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Upgrading my front Mordaunt Short 302s... Wasting my time?

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
I'm contemplating replacing my front two MS 302s with either:-
- MS 902i's
- MS Avanio 1's

The idea with sticking with Mordaunt Shorts is try and end up with a similar tonal quality to the remaining speakers? Amplifier is a simple old Yamaha RX-V461.

The main improvement I'd be looking for is clear/fuller/better music (& audio generally, eg: movies) from my existing setup.

MS 902i's can be had for about £115.
MS Avanios for under £200.

So no major price difference, but obviously less if better if the sound difference would be minimal.

I would hope that these wouldn't be out of place sound wise with the remaining center, woofer and rear speakers?

Any advice would be most appreciate...


Here's a picture of my current setup to give an impression of the position of speakers etc etc (I'd basically be putting them in the same place as the existing 302s)... NOTE: They would be VERY tight depth wise in the bookcase, and RIGHT upto the back of it!

post #2 of 68
Move the center it'll sound lousy. Put the stereo speakers at the same height, move the right one from the cabinet. Buy a new amplifier. Buy new speakers.

Don't waste your money buying new speakers until you get them placed to a better position.
post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriverdude View Post
Move the center it'll sound lousy. Put the stereo speakers at the same height, move the right one from the cabinet. Buy a new amplifier. Buy new speakers.

Don't waste your money buying new speakers until you get them placed to a better position.
*groan*

"Move the center it'll sound lousy"
I've played around with different positions, and it sounds fine where it is. Most importantly, aesthetically it looks the nicest where it is. Don't want a massive speaker sitting infront of the TV for example.

"Put the stereo speakers at the same height"
You're telling me less than 1ft makes the slightest bit of difference

"move the right one from the cabinet"
...and put it where? Again, aesthetics are primary. It's a lounge, not Comets

"Buy a new amplifier"
No thanks... Can't justify the expense.

"Buy new speakers"
See OP.

"Don't waste your money buying new speakers until you get them placed to a better position."
Less that 1ft of height difference... LOL! Dear God! You'll be telling me to buy £30 HDMI cables next...



I'm sure if this was a dedicated cinema room, with a limitless budget your comments might ring true, but this is a 'working lounge' and I have a limited budget....


Anyone able to give me a more realistic/reasonable response?
post #4 of 68
Nice you ignored advice from Hi-Fi'er. You ignored my advice last time. Higher quality speakers deserve a higher quality amplifier, and proper layout.

Go do what you like.
post #5 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriverdude View Post
Nice you ignored advice from Hi-Fi'er. You ignored my advice last time. Higher quality speakers deserve a higher quality amplifier, and proper layout.

Go do what you like.
LOL!

Less than one foot of height difference! Seriously! You'll want a spirit level on them next... I bet I could move a speaker up and down by 10" all day long and you couldn't tell the difference...

I'm all for informed advice, but only when it's applied with some element of common sense (& manners). If you're saying better speakers will make no different to my existing 302s fine... Thanks... That's all I was asking for
post #6 of 68
1" can make a huge difference. Experience has taught me that. Do what you like. Just be respectful when asking for advice.
post #7 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspliff View Post
1" can make a huge difference. Experience has taught me that. Do what you like. Just be respectful when asking for advice.
I've been more than respectful. Read my initial post...?

But unfortunately, when you ask a simple question, and get a somewhat condescending, everything you have, and everything you're doing it ****, response, you tend to take a little frustrated And yes, that's the exact way it comes across when the response includes terms such as 'lousy' and basically comes across as replace everything you have cos it's not good...

My question was quite simply in other people's opinions/experience would upgrading the front speakers give me any benefit. If you believe not, fine, that's useful.


However, regarding the nonsense of moving a speaker up and down a few inches, in a real life example, such as my living room, and that actually making a difference... Sorry... I cannot agree... When I got my speakers I spent some time moving them around, putting them on stands, and at different heights, and couldn't hear the slightest difference.

In a specialised room, with a better system, maybe... But not with the equipment and evironment we're talking about.



Anyway, I had no intention for such a simple (& polite) question to result in an argument, so I apologize. But, to be frank, some people round here near to get off their audio hi-horses and understand some folk are just after simple audio system and simple advice... We not all after audio perfection...
post #8 of 68
A center WILL sound lousy in a enclosed space. Doesn't matter if it's your model or a £4000 center, it'll sound holly and boomy. I know I had similar layout, tried it for a week and made it sound horrible.

You've got a low end amp- that's not a insult it's just a fact, so if you replace the speakers the amp isn't doing it justice. You wouldn't put sports tyres on a 2CV would you? Likewise you wouldn't put a Ferrari engine in a 2CV.

I'd also use speakers stands not plonk them on the cabinet/bookcase.

I'm just looking at it from my pov what would I do if I had your system? If you take offense at that, it's your problem- I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear.
post #9 of 68
If your budget is only under £200 and you are set with the way you want to place the speakers, then upgrading to those other speakers will not bring you a big change. It's not that he was trying to be condescending, it's just that the placement of your setup is not ideal.

If you were to ask avforums or audiokarma the same question, you would probably get the same answer. You're asking an audio inclined crowd so I don't quite understand what you expect for a reply. If you are looking for a more budget oriented crowd that will tell you that their latest speaker is the best speaker ever, audioreview is a great place for that.
post #10 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriverdude View Post
A center WILL sound lousy in a enclosed space. Doesn't matter if it's your model or a £4000 center, it'll sound holly and boomy. I know I had similar layout, tried it for a week and made it sound horrible.

You've got a low end amp- that's not a insult it's just a fact, so if you replace the speakers the amp isn't doing it justice. You wouldn't put sports tyres on a 2CV would you? Likewise you wouldn't put a Ferrari engine in a 2CV.

I'd also use speakers stands not plonk them on the cabinet/bookcase.

I'm just looking at it from my pov what would I do if I had your system? If you take offense at that, it's your problem- I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear.
Center Speaker
Well, I understand you might think it's tucked away, but all I can say is, I've tried the center where it is, directly infront of the TV (on the unit), and even on its side next to the TV. I spent a lot of time moving, listening, moving listening, and trying to compare. I heard little or no difference... And certainly no boomyness to mention?

I'd also use speakers stands
Again, I played long and hard moving the speakers around, and again I could hear no real difference on stands, 1-2ft up (from where they are), or where they are now. Why would you think stands would make a real difference? Height? Isolation? (note: They are on silicon feet).

Low End Amp
Yep... It's a low end amp I guess. That said though, the 302s are obviously aimed at being the smallest speakers they can be, I suspect at a compromise to audio output. Where as the 902i's are six times the size, twice the weight, have a greater range and may therefore (hence my post) give a fuller, rounder and better sound?

2CVs and Ferrari
Why talk rediculous extremes...? We're talking a reasonable amp using tiny speakers, or slightly more expensive bigger speakers...? And if that would help with the sound to some degree?

I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear.
And what's that?

I'm fully aware my amp might be a bottleneck, or moving from a 302 to a 902 might not be a big enough step to make a difference... Simply, I was expecting response along the lines of:-
- "I don't think your amp is good enough to make real use of a 902i"
- "There's really not much difference between the 302 and 902i soundwise, so don't bother"
- "I've done such an upgrade and the 902i's will give you a bit of a fuller richer sound (especially with music)!

I must admit I wasn't really expecting, "move a speaker up five inches for all manner of voodoo to take place"



Anyway, to put things into context, everything is subjective. I get the impression you wouldn't touch my system with a barge poll due to its poor audio quality. However, from my POV I don't value my "audio experience" important enough to spend thousands upon thousand on it. My current system is there to give me a friendly experience, with reasonably good sound, at a reasonable price, and very importantly without making my lounge look like Comets We all have difference requirements, value sets and expectations.


Anyway, we've wasted more than enough time on this Back to the question at hand, you seem to suggest my amp is not good enough to make use of the 902i's. Fine! Shame
post #11 of 68
Are Mordaunt a good brand? I've never heard of them...
post #12 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alai View Post
Are Mordaunt a good brand? I've never heard of them...


Avant 902i / Avant 900i / Reviews / Mordaunt Short
post #13 of 68
the thing about this hobby is that people can find joy in either buying the best there is or buying the best they can afford. You can find a better system compared to yours for about 300-400. It might take a bit of searching but it will be worth it in the end. Just because this is an audio forum, don't assume all our suggestions are out of this world. Most people ask for your budget before making their suggestion because we know this hobby is expensive.
post #14 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftingbunnies View Post
the thing about this hobby is that people can find joy in either buying the best there is or buying the best they can afford. You can find a better system compared to yours for about 300-400. It might take a bit of searching but it will be worth it in the end. Just because this is an audio forum, don't assume all our suggestions are out of this world. Most people ask for your budget before making their suggestion because we know this hobby is expensive.
Out of interest then, a better system compared to mine for £300-400? What might that consist of then

I spent a lot of time before choosing my equipment, the main requirements being affordability (value for money), sound quality and also aesthetics...
post #15 of 68
Something quick and simple would be to spend about 250 on a pair of wharfedales and look for a vintage receiver or maybe a stereo HK receiver. I personally would look around the classified sections around you to see what people are selling.

For my first setup, I went to go get a cheap onkyo receiver for ~160 and a pair of paradigm titans and a paradigm center for ~150. You could always keep your sub you have now but I would recommend to upgrade it if you ever get the chance. Obviously you might not get the same deals as me since the titans and a center for 150 is a really good deal. However, if you budget around ~150 for a vintage receiver (got my pioneer sx 838 for 175 which i powers much better than the onkyo) and then use the rest for speakers, I'd be very surprised if it doesn't improve what you have now.

All my numbers are in USD so that should mean you might be able to get more for your money than i did.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Upgrading my front Mordaunt Short 302s... Wasting my time?