I got radioshack 40-5037 bookshelf w/ ribbon linaeum tweeters. How did I do? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 03:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I got four pair actually so I'm looking for some feedback. There were $150 in the old catalog. They dropped to $100, then went on clearance at $30 (each).

I'm very impressed with them but haven't had any good audio equipment for a long time and want to know if these speakers have any ugly details.

They also use a trippy kevlar material in the bass speaker.


comments, feedback pls


Here's a link to the manual:
http://support.radioshack.com/suppor...oc65/65830.pdf


Here's the specs out of the manual:

SPECIFICATIONS
Frequency Response ............................................................ ............................ 80–25,000 Hz
±10 dB
Power Handling ............................................................ ................................ 75 Watts (RMS)
Maximum Power ............................................................ ........................................ 150 Watts
Impedance ............................................................ ................................... 8 Ohms (Nominal)
Speaker Complement ........................ 5-Inch Cone Woofer made with KEVLARâ brand fiber
and 2 ´ 4-Inch Linaeum Dipole Tweeter
Dimensions (HWD) w/Front Grille .................................................. 105/8 ´ 61/4 ´ 77/8 Inches
(27 ´ 16 ´ 20 cm)
Weight...................................................... ............................................................ .....7 1b 8 oz
(3.4 kg)
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post #2 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 06:01 AM
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I've never heard them personally. There was a time when stuff from RS was an OK value for money but not hi end by any means. I thoguht that time had passed but as they outsource much of their manufacturing theyre may be some items that are better than others.

Reading the specs. what concerns me the most is that +/- 10 db in the frequency response. At least they tell you that much - most budget speakers just list the response range not the curve boundaries.

But for $30 I guess you can't go wrong. If you could pick up an identical fifth speaker (and a sub down the road), you'd be set for an entry level HT. I'd really try to get a fifth if at all possible - You'll end up with a timber matched setup that should outperform any HTIB for double and triple what you paid.

Trust your ears. If you like them you did well.
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post #3 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 08:42 AM
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i think these are the latest incarnation of the famous PRO LX-5 speaker.
for home theater (with a good sub) these are hard to beat.
do a search on "LX5". ther's a lot of good info. out there.
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post #4 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 08:45 AM
 
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They would probably be fine for a spare room or office environment. Of course, you wouldn't want to use them for your primary HT.
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post #5 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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colinsm, you said "what concerns me the most is that +/- 10 db in the frequency response." Is that bad, how bad is that?

........

Yes, humbland they are I've found out. I'll do the search for "LX5" Thanks a million.

.............


Now I'm now looking at this crossover mod for these speakers:
http://murphyblaster.com/content.php?f=rslx_m.html

anyone want to give their analysis on if this is a good move and help me interpret it?

Is this a matter of picking up the right parts at radioshack and soildering them together? I'm under the impression it is a simpe mod.
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post #6 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 03:06 PM
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that +/- 10 db means that although the speakers are capable of the frequency response listed, the "volume" (no flames please - I know I'm oversimplifying) or decibel output varies by +/- 10 db throughout that range.

This means that they have far from a flat response (see your own graph in the link you provided for the mod). They will sound like somebody took an equalizer and pumped up some frequencies and turned down others. This is not the end of the world. The sound might appeal to you or work well in your particular room.

To me +/- 3 db is acceptable. But speakers are a funny thing. You have to like how they sound in your location for your application. How they read on paper is another story. I would guess that many entry level systems have similar "flatness" issues but they never bother to publish those specs - they only publish the frequency response

The crossover mod sounds interesting. How much would it set you back?
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post #7 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by colinsm

To me +/- 3 db is acceptable. But speakers are a funny thing. You have to like how they sound in your location for your application. How they read on paper is another story.
Even many expensive speakers have ranges that approach +/- 10 db. Some $15k+ speakers are notorious for peaks and valleys. I'm pretty comfortable with +3/-6 db measurements, depending on where the +3 and the -6 are. I really like some speakers that run +0/-6 db. Usually the -6 db is at one end or the other of the curve, like -6 db at the extreme low frequencies.

To quote a wise man ;) : "But speakers are a funny thing. You have to like how they sound in your location for your application." Couldn't agree more.

What I can afford, when I can afford it...
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post #8 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 09:07 PM
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i run the original LX5's in all locations of a 7.1 system (SVS PB2+ handles the bass). i tried a couple of crossover mods to clean up the midrange, but finally settled on this mod

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?f...+5&r=&session=

i have many small speakers from good names (boston, mirage, werfedale,nht...), but for ht the modded LX5's are the best small speaker i've heard. the lineum tweeter was a brilliant inovation that was used on speakers costing >$1k. they just fell victim to poor marketing and sold out to radio shack.
pick some up on ebay, do the mod, and be amazed...
trust your own ears.
best,
eric
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post #9 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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humbland,
Did any of the mods you try involve soldering together a crossover, or were they all low tech like the one(dampining) you settled on?
Not mocking you, just want to make sure I'm hearing it right.

Have you tried the mod I posted earlier?

Also.. One owner of these tweeters says they hear 'kazoo' sounds on high notes, notably when an opera woman hits a high note. Have you heard any of that?

I enjoy these speakers but I'm also a paranoid shopper.

your comments are precious. thanks in advance
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post #10 of 44 Old 10-05-2004, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by colinsm

The crossover mod sounds interesting. How much would it set you back?
I have no idea, but it's something I would be inclined to do as a small hobby project so $20 a speaker might be fine. Hope I'm not drawing laughs at this point.
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post #11 of 44 Old 10-06-2004, 06:24 AM
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There is lots of speaker DIY info to be had. I'd try posting just that question using the title "crossover mod for LX5" or something similar. You'll probably get more views from the people with the info. Sadly that's not me.

Were you able to pick up a fifth speaker?
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post #12 of 44 Old 10-06-2004, 06:36 AM
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Filecat,
Agreed but I would think/hope that the deviations fro flat on those speakers are by design - at particular frequencies / octaves- intended to create a particular type of sound. In the case of these speakers, I would guess that it is by chance that after assembling everything and measuring it the response was +/-10 from flat.

Additionally, I too would consider a frequency range with a -6 at the low end acceptable. Most manufacturers spec that like "50Hz -6db " or something similar- not the way the RS speakers were speced.

Well, all this to say - yeah I agree.

Cheers.
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post #13 of 44 Old 10-06-2004, 08:16 AM
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icecow,
to answer your ? i did a couple of crossover mods and replaced the woofer with a new seas driver. all my efforts were based on this link

http://www.gti.net/wallin/audio/lx5mod/lx5mod.html

after experimenting with the various "high tech" solutions (i even talked with eric wallin for his take), i tried the posted "low tech" mod. by dampening the cabinet and restricting the port, you limit the response of the woofer. it in effect it "stiffens" the cone and smooths out the midrange response. this is at the expense of the low end response, but you need a sub for good ht anyway...
for what the speakers cost, you should feel free to experiment. they are truly one of the great bargains of audio.
there is a lot of negative energy floating around about the quality of radio shack products (somewhat justified). you need to listen for yourself and trust your own ears.
as for your ? about woman singers and "kazoo" sounds. the tweeter is one of the best i've ever heard at any price, it reminds me of maggies or high end ribbons. having said that, i rarely listen to music with the LX5's. they are in a dedicated ht set up with a panasonic plasma. i have full range boston acoustic towers for my music only set up. i prefer them (without a sub) for their stereo imaging.
my remarks are specific to the original LX5 speaker, circa 1997. it was on stereophile's recommended component list. i haven't heard any of the later designs, but some reviewers on audioreview.com feel that the quality has diminished over the years. the original LX5's come up on ebay all the time. but be careful as they can get bid up pretty high. they have a "cult" following (of which i'm a member).
hope this helps.
best,
eric
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post #14 of 44 Old 10-07-2004, 05:02 PM
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These are incredible sounding speakers! Yes, they do have a spotty freq response, but they are dipoles- what dipole has a flat response?

I like them so much that I run 12 LX5 II's in my system, powered by a Pioneer 1014tx/Outlaw 750 combo . I just posted a review of these on the reciever/amp board today.

The mod I did was to replace the cap with a larger one to allow the tweeter to do more mid, toss out the light bulb that serves as a overload protector, thicker wire and coil that's as big as a Hostess Ding Dong. I don't remember the values, but they really improved the sound. I'd only replace them with some Martin Logans...maybe.
For HT, they are great. I have two each for each channel, with the excepetion of the 6 and 7 channel. My advice for you is to look up the mods on the net, and buy more of them. When the LXII's were being discontinued, I bought all that I could find.
RS has made some great stuff in the past. I still have a RS tuner with automagic tuning that is better than what can be found in any reciever. They were so proud of their stuff that everything came with a schematic. Ah, those were the days...
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post #15 of 44 Old 10-09-2004, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by colinsm

Were you able to pick up a fifth speaker?
I forgot to answer that question. didn't mean to ignore you

I have 8 of these speakers and a girlfriend.

We each have a seperate apartment.
We each have a computer and a TV area.

These speakers are the front speakers for each of these four locations.

The computer areas just have two speakers and a subwoofer.

The TV areas are both 5.1
In the TV areas I'm using radioshack catalog #40-5028 as the center speakers
I'm using radioshack catalog #40-5016 as two surround speakers of her apartment


I'm living within my means and got all of this stuff dirt cheap at a radioshack clearence.
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post #16 of 44 Old 10-09-2004, 07:46 AM
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hi dsclark,
nice to meet another LX5 cult member. i run 11 modded LX5's in my 7.1 system with 11 amplified channels. in the front i have 2each for the right/left and 3 for the center. they are set up as a 7 speaker array at ear level on the front wall beneath the plasma display. the wall is painted flat black and the speakers disappear into it. a sony da4es does the decoding and 2 hk pa2000 amps handle the extra 4 channels. an svs pb2+ fills in the bass (i want to upgrade to a pb2ultra when the pb2+ sells, see audiogon or htf hardware for sale). the the lineum tweeters seem ideal for ht, they have the wide soundfield of a dipole but seem largely immune to coumb filtering problems when used in arrays, plus the sound has the transparency of ribbons. for ht they are the best i've heard (and they are cheap). all in all worth consideration, and a real bonus is their small size and "coolness factor" fit into almost any room/decor. the only thing i'd upgrade to would be all high end ribbons, ie maggys (if i had the room).
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post #17 of 44 Old 10-09-2004, 12:23 PM
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Wow, that "sounds' cool! Do you ever feel the wish to buy more? I wish I had 12 more! They are like an addiction. I live near where Grabner Boehlender makes their ribbon speakers, but I have yet to visit them. I have heard soem great speakers (Accustat, Martin Logans,etc). I have even yearned for ML. However,I don't think I'll ever get them.
The LX5 really do take up little room. I have a large room, I do have room for them or maggies. But, I don't want them to take up that room. I have my lx f5 on wall tv stands, a little about 2' away from the wall. My backs are hanging form the ceiling with macrome pot holders. SOunds funky, but they are the same color as my bilnd and couches, so it looks ago. If I had Magggies there, they would block my exit to the back yard.

The linaeum tweeter story is funny. WHen they first debuted on $3000 speakers, the world loved'em> WHen they came out with a cheaper but sonically very similar version and sold them at RS, a lot of people hated them! GO figure! It looks like the the last Incarnation of them (on the speakers with Kevlar woofers) made them out of polypropolen, instead of mylar (that is why they look grey instead of black.The mylar ones resemble 35mm film.
I think that auto equaliztion has really did positive number on the sound of these speakers. On the other hand, I wonder what the new, improved YAOP would do these. It has adjustments for room size and sound reflection and I think the LX5 or any dipole, would throw that off.
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post #18 of 44 Old 10-09-2004, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the 'matching' center speaker for the 40-5037 speakers:
http://support.radioshack.com/suppor...oc65/65831.pdf

It's model 40-5038

It has two kevlar speakers and a mono-pole linaeum tweeter instead of the di-pole linaum tweeter found in the 40-5037's.
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post #19 of 44 Old 10-09-2004, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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opps.. I forgot to actually ask the question.

Is the mono-pole 40-5038 in the post above a good thing?

as colinsm suggestion, and humbland did :) I might be buying some more 40-5037's and make a full 5.x HT system.

but I'm wondering if the 40-5038's would add something good to the mix. I considered using two of them as surround speakers since they have two mid-woofers in them, but I'm getting lost on what makes sense and what doesn't.
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post #20 of 44 Old 10-10-2004, 12:00 AM
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I think (as well as a lot others on audioreview.com) that the center channels suck. They are not really timbre mathced. There is no way a monopole can ahve the same sound as diploe . Further more, it isn;t needed. The LX 5 is a frick'in small speaker. Hell, I have two of them standing guard on top of my Sony 65" TV! Dedicated centers only make sense when the mains are too frick'in huge to put above your tv.
My advice is to get more LX 5 (or the RCA whatever the last number was) speakers and put them everywhere. Two on each channel is good. I only have one for the 6 and 7 channels, guess I better hit up EBAY soon! Also, there are some larger sound arrangements on the horizon, so extra speakers will come in handy.
After awhile, you'll be as nutty about these funky little speakers as Humbland and I!
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post #21 of 44 Old 10-10-2004, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting them from radioshack.. not the original optimus ones. Are mine clearly lacking compared to the original ones, or are they close.


I've considered getting some used 1995 circa ones, but am concerned that a used speaker that old would surely be damaged by then. My understanding is ribbon speakers can go bad just by touching the ribbons. I'm not sure if these linaeum tweeters can be touched (not that I spend alot of time touching them)

short version:
are buying ~7 year old optimus speakers safe?
are the old tweeters much better then the new version or are they pretty close?
also, does RS consider the old(1997) and new tweeters(2002?) as the same part number?
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post #22 of 44 Old 10-10-2004, 07:38 AM
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The best soundscape you can create will be from 3 identical speakers across the front. A "center" channel is almost always a compromise. If you can get another LX5 do it.
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post #23 of 44 Old 10-10-2004, 09:48 AM
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icecow,
the consensus on audioreview.com is that with each successive generation radioshack "watered down" the product and that the original PRO LX5 had the nearest approximation of the patented lineum tweeter.
i've never heard the newer models, just the original. you could look at ebay sales and compare sales prices. the market demand (and subsequent pricing) should tell you something about what people think. however, it's largely irrelevant. the only thing that matters is your own ears. do you like the way they sound? the 1997 design speakers still sound good to me. the lineum tweeters are protected by a metal screen, there is no way to touch them directly. i agree with dsclark and colinsm, identical speakers (including center) is the best way to go.
a question for dsclark. how do you drive your dual speaker arrays? do you wire them in series or parallel? or do you add amplified channels? i like the LX5s so much i wouldn't mind adding more for the surround positions, but don't want to buy more high end amps or run the extra wire under the house and up through the attic. i have thought about doubling them up, but was afraid to damage the amps (that's why the extra HK amps for the front channels)
thanks,
eric
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post #24 of 44 Old 10-10-2004, 09:56 AM
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I have 2 of the originals(LX5's) from optimus in pristine condition in a box in a closet. If someone is interested PM me and make me an offer. They are little used and are the originals from Optimus with the grills and in perfect condition.

If it only takes one match to start a forestfire, then why does it take the whole#$%@!&* box to start a camp fire for the kids?!?!? PITTDOG1
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post #25 of 44 Old 10-10-2004, 10:09 AM
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Each gen of lx5 improved on the bass, a sore spot. While the last gen had a slightly different tweeter (poly instead of mylar) it was hard for me to tell a difference in the store. If anything, it might offer better low/mid, but do realize that was toward the end of the run and other identical ones could be harder to locate used that the LX5/Lx 5 II. At any rate, I consider the moaning about the poor bass on these silly as most will likely use a sub anyway.

You have to be careful with how you drive these. I think they are 6 ohm speakers. I ran twelve, all wired in parallel with my Outlaw 1050 reciever. Despite the seemingly low 60w rating, it could drive them pretty well. I don't think a comparable jap reciever of the day (Pio, Yam,etc) could have worked that load.

I later bought the Outlaw 750 amp to work them (160w into 5 channels, it can work a 2ohm load too) mainly because it sounded so much better. I am still using that amp, with my week old pio1014 receiver. The auto mcaac has done such a good job that it sounds like my speakers have been upgraded.I think this auteq is great for speakers like dipoles (like the lx5) which have ragged freq response.

Don't worry about the age of the speakers. Tweeters can last practically forever. Woofers can get rot in the surrounds, but if and when that happens, simply replace all the woofers. they are nothing to write home about anyway.The magic happens in the tweeter. FWIW, the tweeters are a trip. Even with the speakers cranked up, you can't see any movement from them, and if you touch them, they feel like nothing is happening. But hey, they put out good highs.
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post #26 of 44 Old 10-12-2004, 05:15 PM
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The box on the RS 40-5037 says LX-5 on it. So it should be the same.
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post #27 of 44 Old 10-12-2004, 05:22 PM
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Ah, but I didn't see the thing about the generations. I found ones with lot A-10 in boxes (as new), all prior lot numbers arr available only as demos. Evidently the A-10's are the latest, but has the production changed as lot numbers go up?
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post #28 of 44 Old 10-12-2004, 05:36 PM
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dsclark: you say that you think that the spkrs are 6 ohm. The spec (see manual above) is 8 ohm. Is the spec inaccurate?
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post #29 of 44 Old 10-12-2004, 11:46 PM
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The manual and back of the speaker both say 8ohm nominal, but I remember seeing a 6.2 ohm number, I think on the side of the box.
I don't know what A-10, better make sure it isn't the monopole version.
First there was the LX 5 They also had a version with 8" woofer (LX 8 ) and I think another one with dual woofers (LX 10?). Great speakers.
The LX5 was then "improved" with the LX5IIpro. The problem of bass was really caused by an enclosure that was too small.
The year after I bought my LX 5II pro, they sold what appeared to be the EXACT same speaker under the name RCA , I think LX 55 pro. This was sad as it put an end to the Optimus name. They already killed off their Minimus line of components (some were pretty good). For trivia sake, I read that Kenwood got their start when RS contracted with them to make an FM tuner back in the 60's.
Thie LX5IIpro/RCA was replaced with the last incarnation, the one with the kevlar woofer.End of line. With the Minimus 7 speakers and Linaeum speakers gone, hifi snobs can now rightfully sniff that all the speakers at the rat shack suck. So sad...
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post #30 of 44 Old 10-13-2004, 07:43 AM
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dsclark,
i have a ? for you.
i've experimented with different crossover frequencies for my sub (SVS PB2+). i realize that room layout and speaker position play a big part. however, the the LX5's are pretty flat to about 100hz. then roll off.
what sub do you use and what crossover frequency sounds the most seamless to you?
thanks,
eric
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