Matching height and surround speakers with existing Mirage M-si series ones

Panagiotis Melas -- Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:11

Good Day to everyone (it's evening time here in Greece, but I presume that the majority of the fellow members, who might read this topic, are located in US, therefore my "Good Day" addressing).
This is my first message in this forum, although I've been a long time reader and subscriber of TAS and TPV (for as lond as it was published), among other US and British magazines (e.g. Stereophile, Home Theater, WideScreen Review, HiFi+, etc.). I would like to express my New Year wishes for all members of these fora, for a Happy, Prosperous, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. May eveyone's dreams become real!
I have a Mirage speakers setup, coming from the old excellent M-si series: A pair of M3-si for Front L-R, a pair of M5-si for (main) Surround L-R, and an MC-si for Front Center. Very recently I acquired an Onkyo PR-SC5507 AV preamplifier, which uses all "bells and whistles" of the newest surround sound formats, including DPL IIz, etc. The pre outs of this pre/pro give the user 4 more additional channels than the well known 7.1 configuration plus one more subwoofer output.
I am trying to extend my existing speaker setup with another 4 more speakers, namely two for back surround ones and two for front height (or wide) ones.
The Mirage M-si series has been out of production for many years now and, I am thinking to get another makers' speakers for this supplement. I know that speakers must generally come from the same maker and preferably from the same series, but in my case this seems to be impossible. My first thought goes to the Paradigm Studio series, but I am not sure if there would be any matching problems with the existing setup.
Are my thoughts correct or not?
I would appreciate any opinion, especially from the experts of this area.
Thanks in advance.
Happy New Year!

Panagiotis Melas -- Fri, 01/01/2010 - 03:38

For your guidance, the link for the Onkyo PR-SC5507 AV controller/preamplifier is:

Steven Stone -- Fri, 01/01/2010 - 13:57

New Year's greetings from the US.
While it is ideal if all speakers in a surround system come from the same manufacturer, if the rear speakers and/or side speakers are a different maker and are of similar quality you should be fine. I would suggest using the speakers you are currently using for rear R/L as your front height speakers and adding new speakers for your side and rear duties.
The easiest way to see if the speakers you plan on adding will work with your current speakers is to put a mono signal through one of your current speakers and one of the prospective speakers that you may use for rear and side use. Use your balance control to go from one speaker to the other. If the harmonic balance between the two speakers is similar you'll be OK.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Panagiotis Melas -- Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:27

Thank you, Mr. Stone for your reply and your advice.
It is impractical and almost impossible to use the M5-si speakers as Front Height L-R ones. These are heavy and large floor-standing models (130 x 39 x 20 cm - HxWxD, well over 40kg each) and they would require very special support and space to be used as Front Height speakers. Perhaps, they could be used as wide ones, but this is not my initial intention.
On the other hand, I may be able to acquire two Mirage OM-C2 units, coming from the first OM Mirage series. When I firstly heard them, I found  their timbre behavior similar to the M-si series (albeit not exactly same). My alternative thinking is to try these as Front Height L-R and get the Paradigms for surrounds and back surrounds.
I will follow your advice and I shall again try the OM-C2's with a mono signal, to see how close they are to the M-si ones. If they get close, I should consider my problem solved.
I am  not sure if you have ever been in touch with the OM-C2's or generally with the OM series speakers or not. As I wrote, the M-si series are "oldies", while the OM series, although newer, are also old models and out of production, too. If you ever got hands on them and if, of course, your acoustic memory can go so much back in time, I will be grateful to have your opinion.
Note: My preference for the Paradigm speakers has to do with their unquestionable quality and with the fact that they also belong to the same Canadian "School of Audio", if you can call it so. I am not sure if this is correct or not, I may be wrong.

Thanks and my special wishes for the New Year.

Steven Stone -- Sat, 01/02/2010 - 00:26

 I have not heard the Mirage speakers you have mentioned.
I don't know if these two companies are really in the Canadian "School of Audio," but they both use the Canadian governent's speaker testing facilities during their design processes.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Panagiotis Melas -- Sun, 01/03/2010 - 03:16

Thank you again, Steve, for your reply.
When I do the setup and test the two Mirages, I shall report the findings.

Steven Stone -- Tue, 04/10/2012 - 08:25

Since my reply I've had ample opportunity to live with the Mirage OM-5 speakers for both desktop mains and as room-based sides and rears.
I found them to be a fine value that integrates well with other equally-neutral speakers. Also their fit and finish and build quality is much better than their price-point would indicate.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Panagiotis Melas -- Sat, 12/01/2012 - 05:56

 Here I am, back again, to post to this thtread, especially after your post, Steve, regarding your experience with the OM-5 Mirages.
I decided (rather arbitrarily, I admit) to do the following setup:
- The M3-si remained as the Front L-R  speakers
- The MC-si remained as the Front Center speaker
- The M5-si remained as the Surround (main) L-R speakers. Their position as floor-standing units, is behind the listening position, at an angle of about 110 degrees from the longitudinal room axis as per the well known ITU-R speaker placement.
- I added one more pair of dipole speakers (the Crystal Audio THX-D, as auxiliary Surround ones), right at the sides of the listening position and at the height of the ears of a standing person, almost the same height of the tweeters of the M5-si's. I did this because I felt that there is a "sound gap" between the Front speakers and the main Surround ones, since the listening space is rather long and the speaker placement, as it was before the adding of these two new dipoles, was giving the feeling of the "sound gap".
- I added a pair of Mirage OM-C2 speakers, hung from the ceiling, just at the corners of my screen and facing directly the listening position. These are used as Front height L-R speakers.
- Finally, one more pair of Paradigm ADP-390 Dipoles was placed at the back side of the room, also hung from the ceiling, but about 3 ft lower than the Front height ones, facing also the listening position. These are used as the Rear (or Back) Surround speakers.
Certainly, all speakers are driven by their one power amplifiers. The first experience is execellent, but I may need a little more tweaking, in terms of level and distance matching of the speakers, as well as a psssible room acoustics tweaking, but it would take some time to do it.
Have a good day and a nice weekend.

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