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Old 2009-11-21, 10:06 PM   #1
eljay
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Default Mordaunt-Short Carnival 6 speakers

Recently, I started shopping around for a pair of speakers for a main-floor, "background music" stereo set-up. The intent was to buy something that's WAF-friendly (i.e., looks nice and is fairly discrete - massive towers need not apply), that sounds good and that doesn't cost too much money.

I auditioned the following:
- Castle Knight 3: Handsome, compact towers; big sound; crisp but muted highs (i.e., not as bright as I like); a little weak on bass; reasonably-priced.
- B&W 684: Beautiful speakers (w/ grill off; a bit more regular-looking w/ grills on); full, rich sound (not surprising, given their larger drivers and cabinets); a little pricier than I was looking to spend.
- PSB Image T5: Clean, mainstream look; full, decent sound; reasonably priced; a touch on the large size (although smaller than the B&Ws).
- Totem Sttaf: Small, elegant towers; impressive sound; a little too bright (brighter, even, than my Paradigm Monitor 7s); a little weak on bass; relatively pricey.
- Mordaunt-Short Carnival 6: Simple but attractive look; big sound; better bass than Castles, on par with Totems; very reasonably-priced (MSRP is roughly 1/3 the MSRP of the Sttafs).

This afternoon, I ended up buying a pair of floor-model M-S Carnival 6s from Distinctive Audio, one of two M-S retailers in Ottawa. Aside from a little dust on them, they're in mint condition, they sound great and they were roughly 20% off the MSRP. Sweet.

(Photos)

Now it's time to find a nice little integrated amp...
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Old 2009-11-21, 10:57 PM   #2
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Congrats Eljay,

Nice simple elegant speakers. I've never heard M-Ss - how do they compare to your Monitor 7s?

Also, why weren't Studio 20s (or 60's) on your shopping list?
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Old 2009-11-21, 11:25 PM   #3
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Congrats Eljay
Thanks!

Quote:
I've never heard M-Ss - how do they compare to your Monitor 7s?
The M7s have an overall bigger and fuller sound, but the C6s are actually very nice-sounding speakers, with good imaging and a large soundstage. The highs are very similar to the M7s, which is partly why I like them. Mids are reasonably good. Bass is a little light, but I clicked the bass control up a couple of notches and the low end really came to life. All in all, very good for such small towers and for such a relatively small price.

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Also, why weren't Studio 20s (or 60's) on your shopping list?
I considered both, but I didn't want to get into stands, which ruled out the 20s, and size limitations ruled out the 60s.
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Old 2009-11-22, 04:52 PM   #4
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Now it's time to find a nice little integrated amp...
And so I did. I picked up a very nicely refurbed Harman-Kardon PM640 this afternoon. Looks good, sounds great.
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Old 2009-11-22, 08:46 PM   #5
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nicely done eljay. <insert golf clap> ha !

read an insightful review on integrated amps w/ CD player (today) .. will you be adding in a CD player ? classic HK sound from that amp i bet.

adding 2 ch setup for my home office is of interest to me. currently however, am awaiting a couple of additions to bring my HT speaker setup to 6.2 channel. will update DH as ready.

be interesting to hear more as you continue to assess re: your recent additions.

enjoy .!!
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Old 2009-11-23, 09:20 AM   #6
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nicely done eljay.
Thanks!

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... will you be adding in a CD player ?
No, I don't plan to. I have an old DVD player (Panasonic DVD-PR62) for the odd CD, but most of my music will come off my Zune. Since this set-up is intended primarily for background music, the Zune will do quite nicely.

Quote:
... classic HK sound from that amp i bet.
I don't know what that sound is - I've never owned any HK before - but I did find the combination of the amp + speakers to be what I guess could be described as "warm and laid back". Not sure how much of that is the amp and how much is the speakers, although I do have the impression that the C6s are fairly neutral.

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adding 2 ch setup for my home office is of interest to me. ... will update DH as ready.
Looking forward to the update. Happy shopping!
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Old 2009-11-23, 10:55 PM   #7
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Hi Eljay,

You have a Marantz in your HT - when I was shopping for my H/K, I liked both it and the Marantz - I found them both to be full, and warm in their sound.

So yes, that H/K sound seems to be a lot like the Marantz sound. This is of course different than the Denon sound, the Yamaha sound, and especially, the Pioneer sound. However, it is somewhat like the Onkyo sound.

Heehee. Seriously, I find my ears love the sound of H/K and Marantz equally - only reason I went with the H/K at the time (also skipped on an Integra) was to save $300.

Quote:
I have an old DVD player (Panasonic DVD-PR62) for the odd CD, but most of my music will come off my Zune. Since this set-up is intended primarily for background music, the Zune will do quite nicely.
This may be a good chance to pull out the old CD player and EQ, and give it a whirl. Heck, I think my $7.50 Yamaha player is the bees knees.
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Old 2009-11-24, 11:01 AM   #8
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So yes, that H/K sound seems to be a lot like the Marantz sound. This is of course different than the Denon sound, the Yamaha sound ...
I never noticed a difference between the sound of my old Yamaha (RX-V730) and my new Marantz...but, then, I probably wasn't paying attention. Perhaps I'll bring the H/K downstairs at some point and run it against the Marantz to compare sounds.

Quote:
This may be a good chance to pull out the old CD player and EQ, and give it a whirl. Heck, I think my $7.50 Yamaha player is the bees knees.
If there were still a free shelf in the "audio rack" (not really an audio rack) in the family room, I'd move my Technics SL-PG450 CD player into it. I like that player. As it is, there's no room for more components and, because the compromise I made with my wife was "a stereo set-up as long as it's discrete", the Zune and Panasonic DVD player will have to do. (I think they'll do just fine.)
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Old 2009-11-24, 11:24 PM   #9
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Ah the old

Quote:
the compromise I made with my wife was "a stereo set-up as long as it's discrete"
factor.

Just be patient - you'll end up with eveything you want/need in there. Just change it slowly over time, and match colors. Trust me, it works.
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Old 2009-11-25, 07:32 AM   #10
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Just be patient - you'll end up with eveything you want/need in there.
I appreciate the moral support... ...but, y'see, I have ended up with everything I wanted in there: My plan was to buy an amp and a couple of speakers for a "background music" stereo set-up (w/ my Zune)...and I've got 'em!
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Old 2009-12-01, 02:19 PM   #11
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I know, I know Eljay. It's everything you want.

At least for now .

Heehee. Regardless, glad you're happy with the setup, and hope you enjoy the new gear.
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Last edited by ScooterMcTavish; 2009-12-01 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Can't spell werth a carp
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Old 2009-12-01, 02:29 PM   #12
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At least for now .
Never say 'never'!
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Old 2009-12-03, 08:26 PM   #13
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Damn, I'm loving this set-up! I ran through a few songs tonight that really put a smile on my face:
- "Wicked Game" (Chris Isaak)
- "Speedway at Nazareth" (Mark Knopfler)
- "I Can See Clearly Now" (Holly Cole)
- "She Moved Through the Fair" (Loreena McKennitt)
- "More Than a Feeling" (Boston)

I find that these speakers have a nice, big sound with clear highs and decent bass extension at moderate listening levels. Imaging is quite good. For some reason, vocals, which are dead in the middle, appear oddly - but not displeasingly - forward compared with the rest of the music. Interesting. (A function of more pronounced mid-range perhaps? Or a placement issue? A combination of both? Guess I have some playing to do! )

The speakers are ~6-8" from the wall, but the TV juts out ~24-30" because it's HUGE. Once we get a new LCD in place, the C6s won't be as "recessed" as they currently appear.
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Old 2009-12-03, 09:00 PM   #14
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Eljay,

Did the 600 series B&Ws sound better than the MS?

I'm just starting looking for new speakers for my dedicated theater. 100% tv, movies and video games. No music. Medium sized room.

I have a pair of Mordaunt short Carnival 2s for 2 channel (from the other MS dealer in Ottawa). They are being powered by a Cambridge Audio 540A. I had a bit of a problem with the woofer rattling at low frequencies, but other than that I really like them.

Whatever I end up with will be powered from a Denon 2809.

I've been considering B&W 600 series. Either 684s up front with a proper center and 685 in back or 685 all around including for the center. I've heard mixed opinions on the value of B&Ws though.

On my list to listen to is also Moraunt Short (I was thinking the avant line, but the carnivals all around could be an option), Castles (although I've heard the "new" castles built in China aren't all that great), Totem Rainmakers (except they are 4 ohm and the Denon might not match that), and Epos M12 (quite a bit more than I want to spend).

I'm starting to audition this weekend, but some of them are in a different city, and I know I won't be able to pair them with Denon (my B&W dealer is also a Denon dealer, so they will have a similar amp to mine).

I'm just wondering how you felt the B&Ws stacked up against the MS. Would they have been worth the price difference?
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Old 2009-12-03, 09:05 PM   #15
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Had I been buying speakers for a bigger system (i.e., not a secondary, "background music"-based system), I would not have hesitated to buy the B&W 684s. They were beautiful-sounding speakers - by far the best of the bunch in terms of overall sound - and, in my opinion, they were well-priced.

Since we're not supposed to list retail prices, I'll send you a PM.
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