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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Looking at picking up a used set of speakers, and wondered who has had experience with Mirage. Currently I am using API products (Athenas), and have heard the Mirages are interesting.

Anyways, a seller is offering a set of Mirage M-390is speakers, which are not a Mirage dipole offering - these are a pretty conventional "bookshelf in a floorstander" type speaker.

Anyone with experience with these, and any descriptive information you could share abut how they sound? Mainly I am interested in how useful the bass from them is, and how clear and dispersive the tweeters are.

These would be used in my main setup as mains, for a 50/50 split of music and HT. In this room, I have soundstage challenges, as the main listening position is 9 feet away from the mains, yet the mains are only 4.5 feet apart.

Thanks in advance for your help, oh wise digitalhomers!
 

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I have a Mirage M 550 (I think, am at work right now so can only guess). It's a smallish floorstander (about 3' high app. with one 8" woofer and one tweeter - don't know the size off-hand).

I'd bought them for dirt cheap at a garage sale and they sound amazing with an older analog Yamaha amp.

Check for damages, etc (as you normally would for an older used speaker) and if it looks ok and sounds ok to you then I'd go for it. Mirage used to build some fine speakers in the past before the nano and micro stuff they started building.

I have Athena F2's with a Pioneer receiver in the other room and the Mirages not only stand up to the Athena's, sometimes I wonder if they don't actually outperform the Athena setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good reply! I'm using AS-B2s as my mains, which are like the F2's without bass. Regardless they have the same tweets which is where I'm looking for the sound improvement. If you find it a saw-off between the Athenas and the Mirages, this may be a good tip that I should look for a different set of floor-standers.

Funny, I would have never thought of teaming Athenas with a Pioneer - mind you, I've never been a big fan of the Pio gear. Wonder how things would sound if you put the Athenas on the Yammy. When I bought my H/K, it was between it, a Yammy, an Integra, and a Pio (1014). The final decision ended up between the Yammy and the H/K, both of which made the Athenas sing.
 

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Wonder how things would sound if you put the Athenas on the Yammy.
Aaaaah, you had to suggest something like that. Now that the thought is planted I'm afraid I'll have to go through with it. Never satisfied to let things just be.

Personally, I prefer the tweeters of the Mirage - they're a little more laid back as compared to the Athena but still very clear. What they lack is the low end of the Athena.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aaaaah, you had to suggest something like that. Now that the thought is planted I'm afraid I'll have to go through with it. Never satisfied to let things just be.
Heehee. Couldn't resist.

Technically the Mirages were the top of the API foodchain. Used to be (pre-Klipsch):
Athena (Cdn designed, made in China - replaced Sound Dynamics)
Energy (Cdn designed, made in Canada, later China)
Mirage (Cdn designed, made in Canada)

Strange that the Mirages were not all that much better - would have thought the tweeters should have had better sound. However, can't be too surprised as the Athenas were always compared with speakers 2-3x their price in terms of sound quality.
 

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I'm running some older Mirage speakers from the 1980s with a Yamaha receiver and they sound great. I can't remember the model number, but they have a single 8" woofer with a small tweeter. They are mid size on short stands.
 

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Mirage

For you guys talking about the Mirages (I'm new here so if a screw up just straighten me out), I have heard mirages before but it has been a while and I am curious about the Athenas which I know about but have not heard. I am hooked up to Boston VR-M80's (no sub right now but sounds better with sub). Could someone tell me how the mirage 390is (I think) would sound compared to mine? By the way woodsman I saw that deal you got. Dang, paid more for shipping than the speakers, what a steal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey xterial - welcome here!

Problem with Athenas is that Klipsch killed them off. They were the entry brand of the API lines (great Canadian company, used the NRC for studying sound, great designer Gord Van Kessel), but Klipsch did not want them to compete with their base offerings. They maximized the old "engineer in Canada, built in China" business model, and did very well.

The Athenas were also like the Energys in that they were all direct sound speakers. The Mirages were a bit more esoteric, with some funky designs, higher quality parts, and often a type of "polar" to them (di, omni). the M-390is I reference above are one of the few direct radiating speakers I've seen them make.

The Athena claim to fame was originally their 1" Teteron (synthetic silk) tweeter. Some people find it a bit bright - personally I have always liked its sound, as it has some roll-off properties that combine well with how I hear music. I'm actually looking for something right now that is even a bit brighter than what I have, and something front ported.

Generally Athena released three good model lines - the SCTs (first towers to have an attachable powered sub if memory serves correct), the Audition series (fabulous reviews, even from the Audiophile press), and the Audition 2 series (same as the first series but with cosmetic changes). Their last lines moved to more "Energy" type parts with metal dome tweeters and woven fibregalss cones. IMHO, these kind of sucked.

I'm not sure that the Mirages shared a lot of parts or design philosophies with the Athenas. When I bought mine, I found the Athenas to compete nicely with the likes of Paradigm, JBL and Polk.

From what I've seen so far about the 390s, they do not sound like a major improvement from the Athenas. based on my experience with Bostons, I'd probably stick with those. I have some A70s, and found them to be "close" to sounding as good as the Athenas. However, this is for my tastes - the Boston tweeter rolled off a little more than I would have liked above 10K. I imagine some people would like this more than I did!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just thought I'd close off the thread by stating I found a great (actually beyond great) deal on a pair of Sound Dynamics RTS-P100, and went with these instead of the Mirages.

All I can say is if you're looking for some reasonably priced used speakers, give SD's RTS line a look.

IMHO, the sound from these is substantially better than what I got from my Athenas, and not just because of the tower vs. 2-ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys,

I may post a review once I've given them a few more weeks of use, but as usual, I always believe the first impression you get from audio equipment usually rings true long-term.

Besides, between us three, eljay may read it, but who else. :D

However, I would recommend going over to the DVD forum where I put up a bit of an interesting test I did (before the SDs were added). Since I know us speaker lurkers all like music, you may find something worth experimenting with at home.

Personally, anything that makes 2-channel music sound better to me is a good thing.
 
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