Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Chicago Heights, IL
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Today, I got 2/3 of my order of the Wave Crest Audio HVL-1, UPS decided to not be able to find one of the pairs of these speakers, so I will likely get them tomorrow (I hope).
I was able to get them hooked up today and listen to them for a bit. I have a 10' x 11' bedroom (small I know) and I set the three up as my L-C-R speakers, using Pioneer bookshelves for the surrounds and Polk Audio OWM-3 for the Surround back speakers. I am running these with a new and awesome sounding Denon X4100 and an equally awesome and unreal sounding DAC for $250, the SMSL M8 32-Bit 384k DAC. So amplification and playback abilty will not hamper the sound. The Center is stood up below my TV and the other two HVL-1 sit on stands with acoustic foam pads underneath them. The Subwoofer is a BIC America F-12, plenty of bass power for this room!
**Please note, I had to go in to work early today, so I was not able to dial these in with Audyessey XT-32, so they are using the settings from my Pioneer AJ tower/bookshelf/center. The Pioneer bookshelf speakers are still in place until I get my other 2 HVL-1. I did set the Crossover to 80 Hz and matched the volume level with my surround and back surround speakers.
Listening Impression 1: L-C-R, not broke in yet, not optimized with Audyessey (Keep in mind, I want to be 100% critical and honest)
The Looks: They won't win any styling awards, but who cares? They are black boxes that have grills on them. I actually like the plain look and the binding posts on back are very high quality. They look good without the grills on too. The fact they are front ported should make them flexible to being put in closer quarters to walls. I think they look cool and functional; put a statue or trophy on top of them if you think they look too plain!
Rock music: Very clear and the individual instruments come out nice, guitars sound good yet do not have the "bite" that some speakers seem to have. Still, clear and stereo separation is really good. Drums have a nice snap to them, reminding me of Ascend CBM-170 SE. They perform very well and a class above my former Sony speakers and the Pioneer Andrew Jones setup, but not QUITE as room filling as the Pio's. The highs and mids are better and I can hear things I could not hear before, voices sound very good.
Adele: Who can deny that Adele has an amazing voice? If these speakers can be summed up in three words, those words would be "accurate, clear, high resolution". So how does Adele sound on these speakers? On "Set Fire To The Rain", her voice sounds amazing and I think this song is perfectly recreated on the Wave Crest Audio HVL-1. You can hear every nuance of her voice and the backing music, and that voice has bite. When she sings the chorus part, I had to grin because these little speakers sound amazing on this song!
I listened to Dream Theater, Crystal Castles, Nine Inch Nails, Chronos and CJ Catalizer, One Republic, and 10 Years on these. Of course they are only half-setup and not the whole set is here yet. "God Be With You" from the Devil's Own soundtrack sounds phenomenal and is one of my favorite movie soundtrack songs. Dolores O'Riordan (from the Cranberries) sings this song and her voice yet again sounds like Adele's; clear and every nuance heard. These speakers are very good for female vocals, an area I never liked on the Pioneer set. Yet again, I heard things in her voice I had never heard before.
They are superior musically to the Pioneer and Sony's, as well as a step behind the great Ascend CBM-170 SE. With the holiday sale these are untouchable for the price. I have not heard them yet but I think the Chane A1rx-c is going to be superior, I will be ordering them soon to compare. Of course both the Ascend CBM-170 SE and Chane Arx A1rx-c are more expensive and to be fair, these sound way better than they have business sounding.
Are they keepers? I have to get the other two, let them burn in a bit, and most importantly; dial them in properly with my Denon and the room correction. But even now they sound really good.
Stay tuned as I will redo my assessment once I have the rest and I get a few days with them to set them up. Then I will continue putting them through their paces.
Last edited by ArchonX; 02-13-2015 at 11:45 PM.