What to expect from a ML 7.1 system....

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Robin

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I just purchased a new pair of Script i's from Magnolia Hi Fi. They are priced at $2289.00, which reflects the new price increase from Martin Logan and California's sales tax. Quality costs that's for sure. These new Scripts will replace my cheapy two channel Cerwin Vega's as the new Rears of my HT system.
My system currently consists of:
~ Fronts - Ascent i
~ Center - Theater i
~ Sub - Descent
~ Surrounds - Sony (Cheapy) 3 channel (to be replaced when I save up $)
~ Rears - (New) Script i
Pioneer Elite VSX-59TXi A/V Multichannel receiver
Pioneer 43" HDTV Plasma
Cinimaquest / Audioquest speaker cables; Moster Cable Audiophile Bi-wire cables
Monster Cable HT-clean filtered power
I have a pretty small HT room - 10.5' x 11.5 x 7'.
I was thinking of adding more Script i's to my system as surrounds in about a year. Are there any suggestions for possible speakers or does my Script i plans sound adequate? I watch DVD movies 90 % of the time and Music 10 %. My goal is to have an awsome homogeneous, rap-around, clear, transparent, yet full-bodied, full-effect, Home Theater sound. Any ideas?
 
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Munster

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I would look into maybe upgrading the amplification for the most effect but your system should be dang good for Ht, enjoy.
 

garmtz

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Best is to have ALL speakers from MartinLogan. It will greatly improve homgenity of the surround bubble. Immediately after upgrading the sides, please buy a decent 7-channel amplifier to get those speakers to sing more sweetly. In due course, you could then also upgrade the pre-amp.
 

Willy

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Try Scripts As Surrounds Now?

I currently have Prodigy, Theatre i, Script i's (Surround) and NHT1.5s as rears.

I find the Scripts excellent as surrounds and an excellent near-field speaker. IMHO the surrounds do more than the rears on most or all soundtracks as very little is out there with true 6.1 let alone 7.1.

Given the performance of the scripts as surrounds I intend to update the rears once I have time to build a custom mounting bracket for high rear corners of room.

Guy who takes my money for all this stuff suggests putting a sub on the surrounds if I really want full range sound for concert dvds. Think I will try at some point.
 

zaphod

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Robin said:
I just purchased a new pair of Script i's from Magnolia Hi Fi. ...
~ Surrounds - Sony (Cheapy) 3 channel (to be replaced when I save up $)
~ Rears - (New) Script i
i would really, REALLY reccommend putting your script i's on the surround channels and the cheapy sony's on the rear. will there is some 7.1 discrete, much of it is 5.1 with the rears matrixed from it or PL (with a surround matrixed) and who knows what for the rear channels.

put your best speakers from where the most information comes. would you use cheapy sony speakers on the front surrounds only to replace them down the road? no, because after the center channel, the front surrounds are most important in soundtracks.

in the same way, the side surrounds are more important than the rears, so consider putting the script i's on the sides not the rears.
 

DTB300

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zaphod said:
i would really, REALLY reccommend putting your script i's on the surround channels and the cheapy sony's on the rear. will there is some 7.1 discrete, much of it is 5.1 with the rears matrixed from it or PL (with a surround matrixed) and who knows what for the rear channels.
Zaphod...You beat me to the reply....But yes I agree..., move the Script's to surround channels and move the sony's to the rears for the 7.1

Dan
 

Anthony A.

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yup, you really haven't heard what your ascents are capable of running from a receiver. i had the same, and changed 2 amps since. the increase in power will make you stop right in your tracks. yes, it is that much better. really, i thought my ascents sounded nice on a receiver until i bought a separate amp and used the receiver as a pre/pro. then i heard what a ml speaker sounded like. i would upgrade the amp first, then the speakers.
 

Robin

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This 'Site' is great for ML owners, Wow! I really appreciate everyone's input, advice and information, Thanks... I am now planning to place my new, Script i's, at the surround position and use the Sony's, as Rears. I'm still in a quandary over, what to do first... Whether or not to save my dollars, for more, Script i's, (to replace the Sony Rears) or to purchase a 7 channel amplifier, to make all of my electrostatic, HT bubble "Sing"....
Can someone give me reasons to purchse the Amp vs. another set of Script i's? As, I've really grown to dislike my 8 ohm, Sony (3-way) 'cheapy', tower speakers. I've been using them for the last five years, and I'm not sure, I can tolerate them for very much longer. The Sony's just seem to be this huge, "weak link". It just seems to be bringing my entire HT system down. Am I losing patience or what? Please help....
 

SugarMedia

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Robin said:
The Sony's just seem to be this huge, "weak link". It just seems to be bringing my entire HT system down.
Your "weak link" is your amplification. A receiver is already the most compromised piece of audio equipment made. The single power supply limits its performance. When additional channels of amplification and a surround processor are added - all getting their power from the one power supply - we end up with a piece of equipment that often tries to mask poor sound with sound effects. It may work okay for movie sound effects, but it can really wreck music. Remember, movie sound is mostly music and voice. Always use music to evaluate surround sound systems.

When you buy a car, you don't buy a Corvette body, Porsche brakes, Cadillac interior, Jaguar chassis, Volvo engine, and all season tires. We buy a complete car; one that is a balanced blend of specific parts that work together as a whole. Likewise, a hi-fi music system must be viewed as a whole system. All too often "good" pieces are combined to make a poor system. Amplifiers are incorrectly matched to speakers, cheap turntables are fitted with expensive cartridges, cheap CD players are hooked up to good electronics, half of the budgeted funds are spent on speakers, or good equipment is hooked together with poor cables. All these mistakes are very common.

The result of these mistakes is that when the components are connected, they do produce sound. Making sound, and reproducing music, however, is not the same thing. When a system is improperly designed and assembled, the reality is that the money spent did not result in a good value or an enjoyable music reproduction system. It just isn't that much fun to listen to! Better results could have been achieved with components that complement each other. And it wouldn't cost any more.

I could take half of your equipment and still make it sound better than you can, only because I can power it correctly.

Keep us posted and good luck...
 

MikeN

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Hi Robin,

I'd wholeheartedly agree with others who recommend the amp upgrade before the surrounds. Like Anthony and yourself, I ran my Ascent i's with a receiver for a while. When I upgraded to dedicated high current amp the improvement was just jaw-dropping, startling - much more than I expected. I still have crap surrounds but am very content now and can wait for a while before upgrading again.
 
T

That1WhiteKid

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I suggest dropping the surround back altogether. Or follow a previous suggestion to put the Sony's in the back.
As it is currently 7.1 is not even a format. Also 6.1 is a misconception, DTS ES is the only discrete 6.1 format. Dolby Digital EX is not discrete 6.1, it is a discrete 5.1 with matrixed surround back (can you say pro-logic?).
As far as 7.1 goes, if you have 2 surround back speakers, all you get is more sound in the back, but no left / right seperation since your processing just splits whatever information is there and sends it to both speakers instead of just the one. I would just stick to a well laid out 5.1 system especially since you have a relatively small room.
Then you can upgrade to more discrete channels whenever they are supported by the hardware.
Sounds like a great system with much more potential when you upgrade the power amp!!

<---- really mad about the misinformation available to the public, and the supposed "7.1" marketing.
 
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EricE

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If your room is big enough to handle side and rear surrounds 7.1 sounds good but 5.1 can sound just as good or even better since you can spend the money on better rears and amplification. I'm thinking of dropping 7.1 alltogether since I've moved my Aerius for the sides to a more rear location..... :confused: PLIIx does sound good for 2ch to 5.1 or 7.1!

Robin, does your Sony have 7.1 channel preouts to take advantage of external amplification? I know some still don't have preouts....
 

Robin

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OK, I've decided, I'm convinced, my next (future) up grade will be a two channel tube amplifier. I will continue to use my Pioneer 59TXi as a pre/processer, for now. I appreciate the various concenus of oppinion, on this foum. It has really helped me, firmed up the decission to tube amplify my, Ascent i's - to start. My future budget will be about 3 - 4k, for a stereo amp. I was thinking about, Audio Research - VS110 stereo amp., or a Musical Fidelity amp. Does anyone have any other two channel / stereo amplifier suggestions or recommendations?
 

DTB300

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Before making that firm decision on the type of Amp, make sure you audition them all to the best of your ability before buying. I just went through the same situation with upgrading my main power amp for my CLSIIz's. Remember we each have our own preferences and likes...so get out and listen to as much as you can in amplifiers in both Tube and SS. And try to bring as much demo equipment home to audition on your environment and system as this can make a big difference in how something sounds.

Dan
 

Spike

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Robin said:
I watch DVD movies 90 % of the time and Music 10 %. My goal is to have an awsome homogeneous, rap-around, clear, transparent, yet full-bodied, full-effect, Home Theater sound. Any ideas?
Given this stated goal, I'm gonna go on a limb and that solid-state amplifiers are more suited in this applications (than the tubed counterparts), especially the beefy multi-channel amplifiers. Just upgrading a 2-channel amplifier for the L/R front will NOT get you the full-bodied, full-effect sound you're looking for. The reputable ones to consider are Classe', Cary, BAT, Audio Research (solid-state, multi-channel), Bryston, Krell, and Proceed (if you can find them on the used-market). For example, you could start with a 1/2 populated BAT (3-channels) to ensure the front channels have seamless transition, and then add more amplification modules to drive the rears as your budget opens up in the future. To smooth things out in music mode, you could have a 2-channel tubed preamp driving the L/R channels for stereo listenning. Best of luck since I see that you're already on the slippery slope of...upgraditis!!
 

Anthony A.

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ahh yes, upgraditis is a very common disease found among many members on this site. i am one of them. seriously though, when will we ever be happy with our gear and actually listen to it? i spend more time researching "better" components than actually be happy with my current stuff. oh well, i guess we all have to spend our valuable time somewhere. on a side note, if you go with a ss amp, i would definately add pass labs to your audition. they are quite cheap on the used market, especially for what you are getting. cheers!!!!
 

Robin

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Marking Time Till My Next Up-Grade...

I've been saving, researching and saving some more... :rolleyes: I hope to able to release my "Joeyitis" into something audio wonderful next year... before I explode... ;)
 

IWalker

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I'm still very young in my stereo building days, but I'm in sort of the same boat...where I'm trying to figure out which path to follow for upgrades...and beyond that, I wouldn't want to go audition something from a smaller vendor and then buy what I auditioned from audiogon or such....but my limited funds suggest that I should go for used gear...so I am a little stuck, in that I rely on reviews to determine my direction on gear. Down the road I hope I can change that situation, but until then...

The direction I'm looking at for my 2ch amplification (I'm planning to bi-amp with a SS pro-amp for bass panels, and running tubes up top) is either AES Six-Pac Monoblocs or Rogue audio M-120 or M-150. I think I'm leaning towards the six-pacs, but won't make a final decision for a few months (once I have the funds available to make the purchase) They run from $1500-$2500
used.

The difference between 50w and 100w of power should only really matter at the loudest volumes (as a doubling of power only adds 3db of SPL, IIRC) so I don't know how much to make of the power rating...especially since I don't listen at loud volumes. I'd rather save money for a better (name it, source, preamp, etc.) than spend extra for 3db of headroom.

That's just my thought process...I haven't seen how it's turned out yet, so can't tell you if I think it's a good way to go!!!
 

Crawdaddy

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You know....with so much changing in the HT arena, I've come to accept that fact that I'm definately in "save mode" for the next year or so. :( Consider: Blu-ray / HD DVD war, coming high-rez audio, HDMI 1.3, cheaper 1080p displays / projectors, better digital amplifier technology....the list goes on. :eek:

In the mean time I'm investing in 2 channel. I have an Odyssey Candela on order to go with my Mono Extremes and Ascent i's. :cool: Can't wait! :D
 
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