Relative newbie has a question about higher end speakers & amps

Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic Intern
Hi guys, been back into the hobby for a few years now and I’ve absolutely been loving it. Long story short I started with a budget Craigslist find with an old Sony ES receiver, Wharfedale Diamond 9 towers and CC with SW250 subwoofer and have bought and sold my way to my current setup which I’ve spent a total of $1,000 on. It is a

1) Denon x3300w
2) Mirage Omni 260 towers/Mirage OM-10 towers/Mirage OMD-28 towers (I alternate them depending on my mood it seems)
3) Mirage MX sats for top middles
4) Mirage Omnisat’s or Mirage OMD-5’s for surrounds
5) Wharfedale SW250 10” sealed subwoofer, Cambridge Soundworks sealed 12” subwoofer, pair of Sunfire SDS-10 subwoofers.
6) Mirage OM-C2 or OMD-C2 center channel. I use the OM when I’m using the OM or Omni speakers as the Omni CCB1 center channel sounds awful to me and the OMD when I’m using the OMD-28 towers.
7) Fisher CA-885 200WPC integrated receiver being used as a cheapo power amp for the mains.I know what you’re thinking! Fisher! What crap. But I got it for $20 in the original box new old stock from a nice old guy on Craigslist and found its one of the good Fishers with a 700 watt power rating on the rear and quite a few good online reviews attesting to the power capability. It made a world of difference between running even the Omni 260’s off the x3300w as far as low end response and fullness of sound; it might be all in my head though.

Again guys, I post here and there and read as much as I have time for to further my own knowledge. Now recently I met a couple local guys who have these amazing high end speaker setups. Last night I had a few beers with a condescending gentlemen who had a pair of Wilson Audio something towers that he said were around $30k a pair running off some monoblock amps that retailed for $10k I’ve never even heard of. We listened to some music and than a few movie scenes. He has no subwoofer and for movies runs the towers as large with an Arcam Pre/Pro connected to those Monoblocks. Now listen for music I could hear a difference between my OMD/MX 5.2.4 setup and his two channel setup and it did sound a little better than my own but for home theater ; his $50,000+ system just sounded lifeless to me and the dialogue was muffled and I really wasn’t impressed. Now this is a guy who others in our social circle go to for advice here and there so I kept my opinions to myself for the time being. I noticed his towers were about 2” from his rear wall, 5” from his side walls and roughly 4 feet apart. Again this type of spacing seems off to me but I’m still a beginner. He has heard my system and he went on to tell me and I quote “When are you going to ditch the college kid speakers and buy your first grown up speaker system” I told him while Mirage wasn’t ever $30k a pair, Andrew Welker was a very good engineer in my opinion and his work at Mirage and now Axiom audio has gotten great reviews. That aside it seems like you either love the Mirage sound or hate it, but with the exception of some of the made in China crap, I don’t believe they made poor quality products that should be lumped into a “college kid” with a pair of Sony bookshelf speakers blasting music out his window. He than went onto tell me how I didn’t need all these speakers to have immersive audio if I properly place my left and right speakers (which ironically, unless I’m going deaf I truly DO NOT believe he has done) and while I responded that’s your opinion just like how what sounds good to someone is subjective to which he told me “that’s incorrect, all audio should be played back completely flat in and completely flat acoustic environment” now correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Dr. Floyd O’Toole as well as a few other well respected audio sites said that some room reflections are good and a completely dead room often sounds awful. Anyways, that’s my story. Am I wrong here? This guy is much older and I feel like some of his thoughts on home theater are out dated. I mean I’ve listened to movies in stereo on my OMD-28’s and it does sound great but to me if I want a sound to come from behind me, it makes sense you should have a speaker there? Right? I don’t know guys, just looking for input as I’ll probably have many more social experiences with this guy and at one point I’d like to be able to maybe open his eyes to other trains of thought. Thanks guys!
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Audioholic Chief
All he "hears" when he presses play is how much money he spent. If he has his speakers positioned as you say, then I can't imagine how bad the sound stage is. But to his ears it sounds like $50k, since that's what he spent.

I'm sure his cables cost more than I paid for my car, too. Oh well.

It's also pointless to tell someone like that they have no clue. They will just beat you over the head with dollar signs. Work to make your own purchases the best they can be. Life's too short to try saving everyone else.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Sounds like your friend has some learning to do instead of buying stuff like 10k monoblocks and Wilsons and sitting in an acoustically dead room. I've seen more negative comments over the years about Wilson than positive, fwiw, but have never even seen a pair myself let alone heard them, they're a bit rare.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Spartan
I've seen more negative comments over the years about Wilson than positive, fwiw, but have never even seen a pair myself let alone heard them, they're a bit rare.
I don't know about that. I've got a friend who's got Wilson Watt Puppies w/ Krell 700 watt Monoblocks. They Sound AWESOME
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I don't know about that. I've got a friend who's got Wilson Watt Puppies w/ Krell 700 watt Monoblocks. They Sound AWESOME
I have seen positive comments about the Watt Puppies particularly among the Wilsons, tho.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
That much spent on his gear and doesn't even have it set up properly from the sounds of it. How big are his Wilson's and how big is the room they're in? When I think of Wilson speakers I think of great big, ugly transformer looking monstrosities. I'd think speakers like that need a huge space and lots of room away from boundaries.

I agree that a properly set up quality 2 channel rig can be as good or better than a poorly planned multi channel setup. Done correctly tho I think multichannel systems are definitely more immersive for movies and music blu rays mastered for it (provided the source material was properly recorded).

I'd love to listen to your buddy's setup just to have some fun at his expense... sigh, lol.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic Intern
That much spent on his gear and doesn't even have it set up properly from the sounds of it. How big are his Wilson's and how big is the room they're in? When I think of Wilson speakers I think of great big, ugly transformer looking monstrosities. I'd think speakers like that need a huge space and lots of room away from boundaries.

I agree that a properly set up quality 2 channel rig can be as good or better than a poorly planned multi channel setup. Done correctly tho I think multichannel systems are definitely more immersive for movies and music blu rays mastered for it (provided the source material was properly recorded).

I'd love to listen to your buddy's setup just to have some fun at his expense... sigh, lol.
I’m just estimating here but they were slightly shorter than I am and I’m around 5’ 9” so I would say a little over 5ft tall. The room they’re in is smaller than my own basement impromptu home theater/bedroom which is around 900 sq ft his is slightly smaller like I said so I would say 600 sq ft as it’s about 20’ x 30’
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Field Marshall
I've listened to various Wilsons over the years in various settings, some were superb whereas others were mediocre. To my ears, when set up correctly they are excellent. Trouble is when I open my eyes I can't stand the look of them, especially the lower end models, reminds me of amusement park trash cans when I was a kid
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic Intern
All he "hears" when he presses play is how much money he spent. If he has his speakers positioned as you say, then I can't imagine how bad the sound stage is. But to his ears it sounds like $50k, since that's what he spent.

I'm sure his cables cost more than I paid for my car, too. Oh well.

It's also pointless to tell someone like that they have no clue. They will just beat you over the head with dollar signs. Work to make your own purchases the best they can be. Life's too short to try saving everyone else.
Oh man I forgot to mention the whole cable debate with him! I showed him the cable testing Audioholics have done and another site that did a similar shootout and I proved to him that even if there’s a measurable difference between them it’s certainly not audible he went onto tell me how his Cardias, Cardis? I’m not sure how to spell it, anyway his silver speaker cables would make my speakers “come alive” as I just use 12 AWG KnuKonceptz OFC speaker cable that I get 100ft for about $60 shipped. I’ve always believed that as long as it’s oxygen free copper and a decent gauge (varies on distance from what I understand but all my runs are around 6ft with my surrounds being 15ft) that’s all you need. I terminate into banana plugs just for the convenience as I do switch speakers out every month or sometimes more often. Than I got a whole elaborate lecture on why I should use silver instead of copper during which time I explored some interesting concepts within my own mind like “Do cats know we’re not cats” until he finished his tirade. And yes I believe his cables cost more than my entire system
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Oh man I forgot to mention the whole cable debate with him! I showed him the cable testing Audioholics have done and another site that did a similar shootout and I proved to him that even if there’s a measurable difference between them it’s certainly not audible he went onto tell me how his Cardias, Cardis? I’m not sure how to spell it, anyway his silver speaker cables would make my speakers “come alive” as I just use 12 AWG KnuKonceptz OFC speaker cable that I get 100ft for about $60 shipped. I’ve always believed that as long as it’s oxygen free copper and a decent gauge (varies on distance from what I understand but all my runs are around 6ft with my surrounds being 15ft) that’s all you need. I terminate into banana plugs just for the convenience as I do switch speakers out every month or sometimes more often. Than I got a whole elaborate lecture on why I should use silver instead of copper during which time I explored some interesting concepts within my own mind like “Do cats know we’re not cats” until he finished his tirade. And yes I believe his cables cost more than my entire system
So he's drinking the koolade AND sniffing the glue... lol.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
It'd be pretty awesome if you could set up a DBT (double blind test). It removes any sighted bias and he has to rely on his ears alone. See if he can consistently pick which cables were his over regular ol' copper cables. A proper DBT is a pain in the ass to set up, but depending on your interest level it could be done if you wanna research it. Might be fun to watch him come up with reasons for why he couldn't do any better than chance.

Or he might do what's typical of that crowd and just refuse to participate.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic Intern
It'd be pretty awesome if you could set up a DBT (double blind test). It removes any sighted bias and he has to rely on his ears alone. See if he can consistently pick which cables were his over regular ol' copper cables. A proper DBT is a pain in the ass to set up, but depending on your interest level it could be done if you wanna research it. Might be fun to watch him come up with reasons for why he couldn't do any better than chance.

Or he might do what's typical of that crowd and just refuse to participate.
That’s brilliant! I’m going to suggest it this weekend. We’re all having a BBQ and get together so I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to accept just for a chance to prove his audiophile knowledge is superior to my “novice experience”
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
That’s brilliant! I’m going to suggest it this weekend. We’re all having a BBQ and get together so I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to accept just for a chance to prove his audiophile knowledge is superior to my “novice experience”
Might be fun. My money is on no better than chance. We're not talking 6 or 7 out of ten a "win" either. If there's such a big difference he should have no problem hitting it 9 or 10 out of 10.

Do a little bit of homework on it. It's not as easy to set up as it sounds, but you don't need a degree in psychoacoustics either. The more bias you eliminate the better. A way to quickly switch between the cables would be good as well.

Now there's definitely a correlation between price and performance with speakers provided the price is put into the right areas, but you reach a point of very diminishing returns after a certain point (diminishing returns is somewhat subjective) and I'd say your friend is well past mine.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
With cables I'd probably set up two speakers in mono, one with one cable, one with the other, and switch from speaker to speaker as quickly as possible....
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic Intern
Thanks for the replies guys! This is why I love this forum and its community. It’s phenomenal to be able to ask questions pertaining to something I’m passionate about and get reliable and informed answers instead of being ridiculed and belittled!
 
nbk13nw

nbk13nw

Full Audioholic
What would really be fun would be to take a laptop and run some REW sweeps.

Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Hi guys, been back into the hobby for a few years now and I’ve absolutely been loving it. Long story short I started with a budget Craigslist find with an old Sony ES receiver, Wharfedale Diamond 9 towers and CC with SW250 subwoofer and have bought and sold my way to my current setup which I’ve spent a total of $1,000 on. It is a

1) Denon x3300w
2) Mirage Omni 260 towers/Mirage OM-10 towers/Mirage OMD-28 towers (I alternate them depending on my mood it seems)
3) Mirage MX sats for top middles
4) Mirage Omnisat’s or Mirage OMD-5’s for surrounds
5) Wharfedale SW250 10” sealed subwoofer, Cambridge Soundworks sealed 12” subwoofer, pair of Sunfire SDS-10 subwoofers.
6) Mirage OM-C2 or OMD-C2 center channel. I use the OM when I’m using the OM or Omni speakers as the Omni CCB1 center channel sounds awful to me and the OMD when I’m using the OMD-28 towers.
7) Fisher CA-885 200WPC integrated receiver being used as a cheapo power amp for the mains.I know what you’re thinking! Fisher! What crap. But I got it for $20 in the original box new old stock from a nice old guy on Craigslist and found its one of the good Fishers with a 700 watt power rating on the rear and quite a few good online reviews attesting to the power capability. It made a world of difference between running even the Omni 260’s off the x3300w as far as low end response and fullness of sound; it might be all in my head though.

Again guys, I post here and there and read as much as I have time for to further my own knowledge. Now recently I met a couple local guys who have these amazing high end speaker setups. Last night I had a few beers with a condescending gentlemen who had a pair of Wilson Audio something towers that he said were around $30k a pair running off some monoblock amps that retailed for $10k I’ve never even heard of. We listened to some music and than a few movie scenes. He has no subwoofer and for movies runs the towers as large with an Arcam Pre/Pro connected to those Monoblocks. Now listen for music I could hear a difference between my OMD/MX 5.2.4 setup and his two channel setup and it did sound a little better than my own but for home theater ; his $50,000+ system just sounded lifeless to me and the dialogue was muffled and I really wasn’t impressed. Now this is a guy who others in our social circle go to for advice here and there so I kept my opinions to myself for the time being. I noticed his towers were about 2” from his rear wall, 5” from his side walls and roughly 4 feet apart. Again this type of spacing seems off to me but I’m still a beginner. He has heard my system and he went on to tell me and I quote “When are you going to ditch the college kid speakers and buy your first grown up speaker system” I told him while Mirage wasn’t ever $30k a pair, Andrew Welker was a very good engineer in my opinion and his work at Mirage and now Axiom audio has gotten great reviews. That aside it seems like you either love the Mirage sound or hate it, but with the exception of some of the made in China crap, I don’t believe they made poor quality products that should be lumped into a “college kid” with a pair of Sony bookshelf speakers blasting music out his window. He than went onto tell me how I didn’t need all these speakers to have immersive audio if I properly place my left and right speakers (which ironically, unless I’m going deaf I truly DO NOT believe he has done) and while I responded that’s your opinion just like how what sounds good to someone is subjective to which he told me “that’s incorrect, all audio should be played back completely flat in and completely flat acoustic environment” now correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Dr. Floyd O’Toole as well as a few other well respected audio sites said that some room reflections are good and a completely dead room often sounds awful. Anyways, that’s my story. Am I wrong here? This guy is much older and I feel like some of his thoughts on home theater are out dated. I mean I’ve listened to movies in stereo on my OMD-28’s and it does sound great but to me if I want a sound to come from behind me, it makes sense you should have a speaker there? Right? I don’t know guys, just looking for input as I’ll probably have many more social experiences with this guy and at one point I’d like to be able to maybe open his eyes to other trains of thought. Thanks guys!
The only Wilson's I really liked were ones that a late great contributor to the DIY community had a hand in.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Thanks for the replies guys! This is why I love this forum and its community. It’s phenomenal to be able to ask questions pertaining to something I’m passionate about and get reliable and informed answers instead of being ridiculed and belittled!
If you're going to do a good double blind test you might want to read up a bit on how that works, too.....don't want to leave holes for him to escape into :)
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic Intern
It’s definitely a lot more complex than I assumed but I’ve got an Adcom speaker selector laying around and another one my AV friends is going to get in on it and has the exact same cables as the “expert” with the Wilson Audio speakers. This weekend we plan to run the silver speaker cable, a run or the 12 AWG KnuKonceptz I use, a run of cheap crappy CCA 12 AWG and a run of some Audioquest cable my friend has laying around.
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top