Goldenear Soundbar w Invisa 650 Surrounds - Review Coming - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-22-2014, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Goldenear Soundbar w Invisa 650 Surrounds - Review Coming

So after a long hiatus from a decent surround solution (moving cross country, starting a business, buying a house, blah, blah) I'm jumping back in. This time instead of a true 5.1, I'm diving into the Goldenear Supercinema 3D Array w Forcefield 3 sub and Invisa 650 surrounds. I'm awaiting install so an initial impressions review and update will be coming soon. Powering it will be the Pioneer Elite SC-81 and video is the Sony 55xbr850b. Space is at a premium in my house so soundbar was the best route. Except for the GE's, these are relatively new products so not a lot out there as far as reviews.

Budget was in the mid ranges. I demo'd powered options, DT SoloCinema, Martin Logan, Sonos (not really in the race but I have other sonos components), they performed OK but the $ for performance factor just isn't there. I chose GE bc of the insane demo I got (thx Stereo Unlimited Point Lom), great separation and I just like what the brand is about.

So if you're in the market for a soundbar, put the GE on your list and get to a dealer, no matter how far you have to travel. Stay tuned for an initial impressions review.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 05:52 AM
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I cant wait to hear what you think. My buddy is on the market for a passive soundbar. He purchased my Pioneer Elite VSX-23TXH, and bought himself an SVS SB-2000. He will be getting either this Golden Ear sound bar + 2 surrounds, or the Def Tech SSA-42.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 08:57 PM
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Do you have it yet? I am also considering the GE Supercinema 3D Array, just waiting for the new XL to show up so I can demo both. Haven't pick out a receiver yet, thinking of Anthem or Marantz. How did you choose the Pioneer?
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-13-2014, 07:05 AM
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What a mistake they don't sell these over the internet. Their lineup looks very similar to my Martin Logan Motion speakers I have now. I love the folded tweeter in my ML's. Next round of upgrades I'll have to put golden ear on my radar, hopefully they sell online by then.

As much as it pains me to say it, I'm going with the Sony HT-ST7 for bedroom TV duties. Very impressive soundbar, I just hate buying Sony, especially their audio stuff. I find myself buying their products more and more these days though!

So this Soundbar isn't powered? What's the point then? If you have to power it wouldn't a center and two towers or bookshelfs be a better route? I guess if you are on a size constraint though... The SuperCenter and SuperCenter XL look to be directly competing with Martin Logan Motion 30 and Motion50XT. I have been super happy with my Motion 30 center. Paired with the Motion 40 the soundstage is phenomenal, it's as if the voices are coming out of their actual mouths. Glad they rolled out the 50XT now though as if my room was bigger the 30 would be too small as a center.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-02-2014, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Initial impressions

So far so good. The Goldear setup is impressive to say the least. My biggest concern going in was depth and clarity in dialogue and that was put to rest quickly. No cupped hands effect, just clear voices with solid mids and lows. The amount of bass coming from the sound bar itself is surprising. I'm not saying skip the sub, but there is more depth coming from these speakers than I expected.

The separation across the channels on the sound bar is another place where the Goldenear shines. I use the chase scene from Quantum of Solace (Blu-ray in DTS-Master HD) as my reference (its what the store used to demo the setup, I wanted an apples to apples comparo, or as close as possible). The engine noise from Bond's Aston clearly travels across the room. The machine gun fire is enough to scare the neighbors, esp when the ForceField 3 kicks in. The forcefield 3 sub is a serious little thumper. I have the sub volume at about 1/3 and easily shakes the entire room. It has great punch and delivers smooth, consistent sound during bass drops (something I think every TV show and movie use way too often now).

The inivisa 650s continue the impressive trend. Great clarity with broken glass, clinking metal and bullets whizzing by. The circular white grills blend perfectly w our celing. Overall I couldn't be happier. The Pioneer does a great job driving it all. For music I stream Pandora One a lot, it's not HD, but it's what we use most often. Music automatically plays in stereo, so L/R and sub only. Good full sound with great range. It can be a bit muddy sometimes, but I think thats a combination of the streaming quality and the fact that I haven't messed with the EQ at all.

For the size, sound quality and price, Goldenear is hard to beat. If you're thinking about a passive sound bar set up, you have to demo these. If you're thinking about a powered sound bar setup...I'd reconsider.

The only disappointment in my set up is the Sony 55 inch x850b. I'm getting really bad light bleed, especially from the right side. We watch TV with the lights off most of the time and dark scenes are nearly unwatchable. Forget off-angle viewing, it's terrible. I have an email into Sony and Magnolia is coming to check it out.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-02-2014, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneStepAhead View Post
What a mistake they don't sell these over the internet. Their lineup looks very similar to my Martin Logan Motion speakers I have now. I love the folded tweeter in my ML's. Next round of upgrades I'll have to put golden ear on my radar, hopefully they sell online by then.

As much as it pains me to say it, I'm going with the Sony HT-ST7 for bedroom TV duties. Very impressive soundbar, I just hate buying Sony, especially their audio stuff. I find myself buying their products more and more these days though!

So this Soundbar isn't powered? What's the point then? If you have to power it wouldn't a center and two towers or bookshelfs be a better route? I guess if you are on a size constraint though... The SuperCenter and SuperCenter XL look to be directly competing with Martin Logan Motion 30 and Motion50XT. I have been super happy with my Motion 30 center. Paired with the Motion 40 the soundstage is phenomenal, it's as if the voices are coming out of their actual mouths. Glad they rolled out the 50XT now though as if my room was bigger the 30 would be too small as a center.
Space was driving the decision to go sound bar. Simply not enough room to go w a center and L/R. I have yet to be impressed by a powered sound bar. I demo'd the ML Vision and the DT sound bar and neither did enough well to warrant a purchase. And the ML is huge, easily sticks out 6 inches from the wall.

For a main viewing room, I wanted something with more range and overall sound quality. I haven't heard the Sony ST7 myself, but the reviews are decent. It's a bit pricey tho. Of course that will probably drop in a few months with CES coming up and new products rolling out.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-02-2014, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shopit View Post
Do you have it yet? I am also considering the GE Supercinema 3D Array, just waiting for the new XL to show up so I can demo both. Haven't pick out a receiver yet, thinking of Anthem or Marantz. How did you choose the Pioneer?
I went with the pioneer on a recco from an installer friend, plus the Class D amps and the on-board QDeo 4k upscaling. I don't upscale to 4k often, but I do upscale appleTV and some DirecTV to full HD and it looks great with no jitter. So far the Pioneer has been more than powerful enough for the space which is about 17x15 with wide opening on the left a dining room. Great match for the Goldear too, sound is amazing.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-02-2014, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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A few pics

- Soundbar and TV install
- Inivisa 650 next to recessed light that's 4.5 inches
- Light bleed on x850b
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-04-2014, 01:52 PM
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I eagerly await to your review. I just received a 3D Array XL for an official AVS review, looking forward to the experience.

Find out more about Mark Henninger at www.imagicdigital.com
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-04-2014, 01:57 PM
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I’ve been the Goldenear soundbar for at least a year now, nocomplaints whatsoever for a compact, nearly kidproof solution. I like how thegrille actually has a plastic structure behind the fabric to help protectagainst little finger poking at it.



The sound is clear and the dynamics are good. I don’t noticemuch separation even with the sound array tech but it’s better than most othersoundbars. It’s a compromise I’m willing to live with.

Certified Ultra Professional AVS Special Member Class A
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-09-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I eagerly await to your review. I just received a 3D Array XL for an official AVS review, looking forward to the experience.
Thx imagic...I posted initial impressions last week...review is up a bit further. Can't wait to see what you think about the XL.
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post #12 of 15 Old 09-10-2014, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workiscool View Post
Space was driving the decision to go sound bar. Simply not enough room to go w a center and L/R. I have yet to be impressed by a powered sound bar. I demo'd the ML Vision and the DT sound bar and neither did enough well to warrant a purchase. And the ML is huge, easily sticks out 6 inches from the wall.

For a main viewing room, I wanted something with more range and overall sound quality. I haven't heard the Sony ST7 myself, but the reviews are decent. It's a bit pricey tho. Of course that will probably drop in a few months with CES coming up and new products rolling out.
After being super disappointed in every Soundbar I purchased, I can 100% recommend the Monitor Audio ASB-2 for bedrooms or apartment living rooms. Phenomenal, I posted a review on Amazon if you want to check it out. I picked up a used customer return on Amazon for $1400. I returned the Sony (which was just terrible sound, nice build quality though!). For a main viewing room though I can't recommend any Soundbar, you probably won't have enough volume. I suppose that is why you are looking at driving one with your own AVR. The Monitor Audio does have a 160W amp though, which is the biggest I've heard of. In my bedroom it gets much louder than I'd ever run it at! not sure about a larger room though. Amazon return policy is good if it doesn't work out. It's big though, which for me is a plus since I had about a foot between the bottom of my TV and the shelving below. They make a wall mount adapter for it for $39.99.

I hope Goldenear gets with the program and starts selling direct to customer via their website with 45 day home auditions like SVS. I'd of given thier a Triton series a whirl but since I can't find any online retailers I had to go Martinlogan again for this upgrade round. Their reasons listed on the website for not selling online are completely ridiculous. They suggest it's in the interest of the consumer but in actuality it's in the interest of their MAP pricing I'd be willing to wager.
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LG 55EC9300 + 2x 55EA8800 OLED + Sony 65XBR850A
Denon X5200W + Oppo BDP-103D
Yamaha RX-A3000 + Oppo BDP-103D
MartinLogan Motion 40/30/FX + Rhythmik FV15HP
MartinLogan Motion 60XT/50XT/FX2 + Seaton Submersive HP+
Monitor Audio ASB-2 + Oppo BDP-103

Last edited by OneStepAhead; 09-10-2014 at 05:55 AM.
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-13-2014, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I eagerly await to your review. I just received a 3D Array XL for an official AVS review, looking forward to the experience.
Looking forward to your review, Mark! I have been seriously considering the XL as the perfect way to have two independent systems in the same room: one 2-Ch, driven by my Prima Luna tube amp and using my main Sonus faber Toy Tower speakers, and one 5.1, driven by a receiver and using the Golden Ear XL soundbar for the front 3 channels, placed in front of my 65VT60 (if the specs are correct on the webiste, it SHOULD fit directly in front of the TV, without covering the picture area). My Prima Luna has a "home theater pass through" option, but I wanted zero tube wear while watching movies, plus I do not want to torture my Sonus fabers with ye olde movie explosion on a daily basis, nor have a mix of speaker brands and tube amplification for the left/right channels and solid-state for the rest. Not to mention, the extra heat (tubes + 65" plasma, plus receiver, plus Oppo 95, etc) is a problem here in FL.

After getting rid of my 5.1 set-up due to frustration from not being able to achieve decent results with the 2Ch + receiver combination, this seems like the perfect solution. Saves space, looks good, it's fairly inconspicuous, and it allows me to have two separate systems in the same room. I live in a condo, so none of those factors are trivial. I will probably combine the soundbar with a Force Field 3 and some Polks surround speakers that I have already installed in the back of the room.

My main concern is channel separation, sound-stage (this is why I'd rather wait for the larger XL model), dynamics, openness, cleanliness and decent bass output, even though I will be adding a subwoofer eventually.

Too bad the XL has been delayed so many times. They are now saying we should expect a November delivery. I have been waiting for these since June, actually.

I also agree that Golden Ear needs to start selling this stuff online. The closest dealer is 45 minutes away, and they have NONE of the models I want in stock. The other dealer is 1 hour away and doesn't even have a website. This is insane in this day and age. And I'm in South FL! Either that, or they should go with a big chain such as Best Buy, so that one can at least feel confident that a decent return policy is in place, if needed.
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-19-2014, 02:16 PM
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Does anyone know how the Monitor Audio ASB-2 compares with the Goldenear? I'm torn between getting a fully powered soundbar or getting a receiver, the Goldenear, a sub, and using some existing surrounds.
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-19-2014, 08:44 PM
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I'm torn between getting a fully powered soundbar or getting a receiver, the Goldenear, a sub, and using some existing surrounds.
I'm in the exact same boat!
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