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post #31 of 49 Old 04-25-2013, 05:14 PM
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Anyone have other suggestions to add?

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post #32 of 49 Old 04-25-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tvckmiller View Post

I know it may not get much talk on this forum but I just purchased a set of Zu Audio Omen Defs and could not be happier. They are a crossoverless design and have options to upgrade the caps to Clarity or Mundorff. I got mine with the new MK1b drivers from Druid and Definition and a B Stock cabinet. They take quite a while to break in but OMG they are awesome with the right source. Garbage in garbage out definitely applies here. Feed them a clean signal and they will amaze! They are extremely efficient at 98 db 1w/1meter. Their HT performance is equally impressive. I will say that they like wider than average placement but throw a tall, wide, and immersive soundstage image. Mine are starting to open up now and listening to Godsmack, Tool, The Eagles, Pink Floyd and such is a real treat. Lots of mid bass thump and you will here details that you may not realized were there before.

They may not be the END ALL speaker but I have buddies with high dollar Focals, Vandersteens, and Sonus Faber that are quite perturbed that they spent 3-4 times as much and favor my Zu's.

Just saying, they are worth a look. Great guys and great customer service.


Yep, I second this. Best speakers I've ever had. You would be missing out if you don't at least give the Omen Def's a listen...
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post #33 of 49 Old 04-25-2013, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep, I second this. Best speakers I've ever had. You would be missing out if you don't at least give the Omen Def's a listen...
Yeah I tried discussing these with the mrs to see if it'd be worth my time. Didn't pass the WAF.
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post #34 of 49 Old 04-26-2013, 06:25 AM
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I'm still in the process of buying/auditioning but started in a similar situation to you. Was set on Paradigm S60s, but wasn't as impressed after I listened to other brands. Based on what I've heard and you've listed I think you might really like the Focal 8xx V and W range. I was leaning towards those until I listed to the MA GX200s. Still waiting to hear some 300s. Didnt try any of the RX since I wanted something with visual personality - not just a box.
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post #35 of 49 Old 04-26-2013, 07:54 AM
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Yeah I tried discussing these with the mrs to see if it'd be worth my time. Didn't pass the WAF.


LOL, yea, understood. My wife freaked a little when she seen them. smile.gif
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post #36 of 49 Old 04-26-2013, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Superman07,
I know what you're saying and I agree. At 3 bills you should be able to get more than a box. That may be a reason I've gravitated toward the studio 100 so much. I think it's a gorgeous speaker, especially in the rosenut.
WAF is important to an extent, but I would also like a nice looking speaker too.
I heard the rx6s today and really liked what I heard. They played most of the lowest stuff on the JT track but not all. The lowest notes were missing completely. I wonder if those would be at least audible as the rx8's extension is rated to 32hz instead of 38hz like the rx6. Just hard really know without having the rx8 anywhere to audition.
After hearing the MAs, I went to another joint and heard the Focal 826V. It was a gorgeous speaker and I was able to A/B it with paradigm studio 60s. In short, they were better than the paradigms. They sounded fuller, more open and even gave a sense of depth to the sound stage. The steel drums on Jane Says moved to the back of the stage instead of being up front on the 60s. The 60s midrange also sounded congested in comparison to the Focals. The highs were bright only on the AIC cover and not on the Flyleaf track. The voccals both come across a little harsh on the paradigms. I really wish more HT stores had this setup. It really lets you hear the differences between speakers in much more substantial ways without having to rely on memory. I played a few of the bassier songs on the 836W to get a sense of how low the 836V would go. These were in a different and more treated room which seemed to suck up much of the lowest bass notes on the second part of the JT track. They were audible though not very impressive. Maybe it was just due to the treatments as they supposedly extend to 33hz.
On looks alone, I'd rate them
1. Studio 100 (not a box, curved sides w/nice mix of wood and metals)
2. MA GX200 (not a box, curved sides and wood all over, way over my budget)
2. Focal 386V (more a trapezoid, wood vinyl (?) wrap on sides, gloss in front/top, rosenut not avail)
3. MA RX6 (a box but nice rosenut wood all over, small size that makes me nervous it won't live up to expectations, would still go rx8)
4. Dynaudio X36 (a box with nice wood except the grey front, wtf)
5. Kef R700 (a box, silver rings look kinda odd on the rosenut)

Rating on sound:
This is a little tougher. Got to think on it over a beer or two...
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post #37 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tvckmiller View Post

I know it may not get much talk on this forum but I just purchased a set of Zu Audio Omen Defs and could not be happier. They are a crossoverless design and have options to upgrade the caps to Clarity or Mundorff. I got mine with the new MK1b drivers from Druid and Definition and a B Stock cabinet. They take quite a while to break in but OMG they are awesome with the right source. Garbage in garbage out definitely applies here. Feed them a clean signal and they will amaze! They are extremely efficient at 98 db 1w/1meter. Their HT performance is equally impressive. I will say that they like wider than average placement but throw a tall, wide, and immersive soundstage image. Mine are starting to open up now and listening to Godsmack, Tool, The Eagles, Pink Floyd and such is a real treat. Lots of mid bass thump and you will here details that you may not realized were there before.

They may not be the END ALL speaker but I have buddies with high dollar Focals, Vandersteens, and Sonus Faber that are quite perturbed that they spent 3-4 times as much and favor my Zu's.

Just saying, they are worth a look. Great guys and great customer service.
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Originally Posted by mechx View Post

Yep, I second this. Best speakers I've ever had. You would be missing out if you don't at least give the Omen Def's a listen...

Can you guys please explain these measurements?
You guys vouch for these speakers, so they are likely very good. I don't understand how to relate your experience to these measurements.
http://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/zucable_druid/

I must not be reading the graphs correctly. Tvckmiller, can you ask your buddies specifically what they feels is better with the Omens?
And just a side question, how old are you guys? Curiosity from the choice of music as I like that genre as well.

One last question. Any experience with Tekton speakers?
They don't have nanotech drivers, though... ;-(
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post #38 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnatsch517 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvckmiller View Post

I know it may not get much talk on this forum but I just purchased a set of Zu Audio Omen Defs and could not be happier. They are a crossoverless design and have options to upgrade the caps to Clarity or Mundorff. I got mine with the new MK1b drivers from Druid and Definition and a B Stock cabinet. They take quite a while to break in but OMG they are awesome with the right source. Garbage in garbage out definitely applies here. Feed them a clean signal and they will amaze! They are extremely efficient at 98 db 1w/1meter. Their HT performance is equally impressive. I will say that they like wider than average placement but throw a tall, wide, and immersive soundstage image. Mine are starting to open up now and listening to Godsmack, Tool, The Eagles, Pink Floyd and such is a real treat. Lots of mid bass thump and you will here details that you may not realized were there before.

They may not be the END ALL speaker but I have buddies with high dollar Focals, Vandersteens, and Sonus Faber that are quite perturbed that they spent 3-4 times as much and favor my Zu's.

Just saying, they are worth a look. Great guys and great customer service.
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Originally Posted by mechx View Post

Yep, I second this. Best speakers I've ever had. You would be missing out if you don't at least give the Omen Def's a listen...

Can you guys please explain these measurements?
You guys vouch for these speakers, so they are likely very good. I don't understand how to relate your experience to these measurements.
http://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements

You mean:




and


Quote:
I must not be reading the graphs correctly. Tvckmiller, can you ask your buddies specifically what they feels is better with the Omens?
And just a side question, how old are you guys? Curiosity from the choice of music as I like that genre as well.

One last question. Any experience with Tekton speakers?
They don't have nanotech drivers, though... ;-(

The first thing that comes to mind is that Zu Audio makes a big point out of how their speakers have very simple crossovers, and I know that one of the things that well designed crossovers can do is control driver interference which if not controlled results in right response. The rough response might not be so obvious in certain listening rooms that have rough response with just about any speaker that is used in them. The Zu Omens do have positive characteristics such as excellent dynamic range and unusually low distortion, and it may be these benefits that their advocates appreciate.
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post #39 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by yelnatsch517 View Post


Can you guys please explain these measurements?
You guys vouch for these speakers, so they are likely very good. I don't understand how to relate your experience to these measurements.
http://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/zucable_druid/

I must not be reading the graphs correctly. Tvckmiller, can you ask your buddies specifically what they feels is better with the Omens?
And just a side question, how old are you guys? Curiosity from the choice of music as I like that genre as well.

One last question. Any experience with Tekton speakers?
They don't have nanotech drivers, though... ;-(

Those graphs are not the Omen Def's, so I can't speak to them. Below is a graph for the Def's.




Don't know much about measurements myself, to be honest. But Zu kinda has a cult following. They have a different kind of sound and they are not for everyone. I was looking at Tekton's myself before I got
a great deal on my Def's off of audiogon. I just couldn't put up with the long lead times Eric at Tekton has at the time.

Age wise, I'm 50 years old and grew up around my brothers rock band, then joined the band myself when I was around 19. Now days, I listen to about all types of music except rap. But the def's really shine for me with music from
Rush, Yes, Eric Clapton, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Elton John, Kiss, Def Leopard, Gary Moore, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Shinedown, Journey, Metallica, Molly Hatchet, Dream Theater, 3 Doors down, Maroon Five, Creed, etc, etc. even some country rock.

They really excel on keyboard and vocals, compared to my Axiom M80's and Paradigm 60's, the Def's are way more dynamic and the soundstage and image is just amazing. The best way I can describe the sound, at least for me, is they have a more "live" sound. Like the instruments are there in the room. It's almost as if instead of me hearing a "recording" of the keyboard playing through the speakers, I am hearing the keyboards themselves through the speakers, like they bypassed the recording process. It's pretty amazing actually. But like I said, they are not for everyone and I suggest auditioning them first if you can. Zu has a 60 day return policy if you buy from them. The Def's are the closest model to the $16K Zu Definitions, same drivers, different tweet and no bottom powered driver like the definitions. I was just intrigued by the crossoverless design and the high sensitivity, seen a deal used and grabbed them. Glad I did...
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post #40 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 06:00 AM
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They really excel on keyboard and vocals, compared to my Axiom M80's and Paradigm 60's, the Def's are way more dynamic and the soundstage and image is just amazing. The best way I can describe the sound, at least for me, is they have a more "live" sound. Like the instruments are there in the room. It's almost as if instead of me hearing a "recording" of the keyboard playing through the speakers, I am hearing the keyboards themselves through the speakers, like they bypassed the recording process. It's pretty amazing actually. But like I said, they are not for everyone and I suggest auditioning them first if you can. Zu has a 60 day return policy if you buy from them. The Def's are the closest model to the $16K Zu Definitions, same drivers, different tweet and no bottom powered driver like the definitions. I was just intrigued by the crossoverless design and the high sensitivity, seen a deal used and grabbed them. Glad I did...

With strengths of vocals and great dynamics (assuming very fast in going from low volume to high volume), how does the Def's perform with movies? Also, based on its high efficiency, what are you using to drive the Def's?
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post #41 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 06:12 AM
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With strengths of vocals and great dynamics (assuming very fast in going from low volume to high volume), how does the Def's perform with movies? Also, based on its high efficiency, what are you using to drive the Def's?

They perform excellent with movies. I actually wish I could use a 3rd def for a center, but that won't work in my room. Like music, movies seem more "live" and in your face. I seem to hear more details as well.

Before I got the Def's, I had a marsh a400s amp. Great amp, but with the high efficiency of the Def's, I sold the Marsh. Now just using my onkyo 3008 and believe me, with just my onk, the Def's go to blistering, ear bleeding levels and do it so cleanly, the impact can be dangerous to your hearing. I find my ears give in way before the Def's do. smile.gif
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post #42 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 06:19 AM
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Revel F206 - it's under $3k street price.
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post #43 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

Though it'll be a year or so before I'm ready to buy anything, I want to spend that time auditioning as much as I can.

IME auditioning is a waste of time if you are trying to select among a group of competitive speakers. If they are at or near the top of the line, every retailer you visit will have tried hard to make them sound as good as possible by positioning and room acoustics. If you try to do the same thing at home you will obtain different results, even if you obtain good results.
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I am buying these primarily for 2ch listening but they'll be pulling double duty for HT. I know people have their opinions that I should just get a better set of bookshelves since I have a sub, that's fine, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR.

OK, you are irrationally prejudiced against bookshelf speakers. That's OK.

The larger problem I see is an apparent mistaken idea that all floor-standers are in this box over here, and all bookshelves are in that box over there and never the twain shall meet.
Quote:
I currently use a pair of Hsu HB-1s and a Hsu VTF3mk3 for music but occasionally just in 2ch if at low/mid volumes. They're great speakers but sound a little veiled and have a small sweet spot.

The hidden 500 pound gorilla in the room can be smelled by simply sniffing around your last sentence.

Are the Hsu HB-1 speakers veiled and creators of a narrow sweet spot simply because they are bookshelf speakers?

If there was a Hsu HF-1 floor stander, what difference would that make?
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post #44 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

IME auditioning is a waste of time if you are trying to select among a group of competitive speakers. If they are at or near the top of the line, every retailer you visit will have tried hard to make them sound as good as possible by positioning and room acoustics. If you try to do the same thing at home you will obtain different results, even if you obtain good results.
OK, you are irrationally prejudiced against bookshelf speakers. That's OK.

The larger problem I see is an apparent mistaken idea that all floor-standers are in this box over here, and all bookshelves are in that box over there and never the twain shall meet.
The hidden 500 pound gorilla in the room can be smelled by simply sniffing around your last sentence.

Are the Hsu HB-1 speakers veiled and creators of a narrow sweet spot simply because they are bookshelf speakers?

If there was a Hsu HF-1 floor stander, what difference would that make?

1. How can I be irrationally prejudiced against bookshelves when I own and like the ones I have? I am simply looking for better music performance from a 2ch setup, not 2.1.
2. How can a speaker be both a bookshelf and a floorstander?
3. Quit sniffing around and just take the statement at face value. The HB-1 is a great speaker, but it's not perfect. I think that one of the natural upgrades paths is to think about towers if you've never had them. I sarted with sats, then bookshelves, now want to try something else. I'm only looking to move them to surround duty. Plenty of towers have small sweet spots too. If Hsu made a tower, it'd probably be awesome for 2ch, though if it used the same materials it may still have the bookshelves' characteristics to me.
4. Don't come into my thread trying to start some $hit. If that's what your here for, get the **** out.
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post #45 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

IME auditioning is a waste of time if you are trying to select among a group of competitive speakers. If they are at or near the top of the line, every retailer you visit will have tried hard to make them sound as good as possible by positioning and room acoustics. If you try to do the same thing at home you will obtain different results, even if you obtain good results.
OK, you are irrationally prejudiced against bookshelf speakers. That's OK.

The larger problem I see is an apparent mistaken idea that all floor-standers are in this box over here, and all bookshelves are in that box over there and never the twain shall meet.
The hidden 500 pound gorilla in the room can be smelled by simply sniffing around your last sentence.

Are the Hsu HB-1 speakers veiled and creators of a narrow sweet spot simply because they are bookshelf speakers?

If there was a Hsu HF-1 floor stander, what difference would that make?

1. How can I be irrationally prejudiced against bookshelves when I own and like the ones I have? I am simply looking for better music performance from a 2ch setup, not 2.1.

You don't like them well enough to plan to stick with them, and your reasons for wanting floor standers may not pass logical tests.

Quote:
2. How can a speaker be both a bookshelf and a floorstander?

You must be misunderstanding me. My idea of a HF-1 floor stander would for example have 2 or 3 woofers.
Quote:
3. Quit sniffing around and just take the statement at face value. The HB-1 is a great speaker, but it's not perfect.

OK let's run with that. Why aren't you looking for a speaker whose main criteria is that it isn't a HB-1? No, you keep harping on floorstandarders versus bookshelves.

In my book one of the stronger defining features of the HB-1 is not that it is a bookshelf, but that it has a waveguide for its upper range.

I also think that your preferences about sweet spot size may be somewhat dependent on your listening room setup which seems to tend toward shallow and wide, not any inherent faults of the speakers you currently have. At worst, you may have picked speakers that have too narrow of directivity for how you want to use them. If you want a wider sweet spot, the most obvious upgrade would be a center channel speaker. Whats wrong with that?
Quote:
I think that one of the natural upgrades paths is to think about towers if you've never had them.

That leaves me out because I bougtht my first towers about 30 years ago...
Quote:
I sarted with sats, then bookshelves, now want to try something else. I'm only looking to move them to surround duty. Plenty of towers have small sweet spots too. If Hsu made a tower, it'd probably be awesome for 2ch, though if it used the same materials it may still have the bookshelves' characteristics to me.


You are beginning to see the light. If Hsu made the HF-1 tower I envisage, it would probably have pretty much the same sweet spot (or a little smaller), and would have a little more bass extension but still wouldn't be credible subwoofers.
Quote:
4. Don't come into my thread trying to start some $hit. If that's what your here for, get the **** out.

Nothing like talking to someone with an open mind and a welcoming, congenial style. ;-)
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post #46 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 11:27 AM
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I understand the OP for wanting to try full range towers for music.
They do sound different than speaker + sub, regardless if it is bookshelf or tower.
There is no harm in letting him try it out. Most stereophile setups are fullrange towers with no sub.

Just a few more questions for the OP.
Do you prefer high sensitivity speakers?
Are you willing to go the DIY route?
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post #47 of 49 Old 04-27-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnatsch517 View Post

I understand the OP for wanting to try full range towers for music.
They do sound different than speaker + sub, regardless if it is bookshelf or tower.
There is no harm in letting him try it out. Most stereophile setups are fullrange towers with no sub.

Just a few more questions for the OP.
Do you prefer high sensitivity speakers?
Are you willing to go the DIY route?
Thanks for the support. Arnyk has an extensive background and knows a lot about the science of sound production, much more than me, but what I took from his post was that my search for towers and wanting to try something different was pointless and that I have no reason for needing anything else. He likes to argue science vs personal opinion/experiences. No one else who's posted here has tried to dissuade me from what I'm trying to do. He had an exhausting argument with an, admittedly, annoying guy in the paradigm thread. All they needed to do was agree to disagree. I didn't want this thread derailed with any of that which is why I came across the way I did and even said that in my first post.
As far as preferring high sensitivity speakers? I don't really have any experience with anything but. My JBL sats and the Hsus are both pretty high sensitivity, low 90s. But if you mean high 90s, then I have no experience. The DIY route would be great if I had the time, knowledge and patience. I have a friend who was a cabinet maker, but he has a newborn and works six days/wk so he doesn't have the time to help me, plus he lives an hour away. I know there are some killer DIY routes out there that'd give me what I want, but I just don't have the skills essentially.
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post #48 of 49 Old 05-17-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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"On looks alone, I'd rate them
1. Studio 100 (not a box, curved sides w/nice mix of wood and metals)
2. MA GX200 (not a box, curved sides and wood all over, way over my budget)
2. Focal 386V (more a trapezoid, wood vinyl (?) wrap on sides, gloss in front/top, rosenut not avail)
3. MA RX6 (a box but nice rosenut wood all over, small size that makes me nervous it won't live up to expectations, would still go rx8)
4. Dynaudio X36 (a box with nice wood except the grey front, wtf)
5. Kef R700 (a box, silver rings look kinda odd on the rosenut)"

The sound:

Well, after a lot of beers and mulling it over for a while, it comes down to this. My initial desire was to find a set of full range towers, primarily for music, but that would pull double duty for HT. As far as being the most full range, the studio 100 and the dynaudio x36 played the lowest. The 100 and the focal were the brightest with the x36 and the rx6 having the most neutral, but satisfying high end. The b&w cm9 was just muffled. I never got another audition with the KEFs unfortunately. I also never got to hear the rx8 in person.
Regardless, during my search, a fellow avs member (Reefdvr27) sent a pm that he was selling his rx8s (and rx center) in rosewood which were used in the recent NE GTG. He offered the LCR for 1/3 the retail price of the others I auditioned. Having liked the rx6, but unsure if the rx8 would fulfill my wants of a really good low end, I had to think about it while still trying to hear more speakers. He said to let him know as they wouldn't be put on the classifieds for a couple of weeks. I reread the pro reviews and those from the NE GTG for more insight in the meantime.
As I said before, I'm not yet in the position to afford the $3k speakers. So I had some beers and pitched it to the mrs. My reasoning was, 1. It's 1/3 of the price of the speakers I've been looking at 2. It includes a matching center which would keep me from having to spend more on that later 3. If they weren't quite everything I wanted them to be I could probably sell the LCR for more than I'm buying it for, 4. I really liked the look and sound of the rx6, and 5. If I don't buy these then I'll be spending 3x as much later and still need a center. My wife agreed that it was a great offer and that I should go for it.
Dave (Reefdvr27) is a great and honest guy from the correspondence I had with him. The transaction was smooth and painless and the speakers were packed well arriving unharmed. He even helped out with part of the shipping costs! He did all this while working 14hr days running a business and still finding time for doting on his wife for Mother's Day. I don't have a place for the center yet, but the rx8s are up. I haven't really messed with them yet or rerun the room correction, etc., just plopped them next to the entertainment center and played my demo cd. They sound great! The bottom end is about 95% of what I was after, for the price I payed I couldn't ask for more. The midrange and highs are as clean as I remembered the rx6 being in that treated room. Dave reminded me that these speakers are famous since they're on the avs homepage, or they were last time I looked. I have a feeling these will last me for a long while. The Hsu HB-1s will be moved to surround duty and I have plans for a DIY 2'x6' acoustic panel behind my couch since it's against the wall.
Thanks again to everyone here for their input and especially to Dave!
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post #49 of 49 Old 05-17-2013, 09:14 PM
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Grats on finding the best fit for you. Also grats to mr. Dave for offering you such a fantastic deal.
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