New to ML, help with this 5.1 setup.

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johnlabadia

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Hello all-
I found this forum, and it seems like a great resource. My wife and I are in the process of renovating an apt, and there is so room in the budget for some new speakers. I had been considering some B&W's, thinking that the ML's would be to 'large' for my wife. Well, she likes the way they look, and loves the sound, so I'm trying to put together a ML system.

It will be used 50/50 for music/ht. For electronics, I use an HK Signature 2.0 Pre-amp, with a Carver 705 thx amp (125x5). I would rather not buy an entire new system, so I plan on keeping both of those... at least for a bit.

I was thinking of a pair of Clarities for the front, along with the Passages for the rear (in-wall). Not sure about what decent options there are for a center channel though. Have people had luck mixing traditional tweeters with the stats? If so, any recomendations...? I was also trying to find a pair of Aeon i's, but I would probably have to buy those unheard, cant find any locally.

I'm trying not to turn this into an 'upgrade' everything process, and I see the panels drop down to <2 ohms at 20k, is 125x5 going to be enough? I've never seen my amp clip, not exactly sure what to expect.

Thanks, and sorry for the vague questions. It's late, and I'm suffering from information overload.

-jpl
 

magnoliarichj

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i notice when i watch movies with my 2 clarities the voices are centered in movies when the processor center channel is set to phantom then left on a digital setting. i like it. may not be for everyone... but it does work till i get the stage i am looking for.
 

Pcar928fan

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I would HIGHLY recommend an ML ESL for the center channel! Stage if you want to buy new, Cinema if you can't swing that, Theater if you don't mind buying used and REALLY want the BEST...some might argue the Stage is better, but I have my doubts about that...the Theater and Theater i are pretty AWESOME! They are HUGE though!

I would also recommend the Vantage for front L/R unless you want to buy those later and put the Clarity as L/R rears at that time. Of course buying used is a GREAT idea! The only ML's I bought new are my Descent and Ascent speakers. I bought my Scripts, Aerius i, Cinema, Theater, and Prodigy ALL on ebay used over the last few years and I have been EXTREMELY happy with those purchases.

All the best to you, and good luck setting up your system. At least you won't need a pre/pro and amp! No matter what speakers you end up with from the ML line you will be happy! They are all GREAT! I would do an ESL center channel with the Front L/R's though...it will make a MUCH better sound for you all the way across that front stage. Go phantom if you can't swing that right now...don't waste time and money trying to find something that will integrate well w/ the ML's, it is hard to do, if not impossible.
 

TheBobGoat

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When I got my Ascent i's, I moved my Aeons to the back as surround speakers at first..eventually, I took them upstairs and made a seperate 2CH system.

For me, putting the electrostats in the back as surrounds seemed like a waste. Right now, I have regular rear speakers and the Ascent's up front.

I know Robin and a whole bunch of people on here have stats all around, but for me it wasnt worth it really. Just something to think about if you stay with clarities and dont get vantages until later.

Just my opinion - Also, I use a regular center channel (two midrange, one tweeter, ported) from my nonstat days and it works for me, but I havent listened any other way.
 
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johnlabadia

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My room isn't going to be allow stat's all around, there are some columns which divide part of the living area, where the rears will be mounted ~6 feet up in-wall. No ac power there, so an xstat isnt even an option.

Thats why I was planning on the Passage's for the rears.

As for the fronts, I would imagine the Vantage's are at a much different price point than the Clarities. What is the ballpark range for a set of well-cared for, used Vantage's? I'm having a hard time finding msrp info for these as well, doesnt seem to be published anywhere.

I've got about 5k to spend on 5, and I think I'm going to let a Velodyne DD10 take care of the .1.

I know you guys love to spend other people's money, how best would you spend it? : )

Thanks again

I can post floor plans, pics if that helps.

-jpl
 

Steve

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For $5k, I'd suggest Claritys up front, Cinema for center, ML or REL for sub, and something cheap for surrounds. That actually leaves money left over...which must be spent, so see how far up the ML line you can go for the front RL channels.
 

lugano

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That actually leaves money left over...which must be spent, so see how far up the ML line you can go for the front RL channels.
Any money left to spend should be used for decent speaker cables IMHO... I say this because lately there have been some posts of folks budgeting out 5.1 systems, thinking only about the boxes... but in a 5.1 system there's a lot of cabling, and I bet you all won't be satisfied with $10/meter cabling...
 

Steve

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Any money left to spend should be used for decent speaker cables IMHO... I say this because lately there have been some posts of folks budgeting out 5.1 systems, thinking only about the boxes... but in a 5.1 system there's a lot of cabling, and I bet you all won't be satisfied with $10/meter cabling...
I'm not saying you are wrong, since I have not actually tested the theory myself, but...

I would be very, very surprised if $500 spent on cables made a bigger difference than $500 extra on speakers, particularly at this level in the line-up.

That $3.8K audiogon deal on the Vantages looks pretty compelling (granted, that's more than $500 extra)!
 
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johnlabadia

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Any money left to spend should be used for decent speaker cables IMHO... I say this because lately there have been some posts of folks budgeting out 5.1 systems, thinking only about the boxes... but in a 5.1 system there's a lot of cabling, and I bet you all won't be satisfied with $10/meter cabling...
I've never really been able to hear the difference in cables, at least with my current setup.

Turns out I cant really hear much below 30hz either. Took me a winter project of building a subwoofer (sonosub, for those who know), which plays well into the teens, F3 18hz. I couldnt hear a thing when tuning it below 30... Although you could sure feel it.

Call me a skeptic, but without owning a pair of ML's, I'm sure I'd be ok with 'consumer grade' Monster Stuff... I can hear the collective ghasp now. : )

I can do the Vantage's for 3800, figure 800 for a used Cinema, doesnt leave to much room for much else.
 

Charliemike

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i notice when i watch movies with my 2 clarities the voices are centered in movies when the processor center channel is set to phantom then left on a digital setting. i like it. may not be for everyone... but it does work till i get the stage i am looking for.
I cannot agree with you more. I have my SL3s in phantom and I think it's the best center channel I've (never) heard.

Because I haven't auditioned a Cinema i in my system I have no idea what I might be missing but coming from a conventional system before this, these SL3s do a better job as a phantom center than any center channel I've ever heard.

Most of the time centers completely dominate the soundstage. I hate it. With my MLs in phantom mode the sound field is like a laser beam hitting me right between the eyes.

Don't waste your money on a center just yet. If you do go with Claritys, set them up first and see how you like it in phantom mode.

If you haven't heard the Claritys yet, go listen. They are fantastic ESLs but there is a precipitous drop off in the sound field when you stand up (vs. sitting down). If you can deal with that (matter of preference) then by all means jump on a pair of them. You can find them used on Audiogon.com for about $1600/pr most times. Pretty damned good deal.

MLowners.com, welcome to it. Can't say it enough ;)
 

Charliemike

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I've never really been able to hear the difference in cables, at least with my current setup.

Turns out I cant really hear much below 30hz either. Took me a winter project of building a subwoofer (sonosub, for those who know), which plays well into the teens, F3 18hz. I couldnt hear a thing when tuning it below 30... Although you could sure feel it.

Call me a skeptic, but without owning a pair of ML's, I'm sure I'd be ok with 'consumer grade' Monster Stuff... I can hear the collective ghasp now. : )

I can do the Vantage's for 3800, figure 800 for a used Cinema, doesnt leave to much room for much else.
Don't get Monster cables for ANYTHING. Monoprice.com is your best friend. EVERYONE raves about the quality of their cables and they don't charge you $90 for a 6' component cable.

Seriously peruse that site if you're looking for interconnects. I would even say that their speaker wire is probably pretty damned good as well. Is it on par with Blue Jeans cables? Probably not. But you're not driving $100k worth of audio equipment that picks up every little bit of inconsistency across your system.

Also, if you decide you need new power cables, SignalCable is a good resource for high-quality power cables at reasonable prices. I also cannot stress enough that you over compensate on any cables you order/buy (regardless of where you get them).

I just put together a system and incorrectly estimated cable lengths TWICE ... So now I have about $150 of power cables from Signal not doing anything and a couple of RCA cables for my amp that are too short too.

When you estimate, add 3' to any length just to make sure. You can always coil it up but you can't make it longer! :)
 
J

johnlabadia

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Don't get Monster cables for ANYTHING. Monoprice.com is your best friend. EVERYONE raves about the quality of their cables and they don't charge you $90 for a 6' component cable.
I have use Monster in the past (for speaker wire) and will again, with satisfactory results. Their twisted pairs have been fine for my current setup.

All other interconnects are made by me, from Canare (broadcast quality). You can buy yourself a decent set of crimpers and dyes, and you'll be way ahead of the game making your own cables. If thats what they use in the HD trucks, it's fine with me.

Back on track here... I've listened to the Clarities, and do enjoy the sound. I havent heard them side by side with their 'bigger brothers', ie Vista/Vantage, so it's hard for me to tell how a bigger panel will affect the sound. I assume 'better', just cant quantify.

I'll see if I can listen to a pair ESL's of in 'phantom' mode, to see if I really need a center.

In order of general bang-for-your-buck preference, would I be close to assume

Clarity
Aeon i
Vista
Vantage

Thanks for everyone's input so far, much appreciated.
 

tonyc

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Hello all-
I found this forum, and it seems like a great resource. My wife and I are in the process of renovating an apt, and there is so room in the budget for some new speakers. I had been considering some B&W's, thinking that the ML's would be to 'large' for my wife. Well, she likes the way they look, and loves the sound, so I'm trying to put together a ML system.

It will be used 50/50 for music/ht. For electronics, I use an HK Signature 2.0 Pre-amp, with a Carver 705 thx amp (125x5). I would rather not buy an entire new system, so I plan on keeping both of those... at least for a bit.

I was thinking of a pair of Clarities for the front, along with the Passages for the rear (in-wall). Not sure about what decent options there are for a center channel though. Have people had luck mixing traditional tweeters with the stats? If so, any recomendations...? I was also trying to find a pair of Aeon i's, but I would probably have to buy those unheard, cant find any locally.

I'm trying not to turn this into an 'upgrade' everything process, and I see the panels drop down to <2 ohms at 20k, is 125x5 going to be enough? I've never seen my amp clip, not exactly sure what to expect.

Thanks, and sorry for the vague questions. It's late, and I'm suffering from information overload.

-jpl
Your Carver will probably run any currently available ML. My 2 cents worth would be to move as far up the chain as your finances allow even if it means buying used.
 
J

johnlabadia

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Your Carver will probably run any currently available ML. My 2 cents worth would be to move as far up the chain as your finances allow even if it means buying used.
Can someone fill in the ML chain? The current line is obvious, what I'm unclear on is how the previous generations fit in.

IE, where do the Aeon's or SL3's fit in when comparing to the current generation panels. My plan is to listen to the current line up, and there a couple of locations throught NYC that I can do that.

And then make a decision in a week or two. I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever I end up with, just want to spend my dollars wisely.
 

pat17

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For $5k, I'd suggest Claritys up front, Cinema for center, ML or REL for sub, and something cheap for surrounds. That actually leaves money left over...which must be spent, so see how far up the ML line you can go for the front RL channels.
This is what I get, Claritys and Cinema i on the front, Grotto as a sub, and Frescoes for Surrounds, and the result is quite satisfactory - they work well together.

I actually purchased my MLs in two steps, and before I got the Frescoes, I had infinity speakers on the back of the room. When the system became "fully ML", there was a fantastic improvement -I don't think you can mix ESL with regular HP as a definitive setup.

By the way, johnlabadia, I'm using a H/K Signature 1.0 as a pre-amp. ;)
 

Steve

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This is what I get, Claritys and Cinema i on the front, Grotto as a sub, and Frescoes for Surrounds, and the result is quite satisfactory - they work well together.

I actually purchased my MLs in two steps, and before I got the Frescoes, I had infinity speakers on the back of the room. When the system became "fully ML", there was a fantastic improvement -I don't think you can mix ESL with regular HP as a definitive setup.

By the way, johnlabadia, I'm using a H/K Signature 1.0 as a pre-amp. ;)
Pat17,

When you mention fantastic improvement with ML surrounds, are you refering to multi-channel music, movies, or both?

I use my system primarily for 2 channel music, so I really haven't placed much emphasis on the surrounds. However, I recently added a Cinema as a center, which made a big difference for movies. Now I'm torn about the surrounds. Taking multichannel music off the table, I'm questioning how much benefit I would get just for the limited amount of movies viewing that I do. I have placement room (and I wired power) in case I want to add Fresco or Scripts in my new media room, instead of the cheapies I am currently using.

Steve
 

DTB300

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Now I'm torn about the surrounds. Taking multichannel music off the table, I'm questioning how much benefit I would get just for the limited amount of movies viewing that I do.
Unfortunately this is something you have to decide. Go out and listen to a demo of a movie in 2.1 and then 5.1 and hear the difference - then decide if it is worth it to you compared to the cost involved. For me movies in surround 5.1 are much better than 2.1

Dan
 
J

johnlabadia

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I'm sure most of the regulars here already are familiar with this, but the ML wiki link gave a nice company history.

Now at least I can tell when the XStat panel was introduced, and how where some previous generation speakers fit into the time frame.

Off to listen to some Vista's. : )
 

Steve

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Unfortunately this is something you have to decide. Go out and listen to a demo of a movie in 2.1 and then 5.1 and hear the difference - then decide if it is worth it to you compared to the cost involved. For me movies in surround 5.1 are much better than 2.1

Dan
Actually, my questions isn't 2.1 vs. 5.1...I'm convinced that 5.1 is the way to go. My question is how much difference the surround speakers make in a 5.1 system if you are not worried about multichannel music. I currently have cheap speakers for my surrounds...I'm trying to justify whether or not to spend the extra money to replace my current surrounds with something from ML...specifically a pair of used Scripts. I'm assuming there is a big difference for multichannel music, but not as convinced I would notice much difference for most movies.
 
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