My room is Irregular shaped with a smaller adjoining dining area to the rear and a double stairwell to the left. The soundstage is very dark and smooth causing the instruments to be acutely distinguishable and detailed. The ELACs stand-mounts are midrange magicians so to speak but with the front of the speakers 48 inches from the rear wall, the bass is well in the background behind the main performance. The SVS subwoofer comes into play in this audio only system, flushing out the bottom musical registers, creating a well balanced sound through the full audio spectrum without bringing any attention to itself whatsoever. Very much satisfied at this point.
Speakers recently changed from Magnepan 1.7s, which I could no longer appreciate due to high frequency hearing loss. The sound presented by the ELACs somehow complement my new normal since suffering hearing loss.
This looks like a collection of some pretty nice gear. Most people like Pass with Maggies. It's likely the Wadia and Bryston aren't getting along with the Maggies. Its not always easy getting digital to get along with Maggies. That is why they will have to pull my ModWright Sony out of my cold, dead, fingers. The Harbeths are probably more forgiving.
I really think the suggestion to pull the TV out is an excellent one, just to see what happens. If that improves the sound, and the TV has to be there, then the maggies aren't going to work for you. I would expect the TV to give you problems, even if it isn't the cause of the "dry lifeless" issue. Dipoles are tricky with respect to what is behind them. It could be the TV is selectively reinforcing or causing cancelation of certain frequencies giving you a tonal balance that is not pleasing.
I love my Maggies, and wouldn't have anything else. But they can be a real pain sometimes. They want what they want.
The Wadia 171 sounds dry, lifeless and unbearable with my Magnepans, Pass Labs and Bryston DAC, using Analysis Pus Digital Oval coaxial. With Harbeth C7s in this same system the Wadia sounds thoroughly listenable.
The Wadia also completely enjoyable through Polks in my other system.
Am I doing something wrong or are the Magnepan speakers revealing a poor sounding source? Thanks.
System edited: I added the Wadia 171 iTransport and Analysis Plus cable in June 2011. This combo sounds dull with the Magnepans. I replaced the Magnepans with Harbeth Compact 7ES-3s to test for improvement. The Wadia sounded totally listenable but not to the same degree and quality as my CD player, through the Harbeths. The Harbeths were removed as the Magnepans remain my choice speaker in this system with my CD player. I also put the Wadia 171 and Analysis Plus cable online in my secondary system and the sound was completely pleasing. Help! Any suggestions appreciated.
System edited: I'm happy that the Pass Labs arrived in one piece. So far I am satisfied and expect continued satisfaction. This purchase was from Mark at Reno HiFi. A very kind fellow. Luckily, I had a pair of Audioquest CV-8's factory terminated with spades at the amp ends laying around as the Int - 150 only accepts spades without modification to the amp. I will purchase banana adapters soon. I was previously using Harmonic Technology Pro 11 Plus cables with bananas on all ends with a NAD M3. Therefore, I was unable to hear the difference from the NAD M3 using the Harmonic Technology cables. After purchase of the banana adapters I will determine which cables to keep in this system. Upon switching cables there seems to be more weight in the bass with the HT cables and more mid/treble resolution with the AQ cables. Also, bass with the AQ cables seem to be more recording dependent. These were quick listen impressions. Although initially a bit more resolving than the NAD M3, I didn't hear much of an improvement over the M3 but as the Pass plays I am hearing more definition and separation of instruments/vocals along with a deeper soundstage. I suppose this is part of the break in process or as I sometimes wonder, if it's only my ears acclimating to the new sound.
Thanks for the thumbs up. I really enjoy listening to music in this setup.
As for "working class" components I have heard substantial improvements upon each added piece but have quickly lost focus on the components because the music is so enjoyable.
Yes the PS Audio was definitely as they say another substantial layer of unveiling and in my opinion well worth the cost. The bass especially became so much more defined with the PS Audio online along with the remaining sound. Its as if any blurring or muddiness for lack of better terms was removed.
Nice setup! I also have Magnepan 1.7's and the NAD M3. I'm shocked by the sound I'm getting out of these "working class" components! The 1.7's produce a lot more bass then I thought possible. Using Clear Day silver cables (double shotgun) took the system to new levels. Bass is much deeper then the Purist Audio cables I borrowed for testing, and highs have substantial better resolution. I've got to take a look at the PS audio line conditioners. Did you find a big difference plugging the M3 into your line conditioner?
Well, not quite that long, but my last 4 vehicles have been Nissan: Xterra, Maxima, 240Z, 300Z, love them all, great build, great product, much like the maggies. Love to hear the 1.7's and see what all the fuss is about, really enjoy my 1.6's just great all around speakers as long as they get enough quality power.
Thanks for the thumbs up. I was also considering the Dyns but never made it for an audition. Plus when doing my juggling act regarding other planned purchases for the home, the Maggies fit more in the budget.
Because of their size it is possible that they could end up in my family room where their size would be less of an issue. I doubt if that will be anytime soon.
Very nice system. I'm a huge NAD fan myself. They get good press, but I think they deserve more. Very high VFM. I was tempted by the new 1.7s myself. I've had 2 long auditions with them. Ultimately decided to stay with my Dyns though. I just couldn't get past how imposing they are compared to my little stand mount speakers. But they are truly impressive and vocals are breathtaking. I like your man-cave system too. Nice stuff!
System edited: Just added the Polk subwoofer to help fill out the very bottom end. It has been a week since adding the Magnepans. My initial impressions are as follows: It takes a day to get used to their size. Even though I was aware of their height/width, they look far smaller in the dealer's showroom. I had to move them over four feet from the rear wall mainly to deal with extreme boominess in the mid-bass. I have pretty much run out of real estate to deal with positioning them out any further. Adding the subwoofer helped cancel out most of the mid-bass problem. The speakers present a huge sound stage. More details in recordings are heard. These speakers in this system and room, etc make my secondary audio system in my family room sound small in comparison. Part of this may be due to the fact that my family room is far more damped/deadened than my living room. My living room is more lively/reverberant. I listen to mainly jazz in all forms, gospel choirs, some rock and classical. I was listening to a choir recorded live and I ended up with the same feeling you get as if actually present at the event. Very moving. My only real gripe with these speakers are with the attention to detail during the manufacturing process. One other issue concerning powering these speakers. After reading the post here on Agon I wondered if my amp would be sufficient. It is more than sufficient and the sound is spectacular. Of course there are always better products but I see no need to purchase another amp. The only reason for me to purchase another amp for these speakers would be for the sake of curiosity only. The craftsmanship/workmanship on these are not done with precision and exactness.
Yes I am a NAD fan. Polk is a great speaker as far as I am concerned and has always worked with NAD amps. Polk has been one of the few decent brands avaiable here. There have been a few other decent brands available here over the years that have come and gone. Come to think of it Polks are no longer available.
The M3 works great. It added greatly to the size of the soundstage. Vocals are lifelike and up front. The sound is dynamic, organic, detailed as well as warm all wrapped up in one.
I use the M3 with my TV and oppo 980H only on occassion. I only have the two Polks in this system as you know and I am completely happy with the result with movies.
Hard to say which speakers are best. My living room has more hard surfaces, which means a larger, livelier sound. My Family room ceiling consist of accoustic panels, which along with the full room carpeting means a more dry sound.
Never hearing both speaker pairs side by side or in the same rooms I would say the living room system (RT 2000i) is a little more suited to movies. They seem to have a larger soundstage but are still dynamic and articulate. Plus they include the powered subs in each speaker. The Lsi 15's I would consider a little more suited to music as they present a somewhat dryer sound. They are also analytical and dynamic. When I say a little dryer I do not mean they sound dead. They are absolutely musical with a very full sound. Again, a lot of what I hear may be room acoustics.
If it means anything, I am lookig for a more "high end" speaker as a replacement in my living room meaning that I would not give up the Lsi 15's as opposed to the RT 2000i. On the other hand, I have not heard anything that impressed me enough to replace them yet. One pair that impressed me cost 9 grand but you know thats a large sum so my search continues. No rush though.
Love both of your "working man" systems. You are obviously a NAD and Polk fan. I'm assuming these two products compliment each other. I have always thought the M3 would make fine amplification for a 2 channel HT. I have seriously considered it and concluded it has been more than I was willing to spend for movies...though I wish I had it. Maybe once I put my "music appreciation" system back together I will take the plunge. Please comment on the M3.
Also, please tell me which of the 2 Polk floorstanders is the better speaker for movies and/or music.
System edited: My system is going through changes. My last system was about 25 years old hence my recent purchases. I am almost done with the exception of my search for speakers. I added the Bryston BDA-1 looking for improvement over the Onkyo DX-7555 CD player. I am using the coaxial output of the Onkyo into the Bryston. The improvement is more lateral so far. Maybe "burn in" time is needed with the Bryston since its fresh out of the box. So far only a little more presence is noted using the Bryston. This all tells me that they Onkyo although relatively inexpensive is a great piece when it comes to performance and also a great value financially. I also tried a a Cambridge 840c in this system but the 840c lags far behind the Onkyo in bass and midrange performance. The high frequency performance of the Onkyo is on par with the 840c. I guess the perils of living in a smaller city is not being able to try before you buy without a lot of travel, which can become toilsome. I have to put a lot of reliance on the Audiogon community along with product reviews. Don't get me wrong, my system sounds awesome but I can see putting together a system is no simple task. Speaker suggestions are welcome.