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post #91 of 585 Old 02-07-2009, 01:07 AM
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Btw, what happened to the 415? I notice you only play with 325 nowadays..
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post #92 of 585 Old 02-07-2009, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yubjun View Post

Btw, what happened to the 415? I notice you only play with 325 nowadays..

Busy and lazy.

I still have the 415, it's waiting for me to get it properly located so I can listen some more. I have the 325 setup and it's there and ready to go, so, being lazy, that's what I've been listening to.

I plan to do the 415 and maybe the 425, and also hope to cover the 315 that started it all (for ZVOX). The only one I'll miss is the 550.

I've been very busy at work (long hours) and so things have slowed down a bit. Have to be away some this weekend, so not sure what I'll get to. Not a lot of time to post. This has turned out to be a lot more "work" than I thought, but I'm still having fun. I am still listening, making notes and thinking hard.

Maybe we'll hear from Nautiduck - his 325 should have arrived by now.

By the way, the 415 was quite nice during my brief tests, so it will be interesting to get back to it after listening to the 325 more extensively. I'm going to try to summarize my impressions of the whole line when I wrap up.
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post #93 of 585 Old 02-07-2009, 11:21 AM
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Well I hooked up the 325 last night and have the following initial report:

1-The sound is remarkably better than the speakers in our LN46A630 Samsung. That is the primary objective for us and the 325 clearly meets it.

2-The 325 can get plenty loud for our family room with its vaulted ceilings and open-to-kitchen design.

3-I was worried that using the regular audio output - which is fixed level - would mean that I would have to use the 325's volume control and that would mean no visual cue on the TV to show volume level. Turns out that by connecting the 325 to the TV headphone port that it cuts off the TV speakers but still has the TV control volume out!

4-Dialog on TV is crisp and clear. This was very important to me and I am pleased.

5-Music sounds good. The music track on TV shows comes through clear and clean. Ditto for the music channels provided by Comcast. I listened to Bette Midler sing "you are the wind beneath my wings" and her voice was crisp and clear.

6-I have not messed yet with the "Phase Cue" or sub-woofer levels. Right now the Phase Cue is all the way to low and the sub-woofer is at the mid-point. I think I will add a bit more sub-woofer. The 325 fits right into a component shelf in the cabinet and does not have a lot of "breathing room." Despite that tight fit, the unit is cool to the touch. The only heat generated is at the power brick and it is in an open area behind the TV.

7-My wife says "it sounds great, much better than the TV" so all is good on the family front.

8-Today Netflix is delivering "Cars" on BluRay so I'll get a chance to see how the 325 does with that media. I'm hoping there are some sound effects on the video.

9-Operation is drop-dead simple. The unit turns itself on and off based on whether the TV is on or off and sending a signal. This was also what I wanted. The 325 acts as a direct extension of the TV.

I'll post more after watching Cars and messing with the controls.
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post #94 of 585 Old 02-07-2009, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nautiduck View Post

Well I hooked up the 325 last night and have the following initial report:
...I'll post more after watching Cars and messing with the controls.

Whew! Well, I've been holding my breath waiting to see how you liked the 325. I'm glad to hear its going well. In fact, as I was reading through your list and then got to #6 and realized you had not even dialed in any PhaseCue, I was smiling. You have not even heard the best it has to offer yet. Even on music, I dial in a little PhaseCue. On the Blu-Ray disc you'll want a fair amount to hear those sound effects you're missing so far. But that's just my opinion. I'll be very curious what you think after you play around some more. But it sounds very promising.

In fact, you've already given a thumbs up to the main things (volume, dialog, sound quality, WAF, etc.). Very much looking forward to your impressions of the PhaseCue effects.

It sure sounds like you met most of your objectives. And that your expectations were in line with what the ZVOX delivers. That's good to know.

Congrats and enjoy your new 325!
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post #95 of 585 Old 02-08-2009, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bron View Post

Busy and lazy.

I still have the 415, it's waiting for me to get it properly located so I can listen some more. I have the 325 setup and it's there and ready to go, so, being lazy, that's what I've been listening to.

I plan to do the 415 and maybe the 425, and also hope to cover the 315 that started it all (for ZVOX). The only one I'll miss is the 550.

I've been very busy at work (long hours) and so things have slowed down a bit. Have to be away some this weekend, so not sure what I'll get to. Not a lot of time to post. This has turned out to be a lot more "work" than I thought, but I'm still having fun. I am still listening, making notes and thinking hard.

Maybe we'll hear from Nautiduck - his 325 should have arrived by now.

By the way, the 415 was quite nice during my brief tests, so it will be interesting to get back to it after listening to the 325 more extensively. I'm going to try to summarize my impressions of the whole line when I wrap up.

I'm seriously considering mounting my TV to the wall - this will free up space on the TV cabinet, for any of the Zvox's.

Based on your reviews, and also technical details, all the zvox speakers share the same technology in terms of phase cue, MDF built etc. Below are some pertinent technical details we can use for comparison:

325 $299
Speakers: Three 3.25"
Subwoofer: 5.25"
Frequency: 63hz - 20khz
Amp: 60 watt but limited to 24.3 watt due to power supply

415 $399
Speakers: Three 3.25"
Subwoofer: 4"
Frequency: 45hz - 20khz
Amp: 60 watt

550 $499
Speakers: Five 2"
Subwoofer: 5.25"
Frequency: 45hz -20khz
Amp: 60 watt

425 $599
Speakers: Five 3.25"
Subwoofer: 4"
Frequency: 35hz -20khz
Amp: 133 watt


It's interesting that 325, 415 and 550 are very similar except that 325 can only do 24.3 watt due to its power supply limits, which is a shame. 325 actually has a bigger subwoofer than 415. 325 can go down only to 63hz but not sure if that makes a huge difference.

550 is also intersting, except it uses five 2" speakers instead of the three 3.5" speakers that 325 and 415 use. More speakers but smaller ones - I wonder how that will translate to in sound.

425 definiltey looks to be the flagship with its use of five 3.25" speakers and 133 watt amp. It still only uses 4" subwoofer though.


Of the 4, 325 looks to be the best bang for the buck. Only if we can increase the amp, it would be virtually the same as 415. Bron, I guess this is the reason you're trying to get a bigger power supply. I wonder why the rep would say, it would not make a difference though.
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post #96 of 585 Old 02-08-2009, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yubjun View Post

I'm seriously considering mounting my TV to the wall - this will free up space on the TV cabinet, for any of the Zvox's.

Based on your reviews, and also technical details, all the zvox speakers share the same technology in terms of phase cue, MDF built etc. ...
Of the 4, 325 looks to be the best bang for the buck. Only if we can increase the amp, it would be virtually the same as 415. Bron, I guess this is the reason you're trying to get a bigger power supply. I wonder why the rep would say, it would not make a difference though.

Excellent post, Yubjun!

One thing I would point out, the 415 uses a 4" sub with a passive radiator (at other end) and the 425 uses dual 4" subs - so it will have more powerful bass, I'm sure. The extra 3.25" drivers will help as well, as will the larger cabinet. And yes, with twice the power and the extra drivers, the 425 does indeed look like a big step up from the rest! I hope to do a summary and compare the units at some point, but you've certainly got us off to a good start!

By the way, I agree the 325 is the sweet spot in the line up and the best value over all - and its good design make it a winner. But the higher end models do have some nice features for those willing to pay the freight to get them. Not the least of which is having all of the controls on the remote (and thus capable of loading into your Harmony or other high-end remotes). This makes setup and use a bit more flexible. That said, many people will tweak the 325 and play with it and then finally just set it and forget it. So won't be a big deal to everyone.

I did feel that the 415 had a slightly improved soundstage (speakers are further apart) and a stronger sound - but I need to hear the 325 and 415 side by side to tell for sure. I have plans to do just such a comparison.

With respect to the power supply, I'm no engineer, but I think it may depend on the type of amp they are using and the 'curves' -- so SPL levels (volume) are probably not linear as power increases, so as you increase power it may be that overall volume does not increase that much *more* as the power increases. Also, the way the we perceive volume plays into it as well (any audio engineers reading this, jump in!), so more and more power required to achieve perceptible volume increases.

Anyway, I do have some power supplies all ready to go and I will do my best to do a meaningful test. I can't find my trusty SPL meter (have not used it in a long, long time), but I may spring for another one, or I may just do a subjective test. To some extent, I tend to trust that they wouldn't do this unless it did make sense, but curiosity alone makes one want to test things out, right?

Thanks again for the nice post!
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post #97 of 585 Old 02-08-2009, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

Excellent post, Yubjun!

One thing I would point out, the 415 uses a 4" sub with a passive radiator (at other end) and the 425 uses dual 4" subs - so it will have more powerful bass, I'm sure. The extra 3.25" drivers will help as well, as will the larger cabinet. And yes, with twice the power and the extra drivers, the 425 does indeed look like a big step up from the rest! I hope to do a summary and compare the units at some point, but you've certainly got us off to a good start!

By the way, I agree the 325 is the sweet spot in the line up and the best value over all - and its good design make it a winner. But the higher end models do have some nice features for those willing to pay the freight to get them. Not the least of which is having all of the controls on the remote (and thus capable of loading into your Harmony or other high-end remotes). This makes setup and use a bit more flexible. That said, many people will tweak the 325 and play with it and then finally just set it and forget it. So won't be a big deal to everyone.

I did feel that the 415 had a slightly improved soundstage (speakers are further apart) and a stronger sound - but I need to hear the 325 and 415 side by side to tell for sure. I have plans to do just such a comparison.

With respect to the power supply, I'm no engineer, but I think it may depend on the type of amp they are using and the 'curves' -- so SPL levels (volume) are probably not linear as power increases, so as you increase power it may be that overall volume does not increase that much *more* as the power increases. Also, the way the we perceive volume plays into it as well (any audio engineers reading this, jump in!), so more and more power required to achieve perceptible volume increases.

Anyway, I do have some power supplies all ready to go and I will do my best to do a meaningful test. I can't find my trusty SPL meter (have not used it in a long, long time), but I may spring for another one, or I may just do a subjective test. To some extent, I tend to trust that they wouldn't do this unless it did make sense, but curiosity alone makes one want to test things out, right?

Thanks again for the nice post!

I concur bron, I too believe the 425 model sounded the best... although I only tested the 425 and 550 only ! I really want to test out the zvox brands again because I have a way better ear for sound now than back than. My problem though... I'm currently keeping a close eye on this:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1118214
Post in that thread, what do you think of it?

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post #98 of 585 Old 02-08-2009, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by da1writer View Post

I concur bron, I too believe the 425 model sounded the best... although I only tested the 425 and 550 only ! I really want to test out the zvox brands again because I have a way better ear for sound now than back than. My problem though... I'm currently keeping a close eye on this:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1118214
Post in that thread, what do you think of it?

Hey! I posted a brief comment in your thread. Looks like a very elegant system, to be sure. I bet it's expensive, though. We'll see. Sounds like it would be perfect for your room.

For me, however, surround sound, per se, is not as important to me as "good sound." I'm enjoying the "good sound" of the ZVOX so much, I'm pretty much satisfied with this solution and now it's just a matter of tweaking it, picking which unit to use as my primary and so on. (Remember, music is as important to me as movies and such, that's big for me, as most surround systems drop the ball there a bit. So I have a bias, actually, towards the simpler systems like the ZVOX.)

But, the Panasonic unit you've highlighted sure would be the kind of thing that could cause me to waiver at some future time. It's slick!
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post #99 of 585 Old 02-08-2009, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bron View Post

Hey! I posted a brief comment in your thread. Looks like a very elegant system, to be sure. I bet it's expensive, though. We'll see. Sounds like it would be perfect for your room.

For me, however, surround sound, per se, is not as important to me as "good sound." I'm enjoying the "good sound" of the ZVOX so much, I'm pretty much satisfied with this solution and now it's just a matter of tweaking it, picking which unit to use as my primary and so on. (Remember, music is as important to me as movies and such, that's big for me, as most surround systems drop the ball there a bit. So I have a bias, actually, towards the simpler systems like the ZVOX.)

But, the Panasonic unit you've highlighted sure would be the kind of thing that could cause me to waiver at some future time. It's slick!

No probs bron, just posted it since it is a sound system without bouncing sound ! Thanks for the post in the thread, I hope others will jump on it.

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post #100 of 585 Old 02-08-2009, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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No probs bron, just posted it since it is a sound system without bouncing sound ! Thanks for the post in the thread, I hope others will jump on it.

Indeed, it meets all the requirements for consideration in this thread, although some might quibble that it isn't a soundbar type solution, I would never do such a thing. If it had been available when I started looking, I definitely would have considered it. Still may at some future point in time! I like Panasonic products in general. (I just recently bought the 42" Panasonic TH-42PX80U VIERA Plasma TV, so it would be a perfect match!)

P.S. I still think the Polk SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater, you mentioned earlier, is the real competition for ZVOX.
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post #101 of 585 Old 02-09-2009, 06:00 AM
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Ive tried just about every sound bar available & I settled on ,of all things, a Memorex sound bar from Radio Shack.
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post #102 of 585 Old 02-09-2009, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Ive tried just about every sound bar available & I settled on ,of all things, a Memorex sound bar from Radio Shack.

Well, I've heard stranger things. And I, myself, have run across some decent memorex products in the past, so anything is possible. A few more details might be helpful to those reading your post.

Did you audition any models from the ZVOX line? What about the Memorex SB won you over? Model number?

Doesn't have to be a treatise, just a few words on your impressions and thinking and how you made the decision. Who were the runners up, for exampleTell us more!? Was cost a big factor, or just sound quality? That kind of stuff. If you have time, of course, I know how these forums can eat up your time!
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post #103 of 585 Old 02-10-2009, 06:45 PM
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I've always thought I would need a 2.1 system like the Klipsch CS-700 (or Bose 321) because I have a rear projection CRT TV which sits on the floor, making it more difficult to place a soundbar type system - it can't go under or in front of the TV and it is not flat on top, so it can't sit up there. I am intrigued with the Zvox because this thread indicates it is great for music, which is important to me. I went on the Zvox web site and they claimed you can put the Zvox on a shelf next to the TV. This seems odd -wouldn't the sound be off center? Any ideas for how to make the Zvox work with a floor sitting TV without a flat top? I'm also curious why the Klipsch CS-700 system receives almost no mention on this forum. Thanks. Jon
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post #104 of 585 Old 02-10-2009, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JonCr View Post

I've always thought I would need a 2.1 system like the Klipsch CS-700 (or Bose 321) because I have a rear projection CRT TV which sits on the floor, making it more difficult to place a soundbar type system - it can't go under or in front of the TV and it is not flat on top, so it can't sit up there. I am intrigued with the Zvox because this thread indicates it is great for music, which is important to me. I went on the Zvox web site and they claimed you can put the Zvox on a shelf next to the TV. This seems odd -wouldn't the sound be off center? Any ideas for how to make the Zvox work with a floor sitting TV without a flat top? I'm also curious why the Klipsch CS-700 system receives almost no mention on this forum. Thanks. Jon

I'm listening to music on a ZVOX 325 right now, I use a ZVOX Mini as a music system in my home office - love it!

Not sure about the mounting. You could rig a shelf or a stand using the wall mount, I guess. You could also hang it somehow, maybe? Tough situation. I do recall seeing some kind of shelf somewhere for just this type of thing, it had adjustable "legs" on the back with rubber feet that sat on the curved back and a lip (I think) that let it set on the top of the set. Have no idea where I saw it though.

As for mounting it to the side. I read one review where the guy placed a 325 next to the TV and adjusted the balance (of the TV audio, there's no balance control on any ZVOX) and said it sounded fine. I'm not sure. I did have the 325 mounted off to the side of my TV early on during some of my tests (later moved it to under and front of TV) and, actually, it was better than I thought it might be. With the soundstage wide and depending on seat position, it wasn't bad. I actually "forgot" it was off center after awhile, that said, some sounds are directional and clearly come from the unit's location. But mine was a couple of feet away from the TV. If it were right next to the TV and angled just so, and you sit a ways back, I can see how you might get away with it. That's for the 325. I have a harder time seeing how it could work with the 415 or 425 due to their width.

They do have a 30-day trial so you could try it and return it if it does not work to your satisfaction.

P.S. I looked up the Klipsch CS-700. Seems like a nice system. Not sure why it doesn't get more mention here. The $1299 price is a bit high, but I found some selling much lower. Checked a few user reviews and mostly positive things to say. Sounds like a contender to me, but I had never heard of it. One reason for little mention here may be that there are not that many CS-700 owners here? Just a guess.
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post #105 of 585 Old 02-11-2009, 04:49 AM
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Bron,

Did you ever hook up that Polk PSW10 sub woofer? I am really curious to hear how or if it blends with the 325. Interestingly, the 325 manual mentions that the output (input 2) is for an optional sub woofer but that is all that is said. The 550 manual goes as far as telling you the output on it is a "full range" monaural output and should only be used with a sub woofer with a variable crossover and then suggest setting the crossover to 90Hz. The 550 actually has a lower frequency range 45 Hz-20 KHz than the 325's 63 Hz-20KHz. Anyways, I'm looking forward to your next post.

Scott
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post #106 of 585 Old 02-11-2009, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCr View Post

I've always thought I would need a 2.1 system like the Klipsch CS-700 (or Bose 321) because I have a rear projection CRT TV which sits on the floor, making it more difficult to place a soundbar type system - it can't go under or in front of the TV and it is not flat on top, so it can't sit up there. I am intrigued with the Zvox because this thread indicates it is great for music, which is important to me. I went on the Zvox web site and they claimed you can put the Zvox on a shelf next to the TV. This seems odd -wouldn't the sound be off center? Any ideas for how to make the Zvox work with a floor sitting TV without a flat top? I'm also curious why the Klipsch CS-700 system receives almost no mention on this forum. Thanks. Jon

I've been looking at the Klipsch too. I think the going price now is about 699. I did notice on one site, (Crutchfield I think) it has been discontinued. I don't know if they are getting ready to put out a new model or what???? It does look like a nice system, I saw it at HH Greg but I've never heard it. I'm still waiting for Nautiduck to come back with his feelings on the 325 now that he's had it a few days.
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post #107 of 585 Old 02-11-2009, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sgirardot1 View Post

Bron,

Did you ever hook up that Polk PSW10 sub woofer? I am really curious to hear how or if it blends with the 325. Interestingly, the 325 manual mentions that the output (input 2) is for an optional sub woofer but that is all that is said. The 550 manual goes as far as telling you the output on it is a "full range" monaural output and should only be used with a sub woofer with a variable crossover and then suggest setting the crossover to 90Hz. The 550 actually has a lower frequency range 45 Hz-20 KHz than the 325's 63 Hz-20KHz. Anyways, I'm looking forward to your next post.

Scott

Scott,

Not yet. Alas, it has been hard to find the time last couple of weeks. But it's still in my plans. Yes, the output is a full mono out so you need a variable crossover, probably, for best results. And somewhere around 80-90 Hz is a good place to start. I don't think it should be too hard to get them to blend by setting the sub levels on both the 325 and the external sub as well as the cross over, you have a lot of control (sub placement and room also a factor, of course).

As I've mentioned earlier, for music I'm not sure you even need an external sub. The bass response of the ZVOX units is pretty good across the line, in my opinion. It's for those thunderous movie explosions and crashes where you might want those ELF rumbles that you feel as much as hear that is more of a consideration. Even so, I'm not sure everyone will feel the need. Again, you can feel those rumbles at higher volumes with the ZVOX units. It's just a matter of how teeth rattling you want to get. The external subs will have their own dedicated power (and usually more than the ZVOX) and so, of course, you'll get more thunder. Possibly even exaggerated output. But some people like exaggerated output on the very low end for action movies and such. Others, I think, will find the ZVOX low end perfectly satisfactory.

When I get to my listening tests, my main thrust after those questions is how does it affect the over-all output and sound quality for the majority of material? It's rare that a sub does not help, so more a matter of is it enough to make it worth the bother and added cost?

Nautiduck has a sub-woofer in his setup (a better one) so maybe he will be able to give us some insight into this as well.

If I had to give a bottom line (maybe I should wait 'til after my tests are done as I might change my mind, but...) at this point, it would be I don't think it's a make or break deal. More of a plus if you have one, maybe, but no biggie if you don't. But we'll see!
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post #108 of 585 Old 02-11-2009, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tarheeltom View Post

I've been looking at the Klipsch too. I think the going price now is about 699. I did notice on one site, (Crutchfield I think) it has been discontinued. I don't know if they are getting ready to put out a new model or what???? It does look like a nice system, I saw it at HH Greg but I've never heard it. I'm still waiting for Nautiduck to come back with his feelings on the 325 now that he's had it a few days.

Thanks, Tarheeltom! Yea, me, too. I'm very interested in Nautiducks's assessment. I'd welcome a few more people chiming in as well. This stuff is all very subjective, so it helps to have a range of voices involved.
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post #109 of 585 Old 02-12-2009, 01:36 PM
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I am considering ordering the ZVOX 425 to test and see if I like it (and more importantly if it will dethrone my CT100 ). The Zvox is to tall to put in front of my Pionner plasma (I believe it would cut off a quarter of an inch on the bottom) without blocking some of the view. I was hoping it would work as I don't have a shelf below to set it on that is that wide and I don't really want to wall mount my Plasma. My question is could I mount it above the tv on the wall? Would that be to high up? I wasn't sure if the speaker needed to be ear level or not as my previous polk surroundbar didn't and sounded great.
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post #110 of 585 Old 02-12-2009, 04:49 PM
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I am in same situation as I have tv on a console and need to place speaker above tv. I contacted ZVOX and told them I would be placing 425 on either shelf or wall 65 inches high and they told me it should be okay. Recommend you contact them with your particulars as they are easily reached and very helpful. I have just received and set up my tv and bluray, was considering Yamaha 4000 but will probably go with the 425. Why don't you go first and let us know!
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post #111 of 585 Old 02-12-2009, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mcdee View Post

I am in same situation as I have tv on a console and need to place speaker above tv. I contacted ZVOX and told them I would be placing 425 on either shelf or wall 65 inches high and they told me it should be okay. Recommend you contact them with your particulars as they are easily reached and very helpful. I have just received and set up my tv and bluray, was considering Yamaha 4000 but will probably go with the 425. Why don't you go first and let us know!


LOL! I might just do that . I checked and I would assume I am about the same height as you (maybe another 6-8 inches higher) if I mounted it above my tv. I need to measure it tonight. Of course I have to buy their wall mount which adds to the cost but it's not a deal breaker as long as it sounds good that high up.
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post #112 of 585 Old 02-12-2009, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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LOL! I might just do that . I checked and I would assume I am about the same height as you (maybe another 6-8 inches higher) if I mounted it above my tv. I need to measure it tonight. Of course I have to buy their wall mount which adds to the cost but it's not a deal breaker as long as it sounds good that high up.

Like mcdee says, I would call ZVOX and talk to them. That said, I don't see why not. You could even uses spacers with the wall mount to give it a little angle down. You would not need much (if any). Even mounted flush, I think it would be fine. There aren't any highly directional tweeters involved and the sound spreads as you move away from the speaker, so at a normal distance back from the TV it should be fine, I think.

Maybe someone who has tried it will chime in.
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post #113 of 585 Old 02-12-2009, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

I am considering ordering the ZVOX 425 to test and see if I like it (and more importantly if it will dethrone my CT100 ). The Zvox is to tall to put in front of my Pionner plasma (I believe it would cut off a quarter of an inch on the bottom) without blocking some of the view. I was hoping it would work as I don't have a shelf below to set it on that is that wide and I don't really want to wall mount my Plasma. My question is could I mount it above the tv on the wall? Would that be to high up? I wasn't sure if the speaker needed to be ear level or not as my previous polk surroundbar didn't and sounded great.

I'm going to be facing a similar problem. However, I'm thinking instead of putting something under the plasma to raise it up. Did you consider that?
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post #114 of 585 Old 02-13-2009, 06:15 AM
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I'm going to be facing a similar problem. However, I'm thinking instead of putting something under the plasma to raise it up. Did you consider that?

That's a great idea Bron. I just don't know what I could use to put under neath the plasma that would still look cosmetically good . I guess I could get a piece of wood but I would like to get something that blends in with the tv. Let me know if you have any ideas as that would be an easier method. I checked and I am literally a quarter of an inch short for the speaker clearance. I got it! I could buy a 550 to raise it up and then purchase the 425...........lol .
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post #115 of 585 Old 02-13-2009, 10:45 AM
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I had also considered a "riser" to place under tv and then place speaker inside riser. Hard to find correct size, finish, etc. but you could check with wood furniture companies as they make these for their products. Advantage to me with riser was listening height but it could also raise viewing height of tv several inches.
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post #116 of 585 Old 02-13-2009, 08:54 PM
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My Zvox 550 (I'll refer to it as the 550 from here on out) arrived earlier this week. I really have not had much chance to play around with it, as I only have the evenings to do so. It didn't help that the wind storm that went through our area knocked out our power for 10 hours, from early Wednesday night to early Thursday morning. Anyway, here goes. Just don't expect the quality or detail of the Zvox reviews that bron has been providing in this thread.

First Impressions

1. The 550 matches our Panasonic plasma 42PX80U TV nicely. Both are black, and since the Panasonic meets the weight and base dimension requirements established by Zvox, the TV can sit on top of the 550. In fact, it looks like the 550 is a part of the base for the TV. I like that look.

2. The unit itself is very simplistic and clean looking. The front is actually a metal grille with very small holes in it. It looks solid until you get up close to it. The only marking visible on the front of the unit is a small Zvox label in the middle front of the top of the unit.

3. The subwoofer speaker points down, and you can see it if you turn the unit over. It has a grille over it as well.

4. There are two L/R audio output jacks on the back and one jack outlet for a subwoofer. There is an on/off switch and a plug for the power cord. That is it for any inputs or outputs. Nothing on the front.

5. The remote is probably the littlest that I've ever used. It works fine, though.

6. My connections are as follows (as recommended by the cable technician - we just got HD service less than 2 weeks ago): HD DVR cable box to TV via HDMI cable, DVD/VCR player to TV via component cable, and 550 to TV via L/R audio cable. With this set-up, I have yet to figure out how to have the cable remote control the volume level, since I had to turn the TV speakers off.

7. I watched two DVD movies and used them to adjust the 550 settings - the original Star Wars movie and the 3rd Indiana Jones movie (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). Both movies sounded very good, and the bass was excellent. The Phaseque surround sound works nicely.

8. I am still playing around with the settings for watching TV. The HD DVR cable box has adjustable audio settings, there is clearly a difference depending on which setting it is on.

9. Overall, I am really happy with the 550.

I will get around to writing a more detailed review, including room conditions (which I think are pretty critical to evaluating any home theater system), in the future.
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post #117 of 585 Old 02-13-2009, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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@awellusedwallet - hey, great post! I'm not covering the 550 so will be great to have your impressions. I've read some good reviews of the 550. It's an attractive choice since it eliminates all the 'where to put it' issues. Several reviewers also mentioned the excellent bass.

But mostly wanted to say "Thumbs up, dude!" I just bought a panny 42PX80U as well. Haven't even had time to set mine up yet. If you're willing, PM me and let me know how you like it. With Pioneer, Vizio, and others exiting the plasma or TV business all together, I'm now extra glad I snagged one while I could. (Although hopefully Panny will continue.) All my research found this set to be top notch in terms of overall picture quality. And I thought the 42PX80U was probably the best value going, too. So, congrats and hope you enjoy it!
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post #118 of 585 Old 02-13-2009, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

That's a great idea Bron. I just don't know what I could use to put under neath the plasma that would still look cosmetically good . I guess I could get a piece of wood but I would like to get something that blends in with the tv. Let me know if you have any ideas as that would be an easier method. I checked and I am literally a quarter of an inch short for the speaker clearance. I got it! I could buy a 550 to raise it up and then purchase the 425...........lol .

Well, I'll let you know. I'm mulling over a few options. For me, a 415 or 425 would hide the base, so cosmetics not too big a deal, although I'll do my best, of course. I've seen quite a few items made for other uses that might work, and even a few of those better made swivel TV base units might work, I think.

Also considered a granite or marble slab, or other stoneware, custom-made wood base, and so on. I'll post more later, but you could just take a walk through Home Dept or Lowes and look around and get several ideas, I'm sure. I saw a cast iron or metal base made for some other purpose once that might work. I'm pretty open to adapting something if it's solid, stable and looks decent.

For only 1/2 " or so, you might have lots of creative options.
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post #119 of 585 Old 02-13-2009, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcdee View Post

I had also considered a "riser" to place under tv and then place speaker inside riser. Hard to find correct size, finish, etc. but you could check with wood furniture companies as they make these for their products. Advantage to me with riser was listening height but it could also raise viewing height of tv several inches.

Good suggestion! We have a local shop that makes bookcases, cabinets, stands and such and can pretty much stain or paint them as you like. A bit more expensive, maybe (but maybe not for a simple affair) but custom made is hard to beat.
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post #120 of 585 Old 02-14-2009, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by awellusedwallet View Post

My Zvox 550 (I'll refer to it as the 550 from here on out) arrived earlier this week. I really have not had much chance to play around with it, as I only have the evenings to do so. It didn't help that the wind storm that went through our area knocked out our power for 10 hours, from early Wednesday night to early Thursday morning. Anyway, here goes. Just don't expect the quality or detail of the Zvox reviews that bron has been providing in this thread.

First Impressions

1. The 550 matches our Panasonic plasma 42PX80U TV nicely. Both are black, and since the Panasonic meets the weight and base dimension requirements established by Zvox, the TV can sit on top of the 550. In fact, it looks like the 550 is a part of the base for the TV. I like that look.

2. The unit itself is very simplistic and clean looking. The front is actually a metal grille with very small holes in it. It looks solid until you get up close to it. The only marking visible on the front of the unit is a small Zvox label in the middle front of the top of the unit.

3. The subwoofer speaker points down, and you can see it if you turn the unit over. It has a grille over it as well.

4. There are two L/R audio output jacks on the back and one jack outlet for a subwoofer. There is an on/off switch and a plug for the power cord. That is it for any inputs or outputs. Nothing on the front.

5. The remote is probably the littlest that I've ever used. It works fine, though.

6. My connections are as follows (as recommended by the cable technician - we just got HD service less than 2 weeks ago): HD DVR cable box to TV via HDMI cable, DVD/VCR player to TV via component cable, and 550 to TV via L/R audio cable. With this set-up, I have yet to figure out how to have the cable remote control the volume level, since I had to turn the TV speakers off.

7. I watched two DVD movies and used them to adjust the 550 settings - the original Star Wars movie and the 3rd Indiana Jones movie (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). Both movies sounded very good, and the bass was excellent. The Phaseque surround sound works nicely.

8. I am still playing around with the settings for watching TV. The HD DVR cable box has adjustable audio settings, there is clearly a difference depending on which setting it is on.

9. Overall, I am really happy with the 550.

I will get around to writing a more detailed review, including room conditions (which I think are pretty critical to evaluating any home theater system), in the future.

Nice writeup. I pulled the trigger on the 550 on Friday. Not sure when it will arrive. Bought from ZVOX via E-Bay. Nobody matched my rock bottom bid.

Interested in your positive review on the remote. Others have been critical of its performance. Would appreciate your comments on how easy/hard to set sound stage since apparently the only feedback from the unit is a blinking light when the remote is used. This is another item which others have been critical of. Apparently you have to count the number of pushes on the remote you used to know your setting. Is this correct?

Just for info, my 550 will be used with a 32" Insignia Plasma from BB ($400 on clearance). I called my cable company-Verizon FIOS-and they walked me through the process of getting the cable box remote to control the Plasma by trying different codes. Give your cable company a call-it should be much easier to get the code for a Panasonic!

Looking forward to hearing more of your experience with the 550. When I get mine I will also share my experience with the forum.

For anybody interested in obtaining a unit go to e-bay and bid the low price for an open box unit. Does not appear to be much activity for any of the units listed. Probably the economy!!!
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