Martin Logan Vanquish versus Bowers and Wilkins Reference 7.5 or 7.3 surround sounds

I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
I am currently building out my basement recreation room. It's a large L-shaped space, which incorporates a small game room (14' x 12') in the "foot" of the L. Next to that is an area where in the future I will build a bar. There will be two speakers in the ceiling for ambient music in this area. My current concern is the rec room proper, next to this area, which forms a 20 x 20 x 9 space. Due to the layout, it's not a true home theater. My only option is going with ceiling speakers. For real quality stereo listening, I have pre-wired the main wall (which will be finished in real stone, and have a large screen TV - plan on the Sony Bravia 77" OLED 4K - above a Modern Flames electric fireplace). I plan to acquire - if I can finally afford them - a pair of Harbeth 30.2s (made in England). Paired with a Synthesis amp (made in Italy) these are the best sounding speakers for stereo I have ever heard, bar none.

That said, I am looking for now to find the best choice for surround sound and stereo listening, with most of the time them being used for movie surround sound.

The problem I have run into is the only venues for them are the Magnolia centers at our local Best Buys. I have been to all four locations, but none have the B&W 7.5 S2s set up. Three have the ML Vanquish set up (a pair, not three with one as center). But only the square reference 7.3s. Honestly, they sound a touch muffled when compared with the ML Vanquish set. The closest thing they appear to have to listen to for the two-way round speakers are a pair of CCM682s. Those sound quite good. But I wonder how the 7.5 S2s sound in comparison. While they are nice, in my opinion the 7.3s are a touch on the muffled side and thus not worth their $1,800 a piece price tag. I thought the Vanquishes, which run $1,600 a piece sounded better. Still pricey though. I'm looking for feedback on tbe 7.5 S2s because they are only $800 per.

Anyway. Would appreciate any feedback from those who know these speakers.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
BTW. I have already pre-wired the ceiling - the contractor team came in Saturday and installed the dry wall. It is set up for a 7-speaker system. Left, right, and center front, two 'wing' speakers in the middle of the room and two toward the back. All locations are fixed as I have constructed back boxes for them all to prevent sound leakage into the living room above. The I-beams ate a full 14" in height, which allowed for my including considerable sound insulation. The boxes are made if 1/2 inch MDF, lined on the inside with 2" acoustic foam, wrapped outside with 4" of rock wool, and then all that is surrounded by thick fiberglass insulation. I wired these using 14 gauge Audioquest.

I will be able to use all my old stereo equipment save the Onkyo receiver. While good for a basic stereo, it is antiquated (1999) and will thus be of no use to me for this room. That means I will also be looking to purchase a new (proper AVR) receiver to power whatever I wind up with.

Regarding the latter, I have been familiarizing myself with ARCAM, Rotel, Anthem, and NAD. I noticed, however, that these are getting in the beyond my current reach price-wise. The Rotel I was shown, in particular, at $5,000, is more than I really want to spend. I was hoping to remain closer to the $3,000-$3.500 range.
 
M

Movie2099

Senior Audioholic
BTW. I have already pre-wired the ceiling - the contractor team came in Saturday and installed the dry wall. It is set up for a 7-speaker system. Left, right, and center front, two 'wing' speakers in the middle of the room and two toward the back. All locations are fixed as I have constructed back boxes for them all to prevent sound leakage into the living room above. The I-beams ate a full 14" in height, which allowed for my including considerable sound insulation. The boxes are made if 1/2 inch MDF, lined on the inside with 2" acoustic foam, wrapped outside with 4" of rock wool, and then all that is surrounded by thick fiberglass insulation. I wired these using 14 gauge Audioquest.

I will be able to use all my old stereo equipment save the Onkyo receiver. While good for a basic stereo, it is antiquated (1999) and will thus be of no use to me for this room. That means I will also be looking to purchase a new (proper AVR) receiver to power whatever I wind up with.

Regarding the latter, I have been familiarizing myself with ARCAM, Rotel, Anthem, and NAD. I noticed, however, that these are getting in the beyond my current reach price-wise. The Rotel I was shown, in particular, at $5,000, is more than I really want to spend. I was hoping to remain closer to the $3,000-$3.500 range.
So you are just looking for surrounds no front LCR? the B&W CWM7.5's will do just fine for surround work. The ML's will also do just fine. Now if we're talking CWM7.3's for front LCR, I would have to disagree with you on the sound. I have them in my theater and they are amazing. If you are just looking for surround speakers, you don't have to spend to the nines for them. B&W CCM682's are good in-ceiling speakers.

Other speaker companies to check out are Paradigm and RBH.

Are you looking for an AVR or Processor? Anthems are nice. Nothing against Rotel or Arcam, but their name has a nice markup. You can get the same exact features with a Denon/Marantz or Yamaha for half the price. If you can get your hands on a Yamaha 2080/3080 I think you'd be doing just fine.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
That's what I heard regarding Anthem. But sorry, don't know the acronym LCR. That is?
 
M

Movie2099

Senior Audioholic
That's what I heard regarding Anthem. But sorry, don't know the acronym LCR. That is?
LCR= Left, Center, Right. Will you be adding your front three speakers into the wall by your TV? If not, you will not be getting the sound stage you're looking for. Using in-ceiling as "front stage" is not anywhere near the same as actual LCR speakers. In-ceiling are used for music and Atmos.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
I suddenly realized that's what it meant. Unfortunately I don't have the ability to go into the wall for any of the speakers. The room is such that I could only block out the high windows on the left and right installing wall speakers there. But the center would have to be in the ceiling because the TV is on the wall in front of us.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
I was told it would be counter productive to go left and right walls with ceiling in the center.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
Again, I built back boxes for all seven speakers (and a couple others in the other room). For the LCR set up, the center one is about three feet out from the wall, right in the middle. The left and right boxes are 5 1/2 on either side of the center. The middle speakers are out wide to the left and right 2 1/2 - 3 feet in front of the main couch, and the back speakers are the same distance left and right as the front left and right, and about 3 feet behind the couch.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
Again, no practical option for wall speakers. In the future, for music, I plan on a couple floor standing bod speakers. Ran Supra 13 gauge tinned speaker wire for those and if I am able, plan for a pair of Harbeth 30.2s later on.
 
M

Movie2099

Senior Audioholic
Again, I built back boxes for all seven speakers (and a couple others in the other room). For the LCR set up, the center one is about three feet out from the wall, right in the middle. The left and right boxes are 5 1/2 on either side of the center. The middle speakers are out wide to the left and right 2 1/2 - 3 feet in front of the main couch, and the back speakers are the same distance left and right as the front left and right, and about 3 feet behind the couch.
correct. You don't want height speakers to be directly above your LCR. I would skip building any of that fireplace stuff and just go with a smooth wall. Install some nice LCR speakers and place in-ceiling where they should go. Grab a nice subwoofer, build a nice AV rack or purchase one and boom, you have yourself a decent media room.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
Too late on the fireplace. This is a done deal. The area in which I have a Modern Flames inline fireplace mounted protrudes out from the rest of the wall. The fireplace is 68" wide - same width as TV. That will provide ambience in the room. Lots of flame and base color options. Above this is a mantle, for which I am having a select piece of granite cut as the foundation of the inset area for the TV. On either side of the TV are columns with sconces. Everything on this wall is being finished in stone. Real masonry work will be done on hardie board for the whole main wall. On either side I built curio cabinets, stained in mahogany to match the floor I am installing. I get that hardwood isn't necessarily ideal for a sound room - I expect a lit of bounce x but that's how it is being finished. This 'hard' finish will be somewhat ameliorated by a large area rug.
 
I

ILCAPO

Enthusiast
I never heard of them either until recently. Saw/heard them at a high end audio store in Tyson's Corner (Washington DC area). They are hand made in England. The 30.2s are about 18" x 10" x 10" box speakers. Not huge, but the sound is amazingly clear. They ought to be as they cost $7,000 a pair.
 
M

Movie2099

Senior Audioholic
I never heard of them either until recently. Saw/heard them at a high end audio store in Tyson's Corner (Washington DC area). They are hand made in England. The 30.2s are about 18" x 10" x 10" box speakers. Not huge, but the sound is amazingly clear. They ought to be as they cost $7,000 a pair.
Are you going to use those speakers as your Left and Rights?
 

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