Should I just replace my whole setup with these? (long post)

StoleMyOwnCar

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
2,374
Copying this thread over here, too:
So, short story time if you don't mind. A long while ago, I asked about what I should upgrade my "home theater" speakers (at that point only a pair of Paradigm Atom V3's) to. As you can see in the conclusion of that topic, I went with a pair of Mordaunt Short Aviano 2's for about 300$. At that point it didn't really matter anyway because I was living in a condo and didn't get to exercise their full range anyway. Well now I have a home and I have somewhat seriously been building a home theater setup. The MS speakers were fine... but to me they always kind of felt... lacking... in some way. Like I didn't dislike them but I just wasn't really that impressed with them, and at the end of the day I felt like I... wouldn't say I quite wasted the money, but they just weren't my thing, and I felt that though I tried to gloss over it.

Anyway since then I've been buying a lot of speakers that randomly popped up at the thrift store. Currently I've got my 2x Paradigm Atom v3's as rears, 2x MS Aviano 2's as fronts, a random Polk CS100 as my center, and 2x Realistic Minimus 7's just hung onto the walls as secondary surrounds. Subwoofer is a random Mirage PS-10 I patched up. It works fine after I glued it together. Quite a lot of thump. This may sound like a Frankensystem, and it is. Thing is I was for now just looking to fill in all of the slots with mostly cheap thrift store stuff. (The Polk center was like 15 bucks). Other things I've tried were the Design Acoustics PS55 (not bad at all, just lack bass) and Pinnacle AC400 (not bad for a small package).

My receiver is a Denon AVR3806 which I got as a tipoff from another thread in this forum, and I must say that that it's a pretty amazing receiver. Its power output to my MS speakers is nothing short of phenomenal. If anything, that's one of the best decisions I've made, following advice in this forum. It's an amazing piece of kit. Too bad the one I got had a broken headphone amp though, I really wanted to try it out. X_X; Well that Ebay seller got a negative rating needless to say. Thankfully the speaker amps work great.

The TL;DR section below:
Well fast forward to today, I randomly picked up a pair of DCM speakers, which I later found out were the CX-17 by browsing the Audiokarma forums while in the thrift store. For 25 bucks seemed a tad expensive for thrift store fare, but I picked them up anyway, eager to try something new. I hooked them up to the Topping Tp20 MK2 in my bedroom. Well, lo and behold, these DCM's blew me the heck away. They literally sounded better than any other speaker I had ever listened to till that point. And it only got better when hooked up to my receiver. I feel like the MS speakers had their strengths, too but these had amazing separation, amazing directionality, and amazingly accurate bass. I still felt... something just a LITTLE lacking that I couldn't put my finger on, but otherwise they ticked every single box for me. So right now I'm pretty much considering browsing through Craigslist and Ebay and snatching up 2x DCM CX27 (basically the tower version of these with an extra woofer) for about 200$ total for front and back, and then I guess using these CX17's as the sides or just leaving them in my room.

Should I just go ahead and do that or is there something else I could consider? Money's been a tad tight after house purchase, so secondhand and cheaper is preferred. Oh and any advice for a center?
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
9,327
Before spending more money on gear, focus on your room acoustics if you have now a proper place. Study diffusors and sound absorbing techniques. Youtuber Acoustic fields is a nice one.

The number one reason for speakers 'sounding bad' is that your room is messing their sound up. Most hi-fi speakers sound great in an anechoic room but not so in a regular room.
 

Reimu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
1,626
A lot of people suggest that the center should be the same series by the same manufacturer as with your front speakers if possible. There is this Aviano 5 center speaker in existence, but getting it in the US of A is not a sure thing.
 

StoleMyOwnCar

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
2,374
Before spending more money on gear, focus on your room acoustics if you have now a proper place. Study diffusors and sound absorbing techniques. Youtuber Acoustic fields is a nice one.

The number one reason for speakers 'sounding bad' is that your room is messing their sound up. Most hi-fi speakers sound great in an anechoic room but not so in a regular room.

Well, but given the same positional limitations, the DCM speakers just sound better than anything else I've tried. Basically I'm just saying I really love the way they sound. I don't think any amount of positioning will chan. Do you know of how they work their magic, and if there's something similar? I mean either way I right now I have completely mismatched everything in this room so I'll need to probably swap around everything in here either way.

Could you give me a link for that video? I found the channel, but a lot of it just seems to kind of be irrelevant.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
9,327
Positioning the speakers is just a part of it. You're correct that all speakers are not equal. See Revolution for one example of speakers that works excellent in difficult rooms.

Acoustic Fields has several informative videos: Acoustic Fields

The videos are not irrelevant although they don't give exact hints unless you contact them directly. IIRC they will give you free advise if you send them your room information. If you're really interested I suggest you study the area widely. The room is the number one thing if you want good audio - most people just don't know it.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Reimu
like this

StoleMyOwnCar

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
2,374
So basically I just ask them for one of those free room analyses? Do they need pictures and dimensions?
 

Reimu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
1,626
Positioning the speakers is just a part of it. You're correct that all speakers are not equal. See Revolution for one example of speakers that works excellent in difficult rooms.

Acoustic Fields has several informative videos: Acoustic Fields

The videos are not irrelevant although they don't give exact hints unless you contact them directly. IIRC they will give you free advise if you send them your room information. If you're really interested I suggest you study the area widely. The room is the number one thing if you want good audio - most people just don't know it.

The room does actually vibrate and I've definitely experienced how it's like when it makes the bass go boomy and losing definition. I can finally see how room soundproofing is the hardest and maybe the most expensive part to home theater now.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
9,327
The room does actually vibrate and I've definitely experienced how it's like when it makes the bass go boomy and losing definition. I can finally see how room soundproofing is the hardest and maybe the most expensive part to home theater now.

As crazy as it sounds, you can fix a lot of bass issues by adding more than 1 subwoofer. A free tool called Room Eq Wizard has a function 'room simulation' which lets you define your room size and try different speaker / sub positions. It shows in real time how your bass is peaking in the room. By moving your subs around you can often find a virtually flat response 80hz down. Above 80hz you have to use acoustic treatments.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
9,327
So basically I just ask them for one of those free room analyses? Do they need pictures and dimensions?
They only need your room width, length and height as far as I know. I haven't used them myself but I've seen them advertise.

I guess the idea is that they tell you how badly your room needs treatment and you can choose to do it yourself or they will provide the service.

I have to modify my original answer a bit: Naturally it's always the best scenario if all your speakers are identical. This goes without questioning. But I can't stress the importance of the room enough.

The sad part is that the most important bit is usually the most difficult and expensive to get right. You can't guess with acoustic treatment, you need to know what to do.
 

StoleMyOwnCar

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
2,374
Well AVSforum was useless as usual. I don't know if I did something to piss someone off on there at some point, but every topic I make gets either few replies or useless ones. Seems like the only high volume topics are the owners threads for (insert expensive speaker here). They kind of seem like the home theater version of Head fi. That is, kind of useless. Maybe I should ask this on Audiokarma. Their forums seem to have the most experience with vintage and esoteric stuff. It would make sense, since there are many lovers of DCM on there. They could probably tell me about recommendations and such.

I'll keep your treatment advice in my mind, just I don't think I have the financial means to attempt it at the moment. I kind of had different aims when asking this.
 

pippenainteasy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
1,067
Try audioholics or audiogon forums. AVS is full of audio manufacturers and people are a bit reticent about giving their opinions sometimes especially with some owners in the past threatening to sue posters for less than raving reviews. People form cliques on AVS.
 
Last edited:

HammerSandwich

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
1,126
I have enjoyed diyaudio lately. A lot of its users really know the science and focus on cost-effective solutions.
 

|Tch0rT|

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
1,248
Well AVSforum was useless as usual. I don't know if I did something to piss someone off on there at some point, but every topic I make gets either few replies or useless ones. Seems like the only high volume topics are the owners threads for (insert expensive speaker here). They kind of seem like the home theater version of Head fi. That is, kind of useless. Maybe I should ask this on Audiokarma. Their forums seem to have the most experience with vintage and esoteric stuff. It would make sense, since there are many lovers of DCM on there. They could probably tell me about recommendations and such.

I'll keep your treatment advice in my mind, just I don't think I have the financial means to attempt it at the moment. I kind of had different aims when asking this.

AVSforum is good for new equipment and the science behind stuff. It is NOT like Head-Fi at all. Head-Fi is full of bullshit subjective pseudo science. There are touches of it at AVSforum but it's mostly about the science about A/V stuff, it's just the newest stuff is usually discussed. DCM is vintage now. They no longer in business last I knew, a bit of useless info they used to operate a city over from me back in the 80's and 90's. AudioKarma is probably your best bet on any info on them.
 
Last edited:

pippenainteasy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
1,067
I think part of that is because headphones are really personal, in terms of fit, styling, and comfort. Some people really don't want to change to another headphone because of possible fit issues, so they dig in and want to believe a silver cable can make their cans sound "night and day" better, or spend crazy amounts of money on DACs and amplifiers--although I will note amplifiers probably don't all perform equally when we are talking about high resistance (300 to 600 ohm+ headphones) and some DACs do exhibit measurably noticeable treble roll-off which may be audible.
 
Top