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fredblue

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Thanks, fred,

It's all listed on my profile. The Missions are 4 775 towers, w/a timbre matched center. The REL is a T-9, 300W, w/an active and a passive 10". Like much of my software, I bought the REL the first day it was available. I had auditioned several other subs before choosing that. I had a Mission AS-300 sub before that, but the REL goes lower and is far more linear in its response. You're right, never overblown. British speakers are the best, although other Euro, US and Canadian speakers are pretty hot, too. I've been using Ortofon moving coil for 35 years. Many say it's bright, and that's true. It is as warm in the mids as anything I've heard.

I hope to upgrade to a better Ortofon MC cartridge, and either a VPI Scout or Rek-o-Kut transcription turntable soon. And a dedicated phono preamp, most of which I need to sit and seriously evaluate. On the advice of my friends at Music Direct, and many of the guys here, I think upgrading my Sony Blu-Ray to an Oppo is in order. The hifi addiction never stops.
the 775's are whoppers! do you listen with grilles off? how do you find the treble nestling in between the two mid/bass drivers? my first Missions were also of the "upside down" variety and although it looked a bit weird at first, coupled with the big flared front reflex port at the bottom it really worked, plenty of bass but still nice and controlled.

i heard lots of good things about the matching 77c centre but it looks so teeny compared to the towers.. is that why you opted to match the sound with another centre?

I've been tempted by Oppo but they aren't a very well known brand here in the UK, so customer service worries have held me back.

the Denon DBP1611 I just installed for a local lady is very impressive for the peanuts prices you can find them at now they're discontinued. the next model up, the DBP2012 is very well thought of by users and reviewers alike. I guess Oppo has the edge over so many in that their Universal players are heavily feature-laden, reliable, well-made and look quite attractive plus easily moddable for multi-region should you need it.

definitely in my experience, do not go for a Yamaha or Pioneer universal blu ray spinner. Both absolutely terrible and had to go back after developing chronic faults after 5 minutes!!
 

Quad Linda

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I don't listen sans grilles, even though that is recommended. When I'm sitting, the tweeters are at the perfect height. They sound smooth and real. Few things have ever sounded that good! Standing, or in another room, the high end goes into the dumper. That may be more a function of the style of tweeter, than the position. Likely it's both. I do have the 77c center. I wish I could do a 775 instead, cause the center is the weak link. Sadly, Mission isn't sold in the US anymore. Most dealers didn't know how to sell it. They were head and shoulders above the Definitive Tech, Sonus Faber, Klipsch, Boston Acooustics, Polk and Martin Logan products we sold, all of which are pretty impressive.

the 775's are whoppers! do you listen with grilles off? how do you find the treble nestling in between the two mid/bass drivers? my first Missions were also of the "upside down" variety and although it looked a bit weird at first, coupled with the big flared front reflex port at the bottom it really worked, plenty of bass but still nice and controlled.

i heard lots of good things about the matching 77c centre but it looks so teeny compared to the towers.. is that why you opted to match the sound with another centre?

I've been tempted by Oppo but they aren't a very well known brand here in the UK, so customer service worries have held me back.

the Denon DBP1611 I just installed for a local lady is very impressive for the peanuts prices you can find them at now they're discontinued. the next model up, the DBP2012 is very well thought of by users and reviewers alike. I guess Oppo has the edge over so many in that their Universal players are heavily feature-laden, reliable, well-made and look quite attractive plus easily moddable for multi-region should you need it.

definitely in my experience, do not go for a Yamaha or Pioneer universal blu ray spinner. Both absolutely terrible and had to go back after developing chronic faults after 5 minutes!!
 
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fredblue

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I don't listen sans grilles, even though that is recommended. When I'm sitting, the tweeters are perfect. Few things have ever sounded that good! Standing, or in another room, the high end goes into the dumper. That may be more a function of the style of tweeter, than the position. Likely it's both. I do have the 77c center. I wish I could do a 775 instead, cause the center is the weak link. Sadly, Mission isn't sold in the US anymore. Most dealers didn't know how to sell it. They were head and shoulders above the Definitive Tech, Sonus Faber, Klipsch, Boston Acooustics, Polk and Martin Logan products we sold, all of which are pretty impressive.
you might be able to find a pair of 775's on the Bay, stick one on its side and place it in the centre and keep the other one (for spares?) or use it as another rear in a 6.1 configuration?

the centre has always felt like the weak link in my (much more modest system than yours) setup too. I've gone from a JBL, to a Tannoy, to my current Acoustic Energy. The AE i'm using now is a bit of a beast at over 12 inches deep and solid as a rock.. but before my last upgrade it always felt that the centre channel never revealed everything that was there, especially the added bit of top sparkle and even more so the deeper bottom end i've got now. I've noticed quite a few modern 5.1 mixes feature more bass than I'd ever experienced with my smaller centre speakers, so it's all good stuff!

I notice from the HiFI mags Mission are on a bit of a roll again now, after a fairly long time in the wilderness.. so maybe they'll come back around in the US too?!
 

Quad Linda

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They're pretty cheap on fleaBay. $300 each, as I recall, a few weeks ago. It opens up several cans of worms placing it next to my plasma TV. Underneath and on its' side, it has a bigger footprint than the shelf. I'm considering going to phantom center and seeing how I like that. Shades of Quad! Since I use the system to listen to surround and 2ch music, and watch TV, which is 5.1 at best, I see no point to 6.1 or 7.1, even though my preamp will do either. With an additional B&K amp, upgrading to 7.1 would be over $2000. I just don't need it that bad.

Denon was the last marketer of Mission speakers in the US. I think they wanted out when they and Marantz became the same brand.
you might be able to find a pair of 775's on the Bay, stick one on its side and place it in the centre and keep the other one (for spares?) or use it as another rear in a 6.1 configuration?

I notice from the HiFI mags Mission are on a bit of a roll again now, after a fairly long time in the wilderness.. so maybe they'll come back around in the US too?!
 

Hepcat

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Perhaps when you made your intial comment, you were unfamiliar with the equipment I own. That may be understandable. I truly feel that your comments had insulted my intelligence and expertise. I'm sure you didn't mean to.
This question of mine was not intended to be an insult. It was asked in the context of furthering a discussion.

Are you really sure you're getting the "best of both worlds" with all that stuff all hooked together? Would not one 1980 vintage quad amplifier designed for precisely that job do it better?

In conclusion, gather whatever gear you think is best, and visit American Sound of Toronto, Toronto Home of Audiophile, Audio Excellence, Living Sound Stereo, Planet of Sound, Hifi fo fum, Great Metropolitan Sound or any of the quality hifi dealers in and around Toronto. Bring in your Marantz, Monitor Audio, Thorens and Ortofon gear (all of which is very nice, BTW), and see what outperforms it.
I'm sure I'd find plenty. That I already know, which is why I never asked that question. The specific issue I wanted to address was whether a good quad amp from 1975 could/would deliver comparable performance to a modern multi-channel receiver encumbered with adapters to make it process analogue. A follow up question would be how much I'd be spending on the modern equipment with all add-ons.

BTW, My Kind of Music is another fine stereo emporium in Toronto. John there loves to fiddle with and set up turntables.

My Kind of Music

:phones
 

fredblue

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They're pretty cheap on fleaBay. $300 each, as I recall, a few weeks ago. It opens up several cans of worms placing it next to my plasma TV. Underneath and on its' side, it has a bigger footprint than the shelf. I'm considering going to phantom center and seeing how I like that. Shades of Quad! Since I use the system to listen to surround and 2ch music, and watch TV, which is 5.1 at best, I see no point to 6.1 or 7.1, even though my preamp will do either. With an additional B&K amp, upgrading to 7.1 would be over $2000. I just don't need it that bad.

Denon was the last marketer of Mission speakers in the US. I think they wanted out when they and Marantz became the same brand.
for $300 can you go wrong? you know you'll get a totally even sound across your front 3. it's said that it's crucial in 5.1 that the front three are as close a tonal match as possible - your 4 identical Mission towers bear that out for the same maxim in Quad, with 4 identical speakers Quad material must be incredible!?

I've had to live with phantom centre in between upgrades and I hated it! Especially for 5.1 movies its awful but with so many 5.1 music discs too, where there were lovely little discrete moments that just popped out of the centre (Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding has some nifty synth twiddly bits isolated in the centre that are just amazeballs!!). Of course, give it a try, you might not miss a centre.. but I suspect, like me, since you've had that centre for so long now, you'll come to miss it.

right oh, forget the 6 or 7.1 suggestion then! you'll have a gorgeous spare should anything ever go wrong with one of them! pretty unlikely I know, especially as I reckon your REL is taking some considerable strain off your Missions' (and your power amps!).. but..you never know.

interesting that Denon dropped Mission when they amalgamated with Marantz. possibly around the same time Mission went off the boil..?!
 

Quad Linda

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"Are you really sure you're getting the "best of both worlds" with all that stuff all hooked together? Would not one 1980 vintage quad amplifier designed for precisely that job do it better?" Although it's in the form of a question, it is worded as though you feel you know better. Therein is what I most take exception with. "This question of mine was not intended to be an insult. It was asked in the context of furthering a discussion." If that was truly your aim, there are much better ways of phrasing the question. Have you stopped beating your wife? is a question, but it sounds judgemental, incendiary, and is an insinuation.

Is every modern surround system better than every Quad system? Of course not! That wasn't your question. I would not have taken offense to that. "Are you sure that a Sansui QRX-9001 or a Marantz 4400 can really outperform a modern home theater in a box?" is a question, too. I've only asked that here to illustrate a point. I wouldn't dare challenge the owners of those classic pieces with a question like that. Mostly, because both they and I know the answer.
 

fredblue

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I know from my own experience that memory is a very unreliable way of judging the merits of subjective sound quality/differences and so the only way to be clear about the merits of a straight analogue path via vintage quad and a modern processed digital to analogue system would have to be an A/B shootout.

Not impossible but pretty time-consuming to achieve.

One of the most significant contributing factors imho would be to match the sources identically.

Either you'd have to have the vintage quad amp hooked up to a quad reel to reel playing back an immaculate quad reel and the modern receiver playback an exact lossless copy of that same title on DVDA, for starters. The digital playback device and the modern receiver would both have to be in pure direct mode with no processing of any kind.

Oh and of course you'd also have to use the same speakers and setup, same cabling, etc but that's not such a biggy I guess.. then comes the level-matching..

In other words a lot of time and trouble. To prove what exactly!? That modern equipment is crap? That the old stuff we thought was wonderful is, in actual fact, crap!?

I know I'd rather spend that time enjoying the convenience and perceived quality of my modern receiver & various optical disc formats than going through all that jazzapalooza..!!

On a related little tangent I dug out my 8 track player the other day (AKAI CR81D, stereo only sadly) and was so sad to hear its hissy, bass-heavy/treble-shy sound.. on tape after tape after tape.. Sound quality that I once thought was pretty good, certainly the best 8 track player i ever heard.. and i loved the format years ago, especially for its convenience over LPs.

I came away from the experience wishing that I'd spent that time playing some more CDs instead now. Illusions and memories shattered and precious time/life wasted.

Sometimes it's lovely to look back.. sometimes it's a sobering experience that makes you appreciate all the more what we have today.
 

fredblue

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or of course in the A/B comparison shootout thing, you could try and find two amazing quad reel players and two amazing quad reel tapes of the same album (yeah, right!) and hook each of them up to each system..

time to enjoy the music and forget about it!

"Let's not go living in the past!"

As Jethro Tull wouldn't have sung. :banana:
 

Quad Linda

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If everything in the chain is the same, then it is a true comparison. Remember the Breakfast in America question? Same volume level (compensating for that 8db), same speakers, same cables, same drive, same preamp/amps. The software was different, but that was comparing track 3 on each, track 4 on each, etc. Yet, once the comparison is done, we can recollect what the differences are, if we have a good memory. x phono cartridge is brighter than y, therefore, if z is brighter than x, it is also brighter than y. We can rely on memory for that , and rules of logic, for all you logicians out there. How good that prerecorded cassette sounded? Compared to what? Through what? Was it A/B'ed to anything, or do you simply recall that it sounded good? That's subjective. I recall that the bass was tighter on the true stereo "Baby, You're a Rich Man" on the German LP pressing. It was almost non-existant by comparison on any other stereo LP pressing, because they were all faux stereo. That's something one doesn't forget, and it's objective. Play it on different stereos, the bass may sound different, yet the German LP will always have better bass.

In a store, there can be switching boards. In a high end store, often these boards won't be used 'cause they can add anomalies and muck up the image.

Audiophiles and educated consumers need to A/B things. It's how we know what's better. There are people who live in hifi stores and constantly compare, but never buy anything. There names for them which I won't share here.
 

fredblue

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There are people who live in hifi stores and constantly compare, but never buy anything. There names for them which I won't share here.
Well, I've worked in retail on and off for years, allow me..

We call them TIMEWASTERS.

We also had a more diplomatic/cryptic in-thing in one boutique, if we ever had to discretely discuss a client who'd left empty handed while the place still had customers..
they were "PU-PD-ers" = "Pick Up, Put Downers".
 

fredblue

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oh that reminds me! in another shop we used to say "oh, she was just browsing for the last 2 hours.."
 

fredblue

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Oh and my Mother was in a shoe shop once taking an inordinately long time trying everything on (as you do)..

Eventually the exasperated member of staff, sensing that she probably wasn't going to make the sale of the century out of my Mum that day, turned to her and said,

"Well, you're free to go now, Madam, it's stopped raining outside."
 

Hepcat

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"Are you sure that a Sansui QRX-9001 or a Marantz 4400 can really outperform a modern home theater in a box?" is a question, too. I've only asked that here to illustrate a point. I wouldn't dare challenge the owners of those classic pieces with a question like that. Mostly, because both they and I know the answer.
Actually I think that would be a very interesting question, especially if rephrased as "How much do you think you'd have to pay today to get an out-of-box surround system that would outperform your Sansui QRX-9001 when it came to playing your vintage Q8s?"

:confused:
 

Quad Linda

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Now that's a respectful question, as opposed to the example I listed, or your original question. Q8's might not reveal how much better those classic Quad receivers would sound, nor a mid/upper range modern receiver or seperates. Q8's. like all 8 tracks have more limited frequency response, s/n ratio, and dynamic range, compared to Quad vinyl, Q4 reels, or modern digital formats, let alone modern advanced res. formats. Sorry, Q8 mavens! I own a couple hundred of them, and it's the truth. DVD-A would be a wonderful test. Q4 reels would be the best test of the old formats, provided the reels have been stored properly and aren't damaged.

Actually I think that would be a very interesting question, especially if rephrased as "How much do you think you'd have to pay today to get an out-of-box surround system that would outperform your Sansui QRX-9001 when it came to playing your vintage Q8s?"

:confused:
 

Hepcat

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those Monitor Audio's that hepcat has are superb speakers!
Yes they are! I'm delighted with them. I was actually helping a buddy of mine audition some speakers over the 2008 Easter holiday weekend in London, Ontario when I first chanced upon the Monitor Audio line. We heard a pair of crisp, sweet sounding Mission 35is at Target HiFi costing $1000. We then listened to a pair of $800 JBL towers that I found mushy and that he found to sound tinny at times at Wacky Websters. He was tempted by a pair of very bright $600 Athenas at Websters though. What ended up stealing the show though was a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze BR5s fronted by a Cambridge Audio CD player and amp at Sound and Space. They were on sale for only $600! They had a bass that was every bit as punchy as the Athenas and Missions but it was somehow richer and more lustrous in quality. The BR6s were even fuller without compromising the highs but at a price point of well over $1000. Moreover, Susan was just as impressed

So with Susan in tow again the next weekend I auditioned a pair of $5000 Monitor Audio GS60 speakers at Kromer Radio in Toronto against a pair of $2000 Monitor Audio RS8 speakers. We listened to the GS60s first and were left wondering why we had been so impressed with the sound of the Monitor Audios the previous weekend. The GS60s seemed sedate and lacked the richness and the sparkle we remembered. When we switched to the RS8s though, the zip and magic we remembered was back. They were bright and lively with a punchy yet lustrous bass line. Perhaps Monitor Audio's Gold Signature line is intended to convey a more neutral or "natural" sound but the RS8s sounded far better to us. After auditioning several more speakers in the $1800-$3000 range, we were offered a very good deal on the Monitor Audio RS8s and bought them.

:smokin
 

fredblue

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Yes they are! I'm delighted with them. I was actually helping a buddy of mine audition some speakers over the 2008 Easter holiday weekend in London, Ontario when I first chanced upon the Monitor Audio line. We heard a pair of crisp, sweet sounding Mission 35is at Target HiFi costing $1000. We then listened to a pair of $800 JBL towers that I found mushy and that he found to sound tinny at times at Wacky Websters. He was tempted by a pair of very bright $600 Athenas at Websters though. What ended up stealing the show though was a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze BR5s fronted by a Cambridge Audio CD player and amp at Sound and Space. They were on sale for only $600! They had a bass that was every bit as punchy as the Athenas and Missions but it was somehow richer and more lustrous in quality. The BR6s were even fuller without compromising the highs but at a price point of well over $1000. Moreover, Susan was just as impressed

So with Susan in tow again the next weekend I auditioned a pair of $5000 Monitor Audio GS60 speakers at Kromer Radio in Toronto against a pair of $2000 Monitor Audio RS8 speakers. We listened to the GS60s first and were left wondering why we had been so impressed with the sound of the Monitor Audios the previous weekend. The GS60s seemed sedate and lacked the richness and the sparkle we remembered. When we switched to the RS8s though, the zip and magic we remembered was back. They were bright and lively with a punchy yet lustrous bass line. Perhaps Monitor Audio's Gold Signature line is intended to convey a more neutral or "natural" sound but the RS8s sounded far better to us. After auditioning several more speakers in the $1800-$3000 range, we were offered a very good deal on the Monitor Audio RS8s and bought them.

:smokin
great story of how you came to own them! Thanks for relaying.

the last JBL speaker I had (just a lone centre) was just as you found those towers: muddy and tinny, despite a titanium tweeter and a rear reflex port, it was just closed-in and small-sounding, indistinct, lacking detail and top-end air -- very disappointing.

The MA Bronze's are very well-regarded generally and seen as excellent value for money by most reviewers, dealers and owners over here.

The Silver's however are often seen as among the very best in their class by some way, with none of the over crisp treble or slightly laid back bass the Bronze's get accused of.

My experience of the Silvers was jaw-dropping!

Hooked up to an even better amp than my friends' Sony ES, God only knows how these sound!

Did I mention they achieve the nigh-on impossible in a big floor stander?! Their looks are "to die for"..!!
 

Hepcat

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I'm still puzzled about the lacklustre sound of the Monitor Audio Golds. What's their reputation?

:confused:
 
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fredblue

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I'm still puzzled about the lacklustre sound of the MA Golds. What's their reputation?

:confused:
overpriced and over fussy about their partnering equipment, unforgiving and very dependent on quality of source material, afaik.
 

fredblue

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For example, Hi-Fi News Magazine here in the UK, in a review of a pair of floor standing MA Golds said: "The sound was fast and immediate, majoring on warts ’n’ all detail retrieval, with little in the way of papering over the cracks of poor recordings."
 
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