Several people asked a while back for comments from XQ series owners. For about a year and a half, I've owned the XQ5s powered by an NAD 763. What most impresses me about the XQ5s is their staging/presence -- that quality in the showroom immediately sold me on the XQs (I bought the XQ5s unheard after just hearing the XQ1s). The other quality that distinguishes the XQ5s (and the XQ1s), as others have commented on, is the super tweeter and natural-sounding mid-range. All together, for me the result is music right there in front of you, so pure and real you can feel the instruments. There was no other speaker, including B&Ws in that price range that came close in that tonal sensation. I had to jump up many thousands in both speaker and power price to find that quality of sound. For that reason, I'm a big XQ fan.
I purchased the XQ5s because I wanted the XQ1 sound but with better bass, and I've not regretted it. Alas, although better than the XQ1, the weak bass has been a problem with my XQ5s as well, as others have mentioned, and is not totally resolved with a subwoofer. To me, it's not just the low-lows -- if it were only that, a good subwoofer would be the answer -- but that the XQs don't handle the high-lows well, so finding a good crossover ends up sacrificing tight bass response for bass whimpiness. To me, the worst of the XQs is that the highs and mids slightly overpower the lows which results in a sound that is a tad bright, and I'm not a fan of brightness at all -- I like flat or slightly warm, and that's not my XQ5s.
Several months ago I purchased the XQ2 center, and was surprised how much better it performed than the Q6 I was using. The difference in subtle sounds and clarity is profound with the XQ2 -- what a terrific center speaker! My surrounds are Kef eggs, which reproduce an HD 5.1 "whoosh" but do little else than muddy the waters. I wonder how much mileage I'll get by replacing them with XQ1s, if I will only use them for films and TV, not for serious music listening?
Recently, I disconnected the NAD 763 (100 watts/channel) and am now using the new Yamaha RX-V2700 (140 watts/channel). I recently purchased the Sony 46v2500 LCD and wanted something with an HDMI, and I also wanted to try out the Internet radio. With the Yamaha, the sound is way too processed, but is tolerable with the Direct Effect button pushed whenever listening to CDs. But this is interesting: the bass response is much better with the Yamaha Direct Effect, which ignores the subwoofer and pulls all power into the two front speakers only, as compared to the NAD or Yamaha's Straight Effect, which is also unprocessed sound but redirects the lows to the subwoofer. I assume the improved fullness is due to the increased power? Or is there something I'm not considering? I'm not surprised that the low bass is not as tight as when I use the subwoofer, but the high-lows are there like they weren't before, and so the overall effect is that the XQs are less bright (though the quality of the sound was slightly better with the NAD, I think).
Anyone else have experience with increased power to their XQs? Does bi-amping help?