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New Arx A5 Towers - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

If you read my review, you'll see that I haven't bottomed the drivers even while playing "Bass I love you". The Xmech is substantially higher than the Xmax. Here is a test I conducted with some Arx A3 towers (same mid-bass drivers) :

Excursion 2 from Collin Bruce on Vimeo.


&

Excursion 1 from Collin Bruce on Vimeo.


Unless you're using EQ, running them full range should not be an issue, other than it gobbling up power like nobody's business. A 50-60hz x-over would likely be optimal in a large room. These drivers have a LOT more motor behind them than anybody else at this price class. I'll wager in magnet weight alone...and nobody else is licensing XBL2/Splitgap motor tech in this price bracket, either.

No doubt these drivers have substantial capabilities, but I still would advise against anyone thinking they can run these full range at something like reference level for HT. I would hate to see what a 115db 20hz signal does to a speaker tuned to 52hz...
post #32 of 59
Im sure these can be run aline, but nth beats a well integrated high quality subwoofer. I wonder how these speakers compares to bookshelf at around 1000.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

No doubt these drivers have substantial capabilities, but I still would advise against anyone thinking they can run these full range at something like reference level for HT. I would hate to see what a 115db 20hz signal does to a speaker tuned to 52hz...

Well, I have to agree. There are few tower speakers on the planet, of any size or price that can reproduce a signal of that magnitude.

In fact, very few subwoofers can reproduce that even in a small sealed room if we're going by CEA 2010 standards.

I'm not saying that a signal that low and that loud is not present in the main L+R channels of some movie soundtrack, somewhere (assuming double bass is not being employed in the receiver/processor), but I am unaware of material of that level in the main channels of a movie released for home use. If there is, please let me know. And, as I stated, output at that level at ANY freq will be amp limited. Another AVS member made a chart of calculated sensitivities a while back. There are not that many home tower speakers that can get to that level at all.

As far as reproducing ultra-low frequencies, "Bass I love you" did not cause bottoming even at greatly elevated output levels. I'm not stating that you can't bottom these midwoofers (It's certainly not a dare), I'm simply stating that the drivers were designed to have the coil exit the gap LONG before the mechanical limits of suspension travel were reached. It's called physical headroom. wink.gif

I agree, for movies, a subwoofer is preferred and much desired. That's why I have my A7s-450. But I played SW Episode III on BD at least 5 times for different friends, at above reference on my system. The A5's were run full-range and they never bottomed. Not once.

I also agree that a crossover freq of 50-60hz for movies would be ideal. But my Arcam AVR300 simply does not allow me to set the x-over freq for movies aside from 'small' and 'large'. I listen to them full-range for music...as they were designed.
post #34 of 59
Here is the thread I mentioned of those sensitivity specs:


http://www.avsforum.com/t/1387083/list-of-reference-level-high-sensitivity-spl-low-distortion-speakers


Here is the GoogleDoc:


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Ahbv22x1GcpqdDdpT0hrNmJVNU5kM0drU0R5bVRNWUE



The vast majority of the speakers (the list is apparently sorted by max output) aren't able to reproduce a signal above 115dB at any frequency. The list of speakers that CAN'T includes many professional PA models.

So, Jay1, I see what you are getting at.....but I think 115dB is a little overboard for an example.
Edited by BufordTJustice - 7/23/12 at 8:09pm
post #35 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

I would hate to see what a 115db 20hz signal does to a speaker tuned to 52hz...

Is that something that even matters? Who in there right mind would need or want a speaker that does 115db at 20hrz? I'm going to guess that the majority of speaker owners on here never even reach their speaker/subs limits. I think this is a good example of what Jon was saying in his post a TAI forum, people who care more about measurements and specs than what the actual speaker sounds like.
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

Well, I have to agree. There are few tower speakers on the planet, of any size or price that can reproduce a signal of that magnitude.
.
With 95dB sensitivity it only takes 100 watts to realize 115dB. Agreed finding speakers with a true 95dB broadband sensitivity isn't easy, but also far from impossible. My towers do 115dB to 40hz without breaking into a sweat, though I seldom run them near that level.
Quote:
Who in there right mind would need or want a speaker that does 115db at 20hrz?
Most of the guys in the DIY section. eek.gif
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

With 95dB sensitivity it only takes 100 watts to realize 115dB. Agreed finding speakers with a true 95dB broadband sensitivity isn't easy, but also far from impossible. My towers do 115dB to 40hz without breaking into a sweat, though I seldom run them near that level.
Most of the guys in the DIY section. eek.gif

I agree, Bill. And I should say that the only thing keeping me out of one of your Tuba setups is the fact that I enjoy my wife's company, would like to remain married to her, and don't have enough room to even partially hide one of the smaller models. I've haunted the DIY forum and have seen massive results from your designs. biggrin.gif
post #38 of 59
Is the midrange driver in its own sealed enclosure? These are also mass loadable correct?


Brian in Bakersfield...
post #39 of 59
Thread Starter 
Don't know about the midrange. The cabinet for the A5 is not mass loadable like the A3, the extra woofers take up the space were the mass chamber would be.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hspecialist View Post

Is the midrange driver in its own sealed enclosure? These are also mass loadable correct?
Brian in Bakersfield...

Yes, the mid and tweeter are in their own sub-enclosure.

No mass loading. Gtsuper24 hit that on the head as to why.
post #41 of 59
Thanks!
post #42 of 59
I really like what these towers are offering for the price, just wish we had a couple more reviews out there. If anybody can direct to any I will appreciate it.
Edited by Manamb - 9/13/12 at 10:12am
post #43 of 59
Thread Starter 
Don't know of any 3rd party reviews of the A5 towers. Theres many owner reviews out there and they've all been extremely positive. The Arx speakers I have (A2 LCRs and A1s) have exceeded my expectations. So much so that I went a head and ordered a pair of the A5s which are scheduled for Monday by Fedex.

If you go through the Arx thread theres several user reviews. These are people who have been on the list for these for a year and paid there hard earned money for them are they've all said they were well worth the wait.

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?24-Arx-Speakers
Edited by gtpsuper24 - 9/13/12 at 10:52am
post #44 of 59
Can't wait to hear your review, etc GTPSUPER24. The driver quality in these seems to be pretty damn good at this price point
post #45 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

Can't wait to hear your review, etc GTPSUPER24. The driver quality in these seems to be pretty damn good at this price point

I have these posted somewhere else but can't remember, so since you brought up about the drivers. Heres a comparison I did using a 5.25" stamped basket driver from a $498 bookshelf vs the driver from the Arx A1 bookshelf $299. Right driver is the Arx woofer.




post #46 of 59
MY review, first posted here at TAI forums:
http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum/showthread.php?1640-Arx-A5-Evaluation



The Arx A5
The Towers that almost didn't exist

By Collin Bruce, s/n BufordTJustice




The Idea

I've been living with the Arx A5 tower prototypes (abbreviated to A5x) for about a year now. This really shouldn't be the case, since the A5's shouldn't exist in the first place. The only reason they exist is because I pestered Jon Lane on a consistent basis, for an extended period of time (several months). Here's how the journey started....

Once upon a time, I saw a guy named Jon Lane posting online, who also apparently owned The Audio Insider. After reading many of his posts, I determined that he spoke with a wisdom and knowledge of loudspeaker tuning that I have seen in few other places.

I saw that Jon had a loudspeaker series called Arx. It looked too good to be true. $500 for a pair of 2.5-way towers using magnetic planar tweeters and XBL2/Splitgap midwoofers? Were the cabinets and crossovers made from plastic and paper? Nobody else was putting drivers of that quality in speakers under a grand. So I played 20 questions and Jon answered every one. I asked him if he had plans for a bigger tower than the A3. He said very plainly, "Nope". Undeterred, I asked him if he would consider, even if only on paper, a bigger tower. I expressed my desire to have towers which possessed a duality of talents; they had to be strong on music, but they also would need to mesh with other cabinets for home theater. He kindly laughed and said something to the effect of, "lemme see what I can dream up in my [extremely limited] free time".

Weeks passed until I found an email in my inbox titled "A5 towers". Jon had modeled a tower with the A3's cabinet size envelope, the same XBL2/Splitgap midwoofers (except there were now three midwoofers per cabinet as compared tot he A3's two) and planar tweeters used in the rest of the Arx series, and a dedicated midrange that he had access to which he determined might work with the rest of the system. Jon mentioned that the midrange driver had a very-low-distortion motor assembly, a true [fixed] phase plug (read: not a bullet-shaped dustcap), and outstanding musicality. He told me it could be done in the same size cabinet as the A3 towers by eliminating the mass-loading chamber in the base of the cabinet in favor of increased internal volume. However, they didn't physically exist yet and Jon had no plans to fabricate them, even on a prototype basis.

After about a month of talking about boring design details, and desperately trying to convince Jon that a set of music-focused towers like that COULD sell well if they existed, Jon agreed to entertain my requests with some full modeling of the potential crossover network and he told me he would get back to me. Within a week, Jon informed me that the crossover was going to require more work than he had previously anticipated and that it may not work at all. A couple weeks after that, Jon emailed me the following: a) the A5's were possibly "doable" within a reasonable price constraint and using available drivers. I told him that if it didn't cost between $700 and $850 per PAIR that I had no interest and that several current market offerings would quickly make it an irrelevant also-ran. I did not want to give Jon the false impression that I would be paying any more than that. I felt that, surely, this would be the last nail in the coffin and that our pleasant phone chats and email exchanges had essentially come to an end. Jon ran some numbers and emailed me back the next day with a very simple message, "I think I can do $700-$800 per pair. But it will be a squeeze. Let me build some prototypes so I can know for sure the design works in the real world."

Then Jon blew me out of the water with this offer, "How about I build a mirror pair of prototypes? Would you be willing to help me tune the crossovers, acting as a second set of ears?" He advised that there were still no guarantees about production and that he would need a minimum number of people to buy a production pair for it to be feasible (a number which he had not calculated yet). He then offered to have me babysit a bruised-up demo pair of Arx A3 towers so I could be ready to supply feedback to him about the continuity of the entire Arx line's voicing and if the A5's played into that. Further, he wanted the A5's to represent a marked and distinct improvement over the A3's. He stated that he would ship to me a prototype pair of A5x's once he had them ready....and once he could master the midrange-tweeter crossover to his satisfaction. He wanted input on the A5 design as it progressed. He told me that he had a mirror pair that he would craft and he would be able to send me small parts, different port tubes, etc, that I could switch-out myself and provide feedback to him. Mind you, we still have not met in person (to this day, actually). I could be a serial killer and he wouldn't know it. Or a thief. Or a liar. Or all three.


The A5's

Jon and I discussed extensively what the sonic character of the A5 needed to be. He and I both agreed that they would be designed and tuned with a focus toward stereo music listening, and as a secondary role filling the main L+R slots in a home theater setup. This meant careful attention paid to the horizontal soundstage, the depth of said soundstage, and the clarity of the midrange and treble sections while avoiding harshness, proper damping and impulse response, among many other issues.


Well, the A5's met my expectations. The soundstage is wide and often three dimensional (depending on the quality of the source/content, of course). The midrange clarity belies its under-$1K price. After placing them about 8.5-9ft apart and about 10 feet away from me, the image reached all the way to the outer walls of my listening room (about 3.5ft to the outside of each speaker). The midrange resolution was like turning the detail knob up to eleven. However, no harshness or fatigue resulted. The dynamic delivery of the bass, without bloat, is satisfying. The A5's reach down to the low forty's in my room with negligible roll off. Usable bass output extends to just above 30Hz in my room. Your mileage may vary

The Arx A5x's have a fundamental core of musicality; they sound detailed and revealing, but listener fatigue is kept lower than I expected. Which is to say, it is very low, indeed. I'm not interested in using esoteric terms to describe my listening experience, but I'll do my best to describe what I have heard from the A5x's. Being a huge fan of Diana Krall, I popped in her CD, "Live in Paris" and sat back. I usually demo by playing a minute or so from my favorite tracks (which is nearly all of them on this album). In this case, I lost track of time and played the entire album. The first track opens with a crescendo of audience applause. This applause was crisp and clear, and seemed to emanate from well outside of the physical confines of the boxes themselves. I was being surrounded by sound, yet with only two speakers. I was so pleased at this, I wanted to make sure it wasn't a placebo effect, so I restarted the track several times throughout my listening session. Of course, I expected that this wide soundstage would come (as it usually does) at the expense of focus (and possibly coherence) at the center of the soundstage, which it did not. I could hear the instruments from their original positions as recorded, panned across the front of the soundstage, with Diana's voice floating in the middle. The raspy character of her voice can, at times, come across as strident. This was not the case during my listening session; the A5x's allowed me to hear the texture of her voice, the subtle vibrato she uses on some words, and her delicate whispers, but it never hurt, even when being played at reference for short intervals. Brushes of the snare drum head were equally revealing.

The bass seemed much more effortless than I had anticipated. The kick drum and floor tom provided a solid foundation for the rhythm section, their dynamic nature belied the small size of the Arx midwoofers and the modest cabinet volume. The upright acoustic bass also sounded full, yet it did not sound bloated. I could hear the bassist's fingers slide along the strings and could differentiate the 'pluck' of the string from the resonance that is created in the wooden body. This clarity also carried into more complex passages. I later contacted Jon about this and he had done exactly what I had asked; he had not included any type of 'showroom' output hump in the bass region. He maintained proper damping and impulse response through the bass region instead of chasing maximum raw bass output. It is, after all, hard for a pair of decently designed speakers to sound 'bad' with Diana Krall and her band. So I raided my wife's CD collection for some known-horrible, ultra-compressed modern drivel. My friends, say hello to Nickelback. Mediocre recordings, stupefying lyrics, lackluster dithering in production, compressed harshness, and a teeny bit of digital distortion on some of the lead vocal screams. Mix this with some more compression during mastering, and extra reverb for that oh-so-popular 'cathedral effect' ....and you have Nickelback.

I don't like this music. Which makes it easy for me to be critical, both of the material itself and any system it is playing on. I am depressingly familiar with them because both my wife and my younger brother love them. This, in my mind, makes it really good evaluation material. Why listen to music that I already like? That's an easy test. This is a more difficult test for a speaker because I am (unfortunately) familiar with it and I can't stand it.

The A5x's did an admirable job on Nickelback's 'Here and Now' and 'Dark Horse'. The perennial harshness that I came to associate with these discs was pleasantly almost absent. It's easily as smooth as my Grado headphones (read: tolerable). There is still plenty of sibilance and harshness on cymbal crashes and some snare hits. The annoying grunge in the guitar is still there, but somewhat more palatable than before. I no longer found myself compulsively reaching for the remote to turn the volume down. Yet, I was hearing more detail and more of the ambiance surrounding the instruments, and sometimes even the room/booth they were recorded in. This was a mighty fine balance of clarity without harshness. The best quality was that, again, the music seemed to emanate from far outside the edges of the A5x cabinets. This with no sound processing (other than the standard DAC conversion going on inside the Panasonic DMP-BDT500 courtesy of the Burr-Brown 192kHz x 32bit DAC's) and being sent to the DVD-A input on my Arcam AVR300 in PureDirect mode (where all internal DSP is fully disabled along with all non-essential video and audio circuits). So this is definitely not something that is being added to the signal. No phase manipulated 'fake surround' circuits employed here.

I told Jon from the outset that stereo listening was my primary goal, and that if the A5's could to that well, HT duties should be adequately fulfilled as well. That goal has been met.

The A5's are the kind of quality speakers that, when connected to quality equipment and fed a quality source, you just want to turn off the lights and let an album play all the way through. All I'm missing is the gentle glow of a tube amp.

The A5x's even breathe life into Pandora Internet Radio. Never have I been so impressed with the quality of sound that I got from streamed content. This is a credit both to Pandora and to the A5x's. Large soundstage, lack of sibilance, and excellent vocal qualities across all genres of music. I can honestly say that I only became a true fan of Pandora once I got the A5x's in my system. For less-than-critical listening, I can very nearly forget it's not a CD or lossless audio; perfect for chore duty or when I'm working on another bench project.


Specific Tracks

Kid Cudi: Day 'N Nite -
A strong bass line anchors the song, and an ethereal synthesizer floats over the vocals and sound effects. The bass is dynamic, and the ambient nature of the synthesizer creates a large envelope of sound. This should, and did, provide a wrap-around sound experience due to a lot of phase manipulation happening in the studio. The vocals, as with most modern music, are highly compressed. This usually creates a strident and tinny nature, even to people who have deeper voices. The A5x's excelled in revealing the texture of the vocals, without allowing them to be too shrill. (great break-in song)


Timbaland: The Way I Are -
Another song that has highly compressed vocals, an ethereal and reverberant backing track, coupled with a very loud bass line that digs quite low for mainstream musical content. Another great test of the A5x's ability to maintain composure at higher volume levels without falling apart. (and a great break-in song)


Justin Timberlake: What Goes Around -
I have grown to like Timberlake. This song is my favorite of his so far. It is easy to tell that he paid more attention to the vocal harmonies and the quality of microphone being used in the studio. The compression he uses on the vocal track on this song is lighter than usual for the hip-hop genre.



Lupe Fiasco: The Show Goes On -
The electric guitar sampling that plays throughout the song, along with the (fake) trumpets and the strong bass beat is another showcase for the A5's bringing composure and smoothness to a song that really doesn't have too much of either of those. The reverb effect applied to the guitar is conveyed with great effect, seeming to wrap around you in the beginning of the track.



Diana Krall [Live in Paris]: I Love Being Here With You & Fly Me To The Moon
Oh, Diana. Some love her, others hate her (no idea why). I find her music well recorded and well produced. Her use of live musicians on this album, along with the live audience's applause being tastefully mixed into the beginning and end of each track really helps you visualize the experience. The A5's paint a clear sonic picture of what was recorded. Again, a very wide and deep soundstage is the norm.



The Rolling Stones [Forty Licks]: Gimme Shelter
My all-time favorite Stone's song. The A5x's really allowed me to listen in on this recording; hearing the female singer's voice actually break (crack) as she belts-out her part in the latter part of the song. If you listen real close, you can hear Jagger react to it in the recording. The A5x's present tons of clarity, but also keep listener fatigue impressively low. Fatigue on midrange-heavy recordings from this era (especially ones that have been 'digitally remastered') can detract from one's listening enjoyment.


John Mayer: Heartbreak Warfare
John seems to be experimenting with more ambiance in his recordings. This first track sounds less intimate, but shows off the wide soundstage that the A5x's reveal.


Tom Petty: You Don't Know How it Feels
If a speaker is harsh in the midrange, the Harmonica (especially in the beginning) will be grating. Now, Harmonicas are naturally shrill instruments, but they don't have to be punishment. On this track, clear-yet-smooth is what you want, and the A5x's deliver. You can hear the texture of the diaphragms as they vibrate inside the harmonica and Tom's gritty road-beaten voice.



Movies

I sampled Star Wars Episode III on BD and Episode 4, also on BD. These movies are a favorite of mine, the latter since my childhood. I ended up purchasing an Arx A2 center from Jon during the above evaluation to complete my front three for movie viewing. To the A5x's credit, they still meshed seamlessly with the A2 to create a cohesive front soundstage. Pans across the front sounded pleasingly natural and I was unable to differentiate where one speaker ended and the other began after getting them level-matched.

Using my Panasonic DMP-BDT500, I have discovered the world of FLAC and lossless audio (also, Dolby True HD, DTS HD MA, LPCM, etc.).....and there's no going back to the lossy stuff. Whether playing 44.1k CD rips or 96/24 files from HD Tracks-dot-com via my USB thumb drive, it is vibrant, clear, and enveloping. Despite extensive comparisons between the actual CDs and the FLAC files, I was not able to determine the difference between the two on my system. Do yourself a favor and taste the FLAC kool-aid.


Break-in



It took about 25 hours for a break-in. The A5x's produced noticeably more effortless bass after the first 25 listening hours. I don't think that the way the break-in is conducted has any effect on how the speaker sounds after break-in as long as they aren't being abused. But speakers are mechanical devices and I would imagine that the spiders and surrounds of the midwoofers gained some additional compliance after several hours of listening as opposed to when they were brand new. No Voodoo here.


For my friends who have seen the A5x's in action, they were always amazed at how little the midwoofers moved during loud bass passages relative to their amount of output. If anybody has seen my A3 excursion video on Vimeo, forget about that with the A5's. I was afraid of frying the crossover in an effort to get the midwoofers to move like I had seen in the A3 towers. I never once saw the midwoofers fully unload, even when feeding them signals that were well below the port tuning frequency (signals in the high 20Hz range). It was comforting. So, to this day, I have NEVER bottomed the midwoofers in the A5x, even when playing Star Wars Episode III above reference for some friends. The only listener fatigue I heard I can associate with my Arcam AVR300 almost running out of gas.


My wife was also impressed and surprised by their dynamic qualities. They scared her on several occasions. Which made them even MORE valuable to me. Horror movies like Insidious made the wifey jump over and over again. She actually stopped the movie to check the front door at one point. She was convinced that a knocking was coming from within our house, but from another room. Wrong-O! Boy, was it fun watching her investigate. Since she will likely read this, I'm not going to elaborate any more on that.

The A5's are 6 ohm speakers. I don't say this meaning that they are AVERAGED to 6 ohms with an impedance plot that looks like the rocky mountains. I mean that when you look at the impedance plot, there are no nasty surprises that so many other designs include. No mystery overheating problems like other "6 ohm nominal" speakers that have 3 ohm dips in critical bands of the frequency spectrum can create. They are conservatively rated at about 90.5dB at 1w/1m.


Jon and I agreed on two modifications; one to the crossover and one to the port setup. Using a slightly different crossover component, Jon increased the tweeter level by about .5dB (maybe less than that) and he made a port adjustment by changing the length (moving the tuning freq up by about 1 or 2 Hz). Small stuff that I advised was probably not required. However, Jon wouldn't relent...stating that he wanted to get the bass impulse response "just right".


Continued in the next post
post #47 of 59
The Chronology

So, this whole project started by me bothering Jon for a month to scratch some design down for a bigger tower than the A3 towers. I doubt Jon would have designed the A5 towers if I had not asked for them. This all happened because towers like these were what I was shopping for in my own home setup. It was an entirely selfish motivation, but at least I told Jon up front. He was aware that I was not concerned with profit margins or anything else related to his business operations. I just wanted to know if he was willing to craft a speaker that I wanted to see....and one that I thought may have limited sales potential. Without sounding callous, I didn't really care about the sales potential. Yet, Jon did all the design work prior to making the prototypes per my sole request. I would say that, for the entire gestational period, Jon was toying with the idea of only having a single pair of A5 towers made and selling them only to me (which would have made me perfectly happy). He even took care to explain to me that this would not be a production item and to keep my mouth shut tight. Before actually getting the A5x's into my hands, Jon told me that it really didn't make financial sense for him to make ONLY one pair for the A5 project at my price point and that I should just call it off. He stated he was having trouble making the midrange-tweeter crossover work to his satisfaction, and that he would not be able to do it at my stated price point. My idea of an A5 tower was dead. Damn. Back to shopping all the competitors.

Fast forward a few fast-paced weeks of work. I called Jon to shoot the breeze (he and I also share an interest in politics and history). Jon mentioned to me that maybe the A5 wasn't dead after all. He told me that he had overcome an issue in the mid-tweeter crossover in a way that was simpler, though less conventional than he had previously thought. And cheaper...maybe even plausible for a limited production run. He then sent me the above listed prototype pair, and the above evaluation was conducted.

After Jon and I had settled on what the design should be, he encountered a problem; the price of neodymium had begun to climb rapidly. He was clear to tell me that now the only way it made financial sense for him (as a small business) to release the A5's was for him to be able to sell about 12 additional pairs to other buyers.

So, I asked Jon if he would allow me to facilitate his efforts to find 12 other interested buyers for what he termed "a very limited engagement". I asked him if I could bring the project out in the open via various internet forums (since it had been completely secret until this point) in an effort to see if any interest actually existed for the 'A5 tower' we had conceived. He gave me permission to essentially reveal the work that had been done up until that point in a thread on the TAI forum, with me crossing my fingers that at least 12 people would be interested enough to participate in a potential group buy of 12 pairs, at some indefinite point in the future....and with some unknown price point between $650 and $800 a pair.

After posting the thread at TAI forum, my only (self serving) goal was to see if enough people were as interested in the A5 tower as I was....interested enough to buy it, like me. My aim was twelve people who were adventurous enough to commit on a preliminary basis. Jon cautioned me against getting my hopes up, warning that in a down economy like this it was a tall order to have people voluntarily commit themselves to a product that hasn't been manufactured yet. He told me later that he had expected near-zero interest. Essentially an utter failure.

Well, he was wrong. Four people turned into eight, which turned into twelve, which turned into a LOT more than twelve (nearly 70 as of this writing). The numbers grew very quickly. This was when I had the bright idea of starting a thread at a forum that I had always enjoyed reading, with the intention of sharing the good news. I mean, where else in the market could you get a speaker that sounded THIS GOOD for this price? Answer: you couldn't....at least not at the moment. Despite my best (and clearest) of intentions, that thread turned into something awful after about 12 pages of productive posts, pictures, and many expressions of interest. It is a shame what happened between me and a moderator with poor grammar skills and an ax to grind...... but that is another story for another time.



Final Thoughts


Now it's July 2012. Basically a year and a half since Jon first had me nagging in his ear about creating the A3's "big brother". The delivery of the A5 production model is right around the corner and the original group buy of 12 has been expanded to nearly 70. I am really excited to hear what the people in the A5 group buy at TAI Forums have to say about The A5's once they hear them. So here's where I'll give a few tips for anybody who has bought an Arx A5. Tip 1: don't be kind during break-in; play plenty of bass heavy music at moderate volume. Get those XBL2/Splitgap midwoofers moving (as much as possible, anyway). Tip 2: get the A5's out into the room and away from the back/side walls. I wouldn't recommend placing them any closer to the rear wall than 12"-14"....further away if at all possible. Jon has employed boundary-step compensation in the crossover design, so the A5's don't need to hug a wall in order to have ample bass output. Just place them for great stereo imaging and enjoy.

I am anxious to hear the reports from other listeners. I think they're going to be very impressed at the value and performance the A5's bring to the marketplace.
post #48 of 59
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

These look like a great deal. I cant understand Jon Lane's comments on measurements though. There is WAY to much BS in hi-fi audio to take any manufacturers or users word about anything.... A few simple measurements is all the evidence you need to prove your product (that no one can listen to before buying) is competently designed. Simple as that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

The average guy will shy away from these since I don't think there are any professional reviews or measurements available for these speakers. Most don't have money to blow on returning bunch of speakers after trying out at home. Shipping costs add up and then could have used the money to buy a better speaker in the first place.
Most would try one or two brands after narrowing down our selection based on hearing in-store, professional reviews and/or user reviews. If I was the manufacturer and believed in my product, I would want these reviewed right away to get more credibility.. That is if I cared at all about increasing revenue.

Here's the measurement response for the Arx A1b as posted by Jon: http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum/showthread.php?1904-Arx-A1b-response&p=8511#post8511
post #50 of 59
I upgraded my 7.2 set up from
Front L/R Polk Audio Monitor 70 II
Center Polk Audio Monitor 25c
Surround L/R Jamo S426
Surround back L/R Energy EF-500
Subs dual Klipsch RW-12D

To
Front L/R Arx A3rx-c
Center Arx A2rx-c
Sub Power Sound Audio PSA-XV15

I will be ordering a couple more towers possibly the A3s to complete a 5.1 set up. I'm waiting for the A5s upgraded tweeter as well. So far, I'm very happy and amazed how well the Arx sound. Also the quality is excellent.
post #51 of 59
Are the Arx a3 a real step up compared to your Polk Monitor 70?
I have Polk TSi 300 + CS2, and I'm hesitating between Klipsch RF 62 II or Arx A5
post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by french_guy View Post

Are the Arx a3 a real step up compared to your Polk Monitor 70?
I have Polk TSi 300 + CS2, and I'm hesitating between Klipsch RF 62 II or Arx A5

The Arx sound better than the RTi / RTiA line in my personal opinion. The LSi is probably the best sounding speaker out of the Polks. I don't like the Klipsh they are just as bright as the Polks.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

The Arx sound better than the RTi / RTiA line in my personal opinion. The LSi is probably the best sounding speaker out of the Polks. I don't like the Klipsh they are just as bright as the Polks.
Where you able to audition both (Klipsch and Arx)?
Problem is I can audition Klipsch, but not the ARX a5 inmy area.....
I was also thinking about the Focal Chorus 716v, or KEF 700 or 900 (Accessories4less) but impossible to test without buying !!!
Any owner of the Arx A5 in the Detroit area?
Edited by french_guy - 1/18/14 at 5:19am
post #54 of 59
I used to own Polk and Klipsch reference series. They both were excellent with movies, but music they both were too bright. I didn't audition the Arx speakers either. I spoke with Jon at tithe Audio Insider, read many review, spoke with other owners, and the Arx won the $1000 dollar speaker evaluation that Home Theater Shack conducted. After all this I went for it, and I am glad I did.

I was also thinking about buying the Empteks and HTDs.
post #55 of 59
Wow, looks like I am in the exact same boat....
I was also thinking about the HTD Level 3 and the Emptek E55Ti
My listening are 90% movies/games and 10% music
But if I have very nice speakers, I will maybe listen to more music to end up at 50/50

So you think the Arx A5 would be the best pick (and on top of it, they are cheaper than the Klipsch Ref 62 II) ?
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by french_guy View Post

Wow, looks like I am in the exact same boat....
I was also thinking about the HTD Level 3 and the Emptek E55Ti
My listening are 90% movies/games and 10% music
But if I have very nice speakers, I will maybe listen to more music to end up at 50/50

So you think the Arx A5 would be the best pick (and on top of it, they are cheaper than the Klipsch Ref 62 II) ?

The A5 or the A3rx-c with the A2rx-c as center would do just fine. I've got the A3s and not the A5. I went with the A3 since that's what Jon recommend it for my music listening since I've got a PSA-XV15 sub to handle the bass. However, I was surprised that the A3 have pretty decent bass. I'm sure the A5 will have much better bass if you need it.
post #57 of 59
+1 for the A5's. Best towers for the money by far. Don't be hesitant to hop onto the ARX wagon. Any of the speakers in that line will amaze you and you'll only want to buy more for a full system.
post #58 of 59
Hummmm...............That "sounds" very tempting !!!
What is the best center speaker for the A5?
I've read people recommend the A1b, but I would prefer a "real" center speaker...Is it the A2rx?
post #59 of 59
The a2rx-c has the 3rd generation of the tweeter, giving you a HUGE sound stage which is going to make dialogue in movies fill the room wonderfully. This would be my recommendation, although their was a guy who used 3 A5's for his L C R..... but most people don't have the room or the balls for that tongue.gif
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