Orb Speakers Official Thread - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 1401 Old 05-10-2008, 03:37 PM
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Eli - from the sounds of your THX audio test issues it seems you might not have your receiver at the proper 5.1 setting somehow. You might have it at some Pro Logic 2 setting? That may also explain the issue you have with clear dialogue. I have a Mod1 5.1 system and hear dialogue no problem. You should check your setting until you get the proper 5.1 sounds from the THX test (which is not a special THX signal it's normal Dolby Digital 5.1).

Hope that helps.
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post #452 of 1401 Old 05-12-2008, 05:51 AM
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I had some dialog problems with my setup, so I contacted Orb and they suggested increasing the gain on the center, which solved the problem.

My receiver has a microphone and auto calibrates the settings, but you definitely need to experiment with them yourself to optimize the sound.

I leave the sub switch ON setting instead of AUTO as another poster mentioned. The AUTO setting didn't always catch at low volume levels. I contacted Orb about that as well and leaving the sub ON doesn't really draw any more power than AUTO.

I've had my Orbs for about six months now and I am still very pleased.
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post #453 of 1401 Old 05-12-2008, 09:59 AM
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Thank you everyone.

As for my receiver, which is the best setting for watching movies that will engage that THX setting? I do have it on PL II which I'm guessing is Pro Logic ( )...

Everyone I've ever asked about the Onkyo settings has just said, 'try them until you find one you like'.

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post #454 of 1401 Old 05-15-2008, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

Interesting review, Eli.

I have mine set up almost per the instructions. IIRC, the crossover is set to 12:00. The volume is set to about 10:00 (recommended at 12:00, IIRC). The switch is set to ON (not AUTO).

My set up (for now) is two speakers each for channel - right, left and center. I have what I need for 7.1 but haven't installed the other four speakers (rears and sides) yet.

I'm reasonable happy given the compromise I knew I'd make to get the small package.

If I were to change anything, I'd put a pair of bookshelf speakers for the right and left front speakers. I actually did this, swapping them for my Paradigm Studio 20's. It made a BIG difference. The bookshelf speakers made the system MUCH more music-capable. I had to plug the ports on the Studio 20's as there was too much bass when left unplugged.

How is the actual clarity and sound quality of the Orbs vs. the Paradigm Studios? I have some Monitor 7's (floorstanding) in my basement and haven't bought the Orbs yet like I'm considering.

I'm not speaking of bass since that isn't a fair comparison..

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post #455 of 1401 Old 05-15-2008, 09:59 AM
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Man, I'm starting to have second thoughts about this system now, after reading gilbrock's review, but I have wires near my ceiling, sticking out of my walls so I have to purchase a satellite speaker system of some type .

Am considering People's Choice system with Uber 10 sub in a 240 sq ft. great room (18' x 13.5'). Good move to go with Orbs, in general? Can I get away with the Super 8 if I do go with the Orbs?

This is a big expense for me so I want to be sure that I read/ask everything I can about these things..

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post #456 of 1401 Old 05-15-2008, 10:14 AM
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[quote=99RedSi;13874064]Man, I'm starting to have second thoughts about this system now, after reading gilbrock's review, but I have wires near my ceiling, sticking out of my walls so I have to purchase a satellite speaker system of some type .

Am considering People's Choice system with Uber 10 sub in a 240 sq ft. great room (18' x 13.5'). Good move to go with Orbs, in general? Can I get away with the Super 8 if I do go with the Orbs?

This is a big expense for me so I want to be sure that I read/ask everything I can about these things../QUOTE]



My room is a bit bigger than yours 29' long, 350 sq.ft

I emailed Orb a drawing of my room and they recommended the peoples Choice or Mod 2 system and claimed the Super 8 would be fine unless I like a LOT of bass.

I'll be ordering speakers in the next few days and Orbs are still on my short-list, but I'm now leaning towards the KEF 3005 system.
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post #457 of 1401 Old 05-15-2008, 10:17 AM
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G_ander, keep us posted on this thread with your decision..

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post #458 of 1401 Old 05-15-2008, 05:05 PM
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I saw the KEF system. Personally, I think it looks wierd. They are stylish to a fault.

The KEF subwoofer is substantially smaller than the small Orb unit. In audio, size matters. I'd bet money the Orb subwoofer outperforms the KEF unit. Honestly, I can't imagine needing a subwoofer larger than the 8" Orb unit. At least not unless you have no neighbors (or family) and like to listen at insane volumes. It is really quite good.

The Orb speakers are smaller than the KEF speakers, almost in a different size class, really.

If you are really disappointed with their musicality (you will not be disappointed with them for dialogue and movies), replace the front right and left speakers with a pair of high quality, small boolkshelf units.

Remember this, if you do not like the Orbs when you get them you can send them back for a full refund.
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post #459 of 1401 Old 05-16-2008, 04:08 AM
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"I'll be ordering speakers in the next few days and Orbs are still on my short-list, but I'm now leaning towards the KEF 3005 system.[/quote]

This is totally personal opinion, but I have a friend who bought the KEF 3005 system and I thought my Orb Mod2's sounded much better. There was absolutely no comparison with the subs. I can't imagine needing more bass than the Super 8 puts out, but you can go with the Uber 10" sub if you are concerned about bass.
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post #460 of 1401 Old 05-16-2008, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99RedSi View Post

Man, I'm starting to have second thoughts about this system now, after reading gilbrock's review, but I have wires near my ceiling, sticking out of my walls so I have to purchase a satellite speaker system of some type .

Am considering People's Choice system with Uber 10 sub in a 240 sq ft. great room (18' x 13.5'). Good move to go with Orbs, in general? Can I get away with the Super 8 if I do go with the Orbs?

This is a big expense for me so I want to be sure that I read/ask everything I can about these things..

I compared a lot of sub/satelite systems and I think the Orbs are the best hands down. But at the end of the day, it is a sub/satellite system that has limitations. If you have room for big floorstanders and don't mind them taking up a lot of space, then you will get better sound. For me, the sound improvement was not nearly enough to justify looking at the giant boxes in my den, so the Orbs were the perfect choice. You will notice an improvement in sound with the Mod2's. I started out with the People's Choice and then even upgraded my rears to Mod2's. I don't know why Mod2's sound better than Mod1's, but they do. From what I can read, most Orb owners that are pretty happy with their system have some Mod2's in there somewhere unless it is a small room.
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post #461 of 1401 Old 05-21-2008, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99RedSi View Post

G_ander, keep us posted on this thread with your decision..

Well... I found a deal I couldn't pass up on the KEF 3005 set. The Circuit City "outlet" had them on sale for 999.00 so I called them up to ask if they were in stock at a store in my area.

She said they weren't and would need to be shipped but offered to knock another 100.00 off with free expedited shipping... I jumped on it and ended up paying 899.00 for a set which was selling for 1499.99. Also, I ordered on Friday and they showed up at my door on SATURDAY to my surprise.

My wife loves the way they look and though I can't compare directly to the Orbs the sound is a huge step from my old system.
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post #462 of 1401 Old 05-21-2008, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

I saw the KEF system. Personally, I think it looks wierd. They are stylish to a fault.

The KEF subwoofer is substantially smaller than the small Orb unit. In audio, size matters. I'd bet money the Orb subwoofer outperforms the KEF unit. Honestly, I can't imagine needing a subwoofer larger than the 8" Orb unit. At least not unless you have no neighbors (or family) and like to listen at insane volumes. It is really quite good.

The Orb speakers are smaller than the KEF speakers, almost in a different size class, really.

If you are really disappointed with their musicality (you will not be disappointed with them for dialogue and movies), replace the front right and left speakers with a pair of high quality, small boolkshelf units.

Remember this, if you do not like the Orbs when you get them you can send them back for a full refund.

Yeah... looks are subjective. We think they look good and fit into our space well and I think the Orbs would have as well. The orbs have an "interesting" look of their own.

The subs are VERY different in design obviously. 10" driver with 10" passive radiator vs. 8" driver in ported enclosure. 250w class D amp vs. 200w BASH amp. I think you would find the internal volume of the KEF sub to be very close to the volume of the small Orb sub... just different shapes. 12" cube vs. roughly 17.3" dia x 7.7" thick "wheel". I don't know... they are probably closer in performance that you might think.

You are correct about the Orb speakers being much smaller "almost in a different size class" that the KEF's and as you stated above that... size matters. 4.5" midrange with .75" tweeter vs. 3" full-range. I'm playing... I know Orb has done some amazing engineering with their speakers but to be fair, I think KEF has as well.

From reading reviews I would deduce that both systems do what they do really well.
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post #463 of 1401 Old 05-21-2008, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark McIntosh View Post

"I'll be ordering speakers in the next few days and Orbs are still on my short-list, but I'm now leaning towards the KEF 3005 system.

This is totally personal opinion, but I have a friend who bought the KEF 3005 system and I thought my Orb Mod2's sounded much better. There was absolutely no comparison with the subs. I can't imagine needing more bass than the Super 8 puts out, but you can go with the Uber 10" sub if you are concerned about bass.[/quote]




Thanks Mark. I have read most of your posts about the Orbs and you were one of the reasons they were at the top of my list. I probably would have bought the MOD2 system if I hadn't found such a great deal on the KEF's and saved about 400.00. I feel pretty good about my purchase and think the KEF's spec out pretty well vs. the Orb system. Maybe one day I will get to directly compare them.

I do know that my 16 year old and I had some quality CD listening time last night with the KEF's and we were both pretty speechless with the quality and quantity of sound we were hearing... and I haven't had a chance to do a proper calibration yet. Very open, detailed sound and plenty of taut and well defined bass... and I probably would have said the same about the Orbs .
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post #464 of 1401 Old 05-21-2008, 10:39 AM
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At the end of the day, all that matters is your own personal satisfaction. Congrats on your purchase and ENJOY! I have a pair of Kef 103.2's or 102.3's (I can never remember) that I bought almost 20 years ago. They are still the smoothest sounding bookshelf speakers for music. They weren't that good for HT, so they are in the playroom, but when I want to really listen to music I go turn on my KEF's.
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post #465 of 1401 Old 05-21-2008, 10:45 AM
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"I do know that my 16 year old and I had some quality CD listening time last night with the KEF's and we were both pretty speechless with the quality and quantity of sound we were hearing"


And kudos for spending this kind of time with your 16 year old. Not enough of that happening in the world these days.
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post #466 of 1401 Old 05-21-2008, 11:05 AM
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Thanks Mark,

For the money I feel like I did fine and I think I'll be happy with the sound for a while but I'm sure the Orbs would have been awesome too.

Yeah... my kid actually LIKES my taste in music and it's one of the few areas where we have some common ground and unlike my wife he actually appreciates good quality sound.
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post #467 of 1401 Old 05-23-2008, 10:32 AM
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Hi all!

I found this Thread several days back and this is my first Post after catching up on all the posts.

I have owned 12 Orbs for about a year now. Five Mod2's and a pair of Mod1's. I have tried every configuration including the Mod4's. I find the Mod4's interesting! They add more presence but overall, I like the sound of the Mod2's the best. Maybe, because they have more power at 4 ohms versus 8. I went from a 5.1 channel setup to a 7.1 back down to 5.1 most recently. The reason for this is that I own the Trends 10.1 T-amps and found the sound most incredible when running only 1-channel off the 2-channel amp. I have five now and plan on adding two more in the not too distant future so I can enjoy 7.1 channels again. I run straight out of my OPPO DV-983H Universal Player into the amps using the OPPO's volume control for a purer sound. Also, I use a Sunfire True Subwoofer for the low end instead of the Uber's.

There's something that I notice when using the Orbs. Like many have stated already, there seems to be a bit of midrange suckout when using a 3 inch driver especially when choosing to use a crossover in the setup. I chose not to use a crossover recently because I find that it adds back a bit of the lost midrange suckout. These Orbs will play lower than many assume with the right amplification.

The main reason why I like the Orb satellites is that they use no crossover and one driver (as opposed to many other loudspeakers) to color the sound. Hence, no crossover equals no phase issues, better timing and minimum listening fatigue. Plus, round speakers generally have a wider dispersion pattern. Speaking of phase issues, I have found it best when the Orbs (especially the center channel) are mounted vertically (up & Down) as opposed to horizontally (left to right). Give it a try, you might be surprised at the difference.

What I'd like to see Orb Audio release in the future are a bigger satellite (possibly 5 to 6 inches in diameter but at least 4.5 inch) and a subwoofer in a metal enclosure with a passive radiator (10 to 12 inches in diameter).

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post #468 of 1401 Old 05-29-2008, 11:59 AM
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Great! Now that I've joined this Forum and started posting on this Thread, it seems to have come to a halt.

Regardless of what I metioned in the last post about preferring a Mod2 to a Mod4, I'm re-thinking that option about adding a mod4 to the LCR and leaving the rear surrounds in a Mod2 configuration.

Has anyone used their Orbs in a Mod4 configuration and what is your user impression?

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post #469 of 1401 Old 05-29-2008, 04:09 PM
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Perp,

I'm speaking personally here. The only reason I am using Orbs is because they are small, discrete speakers that do not intrude or dominate the decor of my small living room. To me, the idea of using four Orb's per channel goes against that principle. I think (but don't know for sure) that you could do as well or better acoustically, at lower cost, by switching to conventional boxed speakers versus using four Orbs per channel and all that amplification (seven?).

The idea of a 5" to 6" satellite would also violate the principle of "discretion" I referred to above. You cannot hide a sphere that large in a corner of the room up near the ceiling. It would be like a soccerball floating in the air.

As stated above, I replaced just the right and left channels with some small, decent-quality studio monitors and the sound was right where you want it for music. I just can't get the wife to accept the two black boxes into the small living room, even though they are small.
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post #470 of 1401 Old 05-29-2008, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

Perp,

I'm speaking personally here. The only reason I am using Orbs is because they are small, discrete speakers that do not intrude or dominate the decor of my small living room. To me, the idea of using four Orb's per channel goes against that principle. I think (but don't know for usre) that you could do as well or better acoustically, at lower cost, by switching to conventional boxed speakers versus using four Orbs per channel and all that amplification (seven?).


Ditto for me too.
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post #471 of 1401 Old 05-29-2008, 05:35 PM
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Having said the above, and not wanting it sound like a criticism of Orb, I will say that it is truly amazing how good the sound coming out of these softball sized speakers really is.

It may have been a compromise to buy them but our friends at Orb have taken all the sting out of that compromise because of how good they sound when used in conjunction with the Super-8 subwoofer.
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post #472 of 1401 Old 05-29-2008, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

Having said the above, and not wanting it sound like a criticism of Orb, I will say that it is truly amazing how good the sound coming out of these softball sized speakers really is.

It may have been a compromise to buy them but our friends at Orb have taken all the sting out of that compromise because of how good they sound when used in conjunction with the Super-8 subwoofer.


Ditto again! My 5.1 system of Mod2's and the Super 8 does a fine job of filling up my 21' X 24' room. They are amazing to be so small.
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post #473 of 1401 Old 05-29-2008, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McIntosh View Post

Ditto again! My 5.1 system of Mod2's and the Super 8 does a fine job of filling up my 21' X 24' room. They are amazing to be so small.

Wow a Super 8 in that large of a room? Makes me think it will fill fine in my wood floor (with rug in the center), 13.5' x 17.5' room!

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post #474 of 1401 Old 05-30-2008, 07:25 AM
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My Orb 5.1 super 8 combo sound incredibly awesome in my 14x19 room with hardwood floors with a center rug. I have a Denon 3808 driving them. The sound is unbelievable for both music and tv/movies! Such clarity!

My Setup:
- KDL52XBR4 Sony LCD
- Orbs Mod 5.1
- Denon 3808ci
- Harmony 720 Remote
- Tivo HD
- Sony DSP-XXXX DVD player with HDMI out
- Wii
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post #475 of 1401 Old 05-30-2008, 08:44 AM
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My Orb 5.1 super 8 combo sound incredibly awesome in my 14x19 room with hardwood floors with a center rug. I have a Denon 3808 driving them. The sound is unbelievable for both music and tv/movies! Such clarity!

My Setup:
- KDL52XBR4 Sony LCD
- Orbs Mod 5.1
- Denon 3808ci
- Harmony 720 Remote
- Tivo HD
- Sony DSP-XXXX DVD player with HDMI out
- Wii

Wonderful, that helps me in my decision between a Super 8 vs. Uber 10 for my room size (9' ceiling too, though shouldn't make a difference).

Cool beans..

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post #476 of 1401 Old 05-30-2008, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 99RedSi View Post

Wonderful, that helps me in my decision between a Super 8 vs. Uber 10 for my room size (9' ceiling too, though shouldn't make a difference).

Cool beans..

Oh yeah, fear not - the Super 8 will take you by surprise and is more than enough for your size room. I can remember some movie scenes where the sound was literally "felt". You know you've got some good equipment on your hands when the sound is so realistic the kids cower and the sound even scares you!
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post #477 of 1401 Old 05-30-2008, 12:21 PM
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Big Lag.....thanks for the reply! Although, a circumference of a soccer ball is between approximately 23-28 inches, requesting an Orb satellite speaker that is between 4 to 6 inches in diameter, is not beyond reason but I do wonder about woofer control.

Discretion is not my problem with the Orb satellites. Better sound is. I prefer metal enclosures for a louspeaker. All the MDF/Wood manufactured speakers that I've heard, unless costing way beyond my budget, do not sound to my liking. Plus, a full range driver with no crossover keeps phase issues (depending on setup) to an absolute minimum. I plan on ordering more Orb's next week but will experiment over the next couple of days to see (or hear) using 4 Orbs for the left & right channels will be justified. I listen to a lot of 2-channel music along with 5.1 dvd, dvd-audio & sacd discs.

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post #478 of 1401 Old 05-30-2008, 05:02 PM
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My response was entirely in the context of my personal goals.

If you have a lot of speakers you have to worry about keeping the cones in phase. Yes, they are all driven by the same signal but different branches of the electrical network have different electrical impedances and each individual driver has its own mechanical properties all of which can cause them to respond in a something less than synchronized response to the drive. Anyway, that's what came to mind when thinking about a speaker system with lots of drivers IF the goal was synchronized response.

The experiments I will be running with my Orbs relate to growing from my current system (r, l, c + sub) up to a full 7.1 system using the Orbs I already have. I have been so happy with what's already there, I have put the 7.1 system on the back burner, as other higher priority chores have popped up.
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post #479 of 1401 Old 05-31-2008, 11:42 AM
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Sounds great, Big Lag! I totally respect your opinion.

Last night, I got around to hooking up a Mod4 for each left & right channel. I only had a couple of hours to listen so I will reserve my full comment on the sound until after the weekend. This will give me the next couple of days to play. I will say this. So far, I like what I've heard. Since, I listen to a lot of 2-channel music, this could become permanent.

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post #480 of 1401 Old 06-01-2008, 12:31 AM
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I have the extra speakers here, I should hook them into a mod4 configuration and give a listen.
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