Author Topic: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics  (Read 1682 times)

Offline Drifter

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An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« on: October 14, 2019, 07:25:41 PM »
I have a decent stereo system and music is my first love.

But dang I also love movies. So as some of you who have visited me before know, I converted a spare single garage into a 7.2.4 Atmos theatre. I did it on an extreme budget at first. Most of the work was done by myself and equipment consisted out of end of range, entry level or second hand items sourced from amongst others RS4, BJ, Vaughan, Achim, Judy, E-piphany and the classifieds on this forum. The setup went through a few iterations from 5.1 to 7.1 to 7.1.4 and eventually 7.2.4 over the course of probably 2 years. Along with equipment and layout changes, the room colour also changed. As WAF has no hold over the happenings in the room I decided on a combination look resembling a cave, movie theatre and cheap brothel; and I recon I succeeded with this endeavour with flying colours.

Since the first day that sound emanated from the room, the source was a 7 set Tannoy Mercury Vi series that I acquired from our favourite German high end dealer and he basically gave it away just to make some room in the passage of 13 Hof to be able to reach the kitchen. A grand collection of awesome high end hifi still occupied nigh every nook and cranny of his city bowl empire.

As my equipment changed to higher powered amplification and larger subwoofers, I always had the urge to test how bigger and bolder speakers will perform in my setup. The Tannoy centre especially is a diminutive little thing that did its best to keep up with the twin ported SVS subs when The Rock single handedly tamed the San Andreas fault.

Demo opportunities in Cape Town are a bit sparse, especially demoing speakers in an Atmos theatre. I'm aware of only E-piphany that can be considered a "walk-in" dealer that has a proper theatre room. The rest of the dealers here in the cape all do spectacular hifi but little home cinema. So an upgrade was in the distant future, I just had no idea what brand of speakers would dethrone the Tannoys. A painting accident during an attempt to elevate the room decor to cheap brothel levels last seen in Voortrekker Road left a Tannoy tweeter in tatters and forced a sooner than planned upgrade.

So long story short, I read a lot of positive things about Bentley and decided to take a chance. In came a set of FS120, two sets of FR100 and a FC150 courtesy of great service from BiZKiT. After a tough Friday afternoon of unpacking and connecting (packaging is exemplary), I fired up the amps and took the Bentley's through their paces. From the get go the speakers sounded big, bold and commanding. After about 2 hours of non stop use the drivers started to loosen up and the bass became more solid, focussed and authoritative. The FS120 remind me a lot of the B&W CM10's I had a few years ago in the way that they can take any bass tune and just seem to lock onto it. The four FR100 are probably overkill in their surround duties but look cool none the less. It is however the FC150 that has really stolen the show for me. It is neutral sounding but with a touch of warmth that gives voices a life like tone. It is a handsome bugger that will be a centre piece of any equipment rack/tv stand.

The set is still playing in but so far colour me impressed. Build quality is great and looks are neat and clean with enough muscularity to warn users that they will not take a back seat when the volume is cranked. On the pics I have seen I had my reservations about the copper coloured driver as they looked too Klipsch for my tastes but in real life they are mild salmon colour that should blend in well in any cave/cinema/extreme brothel.

The obvious highlight here is the value for money equation which is simply stellar. Show me another brand of speakers in this same price range that offer as much as the Bentleys.

Reservations...? Well, the one FS120 Bentley sign decided to part ways with the speaker grill but I just glued it back. Oh and of the four FS100 speakers, the speakers wire receptacles (holes that takes the bare wire) were not all aligned the same. That's about it.

As mentioned before, I know how difficult it is in Cpt to get a demo. Let me know if any of you folks want to pop around over a weekend. I'll happily demo these for anyone interested in hearing them.










« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 07:34:51 PM by Drifter »

Online shadow.clone

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2019, 07:53:12 PM »
Great writeup, photos, and system!

I'm always a little weary of non-3 way center speakers. How do you find the FC150 with voice ntelligibility off-center?

Offline Drifter

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Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 08:13:02 PM »
Great writeup, photos, and system!

I'm always a little weary of non-3 way center speakers. How do you find the FC150 with voice ntelligibility off-center?

I have hopped around the room to get a sense of off-axis sound for the entire speaker set and voicing remains even.
The silk dome tweeter is smooth yet provides all the detail you could want at a mid level speaker range.

The FC150 really is a gem and integrates perfectly with the FS120 to give a wide and cohesive front stage.

Offline blizzard

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Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 09:35:16 PM »
Sorry flame me but this looks like a paid for plug and ad. Any Bentley dealers in Cape Town ?   :whistler:

Offline naughty

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 09:56:47 PM »
nice looking room .... and congrats on the new speakers  :thumbs:

Offline Dreamerm6

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 10:29:20 PM »
Great writeup, photos, and system!

I'm always a little weary of non-3 way center speakers. How do you find the FC150 with voice ntelligibility off-center?

I agree, thats exactly why we made the FC150 a proper 3-way.  :thumbs:

Offline Vince MacMahon

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 10:29:55 PM »
Man, I love the setup.....planting ideas in my head (have a full flatlet in the yard that is unused).

On the Bentley’s, Vaugh demoed them for me against a pair of popular set of Bowers (B&Ws) and the Bentleys smoked them. They do have a punch, the clarity is amazing for the price!

All the best.


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Marantz - B&W - SVS - AudioQuest

Offline Dreamerm6

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 10:55:51 PM »
Sorry flame me but this looks like a paid for plug and ad. Any Bentley dealers in Cape Town ?   :whistler:

Thanks for the HUGE compliment! Yes we have a dealer in CT - Acoustic excellence.
Im sure if it was a paid for add, then he would have failed to mention the one logo which was loose.. But thanks again for the massive compliment, if our clients are so happy that it even seems like we paid them to be happy..., then WOW, what an awesome product we have!  :Whoohoo:

Offline garnett.wilson

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 11:19:15 PM »
Sounds great but you have to try the Bentley 150 FS  they are the bomb


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Offline BiZKiT

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 04:49:08 AM »
Sorry flame me but this looks like a paid for plug and ad. Any Bentley dealers in Cape Town ?   :whistler:

Looks like we have another non believer...step into the light my son :mates:

Offline Drifter

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Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2019, 06:01:39 AM »
Sorry flame me but this looks like a paid for plug and ad. Any Bentley dealers in Cape Town ?   :whistler:

Ouch that hurts. I've never considered my poor grasp of the English language together with my lack of creativity sufficient to be able to craft a paid for review  :giggle:

I can assure you, the speakers were paid for at retail price in an arms length transaction.

I considered B&W, Monitor Audio, KEF, Mission, Eltax, Fyne audio, Polk, Klipsch and Dali. I would love to have listened to a set of Fyne audios just to keep the Tannoy heritage going but could not track any down in Cape Town. My options were narrowed down to the KEF Q-series (which I auditioned at Audio Vision here in Durbanville), the B&W series (which I listened to at e-piphany) and the Monitor Audio Bronze (which I could not find a demo set in my area). In none of the auditions could I experience a full set of the speakers in a cinema room, so it was all just plain stereo listening. I like the MA FX on wall di/bi poles due to their wall hugging space saving design, but I already had the Vogel brackets mounted to the wall so I did not want to go the motions of filling in drill holes and repainting again. The B&W's are way overpriced, I'm sorry to say. I've owned them all from the 603S2 to the CM10's and 805's. I know Hein from e-piphany very well and I pop around once every 2 months or so to go and listen to what ever is new on the market. The KEF's were actually my favourite. The Q550 is a very compact floorstander with a powerful sound plus I like the KEF sound signature.

I crunched the numbers for a set of mains, two sets of rears and a centre and weighed up the design pros and cons of my top three marquees. The decision was made and KEF it would be. I was about to give Jannie from Audio Vision a call when I decided to just benchmark the prices against the Bentleys. I've never met Mr Bentley, Bruce in Cape Town or BiZKiT. I obtained last mentioned's number from his website, sent him a WhatsApp, asked for a quote, was shocked when I got it (in a good way) and decided what the hell fortune favours the brave and I bit the bullet. All done over WhatsApp. I still don't know what BizKiT's voice sounds like, I've never spoken to Mr Bentley and I still don't know if Bruce in Cape Town really exists.

To me audio equipment retailing should be an art. Properly setting up a system, be it hifi or home cinema is a skill not learned in a day. When I buy, I want to be able to talk to and get advice from someone who loves music/movies and has a passion for the industry. As much as I believe capitalism is the only feasible economics model and the the internet the future, the demise of the bricks and mortar audio dealer saddens me immensely. In Cape Town we have Achim, Rod at the Listening Room, Paul at Sound & Cinema, Jannie at Audio Vision and Hein at e-piphany that I am aware of. Only the latter two is really in the home cinema market.

I wonder how many of the members on this forum have experienced an Atmos setup, would like to upgrade from their 5.1 system but don't know if drilling holes in the ceiling to mount more speakers is worth it.

If you are such guy and live in Cape Town, you are welcome to come over, have a glass of wine and experience the thrills of Atmos; hell if you twist my arm I'll even put Scarlett Johansson in a white body suite on the 120 inch screen. Afterwards you can go back home and convince your wife why 4 holes in the lounge's ceiling is a good idea.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 06:28:10 AM by Drifter »

Offline Drifter

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Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 06:08:37 AM »
Sounds great but you have to try the Bentley 150 FS  they are the bomb


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I did consider them. At 1.2m high they would block my projector screen. My room is only 3m wide and the projector screen pretty much covers the entire wall.

Offline BiZKiT

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 06:43:42 AM »
On the atmos, if you dont want to make holes you can take FR50 that are small and just mount them with a sturdy key hole bracket. Two of my setups are like this and works a charm.

Thank you for the kind words and if you need anything you know who to call :thumbs:

Offline zer0

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2019, 07:17:31 AM »
Now that's a great home cinema.
Just one thing out of place. Will you be upgrading/replacing the entertainment unit? Turn it into a medium priced brothel :)

Offline Orcish75

Re: An upgrade to Bentley Acoustics
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2019, 10:42:56 AM »
Quote
As WAF has no hold over the happenings in the room I decided on a combination look resembling a cave, movie theatre and cheap brothel; and I recon I succeeded with this endeavour with flying colours.

 :BWAHAHAH:

Classic!

The setup looks amazing. Wish I was in CPT to be able to come over and have a listen.