NE Spring Speaker Shootout results thread - April 13, 2013 - Page 13 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #361 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 10:55 AM
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Yea but I don't have them on my desk..... its a proper HT setup, I just sit really close.

I would take a new photo, but I am traveling for work.



Basically, my new setup ditches that small monitor and has Samsungs 60" 2013 plasma flagship....
see this crappy cell phone pic:
*

Wish I had a larger space, but if I could get a pair of those noesis and a good amp..... whoa boy I would be in heaven.
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post #362 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 11:56 AM
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sitting that close to the noesis would give a whole new meaning to the term "loafing" You would be using like half a watt at ref...haha

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post #363 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

sitting that close to the noesis would give a whole new meaning to the term "loafing" You would be using like half a watt at ref...haha

Who said I listen only at reference.... biggrin.gif
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post #364 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 01:27 PM
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I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin' biggrin.gif

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post #365 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Popa - Nice review! I guess it was worth the wait. biggrin.gif

Ben - I agree, if you're going JTR, Noesis is the only logical choice. biggrin.gif
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post #366 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

Popa - Nice review! I guess it was worth the wait. biggrin.gif

I ramble too damn much man... I know that even I wouldn't have the attention span to read my own posts sometimes...
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post #367 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by popalock View Post

Excuses

Fusion 8s
Adam did a crazy good job with the finish on these bad boys. Really spectacular. Finally having a chance to hear them I thought they sounded fantastic. Very good off axis response and overall clarity and imaging from as far as I could tell were as good as anything else that already been auditioned at this point. Kinda of a shocker when you consider these were literally the most cost effective option of the entire day. Excellent introduction of SEOS to the group! Seemed like it had everyone scratching their head as to what they could really accomplish with other SEOS designs that have come to fruition over the past year or so.

Questions Unanswered:
On par with almost all other offerings at nominal volumes. How about at reference?
How deep could these dig without a sub?
Buzz Factor: 4.2 (Nursing it)

[.

thanks man glad you liked them

they do sound pretty great really loud but really do need a sub, they roll off around 60hz

the fusion 12s which you didn't list play just about as low as Andrews Sentinels. they extend down to 20ish or so in room
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post #368 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 06:00 PM
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i thought i read in here someone asking if someone snapped a pic of the noesis and cats and yorks together. i did not but have this one of my friend Scott standing next to the yorks. hes 6"4'

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post #369 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for the review Austin! Much better late than never!

carp and I have been talking about amping our Noesis with some series power and seeing if they sound different at levels we would normally listen to in our rooms. We might need to hook up my Crown XLS-5000 or his CV-5000 to test this little theory out. My Onkyo TX-NR1007 shouldn't be any sort of slouch though. It has the same power plant as the Onkyo SR-805 and the SR-805 was tested as putting out 270 watts per channel in 4 ohm. The Onkyo 805 was legendary in that regard, and that same amp section was passed onto the next couple generations. With full channel operation that number significantly fades though because the power is shared between the channels - so in a 7.1 or even 9.1 track that the Onkyo is capable of - each speaker would get significantly less.

I bought a used Emotiva XPA-3 just this week too to see if there's any difference there. If not I can sell it off for about what I bought it for.

I've got an Inuke DSP3000, and a crown XLS-202. For what it's worth I the crown and the Onkyo sounded pretty much identical - so I dropped the Crown XLS-202 out of the mix and went back to AVR power for L and R.

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post #370 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

carp and I have been talking about amping our Noesis with some series power and seeing if they sound different at levels we would normally listen to in our rooms. We might need to hook up my Crown XLS-5000 or his CV-5000 to test this little theory out.

And what precisely would that level be? Something akin to "my eardrums just exploded!" perhaps? eek.gif

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post #371 of 551 Old 04-25-2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sibuna View Post

i thought i read in here someone asking if someone snapped a pic of the noesis and cats and yorks together. i did not but have this one of my friend Scott standing next to the yorks. hes 6"4'


Didn't I see him in Underworld: Awakening?

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post #372 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post

Um, I totally ran them full range the whole time...... really wished I ran them back with all the other full rangers. But we decided to run the active speakers all at the end.
Very happy that you liked them, but man those Noesis, I have a major upgrade bug now.....

Of course... The S2's were packed up by then. Might need to edit my post to clarify. Just meant that they had good extension even when you were pushing them hard. Better than was expecting for sure.

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thanks man glad you liked them

they do sound pretty great really loud but really do need a sub, they roll off around 60hz

the fusion 12s which you didn't list play just about as low as Andrews Sentinels. they extend down to 20ish or so in room

Nice. Since the Sentinels and Fusions 12's have the same CD, I imagine that there would practically be no audible difference if crossed to a sub.

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i thought i read in here someone asking if someone snapped a pic of the noesis and cats and yorks together. i did not but have this one of my friend Scott standing next to the yorks. hes 6'4'.

I posted that inquiry.

Andrew, I would keep Scott away from your gear bro. Looks like he was about to have his way with the point source...
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Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Thanks for the review Austin! Much better late than never!

carp and I have been talking about amping our Noesis with some series power and seeing if they sound different at levels we would normally listen to in our rooms. We might need to hook up my Crown XLS-5000 or his CV-5000 to test this little theory out. My Onkyo TX-NR1007 shouldn't be any sort of slouch though. It has the same power plant as the Onkyo SR-805 and the SR-805 was tested as putting out 270 watts per channel in 4 ohm. The Onkyo 805 was legendary in that regard, and that same amp section was passed onto the next couple generations. With full channel operation that number significantly fades though because the power is shared between the channels - so in a 7.1 or even 9.1 track that the Onkyo is capable of - each speaker would get significantly less.

I bought a used Emotiva XPA-3 just this week too to see if there's any difference there. If not I can sell it off for about what I bought it for.

I've got an Inuke DSP3000, and a crown XLS-202. For what it's worth I the crown and the Onkyo sounded pretty much identical - so I dropped the Crown XLS-202 out of the mix and went back to AVR power for L and R.

Wow Jon, your Onkyo benched at 270watts per channel in stereo? That's incredible! Is there a location or thread where I can check this out? Hell, is there a consolidated thread with other AVR's on the bench? I'd love to see what my SC-57 was capable of in Stereo mode... I totally gave up on manufacturers power specs way back my car audio days... So I take my 140wpc with a grain of salt for sure.

So if your Onkyo benched at 270watts in Stereo, what more are you expecting out of the XPA-3? Might be time to break out the iNuke 3000 just for the hell of it. When you guys decide on what amp you want to use, would this type of test be possible:
  1. Throw an amp in the mix
  2. Amp one channel and leave the other on the AVR
  3. Send a mono signal to the L/R
  4. Level match between the amp/no amp speakers
  5. Increase volume to see if you can perceive any audible differences and/or do some type of AB switching between the two?

Sorry for the side track. Sounds like a potentially cool test in theory, but I'm not sure how practical it would be.

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Didn't I see him in Underworld: Awakening?

Hahaha...
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post #373 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 04:06 AM
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sound and vision does pretty good reviews where they measure power outoput, might have been there
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post #374 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought a used Emotiva XPA-3 just this week too to see if there's any difference there. If not I can sell it off for about what I bought it for.

It will be interesting to see if you hear any differences below references. At or above reference I don't think the power difference here is significant enough from your beast of a receiver for anything substantial, but we shall see. Would love to hear about the XLS5K hooked up though - I will be doing the same soon. biggrin.gif
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post #375 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 05:19 AM
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Popalock, my android spell checker changes your handle to lipstick. I just thought you should know. Maybe we can keep that fact on the lowdown...

;p


Anywho...

Here's the bench test on the onkyo sr805

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_14_3/onkyo-tx-sr805-receiver-9-2006-part-5.html

I don't think the emotiva will help at all for stereo listening but it might help for movie watching or all channel because an AVR's power is shared between the channels. With all 7 or even 9 channels driven by my onkyo tx-nr 1007 AVR, there isn't near as much power to go round. Maybe like 50 or 60 watts per channel by the time you are feeding 7 channels. By using the emotiva I'm still giving the front three a dedicated 300 watts each at four ohm and increasing the available watts in the AVR's power pool for the rear four speakers.
At least that's how I understand it...

Good idea on doing the channel testing. I've just been experimenting a bit with amps lately. Trying to see what sound differences, if any, there may be.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1457284/onkyo-tx-nr1007-avr-vs-crown-xls-202-vs-behringer-inuke-dsp-3000-in-room-omnimic-frequency-response-graph-comparison

That was my first go round. Subjectively I couldn't tell a difference between the crown and onkyo, but I thought I could tell a difference with the stock inuke dsp. It had more treble and a bit more electronic harsh sound IMO. I've not tried to engage the dsp to flatten my in room response yet on the inuke with my mains, but I do need to try that as well.

Class D amps shouldn't be ruled out for mains, as that's the tech behind the ICE amps that Seaton uses, and you witnessed first hand how impressive they sounded. I have as well at the Wisconsin meet.

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post #376 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Good idea on doing the channel testing. I've just been experimenting a bit with amps lately. Trying to see what sound differences, if any, there may be.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1457284/onkyo-tx-nr1007-avr-vs-crown-xls-202-vs-behringer-inuke-dsp-3000-in-room-omnimic-frequency-response-graph-comparison

lol... Of course you already had a thread on it...

What was I thinking.
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post #377 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 06:34 AM
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Excuses
I was all over the place at the GTG. I wish I would have made the time to sit patiently, focus on three or four specific areas of the demo material and take extensive notes on every offering. Something came up last minute and I had to leave my laptop at home, so the preparation I had done before the meet to set myself up for some easy note taking, Omnimic measuring, etc... had kinda been tossed out of the window. Alas, I had about three different note sheets going throughout the day, but my absent minded a$$ could barely remember where I set my beer down much less keep track of a pen and note sheet. I attempted to help out with gear swapping, so I never seemed to be in any one place for a prolonged period of time.

For a guy who claims to not have taken extensive notes you sure posted a lot of info! Definitely one of the most entertaining reviews. Guess we'll have to invite you again, eh? biggrin.gif

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Noesis Revisited
I'm not exactly sure how it came about, but the determination was made that the Noesis deserved some real power, so accommodations were made to fire up the EP4000.

Not sure how it came about??? Some guy named Austin was nagging everyone to add more power!

Maybe you should up your Buzz rating to about 7 or 8 for the Revisited section... tongue.gif

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post #378 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 02:30 PM
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Excuses

Arx A5
First of the offerings with subs. Ryan owns a set of these and brought them with him to the Oct Sub GTG. They were overshadowed by the Noesis then and this time overshadowed by the introduction of the S2's. Damn, Ryan and the Arx can't get a break! I made it a point to give these a good listen out of respect for Ryan and the Arx. I was liking what I was hearing, but nothing was really standing out to me. The off axis response was noticeable and very apparent, but not as dramatic (IMO) as what I experienced with the Legacy's. By this time I was starting to develop a bit of a buzz and found the urge to be that little devil on Ryan's shoulder telling him to pull the alpha card, take the remote and crank them. After the initial 23min listening session, Ryan requested to play a few tracks at higher levels. Yesssss.... Finally! Ok, once these were cranked it was easier for me to pick out strengths and weaknesses. I did not take note the AVR level when they Arx's were cranked, but I want to say it was somewhere around -7db or so? (can anyone confirm). At this point I started to hear a bit of distress. I think these would be great for a smaller space for those with a closer LP than 15ft and aren't interested in high level playback.

Questions Unanswered:
I think I was satisfied for the most part, but would have like to hear what they were capable of when playing full range.
Could these outperform the Ascends when running full range duties?
Buzz Factor: 4


Final thoughts
This is my first "speaker" GTG. While I enjoyed every aspect of it, I found myself (and seemed to note several others) getting distracted during the earlier auditions. While I think the approach we took made the most logistical sense, it was clear that 90% of the people were there to hear the heavy hitters and didn't put as much stock into giving every offering a thorough review (yes including myself *note my somewhat hollow reviews). How can we mitigate this? IMHO, less contenders, more time with each offering and I think next time we do this we should make it blind to take out any potential bias.

Austin, first off: you are awesome, and I greatly appreciate the respect you showed me by giving the A5s a good listen. Also love the buzz factor on your write-up; I would have included one as well but I can't pretend to know what level of buzzed I was for most of the day... I think I dug into more variety of beers than anyone else biggrin.gif

I stated this before in my feedback, but I really think the A5s sound a whole lot better than we heard at the GTG... I am not delusional and won't begin to claim that they can play at super loud volumes in giant spaces like Andrew's man cave, but I have them in a fairly large space and crank them quite often without the "distress" you mentioned. I am also kicking myself for not playing these guys full-range at some point... I am fairly certain the amount of bass from the relatively small, triple 5.25 XBL midwoofers would really shock a lot of people and would hold up very well against the Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL tweeters, which cost 3.6x more than the ridiculously priced A5s <$750/pair>... (Rob from NJ, keep me honest here....)

I unfortunately did not get to hear the Ascends myself, and want to be clarify that from everything I've read, believe the Ascend towers are great speakers... I just think that from a sound quality perspective the A5s could be very close compared to (perhaps even slightly better) the Ascends, whether running in full range or with sub(s). Of course this is purely subjective and speculation at that, so take it with a grain of salt...

Again, I would like to extend the offer of hearing the A5s to anybody in or visiting the Boston area... I believe they are an amazing value and don't get the credit they deserve....

Oh, and Andrew, when's the next GTG? rolleyes.gif

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post #379 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 03:10 PM
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I stated this before in my feedback, but I really think the A5s sound a whole lot better than we heard at the GTG... I am not delusional and won't begin to claim that they can play at super loud volumes in giant spaces like Andrew's man cave, but I have them in a fairly large space and crank them quite often without the "distress" you mentioned. I am also kicking myself for not playing these guys full-range at some point... I am fairly certain the amount of bass from the relatively small, triple 5.25 XBL midwoofers would really shock a lot of people and would hold up very well against the Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL tweeters, which cost 3.6x more than the ridiculously priced A5s <$750/pair>... (Rob from NJ, keep me honest here....)

I was the one who decided they should be run with subs, and I did that because the room struck me as a bit large for them to be cranked and not have the reinforcement on the bottom end. You need to put Austins review in perspective as well; this is a man who has sixteen 18" subwoofers in a room half the size of Andrews. That's to say he likes things LOUD. tongue.gif

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I think I dug into more variety of beers than anyone else biggrin.gif

You probably did. I was close behind - because I was having a blast digging through the fridge in Andrews shop - but I do believe you beat me. wink.gif

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post #380 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 03:30 PM
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I was actually wondering about that...

Some of the speakers that were ran at full range, like the Ascend Sierra for instance, were said to have somewhat harsh highs, or sounded a little distressed, when pushed hard.

Would have crossing them over to subs have helped with this? Obviously the subs would help with the bottom end, but does it help the speaker to manage the highs as well?
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post #381 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 03:44 PM
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I was actually wondering about that...

Some of the speakers that were ran at full range, like the Ascend Sierra for instance, were said to have somewhat harsh highs, or sounded a little distressed, when pushed hard.

Would have crossing them over to subs have helped with this? Obviously the subs would help with the bottom end, but does it help the speaker to manage the highs as well?
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I would think that this would only help if lack of amplifier power is what caused the harshness.
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post #382 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 04:18 PM
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Awesome thread!!
I enjoyed reading all the posts and seem like a lot of fun for sure!!

From what I gathered, the JTR Single 8's looks like a winner!!

Love to try some in the near future to see how they perform in my HT room smile.gif

Thanks for everyone posting / sharing their thoughts on each speaker. I really gives me a good idea what to expect when or if I ever get to hear or own any of these speakers in the near future biggrin.gif

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post #383 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 04:33 PM
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Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I would think that this would only help if lack of amplifier power is what caused the harshness.

Which is a good bet if a relatively inefficient speaker is driven to reference on an AVR's power.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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post #384 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goride View Post

I was actually wondering about that...

Some of the speakers that were ran at full range, like the Ascend Sierra for instance, were said to have somewhat harsh highs, or sounded a little distressed, when pushed hard.

Would have crossing them over to subs have helped with this? Obviously the subs would help with the bottom end, but does it help the speaker to manage the highs as well?

An observation from Papalock of which I also observed about a point where a high sounded harsh on a number of speakers: "It was early in the day and at one point I thought I heard the RAAL start to break-up slightly in highest frequencies. I don't have my notes in front of me, but I do remember paying attention in the later auditions and noted that other speakers had similar break-up during that particular material, so I have to blame it on the actual recording itself."

I brought the Sierras to the GTG and yes, along with all the full range speakers playing, crossing over to a sub would have helped the overall performance of the speaker, as well as, extra amplification. Can't speak for all Sierra owners however many tend to use a sub with the Sierras and cross over at 60Hz - 80Hz. I'm sure some owners cross over at different frequencies. Consider these factors at the GTG:
- Large room
- Very well dampened room
- Certain speakers playing full range
- No external amplification (all driven from a Denon 4311)
- SPL averaging an estimated 85db - 90db
- Music sweep was complex - very low bass to very high frequency
- Type of music geared toward strengths of certain speakers (a point made by a fellow attendee in this thread)

In summary, yes, the full range speakers including the Sierras were pushed to their limits and I would never play the Sierras or a number of the other full rangers without a sub. These conditions affected the performance of the speaker - bass and high frequencies.
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post #385 of 551 Old 04-26-2013, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob from NJ View Post

An observation from Papalock of which I also observed about a point where a high sounded harsh on a number of speakers: "It was early in the day and at one point I thought I heard the RAAL start to break-up slightly in highest frequencies. I don't have my notes in front of me, but I do remember paying attention in the later auditions and noted that other speakers had similar break-up during that particular material, so I have to blame it on the actual recording itself."

I brought the Sierras to the GTG and yes, along with all the full range speakers playing, crossing over to a sub would have helped the overall performance of the speaker, as well as, extra amplification. Can't speak for all Sierra owners however many tend to use a sub with the Sierras and cross over at 60Hz - 80Hz. I'm sure some owners cross over at different frequencies. Consider these factors at the GTG:
- Large room
- Very well dampened room
- Certain speakers playing full range
- No external amplification (all driven from a Denon 4311)
- SPL averaging an estimated 85db - 90db
- Music sweep was complex - very low bass to very high frequency
- Type of music geared toward strengths of certain speakers (a point made by a fellow attendee in this thread)

In summary, yes, the full range speakers including the Sierras were pushed to their limits and I would never play the Sierras or a number of the other full rangers without a sub. These conditions affected the performance of the speaker - bass and high frequencies.

From what I have read of this GTG, the spl averaging was done at about 18 feet back from the speakers and the room itself is 40 feet long (wow!). With the speakers that were being run full range all having sensitivity ratings of about 89/90dB efficiency, allowing for only 10dB of headroom, the Denon 4311 (at only 140 watts of power) would have had to deliver 180 watts, which it is not capable of. Attempting to go any bit louder, and things start to get even worse.

Please don't misunderstand me here, I am not taking credit away from ANY of the speakers, but If you read the comments and compare sensitivity ratings, the higher the speaker's sensitivity (in general) the better it performed. With the Noesis and self-powered Cat's stealing the show.

The (3) lowest sensitivity speakers were all reported as having somewhat harsh highs, only with the Legacy SE did things start to sound "smoother". For good reason, the Legacy, with 96dB sensitivity, requires 1/4 the power from the receiver. Fact, the Denon receiver used is not capable of providing enough power to stress the RAAL 70-20 and considering the same source material sounded OK on the higher efficiency speakers, I really must stress that what people were hearing with the first 3 speakers was likely a struggling / clipping receiver -- which absolutely would account for harsh highs and problematic lows (compressed dynamics). This really must be taken into account by anyone comparing the results.

I believe we now move more 70-20's than any other company and we have never received a comment regarding harsh sounding highs. Detailed, smooth, relaxed -- yes, but never harsh -- even at 110dB measured at ~12 ft distance in our well damped demo room, but of course, being run off a dedicated amp.

For future listening sessions like this, I suggest someone scope the output of the amplification device to make sure it is not struggling. Otherwise, comparing so many different types of speakers with such huge sensitivity swings is extremely problematic, especially in an environment that requires so much output.

Weekend time!!!!
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post #386 of 551 Old 04-27-2013, 06:30 PM
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As was mentioned briefly above....and I have mentioned...the Single 8's were great but the SEOS builds were .025 percent behind (imo)...and the cost delta is large. Of course everything with all caveats previously mentioned...and I need to hear the again..

But given cost I think there are better alternatives out there... Just my .02 of course.
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post #387 of 551 Old 04-28-2013, 01:26 PM
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For a guy who claims to not have taken extensive notes you sure posted a lot of info! Definitely one of the most entertaining reviews. Guess we'll have to invite you again, eh? biggrin.gif
Not sure how it came about??? Some guy named Austin was nagging everyone to add more power!

Maybe you should up your Buzz rating to about 7 or 8 for the Revisited section... tongue.gif

Haha, my pleasure. Hope others find it helpful.

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I was the one who decided they should be run with subs, and I did that because the room struck me as a bit large for them to be cranked and not have the reinforcement on the bottom end. You need to put Austins review in perspective as well; this is a man who has sixteen 18" subwoofers in a room half the size of Andrews. That's to say he likes things LOUD. tongue.gif

Yeah, all should keep my bias in mind when analyzing my comments... I might be in the small minority that thought all of the offerings sounded good with the nuances at 90db not even worth trying to subjectively pinpoint. I also believe that if one was to incorporate an external DSP in the mix, with some tweaking one could get pretty much any speaker to sound the way that you want it too at said nominal listening volumes. However, the closer to the limits you get, the weaknesses become more apparent...

That's just me though. I mean, I brush my teeth above reference...
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For any of you guys that are curious (I know I would be) here is the thread on dlbeck's Iowa GTG that just happened yesterday. Many of the same speakers were there, it was a blast - got home today just before 5 AM.

The link skips to the actual event.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460712/central-iowa-spring-audio-gtg-jtr-bamberg-seaton-salk-gr-research/150#post_23251706
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post #389 of 551 Old 04-28-2013, 04:56 PM
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OK, it has been a long time coming, and for that I aporogize to all, but here is my review in full:

I am just going to run down my experiences over the entire weekend. To start, I had the pleasure Thursday night of getting to check out Popa's theater and boy was that a good time!!! Even with just 8 of his subs running, being in such a small place kinda cordoned off from the rest of the basement basically was like sitting in the front chamber if of a bandpass box and it was AWESOME!!!! We had a great time checkin out some scenes and tracks and it really was a good start to the long weekend!!

I was surprised to see that I was the first to arrive and Rilla's Friday afternoon, but took that as a great opportunity to get to know the room and kinda what Rilla had in mind for how things would roll! I had offered to be part of the moving crew, and, by the time people starting showing up, we had a good spot setup to start stacking up the speakers until we were ready to get them downstairs. We also got to listen to a few of Sib's offerings and the SVS's upstairs in Rilla's living room, so I had at least a little more experience with those to be slightly more prepared for the next day's festivities.

Friday night at Andrews was really fun to get to know several of the guys a little before the big day. It helped me to actually lock a few names and faces down before the onslaught that I knew was coming the next day. We had a great time grabbing some grub and getting the tracklist trimmed down afterwards. I have to say I was mega stoked when I came down and saw that Andrew had the Yorks going already, as they are one of the main speakers I was wanting to hear that weekend. Cheers to Rilla for getting them last second and adding them to the lineup!!! How awesome!!! Needless to say by the time my head hit the pillow that night, I was so wrought with anticipation it was virtually impossible to knock off.

So here we are, the day of the big event. We started hauling speakers down as fast as they were arriving and as the stack of different offerings grew in the back, so did my anticipation. We had some serious woofage goin' on!!!! We were pretty much on time getting started so without further useless recollection:

Monitor Audio RX8

So being a part of the moving crew and seeing these little guys stacked in the theater next to speakers like the legacies and the LS6's they just looked tee-tiny, but please believe me they are more than meets the eye!!! We got these cranked up as our first offering, and there was no jitters or first to go nervousness from the monitors. Great looking speaker, awesome capable. They really took us out of the gates well and were a great start to the event. I didn't write any notes on these mainly because we were still getting some stuff moved down, and I didn't really have any reference to compare what I was hearing feeling yet. I will say that the Monitor's didn't seem to have any trouble reproducing the low end and I was actually quite surprised at how well pronounced it was coming from a box that size!!!

Ascend Sierras


I had looked a some designs a while back with the RAAL tweets, and was looking forward to hearing these once I looked a little more into their specs. I had a little experience with Ascend as I previously owned the 240SE's and thought they were great!!! Using SEAS woofers, which I also used in my old car setup, I knew they would be capable. Well I wasn't dissappointed. I was amazed at how well they did with female vocals, and the top end of most of the tracks was spot on for me. When it came to passages with guitar I was split decision, as I felt like it did quite well with the bass guitar lines but when we got into the more rock genre section, the electric guitar was not presented as well as I thought it should be. The only other hole I would poke in my listening to these was in some of the very fast technical kickdrum passages, I felt they didn't have as much impact as I prefer. These speakers really did well with the more casual music and I felt overall they were an excellent package.

SVS Ultra Towers


Well I had gotten to hear a little bit of these the night before, and for someone not really wanting a sub, but still a big fan of a little extra "Umph" down low, well these are your speakers boy! There was much more output down low than the previous offerings, but hey, that is exactly why the 8inch sub was built into the bottom to begin with right??? I felt the sound carried well throughout the room and they were a pretty neat looking design with the angular rear face. I still felt these were a little harsh on the rock/metal tracks but the kickdrum area was improved on from the previous offerings, but I didn't feel it was due to the lower extension but more they could handle the quick hits of the drum a little better. On Tron I could really hear the breathing which was neat, but as has already been stated, this may have been more since they ended up a little hotter than the other offerings thus far.

Beast's LS6s

Well these are mine, and I love them dearly for music, so I will leave my review at that. After a little hiccup getting these level matched, I think everyone enjoyed their presentation and I agree with many of you that they really throw a phenomenal soundstage, probably the best I have heard in all my systems and certainly up there with all the offerings that day. I do wish we could have given these some juice later on but time didn't allow. Perhaps they can show their face again sometime biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif


Legacy Focus SE

One word here, subdued. The Legacies were just clear, crisp and the top-end to me was never overbearing. I could literally listen to these without fatigue for days, not to mention look at them as well...Very laid back smile.gif These did everything quite well and they should have IMO. Lol. These got the rock and fast kick passages well while excelling quite well at the vocals and smoother tracks. Now here is the rub, I never once really got a "Wow" moment with these and that is what I live for when listening to music. Where these great at presenting the material? Heck yea! But on some of the most discerning passages, where there were big dynamic peaks or tough to handle nuances, they didn't quite give me the "holy crap" moment that the most inspiring speakers I heard that day did. For what it was worth I was listening to these pretty darn close to the sweet spot directly behind the couch and enjoyed watching the wak-a-mole session going on in front of me as people slowly discovered the smaller sweet-spot that these had compared to some of the other speakers. Others have stated the same, but these are a one-seat wonder when it comes to a sweet spot, and with them voiced the way they are, the room would be pretty nice with minimal treatment I would have to guess.


KRK 10-3s (played at the end of the event)


(reviewed at the end of the review)

FULL RANGERS

Arx A5

I can't pass judgement on these as I didn't get to give them a full dedicated listen but from what I did get to hear, they were an INCREDIBLE value at where they are priced. The Neo ribbon was a smaller variant of what I have in the LS6's so I knew the top end would be good, and the XBL tech while may not have gotten to stretch it's legs fully, still filled in well and the sound was excellent and not lacking really in any area.


SEOS Fusion 8s

Well running a pair of SEOS 12 inch speakers in my theater right now, I was more excited to see the surprise on everyone's face when they learned of the performance/value of these little guys. Sibuna did a killer job on the build and I was actually amazed at the ability of these to do as well as my 12's!!! These were the first set that incorporated horns and the difference in them compared to all the others thus far was pretty obvious. Much more foward and that sound that I relly like when I am running hard and enjoying verty dynamic music.

JTR Single 8’s

Man, what a rediculous little performer here!! Light, powerful, and able to take an absolute beating. 1800 watts to this little guy is what Jeff said he had given it once and the drivers started to cry not too far away from clipping. I just want to know who else was listening at that point cuz wow!!! I felt these had a little more midbass than the fusion 8s when listening to a couple of the tracks. If you are looking for a good surround speaker for your big front stage, these can take it just fine, don't you worry one bit. If you are just looking for a quality small front stage, well, these are your guys too. If you are looking to get pretty close in performance, and don't like the price-tag, and don't mind building out a speaker, then see the previous speaker mentioned above. Both are just awesome for what they do.

SEOS Tempests
SEOS Sentinels


Gonna post these both together as I kind of let others get front seat area on these as having a similar build to the sents, and knowing the Tempests would be similar to the fusion and sentinel combo, I knew others would enjoy hearing just how far a DIY build could really go. I wish we could have shown some folks the sentinel's potential down low but it's all good. I absolutely LOVE what has come up over the last few months using the SEOS horns and I bet the best is still to come...(Right Chop?)

Yorkville U215s

Boy oh boy were these some big speakers, and THEY WERE ON WHEELS!! haha. It didn't matter to me. As I have stated previously in the thread, I couldn't care one bit about what a speaker looks like. Yes looks do matter at some point, but I tend to be on the mentality of performance speakers for itself. Well, anyway, I was already familiar with what these could do after editing the tracks down using them the night before, and needless to say they didn't dissappoint. They were my favorite speaker thus far and I tried my best to sell the LS6's so I could possibly walk out the door with them biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif haha. Remember Rilla, that bird's eye maple matches your hardwoods quite nicely upstairs!!!!! I didn't really have an optimal seating spot on these but the unity horn design just got my goat even a little off axis. dual 15's obviously had no issues handling the bottom end and these could absolutely crank without any issues with the 4311's power. This was the point where we really started putting the coal to the offerings and the beer was starting to go to our heads a shade, but was also the same time where we really started to stretch the limits of some people's comfort zone. I don't really have one, and will probably pay for it at some point, but right now as young as I am, I feel I can squeek out some heavy sessions every once in a while. I mean, it's not like standing next to a 10000 horsepower top fuel dragster, so it's not too bad. Hehe...

JTR Noesis 212

In my opinion and what many are probably wanting to hear, (Or not) is that I feel they are a good step above the triple 12's. I had a pair of the triple12's and the 2way BMS is just a step above when it came to the clarity. What a ridiculous speaker and when we ran it with the EP4000 they were just crazy clear and nothing major to poke in their performance other than the fact that part of the reason I moved away from the Triple12's is I wanted a mains speaker that was able to run full range on it's own. Well these definitely need a sub, but once they take over around 80hz, to me it is just sonic bliss. The high shrill on the one track was just peircing and I LOVED IT!!!!

Seaton Cat 12Cs


What can I say about these that hasn't already been said. When we played a couple of real low bass tracks on these and i saw the stinkin 8" midrange moving about an inch back peak to peak I immediately knew it was something i wanted and would stop at nothing until I found it. Ok perhaps a 2000 watt on board amp is somewhat unfair playing ground, but when we actually were listening to the track list the first time through, they just seemed to me to be the most balanced, throughout the spectrum, and effortless. These were simply something for anyone to find a pair and listen to when they get a chance. It made me learn a few things about my tastes and what I want in my front stage. I have not heard a pair of submersives, but with two of the seaton 12c's I heard the most capable front stage that could plum the depths so easy it was crazy. Using a similar 12" woofer from AE right now, I was afraid to push mine to levels that I watched Mark just laugh at with the Cats. These full range are something that I won't stop until I can recreate somehow, someway. If I never find that, then I will just have to win the lottery and buy a pair of the 12c's!!!! Just a truly amazing speaker and breathtaking to watch work!!!!!

Shout outs:
Rilla for getting all of us together and opening up his home to a big S-fest full of amazing speaker demoing!!!!!
Rilla's wife for her understand and flexibility to just take off for the weekend
Rush for selflessly handling the mix and making sure we all stay on point all day long!! As well as taking all of our editing requests and bickering and just cruising right along!!! Thank you for all the work you put into the weekend!
Jeff and Mark for bringing their flagship offerings and letting us really take control of their wonderful speakers while just sitting backseat and watching all of us enjoy their amazing builds!!!!
Popa for treating me to his theater before we got the insanity started. Man what an excellent weekend all around!!!!!


What many have not mentioned and I felt was one of the greatest things I took away from the even was the knowledge in general. Being in Western NC, I have a few enthusiasts around that can appreciate what we all around shoot for, but my regular crowd just thinks that I am plain insane with this stuff. I had an absolute blast shooting ideas back and forth between many of the attendees and it was just a breath of fresh air to be around so many other guys that are going for those systems that are "over the top" and will make any commercial theater scream in shame. I gained so much from seeing-hearing how other people approach system setup, design, etc. that I have to say even though I immensely enjoyed listening to all the speakers, what I took away from the event was so much more valuable. For any of you worried about ever attending one of these events because you don't feel "ready" or knowledgeable enough yet, just forget about that. We had every type of enthusiast there from new entrants into the hobby to two of the premier ID speaker designers (Thanks again for making the trip guys!!!!), but we were all there for the same thing, enjoying good speakers, company, and fellowship.

With all that said, I came back with some new ideas and designs in mind, and hope to take some of these on sooner rather than later.
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post #390 of 551 Old 04-28-2013, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob from NJ View Post

An observation from Papalock of which I also observed about a point where a high sounded harsh on a number of speakers: "It was early in the day and at one point I thought I heard the RAAL start to break-up slightly in highest frequencies. I don't have my notes in front of me, but I do remember paying attention in the later auditions and noted that other speakers had similar break-up during that particular material, so I have to blame it on the actual recording itself."

I brought the Sierras to the GTG and yes, along with all the full range speakers playing, crossing over to a sub would have helped the overall performance of the speaker, as well as, extra amplification. Can't speak for all Sierra owners however many tend to use a sub with the Sierras and cross over at 60Hz - 80Hz. I'm sure some owners cross over at different frequencies. Consider these factors at the GTG:
- Large room
- Very well dampened room
- Certain speakers playing full range
- No external amplification (all driven from a Denon 4311)
- SPL averaging an estimated 85db - 90db
- Music sweep was complex - very low bass to very high frequency
- Type of music geared toward strengths of certain speakers (a point made by a fellow attendee in this thread)

In summary, yes, the full range speakers including the Sierras were pushed to their limits and I would never play the Sierras or a number of the other full rangers without a sub. These conditions affected the performance of the speaker - bass and high frequencies.

From what I have read of this GTG, the spl averaging was done at about 18 feet back from the speakers and the room itself is 40 feet long (wow!). With the speakers that were being run full range all having sensitivity ratings of about 89/90dB efficiency, allowing for only 10dB of headroom, the Denon 4311 (at only 140 watts of power) would have had to deliver 180 watts, which it is not capable of. Attempting to go any bit louder, and things start to get even worse.

Please don't misunderstand me here, I am not taking credit away from ANY of the speakers, but If you read the comments and compare sensitivity ratings, the higher the speaker's sensitivity (in general) the better it performed. With the Noesis and self-powered Cat's stealing the show.

The (3) lowest sensitivity speakers were all reported as having somewhat harsh highs, only with the Legacy SE did things start to sound "smoother". For good reason, the Legacy, with 96dB sensitivity, requires 1/4 the power from the receiver. Fact, the Denon receiver used is not capable of providing enough power to stress the RAAL 70-20 and considering the same source material sounded OK on the higher efficiency speakers, I really must stress that what people were hearing with the first 3 speakers was likely a struggling / clipping receiver -- which absolutely would account for harsh highs and problematic lows (compressed dynamics). This really must be taken into account by anyone comparing the results.

I believe we now move more 70-20's than any other company and we have never received a comment regarding harsh sounding highs. Detailed, smooth, relaxed -- yes, but never harsh -- even at 110dB measured at ~12 ft distance in our well damped demo room, but of course, being run off a dedicated amp.

For future listening sessions like this, I suggest someone scope the output of the amplification device to make sure it is not struggling. Otherwise, comparing so many different types of speakers with such huge sensitivity swings is extremely problematic, especially in an environment that requires so much output.

Weekend time!!!!

We had 800 watt at 4 ohm cherry monoblocks on bamberrg, svs, and ls6 speakers this last weekend at the Des Moines meet and some of the lower sensitivity speakers like the aforementioned still ended up sounding bit harsh on occasion.

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