My two-cent review...
I posted some props over at massdrop.com and I thought I'd share my words posted there, along with some additional thoughts about the speakers.
I was able to take advantage of the group buy for the new A5rx-c towers, and I'm just blown away by the sound and the quality. I would visit the two local high-end speaker retailers (between them selling: Focal, Thiel, Magico, Dynaudio, GoldenEar, Definitive, Paradigm) and I would always dream of having "audiophile" sound one day. Well, Jon Lane made that possible with Chane loudspeakers. I got the pair of A5rx-c towers shipped for $857.24. I would have had to pay AT LEAST double for the sound quality at one of the stores locally.
Like I mentioned previously, the soundstage (height, width, depth of sound's sources) is really good and the imaging (locating source sounds) is even better. I fault my lack of proper setup and lack of a good "test track" for the soundstage not being better, but I totally agree about break-in being 100+ hours. Also, the off-axis sound is phenomenal. You can walk around the room and for the most part the soundstage, imaging, volume, etc doesn't diminish like a lot of other speakers. The speakers have continued to come alive from a held-back sonic device to one that paints a portrait of the musical artist or movie score. I had an experience close to Soulburner where I thought the switch needed flipped. In my case, I think it was 90% burn-in, and 10% receiver tweaks based on the user preferences. What Chane speakers provide though, are a clean slate. As it is – in my opinion – far easier to tune a flat speaker than it is to correct a colored one. And obviously, I echo everyone's views on the planar-magnetc tweeter being the bee's knees. It's not ear-piercing loud, but that's not the point. It's precise, crisp and non-fatiguing - fantastic. The mid is a mid to me... I don't have the ears or expertise to tell if it's great, but I trust Jon did right by the mid driver. And finally, the SplitGap woofers are just supreme. Wow... holy crap Jon has done his homework, and he gets an A+ for his effort and creativity on that choice. Think of them as the turbo 4 cylinder with direct fuel injection of speakers. Bravo Jon!
Now, they're not perfect... I'm not delusional or naive, but for the price a person can't do better - I'm sold on that. The A5rx-c towers do like volume as others have said. At first, low-level listening is troubled before burn-in. Though, once they’ve been cooking for a while, I'm usually in the -35 (plenty) to -25 (won’t miss any detail) range. If there is no ambient sound around me, I can get away with -45 to -40, but for reference, I'd be at -20 to -15 to watch The Avengers: Age of Ultron and that would be my-wife-can't-take-it loud. If you dare to wake the neighbors, the neighborhood will be enjoying the audio without the visual at -10 to the zero mark. Vocals only became truly clear closer to the 100+ hour mark, and I believe it will only get better. I have only bumped treble system-wide on my Denon AVR-3801 by +4 (out of +/-12), but that is because I like treble a little bright. Mids like I alluded to, are mids, and a bit recessed, but I think that's because I'm so used to them being pronounced with other speakers. Bass, is good and I didn't adjust any settings for it. It kicks and it's accurate, fast, and dynamic. If Jon could make a true sub with the characteristics of the SplitGap, he'd turn the industry on its head with clean, crisp-kicking, dynamic bass.
Now, I'm moving soon and won't fool with a new receiver until I'm settled in, so, my current setup is only tweaked a little and not near what is accurate for a theater room. Knowing that, I'm just flat-out impressed with the sound. My wife even noticed the speakers sounded better after this concept of "break-in" and after hearing a few of London Grammar’s songs (do yourself a favor, and listen to their album), my wife’s face rose from her book she was reading, paused… and she exclaimed… “Wow!” A very slow and meaningful “wow” I might add. I knew at that point, she was hearing the best quality music she’d ever heard. And let me tell you… that is an eye-opening experience when you can introduce someone to that feeling you first had when you knew you were hearing something different. Something special.
Jon is a genius - truly a speaker savant. But, unlike most savants, he can communicate his knowledge, skill and genius to the average Joe and consult, answer questions, and is just simply a nice guy. I couldn't believe that when I had a question the actual designer/owner was responding to my questions. Jon has created a magically accurate speaker that reaches far beyond its price class and exceeds expectations of nearly all who hear them. I found Jon and his speakers from the first Home Theater Shack 8 speaker shootout where the original A5 took top honors. Ever since then, I've read nothing but good to glowing reviews, and gone were my desires for GoldenEar, Focal, Magico and the rest. And thus, my wallet was spared an injustice and I had audiophile-level sound in my home at last.
The price is stupidly-low for the quality and sound of the speaker, let alone the customer service from the speaker designer/owner. Next up for me are the A2rx-c for center and surround duty and a pair of A1rx-c for the rears. I am looking forward to an A7 though... Then a Dolby Atmos and DTS: X receiver to round out the package.
They’re hard to beat... spread the word ladies and gents. Jon and crew deserve it.
*I'm not affiliated with Jon or Chane in any way, nor am I paid off or "incentivized" with any products. I'm just a supremely happy customer who wants to see Jon and Chane grow, divide, and conquer.
Last edited by FliGuyRyan; 05-06-2015 at 12:18 PM.
Reason: Forgot to mention the off-axis sound characteristics...