OK, I made you suffer through all that BS before getting to my initial impressions!
Like I said above, by mistake, the protection circuit, was 'ON', on the speaker switching box. (It is now off) When I turned it Off, the SPL went up 2.5dB
. Meaning. with prot. cir. ON, while testing last night, the channel level to achieve 75dB was set to +6.5dB, with prot. cir. Off, ch level can be set to +4.0.****** So the caveat on these initial impressions are with the PROTECTION CIRCUIT ON (from last night).******
AND, these are mine and my friends feelings of the sound in my room. We are not audiophiles and have a very limited audio vocabulary.
- Testing was done in Direct mode (just L& R fronts). No sub unless noted.
- when sub was included, I used 'CD Virtual' mode (the only mode I found on the 1909 the included just front L&R + sub)
- Speaker placement: 60's and 80's were next to each other side by side 1" apart at front. This 1" gap was 4' from Sound Stage Center (SSC). So the (centers of) outer set was spaced about 8' 9" apart. while inner pair was spaced at about 7'3" apart. Round one had 60's outside. Round two, their positions switched.
* Spkrs were toed in pointing at SSC 12' back (primary seat)
* Spkrs were ≈ 15-20" from front wall. The fronts of the outer speakers were 4" further from back wall to keep their grill surfaces even or in line.
* Distance from side walls of the '1" center gap' (between spkrs) was 7' on both sides. [note: LF spkr(s) has a wall to ceiling shelf 2.5' to their left. 'Outer' spkr is 5" forward of bookkshelf, 'inner' is 2" forward of BS (again, grills face equally towards SSC as if they combined as one spkr grill).
- Switching from 'A' to 'B'. One person sat SSC 12' back from SSC. The other operated the switch from just in front of TV, but near it to impact sound as little as possible. The M60's
sounded very good. The sound stage was focused in the center of the Sound Stage (SS). The mids and highs were more pronounced. The vocals were more pronounced. On good recordings (DS,Brothers in Arms, EC Unplugged), this was perceived as a plus. Vocals were clear and easily understood.(all comments contrast to the 'other M' being tested) Switching to 80's on same passages, vocals seemed more muted. We preferred the 60's here for vocals.
We guessed that the 'perceived' more forward, bright highs and mids, may have just been that the 60's did not have as powerful and deep of base reproduction, thus 'appearing' stronger on mids and highs. [note, my buddy, Steve, preferred the 60's with the sub engaged, when we did this later. (to engage sub, I used 'CD Virtual' mode, since it was the only mode I found on the 1909 that played the front L&R + sub)
Over all we both clearly preferred the M80's. (large room 31'l x 23'w, over 6,500 cu ft.) Compared to the 60's Sound Stage being focused in the center, the 80's SS immediately upon switching, filled the entire SS from left to right. The sound was significantly fuller in this big space. As mentioned above, vocals seemed less pronounced than with the 60's, but the rest of the sound seemed far fuller and richer than the 60's. I will keep both pairs hooked up for further testing. Remember, by mistake, all the above was listened to last night with the speaker switch box's protection circuit 'ON'! (changing to 'OFF' this morning [as it will stay now], the SPL level went up 2.5dB.)Misc. sound quality comments:
Boy do I get what people always say about poorly recorded CD' sounding bad! We did most of our critical listening with DS Brothers in Arms (dig. remastered), EC Unplugged and a few minutes of Dave M. & Tim R. Live at RC (it was late and we were hitting the wall). All was sounding nice with our various opinions on M80 vs. M60. When we got to a CD I had just bought, Best of Scorpions, Holy Crap! That M60 preferred for vocal clarity had the lead singer's voice shrill and piercing. I had to turn it off, fast. Then on to Black Sabbath/ Paranoid. Ooooh, that is a poor recording, Steve says. Maybe later on I'll experiment with different sound fields for those poor recordings.Anyone have any suggestions on a sound field or other way they find helps with the poorer CD's short comings, especially rock?
I was a little disappointed in not being able understand the dialog well enough with CC channel levels set match all others at 75dB on RS SPL meter. After a while, Steve said why not just bump the CC level up a bit. DUH! I changed the CC channel level from it's SPL meter setting of 0.00 to +2.0. That was better. I now wish I HAD ordered one M22 to try as a center! Julie and I nixed the idea, because there is not enough clearance in shelf under the TV, EVEN IF I removed the glass shelf.
(OEM Mitsub. stand which looks the same as RickF has) Julie and I felt would not like a speaker sitting in front of the TV/stand combo. Now I'm thinking If it sounded night and day better, we may want to reconsider. RickF
, I believe you have the exact same stand and you do have a VP150 below your TV (Mits. 73"?). Does the following feel true for you in your set up?
--- When running the Denon test tones, the VP150 has a much different sound than both the 60's and 80's. I don't know if this contributes to my perception of the CC not being loud enough. [note; both Steve and I have some hearing loss. I have a hard time hearing conversation if spoken low. I actually can not hear crickets or the alarm on my digital watch on my wrist. (high frequencies I guess). The hearing loss may contribute. I will test with 'known good ears', Julie's, and report back later. RickF
, do you leave your CC channel level where Audyssey sets it? OH,maybe this CC issue will go away or subside after running Audyssey. Hmmmmn... maybe I will try running Audyssey before Julie gets home (if dog is quiet enough... in garage?? :o) VP150 is angled directly at the list. pos. ear ht.QS8's as side surrounds
: I was a bit surprised that the Q's did seem a bit localized. This may be from to high an expectation of not being able to hear that the sound was coming directly from the side. I'll have to pay attention if I hear the sound from up high (7'), where they are. (top of QS8 is 11" from ceiling) I have stared at them and it seems the sound is coming from them. As I relax and use the system going forward, I'll see if my perception changes. I just had read it was a night and day difference. When I feel like bothering, in several days maybe, I'll swap out one side Q and put back the in-wall (8" Kevlar woofer, 1" alum. tweeter) to see how the SL & SR compare. That should be a good test.
I don't know if today, I will get to building temporary stands (8' tall) to mount the back 7.1 QS8's.Looks:
Both my wife and neighbor (lady), independently gushed over how good the speakers looked. I was pleasantly surprised. :o) To be honest, I was second guessing my Mansfield Beech choice and wondering if black might have been better. I am sure that because every one else loves them, I will too, after getting over my 'gotta make perfect choice' issues.
Side note: boy did the boxes look super dirty and beaten up. I thought Fed Ex is awfully rough on packages! Then I guessed this was likely a second (or more?) trip for the packaging. I did order FO, so no problems from me if packaging is reused (I would if it was my business to keep costs down.)Condition:
Is very good. In looking VERY closely I could see at a few of the vinyl edges there were some imperfections. These are not noticeable from 1 foot away. I am very pleased with their fit and finish. One of the M80 grills has a strange 1" wide curving line running down the center of the black speaker cloth. Imagine a (humongous) snail trail down the center of the grill. Weird, but I know Brent will send along another M80 grill when I get around to contacting him, so no worries there.
EDIT: Relaxing now... here mr beer