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Bookshelves Polk / B&W / Quad?

Rega

Raghav

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Instead of satellite packages like the B&W MT-20, Quad L-ite or KEF3005, I felt the following set made from individual speakers (same pricing) better sounding and superior quality.

1. Polk : front - RTi A3, Centre - CSi A4, Surround - FXi A4, Sub - DSW Pro500
2. B&W : front - 685, Centre - HTM 62, Surround - DS3, Sub - ASW 610
3. Quad : front - 12L2, Centre - L2, Surround - 9.DFS, Warfedale Sub - SW250

Do you think that these speakers will combine better than the Satellite 5.1 packages? Also which one is the preferred package?

This is for a HT 50% movies, 50% music (mixed variety)

Raghav
 

gopi

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Raghav,
The options you listed should be better than satellites - this will be most apparent when listening to music. The reason for this is that the satellites being small will cutoff at a frequency typically around 80Hz and not reproduce anything less than that. All this gets redirected to a subwoofer. But there are lots of instruments and even human voice that needs to go down further than 80Hz. So, if each satellite is not doing that, its a compromise and you can find that out if you have a bigger speaker right next to them playing. But, the sub/sat systems you are talking about are no normal ones. Quite some good ones. But still a bookshelf will be better. So depends on what you want and the budget etc; Looks like your budget is just above one lakh.
For the Quad combo I would say that the subwoofer is nice but not the best.
Getting the Quad will be a better option but then your budget will be pushed out further. So, the mix match of Wharfedales with Quads. While this might not be that bad, neither its a very nice option when particularly paying that amount.
My take is instead of doing that kind off mix match, why not get the Quad Lite and a Quad 12L2? Will that still be inside your budget. This way you get 7.1 as well and that is not a bad thing. This would be first option and my recommendation. Something that I am halfway there myself.
Second thing is between B&W and Quad, best is to audition as the sound signature is different. So, even the pairing receiver can matter here. So, have a rough idea of the receivers and see which suits better.
One common comment I hear about B&W 685 is that it sounds best when the volume is pushed up. I also kinda felt the same when I auditioned. It really sounded very big and open at a high volume, while at low volume it was slightly anonymous. The Quad 22L2 was quite the opposite. At low volumes it sound quite clean and good, while at higher volumes there was a slightly more harsh than I'd like. So, this can be taken into consideration as well.
Regarding Polk, I haven't heard the new RTi series yet, I have heard their previous RTi series and I would say I liked them. But, the B&W and Quad to me are in another class.
So, long story short, get a Quad Lite + 12L2. Or else between the Quad and B&W , listen and pick.
By the way, I have just picked a Quad Lite 5.1 myself and I am waiting eagerly to plug them in. A long wait of 10 days probably.
 

marsilians

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The quick answer is that "it depends"

While the bookshelves are generally equipped with larger drivers and better cross over - the ultimate sound depends on the quality of build and components. Some satellites perform very well when compared to bookshelves

In the list you put below, if you mention some types of music you listen to it will be easier to make recommendations.

Instead of satellite packages like the B&W MT-20, Quad L-ite or KEF3005, I felt the following set made from individual speakers (same pricing) better sounding and superior quality.

1. Polk : front - RTi A3, Centre - CSi A4, Surround - FXi A4, Sub - DSW Pro500
2. B&W : front - 685, Centre - HTM 62, Surround - DS3, Sub - ASW 610
3. Quad : front - 12L2, Centre - L2, Surround - 9.DFS, Warfedale Sub - SW250

Do you think that these speakers will combine better than the Satellite 5.1 packages? Also which one is the preferred package?

This is for a HT 50% movies, 50% music (mixed variety)

Raghav
 

Raghav

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Thanks for the advice.

Budget is right around a lac. Would love something in 75k range but not finding anything appealing other than the Polk Setup which is for 80K. Another budget option would be to replace Quad 12L2 fronts and centre with Wharfedale 9.2 and Centre CM. How do you rate this?

I can get the Quad L-ite 5.1 minus the front speakers and then use Quad 12L2 for the fronts.
Heres the comparison:
We get better Quad Sub instead of SW250.
We lose the L2 Centre and have to settle for L-ite Centre
We use Quad L-ites and not wharfedale dipoles for the rear. (which is better)

Full Quads will cost 20K more. Is it worth it? I feel the benefits of centre and sub cancel out and rears are both equal.
 

Raghav

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The quick answer is that "it depends"

While the bookshelves are generally equipped with larger drivers and better cross over - the ultimate sound depends on the quality of build and components. Some satellites perform very well when compared to bookshelves

In the list you put below, if you mention some types of music you listen to it will be easier to make recommendations.

The Music is mainly Hindi Film Music right from 40s to 2009, add to that ghazals and classical. But this is also used for all latest Hindi and english Movies. Also quite a bit of TV.

The AVRs shortlisted for the speakers are Denon1909 and Yamaha663

Raghav
 

Raghav

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Raghav,
Its not possible to get Quad Lite minus front speakers. Those options are rough to get here in India. So, you would have to buy Quad Lite (the new version , though there doesn't seem to be much diff) which should cost you less than 90k, probably 5k. Quad 12L2 should be around 40k, so a 11L2 might also be considered. Or even a demo piece of Quad 12L still available in Designer Audio Bombay for about 28k.

Actually someone may be interested in two Satellites of Quad L-ites for 16k or i may use them my self in a small Zone 2 for stereo setup. Thats how I will get the combo Quad setup.;):)

Systems Auditioned

AVRs - denon 1909, onkyo 606, HK, Marantz, Yamaha 663.

Speakers
Quads 12L2 with centre and wharfedale sub and surround.
Wharfedale RS10
Wharfedale In-walls
KEF3005
Polk RTiA3
DEF pro800 and 1000
PSB B25 with alphas for surround
Mirage NanoSat
Mirage VSats
HK and JBL dont recall models
B&W 685
B&W FPM6
B&W MT-20

Last and the least "BOSE".

How would a custom Install from B&W / Definitive / Wharfedale be compared to what we have discussed. Fronts and centre would be 3 way and surrounds smaller 2 way. This system I may use in my bedroom and bookshelf based one for HT.

Thanks
Raghav
 

gopi

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I have never listened to in walls, so I cannot comment on that.
You have listened to a huge array of speaker combinations.
So, which receiver is your pick and which speaker combinations were your pick.
Can you list your thoughts of some of them atleast as that will help others.
 

pnredkar

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Hi,

I agree mostly with Gopi's suggestions. However, it seems that you need only a 5.1 setup now. In that case, I would suggest that you stick to the Quad-lite for now and add the bookshelves later. I know I will incur the wrath of many people around here, so let me explain.

(Just for your info, I am the owner of 11L paired with CA Azur 540R V3 receiver and I went through many of the speakers that you mention, maybe the older versions).

The main difference between the Quad L-lite and the Quad bookshelves is that in the woofer/midrange. The tweeters in both are exactly the same. The lower cut-offs for the L-ite fronts is about 65Hz while that for the bookshelves is about 45Hz. This will be very critical if you are listening to music in strict 2.0 (without subwoofer). However, if you are going to listen to music with subwoofer (integrated with the respective speakers with appropriate cross-overs), the difference would be less pronounced (if not indistinguishable). The difference would be immaterial on movies where you would anyway set the cross-over to 80Hz.

So, if you like listening to music in 2.0, go for 11L2 or 12L2. If you are going to listen in 2.1 stick with L-ites.

However, just make sure that you like the Quad sound as compared to the other speakers. (I know I did ;)).

Regards,
Prasad
 
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