or so). You should be able to find a really good DVD player used for less than $300.

Anthony
 

Joey_V

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Yes, the above poster is right. If you go with Ascent-i, you can get them for very cheap since it is on closeout.
 

Reverb

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asindc said:
I would not invest a lot in a DVD player at this point until the industry settles the hi def DVD format issues (which probably won't be for another two years or so). You should be able to find a really good DVD player used for less than $300.

Anthony
Current happenings in the Hi-Def format war is getting very interesting. It’s looking like there may not even be a war. Fox as just signed on to produce movies only for Blu-ray, that’s three studios to two with Blu-ray. Insiders are saying the two studios on board for Toshiba are getting nerves and may jump ship to Blu-ray. No support for HD-DVD equals no format. Things are getting interesting; the war may be over before it starts.

P.S. Lion Gate studios just singed on to exclusively make movies for Blu-ray. I think that's four to two for Blu-ray.
 

Robin

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All ML all the time...

Dennis,

Welcome! to the ML Club....

Audiogon, is a good place to start, lots of good deals, if you are paitent and can wait... IMHO, I would advise you to put together an, 'All ML speaker system'. Homiogentic, ML speaker system's sound the best to me, IMHO. If you go with used ML speakers, I think you will find, that most ML owners, take excellent care of their speakers.

As you know, ML speakers sound beautiful, transparent and sweet. I would advise you to begin, with the best, five ML speakers, that you can afford for 12K. Then IMHO, I recommend you save-up and add seporates to drive them and to make them really sing. IMHO, purchase seporates. They are a much better way to go.

I highly, recommend the ML speakers in my system# 57. Initially, I purchased, my first ML fronts, center, and subwoofer, from Magnolia HiFi, in Oregon. With the exception of my Script i's, surrounds, I made the, 20 hour round trip expedition, to the state of Oregon, to aviod paying, California's sales taxes. Additionally, I saved even more money, because I was willing to buy, the floor, "Demo" speakers. My Script i's, I purchased them from, Magnolia HiFi, in California, at full price, a year later. My total cost for my six, ML speakers - 12K..., and let me tell you it was sooooo, worth-it. :D

Currently, I am in the slow and paitent process, of adding expensive, excellent sounding power, to my HT system. At this time, I am deeply envolved, in the process of auditioning amplifiers. IMHO, I have found, that this is the process, of what, building a, "killer sound system", is all about... IMHO, I think, it is unrealistic to assume that you can just spend 12K and boom you are done. I think, if you begin correctly and build on the quality of the ML speakers, and then, you can go from their... :)

However, having said all of that, I do agree with Jeff...

To quote Jeff:

Be honest with yourself and see if there is something that can wait or can be changed to full fill your needs.
and to quote Roberto:

"trust your ears"
Good luck! and again, welcome, to the greatest audiophile forum on the internet, "Martin Logan Owner Club"!!! :D

-Robin
 
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