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#330442 - 12/05/10 12:16 PM Sound upgrade to M80's advise.
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
Hi all

My wife and I are looking to upgrade our theater's sound. While I've looked at the packages here I'm interested in opinions and recommendations.

We are currently looking at the M80 theater package with the VP180. However, I'm also interested in an all M80 package - using M80's for mains and rears and VP180 for the center without a sub (the wife doesn't like stands and likes the towers – yaa me wink ). The reason for no sub is my current setup has 4 bookshelf speakers (set up as large through my amp) on stands with a large center channel, a pair of QS8's and a sub - which hasn't been hooked up for years. I find I haven't missed the deep low end for TV or movies since my book shelf's have large woofers and can go quite low.

My theatre room is in a basement, therefore concrete floors with laminate and double drywall walls. It measures 12' x 20'x 7.5' with some materials used to limit reflections but no traps. The current sound is quite good but is over 15 years old now, except for the center and QS8's.

My main concern going to M80's only is power requirements. I have a Poineer reciever rated at 120 w per channel @ 8 or 6 ohms, meaning it probably tops out closer to 70 per channel. Since I'll not have a sub, the power needed for the M80's (and probably the VP180 also) will be high to get the low end these speakers produce. I know Axioms are very efficent speakers, better than my bookshelf's but will I need more amplification? If so, I am looking at some NAD power amps that will get me the to the real 100+ w per channel. I've looked at Axiom's A1400 but it's a little too pricey.

I think that's enough to start. Please chime in your thoughts and impressions and anyone who has gone with a similar M80 setup I'd be very interested in your experiences.

Thanks in advance.
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

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#330446 - 12/05/10 12:52 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: zuter]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Personally I would stick with just M80s/VP180 up front and QS8 surrounds/rears and heights if you use them. Onn’s opinion might differ since he has at least 4 M80s but IMO comparing the QS8s to the M22s (the M80s little cousin) the QS8s win easily in the surround role and win slightly in the back role.

Though I’m not a sound engineer from what I can tell there isn’t a lot of low frequency information mixed into the surround and rear channels and considering that engineers probably mix for what the expect the average person is going to have in the way of speakers I don’t think they will be putting lots of lower bass in the surround and back channels very soon. Might be wrong though.

If you were to add wide channels I would stick with M22s or even M2s.

IMO you might be better served by upgrading to a receiver with wide and or height capability and adding speakers for those channels. But it depends a lot on how your room and seating are laid out if this would make a big difference or not.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#330448 - 12/05/10 01:05 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: grunt]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Welcome back to the forum!

The M80's are relatively easy to drive so the Pioneer should be Ok unless you are trying to achieve some very loud levels.

Does you avr have preouts? If so then simply adding an external amp is the cheapest option. I have been looking at used amps and there are many to choose from, so many I am undecided as to which to get. Emotiva and Outlaw Audio are 2 ID companies with good reviews, the latest XPA series from Emotiva seems to be playing nicely with the M80s now.

As far as a full M80 system, unless oyu have lots of room I would stay away from this idea. I have heard Mel's(onn) full M80 system and it does sound great but I think I prefer the QS8's for surround duty with movies. The M80 system excells at multichannel music though.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#330450 - 12/05/10 01:25 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: jakewash]
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
Hey Jakewash, I knew I'd be hearing from you smile !

One thing I just noticed was that the M80's are 4 ohm. My reciever is only 8 and 6 ohm. Will this be a problem? If so I can go to the M60's since they're rated for 8 ohm. But then I guess for timber matching I'd also have to go with the VP150 too!?

I was only looking at the 4 towers since I already have a pair QS8's and figured that would be enough.

As for the preouts, that's a yes! It is the way I was looking at for the amp addon. Since you say you've been looking at used amps care to share where you've seen these?
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

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#330462 - 12/05/10 03:35 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: zuter]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7032
Loc: Canada
Whether or not 4 ohms is an issue depends on the model of Pioneer. If it is an older entry level receiver, I would be concerned.

Your best bet is to post the model here and see if anyone has direct experience with it.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#330469 - 12/05/10 04:44 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: fredk]
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
Hi fredk

Good point! My model is the Poineer Elite VSX-81TXV. I'm looking at the owners manual which states 6 and 8 ohm @ 110 w per channel (not 120 per channel, my bad).

I assume if I set it to 6 ohm that it would be OK. The amp portion would work a little harder but shouldn't cause issues unless I crank it for too long...not that I do anyways! Currently I only listen at -35 to -30 for movies/TV given the small space of my theater room.

I could Bi-amp but then I'd have to eliminate the QS8's to do that, not really my preference.

As I said earlier I could just go with the M60's but wouldn't want buyers remorse later. Though I haven't auditioned either the reviews on both towers is very positive. I've heard the VP150 and own the M22's both of which are excellent.
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

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#330471 - 12/05/10 04:54 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: zuter]
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
Hey Grunt

Just noticed your post. Thanks for the info. You're probably right about the rear channels for a surround's. The QS8's are amazing little performers! Interesting idea with the use of M2's or M22's for wider sound stage in the rears...might have to look at the option! I could easily wall mount these (wifey don't like stands) like my QS8's.

One question would I be better off putting the bookshelf's on the side walls and the QS8's on the rear, or the other way around?
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

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#330474 - 12/05/10 05:21 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: zuter]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Best to put the QS8s on the sides and the bookshelfs on the rear. This option can be less expensive than adding QS8s to the rear, however QS8s in the rear also works well. The closer the rear speakers are to your seating the more I would prefer QS8s over bookshelfs goes double if you have multiple rows of seats.

Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#330475 - 12/05/10 05:45 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: zuter]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: zuter
I assume if I set it to 6 ohm that it would be OK.

Don't change the setting from 8 Ohm. The lower setting is required to receiver a UL rating, but only hurts performance of the receiver by limiting current.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#330477 - 12/05/10 06:11 PM Re: Sound upgrade to M80's advise. [Re: ClubNeon]
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
Thanks ClubNeon

Good to know, never really understood the ohm rating anyways!
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

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