This is a follow up to my previous thread
Live Updates- 7 speaker brand challenge
HTD Level 3
THE WINNER IS:
CHANE’S A2.4 (LRC)
Coming into this competition, I had little experience what to listen for or even how to properly test/audition. Over 2 weeks, not only did my ears adapt, I became somewhat of a Holiday Inn expert on HOW to listen & WHAT to listen for. I was able to differentiate mids to highs to lows, clarity, definition to full stage, imaging and all this lingo that was new to me.
I bought the Chane’s actually to fill my speaker challenge with a speaker that not a lot of people knew about. I don’t even know why I bought them other than I saw their name pop up on the AVSforum. I never heard of Chane’s prior to joining the forum. A few people mentioned them, but I did not think this “unknown” brand would do very well. I had absolutely no excitement waiting for these speakers to arrive. However, I was super excited for the RBH’s, SVS Ultra’s and HTD’s checking my shipment arrival daily. I was really excited for the HSU VTF2 MK5 subs when they came. I called them Monsters in a Box. Big sons of guns.
I was also in denial, a deep dark denial over the Chane’s. I refused to accept they were this good. Despite having the A1.4s for 2 weeks and A2.4s for 1 week, I still went on a manhunt to find the perfect speaker when all along the perfect speaker was right under my nose, or was it? So what did I do? On June 9th bought a pair of Martin Logans Motion X35 to once again refute what I’m hearing. Keep in mind, I purchased all 8 different speaker brands from basically May 24-27. But this quest for the perfect speaker was also, in part, fueled by the Chane’s and their lackluster performance right out of the box.
On June 14th, I watched Star Wars Rogue One, would watch 30 mins of the movie, then rewind to same spot where I started, then switch speakers. I switched between Ultra’s, JBL 230s and Chane’s A2.4. Ultra’s were great, JBL’s even better, and The Chane’s….well, uninspiring to say the least. As a matter of fact, Jon Lane will attest to this….I wrote Jon Lane an email saying “man you good dude, great customer service, but your speakers not cutting it…JBL’s real deal, thanks for all your help but the A2.4’s just don’t sound good, low bass, uninspiring, like they don’t even want to be in my house” Jon would email me back in complete amazement, but I knew what I was hearing. My ears are telling me JBL’s or Ultra’s. I told him in response by email, “I’m still keeping the A1.4s for the rear, and 1 A2.4 for the center.” This was on 6/14.
I said to myself, let me again test the Chane’s A2.4 vs. Ultra’s vs. JBL 230s but the real only reason why at this point, was to put a different sound between the JBL 230’s and Ultra’s which to me sound practically identical. Mentally, I had checked out of the Chane’s A2.4 for my LR speakers. The A2.4 as a center is fabulous in HT.
Then on 6/15, I watched Rogue One again starting at a midway point for 30 mins. First, started with the JBL’s. Same great performance in HT. Next the speaker that I gave up on , Chane’s A2.4. WTF is going on?? I’m hearing booms, thumps, and liveliness I didn’t hear yesterday?? I started checking everything..receiver, Subs, see if something was turned on, raised higher, this amazed me. Then on 6/16 I went back and played some music early in the morning starting at 8 a.m. that I had researched on this forum as being good to play to identify a good speaker, some highs, funky sounds, instruments, etc..
Finally, I had an Epiphany!! Nirvana struck!!!
FrankenChane’s rose from its death bed. I was stunned how could a speaker that sounded blah, meh, ok, out of nowhere sound like an entirely different speaker? I played these songs, I saw incredible imaging, great soundstage, seeing violin players in the right corner, bass in the left, singer in center, and backup singers on the left and right of main singer on the 3D “stage”.
What made the difference? Well, this Big Foot, Lochness Monster theory of a “break in period” I guess??? When I heard this, before buying the speakers, I thought Jon Lane, the guy behind the scenes at Chane’s, was full crap. I laughed at this. People on the AVS forum some say break in needed, some say don’t believe it. Pure marketing strategy so you get use to the sound is what I thought. I am telling you right now, this Bermuda Triangle “break in” is absolutely 100% real !!! There is no other explanation for a speaker sounding meh, ok to pretty dam awesome one day to next.
Finally, after all was said and done, I needed to surrender.
What made the A2.4s so special?
The clarity, detail, highs and mid achieving perfection won me over.
The bass isn’t bad either, imaging is excellent and the soundstage is very good, They remain smooth, balanced, and never change their colors with higher volumes, the only speaker of the group that achieved this. (HTD to a certain degree also) Give them power, as much power as you possibly can they don’t hiccup. Give them volume, knob turning, speaking blowing volume, and they don’t skip a beat. I felt like I was wearing a Virtual Reality gear but focused on music, great imaging.
They are relaxed, neutral, and so calm. Exact opposite of Ultra’s & JBL 230’s with their in your face, adderal taking, line sniffing cocaine attitude, of lets sprint for this marathon attitude.
I will speak more about Ultra’s in a minute so let’s not take away from the Chane’s A2.4s.
Listening to music was such a joy, seemed like a lost art, comparable to old time photos we see during Babe Ruth’s baseball years when everybody wore suits/ties to games.
Is it the perfect speaker? No not at all, it definitely tries to achieve perfection, but it is the perfect speaker for ME!!
What didn’t I like? They played possum…it took two weeks to break the A2.4s in and I haven’t even started on the A1.4s , with only about 3 hrs put in to them.
Technology- Two things may set this speaker apart. First, the plantar, “leaf” tweeter, in both the A2.4 and A1.4 is a very well respected. 2 different owners of speaker companies had mentioned to me they believed the tweeter in Chane’s can hit highs that their speakers can’t, all because of this tweeter. Pretty honest admission. Secondly, Jon talks about this split gap woofer with XBL2 motor supposing reduces distortion and improves sensitivity, I guess? I looked on the website but a novice like me he coulda wrote it in Chinese and make more sense to me…Who the heck knows? I will say I have never faced distortion the only speaker of the group. So maybe this does work. Yes, the only speaker I’ve never ever heard even a trace of distortion!
What about the other speakers??
I won’t go into tremendous detail on each speaker because other users in the AVS forum over several months have done their own evaluation with more technical details than what I can provide.
Let’s briefly review some of the speakers but first let me put in order of the speakers on how I would rate them:
Chane’s 2.4 (9.0)
SVS Ultra (8.4)
JBL 230 (8.2)
Chane’s 1.4 ( 7.8) note: maybe higher score warranted; haven’t reached
Break in period yet with A1.4s
QA 3020 (7.5) note: kept pair for son’s room
HTD Level 3 (7.4)
Jamo C93 (7.0)
RBH R5Bi (6.8) note: kept one for center in son’s room
Elac B6 (5.0)
Best for Highs/Mids
- Chane’s A2.4,
Best for Low’s
- JBL 230s, then Ultra’s, HTD Level 3s
Best Speaker that did Everything Good
- Chane’s A2.4, QA 3020, Jamo C93, RBH
Best Speaker For Cranking the Volume
– Chane’s A2.4, HTD
Best Value Speaker
- I think every single speaker offers great value with the exception of the Ultra’s
Best Speaker for Imaging
- Chane’s A2.4, 1.4, QA 3020,
Most Underrated Speakers
: Chane’s, QA 3020, Jamo C93,
: JBL, QA 3020, HTD Level 3, Ultra’s
: JBL, Chane’s, SVS, HTD, Jamo, QA
Best for 2.0
: Pretty much all are solid at moderate volume in 2.0, if you want more bass SVS, JBL, HTD’s…..If you want more clarity, overall balance, detail, and imaging then Chane’s, QA, Jamo, RBH
Best for 2.1
: Chane’s 1.4, Chane’s 2.4, QA 3020, Jamo, RBH
Let me preface this, there IS NOT a bad speaker of the group, I can recommend all these speakers with dignity and pride…
Note: I did not like the Elacs. Some have voiced their opinion its possible I had a defective pair but I also know many have also had same opinion as me.
- Not much needs to be said about this powerhouse of a speaker, it really spreads its wings, throws out music, fills up the entire room. It has trouble with highs, trouble with high volumes. I had problems turning my volume over 65 without hearing screeching like sounds. Now, in all fairness, this could have been to the new receiver Denon X2300W that I have since replaced. Very bright speaker. Great for movies, you thump and feel it with some bass, working wonders with my 2-HSU VTF 2 MK 5 Subs.
Why did I put the Ultra’s ahead of the JBL 230’s? The only reason….Ultra’s handled higher volumes a little better. NFL : Deion Sanders, lotta flash
- Let me describer the JBL’s. This is the girl you meet at a bar on Friday, say to yourself, I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with her, then come Sunday you say, Ok that was fun, I gotta use my brain here and now the member in my pants, I thought it was love at first sight but it was really just a weekend fling.
I opened up the box, boom bam thank you ma’am. Pure fire, excitement and Wow. Full stage, Wide dispersion of music. Better than Ultra’s at bass, better than Ultra’s at dispersing music at lower volume, this was the “Thor” of speakers that brought the hammer to lay some wood.
Watched Star Wars Rogue One day 1 out of the box, holy guacamole, talk about earthquake with my 2 subs. Love em’ I’m keeping them!!!
Next day, lets play more music. Ok 50, good , 55, um…..volume at 60? Oh no Kryptonite!!! Turn it down, mayday mayday…But here’s the thing You don’t ever need to turn these babies up. Moderate volume plays as if they cranked to 90.
Everything else is solid, so recap don’t play highs too often and no high volume playing.
But I would absolutely buy these at $299 over the Ultra’s at $1,000. I would never go above moderate level and you will never hear their defeciencies.
Imaging- ok nothing great
NBA Comparison: Shaq
- Does everything that big brother (A2.4) does but at a lower scale. Putting A1.4s (LR) + A2.4s as Center is a good system. I am using the A1.4s as the rear speakers in my setup.
Again, I didn’t put as many hours in the A1.4s as the A2.4s so I know they haven’t even reached the “break in” period yet. But, I am going on the notion they have the same make up as the A2.4s
NBA Comparison: Scottie Pippen- just smooth, all around good
Q Acoustics 3020
- one of the big surprises of the group. A dynamic, compact, WAF designed speaker. I call this speaker the “Badger” because for its tiny compact size it’s a little beast. This speakers does everything very good.
QA 3020 reminds me of a kid from high school I knew. He was short, aggressive and mean as **** and use to beat all the bigger guys butts…That’s the QA 3020
I was so impressed I kept this for son’s room. He loves it. Its real only weakness is highs with high volume’s. Great stage, imaging, mids, bass not bad, it threw out music and HT waves pretty dam good. He plays a lot of Xbox and I hear his system with a crappy Sub booming all over the place. I still look at this little speaker and wonder how the heck does all this dynamic sound come out of this thing? This is why I put it ahead of the HTD Level 3. Its one thing to put a bunch of technology in a speaker that is pretty big like Level 3, but to put all that technology in a speaker ¼ the size of the Level 3 is super impressive. In a couple years, if QA continues on this path they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Boxing: Mike Tyson- short, powerful, compact
HTD Level 3s
- When I saw this speaker come in and I unboxed this beauty 2 songs came to mind “I’m too sexy” by Right said Fred and “She’s a brickhouse”
This speaker is an incredible piece of art and built like a brick. Sometimes I wonder if I gave up too early on this speaker. Next to the Elac’s, I gave the Level 3s the least amount of time and I really regret it. Low, low, low that is this speaker’s strength. Built like a tank! Bass really good. This speaker does everything pretty dam good, highs a little weak…pretty good dispersion of music. Like Chane’s dam good tolerance to high levels…Crank this baby up and up and up!! It actually wants you to crank it up. I could easily put these either right behind the Chane’s A1.4 and ahead of the QA 3020’s, as there are many reasons why that should be done, but….those QA 3020’s just surprise you… With the 6.5 it will go deeper but will have some rough patches with high’s and even the mid’s but not too bad. Very good in HT setting. The image was pretty good. As I write this, I am kicking myself for not spending more time with the Level 3s. I doubt they would replace the Chane’s 1.4 but a real possibility they could’ve surpassed the QA 3020s.
NBA: Karl Malone
- when I first started listening to this speaker I felt some grace, some unexpected grace, I pictured an artist in the studio, quietly creating their next piece of artwork, subdued but gracefully creating art. This speaker of all speakers, did everything pretty good without an ego. They take underrated with pride. What do they do well? They go down low very deep surprisingly, they do also can get loud with very little distortion. They sounded much more complete than the RBH’s because RBH can’t get too low and fuller sounds from the Jamo’s. Pretty good image also, work good in HT. Kinda like Chane’s & HTDs they do take high volume pretty good, but also have their point where too much is too much unlike Chane’s.
NBA: Coach Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (underrated mastermind
- If you’ve gotten this far and those that own RBH you might say WTF, no love? R E L A X
Yes these are good speakers. Enough has been talked about with these speakers…I think my long Florida room created difficulty for these speakers more than any of the other speakers. I had to turn up the volume more with these speakers to force their sound out. Based on what I read, they should’ve performed much better, so this is one of those circumstances where everything you read goes out the door because of certain conditions like my Florida room. However, I do really understand the good reviews of these speakers so I kept One for my son’s room to act as the Center between the QA 3020’s. The RBH does a good job as the center.
NFL- Barry Sanders
- Not much to say, this was the girl you met at the local dive bar at 2 am, woke up with her and wondered what the hell did you do. These didn’t impress me at all. However, I may have had a defective pair. I only say this because many have been pleased with their sound, while I also have had many say you’re right Elac’s not that good.
NFL: Jay Cutler- lotta hype little production
At the end of day this is what I have learned:
If you are a speaker company making a speakers between $500 to $1,000 you better be dang sure it could sell for $2,000 or more, better yet have value of that or more
Because these speakers under $300 I tested are a great value !!
They take on head 2 head the big boys, those $500 to $1,000++
All excellent speakers with attitude right there with the more expensive speaker crowd $500 to $1,000
Special thanks to
for the most outstanding customer service I have ever received
Keep up the hard work!
Chane's proved exceptional quality, value, and service that is rare to find.