ARX / SVS / HSU - Need help with speaker selection - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm planning on purchasing 5 new speakers shortly to replace my current setup, wondering if anyone has any comments or suggestions in regard to my proposed options. My room is approx. 12 x 25 with two large openings (each the size of a double door), and my AVR is an Onkyo TX-NR809. I'm keeping my current sub - SVS 20-39PCi.

After much research, here are the 3 options I'm considering (really 6 options) in order of current preference:

(1a) Arx A2 for all 5 channels

(1b) Arx A2 for LCR and A1b for SL and SR

(2a) SVS SCS-02 for all 5 channels

(2b) SVS SCS-02 for LCR and SSS-02 or SBS-02 for SL and SR

(3a) HSU HC-1 MK2 for all 5 channels

(3b) HSU HC-1 MK2 for LCR and HSU HB-1 MK2 for SL and SR

I'm having a hard time deciding on these setups. All of the options listed are timbre matched, but are there any benefits in having the exact same speaker for all 5 channels? Any of these 6 options superior to the others? Many thx for any assistance.

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post #2 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 02:58 AM
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I believe the Hsu will play loudest but being horns vs ribbon I'll always take ribbon... Then again the Arx uses XBL2 woofers so should be quite loud.
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post #3 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 07:30 AM
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I'd go with the first option as thats what I'm doing as well. After 6 months of owning the Arx I have yet to find anything I dislike about them.

The Arx A2 LCR will easily out perform the SCS-02, its more effiecient, has deeper extension, and more output with less distortion. Just due to the XBL2/Splitgap woofers and cast alloy frames. They are really 5.25" versions of the Exodus Anarchy woofer, I think they are very similar.

The HSU only has a horn loaded soft dome tweeter, which isn't going to have the output of a horn tweeter like Klipsch or the Elemental Designs Cinema series.
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post #4 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 09:58 AM
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If you are considering the HSU products, you might want to get a 4 HB-1 for FR FL SR SL and the HC-1 for the center.

I tried it out at the HSU place and the surround sound was phenomenal and the HC-1 was more than enough for the dialog.
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post #5 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

I believe the Hsu will play loudest but being horns vs ribbon I'll always take ribbon... Then again the Arx uses XBL2 woofers so should be quite loud.

Thanks, I didn't know this..

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I'd go with the first option as thats what I'm doing as well. After 6 months of owning the Arx I have yet to find anything I dislike about them.

The Arx A2 LCR will easily out perform the SCS-02, its more effiecient, has deeper extension, and more output with less distortion. Just due to the XBL2/Splitgap woofers and cast alloy frames. They are really 5.25" versions of the Exodus Anarchy woofer, I think they are very similar.

The HSU only has a horn loaded soft dome tweeter, which isn't going to have the output of a horn tweeter like Klipsch or the Elemental Designs Cinema series.

I'm seriously leaning more and more towards the Arx. But now I still need to decide if it's worth to get 5 A2's, or go with a more traditional setup - 3 A2's and 2 A1b's for the surrounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wh4t2D0N0w View Post

If you are considering the HSU products, you might want to get a 4 HB-1 for FR FL SR SL and the HC-1 for the center.

I tried it out at the HSU place and the surround sound was phenomenal and the HC-1 was more than enough for the dialog.

Interesting suggestion, I have no doubt those speakers sounded great, saves on budget too. But I really want to at least match (same speaker) the front 3, I'm even considering getting 5 of the same, but I'm not sure yet if there's any benefits in doing so. But at a minimum, same speaker for L/C/R, I have the space for it..

I forgot to mention that I mostly listen to HDTV and movies, with some PS3 gaming. But I also want the speakers to sound good with music (bass is not an issue as I'm keeping my SVS sub in my setup), another reason why I'm leaning towards Arx, I think they would sound best for music compared to the SVS or HSU.

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post #6 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_One View Post

Interesting suggestion, I have no doubt those speakers sounded great, saves on budget too. But I really want to at least match (same speaker) the front 3, I'm even considering getting 5 of the same, but I'm not sure yet if there's any benefits in doing so. But at a minimum, same speaker for L/C/R, I have the space for it..

I forgot to mention that I mostly listen to HDTV and movies, with some PS3 gaming. But I also want the speakers to sound good with music (bass is not an issue as I'm keeping my SVS sub in my setup), another reason why I'm leaning towards Arx, I think they would sound best for music compared to the SVS or HSU.

To be honest matching the front L/C/R speakers with the same exact type of model seems pointless for aesthetics only. As long as you have the same center model as your front L/R speakers it should look quite nice.
On another note, if you listening to music strictly on a 2.1 bases, the HB-1 are quite great, the sweet spot on it is quite big.

I think the Arx would be a better all around speakers compared to the HSU, but it all depends on each person's setup and their ear.
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post #7 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wh4t2D0N0w View Post

To be honest matching the front L/C/R speakers with the same exact type of model seems pointless for aesthetics only. As long as you have the same center model as your front L/R speakers it should look quite nice.
On another note, if you listening to music strictly on a 2.1 bases, the HB-1 are quite great, the sweet spot on it is quite big.

I think the Arx would be a better all around speakers compared to the HSU, but it all depends on each person's setup and their ear.

You're right, Arx and HSU both make reasonably priced quality speakers, and it really all comes down to ones personal preference and room setup..

I know what you mean about aesthetics.. especially with the WAF.. but for some reason I'm still considering getting 5 A2's (even though I know the A1b would be more than fine for surround duties) I need to think this further before I pull the trigger..

And yes music would be 2.1, although with 5 A2's I might try I it in 5.1

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post #8 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_One View Post

You're right, Arx and HSU both make reasonably priced quality speakers, and it really all comes down to ones personal preference and room setup..

I know what you mean about aesthetics.. especially with the WAF.. but for some reason I'm still considering getting 5 A2's (even though I know the A1b would be more than fine for surround duties) I need to think this further before I pull the trigger..

And yes music would be 2.1, although with 5 A2's I might try I it in 5.1

Which ever one you do decide on getting, I really recommend purchasing a center with it and try using it to test it out.
I know HSU has a 30-day testing on their speakers and subs.
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post #9 of 50 Old 04-29-2012, 10:19 PM
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I really wanted to go with HC1's across the front, but Pete at HSU (if you call, he's probably going to be the one that answers) actually talked me out of it... the only benefit would be asthetics, not accoustically. I was impressed that he didn't try to upsell me... granted my room is only 12 x 14. I asked about going with all HB1's across the front, and although do-able, the HC1 (positioned horizontally) would give better dialog across more seats . I went with 4 hb1's and the hc1, and it is ... ummm... impressive to say the least.
I'm pretty sure any of the 3 manufacturers you've listed would be able to give you a cheek-hurting smile.
Call all 3 and go with whomever you get a better 'vibe' from.
My short list for speakers (not subs) was between Ascend Accoustics and HSU, and I probably would've been happy with either, but based on how impressed I was with their VTF3 mk 3, I went with HSU. No regrets.

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #10 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 07:41 AM
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Ribbons, planars... Once you listen you'll never go back to dome
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post #11 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 07:48 AM
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I don't know about the HSU HC-1 but the Arx A2 has a tweeter that can rotate for horizontal use or vertical use. I can say that going from the A1 fronts to A2 fronts would not be just for asthetics it has a much larger soundstage and much more output and midbass impact/dynamics. Larger cabinet volume, deep extension, better sensititvity, that makes it much better in just about every way compared to the smaller A1.

I don't think the HSU HC-1 was made to be vertical so that probably why they recommened the HB-1's. The Arx A2 is more inline with the more expensive Ascend Acoustics 340 SE.
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post #12 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I don't know about the HSU HC-1 but the Arx A2 has a tweeter that can rotate for horizontal use or vertical use. I can say that going from the A1 fronts to A2 fronts would not be just for asthetics it has a much larger soundstage and much more output and midbass impact/dynamics. Larger cabinet volume, deep extension, better sensititvity, that makes it much better in just about every way compared to the smaller A1.

I don't think the HSU HC-1 was made to be vertical so that probably why they recommend the HB-1's. The Arx A2 is more inline with the more expensive Ascend Acoustics 340 SE.

Makes sense.. although most people probably wouldn't notice the sound difference anyways (for the tweeter being in the wrong position)

So.. would you recommend 5 A2's?? Or is that overkill, and 3 A2's and 2 A1b's would be more than enough (and more reasonable size wise)?

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post #13 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 08:54 AM
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The A2 looks superior to the A1 and it doesn't cost much more.
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post #14 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I don't know about the HSU HC-1 but the Arx A2 has a tweeter that can rotate for horizontal use or vertical use. I can say that going from the A1 fronts to A2 fronts would not be just for asthetics it has a much larger soundstage and much more output and midbass impact/dynamics. Larger cabinet volume, deep extension, better sensititvity, that makes it much better in just about every way compared to the smaller A1.

I don't think the HSU HC-1 was made to be vertical so that probably why they recommened the HB-1's. The Arx A2 is more inline with the more expensive Ascend Acoustics 340 SE.

If you want to use the HC-1 vertically just tell Hsu when you order and they will rotate the horn for you prior to shipping it out.
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post #15 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 10:15 AM
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I'm also considering Arx, HSU and Ascend for my new speakers. I personally haven't fully decided but if I was going Arx I would get 3 A2's and 2 A1b's. Decisions decisions...

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post #16 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

The A2 looks superior to the A1 and it doesn't cost much more.

I like what I'm hearing !

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

If you want to use the HC-1 vertically just tell Hsu when you order and they will rotate the horn for you prior to shipping it out.

Good to know they do that prior to shipping.

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post #17 of 50 Old 06-01-2012, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Just received my 5 Arx A2's ! They're looking very nice, they look and feel like quality speakers.. the finish is mint

Packaging was minimal, two nice foam pads on each end, the speaker was wrapped in a plastic bag, and was inside a cardboard box about the size of the speaker, thats it. I had 2 of the 5 boxes with somewhat significant damage on them - the cardboard was ripped through at some places, and for one you could see the speaker wire terminal through the hole in the box - but there was no damage at all once I opened them up (the plastic bags were intact but because there's no foam except in the ends the speaker could have been exposed to contact..) Nevertheless like I said they look great, especially considering the ride they took w FedEx ground from Nevada to Ontario.

Busy weekend and week ahead, but next weekend I'm hoping to have time to set everything up: bring up my TV on wall about 5 inches above the center speaker (which is staying on the av stand below TV); the left and right speakers are staying on the cubes (I have 2 of the cream colored ones) I'm also installing in my 2 surround corners, 2 corner glass shelves (14inches quarter round tempered glass shelves, clamps hold 55lbs so the 27lbs A2 should be no problem); then hook everything up and run Audyssey XT before starting to break them in slowly.. should be fun.
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post #18 of 50 Old 06-02-2012, 12:42 AM
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congratulations on your purchase !! May many big smiles come your way.

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #19 of 50 Old 06-02-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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ThX

Really looking forward to setting it all up, I wish I could do it now.. I'll report back once it's all setup, maybe post some pics of the corner glass shelves with the surround speakers.

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post #20 of 50 Old 06-18-2012, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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450


Got everything installed properly, I'm very satisfied with the glass shelves for the 2 surround speakers, I think it looks very clean with those low profile brackets, and the speaker wire is ran from the AV receiver, through the wall plate and into the basement ceiling (drop ceiling - easy access), then back up through the wall on the back side of the room, and finally the wire comes out right behind the speakers on the glass shelves - I'm using Blue Jeans cable 12 gauge in-wall rated wire.

I have close to 100 hours on the speakers, using all 5 of them with the bass ports plugged, I have them paired with my SVS 20-39 PCi subwoofer, and my Onkyo 809 is running them very well. I'm very satisfied with the sound quality, for both TV/movies and music. I'm now using the all channel stereo mode on the Onkyo for music and it sounds amazing. These speakers provide more than enough volume/power for what I need, and the voices on TV/movies are very clear coming through the center channel. Glad that I decided to pull the trigger on 5 A2's, and considering the price point of these speakers, I don't think anyone could go wrong with this choice.

I also had a few questions and contacted the audio insider (the internet dealer who sells Arx speakers) and Jon Lane answered all my questions promply by phone and email, great to see that some knowledgeable customer service is still around these days..


450


450

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post #21 of 50 Old 06-18-2012, 09:53 PM
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Very nice looking setup. Can you tell us a little about the sound of the arx a2 speakers? Not much has been written about them online. They are definitely one of the most unique speakers on the market with the ribbon tweeter that you can easily rotate to use the speaker horizontally

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post #22 of 50 Old 06-19-2012, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncola View Post

Very nice looking setup. Can you tell us a little about the sound of the arx a2 speakers? Not much has been written about them online. They are definitely one of the most unique speakers on the market with the ribbon tweeter that you can easily rotate to use the speaker horizontally


Thanks ! smile.gif

I did rotate the ribbon tweeter in 4 of my 5 A2's, very easy and quick to do: remove 4 outer screws, lift faceplate and rotate 90 degrees, reinstall 4 screws, done. I did have a hard time lifting the tweeter faceplate because even with the screws off, it was still very flush in the speaker, but I managed to pull them all off and rotate them without creating any damage to the faceplate or speaker enclosure.

I'm far from being an audiophile that could properly describe how the speakers sound like. There are a few other threads on here that speaks to the sound quality of the Arx A2. I know in one the AVS member indicated that he had tried the SVS speaker that I referenced above. (BTW SVS speakers are currently 50% off or something like that on the SVS website..). He returned them and got the Arx A2's and notice a very noticeable improvement in sound quality, even said that his wife/gf even noticed the sound quality difference..

I had 2 Yamaha NS-555 towers for my L/R in my previous setup, and another Yamaha 5.1 system previous to that (not a HTIB, the speakers were a notch above and much bigger than a HTIB) and the Arx A2's definitely sound much better - much clearer, much more clean power.. The loudest I've played them at so far is -17db for music (all channel stereo setting on AVR) and movies - and both are very loud at that setting, but still very clear. I used to be able to go up to -5db (rarely did that..) with my old speakers and now I can see how distorted the sound really was. I know I could push the A2's pass -17db and still get low distortion, but the sound in my room would be incredibly loud and my sub would probably bring down a few things.. hopefully not those glass shelves holding 27lbs speakers.. lol eek.gif

All I can add is that its a big improvement from what I've previously owned for speakers, the price point was within what I was willing to pay for 5 speakers that I plan on using for the long term, and the sound they provide is more than enough whether I keep my HT in the living room, or move it to the fireplace room or basement.

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post #23 of 50 Old 07-22-2012, 03:10 AM
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I did rotate the ribbon tweeter in 4 of my 5 A2's...

I thought the A2s ship with the tweeters arranged for vertical speaker placement and you only have to rotate the tweeter for the center channel. The planar tweeter should be vertical for best horizontal dispersion.
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post #24 of 50 Old 07-22-2012, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BarnacleBill View Post

I thought the A2s ship with the tweeters arranged for vertical speaker placement and you only have to rotate the tweeter for the center channel. The planar tweeter should be vertical for best horizontal dispersion.

No I just got another pair of the Arx A2s Saturday and the tweeter comes ready for center channel use. Its not too bad to rotate, although the fit is very tight the face plate and woofers don't budge out of postion even with the screws removed.
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post #25 of 50 Old 07-22-2012, 10:25 AM
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As shipped, the A2's tweeter is aligned along the short axis - the speaker is assembled and packed for center channel use.

The tweeter's machine-cut opening is tight, but has a cloverleaf feature that allows the tweeter to be removed and rotated 90 degrees. (This is true of all Arx models, although naturally should be done only with the A2 and in some installations, the A1/b.)

The input terminal plate rotates too.

Thanks for the kind comments about the Arx sound. It's gratifying that you're enjoying what we set out to provide.

Jon Lane
Chane Music & Cinema
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post #26 of 50 Old 07-22-2012, 05:01 PM
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These Arx speakers are REALLY starting to intrigue me.

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post #27 of 50 Old 07-22-2012, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JEFFREY GTS View Post

These Arx speakers are REALLY starting to intrigue me.

It was the same for me. I looked at the usual brands that are well liked around here but seen the TAI banner at the top of AVS and seen Arx and was always impressed with XBL tech in subwoofers. I took a chance on them and chance of being out of shipping if I didn't like them, but it ended up being the best decision I could make within my budget.

Jeffrey you could post over at the Arx forum and ask some owners if any of them are near where you live that would demo them for you.
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post #28 of 50 Old 07-22-2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

It was the same for me. I looked at the usual brands that are well liked around here but seen the TAI banner at the top of AVS and seen Arx and was always impressed with XBL tech in subwoofers. I took a chance on them and chance of being out of shipping if I didn't like them, but it ended up being the best decision I could make within my budget.
Jeffrey you could post over at the Arx forum and ask some owners if any of them are near where you live that would demo them for you.

Thanks for the info. I just joined that forum over there and have tried posting twice. Don't know what is wrong but I keep getting the website is not responding error. I will try later tonight or tomorrow. Have you seen my thread about a tower speaker for under $1500? You might have responded in that thread too. I was almost sold on the Tekton Model Lore or the KEF Q900 but am now really starting to lean in this direction.

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post #29 of 50 Old 07-24-2012, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon Lane View Post

As shipped, the A2's tweeter is aligned along the short axis - the speaker is assembled and packed for center channel use.

Thanks for the clarification, Jon. I was going by the pictures on the TAI website. They all show the tweeter aligned for vertical placement.

I love all the enthusiasm and good user reviews here for the ARX line. I'll be ordering mine this week.
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post #30 of 50 Old 07-24-2012, 12:38 PM
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I love all the enthusiasm and good user reviews here for the ARX line. I'll be ordering mine this week.

I haven't read a single negative review of the Arx speakers except for one user on the Emotiva forum. Although he didn't go into detail of how long he listened too them or what he compared them too. I can say that they need a break in period to give the woofers a chance to loosen up. The woofers are not tested at the factory so they have never been played when you unbox them. I've been breaking them in the last few days and they are starting to get more bassier and fuller.

First day I listened to AC/DC Back in Black dual disc and they had no punch or bass what so ever. Drum kicks had nothing to them. Fast forward 4 days and the drum kick has more impact and bass and sounds as if I have a subwoofer on at low volume.

If your going with A2s all around, Jon said that would be a huge whale of a sound.
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