Speakers for Musical Fidelity M3i


I have recently purchased Musical Fidelity M3i.I am waiting for them to be shipped from Malaysia.I would like to understand if Epos Elan or Epic series is a good match.I prefer stand mounts as my room is only 12*10 ft.
Music preferences ..Vocals (70%) ,Instrumentals (30%).
Thanks for your help ...
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Take a look at the Monitor Audio Pl-200. It can be used for a very small room. I is made to be unnest and placed near the wall. In his price Tag it is the best 3d holographic speaker I heard so far. Monitor Audio and Musical Fidelity is a dream combination in sound. Read the article of the Pl-200 in the Stereophile. In germany it was even beter tested as the new B&W 804D.
@Bo1972..these speakers are way over my bugdet
I will need something under 1200$.So i was looking for epos epic 2 or epic 5 or elan 15.
These are the speakers I've heard with that amp that I thought were a nice match:

Dynaudio x-12 - excellent

ATC scm-11 - excellent

Silverline Minuet - good sounding but maybe too small for your room

Amphion Argon - more than $1,200 new, but less than that if you can find them used - excellent match

Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 - very good
Silver RX series of Monitor Audio are great. In this pricetag they are the most less coloured speaker at the market. Take a listen.
I'm running some Epic 1's with my M3i. I'm very satisfied with the combination, but that said, I've only heard this amp with some PSB Alphas and NHT Absolute Zeros in this setup. The Epics are easily the best match.
@Vsollozzo
Thanks for your suggestions.
In my place Kolkata(India) there isn't much options.
In my city only the following brands are available
Quad,Epos,PSB,Kef,Polk,Elac,Dali,Tanoy,Usher,paradigm,b&w(limited)

In other cities(outside kolkata) Dyns,atc,proac,monitor audio etc are available but there is no way I can demo them.

@Seikosha
Thanks.
Good to hear some one using the MF in combination with the Epics.Are you using the M1 Dac or CD at the source?
Can you help me understand the sound signature in terms of
Tonality /Coloration (warm,neutral or bright)
Sound stage
Bass ?
Did you try Epics with any other amp before?If so please let me know the difference.

@Bo1972
Yes.MAs are usually good matches for MF.But unfortunately , they are not available in my place.If I don't like anything here after demoing ..probably I will have to do a blind buy of MA.But I am afraid that MF m3i being slightly on the brighter side of neutral (unlike other MF models) may sound a little too forward.Is the gold series warmer compared to the others?If Pocket permits I can try to get an used gold series.

I know I am asking too many questions .sorry for that!!but I have to depend on your experiences due to lack of options here.Thanks all for the information.
The MA Silver RX series uses the older Gold tweeter. This one is a lot more forgiving. MA is the only brand I know which also has a lot of depth even for the Silver RX series. Wenn you compare these speakers to B&W, Kef, Focal, Dynaudio the stage is wider and has depth. The other ones are almost only 2-dimensional. They weigh also less compared to Monitor Audio. More colouration. Monitor Audio is more me the most easiest brand to sell. Compare them with there competitors and they are better on the important parts were you judge every speaker for.
Try Quad 12L or better still 21L models. I use 22L ( best choice but you will have to buy used) in my home office that is 9x13 and have Quad powered nearfield monitors on my computer that work fine in the room.
I've tried the Epics with a NAD amp and I definitely prefer the MF. Compared to the NAD, the MF definitely has a slightly sweeter top end and midrange and seems to define space within the soundstage just a little bit better.

Every once in awhile I see people questioning whether the M3i is bright and that always perplexes me as I don't consider it to be bright at all.

For sources, I use a Music Hall TT and an Oppo BDP-95 for digital.
Some years ago I had an A5 combo (CD and integrated) and they worked very well with Focal Micro Be and Dynaudio Contour S1.4 speakers. However, MF works also very nicely with B&W, Monitor Audio (as already mentioned), Dali and most likely quite a few other speaker brands.
02-03-13: Kushanava
In my city only the following brands are available
Quad,Epos,PSB,Kef,Polk,Elac,Dali,Tanoy,Usher,paradigm,b&w(limited)

Try to audition Dali Zensor 1. Less than half your budget below $500/pair. Most of the speakers mentioned such as Monitor Audio RX1, Dynaudio X12, ATC SCM7/SCM11 are solid choices and it will mainly come down to listening preferences.

Quad and Epos would probably sound warmer, lusher and more forgiving than most of the speakers mentioned above which will likely sound more revealing and detailed.
My Musical preferences are:
1.Non Fatiguing sound but dynamic (not boring or dull)
2.Enough details with enveloping sound stage and good imaging
@Seikosha
Thanks.
I have demoed the Epos M12i (the only model available in my place) in Kolkata with Cayin 50T and Sugden A21.
I loved their versatility and ability to play all kinds of music pretty well.(considering their price tag)
The only downside was their brightness on some pieces .So maynot be good for long term.
So I though the soft dome may bring in better results.Unfortunately there are not much reviews for Elan 15 model.
However the Epics are getting praised everywhere[they are being compared to Harbeths ..].

So I am inclined to this Brand but Wonder why there are so less Epos users!!!
@Bo1972
Thanks.I will keep MA RX1 in my list of Blind buys since I am not able to Demo them.
@Roundmoundofsound
Thanks.I did demo a quad 12l with Sugden A21.It had a good mid range but I felt that it lacked the details and soundtstage.
However the demo material was new , and the dealer said that it usually takes >100 hrs to Break in.
I had the same experience with Usher V601.I didn't like it when it was demoed new.But when I revisited the dealer for the 2nd time ,
it sounded so different.
@Nvp
Thanks..I have a plan to check out the B&W CDM 1 at a friends place with MF.
@Ryder
Thanks.
Dali is not an Option because I felt that they sounded thin when I last heard them with Sugden A21.
My heart says do a blind buy for EPOS EPIC/ELAN or Monitor Audio.
I will demo B&W and Quad with MF.
What do you think of the Ushers v601/v602 or KEF Q series and MF m3i combination?
I have the MF A5 int amp paired to B&W CDM1NTs.

I think the pairing & synergy work very well together.

Enjoy

02-05-13: Kushanava
My Musical preferences are:
1.Non Fatiguing sound but dynamic (not boring or dull)
2.Enough details with enveloping sound stage and good imaging
@Seikosha
Thanks.
I have demoed the Epos M12i (the only model available in my place) in Kolkata with Cayin 50T and Sugden A21.
I loved their versatility and ability to play all kinds of music pretty well.(considering their price tag)
The only downside was their brightness on some pieces .So maynot be good for long term.
So I though the soft dome may bring in better results.Unfortunately there are not much reviews for Elan 15 model.
However the Epics are getting praised everywhere[they are being compared to Harbeths ..].

So I am inclined to this Brand but Wonder why there are so less Epos users!!!
@Bo1972
Thanks.I will keep MA RX1 in my list of Blind buys since I am not able to Demo them.
@Roundmoundofsound
Thanks.I did demo a quad 12l with Sugden A21.It had a good mid range but I felt that it lacked the details and soundtstage.
However the demo material was new , and the dealer said that it usually takes >100 hrs to Break in.
I had the same experience with Usher V601.I didn't like it when it was demoed new.But when I revisited the dealer for the 2nd time ,
it sounded so different.
@Nvp
Thanks..I have a plan to check out the B&W CDM 1 at a friends place with MF.
@Ryder
Thanks.
Dali is not an Option because I felt that they sounded thin when I last heard them with Sugden A21.
My heart says do a blind buy for EPOS EPIC/ELAN or Monitor Audio.
I will demo B&W and Quad with MF.
What do you think of the Ushers v601/v602 or KEF Q series and MF m3i combination?

If you find the Epos M12i to sound bright and the Dali to sound thin with the Sugden which is a warm sounding amp, then I guess warmer speakers may suit your listening preferences better. FWIW most lower to mid-range Dali speakers sound thin and bright as they all have the ribbon tweeter. The Dali Zensor 1 and Mentor Menuet don't have the ribbon tweeter but a soft dome tweeter, and these models have more in the mids and show less stridency in the highs. Not too sure which Dali model you have listened to with the Sugden A21.

I suppose you can narrow down your choices to Epos Epic/Elan, Monitor Audio and Quad(the Quads are a bit rolled off in the highs, if you like that kind of sound). As for B&Ws, the current mid-range models are quite costly. The low-end models are not good IMO. I wouldn't consider KEF Q series and Ushers. The only KEF model that is worth considering is the LS50 which costs about $1500. Personally I feel the KEF LS50 is a very good all rounder. Not too sure if it will match up well with the MF M3i though.

Good luck.
@Ryder
Thanks for your suggestions.
Yes , I am just confused on whether to get the Epics or the Elans ..Elans 15 is almost double the price of Epic2 ,is it worth the extra Money?or is it better that I get the Epic 5's instead.
@vsollozzo
I think Atc scm 11 is avaiable in india.
Interested to understand how they sounde with m3i.what was the source..i am afraid that it may sound harsh as m3i is forward.
Hi Kushanava, I don't have expensive sources. I have a Sony 5400ES CD player, an old Technics turntable, an old Kenwood tuner and an HRT iStreamer DAC. I played all those sources through the ATC scm-11s with the M3i. I didn't find any of them harsh, but they can be fatiguing if the recordings you like are bright and busy. If you mostly listen to good recordings, these can sound fantastic.

Overall, I would describe these speakers as clear, punchy and neutral. Tonally they are natural, but not warm or rich. I did not find them exaggerated in any way, yet they were not boring because they have good dynamics. Soundstage was very good but not exceptional. They do height and width better than depth with that amp. Music is clear and well organized. They play confidently down to around 60hz, bass is tight and controlled, but not deep. I used them with subwoofers. I listened to these about 8 feet away. Optimally, I would set these back a bit farther, say 10 to 12 feet, and give them more volume, I just didn't have the space to do that. If you can turn them up, they really come alive. They are dynamic and confident at higher volumes. It is very enjoyable, but if you sit close you find yourself turning them up to get to this point and then they can be fatiguing because it is simply too loud. They are sealed boxes and they can go close to walls without much issue. They are very well built.

If you are concerned about brightness or you like things a little warm, I would try to audition these first.

Ryder's Quad suggestion could be a good one. Spendor may be also if you are concerned about brightness. I haven't heard Spendors with MF gear though. I don't know how that will sound together.
Hi All ,

Can any one confirm if I should go with Dynaudio Focus 110 or excite x12.I am unsure if M3i would be able to drive them well.I have a good deal for both focus and x12.
Hi All,
Thanks for all your suggestion.
I have managed to get the Dynaudio X12 last week.Had a 40 hrs run with them.They seem to be quite bright in my ears.I am using a VDH interconnect and playing from asus xonar essence STX (wasapi drivers , foobar).listening levels at 9-10 is bearable but when the volume is turned beyond 10 , the sound seems to be very bright ..I am not able to identify the problem as I have never read that the dyns could be bright...

Does anyone has experience with x12 and MF m3i to help me ..
First thing I'd do is fool around with speaker positioning and that includes height as well. It could be a room issue too....have you had other speakers in the same room with the same setup that didn't sound bright? Unfortunately, I've never heard the X12's, so I can't comment on them.
@seikosha..
I did find the wharfs 9.1 also sounding bright in this room.thats y i am not sure if its room or m3i or asus source.
Nine out of ten times its the room. Then speaker placement relative to the listening position in the room. You have now said two different speakers sound bright to you so I doubt very much if its the amp.

I can make my Vienna Bach Grands sounds dark, bright or just right with the same amp depending on where I place them relative to where I sit. Its a long, meticulous process of making small adjustments coupled with careful listening but its fun too!

Your Dyns and MF M3i are very nice components and should sound great together. Just find the right spot. Good luck.
Hi all,
I have tried diff placement options but none has been able to dramatically tame the brightness..may me i should describe the problem as..music is too forward sounding than the vocals..which is actually creating this sense of brightness..
Hi Kushanava,

I used my x-12s with both an M3i and and A3 pre and power setup I have.

I did not find them bright. Mine were primarily used in a damped room. My room is an extra bedroom that is more of a library, with wall to wall carpet and bookshelves all around. I sat between 6-9 feet away and pointed them straight at me with the speakers about 6-7 feet apart. I didn't really listen loudly though. Maybe 9-9:30 on the volume knob, if that gives you a reference point.

A couple of questions: are the x-12s you bought new? I bought mine used, so mine were broken in already, if that is needed with these. If yours are new, maybe they simply need to play for a while to loosen up.

What is your listening space like?

Also, kind of obvious, but worth doublechecking: is the polarity correct on the speaker wiring?

Do you leave your amp on or turn it off after listening? I left mine on all the time because I found it took 30 minutes or so to sound best.

What is your source?

Other than that, I'm not sure what else the problem could be. I thought the combination was crisp and clean with firm bass, but not bright. I may also be more tolerant of treble energy than you are.

It may be simply that you want something warmer, like Spendor or Harbeth speakers, or maybe a warmer amp. When I used my x-12s with a little Naim Nait 5i I have, it sounded more full in the midrange and the treble was less pronounced.

Can you return the speakers?
@Vsollozzo
first of all ..thanks for writing down such a detailed note.
I have a similar set up to you (like 6-7 ft between speakers , 1 ft from back wall , listing at 9-10 ft distance ..in a 10*12 sqft room)

Now couple of weak points (no sure if they are so much important) ..
1.Asus zonar Essence STX card (known to be towards the highs) ...No Dac yet!!
2.Speaker cables as locally made.
3.VDH thunder line interconnect (this is still a very good interconnect)
4.Dyns has run in for 150 hrs ..may be 300 hrs is expected.

I would like to know your settings on the above.
I would say I like the dyns and would not sale it , because these are soft sounding than even the wharfs 9.1 (which are considered to be warm).I lived with the wharfs quite well with a Cosmic (local india made amp) before moving to m3i , when it really started to sound forward.there was a loss of centre focus on the midrange and the whole sound stage was in front.

Can you explain how much the sound improved after the naim nait 5i.Did u get changes in the sound stage with the naim nait 5i.What volumes do you listen to with the Naims compared to m3i?Did you feel that the mid range became robust after naim over Mf ?